The Closest Enemy :
Some murderers see their work as an art form. If their piece is a success, they will continue on with their life, outside of jail. However, with the limited capability of understanding humans possess, combined with their narrow mindedness, the true secret of a killer can go entirely missed.
The following is a video log of young man recording his last moments. It spends its time quietly residing in a dark, silent evidence room, calling out to whoever may hear its cry. Upon deaf ears will its shrill screams always fall.
The video starts off recording the youth adjusting his camera. His room is entirely dark, not a single spec of light to be found. The camera records in night vision as the man looks directly into the lens and begins speaking.
“Hello. My name is…” The voice pauses for a moment, deciding how he should start off. “Ugh. No, I’m not beginning it like this. It sounds too much like I’m recording my last words. That isn’t what I want this to be. Instead, I’ll just get straight to the explanation. I’ll describe to you the hell that has been nipping at me for god only knows how long now. It started the night of my 18th birthday. January’s cold held reign over our outside activities. It was just a small party, if you could even call it that. A few presents from my family, cake, the norm. All irrelevant. It was that night, as I was lying in bed, my lights out with my TV providing the only light for the room, that my story begins. My curtains and blinds were closed, which gave the room a nice ominous feel at the time. I liked that sorta thing back then.”
The man takes a slow breath, looking away from the camera for the first time. His focus returns after a brief moment and once more he begins reciting his story.
“Right. Back to what I was saying. My TV was in front of me, and the light it gave out cast a shadow on the wall beside me. I was a bit bored, so I decided to entertain myself by interacting with the two dimensional doppelganger of myself. My hand traced along the wall, as if I was playing a game of tag with my shadow’s hand, which seemed to be trying to flee from me, going out in front of me. That was the first sign, but I didn’t notice it. I should’ve been more aware.”
A brief pause accompanied by a stressed exhale and quick inhale. His expressions seemed to show that he was trying to think.
“After that, I’m sure there were more signs, I’m positive. They were probably just too subtle for me to notice. By the time I did notice something wrong, it might as well have been written in big bold letters in front of me. It was later on in the day, and I was in the kitchen of our house by myself. It was mildly lit. Just enough to see where you’re going with out needing the aid of a light. I got some snack out of a cabinet, but knocked over a box onto the ground in the process. No big deal. I bent over to pick it up, and noticed the presence of my shadow. It immediately struck me as awkward. There was no light in here to cast a shadow. I put the box and my snack on a nearby counter without letting my eyes leave my shadow. If they were deceiving me, I wanted to know right away. My interest in the paranormal may have made me a bit paranoid, but I knew that the tenseness I was feeling now wasn’t unwarranted. I took a step towards the room’s exit, and of course my shadow mimicked me. I raised my left arm, as if tempting him to continue mirroring what I was doing. He raised his left arm. Then he raised his right arm. Mine was still at my side. My skin crawled like a trillion tiny little bugs were trying to make their way out from under it. Then in one swift movement his hands wrapped around his neck, and I was the one who felt its effects. My throat was pained and my breathing stopped. I struggled frantically, but against what? My attacker was my own shadow. I don’t remember what happened after that. Only what I was told by my family when I woke up. My blood was on the corner of one of the cabinet doors I had left open. Apparently I knocked myself good and passed out on the floor. Back then, I was happy to believe that’s what really happened. After all, this kind of stuff only happens in stories.”
Once more he collects himself from the rough memories with a deep breath of air.
“After that, I was always suspicious of the me that didn’t talk, that didn’t have any facial expressions, that would never confess to what he did to me. But what I had thought happened had a perfectly logical explanation. I couldn’t doubt it. Instead, I carried on, always holding that distrust in the back of my mind. But he didn’t assault me again. Though several times I noticed things that just couldn’t have really happened. I’d brush my teeth with my right hand, he’d use his left. I’d scratch my back, he’d scratch his head. I’m sure he was just taunting me. Probably the same reason he let me live the first time he attacked me. For fun, no doubt.”
There is a creak off to the man’s left, which catches his attention. He stares at the origin of the sound intently for a moment before returning to his monologue.
“The next attack… I’m betting this one was planned to finish me off. Once again I was in the kitchen, home alone for the time. I had an apple on a plate, and I grabbed a steak knife from its group. Not entirely necessary for cutting an apple, but it was in easy reach. Only half way through grabbing the knife did I realize that when I had it, so did my shadow, my enemy. Stunned by my lack of thinking, I dropped the knife. As I feared, my shadow did not repeat this action. If he had a face, I’m sure it would have been filled by a crooked and malevolent smile. I whispered “No.” as best as I could. My voice was barely more than a whisper but I doubt it made any bit of a difference. My silhouette raised the knife, and then brought it down in one swift, uncaring motion. The result was a jet of blood from my arm and a surge of pain that reverberated several times through out my body. But on instinct I turned around and ran. I didn’t know where, and I didn’t know why. I couldn’t out run him. Another stab. This one brought me to my knees. The nearest room was the bathroom. I dragged myself across the carpet, slowly into the room, and shut the door behind me. There was no window to the outside, which made the room completely dark. I waited for him to return, I was expecting to be ended by something that was essentially me. Hours went by and nothing happened. That’s when I learned how to defeat him. He can’t exist in total darkness. He becomes nothing.”
The young man looked around his surroundings, devoid of any light, and then back to the camera.
“And that’s why I’m here now. I couldn’t do this at home. If I tried to explain, I would’ve been sent out to an asylum. I had to run away. I suppose he let me get this far as a sort of show sportsmanship. Twisted. Doesn’t matter, really. So long as I’m in this chamber of darkness, I’m safe. That’s all that matters for now. Although I can’t help but wonder how long I’ll be trapped in here. What do I do when I run out of food? What do I do-“
The sound of cars pulling up and parking outside stop the young man midsentence.
“Taylor? Taylor are you in there? Please, Taylor, say something!” A voice yelled just outside the door, and the young man’s previous moderately calm demeanor has changed to one of panic.
“Go away! Just go! I don’t want you here, go away damn it!” He screamed back. His voice was so angered that the woman on the other side was silent for a minute.
“Taylor, we’re coming in honey. It’s for your own good.”
There was a smash against the door. Then another, followed by a soft spoken “No…” from the young man. The third crash brought the door down with a tremendous thud. Light from outside flooded the room, and almost immediately the man was knocked to the ground by some invisible force. In the struggle, the camera is tipped backwards and only records the sounds of Taylor struggling for breath as his mother and the accompanying police officer try to help him in some manner, without avail.