Months and no word. Everyone thought he was dead, drowned in a sea of paper and gristle of gridlock and shit of administration. But he’s returned. He’s a killer. He’s a god. He creates and destroys.
He’s still afflicted with technological addiction, slipping off the written page to check stats at wordpress, to see if a flaky foreigner has decided to follow through with a proposed purchase of furniture, to get mailing addresses via email, to see who’s engaged and who’s eating cheese and who’s watching the paint dry.
His target: a woman named May who was born circa 1928. She’s the oldest of five children; she disappeared in San Francisco when she was in her early 20s, then returned to her family home outside Modesto. A few years later, she helped her father cover up an affair with a migrant worker by traveling with the pregnant teen to her home in southern Mexico. Documents indicate she died in a hiking accident in Costa Rica. The killer knows differently.
The killer takes a quick peek online to get his fix, return a few emails. Then he begins to plot his attack He trains his mind while he trains his body, walking 3.48km for 30 minutes and sculpting his guns for another 20 in temperature-regulated environment. He steels his mind against the idea of killing an 83 year-old woman, but her existence must be eradicated. The killer will use May’s youngest sister, Clara (aka Gretchen) to cover his tracks. He’ll make Clara/Gretchen the oldest, he’ll make her go off to SF, he’ll make her go to Costa Rica. He’ll slice useful parts of May and carefully discard the rest to make a better, more streamlined Clara/Gretchen.
May must die. Clara/Gretchen’s eternal life depends on it. May must die. The killer approaches May with his blade, intending to cut precisely through the nebula that she creates. He expects her to go with a fight. She may know, however, that she is superfluous; she may concede quietly. Nonetheless, the killer is ready for anything, his faculties deft, his skills ruthless yet artful. He deletes a high school “friend” who updates every day with his thoughts on watching the grass grow. Then he gets to work on May.