by Hannah Fergesen
He was created through a variety of psychoactive drugs and mind altering prescription cocktails. He always said that’s what did it, that’s what made him, what freed him to do what he’d been called to. By God, or some other, he never cared which. A suppression of the frontal lobe, maybe, then the amygdala, or something, something like that. I never asked him and he never did clarify. There wasn’t much time, to be honest. Not in between the screaming and the choking, not while there was so much to do, so much to finish.
The cutting was always his favorite part, so he took his time with it, was careful, precise, honest. Each stroke of the scalpel created a marvelous curve or a straight line, a clean, deep cut that would bloom with blood, bright and red and sensual, or something shallow that might simply sting irritably. There was often a cacophonous scream then, perhaps even a deep swoon. He relished watching the eyes roll up into the head, overwhelmed by pain. He liked the blood best, of course, but he also didn’t want anyone drifting away too soon. He was careful with arteries and major veins – he knew the placement of each, and never nicked one, never. As beautiful as the blood could be, he had no interest in watching a person bleed out, their body dry of life in moments.
He had far more interest in watching the struggle of living, of attempting to stay alive, through the pain, through the blood, through the deep cuts and the shallow, through the choking and the screaming and the ecstasy of knowing a person’s life was on the line. And there was, indeed, a line. He derived an ungodly amount of pleasure out of watching the body toe it, drifting ever so slightly over and then back again.
I’d watched him, of course. Had watched for weeks before he picked me up, before he knew what I was, or what I was there to do. I knew the cool weight of the scalpel. I anticipated the screaming. I gloried in the blood, rising out of the wounds as if I’d charmed it. Through all of it, through everything, he talked. He answered all of my questions, and gazed at me lovingly as I brought the scalpel to his skin. I think he was just glad to know someone understood him so deeply as I clearly did, and do. And truly, I believe his own death was his favorite. I forgot to ask before slitting his throat, but the way his eyelids fluttered at the end, the way his lips quirked at the corners, lifting into the slightest euphoric smile before slouching, slumping as the muscles disengaged, answered my question.
When not worshiping at the altar of Whedon, Hannah Fergesen writes a lot of flash fiction and drinks a lot of coffee. There’s also a neurotic tabby cat running around in there somewhere.