The Psychopathic Killer
I raced towards the phone and picked it up, trying several times to dial a number I knew well but my hands were trembling. When I finally managed to do it, the keypad was drenched in my sweat and the handset was slippery. I dialled but the ringing was drowned by the thump of my pulse in my ear. I realised it had been answered after I heard the sound of his voice.
“I’m coming for you!”
I froze and the phone slipped out of my hand and dropped to the ground. I flinched into a corner after two loud bangs came from the phone, bullets probably driven into my friend’s skull. I picked the phone and tossed it away, paranoid he’d reach through it to grab my throat and snap it as he had my girlfriend. If he knew I had made the call, he could probably trace it and figure out where I was. The only logical thing to do was to run and seek refuge among my friends.
Bradley was closest so I went to his place. He was a scrub and lived in the outskirts of town so no one would ever look for me there. When I got to him, he was busy playing games with his other friends. Now I had to make a choice. If I told him someone was trying to kill me, he’d kick me out in fear of his life and I’d be an easy target out there in the open. On the other hand, there was a chance my assailant could track me here and their deaths would be on me. I decided to keep the truth to myself.
We played games as I contemplated possible ways to get rid of the person after me. I excused myself and went by the shops to get a drink and try to calm my nerves. There was no way anyone could know I was here. In essence, I was off the radar—or was I?
My phone beeped, a notification from Facebook minimised in the corner of my screen. As though he was trying to get me caught, Bradley had posted a picture of him, me, and the rest of his friends seated in his lounge. Damn! It was only a matter of time before he saw the post and knew where I was. I had to tell Bradley to remove the post as soon as possible, but the bloody guy was entranced by his games he wasn’t answering the phone. I ran back to his house. I could no longer take chances with his life so I had to tell him to leave his apartment and never come back, at least until all of this was over.
I stopped when I reached his place. The lights were turned off, which was odd given he never had a sense of ecological awareness and he always played his games throughout the night. The door was open and I approached cautiously. My instincts told me to flee but I couldn’t. I had to make sure my friend was okay, I had brought him into the middle of my mess.
I flipped the light switch and wished I hadn’t. The sofas, the furniture, the walls and the floor, all of them were covered in blood. I pushed the door but it was stuck, blocked by a corpse stuffed behind it. Some were decapitated and others gutted, one hanged while another had been electrocuted by the stove. I searched for Bradley but he was nowhere in sight, only finding him after following a blood trail that led to the toilet. He had been drowned there, his head tucked humiliatingly inside.
I couldn’t keep the tears from falling. But did I deserve to mourn him given I was the one who brought my troubles to him? Would it have been better to just let him kill me, as he had suggested on the door with the text written in my friend’s blood? Would my friends be better off if I just killed myself? But I couldn’t kill myself, at least not yet. He had left another message. He was going after my best friend, Blessing, and I had to do everything I could to stop him.
I raced out of the house and looked for a cab to take me to the city centre, where his apartment was. The only problem was Blessing was nomadic and could be with any one of his girlfriends. That would explain why he wasn’t answering his phone, well, either that or he was already dead. But I had to keep my faith and hope he was still okay. Enough people had paid for my mess.
Relief came when he answered my call. From the background noise, he was probably at a party and could tell from his voice he was drunk.
“Where are you?”
I couldn’t hear anything he said. When the cab dropped me at his apartment, I realised he was in his house as that’s where the noise was coming from. I entered the lobby and waited for the elevator to come down but it was too slow so I ditched it and raced up the stairs to the fifth floor. I found him trying to retrieve his phone from some strange girl’s bra, who giggled as he chased around the apartment. I made my way through the crowd of people dancing to the electro music, hoping and praying none of them would jab a knife into my exposed neck.
“Blessing,” I said, finally catching up to him. “You need to leave this place now, someone’s after me and now they want to harm you.”
“What?” he said, smiling at me. “When did you get here?”
It hit me he hadn’t heard a word I had said, especially since he was wasted and the music was loud. Given the crowd, anyone could easily pull out a knife and stab him in the neck. Therefore, I dragged him outside, assuming a karate stance every time someone bumped into us. We sneaked out of the room without anyone noticing, I think, then went to a secluded area in the lobby.
“What are you doing? What are we doing here?” He said, smiling, unaware his life was in grave danger. How could I have brought this upon him? What sort of friend was I?
“It’s not safe for you to be here,” I said, pulling him from the shadows where we couldn’t see if anyone was creeping up on us. “There’s this guy, he’s crazy, and he’s trying to kill all of my friends just to get to me. He already killed Bradley.”
“Have you been doing drugs?” It was ironic because his eyes were dilated more than a woman about to give birth.
“We have to go somewhere safe, the police station maybe. I wouldn’t forgive myself if anything happened to you.”
“Dude, relax a little,” he said, laughing. “Did you see that chick I was with before you started tripping? Well, let’s just say she knows how to use her head.” His face was in a blissful trance, licking his lips as he recalled some deranged fantasy.
As I rolled my eyes at him, I noticed movement in the shadows and next thing I knew was blood spraying on my face, shirt and the floor. He fell to his knees, one hand trying to seal the laceration while the other reached for my shirt as he sought for leverage. I was too petrified to move yet scared the killer might lunge at me as I didn’t know where he had gone. Unsure, I held Blessing by the shoulder and moved his head off my torso, then watched helplessly as life left his eyes.
When his body hit the ground, I felt control of my legs return and fear led me out of the building faster than a speeding bullet. I was running so fast I lost my balance and fell on the asphalt and scraped my knees. Luckily, I had escaped before everyone else or I would have been trampled in the stampede at the entrance into the building.
What was going on? Three of my friends had died and only one was left. If this monster managed to murder my remaining friend then all this effort would have been for nothing. I had to get him quickly and get him somewhere safe, a police station maybe. I hopped into a cab and drove to Justin’s house, which was at the boondocks. On the way, I collected my Glock from my apartment downtown. There was no way I’d lose everyone I had. I had to save them all.
When I arrived, Justin was standing by the door, his girlfriend probably sleeping upstairs. I ran towards him and stopped a few metres out, catching my breath. “Jay, we need to get you somewhere safe. Some deranged psychopath killed everyone else and they might be coming for you. Let’s get inside.”
As I supported my weight on my knees, I noticed blue and red lights flashing on the walls of the house. I turned around and saw a cop car pulling by the road but it was dark so I couldn’t their face.
“Officer, we need help, call back up…shit!”
I crouched after a bang went off, my eyes deafened by a loud ringing noise as though the gun that went off had been next to my head. This was a good thing as it brought me out of the line of fire from the policeman, who fired several rounds at me until his clip was empty. As I crouched, I turned to Justin to sneak into his house but it was too late. He was lying dead on the floor, his brains splattered all over the door, floor, window and porch.
In a fit of rage, I got up and charged at the officer, discharging the remaining rounds in my Glock. When it clicked empty, I put in another magazine and emptied it at the cop’s lifeless body on the pavement until his face had turned into a heap of minced meat. It didn’t matter what his face looked like, all that mattered was I had killed the person responsible for killing my friends.
I took his keys and drove the car to a place I knew no one would find me. There were signal jammers there so the cops couldn’t even track the car if they wanted. My heart had been beating fast like a metronome being played in fast forward. This was probably the reason I didn’t realise I had been shot on the shoulder. I fell from the car and limped inside, and staggered towards the bathroom.
It was just a flesh wound, a nick that had already stopped bleeding. I placed my Glock by the sink and washed my face. The clothes I had on were bloody so I threw them into a basket by the corner. Liquid soap wasn’t as efficient at removing stains as they said in the adverts.
“It won’t come out until you atone for your sins!”
Reflex had my gun pointing by the door before the dispenser hit the floor. There was no one, perhaps a figment of my imagination as the door was already locked. I turned to the mirror and saw the person’s reflection. I sighed with relief and placed the Glock beside the sink. “Oh, it’s only you.”
“Of course, it’s me. Where you expecting someone else?” he asked. “This day extracts a heavy toll.”
I gripped the sink in an attempt to cool down and hide the shaking of my hands. “Did you have to kill them?”
“Of course, I did, we both know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t,” he said. “Now clean yourself up and destroy the evidence.”
“Did you have to kill the cop?”
He stared at me with my bright green eyes, washing his hands just as I was. The grin he wore revealed the broccoli that had been stuck in my teeth since morning. “You shot Justin in front of him, what was I supposed to do? No witnesses, remember? Don’t pity any of them, you know well they were all sleeping with your girlfriend,” said the man in the mirror as I chewed on my psych meds.