The moon illuminated the beach in its midnight glow, but the woods looked dark as a cave. He strolled from the soft sand onto the hard-packed dirt trail, his steps remaining light, soundless. Yellow eyes stared at him from the brush. A raccoon chattered then scurried for the nearest tree.
A dog growled from behind him. “Leave it,” he commanded without turning around, and the growling ceased.
He rubbed his hands together. The time had come for another. Goosebumps rose on his arms. Torture was such a thrill.
The memory of each woman’s scream vibrated against his skull. The panicked, the hysterical, the tortured. Every one had sounded so different, but they replayed like a symphony in his mind until he killed again. His new victim would rise above the others, drowning out the dead.
He’d chosen women unaware of their surroundings. Women who were selfish and so consumed by their own lives that nobody else mattered. He had a list of ten he’d followed at the park. They walked, or jogged with their pets, ear pods in, music so loud he could hear it. Some stared into space. If they didn’t have dogs to warn them of his presence, he’d be able to trail a foot behind and they’d never think to look back.
He took a deep breath and pulled the hood of his hunting jacket lower over his face. His muscles twitched with anticipation and he lengthened his stride. He brushed branches from his path and moved behind the cover of the trees. Now he waited. She would come to him.