Monday, March 25, 2013
3:57 AM | Posted by Ramsey | | Edit Post
A Bloodscape Original Short Story
Any job, regardless of how much you like it, leaves you drained and irritable at the end of the day. Life, under the most ideal circumstances, is stressful. Up until about three years ago, my weeknight dinners consisted of painkillers, muscle relaxers, and/or anti-anxiety pills. Even if my job wasn't a contributor to my stress, my back would still be stiff. My shoulders would still arch upward, incapable of relaxing. Since sophomore year of high school, a single desire has driven me to chew my nails down to the fingertips. When the other boys in my high school class hit puberty, their hormones drove them to hump anything that wasn't nailed down (hell, I've seen plenty of adolescent boys hump things that were nailed down too. Nothing is safe). Other kids my age were looking for warm bodies, but my thoughts were of the opposite. For whatever reason, my hormones didn't fill me with the wild sexual urges everyone else got. Must be some kind of a genetic defect. Instead, something in the deepest recesses of my body nags me to engage in an activity that society has always taught me was "wrong." It beckons to me, like a craving. Goosebumps cover every inch of my skin, and sensations of heat cause tiny droplets to bead on my forehead. Cold sweat trickles down the back of my neck. Sometimes my salivary glands go into overdrive. My heart beats with such intensity and ferocity that it feels like it's trying to break through my ribcage. Waking up in the morning, the thought is at the forefront of my mind. Throughout the day, the urge continues to badger me until I feel lightheaded.
If I sit down to build a model airplane, my mind won't be fixated on strangling my lab partner. If I fold a couple dozen cranes out of tie-dyed origami paper, I won't daydream about eviscerating my guidance counselor. Idle hands are the devil's playground.
Hobbies and other distractions helped for a while, but the urge only grew more intense over the years. In college, as many of my peers fooled around with drugs, I experimented with chemicals to either reduce the urges or drown them out completely. While the craving never really went away, marijuana helped to distract me from it. Certain strains would sedate me enough to keep me locked on my sofa at home, but occasionally there would be varieties which somewhat exacerbated the problem. Learning the differences between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica made me confident that two or three doobies a day would keep the dark thoughts at bay. Give me a bottle of medical grade Purple Kush, some Zig Zags, a couch, and a bag of Cheetos, then you may rest assured that this handsome fellow will not be out cruising for a victim tonight. When my college internship at Steele Financial segued into a full-time accounting position, the pressures of maintaining my composure in a professional work setting began to stir the dormant beast inside of me. With the help of some college buddies who were pharmacists (of sorts), mood-management solutions in the form of Oxycontin and Xanax became a part of my nightly ritual. On more than one occasion, my friends and I took the two-hour drive to the Mexican border and walked into Tijuana to stock up on pastillas from la farmacias. It’s fantastic; you just walk into one of the many pharmacies, ask for la Xanax or la Oxycontin, then hand over 20 American dollars and collect your prize. After each enjoying three of the best tacos you will ever eat for $1 and knocking back a bucket of Coronas, we walk back into the States with our pockets full of Mexican pharmaceuticals.
“Do you have anything to declare?”
“Nope.” And they believe it. Young people come to Tijuana to drink, not to shop.
Three years back, I was promoted to manager at Steele. Being a respected financial institution, the promotion was contingent on a drug test, so I had no choice but to stop smoking and popping pills. For weeks, I sat at my workstation and awaited the day my boss would set a plastic cup on my desk for me to take a piss in. Maybe a white armored truck would pull up in front of the building, and a fleet of armed nurses in gas masks would run in and handcuff my hands behind my back as I try to squeeze out a drop of urine. After the promotion, another two months passed without any mention of a drug screening. Had they forgotten? Was the drug test policy something I made up in my head? It wasn't clear whether or not it was safe to continue using, so I made the decision to stay clean. An occasional beer or scotch is OK to take the edge off, but no more weed or chemicals for me.
The urges returned, and going out for a jog wasn't doing anything to quell the cravings. Headaches were more painful than ever; my brain was an expanding balloon pressing against the walls of my skull. Clinical strength antiperspirants did absolutely nothing to prevent my underarms from gushing water like broken pipes. On top of my everyday stresses— and now, drug withdrawal— the hidden infatuation resonated deep within me and frayed my spine like a rope that was bearing too much weight. The sensations kept me debilitated, in an ongoing state of pain. Racing thoughts led to sleepless nights; my dry, bloodshot eyes could barely focus on anything the next day. Skin on my back and shoulders felt more rigid and leathery than ever. Enough was enough: ten years after it first began, I decided to give in to the urge. Only one time.
One Wednesday evening, after about a week of planning and purchasing supplies, I was ready to carry out my secret desire for the first time. The target needed to be a stranger so that police couldn't connect me to the crime (the majority of murders, as you know, are carried out by someone that the victim knows personally). In preparation, I packed a backpack containing:
- A pair of black leather gloves
- A black hooded sweatshirt
- A ski mask from the sporting goods store down the street
- A pair of nylon stockings
- A fistful of zip ties that I stole from the IT department
- A ball gag, from a sleazy sex shop
- A Taser gun I took from my uncle's house
- My favorite kitchen knife (as seen on TV)
A drunk leaving a bar at last call sounded liked an easy target, so the venue was some shithole dive off the 101 with a dimly-lit parking lot. Place was called Los Palla-something. The grungy sign above the door looked as if it had never been washed, and the same could certainly be said about the metal front door which felt greasy to the touch. This particular bar seemed well-suited to my purposes because it wasn’t crowded, but it wasn’t slow enough for me to stand out in. Upon scouting this place out sometime the week before, I identified two scrubby-looking men in trucker hats who sat at the bar until they couldn't walk straight. Judging by their familiarity with the bartender (who knew them both by name) the assumption was made that these gentlemen must be the regulars.
I went inside and ordered a beer, just to make sure that the regulars were there drinking at the bar. They were. Both were clearly drunk, but not quite belligerent yet. With plenty of time to spare before last call, I left the bar to go waste some time. A Tommy Burger down the street made for a satisfying dinner. Kind of a shame though, considering all the ingredients for chili cheeseburgers were in my fridge at home. Following recipes and preparing meals for myself is much more fulfilling than going out for fast food, but sometimes you have to do what's convenient.
As last call approached, I wrapped the Taser in my ski mask and knelt behind a dumpster which one of the drunkards had parked his car next to. Waiting patiently, I held my breath as the two patrons stumbled out of the bar. The men sloppily bid each other a good night and went off in opposite directions. With the mask now concealing my face, I laid still, Taser in hand, as the target approached his rust-ridden El Camino. When he was within reach of the car door, I peeked from behind the dumpster and fired the Taser at his back. His body went rigid, collapsing forward onto his car and sliding down to the dusty asphalt. Crouching as low as possible, I put the gag in his mouth and closed the buckle to secure it to his head. I zip-tied his hands together, and then did the same to his convulsing legs while his shoes involuntarily bounced off the pavement. As I was stretching the stocking over his head, the Taser timed out. Evidently, it takes me longer than 30 seconds to tie up a high-voltage alcoholic. Fortunately, the barbs were still firmly implanted in my victim, so squeezing the trigger again sent another debilitating wave of electricity through his body. After several embarrassing attempts to carry the man, I managed to load him into the trunk of my BMW and remove the Taser bolts from the skin of his back. Suddenly a gym membership seems like a great investment.
Make no mistake, this knife is not good for ANYTHING but killing. It has a thick, flattened diamond cross section, and while it is extremely sharp, the geometry prevents it from cutting well. It's made to do one thing: stab deeply into another human being and rip them wide open. I only had to use it for its intended purpose once, but wow it sure does that well.
Four or five payment periods passed before I made plans to hunt down my next victim. I began taking "excursions" every couple of months. The routine typically went as follows:
- Rent a car
- Drive out to some podunk town in the middle of nowhere
- Pop into a dive bar to get a head count
- Order a drink, if the mood strikes me
- Exit the bar
- Position myself to disarm the last customer who leaves
- Transport the target to a secluded location and slaughter him
In order to prevent getting caught, I established some ground rules:
Rule One: Use different methods to disarm and kill each victim. Avoid repetition.If hunting were that easy, a Taser and a knife would probably be my go-to weapons. The problem is that cops are always checking for patterns among homicide victims, so it would take them longer to find me if they didn't suspect my murders are connected. The only aspects which stayed the same were the use of a stocking to keep damning evidence out of the car, and my use of a ball gag to muffle any screams for help, but those items never stay at the crime scene. If zip ties or ropes were used, I would cut them off and put them in my supply bag before leaving the scene. In adherence to my first rule, some of my victims were subjected to brutal overkill in an attempt to convince the police that those victims were slain by someone they knew personally.
Rule Two: Only kill the drunkest, most lonely patron of the seediest-looking bar in town.It was sometimes tempting to wait around and kill the bartender or hostess, but bar staff is more likely to have friends or family that would report them as missing. The goal was to go after bottomfeeders who would be presumed to be face-down in a storm drain somewhere.
Rule Three: Only drive rental cars, using a different make and model each time.Should there be any eyewitnesses to an abduction, their description of the vehicle won't be connected to me. Even if they were to take a photo of the license plate number, the only information the rental agency would have is the phony name I used (and possibly surveillance footage of me picking up the car in a fake beard & sunglasses).
Rule Four: Never stay in a hotel.Hunting is not only high risk/ high reward, it's incredibly wearying and labor-intensive. It would be fantastic to crash at a motel after dumping a body, but the danger in getting a room is that checking in leaves evidence. Giving a fake name and paying in cash are options, but any witnesses who see and report the rental car would lead police right to my motel room. The best chance to leave as little evidence as possible is to drive out to a small town— which could take 2 to 4 hours each way— take care of business, then head right back home. While the sport gives me a rush in one sense, it also relaxes me to the point of feeling sleepy. In dire situations, I would stop at a convenience store to buy an energy shot, but always wear a hat to hide my face from security cameras.
I call bullshit.
Knowing that my procedure was effective, I continued the same routine until one instance suddenly changed everything. Recognizing an opportunity, the decision was made to pick up a homeless man one night instead of doing the usual bar stakeout thing. Spotting the lone vagrant wrapped in a sleeping bag behind a liquor store, I figured there was little harm in deviating slightly from my usual process to pursue a different type of easy target. Pulling over in a dark alley on the other side of the store, I approached the man with a metal baseball bat in my hands. After knocking him out and taking him to a barren desert somewhere outside of Victorville, I hacked the transient to pulp with a machete. As the 17-inch blade tore through his flesh, blood splashed my face. Warm liquid dripping down the side of my nose and cheek felt therapeutic, easing the underlying muscles the way a hot tub loosens up your tendons. I could taste the saltiness in my mouth. Engulfed in the moment, without thinking, I licked it off my lips. There was something satiating about it, and it wasn't just the briny, metallic flavor. Running my fingers down the side of the dripping steel sword, I slid my scarlet-coated digits into my mouth and massaged my tongue. The sport of homicide was already rewarding in itself, and imbibing the salty cruor of this victim was the single most profound moment of my life. The feeling was almost sexual, or spiritual (I'm guessing). No drug or life experience can compare to the sensation. It's the combination of the ultimate high, the ultimate orgasm, and godlike transcendence. I'm not the superstitious type, but the effect of drinking blood is practically supernatural; the surge of self-assuredness makes me stride like the most powerful man in the world. Confident. Focused. Full of energy. You feel unstoppable. By day, I'm no discernibly different than anyone else; by cover of night, the Earth is my private garden, and people are merely fruit to be picked. Consuming plasma has nothing to do with being young forever or restoring life force: blood is concentrated power in liquid form. The elixir of omnipotence.
This Christmas, give the gift of life:
Saturday, December 22
10am to 1pm
East Los Angeles Church of God in Christ
Sitting in a patient's chair aboard the small bus, I watched as the nurse tied a rubber tourniquet around my arm. Navy blue text embroidered on her scrubs revealed her name as "Cybill," which I only remember because she was the first Cybill I've ever met. Outside the driver's side window, a stocky female coworker hollered that she was going to take down the signs and pack up. Just as the nurse turned around with a needle in her hand, I pointed my Taser at her and asked her to sit down in the chair across from me. Keeping the weapon aimed at her chest, I removed my gloves from the bag and slipped them on. Using some zip ties, I bound her hands behind the chair. She fidgeted in discomfort as a wad of gauze inside her mouth was being taped shut, but pressing the cold iron of the Taser barbs into Nurse Cybill's neck served as an effective reminder of what would happen should she cause me any difficulties.
Barely a moment after tying the nurse to the chair, the other co-worker returned. Carelessly, she opened the door and sat down in the driver's seat, her hands and eyes preoccupied with a stack of clipboards, manila folders, and paper. Sliding the main door of the van shut, I pointed the Taser at the woman in the driver's seat and told her to drive exactly where I tell her to go unless she wants to join her coworker in the back. Seeing Cybill secured in the chair next to me, she made no attempt to defy me and simply responded, "Where to?"
Watching with my back pressed against the rear of the van, the two medical workers thrashed in their chairs as they struggled to breathe. Having strangled a victim once before, I knew it wasn't my usual preference when taking a life. This was my only chance to savor the moment, but watching them suffocate didn't give me the same satisfaction as cutting, or even bludgeoning victims. It took all of my willpower to resist draining their blood, but the risk of getting it all over my clothes in broad daylight was enough to motivate me to get the hell out of there. Executing targets would have been preferable to merely killing witnesses, but that's what the situation called for. The driver's body went limp, and Nurse Cybill's followed suit after another 40 seconds. Removing my hairpiece, contact lenses, and facial hair, I shoved them into my bag and left through the sliding door. After exiting the parking lot, my last memory was waiting for the light to change at the crosswalk so I could get to the bus stop. My mind regained consciousness as two paramedics were strapping me into a gurney and loading me into an ambulance. Unable to move my head, I overheard a woman in the background saying she called 911 after witnessing an SUV mow me down in the crosswalk. Apparently the car ran a red light.
So there you have it, officer. There's your confession. Hold that tape recorder closer to my face and I'll say it nice and clear to make your job easy: I, Jacob Dorian, hereby confess to carjacking, robbery, assault, abduction, and more instances of first-degree murder than I can count... and I'm a fucking accountant. So now what? Where do we go from here? Are you going to handcuff me to the bed? You'll be lucky to get me in court within a year, and my carcass would have already been used for research and tossed aside by then. There's no use in me lying to you because my death has already been marked on the calendar for this year. I have nothing left to lose.
Now, could I trouble you to pass me that leather bag under your chair?
© Copyright 2013 Ramsey Doudar. All Rights Reserved.
Labels: blood, calculated, dark humor, death, evil, first person, gory, horror, knives, murder, sadistic, serial killer, short story, slasher, violent