Zara is a writer who has a knack for adding psychological suspense in short writing pieces.
I had a friend who was a psychopath, and his name was Elliot. We were inmates in prison. There, he told me the story of his life.
When he was 8, he set his grandparents’ house on fire. It was quickly ruled an accident because of how old his grandparents were and how feasible it would have been for them to just have accidentally left the gas on. There were a few things that didn’t line up with the storyline for it to have been an accident, but nobody had ever suspected him. After all, he was only a kid, a presumed victim. At the funeral, he hadn’t shed a single tear, nor did he feel sadness. In fact, he felt nothing. There was no grief, guilt, remorse for his actions, empathy for his mother who had lost her parents. Nothing. Oh, but he did feel this sense of curiosity. Curiosity for what pushes people to feel such dramatic emotions. Curiosity for what other ways could people respond in such trivial events.
When he was 13, he tortured his family dog to the point where there was no other option but for him to be put down. Nobody knew what made the dog so sick — it was only about 2 years old. Nobody knew what could’ve bitten its leg so violently until half of it was practically hanging off by the skin of the animal’s thigh. And nobody suspected him. Everybody felt sympathy for him. He spent the most time with the dog and would even go on walks that were hours and hours long. And the dog would come home with 10, 15, 20 — countless, really — scars all over its legs and body. He was smart about it, always coming back in the evening hours so that the scars could be explained by unfortunate encounters with wild animals in the forest. Little did anyone know, he inflicted all those harms and scars onto the dog.
Curiosity for what other ways could people respond in such trivial events.
When he was 18, he was accepted into Yale. During his time there as a business major, he gained interest in sculpting. He met his first girlfriend at a school exhibit, Lilly, who was an art major and who was immediately attracted by his charms. She taught him everything he knew about sculpting and eventually he would start one of his first personal sculpting projects after planning for a whole month. On what would be their last date, he invited Lilly to his apartment. She sat in the living room, waiting for dinner to be ready, and that's when he took his pickaxe and annihilated the girl’s head. For the rest of the night, he laid the girl’s body on the table on top of a romantic red cloth and proceeded to carefully slit open her skin, tearing through layers of fat and tissue, finally exposing her skeletal form and organs. It was fascinating. He later clamped out each of her organs, saving the heart for the last. He wanted her bones to remain in form. They were going to be the basis of his sculpture. He skinned Lilly up and threw in mixtures of chemicals onto her skin to ensure it was well-kept and ready for stuffing. Her bones were nailed into a bear-crawl position — it was amusingly embarrassing. Her skin was meticulously wrapped around her, stuffed in areas missing fat and muscle. What was left was a head. He brought out the stuffed head of his neighbour’s dog which he had killed a month ago. Within an hour, the head of the animal was beautifully sewn onto Lilly’s open throat. The sight was incredible. Heads of people are too often flawed, but animals — animals are blessed with facial symmetry and unrecognizable imperfections. Lilly was the first of his many masterpieces to come.
And that was the story of my prison mate.
I hear doors opening and faint footsteps getting louder until the final lock on my cell door unlocks, too.
“Elliot. The doctor is here to see you.”
Her bones were nailed into a bear-crawl position — it was amusingly embarrassing.
© 2022 Zara Monzel