Sneak Peek: Metal. Mayhem. Murder.

It seems like everyone I talk to wants to know two things. One is whether I’m a serial killer or a mass murderer. The way I understand it, a serial killer kills people over a length of time and doesn’t get caught for a while. A mass murderer does it all in one go and gets caught in the act. I’m going to have to leave it up to them to decide, because Fern and I did both, and I’m really not an expert.

People like to label things.The news people need to know what to call us in the headlines. They need to figure out which names to list us beside when they’re categorizing killers. I’ve even heard the word “massacre” used to describe everything that happened at the end.We wanted it to be dramatic, but not because we wanted to make a big scene. It had to be dramatic so that no one would figure out what was happening until we were finished with it. We needed to have time. And we had definitely been thinking about it for ages, so I guess you could call it “premeditated.”

The other thing they want to figure out is why. And I keep telling them and telling them. I’m always telling them the same thing. But they don’t believe me. My answer isn’t good enough. They want more. They want to be able to blame something else, and other people, and have a long, complicated chain of events that add up to who Fern and I ended up being so that they can reassure themselves it can’t happen to just anyone.

Not just anyone can become a killer.That’s what they want to think. It takes special circumstances. Two young ladies from good homes cannot commit a massacre without something very evil and unusual happening, the fates aligning to produce this sort of thing.

Well, they’re right, but it has nothing to do with my family. They keep asking me about my parents. Did my father hit me? Did my mother verbally abuse me? Did I have a creepy uncle who touched me? Did my father and mother touch me? No, I tell them. Over and over. And I’ll tell you now: my parents raised me well. I love them very much. And even though they aren’t too interested in talking to me right now, which I understand, I will always love them.They were always good to me and my sister. I had a nice childhood. And from what I know of Fern, she did too. And I keep telling them that, and they act like I didn’t answer the question.They always ask again.

What about the music I listened to? The music I played? Hasn’t it always been easy to point the finger at that sort of thing? The music, the video games? Setting young people out of their minds onto killing rampages? The parents wringing their hands and blaming the vicious rock stars for warping the innocent? Running through their schools with semi-automatic weapons, gunning down nice people who listened to nice music?

If you want to blame the music, it wouldn’t be hard. Fern and I like death metal. Dark, heavy, disgusting death metal. Filled with lyrics that a lot of people don’t like. Most of the people in these bands are guys. Angry-looking guys. And I mean, these bands have names that seem tailor-made to be blamed for a massacre: Deathbloat? Bloodvomit? Torn Bowel? And, of course, Die Every Death. I can’t leave them off the list. Lest we forget.

So how easy is it to point at me and Fern and then slide that pointing finger to our CD collections? Really easy. I mean, let’s be real.Torn Bowel? I totally get why somebody’s mother wouldn’t like the sound of that. Too bad. They’re some of the nicest guys I know, and I’m sure they’ve been hounded by the press about me and Fern, and I feel bad about it. They didn’t kill anybody. As much as they might have written songs about murder, they never did it. I’m sure they’re facing a lot of questions now, simply because they’re our friends. They’ll have to explain the music to outraged activists and families and journalists and church folks and talk-show hosts. A lot of bands will. Ones we were friends with, ones we weren’t. I’m sad for that. It wasn’t their fault.

I’m sure there are murderers in the world who listen to nice acoustic folk music or play the harp or something. Killing people isn’t exclusive to those of us who listen to Torn Bowel. People were murderers before there was recorded music. Before radios. Before running water.The whole thing is silly.

You can’t blame music. You can blame me.

And you can damn well blame the people who gave me the reason to do it.

I tell them over and over again why we did it. It’s very simple. Maybe we should have dealt with it differently. Maybe we should have exercised forgiveness. But in my opinion, some things cannot be forgiven. Some people cannot be looked at with compassion. It’s kind of ironic, because the people judging me believe that I should have been compassionate, but they aren’t looking at me with any. Everyone is a hypocrite. Everyone, deep within themselves, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, knows that there are things that they would not be able to forgive. Fern and I could not forgive.

And the reason we murdered these people was very simple.

It was for revenge.

Excerpt from Boring Girls by Sara Taylor, ECW Press, April 2015


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