I was a busy kid. About a decade ago I had just finished up college and was struggling to make my way through med school. Med school was rigorous in itself, but mainly I was having issues relieving my anxiety of my growing debt from college loans.
Though I already had barely been able to discover brief moments of free time, my gut had continuously bothered me about addressing the payment of these loans. They were eating me up inside, the little time I received to sleep I spent awake anxious over the loans, my weekends were entirely consumed by planning for my loans, and even my breaks became filled with this unshakable worry.
I soon reluctantly realized I had no other option. I was going to have to get a job. I didn't want it to have come to this, I mean med school was already enough, but at this point it was pretty much inevitable. In addition I also had noticed my sleep and free time had evaded me anyways, so why not use it more productively? I would be able to make more money and eventually assist myself in paying my dues. It seemed like a great idea, but it wasn't.
I did some searching for jobs. Actually that's an understatement; all I did was search for jobs. During this period my grades began to slide, my attention in classes slowly faded, and I found it difficult to keep my eyes open throughout the entirety of the day. Job searching had soon robbed me of my work ethic and passion in the midst of occupying my life.
I had so much trouble just identifying a single job that was both desirable to my taste and that would fit into my schedule. I couldn't work at a fast food restaurant since I found the environment to hectic, babysitting seemed like a breeze, yet all the times were too unpredictable to manage, and life-guarding wouldn't work since it required a full blown license. I was having as much chaos in focusing and staying afloat in life as I was finding a job.
Weeks went by as my unemployed life grew more and more discombobulated. I had no job, no attention span left, no ability to focus, and no drive; I was lost. i was most likely on the verge of dropping out since I had allowed to the anxiety to meander its way right into my life with ease. I almost did but something changed all of it. I remember being on a bus when I saw that unforgettable jacket.
Ironically I was looking for a job as a bus driver in the midst of finding it. The jacket managed to stand out rather noticeably among the crowd of passengers. It lay on an unoccupied seat, clear of anyone who appeared to be the owner of it. Alone on the seat it expressed its vibrant glow of red, and had shown its intricate design consisting of some swirly abstractness within the clashing of some black stitched lines. It looked to be more of a windbreaker than anything; its cloth was thin as I switched seats to feel the texture. The collar had extended high around whoever the wearer’s neck was, and it seemed to have pockets in every possible area.
It was an odd jacket to say the least, but I am sure you're wondering the significance of it at this point. Holding it in my hand I felt the notion of some design on its back. Turning it over I was greeted by three large neon yellow letters that read "DCW". Shifting my gaze, written below it was in small script "Detroit City Watch". I now sat there thinking about the possibility of taking on that job. It was at night, therefore it wouldn't affect my work times, and it seemed simple enough. I couldn't truly find any downsides to taking the job after thinking for hours. It almost seemed to me as if that jacket was somehow purposefully placed there by someone or something, I mean it came at the exact right time.
I located the nearest area and applied for a job. The man at the counter gave me paper work to fill out and then asked me a couple of questions. It seemed simpler than any other job I had ever applied for. The man talked to me for a bit, but rather than an interview we just discussed the level of play from The Pistons, and The Tigers (local sports teams). He was a laid back person, and didn't really strike me as someone who would be a strict boss.
He swiftly cut off our playful chatter, and gave me a grave look. He stared directly in my eyes and kept his expression stagnant. He spoke "In all seriousness, Detroit has become a dangerous city, and there is a reason our city watch gets a salary, there is a reason we are larger than any other division in the U.S. Do you understand? Do you promise to take this job seriously?"
]I felt a little discomforted and almost threatened, but I shook the feelings and responded with a similar look saying "I do." I got the job with ease after that and began working the night shifts. It was fairly easy, I was alone at my post due to the low level of danger, and I got some peace and free time. I finally began to get back into the swing of things.
Life grew simpler as my worries began to disappear. Anxiety had been lifted and I once again strictly focused on med school. I felt happy once again and actually found myself with more free time then before I had a job. Everything was great; that wouldn't last long.
I was assigned a new position due to the need of the city. Once again it was low risk and I was by myself, but the environment was quite different. I now was directed to watch over an apartment complex, from towering rooftop of the nearby skyscraper. With binoculars I was to look around the area and detect any dangers. I held my binoculars close and almost felt like I was watching mice in a test lab. Zoomed in I could see each person and their lives contained in the tiny residency they had. Between them and me was only a thin sheet of glass.
Everyone I watched over didn't really deviate from the norm. There was a mother with two children she appeared to be raising on her own. She read them to sleep every night and spent most of her night’s cleaning their messes and struggling to keep up with her job that paid the bills. There were several older couples that didn't do much but sleep all day. A home was also shared by a couple kids who looked to be in college and must have been splitting the rent. Nobody really had stood out though.
A couple of the residencies looked to have just men alone in the house, but they weren't doing anything all that suspicious. Most of them just seemed to use their computer for the majority of their time. None of any of this really raised eyebrows to me. As I continued to scan I finally was greeted with an odd sight. I jumped back a little when I saw it.
At the end apartment I gazed directly at a lanky scrawny figure producing a shadow in the closed curtain. An immense bright white light filled the rest of the curtains coloring, while the areas escaping the reaches of light were filled by an outline of this figure. The sight was a bit unsettling, but I didn't really see any malicious behavior, so my focus soon went off him.
The next evening everyone’s routine was no different than the rest. Elderly slept, college kids partied, and the mother put her children to sleep. However, now the window covered by a curtain was wide open. Standing there was the same figure. Without the masking qualities of his curtain I was able to get a closer look. He stood there with his head facing the ground, his black hoodie extending over his head, and a hunched stature.
This was pretty strange as he seemed positioned in an unnatural stance. He didn't do anything the entire night. I mean anything, he literally did nothing. He kept his position all night. Even when I left he was in the same place he was when I first arrived.
Throughout the next week everyone continued operating the same way they had before, which unfortunately meant the man in the window continued with his peculiar ways. I kept my attention on him for most of the nights. I now was tasked with the entire evening, and decided I would keep a strong watch on him. That night he once again didn't do much. I sat there anticipating, but nothing happened. I then decided I would quickly glance at the other homes. It appeared an old couple had moved out. Then I noticed another had left as well. It seemed a little odd that they would both move out within a week. I shook it off though it couldn't have been much to worry about, but then I saw another vacant apartment, and another, and another.
More of the people were now missing. There was no way they simply could have just moved out. I felt irresponsible now knowing I had shifted my attention from them. I quickly looked back to the man standing in the lone apartment. He was now writing something with intense haste. He continued to write as I grew more confused. He finished, and then looked at me. I mean literally looked at me.
His face was directed exactly to my position; this wasn't a mistake or coincidence I knew he was staring at me. I only grew more and more discomforted. He swiftly grabbed his paper and then pressed it up against the glass in his room. I zoomed with my binoculars to get a better look. It had read "I am just a distraction."
"What could that have meant?" I thought. Then he sluggishly stretched his arm and held his index finger out pointing. I followed the direction he pointed and saw the room of the children and sleep with their mother. What was he doing? I couldn't really tell. I kept watch on the room as I noticed something. There was no shadow in the room, what I interpreted as one, was actually a man as I saw it move. There was an unfamiliar face in her house.
I panicked a bit as my eyes fooled me. The figure was accompanied by a long sharp axe. He extended his arms, raised them high above his head, and gripped the weapon firmly with both hands. Then without hesitation, he released it with force on the mother. The tool was now embedded in her spine as she awoke in agony. She began yelling and screaming, but it was soon cut short. The man with the axe continued to thrash away at her.
Each swing delivered more damage than the last. The razor tip dug its way through her back as I saw blood fill the air in a mist. Her limbs were met with the slicing force as he lacerated each one. The awoken children were silent almost as if in shock. He remained at his steady pace.
Her tissue had entirely peeled off her body in certain areas. He frayed tendons extended from her wounds. Muscles popped and her joints were ripped. Her bones were exposed to the open air. The man then reached out his hand and started pulling her exposed spine with a ripping force. Finally it snapped; he held the blood tainted bones high. The body was covered in lacerations exposing the white of her bone, and leaking with plasma. I called the police in a heartbeat.
They were on their way, but so was the man with the axe. He wasn't finished. He raised his arms and released his chop once again on the two younger children. They couldn't do much as helpless as they were. They cried and yelped for help but no one heard them. The little girl's bunny lie next to her in bed and was now dyed red from her expulsion. The thick metal from the edge tore through the child’s skull with his hits; it slit their limbs into two.
It was far too late for any rescuing at this time. He filled garbage bags with remains, torn tissue, and bones doused in blood he collected the items. I couldn't believe what I had just seen, I almost felt in shock. He turned his back and headed out. The police never caught the man, and the person who was a "distraction" apparently was in an apartment that has been vacant for years. It was vacant of course since an axe murder that had happened. It was a killing of the previous resident who looked eerily similar to the man I had seen in the glass.
The case was quickly dismissed, and little evidence was found anywhere. Something that had no significance to others, something that I only I know, is that when that murderer left the apartment he was wearing a jacket, a red one, that read "DCW, Detroit City Watch". Later I found out that our department neither issues jackets nor distributes them.