I based this scene off on of my favorite psychopaths of all time. I figured it could help show him before his snap and afterwards when he was narrowly saved from death.
As Paul Gabriel Carson laid on the floor of Casual Gals, he could feel the flames licking at his crotch. The shattered glass of that makeshift molotov cocktail decorating his jeans and the ground around him. He didn't even realize he was dying, all he could think of was what he'd done to Debbie Willett and Mindy Baker.
It had been around 4 A.M. and, being a natural insomniac, he'd been crawling around inside the vents to try and clear his head of all that was happening. It was then he'd heard it...
The laughing... That same laughing that had haunted him throughout high school. Mocked because of his pyromaniac tendencies, thin glasses, and long stringy hair.
"Those.. those b-bitches... They're l-l-l-laughing at me! Just l-l-l-l-like everyone else!", he stammered to himself, his stutter a byproduct of the nervousness and abuse that had shrouded him throughout school. Looking down through the vent, he could see two ladies huddled and laughing. He didn't know they were just laughing to try and stave off their fear... all he could register was that they were laughing... laughing at him! Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out a screwdriver, one he used for making his RC car bombs, and unfasted the grate covering them. The scream they gave as the cover fell towards them, narrowly missing the red-headed mindy by centimeters, pierced his eardrums and as he dropped from the vent into the storeroom of the ladies clothing store, he could see the fear in their eyes... a fear he knew all too well.
"W-w-w-who are you?", Mindy Baker stammered in fright at the teenager standing before her and her new friend, Debbie. Both of them had been working a shift at Casual Gals, Debbie the manager and Mindy doing cashier work, and had barricaded themselves in the storeroom laughing and consoling each other with stories of their life, angry customers, family, mall experiences, and anything they could think of to keep themselves calm.
"P-P-P-Paul C-C-Carson! I k-k-know you l-l-l-ladies were l-l-l-laughing at me! L-l-l-laughing like everyone else!"
"Young man, calm down!", Debbie reassured the teen, the 51-year old used to having dealt with angry people, "We most certainly were not laughing at you!"
"Y-y-y-you s-s-say that.. T-t-they ALL say that!", Paul quivered, his body shaking violently in restrained rage, "But I k-k-know you're lying!"
Mindy had opened her mouth to try to calm him down, but what Paul did next made her and Debbie grab each other in sheer terror. He'd picked up one of their wine bottles, an item they'd stored along with the other emergency supplies in the storeroom, and in less than a second had transformed it into a flaming cocktail, holding it up and ready to throw at them. The ladies knew if it was thrown, they'd be trapped in a fiery inferno with no way out.
"N-n-n-now STOP IT!", he screamed, cackling in crazed shaky laughter as Mindy and Debbie held each other shaking violently in terror at the teen before them.
"Please stop! What did we ever do to you?", Mindy squeaked as she looked at the twitching teen holding the fiery drink.
"Y-y-you do it all the time!", Paul stammered angrily, "Y-y-you look at me and l-l-laugh!"
Then he'd heard that guy... that photographer.. kick the canister of gasoline he'd used to give his cocktail an extra fiery light, and he'd turned around and confronted him... and that had led to him being on his back, the same molotov he'd been holding now in pieces and burning his flesh. He knew it was only moments before his pain was over, that death would come to take him to Hell. He shut his eyes whimpering, just waiting for the pain to end... for his life to come to a close.
Instead he heard a thick spray and the next thing he knew as he opened his eyes and managed to look, the fire that had been licking at his groin was replaced with a thick white foam.
"Looks like you're none the worse for wear..."
Hearing that strong voice above him, Paul looked up and saw himself staring back into the face of the photographer, an empty fire extinguisher in his hand. He'd saved him... even after attacking him, that photographer had come back to save him from burning alive... he'd never had anyone do anything so kind for him and for the first time in what felt like years...
Paul Carson felt the flames of paranoia and fear die down from his heart.
"I-I don't know what I was thinking...", Paul whimpered, "I'll never do anything like that again..."
With a grin, the photographer pulled out a hand and helped the teen to his feet. "If you promise to behave yourself and cooperate, I'll escort you to a safe place.", he told the pyromaniac and it took less than a second for him to agree.
"Ok! I'll cooperate! My arson days are over...", Paul nodded before remembering about the girls in the storeroom and allowing Frank West to open the door and get them to come along. As he watched them come out, Paul immediately felt remorseful for what he'd done and he tried to speak up to Mindy.
"I-I-I'm sorry... I-I don't wh-", he started to say, but the redhead merely smiled and gave him a comforting hug.
"It's ok, Paul... you were scared, we all were. At least you're calm now...", she whispered, allowing Paul to give a small grin, "C'mon, the photographer's gonna lead us back to a safe place..."
Paul nodded as Frank turned back to him and gave him a hand gun before leading them all back out into the mall towards the safety of the security room. As Paul left Casual Gals, he felt like he was leaving a part of him behind too...
And he never felt better.