If you were to ask somebody their most beloved memory, then chances are you'd be let in on a lot of different answers. So many different answers that you'd be left wondering why you ever bothered asking. Whether it be catching the bouquet at a wedding or catching your kill and muffling their screams, I have always found through my observations that everything comes down to the first time.
The first steps to a journey. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. For whatever reason, people carry firsts with the utmost importance. It could be their first date, kiss, or first time having sex. But I can assure you the only thing I'll be penetrating now is the flesh of my prey.
My sincerest apologies if that sounded cheesy or over-the-top but for all extensive purposes, everyone should know, that's exactly who I am. I don't mean to come off too crass, but tonight is an important night.
Tonight's my first night haunting the depths of my little sector of the world, and hopefully, tonight is my first kill. I have eluded myself from peace for so long, but for the first time it is the only thing that swims across my usually racing mind. I feel ... at home in a way. I am feeling comfortable. No poking or prodding at my mind to recall.
The feelings of restlessness and frustrations I usually feel, aren't replaced by anxiousness of what's to come. I am thankful of this. If, for no other reason, because I doubt those drawn out will cut me much slack because I'm new at this. Even if I was having cold feet, there would be no backing out now. I can't continue to occupy my time in cessation. If I stand here doing nothing then whatever it is that has crawled within me will merely continue to grow more unstable. I can't let it win. I can't let it control me forever. This is something that has to happen. I beg for it to happen. I seek salvation. There is nothing that can change what will happen. My beginning.
An abrupt knock on the door is all it takes to break me out of my trance. Unsettling, considering I assumed James' departure would end much after the conclusion of my little 'project'. I was planning to leave within minutes after my clashing of thought and chaotic rambling ended, but that was evidently too much to ask. I spring to my feet to make an immediate stumble, almost falling to the carpeted floor of my bedroom.
In the end, I catch myself and stay on my feet. My disposition in knots, something about me feels inept. Something about this day has been making it difficult to conduct any form of human interaction.
After all, I hadn't exactly planned for any of it, except the ruthless murdering I had been circling on the calendar, of course, but there wasn't really anything too human about that. I detach the chain-lock from the door and it swings open. Wallah!
As I assumed, it's James.
"Good morning," James hollers before stifling across the room. Intoxicated. His movements without motive, he falls onto the couch that brings out our empty living-room. There isn't much in the way of living that goes on in this particular room. I keep much to myself and usually can't be found dwelling in any other part of the apartment except for my little sector of the world. James, on the other-hand, oftentimes found himself in some sort of social-outing.
James lays his head face down against the arm rest, looking like he's hugging the beige-colored couch. My eyes might have been deceiving me, but I do believe I might even have detected a hint of saliva dribbling down the side of his cheek. This wouldn't be one of his finer moments, and maybe isn't even one of the best ways of introducing him.
James is taller than me by a couple of inches, standing at about 6' 3” but I stand tall in my own right. James has the looks and the charm, the dimple on his cheek and face without even the slightest blemish, whereas I, well, do not. I am not bad looking, I don't think, but can't say I am chiseled from stone. James, on the other-hand, is someone that might be a tad more worthy of such an accolade. James' brownish-blonde hair's cut short. I have dark-brown hair draping itself freely over my ocean-colored eyes, often obscuring them from view. I explain these aspects to at least try and show you that drunken idiot isn't really what James is all about. He is the Superman to my Batman in a sense. He has the cocky attitude and good-looks, and in a lot of ways, I sort-of, kind-of don't have any of those things. Yippee for dead parents!
Both of us are admirably built, both of us staying in reasonable shape, though neither of us could be seen lifting weights. James has pearly white teeth, and I, well, I hope to kill somebody soon.
“What the hell, James!? It's one in the morning!” I utter with both frustration and astonishment showing in my voice. “You called earlier saying you were going to stay at the hotel for the night.”
Before James can even begin to think of a response though, thanks in-part due to his strong indulgence of liquid courage, he's out like a light. Like I said, this wasn't exactly the most pleasant of introductions he could have had. His head still driven against the arm rest of the couch, in all likelihood, he'd be out for the rest of the night.
I don't care though. I don't want James to be here. The reason I chose tonight of all nights is because I knew he would be in Italina. His mother called days earlier saying she had managed to whip up a potential acting gig for him. He's an actor, by the way.
A silver-lining to his early arrival though. Or more specifically, his inebriation. In contrast to his usual levelheaded attitude that would be composed of him bombarding me with questions about where I am going, he instead lays unconscious on the couch. The ball has been thrown in my court and it is time for me to dribble it out. I slowly bend forward, picking up the ski mask I found earlier in the day as I was rifling through my closet. Once that's over with, I take one final look at James. I don't feel afraid. The way I should be feeling. But I don't. the way I think I should be feeling.
I haven't made much of a scheme for what I'm planning on doing but I know I have all the time I need. Likewise, I will need all the time I am given. I wear worn black boots, ripped jeans, leather gloves, a black hooded sweatshirt, and lastly, of course, a ski mask drapes over my head. As far as weaponry is concerned, I carry nothing more than a mere switch-blade.
Nothing eccentric or intricate about it. Nothing special. Just a switch-blade. An ordinary, knife with ordinary capabilities. I have no intentions of biting off more than I can chew. I am built well, but I have no intentions on facing off against a group of thugs.
All I plan for is a stroll across the city, searching for my kill. It doesn't sound very heroic but I'm not ready for anything else. I never said I was heroic anyway. Let's not become mixed up here.
The air is chilly, but it's not freezing, the sky is darkening, but it's not black. But still, a lot of everything has been subtracted from view, all except for what the big-yellow moon offers light of. I can only make out the figures that stand around me. The walls. Brick-walls. Always brick. This is the atmosphere I feel at home with. This is the atmosphere I need.
I know there will not be thieves and criminals leaking out every possible alleyway like water out a faucet. I also know I will spend the entire night lurking until one exposes themselves. I walk down a graffiti-coated sidewalk. I can faintly see what the graffiti depicts, mostly tags and bubbled lettering. A leisurely stroll across the city, who should I kill? Aside from several profanity slurs directed at policeman and what number I should call if I want a good time, I notice scribbling from an angry individual stating he or she is going to kill me. I can't help but smile at that. These bold scribbles inaccurate. I am going to kill them.
Whoever they are.
I turn from where I am headed and instead take a detour between two wrecked buildings, both formerly shops, and both currently out of business. The alley has been appropriately named Death Alley, either a play on Death Valley, or an homage to punk band Zeke. It earned the name because an eleven year old girl that was killed in the alley a decade ago. For years, it had been a dwelling for several of the scum that inhabit the area, including pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and all of my other potential playmates. It has since lost much of its prestige. Less and less use it for their dastardly deeds, and instead it has become a place occupied mostly by drug-dealers and stoners.
Statistically speaking, Acera has one of the lowest crime rates in all of the country. I like to think murder only happens in my little sector of the world, but that isn't the case. I will say some of the murders in Acera are the most haunting and elaborate though.
I walk through the alley, coming across little to nothing. The alley is big, not enormous, and yet seems empty. I continue walking, looking at the dumpsters lining the right side of the building and a fire escape on the left. The dumpsters overflow with garbage and attract flies. I can hear them buzzing and I can smell the gunk they hover over from afar. Finally, the time comes... and by that, I mean, I am on the other-side of the alley, leaving me to ask merely one question.
Is it wishful thinking that murderers and rapists would present their throats on a silver platter for me to slice with my switch-blade? It's too early for me to be growing discouraged, I assure myself. I have to keep going… then, like an example of a deus ex machina. Something becomes blatant; a noise. What I hear illuminates the night inside of me. Clearer than ever the blindfold slips. I run fourth, trying to pinpoint the whereabouts of the scream. Have the years of searching finally come to a conclusion? Have I found my purpose?
Within minutes of running, I finally find where the screaming is coming from, … the trunk of a turquoise-colored mustang. Or, at least, I think it's a mustang. Cars have never been my specialty. The vehicle has a smashed fender with other noticeable signs of wear and is parked awkwardly on the side of the road. Whoever parked the vehicle was in a hurry.
I begin walking toward the rear of the car, hearing somewhat muffled screams piercing the trunk to meet my ears. The screams are that of a frightened woman. I hear the desperation flowing from her voice. Then, the sound of trash cans falling to the floor with a thud as a see a man running away from me.
Is it the man responsible for this woman's predicament? How much did I honestly care? I dash toward him. I don't know all the facts and I don't mind much. I have my prey and I will not let him escape from me. I follow him down Death Alley as he turns a second to look at me. There is a level of fright to be discovered in his eyes as he becomes more frantic. I like that.
I start to close in on him when he begins up a fire escape, purposely knocking over an assortment of trash cans, only further littering the streets with filth. Bizarre. He believes they pose too great an obstacle for me to overcome? I didn't expect my victims to be so quick at discovering my secret weakness!
I leap over them and continue my pursuit, until, at last; he turns around and makes a brash attempt at an attack. The swiping sound of the punch echoes as I duck beneath it, flinging him over my shoulders. The man falls off of the fire escape and down against the concrete pavement. The swiping sounds of his bones breaking echo louder than the punch. Hopefully that isn't enough to kill him. I would hate for my first time to end so prematurely.
Over the rail, I look down at my fallen adversary. I reach for my switch-blade and slowly begin to take it out from my pocket. I flick it open. I drop to one knee. I am not satisfied. Not yet. The blood on the man's body paints the pavement like a canvas and soaks his plain, maroon-colored shirt. He doesn't look happy. I put the switch-blade to his throat, that doesn't cheer him up any.
“Please just tell me what you want, do you want money? I can get you money!? Drugs!? Please, I don't fucking care what it is, I'll get it, man. I don't want to die, who the fuck are you? I don't even care, I know people that will fuck you up!” the man says his words in a way that shows helplessness, but it's his eyes I take a liking to.
His eyes illustrate the maddening panic he is feeling. The man is sweating bad and it glistens off his face. Looks like he didn't expect to see a dark figure in a ski mask. He is terrified, and he has every right to be. The man wears a black toque hugging his head, a graying short-box beard covers much of his reddening face. Oh, and also, a psychopath is leaning over him!
“Neither does the woman probably still screaming in the trunk of your car. Who is she?” I reply. But it's strange. There is a voice I don't recognize. A more confident version of my own? But there's more to it than that.
“She's just some broad, man. Why do you care!?”
“You're not helping yourself.”
“Just tell me what you want and I can get it for you!” the man begs once more.
He doesn't understand. I didn't sense a man that held regret over his actions. I sensed somebody looking to swindle his way out of this in any way possible. I didn't care one way or the other. “I want you dead,” I conclude with a stare cutting through the troubled eyes of my victim. My first time.
I slide the switch-blade across his throat. I savor every moment of it. Blood pours out of his neck as he gags. I think it's beautiful. And then, he suddenly comes to a halt. I watch on. There is a certain beauty in this. A man was here, and now he's not. Shaking.
I lift myself back to my feet with a smirk spread across my face. A smirk that's hidden by the ski mask. I move fourth down the alley with a feeling I can't describe.
I am overcome with something, is it happiness? I did what I sat out to do. The restlessness is gone, and it has been replaced with something different. I am happy? Is this what it feels like? It is almost as if in the process of taking a life, I have been reborn. It feels like seconds before I am back in my apartment, still with a smile across my face from ear to ear. I just can't believe I actually did it. That fucker's dead, and it's because of me!
At last, I meet my room, I didn't even look at James on my way, and without lapse of time, I drop to my bed. The rambling emotions that overcame me all the years before have silenced and the curtain blocking me from the show has risen. The weight of the world is off of my shoulders.
I can't help but feel I forgot something.