There was something oddly satisfying about it. The look of horror and pain splashed across the face of onlookers. It was as though they lacked the imagination to think of anything so horrific, let alone visualize it. He was certain that for many of them this was their first time exposed to anything of this caliber.
Not for Hank though. Hank was very familiar with the bodies of young women. As a medical assistant who used to work at a clinic he had seen thousands of them. As a once-predator he had seen maybe seen dozens. Even for him the splayed opened body of the young woman was revolting. Her body clearly dismembered and on display in the middle of the street was horrifying.
Hank nodded as the officers as the local law enforcement began blocking off the scene and surrounding area. Stocked with a full tray of homemade donuts and cupcakes, Hank had gone and introduced himself to them the first day he moved into town. He explained his situation to the captain, about his life before therapy. How he now found better outlets for his aggression and found healthy relationships with appropriate partners. Hank had done a lot in his twenty and thirties, and had learned a lot about himself throughout his forties, and now headed over the threshold of his fifties was much more comfortable talking about his previous struggles and poor coping skills. Hank had explained it was never the kitties, only the sixteen and seventeen year olds. The ones who were lost like he was in the chaos of forced adulthood and its unyielding grip on immaturity. Not that that made it okay. Hank knew it wasn’t okay. He had learned this, he had gotten help, he made a point to round out his development and become a better version of Hank. Still the occasional hole made it into his wall, but even at his low points now, Hank was still a better version of himself than he could have ever imagined. After offering the captain a sample of his blood and a letter from his psychiatrist, therapist, and his boxing instructor, along with anything else he could want, the captain and Hank became friendly. They weren’t friends, but Pequak was a small town, and when they ran into each other as they often did around town they were social.
Now the captain looked horrified. The girl was unrecognizable. In a town like theirs it was nearly impossible to not recognize someone almost right away. But the body was almost beyond identification. Her head had become a bread bowl of sorts, filled with blood and chunky bits. The captain caught Hank’s eye once more and nodded off in the direction of the station. Hank raised the fingers of his right hand, his thumb never leaving his jeans’ pocket, and turned on his heel, making his way.
Hank walked into the station and sat down outside the captain’s office. He figured he’d be in shortly enough. Once the road was blocked off, and the captain had mumble barked out enough orders. Hank sat quietly making up a math riddle in his head. Sometimes he found this type of exercise helpful. He had always been pretty okay at math. It was a technique he and his therapist had developed just for him. He couldn’t remember the words to songs, and his hands were rough from years of fighting, so feeling textures didn’t work. But whipping up a math problem in his head, making it work out. That was something he could do. It was also something that got him into baking, but right now he wasn’t at home near his kitchen, he was in the police station, waiting for the captain.
The captain grunted a hello as he gestured for Hank to join him in his office. Hank nodded as he stood up to follow. Moments later he was sitting once more, this time in the old dusty brown leather chair in the captain’s office. For a few minutes the two made silent eye contact. Hank had hoped this day would never come, but knowing his innocence took solace in the situation, and his decision to come clean upon his first day in town nearly ten years ago.
Clean record, no issues since being in town, and an alibi that could, and would be, confirmed by a number of townies. Hank understood the captain needing to check, just as much as the captain understood Hank’s need to take the day and process. Maybe make a trip out to his therapist a week early if she was around. Hank had left his life of medical assisting and opted instead of a good, old fashioned manual labor and hard work. He worked at both the auto mechanic shop fixing cars, and for the police station as a handyman. The two men nodded at each other as Hank left the captain’s office and made his way out of the station.
Hank had chosen Pequak due to its demographics and its low crime statistics. He was shaken to his core to find what had felt for the first time as home violated by such an act of monstrosity. Hank ran through some breathing exercises and he started his car. His therapist had an opening. It was a long drive to the office, but Hank was armed with math problems and fortitude. He knew it was okay to be attracted to the violence he had seen, as long as he didn’t act on it. The same way he knew it wasn’t how people felt or demonstrated love. It was lust and it was wrong. But driving to his therapist was right. At the very least, Hank felt good about that.