Acute concern crept across Melissa’s and John’s faces as they watched the screen from outside the Retrovision store window. "Police are still baffled as the death toll rises now to nine about the identity of the serial killer who still stalks the streets of Brisbane always using a small knife to slay his victims" cheerfully reported the annoying news reader.
" Police warn all females between the ages of fifteen to nineteen to lock up securely."
Concern turned to anxiety as Melissa thought of her seventeenth birthday scarcely a week ago. The young couple continued their way to the restaurant on their first date with only one topic of conversation. " Scary isn’t it?" said Melissa, clearly disturbed.
" I reckon. That guy must be one sick puppy eh?" John replied. Melissa answered with a soft grunt as they stepped into the tacky eatery.

Melissa’s long, flowing, golden hair fell from behind her ear where she had so carefully placed it moments before and hurriedly did so again. Her beautiful teenager’s face was buried beneath layer upon layer of make up. She was wearing her most expensive dress which she saved for the most special of occasions. She considered this one of those occasions as she didn’t want to take the risk of going on a blind date dressed badly if in the off chance her date looked like Brad Pitt. Her hunch had been right this time. Johnothan R. Frakes was a real catch for a girl. Tall, big shoulders, blond hair and deep blue eyes and most importantly thought Melissa, he had a dress sense. John also thought he had hit the jackpot on this blind date. He watched her slim body sit down at the table and knew this was going to be an interesting night.

They hurried out of the eatery later on determined not to miss the beginning of " The English Patient". During dinner the conversation had flourished about anything and everything as it became obvious these two enjoyed each other’s company with fears John had earlier that they wouldn’t get along soon dissipating as the evening rolled along. They stepped out of the movie holding hands asking questions to one another beginning with " How about the bit when……….." now basking in the pleasure of each others company, a happy couple as they began the long trek back to Melissa’s house where her parents where conveniently away for the weekend. Too involved with themselves were they that the tall, hunched over figure in the black trench coat silently watching them went unnoticed from across the street. They chatted uselessly as Melissa answered John’s endless questions, loving, as most females do, talking about herself. Although talking quite loud it would not drown the soft tap-taping of another’s shoes closely behind.

At first ignoring it, the two kept talking not wanting to admit their somewhat embarrassing and childish fears to the other but now they conversed quieter. As the walking became closer and following them around several corners, finally John summoned the courage to mention his ill feelings about their follower. " I uh…..I think that guy (automatically assuming their assailant to be male) is getting closer." he stammered.
" I know." she said and gripped his hand tighter.
As if to confirm their fears they heard the menacing crunch of a twig as large boots quickened their pace from behind. The conversation abruptly stopped as if the fear that radiated from the dark figure behind them clasped around their throats stopping any sound from escaping.
" Do you think it’s him?" Melissa whispered so quietly John had to lean over.
" Who?"
" Who do you think? The serial killer!" she scowled, becoming irritable from the fear.
" Oh Jesus………." he vacantly stared as he whispered, the thought dawning on him now.

The foot steps now no more than ten metres behind, John stole a quick glance at the large man clad neck to toe in black with the trench coat collar covering most of his face.




Greasy black hair held in clumps dangled in front of his eyes. A cigarette burning into the filter section sat between his lips. His arms hung rigidly by his sides and a large bulge protrouded from above his belt