The Story of the Void, Chapter One


The Story of the Void, Chapter One

He couldn’t blame his parents for naming him Richard Wayne Dahmer. He was born years before Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy, or Jeffrey Dahmer had killed their first victim, after all. However, he was not so old that he escaped being tormented in school because he shared names with serial killers.

He hated school, and had dropped out.

Richard had then, predictably, found a low-paying job. He was a janitor. Dealing with other people’s trash, and cleaning things, wasn’t a big deal to him. He found the job easy. He stayed there a few years, and finally moved out of his parents’ house, and into the lowest-rent studio apartment he could find.

Then, one day, everything changed for him. It was payday, and, when his shift was over, not having a bank account, he walked to a nearby grocery store which cashed checks for a small fee. Leaving for home, he was followed. It was getting dark. No one was around when a bigger man stepped around the corner of a building, pulled a gun on him, and demanded his money.

There was no fear in Richard. There was only rage. Richard lunged at the man, and struck him with both hands, on the side of the man’s head. This did, of course, give the would-be robber a chance to fire the gun, and the bullet did hit Richard, but it didn’t kill him. He was moving so fast, in a weaving path, that the robber nearly missed, and the bullet merely grazed Richard’s neck. He was bleeding, but not heavily.

The other man didn’t fare so well. After Richard hit his head, as hard as he could, it slammed into side of the nearby building. Knocked unconscious, he dropped the gun as he fell to the sidewalk, and stopped moving, except to breathe. His eyes were closed.

With his attacker unconscious, Richard was completely out of danger, but his rage didn’t fade. Three hundred dollars was all he had, and this guy had tried to take it by force? Without pausing to think, Richard already had his hands around the guy’s throat. He tightened his grip. Just as the choking man made his final noises, a third person came around the corner of the building. Amy Fletcher was blonde, five foot five inches tall, and dressed like she was on the hunt for sex. She wasn’t expecting to see a man getting strangled, and she screamed when she found herself facing exactly that.

“No witnesses,” said Richard, primarily to himself, and he grabbed the nearby, dropped gun. Amy ran, back the way she had come. Richard followed her until he could see her retreating form clearly, and then he stopped, aimed the gun as best he could, and fired.

This was Richard’s first time to ever fire anything bigger than a BB gun, and he missed. He fired three more times, and missed each of those times, as well. The fifth shot, however, severed Amy’s femoral artery, and she bled out within two minutes. Richard saw her drop, assumed she was dead, and simply ran. Another woman who lived nearby heard the shots, and called 911. The police arrived quickly, and found the two bodies, but Richard was gone.

When police detectives had blood from the crime scene analyzed, though, they learned that three blood types were present, The O-negative blood was that of the strangled man, and the B-positive blood was found to be Amy’s. There was no body to match up with the A-positive blood from Richard’s neck, and spots of it were later found, in a winding trail, leading generally South for nearly six blocks. At that point, Richard’s wounds had clotted, and no more blood had fallen for the police to find.

His rage still consumed him, however. The next person he encountered, he decided, would be the third one to die that night.

After that, there was a fourth. Before sunrise, a fifth was added. When the sun came up, Richard stumbled upon a manhole, removed the cover, and lowered himself into the sewer-drain below, then replaced the cover. There was very little water in the tunnel underneath, but it had a foul smell. He found a dry spot, laid down, and went quickly to sleep.

After sleeping for about twenty minutes, Richard had a seizure. He had several more before waking up, many hours later. When he found another exit, it was dark again. He was calm.

He was calm, that is, until he encountered another human being. At that point, the rage returned, and he started killing again. He killed many, one after another, that second night. The day after, he slept under a bridge. This time, the police caught him. Once awake, he resisted. The police, acting in self-defense, shot him.

Everything went black for Richard. He did not know about the ambulance arriving on the scene minutes later, or the successful efforts of a surgeon, working for hours at a nearby hospital, to save his life.

Few others knew about this success, either. The doctor was found dead shortly thereafter, the victim of an apparent heart attack — and the official spokesman for the hospital announced that Richard Wayne Dahmer, suspected killer of twenty-two people, had died in surgery. No one outside his family mourned his fabricated death. Not even his family questioned it, for a cadaver from the hospital’s morgue was altered to resemble Richard. The ruse worked, and Richard’s shocked parents were fooled.

Richard was alone, and awake, in a completely dark room, weeks later, his rage finally fading. As far as anyone but his captors knew, he was as dead as his victims.

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