The Stalker had been in the employee parking lot at the recycling center for twenty minutes. This time of year it was cold and dark so he had the lot to himself. He’d been watching Jimmy Bertozzi for two weeks now and Jimmy always left work fifteen, twenty minutes earlier than the crowd. The Stalker figured that this was the best time and place to make the grab. Bertozzi lived in an apartment building and there was no way to do the job there: thin walls and lots of neighbors with phones. He and Jimmy were going to need privacy.
Jimmy had parked in his usual spot, off by the dumpster away from the other cars. Like the other cars knew what he’d done. The Stalker had walked in so Jimmy’s car was the only way for him to get out without being seen. He had to breathe consciously– he was so excited he would start hyperventilating if he wasn’t paying attention.
That wasn’t the only sign of his excitement. The Stalker wore a condom so there wouldn’t be any chance of soiling his uniform. He looked at the gloves, thick black leather with bands of nine-volt batteries wrapped around the wrists, and knuckles studded with spiked copper electrodes. They’d better work right. This was the Stalker’s first mission and he wanted everything to be perfect.
The wind off the bay didn’t bother him. The black-dyed military surplus he’d used for his uniform was warm and the sharp clean air kept the stink of the dump from making him sick. Just breathe and listen and then there were footsteps and the chink of keys pulled from a pocket and Jimmy came around the end of the car.
“Hey.” Jimmy stepped back eyes wide and hands raised.
The Stalker rose and stepped forward. Jimmy turned to run. The Stalker jumped, punched Jimmy in the back, drove the electrodes through clothes and into flesh and Jimmy hit the ground flat as a dropped ironing board. The Stalker was disappointed. He’d hoped for more of a seizure.
At least Jimmy was still breathing, heart still beating – there was a lot more juice in the gloves than in any over-the-counter stun gun and the Stalker had been afraid they might kill Jimmy.
When the Stalker read the court transcripts he’d pictured someone powerful, a real predator, and here was Jimmy, soft and round with his bald crown and molester mustache. He’d watched Jimmy move through his pathetic life eating spaghetti and margarine, sorting through the recycling as he worked on the conveyer belt, jacking off in his shitty apartment. The Stalker had almost felt sorry for him.
Then the Stalker would think about what he’d read in the court transcripts. In the records from St. Jerome’s, the rest home. Jimmy’s life was hell, but it couldn’t be hell enough.