It may seem difficult to think of a killer as an artist but that is exactly how Matt saw himself. He did not see himself as a murder or a killer. Death was beautiful to him when done well. When he was eight years old, his mother hung herself. He never found out why and he really didn’t care. What caught his eye when he found her was her attention to detail. She had meticulously planned her own death so that it somehow seemed less vulgar.
Vicky Peterson, his latest victim, was going to die. He knew it and although she did want to believe it, Vicky probably knew it too. She was in the bathtub when he entered the house through a basement door. She washed her naked body blissfully unaware of the intruder that had entered. He took his time as he walked through the house to the location of his prey. Tonight’s piece was the latest in a series he referred to as Random Acts of Violence. Under normal circumstances, he would research his victim and plan the death for weeks ahead of time; much like a sculptor would not simply start chipping away without a plan. With his Random Acts series, he would simply pick a house and enter through the basement. Once he was inside the art would come to him and he would decide on the method of death as well as how to display his work.
He entered the bedroom and heard the bathwater running. The plan started to come together in his mind. First, he would need to paralyze his victim. The one item he allowed himself to bring along for a Random Act was a syringe of Propofol. A very small dose would sedate a person for a short period.
Vicky did not notice as he approached her from behind. She was enjoying her relaxing bath too much after a tough first day at her nursing internship. The first sign of the intruder was the needle piercing the skin on her neck. She quickly moved away but it was too late. The injection rapidly did its job. The young nurse began to lose muscle control and slipped under the water before Matt grabbed her hair and pulled her back out. He bound her arms behind her back at the elbows and her legs at the knees and ankles with rope he spotted in the basement.
Propofol is very short acting and so she regained consciousness in a short time. He took another rope and tied it to her hair. He then connected it to the bindings at her elbows and knees. Music was blaring from the bedroom to cover any screams although she seemed to understand that would do her no good and she lay there quietly.
With the bindings in place, he carried her back to the bathroom and returned her to the tub only this time she was facedown.
He left the room for a few minutes and Vicky tried to escape from her binding but it was no use. The knots only seemed to tighten as she struggled. When he returned he sat on the edge of the porcelain tub as he looked her over. She assumed he was going to rape her but she could not have been more wrong. To touch her sexually would be an affront to his art. He injected her with an even smaller amount of Propofol than before. This time it was just enough for a hallucinogenic effect. She would know what was happening to her but wouldn’t care because of the effects of the drug until it was too late.
He made a tiny cut in her thigh. The deep red blood began to trickle out and run down the pristine white slope of the bathtub until it began to pool around her face. He continued making small incisions until he was satisfied that the cuts would produce the desired effect.
As the fog began to clear from Vicky’s mind, she tasted the coppery blood in her mouth. She tried to scream but for some reason she found she could not. She lifted her head back to keep her nose out of the now deepening pool of blood.
She knew screaming wouldn’t help but she thought maybe she could talk her way out of this.
“Please don’t do this. I’ll give you anything you want,” she muttered with the sound of defeat in her voice.
Matt spoke for the first time, “You are giving me what I want. Your sacrifice is necessary to create my work of art. Your body will die tonight but you will live forever as work number 57 of the Death in Art Killer.”
Vicky struggled to keep her head back but eventually exhaustion caused her to lose the will to fight anymore and her face sank into the pool of her own blood. The Artist watched as she briefly put up a last struggle before succumbing to her fate.
When she stopped moving he dipped his finger into the blood and signed the blood and signed her back ‘The Artist’.
Detective Marks cell phone rang and he cringed when he answered. The voice on the other end simply said “134 Eagle Landing Road, upstairs bathroom,” and then the line went dead. The detective new that meant that The Artist had struck again and they were no closer to finding him than they were fifty-six murders before.