A short story by Emma Lawry

As I stared into the dirty, mottled grey, the sound of their voices echoed back and forth inside my head, like their voices were ping-pong balls and my mind was the playing table. It was no use. The floor was proving to be a poor distraction from my dark urges. The temptation was on the verge of controlling me, my prey taunting me with explosive giggling and insistent twittering and chirping.

The train jolted slightly and one of my prey lost her balance, getting jostled by the other two. I tensed, my eyes wide to catch every movement. I watched avidly as they hooted with laughter, their little beaks rapidly opening and shutting.

I leaned heavily against the window and closed my eyes. As my view was enveloped in the blackness, I felt my initial resolve not to harm them fail as I realized that I had been subconsciously planning the whole, long process as I had tried to resist. There was no point in wasting such a perfect plan and I decided my prey would soon become my victims.

My plan was simplicity itself; wait for the tunnel we were approaching, kill the lights and pounce. But my victims chose that moment to look over at my side of the train. They took in my look of intense hunger, my ruffled hair and my half hidden body. I realized too late that I had ruined my image of being the overlooked old man, sitting by himself in the corner.

The girls stared at me, their facial expressions showing me that all my hard work had been forsaken in a moment of weakness. I cursed internally. There was one more stop before the tunnel and they were sure to switch to another, more crowded compartment in the train.

I watched reluctantly as they disembarked from our shared compartment, shaking and shooting me dirty looks. My mind was in turmoil as I briefly considered following them but I quickly decided against the plan. There would be other young girls to prey on and another chance for the kill.

Next time will be different.

Emma Lawry is a Yr11 student at Paraparaumu College