The streets were empty. No one drove through the area that late at night, yet a single being was sitting under a bus shelter in the pouring rain. He had picked up an abandoned newspaper and began reading a peculiar excerpt that caught his eye with the light that emanated from the lone streetlamp:
OMINOUS UNKNOWN KILLER IS STILL AT LARGE
After weeks of unexplained murders, the ominous unknown killer is still on the rise. Several counties of police units have failed to find valuable evidence, but a young boy states that he survived one of the killer's attacks. Although he was hesitant at first, he willingly gave the authorities his testimony yesterday evening. He also requested that his name remained anonymous.
"I had a bad dream and woke up in the middle of the night," says the boy. "I saw that for some reason the window was open, even though I remember it being closed before I went to bed. I got up and pushed it shut, though I didn't think to lock it at the time. After all, nothing bad ever happened in my neighborhood for as long as I could remember. Anyways, I then crawled under my covers and tried to get back to sleep. That's when I had a strange feeling, like someone was watching me. I looked up and nearly jumped out of my bed. There, in the pale rays of moonlight, illuminating from between my curtains, was a pair of two eyes. These weren't regular eyes, no no...they were dark, ominous eyes. They were bordered in black, and...they just plain out terrified me. Then I saw his mouth...a long, horrendous smile that made every hair on my body stand up on end. He just...stood there, watching me. Finally, after what seemed like forever, he spoke to me. It was a simple phrase, but said in a way only a mad man could speak.
"He said, 'Go to sleep.' I screamed my head off, and that's what sent him after me. With lightning speed, he pulled up a knife, most likely aiming for my heart. He then jumped on top of my bed before I could even think to move. I fought him back as best as I could; I kicked, I punched, I rolled around, I tried anything to knock him off me. That's when my dad busted in. He had his hunting rifle aimed at the psychopath's head. He probably would've gotten him, too, had the man not have had what I can only describe as superpowers. The figure threw the knife in a blink of an eye, and it was a direct hit into my dad's shoulder. I was so scared...I thought that we were both done for, but thankfully, one of the neighbors alerted the police.
"They drove into the parking lot and ran towards the door. The guy grabbed his knife out of my dad's body and ran down the hallway. I then heard a smash, like glass breaking. As I came out of my room, I saw that the window pointing towards the back of my house was broken. I looked outside, only to see him vanish into the distance. I can tell you one thing...I will never forget that face. Those cold, evil eyes, and that bloody smile. They will always be in my nightmares..."
Police investigators are still on the lookout for this person. If you see anyone that fits the description in this statement, please contact your local police department.
After reading the last lines, the guy put down the paper and gave a sinister laugh. "So they're still clueless!" he chuckled to himself as he spun his knife in his hand. "At this rate, they'll never catch me! I bet I could even waltz right into one of those police stations and still come out unscathed! And they think they know what they're doing, ha! If only they knew my story...oh, how I would love to entertain them before they sleep...but time is much too short! There's always more work to do." The mysterious figure then left the shelter and crept into the night, the rain still pounding down as thunder bellowed in the distance.
Jeff and his family had just moved into a new neighborhood. His dad had gotten a promotion at work, and they thought it would be best to live in one of those "fancy" neighborhoods. He and his brother Liu couldn't complain though. A new house, more space, a new atmosphere...what was not to love? As they were getting unpacked, one of their neighbors came by.
"Hello," she said, "I'm Barbera. I live across the street from you. Well, I just wanted to introduce myself and my son." She turned around and called her son over. "Billy, these are our new neighbors." Billy said hi before quickly running back to play in his yard.
"Well," said Jeff's mom, "I'm Margaret, this is my husband Peter, and these are my two sons, Jeff and Liu." They each introduced themselves, and then Barbera invited them to her son's birthday. The two boys were about to object, when their mother happily stated that they would love to. When Jeff and his family were done unpacking, he approached her about the matter.
"Mom, why would you invite us to a random kid's party? If you haven't noticed, I'm not just some dumb kid without any opinion."
"Jeff," his mom reminded him, "We just moved here. We should show that we want to spend time with our neighbors. It'll make for a better impression later on. Now, we're going to that party, and that's final."
Jeff wanted to interject, but he stopped himself, knowing that he couldn't do anything. Whenever his mom said something, it became the law, no questions asked. He went up to his room and plopped down on his bed. He sat there looking at his ceiling when all of the sudden...he felt something strange. Not so much a pain, but...a weird feeling. He dismissed it as just something sporadic. He then heard his mother call him down to get his stuff, so he clambered down to get it.
The next day, Jeff hurried downstairs to get breakfast and prepare for school. As he sat there, eating his cereal, he once again had that feeling. This time, it was stronger. It gave him a slight tugging pain, but he once again dismissed it, not mentioning it to anyone else. As he and Liu finished breakfast, they sauntered down the sidewalk to the bus stop. They sat there waiting for the bus, observing the scenery and passing cars. Then, from out of nowhere, some kid on a skateboard jumped over them, only inches above their laps. They both leaped back in surprise, and Jeff exclaimed, "Hey, what the hell?!!?"
The kid landed flawlessly and turned back to them. He kicked his skateboard up and caught it with his hands. The kid looked to be about twelve, one year younger than Jeff. He wore an Aeropostale shirt and ripped blue jeans, looking quite rebellious just from his attire.
"Well, well, well. It looks like we got some new meat." As if on cue, two other boys appeared beside him, also on skateboards. One was super skinny and the other was huge, the classic henchmen duo. "Since you're new here, I'd like to introduce ourselves. Over there is Keith." Jeff and Liu looked over to the skinny kid, not knowing what else to do. He had a dopey face that one would expect a sidekick to have. "And he's Troy." They then fixed their gaze on the fat kid, a walking tub of lard. He looked like he hadn't exercised since he was crawling.
"And I," announced the leader, "am Randy. Now, for all the kids in this neighborhood, there is a small price for bus fare, if you catch my drift." Liu stood up, ready to punch the lights out of the kid's eyes, when his two friends revealed knives and brandished them. "Tsk, tsk, tsk, I had hoped you would be more cooperative, but it seems we must do this the hard way." The kid walked up to Liu and took his wallet out of his pocket like he was simply getting his mail. That strange aura returned to Jeff. Now, it was truly strong, a burning sensation, and he stood up furiously. Liu silently pleaded for him to sit back down, but Jeff ignored it and marched up to the lead bully.
"Listen here you little punk, give back my bro's wallet or else." Randy calmly put the wallet in his pocket and whipped out his own knife.
"Oh? And what will you do?"
Just as he finished his threat, Jeff popped the kid in the nose. As the kid reached for his face, his wrist was broken in one swift twist. Screams echoed out as Jeff took the opportunity to snatch the knife from his hand. Troy and Keith charged at him, but he was too quick. He tackled Randy to the ground as Keith lashed out at him with a right hook, but he ducked the blow and stabbed the thug deep in the arm. The shrimp dropped his knife and fell to the ground, adding to the plethora of loud shrieks. Troy then attempted to save his partners with a clumsy roundhouse kick, but it was all in vain. He was punched straight in the stomach and fell like a mighty oak. On his way down, he left a trail of puke. Liu did nothing but look in amazement at his brother.
He was unable to finish his inquiry, for the bus was approaching around the corner, and both of them knew they'd be blamed for the whole thing if they stuck around. The two of them started sprinting as fast as they could. As they ran, they looked back and saw the bus driver rushing frantically over to Randy and the others. They barely made it to school on time, but they didn't dare tell what happened. All that was done for the entire day was sitting quietly in class and listening to the teachers ramble.
Liu just thought of the incident as his brother beating up a few kids, but Jeff knew it was more. It was something frightening. When he thought about the feeling he had at the bus stop, he realized how powerful it was and how it felt to hurt someone. He didn't like how it sounded, but at the same time, he couldn't help but feel...happy. The strange feeling once again faded away, and it stayed that way for the entire day of school. Even as he walked home to avoid another bus stop mishap, and even though he'd probably never ride the bus again, he felt happy. When he got home, his mother was in the kitchen ready to greet him.
"How was your first day of school, honey?"
"...It was a wonderful day..."
The next morning, he heard a knock at his front door. He made his way down, only to find two police officers at the door as well as his mother glaring at him angrily.
"Jeff, these officers tell me that you attacked three kids...that it wasn't regular fighting, and that they were stabbed...stabbed, son!" Jeff's gaze fell to the floor, showing her that it was true.
"Mom, they were the ones who pulled the knives on me and Liu."
"Listen here young man," said one of the cops," We found three kids, two stabbed and one having a large bruise on his stomach, and we have witnesses proving that you fled the scene. Now, what does that tell us?"
Jeff knew it was no use. He could've said that he and Liu had been attacked, but there was no proof to claim that it was not they who attacked first. He couldn't say that they weren't fleeing, either, because in all honesty they were. He stood there motionless and remained silent.
"Son, call down your brother."
"No, Mom. Sir, it...it was me. I was the one who beat up the kids. Liu tried to hold me back, but he couldn't stop me." The cop looked at his partner and nodded.
"Well kid, looks like a year in Juvy for-"
Liu suddenly appeared holding a knife. The officers grabbed their guns from their holsters and locked them on the boy.
"It was me, I beat up those little punks. I have the marks to prove it." He lifted up his sleeves to reveal cuts and bruises, which were most likely self-inflicted but were very convincing as though he was in a struggle.
"Son, just put the knife down," shouted the officer. Liu held up the knife and dropped it to the ground. Then he put his hands up and calmly walked over to the cops.
"No Liu, don't do this! I'm the one who harmed them!" Jeff had tears running down his face, refusing to believe what was happening.
"Huh? Poor bro. Stop trying to take the blame for what I did...well, go ahead and take me away." The police led Liu out to the patrol car, and Jeff hesitated before suddenly chasing after them.
"Liu, tell them it was me! Tell them! I was the one who beat up those kids!" he begged, but mother placed her hands on his shoulders consolingly.
"Jeff please, you don't have to lie. We all know it was Liu, so you can stop now." Jeff watched helplessly as the cop car sped off with his only brother inside. A few minutes later, Jeff's dad parked his car in the driveway, and the moment he saw Jeff's flushed face and puffy, watery eyes, he knew something was wrong.
"Son, son what is it?" he asked as he got out, but Jeff couldn't answer. His vocal cords were too strained from crying. Instead, his mother walked his father inside to break the bad news to him as Jeff wept out on the front lawn. After an hour or so, he sadly dragged his feet back inside, seeing that both his parents were shocked, sad, and disappointed all at the same time. He couldn't glance at them for even a moment. He couldn't see how they thought of Liu when it was really his fault. He just went to bed, trying to get the whole thing off his mind. Two days passed by with no word from Liu at JDC and no friends to hang out with; nothing but sadness and guilt...that was until Saturday, when Jeff was woken up by his mother with a happy, sunshiny face.
"Jeff, it's the day." she proclaimed as she opened up the curtains to let the morning light flood into his room.
"Why, it's Billy's party, of course!"
"Mom, you're joking, right? You don't expect me to go to some kid's party after..."
A long pause followed Jeff's unfinished thought, but his mother was determined to fill the silence.
"Jeff, we both know what happened. I think this party could be the one thing that brightens up these past few days. Now, get dressed."
She left the room to get herself ready to go. In the meantime, Jeff fought the drowsiness and rose out of bed. He picked out a random shirt and pair of jeans and scurried downstairs. He noticed his mother and father all dressed up, his mother in a flowery, somewhat poofy dress and his father in a fine tux. He thought to himself as to why they would even think to wear such fancy clothes to a kid's party.
"Son, is that all you're going to wear?" asked his mom.
"It's better than wearing too much." he replied, indicating his parents' choice of dress. She pushed down the feeling to yell at him and hid it with a smile.
"Now Jeff," explained his father, "we may be overdressed, but this is how you go if you want to make an impression." Jeff grunted and shuffled back up to his room.
"I don't have any fancy clothes!" he yelled from upstairs.
"Just pick out something!" said his mother. He searched around in his closet for what he could've called fancy. He found a pair of black dress pants he had for special occasions and an undershirt. He couldn't find a regular shirt to go with it, though. He then investigated his dresser drawers, finding only striped and patterned shirts and none of which matching his dress pants. Finally, he discovered a white hoodie just lying on a chair and put it on. He went back downstairs to find that his parents were ready and waiting.
"You're wearing that?" they both pondered. His mother checked her watch. "Oooh, there's no time left to change. Let's just go," she moaned as she herded Jeff and his father out the door. They quickly crossed the street over to Barbera and Billy's house. The father firmly knocked on the door, and the host almost immediately opened it. She, just like Jeff's parents, was way overdressed, sporting a slim black gown with sparkling fake gems that looked as though she was attending an awards ceremony as oppose to a young kid's birthday party. As the family entered the house, all they could see was adults and no children.
"The kids are out in the yard," Barbera explained, "Jeff, how about you go and meet some of them?"
Jeff stepped outside to a yard full of kids. They were running around in goofy cowboy costumes, shooting each other with plastic guns. He might as well have been standing in a Toys R Us. Suddenly, one of the smaller kids ran up to him and handed him a toy gun and hat.
"Hey, mitsew. Wanna pway?"
"Aah...no kid. I'm way too old for this stuff."
The boy then gazed at him with an innocent puppy-dog face.
He put on the hat and started to pretend shoot at the other kids. At first he thought it was totally ridiculous, but then he started to actually have fun. It may not have been "super cool", but it was the first time he had done something that took his mind off of Liu. So Jeff played with the kids for a while until he heard an unusual noise. It was a weird...rolling noise. Then it hit him. Before he could even react, Randy, Troy, and Keith all jumped over the fence on their skateboards. He dropped the fake gun and ripped off the hat, and Randy stared at him with a burning hatred.
"Hello...Jeff is it? We have some unfinished business."
Jeff noticed his still bruised nose and remarked, "I think we're even. I beat the shit out of you, and you got my brother sent to JDC."
"Oh no," Randy snarled with an angry look in his eye, "I don't go for even, I go for winning. You may have kicked our asses that one day, but not today."
He took the initiative and lunged at his target, causing the two to fall to the ground. He then punched Jeff in the nose, but soon afterwards Jeff swiftly grabbed him by the ears and head-butted him. He pushed the bully off of him as they rose to their feet. All the while, kids were screaming and parents were running out of the house. Troy and Keith, neither of who appeared to be active at that moment, decided to pull loaded shotguns out of their pockets.
"No one interrupts or guts will fly!" they shouted simultaneously. Their leader then took out a knife and pierced it into Jeff's thigh.
His victim screamed pitifully and fell to his knees. Then Randy started kicking him in the face. After three kicks, though, Jeff gripped his foot and sharply twisted it, causing him to fall again. Jeff attempted to get up and limp towards the back door, the knife still penetrating his leg, but Troy caught him by his arm.
"Need some help?"
He picked Jeff up by the back of the collar and tossed him through the patio door. As Jeff once again tried to stand, Randy kicked him back down. He then repeatedly punted the prey with immense force until he started to cough up blood.
"Come on Jeff, fight me!"
He picked Jeff up, though not as easily as Troy, and made his mutilated body fly into the firm casing of the fireplace. Then he spotted a bottle of unopened vodka on the counter and smashed the glass over Jeff's head.
"Fight! Come on Jeff, look at me!" he taunted. Jeff, in return, slowly glanced up at the terror, his face riddled with blood. "I was the one who got your brother sent to JDC! And now you're just gonna sit here and let him rot in there for a whole year? You should be ashamed!" And with that, he struggled to rise once more.
"Oh, finally! You stand and fight!" Jeff leaned against the coffee table, blood and vodka all over his face. The strange feeling suddenly returned to him, the one in which he hadn't felt for a while. "Yes...he's up!" said Randy as he leapt at Jeff.
That's when it happened. Something inside Jeff snapped. His psyche was destroyed, all rational logic and reasoning had evaporated, and all he could think to do was kill. He firmly grabbed Randy in midflight and pile drove him through the table he was previously leaning against. He then launched himself on top of him and punched him straight in the heart. This punch caused Randy's heart to stop automatically. As he gasped for breath, Jeff hammered down on him without hesitation. Punch after punch, blood gushed from Randy's body until he took one final breath and died, his eyes glazed over with fear.
Everyone was staring at Jeff. The parents, the crying kids, even Troy and Keith. The two thugs soon broke away from the rest of the crowd and pointed their guns at Jeff, ready to avenge their friend. Jeff noticed the guns trained on him and headed for the stairs, still limping, though not as bad as before. As he hobbled, a wave of bullets was fired at him, each shot missing. Jeff raced up the stairs, hearing Troy and Keith follow up behind. As they let out their final rounds, Jeff ducked into the bathroom. He wrapped his fingers around the towel rack and ripped it off the wall. The two thugs ran in after him, knives at the ready.
Troy was the first to swing his weapon at Jeff, who backed away and banged the towel rack into the kid's face. The overweight youth was struck down hard, and the only one remaining was Keith. He was much more agile than Troy and Randy, and he easily ducked when Jeff swung the rack at him. He dropped his knife and clutched Jeff by the neck. He then slammed him against the wall, and the vibration caused a loosely closed jug of bleach to fall down onto both of them from the top shelf. It burnt the two of them, and they started to scream wildly. Jeff wiped his eyes, trying to focus. Then he pulled back the towel rack and swung it straight into Keith's head. As the last thug lay there, bleeding to death, he let out an ominous laugh.
"What's so funny?" asked Jeff. Keith uncovered a lighter and switched it on. "What's funny," he chuckled, "is that you're covered in bleach and alcohol." Jeff's eyes widened as Keith used all the energy he had left to throw the lighter at him. As soon as the flame made contact with the wet skin, it ignited the alcohol in the vodka. Jeff let out a terrible screech as he caught on fire. He tried to roll out the flames but it was too late. The alcohol had made him a walking inferno. He stumbled down the hall and fell down the stairs. Everybody started screaming as they saw Jeff, now a badly wounded teenager on fire, drop to the ground, nearly dead. The last thing Jeff saw was his mother and the other parents trying to extinguish the flame. That was when he passed out.
When Jeff finally awoke, he had a cast wrapped around his face. He couldn't see anything, but he felt a second cast on his leg and stitches all over his body. He tried to get up from the gurney, but he realized that there was some tube in his arm. When he leaned far forward, it had fallen out, and a nurse quickly rushed in.
"I don't think you can get out of bed just yet," she said as she set him back and re-inserted the tube. Jeff sat there, with no vision and no idea of what his surroundings were. Finally, after hours of sheer nothingness, he heard his mother nearby.
"Honey, are you okay?" she cried. Jeff couldn't answer though, as his face was too tightly wrapped for his mouth to move. "Oh honey, I have great news. After all the witnesses told the police that Randy confessed of trying to attack you, they decided to let Liu go." This made Jeff almost bolt up, but he stopped halfway, remembering the tube coming out of his arm. "He'll be out by tomorrow, and then you two will be able to be together again."
She hugged her son and said her goodbyes. Over the next couple of weeks, his whole family visited Jeff. Then came the day where his bandages were to be removed. Everyone was there to see it. As the doctors unwrapped the bandages from Jeff's face, all were on the edge of their seats. They waited until the last bandage holding the cover over his face was almost removed.
"Let's hope for the best," said the doctor quietly. He quickly yanked the cloth, allowing the rest to fall from Jeff's face.
His mother screamed at the sight of his face. Liu and their dad stared, awe-struck at what they saw.
"What? ...What happened to my face?"
Jeff jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom in an instant. He looked in the mirror and saw the cause of the distress. His face...it was horrible. His lips were burnt to a deep shade of red. His face was turned into a pure white color, thanks to the bleach, and his hair was singed from brown to black. He slowly placed a hand to his face. It had a sort of leathery feel to it now. He looked back at his family, then back at the mirror.
"Jeff," Liu condoled, "It's not that bad..."
"Not that bad? ... It's perfect!"
His family was equally surprised. Jeff started laughing uncontrollably, and his parents noticed that his left eye and hand were twitching.
"Uh... Jeff, are you okay?" asked his father.
"Okay? I've never felt happier! Ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa, look at me! This face goes perfectly with me!" He couldn't stop laughing. He stroked his face feeling it, looking at it in the mirror. What caused this, you might ask? You may recall that when Jeff was fighting Randy, something in his mind, his sanity, snapped. Now, he was left as a crazy killing machine, but his parents were still unaware of this "special condition".
"Doctor," asked his mother, "Is my son... alright? You know, in the head?"
"Oh yes, this behavior is typical for patients that have taken very large amounts of pain killers. If his attitude doesn't change in a few weeks, bring him back here, and we'll give him a psychological test."
"Oh thank you doctor...Jeff, sweetie, it's time to go."
Jeff looked away from the mirror, his face still formed into a crazy smile. "Okay, mommy, ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaa!" She took him by the shoulder and went to get his clothes.
"This is what came in," said the lady at the desk. She looked down to see the black dress pants and white hoodie her son wore. They had been cleaned of blood and stitched together, good as new. She then led him to his room and made him put his clothes on. Then the family left, not knowing that this was their final day of life.
Later that night, the mother woke to a noise coming from the bathroom. It sounded as if someone was crying. She slowly crept over to see what it was. When she peered into the bathroom, she saw a horrendous sight. Jeff had taken a knife and carved a smile into his cheeks.
"Jeff...what are you doing?" she cried.
He looked over to his mother. "I couldn't keep smiling mommy. It hurt after a while. Now...I can smile forever." She then noticed his eyes, ringed in black.
"Jeff, your eyes!"
"I couldn't see my face. I got tired and my eyes started to close. I burned out the eyelids so I could forever see myself...my new face..." His mother started to carefully back away, at last seeing that her son was going insane. "What's wrong mommy? ...Aren't I beautiful?
"Yes son," she said, her voice quivering, "Yes you are. L-Let me go get daddy, so he can see your face..." She ran into the bedroom and shook her husband up from his sleep. "Honey, get the gun we-" She stopped as she saw Jeff in the doorway, holding the knife that shaped the new features of his expression.
"Mommy...you lied." Those were the final words his parents heard as Jeff charged them with the knife, gutting them both.
His brother Liu was startled awake by the muffled sounds of murder. He didn't hear anything else, so he just shut his eyes and tried to go back to dreamland. As he was on the border of slumber, he got the strangest feeling that someone was watching him. He looked up, and as he did so, Jeff forced his hand over his mouth. He slowly raised the knife, ready to plunge it into Liu. Poor Liu thrashed here and there trying to escape Jeff's grip, but it was of no use.
"Shhhhhhh...Just go to sleep..."