Stepping onto the road leading into a closed off subdivision, Clancy grinned to himself as his eyes rolled up to look at the moon.
It was full and heavy, like a balloon of milk just ready to burst from the tiniest prick of one of Clancy’s rusty knives. He twirled the steak knife along his scarred knuckles, grin growing wider as the chipped metal slit into his thick calluses, drawing minute lines of blood.
Tonight was the night, he mused. Halloween! The most glorious night of the year!
Padding on bare feet down the pavement, Clancy allowed the elongated sleeves of his straight-jacket to trail on the ground as he moved. The holes he’d torn into the thick material were big enough for his arms to lash out quickly if needed, and it allowed him to hide his knives… tonight the kiddies would be gamboling about, cavorting with each other while gorging on sugary treats.
Their blood would taste extra sweet tonight.
Walking up to the steel gate blocking the subdivision off from the rest of the world, Clancy hopped up, grabbing onto the iron bars with a titan’s grip. Pulling himself up, he dropped down to the other side, rolling into a thicket of bushes just as a car rolled up to leave subdivision. Clancy stared with silver eyes at the woman sitting in the car, hair done up properly in a tight bun of blood red hair, stray strands spilling out over her milky neck. She pressed a button on her dashboard and the gate began to slowly, mechanically, roll to the side for her.
Clancy licked his lips, staring at the untouched beauty of her unblemished skin. He felt his eye twitch as his left hand slowly raised up, knife held in a tight fist.
No! Clancy ordered his body, fighting the urge to lunge out of the bushes and rip open the door, to pull the woman from the driver’s seat and cut up her pretty skin until it was as scarred as Clancy’s, a series of slits that overlapped in hundreds of spots on his arms, chest, legs, and face.
Clancy ground his teeth together, the strain of enamel on enamel cricking as he watched the woman’s car glide out of the subdivision, accelerating once she hit the main road, turning right. Her fading crimson blinker flickering in the darkness before slowly being swallowed by it. Clancy growled and closed his eyes, repeating the mantra that the doctors had taught him in the asylum.
I must not cut!
I must not cut!
I must not cut!
After repeating the mantra a dozen times, he was able to regain control of his breathing. Looking into the sleeve of his straight-jacket, stained brown from past victims, he stared at the knife he’d sunk into his thigh, the blade a solid inch into his tortured flesh. Pulling it free, he quickly licked the blade before spitting on the ground.
His blood was foul, dirty and gritty; he needed the blood of other people, of those that would understand him…
He needed the blood of children. And thank goodness, Clancy thought to himself as he looked down the street just as the street lamps flickered on, he saw dozens of young boys and girls in all manner of garb walking up and down the sidewalks, plastic jack-o-lanterns dangling from their pudgy fingers.
Twisting the knife in his hand, Clancy slipped back into the foliage and snuck along the low wall built up next to the house at the entrance of the neighborhood. Pausing when he came across a utility box, Clancy stared at it in abject wonder for a few moments before remembering what one of his bunk mates had told him about these boxes.
They control the phone lines going through a given area, the man had said with little humor to his voice. Internet too, if they’re wired together.
Interesting… Clancy thought, bringing his knife to bear, slipping it into the seam of the box before savagely pulling down, breaking the lock on the small door covering the delicate electronics.
The door swung open limply, revealing a series of yellow and red wires connected to several outlets. Throwing caution to the wind, Clancy let out a series of mad giggles, like magma bubbling over the lip of a volcano ready to blow. He reached up and grabbed a handful of wires, tearing them from the box and throwing them to the ground. He did this three more times until none of the wires were in the box anymore, the base of a shrub littered with yanked wires.
“Oops,” Clancy chuckled. “Now how will they call anyone?”
Giggling, Clancy continued his path around the wall, dashing from the break in the tall bushes to a set of low hedges beneath the front window of a house, lights shining from inside with dancing shadows.
Clancy liked when the shadows danced… they often did it when he was alone, to make him feel better. But these shadows belonged to a teenage girl, along with a paunchy older man with graying temples and tortoiseshell glasses wearing a blue sweater. The girl was dressed as a cheerleader, though what school would allow such an outfit Clancy had no idea; the skirt was ridiculously short while her top showed an abundance of pale cleavage. Her short bob cut of brown hair, streaked with pink, made her look almost comical.
Comical enough for Clancy to chuckle darkly to himself as he licked his knife, the unsavory taste of his blood still tainting the chipped blade. He watched as the girl moved through the house, the older man (presumably her father) following her around, talking to her with wild hand motions.
Clancy could only imagine what he was seeing unfold. He could hear it now:
Father: Heather (Clancy decided that she looked like a Heather), you can’t go out looking like that! What will the neighbors think?
Heather: I don’t care, Father, I want to go out and party! I’m almost a grown-up, which means I get to make decisions for myself now!
Father: That’s not the point! You know what girls dressed like you are doing?
Father: Inviting boys to fondle you, that’s what! And I’ll be damned if my little girl is fondled!
Heather: I’ll be fondled if I want to be fondled, thank you very much!
Clancy giggled as he listened to the muffled words through the glass of the window; he was sure that’s what they were arguing about! All the young girls were always out looking for a good fondling, after all. Tucking his knife back into his long sleeve, Clancy slouched through the bushes until he could see the front door, waiting for when it to burst open and reveal the young beauty.
He didn’t have to wait long. Within five minutes she was opening the door, looking back inside with a smile on her face. “Okay Dad, I’ll call you when I get there!”
“Good. Now you have a good time over at the Jordan’s,” the father called from somewhere deeper in the house, “and try to get home before midnight. You know all the weirdos that come out after dark!”
Clancy frowned at that; Clancy wasn’t weird, he was special. The doctors said so.
Heather merely cracked a grin as she closed the door before making her way around the hedges and out onto the driveway. Clancy rubbed his chin, wondering what kind of party she was going to. The Halloween parties at the asylum were never that fun, just a few pieces of chocolate “if you behaved”, which Clancy rarely did. They held it against him that he was particularly skilled at escaping his bonds, along with his cell. He imagined that they’d discover his room empty in an hour or so when the dinner cart rolled up.
“Gives me more than enough time to add a few scars,” Clancy thought, the scabbed over cut on his thigh throbbing merrily. He couldn’t wait to add to his collection. Three hundred and nineteen… even the psychiatrists didn’t know he cut himself for every person he killed; they just thought he was a masochist, which he had to admit was true to an extent.
Watching as Heather crossed the road, Clancy smiled as he watched a little boy, perhaps ten years old, walking up the driveway, a semi-empty pillowcase in his right hand. Dressed as a vampire, the caked on white powder on his face and fake blood dripping from his plastic fangs brought a fond smile to Clancy’s face. He was about ten years old when he killed his mother, added his seventh scar.
As the boy walked by, Clancy lashed out from the hedges, snatching the child, one hand and dirty sleeve covering the boys mouth, the other sinking Clancy’s knife into the boy’s liver, blade sunk in to the hilt as blood began to drizzle onto the clean driveway. Clancy drug him into the hedges, the little boy’s muffled screams growing higher in pitch as Clancy yanked out the knife and stabbed him again.
A total of nine stabbings were what was required to silence the little boy, the hedges watered with the crimson deluge that poured from the child’s many fresh orifices. Clancy licked his bloody knife, running the flat of the blade quickly along his tongue.
A symphony of joyous songs rang through his mind as he tasted the iron-rich substance, which he cleaned from the blade thoroughly over the next few minutes. Tucking the knife back into his sleeve, Clancy looked at the pale corpse; it was already hidden among the hedges, and it was growing darker by the minute. Should be a safe enough spot to leave him, Clancy reasoned. He pulled his knife out once again and opened his thigh wound, wriggling the blade into the deep stab until he could lengthen it the requisite three inches. Blood seeped through his white hospital- issued pants, growing darker as the seconds passed. He patted the wound, knowing it would clot on its own in time; but for now, he had more people to find… and he could only think of Heather and the party she was heading to as the perfect place to gather seek out new scars.