Sometimes one’s past comes back to bite you.
Alex was prettying himself in the ladies’ powder room. He had spent hours choosing the right dress and high heels and had chosen his make up well. A consultant he knew from his hospital was here. This god like consultant earning big bucks was normally out of his league but was different like himself and might welcome him and offer him a drink and take him home. His ops had been successful. He looked good these days, his outer self the image of his inner self now.
He went into the darkly lit room. No one could see the faces of the dancers clearly until they sat down at the tables, the psychedelic lights swimming around disguising their visages. Michael was chilling. The near escape from the police at his condo had set his nerves on edge. He rarely came to bars but he needed to relax that night. He needed to rid himself of the sexual tension that was burning him up from within. Soon his task would be completed and he could live peacefully with his ideal woman without getting strange looks or snide remarks.
He saw a tall redhead on the dance floor. Long locks tossed around a porcelain complexion. Blue eyes seductively enticed him to make contact with her. She was slim, just as he liked them, just like his ideal woman he was making. He slipped on to the dance floor and took the girl in his arms. She let him kiss and fondle her. She was not put off by his rather unusual looks but then there were others more strangely attired than him. He did not stand out here as he did in most bars and the gym. They talked but the girl seemed rather shy as if she feared opening up to him. He decided she was the one who would help him relax that night. Whispering in her ear he suggested they take a drink back at his place.
She giggled and agreed. He led her to his Porsche. She looked impressed as he thought she would be. Opening the door for her she slid in and waited for him to start the car. They stopped outside a place he had leased under an assumed name months ago in the event he needed a pad the police couldn’t identify as his.
‘‘Gee, I knew you lived somewhere smart but not as cool as this Doctor.’’
Doctor! Did she know him? He immediately felt chilled. He kept his identity secret at these bars, going by an assumed name. No-one would know his identity there. He had too much to lose. If he was found out he could not finish his task. He turned to her. ‘‘Have we met before Alexandra?’’ he asked carefully.
‘‘Yes Doctor, we work at the same hospital but,’’ she hesitated as if she were ashamed of her next words. ‘‘I am just an orderly. Alex Dalton. We worked together years ago.’’
He searched his memory. The Alex Dalton he remembered from five years ago was a gangly youth, just out of high school, shy and ill-educated and grateful for the menial job at the hospital. He had forgotten the boy during his scaling of the hospital hierarchy but clearly Alex hadn’t forgotten him.
Alex had changed. In place of the young man, uncomfortable with his sexuality, was now a lovely young woman. He had been duped. He had thought she was rather muscular but had believed she frequented the gym like him.
He filled with anger. He wanted to hit someone, to take his frustration out on someone or something. He wanted a real woman not this excuse for a girl. Alex Dalton was a frequenter of gay bars in his youth. God knows how polluted his body was with the men he had slept with. He Michael wanted a clean pure woman. He had to get rid of him as quickly as possible. He would take her back to the bar.
‘‘I am sorry Alex. I don’t date people I might work with.’’
His face fell. ‘‘Oh, I wish I hadn’t told you. I won’t tell anyone. We could keep it a secret.’’ He had thought they had something in common, were both looking for the perfect mate. He had seen the Doc at the clinic he attended when he attended his post op visit to the clinical psychologists.
‘‘Absolutely impossible Alex.’’
‘‘I thought we both were looking for the right person.’’
‘‘What do you mean?’’
‘‘We both went to the same clinic didn’t we, to become different, didn’t we? I also saw you outside his house the other night.’’ The foolish boy looked at him slyly; as if he would let him blackmail him into dating him; he a mere orderly, daring to think he was as a good as a consultant!
Alex felt frightened. He had changed. The gentle charmer now looked cold and detached. His eyes were like cold blue stones; no feeling in them now, the warmth vanished.
‘‘I have never told anyone I attend that clinic and neither must you. I will take you back Alex.’’ His mind was whirring. How to stop this loose-mouthed boy telling everyone about himself? It was impossible. He would have to make a permanent solution. He didn’t like indiscriminate killing but sometimes it was a necessity. On the other hand, the killing of a girl who was originally a man might confuse the police. He would throw another red herring in the mix.
He didn’t speak as he drove. Alex felt nervous. ‘‘Let’s walk by the river, it looks beautiful in the moonlight,’’ he said, trying to change the Doctor’s mind. He thought me beautiful, he reminded himself. He said so in the bar.
Michael looked at the river. It was beautiful but isolated. ‘‘Yes, let us walk,’’ he said, opening the door to let him out. ‘‘I’ll follow you.’’ He leant in the car and pulled something out of his bag and then followed him. No-one was about. He kissed him. Alex melted into his arms as he put his hands on his shoulders and walked him behind the trees.
‘‘I am sorry Alex, I can’t let you tell anyone about my visit to the clinic.’’
‘‘Why should I tell anyone?’’ he asked, frightened by the solemn expression on the Doctor’s face.
‘‘You will. You always gossiped about people when we talked in the canteen together.’’
His hands crept up his neck. The boy’s eyes now widened. His pupils enlarged and darkened; terrified, as Michael tightened his grasp. Unable to speak or breathe he coughed and gasped and lost consciousness. He was still breathing and holding him against him, Michael pricked him with the needle. He would only leave a few bruises.
Checking no-one was about, he dragged him to the car. He drove to a lake six miles away where he slit Alex’s throat but this time he carefully cut around the eyes and took them out. He didn’t dismember him but threw the body in the lake. Uncovered it would deteriorate quickly. He took his jewellery and watch with him. By the time the boy was identified his task might be over.