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How to Love a Killer
by Tim Koop
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You're 24 years old and have been married for four years. You and your husband moved up north here to buy this small farm because the land was so cheap and it was the only thing you could afford. The reason it was so cheap is because it is right next door to a federal maximum security prison, and people just don't want to live so close to murderers. And who could blame them really? It's something you've thought about almost every night before falling asleep.

The one thing that gives you any sense of peace at all is seeing your husband's rifle propped up in the corner of the entrance. Since you don't have any children, and there have been a few wild animals around, having a gun ready seemed like a prudent thing to do. It came with the house. The former owner had the words "Vengeance is Mine Sayeth the Lord" engraved on the side. You don't quite know what to make of that.

You remember that one day a brown bear came wondering around the house while you were outside. Your husband rescued you, but got injured in the process. You can still see the scars on his body, but he seems to be fine now. That is something you never question—his desire to love and protect you. Your husband is a wonderful man. If he wasn't a farmer he would be a pastor or something. He has visited the men in the prison a few times, and has even considered volunteering as a chaplain or something, but he hasn't yet.

Then one day while you're outside mowing the lawn you hear a sound that you hoped you would never hear in your life--the sound of the sirens at the prison warning of an escape. You stop mowing and look around. Unfortunately you're on on the back side of the yard near the trees. You leave the lawn mower right there and start a brisk walk to the house. Running might draw attention to yourself. Calling for your husband might draw attention to yourself.

Then three things happen at once. You hear your husband yell "Run!", you see him dart into the house, and off to your left to see someone come running at you from the trees. It doesn't take a fraction of a seconds before you are madly running as fast as you can to your right. You would like to make it to the house, but you would rather get away from whoever is chasing you. Panic only tells you one thing: Get away.

After what seems like a very long time, but was only a few seconds, you see your husband outside again with his gun pointing at you, or so it seems. Why would he be pointing at you? Just then you feel your body get tackled to the ground and a very large very wild man on top of you. He is saying something, and your husband is yelling something, but you can't make it out. There is only one thing left for you to do, and you do it. "Help!!!", you scream as loud as you can.

Then you see something that chokes the scream out of your mouth and makes your whole body limp and frozen at the same time. The man on top of you has some sort of home made knife, and he has it raised on top of his head. It appears to be coming down at you. Where is your husband? Why doesn't he shoot his gun? The knife comes lower and lower as if in slow motion. What's going to happen? Then the strangest things does. You see the knife blade one moment, then the next you see only the handle, and you feel a burning in your chest. Then you see the knife again, but the blade is red. This can't be happening. It must be a dream. You feel more burning, more pain, in other places. It's all so confusing. Where was your husband? What happened to him? Can't he see what's happening?

Then the giant weight of a man is off you. He could be running away. You're lying there in a large pool of your own blood when your husband finally reaches you, gun in hand. He is crying. He is saying something, apologizing maybe. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" he sobs. "I know I should have shot him, but.. but.. I just couldn't... pull the trigger. I'm not a murder. I try to love people; how can I kill them? I'm so sorry." As various emotions of guilt and regret wrack this poor man, all you can do is lie there and stare at him, wondering how in the world he could not do anything. Then you die.

But wait. This story has an alternate ending. Let's pick up from a few moments ago.

You're out mowing the lawn and you hear the siren from the prison warning of an escape. You leave the lawn mower there and start a brisk walk to the house. Before you reach it, your husband yells "Run" while getting his gun, and you see someone running towards you. You run the opposite direction. Filled with terror, you flee as fast as you can, not daring to imagine the horrors of what might happen to you if this man reaches you.

You notice your husband is back outside with the gun pointing almost at you. Then you get tackled to the ground and the stranger is on top of you. You see his knife raised over his head and you wonder what will happen. As his hand begins to come down toward your waiting body, the strangest thing happens. Suddenly his whole body spasms and falls off of you as you hear a gun shot ring out. You immediately jump up, ready to run away, but one look at the man lying in a pool of his own blood tells you there is no need to run any more. The man is dead, shot and killed by the man you love.

Soon your husband is there too, with his arms around your shaking body, comforting you and speaking words to you. "I can't stand to see anyone hurt you."

While holding on tightly to him you say "You killed him."

"Yes I did", he replies. "That's how much I love you."

As the two of you begin your walk back to the house you feel your love for him is now much fuller than it was before. You realize you are deeply in love with a killer.


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Member Comments
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Vince Martella 15 Mar 2013
Interesting. I haven't read anything written in secon person POV in a while. You did a great job building suspense. I like the way the ending wrapped around to the opening title. Nice job.


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