Snarling, insatiable blood thirst...I love the solitary creatures of the world, the ones who need nobody and nothing to keep a hold on their sanity, like the jackal. I admire their ruthlessness, their unyielding brutality. I am a jackal, I suppose; that's what brought me to that place, the asylum. That's the reason that I lived behind those winding, endless white walls and locked doors. They said that they'd fix me, make me normal, but they lied. That, I suppose, is the consequence of trusting other people, for choosing to open myself up even a fraction to those who just don't understand me. They forced medicine down my throat and gagged me, all to try and silence the roaring growls that rose from my quaking, wasted frame. My rage—constant, burning-hot—rendered human speech useless. I forgot the concepts of language, and so my words got gnarled, as if they were being butchered alive on the way out of my throat. What I believed to be coherent sentences always emerged as nothing but growls and wild screams—madman sounds. I abandoned the human world and its moral expectations in order to take up the role of the Jackal, starving for the hearts of my degenerate doctors, the ones who caged me up like a beast...then again, I suppose that I am a beast...

There was a new nurse that they began to send into my room. She came in every morning to give me my breakfast and medicine, to unstrap me from my bed [the doctors who examined me said that I had to be strapped down, because I was a danger to myself and, more importantly, to other 'sane' people] and set me free. I knew her ghostly presence by the sound of the lock of my door clicking open. She was far from a welcome presence, but nonetheless I admired the way in which she dared to enter my company, and how she didn't look upon me with fear in her pale eyes, but utter fascination. She said that I was her favorite patient...

She told me her name, but I never bothered to remember it—all I can recall is that it was incredibly famine, almost sickeningly so. In fact, every breath that left her petite little body reeked of the ever-sweet scent of innocent blood. I smelled it all over her, like an invisible, noxious cloud of poison. Girlish foolhardiness seemed to seep from her and infect my dark sanctuary. It made me famished, that delicious scent of young, virginal blood. One day as I heard the lock to my door click, my hunger became insatiable; I longed for blood, for violence, to see flesh, intestines, and arteries seeping thru my clawed fingers onto the cold floor. I thirsted for the screams of terrified, pathetic humans. She came into my room, switched on the lights, and glanced over at me. The light blinded me for a moment, but as she came over and freed me from my bed, I was quickly able to ignore this.

"Did you sleep well?" she asked.

I grimaced at the sound of her sweet voice. In the matter of a second, I had grabbed her by her scrawny neck and sunk my claws deep into the sensitive flesh. At first she was too astonished to scream, but as soon as I began tearing my nails across her fair, flawless face, the howling began. I let out a crackling laugh and joined in. I sounded like a rabid beast. There were footsteps coming down the hall, echoing loudly, but I didn't quit. She fought back, of course, but it didn't do any good. I laughed maniacally, relishing the feeling of flesh and tissue ripping beneath my fingers; I began tearing raw, bloody flesh from her cheeks. Clawing insanely, ripping skin away from tissue...blood spread like a sickness thruout my small room, blooming like a rose on the white tiled floor.

There was howling coming from both me and the people trying to get the savage assault to stop. They finally managed to pry us apart, but by then I'd already mauled her precious face beyond repair; she was blinded, and muscles were exposed and throbbing painfully, pumping out blood uselessly. It trickled down her ripped neck. She could barley breathe, and this made me feel satisfied. I saw how much damage I could do to this one, pathetic, half-dead person, and began yelping like a wild dog. A warm, odd feeling spread from my diseased brain all the way to the pits of my stomach, and traveled still lower. Without knowing it, I became aroused. She tried to cry, but was unable to; they carried her out of my room. I just stood there laughing wickedly. The doctors and other nurses who had stopped the attack were all talking together, their words generally the same but jumbled together in the midst of all the confusion.

"I told her not to come in here without me. She needed help, he's one of our worst cases..."

"We thought he was getting better—all the wasted therapy and medication..."

"None of you try to calm him, just leave him be until we can get something in him to make him sleep..."

Once I was sure that I was alone, I got down on my hands and and knees and began to lap up the puddles of blood like an animal. It had soaked my clothes, my skin, my long, wild hair. I let the stickiness dry and turn to a fragile crust on my hands before eating it, too...

They said that they would help make the bad in me go away, but they lied. After the incident with the nurse, they moved me into an even smaller room and put a heavy iron cage over my head, so that I would never savage anyone again. They always kept a straightjacket on me after that, too. Soon my body began to ache; I couldn't move. My bones would crack, my muscles would howl in pain and reject the morbid way that my body was always twisted in the jacket. I couldn't lift my head for months because the cage that rested on my frail and decrepit shoulders was too heavy. Sometimes bitter, burning tears would slip down my face, and in desperation I would find a way to gnaw on something. One day I figured out how to break the poorly made cage open. I began to rip apart my straightjacket with my bare, rotting teeth [I even lost a few], and finally succeeded in freeing myself, but this only earned me a tighter jacket and a better made cage. I was left alone to suffer.

There was barley enough space to crawl around in that small room. I rejected it, along with my pitiful life. I rebelled against the way the doctors bound me—the straightjacket that was slowly contorting my body, twisting my bones, and the cage that rested upon my shoulders, crippling me. I resisted the human ways entirely. I became a creature of instinct, of impulse. I became a wild beast. Gradually my speech left me, only to be replaced with a language of my own creation—cackling, growling, snarling, and howling like an animal.

My body became permanently bent and reformed from the tight bindings of the straightjacket, and my back was made crooked and hunched from the cruel, weighty iron cage around my skull. Little by little I began to regress to more primal behaviors. I spat on those who came near me to administer medications or food; I pissed in the corners of my room; I clawed and scratched the walls until my nails were ripped cleanly away. Human contact disgusted me. When others would try to calm me or make feeble attempts to reason with me, I'd push them back violently and let out a growl. There came a day when I wholly became animal—snarling, biting, clawing with bloody hands, and crawling. My two legs failed to carry me any longer. Once I figured out how to manipulate my straightjacket to be looser, I proceeded to wander around in aimless circles around my room like a dog. I was a wretched, broken creature to be sure. Of course the nurses had me put back in the straightjacket once they found that I had yet again managed to get rid of it. I repelled them, however, and resisted their words and actions violently.

"No, don't touch!" I meant to say. My voice just came out as a mere series of unintelligible yelps and jackal-like growls. Never again did any of them bother me with medication. I, in their eyes, was a case best left to gather dust and be forgotten. My sanity was lost, if it had ever been with me to begin with...

For years I had been confined in that place, and before the end my temper became unmanageable. My hatred and rage, left unchecked for decades, began to boil and seethe. In desperation to release some of this pent-in anger, I made a constant habit of slamming my body against the door of my room. Still nobody paid me any mind. One day, just as I crawled into a corner of my room to wipe away and lap up the blood that was trailing down my neck [the cage often sliced into my skin, as scarred as it already was] I heard a commotion coming from outside of my room. Curiously, I let out a howl and listened. A mysterious smell came to me then—smoke and something that was good, but unfamiliar.

Cries of "Fire!" filled my ears, and in another moment the door of my room had been unlocked and was flung wide open. I didn't understand what was happening until several nurses rushed in, all trying to grab me, spouting out promises that they'd lead me safely out of the building, thru the fire that was consuming the asylum. Still, I barley knew what was happening. The asylum was on fire, burning down, trying to drag us all down into Hell? They wanted to help me, to lead me away and try to save my life? No, the very thought of accepting their assistance, their guiding touch, sickened me, and so, knowing that I couldn't evade my final judgment any longer, I ran wildly past them all, propelling myself thru the choking smoke and cinders, past the burned and suffocated, into the west wing of the asylum, where the good, unfamiliar smell was guiding me. I easily got past those few who had the nerve to try and catch me, to tame me. Somehow thru all of the chaos of my last moments, my human voice returned to me and I was able to screech at them, "Leave me alone, don't touch me!"

The smoke grew thicker and the screams grew fainter as I made my way into the heart of the raging inferno. As I reached the core of the fire, the white-hot center, I recognized the sight of smoldering corpses and realized that the smell that had lead me here, the one that I had liked so much, was the overpowering stench of burning corpses. I just grinned at this and laughed. How good it smelled, how hungry it made me. It was time for more blood, for a lifetime of murder and chaos and madness. I continued fearlessly into the heart of the inferno, the center of Hell itself. Somehow I felt a sense of pride then, one that I still carry with me even now, in my cursed afterlife. I've lived with nobody, depended solely on myself, and those who had been foolish enough to cross my path still tremble at the mere mention of my name-

The Jackal