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An Artist's Work

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Today is Tuesday, February the 18th, and for the majority of you normal people, this day bears no significance or importance; you wake up, you commute to work, arrive back home around 6 PM to your family just in time to catch your favorite TV shows, then you slip effortlessly into a deep sleep, only to replay the cycle again the next morning, just like clockwork.

But for me, this day is special; a day seven years in the making, and a culmination of the events which have occurred within the space of almost a decade. I am ready to embrace this day with open arms, as one would do to a long lost relative.

I sit upright on my bed. A cracked smile creeps across my face staring at these walls which have become all too familiar. I glance towards a tattered bookshelf in the corner, and seemingly endless rows of literature (which I have read countless times) leer back at me. A thick blanket of dust settles upon them like a fine Christmas eve snow, although that holiday has had no meaning for quite some time now.

I could recite these books to you as they have become so indelibly imprinted in my mind. They mainly consist of autobiographies; artists whose work is savagely under-appreciated by modern day society, shunned and condemned for simply expressing their artistic nature in the most creative ways possible. My dreams are filled with the hope that one day my work will rest among these inspirational people, and that I too will serve as a role model for future generations.

Steadily pushing off the bed, a loud groaning noise echoes through my room as I heave the mattress down and propel myself upright, I stand still for just a few seconds gaining my balance whilst focusing on the cracked mirror barely holding onto the wall across from me, I shuffle towards it, scraping my bare feet along the cold hard floor. Extending my arms outwards I collapse onto the sink beneath the mirror, staring down the endless black hole, my breathing heavy and laboured.

I reach out and turn on the faucet; a gushing stream of cold water fills the rusty sink and spirals down the hole, its strangely relaxing and empowering watching something drain away, water, happiness, or even the life from a human body. Cupping my hands I pool some water and throw it into my face, edging myself upright I stare blankly at the person looking back at me, it fills me with pride to know what I have achieved in such a short life, but also sadness in the realisation that my work will be cut short, there is still so much killing left to do.

Chuckling I roll my eyes above the mirror towards an old torn calendar, a bead of water slithers down my face fighting its way through the blemishes and imperfections, a tiny splash echoes through the room as it hits the sink breaking the infinite silence. I become transfixed on today’s date which has a large red cross marked into the box.

A swarm of butterfly's races around my stomach, sweat moistens my brow and glistens off my forehead in the dim lighting as an overwhelming sense of anxiety overcomes me, and I convulse violently, heaving my body over the sink as the contents of my stomach spray into the bowl and over the faucets, a disgusting taste of bile fills my mouth and a burning sensation flickers in the back of my throat.

Being nervous is totally expected, although do not be misguided, I am not scared, or fearful of what is about to happen, rather filled with anticipation and relief, the waiting was becoming unbearable.

Using my sleeve I wipe away the saliva around my lips, turning to face my bed I climb back on and lay staring at the rotten moldy ceiling, not much to do here other than think and reminisce about the past, my favourite pass time is reliving all the deaths which I have been responsible for.

I tried to list my victims alphabetically, like a macabre A to Z, it’s more interesting that way I feel, I was always one for helping a young mind develop. Alice, a twenty two year old student was my first, hence the first letter, you never forget any of your work, but your first time is always special as you develop a meaningful bond, a mutual understanding, the feeling of power is immense knowing that you were the last thing they ever saw.

Remembering that night with Alice is my favourite, I still amaze myself with the pure genius and intuition on display that evening. I could tell you that I loved her from afar, stalked her, or that she was my ex-girlfriend who fucked another guy and sent me over the edge, but that would be bullshit, she just happened to be the first person I came across that night, it didn't take long to subdue her as she was very petite and weak, not a lot of fight, just how I like it.

Stuffing her in the trunk of my car I drove back to my place, everything was already set up, I left the house with the intention that someone was coming home with me regardless of who it was. I strapped her down to an operating table in my basement, my own little private surgery, and began the procedure.

As I started to prepare by aligning my gleaming steel instruments she started waking up, muffled screams and cries for help and mercy filled the room like a lingering horrid smell. Fortunately, she was gagged so it wasn't too annoying; I don’t need to listen to that distracting shit.

Opening a drawer nearby i withdrew a 40cm catheter tube, directly inserting it into the inferior vena cava, I started to gather the collection jars in a row, one by one I watched as they filled with glistening blood, I assume it must be painful as her cries of agony grew louder even through the gag, but you know what they say, an artist suffers for their work, although I guess it’s the opposite in this situation.

As more jars were filled I recall her cries getting weaker and weaker, she was relatively tanned, but now she was a hideous pale grey color, eventually a blanket of silence smothered the room as I squeezed the tube to get the last few droplets out, it isn't perfect, there is always some leftover, however the end result is astonishing!. Listening intently I crushed the last drop out of the tube, appreciating the sharp echo which had earlier been drowned out by incessant screams.

I gazed upon her drained lifeless body, sickening to the human eye, but for me, it was a moment of pure elation and accomplishment, my first piece of art was complete, just highly disappointing that nobody else can see my creation, not that they would revel in the same glory which I was feeling, a shame really.

Just as fast as it took to create my art, it took twice as long to dispose of it; she’s buried in a local recreational area named Bradley woods, I was a lot more thorough back then, over the years my confidence grew as my work ethic deteriorated which is a deadly combination for any artist.

And if you’re wondering about the jars, I believe they are still sat collecting dust on a shelf in my surgery, I had no plan for all that blood, any rhyme or reason. It’s all about the journey not the destination, although I suppose it was a sort of memento, a reoccurring memory of that night which set my career in motion. I wonder what it tastes like now after ten years, very full bodied I imagine.

Quietly laughing to myself I roll over to focus on the clock which sits neatly on my bedside table, it reads 11:30 AM, it’s almost imminent now, and grows so close. Gradually rocking myself upright I perch on the edge of the bed, my hands clasped and fingers interlocked, my head hanging staring at the floor between my thighs. It’s so quiet; I can hear my heart trying to escape my chest and the small thud as a single bead of sweat pummels the concrete; all I can do is wait.

I feel a churning in my stomach as it starts to rumble, I skipped breakfast this morning in preparation for this meal, I want it to taste magnificent, and it will. Prime rib with mashed potato and steamed vegetables is what I ordered, my favorite. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water as suddenly my ears perk up, I can hear faint footsteps, gritting my teeth my whole body tenses as they become increasingly louder, I can feel the adrenaline seething through my veins like jet fuel, it’s strange, I always wondered how I would react when this day came, I thought I would face it with dignity and fearlessness.

However part of me wishes those footsteps to continue on, but deep down I know they can’t, they grow almost deafening now, like a jack hammer pulsating in my skull until they abruptly stop. A chilling silence creeps through the room, I hold my breath as a loud clanging noise rattles off the walls, still staring at the floor, the pool of sweat now a large murky puddle, I close my eyes and clench my fists so tight my fingernails gouge into my skin.

An intense screeching sound emanates as the metal door is edged open and a beam of light hits me directly, like a spotlight I become illuminated in the dark room, I gently raise my head wincing, adapting my eyes to the brightness.

Two ominous dark silhouettes loom in the doorway, the figures face me as the light slides over their bodies and onto my bed, squinting I can just barely make out their faces, once again just like these walls they’re all too familiar. My bottom lip starts to quiver as a lone tear wriggles out of my right eye and flows down my cheek, I made my bed a long time ago, now it’s time to lie in it.

Not one word is exchanged as I arise from my bed and walk towards the light; no need for conversation, talk is meaningless at this stage. We have a bilateral agreement, they know what’s about to happen as do I. Stopping for a brief moment as I stand swaying on the spot just before the doorway, my face cold and damp; everything becomes overwhelming as I try fathoming it all.

It would be trivial and inconsequential to wonder if I am actually ready, but it’s too late now, shuffling forward I take my first step into the light, finally. It's time...

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