For the first time in his life, staring into that mirror, his mind felt totally clear. Every pressure and worry of the life he had just destroyed was gone. As he washed the crusted red matter from his hands, pumping the soap dispenser over and over, a small smile was etched onto his pockmarked face. He intertwined his fingers to wash every inch of his hands, removing all trace of the crime from his person. The body behind him that had been quartered, however, was not so easy to dispose of. He was under no pretense, and knew he would have to face the consequences of his actions, sooner rather than later. He turned off the tap after what seemed like hours, wiping his wet hands onto the front of his jeans. He readjusted his glasses, and turned to face the now stiff corpse. He walked over to the table it was lain on, still observing it with a mild curiosity.

He had taken his time, studied every inch of the flesh, noticing every blemish and mark, and making a note of it in his old battered journal. He remembered the overwhelming excitement of the moment he realized that he couldn’t wait to penetrate the flesh any longer

He had spent so long practicing his surgical skills, on anyone and anything he could get his hands on. Stray animals, his own cat, even the fresh bodies kept safe in the morgue, his medical internship there proving far more useful than he could have possibly imagined. He had become an artist, the scalpel, his brush. Still, making his way through the layers of flesh and into the muscle tissue proved harder than he had anticipated. Nerves, lack of time, whatever it was, it had made the job harder than it should have been. But that didn't matter. Not once the skin had been removed. He remembered what it had been like to run his bare fingers along the raw muscle of the body. The way it felt so intricate, so alive, even in death. He had spent too long on this stage, and wouldn't have as much time as he would like to spend on the bone. Still, it had been time well spent.

The nervous system had always fascinated him, and it seemed too complex to be a creation of nature. He had always been of an agnostic mindset, but it was the marvel of the human body that was the strongest factor in his decision to, at the very least, humor the idea of a creator. But his favorite part of the muscles were the complete and utter lack of emotions. At the muscles, you had reached the very first primal layer, the layer where the person, the human, has gone, and the animal emerges. The very idea of an convoluted network communicating all over the body, using signals comprised of electricity, a potential lethal weapon against the human form, all locked within a seventy five pound, thirteen year old girl, was absolutely astounding to him. In fact, it was at this moment of reflection of the divine beauty of the situation, that he came the closest to feeling something akin to human emotion for the first time in many years.

He became palpable, however, he had recorded every aspect of the muscle layer, and realized he could now reach the final chapter of his endeavor , the furthest he could feasibly go, considering his extreme lack of time. He remembered the feeling of picking up the huge, grotesque saw blade, and placing it delicately on the ridge between the bones. He remembered the first incision, the hauntingly beautiful grinding sound emanating from the young girl's body. And the ecstasy he felt when the loud crack of bone rang in his ears.

He knew it would take far too long to strip all of the muscle, and while he was confident in his abilities, he wasn't sure enough of himself to remove an entire system. At this point, time had been ever present in his mind, and he knew that to record all of his findings, he would need to take small samples of bone. After removing shards and small bone structures, he placed them down onto the table, in the little available space that the body wasn't taking up. He took a smaller saw in his hand, and lovingly began to cut a delicate little cross section. When he had sawed all the way through, he let out a little laugh, covering his mouth with his free hand, his eyebrows arched in bemusement. He marveled in the sheer gloss and perfection of the bone. Every time he recorded an observation in his notebook, he triple checked, for what he had written seemed too perfect, far too convenient. Yet his findings were sound.

He was so taken aback by the beauty of it all, that he felt a small tear form in his eye, and he turned away to compose himself. He had planned to return his attention to the body, but he knew it was too late for closer inspection. He then made his way to the sink. Now, the time for reflection had passed. He had no memories to turn to. The realization of the situation hit him, yet had little effect. He was so caught up within himself, that he didn't notice the crashing of the front door, and the sound of heavy boots on the stairs. As the door to his room swung open, he closed his eyes, and removed his glasses. The frantic shouting of the men hit his ears, yet he didn't care.

His work was done. In the whirlwind of his own majesty, the crash of lead into his back, just below his right shoulder, did not phase him in the slightest. His body fell, involuntarily, and he made no attempt to stop it. He took a one eighty degree turn as he fell, the force of the bullet causing his torso to jerk violently. The last sight his eyes would see, was the tear soaked form of his mother. Her glossy, straight hair, and dazzlingly white teeth were both fully visible. He had never noticed just how beautiful she really was.

She stood in the doorway, her movement blocked by six foot of leather and assault rifle. Her son lay dead on the floor, his blood pooling around him. She looked upward, her teared vision obscuring her perception of reality slightly, yet the girl on the table was unmistakable. Her mouth fell open, and she screamed, falling to her knees.

The following week, she buried two. The son she loved, and the daughter she neglected. One grave adorned with flowers and personal notes, and the other unmarked. She stared upon the graves. And, turning the collar of her faded leather jacket up against the wind, she spat on both of them.

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