The bus is three minutes late today, which I accounted for in my schedule. It’s pretty nice outside only about 60 degrees but I have to wear my leather gloves, my extremities get rather cold pretty fast. I get on the bus and Dorothy is driving today. She’s so sweet and that’s why the bus is late. She always stops for people who don’t really care about time even when she’s already pulled off from the stop. Dorothy is so sweet. The sweetest lady I have met since Laurie and Jalen died at least. I board the bus and see a man rocking back and forth muttering with an absent expression and tattered leash in his right hand connected to the harness of a black service dog. The black lab looks as withered as its owner and I simply smile and step around them.
As the bus fills, I see people maneuver around the same man and his dog as if he has an invisible force field around him and stare. Just stare. I wonder if they would be more inviting to this poor man if they realized that they were also in the presence of a serial killer. An Asian girl with doe eyes and short stringy hair sits next to me infatuated with whatever is going on in her phone. At this point, we are speeding past each stop and my office is nearby. I pull the yellow ringer and the bus slows near the corner of Harriet Street. I get off and head towards the back of the Pharmacy building and on to a dirt road that leads to my private office. It is 10:23am and my first appointment is at 10:45. I had stayed late to prepare the night before just in case sweet Dorothy would run a little behind.
Clara arrived at the appointment a little early which I also accounted for in my schedule because she is always a little jittery. “Clara, welcome.” She had dark brown hair pulled into a high bun and the gray sweat suit she had on swallowed her tiny frame. Her hands shook as she sipped the tea I had offered before our session began. Today would be the day I would murder her. It was the start of spring and she had started our sessions in late October most likely due to seasonal depression. I have wanted to end her life since December but I couldn’t bear to take her away from her family around the holidays. I had gotten up to check the window for the courier who was going to be dropping by my imported tea that I serve to clients and victims alike.
“So let’s begin, how are you feeling today?”
“Well I have been feeling a bit worse. I can’t focus on any tasks for a long time and I almost forgot Cynthia in the bathtub on Wednesday. I’m just a mess Dr. Grogan.”
I felt so relieved that she was doing worse being that I would be alleviating this stress. I watched as she finished the tea, sat down her cup and slumped back in her chair.
“Dr. Grogan I must say that the tea you provide is always so delicious. I feel so relaxed.” I had drugged her this time, like I do all my victims. Propofol. I do not use Rohypnol because that is used to rape and I do not sexually assault my victims, I only take their life. I am not an animal. I fed her more questions and each answer sounded heavier than the last in her mouth. Her head began to bob as if she was following the beat of a classical song and eventually she was unconscious. I maneuvered her body so that she would sit comfortably while I prepared my tools. In the back of my office was a locked door and beyond that was a surgical like room. Hacksaws, buzz saws, knives, scalpels, you name it. I had everything I needed to humanely kill my patients and allow them to leave this Earth with dignity.
I dragged Clara into the room after locking the front door. No one comes by my office unless they had a specific appointment and any noise that came from the room came from the tools only. I undressed Clara and folded her clothes neatly in a bag to be burned and buried with her remains. She had a gold locket that her mother had given her and I would be sure to get it as a memento for her family somehow. I kissed her forehead and said a prayer for her as I grabbed the scalpel and made intricate cuts along her body. Her blood seemed thin as it dripped onto the table and then the floor. Her skin became more and more ghostly as she got further from life and closer to peace.
I did her makeup too. I was never good with my daughter’s makeup, even though she begged me to do it all the time as a child but I took classes and watched videos to get better and do these women justice. They should rest in not only peace but beauty. I fixed her hair and rested her hands on top of each other like she had always done in our sessions. I then grabbed a machete tool and started viciously hacking away at her body. Pieces of her flying everywhere.
I could feel the kickback of the metal blade cracking on bone and her muscle more and more exposed after every swing. I grew more and more violent as I dug deeper into her flesh and could feel the tug and pull of her body reacting to the swings. My arms grew tired and my mind grew weak. I was done. I stared at her mutilated body but I did not touch her face. I am not an animal.
I thoroughly cleaned and bleached every surface of the lab. It took me four long hours. After I was sure the place was spotless, I placed her body in a black heavy duty trash bag. I carried her behind my office and decided that I would place her next to Laurie. Laurie was one of my favorite patients although very sad she had reminded me so much of Clara. I believe they would play nicely in their peace. I lit a match and said another prayer before listening to the cries and moans released from her bones and the sigh of relief when the flames turned to smoldering embers.
“And what number is this one Dr. Grogan?”
“Four thousand, seven hundred and twelve.” I was lying down with eyes still closed on the smooth leather couch in Dr. Sheryl Brenner’s office. She was a psychiatrist like me and my only confidant.
“Mhm and when was this again Dr. Grogan?”
“Wednesday afternoon.” I opened my eyes and stared at the grooves in the ceiling pulling myself back into the present.
“Mhm and you do understand you have not left this facility at all in 23 years?”
That was true. I have been in Malone Psychiatric Facility for 23 years but that was by my own free will. I am tired of killing. I have killed so many people.
“And you do know that you have not harmed anyone other than the neighbor’s dog 24 years ago?”
That was also true. I have been heavily grieving the loss of my dear friend Susan’s dog. I wasn’t looking while backing out of the driveway and he could have been saved. They had forgiven me but I simply could not forgive myself.
“You have not killed anyone and these “victims” that you have named each session are all old coworkers, other patients, or simply part of your imagination. You do understand that?”
That was not true. I am dangerous, I have killed 4,712 women exactly. Because I am free to come and go as I please I have been able to successfully murder these women and I am now ashamed and exhausted.
“Dr. Grogan, I believe you are a great man and I don’t think you are harm to anyone. You just have dangerous thoughts but you have never acted on them. You are free to leave this facility at any time. I have faith in you.”
In that moment I got up and proceeded to walk out the room, down the hallway, and out the facility. I could do this. If Dr. Brenner could believe in me, I shall leave this facility. I felt the sun on my face and blinked violently, it was so bright. I went to shield my eyes and then heard a harsh crack and felt an unbearable pain near my right temple. I felt my arms twist behind my back and a low but serious voice close to my ear.
“Dr. Ethan Grogan, you are charged with the murder of Dr. Sheryl Brenner, Dorothy McCall, among 4,710 other women. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held against you…” The words faded out as I was hoisted in the air and towards a shiny squad car. I smiled.
“I am free officer. I am not an animal.”