I'd watched him for days, weeks even. I knew his day-to-day routines like the back of my hand. I knew his history, what he'd done. His time was over. No one else would die at his hands.
6.30pm. He'd be returning from his daily walk now, and begin cooking his dinner. I watched patiently from his balcony. The sky was clouded, the street only lit by the spaced streetlamps. The house behind me was dark. Then I saw him. All 120kg of him. Somehow it managed to sit on his 5ft 8 frame. The streetlight illuminated his hideous features – that ghastly sneer, his piggy eyes. I didn't notice the small child at his side.
7.30pm. Dinner was finished. He'd had a tin of spaghetti. I crept silently through the shadows, stalking him. I was untouchable. He pottered uselessly around his kitchen, looking for more food. He found some oven bake chips in the freezer and he turned the oven on. He was totally oblivious to my presence and his impending doom.
8.30pm. He sat in front of the television stuffing his face. I ignored my own hunger pains, totally committed to the task at hand. He began flicking through the channels, distracted by his thoughts.
9.30pm. Still he sat in front of that television. But he is becoming restless now. Whatever is on his mind is bothering him quite severely. He gets up and begins to pace around the room. He is muttering to himself. I catch a few words. "Butcher... boy... tonight". To anyone else, these mumblings would have meant nothing. To me, they meant everything. He intended to kill, tonight!
11.30pm. The next two hours had passed seamlessly. He'd stopped pacing exactly an hour ago and was now seated again, deep in contemplation. But that contemplation was soon replaced by mad desire. I caught that hideous look in his eyes. He stood and moving to a cabinet, pulling out a bottle of rum and a glass. He filled the glass and swallowed it in one gulp. The desire present in his and movements was strong now and he began to pace again. The madness began to appear in his eyes. I no longer feared such madness. It merely spurred me on. Both he and I felt the time was near.
12.00am. He knew the time instantly, without looking at the clock. His manner changed. He became excited. It was so near his victim's death, thought only he would die tonight. Still oblivious to my presence he walked straight past me. As he passed I pressed myself against the wall to be safe. Adrenalin had began to course through my body. In any other circumstance I might have admired to purposefulness, but tonight it sickened me. I shadowed him to his kitchen where he opened a drawer. He paused briefly before drawing out a carving knife. I felt around my waist looking for my own weapon of choice – a butcher's knife, not unlike the one he used to kill my mother.
12.10am. Weapon in hand he strode towards the basement door, flicking on the light before ascending the stairs. I felt a little bit unsure, there were no shadows in this room. I push aside my insecurities and follow him. Still he does not notice me or my presence. The I see his victim. A small blindfolded child. I falter momentarily and remind myself of the frenzied, hideous look that will be marring his face about now. He tears the blindfold off the child and a young boy, six or seven, stares up at him with a look of absolute terror across his face.
"Daniel Gregson. Your reign of terror is over. No one else shall die by your hand for you time of judgement has come!"
He turns to face me and the shock registers on his face.
The recognition spreads across his face. I grab my knife, spring forward and shove it into his chest, piercing his black heart. He begins to choke and blubber as his heart stops beating. I remove the knife and stab him again, and again, and again, and again. He finally crumples to the floor dead, lying in a pool of his own blood.
12.15am. Daniel Gregson is dead. I star down at his body breathing heavily. That's when the child lets rip the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard. Dogs start to bark and I run, dropping my blood stained knife. I run up the stairs, through the house, straight through the front door and fly down the street through the night, forgetting to avoid the light of the lamps. I am barely aware of the houses coming to life around me.
"Police today are investigating a most heinous crime. The body of sixty-nine year old Daniel Gregson was found in his basement in the early hours of this morning with multiple stab wounds to his chest. Officers located a small child in the corner of Mr. Gregson's basement holding what police now believe to be the murder weapon. The child was able to identify the murderer as "Taron" and police artists have produced this sketch based on the child's recollections. Police are now looking to the public to help identify this man. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers or contact their local police station."
I shut of the news feeling very panicky. For the first time since I killed him I felt pure fear. I ran around my apartment gathering the most important of my belongings. But my panicked state hampered my efforts and I struggled to find the items I desired. Too much time was elapsing, far more time than I realised.
There was a knock at the door and I ignored it. They knocked again and I ignored it. They knocked my door down.
"Taron Clarke, you are under arrest for the murder of Daniel Gregson. You have the right to remain silent and anything you do or say will be used against you in court."
I sneered. But it was game over.
"Today Taron Clarke was convicted of the murder of Daniel Gregson. The jury were unanimous in their verdict after the evidence supporting Mr. Clarke's guilt was found to be indisputable. Mr. Clarke has been sentenced a lifetime of imprisonment with no parole. Mr. Gregson's family are said to be pleased with the verdict but say that it is a "small gain after losing [their] beloved father."