Get a job. Go to work.
Get Married. Have children.
Follow fashion. Walk on the pavement.
Watch TV. Obey the ungodly laws.
Act normal. Save money for old age.
Now, repeat after me: “I am free!”
Daisy lives some distance from any road, unless you count the dirt roads. Her domain is a rather large farmhouse, complete with cornices, crown molding and a wraparound porch. However, it is the garden that pleases her most about the residence. Daisy lives in the kind of community where everyone has a garden. No two dwellings are precisely alike, as farmhouses vary in size and style, but a garden… a garden is a feature that everyone has. The house is in the vicinity of several large agricultural factories. The neighbors are very far away and she loves it. Although she did nothing wrong yet, she refuses to give the new regime any information about herself at all. She wants to live off the grid. Too bad that her garden, along with every other back yard in her community, is bone dry.
(It is indeed necessary to entrust you with this information so that you may understand the macabre life of one Daisy Jones and how she was able to get away with murder. I am here, now, to give a history of the calamitous events in the deep south of Mississippi during a period of time that could only be described as living through the Grapes of Wrath.)
Daisy Jones is an octogenarian. No one who knows me will distrust this information, but I am here to tell you that Daisy Jones was the perfect serial killer; her life story is told over the period of the last of her 87 years.
Let me now introduce you to Daisy Jones. She is grumpy, isolated and hungry - and a little more than mildly psychotic, in her later years.
Daisy can see why the classic books are simple and provocative. It’s exactly why we can’t read them. Books like Little House on the Prairie have great appeal. In the book Little House in the Big Woods, Santa brings Laura Ingalls Wilder a cloth doll (she never had a real doll before, just an old corn cob, with a rag around it) and a piece of candy. Two amazing gifts leaving her in awe and overjoyed.
It’s just a simple story, however it exposes how the world nowadays has gone awry. Back then, there was no technology, no government overreach and conversations were not recorded. Besides, when was the last time you had a piece of candy, anyway?
The sugar fields are scorched by the blazing sun. The drought has been going on for six long years now. There are shortages of food everywhere. People no longer sell their kids for crack, they sell them in exchange for a pass to get out of the internment camps. The blazing sun scorches everything and the ocean is no longer cold…
Daisy decides to do her best to find a copy of Little House in the Big Woods and give it to her granddaughter. Surely, someone in the underground will be able to find it. Daisy realizes that no books from her childhood exist any longer. They were quietly taken away by the government. There was an advertisement calling for friends of the library to donate books. It was the First Lady’s idea. It was a ruse to get all your books. The First Lady was after all Futuris - superior in every way... There were already nine different types of Homo sapiens before the next jump in evolution led to Homo Futuris - this human is to us as we were to Neanderthals. Daisy knows this, but she doesn’t think about it, for fear of retribution. The decline of mankind is a whole other story, however. The question is: will her daughter live to see it?
How did this happen, anyway?
Daisy is nearing the end of her life and she remembers that, as a child, no one really cared about the academic success of a daughter. At that point in time, everyone was supposed to be reading all the time, with the recommendation to turn off the screen.
Now, in her old age, it is the other way round - turn on the screens, get rid of the books. There is nothing in the stores to buy; not even a wash rag for a corn cob doll.
Back when there was a wide range of books, authors, and topics, Daisy read a lot. All of her favorite books, the classics, were banned. As early as fourth grade, Daisy devoured publications as an escape mechanism.
Now, the media has stopped the panic economics of the past, so only good news is shown. And newsworthy comedians talk about climate change and mass extinctions as if they were a joke. The government has already planned the next mass extinction, but only the evolved ones know.
People - slightly more seriously - exchange thoughts on what could bring about our demise. Robots? Aliens? Climate change? These are the topics in the underground. The next generation of humans is not even on our radar. Of course, there is no more desire for schools to embrace evolution - someone might figure it out.
Besides serial killers, Daisy is preoccupied with the upcoming mass extinction. Replacement Theory and Interbreeding Theory are two competing modern ideologies: modern - when Daisy was in her prime; and modern-evolutionary - when she learned about the two competing concepts (one such concept was that Homo sapiens exterminated the Neanderthals). But Daisy, along with most of the population, is convinced that nothing in the evolutionary tree could have produced anything better than a pure Homo sapiens. Homo Futuris is not even on anyone’s radar.
Daisy wants to teach her granddaughter as much science as she can. (She won’t tell her granddaughter, though, that she herself is a Futuris - she will decide who lives and who dies.) Of course, since one can’t even read Alice in Wonderland any longer, it’s useless to say that the science textbooks are gone!
Suddenly, Daisy realizes that, for a short while, she was thinking for herself. She got carried away. But it was only for a minute, right? She checks her watch (old school). For how long had she been thinking? Her father was an astronomer, her mother was a poet. With such a family, she learned to ruminate from an early age. How could she not be thinking in her 80s? Even rationalizing her parents is thinking…
She must redirect herself. She decides to read about serial killers. Maybe reading about Dahmer and Gary (atrocious stories that are on the “allowed” list) is a good idea. Or she might read about Futuris, some developed technology allowing the cops to get people arrested before they even commit the crime. Futuris has effectively shut down serial killers and it is touted as one of the success stories of the new regime.
She vows to buy some books that are not contraband for a change! She will have them laying around her house, in full view of the screens. Then, if she is seen thinking, they will just believe she is an avid reader of “The New Collection.”
“The New Collection” is a motley pile of books. It can be confusing as to what’s allowed and what is not. For instance, Darwin’s theory of evolution, and his statement that “humans are just another type of animal”, outrages people to this day. Should they read it, however, they might overthink enough… just enough to figure out that we won’t be at the top of the food chain for much longer; they would realize that the end is near. On the other hand, all religious texts are allowed, even though it is a godless regime. Focusing on church every Sunday and on Bible study is just another trick to keep people away from leisure activities. The Homo Futuris believes he is GOD.
Damn, she is doing it again! Thinking, that is. She will buy the prop books in the morning. Subject closed! She decides to go to sleep - no one gets in trouble while sleeping, do they? Exhausted from her thoughts, she falls asleep, deeply.
The next morning, as the sun takes over the sky, Daisy finds herself thinking again. This time, her thoughts wander around in an attempt to learn the answer to a strange question: when was it that she figured out the first rule of being a serial killer? “Never kill someone whom someone else will go looking for.”
Upon reflection, she realizes that that was Ted Bundy’s biggest mistake. That and his terrible driving skills. Bundy killed sorority girls - someone was definitely going to look for him.
The second rule is to “make sure no one will ever find the body, the skeleton, or the family of the deceased”. That is what got H. H. Holmes in trouble: he had the fantastic idea of killing the woman in the basement, but his death chamber was full of footprints. Holmes - what an idiot!
She formulates a rudimentary plan:
Get a boyfriend;
Let boyfriend die;
Sit back and smile - no one will ever figure it out!
She is deliciously excited and doesn’t know what to do with her dark thoughts. Daisy loves to cook, but food ran out a long time ago.
Then, her greatest idea yet hits her: panhandler pie! She won’t serve the body parts directly, just use them as mulch. An exquisitely evil plan starts to formulate in her head. This is the best idea she’s ever had. Panhandlers are exterminated; people are fed; Daisy gets to satisfy her urge for human flesh; and everybody likes pie and nobody, absolutely nobody will miss a panhandler.
She doesn’t need a boyfriend, now does she? Too many thoughts are swirling, she can’t catch a break. At least, she is overthinking on a topic that is allowed by the system. Hell, she will be a hero in the new regime! She doesn’t even need a prop book today. She can literally daydream about her insane desire to kill, since it’s on an allowable topic. She has never felt so relaxed from her thoughts before!
Time for a nap, time for a kill.
Daisy drifts swiftly into sleep but only for a short time. She tries fitfully to stay asleep, but no bother. It is not working. She remembers a song from her childhood, The Mamas & the Papas – Dream a little dream of me. She pulls out her vinyl copy and proceeds to meditate while listening: “It’s the only way to calm down!”
But did the meditation session work? No, of course not!
She is now all over the place – in the living room, hallway, kitchen, bedroom and back on the sofa – formulating the kitchen remodel. She is running around, hardly containing her excitement. “Things need to change. Definitely!” The last kitchen model wasn’t done up properly. It will come handy when she draws and quarters the bodies. “I need a saw, that sort of knife and the other… Oh, and what about a…?”
That is what Daisy remembers hearing in the classroom. One of her students had knocked her prized dinosaur toe bone off of the shelf. It was deafening, like the weight of gold. It was her prized fossil from her father, a 180 million year toe bone, and now it is broken in half by a punk ass kid. This specimen has survived the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, endured severe climate change and now… Now, this? How can it be done in by an 8th grader?
Daisy loved geology and very much wanted to become a geologist, but even in her time it was expected that one would get married and have a child. Despite her repeated solicitations, there was no mining for her. North Dakota always seemed like an interesting place. She remembers an unusual fact about it - the greatest temperature change recorded on earth, in a 24 hour period, happened there: so far, from the stabilizing force of water, the temperature changed a full hundred degrees in one day! Daisy always thought that the fossils recorded were not interesting as rocks, so she didn’t really pay attention to life science. She probably should have…
Get a job. Go to work.
Get Married. Have children.
Follow fashion. Walk on the pavement.
Watch TV. Obey the ungodly laws.
Act normal. Save money for old age.
Now, repeat after me: “I am free!”
These are the reasons why she started hating men.
Oh, and the memory lane… it takes her back to the moment when she lost all respect for men: it was that damn pushy, ugly and terrifying man, possibly a sex monster, approaching her aggressively. “What is the opposite of a misogynist, anyway?” she thinks out loud. The last relationship had her dreaming in silver and gold. She felt a breath of relief with that man by her side. No, they never got married; they didn’t even give the relationship the status of boyfriend and girlfriend. Very blurred lines. Their relationship was no secret for anyone, though. But Daisy’s new secret will be her demise…
She begins to write:
Rule number three of serial killing: “Don’t let anyone know your backstory”. They might figure out you’re a man-hater. No, she doesn’t need that! “Just put two and two together with the meat grinder. That’s it! Done!” She thinks of the Unabomber - another idiot, caught due to his eccentric manner of speech and polished manifesto. “Men make terrible serial killers… There’s a very good reason why there are so few known female serial killers. They know how to hide a body.”
Rule number four: “Be anything but a white causation male”. Think of Anthony Sowell. For once in America, it pays off to be black. Daisy has now fallen ass backwards into writing a story about how to be a good serial killer. Darkness descends on Daisy, evil clothing her heart. There’s only one thing left to do now. It’s time to write some poetry…
Rule number five: “Don’t get too attached to your victories” - Jeffrey Dammer. The Special K is kicking in, she will get back to this later.
Rule number six: “Put nothing in writing”. “Ugh, that’s my mistake, quite frankly…” Daisy thinks for herself. “Along with the Unabomber… Why is this in writing? This will be found one day, I’m sure. But how else am I supposed to figure out how to be the perfect serial killer?”
Daisy knows she is missing some rules…
A few days have gone by and the panhandlers continue to invade Daisy’s mind. “There is the greatest economic growth now in the country since the 90’s. Why don’t they get a job?” she hears herself pondering over the matter. “I’m working my ass off in retirement and these people do nothing but sit on the side of the road, begging for money.” It’s causing so much hatred…
Once, a panhandler screamed at her; he pushed his way into the car and yelled: “I wanted to eat today, lady!” Wow, what a nerve! Picture that! And then, what about the panhandlers that keep their psych ward bracelet on to get money? Such a seedy underbelly that no one knows about.
Daisy knows that, in the hood, one can get whatever they want. Her drug of choice is Special K - Ketamine.
Her first kill was an accident: a slow death, made less painful by the Special K. Now, she is frantically wondering what to do with the body. She finally makes up her mind and takes him to the beach.
“Oh, shit!” she grunted.
It turns out that he’s alive. She drops him on the sand and starts walking backwards. Morbidly, she realizes, later on, that the high tide was coming in and she was wasted on Special K. She ponders over it for a few moments… She asks the dark blue waves for advice and a voice thunders in her head: “Go through with it. Finish him!” With slow steps, she returns and gets close to her victim. She looks at him, watching his helpless moves and a mischievous smile shapes up in the corner of her lips. She did kill him, after all. With her bare hands. And she liked it… No, she loved it!
The next day, she is already on a watch for her next victim. This time, it’s intentional.
By the time she is on the fifth kill, she has used them as fertilizer. However, the bones of the victims are still very much intact. She knows nothing about grinding bone down to nothing. It’s too much work to do with a mortar and pestle! And she likes her Special K a little too much…
One morning, after a particularly rainy night, when the soil is laden with water, parts of elbows and big feet poke out of the garden. Her worry does not revolve around the thought of getting caught, but it does cause a feeling in the pit of her stomach; she can’t really identify the feeling: is it pride, revulsion, or remorse? Whatever it may be, it is certainly unpleasant.
Or... is it?
Suddenly, it goes again…
However, this time, it is not a 180 billion year old fossil crashing to the classroom floor. It’s an explosion leaving nothing behind in its wake. Daisy’s residence is now just a mere shadow. The fire is twice as high as the tall house for just a minute. The old mansion, with all its real lumber, plaster and lathe walls, along with the wood pile for the wood-burning stove, just accelerate the disaster. Embers fall far and wide and, soon, it can be seen from quite a distance.
Daisy was not well versed in the chemistry of what she was doing. She never studied terrorists, mainly focusing on serial killers. At the moment of deflagration, she had decided to burn the fertilizer to get rid of the bones. The spirits of those she killed were driving her insane, causing her to yell little shrieks; it was the sound of madness. She was convinced that the ghosts took delight in vexing her. The shadows spoke in shouts delivered as whispers. Daisy has poured fuel on the garden and very cautiously lit a match. Her house blew up like the bomb created by Timothy McVeigh. And so, all memories of any panhandler in her garden left this world with her…
As Daisy’s ashes are flying around, her granddaughter is just walking up to the house witnessing how it’s raining legs and elbows. Puzzled with this event, yet willing to learn what caused it, she takes a few steps around the place. She carefully puts one foot in front of the other, to avoid stepping on human remains. While walking close to what used to be the walls of the mansion, she spots a piece of paper floating in a puddle. She looks around, ensuring that no one is there, and eventually picks up the item. A few letters are written on it, but not enough to make a word. Intrigued, the lady searches for more. After a few minutes of hunting sheets, she manages to put together all the pieces disclosing how to get away with murder, in detail.
“Now, this is some interesting development!” she thinks. “I guess this must be rule number seven: Die before being found out. Thanks, grandma!”
As Daisy’s granddaughter speaks these two final words, the final micro-explosion occurs. Its effect, however, is beyond what anyone could ever imagine: it lifts the fog off of her brain. She now knows who to kill first. At the same time, she just figured out rule number eight… and the aftershocks. And rule number nine.
“I can’t let grandma’s work be in vain! These rules need to be applied; and amplified. Hmm… What should the next rule be?”
Daisy is now free – truly! A dead person carries no burdens:
She doesn’t have to follow fashion;
She is not compelled to keep a job;
She no longer needs to worry about thinking too much or not at all;
She is liberated from the obsession of using Special K!
And so ends the macabre life of one Daisy Jones…
Hold on a second! Is their pavement where she is at, after all?
And what happened to the granddaughter?
Why, alright! Can you keep a secret?
Here is where the young lady is headed: she is chasing the adventure of a lifetime. She is building herself the reputation as The Devil Next Door is a quiet Kentucky town.
About the Creator
I am an aspiring writer currently writing a book on the Sober Revolution we are in the midst of, a book about essays that will change the way you think, and a novel about a serial killer. I am also working on a book of poetry.