Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
The year was 2013. Barack Obama was president of the United States. The do-nothing Congress voted to repeal Obamacare on a daily basis. The loud mouths at Fox News were reporting right-winged propaganda while the latte-sipping liberals at the MSNBC studio were on a campaign to defend democrats. The tea baggers were out with misspelled signs preaching about the Constitution they never read. Music was on a downhill spiral ending the rock and roll era and replacing it with crude hip-hop lyrics about drugs and violence, except for the occasional hits by Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Green Day. That was also the year I committed my first murder.
My name is Gabriel Winters, and I am a murderer. The word itself depicts images of cruelty and bloodshed, but soldiers commit murder every day. I’m sure there are federal agents out there with higher body counts than Jack the Ripper. Although most serial killer experts will argue that Leather Apron’s body count remains unknown, I’m still fairly certain I’m right. Just look at the events that transpired at Waco and Kent State. Both the federal agents and the National Guard racked up body counts that rival Wes Craven’s slasher films. But I digress; the point that I want to establish here is that I am a murderer. Let me elaborate: I did not kill in self-defense, nor do I believe my actions could be defended by some hot-shot attorney trying to sway a jury. The tale I am about to tell is not a sob-story designed to play on your sympathies; it is merely my confession to being a serial killer.
I was a child of the 1980s, generally referred to as Generation Y. Although it tends to get clumped in with the next generation, known as Generation Me, it is the first generation to be raised on technology. Long before my generation started working its McJobs, the Gen-Yers had websites where they could verbalize their pathetic opinions, journalize their lives back to when their biggest problems were high school bullshit, create shout-out pages designed to praise friends and insult enemies—all while keeping up the façade that they knew HTML coding because they Googled how to create layouts and change fonts. After the Gen-Yers’ pitiful attempts at Website design, they had MySpace where they rated friends and let them know where they stood in the hierarchy. And then there was Twitter where they could annoy friends with hourly updates on the details of their humdrum lives, as if people really cared what reality television show they were wasting their time watching.
My generation is critiqued for feeling privileged and entitled. I always resented that assumption. Our archaic educational system didn’t teach us anything useful about how to do taxes, create a resume, ace a job interview or balance a checkbook. Generation Y also failed to memorize basic math, which could have come in handy at minimum wage jobs when customers argue that their orders of burgers and fries could not possibly be so expensive. Schools also neglected to teach them how to survive on minimum wage. The hourly pay did not go up with inflation. Parents used to fill up their gas tanks with their hourly wage, while their children had to slave for an eight-hour shift to pay for theirs.
What was worse was how many of my generation, me included, were duped into this elaborate scheme of blowing our savings on college. We rushed to put ourselves in debt and took out student loans that we inevitably had to default on, only to stay at the same crummy job we took to put ourselves through college in the first place. Upon graduation we discovered that the job market was too competitive, and employers weren’t hiring. On job interviews the human resources department manager, or whoever was deciding if we would be valuable assets to the company, cited our lack of experience as justification for not hiring us. But how were we to gain experience in the field without first getting the job? Boy! They had a good system going. You needed money to pay for college, needed a job to get that money and no decent employer wanted to hire someone without a degree; and once you got the degree, you lacked the experience they were looking for. As you grew older, you discovered that they used any justification to keep payroll down, so that they could sit in their cushy office chairs and roll in the money while their low-paid, unskilled workers maintained the shop.
Loaded down with debt, my generation struggled in their daily lives to get a used car, cheap rent, store-brand groceries and clothes at the thrift shop despite working a full time job and having a college degree. But the worst part is the jobs themselves. For a low hourly pay, you get the pleasure of working long hours, putting up with a boss you were smarter than and being insulted by the customers who had nothing better to do with their time than make other people feel miserable. Retail jobs require employees to exchange pleasantries with those that have no concept of etiquette and a lack the social graces to be decent to the employees. I always thought it was dumb to be rude to those handling your food unless you liked being ripped off or enjoy the taste of stranger’s bodily fluids.
Now before you ask, no. I didn’t kill a customer. Nor did I kill a bill collector, an asshole manager or my shady landlord that expects me to pay rent but neglects to fix the hot water heater or the air conditioner. Those would have been considered justifiable homicides and applauded by the working class that dreamt of doing the same thing. I’m just painting you a picture of the world that I was living in—maybe you can relate to it. This is essentially my back story. Google any serial kill out there, and you’ll learn their back story. No good story is complete without knowing the details of the characters’ pasts.
I had an ordinary childhood and upbringing that you’d expect for someone born in the suburbs. If you go through my past, you aren’t bound to find the typical warning signs that turned me into a killer. I wasn’t abused or molested and I don’t have mommy issues. I also don’t fit the mold of a serial killer as I never killed a helpless animal. I did hit a squirrel once while I was driving, but I tried to swerve and avoid it. The spooked squirrel ran back and forth and despite my best efforts to avoid it, I heard the sound of the neck cracking and saw the animal laid out on the pavement in my rearview mirror. A part of me feels more remorse about the innocent squirrel than the people I’ve killed.
I was the only child born to two working class citizens. My mother was an elementary school teacher and my father worked at the local factory before the country started shipping manufacturing jobs off to other countries. That is to say, we were above green card status but living paycheck to paycheck. I stayed at that level my entire life. So much for the American dream! Maybe I would have had more of a chance at attaining it in Europe. My naïve generation all believed we were capable of being the next Oprah Winfrey, so we all worked hard, dreamed big and voted republican. Or at least I did until I graduated college and began to see the world as it was. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class was virtually nonexistent. As it turns out, Karl Marx was right about the world.
Living on the cusp of poverty was a struggle. I never got to go on vacations and didn’t get out of my home state until college. Reflecting back on it, I don’t think my life really began until I entered college. I attended the local state college where I was an average student majoring in English. I was taught to overanalyze literature until the fun of reading was lost. Apparently, everything in a story meant something else. The author carefully chose to set the story in the winter time because of some meaningful significance about equating the weather to the coldness of the character and not because he liked the season. As a writer myself, I still think that’s bullshit.
But it was at college that I found a group of friends who changed my life.
In an effort to keep sane between my part-time job at the fast food window and the dull exams, I joined a horror movie club on campus. I’m sure at this point you are thinking “Ah-hah!” You think I’m just another serial killer who was created by the film industry and desensitized to violence at a young age. This is why we must ban movies depicting violence. But that absurd notion never sat well with me. There are millions of people out there who watch horror films but do not commit murders. I think some of Disney’s fairy tale concepts are more frightening than slasher films. The notion of Sleeping Beauty lying in a glass coffin inspired my first short story, although in my version when her Prince Charming kissed her she bit his neck.
But in this particular case, I fit the cliché. I still remember in vivid detail the first horror movie I saw. I was twelve years old at the time, and my friend rented Halloween. To this day, the scene with young Michael holding the knife can be categorized in my mind as both frightening and sickly beautiful. Anyway, I joined a club for horror movie enthusiasts. Sebastian DuTrieux, Gerrit Haldron, Jenson Pietersen, Rosalie Demarest, Elizabeth DeGray and I were its founding members. Our first meeting felt like a family reunion. We all shared common interests of a fascination in the unexpected twist endings and felt invigorated by a good slasher film. We never formally elected a president or established any sort of leadership, as we were opposed to being governed by a dictator. I’d say we were a democracy although we never voted either. One person would elect a movie or a topic for conversation, and the rest of us would all agree. As long as it was a horror movie, we were all happy to watch or discuss.
For one reason or another, the members of our group did not fit in with the rest of student body on campus. Sebastian was my partner in crime. He was the typical rock-and-roll-loving bad boy who drag raced his sports car on Friday nights. And just like me, he was into the fine art of writing. Gerrit was the son of a prominent baseball player but the only contact he had with his famous father was the monthly child support checks his mother received. Gerrit spent his time rebelling against the clean-cut image his father represented. Jenson was the average nobody who sat next to you in math class. He was friendly enough, but after class you’d forget all about him. But in the horror club, he had an identity. He could name every actor in any horror movie and cite the dialog verbatim. Elizabeth was the shy, reserved girl who spoke only when spoken to, but she had a genius IQ and was full of knowledge. And then there was Rosalie. This chick was breathtaking with blonde hair down past her big tits and dark blue eyes. One look at her and you would have sworn she was the popular girl in school, but the darkly romantic girl that Sebastian and I competed over had different interests than her peers, making her an outsider. A lot of my free time was spent fantasizing about the beautiful angel who flew just out of my reach.
We met on Monday nights in the beginning, later adding another meeting on Tuesdays. Before long we started having homework assignments. I hate to use the term homework because, although it was done on our spare time, there was no work involved. The movies we watched influenced my regular assignments. I made references to horror films in every essay where they were even remotely relevant. My final papers were spent doing content analyses on these horror films, all of which I received A’s on. In my creative writing class, I got to dabble at creating my own horror plots. Literary magazines would later pay me for the work I did on those school assignments.
Now, as I previously stated, Sebastian and I competed for Rosalie’s attention. Rosalie was a film major who yearned to be a famous director. All she had to do was bat her pretty blue eyes at us, and we would scamper off to write her a screenplay for her film assignments. Sebastian’s work was derivative in my humble opinion. The story idea itself wasn’t the problem; it was always the ending. Predictability was synonymous with Sebastian’s stories. Often Rosalie would have us collaborate to make a perfect story while she listened and smoked through a half a pack of Newport cigarettes.
After the first semester, we knew the type of stories Rosalie sought. She was fond of the dark romance like the Phantom of the Oprah. Our tales often included a male lead that had a morbid obsession with the leading lady. In one particular tale, the lead was in love with the rich teenager from his school. She would allow him to do her homework and playfully flirted to get him to tutor her, but she could never date someone without money. One day she was caught in a fire and lost her sight. He got the crazy notion that romances were built on common interests, so he cut out his own eyes as a gift for her. She was touched by his gesture, and the two started to see each other—well, in a matter of speaking. But her rich parents could afford the best doctors to perform surgery on her eyes. Once she regained her sight, she decided to see other people. This, of course, drove the male lead over the edge, and he began to kill any woman who rejected him. After years of searching, he was in the company of his old love, and he claimed her eyes as his prize.
It was through these writings that I realized I enjoyed playing god. I could kill my darling characters whenever the whim suited me. But soon I became bored with killing off fictional characters. I would begin a manuscript only to abhor the characters I created. I wanted to kill them all, even the villains that I used to love to write about. Moreover, I felt no sympathy for any of the victims. When I lost empathy for my characters, I began to loathe writing. Disheartened, I threw out my unfinished manuscripts. I was a washed-up writer at the age of twenty-seven.
Although we all graduated college and moved on with our lives, we continued our horror club. We met once a month to watch and discuss any new horror movies we’d seen. Gerrit and Jenson were both married at this point while the rest of us were enjoying our freedom—or so we convinced ourselves. Sebastian and I were still pining for Rosalie. Every adult envisions that his old nemesis is living a life of poverty and getting fat, but this was not the case with Sebastian. While I may have been at the twilight of my writing career and struggling to find work, Sebastian was just beginning his. His lack of creativity and imagination landed him a job as a writer for television sitcoms. I was struggling to pay the rent on my apartment while he was buying a Victorian mansion. Needless to say, I was envious of my best friend. But all the money he had could not buy him the one thing he desired: Rosalie. My nonexistent paycheck couldn’t buy her either.
Everyone in the group, aside from me, were all working. Rosalie was modeling in catalogues and pulling in a decent wage, but she rarely spoke of her work. She was still in pursuit of a career directing but could not find her way in. The material in her portfolio was poorly shot college films, which didn’t garner much attention in Hollywood. In my biased opinion she would have done better to star in movies. Who wouldn’t pay to see this gorgeous girl on the big screen? Jenson was an assistant manager at the local grocery store. Gerrit became a pastry chef. The most shocking career choice in the group was Elizabeth’s. The shy, reserved girl was turning heads at the strip club. Apparently under the giant sweatshirts she used to wear was a killer body. Maybe I would have given her some consideration if I wasn’t fixated on Rosalie.
It was while attending our monthly meetings that the idea arose in my mind to commit my first murder. We were down at the Irish Pub after midnight in the middle of the week when the bar was nearly empty with a few scattered overweight alcoholics huddled around the bartender. The smell of smoke lingered in the air even though the patrons were no longer allowed to smoke. Sitting in the booth away from earshot of the bar, we were discussing the new cluster of horror movies based upon true events. The concept of doing films on serial killers was nothing new. There were a number of successful films based on Ed Gein’s murders. But the recent string led to the interesting conversation on the art of killing. Now plenty of serial killers believed they were artists by posing the bodies in provocative positions, taking photographs of the victims or making their own home videos, but most of them lacked the true artistic vision. As Rosalie put it, they provided low quality art that no one finds beautiful. You can find the images of bodies when you Google prominent serial killers or buy a true-crime book but to categorize these images as art would have Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci rolling in their graves.
As the conversation shifted to movies that started out as books, a brilliant idea was planted in my head and began to blossom. I tuned them out as they talked among themselves. I vaguely recall Sebastian telling Rosalie how they should team up and create their own film. I would have interjected if the thoughts in my own head weren’t more tempting than the surrounding conversations. I was plotting a new career choice and one that would earn me more fame than I had ever dreamed. As a writer I would only strive to be a footnote on a long list of footnotes and have some recognition by future generations but never the magnitude I would later receive as a serial killer.
– 2 –
You always remember your first. That statement could be applied to any situation. Your first car, first job, first house, the first time you have sex, your first love or as in my case, the first murder. I remember every detail. One summer night I stalked my prey, a dark-haired, olive-skinned teenage girl, down the streets in a low-class neighborhood to her boyfriend’s apartment. She lived on the good side of town and looked out of place walking down the dingy streets filled with drug dealers and prostitutes on the corner. The cars were missing hubcaps and numerous vehicles had duck tape acting as adhesive for their broken windows. Her clean-cut, muscular boyfriend smiled as he snuck her through his bedroom window. These were perfect victims for what I had planned.
The run-down apartment complex located in a low-income neighborhood made breaking in easy. None of the locks worked, and one of the windows was stuck partially open. I got in with little difficulty by propping a piece of wood against the side and climbing into the kitchen window. This was the exact location I desired to be. I took the bottle of cheap rum off the counter and poured in a fast-acting poison that I kept in my pocket. The tasteless toxin was odorless, and unless you were looking for it, you wouldn’t detect the fine particles of powder in the alcohol. I placed the bottle back on the countertop where I found it, and I hid in what I correctly assumed was the young man’s parents’ bedroom. Lucky for me, they were both sound asleep. The risk of them waking up and foiling my plan was the first thing to invigorate me since watching slasher films in my younger days.
I peeked out the doorway and watched the girl grab the bottle. Damn it, I thought. It would ruin my divine plan if she drank the rum. Perhaps it was sexist to assume the boy would be the one to drink. I bided my time until I was sure whoever sipped from the bottle was feeling the effects of the poison and falling asleep never to wake up. I quietly opened the bedroom door to see the teenage girl curled up in her dead boyfriend’s arms. I have that moment captured and developed in my mind to be rewound and played in the video library of my mind. Her arms were around the white pillow, and his arms were limply around her waist. His un-breathing lips were touching her hair. I checked his pulse and took a moment to ascertain that it was nonexistent. His lack of heartbeat brought a smile to my face.
I turned my attention to the girl in his arms. I put my hand over her mouth and held my dagger at her throat. She awoke startled, and my dagger nicked a small piece of her skin. Her blood trickled onto my dagger and down her neck. I urged her to keep quiet and slowly removed my hand from her mouth. She began to whine and protest, so I slapped her hard across the face. She didn’t make another peep as I pulled her out of his arms and held her close in mine with the dagger still at her throat. I whispered in her ear that her boyfriend couldn’t save her. She let out a soft cry that I assume was the realization of his demise and the danger she was in. I took pleasure in her terror, and once I was satisfied, I moved my dagger down her body and stabbed her dead. I then threw her dead body on the bed, returning her to her lover’s arms.
It was at this crime scene that I left my first calling card. I placed a copy of Romeo and Juliet on the bed, leaving it open to the page describing the death scene I had recreated. To keep the pages from turning, I left a single red rose to act as a bookmark, which later I would realize was an act to pay homage to Rosalie. At subsequent crime scenes, I would add to my calling card by leaving something for the detectives when they arrived on the scene: two clean glasses and a bottle of fine champagne. I must admit I have a fondness for champagne and often have a glass while I sit in my wingchair reading novels.
For the next month or so, I watched every news segment and read every article on the murders. The victims’ names were Trinity Gonzalez and David Ackerman. Trinity’s parents were more interested in suing the apartment complex than in finding the murderer, reinforcing my belief that people are most concerned about money. The reporters indicated that the police had no real leads. The victims had no known enemies, but the crime rate in that neighborhood was high, giving them a plethora of suspects. The dimwitted newscasters failed to label me a serial killer or give me a nickname as all good killers have.
My second murder, or third if you are including the couple as two separate killings, was a more elaborate plan that required a lot of premeditation. It was after one of our weekly horror club meetings when I saw one of my old college professors sitting at the bar. Dr. David taught history and I intended to make him a part of his favorite subject, immortalized in the pages of books. I watched as he drank glass after glass of overpriced whiskey. He told the bartender after years of servitude, the college was forcing him to retire. The professor had devoted his life to the college, but the new administration wanted to convey a cooler and younger image to appeal to new students.
Dr. David was the quintessential victim for what I had planned. The rest of the members of my club had gone home, but I stayed behind. I kept an eye on my professor as he got drunker and drunker. The bartender offered to call him a cab, but he scoffed at the idea. Like many drunks leaving bars, taking a cab might have spared him his life. He willingly accepted a ride, and I helped the stumbling drunkard into the passenger seat of my beat-up Ford Escalade. I assume he recognized me from class, but his speech was too slurred for me to understand what he was saying. I turned the radio off and enjoyed the ride.
I had already reconnoitered the area for the perfect place to commit my crime. There was an abandoned mansion about a half hour away from the bar. The place was condemned, and according to the newspaper, a developer was preparing to tear it down to build condominiums. The gothic architecture provided the perfect backdrop for the murder I had planned. Under thick layers of dust and graffiti was a spiral staircase down which I took my chained and shackled victim. While the professor was passed out drunk in the corner of the basement, I sat down and began to work. It was time-consuming business, but I kept a rhythmic motion as the wall grew higher and higher. Brick by brick, I sealed his fate. Those familiar with my crime know that this was my reenactment of Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpiece, The Cask of Amontillado.
I took a brief hiatus from my new career to take a part-time job stocking shelves at a big-box store. The shitty job had its perks. I was able to save money, fly under the radar and plan my next brilliant scene. After punching out at the time clock, I read through classic novels searching for ideas. Murder was prevalent in good literature, but I needed unique scenes to recreate. Stabbings and shootings were seen in every city, read about in every newspaper. I wasn’t a common criminal or run-of-the-mill murderer. I was an artist.
However, I am an impatient man, and I was getting that itchy feeling. It had been a month since my last kill, and the taste for blood was overwhelming. Instead of waiting for the perfect scenario to arise, I decided to recreate a scene from Elizabeth’s favorite book: Anna Karenina. Spoiler alert: if you’ve never read the book, the heroine commits suicide in the last act. Now what interested me was how risky it would be to pull this scene off. It required a disguise and an escape plan. I also wanted a specific target to stay true to the character. In search for my Anna, I went to a feminist rally. I sat through speeches of loud women ranting about how the government is full of controlling men dictating their lives. I set my sights on a beautiful brunette who instead of just bitching about the lack of females in Washington, declared she was running for senate. She could do Anna justice, I thought.
Clad in a body suit, brown contacts, a black wig and a touch of make-up to distort my appearance, I hung back to the side of the crowd. I waited for the opportune moment to make my move. I introduced myself to her and told her I was a freelance reporter for a college newspaper. A local paper would have created too much suspicion. What if she knew the reporters that covered politics or asked to see my press badge? The college paper was the safe approach. Luckily she wanted to appeal to young people and willingly walked with me to a quiet place. I pretended to be interested in what she planned to do to fix the economy, prevent climate change and empower women to be more involved in the business world. We kept walking and talking until we got to the train tracks. Now this was a predicament. How to stay close to the book? Anna threw herself in front of a moving train. I couldn’t tie her to the tracks, what if the conductor saw her?
After knocking her out with a hard hit to the back of the head, I prepared the crime scene. I left the book and rose first, the only time I left my calling card before committing the crime. I attached a rope to her neck and walked to the opposite side of the tracks. I hid behind the trees and waited for the train to approach. She had regained consciousness at this point and began to make noise, but it was hard to hear her over the train. Once I knew it would be too late for the engineer to stop the train, I pulled the rope which dragged her body in front of the locomotive. I ran to my car that was hidden nearby and floored the engine.
It was about this time that the media began to refer to me as a serial killer. Overkill is the word most often used to describe my next murder. This was my second crime with dual victims. I’d be remiss if I left out my favorite writer, the great Charles Dickens. His novel Oliver Twist had one of the most ghastly death scenes I’d ever read. Portraying the dastardly villain, I battered a young girl to death with my pistol. In addition to my calling card, I left a straight jacket at the crime scene. Dickens wrote the person indentifying the body was driven mad by the sight. The other murder I committed that night was in a different part of the house. I hanged the dead girl’s womanizing boyfriend. It was the least I could do after all the pain I put the heroine through.
Over the next year or so, I depicted more death scenes from classic novels. Whenever the mood struck me to kill, I planned the elaborate deaths. E.M. Forster’s tale acted as the inspiration behind the next death. I was invited to a neighbor’s house for a dinner party. When I saw he had a replica sword, the plan began to hatch. I sat through the mindless conversation until the other guests departed and he and I were the only two left. Pretending to my interested, I grabbed the sword. He assumed I was admiring it and began to tell me the history behind it. My response was to ram it through his shoulder. As he collapsed on the floor, I tipped over his bookshelf. When I saw he was still moving, I jumped on top of the bookshelf to add more weight, thus essentially crushing him to death.
When I stocked shelves, I knew my boss was cheating on his wife with one of the customer service representatives. To create the next scene, I got a car from the junkyard and followed my former boss around. When I saw his mistress doing the walk of shame from the hotel, I followed her. If you’ve ever read The Great Gatsby, you may see where I’m going with this. Just as she began to cross the street, I floored the engine, drove through the red light and ran her over as if she was Myrtle Wilson.
As cliché as it was, one of my personal favorites was Dracula. I saw a gothic musician performing in a club one day, and he looked like Stuart Townsend in his Queen of the Damned role. He was perfect for what I had planned. I bought a cheap coffin on Craigslist under an assumed name. I picked it up in friend’s truck and went back to the club. When the musician emerged from the stage door, he had a young woman with him. He took the groupie home, and I waited outside for her to leave. Breaking into the house required breaking the window in the basement. Luckily the loud music he played must have affected his hearing, and I went in undetected. I walked up the creaking stairs and opened the door. He saw me at this point and we struggled, but I had the upper hand. I took the stake and rammed it through his heart. I unlocked the door to get the coffin into his house. Scraping the front door jamb in the process, I pushed the coffin in. I placed his body inside and left my calling card next to it.
My finale had to be grand and extravagant. And what better way to end than the way I began? Queue the classic Shakespearean play. For those unfamiliar with the tale of Titus Andronicus, the daughter of a prominent family is raped and her tongue is cut out so that she can never name her abusers. How did her father respond to her rape? Well the good ol’ dad snapped her neck. This pivotal scene in Shakespeare’s play was the inspiration for my final act.
It is said murder has a sexual element to it and that murderers receive some sexual gratification from their crimes, even when there is no sexual element involved. I never touched one of my victims before, but this scene required it. I never had such a difficult time choosing a victim before. I found fault in every girl I saw. The girl had to be beautiful. For a fleeting moment, I thought about killing Elizabeth or Rosalie. I guess that’s what happens when one becomes a murderer. Their friendships mean nothing to them.
When Rosalie’s cousin came to town, I knew I found my perfect victim. Her name was Peyton, and she was only seventeen. Sure, she was underage, but I was instantly attracted to her. She reminded me a lot of Rosalie. Her hair was dark blonde, her eyes were aqua and she spoke with a Boston accent. She had accompanied Rosalie to one of our meetings. I chatted her up until an Irish band set up and began to play. By nine, the rest of the group had gone, and it was just the two of us. We listened to the music, drank and danced until hours passed. She was pretty tipsy when we left the bar and was giggling while I drove away from town.
She sobered up quickly when I threw her down in the forest and unbuckled her designer jeans. Her struggling only made me crave her more. Once her jeans were off, I threw them out of her reach. With my legs firmly pinning her down, I ripped off her silk blouse. She was frantically waving her arms in her pitiful attempts to defend herself. I used my right forearm to hold both of her arms down over her head and leaned closer to her body. With my left hand, I tore off her bra. I paused enjoying the sight. She had sweated off some of her make-up and her tears were smearing her mascara, giving her a raccoon look. I could see the fear in her eyes. I could feel her beating heart as I groped her naked breasts.
I tried to ignore her pleading until she said the words that caught my attention. “I’m a virgin,” she cried. I let my head slowly fall to the side of her breast as I moved my face close to her. I kissed her lips before whispering in her ear that she was not to worry. I told her I’d be gentle and the pain was going to feel so good. She moved her head to try and spit at me, but I moved my hand up to push her chin back. I slowly bit her neck and made my way down. I was at her rib cage when I lifted my head up to make sure she was watching me. I grabbed the front of her panties and pulled until the strings split. I watched her face as I exposed her. The tears formed in her eyes, a mixture of pain and embarrassment. My legs were already between hers at this point, but I caressed her thigh as I pulled her legs father apart. I leaned against her as I undid my jeans and put on a rubber. I watched her face while I got on top and inside of her.
After I came, I pulled up my jeans and sat beside her. I enjoyed listening to her breathing. She slowly closed her legs and curled into a ball with her back to me. When her crying seized, I put my hand on her naked ass and told her how good of a lay she was. She turned her face to me to tell me off but I grabbed her neck and took out my knife. I told her that I couldn’t allow her to tell anyone, that it was our little secret. Forcing her jaws open, I cut her tongue. I made a real mess of it, but I did cut off a part of it. There was so much blood I was worried she was going to bleed out before I could finish the scene. She passed out in my arms. I quickly placed her on her stomach so she wouldn’t choke. I grabbed her shirt and shoved it in her mouth to stop the bleeding and carried her to my car.
I drove down the road to a house I knew was abandoned. The family couldn’t afford the payments and the bank foreclosed on it just a few months before. It was in good shape and still had some furniture. Peyton awoke not too long after we got inside. The poor girl probably thought I was going to let her live. I led her into the kitchen by the table where I gave her one last kiss on her blood-covered lips before grabbing her hair and breaking her neck. Her body fell to the ground. The blood from her tongue was all down her jaw and knotting up in her blond hair. I took a bow and left my last crime scene knowing that my work was complete.
– 3 –
It always interested me how many serial killers were religious. The BTK killer, Dennis Rader, was elected president of congregation council at his church. The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, similarly attended church regularly and brought his Bible to work. I always wondered if he kept it next to his murder weapon. I was not one of those church-going people. That isn’t to say I’ve ever considered myself to be an atheist. I have always been undeclared. I never had a profound epiphany in life. I don’t know where you go when you die, but I’ll find out when I get there. That is to say that I am not afraid of going to hell for my crimes. This isn’t me searching for repentance. So the question you are probably asking yourself now is why am I confessing?
Is it out of remorse? No, why should I be remorseful? I gave my victims immortality. They’ll appear in newspapers, on television shows, all over the internet, in books and maybe even movies. None of their career paths could have given them more attention. But that implies I did it for them. You should know better than that. I did it for me. And I take pride in my work, it’s my true talent. Don’t do something if you aren’t going to devote your full attention to it, right? But it was work. I was meticulous and planned every detail. I wanted to do it perfectly. I may have been the best artist of my generation.
The real reason for my confession is pure and simple: wanting what is mine. I want the accolades and recognition, to be acknowledged. I gave my victims fame; where is mine? While Jack the Ripper was satisfied remaining anonymous, I am not. This was my realization at others being questioned for my crimes, including my friend Gerrit. Can you imagine? Gerrit was accused of being a mastermind. The police were joking, weren’t they? Sure, he could recite an entire movie for you without a script but that’s memorization; it doesn’t require any real talent.
I’m aware that I have the right to remain silent. But really, I like to talk. Talk is a criminal’s kryptonite. How many famous criminals were captured after bragging at a bar? How many people are in jail due to confessing to someone who would later testify against them? People want praise for their work. I believe we are predisposed to wanting people to know who we are and what we are capable of. This is what propelled me to make this confession.
I debated confessing to my friends at one of our meetings first, but what if they went to the police? The arrest would ruin my image of being a different kind of killer. The media would no doubt get my story wrong. And I certainly couldn’t allow a detective to make a name for himself or herself by bringing down the death scene killer. Once I decided to confess, I knew I had to write my story since no one else could do it justice.
And this in itself is art. It combines my two careers: writer and killer. My book sales are bound to skyrocket, not that it’ll do me any good. I’m likely to get a life sentence. My state abolished the death penalty, but it has no qualms against taking the rest of my life away. But this confession of mine is going to make the best-seller list. Talent isn’t what sells these days. Look at Paris Hilton, for instance. People can be famous just for being famous. Know a murderer or be one. That is the secret to selling books.
In memoriam, I want the world to know why I did what I did. I did it for me. I did it because I was good at it. And I did it to pay homage to my favorite authors. While people are replacing their books with Kindles, I wanted to make sure no one forgot the classic novels. Newspapers are being dwindling in number, and the written word is dying. Even the dictionary is adding in new definitions for those people that aren’t intelligent enough to know the denotative meanings of words such as literally. I wanted to make a statement that people would listen to. I heard a writer’s life is their art, and I wanted mine to be a masterpiece.
- 4 -
“You don’t really think people will believe this, do you?” Christian asked.
Rosalie moved the gun away from his temple. A smile formed on her lips. She leaned over Christian and hit PRINT. She had read it over again before sending it out to the book and magazine publishers as well as to every major newspaper in the tri-state area.
“You’ll never get away with this,” Christian spat as he struggled with the handcuffs and shackles that chained him to the chair. He was able to move his wrists a foot away, just enough room that allowed him to type his manuscript.
“Won’t I?” Rosalie asked. “You’re the one who slept with Peyton. I’m sure the police will find some DNA evidence linking you to the crime. I sure as shit didn’t leave any. And you just confessed. This whole manuscript is laced with details only the killer would know.”
“How could you do this?”
“Do what? Kill or frame you? The killing itself was easy. It was like a horror movie. I got to watch the blood and dismay fold out in front of me. As for framing you—well darling, I needed to make sure someone paid for my crime. I’ll model for a couple of months before making the movie. Once again, you did a great job writing me a screenplay,” Rosalie said. She walked over to the printer and collected the printout of Christian’s book. She sat on the couch and reordered the pages.
Christian rolled his chair around to look at Rosalie. How did the beautiful angel he lusted after for so long turn so dark? “Nice plan except how exactly do you intend to keep me quiet?”
Rosalie looked up from her papers with a devious smile on her lips. Christian realized as he looked into her eyes that she had a perfect way to keep him quiet. Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. She laughed in delight as the realization showed on his face. She put down the pages and grabbed a Newport and her lighter. As she exhaled from her cigarette, she told him, “It’s nothing personal darling. In fact, it’s an honor. I’d never cast Sebastian in this role.”
“And what role is this?”
“That of one of your idols: Ernest Hemingway,” Rosalie confirmed.
“A bullet to the head?” Christian asked in disgust. “That’s your grand finale? How cliché.”
“Your grand finale, remember? It’s a bit hard to make an elaborate suicide. Simplicity in this case is best. It’s a poetic ending your reign of terror,” Rosalie declared. She snuffed out her cigarette in the ashtray before getting up. Taking the gun out of the drawer in Christian’s night stand, she approached her helpless victim.
“Any last words?”
He bit his lip and looked up at the beautiful girl he used to fantasize about. What could he possibly say? Please don’t? Fuck you? Go to hell? The pitiful taunt that she’d never get away it? They’ve all been done to death. Instead Christian smiled and said, “Make me famous.”
And with that, Rosalie pulled the trigger and watched as his blood painted his wall. She wiped the fingerprints off the gun, untied Christian’s body and put the gun in his hand. She collected her copy of the manuscript and took one last look at the victim’s body before she smiled and shut the door on her old life.
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