The Protectors

A/N: This honestly scared the crap out of me. I’m not a horror writer, but for some reason, I felt like doing something in that genre. Now, this isn’t extreme or anything, because I doubt I could pull off something like that, but (to me) it’s quite, well, terrifying. xD

Warning: Contains graphic details of a gruesome death.

Original prompt:

It was one thing to hear that the fairies weren’t nice. It was another to see them attack a hunter, and strip the flesh from his bones.

“I don’t understand,” I said, quietly, trying not to let my disgust show. I knew that, the moment I showed any signs of anything other than approval, I would be gone for. “I thought…” I couldn’t finish, instead shaking my head. “I just don’t understand,” I repeated.

“So you’ve said,” she remarked, dryly, and I could tell she was unimpressed. “What’s so hard to get? We protect.” She fluttered her wings as she spoke, indicating her irritation towards me.

I let out a sigh. “I know that. It’s just that… The methods…” I gestured with my hand to the remains of the man. I could still see the fear and pain in his eyes, and the echoing scream he let out when they attacked – the cries of agony of a dying, tortured man.

Shuddering involuntarily, I resisted the urge to turn and look. Why was it that, like a magnet, we are attracted to things we know we shouldn’t see or do? I knew what I would see, and I know what I had seen. How could I forget? It only took five of them and thirty seconds. I was always taught that the sharp, needle like points that could be willfully extended from the end of fingers were to help with gripping objects. But they had slid easily into the flesh of the man, piercing through without hesitation, and the grooves caught on the skin, pulling it off as easily as dead bark came off trees.

Lies. All lies.

She laughed, a light tinkering sounds that reminded me of church bells and harps, but it did nothing to sooth me. “Look at you,” she sneered, but it was jestful, and I knew she was regarding my shock with amusement. “You’re adorable when you’re confused. Such innocence, such child-like faith.” She laughed again. “We are protectors of the forest, but that doesn’t make us nice. The sooner you understand that the better – we are not nice.”

I couldn’t – or rather, I wouldn’t. Shaking my head, I moved to the edge of the leaf I was stood on. “I need time,” I muttered, giving my wings a few test flaps before taking off.

Diving and dipping, I navigated through the maze of trees and vegetation, and paused just as I reached the lifeless body of the hunter. It was not recognizable as a human any longer. They had not completely removed everything, and there were still bits and pieces of his insides sticking out. I wretched, but I had not eaten my meal for that day yet, and there was nothing that came out.

I could still see his piercing green eyes staring in permanent horror, and for whatever reason, they had left it alone, instead opting to remove everything else surrounding it. I averted my gaze, turning my head away and, with it, my body, flying to my secret hideaway, chastising myself for looking the entire way.

At the edge of the lake, I sat on one of the branches of a dead tree. It was on the very edge of our boarders, which meant that across the body of water, hunters and humans could freely walk without any consequences, and I shuddered again. We were always told that as protectors of the forest, we would stop those who tried to hurt animals within our borders, but I never knew that meant… That it included such violence.

I was turning twelve in three days. It meant becoming an adult, and therefore, joining the armies assigned to keeping our home – and its inhabitants – safe. Children were never allowed near any vecinitas where hunters broke the laws set by man, until it was deemed safe, and that was the first time I truly understood why.

We were the monsters humans talked about. We were the creatures of horror. We took lives.

I didn’t understand. I was young, and my naivety had been broken, shredded into a hundred thousand different pieces beyond recognition, with no hope of being put back together – just like that poor hunter. Not exactly ‘poor’, my brain reminded me admits the horror I felt. And I knew that, too, was true – he was a hunter, caught trying to shoot an endangered bear.

He deserved everything he got. As soon as the thought crossed my brain, I gagged again, my lip curling upwards in absolute repulsion. They could have killed him quickly, I argued, only to be countered by myself – That wouldn’t have been a good enough lesson. The punishment must fit the crime.

I spent the next ten minutes fighting, debating, with my conscience. Nobody won, but either way, I still lost. I stayed at my place of solitude until the sun set, and then made my way back to my home. My parents said nothing, allowing me to lock myself in my room, but at night, when, unable to sleep, I slipped into the kitchen to get a drink, I overheard my mum reminding my dad about their first time.

If she meant killing, or witnessing, I did not know, but I didn’t want to find out.

My birthday was supposed to be a big deal. I was, after all, moving into my own house and taking other steps to become a responsible fairy. But I couldn’t deal with a celebration, especially not one that meant, soon enough, I would have to do what they had done, what I had seen them do. I refused to show up at my own party. I’m sure people were disappointed, but at that time I did not care.

Still, I reported at my assigned squadron the next day. I heard the whispers – of course I did – about how I was ‘taking too long to adjust’ and that people were ‘starting to get worried’. I shrugged it off. How long did they think I’d take to grow accustomed to the fact that I was expected to, should we come across a hunter, strip him bare of his flesh?

It was not something I ever wanted to do, but I didn’t say that. If I made my fear or my concerns known, they would have kicked me out. I didn’t know what happened to failures, but I knew enough to know that I did not ever want to find out.

That was a week ago. This morning, my group came across a dead eagle. It was my first time seeing a fresh kill, and I couldn’t help but shed a tear for the life loss. It was young, barely having entered mating age, but it would never find a partner. The hole in the middle of its chest proved as much. As I stared at the singed skin around the area the bullet had entered, a seed of rage started to form in the pit of my stomach. How could anyone be so cruel as to kill a magnificent animal as this?

Two hours ago, we found the Hunter, leaning against a tree eating a sandwich as happy as could be. The anger spread upwards and outwards, filling me entirely, and I suddenly realised how much of a fool – of an absolute idiot – I had been. How could I have ever thought we were the bad guys? We were delivering justice – taking a life for a life. What had the eagle ever done to him? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

“It’s relative, anyway,” I murmured to myself, drawing the attention of my leader with my revelation – my epiphany.

He gave me a questioning look. Smiling slightly, I shrugged as I extended the points of my fingers. “Nothing important,” I said lightly.

“If you say so,” he replied, looking around at the other three members of our group to see if they were ready.

They were. On his signal, we attacked, screeching as loud as we could to signal our arrival; this, of course, was for the sake of the animals, letting them know we would always be there to protect – or avenge – them. Leaning forward, I folded my wings a little, giving me the force I needed to dive. Aiming straight for his face, I plunged straight down without hesitation.

His screams filled my ears as I began to rip at his flesh, acting as a driving force. He needed to feel pain, to know what it was like to have his life taken from him so harshly. By the time we were done, there was not much left. We would leave it for scavengers. Ironic, really, how the hunter would end up as the next meal for the very creatures he intended on killing.

But, that was just the way things worked. After all, we are protectors of this forest – our forest. She had only been wrong about one thing: ‘nice’ is but relative.


It’s Gonna Be Ok

A/N: Originally, I wrote this for a competition. I got third place, if I remember correctly. It was supposed to be in diary format, and it was the very first competition I joined. This is the original draft, with nothing edited, and so there are definitely some errors; I am also not as proud of the flow of this as some of my others, as I had to rush the ending due to word limits. Nevertheless, it was my first experience writing twists, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. 🙂

Jan 2, 2014

First day of form 4. Everything happened the way I wished it hadn’t. First, we got The Gorilla as our class teacher. I mean couldn’t they have picked someone else?? There must be a thousand teachers in the school and they have to go and pick The Gorilla.

Jay says he’s OK, but then that’s what Jay says about everyone, He’s OK, She’s OK. I bet if they had brought Attila the Hun to be our class teacher Jay would go Oh he’s ok, he’s only killed a few thousand people.

We didn’t do much today. We got to know our teachers and the other students as well as form our pairs. I already knew I would go with Jay. I met this really cute boy and started over to meet him, but Jay called me back and told me not to wander off. Jay doesn’t like it when I leave him alone. I don’t mind. I mean, he is my best friend.

Jan 3, 2014

Today was worse than yesterday! Class started at 9am, but Jay and I arrived late because I needed to use the bathroom. The Gorilla yelled at us. Jay tried explaining what happened, but that just made him yell even more. I don’t like him. He made us sit right in front of the room because he says he wants to keep an eye on us. He thinks we’re going to be trouble.

We played this weird game today. We had to get into our pairs and stand in a large circle. One of us would be the runner. It was obviously me; Jay has always been slower than me. The Gorilla stood at the front of the room and when he blew on a whistle, the runners had to run to the middle of the circle, where there were a few objects, and bring one back to our partners.

When I reached the middle, I bumped into the cute boy from yesterday. His name’s Terry. I think he likes me because when we met, he picked up one of the objects and held it towards me. When I tried to take it, he ran a few steps away! The only logical thing to do was to follow him. I chased him for a few seconds but The Gorilla started shouting and blowing loudly on the whistle. I ignored it until Jay grabbed me and pulled me away. Jay never gets mad, but he was, so I knew I did something really wrong. ‘You’re going to get us into trouble’ he hissed at me. I hung my head in shame. I didn’t know Jay would get in trouble!

The Gorilla started into a rant. I didn’t pay attention because I was looking over at Terry. He kept grinning at me. We would be great friends, if not for Jay telling me to stay away from him.

March 24, 2014

So far school has been okay, except for The Gorilla. I still don’t like him. Today we had a field trip to a furniture factory. We played another game where, in our pairs, we had to search for a particular object. Jay and I won when I found it. Jay couldn’t stop telling me how good I did!

We, however, got into trouble again. I saw Terry getting scolded by The Gorilla for not finding the object. I went over to stand up for him, but then I got shouted at. When Jay came over, he got yelled at, too. ‘Control your partner’s temper!’ The Gorilla told Jay. Jay took me aside to calm me down. I tried telling him what happened, but he shushed me and told me to try to please The Gorilla by behaving. I will, but only for Jay’s sake. I don’t want The Gorilla getting angry at him.

Nov 10, 2014

We graduated today! I can’t believe I actually passed! The exam was really hard, but both Jay and I are happy with the results. Even The Gorilla was happy for us! It was the first time he praised me. He told me I did well and he told Jay that he was lucky to have me beside him.

Nov 21 2014

Today was horrible. It started out fun, with Jay taking me out. We met up with two of his friends. I’ve never met them before. One was named Brooke and the other was Ned. We all went to this office building; Brooke and Ned stayed outside while Jay and I went in. He wanted me to help him find something. Of course I would! I’d do anything for him. I found it almost immediately; I don’t know how he missed it. Seriously, it was so obvious! It was in one of the drawers of a cabinet.

Just as Jay was taking it out, there was a loud noise behind us. I felt a pain in my leg and saw that it was bleeding. Jay screamed and I saw him fall. I turned and there was a strange man standing there. There was another loud noise but this time, the man fell. Brooke and Ned came running in and bent down over Jay. Jay pointed at Brooke and told me to go with her. ‘She’s OK,’ he said.

I didn’t want to, but she carried me out. Ned stayed with Jay. Brooke put me in her car and wrapped my leg up before she started to drive away. I couldn’t stop whining. My leg hurt. I thought she was going to take me home but she didn’t. She took me to some weird place that smells funny. An old man put me in a cage. Who is he? At least there’s a bowl of water for me. I heard Brooke say to the man, ‘Put her down; she’s suffered enough. These dogs from the K9 Form 4 Unit always go above and beyond the call of duty.’

I wonder how long I’m going to be here.


Chance of a Lifetime

A/N: I was originally not going to do anything with this, because while I loved the prompt and had a vague idea in mind, I didn’t know what would go in the beginning or the middle; I only had an ending set. I tried this out in third person, but there was just something that wasn’t right – and then I changed it to second person and everything just flowed.

I left the ending open on purpose; I want my readers (that’s you!) to decide for yourselves. What you do, where you go, and what you make of the life you have is entirely up to you. Choose wisely. 😉

Original prompt:

You slip a hand out of your pocket and run your fingers through your already messy hair, pushing the locks out of your face.

“And nobody would-” you start, but the words catch in your throat, and you swallowed dryly, licking your lips as you try to give some moisture to your parched throat. “I mean, nobody would miss me?”

The thing nods, and you hear the scratchy voice echoing in the insides of your mind interrupting you. –You would have never existed.

“W-where would I go?” you ask, although you already know the answer.

Anywhere and everywhere.

You glance around the empty street, and find your breath catching. You would be free, having no responsibilities, no work, no hardships, no arguments with anyone… Only you, the train, and endless possibilities. You could go anywhere you wanted to, do anything, see anything.

The only catch is that you would exchange your life for it – literally. Your mother would have never given birth to you. Your friends would have never known who you were. You would dissolve into nothingness and, since you did not exist, you would be able to hop aboard a non-existent train and go to places you could only ever dream off.

You know not everyone is lucky enough to have this choice, and although the asking price is high, you understand why it is so.

Your time is up – the driver of the train says, and there is a hint of impatience in his tone. You have already spent long enough time thinking about it, and he wants an answer. You know that if you decline, he will never show up again, and you will live out the rest of your life knowing you missed this opportunity of a lifetime. But, if you accept, you would miss out the adventure of life itself.

What is your choice?

You take a deep breath, and look the creature right in the eye.

“I decide…”


The End of Time

A/N: I got this prompt from a website, and the idea formed itself almost at once, whole and unbroken, and I just had to pen it down. 🙂 I hope you like it!

Link to original prompt:

As the character kept on pedalling, time started to travel backwards.

The old man walked downwards, leading a weird object beside him. He was old, hunched over and his steps were slow. He was very nearly bald, with the exception of two patches on either side, and his beard was long, and as white as his hair. His face was covered in wrinkles, and he squinted against the soft glare of the sun, before taking his seat on the thing he had brought with him, placing his feet on pedals on either side.

It took some time and effort to begin. His legs were weak, and his muscles almost all deteriorated, but his eyebrows furrowed in determination, and his hands gripped the handles tightly as he forced his legs to move. It was an odd looking contraption, composing of three large cog-wheels forming a ‘Mickey-Mouse’ shape, with  two smaller gears at the tail end of one, held together by numerous poles and chains and metal rods.

At the very top was an odd machine, shaped almost like a syringe, except that where the needle normally sat, there was a two-pronged fan, and the plunger was replaced with the end of a key. The machine was suspended above the town, hovering in the middle of the air, and it attracted the stares and whispers of the people who happened to glance up.

As he pedalled, slowly at first, the first wheel began to turn, winding up the mechanism. His pedalling grew stronger, and picked up pace; the second cog turned, soon followed by the third. By this time, there wasn’t a single hesitation in his footwork, and a pace had been set. Up and down and up and down and up and down his feet moved, marching to an invisible beat, until there was a click and the fan began to turn.

Below, a mother and her son had took notice of the strange object in the sky and were just beginning to point at it when they froze. A passing car turned sharply to avoid a dog running across the road and suddenly stopped; the dog began to snarl and then, mouth half-curled inwards, halted and did not move again. The streets were very abruptly quiet, at a standstill.

In a nearby building, in one of the apartments, a woman was sitting on the ground, hands held above her face as a man – her husband – stood above her, arm raised. A single drop of blood was suspended a few feet above the floor. The man in the sky kept paddling, and, suddenly, without warning, the trickle of tears that had made a path down the woman’s bruised face retreated, tracing its way back up into her eyes.

The drop of blood flew backwards, and she stood up; the man pulled his fist away from her face and took a few steps back. With a sweep of his hand across the table, the plates of food scattered on the floor picked themselves back up and laid themselves neatly in a row.

Outside, the dog ran, backwards, to the pavement, and the car reversed all the way down the street. The mother and son retraced their steps to the toy shop, where the cashier handed them money, and they put the toy back on the shelf before walking back out, and further down the street, where they got in their car and drove back home.

Still the man continued paddling, not once faltering in his movements.

Elsewhere, a fish came back to life in the hands of a small boy, and jumped onto a nearby book; the boy threw the line out into the open ocean and the fish was set free.

Further away, a seagull returned a French fry to the hands of a teenage girl, and she placed it back on the plate before a waiter came and took it back to the kitchen, where it was placed into a fryer, frozen, and poured back into a bag which was then kept in the freezer.

The chef went home and climbed back into bed, and, as the man picked up his pedalling speed, the moon rose and the man ran to the bathroom, brushing foam away from his mouth and spat mouthwash back into the container.

The man continued onwards, picking up speed instead of losing it, and the world itself began to move backwards.

Planes flew out of two tall buildings, which fixed itself, before it was carefully taken apart by human hands. Houses and offices and railways were dismantled, and hills and mountains were formed. Pieces of wood were dragged over by cranes, and righted by giant bulldozers, making trees.

People became babies and babies became sperm. The man – now seemingly in his early fifties – pedalled even faster, until everything was passing by in a whirlwind of movement. An hour went by, and then, abruptly, he slowed down.

This was his favourite part, and he watched, intently, as, from out of the ground, bones became flesh and took form, and creatures once long extinct started to roam the earth once again. He spent a few minutes watching the dinosaurs move through their life backwards, and smiled to himself as the dissolved into nothingness.

Slowly, the soil began to tremble, shrinking inwards, growing smaller and smaller before with an almost audible poof vanished into nothingness. Around him the galaxy glinted and shone with a trillion other lifeless planters, and even more stars. Purples and blues and greens and colours that did not have a name, brighter than anything he had ever seen on earth, greeted him as far as he could see.
And, finally, the man stopped pedalling, and his features had become softer and more firm. His white beard was absent, and thick mops of brown hair covered the top of his. There were no longer any wrinkles, but rather, a smooth, handsome face regarded its surroundings. He got off the device and straightened, stretching out tired limbs.

Pulling his device alongside him, the young man walked upward into the endless unknown of the universe, towards his home. There, he will lay aside his machine, and lay himself down, where he will sleep for the next five million years before he awakens.

When he does, he will dust off his only tool and make the trek down to the new world, with its new inhabitants, and start pedalling, erasing time and history itself, creating, for the next group of people, a blank canvas.

The end of the world has been speculated by many, depicted by even more, but nobody would have ever guessed that the only cause was, and is, and will only ever be Father Time, and his bicycle.


Night Out

A/N: This was the result from the quoted prompt, and was originally less than a thousand words at request, but I’ve since edited it to provide more details and information. Enjoy!

You wake up in a strange room. Write about the events of the night before, as you gradually remember what happened.

Her head was heavy, and every movement she made took what felt like an eternity to complete. Sitting up and blinking a few times, the unfamiliar blurry interior slowly came into focus. She recognized the fuzziness that consumed her mind as the effects of a date-rape drug, but nothing had been done to her, she could tell.

Taking a few breaths to adjust to the world, she attempted standing, stumbling a few steps forward before her brain remembered how to walk, and then, with precision, she moved towards the door. It was locked, and she had no choice but to return to the bed.

The happenings of the previous night were beginning to take shape, and a seed of fear started germinating in the pit of her stomach as the details became clearer.

It had been a typical night out on the streets selling little white packets. As she recited the same sales pitch she made countless times every night for the past few months, she suddenly found a badge shoved in her face and a rather attractive man telling her she was under arrest.

Quick on her feet as always, she had murmured, “A drink is always much more interesting,” and he had not protested, allowing himself to be led to the closet bar. The rest of the details were still unclear, but she was certain she had dealt with him the same way she had others – by offering something he could not resist in order for him to turn a blind eye.

The bartender gave her a drink, and after that there was nothing but flashes of drowsiness, and shouting, and sirens, and someone carrying her, and then absolute oblivion.

Her reminiscing session was interrupted when the door opened, and she glanced up at the man who entered with a soft smile. “Detective,” she greeted, wincing slightly as a raging headache took the place of the fog, pounding and smashing every lobe and every corner of her head with what felt like a hundred needles.

The male looked at her with coldness written in his eyes, and she stiffened. He did not return her greeting, instead going straight to his point. “Someone drugged your drink, but don’t worry. I rented this room for you.” He said, then immediately continued on with, “About your deal last night…” He paused, smirked. “You’re under arrest for bribery as well.”

A smile grew on her face at that, and the fear disappeared; from a pocket in the back of her dress, she removed her badge. “Well done, Detective,” she said, pushing past the headache. “I am Lieutenant Walters, head of the new anti-corruption squad. We have made numerous arrests since we started, and we are always looking for new faces. Would you be interested in joining?”

He balked, and very slowly, nodded. Her smile widened, even as the pain in her head intensified. Secretly hoping her undercover partner had found the bastard who had knocked her out, she made a mental promise to see to it that said person was very, very sorry for their actions. Ah, yes, how she loved her job.

“Happy to have you aboard,” she said, reaching out to shake his hand. “By the way – do you have any aspirin?”



A/N: This was the continuation of a prompt, which I’ve placed as quoted text. I had heaps of fun creating this, and I hope you like it as much I enjoyed writing it! Enjoy!

He pleaded not guilty, but I knew something no one else knew. I was there that day.

I knew the truth of what happened, and yet, I couldn’t say anything. The evidence, I knew, was not enough to convict anybody of the crime, let alone him. As the court broke for a short break, I slipped out the back, making sure to keep out of the way of other people. They did not notice me, and I wanted it that way. Oh, for sure I could make myself known – it would have been easy enough for me to walk up to them and say ‘hi’, or to ‘accidentally’ bump into someone. But I didn’t want this, not now. What I wanted – what I needed – was proof of his wrongdoings. I needed to find something to prove he had done it.

There had already been an eyewitness. I had convinced her to testify in court – and trust me, it had not been easy. She had been terrified – absolutely terrified, the poor thing – but in the end, I managed to persuade her that it was for the better. I can’t take all the credit, of course. Her conscience was mostly the reason she had agreed. She was too young to have seen such horrible things, and, forgive me for saying this, but it was the exact reason I needed her to be the one to point him out in a line-up. At 17, there would have been no reason for her to lie.

But, I also knew that an eyewitness was not enough. Sure, it was evidence of sorts to place him there, but it was nothing solid. Any good cop and judge would know that memory is a fickle thing, not to be trusted as anything concrete. And this was the exact reason I needed more time – I had to find more evidence, somehow, some way, or he would walk.

There was no way I would ever let a guilty man walk.

So, quietly, I made my way across the hallways until I found the judge, talking with another man. I didn’t know, nor care, who that was. My only interest was the judge. “Excuse me, I need to talk to you,” I said, softly, and waited until the man had ended his previous conversation before leading him to a nearby lounge seat. Nobody else was around, which was good, because this needed to be a private conversation.

“Your Honour, I must insist that you postpone today’s court meeting,” I told him. He protested, but I went on before he could get a word in. “I just need a little more time to get the evidence. He’s guilty, I know he is, but nobody can prove that at this point.” Still the man remained unmoved, and so, I tried another card. “You don’t want to be the reason a guilty man goes free, do you?” This seemed to strike a chord, and I could sense his hesitation. “If you let the trial continue today, that could very well be the result. Call recess. You can do that in particular circumstances, can you not?”

Slowly, he nodded. “Good, then do it,” I said, then, for effect, added, “After all, a guilty man going free would be bad for such a reputable judge as yourself.” He nodded again, and I knew he would do it. Too easy, I thought as I got up and left him. I knew he would do exactly as I asked. He was a good man, and sought only justice. That just made it all the more easy to manipulate him.

Did I feel bad? Of course I did. I like to say I’m an honest woman, and, for the most part, I am. A church-goer, faithful wife, a good mother to my 3 children… You don’t get more real than that, so for me to now have to play the part of a sneaky, going-behind-people’s-back, manipulating witch made me feel horrible.

Leaving the court entirely, I hurried my way to the crime scene. The police had already gone over the scene multiple times, but my gut was telling me they had missed something, that I had missed something, despite being right there alongside them while they searched.

The alley looked so peaceful and safe in broad daylight, and if not for the yellow ‘do not cross’ police tape, one might have never guessed that something horrible had taken place a week ago. If that had not been a giveaway, however, the dark stain of dried blood against the grey cement would have told a tale in itself. It was large, covering an area about the size of a dining table, and I winced as I saw it.

Closing my eyes, I took myself back to the scene the first time I saw it. The body, face down. The fresh, bright red puddle growing. The knife, lying in the middle of the blood. And then I saw it. The feint traces of a shoe print, barely in my line of sight. It had to be his! Was it still there? I hunted around for a little while, and I was just giving up hope when I found it. It was very feint, practically gone, but it was just visible.

I had a police come and look at it an hour later. It took a little bit of convincing, and he was stubborn – why couldn’t the lead investigator have been someone easier to talk to? – but he went. It took him far longer than it took me, despite me trying to point it out multiple times, but eventually he found it. I let him take the credit for the find; I was not interested in fame or glory. I merely wanted the bastard behind bars, excusing my language.

For the rest of the evening, people came and went. Someone took pictures. Another enhanced the print with some chemical spray. Another took a mould, and another, sketched it. Finally, someone went away, with a warrant, to search his house for any and all shoes. I tagged along.

There are not enough words to describe my satisfaction and glee when they found a pair of sneakers hidden in an air vent of his guest room. Honestly, I didn’t care where they found it, only that they did. I was sure it was the proof they needed.

It was.

The next day, he was brought to trial and, in front of the jury, the newly found evidence was presented. Upon seeing the shoes, he broke down on stand and confessed to it all. He talked about his love – his obsession – with the woman, and how she had rejected him multiple times. He described how angry that made him feel, and how he decided that if he couldn’t have her, nobody could. He went on to tell them how he had laid in wait for her one night, where he knew she would pass after work, and attacked. He explained how he had realized he stepped in the blood when he got home, and hid his shoes in a panic. He expressed no remorse, except for one thing – he should have burnt the sneakers instead of hiding them.

The result of the trial was, once more, manipulated by me. I snuck into the jury room as they discussed the result, and pushed them to choose the death penalty. He broke down again when they delivered the news. Me? I was beyond ecstatic.  Do I feel bad for everything I did? Yes, of course I do. But I had to. You must understand that – I had to.

There was just no way I could have let my murderer go free.