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Three Oh Three[]

The pounding, punching acid baseline courses through us all.

We're both one and many at the same time; a pulsing, gyrating mass of souls pouring with sweat.

What are we?

We're clubbers of course. That heat, that pulsing rhythm that we all know and love, commanding our beings as if we're mere puppets on strings.

Well, they are at least.

For although I belong to the sea of people right now, I'm not quite the same as them. The strobe flashes illuminate my face amongst the crowd, my eyes sharp and attentive; starkly contrasting the dilated eyes of my fellow clubgoers. Whether it's Ecstasy, Speed, or something else, it doesn't matter. I'm here and they're not. All they know at the moment is that the rhythmic heartbeat in their ears tells them to keep dancing, and so they do. Even in the darkness of the club, I see their depravity; sexual tension between the men and women pressed so close together, like sardines in a tin.

They're here to have fun; let loose and completely indulge in carnal pursuits. And in a way, I am too.

I part of the sea of people gradually, advancing away from the dancefloor towards the bar. It's a fairly standard one, with bright white mood lighting chasing away the darkness of the club. The ever-powerful god that is Roland three oh three has most of the people here entranced, so I don't have to worry about being overhead. Not that anyone would hear me over the music, anyway.

I wave the bartender over.

"Took you long enough, Michael." He says as he walks over, a hint of a smirk on his face.

"Yeah, traffic was rough, got held up by a tailback on the motorway."

"Well what matters is that you're here." He says as he leans in closer to be heard better.

"I suppose so, have you got what I need?"

He nods, and slides a syringe across the table, which I carefully place into my left jacket pocket. In return, I place a wad of cash on the counter, and turn my head to face the sea of bodies.

I watch them, pondering each individual on that dancefloor, just for a few seconds. What are they thinking right now? Are they excited, elated; aroused?

"Three hundred and twenty pounds exactly, thank you Michael." Comes the bartender's voice, interrupting my current line of thought.

"Yes, I told you I was good for it." I roll my eyes a little, adjusting my navy shirt's collar.

"Well, I know that, but the higher ups don't. I had to vouch pretty hard for you, this isn't a run of the mill operation, you know?"

He gives me a look when he sees that I'm smirking.

"No, I'm not going to ask what you want it for, frankly I don't care." That pulsing bass begins to build, slowly but surely, rising as he finishes his sentence.

I continue to smirk, nodding at the drinks cabinet behind him.

"fetch me a beer, would you Andre?"

"Any particular brand?" Andre retorts, exasperated.

I shake my head.

"Nah, I'll take whatever's cheapest."

"You know the prices, Mike."

"And so do you, so get me the cheapest beer you have, and hurry up, I haven't got all night." I say, maintaining the shit-eating smirk I've had on my face for a short while now.

I have good reason to be in a pleasant mood. I have what I need, and I'm where I want to be. There's still work to be done, of course, but my plans for tonight have gone swimmingly, thus far.

The soft thud of my drink being placed in front of me startles me a little.

"Jumpy are we?" Andre says, his voice dripping with smugness.

I ignore his little quip, taking a sip of my beer, grimacing at the taste. Tastes like piss, as expected.

Now it's Andre's turn to smirk.

"That'll be-"

"Seven quid, I know, hasty bastard." I interrupt him, shoving some coins into his outstretched hand.

I take the small sheet of paper with a number written on it from under the bottle, it too taking residence in my jacket pocket.

"Good, now leave me alone, I've got other customers to serve."

Andre turns away from me, his stocky frame moving towards a young lady in a tight yellow dress, seated at the other end of the bar counter.

Neon yellow, PVC or similar, probably. Her heels are the same colour, tacky as can be. She's average looking, I can tell, the heavy makeup is a compensator for that. And that dreadful tan, clearly fake, a patchy orange glow that is oh-so alluring. Her hair's no different, either, lifeless and bleached, with dark roots clearly visible.

I scan the dancefloor, looking for anyone who might be awaiting her return from the bar. Friends, boyfriends, anyone. No one seems to be checking the bar for her. So she's here alone. Makes sense, probably single, looking for a bloke to take her home tonight; not here for other types of socialising.

She's the one.

I begrudgingly take another swig from the bottle in front of me, fighting the urge to grimace once more.

I look over at her again, and to my surprise, her eyes lock with mine. My hazel meets her deep blue, and she smiles, pink painted lips stretched into a pleasant expression.

Well, I suppose I'd better take the initiative.

My confident stride takes me towards her seat, and I slide next to her, hand already outstretched.

"Hi there gorgeous, I'm Michael."



It isn't long before the two of us reach the bathroom of our shared nightlife excursion, anticipating what is to come; her anticipation somewhat different to mine. We find an empty cubicle, and the click of the lock behind us seals us in.

I'd requested that she go and wait for me in the bathroom for a few minutes as I wanted to finish my drink, and of course she'd happily obliged. She's already infatuated with me; I can feel the giddiness rising within me as I imagine how much she'll adore me when the night is finished.

The passion begins, with her long-nailed hands pulling me into a sensual kiss, waxy lips interlocking with mine. I'm excited, in more ways than one, reciprocating as I push her against the wall of the cubicle.

The thumping bass is rising to a climax, now, a crescendo of acid waiting to burst.

Her eyes are closed; mind is absent, lost in the throes of lovemaking. My hand snakes down, clasping around the syringe in my jacket.

It slides back up to waist level, my lips keeping her attention while I quietly slip the cap off.

It gleams in the fluorescent light of the bathroom, poised and ready.

I might as well enjoy this before it finishes.

The bassline hits an alltime high as it drops into a break, the beat reverberberating inside of me as I deepen our kiss, not caring that her gaudy tan is staining my shirt.

And then, she gasps.

The needle is sticking into her, fluid flowing from the syringe as I push the plunger down.

"What did you do?!" She screams, slapping me in the face as she staggers out of the cubicle.

I hold my cheek, slipping the used syringe into my jacket again as I follow her out, her now awkward gait easy to pick out of the sea of people. She looks desperate, gingerly grabbing onto people, yelling distressed words, only to be shoved away. Just another drunk clubgoer, they must think.

I curse under my breath briefly for not thinking of a more diplomatic route. Maybe I could have convinced her that this was some new legal high, I'm sure the bitch isn't above taking drugs with strangers. I let that thought linger in my mind for a little while as a slight grin plays across my face.

Nah, I like this way better.

The drama I'm now faced with, while a pain in my behind, makes it more interesting. After all, the saying goes, "the chase is better than the catch."

My eyes are trained on her, focused on every clumsy movement she makes. I mustn't lose her.

She somehow manages to make it outside before she collapses on the street. I watch as the bouncer rushes to her side, onlookers standing idle with concerned looks on their faces.

Shit.

I take the small window of opportunity I have, and swoop in.

"Poppy darling, there you are, gosh, you're in such a state, let's get you home." I say in a worried tone, as I drop to my knees at her side.

She murmurs something that neither me nor the bouncer can understand.

Thank god she's too delirious now to speak clearly.

"And who're you mate?" The burly bouncer now turns to face me, eyes full of suspicion.

"I'm Poppy's boyfriend, I went to the toilet for a piss, came out and saw her staggering around, I think she wants to go home, she's had way too much to drink." I pull the most concerned expression I can muster.

He looks back at her, then at me, hesitant to let me take her.

I move in closer, dropping my voice to a whisper.

"Look, do you want someone dying of alcohol poisoning right outside of the club you work at, with several people saying they saw a woman stagger out of it? Won't look good for your boss, will it? You might even lose your job if the place goes under…" I trail off, letting his mind wander.

He bites his lip, looking around at the growing crowd.

"Alright, you get 'er home safe, take better care of 'er next time though; shouldn't 'ave let her drink this much in the first place." He grumbles as he stands up, moving to disperse the gawking onlookers.

"Of course, I'll never let this happen again, I'll make sure she goes to a hospital as soon as possible." I nod profusely as I help Poppy to her feet, her eyes glossed over.

"Let's get you home, Poppy."

I walk her down the road, away from prying eyes towards my car.



"Yeah, it worked, almost got caught though. No, no one suspects you."

I pace the living room of my house, phone to my ear.

"So just to clarify, it will have kicked in by now, yes?"

I grin, elated as the voice on the other end replies. I know this already; It's just so delicious to hear it again.

"Yes of course I'll get rid of the phone, and the syringe." I roll my eyes, gaze moving over to my sofa, where my soon-to-be girlfriend is currently lying down, asleep.

"Of course I'll pay the rest of the money, you know me, I'm not a conman." I sigh as I listen for the response.

"Yes, I know my word isn't always enough, but it damn well should be after this, you tell your people I'll have it in forty-eight hours."

The voice replies one last time, and then I hear the hang-up tone.

I stride over to the slumbering woman, and gently touch her plump rear, a predatory smirk on my face. She stirs from her sleep, her heavy makeup from the night before still upon her face. I can barely contain myself as I plant a kiss on her forehead.

Her eyes open, those pools of blue wide but vacant. The woman's mouth opens to speak, her voice monotonous and flat.

"Where am I?"

Nothing but a blank slate.

I smile, grabbing her softly trembling hands, that'll be the side-effects. I savour the moment before I speak. After all, this is a monumental moment; our future together begins here. I've got what I always wanted, here in front of me, on a silver platter. All mine.

"Good morning babe, we've got a lot to talk about."




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William See (talk) 03:32, 20 May 2022 (UTC)[]

Pretty solid depiction of a psychopath. I'd maybe shorten the conversation with the bouncers the kidnapper has, and focus a little more on the chess-play he makes in his head while trying to get her out: its really entertaining listening to killers rationalize their escape plans in a microsecond, and also satisfying watching them sweat. Maybe even have him get away by pure luck to up the stakes, yknow? I'm also interested to know any small details which could hint at what he plans on doing with his victim.

Tewahway (Talk) 14:17, 25 May 2022 (UTC)[]

As always, Zug, you write the part of the calculated psychopath very compellingly. Although, I can't help but wonder what Michael's true intentions are...

A few small nitpicks, things that I'm sure you'll probably figure out yourself before this gets posted:

You use the phrase "dilated eyes" when describing the average clubber, high on whatever. I feel as though, with the language you use throughout the rest of the story, and the specificities you tend to go into, it would make sense to say "dilated pupils", but perhaps that's just me.

Also, the line “I part of the sea of people gradually” felt very strange to me. As if there's some missing words or punctuation. Is he identifying himself as part of the sea of people, or is he parting the sea of people to make it to the bar (likely the situation, giving the context of the rest of the scene). Just read a bit strangely to me.


I couldn't help but pickup on a stark lack of your trademark semicolons. There's enough commas around to pass as something written by me! Not actually a problem or anything, just a funny little observation.

I feel as though there's a strange little stretch here between the "calculated psychopath" that I'm used to, from you, and a... "naïve incel"? While definitely more akin to the former, Michael seems to kinda shit the bed in a few respects. The lack of faith that Andre has in him (regarding payment), and the later phone conversation both give way to Michael being either of low income, or poor with managing his money. Not that this strange "miracle drug" is cheap, I know.

Michael's other surprising fuckups include allowing "Poppy" out of the bathroom stall (although, it seems he relishes in the scene), and the dilemma with the bouncer, which suggest him being either very reckless, or inexperienced. Something that deviates from your typical well-planned psychos. It's refreshing, really.

On the subject of the bouncer situation, I feel as though going from "Oh, my poor girlfriend..." to "Your boss isn't gonna like this..." felt a little bit... brash. Like an emotional 180, that would set off alarms for most people. Whether this is just part of his character, his lack of familiarity in these situations, or just plain stupidity, it doesn't strike me as something your honest/decent bouncer would fall for so quickly. It felt a little off, to me.

I really enjoyed the one-side phone conversation thing. It was done in a way that gave us a good cause to be curious, but have all the necessary and pertinent information answered. It felt organic, and well constructed. Although it was a pretty small piece of the story, just wanted to highlight that part.

I'm unsure if this is where you intend to leave your story, or not. It totally works... but I wouldn't mind seeing more. You know me, though, I'm a greedy reader. Hopefully Michael isn't some deranged incel, trying to sculpt himself a "trad-wife" slave. But, honestly, knowing your psychos, I have the feeling poor "Poppy" is in for a pretty shit fate.

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