"And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go."

—John 11:43-45

The melodious and joyful sound of the morning bird awakens me. My eye snaps open in the semidarkness of my curtained room. I sit up groggily, my mind a mess and my muscles sore, trying to remember what it was I did to make myself so tired. Then I remember the activities of the previous day, and a wide grin spreads across my twisted features.

I get dressed before I make my way to the bathroom and pull the cord to the light bulb, illuminating the room.

The mirror is, of course, broken. As are all the other mirrors in the house after a fit of jealous rage one late night.

Grabbing my toothbrush, I hastily smear it with toothpaste and run some water underneath it. I cannot be late for work again; my boss has already warned me twice before of the impending consequences that should befall me if I am unfortunate enough to not make it on time. I do, however, have the sneaking suspicion that it may just be another case of prejudice.

That feeling wells deep up within me, the one that I have had to deal with for the better part of twenty nine years, in other words my entire life.

It’s hard to describe, but I always know when it’s going to ail me once more. It’s the feeling I get whenever I think of how much I have been unfairly discriminated against. I let out a deep sigh before running the brush back and forth across my teeth. At least I’ll have a little something to cheer me up tonight. Again, my lips twitch upwards and I glance sideways at the drawn shower curtain before spitting and reaching for my hairbrush.

My hair has always been a real bitch to brush, and I wince as the bristles grate against the knots in my long mop that I have used for so many years to cover my face. I distinctly remember being called a faggot in middle school for this very reason. More conflicting memories cross my mind and I close my eye, pushing them out, before continuing to groom my long locks of brown hair until they cascade down my back. In the final step of my morning routine I dunk my head under some cold water before once again brushing out my tresses.

A new policy of mine is to just grab some fruit as I’m heading out the door and eat that as my breakfast while I make my way to the bus stop down at the curb. It is much quicker than having to sit down and eat. The only drawback is that I have to bring a small paring knife with me as I go, so that I can cut the fruit into smaller pieces and not risk the possibility of choking. Luckily I have found a way to keep this knife in the folds on the inside of my leather briefcase.

I walk out the door, carefully cutting the pear I have chosen from my fruit bowl into smaller bits and pieces as I chew systematically, avoiding the hole in the roof of my mouth. I shiver in the chilly winter air, and a gust of wind makes me pull my jacket tighter around me.

An elderly woman walks her dog down the street as I have seen her do every morning. I never bothered to learn her name. Even if this is a small neighborhood, people tend to avoid talking to people like me. Not that there is anyone else like me around here that I know of. The first time this woman saw me I remember her mouth dropping open in shock and her dog growling. She hastily looked away and prodded the mutt, whispering for it to keep moving. We have never exchanged a word in my three years of living here. We are always on the opposite side of the street and we always separate when I halt at the bus stop.

After about five minutes of waiting on the cold metal bench that sits on the curb, the bus finally comes around the corner and squeals onto my street. I get up and board the bus, paying the toll to the driver before I make my way to the very back seats.

Eventually we get to the city and I am dropped off at the auto shop where I work. My job is only a sort of custodian. I’m the one who does all the chores and occasionally fixes up a car. Once my boss even let me work the counter, but he quickly made sure that never happened again after a rising number of complaints, the fuckers.

The work I do is long and tedious. There are endless hours of mopping floors and scrubbing the bathroom stalls, but I suppose I should almost be thankful to have a job at all. Discrimination… I feel the rising in my gut again, but I push it back, and continue with my work until it’s time to go home.

About six months ago, I would have simply taken a nap in the comfort of my home, but since, I have taken up some different pastimes. I know what I am to do. I make my way up to the bathroom and reach for the shower curtains. Then, I catch a glimpse of my fragmented reflection in the cracked mirror. I have forgotten to shave.

I take my straight razor out of its special case before reaching into the cabinet under the sink and withdrawing the one mirror in the house that has not been broken, my special shaving mirror.

Looking into it, I take in the details of my face… the drooping eye, disfigured nose, sagging skin, and crumpled lips. My name is Leon Lionel, and I have a noninfectious disease known as craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, which effects about one in every two hundred and twenty two million people.

A thin layer of stubble has grown on my chin and cheeks. I gingerly touch it and the rough sensation makes my fingertips itch. I remove my shaving cream from on top of the toilet before sitting and applying generous amounts to my face. Having a facial deformity can save you from having to do a lot of things, but shaving is not one of them.

I remember my father only briefly when I was a child, one of the things I always did was to wait outside his bathroom when he was shaving, he liked to grow out his stubble, and when he came out of the bathroom he looked like a completely different person. We would have a game we played where I would pretend I didn’t know who he was when he came out. One time he said that he was a monster and he jokingly chased me around the house, arms outstretched and his face in a mask of false menace. I tried to run, but I was laughing too hard and eventually he caught up with me, he tickled me, making me laugh even harder until I was short of breath.

Then one day a police officer showed up at the door instead of my father coming home from work. I never got to hear the conversation that occurred between the officer and my mother. I just remember hearing a gasp of shock, accompanied by racking sobs as the cop tried to console her. I tried to eavesdrop in on the conversation after that, but my mother had hurried to shut the door. I only caught two words… car accident.

Then there was a funeral to attend. Tears were shed between me and my mother, the last two members of our family. I remember the words of the potbellied, glum preacher who read from the bible before lowering the closed coffin into the ground. I remember at the time I didn’t understand what was going on. All I could think was that this man was trying to bury my father alive. I tore myself out of my mother’s arms and reached for the coffin with both hands. My fingers straining to open the flower laden casket so that my father could jump out and everything would be okay.

But it wasn’t okay. My dad was dead and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Then came the painful years that my mother accentuated with the mourning of her loss, on the weekends she wouldn’t get out of bed at all, and I had to learn how to provide for myself. Getting food out of the pantry was difficult in and of itself due to how incapable I was, but I was forced to learn how. Eventually, I made my own meals every day as well as doing my own chores.

However, through my faith in God I learned that I shouldn’t cut my mother off and shouldn’t be angry at her. I forgave her with the thought in mind that she would come out of her shell eventually.

There was also school to worry about. I had always been a pretty smart kid, but I found no reason to apply myself. I was one of those children who didn’t particularly care about my grade because I didn’t think it was very important. As it was, I passed my classes with C’s and D’s. But if I ever had the chance to go back in time and try as hard as I possibly could in school, I’d take it up in an instant. Maybe if I just had tried, I wouldn’t be the person that I am now, working for minimum wage in an auto shop, practically living in poverty, with no wife or children. Although I suppose I can’t really blame the last one on all the education that I missed.

The disease I have had since birth has ensured that I will never know love, and it is this that hurts me more than anything else. I’ve had so many surgeries that I’ve honestly lost count, although I know it's cost me several thousands of dollars and it’s a leading factor to my financial instability. But all this has done no good. I am still ugly and unwanted by any woman.

When I was only in the sixth grade I acquired my first crush on a girl. Her name was Rosemary. A pretty blue eyed redhead who was bubbly and excitable, all the time laughing and seemingly trying to live a happy life. I distinctly remember thinking, “She didn’t matter to me before, why does she matter now?” No other guy I knew really had as much interest in her as I did, and I was ever so infatuated with her. Every once in a while, whether I was in class or lunch, I would feel my eyes sliding over to her direction.

I made the mistake of confiding in someone who I thought was my friend.

I sat next to this kid, Doug, every day in my math class. He often helped me whenever I was in a tight spot with a difficult problem, and this was (to me) an extremely nice gesture since most people avoided me altogether. I told Doug about my obsession with Rosemary only to be scorned at. His immediate response was something along the lines of “You like Rosemary? She’s a ginger, you dumbass.”

Tears immediately welled up in my eye and he quickly apologized through a bemused grin before swearing that he wouldn’t tell another living soul. Little did I know that he would tell a single person… his best friend, and make him swear to secrecy as well, that friend would then tell another, who would tell another… The cycle continued this way until every last person in the entire sixth grade knew my secret, including Rosemary. That day I learned a very valuable lesson that I have kept with me through all my years. People are assholes, don’t trust them. Without meaning to afterwards, I caught Rosemary’s eye in the middle of class when I was staring at her. Color rose in my cheeks and I furtively glanced in another direction. When I risked another look, I saw a look of utmost pity in her eyes.

I hate people who pity me. They're fuckers, every last one of them. I am another person. Nothing more and nothing less and I’m getting damn tired of individuals who treat me like I’m a puppy who has been beaten. I want equality, which is something I know I can never obtain.

From that moment on, I hated Rosemary with everything I had. Whereas I used to indulge in fantasies in which I held her and kissed her, I now had fantasies of beating her while wearing a ski mask. Every time in my dreams I would use a baseball bat and violently bludgeon her arms and stomach until they were bruised and bloody. Then, at the finale, I would take off my mask, revealing my face. She let out one last scream louder than all the rest before I cracked her skull between her eyes. This was the first time I ever truly wanted to hurt anyone, and at the time I thought I must be a little insane. I know better now.

The years passed slowly and regretfully. There were many other guilty crushes on girls and whatnot, though I never told another living soul.

When I was thirteen years old my mother started to get up more often. She would drive off and not come back until late afternoon. Whenever I asked her where she went, she never gave me a truthful answer. However, I found out soon enough.

One day I just came home from school and the door to the house was unlocked. The key that was tucked away under the welcome mat was untouched, implying that my mother had let someone inside…

A repair man was my initial thought, since we had to have our television fixed at the time. You can probably imagine my surprise when I found her sitting on the kitchen counter, laughing and eating ice cream, with a man I had never seen before.

Right from the start, I didn’t trust him. His toothy smile was plainly false. He was hoping to score points with me, get the message across that he was the good guy. He had rehearsed the whole thing somehow, with my mother. To a regular person, however, he would seem perfectly likeable. His spectacles and neatly combed hair had probably convinced many others that he was an okay person, but never me. This is one aspect of disfigurement that not a whole lot of people think of. You see who people really are before they say a word to you.

“Honey, I’d like you to meet Mr. Jeffries. I’ve been going out with him for quite a while now and I thought it would be nice for you to finally meet him…”

At this point I was backing out of the room. I didn’t like this situation, not any of it. I was not a person who could easily adapt to changes, and for whatever reason, the idea of my mother dating didn’t appeal to me. This was selfish I know, but it couldn’t be helped. How long had my mother been dating for? Could it be weeks, or maybe even months? I knew I would be in trouble later on but I didn’t care.

My mother started to go out with Mr. Jeffries frequently. Or “Hank” as my mother called him. He would always appear outside our house in a shiny black Plymouth, smiling and waiting for my mother to come join him so that he could give her a welcoming kiss and open the door for her. He loved that car. It was the same car that they drove off in for their honeymoon a year and a half later.

I noticed a change in my mother after she got married. She usually had bags of weariness under her eyes, she began to lose weight, which was concerning since she had always been skinny in the first place. Her face took on a wrinkled, blotchy look. However, even with these changes, my mother and Hank seemed to only be drawn closer together.

I accused her of doing drugs on several occasions. She would always deny this, but I always knew that she was lying. I noticed more and more worrisome things began happening to her body. She began to nod off at random intervals when she was doing everyday things. She continuously developed an itch on her elbows which she scratched incessantly. Before long her arms were dotted with small reddish sores. Then the itch moved to her head. She would claw at her own skull until she began to lose hair, and blood oozed out from underneath matted curls.

She lost her temper at me when I asked her, for what was probably the twentieth time, if she was using, and if so, what we could do to help her.

“What’s wrong with you Leon?” she rasped at me when she was in a particularly bad mood one day. “Don’t you understand that nothing’s wrong with me? Sometimes you just need to leave me the hell alone.”

Her abrasive words stung, although she apologized later.

Hank made many attempts to bond with me later, but I saw right through them. Try as he might, there was no way he was going to dissuade me into thinking he was a good guy, whether those attempts be bowling or taking me to our local amusement park, both of which he did. He had quite obviously gotten my mother into drugs, and that was unforgivable.

There were nights when I could hear them fucking through the walls. At first I tried to block it out, pulling my head underneath my pillow and squeezing my eye tight shut. It didn’t work. Eventually I got out of bed, knelt and prayed to God to please make this nightmare end. I prayed long and hard until my mother’s moans reached a higher point as they climaxed. After that I would pray a little longer before finally going to bed. To this day, religion is something I have kept near and dear to me. In my living room right now there lays a large crucifix on the mantelpiece. I sometimes stop to pray for forgiveness for the things I have done.

One night, after they had finished with the sex, I crept out of bed and snuck into the living room. Earlier that day I had noticed a small crack in our thin wall, and I wanted to see what it was they were doing. Drugs were a very high possibility, and I wanted to know where it was they were keeping them, as well as the exact kind of drug my mother was using. Sure enough, I watched with a heavy heart as Hank pulled out a little black box I had never seen before out from the safe that my mother had always had in her closet.

I became sick to my stomach as I observed the contents of Hank’s box when he removed them, two hypodermic syringes, a spoon, some cotton, and a lighter. Hank put something round and black into the spoon and spoke to my mother in hushed voices, her eyes in awe of what she was surely addicted to. I could do nothing as both of them heated what I now was sure was heroin on the spoon before taking the cotton and using it as a filter to fill up their needles. They looked into each other’s eyes and shared a loving kiss. Then, they injected themselves before their eyes rolled up into their skulls and they collapsed onto the bed.

I had already disliked Hank, but now an inferno of pure hatred was burning within, hatred for this man who had corrupted my mother and stolen her from me. I had to do something, something that would tear him up and hurt him bad. That fucking bastard would get what he deserved.

First thing was first, I broke into my mother’s room using a key that she thought was hidden safely in the toolbox. I then gingerly grabbed the remaining heroin and flushed it down the toilet. After that was over and done with, I thought good and hard about how to hurt Hank Jeffries.

Then it came to me, and a smirk of grim satisfaction dawned on my twisted lips. Taking a hammer from the cabinet and a kitchen knife from the drawer, I slipped outside into the open night air without a sound. The garage lay up ahead, with Hank’s Plymouth parked safely inside. Or so he seemed to think. Walking up to the closed doors, I observed the padlock with disgust. With a single swing from the hammer, the lock cracked and I was able to break it away before swinging the two doors wide open.

The car sat there, absolutely beautiful. The glass had been recently cleaned and the paint job was in pristine condition. Not even a scratch to be found. For a moment, I almost felt guilty. Then the hammer was in the air and plunging down, shattering the back window. I worked my way around, smashing the car door windows before turning to the windshield. This would be more difficult to break, I knew. With every swing of the hammer that I took, I muttered a new curse.

“That stupid...”


“Fucking bastard.”


“Son of a bitch!”


The windshield splintered under the wrath of my hammer. I swept away the shards of glass on the hood with my arm, cutting it open in the process but not feeling a thing. Then, dropping the hammer with a dull thud, I pulled the kitchen knife from my back pocket. I climbed inside the car, slashing the upholstery and wrecking the wires, before working the car door open and slashing the tires as a final deed of damage.

After that was over and done with, I went inside and bandaged my arm. My mother and Mr. Jeffries had, of course, heard nothing. They were both far too high on their last dosage of heroin. I replaced the tools before crawling back into bed and trying to get some sleep, but this was near impossible. Some of the adrenaline from the romp I took destroying Hank’s car was still pumping through my veins, and anyways, I was excited to see the reaction that would certainly come tomorrow when Hank discovered his drugs had been flushed and his car wrecked. It was like trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. But eventually, I managed…

I awoke to the sound of screaming and crying. Not Hank’s, as I originally expected, but my mother’s. I jumped out of bed and dashed off to see what the matter was, but found only that the door to my mother’s room was locked from the inside. I heard Hank roar with rage.

“Ellen! You bitch! I had five pounds of Smack in that fucking box! Where is it? What the fuck happened to my car?”

“Please Hank, I don’t know, just please stop doing this to me!”

There was a loud slap. Hank had just hit my mother. A primal fear rose in me then, and I realized I had to do something. I looked around for anything to help my situation. I scrabbled for the key only to find it missing. I had probably misplaced it last night! Under the sink! There was an ax that we owned in the case of a fire! I ran and grabbed it before returning to the door. I pummeled at it furiously, pleading to God under my breath, “Please God just let this door open.”

I heard Hank laughing from the inside. “Hear that Ellen? Your little freak is trying to come and save you!” There was more laughter, and anger kicked in. I stopped trying to break down the door.

“Please Hank, whatever you do, please don’t hurt my baby!”

"I’ll do more than hurt him, you bitch! I’m going to kill that little shit!"

I raised the ax high in the air before swinging down and splitting the doorknob. With the lock no longer in my way I kicked the door open and charged inside. My mother was cowering in the corner, and Hank stood over her, belt in hand. He turned around to face me; gloating at first, then fear crossed his face as he saw what I was carrying. I swung the ax.

Hank backed up fast, holding up one hand to protect himself. The ax grazed his forearm and drew crimson blood. His back hit the wall and he looked at me in complete shock. He had nowhere to run now. I swung the flat part of the ax around, as he tried to duck a second too late. The blunt metal struck his temple and he crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

The police were called. In only a few minutes there were plenty of sirens and flashing lights outside. Hank was carried out on a stretcher.

My mother was perfectly capable of making a convincing lie. She said that Hank has snapped after discovering a vandal had trashed his car and having one beer too many. This much was true, cans of the devil water were strewn across the bedroom. I knew Hank would be forced to play along; possession of heroin is very much against the law, worthy of even prison time, as a matter of fact.

I was let off; I had been acting in self defense. I was told by my mother that Hank was forced to get stitches for his arm and that I had given him a concussion. Served that bastard right, needless to say they got a divorce and that was the last I ever heard of him.

My mother and I became very close. Things changed. My mother entered a twelve step rehabilitation program and, slowly but surely, controlled her addiction. Within a year she didn’t need drugs anymore. I loved her. She was everything to me. She had given up so much, all for my benefit, her marriage, her addiction. I can’t imagine how many other mothers would be capable of that. She never cared at all that I was disfigured and even if she had made mistakes in the past, she always did her best to make it up for me. Those were the best years of my life. While things certainly were not terrific, I thought that maybe, for the first time, things were going to be okay. My mother’s failed marriage with Hank had taught me that I should be grateful for my current situation.

Then, two years later, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer.

She just keeled over coughing one day and she wouldn’t stop. When I drove her to the doctor’s office they performed several tests, and ultimately discovered that there was a cancerous, inoperable tumor growing inside her lung.

Why me?

That was the question that kept repeating over and over again in my mind. Why do these terrible things happen to me? Hadn’t I been hurt enough?

And right when I got my mother back too. She was beautiful and kind once again, and now, after such a short period of things going so well, my mother was going to be ripped out of my arms.

I dropped out of high school. What other choice did I have? I had to take care of my weakened mother. There were no other members of our family and there was no way in hell I could ever allow her to be taken to a hospice, where she would be taken care of by heartless nurses who didn’t care whether she lived or died. I would have to do what no one else could. So I sacrificed my education. Life went on and my mother only grew sicker and sicker. Her coughs became violent, and I caught her spitting up blood. I knew she was dying and that there was nothing I could do about it. I prayed night and day for God to send someone to help us. I eventually found a job working part time at a restaurant, and I burned through the money I earned to buy her treatments for her cancer, most specifically chemo, but I knew it wasn’t doing any good.

I won’t ever forget how much my mother changed in such a short period of time. It became difficult for her to speak, and when she did, it was in a raspy whisper that I had to lean in close to catch at all. She was usually complaining about a pain in her chest. At first I panicked because I thought it could be signs of a potential heart attack, but with some research I discovered that this was caused simply by her uncontrollable coughs. She began to lose weight again, just like she did in her addiction. There was nothing I could do but watch in horror as my mother slowly withered away. Her hair fell out due to the chemotherapy and her skin became pale. Believe me, I did every last thing I could. I searched far and wide for any medicine or treatment that was within our price range, but the chemo had drained our funds.

One night, I held her hand, told her I loved her and would do anything for her, and asked if she had anything she wanted to do, because I knew that in a short matter of time, she would no longer be with me. I choked on my own tears as she replied that all she wanted was to spend as much time with me as she possibly could, and that she was perfectly content with her death. I promised her that I would continue to take care of her and, if she ever wanted to do anything together, she should just let me know. She smiled listlessly and replied that we should see a movie tomorrow, just me and her. She talked about how good it would be to get back onto her feet again. We scheduled it on our calendar before exchanging a loving hug. She went to sleep quickly that night.

The next day I woke up and I didn’t hear her cough. I knew she was in her room, dead. I had to check on her though. Even if there was some slim to nothing possibility that she could have just overslept. Then I remembered that my mother had never overslept in a day in her life. Even when she went through her heroin addiction she was always up and ready for the excitement of a new day by nine o’clock. With tears in my eyes, I walked into her room.

Her mouth was slightly open, and her eyes had rolled up into her head. An expression of discomfort plagued her normally beautiful face, as if she was frozen in the middle of a nightmare. I had to be absolutely sure, I had to know. I reached out my hand and allowed a single finger to caress her face. It was cold and sallow. No traces of life were left.

I called 911 anyway, even though I knew it wouldn’t do any good. Then I lay down on my bed and cried.

Luckily at this point I was eighteen years of age, so I was able to arrange for the funeral of my mother all by myself. All the tears I shed were spilled in solitude. Not one person came except for a slovenly preacher. The coffin was open and I could clearly see my mother’s pale, lifeless face. The undertaker had not done a good job. The makeup that adorned the visage of my mother was applied haphazardly and the long, white dress that he had put her in was smeared with noticeable stains. He thought he could take advantage of me because I was young, and he was correct. I was too caught up in grieving and feeling sorry for myself to be angry at anyone at the current moment.

That terrible face of my dead mother haunted me for the rest of my life. It still does, in my very own twisted dreams. A reoccurring one is that I go to check on her to see if she is really dead. My hand reaches out to make sure she has passed, only to have her arm shoot out from under her blankets and grab my wrist. Then she sits up in her bed, her bloodshot blue eyes spinning wildly in her skull, her thin lips forming a toothless smile. She opens her mouth wide, and her jaw unhinges, as if to swallow me whole. She lunges for me, and then I wake up in a cold sweat.

It was one of these nights when I was jolted awake from my fitful sleep, that I looked upwards and asked in my grief, “Why did this happen to me?” quietly at first.

Then I yelled it as loud as I could.

“Why did this happen to me!?”

I wasn’t really expecting an answer, so it surprised me when, for the first time in my entire life, I heard the heavenly voice whisper in my ear.

“Don’t worry Leon; everything is going to be fine, I promise.”

At first I thought there was someone in the room, and I jumped up and turned on my lamp before looking around fervently. Nobody was in that room but me. It didn’t occur to me that I had been spoken to by an angel of God until weeks later, when I heard the voice again.

This time, it gave me instructions to save the money I had earned and move to Oriental, North Carolina. It told me that it was there were I wound find my divine meaning in life through god and myself. How could I refuse the commands of an otherworldly being? It was only five years later, the money I had saved from my minimum wage job, that I was able to follow the instructions of the angel.

So, there I was. For a good long while, nothing happened. I got my job in the auto shop and continued living my life. All the time I was longing for a woman. I got a Facebook account. It was a fake account under the alias Gale Wright, and I used it to look at pictures of all the women in the area. Almost every one of them was enjoying their life. Smiling and taking pictures with their friends and family. Why couldn’t I be like them?

Then, approximately one year ago, I heard the voice of the angel once more. It whispered in my ear to go to the park by the high school. It told me I would find the very thing to make me happiest there. My mind spun at the possibilities. What could it be that the angel was referring to?

The park wasn’t really a park at all. It was more of wooded area that people used for recreational activities, including waterskiing on a lake that was surrounded by large conifer trees.

I went to the park and sat down on an old dirty bench. Watching and waiting for anything or anyone to cross my path. This was the defining moment of my entire life, I just knew it. I would understand everything in only a very short matter of time, whether it be seconds, minutes, or hours.

A bright orange Frisbee sailed by my face, I blanched and looked to my right for the owner of the disc. That’s when everything around me melted, and one singular thing became perfectly clear. My hearing faded as I stared in awe at the pure brilliance of beauty and innocence.

Standing about fifteen yards away was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my life.

She was about high school age, short, with magnificent brunette hair and large chocolaty brown eyes that I could see clearly even from my distance, a gorgeous figure, and a smooth complexion. I was in shock, but it was that moment that I realized that God had made that girl just for me.

She looked beyond me and laughed at someone I had not seen, revealing perfect white teeth. I swiveled my head and caught sight of a blonde, not nearly as pretty as the other one. She had caught the Frisbee and was now winding up and throwing it back. Even if her friend had not seen me, I knew the blonde had. Her eyes narrowed with suspicion. I hurriedly got up and pretended to leave the park, but doubled around to watch again without the knowledge of either one.

I loved the way her lustrous body moved, whether she was throwing, walking or bent double laughing at a joke her friend had just told her. She laughed a lot. I edged closer, keeping my head down in case I was seen, hiding more or less in the bushes and behind large rocks that surrounded the clearing where the girls were throwing their Frisbee. The brunette yelled something out to her friend, and they approached each other, smiling and giggling. Wanting to overhear their conversation I inched closer, straining to hear.

The brunette pulls out her phone and checks the time. “Okay Becky, my dad should be here to take us out on the lake in about five minutes, what should we do until then?”

The blonde, Becky, ponders this before replying, “I guess we’d better start to head down there now, right Leslie? The walk takes about five minutes.” The brunette, Leslie, agrees, and they begin to make their way down a winding dirt trail to what is presumably the lake. I follow them both from a distance, making sure not to disturb anyone else. Luckily there are not too many people here at the park today. I have God to thank for this. I stopped tracking them when a large, muscular man in a polo shirt pulled up in a yellow yacht and loads both of them onto his boat before driving away, leaving a path of foamy water in his wake.

The angel spoke to me then louder than ever before, and I could feel the heat of her breath as she hissed in my ear. “This girl is yours to keep, but you must obtain her of your own accord. Take whatever measures necessary to make her love you.”

That night I logged onto my Facebook and searched for the name "Leslie". The first person that popped up in my immediate area was "Leslie Spacey". My heart began to pound with excitement as I clicked on her name. I sat there, taking it all in. Her profile picture was of her on the dock of the park by the school. The picture had evidently been taken from a boat, as it was a head on shot taken from the water. She was wearing short shorts and a black and white striped T-shirt. She was smiling and absolutely gorgeous.

I looked through all of her photos in that one night. She was a girl who posted a lot to Facebook, no doubt about it. I spent hours poring through all of her memories, drinking them in, one by one, letting great amounts of time pass between each one. I friend requested her too, although I didn’t get a reply.

This was the beginning of my obsession with Leslie Spacey. I learned that she went to the park, usually with some friends, every day after school. I began doing the same thing, watching her from a distance, never approaching. On several occasions I was almost spotted, but I always managed to avoid them, if not just barely.

My stalking her reached a new extreme when I tailed her home one late night. I had used Facebook to find out about a party that she would be attending. I marveled at how easy everything was. Watching her as she exited the house and got into her car, turning over the engine of my own and pursuing her from a safe distance. She arrived at her house and I scribbled down the address. I then stealthily got out and crept towards her house.

It wasn’t a very big house. Only one story, as a matter of fact, so I could easily look inside through the windows. I watched as she kissed her parents goodnight and made her way to her own room. My feet crunched over the gravel driveway as I gleefully walked over to the window that certainly belonged to Leslie’s room. An idiotic grin was on my face the entire time. I pulled myself up and looked inside her room. She was undressing, her luscious body visible in the lamplight as she tossed aside her tank top and pulled on a nightshirt, she then lay down and read awhile before finally falling asleep.

There were few things as amazing as watching her sleeping. Her breathing was soft, and her chest rose and fell with each breath. I stayed there for a long while, observing her movements as she dozed, before finally going home.

It was also that night when I started having all of these negative thoughts and feelings. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. That voice in the back of your head that keeps saying all these terrible things. But, like it or not, these things are always true.

“Leon, what are you doing with your life? You just watched a teenage girl sleep for literally hours, and you enjoyed it. You’re pathetic. Just where the hell did you get the idea that a girl like Leslie would ever like you? She won’t, your face is simply too fucked up.”

These thoughts swirled around my mind as I looked in the mirror that night, just as I was brushing my teeth.

“Who gives a shit what the angel says? Chances are that you’re hearing voices. There is no angel.”

My brow began to furrow, and anger built up inside of me. The voice persisted.

“And so what if you’re pissed off anyway? It’s not going to change anything. This girl doesn’t want you; the bitch doesn’t even know you exist. She never will want you.”

My fist came swinging around in a wild rage, smashing the bathroom mirror to pieces. My knuckles were bleeding and that only made me angrier. There was another mirror on the door to the bathroom, on the outside. I ran out slam it shut, and with one swift kick, I shattered that one too. There were still two more mirrors in the house and I ran downstairs, when I found the third mirror in my second bathroom, I destroyed it, and I did the same to my fourth mirror that hung on my refrigerator in the kitchen.

I collapsed on the floor, both hands bleeding, covered in shards of broken mirrors, and I begin to cry, tears streaming down my face. The angel came to me then.

“Leon, I am not a voice in your head. I was sent by God to give you a woman, Leslie Spacey is the one I have chosen. Do whatever you can to obtain her. Remember that Leon, whatever you can.”

Those words echoed in my head over and over again.

“Do whatever you can…”

“Do whatever you can…”

“Do whatever you can…”

So I did, with some help from the angel, of course. She gave me some very specific instructions when I asked if she would assist me.

I waited for two weeks until Leslie came to the park alone. She just did what she usually did, took a walk in the woods. I positioned myself near the end of the trail, my heart beating in my chest, wondering if I could do what I had to, I pulled a plastic bag from my pocket, and waited.

It took only a few short minutes before I heard the sound of feet over rocks and dirt, and I stood behind a thick elm tree, knowing what I had to do.

The action that I took next wasn’t cruel, or wrong. It was an act of love.

She was looking down when I overcame her, and that made it easier. She tried to scream but my arm clamped down hard over her throat, effectively cutting off her air. She kicked, and pummeled me with all her might, but I was far stronger than she was. I forced the plastic bag over her head before using my legs to sweep her off the ground, knocking her down. I then placed my knee on the small of her back and pushed. It didn’t take very long. The inside of the bag was lacquered with a thick layer of chloroform, and eventually, she became still.

She was fairly heavy, but taking her back to her car didn’t prove to become any major struggle. It was dark by now, and everyone else had apparently gone home. Nobody was there to witness my perfect little crime.

As soon as she was home and safely inside my crawl space, I used a Swiss army knife to cut open her throat. When I began to cut, there was less blood than I originally thought there was going to be, it was only when I dragged the blade across her throat that the brilliant red liquid gushed out and sprayed all over my face.

I used a pump to drain her of all her blood.

What really took the longest in the whole operation was sewing the slit that the knife had made back together. Only then was she absolutely perfect.

The angel gave me her instructions once more, telling me what to do.

“Leon, this is the time where we find out if I have chosen the correct woman to be in your life. God has told me that you are to spill your seed within her body. In three days, she will rise from the dead, and she will forever be yours to love.”

I pushed myself onto her and began to kiss her neck. Being slightly curious to this new experience at first, I was hesitant. But as I began to enjoy myself, I grew more and more excited. Using my bare hands to rip off her clothes and feel what was underneath, thrusting on her, longer and harder until an unforgettable climax.

Then, after three days, she began to rot, and I cried out and asked the angel what to do. My woman was decomposing. I hadn’t even had her for very long and the flies and maggots were coming to ruin her delicious body…

“It would appear as if I have not chosen correctly,” the angel whispered to me.

“But do not fear I will find you someone else. Leslie was a whore anyway. There are plenty of others. We will have to keep going until we find the woman who will rise after three days. That is the one that is destined for you; I know this because God told me so, never fear.”

And as the angel said there were more, several more as a matter of fact. Becky was one of them, but she was a bitter disappointment.

“We’ll just have to keep on going, never fear, never fear.”

I have stopped shaving. The stubble on my face has disappeared, and once again my complexion is smooth.

I withdraw the shower curtain. There sits a girl, a redhead like my first love, Rosemary, completely naked, and the stitches in her neck visible. I kneel down and give her a lingering kiss before pulling myself onto her. I take my time, removing my clothes, bit by bit, until I am in the nude as well.

The sex is delightful, but not quite as good as it was last night. She isn’t as tight, which is a sign that she has begun to decompose, I give a heavy sigh as I redress. She is not the one. She has not risen.

I bury her body in my crawl space before going upstairs to pray in front of the massive crucifix. I know God will forgive me of my sins.

Written by SnakeTongue237
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