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The sheets had gotten tangled around my limbs, and even though the heat was on high, I couldn’t feel it. All I felt, was cold. Non-being. Strangeness to the utter normalcy of my four-walled bedroom.
To reach peace within my mind so disturbed, I replayed the images of blood, of the body, in my mind again and again, but the thrill was gone, gone as it had went so quickly, and it was with a resigned sigh that I sat up in bed, knowing it would be another sleepless night.
How cruel it seemed that I would be alive, yet not living all the same. I often wondered, for this was a time when I did so, what had happened to me when in my mother’s womb for me to feel so disconnected…an utter shell of bloodlust, when everyone else, or at least it seemed that way, was completely content. Able to live their lives with smiles, laughter…slit throats, gouged eyes, dismembered heads—
My heart lurched and with a gasp, I caught myself. It wouldn’t do to lose it now. Now, when there is no one to kill.
And in these moments when denied a victim, I would have the rare thought of another…someone else who knew what I was going through so I wouldn’t be alone in this madness, in my mind.
Flattening my pillow once more, I pushed the thought away, as it was silly, silly and hopeless, for there was no one, surely, who knew what I went through. There was no one, surely, who understood that to satiate the voices, you must cease the screams of the ones who had seen you at your worst…and your best.
Soon, though I don’t know how it happened, I found my mind releasing itself to sleep.
Too bad for me, because the sun was rising in the sky at that moment, and soon the world would awaken.
While I lay awake, eyes wide open, hearing the sounds of life…of senseless duty.
Another day of meaningless pretend.
Vial of blood from my latest – first – victim. Damnit. I knew there was something I’d forgotten.
In my rush, in my release, I’d forgotten my trophy from my victim. My prize for ending her life. I had the knife, of course, but one could hardly wear a bloodied knife on a string around their neck.
A surge of doubt raced through me. I had been careless this first time; I’d forgotten the one thing that was almost as important as doing the deed itself.
Could I trust myself, next time, to make sure I got the blood of my fallen soul? Could I press through the madness, the release, to realize that I’d tucked an empty bottle into my jeans pocket? Could I remember, in the time of chaos, to take it out and scoop up some blood – start my collection at last?
Would the madness take over, until it became all I lived for?
The tea burned my tongue as I brought it to my lips, and I realized with a jolt that I was in my living room, the TV blaring at me as though mad I’d gone off in my head for a bit.
Such an odd idea, television. It’s as if the humans of the world are blatantly telling you you need to see other humans, most greatly unlike you, messing up in life in a well-rehearsed, greatly scripted, rendition of your life.
Of course, it isn’t your life. It’s someone’s life in Miami, someone’s life in New York, another’s life in Chicago. But it’s all the same. Because they – the humans on TV – cry, and laugh, and scream, and they bleed. But the blood is fake. The novelty’s worn off. And the look of horror on a face right before the killer strikes is horribly contrived.
I should know.
I’ve seen the look of horror right before death.
It’s the most alive I’ve seen a person act, yet.
And that, I decided, flipping through the channels as more fake eyes glared back at me, was why I would be bringing my gift of life to another very soon.
Who it was, I didn’t know. But that hardly mattered. It had to be done. And it would be.
I’d finished my tea with a soul-sucking toss of my head, and planted it on the marble table before me, prepared to rise for the day, to shower, to think more on blood…when the doorbell rang.
It took me a moment to register just what that horrible “ding-dong” sound was. But from what I’d seen on television, whenever that sound registered, someone would go merrily to the door while juggling cooking, cleaning, and holding their baby. A human octopus.
I moved slowly in my fuzzy pink slippers, every step foreign to me as I moved for the door. No one ever called when that woman wasn’t here. The strangeness of this new act rendered me anxious for a reason I could not recall. What could it be on the other side of that door?
I grabbed the handle, almost shocked to realize it was terribly cold. My fist tightened around it and I pushed down. There was a click. And the door was free to open. But it remained closed; for my hand couldn’t pull it toward me, my hand couldn’t open the door and let whatever strange creature lingered behind it to stare at me…See Me.
Through the glass of the door the distorted shape of a tall man was there, navy blue uniform on, hat pushed low. My heart, which had never stopped beating 100 beats per minute, now intensified.
They knew what I’d done, they Saw through Me, and now they were here, now they were here to arrest me for doing it.
He bent low and peered through the glass where I knew he could see me standing there, debating on whether or not to open the door. He tapped two knuckles against the glass and I saw his distorted eyes taunting me with their knowledge of my horrible truth.
I opened the door and immediately felt that I’d resigned myself to the gallows.
“Well hello, Miss,” he said, straightening up and staring at me with commanding eyes. He’d rip my clothes from my body and tear into me, because that’s the kind of man he was. I recognized my own kind. Couldn’t tell them that we were the same. But I saw them, from time to time.
I said nothing but stared at the writing pad in his large hands, the small blue pen held ready to take down whatever lie I could conjure.
Nothing was surfacing.
Only pangs of a strange new feeling amidst the desire to take his gun and jam it into his mouth, firing the trigger as I went.
“Miss,” he said again, this time shifting his footing. Impatience. If I had a nickel for every time I’d been impatient. Someone’d be dead. “There’s been a murder in this neighborhood. Occurred at near midnight. We’re doing a routine check of the neighborhood, wanting to see if anyone’s heard anything…seen anything.” Shifted again. “Would you mind telling me where you were at midnight, last night?”
Yes, yes I would mind, but I couldn’t say that, it’d sound suspicious. But if I told him where I was, it’d be even more suspicious. But if I lied.... You see the point?
“Um…er…,” I stammered while staring adamantly at his large hands. I wondered how many girls he killed with those hands, once they wouldn’t consent to his brand of ‘fun,’ that is.
He shifted again, placed me with his stare. It was harder this time. I felt it burrowing into my heart. I knew he Saw Me. I was bare. Vulnerable. Available for all to see. And all because the madness in my mind was betraying me. I could think of nothing but the damned sight of her corpse, her blood.
Maybe if I were normal lying would be easier.