What Is A Tragedy? (Wolfeh’s Prize)
At first, I had though about whipping out my old art skills (I don’t really draw for anyone but myself, and even then, it’s been a long while since I actually did something aside from doodles), but then after speaking with the awesome Wolfeh, I felt inspired to write this short story! (I’m sure she knows what I am talking about…)
Anyways, this short story is dedicated to Wolfeh. Thanks for participating and really hope you like it. If not, I can totally write something else or draw something awesome. I can do tigers pretty well.
What Is A Tragedy
He had tried to be good once. Just once. Long before everything had gone from just plain bad to horrendously worse. Before the last ice cream drops had evaporated from the pavement. Before the last of spring faded away and the green left the trees and the bees’ buzzing faded away. Long before the beginning of the story came into being. That’s when he had tried
And that’s when he had realized he could never be more than a villain.
It was not fair. He supposed everyone knew that. Or at least he hoped that when the man had plunged the knife into his chest, the thought had at least crossed his mind for a second. That when the man ended his life, he had felt pity for the monster he had no choice in being.
He liked doing what he did. He knew that much. Had enjoyed hurting people as he hurt them. Had been okay with what he was and knew he deserved to be hurt just as badly if not more. He was bad.
But he had always wondered if he could have been something else. Something more.
Yes, it had not been fair, he supposed. Being expected to do the wrong things, being able to only do the wrong things, only doing the wrong things. He hadn’t had a choice had he? That thought had sprung upon him when he had finished disemboweling his fifth victim.
He raised his arms, fingers spread apart, and studied the back of his blood stained hands, as if looking for some specific germ that made his hands do what they did. He then flipped his hands over, palms up, and let his gaze run over the pads of his fingers, before barking in laughter at his stupid train of thoughts. It was as if he was trying to convince himself he wasn’t bad when he was.
He knew he made quite a insane if not horrific picture, standing over the man’s body, hands upheld with droplets of blood running down them and dripping off – splats! as they hit his body, looking as if he was ready to catch whatever punishment doled out for his sin. Had any stumbled upon this image he was sure they would have either fainted dead away or run away screaming.
He laughed harder.
And then he cried.
He wondered that thought a lot. Following that day, after everything decision he made and every action he did, he always wondered. Had he ever truly had a choice, an option to be different? It never left his mind.
And now, choking on his own blood, he knew three things for sure. One, he was evil. Two, he deserved this. And Three, he had never had a chance.
For every hero needs a villain and he had come up with the short end of the straw.
Once upon a time there lived a boy who was very mean to everyone. He was what was called a bully. He didn’t necessarily enjoy being a bully, but it was what he was, it kept everyone away from him, and it was what seemed normal to him. After all, if his father could hit people and get away with it then so could he.
Life had started out rough for him. He had lost his parents when he was four and had gone through four sets of ‘new’ parents by the time he was seven. At least the fifth set seemed to stick, which was just about what he had asked for. People who would stick, that is.
Anything else would have been asking for too much.
So he considered himself lucky and kept out of his parents’ way. He even had the chance to be a big brother and had liked the feeling of protecting someone even if it had only lasted for a year.
After they put his brother into the ground, everything had changed around the house. His father had started to his mother and he supposed that had she been his real mom he might have tried to stop it somehow. As she wasn’t though, he simply stayed out of his father’s reach and mostly kept to himself.
The boy didn’t have friends but he never needed them. He lived in a neighborhood full of animals that always flocked around him wherever he went. Never mind that the neighbors were never too happy about their pets escaping just to get to the boy who always had bits of food in his pocket, he was happy with his companions and played with them constantly. Until, of course, when in the midst of playing “Chase” he had run a border collie into the road.
It had been an accident, but no one else seemed to look at it like that. The names they called him bounced off the thick shell he had grown and so their intentions to make him repent failed. However, for a boy who’d been abandoned repeatedly and even now had no one who truly cared enough to spend time with him, the heaps of attention he received seeped into his tight shell and wrapped around him like a fuzzy blanket.
Negative, positive, hate, love, it didn’t matter what kind of attention he was getting, only that he was getting it.
So he did it again.
And this time, the things they called him and told him were all true. He believed them.
And he relished every second.
She was pretty, even he knew that. He also knew that the no looking, no touching rule applied especially to him.
How could he ever think about soiling something so precious and so white? Get so close, let his presence stain, and overshadow her with his own darkness. No. Not that.
He should have ben content with merely watching her from afar.
She was the first person to tell him he wasn’t bad. He didn’t believe her, of course, but it still had felt nice hearing those words tumble out of her lips. They had briefly soothed him and her smile had offered relief for his restless mind. How could he have stayed away, feeling like that?
She was nice too. And sweet. And smelled like strawberries. Everything imprinted into his senses from the first second he met her. Really, he shouldn’t have dared to become friends. Especially since she wasn’t and would never be his.
And if he’d known what would come after – the result of her kindness and amiability – he’d have steered clear from her path.
But, he supposes, Fate has a reason for doing things.
“Why do you hang out with that creep?” the blonde haired boy asked.
“He’s not a creep.”
“Yes, he is! Haven’t you heard the rumors?”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “I don’t believe them. He is not an animal killer.”
“Why do you think his family moved here?! Because he kept killing all the neighbors’ pets! He was going to get locked up!” The frantic arm movements accompanied with the loud yells made her roll her eyes.
“It’s not true.”
“And if it is? If it is, what then?”
She shrugged her shoulders, something that always seemed to infuriate the boy. “Then I’d try to figure out why.”
“One of these days, you are going to get yourself killed or something.”
She laughed. “You’re so dramatic, Daniel.”
He glares but says no more. He knows he can’t control who she can and can’t be friends with – it’s not right – but a tiny part wishes he could, at least in this case. He’s worried. He knows the new kid is bad news. He could feel it in his gut and he wonders why Kristen of all people would decide to befriend the boy. Anyone but her and he just wouldn’t care.
Anyone but his girlfriend.
They were going to be late, he realized as he watched her eat her ice cream. The line had taken longer than they’d expected and there was sure to be an angry boyfriend waiting for them at the park.
However, he didn’t mind all that much. She was happily eating her strawberry and he was happily prolonging his meeting the “famous, amazing, and absolutely wonderful Danny”. Which, in all honesty, was perfectly fine with him since he was pretty sure that wasn’t going to end well anyways.
If anything, it was going to be a disaster. He’d probably end up with two black eyes and a split lip, if the rumors about the fighter were true. And he was quite sure they were. But he’d do anything for her. Even meeting someone who very obviously did not like him and who was very talented with his fists.
“Hey, look at that!”
“Hnn?” he grunted, not one for much talking unless he absolutely had to.
“Look!” she pointed and stepped off the sidewalk, hurriedly rushing through the grass, “I think he’s hurt! We have to help him!”
One glimpse at the figure huddled on the ground and his stomach twisted. He lunged forward, arm outstretched, and tried to grasp her hand, wrist, arm, anything – something thick and nauseous bubbling in his belly and choking in his throat; something wasn’t right. Not at all.
His fingertips lightly grazed the skin of her arm and his fingers struggled to wrap themselves around the smaller wrist, his breath hitching when he felt her nimbly slide out of his hand and go running even faster towards the fallen man. “Come back!” He hoarsely cried. “Kristen!”
“Just wait a second! I’m just going to check if he’s okay or not!”
“Kristen, come back here!” He sprinted after her then, realizing she wouldn’t stop even as he kept calling for her to. “Wait! Kris, wait!”
It was no use though. She’d had a head start on him and with her track record on the school team, it was enough for her to reach the man long before him.
Enough for the same man to stop playing wounded and yank the very wrist he had missed.
The glinting silver slashing through the air had him skidding to a stop in shock, completely useless in this situation and yet absorbing every movement, sound, and smell around him. He saw everything and yet nothing as shock faded into white hot anger and the sunlight blurred his vision into a mass of angry reds, greens, and blues.
He struggled to take a deep breath, the summer heat curling around his throat with long grasping fingers. This couldn’t be happening. Not here. Not now. not to her. To him.
Not when he’d just discovered a ray of light in his world.
No! Please, no! The bubble of words straining to pop out of his mouth – silent pleading for time to stop, for a chance at doing this all-over, for a miraculous change of heart or switch of targets. He would have gladly switched places, if only he’d have the chance. Please, please, please, pleasepleaseplease…
But as always, Fate never seemed to listen to him.
No matter how hard he begged.
He hates sleeping.
Only when he is overcome by exhaustion does he rest and even then, he does so very reluctantly. Perhaps this is why it had taken so long for ‘him’ to catch up to him. So long for all of them to capture him and stop him. He was always moving, always working, and so he was always five steps ahead of them.
He hates sleep. For when he sleeps, he dreams. And when he dreams, he dreams of her.
And how the one time he tried to be good, he was bad.
In his nightmares, he holds her tight, his fingers trembling as they spread her blood on her skin – fumble attempts to stop the bleeding somehow. He hears himself pleading for her to stay with him, to tell him what to do.
But, more than anything, even more than helping her, he relives the burning need to chase after the man who had hurt her. to tear him apart, rip him to shreds. How could someone destroy something so pure. Why then? Why her?
He needed answers and so rose from his kneeling position, ready to bolt after the evil man and make him pay.
But, she had clutched his arm, forcing him to stay.
And so he had stayed.
“Kris, what do I do? Oh God, what do I do?!” Warm tears slide down his face, though he hardly feels them.
She whispers through clenched teeth and he vehemently shakes his head. He’s a lot of things. But he’s not that. He can’t do that. He shouldn’t do that.
“Pl-please,” she gasps, “f-for m-me.”
“No!” He says hoarsely, “God, Kris, no!”
“B-be g-good, pl-please..” She shudders in his arms, unable to admit that she’s too afraid for anything else. She’s not strong enough for this kind of pain and she knows there’s no point anyways. There’s no surviving this.
“I won’t! Fuck, please Kris! NO!” Takes one look at his devastated face and knows she’s being so cruel – huge guilt in her for manipulating him, having always suspected his need for being something other than the bully and reject, and yet not enough for her to take back her words.
“B-be g-good, pl-please..”
It’s selfish, she knows. But, couldn’t she be selfish? Just this once? Wasn’t that fair?
Sometimes he wakes up then and sometimes the rest plays out in bits and pieces. This he dreads even more. He doesn’t want to be reminded of what he did. Of how those words had affected him so deeply. He wanted to be good. Be good for her. He was tired of being bad and he was worn down from being called a monster.
He hadn’t been a monster though. Not then at least, he thinks.
But he had turned into one the second he listened to her. No chance at all. For in trying so hard to be good, he had failed to see himself become so evil.
“Why?!” He screams. “Why her?! She cared! About you! She trusted you!” His fist lashes out and collides against the fallen man’s temple, one of many blows past simply restraining the killer. “She was the only one who gave a damn and you killed her!”
The man laughs harshly, spitting out blood and collapses onto his back, unable to keep himself up anymore. “Oh, D-Daniel…” The murmur is low enough to send chills down his spine. “You’ve al-always known it was n-never like th-that.”
“What are you talking about?” He hisses, leaning over the fallen man. “I saw you. I was there!”
“Wh-what d-did y-you r-really see, Dan-ny?” The last bit ending in a mocking tone that would have – should have – normally sent him into a fit of rage, if not for the very word striking a usually shielded, very fragile chord locked in the back of his mind and buried deep behind the hurts he’d stored in his heart. Danny.
To hear the pet name come out of the lips of the man who’d ripped his only shot at real happiness away from him, the anguish was almost intolerable. He could still hear her sweet voice whisper in his ears and by all rights he should punch the crumpled man again for daring to even use that name. Daring to desecrate it.
And yet, in some sick way, it made sense. For the two, though never having actually talked for long and for real, they knew each other better than they knew themselves. It was impossible not to. And for that, there was some level of ‘right’ that allowed them to speak to each other as if they were friends and not tortured enemies.
What the fuck.
He squeezes his eyes shut and tries to shove down the mental turmoil his brain seems to want to be putting him into. Then, feeling the jumbled mess leaving his mind a lot, he opens his eyes, all fierce and heated, and whispers, “I saw you running away from her dead body.”
There’s a few seconds of silence, save for faint unsteady breathing, and then there’s a quivering voice shattering his heart and world to pieces all over again.
“She asked me to.”
The roar that leaves him is sudden and animalistic and he does the only thing he can do to sate the raw, brutal ache in his chest.
He grabs the knife abandoned on the ground, memento from their earlier fight, and stabs it into the man’s chest in one swift and solid thrust as if trying to plunge all the grief from his chest into the other’s. In one moment, he attempts to transfer everything – memories, feelings, pain – into the villain who had ruined everything.
It’s not true. It can’t be true.
Because if it was, then…
Who had he just killed?
Monster or victim?
Posted on July 15, 2014, in My Writings, Short Stories and tagged contest, creative writing, deep thinking, emotions, monster, serial killer, short story, victim, Wolfeh-Chan. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.