Was it wrong to take a life so young? Such beautiful skin was soft, smooth, and white as cream. He stroked her lustrous brown hair.
A nervous smile flitted across her face.
He stared into her eyes. She was a university student, filled with the idealism of youth, but her lips and nails were painted red. The ceaseless debate pounded in his head. A painter should not discard a sketch for its lack of finish. With time, a musician could weave a simple tune into a great symphony. A true artist never rushed to judgment. He shuddered at the prospect of mistakenly snuffing out a life of promise. He had to contemplate her value before the final moment.
In time, she might become a doctor, a judge, or a professor. But how could that be? Her dress was tight and low-cut. She would create a scandal wherever she went. He could resist no longer. He caressed her long, slim neck. Fear flickered through her body. His fingers dug deeper. She gasped. Like tiny birds, her hands fluttered upward to pry away his fingers. Passion overcame his reason. The desperate pleading in her eyes drove him to heights of ecstasy. Her arms and legs thrashed pitifully. Her fear thrust him into his dark world of freedom, where only he could redeem her soul. It was an act of compassion.
Lacing his fingers around her throat, he twisted his hands hard and fast. “Just a common harlot, begging for it,” he panted. At last, she was quiet. He stroked her long neck and hummed a lullaby. An exquisite subject, he thought. He withdrew a silver knife from his pocket. An artist, who sought new challenges, deserved the finest tools. Carefully, he drew back her long black hair and exposed her face. On her cheek he carved a tiny petal. Pausing to admire his work, he drew another petal close to her chin and then scrolled a graceful stem down her neck. Disappointed, he sat back. He had not yet perfected his artistry. The line lacked the easy flow of a master. But with his mark, now she was truly beautiful.
The next morning, he sat at a cafe on the mews, which was suffused with a calm, ethereal light. He sipped his coffee and scanned the front page of the newspaper. He wanted to savor the latest review of his artistic work. The media called him “The Florist.” He would send the editor a sketch of his next carving. Soon he would be known as an artist with daring in his soul.