Horror and Thriller Fiction posted May 12, 2022 Chapters:  ...13 14 -15- 

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Serial killers are driven by their own unique motives.

A chapter in the book Dark Shadows

Confessions of a Serial Murderer

by Gwynn

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
They don't know me, these people that drift through the contours of my everyday life. They think they do, but the facade they see is a carefully crafted mask designed with the sole purpose of ensuring they will never know who I am; never know what drives me.

I live in a beautiful two-story house with my wife of 11 years and 3 children. Two boys and one little girl. I'm a successful businessman and coach my sons little league team. I go out drinking with my "buddies" every other Friday night and take my wife on an elaborate date at least once a month. To the world, I am the average Joe - the standard by which people measure success. If someone was to point me out to anyone I know and say, "he's a murderer", no one would believe it. If they were to call me a serial killer even my priest would scoff. I'm that good. An actor that has far surpassed the average role of "human" in the eyes of society.

I wasn't always held up as the ideal. I had my rocky starts and stops as a child. Gangly and awkward, I made my mistakes. But, lucky for me, childhood errors are often overlooked by the adults around them who are often too busy or uninterested to really look deep enough. I had no friends and had no real desire to have them. I was content to be left to my own devices. I wasn't an A student, but then, I wasn't a failure either. I could read, write and do arithmetic as well as anyone but didn't excel at anything. I didn't stand out in a good way or a bad way. All of which suited me just fine. I had better things to do with my time.

My parents were divorced. Both alcoholics and neither one caring one way or the other what I did, when I did it, or if I was even breathing. If I got in the way, they moved me with a slap or a punch or a well-aimed kick. I didn't expect hugs or birthday parties. I didn't expect anything from them other than the sublime indifference they had always shown. I could sit here and spin a yarn about how their cruelty influenced what I later became. But truth to tell, I don't see that it matters. It was what it was. I became who I am, and I don't give one single damn about what they were or who they were supposed to be to me. They were just pieces on the board... immovable objects to be worked around.

If memory is supposed to be the book of our lives, my pages seem to be woefully blank when I try to find a single point that blatantly stands out as the "beginning" of who I am. Perhaps it's that way for everyone. I wouldn't know. People are a mystery to me. I don't understand why they do what they do. All the feelings that drive them simply have no place in my makeup. What drives me is need. Hunger. An overwhelming desire that screams in my blood and pounds in my chest until it's fulfilled.

When the hunger comes, all else fades. I become a passenger behind my own eyes; propelled towards an outcome that brings sweet release. It never lasts long. Release is quickly followed by a profound sense of emptiness that demands to be filled. The need builds again; the hunger driving me to find another, and another, with no real fulfillment to be found.

My first victim was not an animal. I've read how budding serial killers are often cruel to animals, killing them or maiming them for sport. I never saw the attraction to that. They don't feel. Watching the light leave their eyes isn't like watching the soul of your victim whither and die as they take their last breath; a breath you can deny them or grant them depending upon how long you want to savor the event. No, my first victim was a girl who lived about three blocks from me. I was 13 and she was 7. I had no feeling for her one way or the other. She just happened to be where she was when she was, and I was driven to see what killing her would feel like. I knew I wanted to the moment I saw her by the river. Needed to. I knew exactly how I was going to do it the very moment I saw her squatting down to pick up a pebble to toss in the water. It was like a movie that played out behind my eyes before I ever laid a hand on her.

I've also heard how adrenaline kicks in, and the urge is so overwhelming that the killer might shake, sweat, or even be so consumed in their need that haste makes them clumsy. I never felt a thing except the certainty I would succeed. It was easy. As simple and easy as her movement to toss in a pebble. I watched as she squatted down then simply stepped next to her, grabbed her by the back of the neck, and shoved her face into the water. She thrashed and splashed in her desperate bid to escape my grasp, but she was so tiny, and, at that moment, I was like Hercules - granted a strength far beyond my meager 13-year-old body.

I can't say there was any joy in what I was doing. I didn't feel happy. I didn't feel some surge of overwhelming desire to take her as she died. To be honest, I can't say I felt anything at all. Just the need to know what it would feel like as she went limp. When she finally did, I felt deflated, robbed. I'm not sure exactly what I expected to happen, but I know that her going limp wasn't enough.

I didn't know how long it takes a person to drown, but I was reasonably certain she wasn't dead yet. I flipped her over and straddled her legs. When her eyes didn't flutter and she didn't cough or gasp, I slapped her. Nothing happened. I slapped her again. This time she choked and vomited creek water. Had I any feelings, I might have been repulsed by the vomiting. As it was, it just struck me as a curiosity. Something to be remembered. Her eyes fluttered open and even though she saw me straddling her, there wasn't any fear in them. That was fine. I wasn't after fear. Her fear would serve no purpose.

It took a few moments for her to come fully back to herself and I took those few moments to decide exactly what it was I wanted from this situation. I could have just drowned her completely. Hell, I could have grabbed up one of the larger stones and just smashed her head in. Both would have resulted in the same end. But neither held any real appeal for me. Neither action was quite enough to fill the need that was driving me. And what was that anyway? What was it that I really needed? I stared down at her confused face as she coughed and decided I wanted to watch it fade away. Needed to see the life in her eyes go out; see if the soul could be seen as it escaped the captive form of her body.

I wrapped my hands around her throat and started to squeeze. Her confusion made it easy. By the time she realized what I was doing, I had a firm grip. She grabbed my hands and tried to pry them free, her eyes wide and showing the fear she felt. When prying made no difference, she attempted to buck me off by thrashing her back up from the ground. Of course, I held firm and simply tightened my grip. She pried and thrashed, gurgled her choked off screams, and I simply held on watching as her eyes went from wide confused terror to blank empty pools of color. When the thrashing finally stopped, still I held on, watching her face, her eyes, looking for any sign her soul was still there or seeking its final escape. I saw no fleeing soul. Just the greenish glint of her glassy eyes staring endlessly at the branches overhead.

Despite the lack of fleeing soul, I was convinced there had to be one. I had just missed the critical moment somehow. While my parents' indifference left me to my own devices for the most part, they were very stringent about our social and moral responsibility to God. Every Sunday I sat as expected and listened to the preacher go on and on about the soul and how God claimed them once we died. While I wasn't convinced my parents had souls at all, I had been reasonably certain this girl, still innocent in the pearl of her youth and untouched by base desires, would have a soul God could claim when she died. That I missed the claiming was of no consequence. It just meant I had been wrong about this particular girl. She obviously wasn't as pure as I thought. I would simply have to find someone else. Thus began the endless search. The need to know. To see.

I have learned since then how to cover my tracks. It isn't exactly because I care whether I am discovered, or that I fear any sort of judicial retribution for what I do. It would simply be an inconvenience I would rather avoid. I left my first victim lying there beside the creek where she was discovered in less than 24 hours. We weren't known to socialize, and no one had any reason to suspect I had killed her. Evidence was scarce since it all occurred there in the water and rocky embankment. Still, I understood that future endeavors to seek the truth and fill the need driving me must be more circumspect. Bodies laying around cause undue questions and scrutiny. Better to avoid all of it if possible.

I didn't kill again until I was 15. I couldn't tell you why except to say the need just wasn't as strong yet. My next victim was a boy who sang in the choir at our church. He had what everyone called an angelic voice and most claimed he must be beloved by God for it. I choked him to death too. While the need was satisfied, the question remained. Despite the claims he must be beloved of God, no soul escaped his body after death. I did not leave him lying around as I had my first victim. I buried him deep in the woods.

Some victims I buried, others I dismembered simply to make hiding them easier. Some I burned but I learned rather quickly it is hard to burn a human body to the point it can't be identified. After the third burning and the close call failure to demolish identity brought, I stuck with dismemberment and burial- either by earth or water. I now have 18 victims and not one of them ever answered the driving question.

I have never enjoyed killing for killings sake. I don't enjoy torture. I don't intentionally set out to cause fear or pain. I don't feel a need to control another person or force them to my will. Death doesn't give me sexual pleasure or release. The need that drives me, the hunger that can never seem to be slaked, is wrapped fully in the overwhelming desire to understand that which is missing. I know it is missing even if I don't know what it is. While I may be indifferent and unable to understand the feelings and emotions that swirl around others, I am not blind to them. I see them. I know they are missing in myself. I'm not sure I care they are missing. It all seems terribly convoluted and unnecessarily complicated. But the need, the driving hunger and desire that drives me, won't let me rest. I may go a year, two years, before I happen to run across a person that sparks the desire into full blown flame. The longest was 4 years. But it never rests entirely.

There may come a time when someone figures out who I really am and what I have done, though I doubt it. I wear my mask well and play my part to perfection. While the impulse that grabs me when I see the person who sparks my desire to flame is sometimes overwhelming, I am patient. I can control the impulse to grab them right then and see if a soul really resides behind their perfect facade. Not for long perhaps, but long enough to be careful. Long enough to be sure they don't see me coming.

Horror Writing Contest contest entry

The majority of serial killers are not reclusive, social misfits who live alone. They are not monsters and may not appear strange. Many serial killers hide in plain sight within their communities. Serial murderers often have families and homes, are gainfully employed, and appear to be normal members of the community. Because many serial murderers can blend in so effortlessly, they are oftentimes overlooked.
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