As the blood drips off the knife, creating a small pool of crimson on the laminate flooring, I remember my first kill. It was only an accident, but the police thought otherwise.

I was 13 years old when my mind first wandered off into the dark places of humanity. We were playing serial killers like we did every Saturday afternoon. My best friend came up with the idea and I loved it from the first day. I was the killer that particular day and my best friend was hiding in the woods nearby. It was my job to find him and chase him with a knife until I catch him or he reaches the center of the woods where the imaginary police cars were.

I look back now and realize it was a game of hide and seek with a bit of tag in it, but themed differently. I moved like a cat through the woods, looking for any trace of Scotty. A bent patch of grass here and a snapped twig there were the only hints we had to find our victim. I stalked through the woods, my mother’s carving knife laying against my bare forearm, looking for Scotty when I hear the slightest snap of tree bark.

I knew right then what direction he was in and headed east to find him trail. I move quickly, yet quietly, towards the sound. I see a heavy footprint in the soft ground. I knew he ran this way, only running can leave a heavy toed shoe print like that. The push from the foot leaving the ground while running requires more strength than a normal walking pattern, thus creating a deeper imprint on the toes of the shoe.

I imagined being a leopard, catching the scent of his prey, as I ran along the trail of Scotty’s heavy footed prints in the soft spring ground. I watch my every step to ensure I miss every twig or slippery rock that could inform my prey of the incoming kill. As I sneak around a large tree, I see him breathing hard leaning against the tree.

He spots me and holds up a hand for me to stop.

“Can’t…breathe…forgot…inhaler…” he said as he tried to catch his breath.

I started to panic as I grabbed his arm and flung it over my shoulder. I walked as quickly as I could drag Scotty through the woods towards my parent’s house. I never saw the tree root looping out of the ground in front of us. I was focused more on Scotty’s breathing than anything around us. We both trip, though Scotty fell face first into the ground, I was falling soon after him.

I bring out my arms to catch my fall. My left hand caught Scotty in the back as my right smashed crookedly into the ground. Pain flared through my right arm. My wrist felt like a thousand needles were stabbing at me repeatedly.

I hear Scotty gasping for breath, but something was wrong. With every breath, there was a gurgling in the back of his throat. As I moved to sit him up with my left arm, I saw the knife protruding out of his back. I had forgotten I was still holding the knife as we walked back through the woods.

“Sit still, I gotta take this out,” I had said to Scotty.

I didn’t wait for a response before yanking it out of his back. He screamed before collapsing to the ground.

I dropped the knife and pressed my hands against his free flowing wound. His life poured out into my hands. I remember feeling the ecstasy rising throughout my body. Like a million butterflies flying through my nerves.

My hands were bathed in his blood, and as I took my hand away from his wound, I spread the blood up my arms and rubbed my hands across my face. The crimson gold dripping from my hands felt like a loss as it struck the ground with a hollow thud.

I heard women screaming in fear as I taste the blood on my lips. Scotty’s frantic mother pulls him away from me, crying and screaming at someone else to call 911.

They tell me I blacked out around then, but I only remember feeling my body explode in arousal as I swallowed Scotty’s life force, adding his to my own.

When I woke up, I was handcuffed in front of a judge. They had said I was in a coma-like state for several months. They attributed my behavior as post traumatic stress disorder and forced me into therapy for the next 5 years.

I spent the first 2 years in ecstasy as I recounted the blood flowing over my fingers. In the 3rd year of therapy the sensation was fading. I knew what I had to do, and I knew it had to go down just like Scotty’s did but with one small change. I couldn’t get caught.