I am a killer.
I definitely forget to feed this poor orange creature. I remember seeing the food ran out a couple of days ago, and I plan to purchase a new one, but my forgetful brain just chooses not to. And now I come home to this floating, lifeless goldfish in my aquarium.
I bite my bottom lips as thoughts swirl inside my mind.
What to do now? Do I bury this fish?
Wait, is it weird for a 29-year-old man to bury a goldfish?
On top of that, where should I bury this creature? The closest garden will be the community one downstairs.
But again, what if someone sees me burying a goldfish?
I scratched the back of my head, unsure of what to do. I keep my eyes to the floating orange inside the aquarium for a while.
Then, I squat down, adjusting my eye level to the transparent bowl on the table. I can see the eyes of the fish inside, the eyes that have stopped moving since God knows when. As I observe closely, I can see the orange scales that cover the whole body. In some parts, the orange scales have been peeling off, uncovering the white flesh inside with a hint of the red blood vessel.
The red colour that somehow attracts me to take the lifeless creature in my palms. The red colour that intrigues me to peel off the remaining orange scales.
And it is really, really satisfying.
I am a killer.
I managed to destroy orange fish last time, to the point that it was no longer recognizable, then threw it inside the trash bin. That same day, I bought another goldfish to replace it, the one with red coloured head and white body.
It has been three days since the red-white fish swims inside the aquarium. I check it at 7 AM, before going to work, and it still swims although I have not given it any food.
Why don’t I feed it, you ask? Because I want to see how long they can last before dying. Or to be exact, because I want to see how long goldfish can live before the red veins start to bulge out again.
No, no, I am not being unreasonable. I am simply curious. And this is just an experiment, really.
I even put a camera in front of the bowl, so I can check the fish’s condition from my phone when I am at work. So I can capture the exact moment when the soul leaves the body. So I know which day I can satisfyingly peel off the scales once again.
And oh, I will be reporting how it goes on my diary here.
Four days. The fish is still fine.
Six days. The fish movement seems slightly slower but still fine.
Eight days. The fish amazes me. Nothing change except its gradually descending swimming speed.
Ten days. I notice that the white metallic scales start to peel off in several places.
Twelve days. More scales start to peel off. The eyes have become cloudy too. I wonder why it is different than the orange one?
Fourteen days. The fish floats on the surface of the aquarium. Finally!
I am a killer.
I was throwing the red-white finned creature along with my trash on Sunday morning when I found an abandoned cat. Without giving it much thought, I took the furry creature into my unit. And now, I am questioning my own action.
I can’t even care for a goldfish, can I take care of a cat?
I mean, as long as I give him food, it should be alright, right?
Wait, what food does a cat eat? Fish? Mouse? Or it does not matter?
I scratch the back of my head, standing in front of the brown creature that is licking its front feet. It changes position and continues licking its own body that is filled with stripes of the dark colour.
Then, I walk to the kitchen, opening the fridge, seeing the only plate filled with fried rice that I cooked the night before. I take the plate out and put it in front of the cat, gesturing it to have a bite. It seems hesitant at first, but it stands, walks towards me and starts to eat the food happily.
So I assume that fried rice is okay for a cat. And I cook more of the same fried rice: two gloves of minced garlic, half big onion diced, egg, rice, and diced bacon.
Three days, I notice that the cat is very well behaved. It stays in one corner and rarely moves. I am happy that it does not damage any of my furniture.
Five days, the food that I left before work is not eaten. I wonder why?
Seven days, I come home to see the cat lying on the corner of the dining area. It does not move to any sound that I make. I guess it is just sleeping very soundly? But, I still cook its food and leave the bowl in front of it.
The morning of day eight, I realize that the cat is still lying in the same position as the night before. I pat at the body and I can feel that the cat is powerless.
I am a killer.
I was burying the cat in the community garden when a young boy called out to me.
“What are you doing, mister?”
“Burying my dead pet,” I answered. Feel utterly embarrassed, I avoid the boy’s gaze.
“Ah, I’m sorry. But what pet do you previously have, mister?” The boy asked from the back of the wooden fence.
“A cat,” I answered shortly. I moved my hands to quickly cover the lifeless brown creature with the soil.
“How nice! I also want a cat, but my mom doesn’t allow me to. So I am now running away from her until she agrees to buy a cat for me,” the boy put his palms on the back of his head, leaned to the fence beside him as he flashed a smile.
“Do you have a place to sleep tonight, though?” I glanced at the sun that almost set, the moon that almost ready to come out.
The boy shakes his head. “Can I sleep at your place, mister? Pretty please?”
And now I am questioning my action once again.
Is it alright to let him stay here?
What if his mom is in panic and calls police?
Then I might be suspected of kidnapping this boy, wouldn’t I?
However, as I see the boy sleeps soundly on the couch after enjoying a plate of leftover fried rice, I leave my worries behind for the night. I put on the blanket on top of his small body, takes off his cap and place it on the coffee table. I caress his soft, curly, dark brown hair, then leave to sleep.
The morning after, I am awakened by a scream from the kitchen. I cleave apart my blanket and run out of my bedroom, only to find the boy holding a knife with a bleeding finger.
“Sorry, Jamie! I am trying to cook breakfast for you as thanks for letting me stay, but I cut my fingers, hahaha!” The boy nonchalantly laughed. However, my view is focused on the blood that keeps running out of his finger. The same red liquid as the orange fish.
I hold his hand, leading him to the kitchen sink. As I let his finger under the running tap water, I can see the veins beneath his pale skin on the wrist. The same veins that bulge out as the orange fish.
At that time, my curiosity gets the best out of me. My hands move to grab the knife. What happens afterwards, I don’t really remember. My hands move faster than my brain can process.
But, when my hands stop, I can see the red liquid floods my kitchen.
I am a killer.
Feeling nothing, I take the lifeless small-statured body on top of a big, clear plastic. Wrapping the body in the plastic, I carry the boy and place him on my bed. Then, I leave him to clean up the kitchen.
Then, I wash off the red splashes on my pyjamas when I hear a bell ring. I open the entrance door slightly, finding a woman with an updo in front of my unit.
“Hi, sorry to disrupt you early in the morning. But I am missing my kid since yesterday,” she handed a paper. A paper with a photo of a familiar boy printed on the centre.
“Oh, I have seen him,” I replied.
The woman immediately becomes ecstatic. “Where?! Please tell me, please!” She grabs the hem of my jacket tightly, stares directly at me as if I am the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Would you like to come inside and have a talk?” I asked as I remove her hands from mine. I open the entrance door widely, gesturing her to walk in. She takes the step inside, standing close to me as I lock the door.
I lead her to the sofa. I tell her that the boy, Mike, begged me to let him stay and spent the night. I tell her that he is still here, just in my bedroom. Listening to my confession, the woman cries out of relief, then asks me to bring Mike to her.
So I lead her to the bedroom. But then she starts to scream on top of her lung.
So I grab a pillow, stuff it in front of her face until she no longer screams. Her body falls powerlessly into the floor.
So I drag her body, laying her on the bed beside her beloved son.
And I leave both of them, off to work.
I am a killer.
That is why the police come to the office in the middle of the day. That is why the police put a handcuff on me and drag me out. That is why I can sit still inside the cool, white and blue coloured police car. That is why they put me behind the bar immediately.
One morning, I read the newspaper brought by the warden. The article says:
Jamie McDowall. Confessed to have killed and tortured some animals for the sake of curiosity. He also confessed to have killed Mike and Milly Fitzgerald in his property. Autopsy have found that Mike died after stabbed for fifty times on his chest and along the arms, while Milly died of suffocation. The victims were incapable of putting up a fight against this vicious man.
“How do you feel reading that?” the warden threw a question.
I shake my head in disagreement. “That’s not right. I don’t torture animals, I am simply curious.”
The warden is taken aback by my response. “So you don’t feel any guilt?”
I ponder in silence for a few seconds, then let out an answer, “No.”
Then, they bring me to a wooden chair with a tall, straight back, with the black straps around my whole body. As I sit, I gain a new understanding.
I am not just a killer.
I am a murderer with psychopathy trait. Someone who poses a great threat to society. A person that should be killed for the safety of others.
Apparently, that’s what society thinks of me.
And a loud zap sound paints my world black.