Now, as the blood-lust accelerates and their resolve wanes, they become desperate. They must find the killer who is always watching and always one step ahead.
"I found them," November Webb said loudly with a slight edge, and too much enthusiasm.
She jerked her head to the left and with it went the car. It swerved; she corrected, and pointed for her sister to look. She felt her stiff shoulders slump in relief as she was now able to relax enough to stop fidgeting with her hair-clip, which itched and poked the back of her throbbing skull. Both sister's simultaneously peered up at the moonlight, which shined brightly at this hour, reminding them they were quickly running out of time.
November was able to refocus all of her contempt and resolve toward the burly man, their target of the evening. He walked stiffly, his left leg hurt, and his neck pulsated. His muscles were tweaked painfully as he hunched down in order to hold on to the small child's hand with an overly tight grip. The single streetlamp hit the back of his incongruously disheveled cloths hanging from his body and added to his large size. It made him appear more like a grotesque monster and less like a man. This was fitting; November thought as she gazed upon him, he was the very definition of what a monster meant to her.
November, with a mad hatter's smile lingering on her face, tilted her head and swallowed back the many layers of prismatic hatred she was feeling toward Bill. She shook her head swiftly as if to knock herself back into reality and turned toward her sister to ensure she was ready. Her anger was abated for the moment. It hadn't faded, it was only caged.
"I guess it's time." December continued as she took her cue and climbed over the passenger seat to the back section of the stolen car. She brushed her fingers in-between the filthy seat covers, finding, and pulling at the looped knot, which would allow her access to the trunk.
A wave of cold air smacked against her face as she dislodged the semi-stuck cushion. A slight shaft of synthetic light exposed an oddly clean trunk. The breeze coming from the small compartment carried with it a strange odor, and for a moment December couldn't help but have second thoughts even though she knew she shouldn't. They were the child's last and only hope. He was a bad man that had to be stopped, more importantly they had to save the five-year-old child. She didn't have even a second for trivial doubts or feelings of pity, an emotion she rarely, as of late, experienced.
"How long do you need?" November asked. Her left eye darted to the side of the street; she lightly tapped the brakes and did one last U-turn. As she circled the street she kept a keen line of vision on the target while also maintaining contact with the rearview mirror and her sister.
"Fifteen minutes tops." December replied with conviction as she glanced at her watch and inhaled deeply. The odd odor of the trunk played along the edges of her nostrils making them twitch. "Is that going to be too long?"
November grumbled slightly, this wasn't their usual suspect. He was very strong, malicious, and though large, he was in adequate physical shape, but worst of all, he was insane to a degree even they had not encountered before. Yet November wouldn't have her sister catch sight of her fear, and so she relented without saying a word about her inner concerns and reservations. "I think I can handle that."
December not only knew, she felt her sister's anxiety and anger. Her emotions always grew in the short moments before they gazed into the eyes' of a revoltingly obscene human. December knew there was nothing she could do to calm her sister outside of getting it over with, much like pulling the bandage quickly; rather than slowly, from the healed wound. She would move as fast as she could.
As she shifted her body through the small passage her fingers lightly touched the side panels of the vehicle. She always touched the world around her to confirm she was tactile and not caught up in the shallow end of the physical realm, as dreams could so often be misinterpreted as being perceptible to the transfixed mind. Her feet brushed by the threshold where she stopped abruptly then twisted her body back into the main cabin. "I almost forgot."
November glanced at her sister who had now leaned through the passenger and drivers side seats. Her hand grappled with the small black buttons until she found the correct menu and pressed down number 101 on her Zune. A smile crept across her face as the haunting sounds of Jim Morrison's deep voice filled the car, soothing her inflamed nerves.
"Awake...shake dreams from your hair..." She breathed in his ominous words and held her eyes shut for a few seconds. She often felt there was a hidden message in his words, masked by the music just waiting to be found and freed.
"Must you sister?" November sighed even though she too enjoyed the melody as well as the way the words reverberated throughout the car and her mind, both of which made her feel alive and in turn kept her anxiety in check.
"I must." She smiled at her sister, kissing her cheek in a teasing manner, before moving seamlessly toward the trunk.
"Hey wait. Where is the bug juice?" November asked as she approached their destination once again, her hand searching frantically around the seat for the elusive bottle.
"Right there on the floorboard." December pointed toward the juice she had placed on the passenger's side floor. "It is the sweet kind so she won't taste the sedative."
"Are you sure?" November asked as though she was stalling and in a way she was.
They knew he hitchhiked, but only in a span of very selective hours. This is how he hunted his victims. Right now qualified as being one of those selective hours, and yet he seemed to be standing in a trance, staring out into the nothingness without any intentions of leaving the cold ground he stood upon. November grew marginally concerned.
"Yes I am sure, I tried it last night on myself." December said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Of course you did," November said in a disapproving, older sister way while rolling her eyes. She couldn't understand some of her sister's behaviors and why they differed so greatly from hers.
December either didn't hear it, or didn't bother to listen and instead confirmed their plan as a means of moving forward. The second hand of the clock was being vicious this evening, it was time to act and act now. "Okay, fifteen minutes. Five for the girl to fall asleep, five for me to establish our alibi, and another five for me to wake back up."
December was halfway through the seat, already feeling the cool air from the trunk when her sister spoke loudly enough for her to hear. "What if he pulls the gun on me before you wake up?"
She didn't like this question, nor did November. Chills raced down December's back as her mind was bombarded with visions of the man pulling a gun on November and then killing her before December had a chance to make it back. She exhaled deeply as she paused then turned her head toward her sister. "Should we not do it?"
"No, no we have to do it. I'm sorry. I am sure it will all be fine, it's always fine. Now hurry. I see some traffic coming up behind us. I don't want to lose him." November's voice was barely audible, and very shaky.
She popped her neck and swallowed in the synthetically warm air, while thinking it odd how her throat felt so raw, as though she had not drank anything for days and days. She scratched at her hairline yet again. Her nerves pushed a familiar sensation through out her entire body causing her hands to tremble slightly.
Bill was a mountain of a man and even though the twins were tall themselves, five-ten to be exact; he still had a ten-inch and a hundred-pound edge over them. Though they felt diminutive compared to him, it was his past actions and depraved nature that sent a nervous fear through them, making the sisters second guess each and every movement they made.
Bill had the ability to be indifferent, mad, and able to see humans as things. To him people were simple objects placed on this earth for his pleasure and his pleasure alone. One wrong move, word, or even glance, and they knew they would be the next victims on his long murderous list. They knew this and yet here they were, ready to swoop down and scoop him up like vultures pecking at their dead prey in midair. The Webb sisters would not be deterred or beaten; even if they faced the Devil himself, and it was quit possible they were about to.
The car rolled down the silent street with the cumbersome sound of squealing belts and rusted out tire wells. November's nerves remained inflamed. She felt herself wanting to explode as the car drew nearer. If he didn't put up his thumb then she would have to figure out another way to get the two of them off the street and into the stolen car. Her composure was waning.
November drove slower; still nothing. She drove even slower. Her wrist flexed as her hand held tightly to the steering wheel. Her knuckles grew white, as her tension seemed to settle into her fingers. She bit down on her lip, and eased up on the accelerator even more. His free hand remained in his pocket, his eyes steadfast on the nothingness before him. The car drew so near, she suddenly felt flushed as her pent up anxiety burst through. One hundred yards, nothing, fifty, nothing, thirty, twenty, and yet no thumb appeared. It was as if he were content on standing motionless for the rest of eternity. She couldn't go any slower without becoming conspicuous. She shook her head, this wasn't going to work. Ten, nine, and then, as though fate herself was finally on board with the idea of putting an end to his vicious reign, his thumb went up. She exhaled a great and deep breath of relief.
November pulled the car to the side of the road and mustered up all her acting skills. She was begging herself to remain calm by saying over and over again that it would be fine, it was always fine. She hit the side button; the window sluggishly rolled itself down in a jerky, reluctant sort of way. She leaned over as far as she could without taking her hand from the steering wheel and smiled in an attempt to mask her trepidation. He was even bigger up-close, so much bigger.
Her blue eyes locked with his cold black holes. Bill held tighter to the little girl's hand. The tiny child winced. November clearly heard it, felt it, but she didn't dare look at the child, she knew if she did she might start to cry. Bill stepped from the curb leaning down, nearly having to squat in order to fully view the inside of the car.
"Where yawl' headin' off to?" November asked. Hearing her voice crack and drawl made her question why she talked as though she were from the Deep South whenever she was nervous.
Her hand unconsciously came up to fix her fake glasses she wore as a means of appearing older than her seventeen-year-old self.
"Me and my daughter need to get to the next town. I'm afraid my car broke down awhile back and we are in need of some help. This town doesn't seem to have a repair shop." He said this in an overly friendly and down-witted way. She knew it was all an act, yet she was impressed by how well he pulled it off. He had truly mastered the art of lying.
"Well I'm heading north, so I can take you to the nearest station. It's about twenty miles up the road." She wanted to kick herself. Again her voice cracked and conjured up a country bumpkin accent, which she knew she wouldn't be able to maintain. Her minds eye witnessed this all starting to slip into disaster and her nerves caved and buckled.
"Great," He said as he opened the passenger door and allowed the tiny girl to get in while he jumped into the backseat.
November felt, for the first time after starting to breathe again, her hands going numb. She had been gripping the wheel too tightly and knew her fingers had turned purple, regardless of the gloves she was wearing. Her eyes twitched and she had to refrain from popping her neck instead wiggled her fingers to bring the blood flow back. She leaned gingerly to the left and clicked the locks on the door. She watched him settle back before turning to the little girl.
The count down had begun.
"Well honey, I bet you are thirsty after all the walking you and your daddy must have done. Would you like some bug juice?" November asked as she leaned down and grabbed the bottle while fastening the little girl's seatbelt. She refrained from observing the young child, but even simply speaking to her made November's lips quiver. She quickly bit down on her tongue to stifle the tears she knew would come. She could taste the salty flavor of her blood and shuttered in disgust.
Bill leaned forward, his hand lightly brushed the back of November's seat. The sensation sent a shock-wave of satanically hot fire to rise up from her belly. "My daughter doesn't drink sugar drinks. It will keep her up all night."
November screamed at herself to remain calm, she turned, locked eyes with the man, and spoke with utter confidence and ease. "I couldn't agree more Sir. Sugar is a very bad thing for children, well let's be honest, it's bad for us all. Luckily this bug juice is all natural with no additives; just actual juice from fruit."
Bill glared at her for a frightfully long time. For a split second she thought he wasn't going to allow her to have the juice. She couldn't have that, and so, inch by painful inch, her hand moved toward the child, keeping the drink tightly clenched in her unbelievably steady hand. Bill turned from her then nodded at the young girl who gratefully took the drink and gulped it down very fast.
His body weight rocked the car as he settled into the seat. This in turn allowed November to feel as though she was going to win and everything would be fine. After all it was always fine, always. November turned back around. Though petrified, she had to shake off the remaining uncertainties and resume the plan.
She pressed number 105; soon classical music filled the cab. She put the car into gear and began to drive into the loneliness and starkness of the overly black night. The moon seemed to have been consumed by the looming gray clouds which slowly filled the dark sky, stealing the moonlight. The music was a means of aiding in December falling asleep and a way of counting off time. Her and her sister had learned this particular lesson the hard way. Looking at your watch, especially when dealing with already paranoid individuals, made the twins appear guilty and up to something, which they were, but the victim didn't need to be privy to that bit of information. The music, even if they had to turn it down to a scarcely audible level, gave them the time structure needed to pull off each and every plan without the target being suspicious.
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