By Chef DoubleDoorBastard
Do you believe in coincidences?
Seems like a funny question, doesn’t it? I’ve never paid it much thought before now, either. Perhaps I have some explaining to do.
As of yesterday, it’s been a year since my daughter went missing. There was never any ransom note, no remains discovered, and not an iota of evidence to support the standard theories of foul play and kidnapping. Aside from her absence itself, the whole situation seemed freakishly clean.
At only fourteen years old, she’d gone missing without a trace.
Her name was Emily. I can say that dreaded “was” with confidence now. It’s a bitter blessing; one that’s come at great cost to all of us.
When Emily disappeared, she left myself, her father, and her older brother, Joseph, in a state of perpetual anxiety. The limbo of monstrous uncertainty. Every phone call was a needle pressed into our skin, and every newscast that aired about that poor girl “still missing, presumed dead” felt like having boiling water poured down our throats.
Not knowing, that’s the real torture. Until yesterday I truly believed that.
Until yesterday, when I got an email from an unknown source. An email claiming to have the truth of what happened to Emily on that terrible day.
The following is the contents of that email.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: An Apology For What I’ve Done
Hello Mrs. Stanfield.
I won’t tell you my name. That’s not important right now. What’s important is what I’ve done, and how sorry I am for doing it.
I’ll be quick and honest. Emily is dead, and I killed her. I would love to tell you it was quick, and merciful, but it was neither. She died slowly and terribly. I can’t imagine that my initial enjoyment of that fact will serve as any kind of consolation.
I’ve loved Emily for a very long time, in what you might call an improper way. The hardest part was knowing she could never love me back, at least not in the way I loved her – though this wasn’t for lack of trying, though. I’d made passes before, just silly attempts really, but she was never receptive to my affection. She was disgusted by me, and that made me feel small, and angry. Though I can be thankful of the fact that she never told you about any of it.
I guess it would have been terribly embarrassing for her if you knew. Not that she’ll care now.
Do you know how hard it is to cope with fantasy, Mrs. Stanfield? I’ve had such ugly dreams about Emily, and I know that they’re ugly, but I still can’t help but find them so exciting. I’ve wondered many times over the past year whether it was the ugliness of it all that made me so passionate.
When all you’ve got is a fantasy, a fantasy that you think is unattainable, you spend lots of time refining it, like a sculptor chipping away at a statue, hoping to find perfection hidden in the granite. It doesn’t matter how many times you secretly loosen the valves with your hands, that just keeps the fantasy down – it doesn’t destroy it, can’t destroy it. It just gains another component. Maybe it’s another fifteen minutes of torture, another scream. Maybe it’s a different tool added to the kit.
By the time the fantasy comes to boil, it’s too complex to be satisfying on the basis of thought alone. You have to make it into flesh. Warm, satisfying, flesh. And I did, Mrs. Stanfield, I really did.
I have to be honest with you, it wasn’t so much about wanting to live my fantasy, as it was about wanting to know whether I had it in me to carry it out. There was no dignity in pleasuring myself to the thoughts of violence, only in being able to say that I had the courage to do the one thing that’d been giving my life any sort of meaning.
And, a year ago today, I proved that I did have that courage.
My little indiscretions were in the past. I was patient, like a crocodile, I played the long game. I got Emily to trust me again with time, I let her be comfortable around me, let her drop her guard.
She was on her way home from school when I finally took a chance and made my move. I’d picked out an old, beat-up shack in the woods in advance. I threw down a woollen tarp, and prepared some shackles, I even lit a few candles for romantic effect. More for myself than her, admittedly.
Emily was apprehensive at first, but I managed to talk her into visiting the little cabin with me. The door was shut and bolted behind us before she ever even saw the gun I was holding, but when she did she was a good girl and didn’t scream. Though I must say, I was a little disappointed at that.
I’m not a pornographer, so I won’t be lurid with the details of what I did. I’m aware that it’s perverse, but the wind outside hardly matters when you’re a hurricane. My whole life was perversity, hidden and locked away, Emily was the outlet for that perversity. Part of me thinks I only ever loved her because she was convenient, because she was accessible.
I used a hammer, a knife, a pair of pliers, and a power drill. It all got messier than I expected, so much blood, so much…other things. All in all it took a few hours before she finally died, which was admirable, she never did let me have my fun. Emily was such a strong girl, you should be proud of her, Mrs. Stanfield.
For my own pride, I’d like to state that I didn’t fuck her before she died. I couldn’t bring myself to cross that barrier, knowing her eyes would be on me while it was happening, the thought of it disgusted me. She died, to the best of my knowledge, a virgin.
Once I was fully done with her, and the euphoria of it all had passed, it dawned on me what a terrible thing I’d done. My pleasure turned to disgust, and all the sweetness that was inside of me while I was killing her turned sour. I realised that I was not meant to be a murderer, that it didn’t suit me, that beyond the temporary pleasure of the act the thought of taking someone’s life repulsed me.
I was a fantasist who made a terrible, terrible mistake, one that cost the life of a promising young girl. If there is a grand plan out there that we’re all a part of, I could feel that what I had done was a deviation from that natural law. I was disgusted at the act, and at myself. This little experiment had backfired on me entirely. I was so out of my depth.
Once I’d gotten over the initial wave of fear and panic, I cut up Emily’s body into smaller pieces that were easier to carry. I took all the pieces, wrapped them up in the woollen tarp, and burned them with lighter fluid in the woods. After that, I buried the bundle of charred bones and ashes, wishing I could have just forgotten all of it.
Killing Emily and doing the things I did to her body were not acts of courage, I’ve realised that over the past year. They were acts of obsession and cowardice, of a person not strong enough to overcome their darker urges. I’ve been wracked by guilt, surrounded by reminders of the life I’ve taken and can never give back.
That’s why I’ve decided to do the courteous thing and let you know that I’ve decided to take another life: mine. All I can ever be is a danger to the people around me, a time-bomb destined to blow up and hurt another innocent. The only altruistic thing for a person in my position to do is take myself out of the picture.
I’m sorry for what I did to Emily. I don’t expect for you to forgive me, nor do I think I deserve it. I just hope this gives you some sense of closure and allows you to move on.
My sincerest apologies.
After I read that terrible email, I cried for hours. I didn’t have that violent reaction because I believed I’d been contacted by my daughter’s killer, but just because I felt like someone was playing a horrific joke on my family after we’d been through so much. And on the anniversary of our Emily’s disappearance, no less.
I didn’t show my husband, or my son. I couldn’t bare to. I just bore the cross myself and wore a brave face for them, knowing the anniversary was hard on all of us. I wouldn’t let the monster on the other end of that email tear up my family.
But this morning, I heard two almighty bangs ring out from Joseph’s bedroom. By the time his father and I had forced open the door, it was too late. He’d somehow gotten his hands on a gun, and fired two shots: one through his laptop, and another through his forehead.
So, with this in mind, I’ll ask you all again: Do you believe in coincidences?