"Passion... it lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting, and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open its jaws, and howl. It speaks to us, guides us... passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments; the joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank... Without passion, we'd be truly dead.". ~Angelus, "Passion"

People are too often deceived into thinking they are immortal. They move from day to day in their own silly little fits of ecstasy and agony, rarely thinking beyond the commonplace of their own experience. It is not that they deny their own mortality so much as they forget it, lost, as they say, in the moment. But humans are eternally lost in the moment, forgetting that they were not always the kings of the world, that all they have and take for granted has been painfully forged by their ancestors, that the life they live is merely an illusion, built away from the savage world they once knew. People very intentionally don't think about their own fragile rule, and their own fragile lives, precariously balanced in a universe aimed toward chaos.

But when they do... When they occasionally stop to gaze at the stars, or stare transfixed at the last gasping breaths of some doomed creature, or when they witness the tremendous powers of the world that can so easily obliterate their insulated province, then... Then, they fear. As they rightfully should. Yet, being the fools they are, they mostly fear their own lack of impact. Most people's greatest wish is that when they are gone, there are people whose lives are considerably less good than when they were alive. They want to have been important enough that their absence is felt, preferably a lot. This is, of course, ridiculous. Humans don't realize how few and far between are those existences that truly touch no one. Nonetheless, it is the secret wish of many. It is one that I grant.

There is certain artistry to it. The mere death of a loved one is painful, yes, but people have these innate defensive mechanisms which serve to alleviate a significant portion of the agony. Defensive mechanisms which kick in when it is obvious something is wrong. The fears that flash through someone's head when they find their front door ajar, when a child is not home when they are supposed to be, or when the police show up at the front door. These are not hard to avoid. With a little more effort and care the surprise can be total. Too many who taken the life of another feel the need to escape as soon as the act is done, as if by the death of their victim has somehow exposed them. In reality, time is plentiful. But I suppose this is a realization which comes with experience. With just a little more time and a lot more creativity, I have been able to observe the fulfillment of so many people's dearest desires to a greater extent than they would have imagined in their wildest dreams-or most terrifying nightmares.

For instance, one night, a father, John Shmidt, came home late. He always came home late. And as always, left his briefcase on the coffee table and went upstairs to tuck in his sleeping children. He opened the door to their bedroom and smiled at their still forms, snug in their beds. They always looked so sweet when they were sleeping. After allowing himself that brief moment of pause, he kneeled by the bed and swept away a golden curl from his daughter's small face before pressing a kiss to her cold cheek. It was only then that he realized just how still she really was. And it was only after frantically switching on the light to the room that he realized how pale both she and his son were. And it was only then that he saw the blood, cheerfully smeared over the floor and comforter. Blood that was still wet enough to coat the bottom of his expensive wingtip shoes. As I watched from the shadows, John Schmidt demonstrated just how much one person, or in this case, two, can affect another. And then I stepped out of the shadows and ended his suffering. I am too kind.

Shmidt was just one of many masterpieces past. It was a favorite trick of mine, posing the bodies as if it were just another day. It can be just as effective as building the fear, making people scared before anything happens. Even then, the best time to strike is when they are lulled into a sense of complacency. When they finally believe that they are safe. When they reassure themselves that the footsteps they hear behind them are the result of their overactive imagination and, for once, believe it. I strike when people feel the safest, most comfortable, and most happy. Slicing up dreams is so much sweeter when they are close at hand.

Now, I was walking the streets of the city where people go to dream with a new victim. Richard Castle was not subtle in his works of fiction. His latest thriller made it ever so clear he was in love with his charming muse and desperately wanted her to return the sentiment. I wager she already does. Detective Katherine Beckett just needs the right push. One I intend to provide.

But first, perhaps…a game. Life has become somewhat boring, and I think perhaps this is one of those cases which require a little prep-work before the grand finale. I might even let them have enough time to start something before I end it for them.

I am, after all, a giver.

I might be convinced to continue this if people are interested. Any continuation would probably mostly be from Castle and Beckett's side of things. Tell me what you think!