The Eskimos or Inuit have over 30 words for snow. He had one for rain…glorious. He loved rain, falling water, moisture, drizzle, deluge, mist, fog, downpour, pouring cats & dogs, and those all those other adjectives. After 73 hours of constant rain, most people would be suicidal by now, or already dead. Grey, dark skies, thunder, lightening, wind, hail, and yet more rain would drive most people to start drinking heavily or overdose on coffee. However, he lived for the rain. He killed in the rain, other people died in the rain. Lately, he had been using the name Jake, not his real name, but it would do for now.
Thirteen years ago, “Jake” was almost killed during a rainstorm in Portland, Oregon. A place that embraced the rain. It was a necessity since it rained constantly from October till April. Rain was Portland’s idea of winter, it’s alternative to the snow and ice of the Midwest and East. Umbrellas, rain coats, and goulashes the coulter dress of the day! One dark wet night, as he came out of a bar on 2nd Ave at 2:30 AM, some asswipe, tweaker, scumbag decided that he was a mark to mug. Armed with a trusty piece of rebar, the mutt played “Wipeout” on his skull. He lived, but the event changed him. He became a hunter, sometimes for pay, more often for his personal enjoyment. Somehow, he found that street trash that beat him like a circus monkey. After he was finished carving on him with an heirloom K-Bar knife, the “victim” became one of Portland’s longest running cold cases.
That was then, this is now, and thanks god or whoever, for this wonderful, glorious rain. He had been waiting for two things, the rain and the victim to finally leave his low rent Section 8 Housing, a flea trap in 12th Ave. Waiting across the street from the “Terrace’ was no problem, street lights being in short supply, even in the so called cultural area. He was unseen, but could see the victim very well. Between the din of the rain, heavy traffic, numerous homeless bums and winos, his presence was not noticed. His favorite blade was at home. Tonight he had chosen an ice pick. Yet another fine killing instrument, that left small or no exit wounds and little if any blood, but killed as effectively as any blade in the hands of an expert killer.
Three blocks he followed the victim, drawing closer each block…well they were small blocks, the smallest in any city. Almost baby blocks, by most standards. The mark turned down the “Park Blocks”, an even more dark, desolate area. At this point, only twenty feet separated the killer and his victim. As they entered the area known as Pioneer Square, filled by the down and out, street punks, worker bees, and tourists wandering in the dark, the killer struck. Faster than many could see, and certainly faster than the victim could react, the ice pick entered and exited his left ear. The victim kept walking two or three paces, but already dead. The few citizens never even noticed the body, assuming just another derelict drunk or tweaked OD, asleep in the gutter. Jake got on a Max Train and left the area, unseen, yet strangely fulfilled. Death and rain, they just seemed to be made for each other.
Tonight’s death in the rain would be written off as gang violence, a random kill, or the homeless mugging each other for dope, statistics that helped Portland’s reputation to become the “Mini-Murder Capital” of the North West. Jake liked to do his part.