by Chris Wheatley
The trail that the killer followed led through the valley floor and on up into the foothills. She had never been here, but the way felt familiar. Her hands and feet guided the four-by-four without thought and every bend, each rise, and even the slightest of undulations under the wheels was a new-found memory.
The cabin was a jutting of dark wood amongst the rocks on a bluff which thrust out over the forest like the lair of a winged beast. The killer parked the jeep in ancient ruts, took out her bag and walked calmly. The wind blew in fierce gusts, clutching at her clothes. Inside the shack was the little table that she had known she would find, and upon it an old camera, a box of tacks and a hunting-knife. She moved to the wall where the record was kept.
Some had carved a symbol, many more had written names and more recently there were Polaroids. She knew them all, for all of them she had been, man or woman, young or old, and all of them had killed and had stood here, and had seen this, and had done as she was now about to do. She took up the camera, stared into its dead eye,
and pinned her image to the wall in its place.
Outside and round back lay their graves. A shovel thrust deep into the ground stood between. The most recent lay uncovered, the body inside parched and shrunken. It did not take her long to kick the mound of loose earth onto the man whom once she had been.
As the sun touched the tree-tops on its final descent from heaven, the killer thrust the revolver into her waist-band, took up the shovel, and began to dig.