Friday, April 20, 2012

When David Henderson Wakes Up...


...he’ll find both himself and his bed drenched in blood. Were he to have the blood tested, he’d learn it was human.

I somehow doubt he’ll have it tested.

Instead, once he’s done screaming, he’ll probably shower, gather his bedclothes and dispose of them as best he knows how. He likely won’t dispose of them very well.

He didn’t plan to  need to, after all.

He’ll wonder what happened to him, what he did while he slept. He’ll wonder if he killed someone, and who, and if police are moments away from breaking down his apartment door.

He did, it was a homeless person nobody will ever miss, and no, in case you’re wondering.

He doesn’t need to worry. But he will.

He’ll worry more and more as the weeks go by, obsessing over the moments after he awoke, straining himself to remember what happened, what led to that one horrible morning. He’ll never remember a thing.

Maybe he’ll someday put the experience behind him and get on with his life, telling himself it was only a nightmare, a brief nervous breakdown and that it never really happened. Some people do.

Though they’re never the same afterward.

More likely he’ll never get over it. More likely the guilt and shame and sorrow, and the endless unanswerable questions, will haunt him until the end of his life.

Maybe he’ll end his own life. Many do.

Either way, he’ll never know for sure what happened while he slept, because he wasn’t in the driver’s seat.

I took him, you see, while he slept. I borrowed his body, since he wasn’t using it, and I hit the streets. I picked someone at random, I killed him with a butcher knife from David Henderson’s kitchen, and then I threw the knife into a nearby dumpster.

The police will never trace the knife back to David, because I washed the knife and I put gloves on him before picking it back up, but mostly they’ll never trace the knife back to him because they have no reason to suspect, even for a moment, that he might be a killer.

Because he’s not. And if you kill somebody, once, and you choose your victim at random, you can still get away with murder, even in this day and age.

A lesson I wish I’d learned in life, though I’m not sure I could have followed it. I was good at picking my victims at random, but I could never stop at just one.

That’s how they caught me.

David, on the other hand, will never be caught, because he will stop at one. One horrible night, one terrifying morning, and he’ll never have to help me this way again.

I know he’ll never be caught because none of the other people whose bodies I’ve borrowed ever have been. And there’s been a lot of them, I’ve been doing this since they executed me and nobody’s been caught yet. They’ve gone mad, on occasion, and they sometimes kill themselves, but they never, ever get caught. And neither will David.

And next week, when the urge builds within whatever astral thing I have instead of a living body, I’ll possess someone other than David Henderson to fulfill my mission. And while David loses his mind from fear, guilt and paranoia I’ll be merrily going about my business using new hands each time I kill.

I never possess the same person twice for my nightly excursions, you see. But I admit, I do try my best to keep track of what they do after I’m done with them, how they manage their guilt and pain or how they fall apart.

As the years go by, I’ve learned that that’s half the fun.

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