Author’s note: Last night, in the small hours, I felt as if these words were transferred into my mind. Only part of it feels original to me, the parts needed to connect the parts of the story that were already present. I generally dislike writing this kind of fiction but I hope the reader with get something out of this story. With that said I should add a warning of (Sexual) VIOLENCE at the start for those faint of heart.
27. There are 27 unmarked graves up here on the this hill, overlooking the forests. They changed appearance often these 3 years. From a single tower of 27 stacked stones (a feat I am quite proud of), to 27 smaller towers, to a number of other iterations. I had even drawn up a plan of an elaborate stone circle with stone lines pointing to the approximate location of death across the state for each of the 27. All that was, however clever, too metaphorical. Too hard of an attempt at giving these events some transcendent meaning. In the end I decided on crosses. Most of ’em would’ve been christian anyway, plus if anyone came across this graveyard I’d like them to know what it is… Though in the years I spent on that mountain no one had been up there. Or, if they had, they didn’t leave any noticeable traces.
I remember that one day especially well. After I was done tending to the empty graveyard, I climbed down my Sabalan. Hearing the faint groaning of bending metal along with the monotonous melody of heavy machinery, I climbed back up a short bit to see. A tower, THE TOWER! Various radio waves from the city centers of this country would flow and flood freely through these woods, connecting millions of people through this new river of information. It seems plan A had failed. Civilization’s desire to expand wouldn’t stop even if it meant disturbing the wolves living in these woods. But it wasn’t that important, not in that moment. I still had food so there was no need to go fish, it would have been too late anyway.
I walked back down the path to my cave. It was deep and dark. It still scares me to this day to think about it. I had closed it off a few meters in with a thick wall of mud, yet it kept taunting. Even wolves have their predators. There had been another cave, yet it’s position on the windy north face of the mountain made it impossible to live in, especially during the winters. So my getaway from the hell that are humans was marked by a new hell. The deep earthen mouth that I had to enter each night to hide those I tried to avoid as well as the cold of the wilderness. Usually the abyss repulses us humans, but as I came to find out, when you are forced to it’s edge for long enough… the darkness starts seeping into you. I spent as much time as possible avoiding my shelter yet on that evening I was like mesmerized. I simply brushed the vines aside that I used to obscure my nest from view and ignited a small fire. The walls, which I had covered as best as I could with pelts and wood would keep the heat inside well enough so there was no need for large flames. After I ate the fish I had caught the day before I dropped myself into my pelt covered sleeping bag and slept until rays of sunlight broke through the vines and shook me out of my coma.
There were few things I possessed, a survival guide, a knife, a handmade bow whose arrows replaced my revolver’s bullets when those ran low as well as a few further tools I had brought with me on my escape. That day I took with me my revolver and left the cave as I entered it the day before, mesmerized. The abyss was now, it seems, the smallest of my fears. When I became conscious of that, the bubble that was the trance I was in burst. With the first sound of construction in the morning I felt it. That desire I had avoided for 3 years. And of course this had all gone for much longer than I could’ve bargained for with the devil, had I bartered my soul. Much longer than it had any right to. But this story isn’t like that, no supernatural event or entity helped me survive, it was pure luck. I almost died twice on the drive to these woods, back then, and even that was lucky considering I never had a drivers license. In retrospect my father was right, I should’ve done it when I had the chance though he can’t complain anymore, with him being a part of the 27.
Thus I sad in a sunny spot, contemplating, my revolver reflected the light. Two bullets were chambered. One for the case some bear decided my cave looked homely. The other seemed comparatively pointless, I was sure a .50 would’ve created a wonderful fountain of blood and brain matter but if I had the guts for that I wouldn’t have fled home, or at least I would have done it earlier. Besides, after so many months, living like Zarathustra seemed to pay off. I could convince myself I was a good person for so long. But now with humans this close again…
My family was cursed. All of us, for three generations. Killers, rapists, thieves. My grandfather, though it started with him, was the most benevolent of us all. Out of the 27 I know about he killed one. Nana even used to tell me that it was justified, though my grandfather never agreed, even yelling at her when she called it that. My parents and siblings though were far more bestial, especially in how much joy they received from increasing our family’s sin. Only I seemed too timid for it at first, only partaking in petty theft and even then with hesitation. My worst sexual crime was kissing a classmate without asking.
Certainly I wasn’t evil?
Yet as I became an adult even I started to bloom. I got into fights more and more until one day during a brawl I grabbed my knife and pushed it through my victim’s heart. In that chaos no one even noticed yet it was enough for me to almost fly into a panic. A panic not because I had increased the kill count to 22. Not because I had taken an innocent’s life, but because I felt driven into mania. Like Ajax I simply wished to slaughter, friend or foe. I managed to gather my wits and ran. My bloodlust wouldn’t subside now, I too would only turn crueler from then on. A wolf needed to feast, and feast I would. But in that moment I did not want to succumb to it. I quickly gathered supplies and when, one day later, I returned home I simply couldn’t. I couldn’t just leave. My family had decided to add another cross in my absence. This couldn’t continue, thus I feasted.
Can a man be called evil for killing his father and brother? For raping his mother and sister? For setting them all ablaze? Certainly I was in the right to stop our bloodline. To avenge all our victims. Most importantly, I must not be evil for avenging myself, any possibility at normal life lost. So no, I am not evil. But I admit, even righteous men have flaws and mine was fear. The glimmer of my revolver kept telling me — I do not want to die –
It was on that day that I returned home to my dank cave, with a renewed sense of repulsion for it. I cut apart my shoes. I would not walk to that construction site, even if it meant nailing my feet to the ground and stopping my ears with needles as to not hear the bloody siren call.
A few months passed and the construction finished. In that time I bit my nails raw. And even still… through all that torture the feeling, the mania remained. Certainly no worker stayed nearby but I could no longer truthfully say I was alone. Going back to hermetic life was impossible it seemed. At fault for that was one of the tools I had brought with me, my phone. I was now once again, if I chose to, connected. After a week of not hearing noise from the site I felt myself thoroughly losing the battle with madness. I had used both my bullets to blow apart a fox yet the feeling would not depart.
Two things had been my consolation next to the busywork that is survival. Tending to the graves and bathing in a nearby pond. It made me happy that despite my rough living I had maintained a relatively good and clean appearance. But even these activities would not help me calm down anymore. Another time for escape had come. So I went back to the cave and reconnected the battery to my phone. If I called the authorities, explained everything with detail then perhaps…
The call was long and difficult. Even though I had prepared myself, even though I had thought about it, I could not bring myself to ask for the death penalty. They would pick me up at the pond.
In the morning.
I sat on a rock next to the calm water. After two hours a few uniforms arrived. When they looked at me in horror I realized that I must have gotten used to my appearance perhaps too a fault. Where they looked healthy, I looked like death. Leathery skin, emaciated body with thin, bloody fingers and toes. And when the bravest of the policemen stepped closer with his handcuffs I regretted it all. I started running back to my cave. I believed I’d feel safe behind the vines for the first time in 3 years. But when even then I could hear them outside I ran deeper. I scratched down the mud wall and ran into the underworld. Into the darkness I had avoided so long. I ran for what felt like kilometers nevertheless I was caught within seconds and dragged out and into a prison as dark as the cave itself.
Nowadays I am rarely lucid. I have lost track of time and when I’m not writing, I think I am writing, my eyesight has deteriorated badly, I try to spend my time unconscious. The mania still festers, crushing my chest with it’s weight and rushing through my veins. At least we are safe.