October 1st, 2017
“Dear journal, today I have overcome my prolonged battle with the classification of Thanatophilia or simply having philophobia. I have chosen neither. You see, I do not favor the sensation nor the look of death. The smell is absolutely putrid, like a fromagerie left unattended for months, and the guilt, the abhorrent feel of one’s life slipping through your fingers. Spilling Crimson onto your monochrome marble flooring. It is not a sight to behold; Therefore, the winds of life have blown me to be deemed a philocalist. A lover of beauty. Whether this is a justification for my actions I cannot say, but it does bring a new meaning to my, I suppose you can say, hobby. As a boy I had always admired the way my mother’s heartbeat rang when I lay cradled in her arms. A joyous thumping that I had only wished to see happening through her porcelain skin. Eleanora was gorgeous. Emerald eyes and hair of ash, but what I thought to be the emblem of beauty laid inside. Trapped between a set of lungs. Never free to be appreciated.”
I glance up from my journaling to admire the collection I have built. A true art exhibit caged within the white walls of my home. A small dwelling in the french countryside, Lourmarin to be precise. Beckoning odd fellows like myself with its ivy-covered streets, obvious elegance, and women of exceeding attraction. A place for artists, and though I have no public gallery I have been consistently satisfied by my artistic achievement. Hand chiseled columns line the perimeter. Once holding “precious” artifacts, but now holding the grand gem of human existence. The heart.
This entire hobby came as a surprise to me. I am not a ladies man and I never have been. Not that I couldn’t be. Mother always said I had the looks of an Egyptian prince in his prime, yet this is the same woman who married a Biologist named Gibson. Nevertheless, while others spent their time spreading women’s legs, I was busy spreading books. Indulging myself in their inner contents. Brushing nimble, prepubescent fingers over a paper bound spine, Twas this type of love making that led to me university. I had planned to study Anatomy as most of the literature I had consumed was of such. However, that didn’t exactly happen, but I’ve since moved past it. Nevertheless the human body is still a marvelous thing to me. A sculpture of perfection. One I have always dreamed of turning into a fountain of Greek resemblance, so that I may drink from it’s life giving veins. Again and again.
Snapping out my childish reminiscing, I perch my folded arms against the ledge of my specimen. One of the 24 hearts I possess. Given to me by a woman named Orion exactly 360 days ago. I marvel wide-eyed and dreamily at how well the glycerin solution has preserved its natural state. A bloody Red hue accompanied by the clear water Blue. Chambers still present as well as tubes. Only physical difference is the flowers that now reside in her Aorta. Queen of the Night Tulips. Hand picked by yours truly and the only plant Orion ever loved. “Loved” I say this word out loud. Softly. Letting the gruffness of my voice free as though a notch too high would disturb her eternal beauty sleep. An alluring woman she was. Somehow someway my mind slips, and I am reliving the night I committed this gloriously heinous crime.
“And that’s why constellations exist.” You finished your theory in all sincerity, but I suppose you could see the weakness behind my glassy eyes. For every word she spoke prior had been like magic. The bustle of utensil against plate only accenting her tale. The atmosphere roared but my eyes stayed still. Running over your lips and never leaving. I had no desire to touch you, but I had every intention to stare at you. The glistening gold chain paired well with your dress. Black as night with enough bust to drive a normal man from sanity. Maybe that’s why illiterate fools like your poetry. They aren’t even listening at all. “Speak now or forever leave me wondering” her velvet chimes caressing me from any further observation. “How do you feel about the human body?” I blurted with uncertain urgency. Her response tickled me. “A vessel for a wandering soul. Always yearning for sheer satisfaction. Trapped beneath a cloak of skin and bones. Why such a question?” “No reason…do you have a favorite flower?”
I could have performed a much worse form of sin that night. Alas, no more than 5 minutes later her dark chocolate locks were in chaos. Fretting in all directions as a hand much to strong made bruises on her trachea. Filling with air that will only hope to escape, much like a balloon on its way to combustion. Her eyes remained open after all was said and done. Even in death they still surged with life. I know now that’s why I killed her. Her essence was too much. She was far too magnificent to simply age like wine then spend eternity surrounded by strangers of lesser worth. I saved her. Plucked the stem from her lifeless body while the fruit was still ripe. She was the first heart I was ever given. She invited me into her alcoves of perception, and from there sprang my epiphany. Beautiful things do not deserve to die of such ritualistic death.
The other 23 hearts seem to whisper at me. Pleading that I spend my time reconciling with why I got to them before God. I shut out their cries to return to the pinpointed reason that I ventured into this room. Preserving these lives in Glycerin offers me nothing but elation; However, as 27 is my favorite number I would like to stop my activity there. 27 must be the person whom I truly love. The soul I know inside and out that guides me through the periods of wrecking guilt. The heart that raised me. Mine.
October 3rd 2017
“Dear journal, the deed is done.”
I stand stiff in the doorframe to my so called exhibit. My eyes stinging a painful red as I finish the newest edition. The heart of Gibson James Nygaard. Eternally at rest next to Eleanora Lynn Nygaard. Father and mother of a loving sociopath, whose body count is 26 as of yesterday, Fletcher James Nygaard. A sound of deflation emits through my clenched adams apple, bouncing off of every wall, every heart, before returning to me once more. Collapsing to the floor with a harsh “smack “ I go numb. I had moved to the French countryside to begin this hobby alone. Telling my parents that college was below me. That I would find work here. I knew that was a blatant lie, and I now believe they did too. For as I interrupted my “surprise” visit home and excused myself to the laboratory their faces grew fearful. My father even stopped chewing. Whilst in the bathroom I said a prayer to whomever was willing to listen, crossed my heart, and hoped I would never forgive myself. It only takes the scream of the person who birthed you to send you spiraling. Digging into every empty surface just to end both terrors quicker. I never once looked into her eyes as I did it. I was already feeling enough. The voice that consoled me stopped speaking; The breast that fed me is no longer supplying. I now snip marigolds in silence.
“I did what I did because I had to. Taking one’s own breath away is far too hard without cause. I needed to be repulsed by own existence, and now I can say I am. I am orphan at the hands of myself. The only two people I have ever loved are being preserved, and I want to be with them for eternity. Not in heaven, but in blooming spirit. I am sorry journal, but this is the last time you will be used by me. You will never enjoy the comforts of human contact from this day forward. Thank you for being my secret keeper, and I apologize that it must end this way. I do have to go now as the ambulance is currently enroute.
Your sociopathic content spiller/artist, Fletcher
October 6th 2017”
I rip this page out with ease and place it on the black wood desk. Front and center in my home library. I quickly light a fire in the nearby pit, cremating the remains of my journal. I want no explanation for the gallery of hearts, nor for the reason I want to be with them. I do not want to be Fletcher the sociopath. I do not want to be Fletcher the philocalist. I want to be Fletcher. The good neighbor with an even greater secret.