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Death to Normality
On those crime shows that are popular now, they say that serial killers always follow patterns. Maybe that pattern’s a certain race, a certain gender, a certain age. They also have something wrong with them. They grew up in bad homes, were abused as children, were sick in the mind. I, Geoffrey Watson, am the one who broke the norm.
Unlike most serial killers, I grew up in your typical American family. My brother Theodore and I lived with our British parents in Angel Hill, Oklahoma, a small town of about five thousand people. We weren’t beaten and our mother and father never divorced. We were just average everyday people. Both Theodore and I still lived in Angel Hill when we were in our twenties when our parents moved back to Great Britain. I was an insurance salesman and he was a web page designer. Perfect jobs in the perfect world known as Angel Hill. Key word: perfect.
The flawlessness of Angel Hill is the exact reason why I began to slaughter people. The citizens of this city didn’t have a sense of reality. They needed to realize that there’s a world out there where crime happens everyday. There hadn’t been a murder in Angel Hill for thirty years until I came along. The newspaper headlines always read, "Teenage Girl Wins Scholarship," or "Cat Gets Stuck in Tree: Rescued." This was why I began doing what I do. This town needed some excitement, and excitement was what I would give them.
My method of killing is to flip open a phonebook and slide my finger down a page. The finger searches for its next innocent man or woman. The selection of the victims is like playing the lottery. If you’re lucky enough, you just might win the grand prize.
April 10, 2003: the first murder I committed. My target was a college student by the name of Ken McAlister. He attended Angel Hill Community College and belonged to a fraternity: Kappa Alpha Pi. Ken was the stereotypical frat boy with his bleach blonde hair, dark spray tan and teeth so bright one smile could blind a man. He had a girlfriend named Violet and he was constantly on his cell phone.
How did I know all of these things about him? I had decided that my method of killing should reflect what I observed about a person. I needed to understand Ken’s pattern, his habits, in order for me to select the proper punishment. So I stalked him for a few days before I brutally murdered him.
There was a dark, secluded alley that was located along his route home. Ken passed by this spot at approximately 9:56 every evening. There I waited, the predator about to claim his prey. I heard his footsteps approaching and I prepared myself, my gloved finger wrapped around the trigger of my Sig Sauer P-220 gun. Just as Ken drew near the alley, I reached out and grabbed him, pressing the pistol to his head, though this would not be the weapon that killed him.
"Don’t make a sound," I whispered against his ear.
The phone that he held in his hand tumbled down to the ground. I picked it up and dragged Ken into the alley.
"Wh-What d-do you want?" he stuttered, pleading with his ocean blue eyes. "D-Don’t kill m-me."
"Too late now, Ken." I said, the edges of my mouth turned up into an evil grin. "You’ve been chosen."
I took his phone and placed it on top of his tongue. He looked at me, both scared and confused. I left him in perplexedness for a few moments then in the blink of an eye, shoved the phone further into his mouth, causing him to gag. Down it slid, deeper into his throat. He struggled with me, gasping for the breath that would never come. Ken looked at my face. The last thing he would ever see was the smirk of pleasure, the eyes of death, the face of pure evil. He collapsed to the ground, not able to hold on any longer.
Ken could’ve escaped. The gun wasn’t loaded.
For the next week, the media in Angel Hill did nothing but cover the death of Ken McAlister. It was the biggest news story they had in years. The police department came back to life. All they did nowadays was sit on their asses and eat donuts. But now they finally had their chance in the limelight. As for the citizens of Angel Hill, they were both excited and terrified at the same time. Excited for some interesting news and terrified for their lives.
It was amusing to watch the ongoing progress of the investigations. I found their list of suspects quite humorous. Geoffrey Watson, the attractive 26-year old British insurance salesman was the least suspected person. The people in our city would always choose the social outcasts, the sketchy men to blame. Never me, which is what made this the perfect crime.
"Geoff!" Theodore exclaimed, running into my house.
"Yes, Theodore?" I asked, looking up from my cup of tea and copy of Sherlock Holmes.
Theodore was my younger brother by two years. He was the technology guru of the family. Whenever the computer came out, he was the first on our block to get one and hadn’t pulled away from it since. Therefore, he practically confined himself to his house. His job was completely done on his computer so he never had to socialize with anyone. That didn’t make him too much of a geek though. He had a very humorous personality, so if he would actually talk to someone, they would find him quite enjoyable. But he would probably end up on the suspect list instead.
"I was just reading about the Ken McAlister homicide in the paper," he said, excitedly. "I looked into it a little more and I think I’ve got it figured out!"
"Oh really?" I chuckled, raising an eyebrow as I glanced up at him. "I don’t think you do."
"There you go again, doubting me. You always did that when we were kids and I hated it, but someday I’m gonna be rich and famous and you’ll be the nobody."
I laughed again. "Wrong again, my brother. I’m the one who will be going down in history."
"How?" he snapped. He always got angry easily in our arguments. "I’ll be the one who discovers time travel. All you’ll ever do is sell insurance."
"I’ll tell you how," I smirked. "I’m the one who killed Ken McAlister."
Theodore looked like he had just been hit by a wall of ice. He was frozen into a state of shock, only his eyes moving, blinking at me. Then he shook his head as if to rid what I had just told him from his mind.
"There’s no way," he laughed lightly. "My brother did not kill a man. Absolutely not."
"I did kill him," I said very seriously. "I’m showing this city that crime is very real. This place is too normal."
He thought for a moment, probably wondering if I was going crazy.
"Can I help you?" he asked.
"Do you really want to?" I replied, surprised. "If so, you’re getting yourself into a lot of trouble."
"Hell yeah, I do," he grinned. "We’ll be like Sherlock Holmes and Watson, which is awesome because our name is Watson. Well, and we’re killing people instead of helping, but that’s not the point. The point is we’re the perfect team."
"You just can’t tell anyone about this, Theodore. If you do, we’re both on death row. Understand?"
He nodded. "Scout’s Honor. I’ve got your back, man."
"Let me show you how it works," I said, grabbing the phonebook off the table next to me. I flipped through the pages and selected my victim: Lydia Simone.
"Impressive," Theodore nodded. "Completely random so the police will never figure out the pattern."
"Exactly. Now we follow Miss Simone for a few days and learn her habits."
Theodore and I were walking around Angel Hill Mall, watching Lydia as she flitted from store to store. What we had observed about her so far was that she was a younger woman of about twenty-five and she liked to be very scantily clad.
"She’s beautiful," Theodore said in awe.
"She looks like a prostitute," I muttered as Lydia went into Starbucks.
I went over to get in line behind her. Theodore wasn’t paying attention so he lost me in the crowd.
"Geoff!" he shouted.
You see, Theodore never leaves his house except to visit me or to get groceries, so going to a crowded mall was a big change for him. Yes, I could definitely see him going crazy without me.
"Dammit, Theodore!" I yelled back. "What is it?"
He quickly found his way to me. Lydia had turned around to see what was wrong with us, so I simply smiled at her.
"Hello, I’m Geoffrey Watson," I introduced myself. "And this is my mentally retarded younger brother, Theodore."
"Lydia Simone," she smiled, shaking our hands. "How are you, Theodore?"
Theodore was shooting daggers at me with his eyes. "Fine," he spat.
What Theodore didn’t know was that this was all part of my plan to get friendly with Lydia before eliminating her from the game of life. Through him, we were able to learn that she was a secretary for Mr. Jason Newman, a defense attorney. She was cheating on her boyfriend, Alex, with her boss. Jason was leaving her home before we made our move. I had Theodore run over to her door just as she was closing it.
"Why hello, Theodore," Lydia smiled.
To her, Theodore was just a cute little mentally deficient man. She didn’t think anything of just letting him into her home. I followed close behind, acting as if he had gotten away from me and I was chasing after him.
"Sorry, Miss Simone," I said, putting on my best counterfeit personality. "Theodore seems quite taken with you."
"It’s no problem at all. I’m taken with him as well. Would you please come in?"
I closed the door behind us and locked it. Lydia was now trapped in her tomb. She would never see the outside world again.
"Geoffrey, why’d you lock the door?" she asked.
I brought my gaze up to hers, the murderous nature apparent in my eyes. The knife that appeared from my coat pocked caught the light from the lamp in the corner of the room. It shone up into her eyes, which were swimming with fear.
"Meet my good friend, Lydia," I said quietly but threateningly. "The two of you will be getting to know each other in a few minutes."
"I don’t think I want to know your friend," she whispered like she had just lost her voice to laryngitis.
"Sorry we have to do this," Theodore apologized like it would make any difference at all.
"You’ve been chosen, Lydia," I said, raising the knife above my head.
The knife plunged down into her chest, knocking her down. Once she was on the ground, I straddled her and began carving, like one would a pumpkin for Halloween. Into her stomach, the letter S. Then came the L. Lydia was writhing in pain as the knife tore up her once perfect abs. She was screaming like a banshee.
"Quick, Theodore. Cover her mouth." I ordered, looking up from the knife.
Theodore nodded slowly. He was looking at me in horror. He obviously did not realize that I would be going about killing in this manner.
"Holy shit, Geoff!" he yelled, as he placed his hand over Lydia’s mouth. "I thought you were just gonna stab her and be done with it!"
"I don’t do things that way, Theodore. I want them to feel pain. I enjoy it."
I began working on the U and the T. When I was finished, the word slut was permanently emblazoned in her abdomen. Her guts were visible in the gashes. Lydia’s heart was still beating, so I took the knife to her breast and began maneuvering it around the heart. Once her insides were open, I took the heart in both of my hands and yanked it out of her chest. Blood was dripping from the heart down onto her lifeless body.
"Good night, Lydia. Sweet dreams," I whispered, bending over and kissing her still warm lips.
"You just kissed a dead girl," Theodore said in disgust.
"Theodore, welcome to the life of a psycho."
Newspaper and TV reporters were having a hay day with the murder of Lydia Simone. Angel Hill was buzzing about the possibility of a serial killer. And as the killings went on, they knew that was precisely the correct presumption. I loved knowing that it was my doing and nobody would ever find out.
It was now May 30, 2003. Newspaper headlines were still covering nothing but the murders.
Rachelle Honeycut: poisoned tea
Greg Schwartz: run over by a horse
Enrique Rodriguez: homemade guillotine
Elizabeth Kelley: acid in swimming pool
Charlie Pumpernickel: cocaine overdose
Cho Wang: severe beating
Seth Thompson: computer bomb
The murder brought me satisfaction. So much in fact, that Theodore began to worry about me.
"Geoffrey, I’m afraid you’re going insane. Maybe you should keep a journal or something. I heard it’s just like therapy to write your feelings down."
That’s what this is: my journal. It doesn’t stop my joy of killing though. The killing helps me cope with the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.
Edward Dale: my boss. He was a man in his sixties who was confined to a wheelchair because of a car accident back in 1986 though he was still able to walk some. Everybody hated him, including me. The best way to describe him is the fact that he’s like Mr. Potter from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. He cheats his employees of their paychecks and has no remorse. So I had no remorse when selecting his name. Mr. Dale would be a fun one. I began by asking Theodore for a little advice.
"Theodore, I need you to make a program that can operate a wheelchair on its own," I said.
"I sure can. What do you need it to do?"
I thought for a moment about the position of Mr. Dale’s desk. "I need it to turn left and continue moving."
"Okay, I’ll do it. It shouldn’t take long."
Two weeks later, it was a normal day. I was hard at work making phone calls while I kept an eye on Mr. Dale’s office. The moment he left for a business meeting, I snuck in there and
placed the bug on the battery of his wheelchair and a note saying, "You’ve been chosen." Once that was finished, all that was left was to wait for the perfect moment. The moment when Dale was in his office and no one was looking at me. In this moment, I pressed the button on the controller Theodore made me; the button that controlled Edward Dale’s life. I watched out of the corner of my eye as Edward Dale plunged four stories to his death.
There was one big problem with the whole thing. I had been seen. Conner O’Malley, a coworker of mine, reported to the cops that he had seen me put something on Dale’s wheelchair. So being the paranoid people they are, they took me in for questioning.
"So, Mr. Watson, is it?" asked the officer. Her name was Lacey Fox according to the badge.
I nodded. "Yes, Ms. Fox?"
"Were you, in fact, putting a computer bug on Edward Dale’s wheelchair?"
"I’m afraid O’Malley has his facts wrong," I said.
"Why were you in Mr. Dale’s office then?"
"He told me to pick something up in there. I bent down to tie my shoe. O’Malley must have seen me bend down beside the wheelchair and that’s all."
"He claims he actually saw you put the bug on the chair."
"People in shock claim many things that aren’t true after a murder has been committed," I lied flawlessly. "It’s quite normal. Surely you learned that in police academy."
"Mmm... yes," she said, displeased with the information I had given her. "I suppose I have to let you go now."
"Oh, what a shame, Ms. Fox," I said. "It was quite nice meeting you."
"Yeah, yeah. Go home now. And just remember, I’ve got my eyes on you."
My eyes scanned the phonebook for the next helpless soul. But then my finger landed on the last person I would ever want to kill: Theodore Watson. I debated about this for days. Now that I look back on this moment, I realized that I really had gone insane. To even consider murdering my brother was the act of a man who’s not emotionally stable. It was almost like I couldn’t think anymore.
"I created the rules. I follow them," I whispered to myself, picking up my pistol, which felt like a hundred pounds in my hand.
"Hey, Geoff," my next target said, coming into the house. "You going out again?"
I turned and pointed the gun at him, my hand shaking.
"Whoa, Geoffrey, what are you doing?" he asked, backing up slowly.
"I’m sorry, Theodore, but you’ve been chosen," I said, beads of sweat dripping from my forehead.
"But I’m your brother!" he shouted, dropping to his knees.
"I’ve always been one to follow the rules."
"Break the rules just this once. You can’t kill me. You won’t," he pleaded.
"You’re right. I can’t," I whispered, the gun clattering to the ground.
It all happened so fast. The next thing I remembered after dropping the gun was kneeling next to Theodore, sobbing. It was then that I came to the realization of what I had just done. I had murdered my brother, my own flesh and blood, my only friend.
Killing other people helps me feel better about accidentally killing Theodore. It seems like murdering a hundred will make up for just one. I just couldn’t stay in Angel Hill anymore. It brought too many horrible memories. So I moved. But before I left, I laid a typed letter on the front steps of the police department.
"Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world."
I hope all you citizens of Angel Hill learned this lesson. Things were too normal here and
you needed to realize the world isn’t like that. Crime happens everyday. Those murders I committed weren’t just murder of human beings, but the murder of normality.
Goodbye, Angel Hill. I will always remember you.