Volume 1, Number 2 -- September, 1996

Intellectual Curiosity

by Bob Schmalfeldt

I told them that I did it.

I mean, they caught me playing with this one kid's guts, so I sure wasn't going to lie about it. I could have told them I didn't mean to do it -- that I was just fooling. But that would have been a lie. And I'm not a liar.

Besides -- it's not like I'm in trouble or anything like that. They don't hurt kids here. And I think they're more interested in why I did it than they are in punishing me for it. I know I'd sure want to know why a kid like me killed those people.

Dr. Patterson hasn't asked me "why" yet. He seems like an okay guy, even though I just met him this afternoon. He seems pretty understanding, too. Like when I told him what I had done to my baby brother. I just kind of blurted it out, and he did look a little surprised. But when I told him all about it, he didn't say a word. He just nodded.

Even Mom and Dad don't know about what I did to Billy, yet.

I hate it when people ask me stupid questions. Like, for example, Dr. Patterson wanted to know all about what I was thinking when I did what I did.

See what I mean? Pretty stupid, isn't it? Just to get him off my back about it, I told him I wasn't really thinking of anything when I killed them. That's not really true. Not "all-the-way true," anyway. I'm not a liar. But not telling the whole story really isn't a lie.

I was seven. Billy had just got born.

When I went to bed that night, I didn't want to go to sleep. So I just laid there in my bed, looking at the stupid cowboy wallpaper Mom and Dad put in my room when I was a littler kid and liked cowboys. Mom had also gotten me one of those stupid nightlights with Jesus's picture on it. It's plugged into the wall, right next to where my pillow is. Mom said the light would shine on me all night long, just like Jesus's love shines on me all the time, whatever that means. But I never liked to look at the light, because it's scary. It's something about his face. Like Jesus is mad at me or something. Or like he wants to know what I'm thinking.

It weirds me out.

The first night Mom put it in my room, I cried like a pussy little baby. I wet the bed that night, too, because I was so scared of the Jesus face. Mom got really mad about that, because it had been such a long time since I had wet the bed. She said she put Jesus in my room to watch over me, and there I went and peed the bed right in front of him, like he wasn't even God or nothing.

So on the night I killed Billy, I wasn't looking at the Jesus nightlight. I just counted the cowboys on the wall. I looked at that wallpaper for about an hour while Mom and Dad jumped up and down on their bed.

They do that sometimes, though the one time I did it, they yelled at me.

But I listened to them jumping. I think Mom wanted to stop before Dad did, because I could hear Mom crying, and I heard Dad growling, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. It sounded like he was mad. Their bedsprings were all creaking.

Mom must have hit him to get him to stop or something, because all of a sudden, I heard Dad go "uuuuuuunh!" like Doris did when I gutted her. The squeaking stopped right after that, so I guess they were done.

So once it was quiet, I kept on counting cowboys for another hour until I could hear Dad snoring. Then I got up and went into the bathroom to go pee. Sometimes, when I get up to go pee, Mom will hear me and ask if I'm all right. I'll tell her that I'm fine, that I just have to go pee, and she goes back to sleep. But she didn't hear me this time, even when I flushed. So I went back to my room and got my pillow and took it to Billy's room.

He was in his crib that used to be mine before he barged into our family.

Like I said, I just told Dr. Patterson about this today, and Mom and Dad don't even know about this yet. They don't even think Billy got killed. They think he went and died all by himself. How's that for stupid?

Anyway, Billy was sleeping and I put a pillow over his head and I pressed down as hard as I could and he started screaming and crying, which I could feel through the pillow, but it wasn't really loud. Even though he was a little baby, I could feel him trying to push the pillow off of him, until he stopped moving.

What a gyp!

I mean, when you see a guy die in the movies, he's all screaming with guts and blood and stuff falling out. But not Billy. So I just got mad and went back to bed.

Well ... before I got back in bed, I did unplug the Jesus nightlight because he looked madder than ever. I was the one who had a right to be mad. Billy didn't die like he was supposed to. It was more like I just turned the baby off instead of killing him.

Mom's doctor said the baby must have thrown up and choked on it or something, because when they cut Billy open after he died, they found some puke in his throat.

Oh well.

I would have told Mom and Dad about what happened if they just asked me about it. Like I said, I'm not a liar. But nobody asked. Not even Dr. Patterson. I had to come right out and tell him about it, because there was no way he was ever going to ask about it.

Mom told the cop who came to our house to get me this morning that she doesn't believe I killed anybody. But I think Dr. Patterson believes me when I tell him I killed Billy -- and Doris. (Well, he had to believe me when I told him I killed Doris, because they caught me playing with her guts.) But when Dr. Patterson asked me if I killed anybody besides those two, I'm not sure if he believes me when I tell him I killed someone else, too, because he says they already caught the guy who killed that kid.

Now if you ask me, this is all Billy's fault. If he would have died like he was supposed to, I would have found out what I wanted to found out but didn't. But even still, after Billy I never killed anybody else until I was nine.

I was watching this one TV show with Mom. It was one of those doctor shows where they were operating on this one guy's heart.

It was so cool! This guy's chest was all open, going chunk, chunk, chunk, and stuff -- then it just stopped and the doctor told everybody to stop working because the guy was dead.

Man! I never got to see Billy's heart when it stopped. I wanted to see something just like that!

So anyway, there's this creek over behind the church where I go to play sometimes. Other kids play there too, but they don't like me and I wouldn't want to play with them anyway.

It was in the creek where I killed Stevie Wallace, the kid who Dr. Patterson said they already caught the killer of. He was three, I think. No more than four, though.

Stevie's big brother Hank used to take him down by the creek and leave him there. He'd probably tell his mom that he was going to take Stevie out to play or something, then he'd leave Stevie at the creek and go hang out with his friends.

Hank hangs out with bigger kids who smoke cigarettes.

Anyway, one day I brought my pocket knife with me to the creek to kill and gut some frogs. Hank brought Stevie there, and the three of us were the only guys there. I heard Hank telling Stevie not to tell on him, because if he did and Hank got into trouble, Stevie would get into trouble, too. I was sitting in the weeds when Hank left, and I don't think he saw me there. But I don't really think he was looking for anybody else to be there.

So I just sat there in the weeds watching Stevie walking around in little circles kicking stuff. A couple of minutes later, he tripped over something and fell down and started crying because he hurt his knee. So I went over to him and told him he could hang out with me if he wanted to. Like I said, he was only about three or four years-old, and his parents probably hadn't gotten to the part about not talking to strangers yet. So Stevie stopped crying and we went down by the bridge where the street passes over the creek.

I told Stevie we were going to look for cool rocks from dinosaur times. I wasn't really lying, because most of those rocks look pretty old.

I tried picking up a couple of rocks that were too stuck. But I finally found one that would come out of the mud and wasn't too heavy.

"Hey, Stevie," I said. "Look at this rock!" Then I hit him as hard as I could on the head right there under the bridge. He didn't even cry. He just fell right into the creek water. I looked around and figured nobody could see us because we were under the bridge. I was pretty sure Stevie was knocked out, but just to be sure, I hit him some more.

After three or four whacks, I got naked. I didn't want to get much more blood on my clothes. So I put them on this cement thing under the bridge.

When I came back to Stevie, I started kneeling on his chest so I could get a better aim at his forehead. By the time I stopped, he wasn't breathing. And it was really kind of gross because one of his eyes was hanging out.

I don't know why, but when I knew he was dead, my pecker got all hard. It got like that before when I looked at some pictures Dad keeps under his mattress. But it didn't get all hard when I killed Billy.

Not that I remember, anyway.

I felt nasty. It was like I had gotten all wiggly in my nuts or something. That made me mad. And it made me think of Jesus back in my room. And that made me even madder, because Mom says that guys who are nasty get sent to Hell by Jesus. But my wiener wouldn't go down, even though I sat right down and prayed to Jesus to make it go down. And that got me the maddest I've ever been.

That's when I tried to open Stevie up.

It was so weird! I'll tell you -- it's a lot easier to gut a frog than it is a kid! I could get the knife to go all of the way in, but it just wouldn't cut the chest bones.

Finally, I just jumped into the creek to splash the blood off, put on my clothes and went home.

Before I left, I found a stick and jammed it into Stevie's butt, because this kid at school who knows about this sort of stuff said that's what grown -ups do when they kill a kid, and I wanted them to think a grown-up had killed Stevie.

There was some blood on my shirt. So after I put my clothes on, I opened my knife and gave myself a little cut right on my forehead. Dad says that's what the guys who wrestle on TV do. He says it doesn't really hurt, but it bleeds a lot.

Anyway, I did have some blood on me. When I got home and Mom asked me about it, I told her I had been down by the creek and this mean-looking man saw me and threw a rock and me and it hit my head. She called the cops, who arrested this bum who was hanging out near the creek. He's supposed to go to the electric chair, because everybody thinks he killed Stevie -- probably because they found a stick up his butt, I think.

I know, the thing about the guy throwing the rock is a lie. I admit it. But you have to lie a lot before you can really be called a liar.

By the way -- do you know what "intellectual curiosity" means? That's what Mom says I have. Really, all I wanted to know is what happens inside a guy when he dies. I had reason to think a guy's guts get all hard when he dies. But I didn't know for sure. I asked Mom about it, and she didn't know anything about it, either. But she patted me on the head and said I should grow up to be a doctor because I have a lot of intellectual curiosity.

Maybe when they're done with me here at this place I'll grow up and be a doctor.

Doctors get to do a lot of things like look inside people like I did to Doris.

Anyway, this new family had just moved in next door a couple of days ago. This morning, Mom made me go over and play with the new kid so she wouldn't feel all weird living in a new house.

Doris said she was eight, but I think she was more like seven. I'm ten, and I don't really like playing with younger kids. Well -- there's Stevie. But I wasn't really playing with him.

Anyway, we were watching this stupid cartoon video when her mom said she had to go to the store. After she left, Doris told me to come up to her room because she had something she wanted to show me. Her room was all full of girl stuff like dolls. I know I sure couldn't live in a room like that. I told her I didn't want to play with any of her stupid girl things and got ready to leave, when she says, "Let's play doctor!"

Well -- like Mom said -- I have a lot of intellectual curiosity.

So she's standing in the middle of the room and she grabs one of her stupid dolls and says, "Oh, doctor! My baby's tummy hurts soooo bad!"

Geeze. It was so embarrassing.

And there Doris is, pretending she's crying. So before she could do anything else, I got out my knife and stuck it in her over and over and over. I guess there was a lot of blood, but I wasn't paying much attention to that.

I knew my knife wasn't going to cut her bones, so I decided to open up her belly. Just thinking about doing it made my tallywhacker so hard it actually hurt!

And so I did.

She was all full of guts! I had almost gotten them all out when I heard this scream right behind me and it was her mom standing there.

Don't ask me why I did what I did next, because I really don't know. But when I saw Doris' mom standing there and screaming, I smiled at her. Then I picked up a loop of Doris' guts and bit into it and said, "Grrrrrr," shaking my head back and forth like a dog.

Her mom just fainted and I went home.

Mom was there and saw all the blood on me when I came in. She thought I was hurt and called the hospital. I didn't say anything, except that I found out what guts taste like. Then the police came to our door while Mom was on the phone with the hospital.

But I knew I wouldn't be going to jail. They brought me here, instead. They say I'll probably be here for a long time. That means I'll be listening to Dr. Patterson's stupid questions for a long time, too. There's no TV in my room, and that sucks.

Nobody has tried to hurt me or even yell at me. Nobody has said I'm "bad" or anything like that. Tomorrow we have to go see a judge. He'll probably ask me all about it, and I've decided to tell them everything.

After all -- I am not a liar.

I'm just curious. The End

Copyright held by:
Bob Schmalfeldt
eMail: bschmalf@stellarnet.com

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