The woman unzipped the middle compartment of her backpack and began to rummage through it. The first item she pulled from the backpack was a small square bowl. The bowl contained a ziplock bag with several packages of crackers she had accumulated from various cafes she ate at, and a small ziplock bag of various types of small cheese cubes that had begun the journey frozen. Next she pulled out a package of Jack Links teriyaki beef nuggets, then an Angry Sasquatch Big Stick. She rummaged around a little more, and found the trail mix she was looking for, and a Lucky Charms marshmallow treat bar.
Except for the Lucky Charms bar, the man watching her through the binoculars was pleased with the food she had pulled out of the backpack. So far, almost everything about the woman he had been watching pleased him. As he continued to watch, she took the ziplock bags of crackers and cubed cheese out of the bowl, and sat them on top of the backpack. She reached into one of the many pockets on her loose fitting hiking shorts and pulled out a pocket knife. She used it to cut part of the Big Stick into small pieces. She put the pieces she had cut up, some beef nuggets, and two types of trail mix into the bowl. She picked up the bag of cubed cheese, opened it and shook the cheese into the bowl, grabbed a few of the crackers, leaned back against the tree she was sitting beneath, and began to enjoy her meal.
His eye had first been drawn to her as she had hoisted the backpack over her slender shoulders. He had watched as she pulled a walking stick from the Avalanche, and been stuck by the way the sunshine glinted on light streaks in her otherwise honey colored hair as she had straightened up. His lips curved into a slow wicked smile as the words, "Gentlemen prefer blondes" ran through his head.
He was no gentleman. But did prefer slender lithe blondes as play pretties.
She had walked to the trail head, studied the information beneath glass, took one of the maps from the tray beneath the glass, and followed the wooden arrow that directed her to one of the more difficult hiking trails in the park. He knew that trail well, so waited several minutes before he hoisted his own backpack, then took the same trail at a slow pace. She had taken off down the trail at a fairly good clip, but he knew she would soon come to section of the trail that would slow even the most nimble mountain goat.
He knew a perfect vantage point to watch her make that rocky ascent from. As he settled into that vantage point, he found himself once more nodding in silent satisfaction as she took one more drink of water, put the bottle back in the net side pocket, then began to carefully climb that very rocky incline. Watching her climb that rocky incline made the man realize he had misjudged her when he had first summed her up as a trophy wife yuppie day hiker. True, the carefully coiffed and colored hair, Avalanche truck, perfectly color coordinated brown and pink camo hiking outfit made her appear that at first. But watching her make her way up that rocky incline caused him to rethink his original assessment of her.
Now, after following her for 5 miles, he had come to the conclusion that whatever she was, she would be his next play pretty. The elusive Blue Rose Killer would strike again, leaving behind his 13th mutilated victim. Just thinking about tucking a blue rose behind the ear of the woman after he was finished playing with her, had him so hard he ached as he watched her relaxing beneath the tree. He was going to do things to that slender lithe body that would stretch its flexibility beyond the breaking point. And it was time to capture his prey. With that thought in mind the Blue Rose Killer backed down the hilltop he was on, and when he was out of her line of sight, stood up, walked away from the trail, then jogged off into the woods. He knew the perfect place to capture her. When she got to that part of the trail, he would be there waiting for his new play pretty.
Just as he had predicted, the woman had picked this spot to take a break. After taking the backpack off she had taken a step back and looked up in order to get a better view of the towering tree she was standing under. The Blue Rose Killer lunged forward, wrapped one arm around her, making sure she could not reach for the pocketknife, slapped the chloroform cloth over her nose and whispered, "You will beg me to kill you before I'm through with you."
That's when the woman reached up, grabbed the hand holding the chloroform cloth, kicked back with one foot, breaking his shin on impact, and as she jerked the hand holding the chloroform cloth from her mouth said, "I don't think so." With that she flipped him over her shoulder, dropped down onto him, placed one hand over his mouth to muffle his screams, and used the other to bury the pocket knife in his heart. As she looked down at the startled face of the dying man, she leaned over, twisted the knife in his heart and whispered, "But you don't have time to beg me for anything."
She dragged the body off the trail, rolled it down into a gully, then covered it with leaves and branches. She went back to the trail, grabbed her backpack and his, then hiked to a spot where she could get reception. She went through the man's backpack, and raised an eyebrow in surprise when she saw the blue silk rose in the clear plastic tube. Then she sent a quick text that read, "Accidentally ran into some trouble while hiking. Send small, one man clean up crew."
She waited a few seconds, heard the message chime, and read the reply text from Rick that read, "WTF have you done now?"
Tawny Mayhem fired off another quick text, "The Blue Rose Killer. But only him. So far." And grinned as she read the reply to that, "Clean up crew on the way. Try leaving it at just him. For now."
Tawny returned to the ravine where she had left the body, and waited for the clean up crew. She hoped they would get there before she had to add another body to the ravine.