He Deserved It. By Virginia Burns.

First things first– I am not crazy. People like to call me that, say I’m psychotic, but I’m not. I am just bored. Curious, perhaps. And some people don’t deserve to live. 

My mother used to tell me that when I was a child, I was dropped on my head, and that’s why I was so messed up. I used to kill and preserve small animals, and I suppose she didn’t appreciate that. I thought it was fascinating, to cut them open and poke around at their insides. They were animals, it didn’t matter to me. I never felt guilty about it. They had no feelings.

I never did well in school. I almost dropped out in ninth grade. There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t get in trouble for something. But to be fair, I skipped half of them.

I used to get into fistfights in the halls, shoving people into the water fountains and breaking their extremely fragile noses. It was fun, seeing the red gush down their faces. It gave me a rush. 

They forced me to clean up my act in 11th, when I was threatened with expulsion. (Which, at our school, was very uncommon. The teachers weren’t the best of people.) My father beat bruises into me all night.

After high school, I went to a small college for a few years. I wanted to be a science teacher. An excuse to cut things up, and to have others do it with me. Worms were dreadful, frogs were boring, but it was something. I tried to get permission to bring in a few dead cats, but was unfortunately denied.

I was, for the most part, liked by my students. I was the “weird teacher” of the school, but I didn’t mind. It wasn’t untrue. They enjoyed the lack of rules in the classroom, and I enjoyed their boldness for questions. 

My classes were made up of mainly seniors. It was an elective that the higher grades were allowed to take, and many did– even if it was just out of peak curiosity from stories they had heard.

My favorite ones came in at last period. There wasn’t a single student under 17 in the class, which opened up some freedoms for me. We had fun.

There was a girl who always sat in the back, sporting hoodies and dark eyeliner every day. (She was 18, good for me.) I liked to keep her after class. We had some nice talks, sneaking out to smoke weed in the park. We never did anything illegal, never did anything nonconsensual.. but our ‘relationship’ was frowned upon by those who saw it, so we did our best to keep it a secret.

I saw no problems with last period, other than the boy in the corner. He shoved his desk over there every day, and scratched into it with his pencils, only speaking up or participating when he could make a crude joke or offend someone. He usually smelled of weed or alcohol, but I wasn’t one to tell. I never liked him.

One day, him and the girl came into class together, late. He had an unsettlingly satisfied smirk on his face. She had tears running down hers.

She didn’t come to class (school?) for a few days after that. When I finally saw her again, I took her into the hall to talk. She broke down in front of me, opening up, telling me unspeakable things that made my stomach turn and my blood pound in my ears.

I sent her home that day. As I walked back into the room, no one spoke to me. They were quiet, understanding, without me even talking. I sat at my desk, fingers angrily thumping, banging rhythmically, like a drum leading up to something that was going to emerge from the bushes in a cheap horror movie.

There was a newfound hatred in my veins, and it ran through my entire bloodstream. I was sure that if you had cut me open in that moment, it would have flown out, black onto the tan tiles of the floor.

Prior to this, I had not truly lived. I had existed and coexisted among others, among the birds whose brother’s throats I had slit the previous night. But what was the point? Why was I here, existing, among the birds?

Now I knew. Never had something been so clear to me, so crystal clear I could see the light coming after.

I had to kill him.

He deserved to be tortured, doomed for all eternity. He deserved to have his body ripped limb from limb. But alas I could not do that. So death was the next best thing.

I would make it slow. I would make him wish he were never alive, had never taken his first breath, had never-

“Have a good friday.” The intercom yelled over me, shoving my thoughts down into my gut, where they were left to fester as the static cut in and out. The old system screeched and screamed between words before the ding of dismissal was heard.

The class didn’t get a wave goodbye as they exited.

Planning commenced the moment I sat down in the old, leather driver’s seat of my car. It squeaked against my khaki pants, and I pulled my wallet out of my pocket to discard into the cupholder. More comfortable, I sighed and put my hands on my head. Planning, planning..

It wouldn’t be as easy as I’d like it to be, but a challenge could be fun too. I doubted anyone would even realize he was missing. He didn’t seem like the friend type, and his father was a druggie. That was better for me, honestly, because it bought me some time if I needed to run.

A pig was delivered to my house the following Sunday by a farmer in town. “I’m trying to take up butchering,” I had told him. It wasn’t completely inaccurate. I just needed to practice on a larger target. My knife collection hadn’t seen the light of day in too long. I had fun wiping them off later that night, tossing the bloodstained cloth in my firepit like it meant nothing at all.

By the next Monday morning, I had devised a plan. A good one, in my opinion. Keep the rat after class for detention, which wouldn’t be hard to find a reason to give him. It was supposed to rain– I would offer him a ride home. The rest would be fairly improvised, but I had the basic outline and cleanup in my head. I was excited.

The students came and went for the remainder of the day. They seemed to note my good mood. My head hurt from thinking, though, by the time last period rolled around. I took a small break to smoke outside, offering them some free time. My thoughts raced while I was out there, filling my entire self with a violent buzz that I couldn’t help but smile from. I could see the strong trickle and drops of red down his sides. I was almost certain that the high I was feeling was from the drip, drip drip I heard on loop, and not the smoke I was blowing out. 

Under my desk housed a bag of items I had bought from the gas station along the road into town. One of the only places with no cameras. And I doubted the teen worker would be much help to the police.

A black hoodie, sweatpants, and pair of boots– all two or more sizes too large. Shoe insoles to boost my height, some cheap makeup and a costume wig. Pretty good finds for a gas station, I’d say. They would definitely get the job done.

He couldn’t be a stranger to alcohol. Alcohol would thin his blood, which could be disposed of if I was careful. Thinking, thinking… A bonfire. I didn’t live near many people. A bonfire would do.

There had been many reasons I could’ve given him detention. I chose insubordination. Thunder clapped outside the windows. The bell rang out. Shuffling of bodies, and a mostly empty classroom. They were gone. He was here.

I had to give the buses and walkers time to leave. An hour should do. Not many non-shady people were left after an hour. Especially in the rain.

“Looks like it’s raining. Do you have a ride home? I could offer one,” I said, invitingly. Lie. “My house isn’t too far from yours.”

“Yeah, sure. Thanks.”

We started down the road not more than ten minutes after. I drove slowly, at first. Couldn’t alarm him yet.

“I have some beer in the back, you can grab one. It’s after school hours.”

“Thanks.” 

Not too talkative tonight, but he reached to grab one, and that was fine with me. I gradually increased the speed as the golden liquid emptied from the bottle. And the second bottle. And the third. And finally, the fourth. He guzzled them.

I was going 90 now. We were getting close to the houses. 92, 95, 97.

“Aren’t our houses…that way?” He slurred, pointing a shakey finger at the window.

“We’re going to take a different route. There was an accident on that road.” This seemed to satisfy him.

We broke 100, 110. I could feel it, my blood, thumping, pounding, racing. I yanked the wheel to round the curves, not bothering to stop and see what all the passing blurs were. We passed the last house on the road before mine. 115, 125..

I slowed and stopped, too abruptly for him, judging by the shade of green he turned. It didn’t matter. We got out. He could barely walk. I pulled the knife out from under my seat, waiting until he turned around, waiting for the red drip, drip, drip that would be so satisfying to hear. I took a breath.

My drive home was calm. I was cool, collected. Everything had been.. taken care of. I was pleased with myself. Cleanup had gone smoothly, I hadn’t run into any issues. I let out a deep breath. Cool, calm, collected. Cool and calm. Cold, like ice. So very cold. Freezing, even. I smiled. 

I missed the red on my hands already. I missed the flow. Heavy as first, then gentle. She would be safe now. He wouldn’t hurt her, hurt anyone, ever again. Warmth, excitement, anticipation. Warm and cold and cold and warm. I took another breath.

I stopped at the coffee shop on main. Monday again, class time. The hot liquid soothed my throat. I looked up to the television on the wall.

“And today, a tragedy. A young boy was found dead last night. We are unable to identify his body at this time due to damage sustained prior to death. He looks to have been murdered. The police have no suspects, but please call if you have any information.”

I took a deep breath, and gave a crooked smile.

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