Outside the bowling alley, I stand and smoke another cigarette. I barely notice the rain because my concentration is directed to something far more important. From here I can see up the hill and over the wall just enough to see the roof of his car. I flick the dying cigarette away into the rain and retreat indoors. In five or ten minutes I’ll be out to check again and, when he’s gone and she’s all alone, I’ll be leaving here.

“Your friend still not free?” Mandy asks as she pours me a beer and I sit down at the bar.
“Nah, my mate’s still being held up with her boss.” I don’t tell her the truth even though every atom in me is screaming it out. She’s a nice girl but she just wouldn’t understand the sort of love we have.
“On me.” she says as she puts the glass down on the counter.
“You sure?” I widen me eyes in appreciative surprise, knowing full well that I never intended to pay. People are easy like that. You give them a glimpse of what they want and they’ll keep giving you what you want, never once suspecting what you really get up to behind closed doors.
“You look like you could use it. I’ll sort you out a burger if you’re here later.”
I wont be. Today a different hunger needs satisfying, but I can’t go telling her that. The only way I can pull this off right is to leave no witnesses.
“It’s appreciated, doll. So, tell me what’s been happening with that boyfriend of yours since I was last here? He still being an ass?”

She opens up and I’m as attentive as she needs, listening to her, comforting her, becoming someone she needs in her life, someone who she thinks is worth paying for a burger here and a beer there to keep around. People are so damn predictable like that. When she’s done I give her advice, all the while knowing she’ll never follow it. For a second I’m angry at that and I realise I’ve actually come to care about the wellbeing of this girl, come to need her in a way. I look at her appraisingly. Maybe if things don’t work out with… But no, there’s only room in my heart for one and she should be alone by now, so it’s time for me to leave here.

Time for me to taste her blood and dance to the soft lullaby of her screams.


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