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by Rob Bliss

I said:

Don’t…fucking…move. Just listen. Listen and look at him. He doesn’t look directly at you very much. Is that good? Will he remember what I look like after this? How much time has to pass for one stranger to forget what another stranger looks like? It’s settled. I’m not meeting with him ever again. He doesn’t have my number, doesn’t know where I live – I said west, just west.Doesn’t know my last name. I should’ve given him a fake name. Remember that. Remember for what? Next time? You gonna do this again? Isn’t this enough for your curiosity? This is the end – the beginning and the end. How many dangerous people do you want to meet? At least this is known: he advertised himself as dangerous, just by what he said, what he wanted, it wasn’t ego-tripping – look at me, I’m dangerous – no, it was: this is what I want, and I really want it – he doesn’t know who he is. What he’s saying. It sounds weird to be hearing this, in person, like talking sports.

Okay, look at him. Memorize. He looks like Marcel Proust. Short black hair, tight, thick, painted to his head. Black black eyebrows. Monobrow? A bit. His nose is immense. Open nostrils…like they’re in profile. You can see the hair inside his nose easily – like each side of his nose is in profile. What is he? Italian? Greek? Persian? God, I can’t tell people. I knew a Persian guy once, smaller nose. The absence of wings.

He smiled. He looks different when he smiles. Big front teeth, thick, close together – tough getting dental floss between them. White, but not too white. He has nice teeth. Ugly people always have at least one thing beautiful about them. What do you say when an ugly person fishes for a compliment? I like your…teeth. You have very nice teeth. And ears, ears are safe. I like your teeth and ears, you say to them, then move on to their personality. Hope that appeases them.

He doesn’t even have that much. Who would fuck him? Well, I guess that’s the point. This is how he makes up for it. How do I get him out of my car? I don’t. Slowly, subtly, let him talk himself out of the car. Keeps repeating himself. What if he’s memorized the plates? When he’s finally gone, get his plate number. What kind of car does he have? Look at it, casually, just over your shoulder, pretend to cough, you’re just being polite, be relaxed about it.

It’s black. I don’t know cars. When he goes, let him leave first, the make should be on the back. That and the plate. There’s a pen in the glove compartment. What if he takes down your plate? I don’t think he would. He’s too focused. He has only one target, and it’s not you. He lives around here. This is a shitty area. Lives with his mother – said she’s always out. Sister moved away. Locks the door to his room. No father. Wonder what happened? Does it explain this? He feels alone? Raised alone? Rejected? Teenage angst – come to fruition now in his twenties? Who would notice him? He’s small. Passes through a crowd invisible. He doesn’t want to be invisible. No, he does – now he does. Now he needs to be to get what he wants. Using his life-long invisibility to his advantage, assured he won’t get caught because no one ever notices him.

He’s gonna hurt someone. Shit – he’s real. No, maybe not – maybe. He needs you. This is what he’s been waiting for. You. But if he doesn’t have you, then maybe he can’t do what he wants. Don’t worry – if he goes ahead with it, he’ll get caught. He’ll be in prison for ten years, maybe twenty. He’ll be your age when he gets out, maybe in his forties. He’s small. They’ll eat him. How long can he stay invisible in there? He’ll have his name and picture in the paper – they’ll see him coming.

If I give him to the cops, how do I get what I want? Say what to them? "I can give you this guy, worse than anything I ever did or thought of doing – reduce my probation – or an out-and-out pardon." Use one who got caught to catch another one still free. It makes sense: why wouldn’t they? They deal like that all the time. Unless they use him to get me again. "How did you meet?" So, how did I meet him? Not on the net, a violation, so? Met in a bar. I was drunk. I told a stranger what happened. Do not tell him what happened. Does he drink? Smoke? Drugs? No, he’s clean. Clean and pure. What would his mother do? She’ll die, especially if she’s divorced. Goes out a lot, works nights, he said. Would he kill himself inside? Hard to say. Sometimes it’s tough to read who will and who won’t.

He’ll get caught guaranteed. Fuck. Think about this. You tell him no thanks – not now, wait till today’s over, he’s out of the car, no more contact. One last message: no thanks, I’m not your guy. How does a person like this react? Gives it up? Slows down? Gets more desperate? Decides it’s too hard to get an accomplice, easier just to do it alone. He has his plan. He’s getting there. He’s too young, too stupid, too invisible – they’ll get him. He will fuck up. Wants it too much. Thinks he’s planned it all out.

But what will he do? How much pain will he cause before he gets nailed? He’ll try and miss. Hopefully, it only goes that far. A description. This part of town. He doesn’t stand out enough here. A minority amongst minorities. But the kind of area cops watch perpetually.

Should I forget about making a deal? Anonymous tip? Just to stop him. Check his room: he’ll have something there to get him. But it won’t be enough to keep him in long enough. Maybe. He could have more. They’ll assign him to a shrink. Then maybe he’ll talk: they’ll realize he wanted more, intent beyond the found proof, willing to go for more, a diary? A diagram? A map with Xs marked? They’ll keep him longer under observation – put him on suicide watch. He was a little fish who tried to make the leap into the big fish pond. Holy shit – they’ll say – holy shit! Good thing we got him when we did.

Fuck the deal – the cops won’t give you anything. Don’t be stupid. Not again. Once in a lifetime is too much. Just walk away. He’ll take care of himself – he wants too much, blinded, dead, and he doesn’t know it. Don’t die with him. Don’t die again.

Doesn’t this make you sick? Yes, a little. Should it make you more? I’m removed. Third-person in a first-person role. Drawn back, away from it, maintain distance, an observer, a listener of the forbidden. You don’t have the right, you’re not qualified. Only cops, shrinks, a judge, lawyers – professionals who have the right pieces of paper saying they can hear this, to stop it, heal it, kill it. What’s your reason? Do you have professional status? Can you justify? By virtue of my office. My position within the community…I am eligible to hear this? Now that’s a fight you wouldn’t win. They trained, went to school, have a piece of paper to back it up, that they were just listening for the greater good, to serve and protect. You have a piece of paper, but it’s not the right one. Freedom of the? What? Absolute freedom to listen to whomever tell whatever story, no matter how vile? It’ll never fly. There’s precedent, they’ll say, but you’re no one.

Me and him. A nobody meets a nobody, once upon a time.

He said:

I need you. I’ve been looking for someone. From here, local, not half-way across the world – they’re out there, all over the place, but I need local, this city, or a quick drive from here. With a second person, it’s easier. ou’re scared, I’m scared, that’s why we’re here, to meet. ‘Cause I don’t know, you don’t know, sure it’s risky, but you have to stop thinking like that. Just think about what you want, or you’re never gonna get it. Just do it. It’s all I think about. How. You gotta have a plan. Think of a plan. I’ve got ideas – if you come up with ideas, then we can get something that works. Like a place. There’s a place not far from here, it’s a bunch of businesses, and there are homes there. Say at night or something, people pass by, they gotta pass by, to head home. The summer’s better – winter, I don’t know, winter’s tough. This is the first day of Autumn, we got the Fall, so we gotta do it soon, or we’ll never get one. With you, if you want, then with two people it’s easier. But there’s gotta be a plan. Like I thought of license plates, you get another license plate – some cars have two, some have one – you get another plate and put it on with one screw, it’s easy, fast. If you’re being chased by cops, you just speed up, turn off down an, I don’t know, side-street, take the screw off, it’s a totally different plate.

They don’t know. And a disguise. Sunglasses, maybe cut your hair different at the sides, I don’t know, but something at night, night’s the best time, but not in the winter, and it’s light, the snow makes it light out even at night, footprints, and it’s cold. I don’t care about cold. But this is part of the plan, we gotta have a plan, with two people it’s easier, ‘cause one can drive while the other’s in the back seat, we’ll need, like, a rag or something, a towel, something, tie it around the mouth, we could, we could use a blindfold, if we go somewhere to do it. But you don’t have to. You know sometimes they have those wooden fences or whatever around garbage bins, at a business, or school, just go in there and do it. Or in the bushes, there’s bushes down by the river, just over there a bit. Like I checked out this spot, this area, the whole area, I live around here so I know the area, there’s good spots, you just gotta look, you gotta think about it, how to do it, I’ve thought about it, checked things out, one screw on the license plate, cuz I know guys, I got a lot of friends and they can get me anything I want, not for this, but things I can use for the plan, like a different plate, some kind of disguise, we get these things and we’re fine.

Sure it’s risky, it’s dangerous, I’m only twenty-five, I’m just a normal guy, a regular guy, no one looks at me, sees me, like in a crowd, they can’t tell, but I don’t want to fuck up my life.

Maybe you think about getting caught, but you can’t think like that, ‘cause then you won’t do it, you’ll never have it, and I want it, I’m a horny guy, it’s all I think about. With two people it’s easier, ‘cause, say, there’s two of them, two’s harder, you get one, the other runs away and tells, but they usually can’t give a description, they don’t remember, you just change something, glasses or your hair at the sides, something, and they’re looking, but the description doesn’t match, you could look at the description but it’s not you…

…so it’s not a problem. You don’t have to worry about that – you have to worry, you gotta think, but just a little change and you’re totally different. Say there’s two, like at a bus stop – I saw this one, just standing there, totally alone, no one around, I could’ve easily, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t have the depth of feeling, the desire wasn’t total, not then, I didn’t do it, I should’ve done it.

But bright daylight is no good, too many people around, someone sees you, that’s why the night is better, just not a winter night, footprints, the moon, the snow. If they’re walking home – there’s a place just back there, I’ll show it to you when we leave, you follow me, it’s a short drive down a bit, they gotta walk passed the businesses to go home, and at night everything’s closed, there might be a couple people walking their dogs or something, but there’s nobody, it’s dark, there’s bushes along the fence. But you do it alone, it’s tough, that’s why I need you, or someone, but finding someone is tough, talking about this for real, you can’t go up to someone and ask, they’ll kill you – but you, you told me about getting caught

okay, it wasn’t for this, but something kinda related, pictures, they’re just pictures but they’re not enough, I want my own, make my own, better quality, everything’s too blurry, but okay it’s similar, the lines between are there but they’re not there, the same not the same, okay, so you did a bit of time, now it’s done, that’s why you’re thinking of anything bad happening.

But you gotta not think, a plan, a good plan. We think of something, I got something, we put them together and we do it just do it. With a second person it’s easier ‘cause one drives, or say there’s a mother, you’re older, bigger than me, you take the mother, we can do the mother too.

Two for one, separate the mother from her young. It’s gotta be quick. Getting to know a single mother, single is easy, ‘till she trusts you enough to leave you alone with her kid is too much time, it’s gotta be now, quick, it’s all I think about. We could go up to a kid left alone, like on the front lawn, the mother’s inside doing laundry, whatever, on the phone, and ask the kid, do you want to go swimming – that’s why summer is best – I got a pool, don’t worry about your bathing suit, I got something you can wear at my place, your mommy said it was okay, it’s hot out, she thought you’d probably like to go swimming, and you take the kid, it’s easy, if she yells, we use a towel, or just your hand over her, she bites, you smack her –

– not hard, but kids get smacked by their parents, they know what it means, plus kids are too young to give descriptions, they forget, no one believes them, we can take your car or mine, but it’s better with two people in one car to drive, we take her somewhere, that’s why night’s better, and we fuck her in the car, the bushes, by the river, one of those wooden fences around garbage bins, there’s tons of places, it’s easy.

But the winter’s coming.

So…you with me?

Copyright  Rob Bliss 2012

Rob Bliss has a degree in writing from a crappy university. But he still writes lots of horror, mostly due to therapy and court order. He owns a beach somewhere, but it blew away.

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