Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer (page 236-238)

And Simpkins, the man who killed because he could. They’d arrested him on fifteen charges, and he’d quietly suggested in the interview room that there were thirty-two missing persons that they might like to add to the tally. Barrow could still remember Simpkins in the dock while the charges were read, never showing a flicker of emotion but seeming lite, if a little bored. “Do you plead guilty or not guilty?”
Simpkins had pushed his glasses back up his nose, smiled slightly to show that he just wanted to help, and said, “Oh, guilty. Obviously.”
In his interviews, he would only talk to Barrow, and ignored questions from anybody else even if Barrow was present. “Why is it so important that you speak only to me?” Barrow had asked finally. “It’s very inconvenient.”
Because you can see me, Detective Inspector Barrow. Other people start to lose interest after a while. You, delightfully, always see me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I’ve gone through life as a piece of marginalia, faintly written in soft pencil. Passed by, overlooked, ignored. It has been of great personal distress to me. I cannot begin to tell you how painful. Since childhood, I was always the last to be chosen-if, indeed, they remembered to choose me at all. Always considered the wallflower, though I stood full-front and cried ‘Me! Me! Me!’ Never loved, never despised, never anything to stir the emotion at all. Alfred Simpkins, the invisible man. After a while, it quite began to aggravate me. That’s when I started making people take some notice of me”
“You started killing them.”
Yes, I did. Even that was a disappointment. I’d hoped for some sort of great emotion from those whose lives I took. After all, being murdered for no other reason than because a pallid little man-I am under no illusions as to how you perceive me-wants to prove a point, you would think it make people angry at the very least. It would seem unfair, would it not? But all I ever got was a faint expressions of surprise. You know, I don’t believe they noticed I had murdered them. I really don’t. They just seemed faintly put out, as if it were a bit of bad luck, an act of God. ‘Oh, my carotid artery has been severed with an open razor. I knew I should have cut down on greasy food.’ ‘Botheration, I’m being belabored with a fourteenth-century battle axe. What are the odds, eh?’ I was standing there in front of them with a sub-machine gun or backing over them with a rotary cultivator or whatever and shouting, ‘I am Alfred Simpkins! I am killing you! Will you please take a little bit of bloody notice, please?’ But they never did. So I kept going. Hope springs eternal after all.”
“You know you’d be caught, surely?”
“Well, one would think so, wouldn’t one? Do you know, I’ve sat in my living room covered head to toe in blood, cradling the murder weapon to my hands-already labeled ‘exhibit I’-and been interviewed by your colleagues. Had I seen my next-door neighbor recently? Indeed, I had. A little under three hours previously, when I’d bludgeoned her to death with this very knobkerrie, officer. Well, sir we have other enquiries to make. Good day. They hadn’t noticed. Nobody notice me. Except you, Detective Inspector Barrow. You notice me. The first time you saw me, you knew I’d done it. Do you want to know what I would like to do more than anything, Detective Inspector Barrow?”
“I’d like to kill you.” Barrow had looked at Simpkins hard. “No animosity. Simply because you would notice yourself being murdered. That would be my little bit of affirmation of my existence. Then I would never have to kill again.”


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