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“When a man's life is destroyed or damaged by some wound or privation of soul or body, which is due to other men's actions or negligence, it is not only his sensibility that suffers but also his aspiration toward the good. Therefore there has been sacrilege towards that which is sacred in him.” – Simone Weil
Dough, some bread, some doughy bread… Hahaha.
I was once told to “Live, Laugh, Love.” The Three L’s, as they were called (At least I think they were; Now that I look back on them, The Three L’s sounds like a very corny name). At that moment in time, I was probably following those simple guidelines to life. Live? Sure, I lived like a healthy little kid, soaking up all of my childhood fantasies with glee. Laugh? You bet I did. My laughter was just one among the hundreds of kids at our school as we lived through each day together. Love? Yes. I think I loved, then.
Now, though, The Three L’s seem nothing to me. Yes, I may still live, but it is a hollow life. I no longer laugh – what is there to laugh about? – and with good reason. It’s all kind of hopeless for me, I guess.
And love? Love is a meaningless emotion to me. I’ve seen that there is no more love in the world, nothing true like the stuff you see in movies or read about in books. There are no such things as ‘soul-mates’ as some human-beings don’t even have souls to begin with. Like me.
Sometimes I wonder what it must have been like to be an oblivious child. Happiness harbored there. I didn’t have to have a care in the world for any bigger picture problems. And, more importantly, you didn’t have to keep a reputation.
I guess I have one thing to be thankful for. With the coming of age, I was able to see the Truth, and that was that I could be more intelligent and clever than anyone I had ever met if I put my mind to it. After finally realizing that, I set that as my goal each day: Clever, charismatic, charming. My Three C’s, if you will. And, I think I accomplished that goal: I’ve managed to let people think I’m someone I’m not. Funny, compassionate… a good friend. My peers would notice if I was not this person, but would they care? Probably not.
Just as well, though… I need to keep this mask… this mask of… Sanity.
And so we go back to the new Three C’s… Cold, Calculating, Calm.
Am I insane? I prefer to think of myself as a visionary. I saw what happened to Richard Allen, and I couldn’t help myself – I wanted to do something like that myself. I wanted something… poetic. Ironic, like Allen’s death? Maybe.
And that’s how I picked Sabrina Michaels as my own target. I had no help in choosing – who was I going to rely on? – and I had linked her to something much bigger than any scheme I could come up with. I have to say, it brought a grin to my face to actually solve the mystery myself, rather than have had someone looking over my shoulder the entire time…
I guess it could all be brought down to one thing: Pride.
Michaels was just some blonde-cheerleader who always seemed to get her way because of her big-shot lawyer daddy who had connections within the school board. At least, that’s where some of the ‘threads’ led. But, still, everyone is different, and Michaels was no exception. Beneath that veil of curiosity lay ambition.
I guess it runs in the family.
Ambition in itself isn’t really a BAD thing… but… when you put that together with pride, it becomes a recipe for disaster. If someone does better than you at something, or if you fail a certain test… you get that kind of pressure that builds up. I should know – I speak from personal experience, actually.
Well, I thought Michaels would be a perfect subject for my very own murder. It wouldn’t be something like Allen’s death, where you would just cut the throat and be done with it. No, I had something special in mind… Something MUCH better.
On a night much like the night Richard Allen was murdered, I pulled the black ’79 Chevy Malibu in a ring of trees that led off from the main road leading to the interstate. I was parked not far from a farm where the owners were still, thankfully, on vacation in Florida. Thus, the farm was an ideal place to off Sabrina Michaels. Yay.
Dough, some bread, some doughy bread…
Once I got out of the Malibu, I walked over to the trunk and carefully opened it. There lay Michaels, terrified beyond belief and staring wide-eyed at the black clothed, white-masked Kidnapper (I thought it would be more appropriate with a costume). She let out a squeal, something that seemed interestingly inhuman, and I immediately let out a string of giggles…. Something I hadn’t done for a very long time.
Maybe it wasn’t too late for me.
I hoisted Michaels out of the trunk and placed her on the grass, where her tied-up self tried to struggle against her bonds. I closed the trunk slowly while staring at her feeble attempt to get out, before I smiled beneath the mask. I bent down gently and placed my arms around her.
She struggled harder.
I lifted her with ease, knowing that such a skinny cheerleader didn’t weigh THAT much. Calculating… One of my Three C’s. Yes, I calculated that, didn’t I?
It didn’t take long to arrive at the barn. Inside, there were noises from the animals that had been left behind. Horses, pigs, chickens… So many animals.
As we arrived at the barn, I lay Sabrina Michaels on the ground to open the door. A smell drifted through the moldy wood. It wasn’t the smell of hay or animal waste, which was something that you would regularly smell in a barn, anyways. The smell was familiar to me, something I embraced with my – heart? – and let it take control of. It was the smell of gasoline.
Yes… Calculating and clever. Always have a way out, just in case. And fire… well, that was always a good distraction.
Dough, some bread, some doughy bread…
“I believe I’m enjoying this,” I told myself. Behind me, Sabrina Michaels tried to scream through her gag as the smell entered her nostrils, as well. I turned back, the expressionless mask on me seeming cold as it pressed against my skin softly. I bent down, scooped Sabrina in my arms, and carried her through the open doors and into the darkness.
I knew where to step, knew which route to take in the shadows. I had been here before, setting up my own labyrinth. This was my place, and I controlled it. In the middle of the barn, a barrel rested next to the wall. On it was a lantern-light that I had bought a few summers back at one of those camping stores. Even if I hated camping, I could still find a use for supplies that would normally be used to save lives.
I lay Sabrina down again, and then went over to turn on the lantern. As I pressed the small switch, my eyes were immediately blinded by the white bulb. I covered my eyes with my right arm, waiting a few moments for them to adjust, and then looked back at the lantern. Its light was a bit dull, but it still made the night light up like a candle. The shadows were now farther from me, and for an odd reason I felt comfort in that.
Now, in the light, I could see the two other objects I had put in the center of the barn. The first was a stool, which one would normally sit on and such. The second, resting just above the stool, was a Hangman’s Noose. Sabrina Michaels saw it, too, and she began to scream – or tried, anyways – and struggled against her bonds. Her resistance was useless, to say the least.
“Now, now, Sabrina. Let’s settle down. It will all be over in a minute. Don’t you worry,” I spoke softly, lifting her up and placing her on the stool. She still struggled, and for an instant I thought she might push me away. That didn’t seem to be the case, though, as I deftly put the noose around her neck. She froze as the rope slid around her, almost acting like a chain keeping the dog from the cat.
“There, much better,” I said merrily, taking a step back to admire my work.
Not bad. It did seem rather poetic, too, as the beautiful, teenage girl who seemed just a little larger than life would die in a place that seemed to represent all the misfortunes of poverty. And, I thought with amusement, she would still be able to show off when she was suspended in the air.
“You know why you’re here, don’t you?” I asked, still smiling beneath the mask. She ignored me, instead staring at the space behind me. I knew she couldn’t respond, not with the gag on, but it did seem rather odd that she wasn’t shrieking. My smile slowly turned upside down, as they say, and I began to reach up to take off her gag when a voice behind me said, “Stay where you are. Hands in the air!”
And that was when my first expedition into madness took a turn into it’s fun-loving cousin, chaos.