He was an exceptional child, but so many people took his intelligence as insanity, with his thinking more clinical than compassionate. He would often get a far-away look, where you knew that he was thinking of something more complex than anyone else could even imagine. As a result of his intelligence, he could not be put into any normal school--not that anyone could truly teach him anyways.
People would look at him strange, they were terrified of what he was capable of doing. Even his parents were always on alert around him. He had a reputation for being very strange, like because of his intelligence, he wasn't mentally stable so everyone took everything he said very seriously.
The morning after the boy's ninth birthday, he walked down the stairs of his home, into one of his parents' conversations.
“They say the police have no idea how it happened. The house was broken into, and the entire family was slaughtered. They cannot even find the murder weapon, or any evidence-” His mother abruptly stopped talking when she noticed him.
He stared at them blankly and said, “No need to stop talking, I have heard about the murder.”
“We just don't want to frighten you,” His father said nervously.
“You won't, if I had a reason, I wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing as that person.” The boy said emotionlessly. “He was very smart about covering his tracks to. If I ever had a reason to kill someone, I would want to plan it out as well as he did.”
His parents gasped, they knew their son was strange, but they had never thought that he could be so heartless, this was their nine year old child, who had just blown out the candles on his cake, and scrunched up his round face to make a wish and the flame disappeared. The boy walked out the room, leaving his parents thinking about the terrible thing he had just said. They walked on eggshells around him the rest of the day.
That night, when the boy was tucked into his bed, cuddling a teddy, smiling at some dream, his mother and father began talking.
“He needs to see someone,” His mother said.
“Yes, but that could make him resent us, you heard what he said. This could be what he considers a reason.” The boy's father countered.
“He needs morals, I would never be able to live with myself if I knew that my child was responsible for killing someone.”
“If he resents us enough for sending him to therapy, then you won't have to live with yourself, because we will be dead! Do you not understand this?” His father's voice was rising in anger.
“I don't care. One session, that's all I ask.” His mother pleaded. “I am terrified of my own child, and that shouldn’t happen!”
His father gave a sigh of consent and they made an appointment with a therapist.
They said nothing to the boy until the day his appointment was scheduled.
“Hey son, we are going for a drive today,” The boy's father told him one morning.
“Don't embarrass yourself,” The boy replied. “We both know you are taking me somewhere that probably has something to do with what I said the other day. Your fears are valid, but I will not resent you for this unless you give me a reason to. Come on, let's go, mom is already in the car.”
Stunned his father followed the boy into the car. The ride was silent, and tense. No one dared speak, and everyone respected that. When the car pulled into the therapist's parking lot, and the boy finally saw where he was going, his parents waited in tense anticipation of his reaction. They didn't know what they were expecting, and they weren't sure if they were relieved or disappointed when the boy quietly unbuckled his seatbelt and got out the car. They followed him up the steps into the waiting room, where they sat for two minutes before the therapist came in to get the boy.
“I would like the parents to stay here until I call you in,” She said smiling.
The boy stood up without argument, and followed the lady to one of the small rooms off to the side. The therapist's room was decorated with certificates, and diplomas from a number of places. The walls were painted yellow like a chick's fluff, and there was one big leather couch pushed up against the wall, across from a big leather chair. The only other article of furniture was a small coffee table separating the couch and chair, and a water dispenser in the corner.
“Would you like some water?” The therapist said still smiling.
The boy shook his head.
“Take a seat. My name is Anita Roberts. What is yours?”
“Asher Carlson,” The boy said.
“Nice to meet you, Asher. Your parents told me that you said something a few days ago that worried them. Do you recall what it was?”
“Yes, I said that if someone gave me a reason, I would not hesitate to kill them and their family. I also said that I would plan it out so well, that no one would know that it was me.” Asher said this completely straight faced, but his tone said that he believed everything that he said.
“It is completely natural to say this, lots of children joke about death when they don't understand death, but you need to know that it is not okay say that kind of thing.” Said Anita Roberts.
“I understand death, and I know that everyone will die at some point, I would just be speeding up the process for someone. That’s all I am saying.” Asher countered.
“But you said only if they give you a reason,” Anita more corrected him then asked him.
“Yes, only if they gave me a reason.”
“You know, just because you understand death doesn’t mean that you should go around saying stuff like that, because lots of other people, even adults, don’t understand death, and saying that kind of thing can scare people.”
“I wholeheartedly believe that I would kill someone if they gave me the reason. I’m not lying about that. Are you saying I should lie about my thoughts on this subject?”
“Look, I think we have made some good progress,” Said Anita, sidestepping his question. “I am going to send you back into the waiting room, so I can talk to your parents.”
Nodding, Ashar slid off the couch and walked out of the room.
“The therapist wants to talk to you guys, alone.” He informed his parents before sitting on a chair in the waiting room.
His parents stood up and went into the yellow room, closing the door behind them.
“Okay. I am just going to say it. Asher has some problems. He doesn’t have adequate empathy, and he is completely comfortable with saying that he wants to kill people. Has he ever showed any violent tendencies in the past?” Anita Roberts asked.
“Well, he always crushes bugs and spiders, or sometimes pulls the legs off of them. He will torture them sometimes and will watch them flail around in pain and agony. Once his father hurt himself--there was blood everywhere-- and he just stood there watching.” Asher’s mother told the therapist.
“Asher needs some help. More than therapy. He is a very terrifying young child. I know that he is exceptionally smart-”
“Just tell us plain and simple what we need to do for him doc.” Asher’s father demanded.
“I would suggest sending him to a school. It is called the Accident School for Gifted and Troubled Students.”
Asher’s parents gasped.
“No, its called Accident because the school is in Accident, Maryland. It is a boarding school, but I think it would be a good fit for Asher.”
She handed them a pamphlet for the school and stood up indicating that the session was over.
On the car ride home, Asher broke the silence, “That therapist annoyed me. She couldn’t keep up with anything I was saying. If I were to kill someone, that would be a good reason.”
The colour drained out of his parents’ faces and his father had to swerve the car to avoid getting into an accident.
“Uhm, honey, Miss Anita said that she thought you should go to a boarding school in Maryland because of your intelligence. What would you think about that?” Asher’s mother grimaced as the question exited her mouth.
“I think it would be a good chance to get out of here and actually do something with my life.”
“Since we still have time to enroll you before school starts, would you want us to enroll you in it?” His father inquired.
“I would appreciate it. It would give me one reason to really like you guys.” Asher replied.
“Consider it done honey,” Asher’s mother smiled at him.
The weeks passed and soon it was time for Asher to head off to The Accident School for Gifted and Troubled Children. Asher’s mind had been occupied by so many other thoughts, that he never did any research on the school, so he had no idea that the school was for kids that were thought to have “problems”. Meanwhile, Asher’s parents said almost nothing about the school. In fact, they said almost nothing to Asher at all, but this was normal, and the silence was respected.
The car ride was quiet, but not a nice quiet. It was a quiet full of tension and nervousness. The drive to the school lasted no more than an hour, but the minutes passed by as slowly as a snail creeping carefully across a lawn.
When they finally got to the school, Asher’s parents barely even slowed down. Asher stepped out of the still moving car and stood as his parents drove off without giving him a second thought. Asher felt something tear in his chest, as a feeling he never thought he would experience tore into his soul. Abandonment. And Rage. His parents had left him here without putting up a fight at all. He was their child, and they were supposed to love and take care of him. Instead, they didn’t care, they were happy to just dump him at any old boarding school while they enjoyed a life without him. Then, he saw the name of the school. Accident’s School for Gifted and Troubled Children. Another wave of rage ripped through him. They thought he was troubled. They were dumping him at a school because they thought he was troubled.
“I will make them pay,” Asher muttered under his breath as he walked up the cobblestoned path to old school. Already, in his mind, Asher was planning how to get out of the school, and back home so he could get his revenge.
A mean middle aged woman who looked like she would do better working at a prison than at a school for children answered the door. She scowled at him before muttering something that Asher took as come with me. The school began in a large, plain parlor. The walls a calm beige with nothing decorating them. The room was decorated sparingly, with only plain wooden furniture, nothing fancy. The long halls, and numerous rooms in the school were all decorated the same as the first one. Asher suspected that the calm decor was used as a way to prevent anyone from going crazy because of artwork, or bright colors, or fancy furniture.
“I am the headmaster of this school. My name is Mrs. Susan, and you will address me, respectfully, as headmaster Susan, and nothing else.” Her voice had a growl to it, like she was always trying to scare the person she was talking to. Immediately, Asher didn’t like her, but he had figured out his way out of the school.
The next few weeks, Asher was a model student. He did everything that was asked of him, and never talked about murder. After all, in a crime, the person you least suspect is the person who is always kind and good. Asher manipulated the teachers, so that without knowing it, they would do anything that he wanted, but they still thought he was a perfect little boy.
By the time Asher was ready to make his move, winter had come. There was a huge snowstorm that formed icicles that were two feet long, and strong. One night, as he lay in his room, Asher began to cough. He coughed like he was going to cough up a lung. He knew that the teachers were always watching him and one would come in at any moment. Right on cue, a young, kind looking teacher came in, and looked sympathetically at her..
“Come with me,” She whispered. “Grab your coat, and we will go outside so that you can get some fresh air.”
Still coughing, Asher got up and grabbed his coat which was thrown on the edge of the bed, and followed her out of the room.
Outside, the air was cold enough to make even the most heavily dressed person shiver, so the small teacher was shaking uncontrollably. She was so occupied with the cold, that she didn’t see Asher break off the end of a long hanging icicle and sneak up behind her.
“I guess th-the fresh a-air is helping your cough,” Observed the teacher, turning around.
The poor woman, who had done nothing other than give Asher the chance he was waiting for, didn’t even have time to scream before the icicle sank deeply into her chest and poked through to the other side. Her eyes went clear and glassy, and her mouth moved incoherently as her shaking hand grasped at her chest, but only getting a handful of blood. She crumpled on the spot, Asher stepping back to avoid getting covered in her blood. Carefully, so as not to leave any evidence, Asher pulled the icicle out of the woman’s chest. In the moonlight, the blood nearly looked black.
With a face of stone, and emotions to match, Asher enter the school again and headed up the creaking staircase to his real target. Walking through the hall in almost absolute darkness, Asher found the headmaster’s door and slowly--without even a creak of the hinges-- pushed it open.
Asher approached the bed of the headmaster, he heard her snoring heavily. His hands were slick, but it wasn’t with sweat, it was with blood and the melting icicle. Asher plunged the icicle into his victim’s chest, and yanked it back out quickly. Without even waiting to see if she was dead, Asher snuck out of the room the icicle slowly melting away because the still warm blood dripping down the end.