Goes Both Ways
by Shannon Fay
It took several blows before the monster stayed down. Even then I kept swinging, the axe head moving like a sped-up metronome. I didn't stop until my knees started to buckle. Only then did I put the axe down and survey my work.
The red stain on the floor was a familiar scene, except instead of a young woman a middle-aged man lay smeared on the ground. It was over. No more visions, no more being plunged into the mind of a serial killer at the moment of kill.
I doubted that the psi-investigation arm of the FBI would consider this a success, but I just couldn't take it anymore. When I enrolled in the program I was told my job was merely to gather clues, to scan the visions for anything that could uncover the killer's identity. But the closer I got to him the further I got from myself. The visions started to seem more real than my own life. Soon I was spending more time in his sick, twisted brain than in my own.
So when I "saw" that he was staying one state over at the Pine Crest Inn, I didn't pass the information on to the higher-ups. I didn't want him arrested. If he got a life sentence, I'd be locked up with him, getting sucked deeper and deeper into his brain every day. I had to sever the connection myself or I'd never be sane again.
The girls had all screamed and begged. He didn't even see me coming. Once he got over his surprise he still didn't yell. He looked like someone who had just figured out a riddle.
"It goes both ways," he had said as I raised my axe for the killing blow. "It goes both ways."
I brought the axe down.