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Something Must Kill A Man

An animated cautionary tale of humility

By DamilolaPublished 3 years ago 8 min read
Something must kill a man

An ode to an amazing father of 4. Justice for a 2-year-old little girl. A missing amputee. “There's a decapitated head on a stick in the town square!”

The killer leaves no trace.

No fingerprints, no blood splatter, absolutely no evidence. The graph we constructed shows little correlation in the way the victims were chosen, the only thing they have in common is robbery.

If you have a pulse, the killer will get you. You’re asleep on your bed but he’s lurking somewhere in the shadows. He’s waiting for your moment of incontinence, so that he can slice off your legs with a glistening machete and escape through the window.

Animated by SIMI

Kids are not safe, neither are the weak elderly returning from their only trip of the week—a trip to their loved ones.

Women can hang around in dozens. After all, a set of matches is a harder break than a single one. But he creeps around the corners, and his presence is the sound you hear and dismiss.


He pounces on you and fulfils his monstrous desires, as you bleed out regretting your last minute trip to the shop, the haunting image of your mourning mother on your mind.

His surviving victims have described him as a gigantic spine-chilling monstrous man with a sparse beard and bloodshot eyes. Some have also described the killer as a sinister-looking man, with perfectly styled 1940’s hair, and a seductive red lipstick that reveals an incomplete set of teeth.

They say the killer’s footsteps brings goosebumps, and the sounds of his shoes mimic that of an apocalypse.

Babies cry in their sleep and men hide in their cupboards.

Animated by SIMI

The common consensus— big, scary and very dangerous. He’s the real boogeyman parents warn their kids about.

Though vivid, none of these clues have brought me any closer to identifying the mysterious killer. I’m failing, and with each day that passes, the agonising gaping wound in my heart increases in size.

I walk out of the office with all of these terrifying thoughts in my head, looking briefly at the lead detective of my team. He gives me an odd look of sympathy followed by a look of dismissal.

Tonight will be the same, I will spend my night re-enacting the horrors of the killer’s victims.

I walk along the usual narrow road home, the recent horrors have stopped the gardeners from working. The bushes on the side are overgrown and sometimes they resemble shadows with malicious intents. The night is dark but not quiet, the sounds of animals making up for the eerie feeling the emptiness brings.

It’s very windy tonight, and my shoes are no match for the muddy road. My attempt at walking as quickly as possible is failing, and I’m forced to think about the ghosts that legend says lurk in these very corners. On this very path I walk.

Animated by SIMI

The kids in town say the ghosts have rotting sharp teeth, long knives for nails and they eat young boys for supper. Nonetheless, I look ahead, grateful for the sight of fully-lighted houses and voices in the distance.

But my hope doesn’t last too long.

“Help!!!!!! My house is burning and my daughter is inside! My daughter is inside!”

It’s the screams of a terrified woman coming from one of the houses I am approaching. Her screams are terror-ridden and the situation seems dire, but her cry for help is met with complete silence. No one seems to be responding. And so I run. There have been too many deaths, and I’m about to witness another. As I approach the house, however, I realise it’s devoid of the signs of a fire. There’s no smoke, no signs of burning or any falling debris.

Animated by SIMI

The only thing in my line of vision is a shadow escaping from the side of the house, a shadow in the form of a very tall figure carrying a briefcase and a rucksack.

I panic, and my legs become stuck.

The screams of the woman have now stopped and I wonder if that signifies her demise. Her ploy of getting someone to face the intruder by asking for help for a non-existent burning daughter has failed. There are houses behind, and many seek refuge at the church just 10 minutes away, but no one wants to help, no one wants to be the next victim of the terrifying killer.

It seems many victims had used the same tactic in the past.

After my moment of shock, I run swiftly after the intruder who is now a stone-throw from me. I’m terrified, but I keep going. If he seeks to kill me, I’d be swimming in a pool of blood by now. Perhaps getting away was more important than the thrill of my murder.

My stocky legs are no match for him, however, as 2 minutes of heavy breathing and faintness later, my body gives out and the killer blends in with the darkness.

I pace around anxiously for a while planning my next move, trying to keep a mental image of him in my mind.

Animated by SIMI

And then I spot something lying on the ground in front of me.

The killer in his haste has dropped an object. Covered in wet grass and mud is a black book, tightly secured with a gold angled lock. It’s tattered and has some words on its covers, the letters are strange and I cannot understand its language.

This is it! This must count for something!

I call the office and tell them of my rare find, I could hear my colleagues screaming with excitement like drooling dogs looking forward to a treat.

Animated by SIMI

“We received a call about the woman, the police are on their way, the book might contain vital information.”

As the lead detective speaks hurriedly, tension and suspense fill the air as we all wonder what I might find in its pages. Perhaps his identity, perhaps his name at least.

I read out the letters on the book, one of my team members screams.


The title of the book is the Vedic Sanskrit translation for slasher. A fitting name indeed. My hands are no match for how tight the locks are, and so I hammer away.


I hear the victorious sound, the lock is finally open.

“Do the honours, Neil, open it and read it aloud,” the lead detector yells, in his coarse gravelly voice.

I open the book, glancing very quickly at its pages hoping to find the secret of the elusive and dangerous serial killer. But my eyes are met with disappointment in the form of words. I flip to the next page, and then the next, but they all contain the same thing.

Badly written poems about fruits!

Animated by SIMI

Long and short scribbles, detailing his love and hate for different types of fruits in metaphors, oxymorons and onomatopoeia.

The poems are so badly written—even with rhymes, there are very little poetic qualities to them.

An orange a day keeps the doctor away But the fumes of the orange is what breaks my day Mother says it’s all we have again. But if I breathe I’ll be dead by an orange slain

A boy sees nuts A boy eats nuts A boy cries nuts The boy is nuts

Here, we see the ice cream man approach With his happy music and his funny hair Mama says boy don’t go. They don’t make ice cream for sick boys like you

A serial killer writing poems about nuts and oranges makes no sense to me. It doesn’t explain his motive, neither does it reveal any clues about his identity. What am I to do with this useless information? It sucks to relay the underwhelming news, but I have no choice.

“They are just poems about fruits sir,” my voice trembles and I can feel the smile on the faces of my colleagues turn upside down instantly.

The lead detective is livid.

“You mean to tell me, Neil, that you called us, hyping our hopes up, to tell us about a useless book about his food preferences?”

“You’re off the case! With immediate effect!”


The line goes dead.

I’m shaking in anger. But not towards the lead detective. I am furious at the killer for leaving a useless book about orange fumes, he’s probably laughing somewhere at my naivety as he declares himself untouchable.


Tonight is the night. I won’t go home until I come face to face with this killer, one of us must die. I might lose a limb or two but blood must be shed.

I declare war!

Animated by SIMI

I try to catch my breath. I look like a mad man with muddy shoes and bloodshot eyes. If not for my perfectly coloured teeth, someone might mistake me for one of the ghosts in the bush, or worse, the killer himself.

The killer had gone south of the dead woman’s house, sprinting into the bushes that led nowhere but a church overlooking the sea. There’s only one boat that serves the whole town, and it leaves unfailingly at noon every day. He could leave through a private boat but that would quickly raise suspicions. The police team in the opposite town will be lying in wait for him.

He also wouldn’t run into town, as that’s the direction our police team would be coming from. From the direction he took, he has to be trapped somewhere between the house and the sea, a knowledge exclusive only to me.

And so I set off on the same path, my mind filled with ideas on how to defeat this monster. As I run towards the church, I can hear the police officers arriving in the distance.

Animated by SIMI

This has become my fight now. Sleepless nights, constant humiliation and the cockiness of this killer is something I will no longer endure.

It all ends tonight!

My anger and ego have overtaken my common sense. Without any arms or a way to defend myself, I am now hoping to run into a man that has killed no less than 22 people.

I approach the church through the rear, my heart beating so loud it almost rips through my chest. Except he’s decided to hide in the bush and risk being bitten by a snake or a scorpion, this is it.

This is where the killer must be.

I wonder if those who live in the church know they are mere kilometres, if not seconds away from death. Perhaps I will walk into a bloody massacre, perhaps they are on their knees praying, pleading for their lives, with a gun to their heads.

My legs get heavier with each step.

Animated by SIMI

Alas, I see a weird figure laying in the distance, I’m petrified but fully equipped with all the delusional courage I had mustered.

It’s a tall man, behind the church’s dumpster.

He is swollen and blood drips from his nose. His mouth is open and his lips are the size of a tennis ball.

I walk closer, slowly, in fear that he might jump at me, and rip off the flesh on my neck like a zombie in maniac mode.

But he’s dead.

In his swollen hands is a single 20 dollar note. There’s a rucksack, filled with wigs, clothes, knives and crumpled money. There are also bundles of cash hidden in what looks to be piles of peanuts. Tucked away underneath this, is a carefully hidden letter addressed to a “wife.”

“$20,000 for emergencies, hide it away from Rosanne, she will gamble everything away!”

Immediately, the terrible poems in the black book begin to make sense.

The woman must have hidden her dead husband’s money in perfect disguise away from her gambling daughter. The impatient thief trying to use his saliva to count his newly acquired fortune has met his death.

Little did she know that the untouchable scary monster the whole town couldn’t conquer, is severely allergic to nuts.

Original Art by SIMI


About the Creator


poet, wanderer, writer.

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