Wasty Presents: Dirty Deeds For Clean Gents


I sat in my room at the table. A candle was flickering. The four men sitting across from me projected ghostly shadows on the wall.
"I'm sure you knew Roald McGreen. The one who recently was found dead in his bed. He ran into a tree with his car a while ago after he lost control on a slippery road. The car was totaled and Roald, who broke an arm and suffered a concussion, was admitted to the hospital. He awoke in a run-down, smelly hospital room. He was the only one in the room and there was no bell to call for a nurse. He laid back into the pillow and tried to relax as he noticed a squeaking sound. He noticed it right away because there were no other noises. It came from the right corner where he had already spotted a hole in the wall. As he looked around he saw a little, gray mouse jumping towards his bed. It came closer and closer. It had already reached the bedpost and started to climb it. Roald, who stilled suffered from the concussion and was unable to think clearly, felt threatened. He started to sweat and stared confused at the bedpost whose end the mouse had just reached and now jumped off onto the covers. Curious, it hurried towards his head. He panicked. He wanted to slam the beast off the bed but the pain stopped him from doing so. He started shaking his head wildly although this made him feel dizzy. The mouse settled next to his head and squealed. But to his luck he didn't realize this anymore because now he passed out.
After a while when all the wounds had healed, he was released from the hospital. A great fear of mice remained. He consulted his doctor who advised him to see a psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist sent him to a clinic in the mountains. But there too he was stricken by panic attacks. He left again.
At home everything went well for a few days. He was working again, looked after the garden. Also, he was able to sleep undisturbed. Once he paid me a visit and told me the whole story. He wanted to talk about his ailments and I believed that I could help him.
Already the following night he had a nightmare: Carefully the window was opened by a dark-gray creature. The creature turned out to be - only in his dream - a giant mouse. It came towards Roald McGreen who was tossing and turning on the bed. The long, pointy fangs flashed in the pale moonlight that lit the room only sparely. With a pointy fang that caught special attention it crawled next to the bed, lowered its head and bit. He probably experienced a stinging pain in his chest, then he lay still and it was quiet in the room.
In the morning the maid probably wanted to wake up Mr. McGreen. She saw him and let go a scream for on the bed was Roald, still and dead. Blood flowed from a small wound in the chest. The covers were blood red. That's how I imagine it was; on that next morning."
The four were wondering why their host knew the cause of death so accurately. There was nothing about it in the newspaper. There was basically only one answer. That thought made them shudder...
It all started so innocently with an invitation to a poker evening. What was the real reason for the invitation now? It didn't feel quite right anymore.
"I made up the story about the nightmare but I thought that's how he must have perceived my visit," I explained while I pulled out a blood-covered knife and showed it to my guests. The true reason for the invitation was about to be revealed. Confused and not even that surprised they retreated a bit.
In a triumphant voice I said: "That's what I stabbed him with. I climbed into his room where he was laying in bed covered with sweat. His eyes were gleaming and widening. Maybe he was horrified because I appeared somewhat frightening in the pale moonlight. I positioned myself next to the bed and rammed this knife into his chest. He was dead on the spot."
"Then you are a murderer." The four made long faces.
"No, I am not a murderer. I just freed him from his fears", I joked. The men crammed into corners because they wanted to be as far away from me as possible. They knew that I did not like them very much. Now they were afraid. I closed the door. The draft almost made the candle go out. The shadows of the four were shaking. I couldn't tell if the flicker of the candle caused that or if they really quivered liked that. Either way, I proceeded to scare my victims: "Before you now leave and hide in your apartments, double-locking the doors and peeking out the windows to see who might come visit you, I now have to tell you the reason for my invitation tonight and the purpose of the story: "For a long time already I hate all of your guts. I hated Roald McGreen's guts too...". I approached one of the four men. He froze like he was nailed to the floor and stared in my eyes while the others stepped aside. He was shaking all over and his face appeared devoid of color and blood. I started to speak in a beseeching tone. The flame of the candle got even lower and the room was half dark.
"Fredy", I began, pleased. He would have liked to crawl into the wall. "That you suffer from hallucinations comes in really handy. You will be afraid that your sleep isn't deep enough. You'd have to witness how the killer sneaks into your room and stretches out his hands for your throat. Not very pleasant, is it? So you will quickly swallow as many sleeping pills as you can and the murder is perfect without the murderer ever touching you."
I turned away from him. I was hoping that this was sufficient. He sucked in air with deep breaths. The remaining three pressed against the wall and tried to act as invisibly as possible. I believed that the eerie atmosphere and my words were enough to scare them and drive them to suicide. That way I didn't have to get my hands dirty but the disturbing factors in my circle of acquaintances were disposed of. Two birds with one stone.
"Fear not as I am not going to hurt you, at least not directly. But even if I had to kill you myself I would be to skilled for the police. You can choose". One walked over to the table determinedly, contemplated the knife and finally took it in his hands. Just then the candle went out. It was dark in the room. Only the gray smoke of the candle rose to the ceiling. There was a scream and something fell to the floor with a thump. The remaining three made their way to the door. They were scared stiff and that was good. I let them go.
As I dragged the body down to the basement I believed to hear several screams in the neighborhood. Satisfied I went to sleep.


Copyright © 1979, Wasty, Anguish
German title: Gesteuerte Selbstmorde
114 lines
Reading time: approx. 7 1/2 minutes

Written as a school essay in German class (Fritz Fischer, the teacher, even liked it and nicknamed me "Hitchcock" from then on...)


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Last updated February 12, 2001 by Martin Mathis, e-mail lastbandit.com