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Death Lurked like an Assassin in the Shadows

Updated on September 2, 2015


51 women dead and gone. 51 dead and gone. He would murder one woman a week for the entire year. It was a serial killer's dream, and he was a serial killer. Number 52 was elusive, but if he tried and tried, over and over again, he would finally succeed.

Janet Crespo was walking home late from work. She was the closing shift manager at White's diner over on Boston Avenue. It was too late to catch the bus and taxi cabs were too expensive, so she did the next best thing, walk.

For a moment, he thought he was going to quickly win his final triumph for the year. There she was, number 52, waiting to be served. The street lights above the street were busted and some were just flickering on and off most of the way as she was being watched coming in and out of the darkness.

The taste for death really filled his soul. That made the desire to kill grow stronger. His mind started to burn and his eyes glared. He could almost taste death as he stalked.

The shadows were beginning to chase the moonlight away from the sides of the buildings giving him the cover he needed. The growl of truck engines could be heard coming from the highway's overpass. Number 52 would be a story book murder, and he would make it memorable.

A small light blue pick up truck pulled along side of Janet Crespo, and he didn't even hear it coming.

“Don't bother her,” he whispered. “Don't bother her.”

He used every ounce of his will, but he could not control that pick up truck. He'd have to wait until she rejected him, and he knew she would.

“Hurry up,” he growled.

He had to kill, his mind had grown strong with the act of violence and he wanted to exercise that act. He wanted so bad for the evil within to triumph. He stepped back into the shadows and waited for the rejection.

“Mind over matter,” he whispered. “Mind over matter.”

In order to keep the killing juices running through his veins, he had to play out the murder in his head. She would be lying on her back in the alley, head toward the fire escapes, feet toward the street. He would start the knife attack directly from above while sitting on her waist, straddling her like a horse. His wayward thrusts damaging her pink skin. He would strike her face so hard that the blade from the kitchen knife would shatter as it hit the asphalt coming through her skull. The splintering and mutilation of the muscles and skull would send him to an evil ecstasy.

When they find her body, the medical examiners would notice the series of vertical and jagged scratches, fresh damage that would have been consistent with the downward thrusts of a sharp kitchen knife.

From nearby, the first moment of the attack, he knew he was going to hear spirits scream. The dark sky was overcast, and there was a bone chilling wind that blew relentlessly. The night sky was angry because it knew what was coming.

Death looked like an assassin in the shadows.

“Yeah it is cold,” Janet said to the driver.

She got into the small pick up truck and they drove away.

A ghost pushes his face closer to the serial killer's ear and drops his voice to a little more than a whisper. “Not this time you motherfucker.......”

© 2015 Frank Atanacio

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    • KaylaTaylor profile image

      Kayla M Haranda 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Chilling! Excellent writing style.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Kayla

    • profile image

      Smilealot 22 months ago

      That was one lucky escape..this time it was only being played out in his mind. Nicely done Frank :-)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thank you smilealot and good to see you

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Frank, well this certainly is a spine tingling story. It has offset the inspirational hubs that I happened to read this morning. The setting was ripe, the colorless night dragged us down the street, and Mr. 52 well, there are more stories there.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      MCK, thank you so much :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      What a terrific title for this most horrifically graphic tale of horror! This one certainly brought the chills, thrills and terror. Man, he is on a rampage. Happy for this one to escape the wrath of that psycho! The blue truck symbolizes safety to me. Your very descriptive words of the knife going through the other's skull made my sinus headache ache even more : )

      I'm checking under my bed now, and then getting an icepack for my head. That means you were successful here in your writing of this creepy tale of horror.

      Blessings, dear Frank

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      sorry bout the sinus head ache.. I do hope it gets better soon Faith oh Faith and bless you for putting up with such violence..:)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank goodness for that ghost! Chilling read. When will he get his 52? I know I must wait, until then keep writing! You excel in this genre. Brovo!!!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thanks for stopping by always exploring :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 22 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This leaves your reader asking for more...:)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Was the ghost a former killing? I imagine it was....the potential #52 should send a gift to that ghost. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thank you CriSp and Billy for reading my short.. bless you both :)

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 22 months ago from Nibiru

      janet crespo is one lucky lady.............but we will get her next time. Nice frank, dark and nice

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thanks clive :)

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 22 months ago from Los Angeles

      Good characterization, Frank! I could REALLY feel his rage and his need to kill. Like Bill, I also thought the whispering ghost was that of an earlier victim. Chilling story!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 22 months ago from The Caribbean

      A happy surprise ending this time, but only after you have walked us through "the valley of the shadow of death." What a relief!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      This is one of your best Frank! There are more stories here---just waiting for your pen

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      cat, msdora and audrey.. thank you guys so much for reading my story. bless you all :)

    • profile image

      Denny Martin 22 months ago

      You know, this short story should have a rated R button. The description of how he was going to murder her was very graphic, perhaps too graphic, other then that I was very entertained. ( He would strike her face so hard that the blade from the kitchen knife would shatter as it hit the asphalt coming through her skull. The splintering and mutilation of the muscles and skull would send him to an evil ecstasy. )

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      Perhaps Denny, perhaps... but thank you for reading

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      Denny you are right based on the modererator's review advertising has been disabled :(

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      What a messed up evil sicko. Thank goodness for ghostly intervention. Your writing made me feel like I was right there.

    • profile image

      Denny Martin 22 months ago

      the story is good, one sick son of a bitch murdering women, and the last one of the year gets away because someone felt bad for her as she was walking in the cold. I don't know where folks on here get ghost intervention, don't know what the hell they're reading, no disrespect, just saying. I didnt mean to be right, but the words were harsh. Denny

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 22 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Excellent and chilling! It reminds me of my favorite show criminal minds.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thanks you Flourish, Denny again, and Dana Tate for reading my shorts

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 22 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      So well written - and scary!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 22 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Chilling...just chilling. Your opening paragraph draws us in, and holds us through the thoughts and vision of this psychopath, hoping for some reprieve for Janet. We sigh in relief as Janet gets into the pickup (hopefully a friend), and hear the ghost of his previous victim... "not this time..." Excellent writing, Frank. One of your best.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Blossoms.. and thank you too Genna East for your comment and your read...bless you guys

    • anemixflarie profile image

      Anemix 22 months ago

      wow Frank!! as always good writing! I really liked the ending! :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thanks anemixfliare

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 22 months ago from New York

      You had us hanging on Frank...will she or won't she? How good to see death cheated and a killer thwarted. Like all your stories, loved this one!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      LOL, thanks again Till... bless you

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 22 months ago

      Frank, you are a mystery. An unusually disturbing story. I am glad that at least one woman escaped....

      Well, at least, we hope she did.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thank you savvydating..:)

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 22 months ago from Florida

      Haha...I loved the end! This was so intense reading it. I'm telling you Frank, I really believe you captured what a sicko serial killer thinks and feels; the ecstasy of the kill. I mean I really believe that is how they feel. It's so sick and deranged.

      This story could be made into a movie, and you know what part I would want if I was an actor in it? That ghost at the end that whispers into his ear those words of defeat. ;)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      LOL, oh Missy..:) thank you for the comment

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 22 months ago from England

      Scary stuff! I love the way she slipped through his murdering fingertips, but then again, maybe the driver of the truck was another murderer! she was damned if she did, and damned if she didn't...lol! great story!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      thanks Nell Rose

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      I like the ghost; a voice from a past victim, I presumed. About time one of them got back at him. Nice touch, Frank.

      We were there on that road, with both potential victim and perpetrator.

      Ann

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton

      thanks again annart, bless you

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 21 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I liked it.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Ill stop over and return the favor B. Leekley :)

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