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The Rules of the Game

It had been exactly seventy-five days since I'd last gone out hunting. Rule seventeen stated to never hunt within sixty days, so I was due. I'd located a new club for people to meet, hook up, and get their rocks off. It was a three-hour drive, and someplace I'd never been before. That covered rules fourteen for distance, and nine for never the same place twice within the year.

My mother always taught me a good boy always followed the rules. Or else.

I picked out my clothes for the evening from my well-organized closet. A plain pair of jeans, and a dark blue shirt. I can just hear my mother scoffing at their dreariness. I'd be wearing what nearly every other asshole wore. That covered rule number eleven. Don't stand out. My fingernails were neatly trimmed and light-brown hair was just cut a few days ago, covering rule thirty-two. I pulled out a pair of black-framed glasses with an extremely weak prescription to satisfy rule twenty-three. Plain and forgettable. Just how I wanted to be.

Standing in front of the window, I gaze out on the skyline of the city. The sun slowly begins to hide, and the dark clouds light up red. While the practical part of me knows better, I like to think it was the universe speaking to me. Like myself, it knew tonight would end with blood and death. Smiling, I headed out. Who was I to say no to the universe?

There was an outdoor concert tonight out in a park in West Bubblefuck where people faked being happy and fulfilled. They would play the type of tedious music my mother enjoys, where colorful melodies and harmonies danced with each other, in an extraordinary showing of emptiness since the music meant nothing. Just pretty sounds that pretending to be more than it was. There would be people bringing soft blankets and picnic baskets filled with cheese and wine, all the trappings to appear cultured and fulfilled.

I'd avoided filling my gas tank all week and drove half the distance to the concert before stopping. Secretly, it was thrilling to see how far I could ride on zero, before pulling next to a gas pump. I paid with a credit card, take a receipt. Heading into the small store, I purchase a bottle of water, a pack of cigarettes, and some beer.

I can't stand cigarette smoke, and beer tasted like alcohol-infused piss, but the store clerk asks for my ID. She quickly scans my name and hands it back to me. I'll be using an alias later, but I want her to know my real name. I suppose, underneath the green hair, dark make-up, piercings, and other goth accouterments that made her look like a walking cadaver, she might be pretty. The nose ring is just annoying. I want to reach out, grab it, twist it out. She'd bleed and cry, and I'd laugh as I bite her. Of course, I'd never use my teeth. Rule fifty-two, thanks to dental records.

"Is that a new tattoo?" I point to her arm, lean in close enough to pick up her scent of dead flowers and stale weed.

She holds out her forearm showing off a badly drawn bird, sketched over prickly red skin. It's like a chalk outline, only in black. "A raven. I've got to put it on slowly."

"Wicked." It looks stupid, but then again, so does she.

Penelope (according to the name tag on her red apron) indulges me in a little banter about her 'ink'. I don't care. While some tattoos are cool, I'd never get one. That would violate rule sixteen about distinguishing marks. I'm sure she thinks I'm hitting on her, but if pathetic Penelope with the painted parrot was ever asked, she'd remember me headed for a concert in West Bubblefuck.

Back in my car, I drove the rest of the way to the park. I purchased my ticket, again using a credit card, and casually slip back to the parking lot. While I took the most direct route to the park, making sure to hit toll booths, (Rule thirty-five), I now avoid anything that would be easy to find. Time to head West, through the side streets, avoiding ATM cameras and passing through residential areas. It's so slow, I feel as if I'm in a funeral procession, but as Mom would say, rules exist for a reason.

I park two blocks away from the club. Close enough that a person wouldn't object to walking there, but not so close that someone would be picked up on their video surveillance getting in my car. The trick was to leave with someone without making it too obvious I was leaving with that person.

The cover charge is forty-dollars. Women pay half, but I've got an outie, not an innie. They make a killing on schmucks looking to get laid. Of course, I pay cash to keep in line with rule three. This is where I become nobody to remember. I blend and fade into the shadows. It's as if I don't exist.

I hold my breath as I pass the smokers and vapors and enter the club.

Banal music pumped through the club like a frenzied heartbeat, accompanied by the pulse of red lights, while various bodies spasm about. On the dance floor, limbs and heads move as if detached from their bodies. There's plenty of raw meat present, but the finer cuts are what I'm after.

I make my way to the bar. Order a Scotch and Soda, which is Mom's favorite drink. I guess it's true, a part of her is always with me. I'm not a fan, but I need a drink in my hand. I'll nurse it since rule five is to always keep a clear head.

While I'm waiting, an unremarkable woman squeezes in, orders a Seven and Seven, and gives me a once over. "You new here?" She winces. "Man, that sounds like such a lame line, but I just don't remember seeing you before." Her young face was a mask of embarrassment and excitement. Her unremarkable brown hair hid her dull eyes. "I don't know why I come here. Guess I'm still hoping to meet Mr. Right." She sends me a shy, lopsided grin.

I resist the urge to vomit. Enduring her saccharine-sweet voice a few more moments, she continues to chat me up. Everything about her is tedious, from her plain name Sarah to her boring office job, doing something too dull for me to care about. Her being new to town is a plus. I decide she's not worth the trouble. Too easy to get alone, no challenge. I make an excuse and walk away. Everything about her is bland and forgettable.

I don't eat out often, but when I do, I like my meals to taste good. Desperation is a fast-food burger that's been sitting on the warmer for over an hour, enough to fill my stomach, but leaving me unsatisfied when I want that perfectly seasoned steak.

I meet Melania next. She's promising. Tall, very shapely. Normally she'd probably ignore me, but she's weak tonight. A recent heartbreak, coupled with a few too many Lemon Bar Martinis. "This place is lame. I might leave. I called my friend. She has all the right…" She grins. "Party supplies for a great night. And she's up for anything."

I was encountering the dream of many men. Two women, both willing and ready. Even if her friend was ugly, it was tempting. I pictured it. Both girls, indulging in the 'party favors' and me, doing what? Stroking myself while waiting? Damn rule five. I'd hit (literally) the hot one first. (Assuming that was Melania.) Tie her up? Wait, then her friend would run. So, after Melania was down, go for the friend? What if good old Melania didn't stay down? Drugs sometimes made people easier to control, but it could have the opposite effect too. Dull the pain. Make them harder to take down.

Two of them. Tempting, so very tempting, but rule number twelve. Never bite off more than you can chew. "You have fun with her then." I walked away, taking just a moment to savor the exasperation on her face.

I moved on to Lori who had come with her friends but had been separated from her herd. "My friends made me come out. Say I need to get out more or I'll turn into the crazy cat lady. Like, I only have eight. That's not too many at my age, right?"

I shrug. "Not if you love them." Yes, eight is too many damn cats when you're not even thirty, but fuck it if I didn't want to risk the kitties starving to death while I pounce on Crazy Cat Lady Wannabe. I wasn't a monster.

There's no shortage of girls here that pique my interest, but most break at least one rule.

Hot blonde, so ready to get laid, but rule number twenty, avoid someone so drunk they've made a fool of themselves. People remember the fools.

Mousey little brunette, big glasses, slightly crooked teeth. Seems perfect, until I find out she's in violation of rule seventeen. She lives with her mother. I think about taking her back to her place where I could take both her and mom, but there was that pesky rule twelve again.

I thought I'd hit the jackpot with Lindsay, a decent little dirty-blonde. She frowned a lot and made me work to start a conversation, but I didn't mind that. She reminded me of Mom, but younger. Even before she allowed me the honor of a brief chat, I could see the possibilities. She was here alone. Slightly buzzed but not fall down drunk. Attractive enough that she wouldn't be hard to look at until such time as I pounced, but not so hot that she was the center of attention. Once she opened her mouth, it seemed perfect.

"I want to be honest. I'm married. Not that I give a shit." We had common ground there as I didn't give a shit either. "I mean, if you're looking for a long-term thing, I'm probably not your gal, but I need to be with someone. Rob, that's my husband, he's such a slob. He leaves his dirty underwear all over the place. I found a pair with a massive Hersey Highway stain in the fucking kitchen sink. Disgusting."

Lindsay was stuck in the marriage because she'd signed a prenup, one that meant she'd get nothing if she didn't make it at least twenty years. She had eleven to go. Rob was cheating on her, so she had no issue getting hers somewhere else. Lyndsay ranted about Rob the slob in a way the was eerily reminiscent of how Mom would talk about both Dad behind his back, and me to my face. It just made the image of my slowly peeling her skin off as she screamed more, dare I say it, appealing. As she listed all the disgusting and crude things Rob did, I felt a slight tinge of sympathy towards Lyndsay. Not so much that I wouldn't kill her, but it was there. Until she talked about herself.

She'd cheated on Rob three times before they were married, once with his brother. She enjoyed torturing his grandfather by hiding his fake teeth, and when Rob's mother died from a sudden heart attack, she not only didn't attend the funeral, she canceled the order for the headstone. "She wasn't my mother." The more she spoke, the more she really reminded me of Mom. It really made me want to hurt her. To shut her up. To make her pay for all the horrible things she'd done to me.

Except this wasn't mom.

Lindsay is a despicable person that deserved to die. I wasn't too fond of Rob either who Lindsay said was fucking her lush of a mother. I decide to let her live, not because killing her would break any of my rules, but because both she and Rob deserved each other.

I slipped off to the bathroom to take a leak. Most of the men here are in pairs, each dude bringing their wingman to the crapper in case they need help hitting the urinal. I can tell who's already high, or who desperately wants to be. As I relieve myself, the guy next to me glances over to size me up. He was clearly in the wrong club, but I let him take a gander.

I'm more than a little appalled at one guy who leaves without washing his hands. I did that once, but only because I was six and forgot. Mom knew. She stripped me naked, made me kneel on raw rice for hours, outside in the frigid night air. Washing your hands was a rule. She had a hundred and twenty-two of them, and I wasn't allowed to get dressed and go inside until I'd recited each one my the delight of mom's cold, blackened heart. Maybe I should just fuck the rules? No, fuck him. I'm going to grab that asshole and make him come in here to wash his hands.

I step out and bump into Sarah (I think that's her name, but she's so forgettable) again. Quite literally. A bit of her Seven and Seven spills on her front, down her plain, boring dress. The filthy handed freak is gone, and I'm stuck with a woman so dull she's like a wall painted off-white. It's there, but you never really notice it.

"Shit, sorry. I'm a klutz." Without asking, she hands me her drink and steps into the ladies' room. If I wanted to, I could dose it with something to make her unable to stand up straight, but where's the fun in that? Less than two minutes later, she's back with some paper towels. I'm stuck holding her drink while she pats herself dry.

I stare at her neck, imagine my hands around them. Squeezing her airway closed as she gasps for breath. That calms me. "Not having a good night?"

She shakes her head. "No. I haven't been out like this in a while. I've got no game. You heard me before, prattling on. I talk a lot when I'm nervous."

I watch as her tits jiggle from her attempt to dry her blouse. "Why are you nervous?"

She opens her mouth to say something but thinks better of it. "This is just not my scene. Thanks." She takes her drink.

"Aren't you not supposed to take an unattended drink back?"

She lifts the drink to her lips. "What's life without a little risk?" As if to prove her point, she takes a long sip. I may have a winner. Besides, I'm desperate at this point.

She leans in. "Can I be honest?"

I think of all the ways I could kill her and enjoy the tingle it gives me. "Please."

"What I really need is to get laid. It's been too long. If it turns into something more, great. If not, no hard feelings, right?" She places a hand over my crotch and gives me that lopsided grin. I imagine her screaming as I slice her up slowly. The image makes me stiffen. "Or maybe, some hard feelings?"

We head to my car. Her place is close. Great. She lives alone. Even better. She took a cab. Perfect. Except, she can't seem to wait. Her tongue penetrates my mouth, her hand grips my stiff dick. She pulls me into a small alley. A few couples spot us, giggling as we disappear into the shadows.

"Hold on." She reaches into her purse; I assume to get a condom as she yanking my pants down. "I've been wanting to do this all night."

The last thing I see before her head descends is that lopsided, devilish grin. My pants are down. I'm throbbing with pleasure. I doubt I'll last long. It's like a cheap porn video, but without the bad music, and overexaggerated moaning from her.

A sharp, piercing pain explodes in my balls. "Ow!" Fuck, she bit me. She fucking bit my balls. I'm fine with a little kink. After all, I plan on torturing the bitch slowly, but you don't bite a guy's balls. When the pain passes, I want to hit her. I want to smack down this filthy, disgusting alleyway, drag her by the hair to my car and then once we're alone, get violent.

Except I can't raise my arm. Fuck, I can't move at all. A numbness passes over me. Standing, she grins as she yanks my pants up, shoving my now limp dick back inside. "I hope I didn't drain you, because I plan on going all night."

She swings my arm around her shoulder guiding me to my car as if I'm drunk. She already has my keys, hitting the unlock so my car beeps. She must have grabbed them when my pants were down. As she shoves me into the passenger seat, I can smell her perfume as she buckles me in. "We don't want to get stopped for a stupid traffic violation."

My tongue is numb. I can't move or speak. I'm helpless as she climbs in the driver's side. The engine roars to life as she tosses her purse on my lap. I see a needle inside, a stain of blood from where she stabbed me in the balls.

As she pulls out into traffic, the street lights blur with memories. Her plainness, her lack of anything that would make her remarkable.

"Don't try and fight." She grins. "It'll wear off soon, but not until you're tied up. I like it when they're fully aware of what's happening and able to scream." She glances in my direction. "Aw, are you about to cry?"

No, you bitch, I can't cry. And even if I could, I wouldn't be crying. I'd probably laugh. I'd fucking forgotten my number one rule. Never choose a girl who's more psycho than you are.