As I opened the book which I had found in the attic, I noticed that it was in the form of a diary. The first entry into the diary was more than enough to send a chill down my spine. Mom had asked me to clean the attic which is how I came across it in the first place. Here is the first entry from the diary.
“I found peace as blood gushed out from her mouth. I pulled the knife out from her nearly mutilated belly as she gasped for one last time. I could feel her weight completely falling over my hands, as her head dropped, never to rise back again. My hands were dripping with blood and I could feel the beads of sweat on my forehead. But the immense pleasure of this very sight had engulfed all my other senses.
I find peace each time I see them suffer. Them, begging me to spare their lives, never changes, it’s always the same. They pray and they beg, they even try to compensate me but it does not work that way. There is no price for the peace or the joy that I get while doing what I do. I believe, these prayers are much more earnest than the ones they offer every Sunday in those well-crafted buildings, where people like me are not permitted entrance.
She had tried to resist my attacks for as long as she could, but it was in fact pretty easy for me to overpower her. I knew that she would not be able to resist for long. All those days of following her and studying her whereabouts were indeed fruitful. It is in fact very important to study the targets before choosing them. You certainly do not want someone who can fight back, or evade you for that sake. As for me, I always choose the ones that can not run fast, are generally out at this time of the night and have no one to welcome them back when they reach home.
I had been following her for quite some time now. She waited tables at a local coffee shop near St. Andrew’s and St. George’s West Church. Her shift usually ended at 9 when the cafe would pull their curtains down for the day. I waited for about a week at the end of St. George Street to follow her back to her place. She lived in a small rented apartment on Princes Street near Archivist’s Garden. In order to cut the route short, she would walk across the lawn of Melville Monument rather than taking the Meuse Lane. Melville Monument remains completely deserted at this time of the day. I thought it would be the best place to get the work done.
She looked particularly beautiful tonight as she walked out of the cafe in her floral printed dress. I could see her slowly walking towards the end of the street where I stood; adjusting her jacket on this cold summer night, completely unaware of my existence. I waited patiently for her to cross the lawn and started following her as she entered St. Andrew Street. I knew that the neighborhood around here was not a very crowded one. I increased my pace and was soon within a few feet of her. She anticipated some abnormality and started walking faster. Within a few seconds, I was chasing her into the darkness of a nearby lane. Soon, she was within my grasp and I caught her by her left hand while covering her mouth with my right.
In her futile attempts to escape from my grasp, she tugged at my sleeve, almost tearing off a part of it. The lonely neighborhood heard her faint screams as my knife made way into her belly, staining her pretty dress with blood. I pulled my knife out as she tried to scream even harder. By then, I had put my kerchief in her mouth, rendering her unable to shout out for help. She kept trying to get a hold of my hand as I drove my knife. The look on her face was a sight beyond explanation, a sight which I was very familiar with. With her last few breaths, she held on to my wrist but I could feel the grip waning as I stabbed her for the fifth time. I found peace as blood gushed out from her mouth.
I withdrew my knife, laid her body on the pavement of the dark lane, and stood there in retrospection, about how this very part was similar to all my previous sixteen victims. How the sight of the inanimate bodies, the look on their still faces always managed to instigate some sort of joy within me, how they would inspire me to keep repeating my actions, in search of these little moments. I could feel the sweat running down below my shirt as I stood there with blood-stained hands. The bell on the Church’s bell tower struck ten times when I realized that it was time for me to elope from the scene.
During the first couple of years, my heart used to beat much faster than normal when I would be doing something like this. But now, after seven years and sixteen incidents, it has become anything but abnormal. There is no such pacing of my heart now, it’s like breathing to me.
As anticipated, the next morning’s ‘The Courier’ reported the murder of a twenty-four-year-old woman from Old Town, Edinburgh. The police were not yet able to trace down the murderer anyhow, and no one knew anything about the woman’s family. I remember the first time I saw such a report in the newspaper. It was seven years ago, on a warm summer morning, the night prior to which I was not able to sleep, after killing that old woman. The thought of getting caught had scared me for quite a while after which I started to admire my own genius as to how I had managed to not get caught. Since then, I have been making sure to cover up all possible leads, and not leave a clue at the place of murder. The incidents were mutually exclusive as the victims had nothing in common. Even the time gap between two particular murders were not the same. Many have tried to anticipate the pattern, but they were not even close. The murders were not even in the same city. The whole country was in search of the guy who had been vanishing into thin air after committing seventeen murders. I had become a myth for some, for some, I was a role model to look up to, but to the police department, I was only a figure in the crowd, protesting against the government at their incapability of finding the murderer.
The petrified look on the face of my first victim acted as a fuel for me. It invigorated the real person in me. It had managed to amplify my desire to see people pour out their real expressions as my blade makes way into their bodies. My nightly errands have been following me around, but I shall admit, it is a shadow that I would not run away from.
Having said all that, I might not have turned out this way had they not murdered her in front of me. She was all that I had, and all that I could have ever wished for. The look on all my victims’ faces has been my drug ever since, and like every addict, I require my doses sooner rather than later. Destiny does not play by your rules unless you force it to. My life ever since has been flesh and bones, former less latter more. I am nothing but a lonely cut-out figure sitting on the benches of the Scott Monument’s lawn at dusk, when everyone consciously or subconsciously wishes for a hand to hold on to.”