Is he a serial killer, or is he not?
Vinny grasped the handle of his pistol as he peered inside the mansion; a magnificent rush flowed through his veins, and twisted its way into his heart. This was his favorite time of the week.Regarded as public enemy number one (at least, in his mind), he wasn’t very nervous about breaking into another rich girl’s house. Vinny swung the gun into the window in front of him, and jumped inside.
Let’s just say he wasn’t very worried about getting caught. When he started this hobby of his, Vinny came up with foolproof plans—so complex he used to get confused about them himself. He hadn’t even considered using his pistol to break into a window. It was too simple, not to mention reckless. But, after a while that grew boring—acting like some paranoid psycho. A serial killer was what Vinny labeled himself as, and any type of killer certainly doesn’t act like spineless trash. Besides, he loved variety, and needed a change of pace.
Action, suspense, and adrenaline were what Vinny liked the most about what he did. The thought of something terrible happening in a matter of seconds was Vinny’s addiction. Just like cocaine is to a crackhead, or whiskey to an alcoholic. And once he thought about it, planning everything out was getting too old too soon. That was why Vinny decided not to make plans anymore—to just wing it and hope for the best. And he liked it, oh yes he did.
Vinny overlooked all the luxuriant paintings that adorned the walls of the dark hallway; He was after one thing and one thing only.
With a firm grip on his pistol, he sprinted up the spiral staircase to his right. Vinny hoped he hadn’t wakened the woman. Of course, he could just kill her if he wanted to.
Why was he so concerned about waking her in the first place?
Then the memories blazed inside him. They were like a touchy volcano. Any second it could erupt, the deadly lava drowning Vinny until he was nothing more than a liquid himself. He squeezed his eyes shut. Shoving those thoughts away from his ever-going mind, Vinny got back to business.
Once he arrived at the young woman’s bedroom, he noticed she was still fast asleep in her bed. The crash of the window had no affect on her whatsoever. Heavy-sleeper, Vinny noted to himself.
He silently walked over to her. After yanking the covers off the girl, he spotted it. Vinny saw it glistening on her hand; he tried to pull it off. He grabbed it and tugged as hard as his adolescent arms would allow him, but it wouldn’t budge. His head splitting with rage, Vinny pulled it so violently the girl fell off her bed. He cursed himself for tugging it too hard. However, at the same time, his adrenaline rollercoaster took a tremendous plunge. Things were about to get interesting.
She was about to scream louder than a boat horn when she first saw Vinny with his bloodcurdling blue eyes, cowering over her. But, thanks to his quick reflexes, Vinny succeeded in covering her mouth. He spoke to her in a hushed tone.
“Take off your ring,” ordered Vinny. The young woman simply goggled at him with green, panicky eyes, too stunned to say anything.
As he slowly showed her the pistol in his hand, Vinny moved the muscles in his jaw, creating a small, content smile on his lips. She screamed so loudly that his clamped hand on her mouth didn’t do much good for him. Oh, sh**, thought Vinny, his smile fading.
He contemplated the dilemma, and quickly came to a solution. Vinny briskly placed the mouth of the pistol to her forehead, and she immediately shut up. The smirk on his face restructured itself. Problem solved.
He then removed his hand from her lips, and said “I can easily pull the trigger if I want to, so just take off that ring and-“
Another girl burst into the room.
“Sarah? Did you screa--who is this? What’s happening!” she said. Clearly she didn’t see that Vinny’s hand was wrapped around a gun.
“You haven’t told her?” said Vinny abruptly, carefully slipping the gun into his pocket, so it was out of the other girl’s vision.
“W-what?” said Sarah. Her back was to the floor, and all she could focus on was this horrendous intruder mounted over her.
“That we’re…you know.”
“What kind of girlfriend are you?!” said Vinny, snatching Sarah’s ear, and heaving her to her feet.
“How could you do this to me? You’re just another one of those dirty little sl**ts aren’t you?”
“Don’t talk to my sister that way!” shouted the other girl
“I didn’t even know you had a sister! You two faced liar!”
“LAUREN HE’S NOT MY BOYFRIEND! HE HAS A GUN!” Sarah shouted.
Vinny interrupted the girl in the doorway (apparently Lauren) and said “What are you going off about now?!”
“You’re not her boyfriend, she would have told me about you,” said Lauren taking a couple steps towards him. Her facial expression was steady, but her blue eyes screamed how terrified she really was. I can’t let him hurt Sarah, she told herself.
An agitated expression appeared on Vinny’s face as he let out a sigh.
“Guess you’re pretty smart, huh?” he said as he took out his gun, aiming it at her.
Lauren’s jaw dropped open as a cold sweat sheathed her body. Her heart rate speeded up fast—too fast. Frankly, it felt as if it was about to leap out of her chest, unable to contain its excitement any longer.
Goosebumps began to enclose Lauren’s body as a shiver stimulated her spine. And that wasn’t just any shiver. It was a shiver a man would receive before a beheading. A shiver that a straight-A student would obtain if they found that a huge test they hadn’t studied for was about to take place in only minutes. A shiver like that was only gained when pure, utter madness was within reach.
“Please leave,” she said in barely a whisper.
“Get over here,”
“N-no,” she said closing her eyes. Lauren attempted to imagine the pain of a bullet smashing through her internal organs. Perhaps it wouldn’t be any different than a scissor-happy maniac making their way through a room chock-full of paper.
“Get over here,” repeated Vinny, his left eye twitching slightly.
Lauren’s face drooped downwards; she knew there was no other option. She didn’t fight back; she didn’t kick or yell. Lauren simply started walking towards the man, feeling a bit woozy. As her vision blurred, strange purple, green, and yellow dots splattered her view of the room.
Lauren swallowed uncertainly. It was astonishing she could swallow, her mouth felt as dry as the Sahara desert, and her heart, beating rapidly in her chest, seemed to pound more and more with every step she took. What was to happen to them?
Vinny grabbed Lauren once she was less than two feet in front of him, putting the gun to her head.
“You, go to the bathroom and yank off that ring. And you…you just stay here with me,” ordered Vinny. He put his pistol in the pocket of his leather jacket. Maybe she’ll fight back, she seems a bit feisty…I like ‘em feisty, Vinny thought to himself. Another smirk patched itself onto his lips.
As she walked to the bathroom in pure shock, Sarah felt large tears form in her eyes, drip down her cheeks, and evaporate on her lips. Her mind anxiously raced: Lauren’s going to die… I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die! The tears streamed down her face faster, and her heart beat furiously.
Although her emotions were out of control, Sarah managed to dizzily focus on her reflection in the mirror. Usually she just stared at her flaws, and scowled, but right now was different. All she wanted to do was survive.
In moments like these, Sarah was taught to do one thing…pray.
* * *
Vinny’s hand held a firm grip on Lauren’s right elbow, making a big impact on the color. Rather than her ordinary pale skin tone, half of her arm was a grotesque shade of purple. Lauren would have found it vastly intriguing if it didn’t feel as if her arm was about to burst and explode blood all over her sister’s bedroom.
“How come you aren’t crying?” asked Vinny, causing Lauren almost to jump out of her skin.
She looked at his large blue eyes, but said nothing. Remaining mute was the best idea. She would never reveal anything to somebody like Vinny unless it was a life or death situation.
Lauren felt Vinny lean closer to her head. She could smell his breath, which unexpectedly did not smell of cigarettes. Instead, it smelled of an odd, minty aroma.
“Tell me,” he whispered softly, his lips only inches away from her ear.
Lauren didn’t make a sound.
She felt the motion of Vinny drawing out an object followed by a hard pressure on the right side of her head. That object was a gun; Lauren stiffened. At any second Vinny could pull that trigger, causing the bullet to plow into her skull. Lauren’s eyes widened.
“Will you tell me now?” he said a bit louder than before.
“Crying won’t help anything,” said Lauren, she could just feel the color evaporating from her face, leaving it a chalky, paper-white tone.
“Well…What if I forced you to cry?”
There was not a thing on earth Lauren desired to do more, but she had her head set on remaining tranquil. Besides, having a total meltdown wasn’t going to improve the situation, it would only make everything worse. I’m capable of remaining calm, even in these circumstances Lauren told herself. She repeated it again and again in her head until she found herself believing it.
“Speak…to…me” Vinny growled into her ear.
Again there was no reply.
Vinny skillfully jumped in front of Lauren at an outstanding velocity, and moved the gun to the center of her forehead, applying two-handed pressure on the gun’s handle.
That’s when she lost it. His eyes…his eyes! What happened to them!? They were blue just a second ago! Lauren thought to herself wildly. Sheer insanity started to envelope her mind and everything in the room started to blur together into one horrid hallucination. What’s happening? Oh, god what the h***is happening!?
The room then unexpectedly turned to darkness, a cold, silent black.
Hank Jensen, a smoker, was speeding down the highway for his weekly trip to the Long Branch Saloon. As always, you could find him driving his signature 1955 Chevy panel truck that had aged as much as his 96-year-old grandfather. Taking a glance at the vehicle, anybody could see that the truck could use some serious refurbishing.
Countless friends questioned Hank, always starting with “Hank, why do ya keep this pile of junk? Why not get a new car?” and Hank would routinely reply, “I want a truck with character,” which never failed to give the inquirer a chuckle. However, the actual reason was that Hank was short of money—a good seventy-five percent of his earnings were foolishly invested in beer and cigarettes.
The lousy truck did have a huge personality, though. With its jagged scratches, various dents, revolting aroma, raspy radio, cracked leather seats, and numerous beer stains, the truck had this outlandish essence that was somehow addicting.
Anyhow, amidst this Friday night just sweltering in the heat of August, a chilly sentiment filled Dover, Delaware’s air. Now, Hank Jensen wasn’t exactly the type that could predict when a cold presence was upon him, but he could, without difficulty, see that something was up. The hairs on his bulky neck stood on end when he saw two teenagers dash into the woods at the side of the highway. After looking twice, Hank could see that the blonde, young woman was sprinting away from the brown-haired young man as if she, the prey, was running for her own life, trying to separate herself from the brutal predator.
Ideas flew in every which way of Hank’s not-so-intelligent mind, and he thought to himself, I don’ think that was jus’ some of ‘em playful teasin’ teenagers do, that there was trouble.
As he pulled over to the side of the road, Hank took a lengthy inspection of the teens’ car. Wooo wee! Look at them teenagers’ car! By joy, it’s one of them Lamborghini! he thought cheerfully.
Hank abandoned his tarnished truck, and ran over to the black, sleek Lamborghini like a child to an over-sized toy store. Once he reminded himself that he wasn’t there to admire a sports car, Hank darted into the forest.
* * *
Inside the woods, the cold spirit had grown even chillier. With every step, the eerie presence seemed more and more distinct, and the hum of a thousand people’s hopeless cries came into Hank’s hearing range. Then he realized the ghastly noise wasn’t inside his ears, no, it was within his heart; one of the oddest phenomenons he had ever experienced in his insipid life.
It developed into a shrill, bothersome noise as Hank dove deeper into the forest. The lights from the highway seemed as if they were miles away, leaving him alone with only the moon and stars as a guide.
A strident shriek killed the tranquility of the forest, and Hank raced in the direction of the scream, in high hopes he would find its donor. To his luck, he did. The young man with the brown hair was tying the blonde young woman’s hands together impatiently as she continued to yell. The odd blaring noise that took place in Hank’s heart was at its climax, and so was the cold atmosphere.
“What are you two doin’!?” Hank demanded, breaking the continuous screams. Advancing a few steps forward, he pulled out a pocketknife from his coat.
The young man slapped some duct tape on the girl’s mouth, and inspected Hank from head to toe before responding. Hank did the same. The boy’s big, vivid blue eyes glinted with mischief, and on his mouth was a contented smile. He wore a white shirt under a black leather jacket, and dark jeans over black converses. His hair was brown, shaggy, and slightly messy. The ends of his bangs slightly swished to the side and just met the top of his eyes
“What’s it to you?” asked the boy.
“I wanta know what yer doin’ to er’!”
“Again, what’s it to you?”
“She in trouble!”
“I need ta save this ‘ere girl from ‘orrible people like yerself!” said Hank, and ran towards the blonde.
The boy took out a pistol from his leather jacket, aiming it straight at Hank.
“Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, my friend,” he said.
An electrifying shiver weaved through Hank’s spine, causing his muscular body to fall. At this time, the cold spirit was at its worst possible point, and Hank was actually beginning to feel as if icy snow had encircled his body, making it impossible for his small brain to function properly. Hank’s hands gripped the sides of his head, and squeezed, what was happening?
The young man simply grinned a toothy smile at him, “What’s wrong big fellow?”
Hank began to shake rigorously as he watched the antagonist lift up an undersized, sharp rock from the earth with his idle hand. As he ripped through the victim’s forehead with a stone, the killer smiled as his eyes morphed into an anomalous color. Red. They were red. Hank screeched a terrible nails-on-a-chalkboard cry and his hands flew from his head and grasped the dirt on the ground.
“WHAT THE H***!? STOP! PLEASE STOP!” shouted Hank. These were last actual words he uttered. The rest was simply nonsensical yelps that humans often exclaim when they have gave up on life itself.
The young man traced something into Hank’s forehead, the small rock digging deeper into his flesh with every movement. Finally, when the murderer was finished, he pressed the blood-spattered rock into Hank’s forehead. He continued to destroy the many layers of skin with the stone until it had completely covered the symbol that had been traced. Then he pulled the trigger.
A grave black slowly filled his vision. And then Hank was gone.
Vinny’s eyebrow rose in perplexity. He stood there for a minute longer, and then spun around to see that Lauren was lying unconscious in front of a large oak tree.
Right before Vinny went over to her, a tornado of pain drilled straight into his mind, forcing his eyes closed. Here it comes…here it comes… he thought. He stood motionless until this mental storm would pass. The pain twisted and coiled inside his body, as if to mix together his various internal organs until they resembled a juicy pile of mashed potatoes. This certainly hurt Vinny, but he didn’t move a muscle. From the very first time he killed someone to the present, a cruel bomb had gone off inside of him. How many bombs were inside his body, prepared to explode? Only God knew.
All the anarchy inside Vinny had almost diminished into nothing more than a microscopic flake of dust. The pain had almost departed him, but his eyes were yet to unfasten from their closed state. In fact, he wouldn’t open them until this unpleasant squall had completely migrated from his body, leaving only a peaceful state of mind. Why did he do this? It was his tradition of tolerating the agony of the whole scene.
Whenever this mental storm arrived, Vinny could effortlessly look as if nothing inside him was going wrong--as if nothing was bothering him. After years of practice, this came to him naturally, and he measured himself as a “pro” at the art of concealing. Keeping his eyes closed was how he endured the torture that was directed at him after killing a person. He didn’t know where this cruel affliction came from. However, he had a theory that the gods threw it upon him whenever another soul drifted to heaven on his account.
After a few more minutes passed, the remains of the massive fire within Vinny had been tamed. He opened his flamboyant blue eyes and shifted them to Lauren. She was still sprawled on the gloomy forest floor.
He began walking towards her, but suddenly stopped in his tracks. Why don’t I just leave her here? NO! No…I’ll just…I’ll just take her with me, and find an entirely horrible way to kill her—a slow and painful death! YES…that’s perfect, thought Vinny with a grin.
He swiftly hoisted up Lauren with a single arm, threw her over his shoulder, and continued forward until he reached his car.
Before Vinny entered his black Lamborghini, he glimpsed at his black watch. 3:30, D**n I’m late. He hastily observed the highway, every so often a few cars would come by--sometimes alone, other times they were accompanied by several other vehicles.
Once the whooshing sound of those contraptions of transportation—otherwise known as the red blood cells of America’s many veins—had come to a dead silence, Vinny dropped Lauren and speedily walked to the back of his car.
The dark night made it tricky to locate the tiny square on the left side of the Lamborghini, but Vinny managed to find the little shape formed of indented lines. Vigilantly, he lifted the square upwards without touching any other surface of the car. A number pad came into his sight. One-five-two-eight-six-four-two-one-five-seven-three-four-one his fingers rapidly entered.
The number pad lifted up exactly as the square did, revealing yet another number pad. This time, Vinny took several seconds longer to enter the code. His fingers began to type: four-one-nine-six-eight-five-two-two-seven-nine-zero-eight-six-one-four-zero-three-one-nine.
The black Lamborghini Reventon’s two doors leisurely rose upwards, resembling the shadowy wings of a sinister fallen angel. Vinny snatched Lauren with his hand and tossed her into the passenger’s seat. He sauntered over to the drivers seat, and started the car.
* * *
At last, after fifteen minutes of monotonous driving, around 3:45 AM, Vinny pulled into an adjacent 7-Eleven gas station. He ditched Lauren, leaving her isolated inside the car, and ambled in the direction of the store.
Once Vinny arrived, he saw that the usual clerk was sitting behind the check-out counter, shockingly awake. Usually Earl was asleep during the nighttime. The bloodshot eyes above dark circles made it unambiguous that Earl was fatigued and needed a break which, quite obviously, he would never acquire.
“You’re late,” said Earl with his regular, groggy tone.
“I know, I know,” mumbled Vinny, putting his hand out to Earl, who tossed the key to him.
Vinny scuttled over to the door of the closet alongside the check-out counter, unlocked it, and chucked the keys at him. He didn’t know whether the keys hit the floor, Earl, or the wall, but that was the least of his worries.
“Hey,” said Vinny as soon as the full view of the room came into his vision. The walls were a vibrant white, along with the floor. The objects inside the room consisted of a black, extensive, vertical table, along with five black chairs placed beside it. A wall-size, flat screen TV rested on the wall in front of the table.
“Way to be late Tucker,” said Nicks. Nicks was short for Sierra Nicholes—she was the youngest of the team at only fifteen years old.
“I had some business to attend to,” he irritably explained, glaring at her.
“I kidnapped a girl.”
Nicks stood up instantaneously, “what for!?”
“I felt like it.”
“What are you gonna do with her?”
“Why’d you kidnap her then?”
“Why do you care Nicks, why does it matter? Besides, it’s none of your d*** business.”
She stared at her stolen sneakers, and there was a lengthy silence, in which Vinny simply stared blankly at her.
“Get in your seat,” he finally said, plopping down in his chair. Nicks followed, and sat next to him.
“Where’s everybody else?” asked Vinny.
“Spike’s at Rehobeth Beach. He called me and let me know,” Nicks quickly explained—a nervous tone in her voice.
Sighing, Vinny asked, “And where’s Marilyn?”
“Well, she’s around the same area, I think...”
“And Johnny is…?”
“Around Ocean City.”
“This is great. Another meeting with only two people present!” Vinny pushed himself to a standing position, and snatched the office chair beside him. Quicker than a flash, he chucked it at the white wall. This gave a harmful effect on the chair, and on Vinny’s temper. He momentarily stood there, until he managed to calmly close his eyes and take a deep breath. Vinny knew that another ruckus like that could destroy something essential in the room.
Nicks’s teeth collided into her lower lip; she couldn’t bear it when he acted this way. That’s right, even criminals can grow apprehensive toward other people.
“Well, it’s not like you’re the only one here.”
Vinny glowered at her, and snatched the TV remote patiently situated before him. Still holding her gaze, he hastily pressed down the red button.
A clicking noise entered their ears, and the flat screen switched on. A simple white filled the large box. Vinny looked away from Nicks. He typed three-two-five into the remote, and a room contained with three others with the exact same surroundings popped up.
“Spike, Johnny, Marilyn, why the h*** aren’t you here!?” said Vinny cantankerously.
“We had some things to take care of,” explained Marilyn with an innocent smile.
“We had agreed to meet here--I told all of you that a week ago when you were actually at the meeting!”
“Vinny, we can still communicate this way too. It doesn’t matter if we’re in person or not for these meetings,” said Johnny, otherwise known as Vinny’s best friend.