She sidled up to the front aisle and sat down, her thinning grey hair covered haphazardly with a scarf. It did not stop stubborn wisps of hair bent on freedom from escaping. She sat and waited for the remaining seats to be filled up apprehensively. Her calloused hands gripped the clutch of her favourite bag and she rubbed the filigree design with her thumb feeling every bump; a habit she was wont to do when extremely nervous.
The room to be viewed was still empty of people, the only occupant, a big metal chair She stared at it, as if concentrating trying to pry it secrets out. Soon, it would be taking the only thing she had left away from her. Her lips dried and she licked them reflexively. She heard movements behind her and knew the pew had begun to fill up.
She did not turn back, avoiding to see the faces.
It wasn’t shame or fear.
No. Ma Sullivan knew no shame.
She just did not want to explain her presence; or offer apologies she knew would be ineffectual.
So she sat there, hair tucked haphazardly in her scarf, back ramrod straight, staring right ahead.
Quite a number of people wanted front seats, and as she made way for them, they saw her and gasped.
She did not avert her eyes; No Sir!
She looked them straight in the eyes, taking in the ill-disguised look of disgust on their faces without a twitch of her facial muscles in reaction. They always dropped their eyes first, shuffling past her. She heard them whisper amongst themselves and pass her name around.
She heard the murmurings behind her but refused to answer them; she had every right to be here.

Soon, the lights dimmed and the main stage area lit up, distracting them.
Guards came in and walked to the chair, checking the straps and bolts. When they were done, one of the officials gave a speech.
She did not listen. She tuned them out.
She came for one thing only.
Soon, they brought him out.
She stared at him as they pulled him to the chair and strapped him. Ignoring the bondage, she stared fixedly at his face.
He had grown softer around the edges. His eyes looked rheumy. He looked older than ever.
His once full head of hair was shaved completely bald and looking like that, sitting there, she could not help but be reminded of his father.
His father had once sat on just the same chair.
She had watched her younger son sit on the same chair.
Now, it was his turn.
As if feeling a stare, his weak eyes looked to the audience and seeing his mother, there was a sudden light in his eyes.
Not one of happiness; of anger, of resentment.
He sneered at her.
She watched him impassively, unprovoked. Seeing as he couldn’t rile her up, his swore at her, red in the face.
Unfeeling bitch.
Like she hadn’t heard that one before.
Was this his way to finally get the attention he always craved from her?
Well, he got in. She was there watching.
He flipped her a middle finger before he got completely immobilised and smiled at the little frown thst crawled up her eyebrows.
The bitch wasn’t carved out of stone then!

Soon the ceremony, as she dubbed it started.
The official stated his name; stated his crimes.
Ma Sullivan did not flinch as the list of murders her son had committed rolled out.
Murders against women her age; women that looked like her
Murders meant for her.
He had had her face in mind every time he strangled them; he said so in court.
His real victim was her but since he could not get her, they had to do.
No, he wasn’t molested ss a child.
But the fucking bitch was made of stone, all my life!
She sat stoic then, listening in the court room.
She was doing the same now; sitting there, stoic.

Soon it was show time,
They fixed the cap on his head and there he sat, looking as stupid as his brother had looked with that cap on his head; as stupid as his father had looked too, seated right there.

They killed him.

The others gasped as the electric currents fried him. She said nothing, merely watching her son’s jerking body as his brains fried.
It almost reminded her of his birth; the light flickering in the dinghy backroom of a motel. The smell of death and decay that she had been unconcerned about.
She wondered for a second if his electrocution had hurt as much as she did, pushing him out of her
It would have been fitting if it did.
Come in screaming, leave screaming.
It didn’t matter now anyway.
He was dead.
When he had been confirmed dead, she watched them roll out his dead body.

The show was over.
The murmurings began again.
How could she come to watch?
How could she bear it?
Just what kind of a woman was she?

She said nothing, walking out of the stifling room to the open air, grateful for the gulps of fresh air.
She made a beeline to her car and when she was safely inside, she rested her head on the steering wheel.
Tears coursed down her cheeks and she did nothing to wipe them away.
Where had she gone wrong?
Why did they all end up the way they did?
The media touted her as evil. ‘Matriarch of the Evil Sullivan”
It did not matter that she never participated in their crimes; or that she had kicked all three of them out of her house before they had gone on a bend.

Could she have stopped it?
She had failed.
As a wife; she married a lazy psycho, a lunatic.
As a mother; she was too busy to love them. She herself never received any love from her mother.She had worked hard to provide money for anything they wanted.
Why hadn’t they been enough?
Her lunatic mistake of a husband then bred them for evil.
As a human; she had been too afraid to stop them.
She kicked them out instead.
She had been a coward.

She swallowed a sob and decided on what she would do.
She would absorb all the blame; from the families of the victims, from the general populace.
She would absorb them all.
Then she would take it with her to a place where she knew she belonged.
To hell.

————————————————-

If this doesn’t make sense, welcome to the club. Didn’t make sense to me either.
Reading a book titled Talking to serial killers and this is the result of a half-formed idea.
Are people born evil? Or is it solely on upbringing?

Let’s think about that.