When traveling from place to place in Indonesia we ran into other travelers at various venues. We seemed to run into one Frenchman more often than was usual. Because we were two females in a country where we didn’t know the language, we appreciated this man’s willingness to accompany us on some of our adventures. With his very presence, our jousting with representatives of the tourist industry was reduced.
On one day, the three of us travelled by van, bus, ferry, then bus again and finally with Uber from Java to Bali. The day’s journey, which included hiking in and out of Mt. Ijen beginning at 1:00 am, took over twelve hours. His hotel was a few miles away from ours so the Uber driver dropped him off first. We paid for the Uber so he asked if he could repay us by buying dinner. We said sure and went on our way.
Bali was a decadent improvement from Java. Our hotel provided chilled juice upon our arrival. Our room had a bathroom with hot water showers and toilet paper and the sheets were clean! Going without these things for days made the things taken for granted seem like divine gifts from Heaven. We freshened up and headed to the beach. We watched the tranquility of the ocean while sipping wine and sitting in beanbag chairs at a restaurant that was actually in the sand. Being able to order wine was even a change as there weren’t many places in Java that sold alcohol.
On our way back to the hotel, we ran into the Frenchman. Since his hotel was miles away and had its own beach, we were surprised to see him. He said he wanted to check out our hotel since he had family coming and wanted a nicer place for them. He reminded us about dinner the following evening.
The next day, we explored the streets near our hotel, taking our time and enjoying having no schedule. As we came out of one of the shops, we ran into the Frenchman again. My blood turned cold. This was too much of a coincidence.
Like assembling a puzzle, my mind sometimes puts pieces of information together to realize a previously unknown fact. This process was triggered when we saw the Frenchman again. There was no reason for him to be in the area. There were so many people, the coincidence in running into him again on these streets had to be astronomical. Then I remembered on our Uber ride I asked him what he did for a living. He said he was a butcher. A butcher. As I’m piecing this together, my vital signs hit the accelerator. He reminded us about dinner and said he looked forward to it.
When we got out of earshot, I told my friend what I had pieced together: He has to be a serial killer. To say you’re a butcher must have been his personal joke. He travels the world for about one month each year. That’s how he doesn’t get caught. He latches on to unsuspecting females and then kills them. No one has any idea what happened to them. Then, returns to work for another eleven months of butchering non-humans. Because we are old enough to be his mother, he probably has mommy-issues that he’s acting out.
My friend thought my mind was a little too imaginative. She felt he was too nice to be a killer. I explained to her that that is what all surviving serial killer victims say. To placate me, she agreed we would not have dinner with him. He was supposed to call us later in the afternoon to determine where we would meet. He never called. My friend thought it was because he found more interesting dining partners. I believe his spidey-sense kicked in and he knew I was onto him. Thankfully, we’ll never know if I was right, but I fully expect to see him on the news one day, a French national suspected of killing many middle-aged women all over the world before being captured during his latest annual spree.
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.