Tag Archives: street

Hailey’s Myth

In my town we have a local legend about a girl called Hailey. Hailey lived in the 1950s and was normal in all respects – dark hair, biggish nose, maybe she was a bit on the tall side. But what happened to her, I believe, is not very normal.

In the evening a man approached her on the street. He wore a beige trench coat and a hat with a large brim on all sides. The moment she noticed him Hailey felt on edge, a tickling sensation spread in her lower spine. The man said Hi and Hailey, cautiously, responded likewise.

He smiled. Then, quickly, he pulled a flask from his coat and threw a black liquid in her direction.

Hailey woke up in the early morning. A woman was shaking her and from somewhere a police car was coming closer. The only thing she knew for sure was that the liquid had hit her. She said it felt like cold water.

The boils came two days later. They began small, like the small red spots on a teen’s face, but their color was that of normal skin. They grew quickly. Continue reading

The Veil Between Her Mouth and Mine

The veil that hid her eyes wasn’t on her face. It was between her face and mine, like a white fog or a silken tissue hovering in the air where our breaths would have met. I could only see her open mouth, round like a perfect circle, exposing a black abyss where her throat should have been.

I had seen her first at the corner of 5th street and Lancaster road. From behind she looked normal, despite the raised hands and slow gait. Only her hair was unusually long; unusually long and dark.

Her body followed the young man’s movement. Her head and neck stayed as if nailed on the rest of her body; her feet likewise were nailed on the floor. Just from the hip upwards her body turned; first to the right, then, when the young man started to curve around her, back into a healthy relation to the feet and legs, finally a full 90 degrees to the left.

I saw how he sped up; how his brown jacket turned around a corner. She followed him. That’s all I saw that night, and still it was enough for me to walk the long route home, the one that led to the right, not the one that led to the left where the young man and her had gone.

I think I heard a scream that night. It could have been a bird or just a screeching car, but in my head it sounded like a scream. I ran the rest of the way home.

There was nothing in the news; nothing that could have warned me or reminded me of her. I forgot about her.

Most days I glanced over the crime section, but I never gave much for politics. Instead I read the other articles, those about lost dogs, an old man so crazy for video games that he forgot his own name, a new recycling plant, and fraud with resold gravestones. There was nothing about a woman with strangely stiff legs and an unusually flexible hip.

The second time I saw her she was standing intimately with another woman. They were standing close, face to face, and both were whispering to each other. Her arms were in the same, slightly cramped upward position in which I had seen them the first time.

It was the same corner, roughly even the same time, just after 11pm. I walked past the two women at a great enough distance to stay away from the oddity, but not in a distance that betrayed suspicion. The second, younger woman whispered questions, questions that I thought a daughter would ask an overbearing mother – “Why?”, “Why can’t I go?” – but even when I accidentally kicked some stones against the curb neither of the women didn’t pay me any attention.

In retrospect it is easy to say that I should have done something, but honestly, looking bad at this moment, everything seemed off, but nothing seemed off enough to be alarmed. I was sure that I didn’t want to be close to that woman, but even when I was nearby the young woman didn’t bother to look over or ask for help. The older woman with her long black hair and the raised hands seemed odd, but not menacing.

I still don’t know how I lost my phone. I noticed it five minutes away from home. I suppose the smarter version would have been to go home and try to find it through the tracking apps, but my only slightly sober mind decided that it was better to turn on my heel and walk the whole distance back towards the station.

I made sure to keep my eyes on the ground; half because I felt the neurotoxin slowly spreading through my brain and affecting my ability to walk and half because at night finding a black phone on dark gray ground is not an easy task.

If my eyes had been further up I would probably have seen the two from the distance. I would have known whether the younger woman was already sitting for long. I saw shining metal on the ground, hastened forward to pick up my phone and felt the exuberance of knowing that I hadn’t lost my two week old phone. Only then I looked up.

The old woman was still standing there, in the same position as before. The young woman was kneeling on the ground with her hands as support. I said “Hello and good night,” and the young woman looked up. I was shocked to see that despite her jeans and black and yellow shirt the young woman wasn’t young at all. She looked like sixty, maybe even eighty. She stared at me as if she didn’t know what humans looked like.

“Do you need help?” I asked.

In that moment the standing woman turned. Her hands were still raised; her head and neck still fixed stiffly on her shoulders; but her body, everything above her legs, turned in one swift motion towards me. I half expected to hear a loud cracking from her hip or leg bones, but there was nothing, just silence.

The street light was behind her, so that a shadow covered her eyes and most of her face. Her lips were pursed, as if for a kiss. She stood there, with her feet facing in the opposite direction of her upper body and her mouth ready to kiss.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll go then.”

The kneeling old woman in young clothes stretched a hand out to me. I stopped. The legs of the standing woman slowly began to turn. The heels didn’t leave the floor, only the toes slowly circled around the legs until they were facing me. Then, with a loud, snapping motion, she took a step.

The kneeling woman sank to the floor. I ran.

Whenever I turned around I saw her behind me. She looked as if she was walking slow; still she was faster than me. I ran around a corner; when she came back in view behind me ten seconds later. At the next corner the time had shrunk to eight seconds. At the next corner it was four seconds. I was never so fast at pressing the key in the door and jumping inside.

I locked the door from the inside; then I ran to close the rolling shutters. She already stood outside the window; her hands raised, her grayish lips still pursed for a kiss. The shutters slammed down in front of her.

I still felt her for the rest of the night; like a cold air pushing through the infinitesimal space between the window frame and the wall.

The morning was better; it was warm. There were no singing birds or sounds of laughing people, but it was just that – warm. It took me long to finally open the shutters.

The newspaper, right next to the horoscope section, said something about an old woman that had been killed while crossing the four-lane highway.

I didn’t leave the house for three days. I enjoyed the sun from behind the window and closed the shutters long before dark. The nights were calm, silent.

On the fourth evening, just when I wanted to close the shutters, a loud bang attacked the front door.

I froze; didn’t move, didn’t even breathe.

Another bang.

My chest cramped.


“I know you’re home! Open up!”

I fell backwards on a chair and breathed deeply. Logan’s voice.

I unlocked the door; his heavy hand grabbed my arm and pulled me outside.

“Come on man, I know you aren’t sick. You gotta get out!”

I tried to refuse. When that failed I played along. I went inside “to get my keys;” Logan quickly placed his foot in the door.

He didn’t believe a thing. At least he promised he would drop me back home.

Old friends, new drinks. Being among people felt safe. It was Wednesday, at 10pm the first began to leave.

Then Logan packed me in the back seat. A girl I never saw before sat in the front seat.

“Have to drop my friend.”

“That’s sweet of you.”

They kissed for what felt like a minute.

The car drove.

“I’ll drop you here,” Logan said.

“Can’t you bring me home?”

“Don’t be so lazy. I have a lady here, you know?”

He even pulled the door open for me; slammed it shut behind me.

“What’s wrong with him?” asked the girl.

Then they drove off.

I walked quickly; alone on the empty street the story of the woman felt more real than with fifty people in a bar.

Then she became real again.

She stood in the entrance of a small house to the right of the street; her hands raised. I ran, but this time she was faster. And it wasn’t just her; it was my legs that made her catch up. First they ran, then they got heavy and I only walked. Then they stopped. Invisible hands seemed to hold my feet to the ground.

Her legs walked slowly and still she was in front of me within just a second.

Her lips were pursed; her eyes covered in a strange shadow. Her face was only an arm’s length away from mine. Then her lips opened wider; to one perfectly round circle. I was frozen in place, but I felt my face and mouth being pulled towards her.

I felt a pull in my chest, as if a strong metal hook was stuck through my throat right into my heart and was now being pulled back out. The darkness around her eyes slowly turned gray when a white fog moved between our faces, just where our breaths would have met. It danced in circles; moved out of my mouth and towards hers.

The round of her lips swallowed the white fog that left mine; I felt tiredness spreading through my head just like the silken tissue spread in the air in front of my eyes. The tiredness made everything dark; the fog made everything white. A veil of gray sank over everything; over everything except the round, black abyss between her lips.

Sudden light; a high-pitched scream; the sound of a car horn pressed without break; pain in my arms and side.

“Dude, who the hell was that?”

“I think he broke something,” said a female voice.

“Did you see that woman?” asked Logan’s voice.

“I did. Where did she go?”

“God, he wasn’t imagining it.”

Somebody shook me. The sound of a car. Darkness.

The steady beep woke me up. Everything was okay, except for my right arm and two ribs.

I am out now; I am home.

I found newspaper articles about missing people. One of them was a young man in a brown jacket. Another was a young woman in jeans and a yellow shirt.

And I found articles about old people. Old people that just appeared and that no one recognized.

The arm and ribs have healed. I head things about trauma shaking your body, but not like this; not the number of wrinkles and the sudden loss of hair.

Some nights I still feel the cold seeping through the space between the window frame and the wall.

Maybe it’s that; maybe it’s the ongoing stress. My body has definitely changed.

And it’s not just my imagination; other’s see it too. Everybody keeps telling me that I now look at least ten years older.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

Just Accidents

The first time I saw him was in early January. I was on the sidewalk when his car turned around the corner. I heard the motor roaring, saw the car gaining speed, then noticed his grin. The woman in business attire didn’t stand a chance.

He didn’t drive away. He even pulled her body from under the car and tried to resuscitate her. It didn’t help. When the police came he cried.

That day I wasn’t sure whether I had really seen the grin; he looked genuinely concerned about the woman and he didn’t try to flee. He told the police that it was an accident; I told them that I thought he was accelerating when he came around the corner.

I never heard what came out of the case.

In late January I saw him a second time – or to be precise, I saw the grin a second time. It was on a woman behind the wheel of a black SUV.

Three children were on the pedestrian crossing. The oldest ran; his two siblings were too slow. I think I even heard the woman laughing.

The small boy was pulled with the car; the girl was thrown against a fire hydrant. I can never forget the face of the older brother, the one that got away, in the moment he touched his sister’s body.

The tires screeched; the woman jumped out of the car and fell on her knees. She just stared at the long, red marks between her car and the pedestrian crossing.

Since that day I work my way through three or four newspapers per day.

And every day there is at least one accident. Every day there is at least one driver with an unblemished record that, as the newspapers put it, “lost control of his car.” Sometimes they have better excuses – a leg cramp, a technical fault, a distracting dog in the car.

The third time was on the 3rd of March. I had noticed a pattern; an area particularly prone for “accidents.” The police had told me that I was crazy, that it was all just my mind – and I nearly believed them.

Then, near the large public library, I saw the grin again. The car was waiting at a red light. I saw his face, his serious expression, and looked away. A moment later I heard his engine howling. I only saw his face for a short moment.

There was no mistaking it. Different people, but without a doubt the same unnatural grin; the same widely stretched lips and closed teeth; the same unchanging expression and focused, glassy eyes.

I didn’t see the accident, but I heard it. His car sped through the red light and around the corner. Car horns; then a crash; then screams.

When I ran around the corner the only audible sound was a blaring car alarm.

The man fell sidewards out of the driver’s side door; got back on his feet and slowly walked to the front of his car. He didn’t try to help.

The woman’s body was cut in half; wedged between the two cars with her blood slowly trickling into a storm drain. She said something about love and family. She stopped talking long before the ambulance arrived.

At least one per day; only once it wasn’t a car – a motorcycle instead.

They all deny that it was on purpose.

I’m not crazy; I’m not the only one that saw it.

Two articles said that the drivers were smiling.

I barely sleep anymore. I lost my job and it might be good that way. Now I have time to research; to figure things out.

Besides the grin there is one more connection I made. I noticed it last week.

I saw the black car in the distance. It was too far away for me to see the driver, still I knew. I felt the grin.

I ran towards it to watch the events and it sped in my direction. It took me too long to realize that her eyes were on me. It might have been just her large face, but the grin seemed wider than the other times.

I ran in the other direction; then ducked behind a parked truck.

That moment the driver’s eyes turned to the young man across the street. I screamed at him to run; he reacted too late.

The crash threw the young man several meters backwards, right next to a storm drain.

The car crashed against a street light; the woman was thrown through her windshield.

The woman survived. The young man died.

I only saw the connection when the blood seeped out of his body. A thin stream ran from his body and towards the storm drain.

That moment I noticed the pattern. I remembered the arm of a woman in business attire bent over a storm drain; I remembered the long red line of a young boy’s blood on a manhole; and I remembered the trickle of thick, red liquid into a storm drain just below a severed body wedged between two cars.

The young man’s blood reached the grate bars. And in the dark below, just between the bars, I saw the body of a man.

He was thin; his whole body and face black. I wouldn’t have seen him – if not for the white teeth and the wide grin.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

Imported, Packaged, Sold

Trigger warning. I know trigger warnings are sometimes used carelessly, but really, if you have any sort of sexual or violence trigger – please stay away from this story.

I am not really allowed to talk about this. Officially it’s all a lie, a myth spread by the press. But I was there. I saw the corpses. And I saw the silicone.

Let me get this straight, this is not a story and it won’t have a satisfying, creepy or twisty ending. The most I can offer is that you might start to doubt that we humans deserve to exist. At least that’s what I think right now, when I think about the people that do these things. When I think that they get money for it; when I think about the fact that somebody pays for such ‘services’. And when I know that they, buyers and sellers, are still out there.

The fact is this: I didn’t understand what I was seeing when we found the first corpse, the one of a young girl. Every hole in her body was ripped open – and then they had made some more holes and used those too. My partner at the time, Georgia, threw up when she saw the body. We were called in and we were told that it would be a gruesome sight – but there are some things you just don’t expect to see even if you are told that you will see them. I too had to fight hard to hold my stomach contents back down while I was pulling the black plastic sheet over her body.

Usually the plastic sheet is to protect the victim from the prying eyes of curious onlookers. That time it felt more like the sheet was there to protect the potential onlookers from an image they would never be able to get out of their head. I still can’t get it out of my head – the way she was lying, with wounds all over her body and blood everywhere; with her lips torn and with even her eye sockets ripped open.

Back then we thought it would be an isolated case, just a single extremely violent rape. That happens far often than anyone would care to admit – and most of the times the perpetrators get away. They live normal lives; one of them probably already stood in the Starbucks queue behind you or thanked you when you allowed him to enter the bus first.

Then, not even a month later, we got a call for the second body. Georgia and I weren’t on the scene, but while we were sitting in our car, waiting to guard some irrelevant VIP, we heard the description on the radio. I saw in Georgia’s eyes that she too relived the scene, vivid with the sound of cars and the rancid sweet smell of rotting flesh.

They put together a task force; Georgia and I weren’t even asked – we were just assigned to join it. Usually they ask, so I think they knew that we would have said no.

Call me selfish. Sure I wanted to catch that disgusting monster that did these crimes. But being on the taskforce means mostly to inspect every piece of evidence over and over; to stare at the photos for days at a time, to listen to the same descriptions, to ask dozens of people questions – hoping at the same that they do know something ,so that you can end the case and catch the monster, and that they don’t know anything, because you just don’t want to hear it anymore.

The third body showed up not even a week later. It was dumped in a small alley; no one had seen a thing. But the third one was different. He was as young as the first two, maybe around fifteen. But he was a boy, or at least he had been one.

His body still looked male. They hadn’t started the hormone therapy yet. But they had cut his balls and penis of. Then they carved something similar to a vagina into his body, right where his penis should have been. There were cuts in his chest, one of which had killed him. The coroner thought it must have been some sort of ritual, but to me it looked like something else. To me it looked as if someone had taken a boy and tried to make him a girl.

None of the victims had a match in the missing person database. Imported, I thought.

That’s another thing that you don’t want to think about, but it’s real. We make jokes about the Thai ladyboys, the funny moment when a Western guy goes to Thailand to get a hooker – but finds one penis too many in the bed. For some of those Thai ladyboys it’s a choice. But for many it isn’t. When you laugh about ladyboys you laugh about a poor child that likely was stolen from his home – and then made a woman and then forced to get himself raped, day in and day out until they die from all the disease the rapists bring.

And you also don’t want to think about the fact that it happens here too, in your country. We are not as superior as we think. Our criminals are just richer, they are better at hiding it. Bodies usually don’t land on the street; they end up in the sea or in an industrial meat grinder. Another reason why I don’t eat mince meat.

When we found that boy, the third body, something made click. Genetic tests confirmed it: The second body, too, had been a boy. A boy, shaped into a girl, then used like a piece of meat. The first one we found, the one I saw sprawled on the floor with holes all over her body, turned out to have actually been a girl.

You might blame the coroner for sloppiness. I don’t know why he wouldn’t have caught the gender transformation. I honestly don’t know. Maybe scars of breast implants and ‘beauty operations’ are too frequent in the side-of-the-street business that we had assumed was her trade. Either way, it was caught. And the one thing that didn’t get out of my head for months and months, while all our leads went cold and nothing else happened – during all those months I just couldn’t get the thought out of my head that they had made him into a girl. And then he lived; probably for months, maybe for years.

And then, one day, they decide to cut holes into his body.

It was nearly six months after the third body that we got the call for the basement; a basement in a supposedly abandoned house with somehow too much noise for being ‘abandoned.’

I wasn’t at the scene, but I interviewed one of the kids later. I also saw photos of the bleak wall of bare stones, the filthy mattresses, the metal plates, and the thick metal door.

It took us a while to figure out the right translator. There are too many languages in South America, and while we were looking for a translator we weren’t even sure the kids were from South America.

Most barely spoke, and even those that did spoke in a way that our native translator barely understood. That’s what happens when you are born on the street in the third or four generation – born to a mother that lived on the street.

In some countries the police beat and kill the street children. They are considered a pest, an unsightly thing that needs to be eliminated, for example when foreign visitors or sports events come to town, or just when a major wants to get reelected. They hunt the kids down, literally.

I don’t know how horrible it must be to be born on the street. I don’t think anybody can imagine that, the horrors you hear at night, the screams of pain one floor up or down or next door in another building that is falling apart. But the worst is that those kids feel relieve, when they cuddle together. They feel relieve that the screams they are hearing are not their own.

The boys who grow up on the street, if they survive, are often forced to join gangs – or in some countries, the military. The girls have a different fate. If they are lucky they become dancers or waitresses, some manage to marry gang leaders or be the affairs of business men twenty or thirty years their senior.

But most are forced to continue the cycle: Either they give up and try to take money for it, or they don’t give up and they are forced to endure it anyway. Both ways, they are forced to lie in the dirt with a body moving up and down on theirs, well-knowing that that humping might cause the next street child to be born, if it’s not growing in their bellies already.

You might wonder why that is relevant. I think it is relevant because that’s the only way I can explain the kid I was interviewing, the way she spoke and behaved. We pulled six kids out of that basement, two girls and four boys. They told us that there had been two more boys; that those had been ‘chosen’ already.

They were smuggled in, first by ship, then by truck carried deeper into the country. The girl told me that on the ship they had barely been able to move; five each were packed in one container, together with tires and metal tools. All in her container survived, but two in the other one, the one with the tires, died.

They didn’t even open the doors; they didn’t even remove the bodies. The crane heaved the container on a truck – the kids inside, age 12 to 16, didn’t even see it happening, there was no light. They only heard and felt the metal on metal and the shaking container. Then the truck started rolling, rolled for long, loud, stuffy hours. The girl told me she was passed out most of the time.

When they arrived, smack in the night, they were hushed out of the container, straight into the house. They were told to shower. Then the boys were locked downstairs; the girls didn’t have that time to relax. They were used first, then thrown in with the boys.

She told me that she and the other girl made jokes when they were thrown into the basement to the boys. It wasn’t new to them. It wasn’t the first time. They thought it was their price; the last price they had to pay before the deal came true.

The deal – the one the man in the suit had offered them back home, when he picked the kids up in the ruins of an old shopping center – was that they would have to give up everything. They had to give up who they were, their names, their ethnicity, their language. They were told that they would be shipped out and then ‘made fit’ for their future.

Made fit, in that context, means that they were made ready for the buyer. The buyer says what he is looking for, whether a girl that can get pregnant, or one that cannot; the girls knew that that was the deal. They willingly gave up their old life for it. Better to live in misery but in safety than to live in misery and still fear for your life.

I don’t know whether the boys were fully sure what made fit meant for them. It’s rare that the buyer wants to buy a boy. Rather, he wants to buy a token of power. He wants to prove his own power by taking a man and then take away that man’s manhood. The boys are not bought as boys; they are bought as trophies for their owners, evidence of the owner’s power to take everything.

I don’t know whether those boys are also used; probably some are. But I don’t think that’s what anybody would buythem for; they are bought because the buyer likes what the property stands for. The emasculation of the boy proves the owners’ masculinity and power.

That’s what it’s all about: Sex and power; humans as the ultimate toys and tokens for other humans.

A month after we found the six children we found the fourth body.

The description matched so well that they sent a whole squad out to secure the area, collect all potential evidence and find every possible witness.

When we arrived there were only four officers at the scene. They looked pale, grey almost. Still, they stood their ground, kept the crowd away from the alley – a crowd that normally wouldn’t have bothered to look inside the grim and dirty dead end. But everything is interesting if a police car with flashing lights stands in front of it.

We walked in, two other officers at my side and Georgia, more careful, behind us.

Within a few seconds I threw up, then I cried.

I didn’t just cry for the poor girl or boy on the floor, I cried for the other three; for the three cold faces that I had stared at hundreds of times in the previous months. And I cried for the six that barely got away.

Number four, who also looked like a girl but actually was a boy, looked in every way worse than the others. His ‘vagina’ was more torn, so was his anus and even his face. Then there was the large red tattoo on his forehead which said “Retour.”

But the worst and the reason I cried not just for one but for four dead teenagers were the holes. The holes in his body weren’t just gaping flesh wounds. The holes in his body – two holes right above the ‘vagina’, several in his stomach, one in his side, one in his right leg, and two in his lower back – weren’t just holes. They were filled with a rubbery material.

I think that must have been their specialism. Over the years several groups have been caught committing such crimes. But this one, they decided to be unique, have something on offer that no one else in the whole world can – or wants to – offer.

Have you ever seen a “fleshlight,” these fake silicone vaginas? I don’t want to say more than that. That’s what they were, not necessarily the brand, but something like that.

They were embedded in the body. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that they were used there as well.

It’s been half a year now. We still haven’t found any evidence. The six kids are in safety now, they are lucky to be underage, they won’t be deported. If you want a silver lining – there it is. Six street kids, still illiterate, won’t be deported until a judge decides that they look like eighteen; then they quickly need to find a job.

But I still wake up with sweat covering my face and back. In not even two years I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know. The six kids knew exactly the frequently with which the man in the suit came to the ruin. Every two weeks he takes ten kids to a better place. Those six I met, they waited for him. They came several weeks in a row, tried to be clean enough and the first ones in line so that they would be picked for a better life.

And those four that I met dead – they too probably waited, hoped for a better life. Two must have learned over weeks or months that the “better life” was actually worse than their last one, the silicone under your skin and between your muscles hurts and aches and itches.

One was lucky enough to die before he had to live through it all. He died before the operation was finished – and I suppose those creatures that were transforming his body from male to female figured that it would be a waste to let a good corpse go bad and had some fun with it.

And one, that’s not the official conclusion, but that’s mine, one was transformed, used and then sent back like a broken laptop. He didn’t fit the specifications. “Retour.” As if the buyer wanted a refund.

I still can’t get the pictures out of my head – any of them. But the worst is the first girl, the one whose image is burned right into my retina; every time I see her face and body I feel my stomach cramp. I pitied her; I felt her suffering even when I saw her for the first time; I thought it could as well have been my mother or sister.

Now I don’t think that anymore. Now I know that she was born in the wrong place, tried to make an escape for a better place – and only ended up worse. Now I see the gaping holes in her body and all I can think of is how someone must have stood there, next to her dead body – or maybe she was still alive – to pull out the silicone that was in her body for months, maybe even years.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.

She is God’s Tool

“I always knew that I was a chosen one, that god had a plan for me.” Shayna smiled with the serenity of a Buddhist monk. “I never knew that it would be in this way – but I don’t need to understand his plan.”

“God told you to kill these people?” I asked.

“Yes.” She said, and her smile seemed even more relaxed.

“What makes you so sure?”

“I called him.”

“You called god?”

“Yes,” Shayna said. “If you are devout enough, if you prove your faith, then you too can hear him.”

“You prove your faith by killing people?”

“No,” she said. “Of course not. You have to give everything up. You have to give everything away and refuse all offers for more than you can eat, have to refuse all offers for a bed for more than a night. You have to be willing to be his tool, then he will grant you the privilege to be his tool.”

“That’s why you lived on the street?”

“I don’t call it ‘living on the street’. It is a pilgrimage. Like the Way of Saint James that my mother always talked about.”


“And of course you also have to show your faith. You have to pray every two hours.”

I glanced at the dark rings around her eyes.

“Even at night?”

“Yes. Silent prayer during the day, prostrations during the night. That’s what god told me in my dreams when I was young. When you are young god still speaks to you. But not everybody listens. Parents and school force children to ignore the voice of god, but I listened. I listened to him every night. He instructed me how to live, how to eat, how to breathe and how to pray.”

“God told you all that when you were young?”

“Yes, he did. That’s why I ran away when I turned fourteen. I stopped hearing him. My mother said it was because I was growing older and my imagination was fading. But I knew the truth, I knew that I wasn’t living right. I had possessions. I had lust and greed. So I left.”

“And then you heard the voice again?”

“No.” Shayna looked towards her feet. “For far too long I didn’t. I tried, every night; I kept my eyes and ears open. But he was gone because I had sinned, because I had felt lust for a married man and because I had possessions. God doesn’t speak to sinners until they make amends. That’s why he doesn’t talk to many people. There are too many sinners in this world. Even the pope with his golden palace – god doesn’t speak to him. God won’t speak to anyone who has possessions.”

“Why are you so sure of that?”

“Because he told me so! God told me so!”

“How can you be sure if god didn’t speak to you anymore?”

“Oh, he does. He speaks to me. I prayed every day and every night. I lived the pilgrim’s life. And finally he answered; finally he answered while I was praying. I asked for him, I begged him to speak to me – and he spoke my ‘Amen’ for me. At the end of my prayer, he spoke it for me.”

“You heard a voice saying ‘amen’?”

“Not just a voice, his voice. And that was only the first word. The next day he began speaking to me; he told me that he accepted my sacrifice, that he would make me his tool when I was needed.”

“And he needed you?”

“No, god doesn’t need me. But he offered me to become his tool. He said that I would be allowed to fulfill his wish, and I was never happier in my life.”

“And then he told you to kill?”

“No, at least not at first. He told me to wait, and that he would let me know when he wanted to use me.”

“How did you know when he wanted to use you?”

“God told me.” Shayna said. “He told me by sending this man, by making him insult me. And when the man turned around god said that I should kill him. And so I did.”

Shayna smiled.

“It was easy to kill him, because god was on my side. God gave me the metal bar, and god made sure that no one would see me.”

“The voice in your head told you to kill the voice?”

“Not any voice; his voice! I recognize his voice from when I was young; it is raspy but smooth and speaks with long syllables.”

“Shayna, do you hear this voice right now?”

“No. God only speaks to me when I am needed, when he has a new task for me.”

“He also told you to kill the mailman?”

“Of course. I would never kill one of god’s creatures without his command.”

“The voice told you to kill the mailman?”

“God told me to kill the mailman.”


“I don’t know. It is his plan. I am only his tool. He commands and I obey.”

“That is all? You heard the command and straight away killed these men?”

“Yes.” Shayna laughed. “I can hear your lack of faith. God doesn’t like that.”

“You killed eight men.”

“Seven men and one woman.”

“All because god told you so?”


“You never doubted his orders? Or misheard them?”

“God speaks very clearly.”

“The voice in your head is very clear?”

“Yes, as I said, god speaks very clearly.”

It was hard to look at the woman in front of me. Her wrists were bound to the chair with light brown leather straps that nearly faded into her skin tone. The curly black hair was reaching far over her shoulders. And she smiled and laughed while she told me about her murders. Over a year she killed seven men and one woman.

“Did you ever follow these people around?”

“Not for long. God showed them to me on the street. I felt the urge to walk into a specific direction, looked at the people around – and, at some point, suddenly, his voice said ‘This one!’ and I knew what to do.”

“You never saw any of these people together?”

“No. God only revealed me one of them at a time.”

“You didn’t know of any connection between them?”

“God never told me anything about them. He only told me who I would have to kill.”

Shayna’s victims appeared random: A lawyer, a mailman, a second lawyer, a female gardener, a priest, a night guard, and two programmers.

“You weren’t aware of the website?”

But one thing connected them.

“What website?” Shayna asked.

“The one where they met; where they shared their ‘work’.”

“No,” she said. “I don’t know much about websites.”

“Okay, I said. It’s not important.”

Shayna nodded.

“You know,” she said. “I will always be god’s tool, no matter what you think or do. I will be his tool. I will pray and live as a pilgrim for life. And if he calls upon me I will answer.”

“Okay,” I said. “But first you will stay here for a while.”

“Sure,” she said. “If that’s what god wants.”

“That’s what god wants.” I said.

When I stepped out of the white room I had to wipe the sweat off my face. It is always hard to talk to clients, but the hardest to talk to those that don’t see their mistake.

I didn’t believe any of the things she said. But she lived on the street. She didn’t have access to the internet for years.

She couldn’t have known of the website, of the child pornography ring. And still she took out eight out of nine. And the ninth barely survived.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.


It was a standard assessment: 74 year old male ran naked into the street. Talk nicely, prescribe, then send him home.

Bernard wasn’t bothered. He smiled with small, yellow teeth.

“I admit I’m a bit older,” he said. “But that girl, she just was a stunner.”

He paused.

“You know, I didn’t get any since my wife died. And this girl, she was dancing around me as if I was a king. I couldn’t think clearly until afterwards.”

This is what Bernard told me:

I met her in a small bar. Usually it’s just me and other older guys, occasionally there are a few younger people –they always leave early to go somewhere more exciting.

That girl, she sat alone at the bar. Long brown hair, beautiful face and the whole nice body packed in a yellow dress with matching shoes. I thought right away that she looked a bit old-fashioned, but the truly unusual thing about her was that she sat alone.

I introduced myself. I didn’t even have any intentions at that time; I just thought it would be a nice thing to do. And certainly it would be more interesting than talking with the guys about past times.

She said her name was Molly and her voice and that smile of hers rang in my head and shook something awake that I hadn’t felt for years; a youthfulness, a curiosity, a passion.

We chatted and like a good old-fashioned gentleman I bought her a drink. She wasn’t like the girls her age that I knew. Not like these girls that constantly need to check their mobile phones, or those who only know about pop stars and movie stars and gossip.

Molly had class, an old-fashioned class that I hadn’t seen in anyone for decades. She reminded me of an old friend of mine, from school, a girl called Molly McGlynn. We had a little flirt going on when I was young. But we lost track of each other when I began work.

But this Molly was different. She was like a grown-up schoolboy fantasy, with smooth legs and dangling earrings and a dress that made me want to run my fingers down her back.

As I said, I hadn’t felt it for years, this energy, this vibrant want. I saw that the others threw me disapproving looks. Once Sam even came over and tried to bribe me away with Bourbon. On one level I knew that it was all wrong, that it couldn’t be real, this old man flirting with a young girl like her. But I didn’t budge. This Molly, it was as if even my feet didn’t want to leave her.

I don’t remember how long we talked. I had three Bourbon, maybe four. She barely sipped of the one I bought her. Still Molly threw her hair back over her shoulder, smiled, laughed; it felt like something out of a movie, or like an event that should have taken place long ago but never did.

Of course I offered to walk her home. But Molly refused; she said that I was the old man and that she would be the one to bring me home. With anyone else I would have been insulted to hear that, but with her voice I melted away and there was no grain of anger in my heart. Only this flittering, jumpy feeling of joy.

I admit it. I hoped that something would happen. I know old men are not allowed to be like that anymore. When you are young you are innocent, then you become a youthful deviant, a faithful husband and finally innocent again. That’s how the young people like to see the world. And usually my urges are barely there anymore – but with Molly it all came back. It was as if I was young again.

I ignored the stares on the street, and Molly did too. The dress felt smooth and her waist elegantly moved below it while we walked. I felt cold, and I felt that she too was freezing. She took my coat graciously and I was as happy as if I was bringing the love of my life home.

I was surprised when she offered to come inside. But I didn’t refuse. I couldn’t refuse, not with her sweet smile.

Molly smiled at the pictures of my wife, the kids and me. Then suddenly she got wild. She pulled me into the bedroom, as if she knew exactly what she was doing.

Despite the freezing cold in my room I didn’t resist when she pushed me on the bed and unbuttoned my shirt. I felt the sweet cold of her lips on my chest, then further down.

You have to understand – the senses get a bit weaker with age. It’s not so easy anymore to distinguish between an ache and a tickle or how and cold or what feels good and what doesn’t. But her down there felt good.

Molly made me move further up the bed and I unbuttoned her dress. I have never seen a woman take her clothes of so elegantly, so precisely and stunningly beautiful. I watched how her dress fell, then her bra and panty.

I didn’t even feel the cold anymore when her body pressed on mine. It was the purest pleasure I have ever felt – the way she moved, kissed, looked, felt.

I lost track of time but Molly was obviously enjoying herself too. I could read the pleasure in her face and in her movements.

I don’t know how our dance lasted. Maybe twenty minutes. Maybe an hour.

I had the best orgasm of my life with her on me.

I don’t know if you ever heard of the concept ‘kenjataimu’. Another sailor taught it to me when I was based in Japan. It stuck with me since then: Kenjataimu – the moment after an orgasm when your mind suddenly is bright again; when clarity and thought returns.

That’s what I felt – kenjataimu.

My eruption hadn’t ended yet, but suddenly I felt the cold of her body.

While she bent forward to kiss me I realized that no one else had talked to her.

While she smiled and bent to the side I realized that we had only talked about events far older than her.

When she pulled the needle out of her bra I had already pushed her aside.

And I ran.

And only outside, while standing on the street, did I remember that last day of school, when I said goodbye to Molly McGlynn to join the navy.

Only then I remembered that I promised her I would come back.

And I remembered her, standing on the dock, waving. And how that day she wore the same, yellow dress.

This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.