The cool of the early-morning air was a welcome relief to the scorching heat of the midsummer Indiana day. He walked with purpose through the overgrown field, his broken mind contemplating death— not his own but a gift he afforded one who did not deserve such a grand honor. The soon-to-be deceased would make his last contribution to the world seated in an ordinary, blue, faded, webbed chaise lounge.
The man with the broken mind, dressed in black, had parked his car in an abandoned parking area that was slowly crumbling back to nature. His boots cut through the weeds, kicking up insects that jumped or flew away, in search of a safer place where they could carry on with their nocturnal business in undisturbed peace. He stopped, realizing he had reached his destination, the place he was meant to be. Perfect, he thought. The body that would soon lie there was the culmination of two years of intense preparation, but only the beginning of the mayhem that is to be.
The present owner of the body was Bobby Jordan. He was not here yet, but as he looked down at the chosen spot, he saw the display in his mind. This made him smile. Bobby was still very much alive, just living, breathing, and going about his pathetic life, completely unaware that he is about to realize his destiny. Everything in his being wanted Bobby Jordan dead now, but he had to be patient. Just one more day before I take you Bobby. You will be my big debut, my opening act, and it must be done right.
After a few minutes lost in thought of the future that was meant to be, it was time to prepare. He picked up the weed-cutting sling blade and got to work to clear the area for his display. The only sound, other than the whooshing of the sharp blade slicing through the tall weeds, came from distant cars and semis traveling along nearby Interstate 69, as well as the constant background noise of the insects looking for love in cool, early-morning air. Fifteen minutes later, he stopped and looked around. Perfect! He thought again, as he stood admiring his handiwork. Monday morning, the body of Bobby Jordan will announce to the world that I have arrived, the greatest serial killer the world has ever known.
The path in front of him was luminous green in the lenses of his night-vision goggles. He hardly needed them, considering that he had traced that very path so many times in the last month. At four–thirty a.m., he reached his car and quickly stashed the weed-cutter in the trunk. He maneuvered the car out of its hiding place and drove across the decaying parking lot, sans lights. As he made his way down the access road and toward Raible, he stopped as a car passed. As soon as the other vehicle was out of sight, he pulled out onto Raible and headed in the opposite direction. He turned on the lights and made his way to his home away from home. It was a place where he was free to experience a forbidden joy, unencumbered by societies narrow minded view of what is right and wrong, and known to him as The Playground.
It’s hard to believe it has been almost two years since I first thought of this unveiling. Only I can make it happen, only me! To think, these Midwestern peasants will soon be gripped in fear, and I will walk among them as a sovereign wolf in the skin of a peasant, he mused as he turned onto the gravel drive. The curtain will open Monday morning with the discovery of this, the forty-second sacrifice to my glory, and it shall close only when I, the ringmaster of this performance, desire it.
* * *
Happy’s Comedy Club in Indianapolis was packed and buzzing, quite typical for a Saturday. He scanned the crowd, and spotted his prey. Bobby Jordan sat one table away from the stage. He was a horrible drunk, already one if not two sheets to the wind. The last time I was onstage here, good ol’ Bobby wouldn’t shut his drunk-ass mouth and nearly ruined my set. Now the dumb bastard is about to do it again, thought The Killer.
The opening act, a local superstar, had the audience baited, laughing hard, and ready for more comedy. Bobby, in his slightly rumpled $2,000 blue Armani, was already disturbing the patrons at the nearby tables. Next, the middle act, not far from headlining, left the stage with a round of enthusiastic applause from the audience. Bobby placed his thick fingers in his mouth and let fly a round of ear-piercing whistles. For the most part, he was just following the crowd rather than truly enjoying the talent onstage.
The emcee took the stage, grabbed the mic, and said, “Let’s hear it again for Joey Benner!”
Once again, the audience once erupted with thunderous applause.
“Are you ready for some more comedy?”
The audience went wild.
“Yeah?” He paused for effect, and was rewarded with cheers from the audience, and then continued, “Yeah?” This caused the crowd to cheer even louder. “All righty then! As you know, this comedian has been killing audiences all across the country with his dark yet homespun humor. Without further ado, let’s welcome to the Happy’s stage Robbie Lester, Indiana’s own. You know him, you love him, and I give you…The Cowboy!”