When true evil is born into this world it cannot die. The body dies, but the spirit lives on; waiting, waiting for a compatible body to inhabit. It may take years or even centuries, and the waiting only intensifies the evil.
There have always been people of the quite insane variety. Some are simple minded; without the ability to learn. Some are wild and uncontrollable, but some are just plain evil. They are the ones that are not simple minded. They are, in fact, very intelligent. They are always in control of themselves and their situations. Then there was one that was, and still is, considered the most evil ever to have existed.
He was cold, heartless, and possessed no conscience of any kind. He only gleaned pleasure from the pain of others, sometimes boldly showing up at his victim’s funerals, or even at the family’s homes; gaining even more pleasure watching them as they grieved over the loss of a loved one.
He was finally caught and placed in the first ever asylum for the criminally insane. The structure had actually been built to house this wicked man. He resided there until his death.
The stories are told, mostly around Halloween, of the evil creature that once walked among the people, and many believe he still haunts the asylum even today. Waiting, waiting for that perfect match; that one soul compatible enough for his evil spirit to take hold of. When once again he would be able to enjoy the horrors he could inflict on the innocent.
Nick tugged at his mother’s sleeve.
“Mom let’s go in,” said Nick as he and his mother stood outside the old stone building.
“Not now son. Aren’t you hungry?” asked his mother.
“No Mom, I wanna go inside first. Pleeeease,” pleaded Nick as he flashed his baby blue eyes at her; eyes she found hard to resist.
Nick is only seven years old. His blonde hair and blue eyes were a trait that came directly from his father. He is well behaved, for the most part, and does only a little better than average in school.
Sandy had raised him on her own since the loss of her husband when Nick was only two. Being so young he had little if any memory of his father.
Nick pulled his mother up the flight of well-worn, brick and mortar steps that led to the door of the asylum. The heavy wooden door was held open by an iron lizard that had been made for just that purpose. A young man dressed in the attire of the eighteenth century, a time when the asylum had still been in use, waited for enough people to come in so he could lead them on a tour.
Sandy was overcome by an eerie feeling as the tour made its way down a long, basement hallway. The hall was lined on each side with small rooms no more than ten by ten feet in size. Each room had only one cot against the far wall, and a small wooden bucket that the guide described as a waste bucket. None of the rooms had windows. The damp stone walls echoed the guide’s voice as well as the footsteps of the group as they made their way to the end of the hall. Nick listened intently as the young man told the tale of Linwood Bradley.
“This is the room that housed Linwood Bradley. Linwood was America’s first, and most prolific, serial killer. There are over one-hundred-fifty documented cases of men, women and children killed and brutalized by this horrid man. Most were cannibalized by Mr. Bradley and, unknowingly, by his guests. He would pass the cooked human flesh off as kangaroo meat from Australia. Linwood, it is said, gained great pleasures from watching them heartily eat the victims he had slaughtered. Now if you would please follow me up to the operating rooms on the second floor,” said the guide as he started up the concrete steps.
As the group followed the guide up the steps Sandy was drawn into the room. Blood began to drip from the ceiling and gather in a pool on the floor. As the drip increased to a steady, dark-red stream a figure began to rise from the pool. It was the figure of a man. As he stared into Sandy’s eyes she couldn’t look away. Clutched in his hands were fresh human entrails, dripping and oozing between his boney fingers. He raised the bloody mass to his lips and slurped a few small pieces into his mouth. As he greedily chewed and swallowed the bits, a bloody smile crossed his face. He then offered the red, dripping mass to Sandy. Unable to resist she reached out for them.
“Mom, you coming?” asked Nick as he came into the room.
Startled back to reality she grabbed Nick by the arm and led him from the ghastly place.
The trip home was uneventful. Sandy tucked Nick in as usual, set her alarm and went to bed. She found sleep hard to come by as the thoughts of what she had seen in that room kept flowing through her mind. Thoughts of blood, murder and cannibalism were all she could think of. Finally around 2:00 am she managed to drift off to sleep.
Later that night Linwood paid her another visit. This time he was standing over her with a knife. The shiny, steel blade gleamed in the dim moonlight beaming in through her bedroom window. Nick stood at the foot of the bed laughing as Linwood began his onslaught. She was able to block the first few plunges with her hands and arms. Blood from the cuts soaked into her white satin nightgown as he relentlessly drove the hardened steel blade into her soft flesh. The next plunge was directed at her heart when she sat up with a start.
Sandy quickly checked her hands and arms for the deep cuts she was sure would be there. Finding them whole she slowly began to realize it had only been a dream, but it had seemed so real. Her next thought was of Nick. She leapt from her bed and ran to check on her son, turning on every light she passed along the way.
She felt a little better after finding Nick sound asleep in his room. With the fear from the dream still fresh in her mind Sandy knew sleep would be impossible and headed for the bathroom to take a shower. The warm water felt good as it washed over her still trembling body.
As she woke Nick, and helped him get ready for school the fear brought on by that horrible dream still gripped her. She watched the school bus pull off before driving herself to work.
Nick usually got home from school thirty minutes before she came in from work, but today Sandy had not been able to concentrate on even the smallest tasks her job as a secretary entailed. She had left work early and opened the door while he still fumbled in his pocket for the key.
“Hi darling, how was school? She asked as she hugged him and kissed his forehead.
“I have a note from my teacher. I got into a fight,” he said with his head hung low; knowing his mother would be mad.
“Nick Bright, I’ve told you about fighting. Now go upstairs to your room,” she commanded pointing up the stairs.
Sandy went in the kitchen to start dinner. She took the chicken from the fridge, washed it and put it in the oven. All the while her dream from the night before washed through her mind. After peeling the potatoes and slicing them into a pot of water on the front burner she went up to check on Nick.
“Nick what have you done!” she screamed as she walked into his room.
“I didn’t do it,” said Nick as he held a bloody lump of fur in his little hands.
His hamster had been beheaded. Its head had not been cut it had been ripped from its tiny body.
“I found him in his cage like this,” said Nick.
“Throw it in the trash, and wash your hands. We’ll talk about this later young man,” said Sandy as she stood in the doorway to Nick’s bedroom.
She couldn’t understand the sudden change in her son. Nick had always been kind to animals. He had sat for hours feeding a group of tiny kittens after their mother had been hit by a car. She now worried about the one that she had allowed him to keep. They had named him Lucky after Nick had nursed him back to health from a case of feline distemper.
Lucky usually slept at the foot of Nick’s bed, but that night Sandy decided to keep him in her room. She told Nick it was punishment for what he had done to the hamster. Nick still denied having done the awful thing to the poor little animal, but there was no other explanation.
Sandy turned on every light in the house, and locked all the doors and windows before turning in. It almost broke her heart as she listened to Nick. He cried for almost thirty minutes before finally falling asleep. She almost went to him several times, but what he had done was horrid, and she stood firm.
Being so tired from the lack of sleep the night before Sandy had no trouble falling to sleep. She was awakened by screams coming from Nick’s room. Sandy jumped from her bed and ran to his room.
Nick sat in the middle of his floor with a bloody butcher’s knife in his hand. Before him were the remains of Lucky the cat. A circle of blood radiated out from the dissected body. The parts had been skillfully removed one by one and lay in a pile beside the body. Its heart, lungs and other parts had been removed as if by a certified pathologist. The intestines encircled the small body in a perfect, unbroken spiral shape.
Tears streamed from Nick’s blue eyes as he gently stroked the severed head of his pet.
“Nick what have you done!” screamed Sandy as she turned her head away from the grisly scene.
“I found him this way. Mom, you have to believe me,” said Nick through uncontrollable sobs.
As Nick washed himself in the bathtub, Sandy took on the awful task of cleaning up the mess she was sure he had caused. After nearly an hour of scrubbing, the blood was finally cleaned from the lacquered oak floor.
A lie to her supervisor gave her the day off and she spent most of the day on the phone trying to find a suitable therapist to council Nick. She had kept him home from school for fear of what he might do to one of the other children. She made him stay in his room and had told him that she may have to send him away.
That night she went into Nick’s room and hugged him and kissed him and told him she loved him. Nick still pleaded innocence in the deaths of his pets and cried even more when his mother wouldn’t believe him. Sandy tucked him in, kissed his forehead again and walked to her room.
“911, what is your emergency?” asked the dispatcher calmly.
“My seven-year-old son is missing. I went to wake him up for school this morning and he was gone,” said Sandy.
“When was the last time you saw him?” asked the 911 dispatcher.
“I tucked him in at 8:30 last night, and this morning he was not in his bed. He’s not in the house, and he didn’t answer me when I called for him outside,” replied Sandy.
Ok ma’am, I’ll send a car over. Remain calm. Everything will be alright.”
Sandy seemed rather calm for a mother whose child had been missing for three days. In fact everyone at the cookout thought it strange that she had arranged this gathering at all. She had simply said that she needed the company, and her family and friends had turned out to give her their support in this troubling time.
She wore an apron with the words “kiss the cook” emblazoned in red across the front. The grill began to smoke as she placed the burgers on the sizzling hot grate.
“Wait till you taste these burgers. I’m trying something new. It’s actually Kangaroo meat from Australia,” she said with a smile.
The Waiting By James G. Kelly