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M is for Murder
I recite names in my head.
The names of the dead.
The deaths of the people I am responsible for.
I don’t know. I can only remember.
First, there was Anna. I never got her last name, but she was pretty.
Then it was James Warren. He wore thick glasses and plaid shirts.
After James it was Cole Sanford. He was 13 years old and dreamt of being on Broadway.
Then it was Kendra Emmons. She liked horses and science fiction films.
Carly Hughes. Collector of seashells and stray marine animals. Wanted to be a marine biologist and part-time writer.
Damian Wheeler. Shy and timid but had a fantastic knack for programming robots. If he had lived, I’m sure he would’ve brought about the robot revolution or the Singularity or whatever the hell this world is coming to. Ha, I might have even prevented the end of the world by killing him, so you’re welcome.
There were more, of course. A lot more.
And I do have nightmares.
When I go to sleep, sometimes I dream that they’re still alive. I dream that they’re happy. I dream that they got to live the life I took away. Some of them even have kids. They’re married.
Anna married rich. Lived the high life.
James became a university professor. Met another boy and adopted three kids.
Cole never made it to Broadway, but he did appear on the silver screen many times. Became a successful TV actor instead.
Kendra became a veterinarian, specializing in horses and retaining her love for all things sci-fi.
Carly accomplished her dream of being a marine biologist and wrote a couple novels that never really sold.
Damian eventually got to NASA and started the robot revolution on Mars.
They’re all alive and happy, in my dreams.
Then I wake up, and the nightmares are over.
I wake up, and I realize they’re still dead.
I wake up, and I am the one who is alive and happy, and they are the ones who are hacked into pieces at the bottom of the Dead Sea.
I recite their names in my head.
A list of every accomplishment I have ever achieved.
And tomorrow, I get to add your name to my list.
I’ll see you tomorrow.