Stalking is critical. It is part of the killing process every bit as much as opening a throat or crushing a skull. It requires an immense amount of patience, but even more so, control. Every part of me screams to finish it. Finish it! But that way lays eventual disaster. Patience. Control. FINISH IT! Not yet. Make sure. Prepare.
A fortnight is usually all that is required to ascertain the patterns of a Non. You are all creatures of habit—quite foolishly so. Two weeks reveals the basic monotony of your existence: your work or school schedule, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, where you like to grab a drink. It is enough time to casually insert myself into your life without you even being aware of it. I often use running as a way to watch the movements and cycles around you. After a week or so people don’t even see that they are seeing me anymore. I become a virtually invisible part of the neighborhood, able to take in all the comings and goings without attracting attention. In that time, I will learn where the dogs are and if they will bark on approach. I will know who is paying attention and who is oblivious.
Almost everyone is oblivious.
If only you knew the danger you might be in. If only you knew the myriad of ways I might end you, perhaps you’d be more aware.
But no. You are so painfully naïve. You are prey that behaves as if there are no predators. You are prisoners to your mundane subsistence, and at any point along it I can easily come and replace it with an eternity of my choosing.
For two weeks I watch. I follow. I lurk in the midnight shadows until after you are asleep. I am jogging around your block when you leave for work. I even tossed you a friendly smile and wave. I stopped to give your dog a scratch behind the ears while you and your pretty wife took him for a walk after dinner. I volunteered to be the third man in your weekly pick-up basketball game at the Y. I am the “cute” guy in your spin class that you and your girlfriends were giggling over the other day.
If I can’t find a convenient time, I will manufacture one. You’ll never see it coming. In those few short weeks, I will have come to know you in ways that you don’t even know yourself. Things you take for granted, I memorize. I study your behaviors. I learn how you react to situations. Do you turn toward the sound of a car backfiring, or shrink away from it? Do you give strangers a wide berth, or approach them willingly? Are you confident and engaging, or an introvert and shy? What do you do for a living? These things tell me more about your psychology than you can imagine. Armed with that knowledge, I can predict whether you will run or fight, bargain or scheme.
Just two weeks. That is all the time I need to safely unmake an entire existence.
But don’t misunderstand—I’ve killed many simply because the opportunity was right in front of me. I might just as soon kill you where you sit reading the end of this blog post. And perhaps I shall.