A sweet death. That was the most she could do for him at this point. A sick sense of nostalgia washed over Amelia as she shushed her dying lover. Gently, oh so gently. Finger pressed silently to her lips, she drew the razor blade across his throat.
She shuddered at a remembered feeling as his remaining life leaked from his neck. Guilt, mingled with arousal, mixed with more guilt caused by the arousal. Another shudder as she relived all the times she'd done this before. All the men and women she had truly loved during their last moments on this Earth.
Amelia stood and closed her eyes as she sucked on her blood-soaked fingers. She shook with silent pleasure as the taste filled her, savoring the fear, pain, and relief imparted to the blood by those precious final beats of the heart.
When she opened her eyes, she nearly gagged. Amelia was back asleep, only Alison Meyers was here to deal with the current situation
Before her lay a man, mutilated from the waist down. The skin and, when possible, muscle had been meticulously peeled back and used to pin him to the ground with steel stakes, spread-eagle. Great care had been taken to ensure no major blood vessels had been breached. While his torso was untouched, his arms had undergone a treatment similar to his legs. They too were filleted and staked down.
Trees to provide shade, care to avoid unnecessary blood loss. Whoever had done this clearly meant for this man to suffer for a long time. Until Amelia had intervened.
Alison wasn’t sure where Amelia came from, or when exactly she became aware that she, Alison, was two women. It had been a gradual thing. All she knew was that Amelia knew how to find people They were torturing and free them. Invariably, Amelia loved them, kissed them goodnight, and sent Alison back out to deal with the real world.
Alison got out her notebook and recorded the position, method of torture, location, and so on. She concluded her entry with Amelia’s method of dispatch. That was how the two of them worked. Amelia found them and freed them. Alison observed and looked for clues.
The scariest thing, reflected Alison as she made the long walk home in the fading afternoon sun, was the feeling she got that They were watching her. That They knew how she and Amelia were interfering with Their plans. And They didn’t like it either. How long would They let her continue? How long before They would strip her flesh and leave her to die?
Alison shook her head to clear the thought. She allowed mundanity to distract her. What would she have for dinner? Something vegetarian. No meat after what she’d just seen.
Alison walked into her apartment, flicked on the lights, and made her way into the kitchenette. After the first few times Amelia had come out, she had learned that forcing herself back into normalcy as soon as possible was key to staying sane.
Alison retrieved some carrots and celery from the fridge and laid them out flat on the cutting board. As she reached for the knife rack, she noticed one of the knives was missing from its place. Odd. She must’ve put it in the washer or something. No matter, she had what she needed for now.
She chopped up the carrots and celery, tossed them in a bowl with some grapes and lettuce, and called the whole thing a salad. Feeling no need to impress, her salad became a finger food as she sat on the sofa and turned on the news. Alison never knew how long she’d been Amelia. Memories only crossed over from the time Amelia found one of Their victims until she put Alison back in charge, never the actual search process.
She watched the news with half-interest, munching on her salad. Already the ghastly memory was starting to fade.
The newswoman’s face changed to a more serious expression for her next segment.
“In other news, police are still searching for Albert Craig, a local man who has been missing for three days. Craig, 27, was reported missing Tuesday. . .” And so on. The report continued, and a picture of the man was shown.
Alison was utterly unsurprised to find that the man in question was, in fact, the very same man Amelia had freed from Them only a few hours ago.
That meant she’d probably been gone for a little less than three days herself. Amelia was uncannily prompt about knowing when a victim had been taken.
She glanced at her page-a-day calendar to confirm.
Five days. She’d been Amelia for almost five days. Before he even went missing.
No. Please. No.
Dread seized Alison, like ice through her heart. She stood on unsteady legs and made her way to the counter, where she'd placed her purse when she came in.
Slowly, she reached into her purse, already knowing what she’d find.
There it was; the missing knife. A long, thin, sharp blade: A fillet knife. And it was caked with dried blood.
Oh God no.