It had been a perfectly normal day, we had all been hanging out at Robert’s country house -it was a good three miles away from the town- laughing and joking with each other as we always do. Then something happened, I’m not exactly sure what, it just happened. We all started making fun of Robert; it wasn’t that bad at first, just the usual names friends call each other, nothing any of us weren’t used to by this point. But it slowly got worse and worse. We picked at Robert’s every flaw using every little thing about him against him. We couldn’t stop and, in a way, we didn’t want to. There was something just so fun about doing it.

Eventually Robert had had enough, he simply got up and left the room. We tried at first to call him back saying it was no big deal and that he was overreacting, but at that point we didn’t have the slightest idea of what overreacting was. He left us and walked into the kitchen he spent quite a while in there, easily a good ten or twenty minutes. When he came out he refused to say anything to any of us, we still thought he was just being a touchy baby. Then he locked the front door.

“Dude,” Jake said holding back a laugh but not a smile, “what are you doing?”

Robert turned towards us with absolute hate in his eyes, then he smiled. “You’ll see,” he told us.

Daniel got and went over to our friend. “Hey, man you’re not still mad about all that are you? Listen, I’m sorry, we did get carried away.” he put his hand on Robert’s shoulder.

“I know,” Robert told him, mirroring his action, “I did too.”

“What do you...” Daniel’s question got cut off as Robert sank the kitchen knife that had been in his sleeve into his friend’s stomach.

At first we didn’t understand what was happening, we thought he had just cheap shotted Danny, it wasn’t unlike Robert to get physical. Then the blood began to drip onto the carpet. The rest of us, Jake, Mark and myself, stood up.

Robert pulled the knife out and put it back in with no remorse, spilling more blood on the ground. After about the fourth stab he pushed Daniel back towards us clutching his stomach. Our friend fell butt first in the middle of us. Robert was smiling, grinning like the cat from Alice in Wonderland, “Anyone else want to say something?” he asked throwing up his hands and flinging a little blood on the walls.

Jake, being the bravest of us now that Daniel was silenced, spoke up. “What the hell did you just do?!”

“Hey, you started it.” It was true; Jake had told the first joke that had got the ball rolling.

“Alright,” Jake said, changing tactics, “You’re right I did, now put the knife down so we can talk this over and call an ambulance for Danny.” As he spoke he got closer and closer to Robert, “We can say it was an accident and you’ll have nothing to worry about.”

“But it wasn’t an accident,” Robert told him, his smile not faltering, “and neither was this!” He swung the knife at Jake’s throat. Thankfully, it missed and the two started to wrestle over the weapon.

“Go for help!” Jake shouted trying to pry the knife from Robert’s hand. Mark moved for the door, but at the same time he did, Robert threw Jake off himself.

Just as Mark started to fumble with the lock, Robert stood up and buried the knife into his back. Screaming in pain, Mark fell to the ground and Robert stabbed him again in the neck spraying more blood across the room. He turned back around just in time to see Jake charging him.

The two collided and were tangled in seconds. Seeing my chance, I rushed for the door and tried to unlock it, struggling to keep a hold of myself; the locked turned for me.

I heard a yell of pain from behind and regrettably turned to see what had happened. Robert had gained the upper hand and had the kitchen knife buried in Jake’s stomach, that wild look still in his eyes. He stabbed my friend over and over then finished him off with a deep cut across his neck, Jake sputtered a few drowning sounds before finally going silent. I opened the door as much as I could but Mark’s body was keeping it from opening enough for me to slip out. “Going somewhere?” Robert asked with his insane smile, “But we’re just getting STARTED!” He jumped up and took a step in my direction.

“Please, you don’t have to do this,” Daniel said weakly, grabbing Robert’s ankle.

His crazy smile disappeared into hate as he turned to Daniel. “No I don’t,” he answered, “but I really want to.” With that he pressed the blade into Daniel’s neck slowly as if he were enjoying every second, and he probably was.

This gave me enough time to force the door open for me to get out. I slammed the door shut behind me as I stepped slowly back petrified by what I had just seen. This couldn’t be happening, this couldn’t be happening I was telling myself again and again. I heard Robert grunting from the other side of the door as he moved Mark’s body out of the way. The door swung open and I bolted.

“Oh don’t run away!” Robert shouted after me, “This just means I have to chase you, and you know I’m faster!”

It was true, we were both on the track team and Robert was always bragging about how he was the fastest one on the team. I didn’t care though, I wasn’t just going to let him kill me! So I ran and ran with him right behind me the whole time refusing to close the gap between us. He could easily have caught me, but he held back for the joy of the chase. “How long can you keep running Tommy?” he called from behind me, “How long?”

I didn’t answer for fear of wasting my breath. Then I tripped. There was a rock that I hadn’t seen and it tripped me. I fell forward scraping my knees on the gravel road. In seconds Robert was on top of me, pinning me down. “Having fun yet?” he asked wildly.

“You’ve gone crazy!” I shouted back at him, searching for the right words but being unable to find them.

The smile vanished again and he got extremely close to my face, “Now, that’s where you’ve gone wrong,” he whispered, “I haven’t gone anything...I’ve just stopped lying.”

Pain exploded in my stomach as the bloodied knife punctured the skin. I screamed out as it left and returned over and over, then it stopped. I looked up, my vision starting to blur, I saw Robert and I expected to feel the same pain in my neck as he cut me open just like my friends, but it never came. Robert’s blurry figure got off of me and disappeared, seconds later I heard his voice, “Hello, 9-1-1...?” But that was all I heard before I blacked out.

. . .

Now I’m in the hospital, I woke up to my family all worried and police asking what happened, yet, I can’t bring myself to tell them for some reason, I don’t know whether it’s fear or trauma, but something’s holding me back.

They say I’m lucky to be alive, the doctors, they say that if the anonymous caller hadn’t told 9-1-1 where I was I would have died. However, something tells me luck had nothing to do with it, perhaps it’s the same something that keeps me from confessing what Robert did, perhaps it’s the same something that hates the doctors and the police officers and my family. That something wasn’t there before, I’m sure of it. But it’s here now and I have to lie constantly to keep it hidden. Maybe one day I won’t have to lie, maybe one day I’ll stop.