Chapter Six:

The night was again frigidly cold. This time my fingers weren't in as much pain, though as I'd worn gloves.

It took a while, longer than the last time, and I huddled on the ground next to a dumpster, much like the last time. My stomach twisted into knots. I was somehow more nervous than the first time.

The target walked by where I was.

That was the only signal I needed to follow. I waited until we were deeper in the alley before I pulled the knife this time. It was a steak knife, having been warned against switchblades.

I grabbed his collar first, and shoved the knife into his back, lower than the last time, having learned my lesson about the human ribcage last time as well. The blood steamed in the cold, an effect I was too busy panicking to notice last time. And much like the last time this guy pulled himself free of me, and the knife got dislodged form my hand.

My nerves, I guessed weren't just from bad experiences. They were probably also due to the fact I now knew I wasn't really cut out for this.

I pursued the man, and even though I lost him around a bend, he was bleeding heavily and left a clear trail as to where he went. I quickly realized he was heading for the streets again. My heart rate skyrocketed. If anyone happened to be there, I would be done for. What the hell was I thinking?

His silhouette was framed by the walls of the alley, and I could tell he was almost to the street. But he was suddenly knocked down by another shadow. Which quickly leaned over and grabbed his throat.

I skidded to a stop, breathing heavy, and my chest kind of hurt from the strain.

Once I had regained a sense that a man had indeed swooped down to take my prey, my commonsense returned, and I started to back off. I never realized how many hit men were in New York. And that it seemed people really liked to hire two at a time.

"Hey," said the man, and I recognized him immediately.

"What?" I asked, more out of confusion than anything.

He waited a long moment while the man beneath him struggled before going still.

"This is a coincidence," he mumbled as he stood back up. "Though I see your still using knives."

I relaxed considerably, seeing as it wasn't someone who was gonna turn around and attempt to slaughter me.

"I guess I'll be seeing you around." He turned to leave the alley.

"Hey, wait," I made him stop. "Shouldn't we talk?"

"About what?" he asked. "I have no reason to turn you in." His face turned enough I saw the profile of a face silhouetted in the street light.

"No mask?" I asked. "Did you-"

"I wasn't exactly planning on killing anybody tonight," he cut me off. "Like I said, a coincidence. If you'll let me go, I'd like to get back to what I was doing." He didn't make any move to say goodbye or anything, simply left.

I stared where his silhouette had disappeared for a long moment before turning around and kicking a dumpster as hard as I could. The deafening bang made me flinch, and I hoped there wasn't anybody around curious enough to investigate.

I walked over to the body, a sharp pain in my foot. I was gonna have to wear steel-toed boots if I wanted to kick dumpsters around.

The man looked in all ways dead. His eyes were closed, almost like he had just passed out, and there was a scarlet puddle, barely illuminated on the grimy concrete beneath him. I poked him with my toe, but there was no response. The knife didn't want to let go of his flesh as I have it a good tug. It took a second attempt to dislodge it.

It wasn't until I saw a fresh gush of blood out of his back that it hit me. I had nearly killed this man, and I considered if it wasn't for me, this man would definitely still be alive.

My stomach twisted into knots. I thought this would bother me more, to have actually killed somebody, but instead I felt… relieved. Maybe it was just cause the stress over doing it had been nagging at me. I hoped that was the case, otherwise I had a good reason to worry more about my mental state. This wasn't psychopathy. Never before had I enjoyed killing anything, not even ants. It was more likely something seriously wrong with my head.

I sighed, a huff of white spewing from my mouth. Steam still clawed up from the blood oozing from the body. It was a morbid scene.