No one was sitting next to the blond kid in the old diner, one of those that still had a counter as well as tables. No one dared to sit next to him at the counter as he sat there, not even with food yet, just blankly staring at the dingy countertop. Then the door opened rather quietly. People turned to see where the draft was coming from and saw another young man walk in with a nice, comfortable face. The young man looked around and caught the blond kid. He looked at the blond kid for a few seconds before looking around again at the booths, all full of people who appeared to be avoiding looking at either of them. The young man then walked over to the counter and sat in a seat right next to the blond kid, who never looked up from the counter. Sitting next to each other, both of them looked about the same age.

A fifty-year-old waitress walked up and gave the blond kid a cup of coffee and asked the other young man what he’d like, who then said that he needed more time to decide but would like some coffee as well. A few minutes after she walked away he began to fidget a little out of boredom and kept throwing side glances at the blond kid, who was now staring blankly at the cup of coffee.

After another minute he broke down and said to the blond kid, “You usually hang out here?”

“That’s a bit of a weird question, don’t you think?” the kid said.

“Hey, I heard it’s a popular dive around here. I’m just trying to start a friendly conversation here.” The blond kid just took a drink of his coffee.

“What’d you get to eat?”


“Just coffee?”

“All I got money for right now.”

Just then the waitress came back with young man’s coffee and went away after he told her he just wanted a BLT, lots of mayo.

“So what’s your name?”

The blond kid hesitated, but then reluctantly answered, “Jeremy.”

“Kay,” the young man said before taking a drink of his coffee.

A moment of silence, then Jeremy said, “Well?”

“Well what?”

“Well, what’s yours?”

“Mike,” the young man quipped.

Jeremy nodded and asked, “So how long you’ve been a dropout?”

“I ain’t a dropout,” Mike said.

“Oh, really? Then how come I’ve never seen you at school? And how come you’re here at one in the afternoon on a Wednesday?”

“I’m probably not in your school district, and I just got out of a doctor’s appointment, with little intention of going back. Bit of a slow day, anyway. And what about you?”

Jeremy shrugged and said, “Nah, I’m not a dropout. Mom would kill me if I was. I’m just not there today.”

“Just today?” Mike asked.

Jeremy got a little steely-eyed. “I’m not sure I like what you’re implying.”

“That offends you?”

He just shrugged and said, “Nah, not really. You’re probably not too far off, anyway.”

They just sat in silence for a little bit, with Mike back to twiddling his fingers and Jeremy staring at his coffee. 

“So you aren’t from here, are you?” Jeremy said.

Mike shook his head, saying, “Not this town, no, though I’m not too far away. Only about fifteen or twenty minutes, maybe. I never had too many reasons to come around here, though.”

Jeremy nodded. This was the last thing said for awhile as the waitress brought Mike’s sandwich to the counter. They just sat there in a rather uncomfortable silence as he ate and Jeremy took the occasional sip of his coffee. Jeremy wondered whether or not he should simply leave. Mike wondered when Jeremy was going just give up and leave. After Mike finished eating and paid he got up to leave, hesitating like he was about to say something to Jeremy but instead simply let out a soft, “hmph” before leaving. Jeremy watched him out of the corner of his eye, wanting to ask him more questions yet not really sure what those questions would be. Five minutes later he threw some cash on the counter and also left. The coffee cup was still half full.

A few days later Mike was at the local Best Buy looking for some new games for his 3DS. He was considering the new release of Majora’s Mask when someone bumped into him. He whipped around to see the blond kid, Jeremy, his hands shaking in loose fists and his head donning a ball cap with the bill lowered over his face. He quipped out an apology and tried to walk around. Mike was grabbed lightly by his shoulders before he could do so.

“Hey,” Mike said, “You’re the guy from Martha’s, right? Jeremy?” He thought he could see the edge of a bruise beneath the cap’s bill. Jeremy nodded, keeping his head lowered.

“Well, what’s up?” Mike asked, “What are you doing here?”

“Just… looking.” He tried to walk away again. He really didn’t feel like talking to a jackass like Mike right now. Mike, however, simply grabbed his arm.

“Hey,” he said, “who did that to your eye?”

Jeremy didn’t do anything, didn’t speak, move, or even tense at all. 

“What happened to your eye?” he said, this time putting his hand on his shoulder.

“Fight,” Jeremy said before simply slipping away from under Mike’s hand. Mike watched as the angry boy tried to act casual by staring at the video game cases on the shelves before giving up and disappearing into the computer section.

About a week later, Mike was back in town for a follow-up appointment and errands and decided to go ahead and go back to Martha’s to eat, as it was getting late in the afternoon by the time he was through. When he pulled into the parking lot, however, he noticed something most definitely out of sorts.

A group of four boys was gathered at one of the cars, two of them, both with a similar, wormy appearance except one was somewhat taller, pinning a rather smaller one to the side of it. Mike instantly picked out the pinned down boy as Jeremy, and he surmised that the ones holding him were the ones who gave him that black eye, which was now an ugly shade of grayish purple. Once he parked the car he began to slowly walk towards them to minimize the risk of being noticed by them and to get a feel for what was going on, not that anyone within fifty feet couldn’t hear what the ringleader, a boy with a buzz cut who was neither buff nor fat but simply big, standing in front of Jeremy was barking.

“Listen, faggot!” he said, “I’m not going to ask you again, nicely at least.”

“I told you I don’t have it!” Jeremy yelled, squirming against the other two boys’ grip.

“Oh, are you sure?” A flash of silver suddenly appeared at the ringleader’s side, and Mike started sprinting.

“Hey,” he called out, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“Carry on, man,” one of the side boys said, “Nothing’s going to happen here.”

Jesus Christ, it’s like five! Mike thought as he continued moving towards them. People are still coming in and out around here. You can’t even muster up a little discretion, at least? Not even a little shit to give about being seen?

“C’mon, dude,” the ringleader said, “Like he said, nothing’s gonna happen. We aren’t just going to murder someone in public. Give us a little credit.”

“Okay,” Mike said, “Then let him go and put your knife away.”

“As soon as he gives me my phone back, then sure!” 

“I keep telling you I don’t have your fucking ph—“ Jeremy’s words were cut off with a punch to the stomach.

“Language, fag, language.”

“Real clever,” Mike said, “but let him go.”

“Like I said,” the ringleader said, “as soon as I get my ph—“ This time his words were cut off by Jeremy, who’d managed to jump up and give the boy a swift kick to the butt that sent him falling to the ground. There was just a stunned silence amongst everyone as the boy flipped himself over on the ground and just glared at the terrified Jeremy. The silence was broken by Mike who seized the opportunity to jump the buzz cut boy still on the ground and pry the knife from his hand. One of the boys pinning Jeremy to the car let go to help his friend. The other yelped as Jeremy rammed his foot into his shin.

Mike finally managed to take the knife away from the large boy and flung it away just as the other boy reached around to put him in a choke hold. As he tried to drag him off of his friend Mike flipped him over, making him land on the buzz cut boy with enough force to knock the wind out of both of them. He looked behind his shoulder to see Jeremy duking it out with the other wormy boy. It was hard to tell which one was winning. He heard grunting and looked back to see the boys on the ground starting to clamor back up. Without thinking he jumped right back on them, picking up the stringy one in a headlock only to fling him to the ground again. The buzzcut boy was up by this point, and looking as pissed as a bull about to be castrated. The two boys charged at each other and ended up in a sort of locked standoff, their arms locked onto each other, neither of them able to really move the other.

This lasted a short while with them slowly rotating until the larger boy suddenly went down from a leg sweep from behind and was swiftly kicked in the back of the head. Mike looked up and saw Jeremy, sweating and jittery, standing above the fell boy and then looked a little behind him to see the stringy boy that was fighting him before on the ground, apparently out cold. Before Mike could say anything, Jeremy jumped over the large boy and gave him a few swift kicks to the gut before running off, with Mike in hot pursuit. They didn’t go far as Jeremy stopped a short ways away in front of a dusty red pick up with a few dents in it. He was still fidgeting and bouncing around.

“I think we put ‘em out pretty good,” he said, “but I don’t know how long until they recover, or if they’ll be wanting more.”

“Hey, can we talk a little more about what just happened please?” Mike said, “Maybe somewhere a little less in the open?”

“What?” Jeremy shook his head. “I can’t have anyone at my place. My parents don’t care much for visitors right now.”

“Good, because I was going to suggest mine. Either ride with me or follow me if that’s your truck.”

“This,” he pointed at the pick-up behind him, “is my dad’s, and I have to have it back by seven.”

“Then drop it off and ride with me, unless you have an excuse for that too.”

Jeremy shook his head, beads of sweat getting flung from his blond mop, and said, “Nope, sounds good to me.”

After they dropped off Jeremy’s truck at his house they drove to Mike’s house. As they walked in, it was deathly silent and dark until Mike turned on the light by the door.

“Your parents care that I’m here?” Jeremy asked.

“Well, my mom’s on the night shift right now, so no, no they don’t.” He led Jeremy into the kitchen where he reached into the fridge and grabbed a couple of beers. Tossing one to him, Mike said, “So who were those guys?”

“The big one was Herbert,” Jeremy said, looking meekly at the beer. “I’ve never paid enough attention to the other two to learn their names.”

Mike nodded and said, “Something tells me they’ve been bothering you for a while. Have you tried telling anyone or is that not an option?”

“You’ve seen how ballsy they are. They don’t care. They don’t give a shit about getting chewed out, at least until they see me again.” He took a drink. “Herbert’s dad is a cop, so it’s not like they’re that worried about jail time either.”

“Fighting him isn’t exactly feasible either?” Mike said.

He shrugged and said, “You saw me take on one of his bitch boys, so they’re not too bad. But he’s freaking huge, and they always come at me all at once besides.”

Mike simply nodded again and drank from his beer.

“Believe me,” Jeremy said, “I’ve thought about it. Spent hours daydreaming about it, but never really got to…” He started staring off into space.

“Until this afternoon, that is,” Mike said.

“Yeah, though you did most of with, at least with Herbert.”

“Well, you came in and saved my ass at the end. How did you learn to do a leg sweep like that?”

“I didn’t. I just got really pissed and panicked and… acted.”

“Mmmm,” Mike’s face had a calculating look. “How’d it feel?”

“Pretty nice, especially the kicks to the gut.” He was smirking like the punk he knew he was. That got Mike to chuckle a little bit. It was the last they talked about the incident for a while as they just drunk beer and talked about school and other inconsequential things. At one point Mike felt a little tipsy and decided what the hell.

“You wanna see something?” he said.

“What?” Jeremy said.

Mike walked over to the sink, turned on the water, and began to wash his face vigorously. He did so for a few minutes as Jeremy kept wondering what Mike wanted to show him. When he finally turned off the water he raised his head to show the blond boy, who jumped back a little in surprise as he did so.

“Well, how do I look?”

Mike’s face now sported scars, faded but still easily visible, encircling his left eye. They were collected mostly on the side opposite the nose, giving the thing something of a comet shape. It made that entire side of his face look a lot older, like a before and after picture for miracle skin cream.

“That’s not all,” he said as he reached for the eye circled by scars. Jeremy felt disgust and confusion build up as Mike dug his fingers into the eye and pulled it out to reveal a dark, bloodless cavity, without any trace of pain or really any sensation felt on his face. He finished with a “Ta-da!”

As Jeremy looked from the eye in Mike’s hand to his smirking face, the disgust and confusion quickly dissipated and he said, “A glass eye.”

“I don’t think it’s glass exactly but yeah, pretty much.”

“What happened?”

“A very dumb accident that I’ll tell you about later.”

He walked up to Mike to get a better look at the eye. “It looks so real.”

“Yeah, they did a pretty good job on this puppy. As you can tell, the scars are pretty easy to cover up with makeup too. Not so much when I first got ‘em though. I had to wear an eyepatch for a good couple of years until I got sick of the pirate jokes and begged my mom to get something different or else let me stay home.”

Jeremy nodded, Mike put his eye back in, and they went back to talking about nothing. Eventually they decided to head up to Mike’s room to play some games on his Wii. Of course they brought more beer up with them. Jeremy got really into it all, especially the beer. As Mike was steadily beating him in rounds of Smash Bros., Jeremy just got more and more drunk and more and more talkative.

“You know,” he said, “How often do you just want to punch someone in the mouth?”

Mike shrugged and said, “Sometimes. I’m pretty laid back, I think. It takes a lot to make me really angry. You?”

“Every day of my life,” Jeremy said, “since I was like, I dunno, six? Seven? Little kid.”

Mike’s eyebrows arched as he tried to show his curiosity while hiding his concern, “Really.”

“Yeah, really,” he practically chugged a whole beer, “Everyday I have fight this—this urge to just reel back and sock people in the face. People just always… annoy me so much.”


“I can’t really explain it. Some days just seeing someone smile at me pisses me off, like, I’m mad at them for being happier than me, or it’s like they’re telling me to be happy and I get mad at them for telling me how to feel. Do you ever feel like that?”

“Occasionally,” Mike lied. “You ever done it before?”

“What, punch someone or have sex?” he laughed at his own joke. “Well, you’ve seen me punch someone. As for the sex, I’ll let you figure that out yourself.”

Virgin, Mike thought, definitely a virgin.

“But no, I haven’t punched anyone really except for today, at least I haven’t done it and came out on top. I’m just—I’m still wary—of the consequences. I can’t get past the ‘what happens next’. It’s the only thing that keeps me…” He didn’t finish and instead opened another beer.

“How far do you think you’ll go if they’re weren't any consequences?” Mike asked against his better judgement.

Jeremy chuckled and said, “What do you mean?”

“Never mind.”

“No no, I think I know what you mean. Depends. If it was Herbert for instance, no way I’m holding back.” Beer spurted out all over his hand as it crushed his still half full can.

“You gonna clean that up?” Mike asked, staring at the stain forming on the carpet.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jeremy said as he stumbled back downstairs.

Some time later, Mike was out on an evening walk just to breathe when a familiar looking pickup came screeching up the road and pulled up besides him.

“Get in!” Jeremy yelled, “Hurry!”

Mike could tell by the absolutely panicked look on his face and the way he was shaking that there wasn’t any time to ask questions, so he quickly hopped in the passenger seat just in time to see another pair of headlights coming up on them, also with ridiculous speed.

“Shit!” Jeremy said as he floored the gas pedal and peeled out of there, the tires screeching in protest.

“What’s going on?” Mike asked as they voraciously tried to shake the other car off of them, to no avail.

“Herbert and the asshole gang,” he said. “Guess they did want some more. They just wanted to wait for the water to settle a little before going in, wait until I got a little less careful. They almost ran me over!”

They did a hard left and sped up even more before doing another. Mike looked out the rearview window and saw only the last remaining light of dusk fading away.

“I think we lost them,” Mike said.

“Holy shit, real—“ was all Jeremy could get out before they collided with a telephone pole as they swerved to miss a car that had suddenly pulled out in front of them with its headlights off.

Mike had the wind knocked out of him, and he played unconscious as Herbert and his goons open the door on Jeremy’s side and pulled him out, less kicking and screaming and more moaning and clumsily swinging. He continued doing so as he quickly and secretly dialed 911 on his phone. After some debate with himself, he remained that way and only listened to the brawl outside.

Jeremy was meanwhile being held by the two worm boys as Herbert repeatedly punched him in the stomach. Every once in a while, he would also kick him in the groin, getting a real big yelp out of him each time. Even so, even as he was crying from the tears being punched out of him, his face didn’t portray that he was in pain. It portrayed only contempt, a searing disdain for the boys surrounding him, and that he was about at the end of his rope with them.

“You wanna know why I’m not touching your face, dickhead?” Herbert said, “it’s because I’d rather use this.” He pulled out a black knife, a little larger than the one from last time. He slowly brought it to Jeremy’s face, inching it closer and closer to his eye until he saw the tip large and in great detail and then…

He held it there. Unmoving, not even with any noticeable muscle twitches, he just held the knife at Jeremy’s face and laughed menacingly. His cronies also joined in and as the three continued in their hyena chorus, Jeremy had a realization. They were also afraid of consequences. Herbert was just holding the knife because he didn’t want the consequences of actually using the knife and having a mutilated face or corpse on his hands. He could probably get away with many, many things, but murder was certainly not one of them. His goons kept with him because they too were afraid of the consequences of leaving him. He was probably their protector or a source of power for them. They were too scared to give up that. As they continued laughing, laughing that was starting to sound forced, Jeremy kept thinking. Everyone is afraid of consequences to at least some degree. What if he was the only one who wasn’t? What if he was the only one who truly believed the rules didn’t apply to him and that he had a right to do as he pleased? What if he simply stopped giving a fuck?

“The hell?” one of the worm boys said as Jeremy started to chuckle too. “He ain’t supposed to do that.” He was quickly grounded as Jeremy kicked his legs out from underneath him. The other boy was soon pulled down by Jeremy latching onto his arm and also kicked a couple of times in the gut. As soon as he turned to face Herbert, however, he realized that he was still holding the knife and now ready to use it.

Herbert lunged at him, the obsidian colored blade barely visible in the night. Jeremy cried out, his hand clutching the right side of his face, and stumbled backwards onto the ground. He couldn’t react before Herbert was suddenly on top of him punching him mercilessly in the face.

Suddenly sirens were heard. Herbert looked up to see blue, red, and white lights illuminating his face. He leapt up and ran, with one of the worm boys in tow. The other boy was still down, unconscious from his head hitting the pavement. Jeremy just laid there clutching his face and grunting as the police officer got out and walked over to him. Mike had long ago left the car and escaped unnoticed.

Much later Mike once again found himself in a similar situation as he rounded the corner to find Jeremy there, leaning against a gnarled tree. He was wearing a hood and kept only one side of his face towards Mike, and he was wearing a big grin.

“I decided to take your advice,” he said.

“What are you talking about?” Mike asked.

Jeremy only walked away. Mike followed him out of morbid curiosity, in spite of his better judgement. As they approached the truck, Mike noticed a very large tarp was covering something in the bed.

“What’s in there?” he asked.

“I’ll show you later,” Jeremy said as he got in the driver’s seat.

Mike reluctantly got into the passenger’s side and saw that Jeremy had now taken his hood down and was staring directly at him. His face still sported the lucky jab from Herbert. It went from the right corner of his mouth to over halfway up his cheek. The stitches were still there, and it didn’t look like it was healing very well, being all red and swollen. It looked like a grotesque, perverted half smile was permanently sewn onto his face.

“I—I think it’s infected,” Mike said.

“Wait, there’s more,” he said as he rolled down his sleeves to reveal a row of safety pins going down each of his forearms.

“What the hell did you do that for?”

“Eh, I was high as fuck on pain killers, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Thought it went well with the stitches. I might take them out. They’re starting to itch.” With that he began to drive.

After a few anxious minutes Mike asked, “Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.” No more was said for the rest of the drive.

After about fifteen minutes, they arrived at an empty stretch of the nearby river bank. It was a pretty good stretch of land and very popular with the teen party crowd because of its distance from town and the prying eyes of adults. It more than made up for the fact that it was usually muddy and disgustingly squishy, especially when you were hammered.

“Ah, yes the Rave Swamp,” Jeremy said, “Where Herbert and all the other assholes come out to play.”

They got out of the car and walked for a little bit before seeing Herbert and his boys walk towards them. One of the boys had scabs on his face and a baseball bat in his hands.

“Stay back,” Jeremy said, “I want you to have a nice view of this.”

“Alright, you mongrel asshat,” Herbert yelled, “Understand that the only reason I’m wasting my time here is to properly drown you in the mud here!”

“Oh, I understand perfectly. I hope you guys brought what I recommended you to.”

“Why, yes we did!” Herbert and the other worm boy each pulled out a knife. The one with the bat just glared menacingly and tightened his grip.

“Good,” Jeremy said, “because I brought mine!” He brought out the two knives, a butcher knife and a long serrated kitchen knife, from his back pockets. All the boys except Mike jumped back at the sight of dried blood already on the knives. Jeremy took advantage of this and started sprinting towards them. He got the boy holding the bat before anyone could react quickly enough to stop him. He gurgled a little as blood spurted from the puncture on his neck and he fell.

“Who’s next?” he cried. 

The other worm boy charged him, apparently hoping to catch him off guard, but that only resulted in Jeremy doing a quick dodge to the side and giving the boy a second smile on the throat with the serrated knife.

“Alright, asshole,” he called to Herbert, “Your turn!”

“You’re crazy!” he yelled, “Fucking bat shit crazy!”

He started running to his car. Jeremy soon caught up with him, but before he could land any blows, Herbert swung back with his meaty arm and dug his knife into Jeremy’s thigh, making him drop the butcher knife in reaction to the pain. Herbert then took Jeremy’s arm and sent them both to the ground, making him also lose the serrated knife. They wrestled there for a little bit, grunting like feral gorillas as they rolled in the grassy mud. Finally though, and perhaps to both their surprise, Jeremy had the larger boy pinned, his knees firmly pressed onto his arms. Herbert’s eyes widened in terror, and Jeremy started smiling as he yanked the black knife from his thigh.

Mike couldn’t watch the next part. He heard Herbert had screamed, but only for a few seconds before everything was quiet except the faint squishy sound of a knife stabbing into meat. As it kept going on, Mike felt worse and worse, like he was going to puke or shit himself or both. After about ten minutes, though, it ended. He waited just a little longer before looking up though, and when he did it was to Jeremy staring at him, eyes wide, his face a little confused as to what it was supposed to be feeling. However, it soon erupted to a grin, a grin enhanced by the stitches on the side of his face, as Jeremy stood up and held something out to Mike.

My God, Mike thought when he got close enough to clearly see what it was.

“You don’t like it?” Jeremy chuckled inwardly.


“I don’t care what you think. I don’t care what the world thinks!” Jeremy lifted up what he was holding: Herbert’s head, messily severed, eyes half shut. He held it up high like an offering and proclaimed, “I am King Jeremy the Wicked!”

So ends Jeremy’s story. At least, that’s where he would’ve wanted it to end. Yes, I’m sure he would’ve loved to have kept going on, continuing on a homicidal rampage that inspired many tales of terror and maybe even copycats. I’m sure he would’ve loved to go down as one of those urban legends where the killer could still be out there, lurking behind every tree, bush and God knows what else. He would’ve loved to have been the subject of every pre-teen’s nightmare at sleepovers. Unfortunately for him, there’s an epilogue, and it’s written by me.

Jeremy stood there for a couple of minutes, basking in his own insanity before bending down to put down the head and pick up the knife he had laid by the body. I knew this was probably my best and only chance. I had already put rubber gloves on while he was severing the head so all I had to do was run up to him. He wasn’t fast or strong enough to stop me (I didn’t have a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and aikido for nothing, after all). As soon as he was standing with the knife in his hands, I was behind him, and I reached around and used both hands to make him stab himself, under the ribcage and straight into the heart. My aim was straight and true; he died almost instantly, only shuddering for a second as the knife plunged in. I moved his other hand so that it firmly cupped the one with the knife and let him fall to the ground on top of Herbert’s body.

I leaned in to check the body. The hands seemed to be pinned under him, still in the position as if he actually stabbed himself. Good, one less thing I had to stage.

I tried not to think of the carnage around me as I walked away. I paused at the truck for a minute, debating whether I should lift the tarp in the truck bed to see what was underneath. I eventually decided against it. There’d be too much tampering, too much risk of leaving behind something. Besides, I was sure of what was under it: his parents. For some reason when they snap, they always go for the parents.

Looking at the truck did make me realize that I didn’t really have a way to get back to my place, my real place, without stealing one of the vehicles here. I laughed a little at myself. What a detail to overlook!

Perhaps I should explain a little more. The house mentioned is not mine. I wasn’t breaking and entering per se, since it was a family friend’s and I had been given a key a few years ago, but they didn’t know I was there while they were on vacation and getting kids drunk off their beer. (I replaced every can, I assure you.) I’m not in high school. I graduated some time ago, though you wouldn’t know that from looking at me. I got babyface something awful. The scars and fake eye are certainly real enough, and the accident that caused it was indeed quite dumb. Kids, if your parents tell you not to climb trees and roughhouse in them, listen. You will, in fact, fall and put an eye out.

I did a lot of research on Jeremy before I went through with this, gathering records and shadowing at an inconspicuous distance with an inconspicuous disguise before finally making contact. I knew where he liked to hang out, which was how I ran into him a couple of times before putting the number to my disposable cell in his hood at the Best Buy. It made things a little easier as far as being there at the right times, and was why we kept “conveniently” running into each other outside of the public eye.

Jeremy had to die. Shortly after I graduated, there was a shooting at my school. No one I knew and cared about was seriously hurt, fortunately. Most of my friends had left with me. The shooter, though, killed himself on scene, and I knew him and knew something was wrong with him. We all knew something was wrong with him. It was the typical shooter profile: a loner, a troubled home life, obsession with violence and firearms, the list goes on. He was seeing the counselor about it though, and we thought that would help him. None of us wanted to, that’s for sure. None of us wanted to be near the toxic aura he was putting out. Seriously, I didn’t even have to see him to know he was around. I just started feeling on edge for no reason. It’s the same aura that Jeremy put out, the same that I’m sure many violent kids put out. The whole incident. Coupled with the rash of such things happening in recent years, made me realize something, something I didn’t want to believe. These kids could not be helped.

It was especially hard, you see, because I wanted to be a therapist. I wanted to help people, to heal them from the inside, so that they wouldn’t do things like this. These kids, though, these murderous kids, could not be helped. Oh, they were sick, extremely sick, but terminally so. Their illness was like an incurable cancer; all that could be done would just prolong the time before the inevitable, before they finally broke and exploded, taking out several innocent people along with themselves, if they even did take out themselves. I truly believe that everyone they kill is just a made up copy of themselves in their heads, and that they’ll keep killing those copies until they’re satisfied, probably until they’re dead. Therapy couldn’t help them, and drugs couldn't do anything besides just render them zombies. They had to be put down, like animals, yes, but that could still be down humanely and with respect to their innate human dignity.

That was when I decided that I would be the one to do so. I’ve been doing that for a few years now. No, Jeremy was not the first person I had to put down, though he was the first person I had to do so in this manner. Usually I’m able to talk these kids into taking a prescription of sleeping pills all at once, or something equally painless. Jeremy though, was different. The kid was spunky, and still had a strong will to live. There was no way I’d be able to talk him into suicide. Then there was Herbert and his goons. They, too, had to be put down. Their sickness, while not as dramatic as his, was just as pervasive and detrimental. They might not be Jeremy, but they helped make him, and no doubt they’d continue to make more in the adult world, on top of all the other misery they’d cause. So I came up with a plan: watch Jeremy until he reached the breaking point, maybe guiding him a little to avoid any collateral damage, make sure he had his fun with his bullies and his moment in the sun, and then, well, you know what happened.

I think it went rather well, all things considered. His parents, I wasn’t exactly planning for, but I can’t say I didn’t expect or didn’t want it to happen. They also helped create Jeremy. Now my only worry is whether I did it right, whether I hid my tracks well enough, whether I would fly under the police radar. It’s been a couple of months, though, and I haven’t received any calls or visits, so I think that is going well, as well. Hopefully I won’t have to do it this way anymore, but I’m not so sure. Lately I’ve been hearing about a rash of these incidents, of these kids going nuts and becoming instant serial killers. I fear it’s another morbid trend growing. Hopefully it dies off soon. Putting them down directly like this is exhausting.

I don’t know how long I’ll keep doing this, probably until I’m killed. It certainly won’t be until kids stop killing each other. However, I ask you not to fear me. I am not an enemy. I’m not a bad guy. If I come to you, it is either because I just want to be friends or I want to bring you some peace before you cause chaos. If it is the latter, I will not harm you. I will make your passing as gentle and as painless as I possibly can. I am not a murderer, and as you might have figured, I am not actually a Mike. My name is Jay, and I am simply a euthanizer.

Written by Santo Tigris
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