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 to let 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 I represent according your strict moral schemes. But I think all efforts wasted for these people are in vain, I’m a normal person who has had to live in abnormal circumstances.
Those who think 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 is much better than me explain the fragments most defining of my personality so that you yourselves may attain your own conclusions. Before I explain my story I want to describe how I will end, but you could understand that most of what I say is second hand information for obvious reasons then I guess that once I do go through the process of hanging 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 keep it cold despite the hellish summer affecting 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 ending horbitt, it means that has been a fairly prolific horbitt to the executioners, who are officials who charge per inmate executed and therefore they present us with an exquisite treatment until they have to comply with the court’s order.
Perhaps you are wondering what has been the horrible crime that I committed to deserve this death sentence, which has done a crazed mob demanded my immediate execution, all in good time my friends. First of all I will explain how they caught me, as an artist of the murder of my caliber screwed like a fool, trapped by his own arrogance. It all started a beautiful night, clear and starry as I decided to go for a walk, after I had just finished reducing the head of my last playmate, a very sympathetic 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 appeared in the least expected moment and I must to be aware. 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 my jahta was moored at Shelter Island; a popular place of welcome for all sailors where it was a huge house, that day 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 truncate the success of my hunting. The next day a gift fell from the sky, mid-morning came to dock a spectacular Neitsi escorted by a huge warrior got into the jahta docked at the next mooring. I pulled back my sharp blade curved knife, 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 I had 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 fell 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 because my pulse.
“I like your knife” Replied the Neitsi in S’ladan language without even blinking “is it ceramic?”
“I’ve made 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 I’ll have to kill to save my life. I see you speak, from what I gather you’re a Firstten 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 your name, beautiful Neitsi.”
“S’hana, I’m Virgin Mother of Maa-Alune. I have the title of Supreme Woman amongst woman, which is desired by all the creatures of the universe. My beauty captivates anyone, even you, soulless murderer, I’m watching as your body quivers with the simple movement of my hips “was true, only the certainty of a certain death stopped me to possess 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 defective murderer being able to live like a goddess? Do you think maybe I prefer having to hide 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 thank your orange mouth, which would prevent 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 Decapitator myth could last many generations, tens of horbitts of endless frightening legends, a race of murderers who would terrorize the Firstten 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 fled I was watched by two well armed men with ferocious aspect. After a while I had an illustrious visit:
“Well, look what the cat dragged us!” My expression was sardonic and nothing respectful toward sacred Lakszi Junak, a young adored by Firstten for his bravery, husband of a Healing 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, I’m 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 its content “you’re a fucking monster!”
“This is mine; you had no right to search my stuff. Is not it because 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 are fifteen counts of murder. That deprives you of any rights you could imagine you have, piece of shit! I can assure you will be hanged soon, the story of witnesses will horrify any jury that has to give your verdict.”
“I think I was given a very appropriate nickname, but did you not imagine what I did with the heads of the corpses you found?”
“They talked about the Beheader everywhere, in the end your victims find the justice that they deserve and the inhabitants of our islands will sleep peacefully.”
“Sleep quiet until arrives one like me…or worse.”
Firstten which come from Shadowlands Islands, a small archipelago protected from the dog days of yellow sun by the heavenly band, have brown eyes or green 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 s 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 the Beheader, since the end of the day 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 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, what the fuck helps me your pathetic democracy? This has been my particular fight against you, I killed fifteen of you and now you will hang the hunted hunter, is this really justice?
The Ghost Town, a new home for Käosulo.
After my executioners hanged should have been arrived my end, to have simply disappeared, nothing but death was the beginning of my punishment. I woke up in a place mentioned by my grandma my grandmother 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 that 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 journey, 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 was 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 take anything from the ground or touching any object. Then I tried to touch me myself and I did not feel anything, nada nothing at all. Then I felt an exasperating sensation, I painfully noted the failure to be more than an ethereal fluid floating in the air, the distant memory of a before beautiful body that 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, the truth is that not even looked to each other. There could not be a prize, so I quickly sensed 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 shinny 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 be able to talk because there was no flesh to support a voice. When I start talking I saw that face looked at me, his or her face was exotically attractive that looked like the moon Stora and Etela stars. Although it was shorter than me, those curves endowed 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 appendance 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 K’tmenü 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 a Firstten speaking an S’ladan dialect.”
“”In the island from which I come, S’ladan and Firstten races live together in perfect harmony. We prefer them to our Northern stupid brothers, because they do not just see us as real Firstten.”
“I sense that you are another sociopathic misfit who has fallen into the Ghost Town for committing a string of crimes, what damage did you because when you were alive?”
“Not that much, I killed fifteen people and had a box where I kept their shrunken heads. I could not reduce his head to my playmate as I was caught because of a tiny girl 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 made them eat the entrails of my victims to 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” replied the K’tmenü 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 those who repent and do something for Humanity” The words of that creature trying to be solemn, but that ghostly voice gave him/her a creepy 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, here in this town there is nothing supernatural rather than the souls of the damned their crimes do not exist gods nor Balts Kirkia gardens or the dreaded Zvonilak Forge.”
“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.”
“You mean if I show 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 agree me and find your eternal rest. It will take days, seasons or millions of seasons, but I’m convinced that it’ll eventually 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 fellows. I’ve seen it hundreds of times and you’ll see during the next seasons.”
“Are you sorry 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 time is one thing we have left over here.”
“And it becomes eternal” Replied the K’tmenü “A journey can last a season and a season one life … be prepared for a long wait.”