Caught in the Drift
He strolled down the country road glancing over at the fields from time to time, paying little attention otherwise to his surroundings. He knew where he was heading and half whistled and half hummed a non-descript tune as he went on his way. There was no chance of disturbing anyone this far out of the village, with the time approaching 3am.
Not that that would have bothered him, such was his self-belief and confidence. He was still half man and half boy physically but mentally he had been born old and had a clarity of purpose way beyond his peers. Today he was on the cusp of turning fully into a man and taking his life forwards under his complete control and becoming what he felt was his destiny. His playful tune rose a couple of octaves higher as he felt the anticipation of it all.
A shrill cry from a mating fox brought him out of his thoughts and he took in his bearings. He was approaching the curve in the road that ran alongside Tanner’s field, visible through the thick foliage of the road side trees even in the limited light afforded by the cloudy sky. Time was on his side and he allowed himself to take in his surroundings, studying the beauty of the location and the night’s impact. It seemed right that he lived in such an area and was of an appropriate intellect to appreciate it. He did not think himself fortunate, merely it was as things were meant to be. The best required the best.
He stopped and looked over to the field, making out the rotting wooden fence that ran around its edge, that he had climbed over several times in his youth, sometimes not so accidently stamping the lower rungs and snapping them and other times collecting splinters on the inside of his thighs that he would have to prise out later at home with his penknife. The grass was long and appeared wet in the odd flash of moonlight that the clouds teasingly let through. A little mist rolled over the meadow towards the fence and in the distance it seemed to hide where the field ended and the road went past. As only he could, he wondered what the field, fence, clouds and moonlight were thinking about him, could they appreciate what they were seeing in the same way?
He continued to move forward again, eyes focusing on the field and looking intently now all over it. Another thirty metres as the road started to turn and his ears gave him his first indication of their presence. His pace went just slightly quicker as he moved from the road to the verge and carried on, stretching out one arm to run along the top of the fence, subconsciously wishing for the prick of a tiny wooden dart into his palm to be dealt with later. Shortly afterwards he started to make out in the gloom what he sought.
At first they were just lighter shapes against the general darkness, but after a small whiney and then a few more steps, he could make them out more clearly. He knew that at this point, they would sense his presence, so he eased up and took gradual steps towards where they stood. At the same time he made some gentle clicking noises to both announce himself and encourage them to approach him.
The two horses flicked their ears and paused their eating of the meadow grass. He clicked again, and then again slightly louder. He had done this many times before over the years and knew that the horses would recognise him and come to his call. He repeated it softly several times over and eventually the horses moved silently over the long grass towards him. He smiled inwardly as he knew that they would come over.
As they tipped their heads over the top of the fence, he stroked each on the nose with both hands, murmuring soothing and encouraging words. The horses allowed his touch as they knew the next part of the play. He was under no illusion that the horses cared about his words or caresses, but only wanted the treats he had in his jacket pockets. He didn’t mind as he appreciated their honesty and self-serving nature. After a short while he took out his knife from the back of his jeans and an apple from his pocket. Holding the apple in his left hand, he sliced it down the middle and put the knife back in his pocket. He then carefully laid half an apple in each palm as he had once been shown to do, and offered his hands slowly up the horses.
They took the fruit quickly without even touching his palms and began to chew contentedly. He looked at them, a slight smile curling the side of his mouth as they quickly finished off the food, paying him no attention. “Fancy another, do you?” he whispered. Once again he took out another apple and the knife and repeated the same procedure as before. He closed his eyes as he listened to their crunching and zoomed in to the stillness of the surroundings. The rest of the world might well not exist in that moment, it was only him and the horses alive out here.
Buoyed by his success in gaining their confidence, he climbed slowly up and over the fence. The horses were slightly startled by his sudden closeness, but he quickly clicked the noises and rustled his pocket, which had the effect of greed overcoming caution he desired. He stood to the side of the smaller horse, which had always appeared more confident than its neighbour. Gently he stroked the side of its neck and made gentle shushing sounds. The horse relaxed, allowing the touch whilst nuzzling its nose around the side of his jacket.
“Want some more do you?” his voice slightly louder and higher, his breathing quickening. He took out the apple in his left hand holding it just in front of the horse’s nose.
As the horse nudged forward towards it, with a strength and determination not befitting a fifteen year old, he drove the knife deep in to the horse’s neck. As he did so he dropped the fruit and grabbed the handle of the large double sided hunting knife and pulled downwards with all his weight.
The horse screamed and attempted to kick upwards off its front legs. However it only got a small way off the ground as the boy’s weight pulled it back down to earth. At the same time, the other horse took fright and bolted off away deep into the field. Blood poured from the wound and the boy’s hands were warm and sticky. The horse continued to rear, thrash, kick and stagger, all the time the rip in its neck becoming deeper and longer. If there were other animals in the area, they went silent and hid, knowing that death was nearby. Only the shriek of the horse could be heard and within fifteen seconds this petered out as the horse began to sink to the floor and finally lay down.
The boy stood over the horse, wiping his face and smiling. He felt sensational from his brain to his feet. The power he had exerted over this animal filled his soul and he realised how hard he had become, never ever approaching this feeling before in all his teenage explorations in his bedroom. He wanted to scream out loud his victory, but he was not stupid. Further glories awaited him.
He bent over the writhing animal and began to play. First carving out the eyes with the tip of the knife, then slicing open the belly and laughing out loud when the hot entrails fell onto the grass. He noticed the beast had gone quiet and presumed it had died. In fact, he knew it had died. He had meticulously studied how to cut the horse in the jugular and to kill it relatively quickly. As with all things, he planned every detail and knew he would make no mistakes. He knew he was a superior being but that didn’t mean he could be overconfident.
Tonight he had started on his path to becoming the super man he knew was his destiny.
Whether he was a sociopath, a psychopath or an all-together new kind of path, he didn’t care. He existed outside of terms of reference and was a one of a kind. He was now also a man. He has not followed other such dull psychopathic types, hurting things from a small age, killing a bird at four, torturing a cat at seven, kicking a dog to death at eleven. He was above all stereotypes, his first kill was a bloody big horse. He had got its trust over years of learning, he had planned its execution perfectly and he got exactly what he anticipated from the act. He didn’t need to kill more horses to move up the ladder to finally killing humans, he just needed to know that he was right in knowing how it would feel.
The next stage though was equally exciting. He wanted to spread fear, suspicion and blame within the villagers that he loathed. Such simple, dull people, his parents included and such sub humans. To affect their lives so negatively without a glance in his direction.
He knelt down again and started to slice a few cuts in the side of the horse. Then as he moved to the larger surface of the rear of the animal, he carved a small type of logo in to its side. Even he knew he was no artist, but the figure did bear some resemblance to some local graffiti that had been seen in the village and was generally associated with some local “youths”. He chuckled, then laughed, “My work here is done.”
Over the next few months, he silently revelled in the local paper’s headlines about the attack, the neighbours’ gossips about who could have done it and the accusations that flowed back and forth. Passing travellers were in the main to be blamed, as no one local could have ever done such a thing. Rumours revolved around the local youth gang and the police spent quite a bit of time questioning these so called underage offenders, alongside their worried and hopeful in denial parents. More than one fight broke out in the pub following heated conversations about the incident, leaving some needing hospital treatment and the pub losing its safe reputation.
He felt at his most complete as he pumped his body daily in his gym and fitness regimes in the months that followed to get his physique to match up to his superior mind, as he imagined the owners of the horse finding the ravaged body and the cries as they began to comprehend the horror of the attack.
He was the puppet master and the village danced on the strings that he pulled and felt the emotions that he wanted them to feel. He was in control. He was the driving force in the atmosphere and he had taken his first steps towards escaping this restrictive life and becoming another level of human. He was no longer fifteen years old, he was many years wiser than that, he was the next level of man and only he knew it to be so.