When Markie was a freshman at Irving High, he used to lie in bed and think about murdering his parents. He did not think about getting caught. He did not think about what he’d do with the bodies. He merely thought of getting rid of their unendurable pressure. Markie planned to do it in the dead of night, when his parents would be dead asleep.
It would be easy.
Mark did not mention his plans to his sister Linda or to his school buds Isaac and Lorie. Markie planned use the sharp Buck knife he’d bought at a downtown Irving hunting store a month ago, to quickly and efficiently slit their throats, one at a time. They would have no opportunity to make a sound and alert each other or his sister.
He wished to kill his parents because they fought all the time. His father drank and cursed. His mother was a shut-in, although no one acknowledged the fact. They’d lived in the Irving ten years, but his mother had no friends and rarely left the house. Father wanted to move closer to his job in south Dallas. He was sick of his long commute to work and back, but mother would not listen to his pleas. She told them they could not move because it would disrupt the children’s educations, but Markie knew that was a lie. Mother was too afraid to live anywhere else.
His parents would fight late into the night. When they finally went to bed—his father sometimes on the couch—Markie would lie in his bed as stiff as a Prussian military officer. Thinking of putting his parents out of their misery seemed an act of mercy and a blessed chance to sleep again for him and his sister.
Finally, in late January, after the Christmas tree had been taken down in the living room, Markie crawled out of bed and got his Buck knife out of his desk drawer. He’d bought the knife for no practical reason. He did not hunt or live on a farm. He was an ordinary suburban kid whose father commuted and fell to sleep on the couch in the evenings. Markie had bought the knife because it was beautiful and lovely to hold, and he wished to own something dangerous of his own that gave him a sense of power. At fifteen he had few possessions beyond what his parents provided.
Markie made his way to their bedroom door, the wood floor in the old tract house creaking under his feet. If his parents drifted momentarily out of sleep into consciousness, they would think he was on his way to the bathroom. The boy could, by the bright lighting pouring in the bedroom windows, tell that the moon was almost full, and it brought a soft, bright light into the room and the hallway.
Markie could never recall a single time that his mother played with him as a small child. His grandfather James, when he took the train down from North Dakota to visit, played with the boy all the time. They’d pretend, before Markie started school that the old green sofa was a ship, and they’d go sailing the world over.
Markie pushed with two fingers on his parent’s bedroom door and it glided open. The hinges squeaked momentarily. Neither parent moved in the bed. Markie got down on all fours to hide himself from sight, and crawled slowly into the room. He held the knife in his left hand, with the blade pointed upward, to make sure it did not clank against the wood floor. Markie was large, weighing around 175 pounds, and now he was sweating, sweating badly, so rivulets ran off his forehead into his eyebrows and down into his eyes. His parents would never stop fighting. No hope for that. They’d cause more and more pain to him and his sister, incredible hurts to the depths of their souls. Justice demanded they be stopped but of course they never listened to anything he or his sister said.
Then Markie felt something land on his back, as he crawled toward his parents on the floor. Claws dug in slightly. The boy held his breath. That had to be Boston Blackie, the fixed cat. Blackie was a crazy cat, and had markings on his face like a pencil thin mustache. Boston Blackie would pound on windows with her paws, moving around the outside of the house, until someone struggled from bed to let her in and put down food.
If the cat was inside and hungry, and everyone was sleeping, Boston Blackie would chose a handy sleeping victim and leap and then move quickly to put her cold nose against the victim’s skin somewhere.
Markie straightened up, still on the floor, but the cat began to dig her claws in deep to hang on. Markie clenched his teeth to stop from howling in pain. So far the cat did not let out a sound. Markie crawled for the door of his parent’s bedroom.
Soon Boston Blackie sprung off his back and raced down the hall toward the kitchen where his food bowl sat near the back door.
Markie crawled out of his parent’s bedroom, and then carefully closed their door most of the way. He stood up and moved swiftly and sweating down the hall to feed the animal. Blackie could be a noisy cat, if not fed quickly. She might let out a loud series of mews that could wake everyone up.
Markie had grown up in the Southern Methodist church. He knew that God had saved him, pretending to be a cat. He couldn’t wait to tell the story to Isaac and Lorie at church. They would not believe him, of course, and they would tell no one, but they’d be impressed.