by Robert Bowen
The wind blew so subtly that the trees gave nearly no indication that it wasn’t as still and quiet as the night settling in around the small cabin. So isolated and haunting standing all alone in this weathered, old section of the woods. The scent of prey was in the air nonetheless. Noticeable to any true predator. The soft candlelight which fluttered against the wall inside, tossing an uneven, inconsistent glow against the window pane extinguished. Game on...
The woods around the cabin were bathed in darkness as the candle inside went out. What little moonlight managed to break through the tangled mass of tree branches that reached high into the sky dotted the forest floor in places. Dylan Westing’s boot stepped into one such spot grinding the remains of his cigarette into the damp earth and soggy leaves. Still carrying the remnants of the rain that fell the night before.
Dylan was glad that the weather was clear tonight. He had had his fill of the cool, wet nights among the aged, silent forest inhabitants over the past week as he hid among them. Studying her. Learning. He admired her isolated location deep alone in the woods. Knew those desires to be away from the city and the vermin that roamed its streets. Vermin whose blood often decorated the ends of his blades and his longing, excited hands.
A vision of his last victim flashed before his eyes as he took another step towards the cabin, and a sick smile tore its way across his face. He thought of the dandelion and the wish that was carried away by the wind. Before he knew it, he was making his way on to the old wooden boards of the porch that wrapped halfway around the front of the cabin.
His mind snapped back to tonight’s pressing satisfaction, treading lightly to ensure the boards would not announce his presence before he was ready. He carefully crept to the door and begun the tedious process of picking the lock.
He gingerly pushed the door open, pulling up against it to silence the otherwise restless hinges, and he stepped inside. Eagerly he angled in the direction his nights outside among the trees told him Carolyn LaVencia would now be fast asleep.
Suddenly the sharp pain exploding through the back of his head poured darkness into his vision washing the shapes of the cabin’s main room from his view as consciousness left him. His body landing roughly against the floor with a thud. Amateurs, Carolyn thought with a slight laugh watching her prey twitch on the ground before her.
Dylan woke with a start as the water splashed on his face, pulling hard against the unyielding chains binding his wrists together and stretched high above his head. For the first time he actually saw into the eyes of the women he thought was to be his victim and he knew...tonight he would experience the nature of a true predator.