The thing is, we're not murderers.

Well, sure--we always hurt people, killing them most of the time; eating them some of the time; along with the occasional dismemberment. But we're definitely not murderers. At least, I don't think so. Hunting and killing is just part of us, those redeeming qualities are instilled to our DNA-- which is, by the way, very similar to yours.

We're just being what we are: Hendems. Or as I prefer, "people with Hohenheim Syndrome.

When people heard the word 'syndrome' they think illnesses, inexplicable handicaps, gory aberrations. What we have is an aberration, just not quite what you're thinking.

We look like humans, down to our privates, except that our eyes purple and our hair either black or white. Our features are overall more enticing than the average humans. I admit that I do think I'm better looking than quite a few models, and that nobody ever called me ugly. Me, one of the less attractive in our kind.

But that's mandatory, you know, being good-looking. Like those twisted flowers that ate bugs, they also had to look colorful and exude great smells. We too are predators. That's why we need to look good. Because we prey on humans.

Naturally.

Besides, usually people wouldn't want to go to secluded places with ugly strangers.

At first I didn't know that I am special. Both of my parents were dead of suspicious origin. As a result , I was taken by an orphanage. When children my age were playing tag, I began to experiment with fire. When they kissed and hugged, I pushed or bit. They shouted when angry; I on the hand, wanted to kill when I was angered.

Ever since I was a kid, I knew I was different.

But fortunately, I was surrounded by normal people, so I could learn their way. I tried to hide my urges- I hadn't killed anyone until I was fifteen! Quite a feat for us, I tell you. Instead I went around killing animals to keep my sanity, though it's not that filling.

Finally, when I was in the middle of my adolescence (adolescent) turbulence, he came and explained my condition: the reason of me being so weird and wild. All he needed was one session with me and I had already agreed to be taken away from the orphanage. He brought me to someplace alien, but someplace home.

The place he brought me, there were people who shared my aberration. "These are people of your kind, Rey," he said with a smile. "We call you 'Hendems', or people with Hohenheim syndrome."

"I like option number two better," I said. It's less demeaning than referring to us like we're a new species of animal.

I scanned the room and saw replicas of myself scattered all around, doing things that must be difficult for you humans. Flashes of white and black hair were everywhere, and nobody questioned the color of my eyes or why my skin was so pale. There, for the first time, I didn't stand out. I was like any other.

Against my will I smiled. "Cool," I told him. "So why did you take me here?"

I expected him to say to save us. To save me. I wanted him to say that he took interest in our kind and put me there so that we can kill and hunt humans without the need to feel guilt.

But he only smiled and said, "To serve justice."

A few years later, I found out that what he really meant was 'to kill my rivals so that I can reach to the top'.

This man, Zodiac Cox, he is a budding businessman. His father was a billionaire, but when a big mission went rampant, he lost all his fortune. Now it's up to Zodiac to regain the wealth that his family once possessed.

Zodiac wasn't an honest man. I could sense that the first time we met. He had this a zealous gleam in his eyes, and an always ever-present smile that looked treacherous. His face never showed his fury or rage, but my eyes saw what was hidden. He had a heart of an animal, and he wasn't afraid to kill.

He just didn't want to get his hands dirty.

That's why he found people like us. People who needed to kill, who needed to torture. He couldn't stand the sight of blood, or the smell of it, but he still could get rid of his rivals because he made us owe him big time.

What a smart man.

And to think that he appointed to be my stepfather… I guess I should be proud.

This was because, out of all other people with Hohenheim syndrome, I was the one who could control my urges best. After years of trying to socialize with normal people, I learned abstinence and how to tame the beast flaring inside me.

Zodiac figured that I was the safest to be with. And thus , he made me his stepson.

Or, what he actually meant was 'personal bodyguard'.

I still have my needs, though. Which is why I'm doing this.

"He's going south," I whisper to the receiver while eyeing the Target. He's a stout man with pinkish cheek(s) and an appetite like an elephant.

To quote Zodiac, a source of disgust.

"Okay. I'm going south, too" my partner Terrence said.

As the Target went to his car, I stop spying on him. I have done my portion, now it's Terrence's taking the toll. "Have you seen his car? How many guys does he have?"

"Only two," Terrence replies with a disappointed sigh. Big guy like Terrence, he needs at least three to make him go 'muchos gracias'. "Can I have them all?"

"You do that and I'll rip your throat out," I hiss. I'm being serious.

Terrence groans. But there's nothing that he could do. There has been a pact around us all. We will serve justice. We will kill people that we've been assigned on.

We just have to share.

Human meat is delicious, and the feeling I get when I stab knives to them is the only thing one can compare to its taste. That's why we are anal when it comes to sharing. We have to be partnered when on a mission, though, in case one of us loses it and starts a massacre. Since I'm the best at controlling the urge, I get to partner with the guy who is worst at doing it.

Terrence fucking Fellbrige.

Zodiac promised us seven bodies per month. Eaten or not eaten is up to us. The number isn't too high, but with all the police now getting good at catching people, we need to be careful. Zodiac with his shelter of power, can guarantee us safety.

It seemed like a good deal, and it is.

But not for Terrence, big guy like him. If I believed in Christinatity, I would have accused him of committing the sins of gluttony and greed.

"Alright, I'm going," Terrence announces. "I'll tell you where they stop."

I won't bet on that, since Terrence often cheat(s), but I agree anyway.

Terrence turns off the receiver, and a few minutes later, I see a blurred figure running on seventy miles per hour behind the Target's car.

'Show off, I bare my teeth.

Even among us Hendems, gifted as we are, we still have our specialties. Terrence is especially fast. He can compete with a cheetah and still manage to win. There's this girl Auroh that could stay underwater for one hour full. She moves like a fish there, but otherwise not very effective on land. Another can endure forces like he's a crocoach, and I remember meeting a young girl eating live fire ants like it's for fucking snack.

As for me, I'm just very good at sneaking.

And while I wait for Terrence making phonecall, I can do my favorite thing: tracking people.

It's a habit of mine. I like to observe and I also like learn. Humans are so fascinating in their way. They who claim to be normal, for example, always flock together on Saturday night to penetrate each other. They call four people munched together like burgers sex. Copulation.

Lo-ve!

I don't understand, and I don't think I ever will. I know what sex is. I know how to perform it, (end sentence, begin new one with "hell") hell, I've even done it. (combine sentences with dash) I just don't feel the need to do it often. It's not for fun. (cut that sentence, as the next explains it) Sex is only needed when you want to make children. And I don't want my spawns flooding the earth.

There'll be less meat for the rest of us.

This time I fix my eyes upon the pretty girl who's trying to attract an old, drunken man with her breasts. Ah, I clasp my hands, suddenly proud of myself. She's a prostitute. It's getting easier and easier to spot one these days.

A very luscious prostitute, I might add. She's still got those rosy cheeks and ruby red lips. All natural. If only didn't go overboard with the curling iron, I would totally shy away to do 'things' to her. Innocent people are such a turn off.

See? Here's another reason why I don't consider us murderers. Murderers are creatures who can kill the innocent. We pick our preys. We don't just kill and run. We smell on them to check whether they deserve it or not.

Sometimes I have this notion that we can smell 'evil' because we're of the higher being. Sent by my Master up there to cleanse the world.

Prostitutes are also evil. I don't care if those girls don't have money or if they need quick cash to buy medicine for their parents or if they're just plain horny. Evil is evil. I am the dark knight this night and I will have them demolished.

Fortunately for me, the drunken man rejects her. Flat and square. She looks hurt,but only for a moment. When she sees me, her scowl suddenly stretches into a broad smile.

"Hey, pretty boy," she saunters towards me, her hands playing at the button on her breasts.

Zodiac said that we can kill anyone that stands on our way during a mission. And as we all can see and agree, this girl, pretty and young and dirty she is, she is standing right between me and the road that will lead me to the target.

Ergo, she's standing on my way. Literally.

I tilt my head and smile my charming smile. I myself don't like seeing my teeth, but a lot of people have their guards down when I do that.

"How much?" I ask.

She blushes, she can't be over twenty, and then holds both of her hands. "Depends. What do you want me to do?"

"Everything."

"That'd be twenty bucks."

I pretend to think it over. I get paid around fifteen hundred for every target I kill, and I get to kill three times a month. Her price is obviously way too cheap.

But then, Terrence is going to eat two out of the three , so I might as well use some cheap meat.

Hey- don't look at me like that! I never look at you that way when you go to McDonald's.

"Okay," I say, leading her to my car. "Here."

Predictably she comes with me easily. See when I say that I should be good-looking?

It wasn't an easy kill, though. She still smelled like a child and she really was a child. I can't kill children. Not easily. They're all so innocent, and killing them make me feel disgusted of myself , though I don't want to feel anything. People who serve justice right never hurt children.

Thank God she talks dirty. I can stop smelling her skin and become all ears. Bad qualities in people make my urges escalate.

Still, I don't feed on her. Her meat is too pure. I just drop her body in the trunk of my car and wait for Terrence to call. The Chopin is on, and there's full moon outside. Probably that's why I am so patient this night. I have been jumpy these past few days because I haven't killed anyone for a month. This girl wasn't very satisfying, but she was enough to be a decent appetizer.

Finally, after what seems like forever, Terrence calls.

"Boulevard Street, 67." What he says is concise. His breathing is heavy and tremulous. He's horribly turned on.

I turn off Chopin and change it to Strauss because his (he, instead of his) are (is, instead of are) more fitting to fast driving. I also don't forget my little passanger on the back and wink at her dead eyes.

I pretended that she has just winked back at me, then drive down to the Boulevard.

When I get there, it seems like there has been a mass killing spree. So many blood puddles on the floor, and as I go further and further, my urges also became harder to resist. Terrence might be messy, but he knows damn well how to make one's mouth water.

He's sitting Indian style alone in the middle of the street. From what I see seems that he has killed more than two. He looks surprisingly serene. He could only sit that still after he's made a big kill.

"Police came," is his reason, and then he continues poking at the heart that once belonged to one of the bodies here.

"What funny thing, a human body," he muses while he sniffs at it. "You know, I chopped off his leg and arms, and he still kept screaming. But then I dipped my hand and grabbed this tiny little thing, and suddenly he's all silent."

I only watch him. I had those wonders too, when I was younger.

"Well, will you scream when I chop your limbs off?" I ask him.

"Yes. But that's because I will want to do the same to your limbs, too," he says casually. "An eye for an eye, partner."

I laugh. But then the smell of blood and evil are now overwhelming my senses. So many evils are here. All those old, dishonest men… those are my favorite entrees…

"Where are the rest of them?" I inquire.

Terrence eats the heart and then gulps it down.

"Terrence?"

He docks out an eyeball from a bodiless head and then looks apologetically to me. "I'm sorry, Reylithius." Terrence has this nasty habit to calling me with my full name. "I killed them all."

"Oh, fucking great…"

"I leave the jackpot for you, though!" Terrence gets up and widens his eyes, making himself look like a puppy. His tongue rolls out as he bounces around me. "Yes, yes, I left him just for you. I felt guilty so I left the best for you. You'll love him, Reylithius. Bad guy, him. Smells so fucking delicious. I licked his face. Tastes like heaven. I even go his foot so that he can't leave far."

And, as if to show me that he's not lying, he picks up one of the foot from the ground.

When he sees that I'm not amused, he clasps both his hands and then looks at me with his big doe eyes.

"Please don't tell Zodiac…" he pleads.

Terrence starts to whimper. I ratted on to Zodiac how Terrence took my share on the last mission. He punished the big guy by not letting him go near any humans for two weeks. For Terrence, it's the worst torture ever.

"Alright, alright," I hold both of my hands, palms open. "My lips are locked."

Terrence showes his gratitude by headbutting me.

I roll my eyes, though pleased by his display of affection, and then head in the direction Terrence showed.

It's not a long trip, and there is blood trail all over the ground. This man is ;I can smell it from his blood. But he's also strong willed. With only (cut "only") one leg he managed to get this far.

Finally, a few feet later I can see the Target. When he sees me, he looks like he has just seen a hero coming for him

"Oh, thank God! Thank God! You sent an angel!" he says, her head cocks up as he fakes a hallejujah. "Young man, please help me, there was a crazy man attacking me and-"

I step away from the shadow, showing him the color of my hair and skin and eyes. (Replace with "showing him my features".)

"You!" the sudden change of attitude doesn't surprise me. Not many people know about Hendems, but the ones who have been active underworld know it all. Little goofy army of Zodiac's, they often call us.

"Me," I smile. It's supposed to make him feel better, but turns out that he only becomes even more horrified.

"Get away from me, you beast! Get away from me!"

Now, being called human is demeaning, but still acceptable. But beasts? That's more than I can take.

"Careful there, old man," I say. "you're not making this easy for you."

"Beast!" he keeps screaming. "Animal! Predator! You cold-blooded creature! You're even lower than a pig!"

My temper boil. I might not have formal education, but I'm intelligent. "I know fourteen languages," I tell him. At least before his death I need to know that to be killed by one of our kind should be an honor for him. Dirty man like him. "I can play three kinds of musical instrument like a maestro. I know how to perform medical treatment. I am no beast."

"I know what you are," the Target still wouldn't shut his mouth up. "I was there when the first of you is created. I know, I know, I know…"

This man is going to die, that's why he talks funny. I shake my head in symphathy. What a pathetic being. Now the need to end this unacceptable life is becoming stronger. "Humans…" I sigh. They bullshit all the time.

He's shouting me names, and I need to hold my hand –palm out- to shut him up. It's fluid movement and when he sees it, he is immediately silenced. I feel like a King. Beasts can't act this elegant, right?

"I know my origin. My stepfather told me," I say to him. I don't care whether he's going to die in five minutes and hence the information I shared to him. I just want him to know that I'm certainly a higher being than he will ever be. "Hohenheim, the first of my kind, is a religious man. But he's sad that the world is filled with trash like you," I glide towards him, just to scare the guy.

It works. He shrieks like a girl.

I laugh. It's good to know that I still have power over him. "That's why God gave him the ability to smell evil. He also heightened his senses and give him the urges to cleanse the evil. He is saviour of the world. And me, as his descendant, are also saviors. I've demolished 234 people of evil."

His face is pasty white with horror, and I giggle. "You, on the other hand, you are filthy and disgusting and evil! It should be an honor for you to be killed by me."

And since he has annoyed me so much, I start by slashing my knife through his torso.

His screams sound much like a melody, now that I could feel his warm blood splashed to my face. Oh, if only drugs and cigars could give me half of these feelings-

"Y-You, you are not chosen by God," he stammers. He's losing blood now and I know that if he keeps doing this, he will be dead in 2 minutes instead of 4. I want him to suffer for 4 minutes.

"Shut up," I tell him. "Please."

"That stepfather of your(s) is bullshitting you. You and your people are no higher creatures," he presses his hand to his wounds, now he's coughing blood. Normally this will make me want to make another slash, but this time he's actually saying important things instead of just mad screaming and cursing.

"Then what am I?" I ask him. "A noble angel of death? A Godsent?"

Even drenched with blood, the Target manages to roll his eyes. Where did he get such power? Must be the fat stocked on his stomach.

"Hohenheim…" he sputters blood. "Hohenheim was an experiment gone wrong. He and the other volunteers. They are supposed to be hybrid of animal and humans, but they took too much animal instinct and with little conscience to make up."

I say nothing and only stare at him.

"You!" he points a fat pudgy finger at me. "You are no angel. You are no godsent. You are merely an animal within a human body. Pigs, Cats, dogs, even fish and tigers. Soulless-" he coughs up more blood- "and low. You are a lower being and you-"

Before I know it, I have already dipped my hands to his chest and grab the tiny little thing Terrence was raving about. My partner was right. The Target no longer talks.

I stare at his heart, red and bloody and disgusting. My other hand goes to my chest, and I am left wondering if mine looks this way. I want to take out mine to compare both of them, but I am afraid that I wouldn't be able to talk again.

He said that I'm no higher being. That Zodiac has been lying to me, and that I'm even lower than a human.

Ha! If I believed that, I would be so happy. Because then my actions should all be justified: all that torturing and killing and cannibalism. I shouldn't think much about it -not that I have- because I can't help doing it. I am, after all, an animal.

'Heh', I thought as I poked at the heart. 'well, too bad it's more satisfying to think that I'm doing this for the world's sake. Makes me feel important.'

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will i be charged guilty if say i crave for love?

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AN

Thanks for Carleigh Garett for the wonderful beta.

The character believes God, but he doesn't have any religion.

Inspired by the urban legend: Alexandria's Genesis

Thanks for reading.