Part 2



“Jackson Russo?”

That bird sitting on the power line outside is chirping really loud.

“Jackson Russo?”

I wouldn’t hurt a bird, so why would I hurt a human being?


Oh. I zoned out.


I picked up the wad of paper that Chad Landry threw at my head. I hate that guy. He picks on everyone who is different than him, but I guess my love for all things true crime strikes him as weird and unforgivable. I am always watching documentaries on serial killers and shows like Criminal Minds.

Be normal.

Chad is such a douche-y name, and that perfectly summarizes Chad Landry. The guy thinks he should be worshipped because he’s the star on the basketball team. He thinks he ranks up there with Kobe Bryant, and if you don’t agree, you’re basically scum beneath his shoes, at least that’s what he says.


I know what you’re thinking. Okay, so you murdered Chad Landry. This is so predictable. Wrong. I mean, he should be hit across the face with a baseball bat, but no, he’s not the guy I murdered. And I still have no clue how it happened. I blacked out. But whatever. I’m a cold-blooded murderer, and I can’t let my stepdad find out. He looks for any opportunity to ruin my life. It’s like he’s going through a checklist of things to do to drive me insane.

Step one: marry my mom. Check.

Step two: be a cop. Check.

Step three: Be a controlling scumbag. Check.

Next step? Who knows? But if he found out I did this, he’d lose his mind. The thing is, he wouldn’t only throw me in prison the first chance he could, but he’d hit my mom. When he hits my mom, I get so angry. One time, I attacked him, and he held me by the throat up against the wall. I get so angry even when he walks in the same room as me. I keep asking my mom to divorce him, but she swears she loves him.

Here we go again. Being predictable. Stop giving away the story.

Right. Well, my stepdad isn’t the one I murdered either. So don’t get your hopes up there. I promise I won’t give too much away though because I need to tell you this story. It’s important. I need you to know my story and how I got here.


Here. With blood on my hands and under my shoes.

This is a mess. Clean up so you don’t get caught.

“Mr. Russo, wake up.”


“I’m awake.”

“Can you tell me what I just said then?”

“Uhhhh… no.”

The class erupted in laughter and Mrs. Locke rolled her eyes and turned to the dry erase board.

“Sleeping is not allowed in my class, Mr. Russo.”

I was asleep? No way. I killed him, right?


The bell rang for class to end, so I threw my stuff in my backpack and ran out. My next class is basically across the campus, so I didn’t have any time to waste. Four minutes between classes is a joke. I sped through the chaos of people in the hallway and just made it to my next class. I sat down and wiped the sweat from my forehead. I’m not in the best shape as far as running and speed walking goes.

“Hey Jax. I got the stuff.”

I looked over at Cully Wilson. He looked rough today. His brown hair look unbrushed and his clothes looked unwashed.

“What stuff?”

“You know, the stuff.”

“No, I do not know what stuff you’re talking about, Cully.”

Cully looked at me with a confused look on his face and then leaned over more to whisper.

“Dude, the stuff to clean up the scene.”

I looked over at him with wide eyes.

So it wasn’t a dream. This is real.

“Oh okay, yeah, that stuff. We’ll meet after school and we’ll go take care of that.”

Cully nodded in agreement. The rest of the day at school seemed to fly by, and my anxiety levels blew through the roof. I met up with Cully at the bus stop and we walked to the scene of the crime. It was an old abandoned building with light coming through the broken windows, door-less frame, and a huge hole in the roof. We walked in, and I saw the blood stains on the concrete floor. Cully opened a duffle bag with gloves, peroxide, rags, and sponges.

“Hopefully this’ll work. I did some Googling to figure out what would work.”

I stared at the blood in horror.

“Dude, grab some gloves and let’s get this over with.”

I bent down to grab the gloves from the duffle bag but had to run outside to throw up.

Get a hold of yourself. You did this. You gotta clean up the mess you made.

Shut up. The voices in my head were talking over each other.

Clean it up.

You’re worthless.

You’re a cold-blooded murderer.

Jaaaaax… you’re sick in the head.

You’re gonna get caught!

I hit myself a few times on my forehead. That seemed to make them stop.

“Jax, come on. I don’t want to do this all night.”

“Okay, yeah, Cully. I’m coming.”

We cleaned up the blood and left the scene. I felt good about everything: cleaning up the mess, not getting caught, and getting rid of the clothes I was wearing that night. The next morning, I went to school and everything felt like it was back to normal. The food in the cafeteria tasted just as bad as before, Chad still bullied me, and my crush Olivia Summers still ignored me. But the nightmares didn’t let me forget what happened. I would daydream about it in class. But still, none of it felt real, only a dream.

Was it a dream?

It couldn’t be. I cleaned up the blood with Cully. I threw away blood stained clothes. The body was right there in front of me. Right there… when I imagine the scene, the body is right there.

Jax, you’re crazy.

No I’m not. I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy.

I started pounding my head until the voices went away.

“Jax? Are you okay?” Mr. Kern grabbed my arm and tried to get me to stop pounding my head. “Jax, stop! Jax. You’re fine, you’re fine.”

No I’m not fine.

I’m not fine.