I stood by the box of mementos I had pulled out of the old Subaru for a long time after Jenny drove away. I felt my wife walk back inside and leave me in the driveway. I guess she thought I was thinking about Jenny going away to college. But I was replaying memories, trapped in them really. I did that more and more as I got older and slower and my habits became more dangerous for me to indulge in. I thought about the times I had cleaned the car by myself, and then in the first time I had to clean the car. The old Subaru was brand new then, an extravagant present from my wife’s parents while she was still expecting. They never really learned that buying things for people wasn’t the same thing as loving them.

I started thinking about the first girl I had taken for a ride. I thought about the mistakes I made. I thought about the embarrassment I felt at being so clumsy and the embarrassment I felt over being so embarrassed. It’s a miracle I managed it at all…

I drove around downtown until I found her, alone, propped up against a filthy brick wall, nodding off. I stopped and rolled down my window, gave her my harmless smile and let her get a look at the muddy mom car before I waved a little baggie of rock salt to get her attention. She stumbled to the passenger door window and practically fell into the Forester.

“I’ve never done this before,” she said, after agreeing to suck my dick for the baggie. Yeah, right.

“I’ve never done this before either,” I said. I was at least being truthful. “Let’s drive somewhere private.”

She got in. She didn’t smell too bad, but I turned up the a/c just a little. Stick-thin arms and legs, flannel over a worn-thin t-shirt, so old I couldn’t even make out the decal. Denim skirt. I pushed her dirty boots off my seat when she drew her knees up to her chest in an instinctive fear response.

“Sorry,” she mumbled and crossed her arms over her chest, hugging herself.

I could barely concentrate to drive, I was so excited. But she was only focused on the supposed meth in the baggie. I kept it in view on my side of the dashboard. A risk but a good one; she never realized how far out in the county I was driving her for what was supposed to be a quick bit of head.

She wanted a hit right after we parked, said it would get her in the mood. The rock salt, found in my garage from last winter, didn’t fool her a bit. “Hey, man, what is this shit?” I said nothing.

“Fuck this,” she said. She pulled at the handle on her door with both hands, but nothing happened, of course. “Child locks,” I told her and laughed, taking off my seatbelt.

I hit her, a good one that I was able to get my shoulder into, catching her right in the mouth. I split her upper lip and when she started to cry, I saw I had broken off a tooth, maybe with my wedding ring. It was a jagged bit of white through all the blood.

I hit her again. Dazed, her head lolled back and her mouth filled with blood. She choked and spit it up. Blood was already everywhere. I was painfully erect by now. I thought my cock was going to rip open my jeans.

I choked her with both hands, knocking her head against the passenger window as hard as I dared. It would have been hard to fix a broken window by myself. Blood was flying all over. I remember wondering if I could hose out the interior of the Subaru directly.

I thought she was out when I took one hand off her neck to get my pants down. I was planning to tear her up. I was going to fuck her in half and then fuck each half twice for good measure. Fucking jeans, I thought. Why did I wear jeans? I looked down to work the button-fly.

I guess I had released the pressure too much. Her eyes opened. One handful of fingernails dug into the hand I still had on her neck; the rest of them went for my eyes. I jerked back and just got two ragged furrows on my cheek. Both hands went back around her neck and I fell over on her, pinning her arms.

I was face to face with her. I remember being struck by how beautiful she was in the moment, furious, fighting for her life, fingernails, and fangs. I squeezed harder and dipped forward for a quick kiss, her blood on my lips, salty and hot, like ejaculate. The kiss woke something up in her. She fought harder and then harder still when I laughed.

She got a knee into my crotched, but rather feebly. It still hurt. The scratches on my face burned like she had poured acid on them. This was going on too long. The anger just poured out of me. So I just squeezed. I forgot about her dirty little meth slit, and all the games I was going to play until I had to get back home. There was just the killing now, the big finish, the grand finale.

Her eyes were just a couple of inches from mine. I got to watch the blood vessels in them burst. She wasn’t fighting anymore, more holding onto my hands than trying to pry them off of her, and making gek gek gek sounds as she tried to take a breath. I watched the anger in her face drain, and then the fright that replaced it go as well.

And then I got to see the exact moment she stopped being a person. I let loose in my pants. It was the longest and most intense orgasm of my life. It felt like I was filling my pants with a quart of lava-hot jizz. So much better than the break-in rapes or the hookers I beat up in the city. I’d never bothered with any of that ever again.

I kept choking her, even though I knew she was dead. When I felt her hyoid bone snap, I finally let go and leaned back into my seat. I yawned suddenly; yawned so wide that my jaw cracked. My first post-kill sleepies, although I hadn’t thought up the name yet. I shook them off. There was work still do.

I looked around to make sure we were still alone and then turned on the dome light. She lay there like a broken doll. There was just nothing there anymore, not the flush of her youth, or her nervous energy, nothing of what I had found so attractive just a few minutes.

There were scabs on her arms, and her legs were rough with stubble where they stuck out of the ragged hem of her denim miniskirt. I tore open her thin t-shirt. Her breasts were tiny and the right was larger than the left. I touched them both and squeezed them as hard as I could. She didn’t scream, so it was just boring.

I brushed her hair out of her face. She was actually pretty ugly when you got down to it. Acne scars and a big nose. She had nice eyes, I guess, a calm blue that was going white as the corneas dried.

I unzipped the skirt and tugged it off. Filthy yellow panties. I pulled them off too and found a tampon string hanging from her cunt. The whole wound was an angry red, and smelled infected, like it was rotting away. She had shit herself. More mess to clean up.

I got out and walked around to her door. She was leaning against it and fell most of the way out of the car all on her own. I took up a bunch of her hair and pulled her the rest of the way out and dropped her on the grass.

I took off her shoes and socks and set them aside and then gathered the rest of her clothes out of the car. I pulled out her cheap earrings out and stuck them in my pants pocket.

I hadn’t parked out with her in the middle of nowhere on a whim. I had scouted the area for weeks while running errands for the bed-bound wife. I dragged her to the old well I had found and left her there.

I walked back to the car and got out paper towels and bleach and lighter fluid and a large jar of lye. I stripped off all my clothes and added them to the pile with hers and cleaned myself up in front of the car with the headlights on. The bleach burned my skin and I got itchy. I would have to think of something else for next time. I put her earrings in a little jelly jar and topped it off with bleach.

The great wads of bloody paper towels and the clothes I carried over to a small pit I had dug yards from the well. I soaked them with the entire can of lighter fluid and tossed it in as well. I lit an entire pack of matches and flicked it into the pit from as far away as I could manage. A great fireball lit up the night.

I swore all the way back to her body. I picked her up and dropped her in the well ass-first and she folded up like a pocket knife and there was a splash. I poured an entire bottle of bleach over her then I carefully open the gallon jar of lye and poured it in as well. I wasn’t sure what it would do. I knew there was water down there, but not how much. Maybe the lye would burn her up.

I replaced the boards I had taken off the well earlier and walked back, naked, barefoot and cold to the fire pit and tossed in the lye jar and the bleach bottle. The pit was burning merrily. I wanted to stay and watch, but I knew I needed to leave. I pulled on the extra clothes I had brought and marveled again at the amount of cargo room.

I drove away and parked at another location I had scouted out. It took hours to clean the car. I had at least thought to put a thick mil plastic under the seats and the floorboard and had put all the mats in the garage. The sheeting had caught most of the blood, and the interior cleaned up well, but the passenger seat was a total loss, soaked in blood and shit and piss. I unbolted it and tossed it in a ditch. When I was otherwise ready to go back home, I soaked it with the extra can of lighter fluid and set it on fire as well.

I parked in the garage to keep the neighbors from noticing the missing seat and took a shower in the downstairs bathroom. I wasn’t sleeping in the same bed with my enormously pregnant wife, so she never even knew I was gone. I called around the next day until I found a seat in a junkyard and replaced the missing one before my wife, who could only get out of bed to go to the bathroom or the hospital, even knew. By the time she went into labor, even the bleach smell was gone.

I told her the scratches were from a cat I had found that had been hit by a car. It had lashed out while dying, I had said, which was mostly the truth. I had been gone so long burying it. It was a good excuse. I hated to use it up.

The first kill. Nothing like your first. There are an even dozen jelly jars in my secret place in the basement and that old Subaru had helped with every one of them.

I must have not moved for a solid half-an-hour while reminiscing and my wife finally came outside to check on me. She walked in front of me and waved her hand in my eyes. I hated that. Every time she did it, I thought about cutting off her hands.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

“I’m fine. Just empty-nesting,” I said.

She looked down and leaned in. “You have an enormous erection,” she said with the slightly humorous lust of the long-married.

“That’s the upside of the empty nest,” I said and leaned forward enough for it to dig into her hip.

“Let’s go inside,” she said, a smile on her face. I nodded and let her lead me.

I would have to break in the new Subaru another night.