Heartless

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Raven has been viciously bashed by his father ever since he can remember. Every day is fresh hell, until he is given a chance to change it all. He is confronted by a voice which promises a way of getting revenge for his suffering. Armed with a pocketknife and insatiable blood lust, this rage-filled teenager has to choose to either kill or be killed, and Raven has already chosen not to die...

Submitted: December 22, 2015

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Submitted: December 22, 2015

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1

 

 

Raven stretched out on the seat, waiting under a light. The park was the most obvious place he could find, as he didn’t feel like hiding. The police were looking for him after the incident with his father.

He got a pen and some paper from his backpack, and took a deep breath of the cold night air. This was what his life had come to. How pathetic. He scrawled a note, his hand shaking.

“I’m sorry that it had to end this way, but I can’t take it anymore. I have reached the lowest point in my life, and I see no way out of it but through death. Nothing is left but darkness, and I cannot fight it. My father has taken away my sense of purpose through vicious beatings, and no one believes me when I say he’s a monster. If I live, I’ll become the same as him. It is a cycle of unbearable abuse, and it ends here.”

He signed the note. Putting it aside, he flicked open his pocket knife. It had served him well, and he would use it for one last purpose. He raised it to his neck and waited for the courage to come so he could finally end it all.

As a little kid, he crouched in the corner as he waited for his father to come home, promising himself that this time he would fight back, this time he would take a stand... but he never did. The kill or be killed instinct grew, but he didn’t think he was strong enough to kill. He was helpless to the brutal violence. Unlike normal children, he had never believed in the monsters in his closet or under his bed. The real monster was his father, and now he was becoming the same.

He felt like a ghost. An invisible wall separated him from the rest of humanity, stopping him from forming any connections. It was hard to imagine being able to live without a constant urge to kill. Destruction was the only thing that made him feel alive. The urge ate away at his very soul, or what was left of it. The beast would never be satisfied until everyone who had ever wronged him was dead.

Friends were disposable, family wasn’t valuable. He had no feelings of love or guilt, and his integrity didn’t exist. Decisions were made based on how things would affect him, rather than morals or emotions. Other peoples’ feelings didn’t matter because he would never be them.

Life was so wonderfully pointless. He wondered why he was still alive, after all the times he had almost died. He sighed, and put the pocket knife down. Death would eventually come, but there was no need to rush it by suicide. This is what his life had become; even suicide wasn’t worth it. Every cry for help was like shouting into a void.

He put the knife and note back into his pocket. Wherever he went, he was a burden, but he didn’t care enough to want to change that. Having the world be a better place without him was no incentive, because when he died the world could burn for all he cared. If he couldn’t be happy, then no one else should have the privilege.

Light burned his tired eyes, throwing him back into the present. A police van drove through the yellow grass and stopped right next to him. If he had considered running before, the possibility had completely left his mind now.

The two officers got out and stood in front of him. They weren’t angry like he expected.

‘What’s going on?’ the older officer said. He had a kind voice, but his stance was confident, his arms folded as he stared at him. The other officer had a similar stance, but he let his partner do the talking.

‘I don’t know,’ Raven shrugged.

‘You walked away from home in the middle of the night. Do you want to explain why?’

‘Honestly, I’ve had enough of my father’s... abuse. He beats me, then covers it up and says I’m clumsy and always getting into accidents.’

The officer raised an eyebrow.

‘No-one believes be. This time, I couldn’t handle it. I usually just let him hit me, and the bruises fade within a couple of days, but this time I fought back. That’s how he got hurt. I’d bet you anything he’d tell you I’m a liar.’

The officer nodded. There was genuine sympathy in his eyes.

Sympathy felt foreign, something not to be accepted because if others were anything like him, kindness was a way to manipulate people. Some people were fascinated by serial killers, wondering how their minds worked. However, to him, it was no mystery- if anyone was pushed far enough, they would kill. Normal people intrigued him. To go about your day whilst caring about others, not faking emotions, and without a burning hunger to kill buzzing in your chest was the strangest thing of all. Killers were simple, but normal people were a puzzle.

‘Alright, get in,’ the officer said.

He obeyed, getting into the back of the van, realising it would be unwise to ignore orders from someone with cuffs and a gun.

The car wasn’t how he had imagined it. The whole back was made of white plastic. The officer locked the door, and the air conditioning booted up, blowing through the sides. A small window in the front looked onto the police officers, but he couldn’t see where they were going. There were no seatbelts, so he had to keep his feet against some sort of footrest to stay in place. It was like being inside a refrigerator.

Names of people he used to know from school, dropouts, were scratched into the sides of the van. One of them had been arrested for a violent assault, another for breaking and entering. He felt like a criminal, but he wasn’t one... yet.

The door opened, and he peered past the officer to see he was back in front of his home.

Before the officer let him get out, he stopped him. ‘You know, it’s quite difficult when you have a parent that behaves this way. We’ll be there for you if you need us, alright?’ he said.

Raven nodded, and he stepped out of the van.

His father welcomed him with open arms, and Raven froze as he hugged him. The smile on his father’s face was unnerving, and he got the urge to run away, police chase be damned.

‘Go inside,’ the officer said, recognising his expression, ‘and I don’t want to see you out here again tonight.’

When he went inside, Raven glanced out the window and saw the officers talking to his father. He got the feeling that his father was convincing them that he was insane. From what his father said to everyone else, he was a delusional, lying sociopath. His father played the suffering hero in the performance of his life, and Raven was the cruel, merciless villain.

His father made his grand entrance back inside, slamming the door open and making the windows shake. ‘Soon you’ll be exposed for your lies,’ he said, clenching his teeth.

‘I told them the truth. You treat me like shit.’

‘If you don’t like it, leave,’ he shouted, spittle flicking onto his son’s face.

‘I want to, but I can’t,’ Raven said. His father already knew he had nowhere to go.

‘Why don’t you think about other people? You’re so cruel with your lies. You have no right to say I’m abusive.’

Raven opened his mouth, about to disagree, but he figured it’d be useless. Stomping into his room, he slammed the door, almost breaking it off the hinges.

‘You keep this up, I’ll call the police again!’ his father said, shaking the handle of the locked door. “I do everything for you, yet this is how you repay me?’

‘Piss off!’ Raven yelled.

His father kicked the door open, and burst inside. As his father beat him, Raven’s vision went dull and his body went numb. He was vaguely aware of fighting back, and the blood on his knuckles confirmed it. Next thing he knew, his father was on the ground, crying and howling in pain.

Raven’s eyes widened as he realised what he had done. Running outside, he heard the door lock behind him. He checked if the police were still out the front, but no one was there, so he sat down against the fence.

It was going to be a long, cold night. If the police were called again, his father would say he was defending himself, making up a story about how his son was a monster like he always did. The psychologist he saw once a fortnight would be on his father’s side, diagnosing him with whatever mental illness seemed feasible so no one would believe anything he said. It was all a part of his father’s game.

Everything ached, and his eyes felt like they were on fire, but he could ignore it because he was used to the beatings, this would only be one of many to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

It was two weeks after Raven’s sixteenth birthday, which, as usual, had been awful, with his red-faced father throwing out half of his presents after a fight. His guilty conscience made him buy gifts, but his rage compelled him to destroy them. Their mutual hatred only grew worse as time went on, and Raven made sure that his father’s birthdays were ruined too, by leaving town each time so his father would spend it alone.

Almost every night, when his father went to bed, he went for a walk through the darkness. He had learned the timetable of the town. First, at around 10 the stray animals came out, then at 11 thugs trespassed into schools and wandered through yards, then at 1 the police patrolled the streets, and at 2 the drunks stumbled out of bars and loitered in alleyways. Sometimes he sneaked into people’s yards to watch them go about their business, but he wasn’t the usual peeping tom. It wasn’t just to watch women undress, as that didn’t bring him pleasure, it was to observe the peaceful moments of life; a parent tucking their child into bed, or lovers giving each other a peck on the cheek before they turned out the light. Tonight was no different from usual.

A quick check of his phone told him that it was almost 1 AM. Pulling his hood up to hide his face, he scanned the road for other night wanderers. The streets were deserted. The only thing that disturbed his peace was the police sirens blaring in the distance. He stuck to the shadows, knowing that if the police saw him they’d take down his name and his plan would be ruined.

A dog appeared. He scanned the road once more for any onlookers, then followed it down a one-way street. The wheezing and whimpering told him that it was old and injured. Every night, he had looked for just the right animal to use for his... project. Most of the dogs were too feral to approach or were labeled as somebody’s pet, but this one was different. It didn’t growl like most dogs when he came near it.

‘Here, boy,’ he said, and whistled.

It looked back, its weary eyes staring at him, then turned its sparsely furred head and went about its night.

With the flick of a knife, several satisfying crunches, and a pained howl, the dog was still. He crushed it with his boot to make sure it was dead, breaking its neck, then shattered its legs for the hell of it.

Voices arose in the distance. He knew he had to leave quickly, but he couldn’t help but admire his work. The tortured animal lay there, broken. Just like him.

Bringing himself back to reality, he stuffed the corpse into a plastic garbage bag he had kept rolled up in his pocket. The dog felt warm as he held it, like a newborn baby. Well... one that was in pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

His father went on a trip, leaving Raven alone for two days. It was frustrating to have to wait so long to start a dissection, but it wasn’t worth the risk to do it when his father was around. At least for those two days he wouldn’t have any additional scars and bruises to add to his body.

Going into the garage, he found the dog in an old fridge down the back, covered in a plastic wrap and several bags. The acrid smell of sewage, dirt, and blood hit him like a freight train. He gagged, hunching over, then composed himself. It would be suspicious for another dog to disappear in the same week, so this one would have to do, even if it smelled like death. The old fridge buzzed, the light flickering, and he wished he had gotten the opportunity to take out the carcass earlier.

He carried it out, the corpse feeling almost human-like as it rested on his shoulder, and put it on a table under the tree in the middle of the yard. Its leaves covered what he was doing, in case the neighbours got curious.

The dog’s judging eyes wouldn’t stare anymore. He cut off its head, then placed it in a large jar. He filled it with a combination of ethanol and water. With a twist, he popped the lid on, then put it on the table.

It would be a good addition to the assortment of animal parts he kept in jars on his shelf in his room. His father never went in there, so he had no idea about his little museum. However, just in case, he draped a towel over the shelf during the night, so if his father came in while he was sleeping he wouldn’t see the collection. There was something immensely satisfying about seeing those body parts. They were trophies. The thought of putting a human head in a jar like that had passed through his mind several times, but he knew that it wouldn’t be easy to find a jar large enough. Killing an animal was simple and quick, but a human would require months of planning if he didn’t want to be caught.

He pulled himself back to reality, realising he was holding a tarp. He spread it over the table, then shoved the dog on top of it. ‘Let’s get down to business, shall we,’ he muttered. Slapping his gloves on, he gave an empty smile.

He put a wooded board on top of the tarp, and got out his dissection kit. It comprised of a handsaw, a hobby knife set with ten different scalpels, gloves, disinfectant, a hammer and nails, and other miscellaneous supplies.

He pulled out the handsaw and sawed off the limbs. Each part went into a plastic bag, which was stored beside the garage for later use. He knew of a few people that he watched at night that deserved a good scare from him leaving the dismembered limbs on their front porches.

Laughing at the thought, he hammered several nails down to hold the stomach open. The flesh was decomposing and cold and looked nothing like the soft pale pink skin the dog had when it died.

The liver, heart, and lungs made it out alright, but the other innards broke apart, making them useless. He slid them across the board so he could throw them out later.

It was odd how the sickest of things gave him the most pleasure. Donating money to the poor didn’t give him a flicker of emotion, but dismembering an animal gave him peace.

He worked on the heart first, ripping into it like a piece of steak. The inside was dark purple with splotches of blue, and dried blood pooled at the centre.

When he was younger, he never thought he’d be literally ripping open another creature’s heart, but there he was. It was just one more thing to add to the list of reasons why he was different. It was right up there with beating a school bully senseless, putting him in hospital, and screaming a colourful array of blasphemy and swear words at Mass. Part of him hoped that he would never feel normal, because then he would have to confront all of the seemingly immoral things he had done.

According to the priest, Hell was created for people like him. They didn’t let him back into the church after that. He wasn’t too worried; at least he got to sleep in on Sundays and go for a walk on the beach while his father was still at the service. If the priest was right, then he was damned, but he sure didn’t feel like it. Unlike other people, Mass didn’t bring him inner peace. It only made things worse, because it reminded him of the virtuous, happy person he should have been.

Thoughts like this continued to invade his mind. Sliding the heart aside, he sighed. No matter what he did, he couldn’t win, so he figured he shouldn’t try.

The dog’s lungs looked like pinkish shells as he opened it, the flesh surprisingly thick. Tiny veins ran along the skin, and the opened windpipe attached to them looked like the crinkled top of a plastic bottle. These were the very lungs that filtered air for the wheezing dog he could see so vividly in his mind. It was like looking at a relic from the past.

Other people thought killing was wrong, but to him, it felt so right. It gave him more pleasure than sleeping in on a peaceful Sunday morning, or eating his favourite meal, or even the most passionate of kisses. But being better than that wasn’t hard, because when he kissed the first girl he went out with, he felt nothing but her cold lips on his. They were lifeless, like kissing a corpse. No attraction tingled inside of him towards anyone, and he was naive to think that she would be an exception. They broke up not long after that. She cried for a week, he lingered over the thought for an hour and then moved on. It was strange how attached some people could get.

He remembered the lighter he had stolen from his father, nestled under several layers of clothes in his bedroom. He made a mental note to use it some time. There was no point keeping it if he didn’t use it. Fire fascinated him, and he enjoyed the crackling sound as things burned. It didn’t matter what it was, whether it was a doll or a tree, it calmed him down when he watched it go up in wondrous, bright flames. The images of his father burning in front of the church flashed through his mind. He let it linger, but knew the man deserved much, much worse.

While these thoughts danced through his mind, he finished his work, putting the remains in a garbage bag and throwing it into the neighbour’s bin. He wasn’t one for funerals. Death was death; it wasn’t worth celebrating.

As he cleaned his tools and sharpened his scalpels, he felt oddly calm, almost satisfied.

Almost...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

Raven’s eighteenth birthday had just passed, but nothing much had changed since he was a child. The grating feeling got stronger, urging him to kill something larger than a dog. With his impulses, it was either kill himself, or kill someone else. He knew which one he wanted to do; he just needed an excuse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

The librarian told Raven to be quiet, and he realised he was tapping on the table. Stopping, he put down the book he was reading: ‘A History of Forensics’. To his surprise, the library had a whole section on forensics and murderers. Had he not been the way he was, he would have found it concerning.

The library was full; bustling but quiet. The people knew better than to mess with the old librarian. She ruled the building like a kingdom, and it wasn’t hard to get exiled.

As he continued through the book, an unusual man caught his eye. He stared at the old photo of a professor. Something seemed oddly familiar about him. The man had a cold presence, as if his very image had turned the room to ice. He had sleek black hair, like crow’s feathers. Thin glasses were perched on his rugged face, and he had an aura of authority about him.

“Lucas Miller, a professor turned brutal serial killer that dismembered his victims alive.”

A distant voice echoed through the room. He shook it off as nothing. The voice got louder, drowning out the usual voices in his head.

‘Raven,’ someone whispered in his ear.

Raven flinched, and looked around to see if anyone was there. It was as if everyone else in the room had been frozen, stuck reading books and using the computers. No one else was even near him.

‘I know who you are,’ the voice said.

‘What the hell?’

‘I am Lucas. You know me, but you’ve just never paid attention to me. I am always there.’

Raven scoffed. ‘So I have a long-dead serial killer in my head? Right.’

‘I know a lot about you.’

‘Prove it.’

‘I’ve been observing you for a while now. I’ve seen you sneak into people’s yards and watch them, I’ve seen what you did to the animals, I’ve seen you set things on fire, and I’ve seen the brutal beatings.

Raven tilted his head. ‘How-‘

‘I also know the urges that you have. Don’t hold them back, or you’ll end up as nothing. You’ll be like your father. If you listen to me, you can be something.’

This was strange, even for his warped mind, but curiosity kept him sitting at the table.

‘Do you know about the people that went missing 60 years ago? That was because of me. The police here are brainless, even now. All they want to do is finish their grueling shifts and go home to sleep. They’ll pretend to look for a missing person for a few days, then they’ll give up. They’re underfunded and tired,’ the voice explained.

‘I’m still not convinced.’

‘Once you get a taste of the rush you get from murder, you won’t be able to stop. You’ve been looking for an opportunity to start. Here’s your opportunity.’

‘I’m not sure.’

‘Do it. You know you can get away with it. You’ve got the weapon. You’ve got the victims. You’ve got nothing to lose.’

Raven got out his pocketknife, thinking about slitting his father’s throat. He ran his finger along the blunt side of the blade. ‘But after my father, who would I kill?’

‘Anyone that’s wronged you. What about your sister? She abandoned you, running off to your mother’s place and leaving you to be beaten by your father. She could have stopped the pain, but she didn’t.’

‘I’m not doing it. It’s not worth it.’

‘Trust me, it is. No one will be able to stop you. You can be more powerful than you even imagined.’

Raven considered what the murderer said. ‘But what if I did kill her?’ he thought.

‘I’ll give you a moment to make up your mind.’

Raven stared. The voice wasn’t there. It was his twisted mind creating an auditory hallucination. But he sure sounded real. How deep did this delusion go? Hearing Lucas’s voice was like waking up in a dream. He knew Lucas wasn’t real, yet he was too paralyzed to do anything. These delusions were destroying his mind. Death had spread over his mind like a disease, corrupting every positive thought. His insanity was so obvious, even to him, yet he didn’t feel crazy. He just felt... different.

‘Deal,’ he said. The old librarian stood there, looking down at him indignantly as she clutched a phone in her hand. Triple zero was typed in, her finger hovering over the “call” button.

‘Sir,’ she proclaimed.

‘Looking down, he realised that he was still holding his pocket knife. He swore under his breath.

‘If you don’t give me an explanation as to why you have a knife in here, and it better be a damn good one, I’m calling the police.’

‘Sorry, I was just talking to my friend.’

‘What friend?’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

‘I was hoping you wouldn’t come back, you piece of shit,’ his father said as Raven opened the door.

As he stared into his father’s cruel eyes, something snapped. All of the anger he had held onto for years came rushing back, and he no longer felt powerless.

Pulling out the knife, he lurched towards his father. In one swift motion, he said ‘goodbye’ and plunged it through the old man’s heart. He had broken Raven’s heart, so it was only suitable that he broke his.

Through murder, he would become the monster that he had hated for so long, but there was no other way. Once upon a time, he would have died for his father. Part of him wished that he hadn’t realised the truth, but it was too late to have regrets.

He dragged the bleeding body out to the backyard and rolled it up in a tarp. Where was he going to dispose of it?

His father’s car was parked in the garage, the keys still in the ignition. ‘Perfect,’ he thought.

He popped open the boot, then lined it with blankets and tarps from the garage. They would protect the car from getting any blood on it, should the police search it.

He dragged the corpse to the car and dumped it into the boot. Slamming the boot door down, he felt relieved that he had that part worked out. But what would he say when he was inevitably questioned? His father couldn’t just disappear.

He remembered that his father’s wallet was in the glove box. He pocketed the credit card and the cash, then threw the wallet in the garage with the rest of his father’s rubbish.

It was a good thing that train tickets could be bought online. He mentally went over his plan. He would dump the body in the forest, bury the tarps and blankets, then abandon the car that the train station after he bought a train ticket on his father’s computer with the credit card. The police probably wouldn’t find any physical evidence, but he needed a plan in case Lucas had lied to him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

Of all the places to hide a body, the forest was one of the best. It was unlikely that anyone would find it, as very few people went into it. It was mostly used as a dumping-ground these days. The streams had turned acidic, and rubbish filled the old log houses. The most recent signs of life were tag names spray-painted onto an old pathway, but even those were faded from the weather. It was hardly the place for a peaceful morning walk.

He laughed, not feeling anything, but unable to hold it back. His father was gone. Gone! There would be no more beatings, no more tiptoeing around the house to avoid being yelled at. In addition, he would get the house, too as it was in the Will. The laughter faded, but he couldn’t help but smile. The struggle was over, and he was free to do whatever he pleased with the body.

He dropped the corpse to the forest floor, amongst the leaves, garbage, and shattered glass. Nearby, there was an old well, partially hidden by a pile of leaves and rubble. He pulled the debris aside and grabbed the lump that had once been his father. Pausing, he considered what he could do with it. There was no use letting it go to waste. Remembering what he did with the animals he practiced on, he dismembered the body. First went the head. He placed it aside. Then, it was the arms and legs, which went into the hole. He cup open the torso, starting from down low and working upwards, and was half-surprised to see that someone so cruel possessed a heart. Like the dog, he pulled out the liver and lungs, and scooped out what remained of the rest of the organs. The blood was bright on his hands, and he savored its warmth. The metallic smell was overpowering, making him dizzy.

If murder could damn him to Hell, he was damned. That was all that was left for him- damnation or oblivion. But right now, revenge felt worth it. He reveled in the powerful feeling, knowing it wouldn’t last.

He threw in everything that remained of his father, except for the head. Before leaving, he took one last peek into the hole. It was like looking at a cubist painting, body parts everywhere with gushing streaks of bright red colour. Nothing was in the right place, and he admired the chaos.

He grabbed the surprisingly heavy head, and made his way back to the car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

The interview room was bleak. The grey walls were decorated with a clock that didn’t tick, and the furniture consisted of three chairs, a desk, and a computer. Raven felt anxious, not being able to focus on anything to take his mind off giving a police statement. They demanded it when they discovered his father had been missing for a couple of weeks, and he did his best to act innocent and upset. Some of the officers bought it, but the one sitting across from him didn’t.

‘My name is Senior Constable Bruce Simmons.’ He shook his hand, but didn’t bother with a friendly smile. ‘Raven Holloway, you were born on March 13, 1997, is this correct?’

‘Yes.’

‘Can you distinguish the truth from a lie? If I said the sky was red, would that be a lie?’

‘Yes.’ He stared at the table, avoiding eye contact with the frowning officer.

‘Okay, good. Now tell me what you did on April 15 this year. Be as specific as you can.’

‘Well, I didn’t do much in the morning. I slept in until 11 AM.’ His eyes drifted from the table to the computer. The officer was taking down every word he was saying. He tried to remember his story. ‘I then told my father I was going out for the day. He seemed to be in a good mood.’ Yeah, right. The only time he was in a “good mood” was when he was passed out drink in front of the TV. ‘I left at around 1 PM, then...’

‘Where did you go?’

‘Clifton. You know, the small town about 50 km from here. I went to the markets until around 5 PM, looking at stuff for something to do.’ He remembered seeing a poster for the markets a while back. He hoped it was the right date, as it changed annually. It was the biggest event of the year, with stalls full of cheap knick-knacks lining a whole park and fair rides dotting the centre. It would be hard to spot him from the street cameras, if there even were any, so he had a solid alibi.

‘How did you get there?’

‘Took the bus.’

‘Then...?’

‘Well, I came home, then when my father didn’t come back for a few hours, I rung him about five or ten times.’ He had made sure to do this so it would seem legitimate when they checked the phone records. Even if there was little to no chance of being caught, it was still good to have a plan.

‘Then the next day you reported him missing, correct?’

Raven nodded.

‘So you didn’t get in touch with him at all after you left? He didn’t answer any phone calls?’

‘No, not at all. I wish he had.’

‘Alright, just sign here verifying that you’ve told the truth, and you’re free to leave.’

He did so, trying to hide his feeling of superiority from outsmarting the police. The cop was skeptical enough of his story already. ‘Do you think you’ll find him?’ he asked, trying his best to look like he cared.

The police officer sighed and rubbed his temples. ‘I don’t know. If I need to ask you anything further, I’ll give you a call.’ He slid a card with his contact details across the table. ‘Likewise, if you have any questions, call this number and ask for me.’

‘Thanks.’ For a couple of seconds, Raven could have sworn he heard laughter coming from another room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

Raven put the newspaper down. The headline was “5 Citizens Missing This Year”. Perfect. The police hadn’t called back yet, so they must’ve moved onto accusing someone else. All they had were missing people and horrified neighbours. None of the bodies had been found yet. It was tempting to frame the paper, but the head of his father in a giant glass jar beside him was enough of a trophy. Sifting through a shed full of rubbish had paid off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

After his sixth kill, he threw the bloodied pieces of the body into the well. Killing was an addiction. No drug could compare to the rush, then the eventual calmness and satisfaction. When he killed, he felt more powerful than God. So many more people deserved to die, and he was just beginning to perfect his technique of dismemberment. The only thing that could stop him now was his own mortality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

Raven tapped his fingers on the table. His sister’s house smelled of roses and dust. She kept it simple- plain brown tables, plain white walls. If it weren’t for the stacks of books that lined the rooms, he wouldn’t have thought anyone lived there.

His sister sat across from him, but he stared past her and out the grotty window. The overgrown garden consumed an old shed, vines clawing through the cracks in the wooden panels and reaching into the darkness.

He wasn’t lonely, but he was isolated. What a funny feeling it was, knowing that if he died, only one person in the world would care. And she would soon be his seventh victim. He gently flicked his pocketknife open and shut underneath the table.

‘Raven, I’ve got something to tell you.’

‘What?’ His roaming mind rejoined his body and he realised she was staring at him.

‘I’m pregnant.’

‘What?’

‘I saw the doctor yesterday, and he confirmed it. I haven’t told my boyfriend the news yet. You’re the first to know.’ Soft light illuminated her hair as she smiled. ‘If it’s a girl. I’ll name it Charlotte.’

‘That’s a nice name.’

She nodded. ‘And guess what I’ll name it if it’s a boy.’

‘Come on, don’t make me guess.’

‘Guess.’

‘Paul? James? Michael?’ He hated guessing games.

She chuckled and shook her head. ‘I’m naming him after you, Raven.’

He frowned. ‘I don’t deserve that.’

‘What? Why?’

He sighed. ‘If you knew what I’ve done, you’d abandon me just like everyone else.’ He flicked the knife open once more, the metal begging to taste blood.

‘What are you talking about?’

Frantic knocking came from the door. ‘Police! Open up, we have you surrounded!’

They both stood up, Raven holding the knife behind his back as his sister walked towards the door. She paused half way, a paralyzing fear talking over her small body. Raven’s warm breaths puffed down her neck. ‘You’re the one that made those people go missing?’ she squeaked.

He pushed her against the wall and plunged a knife into her neck. She tried to scream, but it only made more blood flow.

‘I’m sorry,’ he said, his hands painted red. The curtains of delusion were drawn to a close and now he had to face reality. Lucas was a liar. They had found the stew of bodies in the forest.

With a thunderous crack, the door broke down. ‘Raven Holloway, you’re under arrest for the murder of 6 people,’ a detective shouted as he barged in, his gun drawn. When he saw there was another body, he radioed for an ambulance, but knew it was too late. Raven dropped the knife, too stunned to fight back. Cold handcuffs tightened around his wrists. Out the door, armed officers aimed their guns at his chest. It was over. It was all over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

Thanks to pixabay.com for the cover and back images. Massive thanks to Glenda Morgan for assistance with editing. It wouldn’t have been the same story without you.


© Copyright 2020 A. Welch. All rights reserved.

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