Fortunately for me, Peter decided to abandon his plan to flee California. For the next few months, Peter forced me to observe, watching his method, his ritual, forcing me to try, and memorize it. He made a rule, no more than two a month. This went on for some time, but by the sixth month, he felt I was ready to try again. But we would do it together, each with our own target.
At the motel where we were staying, we each packed our own go bag, complete with knives, new clothes, cash, the lot. Being that it was, what, 1988 at the time? We didn’t have much worry in the way of forensics, or anything of that sort. Peter marked our territories, and the motel where we were to meet up with the targets, at the designated time; midnight. And with that, we set out hunting.
I went to my designated territory, same tricks, no pun intended. After about ten minutes of fishing (it never takes long) I found mine, and proceeded to the destination. Arriving at the motel, I felt something was… off. I told him to check for a reservation for Bradson, that I had made arrangements beforehand. Peter was supposed to have been here by now, and that was the name he was to use. Offering to pay for the room on his credit card, to ensure I would be able to find them.
We went to our room, and as I opened the door, I tried to stifle my surprise at its emptiness. I casually sat down on the bed, and he, I forget his name, let's call him john. John went into the washroom to “freshen up,” assumedly to take some drug or something of the sort. All sorts of unsavoury thoughts made an attempt to overtake my mind, mainly Peter in cuffs, or in a ditch, bloody, and abused. But the worst of all? The worst was the thought that he was testing me. Toying with me like some petulant child. And that, unfortunately, was the most likely scenario.
John exited the washroom, wiping his nose clean, so I quickly dispersed all distraction. Now, John… John was one of my more favourable memories. That moment, you know? It's only as sweet as the buildup, and John made sure my moment was sweetest of all. See, John was especially… excited. He was very hands on. I got the feeling immediately that he wasn’t planning to pay me. He sat down on the bed besides me, and grasped my thigh affectionately.
“You know what I love about you boys? I keep getting older, but you? You always stay the same.” John's voice was exceptionally deep and breathy.
“You know what I love about the typical pervert type? Your particular brand of stupid; it's very predictable.”
I wadded up the rag I keep in my pocket, and shoved it into his mouth as I jammed the knife into his thigh, hard as I could, straight to the bone... He let out the most delightful sound. I find once you hit bone hard enough, the pain is so much that they can’t get out anything more than a pained squeal. It’s quite effective. But I find cutting out the tongue is more effective, in the long run. Practice had given me a modicum of speed, I'm actually pretty proud. In all of, what, 20 seconds, I grabbed and severed quite a large portion of the tongue, to the point where all he could do was whimper, and gurgle. Which meant I was able to take my time.
Knowing that Peter was somewhere, no doubt watching, grading me, it was infuriating. There was this feeling I had never felt before. Granted, I haven’t felt most feelings before, but I didn’t like this one. It was like a fire, burning deep inside the back of my brain. An un-scratch-able itch that maddened me to no end. But once I start into my good friend John, it started to subside rather quickly.
Carving into John, my first time really exploring the possibilities, I felt renewed. It was a... almost a soul searching experience. Peeling off a piece of flesh, I felt my mouth watering. All I wanted to do was taste it, savour it. But the image of Peter, leering at me in disgust, it was haunting me, even through my feelings of betrayal. Finally, after maybe 30 seconds of quiet, soulful contemplation, the urge was too strong. I had to have it again. Slowly, I pulled my treat off of the tip of my blade, feeling the metallic blood trickle across my tongue. It was heavenly. It was like replacing a piece of me that had been missing my whole life. A section of myself that could never really fully be restored, but I felt if I kept at it enough, I could fill the hole somewhat substantially. I almost forgot my friend was still alive, he was behaving so well.
“Look buddy, it’s not you. Well it’s not all about you. See I have this friend, he was supposed to be here too. But instead, I'm here, and he’s, well… let’s say he’s judging. He thinks I can be a tad bit recalcitrant. Unruly, even. I think I'm growing into my own. What do you think John? John? Oh, that’s right. I’ve got your tongue.”
As much as I was enjoying the moment, I knew I was coming close to the mark. We only ever book the rooms for an hour. A couple more pieces of john, a fingernail, peeled off for a souvenir, and I was ready to go. Slowly, I sliced his throat, touching myself all the while. Licking my blade clean, I made my escape, disappearing into the night.
Making my way back to the motel, I thought, over and over again, about slicing Peters throat. Bashing his brains in. Tasting him. It was all I was able to think about; it was consuming my mind. But Peter was bigger than me. Stronger than me. He taught me everything I know. So I back-burnered the notion. For now.
The cab pulled up to the motel, and I went to our room, ignorantly unprepared. As I opened the door, expecting to relay the high points of my night to my loving mentor, I was greeted by peter’s cold, disgusted stare.
“What did I say? What did I say about your disgusting little habit?”
A loss of self-awareness rushed over me. It was as if I was no longer in control.
“I remember you mentioning something about consequences. Not really sure.”
I don’t know what gave me the nerve to stand my ground. Maybe I was just tired of him belittling me, almost constantly. Or maybe it was just time for me to spread my proverbial wings.
“You forget I taught you everything you know? What would you be without me? I CREATED YOU! You were the kid in the corner, until I found you, and molded you, like a true artist. You are absolutely nothing without me. Nothing more than garbage.”
Usually those words would have broken my heart, but this newfound resolve had left me hardened.
“No. That’s where you’ve always been wrong. You didn’t create me, as you so simply put it. You brought the real me to the surface, and for that, I thank you, eternally. But beyond that, you have become irrelevant. And as for your consequences… I will say this. Even a rat, when cornered, will strike back.”
I took a couple steps, ever wary, as peter was quite quick.
“I think you’ve done all you can for me at this point. I don’t think I need you anymore, to be blunt. So, at this point, I think the best bet will be for us to separate. Don’t you agree?”
“I think this new brevity that you’ve found is… interesting. And I think, if you want to leave, I truly can’t stop you. But know this. Make your decision, and make it final.”
“You’ve done a lot for me, and I appreciate that. But my decision is final. The control you possess over me is unsettling. I need to live my life.”
"OK. I'll have a go bag ready for you in the morning."
I thought that night would be the last time I ever saw Peter. To this day, I cant find the words to describe how wrong I was.