A man sits alone in a room. His hands are cuffed tightly in his lap. There is an empty chair across from him and it’s so quiet he can hear his own heartbeat.
The door opens and a young man enters, casually sitting down. The door creaks shut, locking the two men alone in silence.
“Vincent,” the young man said.
Vincent answered with a cold, silent stare.
The young man wore a loosely fitting plaid shirt and jeans. *Must be undercover,* Vincent thought.
“I’m going to be honest with you,” the officer said. “I’m new at this. I’ve never done anything like this before, so you’ll have to forgive me if this is a little…awkward. I want to ask you---“
“---what’s your name?” Vincent broke his silence sharply.
The young man took a breath and answered. “My name is Paul.”
“Ok Paul, I’m going to need you to listen to me very carefully,” Vincent leaned forward on the table. “I’ve taken the life of a man because I didn’t like the way he looked at me in a hallway.
I kept him alive just long enough so he could hear his heart stop beating. I am…different.”
“I don’t value human life the way most people do. People are a disease and I am the cure. I wish you could have seen that man’s last moments Paul. It was beautiful.”
They sat and stared at each other for a moment. Vincent continued.
“I can tell you this because you and I both you know can’t touch me because of who I am. Listen to my words. I killed a man for looking at me in a fashion that I didn’t appreciate.
I never even knew his name. You’ll need to choose your next words very carefully.”
Vincent gazed at the young cop with cold, dark eyes. Your move.
There was a long pause. Paul broke the silence with a question.
“Do you know how you got here?”
Vincent stared at the officer, thinking, but didn’t answer.
“Here, let me show you something.”
Paul calmly reached into his back pocket and pulled out a long, jagged knife. There was dried blood on it.
Paul slid it across the table, just out of Vincent’s reach, almost daring him to reach for it.
“I took this from the evidence locker.”
“That’s delightful Paul, tell me more,” Vincent answered, sarcasm creeping into his voice.
Another long pause.
“I know what you did, you bastard. I know what you did to that poor girl.” Paul’s calm exterior began to break, emotions creeping into every passing word.
“That girl was fourteen years old, you fuck. You say you’re different, that you don’t value human life; well I know that’s how you’ll play it in court.
You’ll plead to the jury with sober eyes, you’ll get the best lawyer money can buy. If your wallet can’t get you out of this, you’ll get off on an insanity plea.”
“Smart boy,” Vincent answered. “So what are you going to do about it? Plant evidence on me? Force a confession so you can send me to prison?”
“No,” Paul said, looking at the ceiling to fight back tears. “You’re going to get something much, much worse.”
Just then, the lights went off. Vincent felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
*This isn’t a police station. Paul isn’t a cop.*
The lights came back on, and Vincent was alone. The knife had been removed from the table, replaced with a crumpled Polaroid. A young girl and her father.
The same young girl whose screams had echoed throughout Vincent’s apartment just days before; her bloodstains were still on the wall.
Vincent leaned forward, and he knew that the man in the picture was the same man who was sitting before him moments earlier. Vincent managed to crack a half smile.
*Ok then.* He nodded to himself once. *Good for him.*
Vincent leaned back and tried to relax. He knew as soon as that door opened again, his life would probably end.
He knew from experience that any struggle or tension in his body would simply prolong the pain. He took in a deep breath and held it.
Just then, as the walls seemed to buckle with tension, he realized he hadn’t heard anyone open the door to leave. Vincent managed a short sigh of approval before the lights cut out again.