The Tea Drinker sat at his table. He was feeling rather surreal, knowing he had just killed a man. It didn’t seem at all real to him, yet he was not unsettled by his evil deed. He continued to sip his drink, trying to hold back sly smirks at the thought of his murder. He felt no qualms about killing; the death of another human being is something that is assured in the cycle of life. He may have ended a life prematurely but then again, desperation was his motivation.
The Tea Drinker was swamped in isolation, debt and insanity. He was a ghost, present but unnoticeable. His isolation was a mere attachment of his personality; he could never (it seemed) separate himself from the lifestyle of loneliness. To add to it, he was unsure if he was crazy or not. He could easily recognize that killing was an atrocious act weighted with inevitable responsibility. Still, he did not care for those he killed; he felt no emotion in watching the blood gush from the neck of his victims onto his face; he was unfazed by the act of murder. He wondered if that made him insane as such feelings are not normal. He couldn’t decide.
More importantly, he owed many people money. He could not pay them back as quickly as he’d hoped and so took up the act of murder for pay. His debts were historical, for he had been trying to pay them for many years but to no avail. The path of righteousness was not one that produced the funds he needed with the haste he desired. The path of treachery, deceit, and iniquity was more enticing. While he was well aware that his deeds were evil and unforgivable, he did not pursue other paths to achieve his goal. He felt stuck in his current path, unable to escape the person he had become.
He continued to drink his tea. Between each sip, the ends of his mouth perked uncontrollably; he was disgusted with himself. He felt that he might actually have begun to enjoy slaughtering human beings. He was conflicted, trying to balance the person who he was with the person whom he had become. It seemed that the current person he was, in fact, was murdering the person he had been. If ever there was a moment when the tea drinker was an honest and righteous man, it would have been before he accumulated such debts.
His tea had gone cold. The bitterness of it soothed his mind as he swallowed his last sip. He set down his cup and picked up his jacket off the table. He looked in the mirror at his face. He had no expression, and his hands were shaking. He could hear the cries and voices in his head. He was about to commit another murder, and receive more money. He laughed at himself. He grabbed his weapon, the address of the target, and left from his dark room.
Four days had passed since the last murder. The Tea Drinker had retreated back to his abode, and hauled himself away in it. He was seriously disturbed by his latest atrocity. He felt actual remorse for his actions, something he hadn’t felt in years. He had been debating with himself if he even deserved to have peaceful sleep at night; for the past four days he hadn’t been sleeping very much. The thought of his most recent crime was unbearable; in comparison to the others, this murder touched what little remnants of humanity he had left within him.
He was once again, sitting at his tea table, drinking tea. He had decided that green tea would be the best choice of drink as it has been said to soothe the weary soul. It hadn’t helped him much at all. The simple act of engaging in such a historically humane tradition could not provide even a sliver of sanity or peace.
He set down his tea. He began to hear the voices and shrieks again. He tried covering his ears to repel the intangible demons but with no success. They were taunting him. They were laughing at him. He began to laugh too; it was a psychotic laugh, a madman’s laugh. He could hear his own laugh reverberating off of the walls and it frightened him. He had lost sense of who he was.
He stood up from the table, bracing himself against its edge while leaning over it. He stared at his reflection in the tea cup. He couldn’t even recognize his own face anymore, regardless of the fact that it was undeniably his own. The blood stains on his face had dried up and turned brown. He looked down at his hands; the blood on those had dried up and crusted as well. The Tea Drinker hadn’t bathed for the last four days. He simply smothered himself in his own filth.
He began to breathe heavily. It quickly turned to hyperventilation, as the Tea Drinker raised his tea cup attempting to take another sip. His hand was quivering; tea was spilling over the sides of the cup. He placed the cup to his lips and just stopped. He stopped breathing and stopped moving.
The tea cup fell from his grasp unto the floor, shattering. He felt his knees give out from underneath him and he grabbed for the chair he had been sitting in for support. He slumped onto its rigid form, the sharp edges of the chair jabbing into his stomach. He coughed and gasped for air. He felt as if he was drowning. He inhaled deeply, trying to refill his lungs and then collapsed onto the floor.
He felt the impact; it was equivalent to that of an earthquake, rumbling his body from head to toe. He could see the shattered tea cup in front of him. He closed his eyes and tried to ignore any feeling he could feel. The voices were still laughing at him.
There was a horrid stench coming from The Tea Drinker’s room. There had been a stench in that awful room for five days and there seemed to have been a new addition to the already gut-wrenching odor. Before the last murder, it was merely the smell of blood and human stink. That was attributed by The Tea Drinker’s lack of bathing. The new stench was a peculiar one that wasn’t exactly nameable, probably because of the mixing of terrifying smells.
The curtains had been drawn over the window to block sunlight from shining through; they had become tattered and torn from the colony of moths that had relocated into one corner of the room. Grey sunlight now peaked through the room by way of the holes in the curtains. Rainwater had been dripping from the ceiling over the bed and sinking in the ceiling. A moldy patch of green and black had formed in the bedsheets. Cockroaches were crawling and scurrying across the wooden floor and up the walls. The roaches popped off the wall like paintings. Scraps of food had been disposed of on the floor and ants were dissecting the bits and taking them back to their colonies hidden behind the walls.
There were fragments of glass and ceramic scattered across the floor too. Some of the fragments were of dishes, but most were of the single mirror that hung from the wall near the door. It had been smashed in with smears of blood detailing the frame; now it was stuck in the wall by a corner, the rest of its body sticking outward. There were muddied and bloodied bare footprints on the wall next to the mirror and all across the rickety floor. A pile of ashes were present where the tea table once was. Burn marks were circling the ashes as if contained by some force. The chair that accompanied the table was demolished; its pieces huddled in the corner of the room opposite the moths.
There was prevalent sense of destruction in The Tea Drinker’s room. It was as if some demonic force had entered the room, quietly unleashed hell, and abandoned the site. The room itself had felt abandoned for at least twenty hours since The Tea Drinker’s last murder. Any slight sound could be heard, bouncing firmly off the walls and back into one’s ears. The room was so quiet and serene that it could drive one to madness. An uncomfortable sense of peace had settled into the destroyed room.
There was an abundance of flies that were swarming the air in the room. The sound of their buzzing, along with the ticking of the tiny legs of roaches, was the only noise in the room. A colony seemed to have inhabited the abandoned room, as if to replace the previous owner. They were all hovering over a heap in the corner covered by a blanket. The blanket was soiled and black and scrunched. Underneath the blanket, an arm stretched outward, lifeless.