When the beer bottles take up more space on the desk than the keyboard and the mouse, it may be too late to write anything with a clear head. I look at the room around me at it tells its own story. Empty bottles that once contained bourbon or beer are littered across the floor. They rest under and upon a bed of cigarette butts and ash. The room hosts an acrid smell of stale cigarette ash that have been soaked in stale beer. Some may find this particular odor offensive, but after six months I don’t even notice unless I leave the house for a few hours.
It’s been six months since the day I came home to find my wife and daughter on the floor of the living room. Their faces were locked in a horrified expression I cannot help but see every time I close my eyes. If I were to take the time to clean the sea of beer bottles and cigarette ash, I would probably find the pool of dried blood left behind when the police took my only two reasons to go on living out of my house in a black bag — as if they were dirty laundry.
My life exists in the brief moments of lucidity where I am forced to live with the fact that I am here and they are not. It is then that I run through every possible scenario where I could have done something different and returned home in time to stop their deaths or at the very least join them in it. It is usually around this point that I lose myself in a case of beer or a bottle of whiskey and cry myself to sleep in a drunken stupor.
Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the day to the sound of bottles clanking about on the ground and in that brief moment, I’d swear I heard the shuffle of little feet hitting the ground. Other times, I wake up in a panic as I rush blindly into the living room only to find a pile of bottles and ash where my heart was so violently ripped away from me. These night terrors are increasing in their frequency and I’m sure the drinking isn’t helping any, but it’s all I have left.
The papers called Sharon and Ashley “numbers five and six respectively”. The love of my life and the little girl who was the living embodiment of my heart would be eternally remembered as the fifth and sixth victims of a killer that has never been seen or caught on camera. The police don’t even have a suspect. The only reason I didn’t find myself on the wrong side of one of those interrogation tables had been the message the killer had written on the ceiling above them in blood: “5, 6, pick up sticks.”
That was six months ago, I caught the front page of the paper the last time I went out for booze and saw the body count was up to 10. No suspects, no witnesses, and no hope of knowing who I could possibly hate more than myself at this point because this faceless and nameless killer enjoys the luxury of anonymity while I spend the remainder of my miserable life at the bottom of a bottle hoping to drown in my own sorrow.
There was a point where I wondered which would run out first, the booze or the money to buy it. I was, however, pained to learn that the life insurance policy supplied me with more than enough money to drink myself to death through three lifetimes. Throughout all of it, I would trade it all, even my own life just to see the smile on my daughter’s face or the whiff of fresh shampoo from my wife’s hair. It’s a pipe dream at best, but it is often enough to get me to fall asleep without as much tears dripping down my face.
I am writing this because I am well aware of the fact that I am going to be gone soon. I got a call from the police the other day. They left a message when I did not answer only to barge in like stormtroopers when I was too drunk to answer the door. The 10th victim had been the surviving parent of the first two victims. Then they told me about 11 and 12, and so on. It was all the same pattern. The person who discovered the bodies was the next to die. Victims 13 and 14 had been found the day before. I was next.
I eventually talked the police into leaving the house and told them I didn’t want any protection. After some protest and a few comments on the cleanliness of my house or lack thereof, I was finally allowed to return to my bottle of bourbon in peace. There had been several times over the past six months where I stood in the living room with a bottle of bourbon in one hand and a pistol in the other as I mulled over the idea of killing myself. I would occasionally place the barrel of the revolver against my temple or in my mouth only to chicken out at the last moment. Well, that turned out to be one of the wiser drunken purchases I’ve ever made. It is certainly better than the shipping crate of cigarettes.
The blinds have all been closed and the lights are out. I am writing this out on my tablet before I set it down and take my place in the wing back chair that looks over my living room like a throne for the kingdom of rubbish and ash that have replaced what was once my happy home.
All the victims were stabbed in the front. I will see this bastard’s face soon and hopefully, if I am lucky, I can do him the honor of putting a few tiny pieces of metal through him at roughly the speed of sound. He’s already killed me. Everything that made up my life died the second I found all that I loved spread out before me like some sick piece of modern art. I’ve been dead for a good six months now. I already live in my own personal hell. I’m just here to remind him why you shouldn’t go looking for dead men.