“How’s your story?”
“You know, the one about a serial killer…”
“Oh… that. It’s almost finished. The guy’s actually a zookeeper who fantasises about killing people.”
“And what’s his name?”
“… I remember you work in the zoo, right?”
“So? Is that a problem?”
“No. But I won’t be visiting your workplace anytime soon.”
“Bye, part-time fantasy killer.”
“Get lost before you end up in my pipeline.”
Some people think I’m crazy. That’s hardly surprising. Why would a budding writer want to work in a zoo?
If not for the experience and his love for animals, Patrick would have left his job eons ago. The hours are long and the pay’s not fantastic. To make matters worse, sometimes he really had to get down and dirty to finish the job.
Perhaps it was the stress of having to write his story during odd hours. Perhaps it was just a case of writer’s block. Either way, it caused Patrick to show signs of depression and a concerned colleague decided to refer him to the resident psychiatrist. Patrick reluctantly agreed to pay Jeanne a visit. No doubt it helped that the chick’s cute, and single.
Patrick felt sure she was attracted to him as much as he was to her, even though the girl had been dating someone. One thing led to another, and soon Patrick found himself making regular appointments.
The sessions, however, did not seem to make Patrick feel any better. Instead, he began to turn up at Jeanne’s office unannounced and proceeded to make confessions that no ordinary person would do under normal circumstances.
At first, Jeanne suspected it was just an act to gain her attention. When she realised this was hardly the case, she started to probe further…
“So, Patrick, what do you want to confess today?”
“Remember the last time I told you about killing someone here and feeding the dead body to the animals…”
“You don’t suppose that could be true, right?”
“Am I supposed to?”
“No.” He hesitates.
“Well?” She presses on.
“It’s not impossible to do something like this.”
“I have the means to do it, and when the opportunity presents itself…” He trails off for effect.
There was a moment of silence as Jeanne pondered over the significance of Patrick’s use of “when” instead of “if”.
“Look, Patrick, you have been working too hard. And you’ve got to stop identifying yourself with the serial killer in that story of yours – what is it called?”
“‘The Last Confession’,” Patrick volunteers.
“… yes, whatever. I know you feel restless because you think your talent is not given due recognition here. But you’ve said it before; this is just a stepping stone for you. Besides, you seem to enjoy the work…” Jeanne tries to de-emphasize the last sentence, but realising the futility of it, continues, “…so you might as well make the best use of it.”
Another awkward silence prevailed.
Jeanne rises from her chair and moves away from the couch. She rounds her desk, pausing to take a deliberate look at the clock radio before pacing over to the filing cabinet.
“I’m afraid I have to leave for an appointment in five minutes. But let me see if I can arrange for my professor to have a chat with you. I’ll get his contact information if you can just wait.” With that, she unlocks one of the filing cabinets.
Patrick lifts himself from the couch and leans over to her desk. Slowly, he disconnects the Siemens caller ID phone. Jeanne, all the while unaware of what’s happening, continues to rummage through the documents in her filing cabinet.
With an almost insuppressible excitement building up inside him, Patrick tip-toes across the room and creeps up behind Jeanne. Taking aim at her head, he swings the phone as hard as he could in one fell swoop.
The sound of his violent motion, however, alerts the victim to the danger. She sways hurriedly to the left and the phone fails to make a clean connection. Nonetheless, she is knocked off balance by the impact on her right temple and staggered, her shoulder banging into another filing cabinet before she hits the ground.
“What are you doing?” Jeanne shrieks.
“Well… what do you think? Making a call?” Patrick gestures at the phone.
“Why are you doing this?”
Grinning rather apologetically, he intones, “If I don’t kill you, how am I going to write my last chapter about killing my psychiatrist in the office?”
The Last Confession