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Strangling

He had killed before
When he was eleven years old.
He and Mary were playing by a stream
Sheltered by willow trees.

They were playing a competition
To see who could hold their heads underwater the longest.
Mary kept winning.
He didn’t like it.

“One more try,” he said
So they ducked their heads one more time.
He lifted his head early
While Marys’ was still submerged.

He grabbed her by the neck and held her under.
Marys’ hands began flailing.
They slowly stopped.
She was dead.

He dragged her from the water
To make sure she was dead.
Her body was lifeless as he looked into her dead eyes.
He left her there and went home; guiltless.

Years later the urge returned to him.
This time it was planned.
He had to kill again.
He had to see those dead eyes.

For three weeks he spied a girl from the bushes in a park.
Every night at dusk. Same time. Same place.
One night he grabbed her.
One hand on her mouth. One hand on her neck.

He dragged her into the bushes
And threw her to the ground.
He placed his hands tightly around her neck
As she struggled to free herself.

Slowly her efforts weakened as the life drained from her.
The only sound was the rustling leaves.
Soon there was no movement from her.
Her body was lifeless as her head rolled to one side.

He turned her head back.
He had to look into those dead eyes as he had done with Mary.
He stood up and calmly walked off. Guiltless.
He would kill again.

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