Chapter 9. The long shadow of the murderer.
Annex text file No. 16138/11, last explanations of the inmate executed Käosulo Encasen.
I’m sincerely thrilled with this detail that have had my executioners of letting me write a letter to whom it may concern, surely this letter will become the documentation that the wise men of your country will use to study criminal behavior in all its essence, they will use it as an element to find a scientific explanation for the anomaly that I represent according your strict moral schemes. But I think all efforts spent by these people are in vain, I’m a normal person who has had to live in abnormal circumstances.
Those who call themselves wise say that to explain a story you must start by the beginning, but I humbly think this categorical statement is nonsense; for my part I think it is much better that I explain the fragments most defining of my personality so that you may attain your own conclusions. Before I explain my story, I want to describe how I will end, but you can understand that most of what I say is second hand information for obvious reasons, because I guess that having an execution once is enough. I’m a prisoner in a correctional facility of Polinsular Senate located on the Isle of the Damned, a bloody part of the world where always snows and is cold, and forests are dark and spooky; it seems that the air of the North keeps it cold despite the hellish summer that affects the rest of islands of your so beloved ‘Confederation’. My cell is two gams wide and three gams long and it is my last room because at dawn they will hang me in the highest tree of the whole island, but with this cold trees do not grow much and my executioners will have a hard work to not break the branch before my neck. I will be the eleventh executed this horbitt which ends, this means that has been a fairly prolific horbitt to the executioners, who are officials who charge per inmate executed and therefore they give us away with an exquisite treatment until they have to comply with the court’s order.
Perhaps you are wondering which has been the horrible crime that I committed to deserve this death sentence, which has done that a crazed mob would have demanded my immediate execution, all in good time my friends. First of all I will explain how they caught me, how an artist of the murder of my caliber blundered like a fool, trapped by his own arrogance. It all started a beautiful night, clear and starry that I decided to go for a walk, after having finished reducing the head of my last playmate, a very likeable fisherman from the islands Reken who didn’t know that he was my catch. As usual on my walks, I took my knife of playing because the most interesting prey appears in the least expected moment and I should be alert. I was determined to find a victim worthy of being in my trophy case, a head worthy of the attention of an artist of death as me.
I have not yet told that my jahta was moored at Shelter Island; a popular place of welcome for all sailors where there was a huge house, that day it was inaccessible because it was the famous Lakszi Junak and his beautiful wife of race Neitsi (a miniature doll-faced woman). There were rumors that were gathered with a Virgin Mother Neitsi, a poisonous evil witch with dark powers, able to kill with a kiss. There was too much movement on the island, so I decided to go back to my jahta since the presence of witnesses would have truncated the success of my hunting. The next day a gift fell from the sky, mid-morning a spectacular Neitsi came to the dock escorted by a huge warrior that got into the jahta docked at the mooring of alongside. I pulled out my knife of sharp curved blade, I already had a very special playmate, and maybe I could make her a valuable collaborator if I could persuade her. In a stealth maneuver I jumped to neighboring boat, there was nobody on deck, perfect. I dominated because the warrior could only exit through a door which a door that I controlled from my position. I waited until the cabin door opened, bang, bang, two fast movements of my knife, that unfortunate not even had time to defend himself, another master movement of the Beheader.
While the collateral victim was falling down the stairs, I got in two jumps to the jahta’s kitchen, right in front of that beauty.
“Hey honey, do not even think uncover your back, I just want to play a little with you.” My knife moved down her face, without to hurt her thanks my pulse.
“I like your knife.” The Neitsi replied in S’ladan language without even blinking. “Is it ceramic?”
“I’ve made it by myself, it’s a very sharp tool, and it could separate your skin from flesh with a very smooth movement… almost without causing you pain.”
“What’s your name? I want to know the name of the person who will kill me or whom I’ll have to kill to save my life. I see you speak S’ladan, from what I gather you’re a Firstten from Shadowlands Islands.”
“I am Käosulo, but I want to make clear that our meeting does not have to end in death……you haven’t told me your name, beautiful Neitsi.”
“S’hana, I’m Virgin Mother of Maa-Alune. I have the title of Supreme Woman amongst women, the one who is desired by all the creatures of the universe. My beauty captivates anyone, even to you, soulless murderer; I’m watching how your body quivers with the simple movement of my hips.” It was true, only the certainty of a certain death stopped me of possessing that extraordinarily beautiful female.
“We could make a good team; with your poison I may increase the weight of my trophy case. We would be a couple highly lethal.”
“Do you really believe I would go with a moron murderer being able to live like a goddess? Do you think maybe I prefer having to hide me and risk of dying stupidly intoxicated by the salt of the sea instead of being adored by my people?”
“You could live longer than any of your unhealthy Neitsi sisters. You wouldn’t get pregnant anymore because you and I can’t father children, because your vagina is more poisonous for me than your orange mouth, which would prevent to you to die for the women’s disease.”
“I have a baby in my belly, what future awaited her at your side?”
“She could magnify the legacy I want to share with you. The Beheader’s myth could last many generations, tens of horbitts of endless frightening legends, a race of murderers who would terrorize the Firsttens of all the islands of the Confederation.”
“She would become a cruel killer of innocents. No thanks, I will not join your game; the fruit of my womb will be born to the glory of Maa-Alune and not to serve a disturbed murderer.”
“I think you’ve decided your fate. I assure you that it’s a pity, I really did not want your head as a trophy, at least not yet.”
But this time I was defeated by what looked like a fragile young woman, a small Neitsi gracefully pretty like a doll and appetizing as a ripe fruit that in a quick motion bit my hand and with her venom knocked me instantly. Upon awakening, I was inside the hold of a ship that would take me to the Pelerine Islands to be judged. Fearing that I could flee I was guarded by two well armed men with ferocious aspect. After a while I had an illustrious visit:
“Well, look what the cat brought us!” My expression was sardonic and nothing respectful toward the sacred Lakszi Junak, a young adored by Firstten for his bravery, husband of a Healer Mother. He is the undisputed hero among our race and the legendary savior of the country.
“I’m not for jokes. What is your name?”
“I already told your poisonous friend, my name is Käosulo.”
“I want your full name!”
“Are you from Shadowlands Islands?”
“Indeed, mine is a very common name in my country.”
“We found this in your jahta.” I immediately recognized the box. He showed me the content. “You’re a fucking monster!”
“This is mine; you had no right to look through my stuff. Is it not the right to privacy one of the most sacred rules?”
“We found this box with fourteen heads ably reduced, and with the man you killed today they are fifteen counts of murder. That deprives you of any right you could imagine you have, piece of shit! I can assure you will be hanged soon, the report of witnesses will horrify any jury that must give your verdict.”
“I think I was given a very appropriate nickname, but could you imagine what I was doing with the heads of the corpses you found?”
“They talked about the Beheader by everywhere, finally your victims will find the justice that they deserve and the inhabitants of our islands will sleep peacefully.”
“Sleep quiet until arrives one like me…or worse.”
The Firsttens who come from Shadowlands Islands, a small archipelago protected from the dog days of yellow sun by the heavenly fringe, have brown or green eyes instead of blue predominant of Firstten from the islands of the North. Although we are considered of the same race, the Northern Firstten have always treated us as second class citizens because we share our living space with a small S’ladan colony with which we are very close in culture and language. Without any doubt, this is the origin of the myth of the Beheader; after all I am a humble fisherman who lost his entire family in the invasion of our island at the hands of the Insular Confederation troops. Those Northern invaders said us that it was a war to liberate us, to destroy our despotic king and establish a democratic government. But I’m afraid it was an excuse to bring their people to islands where winter and summer are benign seasons that don’t kill people. Their democracy imposed by force stole my wife and my two daughters, for what the fuck served me your pathetic democracy? This has been my particular fight against you, I have killed fifteen of you and now you are going to hang the hunted hunter, is this really justice?
The Ghost Town, a new home for Käosulo.
After that my executioners hanged me, my end should have arrived, simply disappearing; but death was the beginning of my punishment. I woke up in a place mentioned by my grandma in her tales; I had always thought it was a stupid legend to frighten children. That place was a town in ruins under the ground, a hole caused by a collapse of the galleries of an underground city adjacent to Maa-Alune, separated from it by so immense volcanoes that left no see the sky. It seemed to be the sunset, but maybe the lighting had nothing to do with my concept of day or night. I did not understand what had happened, my parents hadn’t educated me to believe that existed a life after death but I realized terrified that I had become a ghost. I did not know how much time had passed since my execution on the Isle of the Damned, a day, a horbitt, a million horbitts?, now never mind, I have to pay my toll for a break that maybe never comes.
To begin, I tried to check what remained human in me: I looked at my hands; they were a brilliant reflection of what had once been; now they were two transparent and incorporeal silhouettes, totally unable to catch anything from the ground or touching any object. Then I tried to touch me myself and I did not feel anything, nothing at all. Then I felt an exasperating sensation, I painfully noted the fact of being an ethereal fluid floating in the air, the distant memory of a beautiful body which no longer exist for anyone. I looked around; I noticed that there were figures that shone like the part I saw of my ‘body’, creatures completely naked as I was. None of those souls paid attention to me, they were figures that moved indolent without speaking to each other, and the truth is that they not even looked to each other. That could not be a prize, so I sensed quickly that I was actually exiled to this place to pay for my crimes and the ghosts I could see were what were left of heinous criminals like me.
I approached one of these shiny figures, it was a stunning hermaphrodite K’tmenü with face and body of a woman but with some masculine attributes. Not sure if that creature spoke my language or not even if it was able to talk because there was no flesh to support a voice. When I started talking I saw that face looked at me, his or her face was so exotically attractive that shined like the moon Stora and the Etela stars. Although it was shorter than me, those curves endowed to that hermaphrodite with grandeur difficult to define in a scale understandable for a Firstten, a perfection broken by the presence of a presumably small male appendix that seemed out of place on that sculptural body.
“Excuse me, can you understand me?” I asked without more response than an expression of misunderstanding to my words.
“And do you understand me in this language?” I remembered that the K’tmenüs spoke a language similar to the S’ladan, a language in which I spoke since my childhood with my small neighbors of Shadowlands Islands.
“Now, I find so strange to find a Firstten speaking an S’ladan dialect.”
“In the island from which I come, the S’ladan and Firstten races live together in perfect harmony. We prefer them to our Northern stupid brothers, because they do just see us as true Firstten.”
“I sense that you are another sociopathic misfit who has fallen into the Ghost Town for committing a string of crimes, what damage you did when you were alive?”
“Not that much, I have killed fifteen people and had a box where I kept their shrunken heads. I could not reduce the head to my last playmate because I was caught by a tiny woman with very bad temper.”
“You’re right, what you did is nothing compared to what I carry on my back. When I was a warrior I plundered Gelann burning the houses with their inhabitants inside, I enjoyed cutting his throat to hundreds of men, women and children, even I drank the blood of my enemies to feel stronger and I made them to eat the entrails of my victims to the people who remained alive.”
“In that case, you deserve to be here more than me.”
“If you analyze it is not such a terrible punishment, exile in this hole is an opportunity to amend the outrages done in life.” The K’tmenü replied getting interesting. “Who has enough patience can get out of here. You only have to find a way to repair the damage done. ”
“What do you mean? Our stay here is temporary?”
“Only for who repent and do something for Humanity.” The words of that creature tried to be solemn, but that ghostly voice gave him/her a dismal accent.
“Who says so? Is there some kind of almighty God to tell us what we have to do?” I asked eager to get out of that hole.
“Not at all, there isn’t anything supernatural in this town rather than the souls of the damned by their crimes, gods or Kirkia Balts’ gardens or the dreaded Zvonilak Forge do not exist.”
“So how do you know?” I suspected that the K’tmenü was trying to fool me, that creature was hiding something.
“I counted over nine hundred seasons since I got here, I talked to other spirits as we do now and have come to the conclusion that when we recognize the pain we have caused begins the way to our final rest.”
“Do you mean that if I show my regret it will end all?” My words of skepticism perhaps sounded more insolent than I expected. “Sorry if I not believe it.”
“I understand your disbelief, appreciated Firstten, but I’m sure with time you’ll be agreeing to me and you’ll find your eternal rest. It will take days, seasons or millions of seasons, but I’m convinced that it eventually will come a time in which you will sincerely regret of your sins and you will discover for yourself what to do to repair the damage you’ve done to your fellow men. I’ve seen it hundreds of times and you’ll see it during the next seasons.”
“Are you repented about you’ve done?”
“I’ve just started, but it is a long process that requires much time and willpower.”
“It is very clear that we have plenty of time here.”
“And it becomes eternal.” The K’tmenü replied. “A day can last a season and a season a life… be prepared for a long wait.”
Chapter 9. The long shadow of the murderer.