Character Sketch: Henry, Killer

April 21, 2008

Henry sat very still in his chair, tension dancing through his hands as his fingers dug hard at the wood. The itch was back. As always, it started in his eyes. Hardly noticeable at first. It built up quickly, though. It didn’t take long for him to recognize the signs. He tried to fight it, but it burrowed backwards from their. The insides of his head roared with the itching.

Finally a scream ripped free from Henry and he fell from the chair, clawing at the sides of his head. His ragged nails left rivulets of blood as he clawed and screamed. This went on for several minutes until just as suddenly as it had all started, Henry went still again. He laid there on the ground for a time, then stood up and went to the bathroom to wash up. He made sure the scratches had all stopped bleeding and all the blood was carefully washed away.

From there, Henry went into his basement. He carefully pulled aside a stack of boxes to reveal an old battered gun safe. He turned the dial back and forth, then pulled it open with a loud creek. He pulled out the old German Luger that had belonged to his father, a large bowie knife, a battered silver zippo and a box of ammo. He carried the items to the table and laid them out.

Henry started out by checking over the gun. Making sure it was clean and all the parts were still in working order. Then he methodically loaded it. The gun was set aside and next came the knife. He spent some time re-honing the edge, getting the edge perfect. The knife was returned to its sheath and out came the zippo. Henry lit it with a practiced flick, then held each fingertip in turn over the flame, not flinching as his fingertips charred.

His ritual finished, the lighter went back into the locker along with the ammo. Henry laced the knives sheath to his right leg under his pants, then went upstairs to get his ratty old camouflage hoody. The gun went into the hoodies pocket. He pulled up the hood and stepped out the back door of his small house.

On the back porch Henry carefully pulled out the knife, glancing to make sure no neighbors lurked in their backyards to watch him. He then set the knife on the ground and spun it. He waited patiently for it to choose a direction, then re-sheathed it. That decided, he cut across his yard and started weaving along the streets, watching the houses as he went. Now all Henry had to do was wait for the right house to speak to him, and his work could begin.

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