This story is by ebba rabinovitz and was part of our 2020 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
A Psychopath’s Way
Sitting alone in a tiny square cell, I feel satisfied. There is a small window high up, too lofty for me to reach, but I can see the sky. When the wind is howling, I can even watch the leaves on a branch, moving in and out. There is a rusty alloy frame with a thin mattress, a plastic table, a wobbling chair, and a toilet with no lid in the corner. The prison’s administration provided me with a finely bound bible, laying invitingly on the table. Abrahams Covenant should make me a better person? I chuckled but nevertheless peeked into it and surprisingly found some interesting action. So, it was not such a bad idea, after all.
I am happy here-I finally feel free.
I used to be a busy plastic surgeon and I had it all! Through 30 years of strenuous work, I turned many agreeable women into stretched out, blown up monsters. All in the name of beauty and with the help of much alcohol. And wow! It paid me well. After 10 years, I bought a vast house and a young woman. Soon enough, I also had a yacht and threw parties. As time went by, I became famous and was extensively interviewed on TV. More and higher-paying women came to my practice. I exchanged my wife for a newer model.
In short, I was a boundless asshole.
I felt invincible until the day when I woke up with a terrible headache. I tumbled into my bathroom, took ahold onto the sink, and looked myself into the eyes. I didn’t like what I saw; the headache got unbearable, and I lost my consciousness.
I came-alive in a hospital bed and found a pretty woman sitting next to me. She realized that I woke up, bent over, and took my hand. Who is she?
I asked her, and she proclaimed to be my wife, Ellie. She looked familiar and was beautiful enough. I decided not to ask any more questions right now.
A doctor and later a psychologist told me I had a stroke and that a short-term memory loss was normal in my case. It would dissolve in a couple of days.
I didn’t feel sick, so I got up and Ellie helped me to the bathroom. I asked her to give me some privacy. While arranging my hair, I looked in the mirror. The picture got fuzzy and once-more I didn’t like what I saw. But this time I stayed conscious. While sitting on the toilet, memories came flooding back: faces, people, surgeries, op room, TV, women–and repeatedly I felt bad.
What was wrong with me? Images of my abundant life made me feel nauseous?
I got up, showered, wrapped a towel around my hips, exited the bathroom, and declared: “I want to go home.” I looked at pretty Ellie and was surprised to see a hateful blink in her eyes. As if she didn’t want me to go home. Why? Ellie despised me? I smiled at her and assured her I would be fine.
She tried to convince me to stay at least one more day under supervision. I dressed, signed papers declaring that I left at my own risk against all recommendations. Ellie drove me home to my grand house.
The main door opened, and a tall guy around his mid-thirties with amenable features exited with a
“Hello, Dr. Simson, good to have you back!”
Realizing my blank face, Ellie explained that he was my personal living-in assistant, Tim. And yes, now I remembered. I needed someone to take care of my schedule, my appointments, my interviews, my speech assignments, and of all the other rather tiring chores I was too lazy to do myself.
I didn’t remember that he also arranged my mistress appointments and the rent payments for our hideaway. I remembered the mistress, though.
While all this rushed through my still slightly damaged brain, I watched Tim; I watched Ellie. How come they exchange such intimate glances? If I am good at one thing, besides operating wonders on women, it is translating body language and facial expressions into meanings..
I wondered: is Ellie playing a game that I usually play?
After exchanging niceties, I kind of crawled up to my vast bedroom. I asked Ellie to let me rest alone a bit. And while sitting propped up on my equally vast bed, I decided: I wouldn’t allow her to play my games.
I am allowed, no boundaries for me. But for her there are, she is what I made her. I must find out what is happening here.
I remembered an old friend from med school, who opted out and chose to be a private investigator instead of a doctor. Bruno Mankievic was his name, and I saw him last time 5 years ago on a class reunion fete.
I looked him up, called, met and told him my suspicion. He proposed to plant a listening device in my study. That is where I sat down and worked on files with Tim. Bruno placed the device under the table, so I could listen in to whoever talked in my study.
Surprise, bad, nasty surprise-it was even worse than I feared.
Pretty Ellie and handsome Tim wanted to murder me! They decided on an odorless poison they will get out of pressing castor beans. In one of their conversations, Tim explained that once he bought castor beans on a market in Guadalupe. He wanted to press them and get oil out of them. People say this oil will improve hair growth; he feared to be bald soon. He forgot about the beans until he met Ellie. Until he fell in love with her and warmed up to her plan to extinguish me from her life. Then he could marry an indecent wealthy widow. He remembered that these beans if pressed, left a pulp rich in ricin.
Ricin is red and odorless. This made it perfect to mix into a bottle of red wine.
Their conversations were a shock to me.
I “googled” Ricin and failed to understand why they chose this poison. Ricin doesn’t kill instantly; it can take up to 36 hours and more until the entire system shuts down. What were they planning to do with me? Drop me into the Hudson, and claim me as a missing person?
Maybe they were not only mean but also stupid.
While digesting these worrying facts, memories came flashing and with them a rising feeling of wanting out. Out of this life of lies and pretensions.
Finally, it was Thursday noon, and ironically our 5th wedding day and the plan was Ellie would come in the evening with a bottle of wine to celebrate.
I returned home with 5 huge red roses, embraced my treacherous wife, and told her to give me 1 hour of seclusion and then join me. I kissed her deeply and pressed my body against hers, and I could hardly believe how empathically she responded. This fueled my revulsion.
At 9 pm Ellie entered. She had dressed herself to the occasion in a revealing nightgown, balancing a tablet with a carafe with red wine and two glasses. I returned her smile. And invited her to sit next to me on the bed.
I had my plan ready. I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted this farce of my life to be over.
I filled the two glasses with the spiced-up wine, lifted one glass with my right hand, and with my left hand grabbed her blond mane and pulled her hard down on the bed. She opened her mouth to cry, and I poured the content of the glass into her. I spilled some, but a lot went in. She coughed and spit, got limp, and fell back on the bed. I filled the glass once more and with no remorse; I forced her mouth open with my fingers around her cheeks. I rushed it all in. Again coughing, gurgling.
I left her and called Tim, asking him to come up. When he entered, I hit him over the head with the empty bottle. He went down. I pulled him to the bedpost, restrained his arms and legs, and crammed a napkin into his mouth. Ellie groaned and started to have seizures. I checked that Tim was tightly bound, slapped him, grinned and left them both alone. They got what they planned for me.
No way someone will find them before Monday.
May they look at each other helplessly for eternity.
They put me on trial. While sitting on the bench in the courtroom, I had another stroke. I recovered and plead guilty. This stroke finally changed it all.
I am quiet. I feel satisfied. I am free.