Within your lifetime, you have walked past thirty-six murderers. Indeed a harrowing fact that is always ignored, pushed from memory the instant that it is heard. No one wants to acknowledge that they are in close proximity to one who has stolen life, let alone thirty-six.
However, this fact should be something that you are aware of. Something that you fear. The fear will keep you guarded, safe, protected. Each passing encounter with a murderer should be met with a knowing glance. Acknowledgement is the key to keep your blood in your veins, skin intact, heart beating.
The reason the thirty-six exist is because you let your guard down. You are vulnerable, ignorant to the facts that walk past you on the sidewalk, stand behind you in the grocery store, sit next to you on the bus.
Open your eyes and absorb your surroundings. Analyze everything. Stop making it so easy to be abducted, to be prey, to be slaughtered. You make it all too easy for me to be number thirty-seven and the last person you encounter.
– If you have enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out my Flash Fiction Library. –
Chris Musgrave, my Sarcastic Muse partner-in-horror, and I are having a Horror-off Flash Fiction Challenge. Tune in every Friday to watch the blood fly in the ring as we duke it out over Flash Fiction. If you feel brave enough, please join in – at your own risk.
Here is Chris’ entry:
In your lifetime, you’ve walked past thirty-six murderers. Isn’t that astounding? Thirty-six murderers. I’ll bet every one of them looked you up and down, maybe gave you a little smile, all the while fantasising about butchering you in as many ways as will make your head spin.
They can be very creative creatures, murderers. Some prefer knives, others use their hands, and others still dream of methods you would never even think possible. It’s frightening really.
While you are living your life in blissful ignorance, someone somewhere is enjoying the thrill of the hunt. Someone is breaking into another’s house or snatching an unsuspecting victim from the street. The really malicious, and there are a few, lure you to them. The skill that must take. You have to give them a little credit for that. One minute you’re laughing at the possibility of taking advantage of an infirm gent who just wants the best deal on his car; the next you’re bound and gagged in his basement. There’s a kind of irony in that, don’t you think?
People fascinate me. What makes one person become a doctor or a lawyer and another relish in the joy of extinguishing a life? Ever heard of the old nature versus nurture debate? I’m no expert but I’ve heard enough evidence to suggest it could go either way. Not convinced about the influence of videogames though. If videogames warped our minds, we’d all be running around gravity-defying landscapes collecting gold rings and saving woodland creatures. Amaright?
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! What is it that makes one human being want to kill another? Why are some of us hardwired to violence? How do killers choose their victims? How do they refine their technique? So many questions and so little time. I suppose no one will ever know for certain, not even them.
Still, it doesn’t change the fact that, in your life to date, you’ve walked past thirty-six murderers. I can’t let you make that thirty-seven.
This week’s prompt: Within your lifetime, you have walked past thirty-six murderers.
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