“Why do you kill?” “Because I can. Because I’m good at it. Because I like it.”

Thomas sat in the hard metal chair, studying the pattern of scratches that covered the table. A thousand men must have sat in this seat, their hands cuffed before them as his were, contemplating what had brought them here.

Rage or money. Thomas couldn’t decide which would be the most common driver. The jilted husband, or the desperate junkie. No matter; people of that ilk were of no concern to him. He neither classed himself as one, nor associated himself with them. His was a different class.

The same detective who had caught him entered the room. His suit was still damp from the rain, hair plastered to his head as if he’d been too impatient to let it dry and instead wanted to find out who the boy was.

“Should I call you Thomas?” he asked. “Or Tom? Maybe Tommy. Names are the one thing we don’t have in short supply for you kid.” The detective flipped over a manilla case, as thick as a hotel bible and containing just as many stories. “Three continents in as many years. And these are just the sightings we know about. And in everyone, someone’s ended up dead.

“Care to explain?”

Thomas looked at the folder. Caracas. Last Summer. It had been hot. Sweltering as he’d lain in wait. But the file was for only one of the targets. Thomas smiled.

“You recognise your own handiwork. Good. That makes this easier. Tell me kid, you’re what? Nineteen, twenty?” Twenty-two thought Thomas, but he didn’t bother to correct the detective. “Why do you do it? Why do you kill?”

“Imagine a child,” Thomas began, leaning forward until his handcuffs jerked against the metal eyelet in the table, “a child who learnt he could stop bad people from doing bad things. And when he learnt this, he put a stop to his abuser. Because he could.

“And the child grew, and became a teenager. And he learnt he had a skill for stopping bad people, and he honed that skill, and refined it. Until he was the best. And when he was good at it, he realised it was the only thing he was good at.

“And the teenager became a man, and the man realised one true fact.”

Thomas pulled the file towards himself, and slid out the faces of all those he recognised.

“He realised he did this, because he enjoyed it.”


Prompt originally posted by Cmyers1980 on reddit and received 9 upvotes.

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