The following is a "definition" I came up with out-of-the-blue for my Facebook nightly Safe Word:
He sat down, exhausted and covered in the spatter of blood. He couldn't catch his breath, the excitement and thrill of the kill still coursing through his veins, the adrenaline pumping his heart into overdrive. His brain couldn't focus on one thought for long, he was in ecstasy. This was the culmination of an entire day of stalking and he felt a vicious satisfaction in the final resolution. His murderous intentions hit the magic number and he was surprised at who drew the short straw at the end, surprised and happy. The first person he saw was the paper delivery boy, driving by with his pimpled face and throwing the newspaper onto his lawn. He began his grim count of the day, that was one. He will live.
When he went out to get it, he saw the little neighbourhood children lined up at the bus stop just a few yards from his home. He slowed his movements, keeping his gaze on them as he bent over, silently counting them, adding them to his daily tally. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. And the parent standing there with the kids, that's eight. Now his count was nine, nine who will live and his quota was nearly half over. He retreated back into the house, stifling the horrific visions that clouded his mind. Visions he found exhilarating.
After breakfast, he holed up in the darkened bedroom, savouring his isolation, not wanting to rush through the day, making it last. He wrote a little, checked a few websites. Read the paper. He waited.
A knock at the door roused him from slumber, he must have fallen asleep. He padded to the front door, peered through the spyhole and saw blurry, distorted faces moving to and fro. He opened the door. Standing there were two Mormon missionaries. He made his excuses, parrying any argument they had to convert him, he was beyond redemption today, and got them to leave, to bother the next house along the way.
That was now ten and eleven.
He ordered lunch from the local pizza joint. His usual meal, half a cheesesteak and fries. The goateed delivery guy came quickly, considering it was just after noon. He paid, with a nice tip and let him go. That was only number twelve. Not yet.
After eating, he cleaned up and decided to take a shower, he was getting closer and closer and he wanted to make sure everything was ready when it happened.
He sat in his living room, towel draped over his waist loosely, clicking through the channels and mindlessly watched whatever was on. He liked the feeling of his leather couch next to his naked, wet skin. A dog barked outside, from the fenced-in yard next door and he turned his head to peer out the partially opened drapes to see two young teen girls walking by, books in their arms, loudly chatting about whatever it is young girls chat about. Numbers thirteen and fourteen. They, too, will live to gossip another day.
Suddenly, the postman came into view and walked up to his door, he could hear the sound of the mailbox open and close through the wall as he dutifully shoved the letters and magazines and bills into the little tin box. He continued to watch him through the window as he walked away, and got up, securing the towel around his waist and opened the door to get his mail. He watched the postman, number fifteen, walking up to the house next door and hand the mail to his neighbour that owns the barking dog. There's number sixteen.
They will all live today.
He threw the day's mail on his kitchen table, the excitement building too much now for him to concentrate on what was there. He'll deal with it later and went into the bedroom to get dressed. It was getting close now, and he wanted to be ready.
As he got dressed, formally, with a clean white button down shirt, a nice pair of black trousers, one of his nicest ties, skinny and striped, he could hear noises coming from the backyard. From the bedroom window he saw the landscapers unloading their equipment, doing it with a practised ease, both tanned and dirty from the constant sunshine and the job, respectively. They started up the lawnmowers and began their work. He added them to the count. Seventeen and eighteen. It was getting so close now.
Too close, his pulse quickened and he retreated to the bathroom to finish getting ready, trying to focus on the task at hand and calm his rising nerves. He combed his hair, adding a little gel to keep it in place. Brushed his teeth. Retreated into the mundane in an effort to savour the moment that was coming so soon.
The phone rang, loudly and unexpectedly, jarring him out of his reverie, and he fumbled with the touch screen trying to unlock it so he could answer. It was his daughter.
"Hullo, sweetheart! Why are you calling?"
"Daddy", she said in her high, plaintive voice, "can I go over Jessica's house now? We have to do a project for class and she's my partner and we need to get this done by tomorrow and her mom said I could have dinner there and she'll bring me home after that so can I please go to her house? PLEASE?"
She said this all in one breath, the way children her age talk, as if the fate of the world hinged on his answer.
"Of course, sweetheart. Just tell Mrs. Kane that you need to be home by eight, I want to check your homework before you go to bed."
His daughter screamed in delight and thanked her daddy over and over and hung up abruptly.
He smiled to himself.
The doorbell rang at that moment and he went to answer it, noticing the FedEx truck parked out front through the partially opened drapes in the front window. He opened the door and saw a clean-cut young guy, impatiently waiting for him to sign for the package. He quickly did so and let number nineteen walk away to live, and deliver again.
At that moment, he saw his beautiful wife drive up to the house and pull into the driveway. He waved to her and waited for her to get out of the car. She walked over, and he couldn't help notice how beautiful she was, and gave him a big smile and kiss, asking him about his day. He kissed her back, long and deep, savouring the moment, feeling the love he had for her. And knowing now what he must do.
They walked in the door and he shut it firmly behind her, turning the lock on the handle quickly, silently. She took off her suit jacket and threw over the back of the kitchen chair, picking up the pile of mail sitting on the table and rifling through it, inanely talking about something that happened earlier today at the office.
He wasn't listening.
He slipped the knife silently out of the butcher block holder, the largest one in there, and stood behind her. She was intently looking through one of the bills, her focus on her conversation and the paper in her hand. He got closer and closer, smelling her perfume that still lingered on her blouse from this morning and he plunged the knife in her back.
She gave a little strange sound and he pulled it out and plunged it in again... and again... and again.
Unfortunately, vigesimation was a cruel and random condition. Fate took him through the day, through the grim count, and she ended up being number twenty.
She had to die.