Mystery and Crime Fiction posted October 29, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
A place to chronicle the hunt.

Evening Hunting

by Thesis

Stanley Stewart walked purposefully through the steady, cold mist to reach the comfort of his flat after a long night of hunting. The journey home always began somewhere between three and four in the morning. 


Passing by numerous people in the Whitechapel neighborhood, many of whom were homeless beggars, drunkards, and prostitutes, he felt extremely comfortable and even elated, walking through the impoverished town. 


He had accomplished what he wanted to do that evening and was retracing the steps of the hunt in his mind so as not to forget even the tiniest detail. Being an extremely compulsive detail-oriented man, he could not wait to arrive home to memorialize his accomplishment. 


Upon arrival, Stanley ran up the front steps, unlocked the door, and walked up the three flights of steps to reach his flat. He hurriedly took off his coat, donned a heavy woolen sweater, and prepared himself a glass of Port to counteract his adrenalin rush, and to provide a bit of warmth to his cold body. 


Taking a sip, he rolled himself a cigarette, lit a candle, and used the same match to light his smoke. Next, he retrieved a small bottle of red liquid from his coat pocket and sat down at his writing bureau to chronicle all the details of this evening's hunt. 


First, he unlocked the second drawer of the writing bureau, retrieving a leather-bound journal which he opened to the next blank page. He then wrote Number 47, in the top left corner of the page with a black ink fountain pen, one of two he kept on the writing bureau. The other pen was always washed and sanitized after each use. He filled it each week, like he did tonight before he began entering his notes. 


Opening the top drawer on the right side of the writing bureau, he retrieved an empty inkwell and a small bottle of clear liquid. Together with the small bottle he took from his pocket, he mixed half the contents of both bottles in the inkwell. Satisfied with the consistency of the ink, he then filled the empty fountain pen with the blood-red ink it produced. 


Settling into his chair, he began to memorialize the full particulars of what transpired that night. Fully aware that the detailed recording of the actions he took that night might incriminate him if the journal was ever discovered, he was obsessed with continuing anyway and using the journal to assess and refine his future methods. 


As he wrote the details, he justified, in his mind, that his actions were righteous and necessary. He knew he was ridding the world of sinners who were blights of society. But he was worried that there would be more suspicion focused on single males walking the streets in the early hours of the morning, especially since another serial killer was on the loose in the same town. Although their methods and actions were dissimilar, he was still apprehensive, to the point that he considered delaying the next hunt for a few weeks, knowing that it would be impossible for him to do. 


He paused, and let his mind reminisce about the previous forty-six entries in the journal. For the first time, in a moment of reflection, he wondered how his victims wound up in their soulless predicaments, having been transformed from once respectable women, into drunken gutter whores, lost forever with no means to redeem their prior lives. 


He justified his killings, consoling himself that he was putting them out of their misery by ending their pain. The only trauma he felt he caused them was a few brief moments of terror, caused by him strangulating them with his bare hands. It was quick and efficient. He always felt exhilarated afterward to have released them from their pitiful lives.  


After they were lifeless, he felt sorry for them though, and always left them posed in a peaceful manner, sometimes clothed, sometimes not. He never sexually assaulted them, receiving gratification simply with the knowledge he removed them from their misery. In a way he also considered himself doing a public service in the community but knew that was just a manner to mentally absolve himself for what he knew deep inside to be wrong. 


Attempting to ease his own conscience, Stanley left a thorny, long-stemmed red rose on every victim, sometimes placing it in their hand, sometimes on their naked body, or other times, at their feet. The rose was used not only as a prop, it also functioned as a way for him to collect some of their blood by puncturing their skin at the neck or ankle to later mix with alcohol to make it thin enough to be able to use as the red ink for his entries in his leather-bound journal. In his own twisted way, he thought that if he wrote about them in their own blood, that they were never forgotten. 


The following week, Stanley could not resist the urge to hunt again. He decided to expand his hunting ground, exploring a full kilometer away from his safe zone. His exploration revealed a plethora of victims. He walked around for five hours, mapping in his mind escape routes, and the presence and timing of the local constables' patrols.  


There were more constables here than he ecountered in several weeks in Whitechapel which gave him pause. He carefully considered if it was prudent for him to pursue victims in this new area. He debated with himself on the long walk home if it was worth the risk of being caught, or worse, killed by a constable. While this debate continued, he already knew what the final decision would be. 


For the first time ever, he felt the need to return to the new area and verify the information he was able to obtain the previous week. He was dismayed that nothing was the same as the last time he was there. There were many more people on the streets; people were begging, there were lots of stumbling drunks, and several thieves were openly robbing people as no constables seemed to be patrolling the area during the time he was there. 


Returning home, Stanley went right to the writing bureau to retrieve another journal. This one contained hand-drawn maps of the areas he hunted. He quickly entered a rough sketch of the new area, highlighting where the areas of concern were for him. When he was through, he would open yet another drawer on the right side of the writing bureau and take out a different journal containing scenarios of what could go wrong during a hunt and answers to how he would handle a myriad of situations he might face. 


Relieved and confident that he was finally ready to hunt for victim number forty-eight, Stanley began his long walk to the new hunting ground. Upon arrival, all looked peaceful, with only a few drunks trying to enlist the services of the prostitutes. No constables were seen, further boosting Stanley’s confidence. 


He noticed a young woman waiting for an acceptable offer and knew it was the opportunity he was looking for. He noticed how pretty this woman was, not like the other older women he usually sought. He debated with himself if she deserved the fate, he would deliver to her. As he approached, he did something out of character, handing her the red rose to make her feel more at ease.  


They negotiated a price, and he followed her into a small, unkempt flat on the second floor. Turning away from him, she began undressing. He seized the opportunity to get closer to her. Wrapping his hands around her waist, he began to have feelings of a sexual nature toward her. That is when things began to go horribly wrong.  


Deviation from the plan was never an option. His mind was not focused, and he became very disoriented. Torn between lust and addiction to adherence to his plan, Stanley became unstable. He released his frustration by repeatedly striking out at the woman. Having lost control of his faculties, he did not realize that she had been screaming the entire time. It was not until he looked down at her bloody face, did he know she was dead. 


He ran out of the house with blood on his hands and was immediately spotted by several constables who were alerted by another prostitute that someone was being beaten. 


Capturing him, the constables entered the house and made their way to the crime scene, discovering the victim’s bloody, lifeless body. They also found the thorny red rose, realizing they had captured one of the two serial killers they had been looking for. 


The writing bureau sat patiently, awaiting Stanley’s return to unlock its drawer and to retrieve the leather-bound journal for entry number forty-eight, which was never going to happen. 


Once the landlord discovered Stanley was never getting out of jail, he sold all his belongings. The buyer just wanted it as an extra piece of furniture for their flat and never opened the drawers. Stanley’s horrific accounts of each kill remain in the leather-bound journal locked second drawer of the writing bureau, awaiting to someday reveal details of his crimes.

Object of Desire contest entry


This story was inspired by the crimes committed by Jack the Ripper. Although not as horrific as the dismemberments and stolen organs of the victims, Stanley's crimes ultimately achieved the same results.

The setting is in the same town and vicinity of Whitechapel on the East Side of London.

My Desired objects were: A writing bureau and a red rose.

The word count is 1535.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2024. Thesis All rights reserved.
Thesis has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.