In the Mind of a Killer

October 31, 2010
Booted feet beat floor of the little room that stood for a dressing room as John paced it. Four strides in one direction and he had crossed the room; four strides back and he had returned to where he’d started. He was almost certain that he’d worn a path into the wooden floor, because this was most certainly not the first time he’d been set pacing it. The war had worn heavily on the actors’ mind ever since it had started to look like the south wasn’t going to win the war after all. And then it had turned out that they hadn’t won the war—you can imagine how well that had sat with Mr. John—and to make matters worse the slaves were being taken. Well, freed, but still…Taken. Sure, he was an actor, and for some reason idiots thought that actors were free spirits that didn’t care about slavery; but that didn’t matter. The government had no right to take them away. And he had a mind to punish them for it.
His goal hadn’t always been assassination; John remembered that with a very obvious smirk on his face. No, originally he’d just wanted to kidnap the president and give him to the Confederacy so that the war would be over and the Union would finally recognize them as a real nation. But everything had messed up. Lincoln wouldn’t show up where he was supposed to when John had planned to do the kidnapping, and then General Lee had surrendered. Surrendered! It was ludicrous. John had never thought that Lee had gotten so soft in the head as to actually surrender, but apparently he had. And that meant that the kidnapping plan was completely out the window, since there was no one to hand him to anymore. But that hadn’t meant that John couldn’t still affect fate. Hadn’t that fortune teller told him, all those years ago, that his life would be one of glory, but it would burn out fast? He was to die young, never to lie in bed as one of the old and infirm, and that was, quite surprisingly, the way he liked it. He would kill the president, and then he would most likely be tracked down and killed as well. He’d already come to peace with all of it; he was done with the Theatre and he was more or less done with his life. Not that he wouldn’t mind continuing to live, of course, but he certainly didn’t care if he died. It didn’t matter now, because nothing was going to mess up this time. The president was already here, the weapon was in John’s hand, and all he had to do was walk through the door, into the president’s box, and shoot that idiotic man in the head. He wouldn’t live to make another speech, to free another worthless slave, to ruin another country. And John would be okay with not being physically alive anymore so long as Lincoln was also taken out. He had nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
A rather evil grin spread across his lips when he heard the cheering that marked the end of the first half, meaning that the stage would be clearing out in a moment and the audience would remain seated for a few more seconds. It was time to make his move. Putting the gun inside his jacket pocket, John left the room and quietly entered the president’s box, an eager and almost insane look in his eyes when he saw that no one was paying attention to the actual box, not even the people inside it. No one saw him pull the gun out of his coat, no one saw him point it at the back of that disgusting man’s head, no one heard him cock it. Another second and the man would be dead. He could almost feel the devil at his shoulder, whispering for him to pull the trigger, kill the man dead now; he even turned his head to the side to check and make sure the devil wasn’t there. Perhaps he was insane. Insane, but clearly a genius. He pulled the trigger, and it was like he’d finally entered heaven.

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heyo14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm
It's easy to feel the anger. You ended it well too.
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