Unholy Confession

 Wrestlers, Thomas Eakins (1899). 

Wrestlers, Thomas Eakins (1899). 

By: Chloe Emily

Unfortunately for you, this is not one of those clichéd tales where everything turns out well in the end; I do not ride away in the sunset with the girl of my dreams. I am not the Prince Charming of a Grimm faerie-tale. I do not get the happily ever after (that I may deserve). This is just another story of a mangled scene, and you have the privilege to hear of the tale close to my heart – literally. 

My name? Well, my name is Albert Del Salvo. I suppose you have heard of me, correct? No? Then my friends, you need to read the headlines of a newspaper more often. Anyhow, allow me to introduce myself. I am the infamous Boston strangler where my prey of vulnerable women would be seduced and succumbed into my hypnotic trance. To say I was persuasive would be an understatement. My weapon of choice? Rope.  It was the way it slithers round their fragile (beautiful, sensual, erotic) necks and slowly hugs them tighter and tighter, lovingly embracing their lives one gasp at a time; it was the way their skin would gently transform into that beautiful shade of soft sapphire that made my jewels glisten even brighter. They were so precious, each girl a gem, a crystal blue disguise in their own right. It was such an elegant way to go. They say that all beauty must die; I say it just moves onto the next, more worthy life. Now, let me tell you my story.

The year was 1973. Boston Red Sox finished second in the league with a record of eighty-nine wins. The Bruins finished first in the east division. Boston was thriving with success and I was revelling in it, in a place for redemption that is. 

 Newgate Prison Exercise Yard, Gustave Dore (1872).

Newgate Prison Exercise Yard, Gustave Dore (1872).

People have a strong misconception about prison. They go on what they see in those Hollywood movies: they think being sentenced for life causes this spiral into a restoration of morality. But not for me. Although, there are the occasional weaklings who drowned in the loneliness; coming in waves it buried them deeper and deeper, unable to escape, just waiting for the days to slowly pass them by, all their stories left behind, just waiting to be freed. But prison did not destroy me; it did not cause me to repent. It made me stronger and able to close my eyes and hold my breath from the sea of consciousness and claw myself to the surface. I could finally lift the weight of my world alone. For me, prison was three meals a day and free access to a gym daily. In all honesty, I never wanted to leave, I enjoyed life behind bars and even though my days were ticking down to the ending much like everyone else’s. I was happy and content, an induced euphoria, if you will. And this is where the story truly begins...

TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK. Trudging down the musky damp corridor, a swarm of orange twill springs into sight, from left to right staring down my exposed state with eyes full of judgement and envy. My heavy boots slip on the floor that glistens with the spit and saliva of my fellow destroyers of society. The restricting restraints grip my skin causing rainbows of purples and greens to swirl around my wrists and ankles. The methodical tolling of chains against the floor chime the funeral march, as the guard leads me to my fate. 

I will never forget that moment. That moment my course was suddenly disrupted, the moment of realisation that I was being led to the visitation room, the moment when my heart raced with the thought that after years, I had not one visitor. Many questions flew though my mind with the contemplations that someone might actually be here for me but who was it? What did they want? Was I finally being forgiven and saved? Not quite. 

It was the moment everything became blurred as water filled my eyes, threatening to break the dam and overflow down my sickly, rough cheeks. My father, sitting across from me with only a panel of glass separating us. His emotionless expression immediately silences my thoughts of atonement; he was not here to make amends. So, what did he want? 

 October 18, 1977, Gerhard Richter

October 18, 1977, Gerhard Richter

“Son, life is temporary. And I have abused the precious time I have spent here on earth, and your existence is God’s punishment for me.” He says this with his furrowed forehead directed at his shoes, his eyes avoiding any contact with my own as his hoarse voice struggles to find strength as his rasping cough spews out. 

“But what I could never and will never understand is how I brought up such a monster? Your mother and I, we did everything right. We were good people. We were good to you and this is how you repay us? You were never supposed to turn out this way, this was never our plan”. His hand begins to fidget with his watch - his gold, expensive watch ticking away our mortal lives one second at a time. 

“Son, you may never be forgiven in my eyes, but you owe me one thing.”

Forgiven? I never sought for his forgiveness, I did not do my mission from God for his benefit, those whores abused their beautiful lives and they did not earn the right to live. I encouraged their redemption and saved their souls. I should be praised, not punished. My father could not understand this. No one could understand this. 

What could he possibly need from me and what could I possibly give him when I am trapped in this confinement for eternity? 

“I have been diagnosed with a terrible illness and without immediate action I am going to die. I have not much time to waste, so I am just going to come out and say it: I need your liver, son, I need your help.” His bottom lip quivers as his hands anxiously comb back his silky silver locks awaiting my response. 

TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK. It’s time to do or die, but time is just an illusion. The illusion that life has a purpose, that it is sacred, when really it is just the inevitable countdown to everyone’s death. Why should he have the privilege of my liver? He never did anything with his life worthy enough to be granted with more time. Is he mistaking me for Prometheus? I should not be chained to a rock for an eagle to feast on my flesh whenever it so desires. My name is not Prometheus, and my father was no eagle. If the others knew I was weak, I would never survive in here; they would pounce with their shanks without a second thought. No, it was too risky. I had to protect myself. It was my life or my father’s. 

“Sorry old man. You cannot torment me with guilt. A thing that you have to get straight is that I don’t owe you a thing! You were never there for me so why should I be there for you now? This is how it’s been and how it always will be. I hope you choke on these words, and have fun digging your own grave.” His pleading hand pressed against the glass as I abruptly stood with my chair crashing over on the floor. 

 Close up of a Hieronymus Bosch. 

Close up of a Hieronymus Bosch. 

“Son, please don’t leave me like this!” All eyes shot in my direction, forceful hands clasped round my arms as the guards battered me down and yanked me by my chains, with that I left the room. 

Dragging my chains behind me I approach my safe haven, my confinement, my escape from the hideous outside world. The cage slams shut, as the guard fiddles with the keys and fumbles with the lock, his eyes catch mine; a look of disgrace erupts from his face, even for prison I could tell he thought I was the lowest of scum. But these were my chains of pride. This was my cell of solitude. I earned this and no one can take this away from me, not my father, not the authority, no one. 

TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK; the chimes of the clock striking ring in my ear. The darkness keeping the light concealed, outside nature is quaking as the vultures hiss in their freedom, their shadows hiding my inmate’s homicidal deliberations as his comb scrapes back the snake-like strands of hair. Perched on my bunk, I reflect on the misery I may have just caused with the next present I had just wrapped for the grim reaper to shortly open, a little giggle escapes my lips. My cellmate did not like that… 

TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK. All it took was one second. One slight moment in time for everything to tumble, everything I had built up in my life to crash, for everything to be for nothing. I was God’s messenger but no one wanted to hear my lesson, my prophecy. The world will regret not listening to my voice. I am the one true saviour, the one true man worthy enough to carry God’s will. I was making the world a better place for God. Now they must all suffer in their nightmare with God no longer on their side, an old acquaintance now severed from them for the rest of time. Everyone had been lied to. They had been raped of their sight to righteousness and now they have the nerve to tell each other how they should feel. They had been sedated by society; it was my duty to wake them to the light, but now all I can do is stare at the carnage that unfolds before me as they slowly go insane as they feel the fire and pain they deserve. No more use in trying to save these victims of sin and malevolence, I’ve always been true and now I’m going where I truly belong. 

My once pale body rapidly drains of life, spews out blood and stains my orange uniform to crimson red. Ironic don’t you think? I refuse life to my flesh and blood and as a result the razor-blade comb carved into my carcass. Death has finally called for my name to be eternally expelled. 

It is true what they say; you do see a light at the end, for me it was the lunar light guiding me to a dark figured hand stretched out, beckoning for me to take it. In a way I had been saved, I was trapped in a vile world but now I am free and I finally understand the sorrow that filled my life and the hatred that fuelled my veins. I can see the salvation dying in my weary eyes, I can see how lost I had been, how I had been following the wrong steps and being purely led by pride. I surrounded myself with hatred as I strike the match that has now engulfed my world in flames, and no one can help me. 

You may have thought I was the hero of this sorry tale. Unfortunately you are mistaken. As it turns out, it is my father; the man who did get the liver he so desperately needed. His story still goes on.  TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK

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