Finally. His prey had arrived. Though it was only a distorted silhouette hiding behind two glaring beams in the stormy night, his meal had just been delivered. He could feel it. Taste it. He had remained a statue throughout the persistent pelting rain, retreating inside his head, plotting his strategy, a study in focused vigilance. How long had it been since he watched his prey unexpectedly leave this solitary country house? A half-hour? Longer? He lost track. It had angered him, the unforeseen digression.
He tensed, tightening his grip on the trusted bowie hunting knife in his latex-sheathed hand. Through a narrow gap in the trio of cedars near the front corner of the weathered Cape Cod, the Minotaur watched his prey's black Chevy Silverado make a right turn from the deserted county road, disturbing murky puddles as it advanced toward him down the long gravel driveway. The flickering shadow that teased him behind the hypnotic dance of the truck's wipers slowly morphed into features of his human sacrifice.
He felt the adrenaline boiling deep within, a pressure cooker of anticipation. He fought to suppress any reckless impulse that could compromise his plan. There was no room for error. This sacrifice was key, the start of his master plan. The insatiable hunger that had consumed his life would soon be quelled. He was ready. It was the first strike in his plot to destroy the Bull, and the most important. He relished the thought of the inevitable kill. But first, he needed something from his prey.
The Minotaur broke his mental ruminations when the truck's tires halted and the engine ceased its rumbling percussion. So close now. The truck's door swung open. Timing--timing was everything. He watched his unsuspecting prey emerge from the truck with two plastic grocery bags in one hand, flipping up the hood of a navy jacket with the other, a protective shield from the heavenly downpour. As raindrops splashed and rolled down the Minotaur's unblinking eyelashes, a slow hungry smile crept up to meet them.
In the same instant his prey pushed on the truck's yawning door, the Minotaur sprung from his nest. Amid the growling thunder overhead, he registered the door's muted exclamation of closure the millisecond before he had his prey pinned against it. His elbow restrained the prey's dominant right arm which had dropped its plastic cargo, contents now drowning in pools of muddy rainwater. His prey tried to resist--a defensive reflex, and an expected one. Punishment was swift when the sharp, long edge of the Minotaur's blade grazed a sliver of skin at its precarious position at his prey's naked neck. Just a small slice, a nick. Enough to produce a submissive patsy.
The Minotaur caught something behind the patsy's eyes. Fear? Recognition? Confusion? His prey was about to speak. The Minotaur deftly muscled the knife closer to the throat, tracing a line along the shallow spring of blood that had bubbled up from beneath the surface. The ominous warning aborted the unwelcome verbal intrusion. This was his time to speak. To act. He had imagined it, practiced it, until every angle had been dissected. He delivered his intention now with perfect menace, forcing his prey to listen and obey. When he finished, they walked to the front door, and his prey unlocked the kingdom. As the old burdened door opened with creaky trepidation, the sky impulsively illuminated the threshold. In that brief glorious flash, the Minotaur peered into the home where he would be given everything he asked for.