Creative Writing · Short Stories · writing

Mr Picasso: A Short Story Part 2

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you are doing well! Here is the long awaited second part of Mr Picasso. If you haven’t already, please read part one here. This story has been a tricky one indeed. I wrote this story months ago, but I was unhappy with the ending. I decided to be brave and just post the original ending here, largely unedited so please forgive any mistakes. I have been adapting it over the months so some things are a bit different now. But I truly hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

10 min read


I destroyed her innocence. I took it for my own, handled it in my grasp and then… I simply destroyed it. It was nothing personal to Beth. I’m sure she would’ve carried on her self-harming behaviour until one day that pain wasn’t enough, or it was too much, and she would’ve died anyway. I may have taken her innocence, but I made her into art. I saw that in her and decided to give her something nobody else could.

Of course, she wasn’t my first, you know that. I started with older women and for some reason they just kept on getting younger and younger. I guess the younger you are, the more open you are to a predator. She was however the first true masterpiece I ever created. Our names will be intertwined with each other forever. That’s what I was thinking once I had finished cutting off her limbs, flaying her skin into intricate patterns and positioning her into her final resting place. That was until I led you to her.

I’d tried for about a year after to recreate that piece of art. I carried with me the polaroid pictures I’d taken. They never left my person. I would gaze upon them and the urges just became too strong to ignore. But every time I tried to re-create the artwork, it never felt the same again. Even when I stuck hundreds of pictures all around the room and used them for reference, it was just not the same. Nothing could top, or even match my masterpiece. I had twelve more failed attempts before one day, as I was carving off the leg of a fourteen-year-old girl called Lilly, I couldn’t go on trying to capture the essence of my greatest works by recreating it. I must do so, by telling my story. By getting people to write about it, to write about me and Beth, Lilly, Poppy, Andi, Rose, Anna and all the rest of them. You know their names. Beth would never be special or beautiful or appreciated until I had destroyed what was preventing her from reaching her full potential.

I helped her reach her full potential. You wouldn’t be here ten years after she transgressed from mere mortal to timeless art. You wouldn’t be here, interested in recording me for “educational purposes” if it wasn’t for what I did for that girl, for all those girls. I took my time with Beth, she took ages because art takes time.

                The film suddenly paused in the lecture theatre at a rather unfortunate moment, as James looked directly into the lens of the camera. His eyes were empty, but he smiled with satisfaction. The room was silent while the criminal psychology students processed what they had just witnessed. They were warned of the documentaries highly sensitive and possibly upsetting content. It was at their own discretion to attend the guest speaker lecture.

The speaker, Casper Taylor, took his place behind the podium and looked intently around the room. He saw many tearful eyes and enraged hearts. He patiently waited for the right time to continue his mission and remained silent until he saw every person in the room waiting for him to speak once more.

“Thank you for listening to my documentary so attentively. I understand it is not an easy thing to do, a few people did indeed need to leave the room. That is perfectly fine. What matters is you opened your eyes and your minds and decided to learn about one of the most heinous criminals we have ever known.” He took a moment to clear his throat and collect his thoughts. No matter how many times he got up on stage, his legs still swayed beneath him and words still managed to escape him. He would often try to boost his confidence by reminding himself that he has extensively researched and interviewed the worlds’ most prolific murderers. Its fine, he thought, you can do this.

“As you may already know, I am a true crime author and I have published nine books looking closely at the most heinous criminals in our generation, including James Knotts, or as the media named him ‘The Picasso Killer’. Can anybody tell me, why it is I showed you this clip? What is the significance of it?”

For a few long seconds, the room froze. Nobody wanted to raise their hands for fear of embarrassment. Before Casper could offer the students any reassurance, a man who looked a bit older than the rest, raised his hand. He was wearing a black jumper with the hood up and was visibly trembling. Casper couldn’t quite make out all his features as he was in the first row of the upper balcony, never mind the shadows his hoodie cast on his face,

“Yes, thank you, you up there?”

“I think you showed us this to prove a point. You wanted to show us the story through the eyes of the one who did it. It’s all good and well writing books about it, but it doesn’t have the same effect as actually hearing it from the horses mouth type thing.” Casper was taken aback by the booming voice that erupted from such a slender man. But what intrigued him more so was just how correct he was.

“Exactly. I simply asked him to tell me about what happened that night in 1999. As you saw, I didn’t interject once. He saw an opportunity to talk about what he did to Bethany Lewis. Can anyone tell me why?”

The man once again raised his hand, of which seemed to be shaking even more than before. Casper nodded to show he could speak, considering nobody else seemed to want to contribute.

“He gets to relive it. When you talk about something, it’s kinda like reliving it all over again. Ain’t that what a lot of serial killers do? That’s basically what James Knotts was trying to do when he raped and murdered and chopped up twelve more women.”

“Yes…” Casper was about to choke on his words when the man continued to speak.

“He decided they were worthless alive, and he could make them better. He decided to drug them, brutally rape them, cut off their arms and legs while they were still fucking breathing right, peel their skin off and cut it into diamonds and ribbons and fuck knows what else, piles their body parts back up and took pictures. And you, you have given this grotesque foul specimen the platform for others to remember his name. He thinks he immortalised my mother? He immortalised himself and you helped him. He mutilated 13 women and then led the police straight to the rotting corpse of my mum. He left her in that room in a pile to rot and he thinks he made art? You made him the artist!” The man bubbled over with despair, his eyes were engulfed by a wildfire of rage. Other students looked upon him with deep sympathy while others were so shocked by the outburst they simply stared in silence. Tears streamed from his face and he realised it was the first time he had cried in a long time.

“What you failed to mention is the fact he kept them alive for days before he tore them limb from limb” the man said, addressing the rest of the lecture theatre, “he raped them when they were alive, and then he raped them again.”

Casper feared the man may jump to his death as he hung over the balcony screaming while the tears continued to flow, thicker and faster than before. Casper relaxed slightly as the man returned his gaze on him. Though that respite was short lived as the anger and hatred radiated from every inch of the man’s body.

Mr. Borthwick, the University Head, rushed over to Casper, though he could not tear his eyes away from the man’s hateful glare. The man yanked his hood off his head to reveal swooping black hair that fell into his face, covering one eye. He barely heard what Mr. Borthwick had said, but the penny had finally dropped.

“-ander Lewis…” Mr. Borthwick said for the third time, “that is Alexander Lewis, he doesn’t go to this University, we don’t know how he got in or why…I’m…I do- “

“He wanted to understand why someone would do this. The answer only served to fuel his anger.” Casper said with a blank look, as he imagined Alexander finding out for the first-time what horrors happened to the woman who brought him into the world. The angry 20-year-old man in front of him transformed into an innocent child. The anger was gone but it was replaced with ignorance and not the blissful kind. It was the kind only a child could possess. As a child, all he knew was that his mother was gone. He didn’t know where she was, or why she had left. Until the day came where he did understand where she was, six foot under, and he found out why, a psychopathic serial killer stole her from him. That was the day James Knotts successfully destroyed another person’s innocence from behind bars, and Casper helped him do it.

“I can’t get to him, so its gotta be you.” Alexander Lewis pulled out a gun and pointed it at Casper. He pulled the trigger but it flew a quarter of an inch from his temple. How could a lecture turn into a murder attempt? After a few seconds, the screaming finally pierced the bubble Casper had been floating in and the reality began to sink in.

“I made a monster famous and in turn created another.”


Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Signed,

Jen X