The first thing I did after I got up this morning was commit a gruesome murder. I meant to do it. Granted, the spider had it coming. It shouldn’t have jumped at me when I tried to take it outside. I disposed of its somewhat larger than the average spider’s corpse by flushing it down the toilet. Then, I thought about my neighbor’s body in my garage. I couldn’t flush him down the toilet. But what an appropriate burial that would be. Maybe even too good for him. I felt my face get hot with rage. Anger filled my heart. I ran to the kitchen and pushed open the door to the garage. There he was. Still dead. My rage and anger subsided. I tilted my head and grinned at him. “Fuck you”, I whispered to him softly. Piece of shit, I thought. No more fear. I was strangely calm and that should have bothered me. But, it didn’t.

I gassed up my chainsaw. I needed to do some yard work as kind of a cleansing. And to get my thoughts together. I was more at peace when cutting things in half. I stepped into my work boots, grabbed my gloves and goggles and headed outside. Came back inside and put on my noise reduction headphones. “Safety first”, I said to my neighbor. For some reason, this made me smile. I think I might be evil but the good kind of evil, if there was such a thing. Once outside again, I headed down to the bottom of the hill I was clearing at the edge of my yard. Small trees, bushes, weeds, they all needed to go. Brushing and slashing with my saw was probably one of my favorite things. I started it up and it felt good in my hands. Cut and clear. Cut and clear. It was relaxing. I thought about my situation. Eventually, someone would notice he was missing. He was a hunter and a loner for the most part. And by hunter, I don’t mean he skillfully tracked animals. No, he preyed on the innocent.

The smell of fresh cut grass was intoxicating. I watched as my Dad finished mowing the lawn. He was so methodical, almost obsessive really. Starting with a big square around the perimeter of the yard. Then, a smaller square inside that and so on. The sun felt good on my face and the dirt felt cool between my toes. I was 7 and happy to be out of school for the summer. I knew this year would be different. It was our first summer since Mom passed away. I heard my father talking to our neighbor. I didn’t like him. But, he and Dad got along very well. I knew Dad needed adults to talk about you know, adult stuff. At least, that’s what he called it. I looked at the two men talking.  My father was a handsome man. Tall and muscular. Our neighbor was the polar opposite if ever there was one. Short, ugly and porky. In fact, he reminded me of a pig. Insisted I call him “Uncle Charlie”. I refused, I called him Mr. Porter. I’m pretty sure he hated that. And that made me love it. I remember the day he started molesting me. It was 2 weeks after my mother’s funeral. My father had been drinking. A lot and often. Our dear sweet Mr. Porter offered to help him look after me. Yes, what a selfless man. I was captive in his house for hours. I loathed him. I would beg my father not to drink. I hid the alcohol. The first month was unbearable. I lost my mother, my father and my innocence. He never had sex with me. He said that was not right. He manipulated me, made me feel like it was all my fault. Of course, I was too scared to tell anyone. And I never did. I kept it with me forever. Thankfully, Dad only spent about 6 months in a bottle. He came out a changed man. A devoted and doting father. It was wonderful. No more Mr. Porter. But, I watched him. I knew what he was doing. I made sure that he wouldn’t hurt any other kids on my watch. He moved away a year later. I’m sure somebody was on to him. He was gone. But not forgotten.

My life moved forward, school, college, a career. It was all quite normal. All the while, a rage built up inside me. When my father passed away, there was yet another hole in my heart. I moved to a quiet corner of the world. My paradise. I was surrounded by wilderness. Perfection. I had a job that gave me the flexibility of working from home. Plus, the inheritance helped quite a bit, too. I loved fixing up the house and clearing away the old trees. It was magical. I was pretty self sufficient and off the grid. Just what I wanted. My closest neighbor was about a half mile away. I had no clue who it was and I liked it that way. Until, I saw him. His pig face. Could it be? No, it couldn’t. I pulled the car over and decided to make sure. My heart thumping in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. He said his name was Peter Chance.  Holy shit, he couldn’t even think up a better alias. Oh, it was him. Sure as the pig nose on his face. If he remembered me, he hid it well. No, he had no clue who I was. He asked me if I had a family. Any children? Oh, this guy hadn’t changed a bit. My plan was set into motion that night. I would kill him. And I would enjoy it. Thoroughly.

The years had not been kind to him. The thought of him moving from place to place ruining the lives of children with his touch, made me physically ill. It didn’t matter to me that he was old. A person who was beyond evil didn’t deserve the same rights as everyone else. Well, that’s what I told myself anyway. This had to be some kind of divine intervention. My head was spinning. I felt kind of euphoric. All my years of hating him and wondering if karma had finally caught up with him. “Hello, I’m Karma”, I said to him and extended my hand to him. He shook my hand and inside I died. His touch made my skin crawl. But, I played it cool. He said something about my name. I told him my parents were hippies. It was all really brilliant. I smiled at myself in the mirror as I replayed the events back. This was it. And thank you for it.

I went on about my life as usual. I couldn’t get too wrapped up in revenge just yet. I saw him frequently. He spent a lot of time in his yard. He would sit and read. And I would watch him. Well, he didn’t know I was watching him. I did it from my house with a pair of binoculars like any normal person would do. I would go over with vegetables from my garden or a good book from my publisher I thought he would like. Each time, his beady eyes looked into mine and a flip would switch inside me. I needed him dead. Sooner rather than later. All bets were off. It was go time. And I was ready.

I planned his murder in my head a thousand times. Just the thought of him no longer breathing made me giddy. I decided to drive to his house making the transport of his body so much easier. I pulled into his driveway, took a deep breath and remembered something “Uncle Charlie” said to me years ago, “You’ll never be alone. I’ll always be with you.” Truer words were never spoken. That monster was with me every single day of my young life. And probably would be forever. I slammed my car door shut, knocked on his door and waited. He didn’t look so well when he came to the door. Normally, I would feign a caring question but not today. Fuck him, he’ll be dead soon anyway. He asked me to make him a cup of tea. Sure, one last cup of tea seemed appropriate. As we waited for the water to boil, I told him a story. He listened with great interest. Nodding his head. He knew. I knew. The jig was up, as they say. Whoever they are. It was all very civil. He didn’t try to explain his actions or make any excuses. This was his end. I knew it. And more importantly, he knew it.

We drank our tea in silence. I went to the kitchen for more sugar when I heard a crash. I was sure he was trying to get away. I ran into the living room and found him collapsed on the coffee table. There was tea everywhere. My first thought was, it should be called a tea table because it has tea all over it. I realized he was having a heart attack. That fucking useless piece of shit was having a mother fucking heart attack mere seconds before I could kill him. Son of a bitch!  I watched him. Sure, it wasn’t me killing him but he was going to die. This was perfect. But, after 20 minutes, he was still breathing. What the fuck? So, I waited. What are the chances that someone could survive a massive heart attack without medical attention? Let me tell you, pretty freaking good. This guy just would not die. So, I decided to smother him. He was mostly dead already, right? I covered his ugly boar-like face with the princess blanket I was positive he had taken from one of his young victims. I held it tight over his mouth and nose but not too tight because I didn’t want to bruise him. I wasn’t going down for this. No way. Not now. If I had shot him or stabbed him or run him over repeatedly with my car, then lock me up. But, not for this. It seemed like an eternity but he finally stopped breathing. Then, I did something very stupid and I’ll never understand why I did it. I put him in my car.

I finished cutting and clearing for the day. I really had no worries about the body. Just that he was in my house. I guess I kind of panicked. I don’t know. It made sense to me at the time. I wanted to make sure he was really dead. Nobody could fake death like that for that long. Right? Pretty sure that was right. So, I put him back in my car and brought him back to his house. I had to clean my tea cup and get rid of my tea bag. I left him slumped on the coffee, tea table. I got back into my car, drove home and waited. And waited. Finally, I decided to go back. I could see him through the window. The smell was unbearable.I pulled out my cell phone and called 911. Fucking fucker. Now,  I had to call an ambulance. I told the operator that I could see my neighbor hunched over and he was unresponsive. Once again, I waited. They put him in the back and drove off. The police officer said it was a heart attack and he had probably been there for a while. In my head, I said yes almost 2 weeks. Did I know the next of kin, blah blah blah. I told him I didn’t really know him except that he liked to read and be alone. I was just bringing some vegetables over when I noticed him through window. And of c0urse the horrible smell. He thanked me for my time and that was that.

I got in my car. I drove to my quiet little corner of the world. When I pulled into my garage, I felt at peace. The world has one less monster in it. Sometimes I still see his piggish face in my nightmares, but he can’t hurt me or anyone else anymore. That thought made me happy if only for a moment. I was wrong. Yes, he couldn’t actually physically hurt me. The damage was already done. “You’ll never be alone. I’ll always be with you.”  And he was. Always.


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