Azrael did not know why, but he had had extreme homicidal urges as long as he could remember, perhaps he had been born with them. At first, he had been terrified at the idea of acting upon them, as anyone might be, though he was sorely tempted. Azrael's first acts were of torturing and killing small animals when he was in his early teens. He would pretend that they were people, burying the corpses and often returning and exhuming them to gently stroke the little bodies and softly whisper to them.

Azrael began to think of it as an art, thinking of new ways to bring pain and prolong the death, as a painter might think of new ways to make brushstrokes look like the delicate contours of a face. He became more fond of the little animal's squeals of pain, even dreaming about it. He grew incomparably fond of spending time with the silent, beautiful corpses. He had also become frightfully paranoid of the day on which he would inevitably be caught and decided to savor it while he could.

Finally, Azrael could restrain himself no longer. He did not kill the boy out of hatred, but out of love. He had never before experienced real love. Spending his every waking and sleeping moment with the boy, sharing everything, even some thoughts, was no longer enough. He became afraid that the boy might leave him, but he knew that in death the boy would have no choice but to stay, forever.

One day, when the boy was sleeping, Azrael decided to introduce him the beautiful world of pain and death. He procured a long filet knife and a great deal of rope and began to bind the boy to his bed. The boy swatted at his hand and murmured in his sleep, but did not otherwise stir. Azrael gently stroked the boy's cheek; he was almost sad that he would have to die, because he loved the boy very much, but it had to be done so that the boy would not leave him.

Azrael sighed and lifted the knife to the boy's chest, just below his collarbone. He then pressed the blade gently into the boy's flesh, slowly applying more pressure; a small bead of ruby blood oozed from the shallow cut. The boy's eyes fluttered open and he gasped; a tear rolled down Azrael's cheek.

To keep himself from changing his mind about killing the boy, he quickly pushed the knife deeper and made a V-shaped cut, tracing the shape of the boy's collarbone. He then placed the knife at the point of the V, and made a long, deep incision from the breast bone to pubic bone, completing the y-incision of the "autopsy". The boy's eyes rolled around in pain as he was silently crying.

Azrael bent and gently kissed the tears from the boy's face, gently wiped the blood from his chest with a soft rag, then took up his knife once more to resume his "act of love". He slid the knife back into the cut, then turned it on its side and slowly, oh so carefully, moved the blade to remove the skin from the boy's chest. After doing this to the skin on both sides of the chest, Azrael gently slipped his fingers under the skin and began to tug it away from the boy's ribs. The boy bucked in agony, but remained silent as if, even in his pain and fear, he did not want his love to be caught and punished. Azrael located and cut out the boy's heart and sat down next to the small, lean body, stroking it and whispering his love. He knew now that he was safe and that the boy would not leave him.