Asher Littlefield lived a pretty normal life. He was a junior in high school. He didn’t have a girlfriend, but he had friends. He wasn’t the most popular person in school, but he was known. After you hear that, then answer me this: Why was he the victim of a serial killing?
I know you may not be able to believe me, but let me explain. This time from the beginning.
On November 3rd, Asher still had Halloween candy to eat. Even as a Junior, Asher still enjoyed Halloween. He loved dressing up and having fun with his friends. One night, after finishing his homework, he was laying in bed for a while. At around 12:00, he was falling asleep. Before he drifted out of consciousness, though, he heard a soft tapping. Dismissing it as a squirrel or something crawling around on the roof, he settled back in bed. The noise, though, continued. Far longer that what a squirrel would have had the patience for. It also seemed to get closer to the window behind his bed.
Asher started to get nervous, then that nervous turned to worry, then to fear. As the noise got louder and louder, his worry only grew. Soon, it became so loud that Asher thought that it must have been right outside his window. He was right, because he heard the window slowly creak open.
In a split second, what felt like lightning shot through his body. It wasn’t lightning, though, it was fear. The most fear he’s ever felt in his life. Suddenly he’s blinded by tears. He can hear his father’s voice telling him to ‘Be a man’ and ‘Don’t cry.’ He wipes away the tears as a figure creeps in through his window.
“Don’t call for help,” the figure asks him. “They’ll find the same fate as you.”
Asher tries to calm his quick breaths. If he needs anything now, its oxygen. “What are you here for?” His voice is quiet. He thinks he sounds strong, but instead his voice cracks and comes out an octave higher then intended.
“Haven’t you guessed?” It asks.
“I have, but I don’t want that guess to be right,” Asher says. His voice becomes almost a whisper. He knows what they’re here for. He knows, but he doesn’t want it to be true.
“You seem like a smart person, good at guessing.” The figure comes out of the window now. Standing beside his bed. “Don’t attempt to run, by the way. There’s no escaping your fate.”
Asher feels more tears leak out of his eyes. His face must be red and wet, but he couldn’t care less. There are more important things then how he looks right now. The figure pulls out a sharp object. It catches the light from his window. The moon seems brighter tonight then any other night. It would be beautiful, if it weren’t for what it was illuminating.
The blade itself is about three inches long. Silver and sharp. Polished to perfection. Perfection. What a strange word to use in this situation.
“If you’re here to kill me, just do it. Why drag this out?” Asher asks.
“Because there’s another option,” the killer says, “Unlike many, I choose to give a small mercy to my victims. As long as they don’t tell anyone about this, they get to live for one more week. One week only to set their life in order. They can have fun and talk to their friends. If they tell anyone about me, though, they die. So does the person they told.”
“Will you take the offer?” The person asks.
Asher barely hesitates before answering: “Yes! Let me live! Please!”
“Remember your part of the deal. I will return in a week if you don’t tell anyone. If not…” the killer doesn’t finish the sentence, but he doesn’t spend any time wondering about what the rest of it is. The killer left his room as they entered it, almost silently through the window. When the tapping finally faded away, Asher had let go a breath he was holding for a while.
As one would assume, Asher didn’t sleep that night. When his alarm finally went off at 6:00, he slowly sat up and looked around his room. He half expected the killer to go back on his deal and jump out at him.
He doesn’t get out of bed, because he can’t stop shaking. He tried to stand, but faints after a few seconds. When it was time for him to normally go to school, his mom came into the room. She saw him laying in bed, pale as a ghost, and told him to stay home. Asher didn’t protest.
The only thing on his mind throughout the morning hours was if he was going to tell someone. Possibly he should have hesitated more before agreeing to that terrible deal. He wants to; needs to tell someone, but he cant. He can’t put others in danger.
For all of that day, he thought about the moral dilemma. He noticed how ingenious the killer’s method was. It makes their victims assume that they might have a chance. They think their life will be easier now. The killer wants to see them panic. As Asher thought about that, he looked around his room worriedly.
When his mother came into his room with soup for lunch, Asher felt some sort of guilt. He isn’t sick, but his mother is worried about him. She wanted to know what was wrong with him, but he couldn’t tell her without endangering her. Instead of saying anything, though, he just stayed silent.
By the end of the day, he had decided that he will go to school and try and live a normal life for the next week. For the next week, he was going to not tell anyone and try and just live. He is going to do what the killer told him to do: do what he’s always wanted to do and hang out with his friends, He went to a traveling fair that came to town, went shopping a bunch, and basically ate a lot.
On Thursday, all went south.
He was at school, and he was just dreading what was coming in the next days. His mood had been fluctuating throughout the day, and his friends could tell. One of his closest friends come up to him during lunch, and asked about what was going on.
Asher wasn’t in a good mindset at that time. He asked his friend, whose name was Joshua, to come to the courtyard with him so they could talk.
“You okay, man?” His friend had asked, his eyes full of worry.
“No. Not really. Just stress, I guess,” Asher had replied.
“Be straight with me, Ash. Please tell me.” His friend’s puppy eyes had sealed the deal. He had always had a soft spot for Joshua. Asher loved him more than anything. He couldn’t get him in danger…Or maybe he could find a way…
“Josh. Please listen carefully…” Asher explained the whole story. He told Josh about the deal, and then told him about what he thought could have kept him safe: “If you take a plane trip, just tonight. To someplace far, far away. You could get a fake identity. You could live your life. I’m sure it will work.”
“Are you?” Josh asked. The whole time while Asher explained his situation, Josh had just stood there in a sort of terrified awe. His eyes had watered at parts, and now a tear had leaked out of his left eye. “You just told me that you’re the target of a serial killer. One who kills people that their victims tell about them. You just told me-”
“Yeah. I’m sorry, but I know this plan will wor-” Asher interrupted him.
“I didn’t finish,” Joshua said. He smiled sadly. “I don’t mind that you told me. What makes me anxious is that you’re staying behind. Even if I don’t get killed, you surely will. How can I live with that?”
“You’ll live. I know you will,”Asher replied, “Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself. I was getting killed anyway.”
“I wish that wasn’t the thing you said to reassure me, and I wish it didn’t work,” Asher said. The two boys hugged. The love that they had felt for each other throughout their entire time knowing each other had reached full bloom in that moment.
For the rest of the day, Asher continued on. Dreading the coming night. He was scared, but was also hopeful that his friend will survive. His plan was foolproof. He was sure.
That night, as he expected, the killer sneaked into his room as he had done almost a week before. The light from the street lamps illuminated their figure. There was no sign of blood, which Asher took as a good sign.
“A little birdie told me you said something,” they said. For the first time, Asher had comprehended their voice. When they had first met, he didn’t bother noticing their voice out of his own fear. Now, there was no fear, no bravery either, he was just numb. The deathly voice was raspy and deep. Very masculine.
“Yes. But now he’s safe on a plane. You’ll. Never find him again. You lost.” Asher’s hopeful voice was once again twinged with fear.
“Oh. What was it? Flight 202 to Portland?” The killer asked, “I’m afraid there were some technical and fatal difficulties with that flight tonight. How tragic.”
Cement hardened his heart at that moment. He had killed his best friend. There was nothing more to lose. “You monster.”
“Not a monster, my dear friend. A god.” Now the same that had have Asher hope of Joshua being safe illuminated face of what will be both of their deaths. The face was strangely handsome. A strong jawline, dark eyes and angled eyebrows that are thoroughly creased.
“You’re no god. Gods are good,” Asher’s last comeback was met soon with another.
“What about the titans from Greek mythology? What about Loki or Surt from Norse?” The killer’s eyes widened. His smile enlarged. He looked insane then. “Some gods are good, but there is always an opposite. Everything has an opposite. An Inverse.”
“What are you here to do besides kill me?” Asher asked. He couldn’t bear it anymore. “Just talk about your god complex or whatever is going on here?”
“Oh Asher. How naïve you are. I am not a killer just to kill. I am a killer to cause fear. To cause chaos. I am what I am to have power.” He didn’t stop there. “Maybe, little Asher, if what you want from a god is for him to be good, then maybe I’lll give you that.”
The killer walked over to my bedside table, where Asher kept his notebook and a pen. He always had one there since the age of 5. Sometimes inspiration strikes at weird times. Its always good to have a notebook on hand. The killer walked to the notebook and threw it on his bed, along with a pen.
“You want mercy? Here. Write your last notes. Write what you wish to write for your family to read. Let them see what a coward you are. Tell them about me. They won’t be able to do anything. Write, little Asher. Write your heart out.”
As I finished reading the sloppily written note on my son’s bed, new stains appear on the notebook pages. Tear stains. My wife is still sleeping in the other room. I look down to the body of my son and cry. Soon, I hear sirens coming to my house. I must wake up my love. Tell her what has happened. Show her the notes that document what our son has gone through for the past week-ish. I look down at the slightly bloodstained pages, and sob. As the red and blue lights grow brighter, I think I can see a figure in the window. How I wish they would come kill me too. Take me with him. How I wish I could swap places with my little Ash Tree. It’s too late now, though. The shadow of a mad man leaves the window. I must be there for my wife. I wan’t there for him, my little darling Ash tree, who now lays bloodied in his bed.