The heels of a woman alone, clicking on the pavement of a deserted street in the night, I have never been able to resist that. Sometimes they go tac, tac, tac. That means the heel is square and wide and that the job will be more difficult. You can run easily in that type of shoe. Sometimes they go ting, ting, ting. These are stiletto heels, I prefer their sound and I prefer their shape.
My perfect crime, because I remain convinced that you can only have one perfect crime in your life, just as you can only have one love of your life, was a ting, ting, ting that extended into fishnet stockings, set off by an well-cut outfit. I only attack elegant women. You can’t create art if the victim does not look right! She passed the doorway where I was smoking one of those things that heighten your impatience for pleasure, desperate from not having found anything to chase that night. I followed her, looking only at her legs and getting into the rhythm of her walk: ting, ting, ting, the sound of a fine gold jewel. This is a way of taming your prey and entering into a trance. Then the taste for murder is transformed into an urgent need to be satisfied, a sudden appetite for slashing and for blood, like the ravenous hunger of a child when it needs to be fed!
I have never killed a man. It’s less fun and not as beautiful. Think of that feeling you have when you are carving a roast, not with an electric carving knife, of course, you cowardly lot, but with a blade you hold in a firm hand. Think about that and dare to tell me that you do not feel anything when you are slicing through that flesh. I would not believe you. Killing a man with either a knife or a gun is much of a muchness. And killing a woman with a bullet, that’s a real waste. It feels so good to stick a knife into a breast! It reminds me of how I used to play with my teddy bears when I was little, the feeling of soft cotton the knife gave me when I plunged it into the foam. Killing a woman like that is both seeing the horror in her face and having a ringside seat to feel all her softness draining into your cruel hand.
My perfect crime was a ‘sylph’. That’s one of my categories. Slender but with a generous figure. That type is quite rare. Anyway, I followed her for a while, I watched her legs then I lifted my eyes to her hips and noticed how straight they were. This woman was not a drinker or else she practised dance. No lop-sidedness in her posture at all. As soon as I saw the nape of her neck, I jumped onto her. I put my arm under her jaw and pressed on the jugular, I thrust my knee into her back, she arched it, and I made her move along like that, with me stuck against her back, my cheek against hers. She did not shout out, she did not turn her head to try to see me, she did not say a word, she let herself be led in that last tango. But I was not disappointed. I was not disappointed because there was grace in it, because that woman was there, fully conscious of the grandeur of her fate. This was the victim I had been looking for from the beginning! I was so surprised that instead of biting her neck, I kissed her. She knew she was going to die, she was in no doubt about that. And she was right. None of them have ever got away from me, they are all dead, but they all struggled. She, my perfect crime, had the calmness of a sacrificial virgin on an altar of ancient times. She was magnificent, she would take the final step with great dignity. And I became the high priest. Time stood still and we became two eternal figures. She respected me, she understood my work and she submitted to it. I was not a maniac, I was Death, itself, in person. It was as if I could hear her saying “I was waiting for you”.
Usually, you know, I read the papers, I put the TV and radio on at the same time to follow the progress of the police, and then also for the pleasure of the story, as I learn a little more about my victims. But this time I knew I would not do any of that, I would remain in silence. I did not want to know anything about her and I did not want to admit reality into that moment of eternity we had shared. The indignation of officials, the gabbling of commentators, the tears of the family would all spoil that beautiful moment. That great memory. And when I see the animals who share my cell, I tell myself that at least I have achieved something, that someone has understood my greatness and has shamelessly submitted to it. I am not an outcast.
I dragged her towards a doorway, I was still behind her, I raised my knife with a slow gesture. I was not overcome by a savage rage, like with the others. One always has respect for one’s perfect crime. I raised my knife with a slow gesture, leaned forward and, resting my head on her upper ribs, I plunged the knife with a sharp, quick movement into her left breast. She quivered timidly and I fell into a state of ecstasy which this time was not bestial but mystical. The blood did not spurt out, it simply wept. It was not surprising either. It flowed with all the majesty of its purple color. I held her in my arms for a long time, I could not bring myself to leave her. The knife was still plunged in her breast and the blood was running over my hands. It had the calm of unforgettable sorrow. I supported her body, I did not want it to collapse. To allow that would be to betray her. She was so noble. Did I really have to go? Because I had no desire to ever kill again. No, I stayed there. I was at peace. The dawn came up and I was still holding her in my arms. I heard the sirens which were coming to separate me from my ‘sylph’ and I was as dignified as she was. I heard myself murmuring “I’m waiting for you”.
Translated by Wendy Cross