Shadows Secrets Kept
Ivan spent his early years in a Russian orphanage. Though a shy, quiet child, he met his paltry existence with nary a complaint. Cramped living quarters, minimal resources and food, nothing ever seemed to break the boy’s spirit. The most trying portion of Ivan’s existence was the small group of bullies that would torture the rest of the children. This group consisted of four of the oldest boys (Alexei, Nikolai, Oleg, and Gregori) who would beat and mock the rest of the children if they could corner them, and they generally had their run of their surroundings. Ivan never saw the sense in stooping to their level and fighting back. Not that he feared them per se, he simply found it easier to ignore and avoid them. He took solace in the company of his only friend, Larissa. The two were inseparable. Too young yet to be in love in any real way, but everyone could see that was the direction their relationship would likely go. They would often go out walking in to the woods surrounding their quarters. At night they would just look at the stars and talk for hours on end.
One day while out in the woods, Alexei, Nikolai, Oleg, and Gregori came upon the friends and began berating Ivan. When they could not get a rise out of him, they began harassing Larissa. This is when Ivan decided he had enough. Things quickly came to a head when Ivan punched Oleg so hard he knocked 3 teeth loose. Rage quickly took over, and overpowering Ivan, they held him down, and forced him to watch as they each took turns brutally accosted Larissa. As if not torture enough, They lit the still alive and conscious girl on fire. They waited until she had finished screaming in anguish before leaving the scene of the crime. In shock, Ivan blamed himself for causing the escalation in violence, and for not being able to protect his only friend. Taking her silver necklace as a reminder of his loss and guilt token, he knew what he needed to do. He took his friend’s body to a secluded area and buried her.
Once she was missed, the animals were bewildered Ivan did not incriminate them. He claimed to have no idea what happened to her, and stuck to his story. Over the next few weeks, he stalked the boys, and waited for opportunities to get each alone. First Oleg, then Nikolai, and Gregori. Each body was found horribly burned except for their genitals. They had been cut off and placed in their owner’s mouth. Ivan relished getting in close to each boy and slicing them up before lighting them up. By the time Alexei was by himself, he was so terrified that he turned himself in and begged for Ivan to be restrained, sent away, or arrested. Ivan could never be clearly tied to any of the boys that died though. He continued to deny the story Alexei told. Three days later Alexei finally got his chance to be reunited with his friends.
Everyone who knew Ivan could see he had changed, but no one, including authorities, could clearly tie Ivan to these events. His caretaker, convinced that he really had turned in to a criminal, did the best thing she thought she could. She called for her cousin Nikolai, whom given his “connections” might offer Ivan some structure to his newly chosen path.