Short Story

The End of the Line

Standing at the back of the platform, he watched the passengers assemble. It was the usual mix: shoppers heading home, carrying packages and bags filled with purchases; office workers who’d managed to get away early; students from the local college; and, of course, girls from St Swanhild’s.

Too warm for coats or sweaters, the girls were dressed in crisp, white blouses and short, navy skirts. He tried not to stare at their pert, young breasts pushing against the fabric; or their long, slender legs reaching all the way up to their tight, round buttocks. He didn’t want to look; he didn’t want the hunger that lurked within him to take control… but he couldn’t resist.

Like most days, the girls were all in pairs or groups; a few were with one of the spotty youths from Dobson’s, the adjoining boys’ school. It didn’t look like there’d be any chance to separate one from the herd; the sinister desire that compelled him to come here would not be satisfied today. He wasn’t sure if he was relieved or disappointed.

Some of the girls looked at him and smiled. One, a blonde, spoke to her friends and they all laughed. They were attracted to him, he could tell. He was blessed with boyish good looks; although he was thirty-three, he could pass for twenty-five, not too far out of reach for some of these girls. How short people’s memories were. No-one would be smiling if they remembered what had happened at the end of the line, eight years ago.

The police had thrown everything into finding the missing girls, all the resources at their disposal. They’d found them in the end, but precious little else: no leads, no witnesses, no DNA. He’d been careful. You had to be careful when you engaged in this sort of pursuit, no-one understood his needs, no-one had any sympathy for the compulsion that drove him. He’d played away since then, five years overseas, three down south, always moving, always changing his methods; he’d kept the authorities guessing.

Sometimes, he wondered if he’d returned too soon. But there was something about these girls he couldn’t resist. Stuck-up little bitches, so entitled because their rich mummies and daddies had sent them to private school, but so, so hot in those uniforms; they’d drawn him back, like a moth to a flame. He wished he could have them all. But he had to be careful.

He saw the train approaching and began working out which group of girls he would follow. He’d be able to get close as the passengers surged forward. He picked out the blonde he’d seen laughing a minute ago. She would do nicely.

Suddenly, the blonde turned around and gave him a lascivious grin, as if she could feel his eyes upon her, as if to say, ‘Come on then.’ She was too knowing, her innocence long gone, she wasn’t what he wanted. He scanned the crowd, looking for an alternative. His hopes began to sink, it seemed it was going to be a wasted journey. Maybe that was a good thing, maybe it was better this way. But then, as the train drew to a halt, he saw exactly what he’d been looking for.

She was a redhead, his favourite, just like Cindy; and she was on her own. She wasn’t smiling or laughing, she didn’t even look at him. She had her head down, focussing on the ground, her long hair hiding her face. Shy, unworldly, innocent… she was perfect.

He hung back, letting the new girl join the queue ahead of him. He waited as a few people disembarked then, as the throng moved forward, he moved up close behind her. The excitement flooded his body, her hair was inches from his face, his groin was so, so close to the firm little bum that swelled beneath her skirt. He switched his briefcase from one hand to the other, a seemingly harmless, casual movement that allowed his fingers to brush across her buttocks. She glanced over her shoulder; she’d felt his touch. But he’d already stepped to one side with practised ease and her accusatory gaze fell on the Dobson’s boy standing next to him.

For the first time, he saw how pretty she was. In his mind’s eye, he pictured his hands around her throat. God, he wanted her now.  To his dismay, he realised he was starting to get stiff, creating a tell-tale bulge in his trousers. He stepped back, holding his briefcase in front of him. He took some deep breaths. He needed to calm down. He’d singled out his prey, but she was far from being caught yet. The last five girls he’d targeted had either got off the train early or been met by one of their parents. Odds were the same would happen today, he was getting ahead of himself, he needed to be patient. Today might be his chance, it might not. Fate would decide if this was the end of the line for this little bitch.

Stepping on board the train, he watched her heading for the far end of the carriage. He trailed behind, passing several vacant seats. At last, she sat at a table, sliding across, into the window seat. He took the seat opposite, extending his legs until they were almost touching hers. She pulled back, tucking her legs tightly beneath her. He saw her frown, as she scanned the carriage, taking in all the empty seats he’d walked past. Giving her what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he said, “Lovely scenery on this side, I always try to sit here when I can.” She grunted noncommittally, as teenagers often do, but at least she seemed to have accepted his excuse.

The train pulled out of the station. He used the diversion to stretch his legs out further, almost touching her again. He felt himself stiffening once more. But it was OK this time, no-one could see under the table.

“I haven’t seen you on here before, have you just moved to Deanbank?” he was fishing, hoping to confirm she’d be staying on the train to the end of the line: where his car was waiting, where his farmhouse was waiting, where the dark hunger within him could feast on everything her innocent young flesh had to offer.

“No, we’ve been there nearly a year, but I’ve never used the train before. My dad usually drives me home, but he’s away at a conference this week.”

“Oh, I see,” he had to fight hard not to grin like a hyena spotting its next meal. She was going to the end of the line and one parent was already out of the way. One down, one to go, his chances were improving.

“Well, it’s a lovely line,” he continued, “especially at this time of year. A long walk from the station at the other end though. I expect your mother will be picking you up, will she?”

Frustratingly, the girl only shrugged. She started taking books out of her rucksack and spreading them across the table, “Please excuse me, I have some homework to do.”

“What are you studying, perhaps I can help?”

“Er… no, thank you. I can manage by myself.”

Silence descended as she applied herself to her studies. He sat back, examining her features as she worked. She seemed oddly familiar, yet he was sure he’d never seen her before. He couldn’t have, he would have remembered such a hot little bitch, given her a starring role in his night-time fantasies.

Slowly, his gaze drifted downwards. Leaving her eyes, it lingered on her lips. They were soft and pale, unadorned by lipstick; he imagined them around his cock as he forced her to pleasure him in exchange for her life. Could he risk it? Or might she bite? He would have to judge it when the time came, see how much fight she had left in her. Cindy had been very co-operative, she actually seemed to believe he would set her free if she did what he wanted. Four days he’d managed to keep her, chained up in his basement, he’d done everything to her, everything he could think of, until there was only one thing left to do… and it was so-o-o good!

His eyes continued their journey, crossing the girl’s slender throat where his hands would soon be gripping, pressing, taking her life from her; then past the collar of her blouse to her breasts. He smiled to himself: girls grew so fast at this age, the parents struggled to keep up as they matured, leaving them in clothes that were too tight, their young bodies straining against the material. It was a delight to behold.

He was beginning to feel more confident. She was going all the way to Deanbank. As long as her mother wasn’t there to pick her up, he stood a good chance. She looked too sensible to accept a lift though, she would probably insist on walking home from the station. That was no problem: half way along the secluded path, it passed through a small copse near the end of a lane, at the edge of the industrial estate. He would get there first in his car, wait with a gag and a rope. He had chloroform too, if he needed it. It had worked before; he’d snatched other girls that way. He preferred not to use the chloroform if he could avoid it though, he didn’t want to have to wait for it to wear off. He liked them conscious, properly awake; he liked them to struggle. Waiting would be hard with this girl, he wanted her as soon as possible. She was the best one he’d found since Cindy. Cindy had been his masterpiece, the pinnacle of his career, he doubted he could ever top that. Nonetheless, it was going to be a good night… unless her mother showed up.

The train reached the suburbs and the carriage gradually emptied as more passengers disembarked with each stop. He watched the schoolgirls walking along the corridor beside him, many of them giving him a furtive smile as they passed. He longed to reach out and touch them. Perhaps in the winter, when it was getting dark at this time, he could venture into the city, take his pick. That blonde might be alright after all, maybe her knowing smiles were just a front. There must be some way of catching her alone.

Looking back at the redhead, he forced himself to concentrate on the task in hand. The others would have to wait, this one was ripe for the taking now.

A few stops later, they reached the outskirts of the city and the train picked up speed as it headed out into the country. Only one more stop before Deanbank. The anticipation was driving him crazy, he had to know. He made a show of staring up at the sky, “Looks like rain, you could be in for a soaking… or did you say your mother was picking you up?”

Glancing up from her books, the girl followed his gaze, “Hmmm, I think you’re right.” She pulled a phone out of her rucksack, tapped the screen and nodded, “Ninety-eight percent chance of rain.” She tapped the phone a few more times, then put it to her ear, “Mum, can you come and pick me up from the station, there’s some heavy rain coming.”

He cursed himself. How stupid could you get? Now her mother would definitely be picking her up. And it was his fault. If he hadn’t interfered, she’d have been walking home… alone, in the rain, the perfect victim. What a fucking idiot, he’d thrown away his chance… But, wait, what was the girl saying now?

“Aww, come on, Mum, please… it’s a bloody long walk.”

He listened with growing excitement as the one-sided conversation unfolded.

“Alright, yes, yes… I know. I’m sorry, Mum,” the girl looked chastised. He stared out the window, pretending not to listen as the barely audible voice on the other end of the line hissed in the girl’s ear. He couldn’t make out what the woman was saying, but she sounded angry. He smiled at the girl’s protestations as she tried to defend herself.

“Yes, Mum, I know, I said I’m sorry, I…”

The angry hissing continued to interrupt the girl every time she tried to speak.

“I know, Mum, I won’t do it again, I promise. But…

“Yes, but it really is a long walk, especially in the rain, I’ll get soaked, I…

“Please, Mum, it’ll take ages. My new school shoes are rubbing, my feet are sore already, I…”

“Well, it was so nice this morning, I didn’t think I’d need one, I…

“Yes, I know you told me you were going to the hairdressers, but I…

“Well, I just thought you might be finished, I…”

“I know, but…

Finally, the girl sighed, her shoulders slumping in defeat, “Alright, Mum, I’m sorry. I’ll just walk then. I can stop off at Auntie Janet’s for a cup of tea, rest my feet for a bit and finish my homework there. I’ll see you later.” She tapped the screen to end the call and threw her phone back in her bag, muttering under her breath, “Stupid old cow and her bloody hairdo; I’m gonna get soaked.”

He was delighted. This was perfect. She would be walking, she was pissed off with her mother, feeling angry and rebellious; she’d even said she’d be delayed getting home. He couldn’t have asked for more. The exhilaration surged through his veins; she might even go for a lift if he played his cards right. He looked up at the clouds and prayed for rain.

The train made its penultimate stop and pulled away again, the carriage almost empty now. He had his prey in his grasp, it was time to start closing the trap. “I see you’re studying Shakespeare,” he nodded at the books on the table, “have you got your GCSEs this year?”

“No, not ‘til next year, I’m only just fifteen.”

‘Oh, how marvellous, ripe and juicy, but still so tight.’ For a horrible moment, he thought he’d said it out loud but, with relief, he realised he’d only thought it. Instead, he said, “It’s good to see a young girl like you working so hard. I don’t envy you, though. You must really feel the pressure with your exams.”

“Well, yes, I suppose so,” she shrugged, “but I don’t mind really, I quite enjoy it actually. Mrs Forbes, she’s my English teacher, she says I have a natural aptitude, I should easily get A stars in both my English papers. Then I’ll do my A levels and go to university. I want to be a teacher too, like her; help other girls learn.”

She smiled, and her face lit up, glowing with a natural, artless beauty radiating from within. She really was a lovely girl… every bit as lovely as Cindy had been. Any decent man would want to protect her, shield her from harm. But he wasn’t a decent man; her innocence only made the dark force lying inside him want to hurt her more. He’d tried to fight it for so long but, in the end, he’d had to accept it. He wasn’t put on this Earth to protect innocent girls; he was put here to punish them for their stupidity, it was all part of evolution. If they were foolish enough to fall into his grasp, they deserved what they got. And this one was really going to get it.

He smiled back, “A laudable ambition, I wish you luck. Still, I can understand you being upset with your mother not picking you up… sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing… you must need every minute you can get for your studies.”

“Oh, er… well, er… it’s not really her fault, she did tell me she was going to the hairdresser’s. It’s just my feet really are hurting and it’s going to be a long walk in the rain. I wish she could have picked me up, it would have been a lot easier.”

His heart was pounding in his chest. Now was his chance, “Look, I, er… I wouldn’t normally offer, but I could give you a lift home, or to your aunt’s house if you prefer, save you some time?”

“That’s very kind of you, but I don’t want to put you to any trouble,” she shook her head, “it only takes about twenty minutes, it’s not so bad.”

“Twenty minutes is a long way in the pouring rain with sore feet. It’s no trouble, I assure you, let me take you home.”

“No, er… thank you, but I can’t come with you. My parents have always told me never to accept a lift from a stranger… although I’m sure you’re a nice man,” she looked down at the table, clearly embarrassed.

He was disappointed, but not surprised, it would be ridiculous to expect it to be that easy. She seemed pretty naïve though, it was worth persevering. “Of course,” he nodded, “I can understand why you’d be cautious. But we’re much friendlier here in the country, you know, it’s much safer. I expect you used to live in the city, didn’t you?”

“Er, yes we did… until last year.”

“And no doubt you were just a little girl when your parents told you not to accept lifts from strangers… and they were quite right. But now you’re practically grown up, a sensible young lady… and you live in a small town in the country, where it’s safe to let a new friend, who just wants to help you out, give you a lift.”

“I don’t know, I still don’t think I should,” she shook her head again.

“Well, the offer’s there,” he shrugged, “it’ll save you from a soaking. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?” he smiled, like the proverbial crocodile. He could feel himself stiffening again as he remembered what he’d done to the other girls he’d abducted in this ‘safe’ little town. Each one had been better than the last, and Cindy had been the best. This girl was so like her, he was going to do exactly the same things to her. She would scream and shout, struggle helplessly in her chains, cry, sob, wail and moan, beg for her life: none of it would matter. He would string it out, make it last. She could squeal all she liked, the farmhouse was really remote, miles from anywhere, and the basement was soundproof. No-one would hear her, no-one would come to rescue her, she would be his to do with as he pleased for as long as he liked and then, when he was ready, he would put his hands around her throat and squeeze the life out of her. He would watch it go, watch the light leave her eyes, watch the sadness and fear in them as she realised what was happening to her, helpless to stop him. God, it was going to be wonderful.

The train began to slow down, they were nearing the end of the line. He looked out the window. As if on cue, the heavens had opened, the rain poured from the sky like a waterfall. The girl gathered her books together and shoved them in her rucksack. He followed her as she alighted from the train, stepping down onto the platform behind her.

She headed for the exit and he walked after her, umbrella in hand. It was an unmanned station, no staff around. They emerged into the car park and she turned to face him, the rain slicking her hair down over her face, her wet blouse clinging to her body, accentuating the luscious curve of her breasts.

“Do you know where the path to town is?” she asked.

“I thought you’d used it before?”

“Yes, this morning. But I was going the other way then, I didn’t really pay much attention to where it came out.”

“Well, it’s over there,” he pointed, “but it’s nearly a mile to town. I’d feel happier if you’d let me give you a lift. You’re getting soaked to the skin. You’ll catch your death…”

“My death?” she looked frightened.

“Yes, you know, catch your death of cold. My car’s warm and dry. I think I may even have a blanket you can use. Please, I insist,” he gave her his best smile and stepped forward so she was sheltered beneath his umbrella.

She hesitated, shivering in the cool breeze that had suddenly struck up. He could see her nipples protruding through the wet cloth of her blouse. He shifted his briefcase, clutching it in front of his crotch. “My name’s Jack, by the way, Jack MacMillan,” he lied, hoping it would illicit the appropriate response. He liked to know their names; it made it more thrilling when he saw them on the news.

“Oh, er… I’m Tiff, it’s short for Tiffany… I don’t really like Tiffany, though, it’s too fancy, especially when my mum calls me Tiffany Marie… when she’s telling me off.”

“Like she did when you swore at her on the phone?”

“Oh, God, sorry, did you hear that? I don’t normally swear, honestly, I was just really upset.”

He laughed, “You can swear all you like in my car, I don’t mind. Come on, let me give you a lift, we’ve introduced ourselves now, we’re not strangers anymore.”

“No, I suppose not,” she shrugged, giving him a hesitant smile; “alright, where’s your car?”

“That’s it there,” he indicated the nondescript grey Fiat sat in the far corner of the car park; “let’s get you out of this rain.”

She walked beside him under the shelter of his umbrella as they made their way to the little car. He kept his briefcase clutched firmly to his groin. Being close to her like this was driving him crazy. If he’d thought he could get away with it, he’d take her right here in the car park: push her face down on the tarmac, lift her skirt, and give it to her hard and fast; use one of the puddles to drown her while he did it. Jesus, that would be exquisite.

They reached the car and he opened the passenger door for her. “Your chariot awaits, my lady,” he smiled, holding the umbrella over her as she got inside. She slipped the strap of her rucksack off her shoulder as she sat down and he quickly grabbed it, taking it from her, “Here, I’ll put this in the boot for you, there’s not much legroom in there, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, er… thank you,” she smiled up at him, “you’re very kind, er… Jack.”

He went to the back of the car and opened the boot. He threw his umbrella and briefcase inside, then placed her rucksack next to them. Reaching inside the bag, he felt around until he found her phone. “Is everything alright?” she asked from inside the car.

“Er, yes… I’m looking for that blanket for you. I can’t seem to find it; I could have sworn it was in here.”

“That’s alright, it’s much warmer in here anyway, I’ll be OK.”

He pulled out the phone and dropped it onto the tarmac just as he slammed the boot shut, covering the noise. “Sorry, I must have left it at home,” he shouted, pushing the phone under the back wheel of the car with his foot.

Getting into the driver’s seat, he glanced at her, sitting beside him, her wet clothes hiding almost nothing. Could he risk it; could he do her here? Then he saw movement out of the corner of his eye; a car pulling into the car park. He would have to wait.

He started the engine and she reached for her seat belt. It stuck, as he knew it would. She tugged on it repeatedly, “Oh, I can’t seem to get this to work.”

“Yeah, er… it’s a bit temperamental, I’m afraid. There’s a knack to it. Here, let me,” he reached across and grasped the belt, pulling it across her chest, allowing his fingers to softly stroke her breast as they brushed past. He felt her stiffen in alarm and spoke swiftly to distract her as he fastened the belt in its clip, “So, what’s your address?”

“DB78 4FU,” she replied.

He chuckled, “I don’t have a SatNav; I need your actual address.”

“Oh, right, yeah, er… er… it’s 6 Montdean Gardens.”

He frowned, there was something familiar about that address. Had he been there before? It was possible, he supposed; the girl had said her family had only been there a year.

“I can still walk if it’s too far out of the way,” she said, quickly, “I don’t want to be a nuisance.”

“No, no… it’s alright. I’m just trying to think what the best route is. Montdean Gardens… that’s in the new estate, on the other side of Cowbog Hill, isn’t it?”

“It’s not that new, really, it was built in the noughties… but, yes, that’s right.”

“A bit more than a twenty-minute walk, I’d have thought, though.”

“Yeah, er… probably more like half an hour, I suppose, I’ve never really timed it. I don’t go out much on my own. My parents don’t…” she stared at the floor, a look of sadness, perhaps regret, on her face. For a moment, he felt sorry for her. She seemed a sweet girl; more naïve than the others. Maybe he should just drive her home, let her live her life. He didn’t have to do it, he could resist the urges rising within him, delay them at least; he could throw this one back, catch another one.

Then she shifted in her seat and the strap across her chest pulled on her blouse, giving him a sideways glimpse of part of her naked breast. His sympathy evaporated in an instant. She was just a stuck-up little bitch like all the others. She acted sweet and innocent, but she was a dirty little cow who deserved everything she was going to get, his to do with as he wished, nothing but meat for him to devour.

He adjusted the mirror, so he could watch her while he drove, then put the car into reverse and backed slowly out of the parking space. He smiled in satisfaction as he felt a slight bump. That was her phone taken care of. Whatever apps her paranoid parents had insisted she installed would be no use to her now, no-one was going to be able to track her.

“Thank you so much for taking me home, it’s really kind of you,” she smiled.

“The pleasure is all mine,” he grinned back, driving carefully out of the car park and onto the adjacent street, taking care not to attract any attention. The rain would help; everyone would be focussed on getting home in one piece, looking out for their own safety. It was amazing how little most people noticed, let alone remembered with any kind of clarity. If he weighted the girl’s body down when he dumped her in the river, she probably wouldn’t be found for a week or more. Most people’s memories were too feeble to last that long.

He thanked his lucky stars for the cuts in the council’s funding. They had CCTV cameras but the cost of a digital upgrade had been deemed a waste of taxpayer’s money. Meanwhile, there were no tapes in the old analogue recording machines. He smiled, it paid to read the long, tedious minutes of committee meetings when your favourite pastime was catching little tarts and giving them their just desserts.

Turning onto the main road, he commented casually, “Actually, I know the best way. We can take Cowbog Lane, it goes over the side of the hill; it’s a good shortcut to the new estate. Passes pretty close to my house, as it happens. I, er… I wonder, would you mind if we stopped off quickly. It’s my dog, you see, he’s only six months old, just a puppy really. I didn’t mean to leave him on his own so long but I had a meeting in Dunburgh this afternoon and it overran. I missed the train I was planning to get and had to wait another hour.”

“Lucky for me,” she smiled, “I love puppies, what kind is he?”

“Mostly Labrador, I think,” he laughed, “but he’s definitely got something else in him, maybe some Collie.”

“He sounds lovely, what’s his name?”

“Er… I call him Bertie.”

He turned off the road, onto a farm track. He watched her breasts jiggling up and down in the mirror as he drove over the rough surface. The anticipation within him was reaching fever pitch. It wouldn’t be long before he was ripping off her school uniform, pulling down her knickers…”

“How far is it?” she interrupted his thoughts.

“Oh, not far now. Sorry, I know it’s a bit of a detour, I’m just worried about Bertie.”

“It’s alright, I don’t mind. It’s very kind of you to give me a lift in the first place. And it’s worth the extra drive to see the puppy, I can’t wait to meet him.”

They pulled up outside the semi-derelict farmhouse; a worried look crossed her face. “Yeah, I know,” he reassured her, “it needs some work. That was what my meeting was about. I’ve got big plans for this place, but getting planning permission is a nightmare. Anyway, it’s habitable for now, it looks worse from this side. You want to come in and meet Bertie?”

“Yes, please,” she grinned.

He led her inside, and into the large living room. He indicated the sofa, “Why don’t you sit down. I’ll put the kettle on, would you like a cup of tea?”

“Er, yes, that would be nice, thank you. But, er… where’s the puppy?”

“Hmmm, good question, he was in there this morning,” he indicated the cage sitting on the floor next to the fireplace.

“That’s a big cage for a little puppy, and why do you need a padlock?”

‘Because it’s actually for putting you in,’ he wanted to say, picturing her inside, collared and chained, on her knees begging to be let out. Instead, he laughed, “Well, my old dog was a lot bigger… and stronger… and too damn clever for her own good. Anyway, I think I know where Bertie is.”

He stepped out of the room, into the adjoining kitchen and came back clutching a note. “Here, see, it’s from my neighbour,” he handed the paper to Tiffany. She took the note and read out loud, “Alvie was crying, he sounded really upset, so I’ve taken him back to mine. Come and get him when you’re home. Sheila.”

The girl looked up, frowning, “I thought you said his name was Bertie?”

Damn, fuck, shit… she’d caught him out, he could never remember the name of his fictitious dog. He should really pick a name and stick to it, stop changing it every time he wrote the note before he set off for Dunburgh. “Er… er… well I call him Bertie. It’s, er… er… a bit of an in-joke, you see. Sheila insists on calling him Alvie. Er… we, sort of share him you see?”

“Oh, I see,” she nodded. God she was gullible, he didn’t think he’d get away with that. She looked crestfallen, clearly disappointed she wasn’t going to see the non-existent puppy, “Well it’s a shame he’s not here, I do love puppies and mum won’t let me have one. There’s not much she does let me have to be honest.”

She looked like she was about to cry. For a split second, he felt sorry for her again. It didn’t sound like she had much of a life. “Well, look,” he said, “why don’t I make you that cup of tea. Then I’ll pop ‘round to Sandra’s and get Bertie.”

“Please, no,” she shook her head, “don’t go to any trouble for me, I don’t want to be a bother.”

“It’s no bother,” he smiled, “I hate to see a bright young girl like you looking so sad. A nice warm drink and a waggy tail to cheer you up and you’ll feel much better. How do you take your tea?”

“Er… milk and two sugars please.”

“Coming right up,” going through to the kitchen, he busied himself making two large mugs of tea. Out of sight from the living room, he poured a large measure of whisky into his mug and added four times the recommended dose of temazepam tablets to Tiffany’s. He added the milk and sugar and stirred the contents. It was good she took sugar; it would disguise any lingering taste from the tablets.

Taking the mugs into the living room, he put them on the coffee table, pushing Tiffany’s close to where she was sitting on the sofa, “Drink up while it’s hot, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Slipping out of a side door, he made his way around to the rear of the building. Re-entering through the back door, he crept quietly down the steps to the basement. He took off the padlock and pushed the door open. It gave a loud creak and he glanced upwards, nervously, but there was no sound from the girl in the room above. Breathing a sigh of relief, he stepped inside, and quickly grabbed the collar, handcuffs, and chains he had hidden in there. It was a risk leaving the girl untended while he fetched the restraints, but better than taking the chance she might spot them upstairs before he had her subdued. It had happened before, the first girl he’d snatched had woken earlier than expected, taken fright, and run off. He’d only just caught her before she’d reached the main road, a close-run thing. It had given him a real scare… although it had been very enjoyable punishing her afterwards.

He made his way slowly back upstairs, his excitement mounting, his cock swelling inside his trousers. It wouldn’t be long now. The dose he’d given the girl would act quickly, making her drowsy and compliant, but it shouldn’t knock her out for a while. She’d be aware of what he was doing. She was the best one he’d had in a long time, the best since Cindy. She might even be his new masterpiece; he would do everything to her. He would put her in the collar first. If she resisted, he would use the handcuffs as well, chain her up good and tight ‘til she squealed. It was going to be awesome.

Reaching the main body of the house, he headed directly for the living room. Tiffany was lying back on the sofa, her empty mug lying on the floor next to her. She looked up at him and mumbled incoherently, “Why d’you say Sandra… thought sh’was called Sheila?”

He smiled. The temazepam had been more effective than he’d expected. He wasn’t going to need any restraints; he could take her as she was. Savouring the moment, he put the collar, cuffs, and chains down on the armchair and picked up his drink, taking a long, deep swallow of the whisky-laden beverage. Replacing the mug on the table, he began loosening his trousers.

“Wha-a-are you doin? I wa-an go home now, ple-e-eashhh.”

He laughed, “Maybe, if you’re a good girl, do everything you’re told.” He stepped out of his trousers and pulled off his underwear, then picked up his mug again and drained the rest of his drink. Wiping his lips, he walked across to the girl. He leaned her back against the cushions and swung her legs up onto the sofa, pushing them apart. Kneeling between them, he started to reach under her skirt. He blinked; he was feeling a little dizzy. It must be the excitement. He pushed her skirt up further. The dizziness came again, he didn’t feel right. He shook his head, trying to clear it. What was going on, he hadn’t put that much whisky in his tea.

Putting his hands on the girl’s thighs, he ran them upwards. He felt something strapped to her leg. He blinked again, staring at the unexpected object that had been concealed beneath her skirt.

Suddenly, the girl sat upright, pulled out the knife, and held it in front of her.

“What the fu…” he mumbled, sitting back. He was feeling weak, almost on the point of collapse.

“This was my insurance policy; in case you got too far. But I don’t think I’m going to need it seeing how you’ve drunk up so quickly; good of you to put so much whisky in your tea, it will have covered the taste.”

“What taste, what…” he glanced quickly at his empty mug sitting on the coffee table. The abrupt movement sent his head spinning. He fell back against the cushions, the strength draining from his body like someone had opened a tap, “What… what’s happening?”

“I’ll tell you what’s happening. I’m not a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl, I’m nineteen, and I’m at university studying chemistry. Useful subject, chemistry, so many practical applications,” she opened her hand to reveal a small, empty bottle; “like how to make something a bit more potent than temazepam.”

“P-p-poison… you’ve p-poisoned me?” he could hardly speak; his vision was beginning to blur. A cold fear suddenly gripped him.

“Paralysis first, everything below the neck. I made sure of that; I didn’t want you lashing out. But you’ll feel it all, the burning inside as your organs shut down, the horror of gasping for breath as you fight to hang on to life.”

“Wha-wha… who-who-o-o…”

“My real name’s Tina Boulton. Ring any bells? It should; Cindy Boulton was my sister.”

“C-c-cindy… y-y-you’re her s-s-sister?”

“I loved my big sister, she was smart and funny, sweet and kind, she always made time for me.” The girl shook her head, tears beginning to stream down her face, “I was only eleven when she died; I couldn’t understand why someone would take her away from me like that; how she could catch the train one morning and never come back; how I would never see her again because some monster had decided all her life was worth was to give him some pleasure. My wonderful, big sister, used as a plaything by some sick, evil bastard, then tossed aside like a broken toy when he was finished.

“I thought the pain might ease as I got older, but it got worse. As I learned more about what had happened, about the kind of things a monster like that might do to a girl, I imagined… oh, such terrible things. They say not knowing is the worst. I was tempted to give you something that would let you speak, ask you what you did, but I think I’d have lost control… and I need to be careful.”

He groaned, it felt like he was on fire, the flames spreading through his body. He was struggling to breathe. When he did, it was like sucking acid into his lungs. His head slumped onto his chest.

“Look at me,” she snapped, slapping him across the face.

He looked up again, trying to focus. Everything seemed to swim before his eyes. The pain was unbearable, worse than he would ever have believed possible.

“Does it hurt? Are you scared? I fucking hope so. Cindy was worth a thousand pieces of shit like you. Have you any idea how much pain you caused when you raped and murdered her? Have you?”

The girl slapped him again, as if to force an answer out of him, but he couldn’t speak anymore, he didn’t have the strength to move his tongue. She was sobbing now, spitting out her angry words through her tears, “You took my fabulous, beautiful sister from us, ripped her out of our lives, like you’d torn out our hearts. A creature like you can’t even imagine the pain. But that wasn’t all; you destroyed my family. My gran died of a broken heart, my father is drinking himself to death, my mother can’t even leave the house: however much pain you’re in now, it’s nothing to what you’ve done to us. I hope you’re burning in agony; I hope you’ll burn in Hell; it’s what you deserve.”

She got to her feet and put away the knife. Wiping the tears from her face, she gazed down at him, “I’ve spent most of my teens looking for you. The police are useless, my parents lost hope years ago, but I never gave up, I knew I could find you; I had the perfect bait.”

Gasping, spluttering, desperately straining to draw another breath, he tried to reach for her, but he couldn’t even lift a finger. 

“You’re finished, Jack, that’s what’s happening; you’re never going to hurt anyone again. You’re not going to prison to get paroled one day; you’re not going to a mental hospital to get released when they think they’ve cured you; it’s much simpler than that…”

His vision began to fade. The last thing he saw was her smiling down at him.

“It’s the end of the line,” she said.