Carl reclined in his plush chair. He surveyed his desk, his furniture, his office. Immaculate. Perfect. Everything in place. Each piece was in its assigned location, no matter how miniscule, no matter how irrelevant.

Pens were seated precisely within their holder which was positioned tightly on the left hand corner of the desk. Each pen was wiped thoroughly after use and promptly placed back into the container. As was everything in his office, including himself.

Being director of base operations for a multibillion-dollar corporation like Belship Industries did afford one certain idiosyncrasies in life. And Carl Mathers' was perfection.

An abusive childhood is what he had always thought fueled his desire to succeed. His Father was a usually sloppy and unkempt man who, despite being an ample provider, distanced himself from his only child by being secretive with his hobbies, as he called them. This only focused his burning drive to not only prove himself in the business world but also to lead a sanitary and orderly life.

He had risen above his messy and secretive Father, far above, and he vowed to himself never to become like his Father.

"Let things be where they are," his Father would always say. "Don't waste valuable time organizing," he would lecture. "Only got so much time in a day, best not to waste it."

The words had always made him cringe. He hadn't heard them spoken since dear old Dad's death twenty years earlier but they still bothered him.

Those police officers shot his Dad at point blank range and for that he hated them and not just for taking his Father away from him, but also for him being left alone with his Mother. He loved her but she hardly gave him the attention he needed. It wasn't his fault she had to work two jobs.

He glanced at his Rolex watch; four forty-three. Time to get going. He wanted to get home early today.

He smiled as his sprawling mansion came into view. Seven thousand five hundred square feet of elegant architecture greeted him. Sharply trimmed hedges lined the house on all fronts and a deep green sea of grass coated the front yard.

Once inside, he removed his coat and carefully examined it for dust. He draped it over the couch, being cautious to not upset the expensive fabric. Looking in the stainless steel refrigerator he decided on red wine and kicked off his Italian shoes.

The day had been a prosperous one. Stephens had managed to meet his demanding deadline on the Quetit contracts and Susanne from the accounting department seemed to be flirting with him. He made a mental note to send her a memo regarding some faintly oriented business topic, which he hoped would lead into a more personal one.

He downed the remainder of the wine and rinsed the glass out and placed it back into its spot in the cupboard. A small chuckle escaped his lips when he thought of how much he had spent on the dishwasher only never to use it.

Now it was time for some relaxation. Time for his hobbies.

Whistling a James Brown tune he'd heard on the way home, he sauntered towards the basement. Several combination locks were unlocked and the heavy oak door swung back to reveal a steep flight of dusty, wooden steps. He started to unbutton his shirt as he began the descent into the basement.

Tossing it aside midway down, he then began to remove his slacks. Those too were discarded in a similar fashion. His socks and underwear soon followed and by the time he reached the base of the stairs, he was completely nude.

He scanned the perimeter of the room. A devilish grin formed on his face. His eyes grew wide and his hands clenched in excitement.

Five sets of empty eyes gazed stupidly at him. Each body dangled obscenely from heavy iron chains. Two had begun to tear at the wrists. He would have to clean them up; neatness was of the utmost importance.

Carefully arranged jars lined the far wall, each full to the brim with various parts of human anatomy. He labeled all with clear, concise writing.

EYES . . . FINGERS . . . TEETH . . . TONGUES. And below them were even larger containers for the bigger parts. FEET . . . HANDS . . . FOREARMS. These too were also labeled neatly.

Yes, everything was in order. Everything neat and clean. He took great care to make sure things stayed that way. He did not want to be like his Father. "Let things be where they are" did not fit into his life. His life was neat and orderly. His Father had not even labeled his jars and had let blood flow every which way, usually not even bothering to clean it up. How he had hated that.

He would not be like his Father. He had made a vow to himself.

 
 
About the Author
Rick McQuinston is a 37-year-old father of two who loves writing and reading anything science fiction or horror related. To date he has 27 stories published and is currently working on a horror-science fiction novella as well as more short stories. He is also a guest reader at Armada Junior High Scholl. McQuinston's main influences are H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King and Ray Bradbury.

The Perfectionist © Rick McQuinston
 

About the Artists
Jaxon Renick is a multi-talented artist of Native American descent with a long history in the comics field. (Besides reading them!) He has worked on projects with DC, Marvel, and a number of independent lines, and has done artwork for published articles. He studied various media and styles at the Kansas City Art Institute. Renick is many things to many many people-beloved by millions in Thailand, despised by several in the U.S., and (so far) ignored by billions elsewhere. He is also known to be a bit of a smartass, but with a heart of plated gold. Jaxon may be reached at: renegadelizard@ev1.net..

Artwork © Jaxon Renick
 

Alex Milidrag has recently returned from CCS in Detroit for a summer art program, and has finally been able to experiment with charcoal, plaster, and other mediums in which to express herself. She has been drawing ever since she can remember, and is excited to bring together two areas of interest -- drawing and science fiction -- to illustrate for RevSF. Alex is a resident of Troy, Michigan, where she's lived all her life. Her website/portfolio can be found at paran0idandr0id.deviantart.com.

Artwork © Alex Milidrag