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Can I Help You?

By Natalie H. All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

Chapter 1

"Can I help you?" She said to the gorgeous hunk at the counter with an innocent, naïve expression on her beautifully sculptured face. He seemed attracted to her immediately. Of course he is. Every single man – whether married or not, young or old, hard-featured or handsome – would be. They'd better be as she has spent most of her life molding that body and face of hers to be one more step to perfection. Nobody's perfect, she knew that, but that doesn't stop her from thinking that she's the prettiest, most alluring human being on planet Earth.

"Uh…-" The blond haired man stuttered at the sight before him. "- one plain p-pretzel, please." And with that, she knew she had won. She won every single time without miss. And this guy, which she later on knew as Carl, was her next victim.

At the end of their third date, she brought Carl back to her house. Boy, was he excited! In a matter of minutes, he was groping her all over on the couch, panting like a wild dog. Her innards were twisting at the rage she felt right then. Men. Useless creatures. Wasted sperms. All they ever think about was money and women. And with women comes… you know what. They were all the same. The greatest example was her husband – or rather ex-husband – Greg. She had always loved him the most. She tried to spend every single moment with him and poured all her affection on him. She even sacrificed the time she could spend with her friends or some little R&R by cleaning up the house for him, cooking for him, doing his washing… but did he appreciate all that? No. Instead, he goes out all the time to 'meet' his 'friends' at the 'bar'. He often returns home with lipstick marks on his collar and the scents of women's perfume all over him. Many times, Cindy just overlooked the matter and assured herself that Greg loved her, and only her. No one else mattered. But her patience and self-assurance had limits. One day, she had enough.

As he was coming through the door, returning from another day of fooling around, a strong hand clasped itself onto his mouth. As much as he tried to defend himself, he couldn't. Who is this, he thought. A robber? A serial killer? And then he was dragged and tied down to a cold bed of steel. He couldn't see who was behind the hooded cloak, but all he could recognize was those cold aqua blue eyes that were once so soft and delicate… Cindy's. As he struggled to free himself, he spotted what seemed like surgery tools on a tray right beside him. And as realization settled in, the cold bed of steel he was lying spread-eagled faced up on was a dissecting board, the one you find in a pathologist's laboratory. A tingle of fear ran up his spine as Cindy advanced on him. However hard he tried to scream and shout through the gag, he couldn't. He knew that she loved him a lot, it's just that he didn't feel the same way for her. After all, he was forced to marry her for the sake of their parents' business deal. It wasn't his fault that he liked other women outside; Cindy was too clingy, too possessive. But now it was too late to regret as he witnessed Cindy's fingers reaching out for the scalpel…

Cindy shouted with rage and glee as she sliced Carl's chest open, laughing like a maniac all the while. The red liquid spurted out violently, soaking into her dress, flowing down until it seeped through her shoes. But it didn't bother her. Not at all. That wasn't something to be so hyped up about as she had been doing this regularly. After the blood subsided a little, she cracked open his ribs as if they were pieces of biscuits, dug around, and slowly but surely… pulled out his heart. It was still palpitating faintly in her hands as she plopped it into a jar filled with liquid nitrogen. Unfazed, she turned back to Carl's body. His eyes were still and widened with shock as she looked into them. "Poor Carl. If you had not been so greedy like the others I would have spared you. But too bad. That all the more proves my theory that men are animals." And with that, she picked up the saw from the silver tray. Grasping it tightly, she sawed off his head, arms and legs, giggling with delight all the time. Then, she put all the parts into a large sack and dragged it down to her basement.

The 'operation theater' and the basement were the only two places absolutely forbidden to guests. But if they wandered around and accidentally stumbled across those rooms… well, then she'd have to add them to the body count. Which is really too bad since they haven't done anything wrong. A couple of years back she might have been absolutely revolted with herself for even thinking of committing such terrible sins, but her inner monster reared to be let out, and she did. She knew the monster had to be shut back somehow, but the temptation to feed it became stronger and stronger. In the end, she let it dominate her, feeding it with countless cases of kidnapping and murder. And that, was the best kind of food an inner monster could ever have. There's a monster inside everyone, but it is you who decides whether to feed it or not.

Cindy did. She let the monster out, and she fed it until it was too big to get back in. There was no backing out now. It was like that game Jumanji – once you started it, you had to play it until the end. So she has to keep on playing, keep on succumbing to the monster until it is put to an end. But for now, the game has just begun…

She strolled casually over to the humongous steel box and yanked the freezer door open. Cold mist started swirling out around her, enveloping her in its coolness. She waved the mist away and studied all the sacks in there. There were thirty so far including Carl's. She threw the sack containing Carl into the freezer and shut it close. Leaning against the freezer door, she took deep breaths, wallowing in the sweet success of wiping another man off Earth. Soon, there would be none of them left, and women would then live in peace. What if the freezer runs out of space? Oh well, she'll have a brilliant plan in that head of hers by then.

The heart. The essential organ for living. Without it, there's no life. And without men, life would be so much better. Her favorite hobby is collecting the hearts of the men she killed. The nitrogen liquid helps keep them fresh so that she can admire her works of art. She stores them neatly on a shelf next to the freezer so that every time she gained a new victim, she would be reminded of her success so far and that would push her on to her next plan.

As much as she wanted to blame herself for the murders of these unfortunate men, she blamed Greg instead. He was the one who triggered her inner monster by not appreciating her and other women. He was the one who made her lose her trust in men. He was the one that made her trick those guys and kill them. Yes, he's the one to blame for all my actions. What if the cops caught on to her eventually? No, that would be impossible. By the time I'm done disposing all the men, there would be no cops left. The female cops would gladly be on my side for they would be grateful for my deeds. They would be forever in debt to her. Yes…yes! That night, she slept well, dreaming of all her future plans.

The next morning, she pampered herself well with a manicure and a facial before going to work. After all, she had to look nice always to attract guys. She laughed as she admired herself in the mirror. Today her target for the next victim is that he has to be a redhead with hazel eyes, and that was not hard to find. Oh well, she'll make her targets more challenging next time. But for now, she'll stick to her words.

Putting her innocent demeanor back on, she arrived at the pretzel stall. After setting everything up, she began work as normal – taking orders, rolling dough into pretzels, managing the cash register… but never once did she get distracted from her goal that day. 

And an hour later as she was recording her sales so far, she sensed someone approaching and looked up. She smiled sweetly as he pushed his red hair back, and a pair of hazel brown eyes connected with hers. She put down the pen she was holding and stood up, giving him a full view of her frame. The monster inside her smirked with victory. 

"Can I help you?"

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