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Part 1 (Intro)
It all started when my roommate Mickey and I were listening to the radio in the car one morning while driving to class. Once the news portion came on, we would of course, like a couple of dumbass 18-year-olds, ignore it and talk about what classes we hated or what girls we liked. Typical stuff. Today was different. The news reporter claimed that a 12-year-old girl named Rosie Saxxon went missing and immediately Mickey dropped dead silent and began starring at the radio. He only uttered one thing from his barely parted lips, "I know that girl."
"Bullshit, Mike," I said in a deadpan tone. You see, Mike had a pretty fucked up sense of humor. When we were in high school, a girl from our class died in a car accident and amidst everyone's grief, all he could do was joke about how she shouldn't have been drinking and driving. Eventually it's something you get used to. His jokes may sting a bit, but to him it's all fun and games.
"No…Seriously…I know her. I used to baby sit her when we were still in high school. Her parents and I were really close…I was like a big brother to her…" Mike's voice never grew louder than a hushed murmur.
"Hey man, I'm really sorry," I said with a sincerity I never thought I'd have to throw in Mickey's direction. He continued to stare at the radio through the entire news report and once the music came back on, he quickly turned it off. Mike was serious, and that's saying something…I've never seen him serious about anything.
Part 2 (Larry Cross)
During class I acted the same way I always do. Call me heartless but I had my grades to worry about. Besides, it's just a girl Mickey used to babysit not family, not even a best friend. People go missing all the time-especially little girls. They get mad at mommy and daddy and decide to go live on their own. They never make it farther than down the street.
I noticed the squirrel looking kid, Larry Cross, run into class late. He began explaining himself but even the professor didn't want to hear him stutter about some nonsense anyone could barely understand. After about three counts of "SIT DOWN LARRY", he finally took his place. Sadly, once the bell rang I had the misfortune of being the last one out of the room besides Larry. I guess this meant that we were good friends now because he came up to me for the first time and started going off about the teacher.
"What a-a d-d-dick. Late cause exp-p-periment. I w-w-"
"That's nice Larry!" I said in an incredibly sarcastic tone so he would get the hint.
"N-n-no. Wait. My exp-p-perminets. Want to t-t-tell you."
"Look Larry, I'm sorry but I don't really care. My friend is going through some issues and—"
"MICKEY and yes. So I have to go."
"M-m-mike is a d-d-dick. I h-hope he's n-n-next."
With that out of the way, I sped right the hell out of there praying that his weird ass speech-patterns wouldn't rub off on me.
Part 3 (Mr. Saxxon)
I caught up with Mike around lunchtime and his disposition hadn't changed much. Being the one with the car, I quickly offered to drive him to Rosie's house. Mike didn't say anything in response but I knew he was silently agreeing.
When we arrived, Rosie's father grabbed Mike and gave him a bear hug. After a minute that seemed to last a lifetime, Mr. Saxxon let us in. Rosie's mother was an obvious wreck and didn't even acknowledge us. She remained in the run-down kitchen, head drooping down, and eyes swollen and bright red from exhaustion and crying. We walked past her into the living room where she was out of earshot.
"What kind of sick son of a bitch would kidnap a little girl??" Mike was furious but spoke low, making sure Mrs. Saxxon wouldn't hear. I have to admit that at this point I was a bit confused and I tried forming my next sentence as carefully as possible.
"Mickey…why are you taking this so hard?" My question was met with daggers as Mr. Saxon and Mickey starred me down. I admit I could have been more diplomatic. Mickey sighed, simultaneously melting away his defensive posture as his shoulders slumped.
"Jim, you know my parents were never around and treated me like garbage—Saying things like you'll never amount to anything, You're a lazy piece of shit. Well, when I picked up this job baby-sitting Rosie, I finally felt like I was part of a family. THAT is why I'm taking this so hard." I shut up the entire rest of our time there and regretted my thoughts from earlier that day. Mr. Saxxon picked up where I left off.
"The police aren't giving out many details to the public because of how sensitive the situation is. Rosie was taken out of her room a few nights ago right from under our noses. No broken glass, no fingerprints, no struggle. Nothing. Just a folded up piece of paper with 'PAPERCUTS' written in all caps."
"What the fuck does paper cuts mean?"
"The department doesn't know. It matches the M.O. of other missing persons cases in the area…and kidnapping the Chief of Police's daughter is pretty fucking ballsy."
My mouth dropped but my previous subconscious oath of silence prevented me from making a peep. Mr. Saxxon was the goddamn Chief of Police?? No wonder the news barely said anything.
Part 4 (Mickey Henderson)
The drive back to our apartment was silent as you can imagine, but this was less of a sad silence and more of a determined one. It was around 8 pm at this point and pouring rain.
"Of course, it has to be raining. Let me guess, it's going to start thundering next, right?" Before I could finish my thought, I noticed lightning outside of my window shoot across the sky and thunder crack right above us. "I love when cliches come to life…"
Mickey was in the living room on his Laptop scouring through every source of news material he could find as though he was a cop himself. I swear, I've never seen that kid this focused on anything in my life. He called me over motioning with his hand but never lifting his eyes off the screen. Apparently, three other kidnappings had occurred across varying age groups-Rosie being the youngest. Obviously, nothing was online about this whole "PAPER CUTS" thing so Mickey was left more or less in the dust. His eyes began to water as his face turned red out of frustration. He shut his laptop and retreated to his room, slamming his door behind him. I took an example from him and proceeded to my room as well.
I was awoken by a crash of thunder so loud it shook the roof. Dizzily I snapped my head to the side and noticed it was 3 am.
"I hate waking up in the middle of the night…always makes me have to piss like a racehorse." After finishing up, I drudged down the hall past Mickey's room. I was about to knock but I figured the poor guy had a long enough day...I left him to sleep and quickly passed out once I got to bed.
The next thing to wake me up was the blare of my alarm clock. I fucking hated that thing and I hated waking up at 6 am even more. Quickly I got dressed and I noticed that Mickey wasn't up yet. The kid was lazy but he was a goddamn early bird too. Odd combination. For a moment I thought about letting him sleep the day away but being a nerd it was my duty to wake him for class.
"Hey Mickey wake up," I said as I lightly knocked on his door. "MIKE GET UP!" Silence. Suddenly, a fear so penetrating raced through me that I froze in place. The plain idea of it terrified me. I turned the knob and it wasn't locked-Mickey always locked his door. I slowly swung the door open and squinted my eyes out of fear of what I might see. Or what I might not see. His messy room was empty. Completely devoid of life except for one thing—A note on his bed. "PAPERCUTS".
Part 5 (Mrs. Saxxon)
I fucking bolted down the stairs to my car and sped down the highway as fast as I could. I know I probably broke several speed laws but I did NOT give a shit. My destination was the Saxxon house.
"MR. SAXXON! MR. SAXXON!!" I pounded on the door nearly breaking my fist. The door slowly opened.
"Jim, what's wrong?"
"THE PAPER CUTS NOTE!! AND I LOOKED AT HIS DOOR!! AND THE KNOB!!" I couldn't form a single cohesive sentence.
"Calm down son, come inside and have a seat in the kitchen. I'll make you a nice cup of tea and you can tell me what's wrong."
"MICKEY! HELP! I—" Jesus Christ I sounded just like Larry.
"MICKEY IS MISSING!!" I finally got my point across, cohesive or not, "AND I HAVE AN IDEA OF WHO DID IT!! LARRY! THIS KID--"
I was cut off by Mr. Saxxon's calming voice echoing from around the corner, "Relax, look there are procedures for this kind of thing…"
His voice began to become muddled in my head sounding like the wah-wah-wah from a Peanuts cartoon. I was about to yell again but in my panic I had a moment of clarity…
"Hey Mr. Saxxon," I said calmly for the first time in about 10 minutes, "Where's your wife?"
Before I could react, I felt glass break against the back of my head and scalding hot water poor down my neck, temples and forehead.
Part 6 (Rosie Saxxon)
When I came to, there was a sharp ringing in my ears as the world slowly began to take form around me. First the sounds…dripping water on hard cement echoing, some sort of buzzing, and what I could guess was mumbling. Next, I slowly began to see again but it was dark—nearly pitch black. Vague shadows of unknown form began to fill the room. But the most memorable of all was the pain in the back of my head. I felt the warmth of blood oozing out of my wound and I immediately attempted to grab at it.
"What the fuck?" My hands were tied down. So were my legs. I suppose the sense of touch is what comes back last because now I could feel that I was shirtless and that I was resting upon something cold as ice and obviously metal. At this point, I began to attempt panning around the room but I could see nothing.
"WHERE AM I?" I howled into the darkness. The ringing in my ears was replaced with a buzzing as lights began to flicker and turn on above me. It's as though I was starring directly into the sun and I quickly turned away while blinking in pain. Yet again, my eyes needed a moment to adjust, like a baby seeing the world for the first time. Finally, once everything was clear I saw that I was resting on what appeared to be a surgical table but one that was on an incline so that my head and torso were slightly elevated. Mickey was lying on a table to my left about five feet away from me, though fully clothed and not on an incline. Tears ran down his face but he was gagged and could only make basic noises. I appeared to be in some sort of cross between a medieval dungeon and surgical room. Across the room lay a pile of meat being circled by flies. The smell and sight of the bloody, rotting flesh made me vomit. It was all so much to take in that I nearly missed the man on the stairwell to the right.
"Hello son," he spoke drearily as he approached me. "I'm sorry it had to happen this way. You were supposed to go to the police, not me." I knew it was Mr. Saxxon but his face seemed completely pale and expressionless. It was so hard to see with this damn light glaring in my eyes but once he got close enough I could tell why I thought his face seemed so vacant. He was wearing a mask…made out of what appeared to be paper.
"Why the mask? I know it's you." I could barely form the statement out of exhaustion.
"Theatrics I suppose. I prefer to commit to character," he replied. "Paper… it's a fascinating thing, no? You can do so much with it. Here let me show you!" He now spoke similarly to The Mad Hatter. It was almost…entertaining to watch. He moved with such speed and grace, yet his motions were jerky and clumsy—even more so exaggerated by the by cloak he wore. He bounced around to a bookshelf and quickly bounded back to me. In his hand was a scrapbook titled "Memories."
"Paper, paper, paper. Look!" He opened the scrapbook with childlike excitement and I nearly vomited again. Inside, there were various pictures of four people…one was Rosie…I wanted to call him a sick son of a bitch but I could see he was already insane and obviously in-charge. My name-calling would only further provoke him.
"You can do so much with paper," he repeated, "cut it, burn in, tear it, crumple it, fold it, and write your very deepest most private thoughts on it!" He first showed me the pictures of a poor soul named Nick who was sliced from head to toe. His eyeballs were cut open, gashes covering his body. He was sitting in a pool of blood caused by the deep incisions of his arteries and veins. Next came Katie who was nothing more than a pile of body parts by the final photo. Steven was the third victim who went through some sort of horrific process of having his bones snapped like twigs one by one until his form represented more a twisted amalgam of human anatomy than an actual person. I could only imagine how gruesome these deaths must have been. Slowly being tortured. The life gladly leaving your body after only a few minutes.
"They're my paper cuts!" Mr. Saxxon said, as giddy as ever. "Cut it, Burn it, Fold it!"
But Rosie was the most painful to look at…she was a combination of the 3. Through the history the photos presented I could see that she was first stripped completely naked while the flame essentially cooked her entire body—3rd degree burns covered her. Next, he grabbed a Steak Knife and lopped off one of her arms. I suppose it was easier since she was now tender from the burning. He also ran his knife across her entire body not skipping over her chest or genitals. The poor girl's face in these pictures—she was screaming. The next photo shows him cutting her neck right where her vocal cords would be. It's at this point he appears to lose his methodical nature and simply begins slashing and burning her for no rhyme or reason whatsoever. The next set of photos he begins the same process he used on Steven—snapping every bone in that poor little girl's body. In the final photograph, she wasn't even crying or screaming. Her eyes are wide open and she is dead. I starred at Mr. Saxxon through his mask with disgust and contempt.
"I know," he said, "I suppose I became a bit over-zealous with this one. She IS daddy's little girl after all. I wanted the best for her." I could tell by how big his eyes got that we was grinning. "Although she did frustrate me sometimes… I guess that showed in my work."
Of course, Mickey was seeing and hearing this freak show as well. I assume his rage was the only thing holding him back from expunging his intestines. He rocked back and forth like a caged animal, screams piercing through his gags as he formed his hands into fists.
"You see that pile over there? That was my wife. I took a few pictures of her too; I just haven't put them in the book yet! I crumpled her. Yes I did," he said with reaffirmation, patting himself on the back, "I crumpled her into a big heaping pile of shit. All her organs popped and made delightful squishy noises and her bones crunched like the colorful breakfast cereals you kids enjoy so much. Except, if she was a cereal the milk would have run red!! My favorite part was watching her head. Her eyes got closer and closer and closer until the mashed right into each other. Ever squeeze a grape or plum? It was kind of like that. And her brain!! HA! It was like cracking open an egg and watching the yolk spill out… That bitch was becoming a pain with all her goddamn crying."
By this time, I was tired from dry heaving and stared at him silently while Mickey continued to thrash about. Besides what he said next was a lot more important to me.
Part 7 (Jim Wayne)
"Now It's your and Mickey's turn!"
"NO!" Was all I managed to yell before he ran through a door in his sick little dungeon. Mickey was now silent as well, paralyzed with fear.
"The doctor is back!" Mr. Saxxon erupted giddily upon entering the room, "Now because I've got two of you two work on, I'll be hopping back and forth between both of you! How does that sound?? Mickey you will be torn and Jim, YOUUUUUU will be my notebook! No anesthetics. I want you to tell me how it feels."
"Wait! Why are you tearing Mickey?? Isn't that just cutting again??" I had to come up with something to stall this psycho.
"No, no, no, no, noooooo. You see, cutting is precise! Tearing is not." And with the word "not" his voice dropped while he began rummaging through his bag that he wheeled in with him. He pulled out a knife and clamps. But this knife wasn't well kept like the one in the photos. This one was rusty and disgusting. With it he grabbed Mickey's constrained arm and began to haphazardly cut into the pale forearm, blood pouring out like a faucet as Mickey began to twitch and make panicky screams. Shit I needed to come up with something else.
"WHY ARE YOU DOING ALL THIS!??"
Mr. Saxxon stopped and he titled his head in sudden interest. I suppose no one has asked him that question before.
"Have you ever gotten a paper cut, boy? The RUSH of adrenaline you get? It's fascinating. So many feelings from such a tiny little cut. It stings, it burns, it itches, it tickles, it aches, it tingles…It. Is wonderful. When I was a boy, I got my first paper cut. Ever since then I began cutting myself with various other objects. Scissors, Knives, hell even thumb-tacks and paperclips. It was my guilty pleasure. Of course, I never showed anyone and when my wife saw the scars, I told her that I was depressed. The stupid cow grabbed me in her arms and cried. Sadly, at this point I had to stop or else she'd find out about my fetish. It was then that I began to wonder what else could possibly feel as good as a paper cut. Since you cut paper and it cuts you back, maybe there was something to that. So what else could you do with it? Fold it, crumple, etc. I wondered. Yet none of these FUCKS have felt the same amount of pleasure and sensation as I did from a paper cut."
At this point, he pulled out a pair of forceps and shifted his vision at Mickey. Mr. Saxxon began to tear away at the flesh on Mickey's arm. The flesh peeled away like a large strip of bacon, making the most revolting RRRRRIIIIIPPPPP noise that one could imagine. Mickey screamed and writhed in pain. I didn't know what else to say to stall him but it didn't matter because his eyes now fell upon me. He pulled out a beautiful black calligraphy pen out of his medical bag and pressed it lightly against my chest. I could feel my heart rate speed up in my chest and my senses begin to numb.
"Amazing thing paper is," he said quietly and methodically as he came closer to my face, "No matter how far into the digital age we go, paper will always be there—It's so easy to make."
With that sentence, he pushed into the skin on my chest and as I screamed, he began to carve into my flesh, my skin breaking and blood squirting onto his pure white mask. I began to feel dizzy but I kept screaming. I screamed until my voice went coarse. I didn't even know what the fuck he was writing and I didn't care. I wanted someone to just fucking hear me.
"You're words will fall upon empty ears. That's the beauty of writing. If you're mute you can speak! If you're deaf you can hear! Even the blind have braille! No matter your speech impediment you can always communicate!"
I looked down again and I saw that he had already written a paragraphs amount on my chest. My chest was warm and drenched in blood. The pain was so intense that at some point, something inside me snapped and I accepted my fate. I was done. I still screamed but it was now purely out of pain. I didn't care if anyone would hear me. I knew this was how I would end and slowly my world…went…black…
Part 8 (Larry Cross Re/Cut)
"Hey kid." The voice was rough but laced with kindness. I'm not sure if it was the voice or the light patting on the side of my face that caused me to wake up but I had no idea where I was. I was too tired to even panic but I feared I was still in the same torture room I just passed out in due to the buzzing from the bright light above me. Once my vision focused, I saw I was in a hospital room hooked up to an oxygen tank while my chest and arms were wrapped in bandages. I noticed a man dressed in police garb and even though my voice was coarse, I still managed to ask, "What happened?"
The same voice responded, "You're fine, you're safe now. We got him, you don't have to worry anymore."
"How'd you find us?"
"You were speeding…Took a bit to notice but eventually running 3 red lights gets on someone's radar. Looks like breaking the law saved you." The man smiled and sat up from my hospital bed.
"Rest up," he said as he headed for the door, "you and your pal have had a long day." With those words of advice, he left us alone.
My pal…Mickey! Where was he? I looked and there he was, five feet away just like a little while ago. He was sound asleep and his arms were both wrapped in bloody bandages.
I turned on the news that night in the hospital room and the headline was that police captured the sadist who called himself 'Paper cuts'. It's funny how they give info out to the public, trying to make sense of a situation. He never once called himself 'paper cuts'. Sadly, we would know more about the story than anyone else. Our scars would heal but the memories would never fade.
Several months passed and we were let out of the hospital. We went back to school and started up our routine again and eventually our status as heroes who survived a psycho faded. One night as I was rummaging through some old things, occasionally glancing at the faded writing that now ran along my arms, I found something that caused me to freeze. It was the photograph of Rosie Saxxon when her father was all done with her. How the fuck did this get into my room? I flipped it over and saw "Mr. Saxxon" scribbled onto the back. As I shook in fear, I accidentally cut the web between my pointer and middle finger.
"OW, FUCK! That felt…good"
"…at some point something inside me snapped and I accepted my fate."
"Paper will always be there—It's so easy to make…"