From the dark and gloomy depths of midnight, a scream shattered the
nocturnal silence. James P. Cutler sat silently, waiting. The wind rushed in
through the open window tearing at his thin, white skin. His eyes surrounded by
purple rings, the whites inflamed with red tissue. James stood from his rocking
chair, its creaks harmonizing with the howling wind. Though he appeared weak,
James was strong. That was his great advantage. His disguise.
The scream screeched on in the other room. James listened, ear
against the wall, waiting for the cries of his victim to cease. Instead, they raged on,
roaring and crying into the void. No one could help him. No one could stop it.
Except for James.
Clearly he would not. James lived for this game. Eagerly awaited his
opponents. He lived for the game in which others died.
All at once, the piercing cries stopped. James walked toward the
macabre den. You might ask how he got away with this cruel sport. The answer
was obvious. When James had visitors, a very rare occasion, he would simply tell
them that this dark little room was his work space and it was very messy. This was
no lie; it was his workspace and it was very messy. However instead of a desk and
pencils, there were chambers and ropes and instead of crumpled up paper and
scattered books, there was dried blood and the sickly aroma of fear.
The door to the small room resisted as it opened, as if trying to stop
him from going in. The sight was displeasing to the eye. Well, everyone’s eyes
except the ones set into James’ hollow face. His victim, Gary Sullivan 40 years of
age, was dead in this dark, dreadful place. He lay peacefully on the small cot, his
pain ceased by the infinite blanket of death. James walked over to where Sullivan
slept and scooped him into his arms. Gary’s blood was on the cot, fresh on top of
the blood of James’ former victims. The blood was dark in color. It dripped from
the poor man’s body and onto James’ black shirt, staining it even darker.
He carried Gary from the horrid space, through the living room, and out the
back door. Blood fell from Gary’s arms, his legs, his face, making the trail of
Gary’s final journey. The backyard was as melancholy as the house. A metal fence
surrounded the dirt premises. Small headstones, no larger in circumference than a
golf ball, scattered the yard. They were just markers so James wouldn’t
accidentally dig up another body.
The sky created a haze over the creepy scene. James laid the limp
body on the ground. The sifted dirt absorbed the blood, fashioning thick mud
around Gary Sullivan’s soulless body. James grabbed the shovel from the corner of
the fence to dig Gary’s new home for the rest of eternity. He jabbed the shovel into
the ground over and over, throwing the dirt over his shoulder. After about twenty
minutes of hard work, James’ hands were burning with blisters and his forehead
dripped with sweat, despite the chilly atmosphere. The grave was about four feet
deep, good enough for one body, James decided. He scooped up Gary once again,
his body tacky with the makeshift mud. Down went Gary, into the shallow grave. It
was spotted with earthworms and maggots, waiting to munch on the fresh skin and
eyes of James’ victim.
James tossed the dirt on top of Gary, trying his best to pack it in
tightly, for if it was rounded at the top, someone might notice that it resembled a
grave. When the work was over, James’ shoes were heavy with bloody mud and
soft dirt, making it difficult to move around so he wrapped up the process. He
found a rock for Gary’s headstone by PA’s grave. James brushed off the dirt and
used his pocket knife to engrave a barely legible GS into the side. He tossed the
rock on top of his latest casualty's grave. He walked towards the door into his
lonely house, stopping in the doorway to kick off his shoes. His white, sweaty
socks stuck to the almost dry trail of blood left by Gary.
James washed his hands and face, erasing murder from his appearance
and went to bed dreaming of his next victim.
. . .
Twenty six years ago, James P. Cutler was just a normal man. He had a job
downtown and even a wife, Mary. He was extremely successful for a twenty five
year old. He and his wife were happy. In fact they lived in the same house James
lived in now. One night after a long day at work, James and his wife went to bed. It
was his first dream filled with murder. But not his last. James dreamed of his
beloved Mary. He dreamed that he had killed her in the most repulsive way. I will
spare the details of this terrific night vision. When James awoke the next morning,
he felt different, robust. He could hear Mary in the kitchen, cooking. Though he
did not mean to, James hopped out of bed and walked into the kitchen. He felt at
least six inches taller and three times stronger. One moment, James was listening to
Mary tell him what was for breakfast and the next he was killing her, the same way
the dream had revealed to him.
. . .
James woke up abruptly and rushed to his ‘office’ with the image of
his next kill fresh in his mind. His dream didn’t show how he would kill her.
Sometimes it was a surprise. He flipped through his sketchbook filled with
deceased victims, searching for a blank page to draw today’s kill. She had gray hair
that fell to her shoulders and big, soulful eyes. She seemed familiar, but James
didn’t know why.
James dressed in his everyday clothes. When he hunted, he tried to
look natural, to fit in. He dressed in jeans and a somewhat clean black shirt. James
combed through his hair and proceeded out the door.
It was another gloomy morning. The sky was sad and dark, as if frowning
upon James’ violent day ahead. He didn’t know where he was going. He never did.
His brain told him where to walk and he listened. He proceeded along the
sidewalk, encountering few pedestrians.
His mind kept his feet walking for hours. You might say that perhaps
his brain was wrong, and James was just walking. Walking to his footsteps.
Walking towards nothing. Just walking farther and farther from his house, getting
But you’re wrong.
James would laugh in your face if he knew that you doubted his
odious powers. They were never wrong. James listened to every last detail his
mind told him and inherently trusted them.
James was growing tired. He had been walking for quite some time.
The sidewalk he followed had faded out into a large, green, yard, unaccompanied
by a house or barn. James lay down under a tree in the vacant land. After all, it was
very hard to catch a victim in the daylight. James was also skeptical of his brain ’ s
leading power. He almost never walked this far for one kill. Maybe if he fell
asleep, he would see his victim again, refreshing his mind and the trail.
The thoughts filled his head and forced his eyelids shut.
His dream was different. The grayhaired
woman wasn’t even in this
vision. Instead it was him. It was just a simple dream. A dream one would wander
upon if they weren’t possessed by wicked demons. In this dream, James was
walking. In fact, he was continuing down the same path his mind led him today!
James awoke before the dream ended. He stood up from the accursed
slumber and continued along his walk to work. He knew his mind would lead him
to the next victim. But why had he had that vision? He told himself there was
nothing to worry about.
James was led into a small neighborhood now. He assumed one of
these houses would be the end of the hunt.
James was led right past them. In fact, he walked out of the
neighborhood and into the country! Concern crept over him. How was he supposed
to get home? He definitely would not be able to drag the lady all the way back to
his house to do the job. This would have to be another ‘away’ kill.
James’ feet dragged on. He was going up a small mountain, about thirty feet
high. He was growing tired once again, but he knew he couldn’t stop. James
sensed a turn coming up; a drop curled at the edge of the peak. If he didn’t turn, he
would fall off the cliff, an impossible possibility. His body wanted to turn, but his
mind told him to go forward, towards the deadly drop.
James was edging closer and closer to the cliff. Perhaps he would plummet
to his death. Perhaps he would turn at the last second. James hoped and prayed in
these long minutes that his brain would not only give him powers to kill people
anonymously, gorily but also survive great descents.
As James was just yards away from the cliff, reality slapped him across the
face. Maybe dying was something James needed now. But why was this
happening? His mind had told him how to kill for twenty six yearswhy
forsake him now? And what about the lady? Was she just going to live normally
while James’ job was left undone? The edge of the cliff was before him; so close
he could see the ground beneath it. Fear and nausea overcame him.
James did not stop before he plummeted off the hill that day. He had no
choice. The fall was slow. Wind ripped at his clothes and hair, blowing it in all
directions. He died instantly. Did not suffer. It’s a shame, isn’t it? The man who
killed so many people, slowly and painfully, was blessed with the eternal gift of an
James stared into the face of a lady while he faded into darkness. It was the
woman in his dream; gray hair, kind eyes. He now knew who the familiar face was.
Someone he once knew. Someone he once loved.
“Mary,” James whispered as he plunged into death.
James P. Cutler was his own last victim.
From the dark and gloomy depths of midnight, a scream shattered the