“I don't do evil when I'm not on duty, just as prostitutes tend not to have sex on their days off. My ideal off-shift day starts with a hot bath and the scent of black tea, followed by an hour on my balcony with a good book; then a stroll through the busy streets to view an art exhibition, hear a sermon or philosophical debate, or simply admire the mosaics in the Blue Temple.”
In “The Devil You Know” by K. J. Parker
The underpass is vacant apart from a solitary figure headed directly toward her. A woman around Romany's own age, and not too dissimilar from how she looks.
'I see you're not taking the advice,' the police officer says nodding to the wall. 'The poster. We're advising young women to be careful not to walk alone when they don't have to. He's killed three.'
'I'm sorry, I didn't see it. I'm only headed around the corner,' Romeny replies.
'I'll walk you along. I hope you've been watching the news.'
Out of the underpass now, Romeny learns a lot about the officer. She learns her name, that she's part Irish, that she isn't a natural blonde, and the police are no closer to finding the monster.
Romeny also knows that there are no cameras here, nor are there any cameras within a square mile of this alleyway. She remembers from the maps that decorate her basement flat.
It's how she's gotten away with it for so long.
She hasn't planned on it tonight, but the night is so young and crisp and the porcelain flesh of her new friend so inviting, she doesn't see any reason why she can't play.
She reaches into her jacket pocket and thumbs the icy blade it shelters.
This will be fun, she thinks.
And again, it is.