Onlooker

Onlooker


Why can’t I stop this, this soulless act of brutality unfolding before me like some graphic nightmare?  Have to reach out, to help in some way, and stop the events I know are about to take place.  But like so many of my nightmares I am rooted to the spot, limbs held so rigid with fear all feeling has left them. Weightlessness has flooded my senses and pins and needles covering me from head to foot. My vision blurs yet stays focused enough to witness every grim detail.

I try to close my eyes in hope of ridding myself of these images, but they won’t shut. Neither will they avert to another part of the room, away from the scene. I just stare transfixed with morbid fascination.

The figure before me moves swiftly around his victim’s motionless body, only an occasional muscle spasm or semi-conscious roll of the eyeballs giving away any signs of life.

It’s a ritual.

Working back and forth across her skull his hands move with expert precision and with no pause or hesitation he is finished. In one easy motion he has her onto his shoulder, turning on his heel and striding into the next room.

The need to stay where I am and leave this man to his business fills my thoughts. I have no desire to see the end product of his works.  And yet I am following, stopping to watch from the doorway.

He has her in the bathroom.

At the bath, her lifeless body hangs upside down over the tub. With one arm he has a firm grip around her hips while the other works on tying her legs up. The strength of this man is incredible and his almost inhuman power instills yet more fear in me.

He leaves her hanging and crosses over to the sink. A click breaks the silence like a thunder clap and the small lamp above the mirror slowly blinks to life. The weak bulb only illuminate’s the room slightly more and his face became only a touch more visible.

The illumination sparks some recollection of the face before me. I know this man! I have seen his features on many an occasion, may have even held conversations with him, and yet still he is a stranger to me. Nobody I know could perform such acts upon another human life.

How do I know what is about to happen?

Have I seen this all before?

Or is this just some recurring nightmare that haunts my dreams? Am I to wake up drenched in a cold sweat, my sheets tangled between my legs?

No, this is actually happening and I am powerless to stop it.

For what seems like an eternity I watch him just staring blankly at his own reflection. No movement and no attempt to style his hair or any aspects of vanity. He just stares right back into his own cold black eyes.

From inside his loose clothing he extracts a large hunting knife it gleams in the poorly lit room like a beacon in the dull surroundings.

Only now do his eyes leave the mirror. A measured glance around the room before his job can commence. My heart jumps into my mouth as his gaze focuses on me.

Lord, he has seen me!

I want to run, to flee from his empty stare, from the blood of this defenseless woman soon to be spilt, from the dirty smothering heat of this place. But I have not been noticed. His eyes don’t even pause in my area. It is as if I am not here.  Again, I question whether I am dreaming.

He steps to her side, the blade in hand, ready to perform its purpose. He pauses to study where to begin and with frightening speed and accuracy his cuts are made.

The blood! So much blood! Flowing like water.

I can’t pull my stare away as her eyelids flutter like two newly hatched butterflies. She’s starting to come around and with her consciousness comes pain, her life force draining out of her. And as the agony finally forms onto her features, my tolerance gives way.  As my vision falters, darkness closing in around me, I see him standing, watching with that same impassive face.


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