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The Fabric of the Mind

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“It was a Monday” Nancy said to a reporter sitting outside on a table. “That’s when the most remarkable day in my life occurred.” She looked at the pen in the reporter’s hand she scribbled something down and she pulled an audio recorder out of her pocket.

“If you don’t mind I’d like to record this conversation?” the reporter asked pressing play on the little device. The reporter was young straight out of high school, Nancy was a bit older only a sophomore in college.

“No, I want this story told.” She hesitated and then began the story. “ My professor James Elbrith ran into my psychology class. He was breathing heavy and had sweat on his face. When he came in we all got real quiet, we’ve never seen him like that.”
“So today ladies and gentleman I need your attention. Today is the day you will put to test everything you have learned in this course. Before I continue, why are people serial killers?” A couple kids in class raise their hands, “Greg?”

“Well, most serial killers were emotionally and physically abused by their parents when they are younger.” He sits back in a slouched position in his chair.

“While that is true we don’t fully recognize why killers are the way they are, thank you though. Now moving on… Today we are going to see the mind of a killer face to face, as a civilian not just a teacher, I beg of you,” he looks over the class in a panic. “Do not give in to anything this person does. You need to be strong, this person will put you to the test, and he can pick your weakness from a far. This is the first time I’ve ever attempted this. He is a murderer; he is a man who is uncontrollable. He is a man that can bend the very fabric of your mind, make you think of things that you have never thought of before. Trust me when I say this, you will be tested.” He turns back to one of the guards and hesitates. “Okay, bring him in.” his hand starts to shake.

The reporter pushes the recorder closes to Nancy; she got quiet as she said this. “I was extremely uncomfortable with the idea of having a serial killer in the same room as me same as a couple other people in the class. I don’t know why the professor found it necessary to do this, I mean couldn’t he of just talked with him over webcam?”
The kids in the room adjust in their seats as the door opened and in came the serial killer. They look on as the professor tried to hide his true emotion, you could just tell it was fear just by the way he slumped his shoulders and gulped. He turns back toward the classroom. “This is the Red Slayer, a murderer of 32 people. It took the FBI 5 years to catch up to him.” He turns back toward the guards.

“Just press this button if you need us.” The guard puts a red button on the table.

“I wanted to press that button as soon as they placed it on the table.” Nancy said to the reporter.

“We will be okay.” The professor says this as he walks over and takes the restraints off of his mouth. “You two can leave now.” The guards walk out of the room and close the door.

“After budget cuts we were pushed to the old musical theater room, which was small enough, but with red in there it was so much smaller. The air was condensed.”

“Thank you for that lovely introduction.” Red glared about the class. Looking at the individual students some slouched in their seats.
“The Red Slayer voice pierced my ears as he stares creepily around the room. When he spoke it was as if I was breathing in freezing cold weather, every breath hurt my lungs.”

The Professor turns toward that class. “This is the beginning of the test.”

“How is everyone today?” Red asks as he tilts his head.

“Don’t answer him.” The professor says

“But I’m trying to make small talk, that’s allowed, that’s very rude of you.” He looks at the professor angrily.

The professor leans back on the edge of a desk. “Are you done?”

“I’ve been done, are you starting?”

“Yes. First question.”

“It was a battle of the minds, and we were the battle field.” She leaned in closer to the recorder. “It got worse as it went.”

“My favorite color is blue not red, why do people say that?” He cuts off the professor

“That wasn’t the question.” the professor stares at him in confusion.

“Oh, my favorite food is.”

The Professor cuts him off, “No, not that either.”

Red stops and looks at the Professor, “Well maybe if you weren’t such a joke I wouldn’t have to think those questions.”

The professor ignores the statement; he continues to speak. “What makes you want to kill?”

“Wow I’m proud of you, ignoring me and then asking for my reply, very civilized.” Red looks irritated.

“Please answer the question.” The Professor steps away from the desk he was leaning on. The class around him looks emotionally invested; every single word makes their heart skip beats.

“First you interrupt me, then you are rude to me, and now you want me to be courteous? You’re joking right?”

“I’m sorry for being rude, will you please answer the question.”

“You’re lucky, I’m very forgiving for a killer… Well, personally, what makes me tick is the final moments of someone’s life. Seeing every single one of their emotions flash through their eyes as I take the knife to their throats or better, when I skin them while they are still alive.” He stares at the professor as he turns away toward the classroom. “Are you okay professor?” The professor still faces the class; he sees each person’s face of concern.

“I almost couldn’t handle him. He made me want to puke. He was him trying to play games with our heads.”

“…Yes.” He turns back toward The Red Slayer, “Please continue.” Red smiles creepily at the Professor.

“You know what the best part of my spree was?” he waits for a reply but doesn’t get one. “When I made a special visit to this very town.” The professor starts to tear up. “Walking casually down the street, when I saw the perfect house for my next kill. I walked up the steps, I looked into the window and watched as a loving mother sat her little daughters down to dinner, some sponge bob mac and cheese and a hot dog sliced into little pieces, which gave me an idea.”

The professor looks away, “Stop.”

“Why? Am I getting too into the story? I thought you wanted to know more about me?” The professor steps back away from Red. “As I was saying… I knocked on the door; this lovely woman opened up and greeted me with this stunning smile. I asked if I could use their phone, she let me in. She asked if I wanted some water, I accepted as I sat down at the table next to this little brunette angel, she had the prettiest features for a little girl, across the table another little angel was staring at me, she was a little older and still gorgeous, a very beautiful family. The wife returned with a phone and a glass of water. I don’t really remember what happened next…” He trails off.

“OF COURSE YOU REMEMBER! HOW COULD YOU NOT?” The professor slams his hand on a desk. He sits down in a hurry and rubs his head.
Red smiles at the professor, “Ah, yes I do, the husband returned to see his wife and two daughters beaten… bloodied… and dead. Ring any bells? Of course it does, class your professor is what I call an avenger, a person who is so upset about his family’s demise he tries his hardest to come after the person who has done it. They were my last three, they… completed… me. The guys look disgusted and the professor stands up.
“I cried, this was sad and messed up, I was in disbelief. How could he stand there and listen to this f***er talking about killing his wife and daughters?”
“Yes class, this man has murdered my family.” The professor walks over to the other side of the class.
“I even remember the exact hour and minute your daughter lost her life.” He smirks more.
“She didn’t lose it, you took it.” The professor takes a step closer to Red.
“We played games before the youngest died. The oldest liked to play… just more… if you know what I mean.” Red winks at the professor, and he starts to cry, “Your wife liked to watch.”
“Professor shown show much restraint, if it was me I would have taken a knife to that a**holes throat.”
“Are you done?” The professor stops crying and gets angry.
Red looks at him after he examines the class once more. “Not even close… I’ll never forget watching you, I saw a man speechless, fall to his knees, and his heart broke inside of his chest. The very moment his soul had died. I have enjoyment out of that moment. So much that I didn’t care I was caught a couple days later.”
“You deserved to be put to death.” The professor replied
“I completely agreed.” Nancy said to the reporter as she adjusted the volume on the voice recorder.

“Wouldn’t you rather me rot in a prison?” Red takes another look at some other people in the class they uneasily
“I’d breathe easier if you were dead.” The professor said this between his teeth.
“I was never really alive.” Red said this with a smirk
The professor looks confused. “What?”
He looks at the bookshelf in the room. “From what I have read in your books on psychopaths we don’t have souls, therefore we aren’t alive.”
“You should not have been born.” He said with a hint of aggression.
“My mother has always said I was an accident.”
“Even god makes mistakes.” The professor said to the class.
“God does not make mistakes!” Red is angry now.
“Then why are you here? Why isn’t my family alive? Why do these things happen this way?” He turns back toward him. “WHY?”
“The dice were rolled, and you pulled the short stick.” Red looks at him with an evil glare.
“You want to know something I learned a while ago?” The professor now walks around the room. “Someone told me a very inspiring quote to keep on going.” Red looks back to the Professor as he turns around. “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors.” He gets more and more intense. “God put me to the test, he made me go through what no person on this planet should ever go through. A man was strong enough to last, and to face the demon that has taken everything he loved face to face.”

“Nobody else could say this. My professor wasn’t only my mentor but he was also my hero.”

“Is that why you brought me here today?” Red questions as he lifts his head.
“I brought you here for a different reason.” The professor walks over to his desk and pulls a revolver from the drawer, some people in the class stand as he reveals the gun. The room falls dead silent as he walks over in front of Red.
“When we saw him pull out the gun we started to stand up, was he really about to kill him?” Nancy said to the reporter, “I hope so.”

“I knew you had something up your sleeve.” Red stares at the gun.
“Actually it was in my desk.” The professor lifts the gun at Red.
“Go ahead. Pull the trigger, watch as you get sent to jail, and never teach again.” Red tries to intimidate him.
“I’m fine with that.” The professor moves the gun from his left hand into his right hand.
“Why?” Red’s eyes squint as he tries to understand.
“You will be dead. I was going to retire this year anyways, and Ill finally show this class that all that is in the mind of a serial killer is nothing but brains, blood, and an empty space where empathy used to live. You can’t teach what I do from books. I take matters into my own hands. I’ll watch you die, I’ll watch as every emotion flashes past your eyes as I pull the trigger ending your pitiful life. I’ll be standing and you’ll be there, your head hanging, bullet in your skull. I’ll stare at your lifeless body.”
“So what are you waiting for?” Red looks at him in even more confusion. The class is ready to run waiting for the professor to answer the question.
“You to realize that I am better man than you.” The class stays in awe as the professor un-hinges the revolver and lets all the bullets fall to the ground and turns back toward the class.
Red tries to adjust in the chair. “But I killed your family? I destroyed the very fabric of your mind? How can you not kill me?” Red is flipping out. The Professor turns his head back toward Red.
“This was a battle between good versus evil. I’ll remain good as you remain thinking on this day for the rest of your life.” He keeps his head turned toward Red.
“I deserve to have my life taken!” The professor turns his body to him.
“Yes you do… But I don’t want it. I’ll let you kill yourself from the inside. Because this, class, is how you get into the mind of a killer, you show weakness and then you reveal theirs. The professor starts walking closer to Red as he puts up air quotations. “This “Power” struggle is in your head; I’ve had control from the start.”
“When it was all said and over with, my teacher inspired me. He taught me that no matter what happens to you, no matter how awful you can help yourself, only you could change what happens to you. You yourself is the only weapon you have against fighting the battle inside for your very soul. I believe that he has made me think on things. That he single handedly fought this demon that has taken everything from him. He is the strongest person I’ve ever met or will ever meet.” The reporter looked at her.

“Is that all?” The reporter asked getting ready to press the stop on the recorder.

“Just one small thing.” Nancy takes the recorder out of the reporter’s hand and brings it closer to her. “The professor stares into Red as he presses the button letting the guards know to come and get him.” Nancy held the recorder and spoke as if her and the professor were talking at the same time. “Take him back to the place he deserves to be. Class dismissed.”



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