The World is Broken
Two years. Two years to the day. I always knew that everyone would die
at some point, and on the flipside it was sort of a requirement of being
given the gift of life in the first place. But losing your parents
isn’t like other losses, not even like other deaths. It hurts you,
changes you. I’ve been hurt all my life, mostly from being the victim of
bullying so severe it made me try to take my own life several times.
But that was different, it had a feeling of being temporary, like I
could fix it. This is broken and it won’t ever be anything else.
My name is Ericka Carmichael, although most people just know me as Erick. I’m eighteen and my parents were both killed in a car crash, two years ago as I mentioned earlier. It wasn’t even something tragic and dramatic like that the other driver was drunk, it was just bad reflexes on the count of both parties. Since then I’ve been living with my uncle who lived nearby, he’s a nice enough substitute parent but he’s just that. A substitute. The real things are sealed in wooden boxes and turning into food for worms and maggots.
So that’s what I’m doing in this cemetery in the pouring rain on a Sunday. I don’t go to church anymore on Sundays. It’s not that I’ve lost my faith, I just don’t have the energy to do much at all. But as I rustle the withered bouquet of flowers in my fingers I remind myself that this is something I have to do.
As I approach my parent’s graves I notice something odd, or rather, someone odd. There’s a boy standing on the far end of the cemetery, and I say he looks odd for three reasons. One, he doesn’t have a coat or even an umbrella despite the pouring rain. Number two is more subtle. It’s his gait, most people cry and grieve in the cemetery when they come alone. But he’s just standing there absentmindedly, almost like he’s bored. And three, even at this distance his hair is messy and tangled. And his skin looks very, very pale.
I approach him out of curiosity more than anything else. Maybe he’s a runaway and needs someone to talk to, it would explain his hair and lack of proper attire. But as I get within about thirteen paces of him I realize three more things I hadn’t noticed earlier, all of which are more horrifying than odd.
First, his mouth is slit open on both sides and he has no eyelids, making it look like he is finding masochistic enjoyment in his own pain. As he stares skywards and lets droplets of rain trickle over his eyes and into his wounds he doesn’t so much as flinch. Next, he isn’t crying, and he has no eyelids so it’d be easy for me to tell. He’s giggling. This worries me a great deal. But it doesn’t worry me nearly as much as the kitchen knife he is holding, complete with ochre stains which mar the stainless steel blade. Just as I am wondering what the proper reaction to this situation should be he turns to me, tilts his head, and smiles.
I jump a little, just enough to slip backwards on the slick, muddy ground. When I look up he’s standing over me. His face is very feminine in structure and would have looked beautiful once, but now it looks more terrifying than anything else. It’s then that he darts in close and grabs my hair. I drop my umbrella in pain as he tilts my head, forcing me to look into his unblinking eyes.
“Can’t a man visit his little brother’s home in peace? Seriously, when I was a kid people were already bad enough. Every year mankind just gets worse…and worse” he says as he teasingly scrapes a dull part of his knife across the skin over my jugular. His speech is stuttering and hesitant, as though he’s forgotten how to even verbally communicate with other people.
A rush of adrenaline finally washes through me and I deliver an unsportsmanlike kick right between the legs of his jeans. As he collapses in pain I run, and run, and run. Right past the gates of the cemetery, right into the waiting arms of…
…them. I almost wish I’d stuck with Mr. Psycho. Remember when I said I’d been bullied all my life? Yeah.
“Ew, you look like shit!” one of my usual tormentors says as she notices me. She’s here outside the cemetery with her boyfriend, God knows why.
“GUYS! THERE’S-“ I begin before I get cut off.
“Oh my God, do you ever shut up?” her boyfriend sighs as he rolls his eyes. To me it’s an even worse grin than the one that boy had.
“Let me guess. You’re such a whore you’re taking it right over your daddy’s tombstone now?” she laughs.
“No, that’s not…why are you always so mean to me?!” I’m on my knees now, and I’m crying and defenceless. Now as always.
“You deserve it. Everything bad that’s ever happened to you, you deserve it” her boyfriend says like it’s the most obvious thing in the universe. I think he really believes it too.
“If you’re that retarded you don’t deserve an explanation-“ he trails off as her eyes go wide with horror in perfect sync with his girlfriend.
“Don’t mind me” a familiar voice says. How did he get so close so quickly, and without any of us noticing?
“I’m something of a ninja” he giggles as though he had read my mind. “Don’t mind me, continue.”
“Who the fuck is this thing?!” the girl’s boyfriend ask me. I’m unable to answer, or even move. I’m just dead to everything happening at this point, and pretty soon I’ll be dead too.
“Oh please! I’m no worse than you two!” he laughs as he bolts forward.
Within a second he has grabbed both of their heads and dashed them both together. Within three seconds he has stabbed the boy in the gut four times and blood is soaking down his shirt. Within five seconds the girl’s neck is slit and she collapses at the feet of her boyfriend before he blacks out and falls down too.
“They’ll bleed out in a few minutes” he says absentmindedly. From that comment and the professional air to his work I can tell he’s done this many times before. After a short pause he speaks again.
“I don’t like you, but I don’t hate you. So I’ll let you live, but only because I see a bit of me in you. When you fell to your knees and demanded to know why you were needlessly suffering, I almost empathized. Because I want to do that all the time but I don’t. I have another job to do. You see, I believe everything that exists is awful and flawed. People are broken. This country is broken. All societies are broken. The world is broken.”
He pauses, as if trying to feel an emotion that was now forbidden to him.
“By killing everyone and tearing down everything there will be nothing left, and then there will be nothing to break anymore. Then everything will be calm and still, and I will be alone, and I will at last feel peace. But for now you can live, but only because I say you can. Oh, and if you tell the cops which way I ran I’ll murder your uncle in his sleep…Erick.”
With that the boy runs off into the pouring rain, his silhouette growing dim against the cascading fall of water until I can see him no more.