When Madness Prevails


When Madness Prevails


He was a witness or a murderer. He was either a true innocent or a true sociopath. He just stood there and his spirit wondered if he even understood that kind of fear. The bodies of three small children and a woman were scattered around the house emptied of blood. He was not proud of those murders. And over time, he would soon forget about them. The woman was the first to feel his wrath. He carved her so badly that she was beyond recognition. Nevertheless he continued his slaughter as the children came next. He scanned the room until he was satisfied, his spirit realized that he had seemed to go a bit too far.

He leaned across the bodies and almost sensed their tears. He was listening to the steady rhythm of a ghost’s sobbing disconsolately behind the double beds. The tears were real, and he knew that.

In the end, he rested his pride on a smaller, lesser point. The murders were part of his revenge. The murders were committed for that reason alone. The woman and her children he killed was the family of his wife’s lover. He wanted him to suffer as he was made to suffer. He knew no other way, but to destroy his life.

Earlier that morning he had walked in on his wife and her lover engaged in carnal copulation that bordered on pure ecstasy. The visuals have driven him to total insanity. An insanity he couldn’t control. An insanity that opened the doors for pure evil to come out. The death around him was the result of that pure evil.


 His next move was even more daring and sinister. The confrontation was perfectly choreographed. He picked up his child from school and dragged him into the woods near the railroad station. He was a stone, a solid, stoic mass without fear, without any sense of distress, without any rage at being made out a monster and a murderer of woman and children. The killing of his own child was the only way he could make his wife suffer. He wanted her to live in total agony. To have a future filled with regrets. He wanted her to pay for her infidelity with a hollow future. He was mad, but it was the only way to exercise his revenge.

The murder weapon was a transfer shovel. He caved in the boy’s small chest with the first blow. He then continued carving away at the tiny torso as the blood ran warm along his boots. He didn’t stop until sections of the child were scattered along the wooded trail. The child’s ghost tried to probe his father’s feelings for the dead child. The ghost was unsuccessful as he watched the man’s unchanged face wipe blood from his arms. The ghost had no trump card, no tool with which to pry into the man’s soul. There was no regret, that same unnerving notion that cursed his sanity drove the man to commit horrible acts of violence.



On that day marked the end of two full weeks of building rage. He had completed the task he set out to do. He had thought about it briefly, and then his insanity kept him in that evil state of mind.

He drove east into the country side with a hangman’s noose, and for a moment he thought about his wife and child and how they would forget what a husband and father looked like. He was no longer that man. He was a cold blooded murderer. He was the essence of pure evil. The route to an old oak tree was so familiar that his mind drifted free, and the solitude of the car’s dark interior kept the details of the murders out.

He had one last task to complete. He knew that after the bodies were found they would consider him a suspect. He’d be missing for days, but eventually he would be found. That was part of his plan. It was exactly created by design. It was a creation of revenge that only a madman could hash out. He was that madman, and the revenge was his creation.

He knew that he would show no remorse over killing the victims, but would be concerned over the possibility of being apprehended. His last plan would surely seal his freedom. He would not be caught.

He threw the rope over the largest branch and the noose dangled directly in front of him. It was as if evil helped secure his position. He place the noose around his neck and secured it as tightly as he could. There was about a four feet difference from the ground to his blood stained boots. He made sure of it. He wanted nothing to go wrong. As he jumped down the noose caught his neck and snapped it in three different places. The crack was loud, but only mother nature heard it.

He swung without kicking, and life poured out of him slowly. His death was painful, but he accepted it with grace.


Found, face down at the edge of a wooded trail was her son. His spirit’s arms would

flail, and she fell on top of the broken pieces of human remains. Her son was dead and she felt the pangs of suffrage course threw her veins. It was an awful feeling, and she knew that it would scar her for the rest of her life. It emptied out her soul, and it would cast shadows of fear through her heart. His death had considerable detail. It had meaning to someone, but she didn’t care. She wanted that someone dead. She wanted that someone to feel what her son felt. She wanted answers.

She wanted the death penalty for the murderer. She knew that there could be no stet on the case, no acquittal due to insanity, no half-ass plea agreement. The murderer had shaped her future, the murderer had stolen her child, and she wanted him dead. Then she felt an odd sensation. That sensation was further compounded by a strange, unspoken guilt. The ghosts called to her as it only added to the sensation. It was a call from a permanent darkness. A darkness that she would be part of for the rest of her life.


The ambulance sped less than a mile to the shock-trauma unit at St. Mary’s hospital, where the doctors calculated a low chance of survival. The bullet had entered the left cheek, boring upward across the skull severing the right eye’s optic nerve. It was a self inflicted gun shot wound. The man came home and found his family slaughtered. His wife and children were horrifically murdered. There was nothing he could do to help them. He should have been home protecting them. He had to pay for his infidelity the best way he knew how. He had a gun stored away at his desk, and he knew that there was nothing he could do to stop the need to die. He loved his wife and children and he wanted to be with them. Even if it meant in death. He had no choice as his madness prevailed.




© 2011 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 13 comments

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ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

Dark and depressing.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you for your comment

Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

Did not see this one so I'll save for obvious reasons that I already discussed. I think I have two left. Don't like running low.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks sky you're the best

Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

Without your goodness and very kind ways, remember only you could fill your space.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Pretty terrifying what love can make one do when cheated on. Bit gruesome of a read first thing in the morning but still had me on the edge of my chair.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton Author

Susan.. ill have to replace your hot cup of coffee with a fresh cup.. thanks for reading..

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Up, awesome, and interesting. Frank, the man! BRAVO!! Awesome story. Just as it is in your poetry, your story is very distinct. Start to end, every word, glued in my seat. I visually play it out in my head. This is what you call writing. Don't get me wrong, it is sad, very sad, but it is written very well.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks thelyricwriter for reading when madness prevails :)

Darknlovely3436 profile image

Darknlovely3436 4 years ago from NewYork

An interesting write Frank

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks Darklovely :)

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lovedoctor926 3 years ago

A crime of passion. awesome story & well-written. It captured my attention from beginning to end. hopefully, no nightmares tonight since this is the last piece I'm reading.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

God bless you sweetie :)

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