Heavens Alley - Chapter 2: Date Night

9:59 AM
Brig Solutions, Crixton street, Heavens Alley.

 Eric walked into his magnificently large corner office. He was a counsellor at Brig solutions, an IT firm. Apparently the IT folk were over stressed and had regular breakdowns. He stood and stared at the lush office space sprawled in front of him. A hardwood solid and paper-backed veneer office desk, accentuated with a harvest cherry finish sat at the far end, facing the door. Behind it was a large window overlooking the green campus and illuminating the large room. To the right of the desk was an off white linen couch and propped at its head was a blue bean bag. This is where the counselling happened. There were potted Peace Lilly plants placed on the four corners, and a wooden book shelf to the left of the desk. The shelf had 7 rows, and all of them were filled. He had a wide range of literature: Sci Fi novels by H. G. Wells, legal thrillers by Grisham, Shakespearian literature, books on the human anatomy, quantum physics, the genre didn't matter, he simply loved absorbing the written art form. Apart from this the office was empty, and the ample open space gave it a majestic feel. Eric was not a very important employee at the firm, but the employees who needed his help were, and that is why the office was such elegantly designed. He walked and sat on his comfortable, swivelling office chair, placing the cup of coffee on a coaster at the desk. He stared at the lone framed photograph placed on the desk. It was of Eric at the park when he was three, with his parents Glenda and John. He didn't feel anything about it, it just made his patients feel him more human.

There was a knock and a woman walked in. He looked up. She wore a white shirt and a black skirt, with a Brig Solutions ID tag around her neck. Her bouncy brown hair was shoulder length and she wore no make-up, except for red lipstick. The simplicity of her appearance indicated she was an over worked engineer. Why else would she be here anyway.

"Good morning Mr Luf, I'm Wendy Brisslman. I work for David Hoff in the development centre. I'm here for my mandatory stress evaluation", she said, jutting out her hand for a handshake. "No one ever comes to me unless it's mandatory", Eric said with a playful frown followed by a wink, stood up and shook her hand. "And please, I like leaving formalities outside my door. Call me Eric." My My he's a treat to the eye, she thought as she blushed at his response. Eric always inspired such feelings. "Please take a seat on the couch Wendy", Eric instructed. She spotted the photo on the desk as she walked to the couch. "Aww is that baby Eric?", she flirted, immediately regretting her candid remark. He was her counsellor, and this behaviour was definitely frowned upon. But there was something about him that put her at ease and gave her a sense of familiarity, and the added fact that he was drop dead gorgeous made her want to seduce him, a feeling she was surprised she had, given the fact she had just met him.

Eric began the session with the usual questions, filling out her answers in an evaluation sheet. He didn't care for the life problems she was venting, but he pretended to care, and did a good job at that. He didn't really like people all that much. They were just obstacles that he had to manoeuvre around on a daily basis. They were also his drug, on days when the Satan lurking in the shadows of his mind decided to come out and play.

He looked at Wendy. She was mildly attractive. He pictured carrying her into the kill room. Would she look equally attractive tied down to the operating table? She would look good with a needle in one eye, or maybe both. The thought of her begging for mercy excited him. And then it happened. There was a twitch in a sensory nerve, a flash of white across his eye, and his patient became his target. He was going to hunt her down. He was going to kill her.

His mind went into overdrive. Involuntarily, he began seducing her. He crossed his right leg over his left, and leaned into her, exactly matching her posture. He then adjusted his blinking rate to hers, to a point where they blinked synchronously. He moderated his breathing to harmonize with hers. This was something he picked up from the NLP classes, where mimicking a persons behaviour and actions oddly made them trust you. He lowered his voice a few octaves and the bass brought on a calming effect over her. He then used the cold reading technique he had mastered. From the obvious visual clues that were right in front of him, he made deductions that to the victim seemed equivalent to mind reading. "You seem like a girl who doesn't like depending on anyone. You pursue what you desire and make sure you get it on your own merit. You would rather spend a Saturday working than shopping", he deduced simply by the fact that she was plainly dressed and her work log showed she put in eleven hours of work daily. But this revelation astounded Wendy. "Oh my God yes!! Ever since I was a teenager I have made sure I am self sufficient and I have always been work oriented!", she said. Eric took over, "You also seem like a person who is very cautious of people. You make acquaintances but they become friends only after you completely trust them." Now he was just making statements that would hold true to anyone, but to Wendy it felt like he was peeping into her soul. "Yes yes wow you're good!", she exclaimed, moving her hand to her forehead in surprise. Eric immediately lifted his hand to his forehead, pretending to scratch an itch. "Hey this may seem a bit too casual, but would you like to grab a drink later on today?", Eric questioned, knowing fully well what the answer would be.

She had walked in thinking some bloody shrink was going to tell her she was stressed and over worked. She left with butterflies in her stomach and a drinks date at Lenny's, at eight.

Lenny's was one of the limited few bars in Heavens Alley, and the most popular. Everyone knew Lenny, the owner and bartender. Little did he know, he was going to be giving a statement to the police in a few hours.

Eric reached home in a euphoria. Planning for a kill did that to him. He prepped the kill room. There wasn't much to do, for Eric preferred a method that was almost bloodless. It wasn't the blood that excited him. He took out the precision tools he would be using. These were his most prized possessions. A series of long, sterilized medical needles, scalpels, some surgical equipment and a small voltage generator. That was all he needed. On his mind was etched the image of the human anatomy, with distinct nerves, veins and arteries highlighted. He was ready.

He drove to Wendy's house at quarter to eight. They had planned to meet at the bar, but at the last minute Eric called informing Wendy he was just a minute away and he would pick her up. This was part of his plan. She was waiting by the porch, dressed in a beautiful blue dress. It's a shame no one will be admiring that dress, thought Eric. She got in, and Eric placed a gentle a kiss on her cheek. She blushed. He steered out of the driveway. He wasn't driving towards Lenny's. He looked at her. Tonight was going to be fun.

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