The Serial Killers Club

PROLOGUE: CLUB SERIAL KILLER

I guess it’s not every day you end up with a dead serial killer lying at your feet.

There I was, going about my life, when right out of the blue this lunatic is leaping out of the shadows, coming at me with a big knife, and screaming that he was going to cut my heart out. At the time I was working on a dockyard, tossing goods on and off ships, and was packing a lot more muscle than people—and serial killers—realized. I fought like a man possessed, and somehow or other he was the one who wound up with a knife sticking out of him. I guess I don’t know my own strength sometimes.

I can’t remember every last detail—we are talking four years ago—but after the shock had faded a little, I know I was intrigued enough to want to learn a little more about my would-be killer, and it seemed only natural to go through his wallet. What I found—apart from a few measly dollars—were news clippings detailing his killing career. He obviously liked the attention cutting people’s hearts out had granted him, because each clipping was immaculately folded and pressed into a see-through vinyl credit card holder so that if he wanted to, he could open his wallet at any given time and get a little buzz from reading about himself. He also had copies of boastful messages that he had sent to the media and had signed them all “Yours sincerely, Grandson-of-Barney.” I have to admit that this sent a big tingle down my spine. Grandson’s exploits had been reported on television—watched by millions, I imagine—and there I was, sharing quality time with the guy.

I figured out I would have been Grandson’s sixth victim, and I think it was this realization more than anything else that proved to be an epiphany in my life. Epiphany isn’t my word, by the way; I got it from federal agent Kennet Wade, this great guy I hooked up with for a time. I sort of felt privileged. I know that probably sounds crazy, but after a largely anonymous life it gave me a big rush to think I’d attracted the attention of such a notorious serial killer. To be singled out from God knows how many thousands was pretty awesome, and I think this was the true nature of my epiphany. The sheer euphoria of finally being noticed. I could have hugged Grandson there and then.

Not that I did, I hasten to add.

The last thing I found in Grandson’s wallet was a clipping from the “Lonely Hearts” section of the local newspaper. It was ringed heavily and read something like “GOB, We know you’re out there, so why not come in from the cold and share a pastry with us? Yours, Errol Flynn.”

I couldn’t believe it.

Why would Errol Flynn of all people want to write to a serial killer, and how could he do that when as far as I knew, he had been dead for close to fifty years?

I have to admit, I was intrigued. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Errol Flynn is one of the finest actors ever, and here he was posting messages to me. Not that he knew it was me, but in my book it was close enough.

I truly didn’t want to be investigated by the police for the killing of Grandson. Chances are, with the way my luck pans out sometimes, I would’ve been accused of murder and hanged on the spot. So after locking Grandson’s body in a trunk and stowing it aboard a South Africa-bound ship along with various