The One that Stood Stall
After being driven to murder, a girl tries to find her purpose in life.
*Introduction to Madness
It was a cold and dimly lit, room. I imagined it would be but hoped for the opposite. It was supposed to be menacing, to make you talk to those stone-cold faces in front of you. They weren’t regular humans with regular goals anymore. Not in that setting. They were figureheads, big scary ones, the things of nightmares. They were the demons working for The Devil, and my words would decide if I spent eternity in hell. I thought of the flames, the diminished souls hollowing, the devil sitting smugly upon his throne. “Bet this isn’t where you’d thought you’d be! You thought you’d see your grandmothers and grandfathers and uncles and cousins, your aunts, your friends, and your foes. You thought you were smart enough to escape my fate! I’ve been watching you, waiting for you. SItting defly on your shoulder, whispering my evils as my Grand Old Friend tried to save you. You’re terrible just like me. Welcome home, my love…”
In the middle of my reverie, I must have smiled. This did not help my case, as the black suits with gold medals on the sleeves walked in at the same time. Black eyes stared into my soul, stirring my stomach even more. I pursed my lips. The demons assumed their positions, the good one on my left, the bad one on my right. Maybe that was a testament to everything. They introduced themselves, explained why I was sitting in sweat across from them, starting asking questions. “How was your relationship with the victim?”
I twitched in my seat, resisting the urge to laugh. The Victim and I had a relationship much like sand has with the ocean. Continuously stripping me of my life, taking me from my home, washing over my happiness. I wished to become glass. I’d cut The Victim in half. I blinked and realized I hadn’t spoken words yet, and the demons let their eyes wander. Watching for those signs of deception, nervousness, or worse… composure. So I broke down crying.
The Victim was such an important part of my life, I said. The Victim was my savior, I said. The Victim loved me more than I knew, I said.
“Then why did you kill her?” They said. I shook my head “no” furiously. “I did not!” I said, voice cracking as The Devil adjusted himself in my vocal chords. “I walked in from work and she was there. On the kitchen floor, blood oozing from dark circles in her back. I screamed and ran back out,” I held my face in my hands. As The Victim opened our front door and walked inside, I was there. Standing, waiting, shaking, ready to pounce. I clutched the knife in my hand harder. The Victim froze, her first instinct to run back out. But there was nowhere to go. My Half pushed her inside, pulled the door closed with a gloved hand. Locking the door with my keys, walking away.
The demons did not believe my story, I saw it in the black iris of their eyes. I looked deeply into them, as if they were a mirror. Perhaps I could see me in them. I was playing myself, I knew. I watched the news, I knew about forensics. I knew they knew everything. I knew my words were the only thing between myself and my fiery pits of hell. But maybe hell wasn’t that bad. Maybe it wouldn’t be that different. Someone telling me what to do? Check. A purposeless existence made bearable by meaningless work? Check. Emotional struggles made inescapable because of consciousness? Check. I weighed my options. There was an uncomfortable silence in the room, as the demons watched me think. Observing how my eyes darted back and forth as I created worlds only I could see. They saw how I chewed the left side of my bottom lip. They saw how I rubbed my sweaty palms into my hair, scratching itches that weren’t there.
“We have evidence that…” I stopped listening as soon as I tuned in. The crooked lips of the good demon revealed even more crooked teeth as he tried to accuse me of murder in the most empathetic way. He told me that I would be arrested, regardless of my confession, because My Half confessed. And that’s when I knew they were lying. Because I killed My Half too. I slit his throat, and pulled out the tongue. He’d be saying nothing, not even to Jesus. I must have made a face, as the bad demon inched forward in his seat, preparing to speak. The good demon looked over to his counterpart, gave him a “don’t” stare and the bad demon slid back into his original position. Good demon continued to explain my charges, explain their efforts, explain how and when I’d be meeting The Devil. He said that I was the most evil person he had ever met, and that it was a real shame that someone who came from everything would give it all up to live with Lucy.
I asked for a lawyer. I asked for a phone call. I asked for some water. These things were given to me in the order that I requested them, giving me just enough time to completely survey the room. There was a surveillance camera up and to the left, hanging in the corner of the wall and ceiling. Just a small thing, but it could see all. So if I were to slide the bottle of Visine out of my pocket and let a few drops into the demons cups of joe, someone would see it and I’d be fucked even more. Would bathroom breaks be unsupervised? Did I even get a bathroom break? The sweaty lawyer that was appointed to me poked his head into the room. It was just me now, the demons had left to go commiserate about my case to the other demons.
Someone had called saying they would post my bail… which was set at 1 million dollars. Someone had called saying they were going to sue the whole state for torturing a young girl who “was fed up” and “lost it.” Two phrases that would make or break my case, no doubt. The sweaty lawyer asked that I stand up, and as he fully opened the door, two different demons mushed him out of the way. These demons were not in black suits with gold medals on the sleeves,, so they must have worked even more closely with The Devil than those other two. They wore business-casual outfits and business-casual haircuts, walked with business-casual swag, but when they sat down across from me it was anything but business or casual.
“I don’t know what kind of sick fucking game you’re playing lady, but I am making it my mission to see that you lose.” One of them said, angrily, lip twitching, fists balled up. The other chimed in, “You may walk out of here today, but I’m going to bring you back even if it kills me.” Shouldn’t have said that, I thought. If only they knew just how “fed up” I was, and how I had only “lost it” a little bit before. If only they knew what was coming now. I smirked at my evil thoughts, letting that damn Devil on my shoulder win again. I couldn’t hear the angel talk anymore. I think she flew away.
The demons took off my handcuffs, said a few more nasty things, I smirked a little bit more, shook the sweaty hand of the sweaty lawyer. I walked out of there with even more hatred of cops than I had before. They would pay for getting in my business. The Victim had to die. My Half had to die. Now those pigs gotta die.
Chapter 1 👇