August 30, 2007
She sat at the kitchen table.
She was having breakfast. Muffins and hot chocolate plus an avocado. She looked up as he walked down the passage. Michel looked at her, she had warm eyes but he did not want to make it uncomfortable for her so he looked straights across her shoulder with a very straight face.
He told her that he was leaving. She was not surprised in fact she knew already but this just formality. She wished him well and told him she will open the gate for him. He nodded his head and walked out the kitchen door.
It seemed like a mile walking up the drive way. When he was almost there the gate rolled over to one side and an electric voice announced something he did not really listen to. The gate closed behind him and Michel looked slightly behind him. Atleast she will rest easy now, atleast that. He turned and started on his way home.
Home was as he expected. Everyone was beyond anger. There is no worse feeling than a feeling beyond anger. No ones yells. No one shouts. No one storms. Just pitiful glances and silent lips. The room always seemed to empty one minute after he entered. One by one everyone would leave. They could not bear him he thought, no it was not a thought-it was a fact.
Michel decided to remove his footprint in the house. He had made a VERY big one already, that was the root of this. He trained himself to a slim diet. By the end of the second week his diet was one meal a day. He was conveniently absent at other meal times. He knew they would not look for him. They would actually be relieved that they don't have to eat in his presence and very soon they learnt not to include him in the meals because he never came.
Michel stated waking up early in the morning. He washed his father's car before the sun rose. When his father was going out he stopped and paused a few seconds after he noticed it, then got in and drove away. Michel started tending the garden. It was a big garden and the work burned on his back but he toiled on. What is this compared to your footprint he thought to himself.
In a few weeks he had the garden looking alive with neatly made vegetable beds and pruned fruit trees. Michel would sit by the tool shed as the sun set, the orange light casting a hue on his caramel skin. A sigh. Atleast they don not have to pay for a gardener as well and he had done something, although very small. It was better than idleness.
Then came the close of semesters. His brothers and sister came back from university. When they walked in through the front door they eventually saw Michel. Michel had anticipated this moment. The greeted him and quickly excused themselves and left to their rooms. The next day while he was trimming the driveway hedge he saw the gate opening and, his cousin, Kayle's car drive up. Kayle only gave him a moment's glance and looked to the side. Within a few moments Michel's brothers and sister emerged from the house with travelling bags and got into the car, leaving for the summer holiday at their uncle's mansion.
It was like this. Then one early morning around a quarter to five there was a knock on the door. Michel lept to his feet as he was not sleeping at that time. When he opened the door it was his mother.
She wanted him to walk her to the taxi rank as she had to be at work by six. There were no 24 hour on-call taxis and his father was out of town on business. Michel grabbed his long overcoat and was ready to go in a few minutes. She went out first and he closed the door behind him.
The walked in silence along the long winding and rising road. There was nothing to say. They neared the junction when Michel noticed a group of men ahead. They were just drunks and they passed on by with load chatter that seemed to shatter the eerie silence. The continued walking on. Michel made sure he was half a step ahead of his mother when suddenly he stopped. She asked with some alarm what is was.
Three men emerged from the avenue trees. One of the men said how reckless it was of them to walk this time so near a ghetto. The first man mocked at them as being suburban birds out at he wrong time. The second man stepped forward to take her purse. He grabbed it but she held on. He shook her violently and hit he across the face which sent her reeling to the ground.
Michel's eyes widened with horror. He let out a fierce cry and flung out his long over coat. When it landed on the ground the man who had hit his mother was sprawled on the ground with a deep gash across his chest. The man gasped for breathe as air wheezed out of his open lungs.
The other two men cursed at Michel and charged him. The first man now brandished a machete, roared as he charged. Michel spread out his hands. He met the raised machete with his katana, with his left hand he thrust the sheath on the back of the man's head and sent him tumbling behind him. The second man was hardly a second behind the first. Michel lept to his side, digging his foot into the soft lawn he brought his katana to block the savage blow from the axe. Michel pushed hard against the man but the man was bigger, stronger . Michel winced at the pain but a smile slowly carved out on his placid face.
Michel suddenly gave up his push and and rotated on his left foot. The big man could not stop his momentum and he followed through the unopposed push. Michel's right foot landed on the tarmac and he catapulted himself whilst at the same time raining down his katana on the big man's neck.I wild howl and a spurt of blood sprayed on Michel's hand as the big man's head rolled in the grass.
Michel turned sharply and advanced on the cowering figure of the first man. The man desperately crept backwards from him, waving a knife. In a stuttering voice he demanding Michel to stay away from him, calling him a demon.
Michel looked down at the man from the arc of his raised face with shallow burning eyes. Michel raised his katana high up, it glinted in the light of the Venus and its blade seemed to be slicing the red giant in half.
The man finally stopped crawling and looked at Michel with a cold stare. It was a moment that seemed like forever, then the man slowly closed his eyes. Michel stepped one foot backwards to bring the katana crushing down but his mother shouted that he stop. Immediately he stopped.
Michel turned to look at his mother who had regained herself. Her face was written with disbelief and horror. Michel flicked his katana and re-sheathed.
Just then some lights started turning on along the street. No more screams. People are strange Michel thought to himself. Playing it safe, only coming out after the trouble. Within minutes the police were there. They arrested Michel and the man. Michel's mother demanded to go to the police station in a separate car.His mother was distressed as she gave her statement. Michel was led to an inner room.
The light was dim. Only a table and two chairs.The policeman looked at him as if he was some very sick person. They must have believed at the back of their minds that Michel was the one who attacked the three men.
Then unexpectedly the two drunks came into the station. They were sober now. It was almost midday. They collaborated Michel's story. This obviously upset some officers who were bent on locking up Michel.
Around lunch time, two cars rolled up to the station. His aunt, cousins and siblings come to collect his mother. The officer in charge said she was free to go and that Michel was free of the charge of murder but had to stay for further questioning as the psychiatrist had noticed some signs of a very disturbed personality in Michel. They left.
They walked Michel to an identical room, bigger. The officers kept a distance from him as they escorted him.
Inside the doctor looked at him as he sat. He was unmoved with a cold calm. She flicked though his statement. It was like a recipe, no emotion just the facts. She then proceed to ask a lot of questions;
How he felt after what had happened.
How did he feel about killing.
When there is a potent threat it is necessary.
Did they deserve to die.
There were an immediate threat to my mother in multiple ways
Don't you think you used excessive force.
I can't fight...I will not last long n a fight. I can only kill. That is how I eliminate threats
The doctor looked up from her notebook. She looked at him with disbelieving eyes from under the rims of her glasses.
You killed them for a grabbing a purse.
They had a machete and an axe. The threat was potent . They were just beginning.
The doctor went on like this then she came to ask him where he learnt how to use a katana.
No one taught me. I watched how it was done, simulated techniques in my mind and filtered out the practical things.
So you taught yourself to do all that, killing two men in less than half a minute. She said as she watched him demonstrate the striking techniques with his hand, a slight maniacal glee on his face
I can't dispute the facts, if that is what they say. I removed the threat. The sooner the threat is eliminated the better the odds.
What about the fact that the last man had surrendered by you were going to kill him
The threat was not over. He was just looking for a lax on my part and then he would strike with his knife. The only repentant threat is when you have slashed their chest, blood seeping into their lungs, air wheezing out like a boiling kettle and they beg you to kill them.
She observed as Michel said this with a poker face. She dared to glance into his eyes. there were tiny little black dots with gaping emptiness behind them, cold space. He was a Bishōnen, his hair, his face and smallish frame all that except his eyes. He lifted up his gaze and met her star
He jotted on the notepad in front of him and slid it towards the doctor
[Do you know someone is eavesdropping at the door.]
She hesitated as she looked at the notepad, wondering if he was not trying to mess with her mind. Eventually she got up. He flat shoes made virtually no noise as she made her way to the door. She swung it open and the hunching figure behind the door quickly straightened and walked away. She closed it again.
She came back and sat down. The door was behind him. That is when she realised how he was aware of everything in the room. He was not the average thug she thought to himself. She felt a disconnection to the world around him.
Where did you get that katana
I got it from a trader
Do you know that it's illegal to carry a weapon.
If only people followed that rule, obviously they do not, otherwise we would both not be here.
That does not mean you should
Did you prefer to come pick me and my mother's bodies in some ditch after they probably raped her.
The doctor remained silent then looked up, trying to avoid his piercing eyes she looked down again to write something in her book.
She looked through the mugshots from that morning's scene then moved to the bottom of the page and jotted on the dotted line.