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¬The bus smelled horribly of pee, pee and freshly baked bread. Munich Roberts couldn’t handle that combination. He did his best to plug his nose and breathe as little as possible, but it just wasn’t enough. Munich watched each person get off, inspecting them very thoroughly with his eyes. He hadn’t seen her yet, but he would know when he did.
At the corner of 5th and Ashby he checked his watch for the fourth time. Munich had been riding the bus for three hours, twenty-four minutes, and six seconds. Seven seconds. A woman carrying three reusable grocery bags stepped on, weaved the poles in the middle of the isle, and sat down one seat in front of Munich. Her red hair fell in loose curls on her shoulders and he couldn’t help but lean forward to examine her further.
They rode for a few minutes before the bus creaked to a slow stop. A nun, smelling faintly of cannabis and Pabst Blue Ribbon, shuffled to one of the middle seats. Munich and the red head stared at the nun, looked to each other, and stifled laughter.
“People these days,” he said, rubbing his hand across the back of his neck. His brown hair was long enough to curl up on the ends and brush the back of his hand. Munich’s piercing blue eyes met her emerald ones. His stare caused chill bumps on her arms and legs.
The girl kept turning her head around to look at Munich over her shoulder. She finally faced him. He smiled at the girl as she opened and closed her mouth a few more times. He thought it was cute that he made her so nervous she lost her words.
“My name is Rachel.” She smiled slyly and nodded. Her small frame was jostled as they hit a bump in the road.
This is the one, Munich thought to himself. He had never had a victim come so easily to him before. And she was so beautiful. Her skin glowed like a full moon on a cloudless night. She couldn’t have been any more perfect.
Their trip went on for another hour. Rachel missed her stop twice, giggling each time. Munich simply laughed along, remarking he had missed his as well. Her phone rang a few times, interrupting their fun. He had to bite his tongue not to snatch it from her hands. He hated cell phones. They take away from face-to-face time.
Rachel hung up her iPhone for the last time, seconds before her stop. She removed a small slip of scrap paper and a pen from her pocket. She finished writing down her phone number right as the bus rolled up to the bus stop.
“I’m glad I met someone normal on the bus for once. Give me a ring sometime,” she batted her long strawberry blonde eyelashes at him and turned to leave.
Munich watched her hop off the last step of the bus without another glance back. He ran to the front to stop the bus from departing. The driver hesitantly opened the doors. Munich stayed a few feet behind Rachel for only a block. He stood by a nearby telephone pole and watched her enter. Munich waited a few seconds then slipped in behind her with ease.
He exited the apartment five minutes before the next bus would be running. Munich checked both directions before opening up his backpack and pulling out several things: a trash bag, a clean shirt, disinfecting wipes, and a disposable cell phone. He wiped his hands off, pulled off his dirty shirt, and placed them both in the trash bag. Munich dialed 911, held the phone to his ear and slicked his hair back with his free hand.
“I’d like to report a disturbance at,” he paused to check the numbers on the building, “3429 Beechwood Street.”
Munich ended the call abruptly and placed the cell phone in the trash bag. He dumped the bag into a trash can and pulled his backpack on his back right in time for the bus to pull in front of him. He said hello to the driver and sat a few seats from the front of the bus.