story by: Anna Grace
A wide smile.
Eyes, obviously prepared to see a rather gruesome sight.
Ears, well adapted to the wailing and screams of a human being.
Steady hands, tranquil as calm water, for they couldn’t afford to make a single mistake. Not when it was committing a task such as murder. I knew these were the senses of a killer. The only question I was asking was what drove Andy Ricker to kill? I put the newspaper down after reading the headline, ‘Criminal Mastermind Andy Ricker escapes from Mental Hospital’. I scoffed. How could one man break out of one of the most heavily guarded asylums in the world?
The story seemed like a lie to me. Just a page filled with horror striking propaganda used to fill that sick monster we had in all of us. The monster that craved for bloodlust and would go to any length to satisfy its hunger.
“More coffee sir?’ asked a waitress across from me.
“Sure, I’ll take another cup,” I smiled at her.
“Surely this will warm you up,” she said gesturing to the giant overcoat I was wearing. I pulled it tighter to me. She brought the pot over to the booth I was sitting at. She filled the white mug right to the top. “You’re from the South,” she stated.
“Is the accent that obvious?” I chuckled, taking the full cup to my lips and sipping all of it, forgetting the fact that it was piping hot.
“Slow down there son,” she told me. She poured me another cup.
“Pardon me ma’am. It’s just that it’s freezing out there,” I looked out the window. Fresh snow was just starting to fall. If you had asked me, it was a beautiful sight. Delicate little icicles were forming at the ledge of the café’s window.
“That man is in the news again?” she asked looking at the newspaper. “I thought we had heard the last of him when he was locked away,” she looked at the paper sternly, mouth crooked and eyes intent.
“He escaped,” I told her. Then it looked as she had been drained of her blood. She gripped the edge of the table to keep from toppling down.
“That’s not the best news to hear,” she muttered. At that time, I had started to sweat, the heater, the coffee, and my coat had warmed me up. Cold was the last thing on my mind. I wiped the bead of sweat off my brow, and took off my jacket. The waitress continued reading the paper, getting more interested as she read. I folded my jacket by my side.
That’s when I heard a scream. A fat old woman at the other end of the café had fainted. A crowd formed around her. I stayed seated. This didn’t concern me, or effect me in any way. Or so I thought. “That man! His clothes!” I heard her yell. The crowd of people turned to look at me.
An eerie silence followed. There was no sound of the Everly Brother’s coming from the jukebox. The chatter and small talk throughout the restaurant died down completely. Even the clatter of dishes, coming from the kitchen was replaced with utter stillness. I was completely confused. Why were they looking at me?
Even the waitress by my side looked mortified. I finally looked down, and saw the reason everyone was acting the way they were. Blood stained my clothing from head to toe. I was completely covered with it. I was confused at that moment. Who was I? Why was I covered in blood? I started having trouble remembering what I had been doing beforehand. I couldn’t even remember my name.
“Please tell me you’re a butcher,” pleaded the waitress.
I shook my head, “I don’t think so,” I looked away from her puzzled. I grabbed my coat and put it back on, hoping if I covered the evidence; it would leave the people’s memories. They continued staring at me. I shoved my hands in my pocket…but what was this? I felt something in my pocket.
“Andy Ricker?” The waitress asked. I shook my head. She was mistaken. I was just a simple boy from the South. She even said so herself. I was no killer. She looked me in the eye; I saw a tear or two well up. I was impressed at how strong she was able to seem. She took the newspaper and unfolded it. There on one of the pages was a black and white photo. He did look a lot like me.
“Uncanny coincidence,” I smiled. I finally took out what was in my pocket. It was a knife. Just like the one Andy Ricker had used. What was I doing carrying that around?
“There’s no doubt about it. I’m calling the police!” she started to run, but I caught her by the throat before she went any further. Was there an explanation on why it was so easy to kill her? Had I done this before? The other people tried to make their escape, but I did the same as the first.
I was just too good at this. Throat after throat I slit, gut after gut I tore open. There was no stopping me, until the small café was full of corpses. I put the knife back into my pocket, and walked back to the booth. The full cup of coffee was there. I took the liberty of finishing it, while reading the rest of the paper. When I was done, I took one last look at the photo. He did look like me, no doubt. He had the same sleek nose, same blond hair, and same big forehead.
The only difference was I wasn’t crazy like he was. After all what could possibly drive a person to kill? I took one last sip, finally finishing the pot of coffee. I got up and left no tip. The service was lousy. Then I left the restaurant, beginning to forget more and more. But then halfway out the door I realized I was good at two things.
And lying to myself to the point of forgetting everything I had been. Everything I still was.
And finally free.