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The sun rose in the sky, its bright rays shinning over the “Black” house. The lone house stood away from other homes in a field. The house was enormous with a huge tower that could be seen for miles. Every day Mr. Black would climb up the total two-hundred stairs to the tip of his tower. From here he would watch over the city. The time was 12 PM. Mr. Black sat in his chair waiting and watching. He sat for hours gazing through his telescope, observing the citizens of the town. Occasionally he would stop and write in his notebook.
He sat in his tower until the clock struck two o’ clock. He stood up, setting his notebook on the dusty shelf. He then proceeded down the staircase counting as he walked. He did this all down the stairs as if making sure there was only 200 stairs. When he reached the bottom then he would grab the light switch and flip it back and forth 15 times. After doing so, he would walk into the room of signs passing the misleading directions on the wall. He walked over to his counter reaching underneath it, pressing the hidden button. Once pressed, the shelf above him would fold and disappear into the wall. Replacing it would be an identical shelf crowded with jars filled with blood. Each jar was individually named by a piece of tape stuck to the front. At this point he would walk down the line say hello to every single jar on the shelf.
“Hello Paul, Judy, Terra, and Jeffrey, how’s your day going? Good, I hope.” He did this to every jar on this shelf, acting as if they were alive. Maybe he did this to convince himself he wasn’t a monster? Reaching underneath the counter, he pressed the button once again hiding the shelf; replacing it with the old one.
He walked out of the room into the brightest room in his home. This room was completely filled with windows. From here he could see his neighbors driving their cars to work. His clock sounded once more; it was 2:30. At this time every day, he would go into town. In public, Mr. Black, was a polite friendly man, as opposed to what he really was at home. When he walked outside on the long stretch of road that led to town, the cars would honk and waves from the drivers were bountiful. He would do the same back to each person that passed him by. 15 minutes later, Mr. Black arrived in town, where everyone considered him a celebrity. He never understood the extent of the admiration the town folk had for him.
Mr. Black’s daily ritual consisted of walking to the marketplace where he purchased one single red apple; he always gave it to the first women he observed. Today’s selection was a blonde hair, blue eyed creature. Mr. Black walked up upon examination, and introduced himself. “Hello, I’m Robert Black,” he said.
“Hi, I’m Aelita,” she replied back.
“Well, it’s very nice to meet you, Ms.Aelita,” he spoke as his smile became intense. Handing the red apple over to Aelita, Mr. Black turned and briskly walked out of the marketplace, down the street, not stopping until he was in the capacity of his home.
Once at his residence, Mr. Black spied an object, the red apple, affixed on his doormat. Gawking at this apple, he became instantly irritated and quite angry. This red apple was not complete; it had a single bite in it. Mr. Black stepped up to the apple, picked it up, hurrying inside his house, letting the door slam behind him. Inside, Mr. Black fell back into his worn out chair and slummed over the apple in bewilderment. Many questions began swimming in his head simultaneously. “Why did Aelita deliver the apple back to him? And why only one bite in it?” he asked himself quietly. “How did she find out where I live?” he speaks again to himself. Aelita knows where Mr. Black lives; she has been there.
Angrily, Mr. Black stands up, walks away from his chair, and heads right to the jars, secretly hiding away in the cabinet. Mr. Black comes up to a set of buttons; pressing them to reveal the jars. He selects one jar from the shelf, along with a marker, and tape. He puts the red apple into the jar, seals it tight, and puts a piece of tape on it. Taking the jar, he stares at it, “Aelita,” he whispers, as he places it on the shelf. Mr. Black once again pushes the buttons on the wall, making the jars disappears, back to their secret hiding place.
Walking into the middle of the room, Mr. Black stands on a rug. He steps aside and removes the rug from its post, revealing a trap door. He opens the trap door in the floor, and begins his walk down into the menacing darkness. As the door shuts behind him, Mr. Black searches the darkness for the string attached to a single light bulb on the ceiling. He finds it, pulls it, and the room suddenly appears. The room was a bedroom completely hidden away from the rest of his home. This room was like a small home. It had a kitchen, bathroom, and anything else needed for survival. He walked over to the counter, gazing at the wall clock. Six o’ clock said the clock clinging to the wall. He walks over to the refrigerator, getting out the ingredients for his dinner. He turns to the stove, and begins the process of cooking. The aroma of the freshly cooked steak fills the air. Mr. Black ate steak every night. He never got tired of the taste of “rare” steak. Once cooked, he sat down alone at his table and ate. He didn’t watch TV when he ate or even listen to music. He just ate alone, in complete silence. After eating his dinner, Mr. Black washed his dishes, and checked the clock, once again. He was assuring himself that he was staying on schedule. His clock said seven o’clock. At 7 every night he would spend two hours getting ready for bed. He would shower, brush his teeth, and change his clothes. At nine o’ clock, he finished his bedtime ritual, turning off his light and getting into bed. Mr. Black would lie in bed for one hour each night before falling asleep.
At 7:15 AM, Mr. Black awoke. He would make his bed, prepare breakfast, and get ready for the day. After his morning routine, he would walk up the stairs, exiting his lair, counting each step as he went. Once in the living room, he would cover the trap door with the rug once more, stomping the floor below, ten times. Mr. Black had many odd rituals like the stomping and such strange orderly way of living.
Next on the rituals, Mr. Black would go outside to the mailbox to collect the morning paper and mail. He stepped out of his door, shutting it behind him. He proceeded down the walkway to his mailbox. However, when he reached it, he stopped, not opening the door. He was alarmed, shocked, and confused. There, sitting on his mailbox, was an apple. The apple had a note attached to it. Stricken by confusion, he couldn’t move. Unable to look away from the apple, Mr. Black seemed to be entranced by it. It took several minutes to muster up enough power to break away from the sight of it. Panic and confusion set in as he reached out, took the apple and letter.
He walked back up the path, and set the apple next to the front door. He opened the letter, and began to read,
“Dear Mr. Black,
It was very lovely to meet you. You seem quite charming. It was very sweet of you to give me an apple. So I thought I would return the favor. I look forward to our next encounter.
“Would I see her again?” Mr. Black thought to himself. After getting his mail, he grabbed the apple and went back inside of his house. Once inside, Mr. Black set his mail in a pile, assorted by size and date. It was now ten o’ clock; Mr. Black started opening his mail, checking the clock, ensuring he was on schedule. For two hours, he checked and sorted his mail. At twelve o’ clock, he stood up and got out of his chair, walked out of his room, reaching the staircase to his tower. He climbed each stair quickly as if trying to race someone. When he finally reached the top, he sat in another chair, trying to catch his breath. He grabbed his notepad and leaned forward, looking into his telescope.
From his telescope, he could see everything. He angled his view all around the town below; taking notes every ten minutes. He continued to do this, effortlessly, like a robot would do a job, nonstop. As he looked for the last time for the day, he angled his telescope toward the marketplace. There, he saw her. “Aelita,” he said out loud to himself. He leaned back in his chair, thinking, “What is it that makes me so drawn to her?” He jumped up out of the chair, tossing his notebook aside, and running down the stairs. This was odd behavior for Mr. Black, who preferred to stick to schedules. He ran out of his house and onto the street, where he suddenly stopped, realizing he had broken his ritualistic behavior; just to see her.
From that point, Mr. Black began walking down the street, trying to seem as normal as possible. It took five minutes to walk to town. When he got there, he walked into the marketplace, where he saw her. He felt as if a lifetime had passed since the last met. She was standing by the fresh fruit; he walked over to her. He stopped and hesitated before her, thinking what he would say to her. He stood frozen and conflicted. “Hey, Mr. Black, nice to see you again,” Ms. Aelita said, taking notice of his presence.
“Hello,” he replied back.
“What brings you to the marketplace?” she asked.
“Oddly enough, I… I… came to see you,” he answered back in a quivering voice.
“And, why is that, Mr. Black? Did you come to ask me something?” she said. He hesitated how he was going to respond to that question.
“Yes. Would you like to come over for dinner this evening?” he said back to her, unsure of himself. She didn’t answer, stopping to think about her answer first.
Then she looked at him, and said, “I would love too. I’ll be there at eight. See you then, Mr. Black.” With that, she turned and walked out of the marketplace.
He proceeded home up the long stretch of road. Finally reaching his destination, his home; he walked through the door, slamming it behind him. He walked through the silent of the house toward the tower. He bolted up the stairs and sat, once again, in his chair. Gazing into his telescope, he frantically swung it in multiple directions trying to find her. There he saw her at the edge of town, going into a house, which looked strangely familiar to him. He watched her as she stumbled into the house. Quickly, she came out the back of the house, dragging something that appeared to be extremely heavy. Mr. Black focused intensely; watching in surprise, as that object, a man, was trying to crawl away from her grasp.
Not able to take his eyes of what he was witnessing, she quickly stabbed the man in the back of the neck. Mr. Black stumbled out of his chair in shock, falling to the cold floor. He climbed back into the chair and continued to look through his telescope at the scene before him. She lifted the man up and threw the cellar doors. Mr. Black leaned back in his chair with a lump in his throat, deep in thought. “I know what I have to do,” he declares to himself. He stood up and walked down the stairs. Reaching the last step, he realized he had to prepare for her arrival.
He had two hours until she arrived at his home. Wasting no time, Mr. Black’s home was filled with sounds and aromas, one would expect. The clock finally notified Mr. Black that it was eight o’ clock. The dinner table had been set. He cooked two types of pasta, to add some variety. Mr. Black checked himself in the mirror, wearing black slacks, a white button up shirt, and a tie. As he was inspecting his attire, the doorbell rang out, “Ding Dong.” Mr. Black proceeded to the door and opened it to see her stand before him. She was dressed eloquently in a black dress with white lace trim.
“Welcome, come in," he said, showing her inside. She walked in, heading right over to the dinner table. Mr. Black, schooled in manners, pulled her chair out for her to sit. She sat down; he then walked over to his seat, and sat down as well.
“Thank you for having me over, Mr. Black,” she said politely.
“No problem, I was glad to know that you could come,” he replied with a big smile. They started to partake of the dinner Mr. Black provided this fine evening. Mr. Black found himself staring at her, waiting. They began to have a conversation about their childhood. Mr. Black couldn’t remember his childhood or anything before his birthday, two years ago.
“Have you always been this good of a cook?” she asked him.
He swallowed before speaking. “You know what they say, secrets in the sauce,” he said smirking at her. Seconds later, she tried to speak, but only could manage to get out fragments of words, and some sounds. Her head came crashing down onto the table where she fell unconscious. Mr. Black kept eating, not muttering a word. “Secret’s in the sauce, humph,” he said to himself. He stood up from his chair, walked over to the wall, and pressed the buttons, hidden behind the lamp. The table folded and disappeared under the floor. The floor, a cold steel flat table, took its place. He set her on the table and used the hanging straps to hold her down. Then he turned on the overhead light, shining it on her face. He sat once again, and waiting patiently for her to wake.
He sat for twenty minutes until she woke up.
“Where am I?” she screamed.
“Who are you really?” he asked her, ignoring her question.
“You already know, I am Aelita!” she pleaded.
“Lies!!” he shouted at her.
“Fine, I’ll tell you!” she screamed back.
“It’s me, Samantha Black! Your wife!” she loudly spoke. Mr. Black stumbled back into his chair. “This home was once our home that we shared together. You found out what I was, a cold blooded murder, and a monster. You couldn’t handle the truth. You tried to leave me once you found out the truth. I begged you to stay. I tried to get you to join me in my adventures, but you ran down to pack your things. I grabbed you, trying to stop you; in the process you fell back and stumbled down the stairs. You hit your head, and when you woke, you didn’t have any memory of me, our life, or even who you were,” she explained to him.
“You let me believe I was the cold-blooded murderer?! Those innocent people killed were by your hand!” he yelled.
“My dear,” she began, “you were going to give me away to the authorities!” she screamed at him. Mr. Black stood up walking to the corner of the room, in shock.
He began talking to himself silently. “So, orderly, but cluttered with thoughts, could I have done it? Only driven to become of what I thought I was all along, a monster!” He opened up a case. He took out a large object, and dragged it into the light. It was a large hammer, but it wasn’t any ordinary hammer. It had large spikes about a half a foot long on each side. He picked up the hammer, resting it on his shoulder.
“I love you!” she said to him.
“I love you too,” he said with a tear streaming down his cheek. He lifted the hammer with both hands, lifting it over his head. He used all his strength and slammed the hammer through her body. Blood splattered all around the room like dropping a water balloon on the ground, watching it explode on impact. He lifted the hammer one more. Her entrails falling off the spikes: the table catching the remains of them. He raised it over his head again, and forcefully slammed it back into her, once again. The last remaining air escaped her mouth, as he watched the life leave her eyes. He ripped the hammer out of her lifeless body, and set it back in its case. He brought her out to the backyard where he buried her underneath the apple tree. The next day was like any other day for Mr. Black. At twelve o’ clock, he went up to his tower, watching, and waiting.