This wasn’t where he belonged. He was comfortable in town, in the narrow, dirty streets and rundown boarding houses. He liked to be among people, even though he despised them. He felt comfort in the crowd.
But he had to escape. He could feel the darkness descending again. The need. He wanted to resist it. He wanted to stop. He fled to the countryside, a change of scenery.
He needed money, but it wasn’t about the money. He knew that. The money was a byproduct, a reward. It was about power. Getting these women to do what he wanted them to. Preying on them, making them fall in love with him, marrying them, bedding them, making them sign over all their possessions to him.
And when that wasn’t enough, he killed them. It was inevitable it had come to this. Margaret would be the third. He would do with her as he had done with Bessie and Alice. The bath in the room he had let was adequate. The coroners had determined death by drowning in the first two cases – it would work again. So simple, yet so satisfying.
Then it would be back to Edith again. He could stand her for a few weeks, before the yearning would descend once more.
The clouds over the town were growing voluminous and heavy, an auspicious day for a murder. He started the pleasant stroll back along the country path. Now that he had determined to give in to his darkness, a weight lifted from his shoulders.
I’ve recently been reading about George Joseph Smith, a polygamist and serial killer, who seduced a series of women, married them and then stole their money and possessions. Eventually he turned to murder, and when caught and sentenced to death, became famous as the ‘Brides in the Bath’ killer. So when this prompt popped up, it seemed like a good fit!