I wrote this story about a week ago, and I've been told it's pretty good, which is strange because I think otherwise. Oh, well. You tell me if it's good. You are the boss, after all.
Oh, and one more thing - I need a new tagline for my blog. Suggestions? :)
The Sad, Sad Case of Jeremy Moore
Dear Person Who Is Reading This,
At the time I’m writing to you, Mr Moore sits in the cold ground, his long, spidery fingers knotted over each other in prayer on his lap. I have always found it odd that that occurs - anyone that spent such a long time with Jeremy would know he had no interest in religion. No, he was too busy to waste time praying to a deity in the sky who may or may not exist. Anyway, I digress. Today, Jeremy is in the ground, although yesterday, well, that is a different matter altogether. Yesterday he was alive and well, and the day before that, he talked to me. We had a rather long discussion about his life and that is why I’m writing this. I feel that you need to know what happens to people like Jeremy Moore, and why their little, malnourished and impoverished brains turned to mush, and why they are left to rot.
I started Jeremy talking by asking him about his life in jail. “Well,” he said, his long hooked nose turned up slightly in disgust. At first I was put off by this, until I discovered he looked like that normally. He had a very confusing face, but I’ll discuss that later, if I can be bothered. “Well, I don’t not like it here, if that’s what you mean. I get food, water, and I get to think a lot, which is good.”
“Well, what do you think about?”
“How amazing I am, usually. Hey, eh, just wondering - is this being recorded? For legal reasons?
“No. I am only talking to you. So, you find yourself amazing?”
Jeremy snorted at my question. “Of course I do! I got rid of twenty grumpy women. I shouldn’t be hung or murdered, no, instead I should celebrated.” He crossed his arms, crinkling his jumpsuit. “I wouldn’t be surprised if people start copying me.”
“And...you would like that?”
“Uh, duh. Everyone wants to be famous. Don’t you?”
I laughed at that. “I’m fine with the publicity I get just now, thanks. So you did this to be famous?”
“No. I did it so I didn’t have to hear them whining.” Jeremy leaned back in his chair. He was a tall man with dark cropped hair and a pair of spectacularly bushy eyebrows. They wiggled as he talked, and I often had to stifle a giggle at their peculiar movements during our discussion. “So, you feel no remorse at all?”
“Not really. I felt a bit sad after I killed Katie - the fourteenth - because she was my favourite, but she refused to make me a cup of tea, so she had to go. You know how it is with women - you have to give them a bit of discipline. What’s the saying again? ‘Speak softly but carry a big stick.’ Yeah, that’s what I was doing.”
“Right. What about your childhood? Was it happy?”
Jeremy’s face darkened for a moment, and then lit up, beaming as usual. “My childhood? It was good. Loving dad, great games to play with, big house-”
Jeremy frowned. “How did you know about that? I mean...you are just a therapist aren’t you?”
I ignored the question and continued. “Your mother was drunk most of the time, wasn’t she?”
“Yeah, I guess. But it had nothing to do with those women. Ok?”
I nodded and smiled. “Yes, Jeremy. Now, did you do a lot of things with your dad?”
“Oh, yeah. Tons! Went sailing, horse-riding, archery lessons, skateboarding, the cinema - you name it, we did it.”
“What about with your mum? Did she do anything with you?”
Jeremy’s face fell again, and his brow furrowed in a glare. “Look, I don’t know what you’re getting at. My mum was too drunk to do stuff with me most of the time. Ok? I didn’t kill those women because it was revenge for my mum’s negligence or anything. I did it because they were annoying me, and when you have a problem, you fix it. Comprende? Now, let’s skip this part and move back onto the part when I tell you about how amazing I am, ok?” He was wringing his hands, the knuckles brushing over one another. His blue eyes sparked with some sort of fire, but I ignored it. The whole thing was getting rather boring in my opinion.
“So, you’re saying that we shouldn’t talk about your mother, because she had nothing to do with the fact you murdered every other woman in your life?”
Jeremy nodded. “Well, then,” I began, “If she had nothing to do with your life then why don’t you want to talk about it?”
Jeremy paused. “Because. I-I don’t like talking about her, ok? Now, can we please change the subject?” A grin twitched the corner of his mouth. “It’s my second last day on earth. Might as well spend it wisely.”
“Right you are, Mr Moore. I’ll change the subject, but only after one more question, or rather, a statement.” I leaned forward in my hard prison chair and looked into Jeremy’s eyes. “You might as well admit it.”
For a moment he seemed stunned, disorientated. His eyes spun with a myriad of colours and shapes, all spinning and rotating inside that pathetic little head of his. The cloud of thought hovered in his mind for a moment and then bam, it was gone, wiped from his memory. All that was left was a whisper in his soul...and well, that soul would be flying towards the light sooner rather than later.
“A-Admit what? I’ve already confessed to killing those girls. Surely you’d have seen the photos, the video, the-the monologue, I mean dialogue, I mean...you know what I mean don’t you? Please say yes.” His eyes, back to their ordinary sink water blue were pleading with me. I looked past them. People often did that when they looked at me - insanity, temporary it may be, was not uncommon in the few that saw me for real. I was used to it.
“I can work out the details, Mr Moore. Mother who was drunk, father who took pity on you, and a head so contorted and warped you see every woman as a threat, as an annoyance. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.”
Jeremy ducked his head, a flourish of pink rising to his cheeks. “Yes,” he whispered. “Yes, she hit me. Yes, she shouted at me. Yes, yes, yes!” He choked back a sob and glanced up towards me. “I admitted it. Was that what you wanted? I was happy, I was glad to be seeing the end of this sorry life. And now, you brought her up, and look what you’ve done! Are you happy?!” he sobbed again, and a tear and a half trickled down his cheek. He looked broken.
I stood up and smiled. I never thought it would be so easy. Some people have weak spots buried so far down inside them, that they cannot be touched, be it with a barge pole or a large giraffe. My eyes lingered on Mr Moore’s frame, his back bent over, and his hands cupped over that oddly shaped nose of his. He was holding back a flood of tears and rightly so. A man shouldn’t cry, not when life is so much harder for others. I reached out a hand and hovered it over his shoulder.
“Yes, I am happy, Jeremy. And you should be too. You know why you did what you did. It wasn’t your entire fault. Well, it was, but monsters are sculpted from clay, clay they were born from, clay they knew and clay they loved. You know now that it wasn’t your fault. You say you never think of those women, but you do, Jeremy. Before you go to bed, they stand over you, smiling and laughing. But then their faces melt into the throes of death. You utter a wordless sound, and then you roll over, close your eyes and wonder what it is to be normal.”
I shrugged and turned towards the door. “Death is a part of life, Mr Moore. Everyone will die someday - you just sped it up for those who didn’t need to go. Do not think for one moment that I am forgiving you, Mr Moore. I am not. But I understand. I see thousands like you every day, all over the world.
It is your fault Mr Moore that those girls are dead, but it is not your fault also.” I took a breath and curled my hand round the door handle. “Oh, and Jeremy? Your mother will be waiting for you in Hell. Work out your problems there.”
And with that, I left. I was with him for less than ten minutes, but I changed Mr Moore’s life forever. Or at least, the small part of forever that he had yet to live.
I tell you this event to let you know something. For centuries I have watched you grow old and die and be replaced by new people. Each and every one of you is going to be replaced - it is a fact of life. And each and every time a new generation swoops down upon the earth and takes it as its own, the same thing happens.
You look at each other and think. You think for only 0.12 seconds and that is it. Your mind has been made up. Personality, ideas, humour - in 0.12 seconds you have created the most likely combination of these things for that person, for these people. It is evolutionary. A century or so ago, someone came up with a term for it - judging a book by its cover. It’s easy to do, simple to decide someone is a weirdo or an amazing piano player before you know them, but stop. Think longer. I tell you the story of Jeremy Moore to remind you that people have histories. Backgrounds and ideas forced into them from childhood. It is not their fault. I am not suggesting they shouldn't;t be punished, but remember - There is always a reason. I see the person within, the pure good inside them, but you do not. It is the same everywhere. But stop. Think for a millisecond longer. Stop and think, and all will be well.