Incarcerated

There was a crack in the wall. Lenox Mark had watched it grow for years, decades. But the lines in his face didn’t grow alongside. The man looked youthful – in his physical prime – despite being older than the oldest human on planet earth. There were those that speculated he wasn’t human, or he was mutated, blessed or cursed. The man himself didn’t care for their theories.

With blonde hair and blue eyes and a rare smile that could thaw an ice age, one wouldn’t think they were looking at the face of a killer. When he spoke, his voice was soft and unassuming. He had no hobbies or passions. The criminal was a blank slate. As it should be; to see passion in his eyes was to herald terror.

Lenox heard the door to his cell open and turned to face his keeper. The rough fifty five year old guard held a certain amount of respect for Lenox in his eyes.

“It’s time to go, Mr. Mark.” He said.

“Where will I go now, Sumac?”

“They say you will serve the rest of your sentence in Tumeric. Four hundred years down. Only two hundred more to go. Provided you can keep your hands clean.”

“We both know I won’t. They’ll put me with another child killer and pretend to forget their keys while I smash his head in.”

Sumac made a face of revolution. “You could just request a change of cells.”

“I can’t bear it. I’ve told them. It tears me up inside.”

Curiosity was a very human emotion. Despite working alongside Lenox for twenty five years, Sumac couldn’t help but ask again before the killer was assigned to a new prison far away. “But why?”

“I was made this way.” Lenox replied calmly. “I never had a purpose until I saw true cruelty… I was incensed. Their self-serving sadism rendered their existence void to me. I never had a choice: only one path from that point and I embraced it wholly.”

“And you regret nothing?” Sumac asked.

“No. I knew it was my calling. It still is and perhaps it always will be. Death doesn’t seem to want to claim me. I tend to think I will be denied rest until my work is complete.”

“Do you want to die?”

“I don’t care. I-” There was an unexpected pause. Sumac felt his heart skip a beat as he thought he saw an emotion flicker across Lenox’ face. He never showed emotion unless he was about to do something irreversible. Sumac stepped back and closed the door to the killer’s cell and locked it. Lenox continued talking regardless. “Even if I did want to. Even if I do want to see someone again. It’s not my choice. I couldn’t save her.”

His blue eyes swum with an ocean as Lenox turned to face his guard through the bars on his door. “The first innocent I was meant to protect; I failed her. I don’t know if my work can ever be finished if she’s not here.”

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