The boy was terrified, his eyes conveying fear like that he had never known. He was four years old, and tied to a steel chair, a gag around his mouth, his tearful eyes staring at the man who stood by the doorway of the shed with a 7inch wildcat bowie knife, looking at the child with curiosity. He had killed before, and knew he would this time. He preferred them as young as possible because they were more innocent, so a four-year old may have committed sins, and if so, could not be called pure. Yet, time was running out, and at midnight tonight, his blood had to be shed, and he knew there was no time to abduct another child. He hoped the sun would be pleased.
The garden shed was situated in the back-yard of a typical semi-detached house, high hedges on three sides blocking out curtain twitching nosy neighbours. They didn’t, however, block-out the cross-hair from a rifle from a police marksman situated on the roof of the house next door. He could see the child through the grimy glass, but only glimpses of the man.
Other police were dotted around the house. They were convinced they had got the killer who murdered a baby or child every seventy-two days. The boy had had a mobile phone, his mother giving into his demands even at that age. When it was discovered by the man, he had tied up the boy and driven it two miles away to throw in a canal. It was too late by then, it had been tracked to the house when it was in his coat pocket, and the man arrived back, closely followed by the police who were waiting to enter. They were hesitant because if the man knew they were there, he could easily kill the child before anybody had a chance to do anything, so for the moment, the sniper was their best option.
Kirlian, as he had called himself, was 41 years-old, bald through choice, and sported tattoos over his head and body. He usually didn’t wear any tops, even outside in cold weather, and had a reputation locally as slightly odd.
He avoided speaking to people as much as he could, and spent most of his days planning his next murder, and worshipping the Earth’s nearest star. He was the last person with a bloodline link to the Mayan sun worshippers, and believed that in order for it to keep shining, to keep rising every morning, it demanded the blood sacrifice of an innocent every seventy-two days.
A small stove, and metal cup used by campers to heat water or make tea was used to boil the blood out in the garden so the steam would rise into the air and make its way to the sun. He wasn’t sure if it did, because it simply resembled normal steam, and if it was then it was doing so invisibly.
In the age of reason, of skeptism, technology and science, he even wondered himself sometimes as to whether he was doing right. He guessed he was keeping society running because it couldn’t without a sun. Everytime his blade cut a child’s throat, he wondered that if he didn’t, would the sun still rise in the morning? He thought it wouldn’t if the sacrifice wasn’t completed. He also knew that he couldn’t do it forever, and in order to keep it going he would need to convince somebody else to take the mantle, to believe what he did, to keep the sun shining.
Detective Inspector Howard, 52, slightly over-weight with a drooping moustache was sat in the back of an unmarked van outside the house, wearing a head-set with a direct link to the sniper on the roof.
"Geoff, Geoff, can you hear me?"
"Course I bloody can, what is it? I’m trying to concentrate here".
"Alright I’m just checkin’. Remember, first chance you get, take him out".
"Er, yes, thanks for that, cos’ like, I’d forgot".
"You know what I mean,". He took off the headset and lit up a cigarette.
"Are you innocent?" Kirlian asked the child, but not really expecting an answer.
"Are you a sinner?". He looked down at the clean blade, then walked behind the child, gripped his hair, pulled his head back and put the knife to his throat.
On the peripheral of his hearing, a slight tap entered his consciousness for a split second, rather like the sound a nail would make if it was tapped against glass. For another nano-second, he felt something above his right eye, rather like that same nail had been tapped against his fore-head. He was unaware, however, that the back of his head had been blown away. The knife clattered to the floor, and the child continued to cry.
Howard was stood in the shed, looking at Kirlian’s body, shaking his head. The child had been taken into a police van. Other police were milling around the streets and in Kirlian’s house. He left, trying not to think of all the paperwork this would mean.
In the morning, he woke up and automatically knew that something was wrong. It was still dark at 08.30am, and he quickly put on a dressing gown, went downstairs and out into the road. It was much colder than usual. Other people were out, and simply looking around. His widow neighbour across a rickety wooden fence looked at him and simply said:
"The sun. It’s gone".