Death of a Statesman
"If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." - Adolf Hitler
“You look kind of like the Mormon who looks kind of like my step-father. That must mean that you look kind of like my step-father, mustn’t it? Both my step-father and my real father enjoyed keeping me locked away. My real one liked to rape, just like you do. He called it ‘playing daddy’. What do you think of that?” It would happen sooner if he tried to run.
“No! I’m not the terrible person they say I am.”
“What about Dorothy?”
“You don’t understand. They say I broke into her house when her parents were gone, but she let me inside. She was the one who asked me to come over.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Well, it’s true…but I understand. I expected something like this because of how they’ve portrayed me. They’re more responsible for my fate than you would be. They came up with the idea. ‘Rapist’, they call me…so what happens now?”
“Oh, that’s the fun part. You finally realize what is going to happen here. You panic…you try to retaliate. Then you find that you hardly even know where the hell you are. Why might that be? Perhaps it’s because I put some ketamine in your champagne earlier this evening, twice the amount that I took last week. And after what I took, I felt pretty fucking ridiculous. It’s a horse tranquilizer. I can only imagine what you’re about to experience…” He tried to throw a punch, but lost his balance and fell into a big brown leather chair.
“Oopsie, uh-oh!” I declared. Janglehorn was a space cadet now, on a mission to Jupiter. But he could still hear me. I just sounded like a faraway whisper, a whisper from an alternate reality. “It’s eleven-eleven, Mr. J. J. J. See?” I showed him the screen of my cellphone which did in fact read 11:11p.m. A bunch of happy cartoon Tranquility Acres-looking houses made up the background. “Make a wish.” Hooray! Saying it was almost as good as I dreamed it to be. I lined it up perfectly.
“Let’s just not die tonight, please? That’s all I want.”
“I didn’t even say anything about dying yet, so blame yourself for offering the suggestion. I do suppose there is still a ‘not dying’ option. So, Dorothy Dahlia…are you in love with her?”
“Then what would you be willing to do for her?”
“What do you mean?”
“Would you die for her?”
“Excuse me? What the hell, man? This is insane.”
“You think I’m a single entity, Janglehorn? A lone agent? Think again. I have very many ‘bad’ friends, you see. I also have young Dorothy. She’s with some of my friends right now. If you really do love her, you should be worried. My friend has a gun with a bullet in it that could splatter her brain at any second. He could paint his walls with her mind blood. Does that worry you? Does it? I think that blood colored walls are pretty fashionable, personally, but I guess there are two sides to every story no matter what the story is.”
“That’s going to happen to her unless I do what, exactly? Do you want money? I have money. I’m John Jacob Jinglehorn, for Christ’s sake. I have oodles of money.” He was trying his hardest to escape the predicament. It was hilarious.
“Oh, gee. What do I want? You’re so thoughtful. I want a pony for Christmas! Actually, no…all you have to do is just die.” He seemed alarmed. Why could that be?
“You’ve got to be shitting me…”
“Oh really, now? I’m shitting you? Okay, mister rapist. Just remember that you’re the one who said it. I’ll call my friend. I actually have a cellphone that works now. Isn’t that super? I’m moving up in the world, up, up, up! Your excuse is that she called you over? That she wanted it? Well she didn’t call my friends over, but they’re doing as they damn well please with her. Let’s see what they’re up to tonight, shall we?”
“What the hell do you mean by that, you freak?”
“Stupid shit!” M. said all those years ago. Her voice was still perfectly clear. It would never ever go away.
“Well, they’ve just now picked up the phone. Here you go, have a listen.” I felt like Shadowshade was basically controlling me now. For this part of the act, I took the audio from a rather vocal porno and set it up to play through some speakers in my room at home. Scéléra was there blasting it while she picked up the phone.
I put it up to Janglehorn’s ears. Normally he would’ve been able to tell that this girl probably sounded nothing like Dorothy at all. However, he was so zonked out on ketamine that everything in sounded like whatever he was thinking of…and I certainly was making him think. He listened to the loud moaning noises for a second or two.
“She didn’t ask for this, Mister Janglehorn.” He threw the phone onto the ground and tried to lunge at me, but he was completely incapacitated. Ketamine will do that. He fell face-first into the carpet, failing to get anywhere near me. As the phone hit the ground and landed on the speaker button. Now the tape could be heard throughout the whole apartment.
“You demon!” He cried.
“Ooh boy, that really hurts my feelings. I’m going to tell my mommy! Actually, John, this is pretty great. Now we see each other in a mutual way. You can’t fight me. I don’t enjoy playing fair. Fairness just ruins it for me. That’s why I don’t lose. I’ve already shut your body down without having to touch you. If you die, Dorothy will go free.”
“Please do it, John! I can’t take it anymore!” Scéléra screamed over the speaker phone.
“Please?” S. and I said mimicked her at the same time. J. J. J. crawled on his hands and knees down the short hallway and into the bathroom. I followed along curiously. We were soon together in the bathroom, just sort of hanging out. “What will you do now, friend? I’m on pins and needles. I can’t wait to see.”
He lifted up the toilet seat and shoved his face down into the water. He was trying to drown himself but it wouldn’t work that way. He would come up for air. He wouldn’t be able to go through with it. As the thought crossed my mind…wouldn’t you know it? The man came up for air. Sometimes I hated being right, but really this was sort of the scenic route for this experience to take. I was going to have to provide some assistance.
“Nope, nope…that’s not how you do a drowning! I give you an ‘F’ for a total lack of effort!” In his defense, it’s probably harder to drown yourself whenever your consciousness has been disconnected from your body. Ketamine…oh, you. I grabbed him by his wet, brown, politician hair and pulled him up by it. “Okay, I’ll show you how to do it…just this once.”
I slammed his skull into the back part of the toilet with all of the strength of Ivan and Shadowshade combined. There was sort of a crack as the two things collided. But I had only given him a concussion. He was still very much alive, with blood dripping from his nose.
“Wha-bam!” I cheered. “That’s a start! And now for the finish...” I exited the room and walked over to the washer and dryer that had come with the suite. “Damn,” I called back to him. “You sure do have a nice place here!” I opened the cabinets that sat just above the washer and dryer. Ah! Just the fellow I was looking for! “Ah! Just the fellow I was looking for!” I screamed so that Sir J. J. Jet Plane could hear me. On the top shelf of the open cabinet was a gallon of bleach. Hooray for bleach!
“Okay, I’m ready!” I returned to the bathroom with the bleach in hand. John was once again lying at my feet. “You’re kind of like a roach, you know? Hiding in here ‘til I come to squash you…” I had brought Vera’s roach killing spray with me and I decided to spray some in his face. He brought his hands up to shield his eyes and made a rather unhappy sound. “Almost done.” I brought one of Vera’s teacups along as well. It was time for a bleach tea party.
“Bottom’s up, bubsy!” I forced the cup of bleach down his throat. He spat some of it back up, but not much. He was lost in a ‘K-hole’, as it is called. Basically it means that he had gone very far down into ketamine land. There was nothing he could do. He hardly even knew what was happening. Cup after cup he gagged and gargle gargled down, unable to protest or get away. Soon the jug was nearly empty. That would do. By the time the K-hole wore off, he would be dead from the bleach. Hooray! Ta-da!
Satisfied with my accomplishment, I exited the bathroom…Ha! Yeah, right! Just kidding…I picked up the ceramic lid from the back of the toilet and smashed it into his face. One Mississippi! Two Mississippi! On each of the numbers I brought it down again, again, again, until his skull had caved in quite horribly.
His right eye, or something that was once his right eye, sprayed blood all over my arm. It drizzled down, creating red lines and patterns along the way. It was really beautiful. I wasn’t a psycho getting off to someone else’s blood dripping down my arm. I just thought it was incredibly artistic, and it truly was.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but imagine how many thousands of words would be said if I were to have my picture taken right now? I was done. I didn’t take a picture. I really did leave the bathroom this time, shutting the door behind me. Back in the living room, I saw that the TV was on. It had been this whole time, but I hadn’t noticed until now. It’s sometimes difficult to realize that the TV is on when one is killing someone.
“John J. Janglehorn, thirty-one, will be facing our lovely, immaculate, honorable judge in only a day and a half! Stay tuned!” Nope. The reporter woman was mistaken. He would be facing a coroner instead. Something else that I had overlooked caught my eye. It was a letter written on pink stationary, sitting on the coffee table in the living room.
“You just don’t understand,” the voice of J.J.J.’s ghost echoed in my ears as I picked up the letter and began to read.
…I do love to call you that. Hm. ‘Dorothy Janglehorn’. It does sound a bit odd, but that doesn’t matter to me. Soon I’ll be eighteen. On the very day of your court date I’ll be eighteen at last! Then they won’t be able to keep us from each other any longer. We’ll be married! We’ll be happy. I find it so strange that in less than a week I’ll be considered an adult, but today I am a child. I wonder what happens overnight.
Oh well. We can get through this together. I do love you; I love you with everything I have. I love you with the entirety of my soul. They’ll see that, won’t they? I’m sure they will. The world just can’t be so horrible that it would aim to destroy true love. It just can’t be. You’re the farthest thing from a rapist that anyone could ever be. Hell, I’m the one who convinced you to sleep with me in the beginning! I asked you on more than one occasion. You always said no, that it would be seen as wrong…but then you gave in. We had so much more with each other than merely sex. Our spirits intertwined, John. We’ll be together again before you know it.
All of my love,
Holy shit. What have I done?
“Rapist Janglehorn…” the TV blared again. They really were in love? They were going to be married? The only reason that Janglehorn was going to forever be stigmatized as a ‘vile rapist’ was because he had sex with his fiancé, who was now merely two days away from her eighteenth birthday? How could this be?
Fuck it! John wasn’t a rapist, he was a faithful romantic. How could the society have defamed the man like this? I shouldn’t have been surprised. I shouldn’t have been surprised at all, but I was. How could they allow this to happen? How could they be such robotic, mechanical, manifesto flapping bigots that they would stigmatize two people for being in love?
And I had believed them…I did exactly what they wanted me to do. I was fooled. He wasn’t like Father at all. He was really more like me. He was treated like a villain for not being able to pacify the rest of the robots. They tricked me and I bought into it, just like all of the puppets outside had. We had all believed the media’s…the culture’s interpretation of the situation, without understanding or seeking out the deeper details of the thing.
The virus had infected me for the first time…was it the first time? Had it infected me before and I just wasn’t aware of it? One can never be sure. All there is at the end of the universe is another question mark. Oh well…the act of murder was still entertaining. It wasn’t something that I wanted to start doing every day, but it was a pretty exciting to paint an entire bathroom wall in someone’s blood. I just hated that I had fallen for it…I had fallen right into their stupid fucking biased trap! I had bought into their taboos.
I would have taken a picture of J. and the bathroom, for the artistic value of the thing, but all I could take a picture with was my cellphone. I was too afraid that investigators could somehow find that remotely if they really wanted to. But I did bring a sketch book, some fake blood, and acrylic paint for this very reason. I opened up the bathroom door. Nothing was moving around anymore, so the painting began.
It didn’t take long. After about two hours I simply gathered my things and left everything as it was. Some poor soul would find John Jacob Janglehorn in the morning. Imagine the look on their face…but I was terribly devastated that I had killed a man who I now believed was innocent.
Still, overall it had been okay. It was definitely a learning experience. I learned not to base my opinions on those of the majority and to look closely at things instead. I also learned that murder wasn’t half bad. It took the late night boredom away. That was pretty swell.
I gathered up my painting and my cellphone then used the elevator to descend back to the lobby. I imagined when Scéléra and I were here at the 13th floor party. I remembered Henri and Trix and the circle of people. Had I killed someone that night too? I didn’t think so…it wasn’t like what happened tonight. I still hadn’t really figured that out, but I didn’t have to. It didn’t make any difference to me.
Ding. Ding. Ding. I was back in Obscurité lobby. Sure, there was a little blood on my clothes, but it didn’t really show. I was wearing all black, remember? I walked right through those revolving doors and all the way through the city. I finally made it back home and went straight to our bedroom. Whoosh. I tore all of my black and bloody things off and laid down next to Scéléra. She was already half asleep.
“You were wondertastic,” I commended her. “He totally thought it was real. I learned something unsettling about the whole thing, but I’m far too tired to talk about it right now. I’m pretty drained. Not quite as drained as Mr. Janglehorn, but drained nevertheless. It’s just past two, so I think I shall go to sleep and dream of my newly captured memories. I’ll tell you more about it in the morning.”
“Ooh, okay. I’m excited. You’re a real live killer now, rapscallion. That’s pretty fucking hot, just saying. But I’m sleepy too; I just wanted to wait up for you. You’ve had a big day today…tonight. Goodnight, Sir Terrible. Exercise your demons in your dreams.” I was soon completely knocked out, totally asleep. There was no first kill insomnia or anything like that. Did that mean I was a psychopath? Probably, but I didn’t care who thought I was one. I didn’t need their labels. I was Ivan the Terrible, and that was the only person I needed to be.
“You’ve learned your lesson for the day
Never trust the things they say
Or you’ll fuck the good ones away
Which is what they want anyway”
Shadowshade made a rhyme for me. Yes, I had definitely learned my lesson. Next time, things would be much different…