She crawled into bed, the cool breeze tumbling in through her open window. Her friend had warned her about keeping her bedroom window wide open when she lived alone; apparently that was the way Ted Bundy murdered his victims. Netflix documentaries aside, Kasey had lived alone her entire adult life and was not about to give up the lovely autumn breeze the last few nights had given her. Serial killers be damned.
She took one last peek at her phone, making sure her latest online fling hadn’t sent another sexy goodnight text. That was another things she was consistently chastised over - her penchant for carrying on with strange men over the internet.
“You live alone, Kasey,” her friends would cluck. “You are just inviting one of them to stalk or kill you.”
She’d shrug. “You only live once.”
Tonight, the breeze brought rain and she drifted off to the pitter-patter of rain on her rooftops.
She woke up to a man’s hands around her throat.
He was masked, straddling her to keep her from bucking her hips, his fingers locked around her neck, pressing into the tender flesh. She managed to reach up and snatch off his mask, recognizing her latest Tinder match, wearing a manic glint in his dark eyes. He gnashed his teeth together as he drew black spots in front of her eyes, but she knew if she could just hold on a bit longer, eventually he would get tired.
“Why aren’t you struggling?” he finally asked, exasperated.
She mouthed a reply, causing him to release her.
“If you’re gonna choke me out, you might as well ride me too,” she croaked.
He shook his head incredulously. “You are one sick bitch.” He stretched out his fingers while she coughed, ready to try again.
Then he paused, a bewildered look crossing over his handsome face. “What the - ?” he murmured, trying to gain his bearings as it became clear he was growing faint.
Kasey coughed again as her regular breathing returned. She wiped the spit off her lips as he collapsed, falling off her bed with a loud thud. She checked her phone to see it was three am. She sighed. It was going to be a long night.
Patrick woke up groggy, pain clawing at his back. His entire world was spinning, but he was able to slowly put together his surroundings. A flickering fluorescent lamp buzzed above, casting greenish light onto the broken tiles below him. It appeared he was in an abandoned hospital, a table covered in old, dusty papers and plastic tubes within reach.
Somehow, he was looking down from the ceiling. Searing pain followed his revelation, as he soon felt the hooks in his skin that kept him suspended from the ceiling. Panicked, he began to struggle.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” warned a female voice. A woman slinked into the room, crushing the broken glass scattered around the floor with her heels. He blinked, recognizing the girl he met on Tinder, the one he’d come to murder and defile. That bitch.
He tried to grab her, but the pain was too much. “Let me go or I’ll fucking kill you,” he sputtered.
She didn’t say a word, opening his mouth and ripping out one of his teeth before he could register what was happening. He howled in pain as she chuckled, watching the blood pour into a puddle beneath him. “Next time, it’ll be your tongue,” she warned him.
He forced himself into silence, seething with rage.
She cocked her head at him as if appreciating her handiwork. “Too bad,” she sighed. “You are really handsome, and I loved our banter.”
“Please, just -” He couldn’t believe he had lowered himself to begging. He’d just had her in his grasp - how had she managed to flip the tables on him?
“Men always think they can overpower women,” she explained as if she heard his thoughts. “Which, they often can physically. That’s why you have to be smarter.” She pulled a vile out of the pocket of her black jeans. “I found out where you lived awhile ago and snuck into your apartment. I’ve been poisoning you slowly over the last few days. I’m delighted you came to me before I could finish, though it meant you weren’t as weak as I usually like them before I pounce. Regardless, I always make sure to lace my windowsill with this before I fall asleep.”
The grim reality of Patrick’s situation seized him. “Look, please, I’m sorry -”
She reached up and swiftly tore out his tongue.
He was reduced to sobbing, the magnitude of blood loss threatening his consciousness as he stared at the sad hunk of pink on the ground, as it disappeared under the thickening coat of red syrup.
She picked up an ax that had been leaning against the wall, the blade shiny as if it had never been used. “Isn’t this pretty?” she said as she admired it. “I usually torture guys awhile first, but I have to work in the morning and I really wanted to use this. Beheading is fun because the person stays conscious for a few moments after the head is severed.”
Patrick found himself praying, unable to do anything else but stare into her eyes. They were illuminated by her triumphant smile as she artfully swung, a loud thud ringing in his ears as the last thing he saw were her stilettos slinking across the floor, trailed by her bloody ax.