“The Witching Hour”

“I’m sad, doctor.

“I want to cry.

“Today I want to talk to you about my first. My first love. My first heartbreak. My first kill.

“Her name was Jill. The day’s name was Valentine. It was freshman year of high school. Fresh meat! But this was before I butchered them.

“Never fall in love with a woman that’s already taken. That’s what they say. I should’ve listened.

“I fell in love with a woman in a controlling relationship with depression. Oops, right?

“Jill had it all. She had beauty and all the popularity that came with it. But depression doesn’t care about any of that. No. Depression doesn’t care if you’re beautiful or ugly, popular or not. No. Depression, like a loyal hopeless romantic, only truly cares about what’s on the inside. Depression latches onto you like an inhuman spirit weighing you down, never letting go. You see, with depression, every waking hour of the day is the witching hour. It feeds off your thoughts, getting stronger and stronger the more you think about it. It possesses you.

“Fuck, I’m c-crying already. I’m sorry, doctor. Okay, let’s try this again, yeah? Yeah.

Inhale.

“Exhale.

“Color.

“Today’s color is yellow.

“Yellow bow. Yellow tape.

“A yellow bow was tied around a box of chocolates. Yellow tape was tied around an apartment building. It was Valentine’s Day and… I never got the chance to give Jill the box of chocolates.

“From the rooftop of her apartment building, Jill had jumped out of depression’s grasp and into the arms of suicide. Splat.

“Was I in her final thoughts? Was I somewhere drowning in that pool of blood? I’ll never know. But that sidewalk knows. It just can’t speak, for it has no mouth. I imagine it did have a mouth at one point, though. When Jill’s head went splat on that sidewalk, I imagine her face and brains became its face and brains. Did she even know my name? Was it spelled out in the alphabet soup her head became? It sure as hell wasn’t spelled out anywhere in the diary I stole from her room after suicide stole her from me.

“Maybe if I had actually introduced myself to her, she probably would’ve been alive right now. If I had only said something… anything… I could’ve saved her life. I killed her by saying and doing nothing, doctor. I killed her. I could’ve been in the blank pages of her diary, but suicide took that away from me.

“I’ve seen suicide, doctor. It’s a gift wrapped in scaly midnight black skin—a gift that keeps on giving to death. Honestly, it’s the only thing that truly scares me. I’ve had its long tongue wrapped around my neck once, like a noose, so sharp I thought it was going to decapitate me.

“I saved you from suicide, doctor, like I’ve saved so many others from it. They call me the Orchard Butcher. Fine. That’s fine. But that doesn’t change my mission. That doesn’t change my one-man war against suicide! I’ll keep taking people before it does!

“Thank you for listening, doctor.

“The most important part of a doctor is the head. That’s what they say. That’s why I’ll always keep yours.

“Are you… trying to speak? What are you trying to say?”


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)