So, I guess this could, in a way, be considered connected with this post I made recently. But really, it isn’t.
I suppose, though, it follows somewhat of the theme. But this story, unlike that post, is fiction. Well, most of it anyway.
I’d estimate that only about twenty percent of this is true. See, it’s not that much.
Also, I really hate how WordPress gets rid of all your formatting (like the italics and such) when you post anything into it. There are lots of nicely placed italics in here, placing emphasis on the right words so you know what he’s really saying.
I guess, if something doesn’t make sense, or seems to have an odd emphasis, slap an italic somewhere, and it should be about the way it was when I wrote it.
My name is Eliazar Coolridge. The Coolridge family is an expansive one, with the number of my extended family members reaching close to three dozen, or possibly more. I’ve never been able to really count them, and in the few times when I’ve been close in my estimations, a new baby will be born, or someone else will be married.
I state this early on in my tale, because it, as you will see, is quite relevant to the core of it.
My job is, or could be considered, anyway, the very definition of mundane. I need not go into details, but will tell you that I sit at a desk, and the tasks I perform there (in that blasted, hell-bound desk!) are of the most monotonous and brain-dead nature.
I had taken off all of my vacation time earlier in the year, due to a seemingly unending illness, and a grand family (damnable family, taking away my vacation time!) vacation.
It had been close to five months since I had had any kind of break, the so called “holiday vacations” being, really, just an excuse to make me work from home. There, it was almost worse – seeing things I wanted to do, but being unable to do them.
But that is when it happened! I know I should’ve not been so happy about it, but, truly, it made me so. A relative, one of my seven step-uncles, fell over dead of a heart failure.
I had never been close to him (really, I was never given a chance to get close to any of my family members), so it didn’t affect me much. But joy! Oh, what joy, when I discovered that I got two weeks off of work, for the funeral, and time to “recuperate” from the waves of grief that I was obviously feeling.
But I didn’t even discover the best part of it all until after it was over; the time off was paid! In the time that I had off, I went to the funeral, obviously, but aside from that, just did all of those things that I had been wanting to do for so long.
But then, it was over. Going back to work didn’t feel as bad, though, the time off having relieved me of much of the restlessness and unease of mind that had plagued me so much at work, and I went back to it with a fresh mind, so to speak.
Sometime, at the funeral, or one of the surrounding meals and such, one of my relatives, a similarly unemotional one, a salt-free island in a sea of tears and crying people, mentioned how it nice the break was, and, hesitantly, that he almost wished it would happen more.
Somewhere, inside my head, I catalogued that thought, though I did so without consciously thinking about it.
Then, the two weeks were up, and I went back to work.
As I said, it wasn’t as bad, at the start, anyway. The monotony almost seemed to lull me to sleep instead of – as it had been doing – drive me insane.
At the start. That was all at the start.
But after even just two weeks, the restlessness grew again. I ignored it, just thinking that it was inevitable, and that I always would be bored by some aspect of my job; after all, work was work.
Months went by, and as the time from that break increased, so did my boredom, which had now turned, again, into a kind of insanity. I would get home from work, pour myself four ounces of brandy, and sit back, looking at my fireplace and trying to forget the work of the day.
As you may have inferred from the brandy and fireplace, it was winter. I enjoyed the season, and watching the snow fall. By my current state of mental duress was making it quite impossible to do either, except in a state not unlike that of comatose.
Eventually, sometime in the night, I would fall asleep, wishing I could stay that way as long as possible, or forever, whichever came first.
But then, of course, the morning would come, and with it my consciousness and, unfortunately, the necessity to work. I would get up, often with my head pounding, and go to work.
Months continued, one after another, but none particularly differing from the next.
The year passed, and with it came an expectation of some more vacation time, this time some not caused by a dying relative, though at this point, I didn’t really care if it was.
But, as the year came to its end, and the new one came, a notice went around in the office, that there would be no vacation time until later in the year; that the work load was so high at the moment that none could be given out.
I went home that night even more depressed and unbalanced than usual.
Somewhere around my third tumbler-full of dry vermouth and absinthe, with a dash of gin (my version of The Obituary, with the places of absinthe and gin reversed), the drink I had found solace in during the evenings, instead of brandy, the comment that my second cousin had made (or so I think he was, I couldn’t really be sure, especially in my fairly intoxicated state); that it sure would be nice if more of my relatives died.
I smiled. An idea had come to me, and it really was quite a good one. I could just kill one of them! I mean, really. There were so many, I wouldn’t really care. But it would afford me two weeks to recover, and, well, what could be the problem?
I went into the room that served as my (rarely used) office, and dug around in my papers until I found a list of my relatives and their respective addresses and information that my grandparents insisted on keeping updated, no matter how frequently a baby was born or a wedding was had.
I scanned the list. A few of the names I recognized, but not many more than that. I found a name that I was certain I hadn’t heard before (a step-father’s uncle, it seemed), and copied down the address onto a piece of paper. He lived only a few miles away (although our family was very large, it existed in a shockingly small circle of residence).
I prepared a knife for the morning’s activities, then went to sleep, contented.
I woke up early the next morning (for, of course, I needed to be to work nice and on time, and had plenty of business to do before then), made sure I had everything I needed, then drove the few miles to the house.
The windows were dark, and the house looked in heavy need of repair.
I went in (the door was unlocked; it was almost as if fate wanted me to do it!), found him sleeping in his bed, and silently slit his throat. He awoke in terror, of course, but that’s why I had thought to grab a pillow from beside him on the bed beforehand – I just stifled his screams with it.
It was really, quite easy. I don’t know why people think killing someone is hard to do. Perhaps it’s that, usually, people have a pre-existing relation with the person, an emotional motivation to kill them.
Well, I guess, technically, it was the same with me, but it was nothing personal, I just needed someone to die, and “great step-uncle Mervin” was just an easy target. That was all.
After cleaning off my knife in his sink, then realizing that I didn’t have time to get breakfast somewhere on the way and still be in time for work, and rummaging around his kitchen until I found some bread and peanut butter, I left.
I drove to work, eating my impromptu breakfast with one hand, driving with the other.
I felt oddly… the same. But more than that, I felt relieved, knowing that I had some upcoming free time, and that no wave of work (although my work load seemed neither pressing nor increasing, or even important), could hold me back from it, no matter how huge a wave it was.
I increased the speed of the car, euphoria spreading over me.
I performed my work in relative joy that day, knowing that soon the body would be found, and the news regretfully announced to me. I would respond by shock, obviously, then sadness, and, ultimately, a hesitant request for leave as I recovered morale. It would be granted, of course, in accordance with the company policy, whether I requested it or not.
And just this happened, not a minute too soon. I played the part excellently, and was released.
I drove home in ecstasy, poured myself a glass of rum (I was feeling, understandably, quite jolly), downed it, and poured another. The burning hit my throat, but I didn’t even notice.
I pulled a book off from the shelf (thus enlightened), sat down in my most comfortable chair, and read the evening away. I didn’t pay attention to the clock, as adhering to anything resembling a schedule was too work-like for my current tastes.
I still went to the funeral, of course, as I had to keep up my appearances of sadness, though I couldn’t help but slightly snicker behind my funeral programme as the minister threw diatribe after diatribe at the “ruthless murderer who took the life of our dearly beloved”. The way he ranted about the “slaughtering of Mervin”, the “cold hearted soul that committed this deed, bound for hell”, somehow tickled me.
I went home, loaded with sandwiches from the tearful memorial meal.
The police investigating the crime didn’t even question me – there was no motivation that they could find, and there were plenty other family members who had much more questionable pasts than had I.
The two weeks flew by, and I went back to work, feeling similarly enlightened, as I had last time, but… only just very lightly less so. I couldn’t understand why, but that was that.
In a few more months, apparently the surplus of work had gone away, and we were given our vacation time for the year, which I took immediately. In the time, I took a three-week long camping trip, living on nothing but the essentials (and plenty of liqueur).
That time, too, seemed like it passed by in a moment, then I was back to the drudgery of my job. I had found a new way of entertaining myself, though, wile I was on my camping trip, which was writing. And so, as I performed my mundane tasks, over and over, I wrote in my mind, then jotted down what I had done during my breaks and lunchtimes, then I would compile it when I got home.
The writing helped, it seemed, contain my brain while I was working, although I soon found that writing, really, isn’t the best way to stay sane. I soon couldn’t do anything but write, words constantly cycling around in my head. And then, new layers of boredom came upon me at work, and, well, it seemed to somehow plug up my writing. I couldn’t stand it, it seemed like someone had just made me run five miles, then deprived me of all air. I just – couldn’t function.
At home, I wouldn’t even eat any more, just down several glasses of liqueur, or anything else I could get my hands on, admire my recently-purchased pistol, and pass out, whether or not I was on my bed.
The next morning I would awake, loathing everything, especially myself, drink a quadruple shot of espresso (sometimes with a dash of irish cream), and leave.
I guess my body deteriorated around that time. Soon, I looked like a skeleton, or a ghost, or both. I was very pale, and so skinny that my bones showed all throughout my body.
My boss recommended that I should go to a doctor, and gave me a day off to do so, which I gladly accepted. He, of course, would want to see a slip from the doctor the next day, so I still made the trip. The doctor told me that I should stop immediately with the alcohol (hah!), and that I needed to start eating more, much more. He gave me a diet, which he said I needed to follow very closely.
The rest of the day, I pushed my way through my writing block, with mixed success.
I actually did follow the diet, to an extent, and found that my body looked a bit better, and that my writing came easier. I still kept up with the alcohol, though, and branched out to Everclear, which I mixed in liberally with my pre-existing cocktails and liqueurs.
At work, I got more and more depressed, and the old unease of body, mind, and spirit caught up to me again.
I knew I would have to do it again, though. I would have to kill another family member, and get some more time off.
I scanned the list, again, and found someone else, on my way to work, that I could take out the next morning.
He was actually one of my fourteen first-cousins, and younger than I had anticipated. I brought along my gun, and ended him right then and there, him sitting in his chair, eating cereal and watching the news.
I went to work, contented that the work I had done was well. Much the same happened as it had before, and I was given the two weeks (paid!) off.
I took the weeks off as a short of cleanse from my liqueur, as I only drank beer and wine in that time.
When I went back to work, I felt that the time had been used well. I had finished a book I had been working on for a while, and started another.
Two months, to the day, went by before the insanity became unbearable, again. But I knew I couldn’t just murder another relative, I had to make some of them look like natural deaths, of course. I managed to get my hands on some pharmaceutical-grade sedative drugs, a fatal dose of which I slipped into the meal of the oldest of my aunts’ post-dinner ice cream sundae. Somehow, I had managed to invite myself over for dinner that evening.
She didn’t make it through the night.
When my manager told me of the “bad news” this time, he remarked that a lot of my family had been dying recently, and that he had seen it visibly affecting me, so he wanted to let me have another week off. Regrettably, he wasn’t able to let it be paid time off, but, naturally, I took the offer anyway.
The police actually did question me this time. They said they suspected foulplay, though didn’t suppose I had anything to do with it; they just wanted to warn me, since they thought possibly an enemy of the family’s was taking out members of it. I thanked them for their warning, and told them that they would be the first people I would call if I were in any danger of any kind, particularly in that caused by a vengeful vendetta.
I went back to work, feeling the best I ever had in doing so, that I could remember. I cheerily went about my work, thanking my boss profusely for the extra time off, that it “gave me a lot of time to think about mortality. I mean, we all have to die, right? So what if it is sooner, or later? It’s a set eventuality. I mean, you could even say that that is what we are born for; to die. You could even say that we are already dead.”
My boss gave me a queer look, and moved on.
Even though that was the best I had felt going back to work, the feeling lasted the shortest yet. Restlessness resumed, and on top of that, I found that I had trouble getting to sleep at night. I began taking sleeping pills, and that eased much of the struggle.
But, still, a month and a half after I got back, I knew I would have to do it agai. But at this point, I felt absolutely no regret or hesitation in doing it – I actually almost looked forward to it, I could see the insanity building and would know, with delight, that I had anotehr death to plan for.
This time, I made my ex-step-sister ‘commit suicide’. I overdosed her with my all-too-ready sleeping pills, then wrote out her suicide note.
The police lvoed it. They knew that the “mystery man with a grudge” had struck again, and they were all but dying to find him.
I provided all the help I could, using my newly-discovered knack for telling a story in my testimonies.
My boss seemed… strange when he told me, this time. I guess that it was just happening too frequently for him to keep up with.
“I gues you are from a pretty hard family, huh?” he asked.
“Brutal,” was my reply.
He didn’t even really need to say anything, I just took off the next two weeks. Aside from doing other things in that time, I went through the entire list and marked who I would kill, and in what order. For some of them, I even thought about how I would kill them, and wrote down ideas.
I got back to work, feeling as though I didn’t really have enough time to completely gather my thoughts, and, before a month was up, the instability of my mind had already breached the levels of where it had yet gone.
I took out the next person on my list, a third cousin named “Bill”.
I could’ve sworn I had never seen him. How should I know if he was even in my family? Not that that mattered, though. He was still legally a member of my family, and therefore worth exactly two weeks of vacation time, and it worked.
I had the next two weeks off, but, again, it seemed like not near the amount of time it had been in the past. I needed more. So, in two weeks, I killed another.
My boss didn’t even talk to me. I just left when it was announced in the papers.
I thuink the police might have started suspecting me at this point, but they still had no motivation, that they could see. I was obviously so far away in the bloodline that I wouldn’t really get anything in any wills, so they were stumped. I almost think they may have just been waiting for me to show them my motive.
Shortly thereafter, they found someone, who, apparently, five years before, had said something about “getting back at you and all of your family” to one of my grandfathers.
They took him as a scapegoat, but I think they were still watching me. Not that I cared.
I had decided already that, if I were to get incarcerated, it would, in a way, just be a break for me, for the rest of my life.
The two weeks were up, and I went back to work. Shortly after I returned, an all-hands meeting was called for. In it, the manager announced that a “nation-wide” change had been made in the company, that the time off for a death in the family had been, unfortunately, been reduced from two weeks down to one week.
From that moment, I knew that everyone was against me. My eyes narrowed as he looked in my direction, his eyes locking with mine for a split second.
That evening, I killed the next person on my list. The deaths had been getting somewhat boring recently, so this time, I decided to make things a bit more interesting with a torch and some cheap (and, for the victim, unfortunately dull) knives.
After I had finished that, I went home, ate quickly, and wrote.
I didn’t even bother going into work the next day. They would get the news soon enough.
In the meantime, I found my writing style getting darker, and more abrupt. Gallons of blood were spilt from every stroke of my pen.
Without even going into work for a day, when the week was over, I took out (I say that repeatedly, of course, because the word “murder” is much too… violent a word to describe what I was doing) the next person on my liste: my Aunt Ruby.
The killing had actually become a full-fledged joy in and of itself, as I found myself playing with the blood that poured from them, and collecting souvenirs of their fingers and hair.
I knew there were police watching me at my every move. They could have brought me in right then and there, but I feel that they must have still been looking for the elusive motivation, either that or finding a morbid delight in watching me kill them and interest myself with their remains. I’m sure that if they talked to my boss, they would be able to deduce that before too long. Or perhaps they wouldn’t. I felt like I was on a wholly new level from them, mentally, now. I had always been pretty smart, but, as I killed more and more people… I just don’t know. It seems like it increased. Perhaps it was just my insanity, which I was sure was increasing day by day. Sometimes, I would notice that hours had gone by, and wouldn’t be sure where they went, then realize that I had been sitting in my chair, looking out my windows as the snow fell (for it was winter again), and stroking the bleached fingerbones of one of the deceased.
Week after week went by, and I didn’t go into work, just took off the time by taking out another relative whenever it was needed. The excitement and glee increased every time I did it.
I would often pull apart their bodies after killing them, and would write down notes on the internal workings of humans.
It was just… fun. And really, I highly recommend others to try it. It’s enlightening, at least to me.
A few months later, though, I got a message from my boss in the mail (he sent it because, of course, he knew I wouldn’t be into work). It proclaimed that the committee had again changed the time that those mourning from the death of a loved one (loved one!) had; now it was only one day.
A thrill went down my spine as I read this.
Only a day! But that would mean that I would get to kill someone every day! I had actually, I must admit, had trouble adhering to the once-a-week thing; a few times, I had actually killed someone in the middle of the week, just for fun. I didn’t think there was really anything wrong with that, in particular, as it would just push out my break another few days.
But this! It was like a dream come true.
I had actually abandoned my alcoholism, mostly, in this time, as I had much more interesting things to do! I would get up early in the morning, eat a quick breakfast, then head out for the daily killing (or two, if I felt the need). I would get back in time to do things around the house that needed doing, then read or write, relax, have lunch, and wile away the rest of my time either doing those two previous things, or cleaning my ever-increasing supply of bones.
I had somehow come about the goal of creating a skeleton out of the various bones of my family members. I intended for it to be a mutant-looking thing when it was done, having mismatching sizes and shapes of bones.
Then I would sleep, contented, and looking forward to the next day.
Weekends were much the same, but, sadly, there was no need for me to kill anyone.
It was a pleasant system, for me, and I thought it would go on forever.
There were two things that I overlooked, though.
One, the much more minor of the two, was that the police investigation continued. I knew they knew it was me, they knew I knew, but for the longest time, nobody did anything.
Eventually, though, a few investigators came into my house and asked me questions. We eyed each other suspiciously, knowing what the other knew, but not giving any indication that we did. Mindgames. I was thoroughly used to them, though, since I was the only person I talked to, nowadays, and always provided quite the double-talk.
They left, triumphant that they had made progress, although I knew they really hadn’t. I was the one who was triumphant.
That was the first problem, and fairly easily overcome.
But the second problem soon reared its head.
The number of my relatives was not infinite.
How could I be so stupid? In my elevated state of existence and knowledge, too! Utterly ridiculous.
The thought had struck me, just as I was sawing off the head of my final cousin, having already slit his throat. I froze, with the hacksaw almost all of the way through the vertebrae.
What was I to do now? I didn’t know.
The next day, I went into work. It felt so foreign, not having been in such a long time.
I sat at my desk, getting a feel for it again.
For the first hour or so, things went well, me being in a dreamlike state of disbelief. Then, something inside of me snapped. I knew I couldn’t live like this. I couldn’t do it any more.
Somehow, I made it through the rest of the day, and sped home. I had had an idea.
If I killed myself, there would be nothing more. I wouldn’t have any responsibilities, nothing to do. I would be by myself forevermore.
So, I write this. I write this as a “suicide note”, I guess, though it should be quite evident that it is more than that. For one, it is what the police will want: an explanation of my “motive”. And I eagerly give it.
Now, I write with one hand. I’ve loaded a gun, and have it in my mouth. And now, oh blessed, wonderful now, I pull the trigger