He sat back on his heels and removed his cold hands from the grim scene which he had created just a short half an hour earlier. The scalpel still clutched in his hand was speckled with the blood of his victim, yet his hands were as steady as the beating heart which was now lying exposed before him.

The amount of coagulant chemicals he had fed his mark should have rightly stopped the man’s heart. But the careful calculations had been run several times over--not only in his head, but also with the aide of state-of-the-art body simulation software he had “borrowed” from The Pirate Bay.

Placing the scalpel calmly on the floor next to the stunned but still writhing victim, he pulled his cell phone from his pocket without thinking for a second about where the excess bodily fluids would be transferred and pressed the numbers on the screen in rapid but precise jabs.

In just a few minutes, this house would be swarming with police, and his pain would finally be coming closer to an end.

Without hesitation, he explained poor woman on the other end of the 911 phone service clearly and sedately exactly what he had done, sure to enunciate each and every word, acutely aware that this recording would be used as evidence against him in a court of law.

Leaning down to the ear of the man now stuttering for breathe on the hardwood floor just in front of his knees, he spoke his final words to his helpless victim.

“Don’t worry, you will live through this,” his devilish grin flashed for a brief moment before he rocked back onto his heels, closing his eyes in a meditative state.

Within minutes, the paramedics and the police had arrived. Hearing the sirens growing closer, he contemplated the Doppler effect.

Not wanting to give the police any reason to believe he was going to harm them, he got up from his crouching position, brushed imaginary motes of dust from his pants, and walked with resolve to the front door. Pausing just before turning the nob, he took one last look at the work of art sprawled across his very own floor, and the things he so blindly believed he had needed which cluttered his shelves in piles of ordered chaos, and grinned once again.

The cool breeze entered briskly as he opened the door, and if not for his stoic sense of all being right with the universe, it would have caught him off guard. He knelt just outside the threshold, and placed his hands on his head, ready to meet his fate.


The swift nature of the American justice system is rarely seen in this age of electronic communication and 24/7 news coverage. It has always seemed to take the tortoise’s side in the race, choosing to tread carefully, even when it is in the wrong.

His experience was no different, although he would have preferred a swift judgement--and an even swifter punishment.

The police investigation had taken far too long, even though he had kept careful documentation of each and every step of his research, the events leading up to that night, and the motive for which this act was committed.

They had been astonished at how clearly and methodically this had all been put together, in a leather-covered binder, sitting in the open on the floor when they opened his untouched rented hotel room with the key he had freely given to them.

As a joke at the expense of his captors, he had scrawled a message using a fat black Sharpie marker on a piece of plain white a message:

“All you need to know is right here ->;;;;”

If they were stupid enough to question this, let them waste their time. After all, when this was all said and done, he would no longer be paying their salaries.

An attorney was appointed, despite his insistence that this was not necessary, and he had decided to distance himself from whatever the attorney was proposing. Throwing a wrench into every step of the attorney’s process, he completely cooperated in every investigatory capacity that was presented.

His jury was noticeably shaken when he spoke over his attorney’s plea of “Not Guilty” with an even louder declaration of “GUILTY,” and asking for the death penalty to be on the table, though the victim had survived.

The prosecution presented the evidence that had been carefully packaged and given to them on a silver platter admirably, and as if they themselves had done the legwork.

His defense attorney tried in vain to counter each of the arguments, bringing in character witnesses from his past to show a history of violent breaks in reality.

Though the prosecution had drawn out the heavily publicised proceedings to the tune of three weeks (it was, of course, an election year), the jury had taken just one hour to deliberate and return with their verdict.

As the foreman went through the formal speech, the defendant’s grin widened as the final word was spoken.


The judge had sentenced him without hesitation to death by hanging.


His execution day arrived, and rather than keeping to the tradition, he refused his last meal, and silenced the ineffectual priest.

The walk to the execution chamber was short and sweet. He had occupied the first cell since his sentencing weeks earlier.

He walked calmly to the top of the platform, and stood in front of the two-way mirror which he was sure housed a media circus behind its freshly-polished reflective circus, and grinned while staring dead center.

The noose was fastened around his neck.

Finally, his suicide via calculated attempted murder was upon him.

The man standing next to the old-fashioned red phone affixed to the wall was startled when its high-pitched bells began to ring.

“Yes, Mr. Governor,” the man said without hesitation. As he hung up the receiver, he shook his head at the executioner, and the rope was removed from around the defendant’s neck.


His padded cell wasn’t so bad. He got lots of rest, and he calculated factorials in his head to pass the time.

Seven weeks had from the date of his execution, and he still had no explanation as to why he was still alive.

Today, his doctors informed him that he had a visitor.

A man walked into the room flanked on each side by a burly orderly. The man slowly sat down, leaned in close to his ear and spoke.

“Don’t worry, you will live through this,” he said as he pulled back, revealing his face. The permanent grin that had been torn ruthlessly through his cheeks from ear to ear flashed in a gesture that mirrored his own.

Next Chapter: Lie Still