Chapter 3: It's Child's Play

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 133

Surprisingly enough, Mint had gotten a good night's sleep. Not peacefully where he fell into a relaxing slumber though. It had been a sleep that was born from utter exhaustion. He must have passed out some time after Céleste returned upstairs then didn't wake up until morning, or whatever time it was, but it had been a deep sleep nonetheless.

He stared at the wall blankly. He had been sitting for hours, and his whole body ached. All he really did for that time was focus on the occasional creaks of the floorboards above. For a period of time he had also heard muffled talking from upstairs. Céleste must have been recording more.

Mint wondered what he would have to hear this time. Would it be the story of the first murder? Would it just be more talking? He guessed he would find out soon enough.

"I can't wait..." He made a sarcastic comment to himself just to keep himself sane while he waited.

There was something that his mind had been preoccupied on. It was something that was said yesterday that struck him, that struck him maybe even more so than the fact his childhood friend had killed three people. He remembered the exact words.

'I'm going to tell you the very intricate details of the three murders I committed. All were done before the age of fourteen.' Mint's thoughts silently relayed the statement before he muttered to himself, "Why...? How...?"

The young officer had only heard stories of children having killed; he recalled reading some articles about some famous ones. He had never come in contact with somebody so young committing such a crime before; the youngest was a seventeen year old boy who murdered a classmate. Céleste said she committed three separate murders all before the age of fourteen. How old was she the first time?

How could Céleste have done something so terrible when she was only a young teen, or possibly even a child? All those years he knew her, since four years old, what year was it: four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen? Was it the days they read pictures books together, helping each other learn how to read? Was it the days they roughhoused out in the yard before being called in for lunch? Was it the days they huddled up in blankets and watched horror movies together? Was it before or after she knew what sex was? They giggled about it when they were nine or ten. Could she really have been eight or younger? How young really was she when she first did it?

Mint was pulled out of his thoughts when his stomach let out a loud growl. He groaned and suddenly realized how hungry, and thirsty, he was. He last ate yesterday afternoon. Would Céleste feed him? Would he give him water? He was worried he would starve or get too dehydrated.

"I mean...we're still friends..." He kept speaking aloud so there was some sort of sound, "She wouldn't want me dead..."

He leant against the wall, just waiting for Céleste, and not much later he heard the door. He didn't feel afraid like last time, more hopeful that he'd get fed.

Céleste walked down toward her captive, laptop in hand, but there was something else in her hand. The officer squinted -- he could see a wrapper and a cup! The woman stopped in front of him, set down her laptop and the cup, then opened up the wrapper. Mint had never been so excited to see a granola bar in his life.

His captor held it out to him, and he leant over to take a large bite out of it. He didn't care that he had to eat it out of her hand. He was hungry. After Mint finished, Céleste tossed the wrapper on the floor and sat down in front of him like the day before. She then grabbed the cup, filled with water, and held it to her captive's lips; he took a few sips before it was set back down. The captor opened her laptop, and after a few clicks, she set it down for another recording to play.

"Time to tell the first story." It started, "Ah, I guess I've always been like this."

Mint found himself looking at the floor. He didn't know if he could handle looking at his friend when the real stories started. He was paying attention, but he guessed Céleste didn't take it that way because when he felt a tap on his shoulder, and the recording pause, he looked up and was met with an accusatory frown. He would have to look at her.

Céleste quickly rewinded and played it again, "I guess I've always been like this." This statement was followed by a weak chuckle, "My first big crime was a murder back in primary. It was a little boy my own age. His blood settled quickly, and he had screams like sirens. I am disgusted by such a thing now, but back then I was only eight."

The captor shuffled closer, smiling nonchalantly.

"Could you blame me? The law didn't."

Mint heard every word, even the violent ones, yes. "Crime". "Murder". "Blood". "Screams". In spite of that, he could only focus on the word "eight". His question was answered, however, now more rung in his head. How could someone so young do something so brutal? It also brought up another set of questions. Was she not responsible because of her age? Was it forgivable because of her age? He couldn't answer those questions. He could see both sides.

"The next recording contains the story. Enjoy." It ended.

Céleste reached over, clicked the next file, and gave her friend a gentle smile before tapping play. It began, and it read just like a story.


Céleste nonchalantly stumbled over to the luscious green field behind her primary school. Her fist tightly gripped a steel baseball bat; she let it gently graze over the leafy ground as it hung.

It was a sunny day in Nice, France, nearing evening. To be exact, it was 5:12pm. The sky was a pale, baby blue with cotton clouds stringing across it. It looked like a lovely day. Why was the little girl alone at her school?

She looked up and saw the little boy. He was a little boy she did not like. He was a bully. He was only eight years old, just like she was. He was alone as well, kicking around a large purple ball. Céleste wondered where his parents were but didn't care. Her mom wasn't there either, and that was the perfect set up. She gripped her bat tighter.

"Hey! Roderick!" She shouted.

Céleste liked to speak. In fact, she loved to talk. She wasn't afraid of it like her current self was. She would cry her opinions to the heavens like the little devil she was.

Roderick looked up from his self-absorbed game and waved. Céleste walked up to him and frowned slightly.

"Ooh! You have a bat? Do you have a ball too?" He asked.

Céleste didn't answer. Even though she liked talking, she didn't like answering Roderick's questions. She decided she would pose a question of her own.

"Wanna go in the woods back there and hit some trees?" She asked, pointing to the small woodsy forest behind their school.

Roderick raised a brow, "Yes! We can scare some squirrels!"

Céleste shrugged at the comment but opened her mouth to say something else, "I will race you."

Roderick didn't say another word; he just grinned and darted towards the little forest. Céleste just dawdled behind but eventually made it into the giant, foreboding green trees.

The kids strolled around for a while. They took turns with the bat and swung at the trunks of the trees. They thumped it on the ground. They chased around rabbits and squirrels while giggling like happy children. It was some mischievous play, but they didn't hurt anything or anyone. They were just having fun.

The poor little boy was so unknowing of the little girl's unnerving behavior. The whole time she had spoken to him, she faked it -- she had a broken poker face that slightly faltered when displeased. She carried around essentially a metal weapon, the bat they played with. To top it all off, she had never played with Roderick ever before. Why was he so oblivious?

Roderick may be a bit of a bully. He may put worms in his classmates' hair, and chase them around with bugs. He may laugh when other students answered questions wrong and called them stupid. He may have ripped up Céleste's homework once. He does all these things, but he was just a child and would grow out of it. He was naive and had a loving family. All he was was an annoying kid, but Céleste didn't see it that way. At least, she thought she didn't.

No matter what she thought, she knew what had to be done. Céleste ran and picked up the bat that Roderick had tossed into the shrubbery and propped it against her shoulder. She stepped towards Roderick, still having that never-ending colorless look in her grey eyes.

"Look! I found a really cool mushroom!" The boy shouted, pointing at the large red fungus.

Céleste ignored his silly comment, "I don't like you." She said it plain and simple.

Roderick stood up from his crouching position and turned around. He frowned a little, but then he giggled awkwardly.

"Is it because I ripped up your homework that one time?" He asked, "I know. That wasn't really nice. My parents talked to me about that."

"No, it's not because of that. I was told not to like you because all you are is mean, but I think that too." She shrugged, "I just brought my bat to have some fun."

There it was again, her vague quality of words that seemed to have a lack of care. It was either apathy and indifference or playfulness carrying a hint of pleasure from her aberrant and formidable acts. There wasn't nothing, however -- she at least laughed when she played and cried when she got hurt.

"Huh...that's weird." Roderick noted, "How about we just continue playing?"

"I have a good game. It's called Monkey and the Weasel. I made it up from a song." Céleste offered.

"Sure! How do you play?" The young boy asked.

"Just hide behind that berry bush while I sing the song. When I say 'pop', you pop out." The girl explained, pointing to the bush.

"Hah! Okay!" Roderick laughed.

The boy scampered behind the bush and crouched behind it, being sure to be completely hidden from Céleste's view.

The little girl began to sing, "All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel."

She sung the song with the right notes and tune and melody, but something about her singing gave the same suspense one felt as they wind a Jack in the box. She slowly walked towards the berry bush.

"The monkey thought 'twas all in fun."

She stopped in front of the bundle of twigs and leaves they call a plant to finish her little tune.

"Pop!" She said loudly.

Roderick jumped up with his arms up in the air. His face was grinning happily, but only until he saw Céleste's bat swing down onto his head. As it collided with his skull, he collapsed onto the dirt.

Céleste didn't bother to finish the song. It was only a game to make it trustworthy -- it was the best way. Instead, she approached his unconscious body and lifted her bat again, swinging it down. Roderick woke with a scream and jolted up. He looked terrified. She swung and hit him again. His warbling cries echoed throughout the woods. She did it again and again and again.

"Un, deux, trois, quatre..." She started to count.

Roderick was in too much pain to run. His vision was fuzzy and his ears were ringing. Blood soon caked his hair and covered Céleste's bat; it was once a toy but now a weapon. The little girl kept swinging and counting until the boy's body no longer moved.

"...cinq, six." She muttered, "He looks dead now..."

Céleste pushed poor Roderick into the bush, tossed the bat in it, and walked away.


"And that was the end of little Roderick." Céleste stated. "See? It's child's play." The recording ended.

Submitted: March 01, 2018

© Copyright 2020 Misha Drahoslav. All rights reserved.


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