The Tiger In The Smoke

I am...the most dangerous man alive.
I am...a God in my own right.
Mine...is the power.
If I decide that you will die,
Then you will die.
If I give you life,
Then you will live.
I decide...
Mine...is the power.

It is night.
I am on the streets of London in search of prey.
I am an animal:
A cat;
Strong,
Feline,
I see in the dark
As clearly as others in the daylight...

I am your friend,
Your benefactor
Your Saviour!
Your kind Uncle Des;
Come home with me, Iíll feed you,
Give you a bed for the night,
My bed;
Iíll give you warmth,
Affection,
Love,
And when the morning comes...

You are so young,
So innocent,
So naÔve,
So helpless.
Did you really think the streets of London
Were paved with gold?

You and I were,
Are,
Inevitable,
We were brought together by Fate,
Providence!

You sleep, and I caress your hair,
You are unaware of me standing over you.
Your body is frail,
In your nakedness you remind me of a Belsen skeleton,
One that walks, talks, yet has no soul,
No spirit,
No will to live.

Your bones almost protrude through your flesh,
Your malnutrition is...pitiful,
My hands are round your neck,
But they are gentle, caressing;
I have decided...
You will leave here tomorrow morning after breakfast
With a £5 note in your pocket.

My hands now rest on your head again,
I run my fingers softly through your hair;
Child,
Sweet child,
Sweet, innocent child.
You will never know how close you came...
I stand up, move away,
You are still mine...
You will stay mine till the morning comes,
Then you will leave...and live.

I close the door, and smile to myself;
Content,
Smug,
You are still mine...till the morning comes,
And if at any time I should change my mind,
It would be so easy, to take your life.

[The above was first published in Wrong Side Of The River].

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