With his holdall packed, Alex was ready to leave. With a quick silent prayer, he closed the door and made his way out into the hustle and bustle of the night life. Anonymously, he walked with purpose, dodging passersby with his head down, hood pulled right over; it was surprising he could see where he was going but he’d walked this journey before and now it was like a map in his head.
Soon the streets quietened and Alex found himself in a residential neighbourhood; signs of family life strewn across yards in the form of footballs, tricycles, bats and skipping ropes. Signs of suburbia assaulted him; lawn mowers, barbecues, dogs. The bile rose in his stomach. He whispered another prayer and watched.
This was the part that fuelled his imagination, his need to feel part of this middle-class world, observing life; the routines of suburbia where everything seemed to run like clockwork. But he’d seen it all before. He already knew the house, the family, the time of his arrival. He just needed the signal. A cat jumped out, startling him, but he liked cats and beckoned it; soft, warm fur, powerful hunter’s eyes. Alex felt at one with the cat, understanding him. But it was a distraction. In swiping the cat away, the cat swiped back and nicked Alex’s hand before running off into the night.
Alex crept from behind the woodland at the bottom of the garden, pulling his gloves on, dismantling the alarm with ease; the code never changed; surburbians loved routine. He was inside within seconds. Before creeping upstairs, he stopped in front of the mirror. Shining his torch, he saw his reflection. He smiled as again he whispered another prayer and crossed his heart. He saw the signal; a halo in the reflection, above his head. He was doing the work of God, purging society from the evils of excess and he had a long way to go.
The Smyths' were the first family, quickly followed by the Robinsons' and the Millers'. Only then did people start to take interest. Newspapers consumed every detail, detectives voiced their appeals on television but no one knew. They would never know. For his was a solitary journey, a secret journey sent to him by the highest authority in the land. He could hear him now, urging him to complete this task as he took each carpeted step gracefully, breathing calmly. The family portraits lining the stairs smiled down at him but he had someone bigger smiling down on him.
All the doors were closed but he knew who was on the other side of each one. He’d been good and done all his homework. His bag, now unzipped was ready and so was he.
It had been a long but satisfying night as Alex got home whilst it was still dark. He showered, letting the hot water melt away the aches and pains of crouching around in damp places. The TV was showing some game show and he watched whilst eating a microwave meal before dozing.
“Another brutal murder has taken place, this time the Young family,” the news reporter said as Alex awoke. He quickly turned up the TV; he liked this bit. Hell, he liked all of it!
The news item quickly swung to the house where a crowd had gathered. A detective came on screen. “I know who you are! I know you! Your journey is about to come to an end and I’ll be meeting you,” he said, staring right at Alex. Alex laughed. The camera widened. Alex sat up. Something caught his attention. Behind the detective, a police officer was holding a . . . . . . . it couldn’t be! . . . . . . . . . That cat! She was holding that cat and someone was taking something from its paw. . . .
Alex’s face blanched as he ran to the bathroom; his microwave meal taking a quick journey down the toilet. He rinsed his mouth. He looked in the mirror but no signal came. He looked down at the scratch on his hand, a wry smile on his worn out face. Alex had always liked cats.
Written for this week's Mid-Week_Blues-Buster over at The Tsuruoka Files. This week was an obscure song by The Police called Secret Journey which oyu can listen to here.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Keolc7BpTcI&feature=youtu.be. I would say happy listening but it took me to a dark place, even with the kitty. xx