Gregor tries to reason with me, but it’s far too late for that. The only sound I hear is the musical notes of the chainsaw firing up, the soothing sound of this most perfect machine ripping through his arm, his horrified scream as though he didn’t really believe it would happen. No one ever really believes their own death—even if they’re watching and feeling it happen right in that moment.
It makes sense. You’ve never died before, so even though other people die around you, you think it will never be your turn. Or you’ll die peacefully in your sleep and never even know about it a long long time from now—when you’re eighty-three. Gregor goes into shock before he acknowledges that this is really happening. I hate that he’s able to leave this world in such denial. And then, another slice or two later he’s dead.
I thought this would be more satisfying, but it was far too quick. I should have picked another method, savored his death, dragged it out. Fuck professional courtesy, he touched Mina. He kissed Mina. He put his filthy mouth on her flesh.
And she let him.
I’m hypnotized by the sound of the saw as it slices through him over and over, as though it’s possessed, as though I’m not the one wielding it. I feel like I’m watching all this happen from the outside instead of doing it myself. It’s as if my weapon of choice is a self-aware living thing, and I’m only witnessing the carnage.
He’s all just so much meat now, but still, I keep hacking away. At least I can horrify his soul as it watches from above. There has to be some basic level of distress watching your own body being hacked up, even if you’re on the other side. I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife, but if I can trap his soul here in the horror of his own macabre death, I’ll take it.
As I continue it becomes a game of “How much blood can I get all over Windsor’s nice conservatory?” I suddenly wish I’d had the self control to wait, to let Windsor watch this, and then take him out, slowly, methodically… with surgical precision. It’s been a long time since I’ve used the surgical instruments on a kill.
Mina’s voice pulls my attention away from the underwhelming experience of spraying Gregor’s guts all over the conservatory walls. I turn slowly toward her, and that thin frail hope that I’d held onto… the hope that I could sate the demon raging within me and cool off my simmering rage by hacking up Gregor… that I could spare Mina my evil tonight… that hope is gone.
She feels the shift in me. She knows she isn’t safe. She turns… and runs. I almost cackle with glee. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to chase down prey like this. I rev the chainsaw a few times. It has the intended effect, causing her to run even faster, and then without my conscious choice, my feet are moving and I’m chasing her through the cool, crisp night.
What will I do when I catch this little rabbit?
Gregor touched her. He kissed her.
And she let him.
Gregor touched her. He kissed her.
And she let him.
These thoughts repeat over and over in my mind in an obsessive rhythm in time with my feet pounding on the ground. Is she even truly mine anymore? My mind is full of the red haze of blood and death, and the thought that if I can’t truly have her, I can end her. That’s something only between the two of us that no one else can ever have or touch or share. There is nothing more intimate than being the person who removes someone else from this world. And some completely inhuman piece of me craves this dark intimacy.
I try to shove these crazy thoughts out of my head, but they continue to play, taunting me, tempting me to give into my darkness. I’m not a relationship guy. I can’t give her what she needs. So why not? Why not do the monstrous thing everyone has always expected of me anyway? It’s why Lindsay tried to keep her from me. I’m too damaged to be loved. I’m too damaged to have something as bright and lovely as Mina.
She will never be as bad as me, and we both know it. I can only ever pollute the light left inside her.
Maybe she and Gregor can just go live happily ever after together in the afterlife, frolicking through some field of lilacs somewhere. The full moon illuminates my path as I run through the pumpkin patch. When I’m almost on her, I turn off the chainsaw and fling it away from me.
Whatever I do… it needs to be more intimate than a chainsaw, more personal… maybe my hands around her delicate throat. I tackle her to the ground in the thick soft fat leaves between the pumpkins, and flip her onto her back.
She’s terrified. Even her first night at the house when she wandered down to my lair… when I sniffed her and told her to run, she wasn’t this scared. Even the day I bought her, when we reached my dungeon room and the blindfold came off, and she realized the monster she now belonged to… she wasn’t this scared. But she didn’t know the half of what I was back then.
She does now.
I wrap my gloved hand around her throat, feeling her pulse beating hard against my fingertips. I pull it back to find a bloody handprint.
Fucking Gregor, touching her again, marking her with his blood. I tilt my head to the side and just stare down at her, taking slow deep breaths, trying to steady my increasingly erratic thoughts.
Oh she’s really scared now. There are a million things I want to say to her, but my brain refuses to come up with a coherent sentence or quippy retort. All the banter has died. Instead I just flip her over onto her hands and knees and pull her pants and panties down. I smack her ass hard. She should not be wearing panties. We talked about this.
Before I can stop myself, I’m inside her, and her warm liquid heat steals the remaining sanity from my mind.
I gasp, pulling in the breath my dream stole from me as I sit upright in bed. My heart hammers in my throat. Mina stirs beside me.
Her voice calls out to me in the darkness, but it’s not the terror she displayed on Halloween night, it’s concern. It’s care for me. I can’t fucking stand it. I lost control and almost killed her. She doesn’t know that, though. It was easy enough to focus on the crime of fucking her through her tears. No, I can’t trust myself to fuck her. But that one rabid decision may be the only reason she’s still breathing.
She’s just not safe with me. How can I keep her safe when I’m the biggest threat?
I turn on the lamp and get up and go to the dresser. I pull out a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt, socks, and running shoes.
Mina starts to get up, too.
“No. Stay. I need to be alone.”
I turn to see the tears shining behind her eyes, but I ignore it. Yes, I’m pulling away… somebody has to. How can she sleep beside such a monster every night? How can she snuggle up beside me in the dark? How can she trust me when I don’t trust myself?
When I reach the gym, I turn on the Chopin and start running on one of the treadmills. This music doesn’t go with blood and screams, but it’s what I see and hear as I run. The two incongruent sounds blend and twirl together until it almost makes sense—until they almost belong together. My yin and my yang dancing together on the air just outside my reach.
My running shoes hit the treadmill harder, and louder, faster… but I can’t shut it off. The sounds, the blood, Mina. Chasing her through that pumpkin patch while everything inside me called for her blood. I’m too broken. I should be put down.
I shouldn’t even be allowed to exist in this world.
I run until I’m exhausted. I just want to stop the sounds and images, all the thoughts that ran through my mind, thoughts I barely remember thinking… of all the ways I wanted to remove her from this world. But it wasn’t me… I don’t want her gone. I’m not some crazed jealous abusive boyfriend. I wasn’t mad at her. I know she did nothing wrong.
It was the wild in me. The dark in me. It was the other, the something else that isn’t me, the broken shards of what I became so long ago.
The animal. The monster. That inhuman thing.
There is no saving me.
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