Anticipation of Evil

CHAPTER ONE

 

June, 2013, Paris, France

She sat on a bar stool with her lovely long legs crossed at the knees and her tight white skirt riding up her tanned thighs. Dangling a red high-heeled sandal from the toes of one foot, she hooked the other on the rung of her bar stool. He watched her as she sat laughing up into the faces of the young students surrounding her, each eager to attract her attention and to be the man of the hour with the beautiful blonde who tossed her shoulder length curls with every movement of her head.

     Stopped short by her striking resemblance to Joanie and the mannerisms which were duplicates of hers, he instantly decided he had to punish her for that. At six feet, three inches, he knew he made a handsome figure as he moved to stand near her, easing his way in among the adoring young men. Standing to her left, out of range of her peripheral vision, he waited for her to look his way. Lifting his right hand, he swept his dark hair off his forehead.

     Anticipating her reaction to his hungry blue-eyed gaze, he wasn’t disappointed. She smiled broadly at something one of the men said and shook her head, making her glorious mass of curls dance around her face. Lifting her left hand, which bore a platinum engagement ring with a modest sized diamond solitaire sitting atop it, she brushed aside the curls that now obscured part of her face. She glanced to her left and her eyes met his steady gaze.

     For an instant she faltered, the teasing talk forgotten as her smile faded and died. She must have seen something hypnotic in his steady stare, for she slid as if oiled from the barstool and turned to him. James offered her his right hand with his carefully manicured nails. She didn’t hesitate as she slipped her left hand into his. Neither spoke, nor did they break eye contact, as they turned and walked away from the astonished would-be lotharios.

     They walked through the bar, seemingly unaware only of their surroundings, neither appearing to notice the opulent green forest décor with real fichus trees planted in large bronze urns or the patrons ordering from the bartender. They looked only at each other.

     He stopped with his hand on the door and searched her face with his eyes. He had to know.

     “What’s your name?”

     “Ginette. My friends call me Ginnie.”

     It was enough. He knew he had chosen the right one.

     “Tell me your name.”

     He smiled, showing white teeth, even except for the slightly longer canines. “I’ll tell you later, I promise.”

     “Ooohhh. A man with secrets. I like that,” she said, bringing a broader smile to his lips.

     As they walked to his car parked in a lot up the street, he continued to clasp her hand in his. Her engagement ring felt as if it were burning his fingers. He turned his face away and his smile became a grimace. She was another cheating bitch who had to pay. He knew it was his duty to see that she did.    

     At his apartment with its soundproofed walls, he savored the smell and taste of her in his big king bed, making love to her gently--the first time. The second time, the lovemaking became violent and the bewildered Ginnie endured a painful savaging of her body.

     He restrained her with his hand on her throat as he deposited a trail of bite marks on her breasts and across her abdomen. Flipping her over, he bit her buttocks until blood was flowing.

     She fought him for a while, screaming and shrieking in pain. She struck out with her hands and arms, but he simply caught her wrists in one hand and slapped her fiercely with the other. She tried kicking him with her feet. He laughed at her struggles and straddled her, his heavier weight rendering her nearly immobile. Ginnie bucked and writhed but could not dislodge him and the torture and misery continued. After a while it seemed she tuned out the horror that was happening to her as he used her body in every way his perverted mind could envision. High with glee, he wrapped his hands around her throat and pressed. He watched her as she died without a sound, as if her senses had vacated her body, with no objection save perhaps a look of reproach in her dull eyes as they dimmed further until the light was finally extinguished.

     He drove away from the heavily populated area and dumped her body in the Seine.

     Bagged and stuffed deep into a refuse bin, it was unlikely her clothes would ever be found in such a rural area. The bite marks didn’t worry him. Nowhere in France was there an x-ray of his teeth on file. The next day he was on a plane back to the US, now a graduate of the prestigious Sorbonne.

~

     About the same time the killer was disposing of Ginette, another tale was being told in Gainesville, Florida.

     Heather Forrest was free. She’d been free of school work and studies for the last few short, sun-filled weeks. Since graduating from the University of Florida with a Master’s Degree in English Education, she’d lived at home with her parents. To remain there, or in Florida at all, wasn’t in her plans.

     She stood in front of a wall map of the United States, closed her eyes, and turned around three times. She placed a fingertip on the map and snapped open her eyes. Her fingertip lay just south of Lake Michigan, resting atop Green Bay, Wisconsin. Heather paused a moment to absorb what it meant for her. A smile lit her face.

~

     As she set the table for dinner, she broached the subject to her parents. “Guess what! I’m moving to Green Bay.”

     “No. You can’t move that far away,” her mother said, and turned away to take the biscuits from the oven, dismissing the subject all together.

     “Mom!” Heather shrieked. “This is something I really want to do.”

     “You don’t know one thing about how to get around in the type of winters Green Bay has,” her dad argued.

     She drummed her fingers on the table. Suddenly she jumped up, adrenalin pumping. “I’m not staying in Florida all my life. I want to experience something completely different. I’m going!”

     Her parents didn’t give their blessings, but did say she would always have their love. That would do.

     She said goodbye to her friends and packed her car with her most needed possessions and checked Google for the best route. She arrived in Green Bay six days later.

~

     Heather rented an apartment and secured a teaching job at a high school. Mr. Aslaksen, the principal, interviewed her. He was quite professional and encouraging. She liked him.

     Dancing down the hall after leaving the interview, Heather threw her fist toward the lighted ceiling in the Rocky arm-thrust. She was as confident as Sylvester Stallone had been in the movie. It wasn’t a boxing match she had won; it was the beginning of a career. She had no doubts the next years would be exciting and would fulfill her goal of making a positive difference in the lives of her students and helping prepare them for adulthood.  

~

One and one-half years later

Friday Afternoon, December 5, 2014

 

     Heather looked at Patti Mueller’s troubled face. “You will pass this test, Patti. There’s no way you can possibly fail it.” She looked away, trying not to show her impatience. Without realizing it, her right hand lifted to her thick reddish-brown hair and she wrapped a curl around her forefinger.

“I don’t know, Miss Forrest. I just can’t seem to keep all those helping verbs in my head. I know I was supposed to learn them in eighth grade, but I didn’t. And I’m hopeless with adjectives and adverbs, not to mention infinitives and shit like that.”

     Patti gasped and quickly covered her mouth with her hand. “I’m sorry,” she blurted.

     Heather ignored the mild profanity. “There’s a pattern to memorizing the helping verbs, Patti.”

     Heather withdrew her hand from her curls and picked up a sheet of paper from her desk. “Here, take this. It’ll tell you the order in which to memorize them, and it’ll make sense why you learn them this way.” She handed the paper to Patti.

     Patti looked down and squirmed in her seat. She wrinkled her nose. “Okay, I’ll try. It’ll be hard to find a place to study at home with my dad nosing into everything I do.” She wrapped a blonde curl around her forefinger and let it go. It sprang back to nest with the others. She repeated this action as Heather watched her.

     “I’m sorry, Patti. Some dads are like that.” She glanced away, gathering her thoughts. She returned her gaze to Patti.

     “It sounds like it bothers you. Does this mean you don’t have a good relationship with your father?”

     “Oh, he’s not so bad when he’s not drinking. I mean he doesn’t beat me or anything. He just gets all up in my business.”

      “I understand how that goes.” Heather gave the girl a sympathetic smile. “You know you can talk to me about anything that’s bothering you. By the way, how did it go with your Goth friends when you told them you didn’t want to hang with them anymore?” 

     Patti began to giggle; then it turned into a full laugh. “Sid says I’ve lost my mind and that I’ll come back begging to be his friend. Hah! As if!”

     “What about your girlfriends?”

     Patti raised her chin and her merriment was replaced by a frown. “They can all kiss my butt. I’m tired of playing dress up and hanging around with just them. It’s gotten really old.”

     Delighted, Heather grabbed one of Patti’s hands between her palms and squeezed. “I’m pleased you ended those relationships, Patti. You go, girl! You find another group of friends. Someone you can study with and do fun things with.”

Patti blessed her with one of her rare smiles.

     “Now, try your best, Patti, and you’ll do fine on the test.” She checked her watch. “I’ve got to run, so I’ll see you Monday.”

She waited while Patti gathered her papers, put them in her book bag, and opened the door.

     “Bye.” Patti said. She waved and the door slammed shut behind her.

     “Patti.” Heather said under her breath as she shook her head and sighed. “I can’t help but worry about you.” She got up from her chair and got the papers and books from her desk she would need over the weekend and headed off to meet with her boyfriend and fellow teacher, Jeff Hoffman.

~

      She found Jeff in the hallway where he was saying goodbye to several of his Senior History students from his last class of the day. Jeff was a popular teacher and, like her, he often stayed late to talk with one or more of his students. Unlike her, his was usually not counseling or helping with studies. His students liked to hang around and talk sports with him. Jeff was a huge Green Bay Gamblers Ice Hockey fan and she had learned to love the sport through him. It wasn’t a sport she grew up with in Florida.

      “Hello, Mr. Hoffmann,” she greeted him as she neared the group. She nodded and smiled to the students.

      Jeff flashed a grin, his eyes twinkling behind his eyeglasses. “Miss Forrest. Good to see you.”

      To the students he said, “Okay you guys, I’ll see you Monday. Have a good weekend. I need to speak with Miss Forrest.”

      The students left, heading for the exit doors, calling to each other and to Jeff to have a good weekend and to watch out for the forecasted snow.

      Speaking low, Jeff said, “I wonder how long before they figure it out.”

      “You mean about us?”

      “Right. They don’t know I’m living with the prettiest, and I might add, the sexiest, teacher in this whole school.”

       Heather grinned. “And what will all the girls who are in love with you think when they find out? They’ll hate my guts!”

      Jeff laughed aloud, his voice echoing in the now empty halls.

~

      Heather rifled through the frozen meal-size dinners filling their freezer to find something that might interest both of them. “How about chicken picatta with linguini?” she called to Jeff.

      “Sounds all right to me,” Jeff answered as he sorted through the mail. “Damn! There are letters still being forwarded here from my parent’s old address. I bet some of them go to Fox Towers, too. I hope that stops soon. Mom doesn’t need to know my business before I do.”

      “Right,” Heather agreed, as she started water to boil for the pasta.

      While they ate their dinner, Heather spoke of her day and the session afterward with Patti Mueller. “Jeff, she is so different from my other students. But, you know what? I really like her. She speaks her mind. She’s so earthy. I guess that’s the word I’m looking for to describe her. I do worry about her, though. There have been several times when I think she is on the brink of telling me something, and then she abruptly stops.”

      “What do you think it could be?”

      “I truly have no idea.”

“This girl spends a lot of time with you after class, doesn’t she?”

“Yes, she does. But, you know, Jeff, that’s all right. I hope maybe she’ll open up to me soon.”

“She probably will. I’d open up to you anytime. Want to see?”

“Oh, Jeff, you are such a nut! But, the answer is yes, I want to see. Let’s leave the dishes for the night and go get in bed.”

     "Didn’t I say you were the sexiest teacher in our school? Maybe you are the sexiest teacher in any school.” He took her hand and pulled her from her chair. As they started up the stairs, Jeff was already pulling his sweater over his head. Heather chuckled and swatted his behind, then reached for the hem of her own sweater.

~

A Week Later, 2:00 pm, Friday, December 12, 2014

     He watched her walk toward the frozen pond. He’d observed her every afternoon for three days, hidden as she trekked across the snow and pools of ice and, today, the cold, brittle grass of the golf course, dodging the snow dunes and patches of melting snow. Now, again with the promise of snow in the air, she hurried along, zipped into her coat, its hue a faded hunter green that should have been warmer for this cold weather, the kind that can suck the air from the lungs and freeze exposed skin. She continued walking with her head bent as the wind’s icy breath sent her red and green plaid scarf tails dancing in its breeze.

     Safe from view in his spot behind the small pond, he again reviewed his strategy. His heart began a snare drum beat as she stepped onto the surface of the pond, testing it with her weight. She started to slide down the slight dip of the pond on one rubber-soled boot, then the other, until she was passing him and his hiding place.

      He fought to silence his ragged breaths. On silent soles, he quickly reached her, his longer legs making up for her lead. Just as he raised his hands to encircle her neck, she whipped around, staring wildly until her eyes registered recognition.

     “You nearly scared me to death.” Catching her breath, she smiled. “I’m glad you came today. I’ve been here every day waiting for you. I was starting to worry something had happened to our plan.” She began to lean into him.

      He let loose the grin he couldn’t control. Lightning fast, like a giant snake ready to strike, he made his move, grabbing her and turning her back into his body. Seeing her mouth drop open and her eyes widen in surprise and, yes, hurt, shot a familiar thrill throughout him. With his right hand, he grabbed her right shoulder and yanked her body back, slamming her hard against his chest. His fingers dug into her flesh through the layers of clothing.

      “What are you doing?” She screamed, her arms flailing as she tried to twist away. She managed to peer over her shoulder as tears spilled from her eyes.

      He heard her try to say “Stop it! Please stop!” Her words were almost unintelligible as she continued trying to twist out of his grasp.

      Ecstatic that he was doing what he’d wanted from the beginning, his left hand snared the end of the scarf that dipped and swirled on her left side, sent into a spiral by a gust of wind. He braced his strong, heavy arm across her chest, immobilizing her. Tugging on the left scarf tail, and momentarily taking his arm from her chest, he pulled the tail on the right side, jerking her head straight forward. He chuckled low in his throat as she grunted and moaned, making indiscernible sounds, and tried to kick him backward with her heels.

      He grappled with her heaving body until her hands dropped from her neck and her knees buckled. She slumped to the un-giving ice. He bent forward with her and eased her down. Backing off her still form, he stood up and looked down at his victim. He pulled his left foot from beneath her body and turned to leave.

      He stopped abruptly and bent over her again. Throwing aside the fluttering scarf tails, he searched for the top of the coat’s zipper. Grabbing the coat’s hem, he yanked it down to free space to locate it. A quick unzip and the coat was opened to below her breasts. Reaching inside the scooped neck of her pullover sweater, his fingers felt the object he was searching for. A sharp tug and it was secure in his gloved hand.

      Standing again, he remained almost motionless as he took another long look around to reassure himself there was still no one out and about to observe him.

      The killer turned back and gazed at the body for another few moments. To him, she looked so much smaller in death than in life. He bent and positioned her so he could see her eyes. They were open and staring, the dark blue irises beginning to glaze and fade.

      He laughed aloud at the thought of all the woodland creatures joining all the domestic creatures and all of them having her as a true moveable feast.

      His excitement turned to jubilation. On boots that he had widened and elongated with the coverings he had placed on the soles, he walked away. No way would the police be able to trace this murder back to him. He crunched across the white blanket of snow. One last look back and he disappeared into the trees that bordered the golf course on the far side. With his spirits soaring and elated with his cleverness, he threw back his head and the giggles bursting forth from his throat became a full bellied laugh, roaring from his mouth in great gusts of sound.                                                                      

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