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How to Spot a Killer

Let me teach you how to spot a killer, a destroyer of souls and an annihilator of worlds

By S.SongweaverPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
How to Spot a Killer
Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Hey you, yeah you, scrolling casually on the internet in your best Covid onesie. Let me drop some knowledge on you. It's a secret that only those who've seen the dark side know. Let me teach you how to spot a killer while you're still in the safety of your home. There are signs you should watch out for, before you go back out into the world — ways of identifying these mercenaries that walk the streets.

Sure, you tell me. there can't be that many killers for hire.

Well, you'd be surprised. I bet you know one personally. You might not be aware, but I bet you're even on a first name basis with some of these bastards, without knowing that they’ve extinguished souls at their fingertips like it was nothing.

How to spot them, you ask?

Well, the first thing you need to know is that they look like regular people. These killers come in all shapes and sizes, creeds and colors, and even ages. Some are as young as twelve when they got their first hit. But at some point they get addicted. Killing will do that to them, when they realize the power over life and death is intoxicating. So don't think you can pin them down just by looking. They could the 90-year-old grandma or the blonde that winked at you at the bar. Trust no one.

The second thing is their location. These killers can show up anywhere. Most of them have day jobs. Those twelve-year-old I mentioned who got their first taste? Probably still goes to school like any other kid. You're probably in contact with someone from work that indulges in slaughter on the weekends. The good ones - and I mean exceptional ones, can get away with killing as their primary job, but most of them have day jobs just like you and me. They hustle in a normal 9-5, ranging from service work to blue collar, to the highest paid tech CEO — you'd be surprised. Killing rarely pays well, but they do it because of their love for the craft. They hone it to a fine point from one victim to another, constantly improving.

Besides being the people you least suspect, they can kill anywhere. For most of them, the preferred kill location is their home. They can dispose of the aftermath more easily that way and perhaps have a glass of wine while doing it. Some actually have a conscience and agonize over their murders—libations help ease the pain. Pre-Covid, lots of them killed in coffee shops. Most of them are cheap bastards, thriving off of free electricity and Wi-Fi. It’s easier for them to look up reference material that way, like the best way to poison someone, or the preferred medieval weapon to do the deed.

And even more absurd, though most of them won't admit it: every one of them killed in the bathroom, either on the can in between flushes, or in the shower when their victim least suspects it.

Third is their motive, and in this they are all pretty much the same which might be surprising to hear. None of them do it for the money. I told you killing doesn't pay much; they do it because of their love of the craft. They do it because they have a sick compulsion in their brain that grabs hold of them—a need to exorcise a demon living in their mind.

You're probably in contact with someone from work that indulges in slaughter on the weekends.

They're out there everywhere, making and killing people. Sometimes on the same day because every fiction writer I know is an assassin, nay—a devourer of worlds.

You might have considered it too, attempting to write, cutting your teeth on fanfiction or short poems. But once you take on a long length novel, then you too would join the club of those who have to kill their darlings.

I know writers who have killed hundreds with a single keystroke. Literary mercenaries that ripped out the threads of the soul they crafted painfully, page by page and line by line. Even removing characters they love because of editorial guidance and the need for concision and clarity. I've seen authors murder with a precise few words because they need a stranger to fall for something, for the crux of the story to be more impactful, or for the core wound to haunt their readers—leaving their fans bleeding and wanting more. I've seen writers kill with a strike of a pen, plotting the destruction of worlds.

It might be terrifying or even tragic to watch.

You’ll know when you see it on the page because it was a good kill. Or you might never know it happened because they made it like their victims never existed in the first place.

Thanos' got nothing on these people.

Be careful out there, because the pen is truly mightier than the sword.


About the Creator


Writer, frequent shit poster on twitter, find me @ssongweaver. Like something, comment something, flirt with the invisible people that only exist in your head ~ whatever floats your boat..

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