The Faceless leaned back on the rotting chair’s back legs. The sagging floorboards creeked beneath him. It was one of his old haunts. He had been forced to clear out some squatters but it was otherwise just as he had left it. The bodies of the beggars lay bloated and sagging in one corner. Not far from them stood an easel and a half finished painting. The canvas showed the pile of bodies lying if you looked at it straight on, but this was only the first image. In the flickering candle light the true picture became clear. Standing in front of the bodies was the indistinct form of a man draped in a leather apron. His head was still missing.
On the table before the Faceless lay the grinning masks of his first five victims. They were bloody and ragged at the edges and nowhere near his usual work. Workmanship didn’t matter in this particular case, only his last victim, the thirteenth, would matter. He would have to wear that mask for the rest of his life. But the rewards would be more than worth it.
Perfect lips turned down into a frown. Shame that the detective hadn’t spotted him. If all of this happened with no fan fare, with no challenge of the chase it would seem… hollow. But there was time. Those little strumpets wouldn’t live for much longer without help, which encouraged the fools to return. Perhaps he would take one more life before they returned, or maybe two.