THE DARKNESS

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.


dark-clouds-on-a-sunny-day
Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Darkness curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

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!


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40 responses to “THE DARKNESS”

  1. Oh dear! So ominous, yet I was wanting to read more. Yoi had drawn me in. We actually watched a special about serial killers last night. Talk about timing! Kind of like you having read about George. It is eerie how fascinated serial killers are about death.
    Good story!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And how we are so fascinated by them – both interested and horrified at the same time. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, Dark… great story!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – fascinating and scary that it was a real person too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh my word?! That’s horrible.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. So much darkness in his mind and attitude. Some Sick people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed there are. Thanks Shilpa

      Like

  4. A great story, Iain. You have to wonder at the minds of such people. Where is the line that is crossed and what causes that rift between light and darkness in the soul.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sue, it is indeed hard to fathom what they are thinking – in his case, it was the callousness and coldness with which he committed his crimes. Scary!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Other human beings as ‘disposable assets’… scary indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes I guessed the brides in the bath, but great writing. I don’t know why we women fall so easily for the bad man!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He did seem to find it awfully easy to convince women to marry him despite not having much going for him at all!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. That gave me the chills , a real lady-killer 😜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He was indeed, and not a nice man at all it seems!

      Like

    1. Thanks Sadje, there are some very dark people out there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Iain. I know!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohh. Looks like someone Dexter Morgan should pay a visit to! A thrilling story, Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, a bit before his time, but definitely would have been on Dexter’s list!

      Like

  8. A Bluebird for modern times, with a damp, rather than bloody chamber. ..!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Liz, a fascinating and horrifying story – his lack of emotion about it in the telling I read was particularly cold, so I thought I’d add a bit of personality!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Iain. A very ‘dark’ story. What a clever way to respond to the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bravo! So well written! I wanted more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Laura 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reblog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Annette Kalandros Avatar
    Annette Kalandros

    Excellent fit for the prompt! Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

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