Plotting the Perfect Murder
There are times when words aren’t enough to describe the way someone else’s words have made you feel. Times when you fall head-over-heels in WriterLove for their expressions, their cleverness, their capability, and the wonder of what they create. And when that person turns their words to recount some of the most horrific events of their life…you are transfixed – speared by them as though each sentence were steel, holding you fast against the corkboard edges of your mind. It is my honour to share this piece by Crystal Cook – Lizzi
I came up with my first plot for the perfect murder when I was around seven years old, I never acted on it. My little girl heart had no problem wishing a kind of gruesome death on someone — a certain, oh so deserving someone, but it involved telling a lie and breaking a promise to get it done. I couldn’t bring myself to lie because telling a lie was wrong and promises were simply not meant to be broken.
How’s that for an early childhood milestone? I was just a baby and my God, dear God, I almost made it happen. I could have easily made it happen.
The bikers up the street were bad guys, my mom told me they were. Those bad guys even told me they were, but they also told me if anyone ever tried to hurt me they would deal with it.
My mom took care of their children sometimes, they cared about her. They didn’t know she was being beaten, she didn’t want them to know. I wanted them to know. I was going to tell them he hurt me the next time he hit her, the next time she tumbled down the stairs.
Then they would beat him too, he was a monster and they would beat him, I knew they wouldn’t stop if I said he did things to me, but he hadn’t done those things . . . to me. My mom taught me not to lie so I didn’t. My mom asked me to promise I wouldn’t tell people what he did to her, she must have feared he would find out and I would become victim to his wrath as well, she was trying to protect me like I wanted to protect her so I never did tell.
I planned the second perfect murder before I was nine, again, never followed through. Fate stepped in and I didn’t have to. It was a good plan, no one would have thought the resulting horror was anything but the damages done due to a drug fueled rampage set in motion by my intended target.
I pulled a fork out of her breast, it made a wretched stomach-turning noise when I did. I wiped the blood, I did my best. I hated him. I knew hate was a bad thing so I didn’t say it out loud, but I hated him so much.
I was old enough, I wasn’t really but I had to be, to know where he hid his drugs so I could make sure my baby sister never found them. My mom had to show me and tell me what they would do.
She was taken away one night . . . because of a nasty fall . . . it was going to be the one called acid that ended things. He was knocked out and I was going to give it to him. All of it. That and whatever else I could find and then hide and watch him destroy himself.
Someone came by the house and drove me and my little sister to safety. I didn’t have a chance. My mom stood up and walked away after that. She saved us, she saved her.
I stopped thinking about the perfect murder, or rather, the possibility of needing a plan for a perfect murder, until I was 22. I never had to follow through with that one either. I would have though, damn it if part of me didn’t wish I could have.
I was that little girl again, all grown up and pissed off, scared, and prepared. It would have been self defense to anyone who didn’t know about the black cloud squeezing my broken heart. No question. No one would have known the victim was invited, no one but me and the monster I wanted to end.
I thought he was a friend. He thought he was entitled to more. I had no idea he was pinching and hitting and tormenting with unseen and well hidden torture the one thing I cared about more than anything in life, my son. My little boy couldn’t tell me what was happening, the night it became more than clear, the night I saw him strike my precious child with a fist fueled with the force of rage, the clarity turned my heart to ice.
He stalked me after that. He said and did things I have yet to find a way to speak out loud. I was pregnant with my second son and feared for all of our lives, restraining orders are fuel for a growing fire sometimes and I knew I had to put out the flames.
This second monster of mine would have come over if I’d found a way to invite him without leaving some sort of evidence of it, I knew a way. I had a rifle and I was going to have to use it to protect us when he came through the door and walked down the hall toward my room.
Thank you God for stopping me.
They were good plans, they would have worked if I’d ever set them in motion, but I didn’t. To be honest with you, it was never about murder, not to me. It was about justice and self preservation and survival . . It was about saving someone I loved which just happened to require the loss of someones life. These weren’t people, they were monsters and monsters had to be slain.
In the earliest years of my life, those dark thoughts found the light of day because I was desperately searching for a way to protect my momma, fire with fire, violence with violence. My innocence had already been shattered and the thoughts I thought seemed . . . okay.
When I was older that vileness of thought resurfaced from a need, a desire to stop a runaway train I knew would eventually derail leaving casualty and heartache in its wake. I was the momma bear this time and no fucking way was I going to let someone hurt my babies. That first strike, the one I finally saw, was going be the last. I didn’t have to shed blood, but there was a moment when I wanted to.
Dear reader, you have to know I am a good person. I would never hurt another. Remembering these things, penning them to a page in admittance fills me with a sickness I cannot describe, and yet, I fight a guilt still festering because I can somehow justify what I wanted done. When those monsters pay visit to my thoughts and my dreams I can convince myself the wrongest of things would have been right.
If not, if I don’t justify those long ago desires in the now, what the hell does that make me? A monster too?
No. I am far from a monster. I am a survivor and sometimes survivors break before they realize how strong they really are. Thank God I never completely broke. Little pieces were damaged and I suppose remain damaged, but I am whole. Sometimes I think when those fissures began to heal they were made stronger than they were before.
I am strong. So very strong, fragile still, but unbreakable.
Again dear reader, there is something I want you to understand as I do and did even then — my mother was an innocent, as much as my sister and I were. She took the abuse, so much abuse, to keep him from turning his rage upon us until she could finally find a way out. She was trapped and she was scared and she was tired, and she tried. She never stopped trying.
This monster in disguise came into our lives, a knight in shining armor to rescue our little family when I was little more than six years old. My mother and father had been childhood sweethearts, they made a family and they had love; then schizophrenia stole my father from us and we were alone, until the knight in shining armor appeared.
He was a good man. A church deacon and a provider. It should have been good and it was, at first. The bad started with little things, with words scattered like little seeds which eventually bloomed into thorns without flowers. Damn it, sometimes he was such a good man. It’s hard to reconcile the reality that there is a real Jeckyl and Hyde that exists within some people.
It’s strange the details you remember sometimes. He had a nickname for her, everyone thought it was cute, he called her Poopy. What that nickname really was was a reminder that she was nothing more than a piece of shit. Adorable.
She left him. He found her. She escaped, he captured her. He would wait until the storm clouds dissipated and come swooping in as the knight, bearing the gift of apologies and love, things we were so desperate for, and sometimes we accepted them. I don’t think she knew she had a choice. Such a vicious and cruel cycle abuse is.
My beautiful mother’s childhood was filled with its own emotional abuses and wrongs, and she’d not learned how to be a victor instead of a victim, but when the day finally came, she stood tall like an angel in all of its glory and she was so strong and so brave. She fought back and we survived.
She is my hero and my best friend. Even in the midst of that terrible storm, my mother was a beacon of light and hope for those around her. She helped the needy, she bathed and clothed and fed the homeless. She deserved so much better.
That monster is dead now, his own life cut short in his late 50s by a lifetime of ugliness. He was a bodybuilder when he was young, steroids and other drugs were his companions through most of his wasted life.
He died the same kind of nobody he was when he lived. I didn’t rejoice in hearing of his passing. To be honest, I had prayed for his soul and his salvation over time. I did this maybe more to rescue my own heart than his. I was not going to let him control me by giving him even an ounce of my power by hating him. My mom taught me that.
That other monster I told you of, my heart still hasn’t found that place where I can pray with a perfect sincerity for him, that place where forgiveness and peace reside. I long to reach the point when I can, but so far I am still searching. I have yet to completely forgive myself for not knowing, perhaps when I can do that, I will be rid of what remains of him.
I try not judge myself for those awful things I once thought, those things I once wished for. I do sometimes fear when others learn of them they may lose sight of who I actually am.
My faith, the faith my mom showed me both through example and lesson is strong enough to carry me, but sometimes being human is hard and those ugly memories we wish we could forget just creep up on us and we let ourselves be taken a little by them. It happens.
I refuse to allow myself to be held captive by them. They are a part of me. I couldn’t completely rid myself of those memories if I tried, it just doesn’t work that way. In so many ways the experiences that sometimes haunt and torment me helped create the person I grew to become, and you know what? I kind of think that person is worthy and sometimes even a maybe a little amazing when I really stop to consider it all.
I should probably consider it more often. We should all simply stop and consider how amazing we really are. It feels pretty damn good.
Crystal Cook, otherwise known as Qwietpleez here on the interwebs, goes by many names, most notably, Mommy. Proud wife and mother four, she is an Autism Warrior Momma and advocate for those with special needs and their families.
She writes about about life and love, the good and the bad, the serious and the silly over at theqwietmuse.com to retain what is left of her sanity. Sometimes to make some spare change for venti iced coffees, she occasionally writes about other things.
She is new to blogging and socializing, and is a recent and reluctant hashtag user, which she stubbornly maintains should be referred to as an octothorp. Her hobbies include sleeping in and defending the Oxford comma.