Criminal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Part One: The Cat
When we were younger, my brother killed a cat. Well, he technically stoned it to death. When we look back on the memory, we laugh. But when I contemplate on the event alone, I don’t laugh because honestly, it’s pretty weird. We lived in a building complex where there were many stray cats. School was canceled that day due to a snow storm from the night before so that obliviously meant our entire day was going to be spent outside. My mother told me to watch my brother while we played outside which was stupid because I was only two years older than him and I clearly didn’t supervise him well enough. I asked her who would watch me while I played and she said, “You don’t need anyone to watch you,” and she shut the door. At first, nothing psychotic happened, just two siblings rolling in the snow, throwing snow balls and making snow angels. Typical childhood memories were being made and all seemed well. It was one of those moments where you wished it would last forever. As I laid on the ground, I dreamt about flying with the snowflakes. It was just a perfect day. Then I heard the first cry.
I picked up my head to see my brother digging around the snow looking for something. I thought maybe he got hurt so I rushed over to him and I was surprised to see that he was the one hurting something. And that something was a cat. And what he was looking for was a rock. The poor thing was laying on the ground near a bush, bleeding to death. I couldn’t even find the source of the blood at first because it was a white fucking cat! I mean what kind of sniper vision do you need to have to kill a white cat in the snow? The worst part was, I watched it die. The blood oozed out of its body while it took its last breath and all we did was watch. The damage was done and my brother was showing psychotic tendencies so we just left before anyone saw us. We went inside to take off our outerwear and we wrapped ourselves in blankets. We didn’t tell our parents and I’m glad we didn’t because I was not prepared to take the blame for something I didn’t even do.
Eventually, we told them and I was surprised by the outcome. My brother didn't get in trouble and my parents seem to just brush off the whole idea. Of course they were shocked, but after talking about the incident for about five minutes, they didn't seem to be interested anymore. Since they didn't care, my brother decided to no longer tell our parents about his next murder. Little did we all know, it was only going to get worse. His antics started with that poor cat, but soon we found dead squirrels, chipmunks and even birds scattered outside our apartment building. It was pretty fucking gross seeing all those dead animals decaying on my front porch. And for some odd reason, no one suspected it was him. I was still on babysitting duty at this time which meant I saw everything. I saw the way he waited for his prey, like a sly fox hunting down a rabbit or something. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Why didn’t you say anything to your parents?” “You’re an enabler for not stopping him.” “Wow, you’re a major bitch for keeping quiet!” Yes, I know I am to blame for everything that happened but he was murdering animals with zero hesitation. I was scared that if I interfered, I was next. That was too much pressure for a seven year old and frankly, I enjoyed being alive. Besides, ever since the cat murder, he always kept stones in his pockets. I knew exactly what he was capable off. And I definitely didn’t want to get socked in the face with a rock by my five-year-old brother, I mean that’s kind of embarrassing. So, for all these years I kept my distance until a few weeks ago when my dog was brutally stabbed to death. I knew the son of a bitch was to blame.
Part Two: All Dogs Don’t Go to Heaven
This was possibly one of the hardest weekends of my life. A few weeks ago, I was swamped with school assignments, worked at my shitty job and had family come over from surrounding states. Because they lived out of state, they decided to sleep over for the entire weekend; we also moved into a house which meant more room for everyone. Of course, it doesn’t seem all bad, but I don’t really like having family over for more than a few hours — let alone three whole days. Not only did that mean I had to haul ass at work, haul ass for school, and haul ass around the house, but my brother fucking killed my dog and I had to resist the urge to either call the police or kick him in the throat. The nerve of this guy! I hide his secret, I turn a blind eye. I continue to act normal when I know deep down he is a fucking psycho. And this is the thanks I get? My fucking dog? As if I didn’t have enough going on. And now I had to hide THIS secret too because we had way too many family members over to discuss how we can incarcerate my brother without judgment.
Looking back on the situation I realize now that getting my brother arrested would only put a bigger target on my head; people get buff as shit when they go to prison. He could kill me without any hesitation and I would be chilling with my dog in some kind of purgatory. The way he killed Ivy was the worst part. Ivy was prone to drift away from us from time to time but eventually after her adventures, she would always come back so it wasn’t strange for her to be gone for a few days. My brother used that to his advantage; he must have followed Ivy into the woods while my parents were distracted by our company. And I did notice the shovel, which was usually in the garage, was not there but I didn’t think much of it at the time considering I already had a billion things going on at once. What I did notice when there was a loud howl, one that was familiar to me. I thought maybe Ivy was back so I ran outside to the backyard but she wasn’t there. I start calling out her name and there was one last cry as if to say, “Please save me.” I ran into the woods which was right in my backyard and I didn’t have to travel far to see the trial of blood that led to my worst nightmare.
We all know our pets aren’t going to live forever. But we also don’t think they’re going to be repeatedly stabbed in the stomach with a rusty shovel. And that the person who did it was most likely my brother. The shovel lay next to her as she took her last breath and once again I was the last sight of hope another dying animal witnessed before passing on. I pet her head the way she liked and let my tears drip onto her face, hoping that my love for her would seep into her skin and revive her. It didn’t. I knew there was no point in calling anyone over to help but I still blame myself for letting Ivy have the freedom to roam freely, for not calling animal control, and for not being there to save her.