Jason Lawrence Bell
Search single story

05-07-19 I’m Not A Killer

05-07-19              PUSH ARROW TO BEGIN AUDIO

‘Whenever we walk this far, I worry that we can’t find our way back. I hope you brought plenty of water,’ remarked Melody as she and Sharon took their weekly walk. They were roommates at UCLA and lived in the dorms together. They both loved to hike and have long talks about school life. This time they choose the old Stanley Park trail thru the Shortridge Hills. This was their first time at Stanley Park. They usually took the Mulholland path but Sharon wanted something different and insisted on Stanley. Melody thought that somewhere new would be good and agreed.

Today Sharon was quieter than usual and Melody was concerned she may still be upset over their last conversation. But Sharon insisted she was okay and wouldn’t say anymore. The Stanley Park trail was more challenging than the other trails. The path ran along ridges with steep inclines on the sides. The views were amazing but one careless mistake and someone could fall a very long distance. Melody needed a break and together they found an old tree stump to sit on.

While sipping their water Sharon began to talk. ‘Last week when you told me your family story, I am sorry, I got a little upset.  It reminded me of something in my family. Not good memories.’ Melody thought that Sharon wasn’t as okay as she said. So, she tried to help. ‘I am sorry I didn’t realize. I certainly don’t want to upset you.’ Sharon continued, ‘oh I am sure you didn’t. How could you know? I do have a couple of questions. If you don’t mind.’ ‘Certainly, anyway I can help,’ offered Melody. ‘Don’t you find it amazing that we have the same birth dates? That we are exactly the same age.’ Melody agreed. ‘If you believe in astrology, we probably have very similar personalities. We are both Leos.’ Sharon nodded and continued, ‘but also we were both adopted as babies. That makes us even more similar.’ ‘Oh yes, that’s true’ agreed Melody. ‘But last week when you told me about your reoccurring dream that really surprised me. I didn’t tell you then, but I have had that same dream for as long as I can remember,’ said Sharon. Melody looked surprised, ‘that is amazing. What could that possibly mean?’ Sharon continued, ‘that’s not all I noticed. You have the same small bump on the top of your neck as I do. See, feel it.’ Melody and Sharon both touched each other’s neck and felt the same bump. Melody spoke, ‘I have always had that bump. Since it’s under my hair I don’t notice it very often. Wow, this is getting stranger by the minute.’ Sharon revealed, ‘years ago I noticed something about myself that I don’t think happens to any of my friends. I use to have problems sleeping, then one night while I was reading, I spoke this one word and I immediately fell asleep. To this day I have to be careful because if I say the word, I fall asleep even if I am standing up. I wrote the word on this paper. Will you speak the word for me?’ Melody laughed, ‘this is starting to get silly but okay.’ She spoke the word. The next thing Melody knew she was laying on the ground and Sharon was waking her up. Sharon helped Melody up and they both sat on the stump in stunned silence.

After a long wait Melody turned to Sharon, ‘do you ever have bursts of angry thoughts. A couple of times in my life for no reason, I would have these long-detailed thoughts about how to kill someone. More like I develop a plan how to commit the perfect murder.’ Sharon looked shocked, ‘just last week I had an overwhelming day dream that I could kill the President of the United States. I planned it out to the last detail. Oh my god what Is happening to us.’ Melody said, ‘you know as you tell me that, I have strong feelings to help you kill the President. I think I am your partner in some crazy way.’ ‘But there must be a trigger, like the sleep word. What could it be?’ Sharon questioned. Melody asked, ‘what are we? Are we dangerous? I don’t want to be dangerous. I don’t want to kill anyone. I just want a normal life.’ Melody started to cry. Sharon just sat there deep in thought. Eventually they walked back and returned to their dorm room.

The next morning Melody awoke in their dorm room and Sharon was already gone. Melody needed to shop for a few clothing items and left for the store. When she returned with her bag of clothes Sharon was back in the room. She had been out running errands and also had a bag. Sharon asked Melody what she bought and Melody said, ‘just clothes I think, I don’t remember.’ Sharon took the bag and pulled out two ski masks and two black hoody outfits. Melody looked bewildered, ‘I don’t know why I bought those.’ Then Melody looked in Sharon’s bag and found two semi-automatic hand guns. They both jumped back. ‘I don’t know how those got there. I don’t want this. What are we doing? I think I blacked out, because I don’t remember getting those,’ screamed Sharon. They immediately took the bags and found a trash bin off campus and thru them in.

As they were returning to the campus, they saw the billboards, President of the United States visits UCLA tomorrow afternoon. They looked at each other as if their nightmare had just been defined. Solemnly they vowed ‘absolutely no way will they go to see the President.’

That night after they were asleep, Melody was startled awake by Sharon. Sharon just pointed to the chair. There on the chair were the two bags with the clothes and guns. Melody and Sharon started crying uncontrollably. They did not want this. They were good people not killers. They agreed to stay up all night watching each other. But they must have fallen asleep because they woke up in the morning. To their shock they both had the black outfits on and a gun by their side. Again, they started to cry.

Then Sharon stood up, pulled off the clothes and told Melody to do the same. Sharon announced ‘I am not a killer. I will not kill.’ But then she immediately fell asleep and fell to the floor. Melody pulled off her outfit and woke Sharon up. ‘I know what we have to do. We have to get as far from here as possible’.  She took out a small box of straight pins and handed one to Sharon. ‘Every time you feel sleepy poke yourself with the pin to stay awake. We need to hold hands and not let go. Let’s get to the car and get away from here.’

This was a slow journey because they kept repeatedly falling asleep. They began pricking each other with a straight pin to stay awake. It was even harder to drive. They both sat near the steering wheel pricking themselves repeatedly. One would fall asleep and other would take over steering pricking themselves until they were starting to bleed.

They found themselves at Stanley Park and followed the familiar path up the ridges. It was a slow walk with one or the other falling to the ground asleep and the other reviving. They began pricking their faces because their arms were numb and bloody. They looked horrible. They were covered in dirt from falling to the ground with blood streaming from their arms and faces and tears running down their cheeks. They reached the top of the trail where the tree stump was. To their horror, there on the stump were the two bags. Overwhelmed and exhausted, they turned to each other and as they pricked their bloody faces they hugged. As Melody looked into Sharon’s eyes, she gave her a hard shove that pushed her over the edge. Melody immediately followed behind Sharon both falling to their deaths. Peace***