Victim 26

“Hey there, sweet ass. Wanna pull my chain?”

It’d been the first thing he’d said to me.

I’d been given the job of covering an expose on inmates on death row. I hadn’t wanted it – my pain in the ass editor had other ideas.

Don’t dress like a tart, don’t wear makeup, don’t make eye contact with any of them……

I’d had all of this advice and more, so much that I had no idea what to do for the best. I took every piece of advice that had been foisted upon me and ignored it completely. I was going to do things my way.

Against my better judgement, I’d looked up and into the eyes of Billy Jones, a man whose name struck fear into the hearts of the hardened prison guards who patrolled death row armed to the teeth with all manner of weapons designed to wound and restrain.

His heart might have been owned by the devil, but he had the face of an angel. It was easy to see why so many women had fallen for his boyish good looks. No doubt they’d fallen in love with his beautiful eyes and pouting lips that screamed to be kissed. They’d find out all too late that Billy’s smile was his secret weapon.

Billy Jones had raped, tortured and then killed at least 25 women in a reign of terror lasting nearly five years. Had he not been apprehended there would likely be dozen more victims that would fall foul of his charming looks.

He curled his finger, motioning for me to come forward. “Wanna hear a story?” he’d asked, eyeing my notepad.

Hypnotised by his eyes, I’d nodded, thankful for the chair the prison guard had brought as I sat outside Billy’s cell listening to his story.

I met him every day for weeks. At first I felt revulsion for what he’d done to those poor girls, but then our conversations turned to arts and culture, politics and money. I found Billy engaging company; he was smart and articulate, and that smile of his was so damn disarming.

I found myself missing him when I returned home to my apartment each night and spend most of my evenings thinking of a dozen new questions to ask him just so that I could spend more time in his company.

Billy’s final appeal had failed. Due to be executed today at 10 am, he’d asked me to be there when the state took his life in return for the lives of the women he’d killed.

I agreed. I couldn’t not go.

I watched as they strapped him to the bed, inserting the needle with the poison that would end his life. I watched the light go out of his eyes. I knew then that I loved him.

He was evil, but the heart is blind to that which it does not wish to see.

He was evil, but he was mine.

My heart was his.

His willing victim.

Written in response to Thain in Vain’s Week Twenty Seven prompt: A journalist writing a story about living on death row begins to fall for one of the inmates she’s interviewing.




Filed under Flash Fiction 52 Challenge, Starting out

26 responses to “Victim 26

  1. You certainly did that one justice.

  2. The writing, and the story, gave me chills. The type of work that sticks with a person for a long time. Wow. Very, very powerful story! I’ll probably be haunted by this all day…

    • While I apologise for haunting you, I am happy to hear that the story touched you in an emotional way. There is no finer a compliment that a writer can receive than knowing that their work has had an effect on someone.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, it is very much appreciated ❤

      • LOL No need to apologize for haunting me – it’s a priviledge to read a story so compelling that it sticks with me for so long! From one writer to another, phenomenal job! I only hope I can move readers with my own work the way you gripped me with yours! 😉

      • Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback for my story. I’m so glad that you liked it!

        I have every faith that your work will grip many readers. Happy writing! 🙂

  3. Excellent job with this prompt! I love how she recognizes in the end that the real killer was his charm… Awesome work.

    • Thanks, Mark! 🙂

      I wasn’t sure where to take this prompt but I was keen on the idea of the reporter suddenly realising that she’d become Billy’s next victim. He stole her heart and now she has to live with that fact. There’s something quite tragic about that.

  4. Wow, just, well, wow. Heather, those bad boys are trouble. You write of them well. This is fantastic! 🙂

  5. “His heart might have been owned by the devil, but he had the face of an angel.” Nicely written! I really enjoyed this story, Heather. Loved the ending! Great work! TiV

  6. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week Twenty-Seven Submissions (27) | Thain in Vain

  7. Great job! I think this is one of the best!

  8. In real life, when something that awful happens, the public sits back and wonders how it was possible that a sadistic killer went totally unnoticed. Your writing very eloquently shows how easily we can be fooled by charm and smarts. She fell in love with him, just as all those other poor girls probably did. The real question is, was she just another in the long line of roped-in victims to him?

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I very much appreciate it! 🙂

      I think there might be room for a prequel of some sort whereby we learn a bit more about what made Billy so irresistible to women.

  9. What a creepy tale. She knew everything about him, yet loved him still. The sad thing is that there are women who are attracted to these guys, and you did a terrific job in giving us the story of one of them. Victim 26 indeed. Well done!

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