This is a short story detailing the journey of a man through his past and childhood. He is an apparent psychopath, disgusted at the world he sees around him and is on a mission to make himself 'pure' again.



The rain is battering the window on which my head rests, leaving a sonic imprint which resounds deeply into the nest of my thoughts.  It has taken a considerable amount of effort and time to bring me to this final journey, riding on a filthy old bus populated with the dregs of the night’s soup; wretching alcoholics foraging vainly for any currency or intoxicant which might have planted itself beneath their seat. There’s one particular one in front of me; he has long knotted hair and is filthy from years of self-neglect. He urinates himself in apparent disregard to the rest of humanity, or perhaps in defiance of it. I hear the drops of urine drop from the bottom of his trouser leg onto the floor like rain falling through a crack in the ceiling and I see him bow his head as he becomes rapt in the warmth it provides. I then fix my gaze through the window staring out onto the rain-soaked streets of the small town through which my body is propelled, seeing burned cars and broken windows, all punctuated to the sound of revelry and thunder. Then my vision retracts suddenly and my own torn visage is illuminated to me by the flickering of a faulty internal light on the bus. I grimace when I see myself. My nose has been disjointed from countless fights and my smile has been buried under years of disatisfaction. I look forwards again and palpate the handle of the blade which rests in my belt, carefully stroking it like the chin of a lover, as something which enables me to find true joy. Something which gives me power. I could have chosen any other weapon and certainly, there are those who question my fool hardiness in relying on such an archaic form of technology. Yet for all the advances in weapon technology and for all the complex ways by which one human being may take another human being’s life, I still find this brutal object the most fitting thing for my mission. It is more personal. More exact. The hafted knife has existed for thousands of years, since we first started sharpening stones and using them to skin and to butcher and to kill. It is something which has been tried and tested countless times and something which I feel needs no reassurance; it will not fail on me as some other mechanical weapon might, the way some form of gun might well explode in its user’s face or else fail to activate at all. This is a weapon whose power comes entirely from the person who wields it and as such, it is the most humane and human way to kill.

I have killed many in my time, most of them were ‘clean’ kills but a great many were messy and tortuous and bloody. But I still managed to escape without any condemnation. I remember one of my earliest ones, Samantha. I saw her walking down by the side of the canal late in the evening when only silohuettes exist to the eye’s vision, but I recognised her frame all the same. We were the same age and in the same class in school and she was the one everyone had wanted, but no one had wanted her as I did. No one could feel the same frustration which gripped my throat every time I saw her being escorted off by some other fortunate suitor. I knew the impurity that ran in her, her being soiled by all these fools, having her labia flicked apart and her passage used like a campsite. I wanted to make her pure again and for her to know the sweetness of the feeling I had for her. She heard me walk behind her, though the paucity of street lighting in the area disallowed the certainty of my presence. But she knew all the same. She knew the way a dog knows when his owner is home after having shit on the carpet, he runs and cowers someplace to avoid the inevitable rebuke. She showed this in the way her breath quickened and then, her step. She did not run at first but just cantered, in a way pretending that she had just forgotten something and not that she was trying to make her escape. But then she heard my step match hers and she was certain of the urgency of the next few moments. Then a burst of pace, but nothing which could escape me. I caught up to her and wrapped my hands powerfully around her throat from behind, dragging her back and into me, then covering her mouth to prevent her screams.  Little yelps began to eminate through her and I embraced her. We danced for a few moments like this, her attempting to bite my hand as I tried to keep her silence, the hold on her throat growing in strength until her biting and her stamping became less frequent. And then finally, with this last effort, her tiny frame slumped in submission into my arms. At this earliest of attempts I was somehwat unsure of what to do but owing to the proximity of the canal I decided that that would be the best option. Even as a clueless seventeen year old boy I had at least some cognisence of the way in which the forensic sciences worked,  I cleaned her hands and mouth with a vodka soaked brush and wiped her face and throat clean with a rag before dumping her in the canal. There was a large search out for her remains which were eventually found two months later resting in a drain. No one was ever charged, although a suspected paedophile was beaten quite badly by a crowd of anxious parents one night.

But that was a long time ago, when I felt the purity of such things. Purity has become sullied even as a word in my mouth these days. These three syllables I find difficult to digest on hearing and more nauseating to utter, in my advanced years. That word is what has brought me back here to the earliest of my being. To my home town, the first place I tasted killing. I can see that the tramp sitting in front of me has managed to find something which in the most liberal of senses might be described as food. He crams the mouldy hair-covered sandwich into his mouth and munches at it anxiously, as though the original owner might suddenly return to the bus only to look under the seat and on not finding it where he left it assault the thief. He disgusts me in every imaginable way. His head has the kind of ugliness normally reserved for the most awful of genocides; every angle, every facet is repulsive. From his crooked snotty nose to his stained, jagged teeth, there is nothing of his features which could redeem him. Least of all his odour. I can smell the whiskey off his breath from two seats back and the stench of urine creeps from him and into my nose and invades my thoughts. Fortunately we both seem to be getting off at the same stop. He has been to engrossed in his hedonism to notice my eyeing him or even to be aware of the fact that I am getting off at the same stop as him. He steps off of the bus while grunting expletives at the bus driver as I follow him silently. He sits down in the bus shelter, his legs splayed before him and procedes to release a small nagen of whiskey from the inside pocket of his dirty brown overcoat.  He draws the half-full bottle to his grizzled and bearded lips and sucks at the contents eagerly. Only now is he aware of my presence, his first reaction being that of drunken carelessness. As he has increasing conscience of the sharpness of my attention this emotion is replaced with a cathartic anger, a defensive growl shaping itself into ‘ffffuck you!’ and ‘ffffuck offff’, more in protection of the contents of his bottle than out of any concern for his person. Then as I approach with more obvious intentions his look becomes one of sudden terror, his lungs releasing a small groan of ‘no!’ as I kick him to the side of the jaw, landing him on the ground and leaving him crouched, winded and terrified. He looks up eventually only for the last information to travel down his optic nerve to be that of a large breeze block hurdling towards his face at great speed. There is no CCTV in this area of town, there is no CCTV anywhere in the place I am now. It is a trend which has yet to catch on. I am secure in the thought that this is a victimless murder, in my thoughts anyway and I walk away, my footsteps seeming to match the patter of the rain on the ground.




I leave the corpse of the tramp suppurating blood into a drain near the bus shelter, as though it was feeding the vampirous nature of the town. The town MUST feed on blood. It cleanses her. I walk on seeing familiar landmarks as I trod slowly towards the hospital, some familiar from memory and some familiar only through having seen them in photographs. The old shop which had been closed in my memory is now open and vibrant at 9:15 pm, addicts of all capacity circling round it, either being refused credit or else expending their hard earned unemployment benefit on beer instead of baby food. Sacrificing a child’s good diet for their own poor one. I advance through all of this filth and decay and see other buildings which bring me back to my youth. I see the house I lost my virginity in perched on the corner of a seemingly wholesome neighbourhood. The home of a ‘family friend’. Oh he showed kindness to me indeed! More kindness to himself however. I profited from it all the same, my visits to that house as a child yielded confectionary and more inspiringly, money. Tens, twenties, fifties sometimes, if I was particularly convincing in my performance. I didn’t mind it, even at the age of thirteen I was aware of the value of money, especially at that age when it was just me and her. We would struggle and those extra few cents would contribute greatly. She must have thought it the most lucrative of professions, being a paper boy. However, it could not last forever. One evening as I was preparing for the usual ritual I caught sight of him preparing some rope and some other implements of cruelty. He thought I hadn’t noticed or that if  I had, then my age and immaturity would cause me to capitulate to his desires. He had mistaken my financial desires for obsequiesness and worse still, he had confused my age for innocence. My eyes moved towards a large bronze-cast statue of the Buddha, sitting rotund and peaceful and closing his eyes to the events which had happened in that room and those which were about to happen. I was of sufficient height and prowess at that age to grab it firmly and with determined purchase I thrust it at the back of his head, knocking him unconcious. He fell to the ground like a sack of spuds. I foraged through the bric a brac of torture which he had gathered for my arrival and found a stanley knife which he had intented to use to shorten the rope. I take it in my hand and unsheathed the blade and use it to cut at his belt and waste band. I fasten him to a chair with the rope, ensuring that he can exact no power through his arms or legs. I sever his scrotum from the rest of his body, slowly so as not to jerk him awake too suddenly. He eventually awakens and is confronted by the horror of his mutilated body as I smile, satisfied at my work. He sits there bleeding and I presume that this is the last time I will ever hear of him or see him, but somehow he lived long enough for someone to visit him in his wretched state and to rush him to hospital before he could bleed to death. We never talked again after that incident and all I ever saw of him was a frightened glance which he would attempt to shield from me if we happened to meet. He could never exact revenge or punishment for my actions for he new he deserved what he had received. That’s the contract you sign when you wish to act on such desires.






But that was a long time ago, or rather I should say, that is a long time yet to come. I am walking now through the earliest of memories and I see my original family home a few yards in the distance. It’s features smile at me menacingly, knowingly. I have come back to this place both physically and temporaly. This, the nurturing placenta of all of my wrong doings. And I can hear her scream still from the kitchen. I can hear it more vividly than I can the wind which now runs past my ears or the rain which hits them; it is a sound that lives in me. The way she struggled on a night much as this. Struggled to keep ‘him’ away from her. He was forcing himself on her and she was doing her best to resist. She had not the the strength in her bones nor the fortitude of mind to do any such thing in reality so her defiance amounted to little more than an act. A play. I had seen where he kept his gun and I knew that it was always loaded with a full compliment of bullets. He always kept the key in the same place, under an old football trophy which stood gaudily on the chest of drawers. I moved quietly but briskly, slowing my breath and limiting my visibility in pursuit of the gun. I unlocked the vault where he kept it and found it with the safety still on. I knew how to use it. I had used it a few times before, he had shown me. He had said it was ‘important that a man knows how to defend himself’. He was the author of his own demise, really. I grabbed the revolver in the grip of my ten year old hands. The gun did not quiver and nor did I sweat even the tiniest drop of moisture for I was certain in my task and self assured in my ability to execute it. I walked steadily towards the kitchen where the screams had been subdued to an acceptant sob. I saw her blackened eyes and her bloody mouth and she saw my approach. She wanted to say something, to usher me away from all of this awfulness, all of this impurity. And then she sees what I am carrying. Then her concern turns to confusion, as though she is looking at a painting of surreal art, something so unfathomable that it cannot exist. He spots me, then, out of the corner of his eye, briefly being distracted from his hedonism. He looks at me even more confused and then in some way proud, but never afraid. I stand there for a few moments drinking in the scene and smelling and hearing and feeling everything so much more brilliantly than I ever have before. He smirks at me just before I void the gun of all its contents and still smirks even as he is being shot. He falls backwards off of her and lands supine on the ground, dead, or well on his way. She is relieved in one sense but horrified in another. I would escape this without any legal reproach although therapy was considered a necessity. A local family friend who was also a child therapist volunteered his services free of charge.









I am now in the maternity ward of the hospital and I am looking for a child who has been placed in an incubator. He was starved of oxygen during the birthing process and there is a fear that he might be intellectually disabled in some way. I make my way through the corridor trying to be as inconspicous as possible. The smell of disinfectant and new life swims around my face and oddly enough it is this meeting place of birth and death where I feel most secure. I like the circularity to the intensive care unit of a maternity ward. There is something reassuring about it, the certainty that these two processes are meant to coincide in some way. I peruse the names inscribed on little laminated tabs above each of the incubators in this ward. I am looking for a name with which I am very familiar, at his point a pure name. My eye is drawn to it like an iron filing to a magnet and I see perched above the incubator of a three hour old infant the name ‘Robert Parker’. I motion towards it and look at the frailty of its being. It is weak in every way, helpless, unable to breath on its own, yet  somehow, owing to the universal potential which it possesses, it makes me feel dwarfed in comparison. It makes me feel helpless. The nurses are busying themselves and tending to the needs of all the little patients on their ward. They are too distracted to pay any heed to my presence and there seems to be little evidence for security in this place. If there is a security team present then they operate in the most clandestine of fashions. I am staring down at this little infant, this helpless thing which seems to care nothing for the world around it. It cares only for the next breath, it lives as we all hope to live, enjoying each moment as though it’s the last. I have firmly gripped the blade in my hand and am savouring the next few moments of this, the most gracious of scarifices. My attention has become focused solely on that which rests before me and I find it impossible to distract myself from it. I raise the blade in my hand and focus its raised tip over its target. I don’t know how long I am suspended in this pose, seconds, minutes, perhaps hours. Long enough for it to be noticed anyway. I hear an alarmed scream and feel a crowd of people rush at me clashing against me. They consist of two nurses and a woman whom I recognise as being the mother of this infant. As they push me I can feel my blade being redirected at myself, mostly by the mother of the infant. I feel her direct its tip towards me and push it deep into my stomach as the other two push at me and attempt to restrain me. I feel my vital organs being ripped at in what seems to take a lifetime but which in reality probably only lasts a few seconds. I fall to the ground, sitting slumped against the wall with the lifeforce running out of me and staining the floor of the ward. I am nearly unconcious but I can feel medical staff and security grabbing at my person, investigating my wounds and looking for some evidence of who I am. The mother of the infant is looking intently at her little joy, checking urgently to make sure that not even the memory of this incident might have affected him. A policeman looks through my wallet in an attempt to find out who I am. He finds some identification and inquires of the mother if she has any knowledge of me, showing her the name written in bold letters; ‘ROBERT PARKER’. 

Submitted: July 14, 2013

© Copyright 2023 Michael Feelan. All rights reserved.

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