Serial

SERIAL
Can a compulsion be considered a motive? I have no other reason to explain why I do what I do. It starts as a feeling before it even becomes a conscious thought. The feeling grows effortlessly into an idea. When I realize the idea has been formed, I resist it. I try to forget about it. I try to distract myself. I try to focus on all of the reasons why I should not do what I am thinking of doing. Actively trying to avoid the thought only strengthens it. The idea grows larger and becomes magnetic. It attracts the scraps of other thoughts that come into my head, altering the normal orbit of my consciousness. At this point it is no longer a question of if I will do it, but a countdown to when I will give-in. It is inevitable. I no longer try to resist the urge; instead I put my effort and energy into figuring out how I will make it happen. The internal struggle melts away and is replaced by pure, guilty pleasure. This is the best kind of pleasure. It is sweet and sticky, and raw. Best of all, it is hidden from everyone else. I share it with nobody. I am selfish. Only I know what I am about to do. In the end the guilty pleasure will fade and be replaced by a sense of pride; but that is later. For now I must focus on the task at hand: finding a suitable victim.
I am very particular about the victim I choose. They must not be terribly large, or too small. I am drawn specifically to those that show signs of neglect or abuse. I do not particularly care about where my victim comes from. Older is generally better, although I will occasionally select a younger subject if I find one that catches my attention.
There are a few specific places that I will go to look for the perfect victim. However, I cannot reveal my hunting grounds without giving myself up. To me these places are both sacred and unholy. I do not like being there, but I always find myself back in the same spot. It is not the place itself that I enjoy, but the thrill of the hunt that I feel when I am there. I spend much more time there than I ever intend to. There are always candidates there. I can easily take one at any time; but I wait to find just the right one.
Finding a prospect happens the same way every time. I arrive at my post as I would any other day, unaware that I am about to find exactly what I am looking for. I walk around slowly, casually. I try not to look anxious or suspicious, but inside I am becoming desperate. I don’t know how much longer I can wait. I need to find a victim soon. Then she catches my eye. I try to appear uninterested. I make sure that nobody is watching then I begin my approach. As I move toward her I feel skeptical at first. As I draw closer my gaze is fixed and I feel myself starting to walk faster. I must consciously slow my pace. Does she have any idea what is about to happen? Is there any way that she might sense how she will be forever changed by what I am about to do to her? I always tell myself that I am in control; that I choose my victims, but it may be the other way around. I feel sometimes that the victim chooses me. As I draw near I can feel that it is time. I complete my inspection and I feel relieved to find no serious flaws. She has been discarded and looked over for many years, but she is beautiful to me. I admire each curve and angle of her figure, and I see what she can become. She will look much different when I am finished with her. I can’t wait to begin.
It takes about 15 bucks to get her to come home with me. I let her sit in the living room for a while, just so I can have a really good look at her. I need to decide exactly what I am going to do with this one. I prepare my supplies, and find my tools. I take a few pictures. My heart starts to pound and my palms are sweaty. It has started. I grab her arms and drag her out of the room. This is going to get too messy for the living room, and I don’t want anybody to walk in on what I am about to do. The mess will be easier to clean up in the garage. I start with a flat-head screwdriver. It goes in easily and with a few simple twists, it has completed its purpose. I use the tool to get a good place to start, then I can do the rest with my bare hands. I work up a sweat in no time. It takes several hours, but the time goes by quickly while I am working. I leave her that night lying on the floor of the garage. I will continue the next day.
I sleep well that night, but the next day at work I am distracted. It is hard to complete the most basic tasks for my job while my mind is focused on what happened the night before, and how much more I need to do before I am finished. I need to run a few errands after work and pick up the supplies I will need to finish my job. I turn on the light in the garage and she lies there still. I pull and tear off the old in preparation for the new. My hands begin to ache from the effort. I continue, motivated by the vision of how she is going to look when she is finished. She is going to be stunning. I think I will put her back in my living room, and I know just the place.
I find my wife in the kitchen cooking dinner and I ask her to come take a look. Just as I feared, she can’t quite see past the skeleton that is in front of her, but she kisses me on the cheek as she walks back into the house. “I am anxious to see when you are finished. They always turn out so well.” I smile as I return to my task with renewed determination. There are very few people would appreciate what I do the way that my wife does. She doesn’t get jealous of the time I spend out here with my “projects”.
Now I am at the most time-consuming phase of the process. I spend several hours stretching and fastening, pulling and securing. She takes on a completely different form. She will soon be unrecognizable. When she is completed, I take a step back to make sure that I did not miss anything. I am very pleased with this one, and it is hard not to show it.
I place the newly re-upholstered chair in the living room between the sofa and the piano. It is new and fresh. Best of all, it is completely original and unique. Each time I see her I will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in creating something so beautiful. I am finally satisfied. I can go on with my normal life again. I turn and leave the living room with a smile on my face…
It fades. I am haunted by the knowledge that it is only a matter of weeks until the inevitable urge will return and the process will begin again. My only motive is my compulsion.

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