This is an idea I came up with in the mid-nineties when I was in college: a serial killer who bludgeons his victim with the femur of his last victim, cuts off a leg, then disappears into the night. One day I was listening to the song "My Soul Flayed Bare" on the album, Shadows by the band, Creepmime. The guitar part that plays during the chorus was really catchy and I got it stuck in my head. I started to hear words in my head going along with the rhythm of the riff. I wrote out these words and a poem called Bludgeon was born.
Bludgeon by Paul Loh
First of all I'll make you a memory
In a way that makes them remember me
And I use the same M.O. every time
I'm a creature of habit and only I
know of where the parts that are missing are
Once you're gone my next victim will I stalk
With your femur shall I hit them from behind
And with a hack saw their leg shall I take away
When the cops come, your femur I'd left behind
the murder weapon and victim is what they'll find
with his leg gone and I shall be far away
so this cycle continues another day
Years later, I had an idea for a story, but I wanted a really twisted killer as the bad guy. I thumbed through my box of old writing and found this poem. It had the makings of a good character, but he needed some background. What is his motivation? What got him started on this twisted path? Then it struck me: what if he's a masochistic empath/empathic masochist? The greatest thrill in his life was the day he accidentally lost his leg. He kept his leg and, once he recovered from his injury, he hungered to feel that rush again. He had always been able to feel other people's pain so he used his own femur to render someone unconscious. He sawed off his victim's leg, relishing every agonizingly orgasmic sensation. He vicariously intensifies his phantom feelings. I still get chills even thinking about it!