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I didn't want to kill her.

I don't like to kill.

But the feeling, the sweet, sweet feeling of sliding the knife under their ribcage, the smell of fresh blood spilling from the open wound, the sound of their lifeless body hitting the ground with a soft thud...

It is who I am.

It is why I kill.

Some say I'm crazy.

I'm not.

What is craziness, really? Is it being different? Having different views, different hobbies, different traits than everyone else? Or is it just a trait that one acquires, like height, hair color, or sense of humor?

Maybe everyone else is crazy.

Maybe I'm the only one who's sane.

It would make sense. When I kill, when I see the life go out of their eyes, I feel a very strong sense of right. How many people can say that they have that feeling?

Then again, I don't like to kill.

But at the same time, I do.

This time, it's different.

I am walking down the street, my dark trench coat hiding my body and the weapons concealed on it. My top hat casts shadows over my face, making it very difficult for anyone to recognize it.

There she is, maybe ten feet ahead, walking quickly down the street. Whether her speed is because she is coming home late to her husband or if it is because she sensed the impending danger of me, I will never know.

But when I see her, I don't see her.

I see Isabel.

It was many years earlier, before my innocence had been shattered. She sat in front of me, her beautiful auburn hair piled on top of her head (not unlike the woman I walk behind now), smiling at something I had said. Or maybe it was just at my mere presence. I know that is why I smiled when with her. Her green eyes were shining, making her magnificent dress of gold seem like shabby rags when compared. My heart wanted to burst out of my chest when she leaned toward me and lightly brushed her lips against mine, as she had done so many times before. When she pulled away, her eyes showed a challenge; it was one I intended to rise to. Not to be outdone, I reached up and pulled the pins out of her hair, letting it fall loosely around her shoulders.

And now, this woman walking briskly in front of me, brings back these memories that have long been dormant, locked away in the depths of my mind, never to be revisited.

Suddenly determined, I run forward to meet this mysterious girl. She hears me coming and quickens her pace. When I reach her, I softly say "Excuse me" and put a hand on her shoulder, trying to seem like a gentlemen concerned for her welfare on this dark night (how ironic -- I am what she should be protected from).

She turns. As a small, polite smile meets her lips, I don't see her face. I see the face of a ghost.

Isabel.

Suddenly, I am back in that meadow, leaning close to Isabel, the light behind her making her hair seem like a golden halo around her head. Suddenly overcome with wanting, I pulled her to me, and as our lips were about to meet, I felt warmth blossoming beneath my fingers on the small of her back. I pulled my hand back and saw it was stained with red. As soon as I let go, she fell back toward the blanket, closing her eyes. She took one last shuddering breath, and then it's over.

It's all over.

Back in the present, with this woman who has a startling resemblance to the love of my life, I smile. Encouraged by my seeming kindness, she takes a few steps towards me. We are now only separated by a few feet. I could cross over to her in only a stride or two.

No. I won't let it happen again.

I won't feel the pain I felt when Isabel was killed.

When I killed her.

In my mind, I am still sitting in that meadow, frozen with disbelief, looking down at my hands. My left was stained with red, with Isabel's blood. My right, my dominant hand, was holding a knife, a knife that was also stained with the blood of the girl I loved. She lay in front of me, limp, blood still pouring out of the wound in her back. A wound caused by me.

I shake my head to clear the memories, to keep myself in the moment. The woman in front of me waits expectantly for me to say something, anything, to give her reassurance that she did in fact do the right thing by stopping, when the most logical move would be to run. I open my mouth to speak and feel my arm reaching into my coat, pulling out the weapon that is concealed. It is involuntary; I try to stop it. I am shaking with concentration. I tell my arm to let go of the knife, to offer itself to this lady, maybe offer to escort her home.

My arm doesn't listen.

It pulls the knife out of my coat and inconspicuously brings it to the woman's back. I see the light glinting off the metal of the blade. She doesn't see it; she's too focused on trying to decide if she should run from me.

No.

I won't let this happen.

By now, the woman is confused and about to run, wondering why I'm not saying anything, why I seem to be preoccupied. Luckily, she doesn't have long to be perplexed.

The knife sinks into her back, right into the place where I stabbed Isabel.

The woman's eyes widen with an odd expression, one of confusion, anger, and even a little betrayal.

She crumples to the ground, blood already staining her bright yellow dress.

Finally, too late, I find my voice: "Isabel," I say. "I'm so sorry."

Hours later, I am still standing over the woman, even when the light is long gone from her eyes. I cry all my tears, all my sorrow, for Isabel and this woman and everyone I have ever killed. But strangely, at the same time, I feel a small tingle of satisfaction.

I don't like to kill.

But I do.

I'm not crazy.

I didn't want to kill her.






It is who I am.



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