My name is David Boykewitz, and I think I might be a serial killer.
You may ask how I came to this conclusion. My parents were respectable enough, I suppose. My father was a respectable rabbi at the local synagogue, which in turn encouraged a respectable reputation for our family. My respectable mother adored the attention, whether it was admiring or envious, she received from her friends for being the rabbi's wife. With no children other than myself, we led a quiet, modest life in our quiet, modest community, respectably of course.
So to answer the question that is undoubtedly nagging at you, no, my parents were not cruel to me in any way. They were honest, God-fearing people, and they raised me to be much the same.
But lately, strange thoughts have been occupying much of my thinking space. I find myself itching to stab that cashier who absolutely insists on taking her time with scanning my items. I have to physically hold myself back from introducing that elderly man to the rear bumper of my car and making sure they become good friends.
I am not crazy. Insanity is the perception of a false reality, and mine is quite sound, thank you.
Unfortunately, growing up Jewish hasn't meshed too well with my latest obsession. Why, just the other day...
One productive Friday, I decided to try my new fantasy on for size. With this in mind, I slipped silently into the closest gift shop. As luck would have it, a nice fruit basket lay invitingly on the counter, behind which the clerk was turned away from me. How splendid! I thought roguishly. What a perfect opportunity to put my plan into action!
I grabbed the basket and made a mad dash for the door, adrenaline accelerating my heart beat and causing my hands to tremble. Once in the relative freedom of the outdoors, I examined the name and address of the hapless person who would be receiving a fruit basket that day. I recognized neither, but was fairly confident that I would meet both before the day was out.
This turned out to be a considerably more difficult task than I had first suspected.
After making my way round and through the city half a dozen times, and getting quite lost at least twice, I finally stopped someone and asked her to point me in the right direction. The cross forty-something grudgingly obliged, and she even drew a crude, rushed map upon my insistence and excessive flattery. I thanked her, praised her a bit more, and hurried away, eager to meet my first victim.
Once I arrived at the correct apartment, I knocked on the door and smiled widely. I was quite taken aback when the door opened unto a pale, scrawny young man. He was shorter than I by a good head and a half. His thick-framed glasses were pushed to the very top of the bridge of his nose so hard I feared they would leave permanent grooves in his skin. He was quite young, mid-twenties I guessed, hardly out of boyhood. His shoulders hunched inward as he leaned away from me, a wary, worried expression on his face, and I realized with a start that I must have intimidated him a little.
But I supposed beggars couldn't be choosers.
After introducing myself and explaining the cleverly construed reason why I was here, I charmed my way into the unsuspecting boy's home, lavishing compliments on his furniture, his wall ornaments, anything I could find. He seemed rather eager for companionship; he let me plop down on his couch and basically make myself at home. So trusting was this foolish lad that he even offered me coffee. Me, a man who had come to kill him!
As I wondered how I would end this young fellow's life, I found myself being drawn more and more into the conversation. My violent musings eventually faded, having found this boy quite pleasant indeed.
I learned many things about him. I learned his name was Thomas, and that he was attending some obscure community college and slowly working his way up. He wanted to become a computer programmer and polished his skills by designing web sites in his spare time. He admitted that he wasn't very good at making friends, as he was a solitary creature at heart, but he wished he were able to at least interact with women without fainting every twenty seconds. I was feeling so amiable by this time that I promised to teach him the ways of the world the next time we met. The fact that I had previously planned to murder him right then and there had completely slipped my mind.
We chatted until long after the sun had set. When I finally remembered myself, I stood up and rubbed the back of my neck. "Well, friend, I am truly sorry to say that I must kill you now."
Poor Thomas did not know what to make of this. "Excuse me?"
"I want you to know that I consider it a terrible shame that your life has to end now. You are a most delightful young man. Forgive me," I sighed regretfully and calmly made my way to the kitchen. I noted with some displeasure that Thomas scrambled out of his seat to give me a very wide berth as I passed.
I pulled the sleeves of my sweater down over my hands and picked up a meat cleaver off the counter. When I reentered the living room, grimly staring Thomas down as I approached, was when he really began to panic.
He tripped backwards over himself in his haste, realizing he had nowhere to go and no idea how to defend himself. I could see desperation flicker across his face and terror bleed into his eyes. A wave of uncertainty swept through me, begging me to hesitate, to think about what I was doing, but I shoved it to the back of my mind.
As I prepared for the impending struggle, I happened to pass by a window. The darkness of the sky struck me as odd and I vacantly looked out into the night, my jaw dropping at the starry spectacle.
"Oh my, what time is it?" I asked, visibly upset by the high, looming moon.
Thomas was far too frightened to answer, so I glanced at the clock myself.
"Eleven-thirty?! Oh, no!" I moaned.
"W-What?" He wanted to know, eyeing my frantically flailing arms with extreme caution. Admittedly, I knew he was only concerned that I was carelessly waving the cleaver around in my dismay.
"It's the Sabbath! I can't kill you! It wouldn't be kosher!" I wailed.
"S-Sabbath? What are you-" He seemed to carefully consider this. "Wait a second... You're Jewish?!" Thomas was downright astounded.
"Okay, young man," I began, like I was a father disciplining a rebellious son, "you stay right here in this apartment. Don't you even think of running off somewhere. I'll be back tomorrow to kill you."
On the way out, it seemed a pity to leave the boy in such a state of distress and alarm, so I added as an afterthought, "Enjoy the fruit basket!" Then I smiled sweetly and went on my merry way.
I had fully intended to return the next day, truly. But I fear I have become quite absent-minded for my age; I completely forgot about paying young Thomas a visit.
Oh drat! That reminds me; I've forgotten that biography of Charles Manson in my living room! I must go and retrieve it.
My neighborhood is a peaceful one, suiting my suburban home quite nicely. Each time I enter my house, I want to smile. Everything about it is so distinctly me. The walls are the exact shade of grey I wanted, even though I am constantly procrastinating about painting the other half of my bedroom. It's currently half grey, half puce, which clashes like you wouldn't believe!
Every book I own is stacked neatly in a book shelf placed perfectly in the corner. I have never finished any of them—each has a bookmark somewhere in the middle—but I am confident that someday I will.
The house is a rather smart one, if I do say so myself. The only thing so terribly out of place is the half-finished desk I began building last summer. The ghastly thing gave me so much trouble that I vowed never to work on it ever again. I will eventually throw it away; I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
I make an honest living at a family-owned deli around the corner. Never mind that I am thirty-two years old trapped in a dead-end job. As a matter of fact, I'm working my way up in the world! I heard a rumor the other day about me possibly being promoted from janitor to cashier!
Ah, there it is, the sneaky devil! I'm hoping to pick up a few pointers from the expert himself. Too bad he's on death row...
Say, that reminds me of another anecdote that might amuse you...
I silently wished upon every generous star in the sky to grant me the perfect opportunity for a murder as I drove due west at ninety miles an hour. I didn't know where I was going or what I'd do when I arrived, but I was certain that the very heavens were fueling my impulses that night.
My headlights caught something ahead of me. It was a young man with a heavy knapsack slung over his shoulder. He jabbed his thumb out as I passed. I felt sorry for him—the boy looked rather down on his luck—and stopped a couple meters away. He rushed to the passenger side of my car and, as soon as he sat down, I knew in an instant that he was my mission. I would kill this boy before I returned home tonight.
"Where are you headed?" I asked, hoping this was the correct way to begin a conversation with a hitchhiker who, for all I knew, could be a crazy person.
"Wherever you are, man. I just wanna get out," he sighed, slumping down in the seat and lighting a cigarette.
I detested the smell of smoke, but I decided that I would allow him to have this last pleasure. After carefully assessing him and concluding that he was not mad, I smiled warmly, wanting to be cordial. Well, as cordial as possible since I was plotting to murder the young fellow.
My mind reeled with the ways I could kill him. I eventually became so distracted and excited that I hadn't realized I'd inched back up to 90. I was violently yanked out of my daydream when I ran over what felt like a massive speed bump. I could only hope that whatever it was hadn't damaged my tires. I slammed on my brakes, possibly ripping my tires up even more.
"Whoa, what was that?!" the hitchhiker cried, instantly springing out of the car. After a moment's hesitation, I followed suit.
Lo and behold, a poor, injured dog lay mournfully on the shoulder of the road. It wasn't moving. I heaved a woeful sigh and muttered a quick prayer, more for the distraught young man than anyone else. When I turned to suggest to the kid that we be on our way, I found with bewilderment that he was carefully tucking the animal into his arms. He conjured a blanket from seemingly nowhere and laid it over the dog before heading back to my car.
Just as I was about to mightily object to having a dead dog—a dead anything for that matter—dirtying up my back seat (the upholstery was brand new!), the creature shifted slightly in his arms. It wasn't much, but it was enough to let me know that the dog wasn't dead yet, that he still had some fight left in him.
On the road again, I had trouble conversing with my surprisingly compassionate passenger, as he spent all his time cooing and cuddling with the unconscious animal in the back seat. At first, I felt rather neglected, and I grumbled about it for a good bit of the trip back. But in time, the charm of it all won me over, and I found myself grinning at the display of affection. I was even more thrilled when the dog came to. The poor thing was likely confused and a bit scared, but he seemed really quite hazy and soon passed out again.
I dropped them both off at the animal hospital. I offered to wait for the hitchhiker, but he insisted that he wanted to stay with the dog, which he had proudly deemed "Fish." I relented, wishing him a good night and Fish a speedy recovery before cheerfully heading off down the road back towards the city.
Three miles later, I was struck with a thought.
That kid... Wasn't I going to-?
"Oh, doggone it!!" I threw my hands up in frustration.
Operation: Murder Hitchhiker had officially failed.
That was not my last attempt at taking a life. I think myself nothing if not determined.
While waiting for the subway the other day, an elderly woman with a cane caught my eye. This, I thought excitedly, was the perfect opportunity with the perfect victim. No matter the dozens of eyewitnesses standing idly by. I would make it look like an accident, and make a clean getaway while I was at it.
I cautiously approached the woman as inconspicuously as I could, planning to nudge her over the edge onto the tracks. If the fall—the distance of which admittedly wasn't all that far, but might do in a pinch—didn't kill her, then the oncoming subway train would.
Before I reached the woman, who hadn't even taken notice of me yet, a small black kitten scurried past me, frightened by the hustle and bustle of all the people around it.
Now, I am not superstitious, but I couldn't deny that I felt my heart pick up its pace. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and I became wary and paranoid. What if I accidentally fell in instead of the lady? What if that cat had cursed me forever? I worried myself into a frenzy.
I muttered a desperate prayer under my breath, pleading that I be spared. In an attempt to turn my luck around before it went bad, I made my way over to the old woman and made polite conversation. When the subway arrived, I even helped her into the car. She thanked me and dropped a penny into my hand, like I was a bellboy to be tipped. I was a little insulted, but didn't let it show on my face. I even pocketed the penny to appease her.
Needless to say, I took the bus for the remainder of the week.
Oh well... There's always next time, right?
I plop down on the couch and turn on the news, hoping to catch a headline of a murderer who could give me some tips, since I seemed to be having quite a bit of trouble. Instead, I see some silly little story about a would-be killer who has yet to actually go through with any of his murders.
They are interviewing his unvictims now.
I am stunned—pleasantly or not, I am uncertain—to see Thomas, my first attempt, on the screen.
"I don't really know what happened. He was a really nice guy; we talked for a long time. Then he just got up and said he had to kill me. But he didn't, because it was the Sabbath!" Thomas pauses to laugh at this. "So he left, but not before promising that he'd come back the next day. But he never did. I even called the police about it, had them stake out my house just in case. They thought I was crazy or something."
I briefly wonder if I should bother visiting Thomas to carry out my threat.
The old woman from the subway fills the screen. "Yes, that's him. That's the nice young man who helped me in the subway. A killer? No, no, you must be mistaken. This man was a perfect gentleman. I even gave him a shiny new penny for his kindness."
I clench my fists in frustration. If only that black cat hadn't been there, I would be a full-fledged murderer by now!
I stand up and stalk to the refrigerator. I am alarmed to find there is no more orange juice left inside. Orange juice always calms me down. I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with the initials...
No matter. I'll simply drive to the store and buy some.
In minutes, I am on my way. But it's dark and rainy, and I can barely see the road in front of me. To avoid all the traffic lights, I turn onto a road surrounded by high, daunting trees—made all the more menacing by the ominous night sky—and dense flora that hide the moon. I pass a sign that warns of deer crossing, but I pay it no mind. I have yet to see any animals, besides the occasional squirrel, venture out here, and I have been down this road more times than I can count.
The rain starts coming down in torrents, and is it beginning to hail as well? As lightning crashes overhead and thunder rolls deafeningly across the sky, I am nervously beginning to rethink my rash decision. Who needs orange juice anyway?
In my distressed distraction, I take my eyes off the road for a moment, lamenting my incendiary impulsiveness. When my car careens into something, I am only half-surprised. My head plows right into the steering wheel as I slam on the brakes.
The initial shock lasts only a moment. Mildly dazed and feeling especially melodramatic, I moan pretentiously and touch my tender forehead, making sure nothing is bleeding or broken.
I get out to survey the scene and see if I can ascertain what happened. There is no visible damage, save for a slight dent in the front bumper. When I peer closer, I see why. Lying lifelessly under my car is the limp, broken body of a young doe, soaked from the rain and her own blood.
Horrified, I take several steps back until I am pressed against the very trees to which I had previously been instinctively averse. The storm echoes my crime, the rain assailing me like arctic needles while its frozen solid counterpart pelts my skin accusingly. The lightning and thunder create a cacophony of glory and terror, the critical melody and grave dissonance of which bringing me to my knees. If I had known taking a life would be this horrendous and how grotesque I would feel in the aftermath, I would never have fantasized so longingly about it.
My name is David Boykewitz, and I am now a serial killer.
A/N: The original concept for this piece was inspired by Fight Club and was quite different from what you just read. But when I ran it past my father in the car on the way to Arizona, he helped me create an even better story. I thank him in part for this creation, and credit him as my co-creator. His username is "theblue101." He's an AMAZING writer and has years of experience on him that I simply don't have. Go read his stuff.
Originally it was to be one half dark and brooding, the other half high on sunshine. I don't quite know how I compromised, but this was a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoyed reading it.