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The Bitter End

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Hector Levingston was a tall, gawky boy. He was hidden in the shadows, fitting in perfectly with the dark that crowded around him. He moved silently down the cold pavement. He was completely alone; not many people find it wise to wander the streets of Detroit at three in the morning. He was submerged in opaque blackness, and completely invisible unless you were right in front of him. The way was dimly lit by a single, flickering street light. Hector walked beneath it, and was brightly illuminated for half a second. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. His hands swung at his sides, and he held an object in each. His left held a menacingly large gun, and in his right a saw. Blood covered his face and hands. The blood was not his own, but belonged to a couple of other people. He was smiling.


“We have come together today to decide the fate of Hector Levingston. This young man has been charged with the brutal murder of twelve people, including his own fiance, who was pregnant with his son,” a prosecutor informed the jury. “He was picked up at four in the morning in the middle of Detroit by eight policemen. Oh, I forgot, he killed two of them as well. This young man has requested a lightened sentence by pleading insanity. He may be insane, but this strain of monster deserves no special treatment.” Hector sat at the defendant’s table with an optimistic smile, and his hands folded in his lap. His lawyer had told him that due to his incredibly heartless crimes and lack of empathy, he would probably be sent to Leslie Heart’s Infirmary for the Mentally Deranged. It sent patients through an intensive recovery program, then changed their identities to allow them to live in society and begin anew.

Hector took the stand on the second day, and described his feelings about his crime. He
decided to put some dramatic flair to boost his chances.

“Well I always start all of my pieces, ‘victims’ as you call them, from bottom to top: feet, legs, abdomen, ribs, chest, neck, and face. The face is the best part. I never go too deep with the first cuts, I want them to be alive so they can watch me make art of their cheeks and eyelids. Then, I like to break their bones, one by tiny one. I’ve never managed the entire human skeleton, but I’m sure I could if I was in a calm environment. I sent my pieces to the bitter end screaming, begging me to kill them, and covered in sticky-sweet blood. They value their deaths more that way, you see.”

“How many of these pieces have you finished?”

“Fifty-seven, or fifty-nine if you count the unborn children of two pregnant women.” He watched the jury pale with pride. He was dismissed, so he bowed and thanked the judge for the
opportunity to spread the word about his work.

The case proceeded predictably. Two days later, the jury had reached a verdict.
They filed out of their meeting room, and made the big announcement. Hector Levingston
was guilty of manslaughter, and he, after extensive testing, was decidedly insane. He was to be sent to Leslie Heart on the thirtieth of August, all the way to Vermont. Grinning, he left the court room with handcuffs and the promise of freedom.

He stayed in the county penitentiary until the end of August, then was shoved on to a bus headed to his brand new home.

“You know,” the driver said sarcastically as they began the long trek, “you’re pretty lucky
to have been accepted. Leslie Heart only accepts family-less murderers that have killed innocent
civilians, and even then they’re still picky. You must be special.” He shook his head in disgust.
Hector ignored him. He knew he wasn’t crazy, he was just a good old-fashioned sadist. The
driver sped along, and Hector slept in the back. He dreamt of butterfly knives, and all the
wonderful things he could do to the human face. His masterpiece had been Celestine, his fiance. He sliced and diced her into a mask of dripping blood and sticky skin.

The bus stopped with an enormous jolt. Hector patiently waited as the Leslie Heart nurses slipped him into a straight jacket. They led him through the large metal doors. He expected to be signed into the Infirmary's system, but to his surprise, he was led straight down a long hallway lined with jail cells. That was the first odd occurrence. The second was when Hector noticed each room was empty and completely uninhabited.

“Where is everyone?” Hector asked the tallest of the guards. He was ignored; the guard
continued to stare straight ahead of him. They pushed Hector into a very small room with bright
white walls. It smelled strongly of cleaning disinfectants and a metallic odor that was very
familiar to Hector, but he couldn’t place what it was. They told him to sit in the only piece of
furniture in the room; a cold aluminum chair. A man with thick glasses and a lab coat strode into the room. He smiled at Hector.

“Ah you must be Hector the Horror. It is quite an honor to have you here sir, thank you. We have some guests who are very excited to see you.” Hector smiled at the use of his very favorite nickname, but then became confused with the last piece of information that he was offered.

“Guests? What do you mean?” The man smiled once again.

“Leslie Heart is a very special place. We offer a sort of redemption to criminals, and
peace of mind to the families of the deceased. It’s brilliant, really. But enough of that, we need to
get you ready for your big meeting.”

“What do you mean?” The man just shook his head at Hector.

“Be patient, everything will make sense in a few hours.” The man strode towards Hector,
and stabbed him in the neck with a thin needle. Something painfully hot was pumped into his
blood. Hector tried to protest, but he found himself becoming very drowsy. He could smell that
same metallic scent even strong now. His eyes started to close as a team of men in white coats brought chains into the room and began to hang them from the ceiling.

Hector awoke to the most pain he had ever felt in his entire life. This really said
something, since he had been the child of an abusive alcoholic with a fondness for fire. The man
with the thick glasses stood in front of him again, smiling. Hector wore nothing but thick chains wrapped around his neck and limbs. He got to his feet and tried to orient himself. They were in the same room, but now a tarp covered the walls. That metallic smell was still there. Hector wondered what it was for an instant, but then once again felt the painful lurch that woke him. He shut his eyes and waited for the pain to end. It subsided. He opened his eyes to see the man waving a large, gray stick with a sharp tip. The man with the thick glasses giggled like a child does when tickled.

“Cattle prod!” He continued to laugh as though it was the best joke anyone had ever told.
The door on the side of the room opened, and a crowd flooded in. They were diverse: men, women, all races, even a few children. There had to be at least fifty people in the mob. They all held weapons, from serrated knives to spiked whips. Once they were all in the room, the man with the thick glasses turned to the crowd.

“You all know the rules: one strike for every loved one you lost. The order goes youngest to oldest. Please form a line based on the number you received at your arrival.” Hector felt a shot of dread, and finally recognized the metallic smell.
Blood.

The man with the thick glasses turned back to Hector.

“Hector, these are family members and friends of some of the people you murdered. We
have a service here that provides your painful death in exchange for the lives that you stole.
We are, as you call it, leading you to ‘the bitter end’.” He turned back to the mob.

“Number One, please step forward.”

A small boy, no older than the age of six, approached Hector. The young boy
dragged a chainsaw along behind him; it was too large for him to carry. Hatred flickered in his eyes.

“You killed my mama. You sorry?” Hector considered the question carefully. He
closed his eyes, and breathed in the metallic smell he loved with his whole heart. A glorious smile spread from cheek to cheek.

“No.”

The boy lifted the chainsaw over his head with great effort and swung it towards Hector’s
left wrist.



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