OUTSKIRTS OF LOS ANGELES. . .
AS HE LEFT THE BANK, James Taylor waved at the night manager who had come in about thirty minutes earlier. James was done for the day, and could finally get out of his pin stripe Armani suit. The night security guard let him out of the double set of locked doors. James had only his high-dollar suit and his snakeskin briefcase.
“Night, Mr. Taylor,” the security guard offered.
James replied with an indifferent nod of the head, his slicked-back black hair remained motionless even as the rush of wind from outside the bank met him at the door. He had on a crème, collared shirt, underneath the Italian blue stripes, a lighter blue tie, and a set of teeth that must have cost him about ten-grand. He was the type of guy that had it made. He was single and didn’t mind letting everyone know.
He was quite a hit with the ladies at the bank, and had gotten to know more than a handful of them intimately. Not that he really minded where they came from, as long as there were women in his life at all times. He was a peoples’ person, which made him good at his job. Then again, working at the bank was a constant experiment in social psychology. Just how far can you go with a client?
He walked out to his car, about a hundred yards away from the bank—gotta keep those jokers from parking next to the Porsche and putting scrapes and door dings all about. After all, he knew how jealous some people could be of his success.
As he approached the fifty-meter mark he pressed the key-chain in his pocket.
The lights blinked twice, and the interior, dome lights came on. The Porsche was waiting for him like a faithful dog. His car had its own personality, if you asked James.
So, that made three of them in the parking lot.
James was leaning as he walked nearer, squinting as he tried to see if the car was still flawless. It was.
“Hello, baby. How I have missed you so—”
James knew only the blackness that now surrounded him.
The strike to the base of the skull had caused almost immediate brain death.
Twenty minutes later the still-warm body was being laid flat on the ground, under a canopy of trees, on a bed of rough grass and barbed weeds. There was hardly any light from the night sky making its way through the dense foliage.
The rubber-gloved hands moved efficiently as they stripped off the corpse’s expensive-looking suit. The body was tugged and repositioned flat on its stomach.
The first incision was made from just above the hip, along the spine, slowly cutting upwards. It was hard to see the razor blade because it was being held deep inside the thumb and forefinger. Carefully and methodically the cut continued. Inch-by-inch, rolling over each individual vertebra, it crept.
The sounds of the woods around them covered the cracks, crunches, pops and snaps, as cartilage and tendons were cut through. There wasn’t as much blood as you might expect, due mostly to the fact that James Alexander Taylor had already been dead for nearly a half-hour. Once the heart had stopped beating it no longer pumped the blood out with any force.
The length of the incision was almost two-and-a-half feet long, and that in itself gave way to a substantial loss of blood, but it could have been much more. In fact, it had been before.
As he continued to cut around the neck, he thought about how this would look when the body was discovered. Likely, some animal would drag pieces or all of the body out into sight. Maybe a curious dog out on a walk, something like that. Not that it really mattered at this point. All of this had been done with a purpose.
Finally finished cutting, he pushed the razor blade into the wound, and with both hands started to tear apart the separate flanks of skin and flesh. In other words, he was opening this body up like a frog in some elementary school science class.
Exposed muscle and tissue steamed out vapor from the body. He continued to pull back the skin. He almost retched at one point, but contained himself. He then produced a small spray bottle and began to evenly mist every part of the body.
Slowly, he stood up to admire his work. From a couple of feet away it almost didn’t look human anymore. Only a monster could have done this. His work was finished . . . for the night.