Mark goes for an interview (comedy)

I love going to interviews but have failed to get the expected promotions. I trundle into the room for the latest one. There are three interviewers, one man and two women. They are well dressed and I reckon they are in their sixties.

There is a long desk. I drive into the middle, they are on the other side.

Male Interviewer: Welcome Mark (M), my name is Seamus (S). I will be asking you about your CV and your past accomplishments. To my left is Yvonne who will ask you about achieving results and performance through people. Finally, Siobhan (S) will ask you questions about Communication and about managing people. I will now start the interview

S: So Mark, I see that you went to College. Can you tell me a bit about that and what you learned?

M: It was great craic altogether. I learned all about hardcore drinking. My friend Timmy thought me all about drugs and then there were the women..

S: I mean from a work perspective, what did you learn?

M: Feck all really. You know, I just wanted to hang out for a while. There was something I learned. I knew you’d ask this you see. I’m a clever boy. What was it? Oh yeah reading. Talk about boring. I mostly just looked at the pictures.

S: Right, I’ll continue on I guess. What is your achievement you are most proud of?

M: When I drank twelve vodkas in one day.

S: Why are you here? Do you really want this job?

M: Well my holidays were cancelled and sure I said, I may as well. A few extra euro ya know.

S: Ok Mark, thanks for that. I’ll now pass you over to Yvonne.

Y: Mark, can you tell us how would you resolve conflict?

M: By ramming them in my wheelchair.

Y: Oh dear. What do you do when your Manager asks you to do something you disagree with?

M: Ignore him. He can get tetchy when told to feck off.

Y. Right em can you tell me about a time you delivered results?

M: Not really, I don’t like exams.

Y. That’s it for me from now. I’ll pass you over to Siobhan.

S. Tell me what your role would be if you got this job?

M: To order people about. I like that sort of thing.

S: What would you do if you received a customer complaint?

M: Oh, I hate customers. Tell someone else to do deal with it. That’s what management is all about ain’t it?

S: What would you do if one of your subordinates wasn’t pulling their weight in the team?

M: Tell them to cop on. I’m not going to do it for them.

S: Ok Mark, I think that’s enough questions for now. Is there anything you’d like to ask?

M: When do I start?

S: The HR Department will be in contact with you shortly to let you know the outcome.

Well readers, what do you think? Will I get it?

Writing Panel (comedy)

My dear readers, I attended my very first writing panel event during the week. This was a big deal for me as it was the first time I was invited to anything in my capacity as a writer, that I hadn’t organized myself. Kind of like Mr. Bean getting a Christmas Card from somebody other than himself. It was titled “Pathways to Publishing” and it was run by Westmeath Arts Office.

So, last Thursday I trundled down to the library, not quite sure what to expect. When I was first invited, I thought that the other writers would be very low key, you know like myself. Then I heard that the writing God that is Patricia Gibney would be in attendance. So, this would be higher profile than I thought. She would obviously be the star and there would be myself and other low key writers at her alter.

But, I was wrong. There would be myself, Patricia Gibney and Anne Griffin who is the author of the Irish No. 1 bestseller ‘When All Is Said’. She also won the Newcomer of the Year Irish Book Awards 2019 and was longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2021. I was now a mere mortal between Gods.

In footballing terms I felt like a player from the Conference league in England getting to play on a team with Messi and Ronaldo.

I was pleased when my ebooks had two hundred free downloads during a week. Patricia Gibney has sold millions. Anne’s books have been translated into more languages than I have followers.

I brought along my books. They could easily find theirs stocked right there in the library.

But, as everybody knows I have a hard neck and was going to promote myself as best I could no matter what. I told the audience about why my novels were every bit the masterpieces.

A good crowd turned up may twelve to fifteen people. I was a bit surprised there wasn’t more given the names of the other two panel members. But those that did show up listened intently giving it an intimate atmosphere. The library should be a writers paradise, but I always envisaged writers meeting in a smoke filled place of debauchery. Maybe, it’s just me.

There were secondary school students a few meters away behind us wasting their youth studying. Surely, everybody their age knows about Netflix by now.

I learned a lot. The Gods write, then rewrite, then talk to lots of people and write some more. They are true professionals and at times it sounded like hard work. I have a day job for that sort of thing. I rarely rewrite things at all. My mind drifts onto other things, other projects.

They recommend that you submit your short stories to competitions, I’m all about building brand Mark.

I may never get to their heaven but I’m more than happy where I am. Here, with you my readers.

The Irish Ripper (Chapter 12)

The next two days passed painfully slow at work.  His life felt like it was falling apart.  Now to add to his problem he found himself arguing with Aimee, who had been up to this point, a rock of comfort that he could depend on.   

He knew in his more lucid moments that it was mostly him to blame for this.  He had been taking out his foul mood on her.  Sometimes, it was her mere chirpiness and positive attitude that he found bothersome. 

Or perhaps it was feelings of guilt, knowing that at any time his mistakes could come to light and her life would be shattered.  Some of the shame would surely end up with her and how would she cope with it for the rest of her days? 

Sean wasn’t exactly sure what Billy wanted, but he knew it wouldn’t be good.  He had thought about doing some work before their meeting but he found it too hard to concentrate. 

Then at quarter-past-two and just as he was about to leave, Laura entered the office.  This was the last thing Sean needed as Laura liked to talk. 

“How come you missed tea?  Not like you?” she asked inquisitively. 

“Oh, I just had a lot of work on.  Actually, I’m just on the way to a medical appointment.” 

He realized the mistake once he said it.  She immediately asked was something wrong and he struggled to think of anything to say.  So, he told her that he would tell her about it tomorrow, to give him some time to think of something. 

“Actually, there was something else that I wanted.   I was thinking last night about the pathologist not finding anything.  Maybe the struggle that was involved; made the killer change from his usual routine.  He panicked or something like that.” 

It was an intriguing possibility, Sean thought to himself and for a moment he really wanted to stop and think about it.  But he had to go or risk Billy’s ire.  So, he told her that he would keep an open mind and continue to look into the possibility that there was a link. 

With that, he bid her farewell and went out to his car.  It was of course not permissible for police just to head off on a personal matter, but sometimes his disability came in handy.  It could be used as an excuse for all sorts of things. 

So, off he went to the designated location to meet Billy.  “Kindergarten”, was of course, a code word for waste ground on the outskirts of Dublin.  Billy always liked using codewords as he believed the added layer of complexity would make it that bit more difficult for the Gardai to ever prosecute him. 

As Sean had expected, Billy was there waiting for him.  Sean hated this place; the muck made it difficult for him to push his wheelchair around and it brought forth all the memories of the times he had betrayed his colleagues. 

On this occasion, Billy was more anxious than usual, nervously pulling on a cigarette; normally he was just angry.  He had bad news for them both.  He was certain that informers had Infiltrated his gang and that it was known that he had a mole in the Gardai. 

He wanted Sean to uncover who they were and fast, so he could personally shoot them on the spot.  Sean tried to explain that there was little he could do, especially if Special Branch had gotten involved.  But Billy was having none of it; having grown tired of Sean’s endless excuses.  So, he threw down an ultimatum and left.   

“Either you find who these cretins are or it will be you getting the bullet.” 

A threat from Billy was not something to be taken lightly but there really was little he could do.  With that, he wheeled back over the muck and stones to his car to head back to work. 

He should have been petrified, but strangely a calm came over him.  There was nothing more he could do having been metaphorically surrounded on all sides except await his fate. 

In ways Billy putting a bullet in his head wouldn’t be the worst way to go, in fact, it would be far preferable to his sins coming to public attention; at least this way there would be tears shed at his funeral. 

So, back to work he went and started to tidy his desk; removing all those files that had been languishing on his desk so that at least his desk would be tidy when the end came; he couldn’t have people saying that he was messy. 

He didn’t bother working late; there was just no point.  Instead, he wanted to spend as much as he could with Aimee, without alarming her.  She should have some positive moments to remember when he was gone, he thought. 

They had been working hard on their relationship, and she was thrilled with the flowers he had bought for her on his way home.   

“What are these for?” she asked lovingly, gazing into his eyes. 

“Just felt like getting you a little something,” he replied in earnest.   

That night, they watched a romantic film before retiring to the bedroom where they kissed passionately and fondled each other’s bodies, into the early hours.  Sean knew now that Aimee was the love of his life and they both knew how to maximize the pleasure of their partner. 

Sean particularly liked having his nipples gently licked and sucked; Aimee loved liked her neck being kissed.  It was like the erogenous areas on their bodies had moved after their paralysis from their lower bodies.  For hours, they lost themselves in each other before falling asleep exhausted. 

Sean heard the alarm the following morning but quickly switched it off; he didn’t care anymore if he was late for work.  It was about an hour or so later that eventually decided to rise; there was no rushing or fretting now.  He decided to turn on his radio while having his breakfast; it was just ads. 

Then just as he was pouring some milk onto his cereal, the following report blared from the radio. 

“Breaking news –  

The serial killer, infamously known as the Irish Ripper has apparently struck again.  This time the victims are from gangland and have been named locally as Billy Sullivan and a woman called Annette Cortez.” 

Sean couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  Immediately he went to check his mobile phone and there they were; five missed calls from the Station.  Sean’s serene morning had been shattered and now he was in a frenzy to get to his desk as quickly as possible. 

As he drove, his mind meandered from one thought to the next.  Surely, it couldn’t be mere coincidence, that it was Billy that was murdered by The Ripper.  The odds must be astronomical against that occurring.  But if there was a link, what could it be? 

The only link that Sean could think of was himself, but “The Ripper” wouldn’t know anything about him – surely?  All Sean really knew was that he had to get to his office as soon as possible to try to make sense of what had happened. 

The Irish Ripper (Chapter 11)

Reality hit when Sean arrived back in Dublin.  With the task force now more or less defunct, nobody of importance was interested in what he has to say.  There had been no further murders in quite some time and despite the pleas of the victims’ families, other priorities had taken precedence, such as trying to infiltrate criminal gangs and dissident republican groupings. 

The only other Gardai that took what he thought seriously were Laura and Jack during their daily coffee break.  Sean wondered whether he would be taken more seriously if he was still able to walk.  It was always nagging at him at the back of his mind.   

Sean had other troubles though and, in many ways, The Ripper was now a nice distraction.  Billy had become a permanent thorn on his side.  Unfortunately, Sean had little leave remaining and couldn’t escape to another country again. 

Using a wheelchair also made him particularly easy to corner.  It was impossible for him to walk quickly away or take a side street.  Sean wished he could just shoot him but that wasn’t an option, at least for now. 

So instead Sean found himself feeding Billy information.  He could no longer sneakily look at the physical folders but the folders on the Garda intranet system were a totally different matter.  Due to his work on “The Ripper”, he had been given the maximum-security clearance.  Almost certainly it should have been revoked but he just failed to notify his IT section and nobody seemed to notice. 

BIlly was becoming a big-time boss on the back of the information Sean was supplying him.  Suspicions in the station were growing that something wasn’t quite right especially after two drug busts went awry and an informer went “missing”.   

Sean knew that things were now getting way out of hand but he couldn’t bring himself to confess his wrongdoings.  It just wouldn’t happen.  The more interactions he had with Billy the more despicable he found him to be.  There was no moral compass or anything that would even remotely be considered a redeemable trait.  It was also clear that he had a long-running vendetta against the Gardai and took pleasure in making Sean squirm. 

The only light at the end of the tunnel was Aimee who was now staying most nights at his house.  Each night, the dinner would be ready when he arrived home and then they would spend their evenings wrapped together on the sofa.  The only night it differed was when training for wheelchair basketball beckoned. 

Still, even Aimee could not stop the sleepless nights that were now plaguing him.  It was a manifestation of the feeling of dread he felt throughout the day but he couldn’t admit that to her.  Instead, he blamed it fictional tablets that he was supposed to be taking, although he wasn’t quite sure if she believed him. 

The nightmare was always the same.  His colleagues and the community at large had discovered what he had been up to.  Their disgust was evident in their eyes.  Sean tried to explain in vain that it wasn’t his fault, however erroneously but nobody said anything to him.  It’s the shunning that terrified him.  A world where nobody would have anything to do with him again. 

One night was particularly bad, he woke up in a panic sweating, with what feels like a heavy weight on his chest, Aimee’s concerned eyes looking down wondering if he would survive the night.  Just like every other night he shrugs off her concerns and tells her to go back asleep. 

Previously, he too would quickly go back to sleep but not tonight, no matter how much he tossed and turned.  Feelings of his imminent demise would not diffuse and there was nothing he could do about it.  Instead, he just waited for the alarm clock to go off that would signal it was time to get up till it finally did. 

The dark, dreary morning was the perfect match for his somber mood.  He was beginning to think there was little point in carrying on but found the courage from somewhere to get into his car and drive to the station. 

Most days he would turn on the radio to find out what was the news of the day but this time, he just couldn’t be bothered.  There was never anything of interest on it anyway, he would think to himself.  Just the same tired nonsense about house prices and the weather; little else seemed to matter to Irish people. 

In fact, he didn’t talk to anybody on entering the station either – just went straight to his desk to begin the daily drudgery of data entry. 

It was with somewhat of a fright when Garda Mulhern burst into his office. 

“What are ya doing here?  The meeting is about to start!” she exclaimed in a panicked voice. 

She knew by the blank stare that she received in response that he had no idea what she was on about. 

“Did you check your emails, listen to the news, anything??  What world do you live in?  I know about the meeting and I’m not even on the bloody taskforce.” 

Nothing more needed to be said, The Ripper was back.  Sean immediately followed her to the meeting room.  On the way, she explained that the victims were very well known this time: they were a TD and his wife. 

Sean couldn’t believe that the one morning something like this happened, was the same morning he didn’t turn on the radio.  He quickly followed Laura to the lift so they could go up to the top floor where the meeting was being held.  All along she reiterated that he must mention his theory about The Ripper being from England, especially since he had now mentioned so many times during tea break.  He assured her that he would.  With that she opened the door and in he went. 

The meeting had already started, Superintendent DeRossa was at the front presiding over it.  The mood was somber.  There was nowhere for Sean to park so he was forced to go conspicuously to the front.   He expected a warm glance in his direction but none was forthcoming.  Instead, it felt frosty, so different from the past.  For over an hour they reviewed the previous murders assiduously before finally getting to the latest ones. 

There was still only preliminary information available.  The bodies were found in the couples’ holiday home just outside Donegal Town.  Once more, there was no sign of forced entry.  But this time things didn’t seem to have gone quite so well for the attacker.  It appears that the couple put up a serious fight for their lives – perhaps because of previous media attention, they knew what awaited them if they didn’t. 

It appeared that both died from multiple stab wounds and it looked like the wife may have been raped quite some time after she had died.  This time the Gardai were confident that at least some of the blood at the scene was from the attacker so they were hopeful of finally getting DNA evidence.  This would prove crucial to any future prosecution. 

The victims were a well-known, TD from County Meath, and her husband.  They were the parents of a five-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy, who were being looked after by their grandmother at the time.  At this point, it was unknown if they were specifically targeted or simply unfortunate to be chosen at random.  She was similar to previous female victims, being of a slender build, quite attractive and in her early thirties. 

The mood at the meeting remained downcast throughout with not a word being said out of turn.  Eventually, the Superintendent asked the room if there were any questions.  Sean knew that Laura would never forgive him if he didn’t speak now, so that’s what he did. 

“Actually Sir, I was wondering if I could officially contact the Met in England about a potential connection…” 

The Superintendent stopped him before he could finish. 

“Yes, I read your correspondences.  At this stage we need to try everything so fire ahead,” he said matter-of-factly.  

Not quite the ringing endorsement Sean had expected but it would have to do.  The Superintendent may have been sour due to the recent murders and being under a lot of pressure, he thought to himself. 

With that, the meeting was over and everyone filed back to their desks or wherever they had to go.  For Sean that meant going back down the lift and straight on the phone to England; he had made sure to keep Jim’s number.  

As he rang, he quickly browsed through his emails, but there was nothing about the meeting.  For some reason, he had not even been invited.  Just as well Laura had accidentally coerced him into going uninvited. 

At least Jim was happy to hear from him.  Even he had heard about the latest murder.  The fact a politician was involved had rocketed up the publicity. 

“Great to hear from you Sean!  I was just thinking about you when I heard about the politician being murdered.  In truth, I had expected to hear from you some time ago.” 

Sean explained that it had taken some time to get the required authorization and gave him the details of what he knew about the latest killings.  Jim was intrigued and said that he would forward all the information he had about the Reading Rapist. 

Finally, Sean felt that he was making some sort of process.  But the hard part of definitely linking the rapist to the murderer was still to be done.  Jim emailed him everything later that day. 

The Reading Rapist was everything that Jim had said he was and more.  At his peak, he was insatiably carrying out multiple attacks within a week.  It was not just the extreme violence that marked him out but also the callousness.  As Jim had said, he would cruelly tell his victims during the rape that he would always watch over them and then ring his them months later to remind them, groaning down the phone line. 

It was all about power and exerting continuing control over his victims.  This was something he had in common with “The Ripper” but had it grown or evolved to him becoming a killer and if so, were they the one and the same or was there a further madman on the loose? 

A clear sign that they were indeed one and the same perpetrator would be if genital hair had been removed from the latest female victim.  Sean immediately started typing up an email to the Superintendent requesting permission to contact the State Pathologist. 

All too soon, it came to time for Sean to go home.  Well, it was that or get locked in for the night.  It did cross his mind but he thought the better of it; it would not look good if he was disheveled at work the following day. 

“It was him, wasn’t it?” Aimee said jokingly but with a touch of scorn. 

She knew there was only one person that could keep her beloved away from her and that person was a faceless monster, at least for now.  Often, she wished that she just had a normal boring boyfriend but there was little point in trying to change him.  Instead, she knew he would be galvanized once she heard about the murders earlier in the day. 

The dinner was long gone cold but that bothered Sean little as he excitedly told Aimee about the latest developments while he ate.   

“He’s struck again.  He’s not going to stop killing till we stop him.  Why is it so hard for those idiots to understand?” 

Indeed, she was somewhat interested, at least at first.  But after a while, the grizzly details of the murders became too much; that was when she enticed him to her bed to make use of his renewed vigor. 

The Superintendent confirmed that Sean could contact the State Pathologist the following morning and he quickly phoned him to tell him what to look for based on cases from the Reading Rapist. 

Then the anxious wait to hear back began.  Either fame if there was a link between the two ghastly characters or infamy if it was not as someone who peddled a preposterous theory to his colleagues. 

In vain, he tried to concentrate on some of his other work.  Instead, he found himself staring blankly at the screen thinking of little else.  Every minute, then hour, was counted as he waited for the pathologist to get back to him. 

Then midway through the afternoon, the phone rang in his small office.  Sean suddenly felt nervous.  Unfortunately, it was a short conversation and not the news that Sean wanted to hear.  No pubic hair had been removed from the female victim’s vagina.  His heart sank; no link was established.  All that time and energy was spent for nothing.  Worse still, all of the blood was from the victims. 

He sank into the back of his wheelchair and stared at the white ceiling.  Perhaps he had become overly invested in the investigation.  Then Laura popped her head around the door wondering if there had been any update. 

The last thing Sean wanted to do was talk to someone but he tried to put up a brave face on it.  She could tell how disappointed he was that there was no link and told him that you just never know when a new clue might appear.  He nodded in agreement, even if he didn’t think it at the time. 

Little did he know then, but a few hours later things were to get much worse.  As Sean was leaving out the back of the Garda Station, there was Billy waiting by his car, covertly holding up a newspaper over his face, presumably so he couldn’t be identified by any of the surveillance cameras. 

Sean’s heart thumped knowing that he was in all sorts of danger. 

“Eh what the fuck are you doing here?” he said angrily, but quietly all the same. 

“I’ve been looking for you and I don’t like having to look for people,” he replied. 

It was true, Sean had been ignoring his calls for him and the occasional note left at his house for weeks, blindly hoping that Billy would just go away.  Alas, he was not to have such luck. 

“You work for me pig, don’t ever forget that.  Now I have a little mission for you, cripple.  Meet me at the Kindergarten 3 pm Thursday or you’ll live to regret it,” he said sternly before walking slowly away. 

Sean became teary-eyed; the realization that he would never be done with Billy was now really hitting him.  Maybe he should just turn his wheelchair around and hand himself in, telling his colleagues everything. No, things had just gone too far for that; he pulled himself together and got into the car. 

The Irish Ripper (Chapter 10)

Sean did contact her the next day and the day after.  Their love quickly blossomed.  It wasn’t long before she was spending the odd night at his house.  The sex was different but good and satisfying. 

It was kind, considerate and long.  With time and attention, they learned how to pleasure one another; whether it was the sensitive spot on Aimee’s neck or Sean getting his nipples sucked; they found ways to bring each other to an unconventional kind of orgasm. 

If only everything else in Sean’s life could have been so rosy.  The Ripper, although now quiet for what seemed a very long time was still at large.  The task force had been somewhat downgraded and he was mostly doing other work.  Yet, none of it could hold his interest the way The Ripper did. 

Billy was sniffing around again looking for more information.  Sean had tried to fob him off but he was becoming increasingly insistent and had enough on Sean to put him away for many years.  The last thing Sean wanted was to leave the force in public humiliation. 

So, it with great positivity that he embraced Aimee’s suggestion that they go on a holiday together.  She had intended they go somewhere in Ireland but Sean scoffed at that suggestion, thinking silently to himself that would be too close and Billy could still contact him. 

Somewhere in England for a week would be much better and they should go very soon.  At first, Aimee protested that she needed time to save up for such a trip.  But Sean insisted that he would be a good boyfriend and pay for it.  After all, he had told her that he was very serious about her and this was not just a frivolous relationship.  In any event, it was now early Autumn and the weather was predicted to be good, it could be their last opportunity to get away for some time. 

That night the internet research began.  They both liked the idea of a road trip; Sean had always wanted to drive through the United Kingdom so he quickly got quite excited at the prospect.  Aimee suggested going to Liverpool for the week but Sean wanted to go further.  However, they both agreed it could be one of the stops. 

It was after that agreement that Sean brought up the fact that he had always wanted to go to London; there was something mythical about the place – the history, monuments and great places to visit.  In particular, Sean had always wanted to see the London Eye. 

Aimee required some convincing though; it would be such a long trip.  But eventually, over a few days, Sean convinced her it was a good idea or at least, she went along with it, anyway. 

The internet proved to be an invaluable resource in planning the trip.  Surprisingly, they were able to organize everything to leave the following Monday.  The ferry, hotels they would be staying in and even the London Eye were all booked in quick succession.   

It was with some relief when the following Monday finally came along.  Billy had wanted to meet but Sean was able to tell him that he would be out of the country.  So, it was with a sense of glee that Sean set off on the trip with Aimee by his side. 

The first stop destination was Dublin port to get the ferry to Hollyhead.  Neither of them had been on the ferry previously so it was a new experience for both.  Unfortunately, there were quite big waves on the sea and Aimee quickly became unwell. 

Sean had more of a head for it though and relished the experience.  He left Aimee for a time to have a look at the amenities on the ship.  In one location you could take a seat and watch the latest film; in another, you could play games consoles or even go out the back of the ship to look at the sea. 

It was a short trip taking just shy of two hours to cross the sea to Wales.  That was the real beginning of the holiday.  The next few days were some of the best Sean ever had.  It wasn’t the trip though that made it special, it was Aimee.  There was nothing that matched waking up in the morning and looking into her beautiful eyes; to feel her soft skin pressed against his body; he never thought he would enjoy life so much. 

The London Eye was as special as he thought it would be.  It never came to a complete halt so you just had to wheel onto it at exactly the right time.  The view when the pod reached its maximum height was fantastically panoramic.  Sean and Aimee were able to look over the bustling city in perfect bliss.  The sound of the French students, who got on at the same time chatting away only added to the experience. 

Sean suggested they go for a few pints when they got back to the hotel, which was in the heart of the city.  Aimee quickly agreed; a few pints were needed after another busy day and they were both exhausted from pushing their wheelchairs around all day. 

The bar, which was on the ground floor of a six-story hotel and looking onto the street was busy but they managed to find a nice corner for themselves.   It was too crowded to move much, so they waited for a staff member to come their way.  This took a few minutes, but they didn’t mind as they were both happy just to relax for a while. 

Then the pints began to flow.  The staff were pleasant and made sure to check if they needed another one every so often.  Originally, they were supposed to be taking it easy but it quickly turned into a session. 

After Sean had his third pint, his tongue began to loosen and he started to strike up random conversations with those around him.  Being mostly tourists themselves, they were happy to chat away too. 

There were the students from Australia, the couple from Scotland and a group of South Africans.  Sean was in his element but Aimee being a much more reserved type retired back to their room after the first two hours to rest.  She told Sean that there was no need for him to rush back and to enjoy himself.    It was music to his ears. 

As he was talking to the group of South Africans, a man with a strong Yorkshire accent at another table interjected. 

“Sorry Sir, did you say you were a police officer from Ireland?” 

If someone asked him that question in a pub back in Ireland, it would make Sean nervous.  The conversation would quickly take a nasty turn to speeding fines or the like.   But Sean felt comfortable enough about it in London. 

He turned around to face the man who was having dinner with a woman, then smiled and said that he was. 

“Do you hear that Maggie, imagine that!  This guy’s a copper from Ireland.  I’m a police officer too, from here in London.  Just having dinner and some pints here with the wife.  My name is Jim,” he replied in a jolly tone. 

Police officers always have a great affinity for one another even when they’re from different countries.  There’s a sense of brotherhood about fighting crime, no matter where or when it is.  But it turned out they were both detectives making it all the greater. 

For the next few hours, they became engrossed in conversation with Maggie saying she would pick up her husband later in their car.  There was just so much to discuss.  The differing staffing and crime levels between the two jurisdictions, not to mention the details of how Sean came to be in a wheelchair. 

Inevitably though the topic of the “Irish Ripper” came to the fore.  Sean was surprised that Jim had heard very little about him, save for remembering a brief mention on the news one night. 

Sean slowly brought him up to speed about the murders and their savagery as well as the different theories about who might be behind them.  Jim was surprised that there was not more about them on this side of the pond. 

But Sean told him that there was very little talk about Ireland in the UK full stop.  It might as well be on the other side of the globe.  If you wanted to know what was happening in Ireland, you had to buy an Irish paper as if it was some curious special interest. 

Sean then told Jim that what really fascinated him was how the Ripper just suddenly appeared from nowhere, and yet was in so proficient at what he did.    Nobody in Ireland could quite figure it out.  It seemed like he could break into anyone’s house without leaving any clues. 

Jim stopped and looked into space for the moment as if he had suddenly become lost in his thoughts.  After a moment, Sean quizzed him about what was on his mind. 

“It’s just what you’re describing reminds me of a case here in England a few years ago.  Except, he was mostly a rapist.  He terrorized Reading and got the moniker of the Reading Rapist.  No matter what we did, we couldn’t stop him.  Then he just stopped the attacks.  To be honest, there was just a huge sense of relief. 

Maybe like what happens with many police operations, we merely moved him on to a different area,” he said in somewhat of a distraught tone. 

Although by now quite intoxicated, Sean suddenly became focused. 

“What do you mean by mostly a rapist?” 

Jim explained that a couple was murdered as the attacks came to an end but there were differing opinions about whether they were the same man as the rapist.  It might have just been a coincidence. 

For the next hour, nothing was discussed except “The Reading Rapist”.  It was obvious that he was a psychopath, but was he a killer? 

He was a ghoul with no understanding of the concept of remorse.  Of particular disgust he was known to phone his victims months after the attacks, taunting them on the phone and telling that he wasn’t quite finished them yet causing them further huge distress.  Jim had seen the aftermath once himself with a woman sobbing uncontrollably in his arms.  The local police had never encountered anything like it before.  The sheer nastiness of the fellow, he simply loved the despair of others. 

They had little knowledge of what the rapist looked like, he always wore a ski mask and gloves.  Some of the women stated that he had a small penis, though that did nothing to alleviate their suffering.  There was one peculiar thing about him though, he took pubic hair from his victims as some sort of trophy. 

Sean seized on this information; this is something that could have been missed on the autopsies of victims in Ireland.  He needed to take this information back home.  It could help to crack the case. 

For a brief alcohol-infused moment Sean felt like he had special powers, that he could see things that others just couldn’t; imagining his future appearance on the RTE news explaining how he had caught “The Irish Ripper”. 

A fellow drunk then interrupted the conversation and the topic changed to rugby and which country had the best team.  It would last a further hour before all finally agreed that it was time for bed.  Well, that and the fact that no further alcohol was going to be served. 

Jim rang his wife for the lift home but not before sticking a calling card into Sean’s pocket; Sean then began the long, arduous process of heading up to his room and into bed.  The wheelchair felt so much harder to push over the hallway carpet after a few drinks.  Fortunately, he just about managed to open the door of his room and get into the bed. 

The next morning came far too quickly for Sean.  Aimee, who for the first time on the trip was less than impressed with him insisted on drawing the curtains once she was up in a passive-aggressive manner.  It was the first time he had seen this side of her. 

“Is there something wrong?” he innocently asked, before regretting it almost instantaneously. 

She was disgusted with him coming into the room so drunk.  This was supposed to be a romantic holiday, not a booze-up.  Sean apologized but she abruptly left the room.  He would have to do a lot of sweet-talking later. 

As he lay on the bed thinking about the night before, trying to remember what had happened, he suddenly remembered meeting Jim and their long conversation about the Reading Rapist and The Irish Ripper.  It gave him a sudden burst of energy to get up and write down all the important points into his notes.  They would be so interested to hear all about this back in Dublin, he was sure of it. 

Writing Hiatus

Hello readers, hope you are all keeping good! Afraid I have an interview coming up at the end of this month, so my writing will be on hold for a few weeks. I really need to put all my effort in the study. I thought that I better let everyone know in case you were wondering what had happened to me..

On a side note, I watched the film Luther: The Fallen Sun friday, starring Idris Elba (absolutely brilliant, would love him as James Bond) and it was brilliant. Full marks, make sure to watch it.

The Irish Ripper (Chapter 9)

A few weeks after the latest murders and theories about the identity of the killer abounded on the radio, television and the internet.  Some thought that he worked in construction.  They speculated that this was the reason for the significant distance between the murder sites; perhaps he was a bricklayer or a plasterer. 

Others thought that maybe he worked in the medical field perhaps as a doctor or nurse, as he may have targeted women he worked with and it chimed with the victims. 

Perhaps the most worrying theory was that he was a Garda.  Being in law enforcement may even be aiding him in his crimes.  Most people join the Gardai for good and noble reasons, such as wanting to help and serve their communities. 

However, if a person with abusive tendencies joins, the tools and authority that come with being a Garda would make them even more dangerous.  The lack of evidence left behind at the scenes was worrying.  It was either someone on the inside or someone who had researched assiduously. 

Everybody presumed it was a male but it was still even possible that a vibrator was used on the female victims.  That’s how much they really knew about the killer. 

Sean was now watching and listening to every theory as well as working long hours so he could review the evidence time and time again after his normal work was completed.  So much so that; those around him grew worried about his well-being. 

Even his colleagues berated him for spending so long in the office.  It was obvious to all except him that he was using the chase for the killer as a crutch rather than facing his new life head-on.   

Eventually, his occupational therapist had had enough and told him that he needed to focus on something else, at least for some part of the week.   Wheelchair basketball was a good option to take his mind off things.  It catered for people of differing abilities and it would help him meet people from different backgrounds.  The training was every Wednesday at seven besides the Central Remedial Clinic in Clontarf and they had already been told to expect him. 

She saw the displeasure on his face but told him he also needed to keep fit, knowing the different buttons to press.  So, eventually, he conceded and promised to go.  But if he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t be back.  She smiled and told him it was exactly what he needed. 

The following Wednesday Sean found himself waiting in the car outside the gym.  He had arrived ten minutes early but he should have known not to.  Sean was rare for an Irish-man; he liked to be places ahead of time.  Irish people generally are usually ten minutes late and this group was no exception.  

Sure enough, ten minutes later, the place started to become a hive of activity.  The first sign of life was an elderly man who started to unlock the door, which Sean took as a sign to get out of the car and into his wheelchair.   

By the time he had completed the maneuver, others had already made it inside.  He began to feel nervous now, wondering would the new group accept him when he went in.   

Up the ramp and in the door, he went, where he was met a wall of noise and excitement.  The middle-aged man he had seen opening the door immediately came over to him and introduced himself. 

“You must be Sean; I was told to expect you.  My name is Terence Naughton, people call me Terry.  I’m afraid you’ll have to get a different chair.  That one won’t suit” he said emphatically as he reached out to shake his hand. 

Sean shook it, nodding in the affirmative and then Terry clapped his hands loudly, which reverberated around the gym to get everyone’s attention and then motioned for them to approach him.  They formed a semi-circle and then Terry told them to introduce themselves, once he said that this is Sean. 

One by one, they did so but there were too many names to remember.  It was a mixed group with more women than men; each with a varying degree of disability.  This didn’t surprise Sean as he had done his research and knew it was an inclusive sport. 

This is due to a unique classification system used ostensibly to maximize participation.  Classification is an international regulation for playing wheelchair basketball to harmonize players’ different levels of disabilities. All teams which compete above a recreational level use the classification system to evaluate the functional abilities of players on a point scale of 1 to 4.5. Minimally disabled athletes are classified as a 4.5, and an individual with the highest degree of disability (such as a paraplegic with a complete injury below the chest) would be classified as a 1.0, this is where Sean expected to fit in. Competitions restrict the number of points allowable on the court at one time. The five players from each team on the court during play may not exceed a total of 14 points.  It was even possible for able-bodied people to compete.  People with disabilities apparently didn’t believe in discrimination. 

It was also immediately apparent that Sean was indeed in the wrong sort of wheelchair.  He had an inkling that this might be the case but wasn’t sure how seriously things would be taken.  But now he had his answer, very seriously. 

Their wheelchairs were sleek and designed for stability.  Sean now found himself getting quite embarrassed about the yoke he had shown up in.  It won’t happen again, he thought to himself. 

Terry then clapped his hand once more and told them to get back to training.  Then he started explaining the sport in intricate detail to Sean.  The most important part was dribbling.  He explained that a player may wheel the chair and bounce the ball simultaneously, however, if the ball is picked up and/or placed on the player’s lap, he/she is only allowed to push twice before they are obligated to shoot, pass, or dribble the ball again. There is no double dribble rule in wheelchair basketball. A traveling violation occurs if the player takes more than two pushes while in possession of the ball without dribbling. A player is not allowed to touch the playing surface with his or her feet while in possession of the ball. 

A goal is credited to the team attacking the basket into which the ball has entered as follows: 

  • A goal from a free throw, counts as one (1) point; 
  • A goal from the two-point field goal area counts two (2) points; 
  • A goal from the three-point field goal area counts three (3) points. 

Every team has 24 seconds to complete its attempt to score a basket. If the team with the ball exceeds this time limit, then the ball and the right of play is granted to the opposing team. 

Surprisingly to Sean, it was played on the same court with the basket at the same height as running basketball.  It was also a very physical sport with wheelchairs regularly whacking off one another. 

Terry explained that in this sport, the wheelchair was seen as an extension of the body and that this was important in establishing responsibility for contact on the court in the case of charging, blocking, going out of bounds, and other violations.   

There were other rules about how long you could stay in parts of the court but Sean had taken in as much as he could and was now anxious to give it a try.  But Terry told him there was too much risk of injury without the proper wheelchair.  Sean had to spend the rest of the session watching the others have fun.  But that night he resolved he would be ready for the next time.  The next day he had one of the specially designed wheelchairs ordered and bought himself a basketball.   

He found himself thinking less about work and more about his strategy for the game.  Fortunately, the wheelchair arrived on the fourth day so he got to have some time adjusting to his new equipment. 

He did have some problems though.  One was the lack of space in his house to practice the dribbling and he often found himself crashing into different parts of furniture.  Fortunately, there was no girlfriend there to scold him about trashing the place.  Although the Filippa cleaner he employed to come in every three days looked at him funny as if wondering had he lost the plot. 

The other problem was that he didn’t have any hoop so he had to imagine one as he bounced the ball back and forth up against the wall.  He hoped that this would help him with his accuracy when it came to the real thing. 

The week passed quickly and Sean found himself in a better mood even though there had been no breakthrough in the case.  Before he knew it, it was time for training again.  He still arrived early; it was just the way he liked to do things.  This time though, he found that he was nervous about how he would perform rather than any trepidation about who he might meet. 

Terry waved towards him as he went to unlock the door.  Sean made sure he was first in so he could practice a few hoops without too many watching.  Sure enough, despite a few hours of practice, his aim was way-off.  But he didn’t let it get to him. 

Soon enough everyone had arrived and there was an air of excitement in the gym.  Terry was soon dividing the group into two teams and Sean found himself in fierce competition. 

He was wheeling up and down the court as the attack would change back and forth to defense and back again.  It took a while for any one of his teammates to pass him the ball but it happened eventually.  Terry immediately yelled at him to shoot and Sean foolishly did so to much laughter.  It was a terrible shot and he cringed on the inside.  Next time he’d think first. 

Alas after just ten minutes Sean was feeling very tired.  It was definitely a good way to keep fit.  It was much to his own relief that soon he found himself being substituted.  The sweat was pouring over him. 

A fellow athlete had also been benched.  The game was an easy ice breaker and they were soon engrossed in conversation.  Her name was Aimee.   She had a similar level of injury to him, except for a bit more weakness in the hands.  She had curly hair tied in a bun and big brown eyes. 

Sean immediately liked her warm smile and congenial personality.  She was very impressed by the fact he was a detective and she quickly mentioned “The Ripper”.  Sean reassured her that they’d catch him in the end although he really wasn’t sure it was the truth. 

Then they were both called back onto the court for another go.  He didn’t get to talk to her again that night, but over the weeks they gradually grew closer.  Eventually, Sean plucked up the courage to ask her over to his house for dinner.  She said yes. 

It had been a long time since Sean had been so nervous about meeting a woman.  He felt like a teenager again.  Before his accident, he would have been more into random hooks ups than having date nights.  But that seemed like a long time ago now and he just hoped everything went okay.  He was a terrible cook though so he enlisted the help of his cleaner with the chicken enchiladas.  That and some soft classical music should do the trick, he thought to himself.   

They had arranged to meet at seven and sure enough, the bell rang on the dot.  Sean eagerly went to the door to let her in, but not before producing some flowers.  She blushed, giving Sean a tinge of enjoyment.  This time her hair was no longer tied up but flowed over her shoulders.  She was stylishly dressed in a black dress and top tank, which accentuated her slim body. 

Everything was laid out on the table; the lights were dimmed.  Sean hoped she would appreciate the romantic gesture and not cringe.  Fortunately, it was the latter.  He offered her some wine, but it was declined; she said she had to drive.  That would have been old Sean’s main tactic down the drain but this was no longer him.  No point him not having a glass, he reasoned. 

It didn’t take long for the banter to start over the basketball and who was the better player.  But then it turned into a deeper, more nuanced conversation.  The first alternative topic they discussed was how they both came to be in wheelchairs.  Sean explained that he had been involved in a car crash, a head-on collision though he did leave out where he was coming from.  She reached out and held his hand as he told his story.  It had been some time since he had talked about it with anyone.   

Her story was just as tragic.  It happened on her way home from work one very breezy morning five years previously.  She had a temporary contract in a place in town at the time.  There were some weather warnings in place but she hadn’t heard them after going early to bed the night before. 

She was going down the same back road as every other morning and then she remembers nothing, till she came around a few weeks later.  A large branch from an Ash tree by the roadside had finally given way and it had smashed into her car leaving her seriously injured. 

Her voice was raw with emotion and Sean told her she didn’t have to continue.  But she looked into his eyes and replied that it was therapeutic to talk and she wanted him to know what happened.   

Then just like Sean she had to spend months in a hospital and rehabilitation.  It was grueling and she hoped never to experience anything like it again.  They were now firmly holding hands as Sean trying to somewhat lighten the mood asked her about her hopes for the future. 

“A job!” she said jokingly. 

She hadn’t worked full-time since her accident and also wanted something permanent.  Just to give her something to do, she didn’t really mind what it was despite having an advanced degree.  It was just so difficult to find something with a disability.  She was offered a good job six months ago but crushingly it was up two flights of stairs. 

Sean replied that he was fortunate that the Gardai had been so good to him, they had the job open for him while he was in rehabilitation and then set him up in an accessible location.  He would have hated having to look for a job in a wheelchair. 

She was only half-listening to him now though; she was lost gazing into his eyes.  He knew that he could not afford to lose the moment and gently caressed her face before kissing her.  It was deep, long and passionate.  When it was finished, they both giggled as if they were naughty teenagers.  After dinner, they retreated to the sitting room and watched a film. 

It was past midnight when she finally left.  There was a final kiss and a promise from Sean to contact her the next day.  There was no chance he would let this slip away. 

One day in Croker (Part 14)

Aoife knocked on the large wooden door. After, a few seconds, she could hear some shuffling. Then the door opened. A stout elderly man with frizzy white hair opened the door.

“Ah, you must be Aoife. I’m John, Stephen’s father.”

“Yes, that’s me. Nice to meet you John.”

“Stephen is in the sitting room waiting for you.”

Aoife gave him a warm smile and followed the direction he pointed at.

Stephen was there waiting for her, looking devilishly handsome, all in black. She closed the door behind her. It was a large room with a wide tv at it centre with a sofa, chairs and a table. She guessed that they ate in the room on special occasions.

Instinctively, she went over and kissed his cheek.

“Good to finally see you again, you look great.”

“Thanks, my Mum was adamant that I make an effort, when I had a woman coming such a long way to see me,” he said with a grin and, ” You look good too.”

“Thanks, so what will we do?”

“Well, you’ve told me how much you like Liam Neeson. So, I thought we might watch his latest film – Marlowe. It’s only out in the cinema but I have a dodgy firestick “


She pulled a chair up alongside his wheelchair. It was a film about a private detective. Normally, this would be a great way to spend her afternoon but she wanted more. Stephen was quieter than usual.

“Thanks for making an effort to look so good. You smell really nice.” She leaned closer to him. Their eyes met. She leaned in closer kissing him, her long black draped over his shirt. It was gentle at first but then grew more vigorous. She wanted to rip off his clothes but knew it wasn’t the right time.

Knock, knock, knock.

Startled, she quickly got back in her seat.

“Hi Aoife, I’m Marion, Stephen’s Mum. I just thought you might want a cup of tea.”

“Oh yes Marion. Lovely to meet you. I’d love a cup.”

Aoife looked at Stephen with a wry smile.

“I love my cups of tea.”

The Irish Ripper (Chapter 8)

Sometimes I can still hear their taunts when I close my eyes, see their fingers pointing towards my penis.  They hated me and they knew how to show it.  It mattered not that I was merely a child; I was guilty of so many crimes against them. 

I was their freak and they cared little for the idea of bodily autonomy.  They showed everybody who wanted to see, yanking my pants down for the whole world to see.   

At night I would cry myself to sleep wondering what I had ever done to those bitches.  It wasn’t my fault; my mother was a slut.  I never knew what their father saw in her anyway. 

It only grew worse as I reached adolescence and became fully aware of my deficit.  Not a day would pass without comment.  When they thought there was a girl who I might like they made sure to tell her. 

Eventually, I asked a doctor what was wrong with me.  It was what he called a micro-penis and there was nothing that could be done about it, no matter how great my psychological pain. 

When I told them, it was a serious medical condition and no reason to be sneered at, it only made things worse.  Then one day as I reached sixteen, one of them did it again while we were alone in the house.  But this time, fierce anger overcame me and I throttled her by the neck to the sitting room floor. 

For the first time, I could see fear in her eyes.  I wanted her to feel pain, to tear her apart but this was not the time nor place.  Neither of them ever bothered me again.  In fact, they kept their distance from me. 

But soon, I could see their faces in every woman.  Feelings of sexual arousal and hatred became somewhat conflated.  I wanted to punish, hurt, destroy but also to touch and gently caress. 

For a time, the thrill of the burglaries fulfilled my desires but no more.  I had to stop; it became far too risky.  Night patrols had been set up by the local community and CCTV now covered every back alley, every blade of grass.  My stab in the dark killed the man and the whole community was now on high alert. 

It was hard to resist the urge but I had to.  There was no hope of success, I had to bide my time.  Fortunately, after a few months, an opportunity to move came along, which I gratefully accepted, bringing me a new virgin territory to exploit. 

Here, nobody was warned about my existence but I could still use all my skills.  This time though, mere burglaries and invasion of peoples’ private space would no longer suffice. 

It didn’t take long to find my first target and it was during my weekly shop.  With long brown hair, glasses but somewhat pudgy and probably not yet twenty, she stood out not for her beauty but the sense of lostness I picked up from her.  She would be an easy target. 

So, I abandoned my shopping and followed her home to student accommodation apartments.   I watched from a distance, eager for my face not to be captured on any camera as she fortuitously entered one of the ground floor apartments.  Any other floor would be too risky to attack. 

It was then a matter of scoping out the area the next day and hiding my equipment close to the targeted apartment.  You’re probably wondering if I felt any remorse for what I was about to do, maybe even a tinge of regret about my actions. 

No, I never felt anything of the sort.  Only excitement and anticipation of the future joy I was about to feel.  At night, I could barely sleep with the thrill of it all as I would rush through all the required actions in my mind. 

Then the night finally arrived.  It was perfectly dark, windy and wet so there were even fewer people walking the streets late at night.  Even better she was alone, her two flatmates having left for the weekend. 

Getting in through the bathroom window was rudimentary for a person of my skills.  Then silently I went towards her bedroom and slowly opened the door.  There she was, fast asleep in front of me.  Little did she know what awaited her. 

I quickly jumped on top of her and put a blade to her throat.  She was not a fighter and froze on the spot.  She pleaded through her tears not to rape her, that she was a virgin but it mattered not to me. 

I raped her there and then.  Then I rested and did it again.  By then, she was a shadow of the woman I had first seen as if she was just a body now, without a soul.  Before leaving I rummaged through her bags, making sure I knew where her real home was.  I told her that her mother would be next if the police were called and with that, I left her sobbing and bruised on the floor. 

For weeks, I was ecstatic, the greatest high I had ever felt.  Everything had gone so perfectly.  There was no mention of my crime anywhere, leaving me with a sense of invincibility.   

Each night I relived each moment in my mind as if I worried, I might forget something.  But then once as the weeks passed just like with the burglaries, the thrill began to fade and the urge to repeat the experience grew stronger. 

Then the prowl started once again.  There were so many potential victims.  A few were followed but found to be unsuitable targets, whether it was the place they lived or who it was with. 

But inevitably I found legitimate ones.  The next victim was older, almost forty I reckon.  She fought hard but I eventually overpowered her.  She paid for that, I left her scarred.  She will never forget me. 

This time, though, the police were called despite my threats.  I noticed the odd poster here and there.  Still, they had no inkling of who I was so I was not deterred. 

So, I struck again and in quick succession.  Each time as thrilling as the last.  A cloud of terror descended over the community but they still had no idea who it was.  So much so, that I decided to go to one of the community meetings that was called by the police. 

It was held in the gym hall of a local primary school.  Chairs were set out in rows from the very front to the very back.  Being somewhat cheeky I decided to go towards the front.  The first two rows were already filled so I slotted in behind them; a large crowd was in attendance of all ages, male and female.  Fear was written over the faces of many; it felt good.  

There was a heavy police presence.  Whether that was because they knew I might appear or they were worried about the community’s anger boiling over, I wasn’t quite sure.  It didn’t take long for everyone to become seated and for the meeting to start.  Everyone was there because of me.  The lead investigator, a short policewoman with a bald head took center stage. 

A silence quickly spread over the room.  Everybody appeared to be anxious to hear what she was going to say.  I made sure to fit in and look concerned as best I could.   

In truth, she was rather a bore rambling on about measures that women could supposedly take to remain safe, asking for the community to report any suspicious activity and saying they were doing everything possible to catch the attacker.  As if I could ever be stopped.  Anywhere else and I might have laughed. 

Then she asked if there were any questions.  Hands flew up into the air.  Most were just desperate appeals to police about how they were living in fear.  The first was an elderly woman living on her own who was terrified of being attacked.  As if I’d be bothered but she was informed that they took her concerns very seriously and they would talk to her privately after the event. 

Then a few younger women spoke about how I was destroying their lives, how they were afraid to go out on their own and how hard it was to concentrate on their studies.  That this was supposed to be the best time of their lives but it had turned into a nightmare.  Usually, they then broke down in tears. 

Then a man began to speak in a pompous, confident tone.  He was in the front and I could see him clearly, he was bald, short and stout. 

“I tell you one thing, if he comes after my wife and I get my hands on that monster, there’ll be no stopping me and no calling you guys.  He’s nothing but a coward who picks on the weak,” said the ghoul to a loud round of applause.   

I was filled with rage, the like I had never felt before and wanted to rip his head off on the spot.  But this was not the time or place.  Imagine that, calling me a coward.  A few other people spoke but I now cared little.  As the meeting ended, there was only one thought on my mind. 

I kept my eyes fixed on his location as he went, always making sure to keep a few people behind.  There was always a chance that there was surveillance in place, hoping to catch me. 

Just as he was about to reach the exit, he was stopped by a group of women, presumably because they liked his little speech.  It was just the opportunity I needed, I headed straight to my vehicle, which was parked some distance away but he would likely have to pass.  Then I waited for him to come out. 

It didn’t take long for that to occur and I immediately followed behind him, hoping he did not live too far away.  But I followed him for ten minutes, then twenty and no sign of him stopping.  Then thirty minutes later in a rural location, he finally disappeared into a driveway.  He wasn’t even a local but just wanted to pretend he was brave.  He foolishly thought he was in a safe place to berate me, that I would never pursue him.  Now it was only a matter of time before I had him and his wife. 

Patience – that is the key – and the reason I will never be caught.  I put all my focus on that house and finding out everything about them.  So much time passed that the posters looking for the rapist had all blown down.  Perhaps the community had hoped it was all coming to an end when in reality it was only beginning.  His wife, who was in her early fifties and quite overweight would not have been my usual target but it was time for a special exemption. 

The planning was meticulous; every little detail was important.  Nothing was going to get in my way.  The week before the attack I sneaked into the house, not to steal but to place the tools of the trade in hidden spots until they were needed.  The only things I needed to bring would be myself and the condoms and gloves so I wouldn’t leave any DNA around. 

An hour before the attack I had a shower, making sure to scrub my skin hard till it turned red.  It was all about leaving nothing behind me.  Shortly after midnight, I snuck into the house.  As expected, they had not found any of my hidden items in the meantime.  Once I had a knife at her throat, they both complied with everything I said.  They were in no doubt that I would slit her throat if there was any resistance. 

First, the man who was tied up on a chair, insisted on telling me through tears that his name was John as if there was some part of me that should care.  With him immobilized and no longer a threat, attention could fully focus on his wife. 

Her nightdress was ripped open and the rape began.  I insisted she roared out how much she was enjoying it and that I was bigger than him.  I couldn’t but help looking back at him through the ski mask to see his humiliation. 

Then I stopped for a while to ridicule him face-to-face.   I started to laugh at him calling him a little man and a loser, but then resistance came from a most unexpected source. 

“Leave him alone, you bastard!  You’re nothing but a coward with a small dick,” she yelled through tears. 

This was not the respect I yearned for and I felt a sudden rage.  Without even a second thought I jumped on top of her once more and plunged the knife in her repeatedly and watched her life fade away.  He pleaded with me to stop but it had only been a form of encouragement. 

There was no coming back from this, it was the next level.  A level I had never expected to reach but my soul felt cleansed.  This was what I was born to do.  Now it was just a matter of clearing my tracks. 

I quickly slit his throat.  There would be no survivors.  Then the house was set alight and I disappeared into the darkness.  Now everything had changed, changed utterly. 

One day in Croker (Part 13)

Aoife awoke to light shining through the curtain. The day she had been waiting for had arrived. She picked up her mobile on the drawer next to her bed. It was eight in the morning . She wasn’t due at his house till ten thirty but she wasn’t the type to wait around.

She knew that the breakfast was from eight thirty. A note about it and which room was hers had been left under the mat at the entrance. She looked in the long mirror thinking she must make herself look as attractive as possible, while staying perfectly presentable. There was the possibility that she would bump into his parents who lived with him after-all.

After spending a good forty minutes trying to perfect her appearance, she made her way out for breakfast. Her hostess, a round woman with short dark hair in her fifties was waiting for her.

“Oh, hello dear. I didn’t get to see you last night. We had to head out. I hope everything was okay. You are the first up.”

“Oh, that’s fine. Yes, everything was fine.”

“Good, why don’t you sit at sit at one of those tables. What would you like?”

“An Irish breakfast?”

“One Irish breakfast coming up.”

This was the other thing Aoife had been looking forward to. Some nicely cooked sausages, rashers and egg. It tasted every bit as good as she hoped.

There was time for a brisk walk down town before she had to leave. Killarney was exactly as she had expected, a nice quaint tourist town with narrow streets. She wondered if Stephen managed to make it into town often. He sent her a text to make sure she was still on her way.

Then the time arrived for her to get into her car and head to his place. He lived a few miles out of the town. It was full of left turns and right turns. Thank God for GPS and eircodes.

Then she arrived. Her palms were sweaty, the last thing that she would have wanted.

It was a large dwellings almost fully covered by large bushes and trees. There was nothing for it but to walk to the front door.