Short Story - Silence Broken

Essay by perko62High School, 10th gradeB+, June 2009

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He sits in the middle of a small room filled with silence, staring directly at a wall covered by pictures of his victims and their families, smiling and laughing, exhibiting a euphoric mood. Hours later a buzzer sounds, a guard enters the room and escorts him back down a long corridor to his cell. The door shuts, the cell darkens for a short instant until a light is turned on to allow the guards to watch his every movement through the glass walls that surround him.

He continues his daily routine of saying his blessings "I still hold complete control and power over my mind, thoughts and emotions after five years and eight months of seclusion imprisonment, I Bruce William Johnston am a genius, had I not allowed myself to get caught would not be here, I am smarter than the top criminal investigators, my actions and thoughts are unpredictable, people may even be jealous of me and my life."

It is important for him to recount these blessings each day to maintain self belief in his grandiose persona.

Bruce Johnston proceeds to his bed where he lays down and rests trying hard to block out thoughts of how he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. He thinks about his past, what if he hadn't become a crazed killer, what would he be doing now, what would have the future held for him? Today for some reason a little girl in one of the photos brings back a past memory, usually this would make him smile and feel a sense of accomplishment. Instead, he feels strangely frighten as fear penetrates his conscience. He knows what happens to child killers in prison, how they are treated. A little girl screaming, monotonously, plays over in his mind, slowly eating away at his external barrier allowing emotions of panic to overwhelm him.

His mind exhausted from fighting his demons finally allows him to drift off to sleep. He sees himself walking along the corridor to the outside compound; his isolation is alarming as he senses he is not alone. He feels fear like he has never felt before. Johnstone turns around to see who is following him when he is struck to the ground; he is not prepared to die but allows the blade to continually pierce through his neck, chest and back. Blood spills out onto the ground surrounding him, gasping for air through his slit throat the reality of his death becomes evident. He closes his eyes hoping blindness to the situation will protect him. His head begins to spin as he becomes powerless, incapable of shutting out a dreadful sound. It is the sound of laughter coming from his victims. They howl and circle him with hideous laughter. The same sound, the same anguish and suffering they endured.

He wakes and sits upright in bed, eyes wide open. He struggles to clear the suffocating thoughts about his victims from his mind; more and more of them, force their way in and unite in laconic laughter. The cell door opens, a young man and woman enter the room and Johnston immediately recognises them as the parents of the little girl who was his last victim. The woman is finding it difficult to look at him and stand upright as she leans on her husband to physical support her. Johnston is unable to coherently absorb what they are saying as his powerful mind frantically tries to block out their words. But the phrase "Our little angel, violently taken from us, by you, you monster" penetrates through him like a red hot iron. Slowly his mind becomes weak and weighed down with dread, his powerful will and discipline he maintained for two thousand and seventy-three days has been broken. Tears flow down his face. The guard looks on but leaves him to endure the pain and suffering for a few minutes before entering the room. He bends down and picks Johnston off the floor where he lay's motionless.

Johnston was like a blind man, oblivious to his surrounding as he relied on the forceful pressure of the guard's hand on his back to direct him down the long corridor for the final time. He directs him into an interview room where a man stands by the window admiring the view that overlooks the harbor; it has been a long time since Johnston saw the outside world.

The man shows Johnston to a seat behind a desk and places a pen in his hand and a piece of paper in front of him, before returning to his spot by the window. "I take it you are ready to reveal where you have hidden those missing bodies now Johnston? I'll give it to you Johnston; you were a tough one to break. In fact the toughest I ever dealt with, but what I really want to know, is what made you give in?"