— Nancy Kwon (Nayeon) Y10 Mulchat —

The following short story is inspired by the writer’s own interpretation of the psychology of a psychopath.

The night sky was pitch black when I finished my job. My playmate today had been tougher than I had expected, and my evening with him triggered a long-lost memory of my childhood.


My mother never talked to me when I was a child. She didn’t consider me as an existing person and I had never noticed that was unusual. I thought that every parent was exactly like that, so when I first felt the glimpse of her eyes upon my face, it was all I could possibly hope for. It had been like tendrils of warm sunlight and I hungrily gulped down every moment. It wasn’t long after the first glance when I learned that the more violence I imposed, the more attention I would get from her.


Recovering from my daydream, I threw the chunk of meat into the car trunk and drove back home. I parked in the garage and hurled it out. Then I wiped the crimson-red liquid from my knife and my car. As I went out of the garage, I took one last breath of the rich iron stench and headed into the house.


My mom stared at me coldly as I walked in. I ignored her facial expression but hugged her tightly. She didn’t utter a word as usual so I took a glass of wine and a pack of chips and sat on the sofa. I leaned into the coziness, taking in the comfort that it gave me. I reached my hand out to turn the TV on. A news clip flashed onto the TV screen. It talked about a serial killer who targeted young men and whose blood was found in dark corridors. I laughed at the nonsense, and took a long drink from the blood-red liquid.


Sirens flared outside. I ignored the sound and concentrated on the news flash. Then there was a knock on the door. The sound burst into a frenzy of noise, so I had to answer it. Three policemen in their full gear barged into my living room. One of them said:


“John White, I am arresting you on suspicion of murdering twenty-one people. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”


Then he stared at my mother. He made the sound of a muffled gasp. When I inched forward, one of the men hit the back of my head and knocked me out.


I woke up in a dark cell. The walls were charcoal-grey, with grease smeared all over them. The cell smelled of urine, with occasional squeaks of mice echoing in the room. I banged on the cell door, and soon after, four armed men marched over and dragged me out. The hallway was silent. I couldn’t see anything as my eyes were blindfolded, but my senses were alert. After a short walk, loud noise filtered through my ears, as I got dumped roughly onto a wooden chair. Once the blindfold was peeled off, I could see hundreds of people staring at me in disgust and offence. They were murmuring, yet I could hear every word they said.


“So, that’s the man who killed twenty-one people. I heard that he murdered them with a knife and neglected the corpses. The knife wasn’t aimed well … the victims would have died painfully… The corpses were found in his garage, rotting away… His mother’s body was found in the house, mummified. Her eyes were long gone, with deep dark holes replacing them. Her long hair had been all pulled out except for a few ashen ringlets. Her skin was bitten away by rats, who feasted on every part of her body … How could a man do such a thing?”


They blamed me for my actions. Yet I couldn’t understand the reason why. The rest of the trial was a blur, and I could do nothing but stare at the jury, who returned my stare with glares filled with contempt.


“We, the jury have found him guilty as charged, and recommends a death sentence.”


The sentence was given, and the hollow noise of the wooden gavel echoed the courtroom. The observers in the gallery clapped ant noted with joy. I did not; I could not understand them. All I have ever done was to try and get my mother’s attention. Then slowly, the lesson came through me.


‘To me, this world was nothing but evil, and my own evil just happened to be coming out through murder. I had done nothing wrong but follow my desires.’