A Blade in the Dark…Chapter Four…new writing, unedited…

Tricky Rich stared at the walls of the cabin, his eyes never moved from the rotting cedar. Termites had dug in, and soon the dwelling would capitulate to the ravages of time and the wood munching insects. Rich was a portly fellow, his skin was so pale he almost appeared translucent. In every sense of the word, he was average. From his height to his IQ, not one thing concerning Tricky Rich was above par. 

Except maybe his death. 

The killer had made sure any information Tricky Rich had possessed would not cross the lips of the pedophile. As a trophy, the killer took Rich’s lips, along with his eyes, hands, and tongue. According to old legends, Rich would bumble around eternity as an abomination unable to touch, see, or speak. 

It’s what he deserved, the killer thought. Pools of blood stained the floor, along with several broken skeletons. The bones had faded with age but now they had company. Soon, the coyotes would howl, and their hunt for food would begin. 

As with all things biodegradable, Tricky Rich would feed the insects and plant life, and then decompose into the purest form of fertilizer-never to harm another child. This was natural justice, not some sick prevision of it passed down from the courts. 

The killer took several snapshots of the corpse, and then walked through the woods until they reached the hiking trail. At the trail, the killer pulled their cap down low and tucked their head. There was no way to avoid the scrutiny of the camera. 

Still, the killer avoided anything that might reflect their image, and kept their head down as they walked to their vehicle. Decoy cameras covered the lot, with the only active camera at the door of the gift shop, and the three inside it. 

From the driver’s seat, the killer pulled the cap off and removed the dark glasses. After unlocking the phone, the killer sent a message: Another one bites the dust. Free and clear. Once the message sent, the killer pulled the battery out and tossed it into the trash can. 

Several miles down the road, the killer stopped for gas at a mom-an-pop convenience store and tossed the burner phone into a trash can while the old man pumped gas into the vehicle. 

“That’ll be fifteen dollars, Ms.”

She handed the old man a twenty and said, “keep the change, old timer. It’s a tough world out here.”

“Thank you,” the old man shouted, waving as she sped off into the direction of town. She smiled and waved until she disappeared from view. 

The old man dropped his arm and headed back into the cool of the store. He hummed a tune and thought about how nice it was to deal with good people. The world could sure use more people like that young lady, he thought as he walked behind the counter and sat down. 

It’s wasn’t all bad, he decided, as he cracked open the newspaper. Still, the media had a way of over-sensationalizing the bad and never reporting the good. He thought about the young woman as he turned to the funnies. It helped that the young woman wasn’t hard on the eyes. Every time she came by, he had a hard time keeping his eyes on his task. 

He would watch her from the corner of his eyes, but never said anything untoward her. She knew he watched her, because she’d caught him a time or two staring, but she seemed to not mind. In fact, she’d lean over into the convertible sometimes, and give him a glance of her rear.

Forbidden fruit, the old chastised himself. You’ll poison yourself if you’re not careful. Get ahold of something you can’t turn loose of.

He continued to read the funnies, but he chuckled to himself. What he would not give to be thirty years younger when she came around. 

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