A/N: Hello all and welcome to chapter 3. It has been an utter joy to write plenty of murder, especially since it is something I don't get to do all that frequently.

Black Dahlia

Summary: When he walked free, all she wanted was for him to suffer for what he did. But once she got a taste for it, she found out that she couldn't stop. Not until she dished out her own justice for the world to see.

*The Taste*

October 28, 2019

Christine let out a sigh and wished she brought along a cup of coffee. She was feeling worn out and not from Alana's tale being dull. Keeping contact with the spirit world was taxing on her both physically and mentally and she took a moment to rub her eyes. By God, what I wouldn't do for some sort of caffeine. Haven't been this worn out during a session in years.

"Feeling tired?" Alana asked, practically reading her mind. "Understandable. I imagine being a psychic is draining."

"You have no idea." Christine let out a groan. "I wish I had some coffee right about now."

"Ask and you shall receive." The blonde smirked and in her hand appeared a steaming cup of coffee, freshly brewed. "Here you go, love. Drink up."

"Thank you." The brunette took it graciously. "You know, for a supposed serial killer you are quite hospitable."

"Hey, I told you. I'm not a psychopathic murderer; I'm a vigilante," Alana corrected. "The black dahlia of this quiet little city doing what she can to protect her fellow people. Think of me like Redhood from the comics. Except I do it in real life."

"Interesting comparison." Christine took a sip of her coffee. It was made just the way she liked it; strong but sweet, with little milk. "Rather nice."

"I figured you would appreciate a good wakeup." Alana smiled. People could say what they wanted about her, that she was a violent woman who was a danger to society and needed to be put down, but no one could deny she was a gracious host. She definitely knew how to treat people who were deserving of her hospitality.

Then again, Alana was not like any kind of serial killer before.

"If you ever need to rest, by all means make yourself at home," she invited. "No one is exactly using my humble abode; no one wants to rent out a haunted house that was home to so many deaths."

"I appreciate that offer." She took a look around and couldn't deny that despite the fact that there were several murder tools on the counter, it was a nice home. Far from what the homes of killers typically looked like. A thin layer of dust coated some of the furniture but that was it for the most part. "Place is remarkably well kept, considering you died five years ago."

"Well, being dead has many benefits and downsides." The blonde shrugged. "On the plus side, I don't have to worry about running out of smokes. On the downside, you have idiot teenagers trying to use an Ouija board to summon me on Halloween night. It's not as fun as you'd think. Stupid kids."

"Does it happen often?" Christine asked.

"Nah. Well, not as much anymore. I don't exactly enjoy being summoned by dumb kids who have no idea what they're messing with. I usually just scared them off by making up some haunting bullshit. It gets them out of my hair quick and I don't have to actually fuckin' hurt them. Just scare 'em a little." Alana shrugged. "Nothing too extreme."

"Sounds like you really just wanted to be left the hell alone for the most part."

"Pretty much. I'm dead, goddammit. Let me smoke my lungs out in peace."

Christine chuckled and looked at her phone to check the time. By God, already five hours had already passed by and she didn't even notice. It had been about 3pm when she first attempted to make contact with Alana's spirit and now it was a few minutes past 8pm. How the time flies by when you're caught up in something.

She wasn't a smoker by any means, but right now the pack of cigarettes the blonde had were looking pretty damn tempting if just to relax a little bit. Normally, these kinds of sessions only lasted two hours at the most. Five hours at a time was a new record. She was really drawn into Alana's tale of how she became the vigilante of her caliber. That kind of thing didn't happen often.

"You mind if I have one of those?" the brunette asked, gesturing to the pack of cigarettes. "Been a long day."

"You sure you can handle it?" Alana asked with a sly grin. "Normally you prim and proper types choke your brains out on one drag. Nothing is funnier to us spirits than watching someone choke for ten minutes on a smoke."

"Watching people cough and choke is a joke in the spirit world? Seriously?" Christine sighed. Part of her was less surprised than she would have liked at the news.

"From what I was able to tell, it's a joke in the real world, too," the blonde deadpanned. "Alright girly. It's your funeral. I'm in no mood to hold your hair back if you end up hurling, either."

"You have a way with words that immediately make my alcohol consumption want to double."

"Knock yourself out. There's still a bottle of Jack Daniels in the cabinet on the far left. Glasses, too. Pour us each a double."

With a roll of her eyes Christine stood up and walked into the kitchen, pulling the cabinet open and squeezing her eyes shut as a cloud of dust flew towards her. She didn't cough, thankfully, otherwise she'd hear the snickers from the dead blonde. There, with still more than half of the bottle to spare, was the whiskey Alana had mentioned along with two clean glasses.

She sure as hell doesn't seem to tell a lie. If anything, she's the kind of brutal honesty that is needed so badly in today's society. Hearing her side of the story behind her is making me see that it was nothing like what the media said. She's not insane. She's smart. Cool. Collected.

And very, very, dangerous. That part they got right. It is easy to see how she was so easily able to influence others into following her way of thinking, even me. Worst part of it is that it is working. With just two tales of her beginnings, I'm seeing how she was right. The world will never miss rapists and child abusers. It is better off without them polluting society like the poison they are.

The brunette tucked some of her hair behind her ear, her back to Alana as she poured both of them a drink. When she was done she carried the glasses over to her, handing one of them to the blonde and raising her glass. "Cheers."

"Cheers." Alana clinked her glass against hers and downed her drink in a single gulp, wiping her mouth. "Ah, that was quite nice. Nothing like a good drink to go with a story, huh?"

"Nothing at all," Christine agreed, downing her own drink as to not be outdone. Still, she knew it would be foolish of her to try and challenge a ghost to a drinking game. Alana would win with little effort; hell, the blonde would be completely sober while Christine was passed out drunk. "Cigarette?"

"Oh, where are my manners? Of course." Alana handed her one and when the brunette stuck it in her mouth, she was even polite enough to light it for her with a red lighter. She blew out a cloud of smoke, making a face as the smoke tickled her throat, but she refused to give into her body's urge to cough.

"Do you want to continue? Or would you rather we call it a night?" she asked, crossing her legs and taking another lazy drag off of her cigarette. "It's your call."

"Hey, you wanted to know the full story behind the Black Dahlia Killer, and everything you want to know is stored right up in here." Alana tapped her head. "Why ask me a question you already know the answer to? We're keeping this show on the road, girly."

Christine shivered and it wasn't because it was cold outside. Something about this felt strange. Why was she so eager to share her own personal story with her? Especially when it was all being written down in her little notepad for further study? Most killers were never like this. They wanted to be left alone. So why is she so different? What the hell is she playing at? Is she genuinely interested in getting the truth out or is it something else?

No, I must be over thinking it. Calm down. It's only for posterity. Nothing more and nothing less. You're just overreacting.

"Alright then," the brunette conceded, sticking her cigarette in the corner of her mouth and picking up her pen again. "Where were we…ah yes. You just finished butchering Maria March in front of her special needs child and had someone close to the family take care of him rather than risk an adoption center. That was rather noble of you. May I ask why you went that route?"

"Girl, have you paid any sort of attention to the adoption procedure in this country?" Alana let out an unimpressed scoff. "It's corrupt as shit and honestly, it's the biggest fucking joke without a punch line. If I went that route, I risked him never getting a chance to live a normal life. No child deserves that. I went with what was the better option at the time."

"Fair enough. You speak the truth; it is much harder to adopt in the States than any other country at the moment, between all of the laws and the corruption of those in power." Christine chewed on her lip and exhaled another cloud of smoke. She could get used to these kinds of cigarettes real quick. "Was it a neighbor or a relative?"

"Relative," Alana answered. "Anyone else would have raised suspicion. A relative is easier to help with convincing the authorities that the mother was abusive than a neighbor. Why would a random stranger help some kid, even if his mother was just murdered? The world is fuckin' cold and heartless. It devours the innocence of our youth and spits it out, leaving them an enslaved husk to society's corruption. And don't give me the, 'They'd do it out of the goodness of their heart' shit. They'd want something in return; they always do."

"You're not wrong there, either," Christine admitted. "They would want something in return, whether it be money or something else. Maybe less material and more intimate."

"Yeah fuck that. I sure as fuck am not sleeping with a stranger just to keep their damn mouths shut and prevent them from squealing to the police." The blonde rolled her eyes. "I have much more respect for myself than that. I was desperate to keep them off me at first, but I was never that fucking desperate."

"I definitely didn't take you as the type to do it, either." The brunette looked at her up and down. She was dressed in an enticing manner, but the way she carried herself of confidence and pride also set off those who would otherwise attempt to have their way with her. She was dangerous and she relished in it. Beautiful but could slit someone's throat without even thinking twice about it. The most dangerous kind of woman, in her opinion.

"Now, once you got a taste for your vigilantism, did you find it impossible to just stop there? Why continue?" she asked.

"Honestly? Walking in on that bitch trying to smother her own fucking kid opened my eyes to the problems we find ourselves in. We hang the petty criminals and let the real ones walk free," Alana replied. "If I didn't step in, what do you think would have happened? The kid would be dead and she would have been to continue her own life harming others. The bitch was a sociopath. You honestly think she wasn't going to do it again? No. I couldn't take that risk. That's why I killed her. I do wish the kid wasn't there, but it couldn't be helped."

"You seem to have a thing for protecting those too weak to defend themselves," Christine remarked. "Your third victim was a high school senior named Jake Taylor. His records showed he was a star athlete, prom king, yet he was found dead with your mark left on his corpse inside the locker room. Why did you kill him? What did he do?"

"The same thing Kai Richards did to me," Alana answered with a hiss. "He stole something that could never be given back. Not from me, but from a girl named Jenny. I found out about this one by a friend of mine who still was in school. She was raped by him and suffered from it. The coward fucking bragged about having this little fling with some hot thing and she committed suicide soon after. The worst? Girls worshipped him and Jenny was only his first victim. He did it to five other women. Fucking five. You honestly think I was about to let him walk, especially since I knew firsthand how it felt to be someone's prey? Fuck no. I made that sick fuck suffer for what he did."

"Knife or gun?"

"Oh no. Even better."

Christine did not like how savage Alana's smile had gotten. "Oh? Could you…elaborate?"

"Gladly." Alana winked.

May 12, 2014

Alana whistled out as she went on her daily jog around her old high school's track course, her phone stuffed in the back pocket of her shorts and headphones in her ears. It was nice being able to go on these early morning runs, if only for her to clear her head and not think about the blood on her hands. Yet the more she thought about it, the less she regretted her actions. Yes she had murdered, but at the same time she had saved others from meeting horrible fates. But was that just her trying to justify her own actions? Part of her thought so and she couldn't disagree.

But the other part of her actually believed that what she had done at the time was in fact the right thing to do. It was difficult to describe it. It wasn't like a part of her was going crazy and she couldn't control her urge to spill blood. No, she was able to keep it suppressed very easily. Especially when she saw the papers after her second murder labeling her as the Black Dahlia Killer. There was even a detective working on the case now and he had questioned her. However she gave him no information. She was a simple barmaid after all. What possible motive would she have for murdering a drugged up junkie in front of their own child?

She wouldn't deny one thing. The detective they had assigned to tracking her down and putting her behind bars for life was a rather handsome fellow. In his mid to late thirties with perfectly kept hair and clean shaven, but a hint of ruggedness to his face. If she weren't currently on his most wanted list, she would have considered perhaps dating him. Alana had a thing for older gentlemen. Raymond Cosworth was his name, if she recalled correctly. Dashing man. It was truly a pity fate had them meet as enemies.

Alana continued on her run around the track, closing her eyes and thinking about how she felt when she took the lives of those who in her mind truly deserved it. There was no remorse, no uncertainty, just calm indifference and certainty that she did what needed to be done. Nothing more and nothing less. I should feel guilty. I murdered. But I don't. Instead I feel as though I did something good by taking their lives. It's strange. I don't know how to explain it.

Not like I can exactly go to a psychiatrist and explain to them how I feel without being thrown in a mental hospital within five minutes of talking. I guess this is something I have to work out for myself. Tch. Oh well, no point in me bitching and moaning about it. As Dad would say, suck it the fuck up and move on. Still, I don't like it.

The blonde took a moment to catch her breath, resting her hands on her knees and letting the sweat roll off of her body. To think that a few weeks ago she was shivering from the cold to now feeling like she was roasting. Curse this state's damn weather patterns.

I think that's enough of a run from me today. Fucking hell I've got to quit smoking. Otherwise I won't be able to do this in two years from now. Alana grimaced as she stood up, gasping for air her lungs desperately needed. She was slowly getting back into shape, but her other habits had definitely taken their toll on her and she noticed it immediately.

She plodded over to the benches and took a seat, ignoring the slight burn of the sun-baked metal against her thighs. The discomfort was something she could push aside; she had Kai to thank for her ability to banish physical pain, the sick bastard. She definitely felt a lot better taking his life. Revenge was sweet and bitter.

Thinking about her second victim was what had her mind clouded. True, if she hadn't stepped in, the child would most likely be dead. But at the same time, was it right for her to do it? Who was she to dictate what was and wasn't morally acceptable? Am I like the papers say I am? Am I a murderer?

No. No, goddammit! I'm the kind of person who is needed. Someone who isn't afraid to dish out the brutal justice to those who deserve it. I'm not a murderer. I'm a vigilante. The sooner others see that, the better.

Alana was trying to hide it by telling herself that, but she couldn't deny it from herself. Not really. Once she got that taste of blood for the first time, she had become attached to it. It was why she didn't hesitate to kill again. But she had to find some sort of way to control those urges. Sooner or later she would lash out and it wouldn't be pretty.

The taste was too much for her to handle and she knew it.

A/N: And that ends this one. Again I'll try to post something for it soon, but this will not die even if I don't meet my NaNoWriMo goal. I can promise that.

-A Lovestruck A2#5371