TW: Murder, violence, blood, gore.
Today’s the day I change.
It’s dark out. The sun doesn’t rise early any more. I’m grateful; the darkness is my friend today. Darker than usual, since the clouds are thick and heavy with rain. There’s something poetic in it, the city shrouded in misty mystery. Almost like the skyscrapers disappear beyond the atmosphere... Man’s dream was to exist in space. Man’s dream is always to be better, to do more.
Today is the day that I become better, that I do more. Today is my day.
The rain starts. Gently at first, thick droplets splashing quietly on the ground. The world is still silent. The rain sizzles as it grows heavier. I’ll need a jacket. Better for me. Definitely poetic as the sky lights up with a spectacular fork of lightning. It sounds like an old camera, those big ones where the photographer wears the hood. The thunder that follows is loud, imposing, a boom that clatters and echoes through the streets. Somewhere, behind an open window, a baby cries in fear. I can imagine the parent soothing it, telling it it’ll all be alright...
But it won’t be alright. Not today. Nothing will be alright after today.
Everything is prepared. I leave the window open. The fraught air is refreshing. The sound of the rain is calming. I need that now. I need peace. I pull on my boots, comfortable army combat boots I’ve spent months wearing in. The leather moulds to my feet. My steps are silent in them. I lace them up methodically. I won’t have the time to spend dealing with undone laces. I need them secure. I’ll need to be able to run.
I pull on my layers – a base layer, a sweat-wicking layer, and a plain shirt. I pull a sweat-wicking outer layer on, and then my gloves. Leather gloves. No skin is visible. I pull on my coat, and I pick up my small backpack. The mask is the last thing on. Covering everything but my eyes. Not many people can read the eyes these days, but most can understand the key thing I’ll want them to.
The world is dark and cold and wet. The rain will freeze, no doubt. I don’t take my keys with me. This is the first place they’ll come looking for me, if they find me. If they don’t, I can climb in through the window. Or a friendly neighbour will take pity on me and let me in. The place is neat. I live in chaos, but I’m not dirty or a slob. Lightning illuminates the apartment. The thunder makes the air vibrate. I feel it in my stomach.
I leave the house, close the door quietly. I’m no monster. I know the person living next door works late hours. She’s a nurse. Sweet. She does good work. No family, just a sick sister she cares for. I leave down the stairwell, and out into the quiet street. The world is still asleep. A solitary car passes me. I walk on by.
It takes half an hour before I find the first one. His footsteps behind me were heavy, his breathing ragged. I stop, letting him pass. He stops a short distance away, stretching out long, lean calves, runner’s attire dripping wet. The thunderstorm has passed on by. I don’t need to do it. I shouldn’t want to do it. But I do. I watch him for a moment, the indecision freezing me in place. I want to do it. I want to do it.
Today is the day I change.
I advance, my footsteps masked by the sizzling rain that still pours. The air is still charged from the storm – perhaps another is coming? I don’t pay it attention. I watch the man, far more interested in the data on his smartwatch than he is about what’s right behind him. He doesn’t see me because he doesn’t want to see me. He pulls out a key to the generic grey front door in front and sticks it in the lock. The click is loud. As soon as the door opens, I’m on him. He struggles, but he’s tired. Weak. The hallway is in darkness. I don’t know if anyone else lives with him. It doesn’t occur to me. Why would it? My focus is on keeping this slippery fish still, quiet. He struggles. I wrestle him into a headlock, my hand over his mouth, my other arm holding his arms behind his back. He’s thin. Slender. A keen runner, yet not so strong. I manage to suffocate him just enough that he loses consciousness. From there, it’s a blur. My heart races. The knife I spent hours sharpening is in my hand. It’s in his throat. His shoulder. It’s carnage. There’s lashings of red everywhere, although it looks black in the dim dawn light. His breathing is wet now. His mouth opening and closing like a fish. The entire house is silent. The front door is still open. I need a car.
Today is the day I change.
Nothing could have prepared me for the rush. The pure rush of adrenaline that courses through you. The sheer bliss, the ecstasy-like high that pulses electricity through you. The ego, the power, the invincibility it gives one who takes another’s life so easily. Nothing could have prepared me for the gut-punch of panicked elation. Nothing. Do I want to see my mural? I do. I turn on the light, and the sheer force of what I’ve done hits me. It’s… beautiful. The way the red sprays up the walls, contrasting against the pale blue walls, is pure art. The tiny speckles of red on the high ceiling… I didn’t know blood went so far. Where have I stabbed him? I look down. The man is dead. Nothing could have survived that. Surprisingly, I’m not covered in blood. I was behind him. I catch sight of my face in the mirror. My mask is bloodied, but black, so it isn’t visible. My eyes are almost black, my pupils so dilated. I smile. I pull my mask down. My hands are covered. My smile is almost demonic. What have I done? Who have I become? Who is this person staring back at me?
I hear footsteps on the stairs.
“Charlie?” A soft female voice. “Are you back?” I say nothing. What do I say? I close off the light. “Charlie!” I close the front door. I turn. She can see me. She’s terrified. “Charlie, stop it.” I look at her. Two, in the same house? Well, why not? After all…
The light comes on. The rest moves too fast. She screams. I pounce. Get behind her. Pull head back. Stab, once, twice, three times, watch as my masterpiece becomes even more glorious. My breathing is heavy, but she was lighter than he was, so less effort to hold her.
I need a car.
I take the car keys and empty the wallet I find on the sideboard. Both are bloody, but I don’t care. I can drive somewhere, wash off, recollect myself. I leave the house, careful not to let the door close. The dead start to smell after a while.
I drive for a while. Through the streets. Watching people pass by. Who’s next? I find I don’t care. I drive some more. I put on some music. I sing. I drive. I sing. I roll down the window and ask for directions to a place I know well. The man tells me where it is. He’s known to the city. I drive on more, palms itchy. But it gives me an idea, and I need to be on my feet for it. I know the city like the back of my hand. I know where it’s safe. I park the car, and I get out. Tourists.
“Um, excuse me? Do you know where the Sydney building is?” A young man in a suit. Typical stagiere type. Radiates arrogance.
I hate him already.
“Sure. I’m actually heading that way myself. I’ll walk with you.” It is perfect. He has no clue where he’s going. It’s easy. Too easy. I lead him along, asking him about the Sydney building. He’s here to be a lawyer. A criminal lawyer, no less. I ask him what the penalty is for a mass homicide. He looks at me funny, but tells me it would depend on the amount of victims, and any remorse. He asks me why. I tell him.
“I’ve killed two people already this morning. You’ll be my third.” He bursts out laughing. I laugh too. We’re in a backstreet, close to the Sydney building, but he’s not going to make it there. “I have to know how much prison time I’m looking at.”
“You crack me up!” he laughs. I stop walking. He stops, and turns to me.
“You wish I was joking.”
A blur again. It was easier to get behind him again. Easier to pin him and stab at any bit of him I can. I lose count of the amount of times I plunge my beautiful blade into him, but the mural this time is muddied with city’s grime. I shake my head. I leave him, gasping. The hunt is delicious. I crave more of it.
Today is the day I change.
Today is the day I become a monster.
Today is the day I walk through the streets and stalk people. I walk after them, a kitchen knife in one hand, a smaller one in the other. I slash, I stab, I grab people and pull them into shadowy side-streets. I go into a shopping mall. My clothes hide the blood. No-one pays me attention. I hide the knives. This is too much fun, but there are kids everywhere, and none of these people are my victims.
I leave the shopping mall. The police are finding bodies. Cars wail as they shoot past. I hear three foot-patrol officers running along, their radios squealing about the twelfth victim they’ve found. Only twelve? I raise my brows. Twelve is a poor number. Time to up the ante.
I head back to my car. I switch on the radio. I hear the news breaking. Stay home. Go home. Be safe. There’s a homicidal maniac on the loose and no-one knows who they are. Better yet, no-one has seen me with anyone… but it’s only a matter of time. Time to inject some chaos.
I head into the park. Victims thirteen to eighteen are there. I leave them lying how they fall. I wash my hands and blades in the lake. I jog around. Victims nineteen and twenty are joggers. Their ankles – slashed. Their stomachs stabbed. They could have lived, but I don’t want that. I run back, stab them again, run on. I circle back to my car. There are cameras. How do they not know it’s me?!
I drive. I drive. I’m a monster and I drive. I drive in silence, blood thumping in my ears. It is a sport, now. The chase is afoot. The heat is starting to turn up. I drive to the city centre. The bodies are being found. Carnage and chaos in the park. Cordoned off. Road blocks. This could get messy. I drive to the city centre, and I park. I get out. I walk by people at a bus stop. Not the right moment. Coats. Victims twenty to thirty are all shoppers, glued to their phones, or loitering. I don’t have an M.O. But the police are frantic. Anyone who has heard the news is frantic. People are running. People are afraid. The police are scattered. They know it’s a man in a black jacket and black combat boots, but they’re wrong. I grin. I pull my mask up as I trip a victim up. It’s too easy to lift their head and cut their throat cleanly. People are too easy. No-one sees it until I’ve joined the crowds. I feel like a lion. Someone spots me. A police officer spots me. He gives chase, and I run, taking out people as I go. He can’t stop me. Nothing can. I run and run, my cardio superior, my strength superior. I make it around a corner. I mug someone for their car. I don’t kill them to thank them. I drive off, hitting the traffic.
Today is the day I change.
A manhunt is underway for a young woman, last seen driving a Ford Focus along the Derwent Street sliproad. She wears a black rainproof coat, a black hooded jacket underneath, black trousers, and black combat boots. Eyewitnesses and police say she’s wearing a black mask. The city centre has been locked down by the national guard and the national police to try to stop the woman from getting out. If anyone has any information, please approach your local officer. Otherwise, the police urge everyone to remain indoors, with all entry points locked.
Manhunt. They have the helicopters out. It’s night-time now. The darkness is my friend. The police have been after me for hours, but they can’t find me. Hahaha, this is fun! I’m trying to take them down now, but they’re moving in groups. Safety in numbers, and they’re not wrong… I ditched the car a long time ago. This city has been shaken to its core. This is how a villain feels… this is how the Joker felt each time he gave them hell. This is how Cletus Kasady felt when he let Carnage loose. This is how Mr Priest felt hunting down his Projects… A hunter, and the hunted.
I’m not going down without a fight. And boy howdy, they’d better be ready to bring one hell of a show.
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