Man in picture. The end.

Adrenaline and panic get him off me.

She’s a pile in the corner.

Small and bent. Folded.

This is not happening.

I shake my head hard.

Everything comes up the same.

In dreams you can’t ever scream or run or fight back.

Not today. I’m fucking nuclear.

Thermo.

Some ridiculous laugh volcanos from my neck. I have no fear.

None.

I fly off my back. I wail, kick and rage. I beat, muscle, force the fight, with fists, knees and elbows, into the bathroom. Lights on because he’s been playing with the fucking toilet paper.

The wet sound of flesh beating flesh. Sickening. Smacks and gasps.

A cloying steam of violence. Like fresh paint.

I swing and swing and scream and swing.

Against the wall. His neck a bundle of cables in my left hand. My right fist an anvil. I beat his face with it again and again. I swing my sledge, his mouth sprays fresh blood across the wall and the medicine cabinet. Again and again.

A tooth dances and rattles across the faux marble vanity.

His blood is humid. It thickens the air. He stinks like wild mammal.

Jacked up incisors lacerate my knuckles but I can’t stop swinging at them. I fucking loathe this fucking thing. I’m going to kill him with my hands. I’m bashing them in.

I will kill him.

I pound and pound.

He turns his hamburger face back after every blow to mock me.

On his knees by my toilet. More blood than I’ve ever seen from a man not dead.

He takes the beating and keeps smiling. He keeps smiling. He laughs like some mildly amused retard. Picture a Down syndrome kid with a Rubik’s cube.

My shoulder burns. I start to kick him.

The eyes spill too, joining the river beneath his nose and mouth.

He smiles as he pushes blood through his remaining teeth with his tongue. Wringing a sponge. It runs from his chin to his shirt, down over his crotch to splatter on the tile.

He has yet to fight back at all. I go cold.

His eyes find mine. Blue pupils suspended in blood. He’s locked, frozen. Staring straight through me.

He laughs like emphysema. A death rattle with mucus and mirth. I’m caving his head into raw meat while he sings a soliloquy minus any fear at all.

His eyes stay empty.

A demon version of the Rope-a-dope. I could beat his head off his neck and he would infect me with viruses that madden and fibers will squirm from sores on my arms and torso like thin white worms. No doubt the pain will be excruciating.

Biding his time while I cave his head in. Not bothered in the least. A lazy chuckle.

I picture the knife and spin to find it.

He’s not long for this mortal coil either. We’re tied. My end is his. His will be mine. I’m about to end it. He doesn’t know this. Somehow I do.

Cold War Policy. Mutually assured destruction. Quid pro quo.

He’s on me in a heartbeat. Before I feel it, he’s bitten a chunk from the back of my neck. It burns. Sickening pain. My stomach rolls hard. I feel air on the crater he’s made in my back. Maybe the weirdest physical sensation I’ve ever had. My own blood starts to flow down my body front and back.

He sucks at the the wad in his mouth and spits it on the floor. It lands with a slowmotion smack a foot in front of me.

I can’t believe it’s my flesh when I see the size of it.

He pounds the back of my head so hard, I go blind after every blow. He’s going to kill me.

Outmatched. I wanted to beat him and die last.

No chance here. High noon bitches. The difference between high school and the NBA. I’m about to die.

I throw my last elbow and manage to knock him off my back. Blind panic. I’m thinking the green dagger. I swim on my belly to my suitcase. Knees and elbows bang tile behind me.

It’s open.

I can’t believe the amount of blood on my hands.

He chuckles low through mucus and viscera. My hand finds the box. Somehow I have it by the hilt.

My calf in the grip of a reptile. I roll with the twist but my ankle snaps like balsa. On my back with the knife in my left hand.

My leg shoots fire. I can’t get up.

He hovers, bleeding on me. To own what I’ve done to his face…… His jaw dangles, my flesh hangs from it. How he took that chunk……..

Left eye dark, impossibly dislocated cheekbone from a countenance shredded and bloody. I flash on any gore I’ve ever seen. Fish guts on a plank to a deer without skin hanging from a rafter outside my bedroom.

All face angles are wrong. What I see competes with everything I know. What I’ve done to his face supplies me confusion and madness.

This amount of violence I’ve committed gives me pause.

It ends up being just enough.

To distract me.

He’s on me swinging so hard and fast I can’t see. He takes the knife from my hand. He plunges into me over and over.

I can hear it.

The sensation and abrupt pinch, blooming into a chrysanthemum of dizzying pain while still being stabbed and I can no longer breath.

There is no God. Yet I pay for my sins.

A dozen or so wounds and the blade shatters. The green inside burning me so that grey smoke clouds agains the ceiling.

A stink of hot grease and flesh.

I was very young, the backseat of a Mercury Cyclone with my family, headed to Reno. A Camaro with a paint job of red and grey primer, rocked past us on the the four lane blacktop. Faster than I could process, the Camaro crossed the double yellow and cars began to fly as high as the power lines along the left side of the highway.

My mother inhaled in confusion and horror.

My father didn’t hesitate. Tires smoked to a stop in the gravel and he’s running across the blacktop to stuff his shirt in the back of some dead man’s head. Somehow we had blankets and he was back in a hurry for those. My mother began a relay of helping her husband to help the smashed bodies and checking on us, telling us not to look.

Eighteen or nineteen dead or at least that many vehicles involved. It was the most horrifying thing I’d ever seen. People in impossible positions all over the road. Bodies opened with that much violence and velocity, spill awful amounts of red. Every glimpse out the backseat window, the gore made me panic a little.

A man wearing a suit visited our house a few months later on a Sunday. He had a handful of money in an envelope for my father. He was there because he believed my father, a stranger, had saved his life. Dad didn’t hesitate, he thanked him and pointed out that he, the stranger, just might be in the same situation some day.

In his mind, he’d done the right thing and it was long since finished. He was not happy to see this man despite the man’s gratitude. He had done the best he could. He wasn’t interested in revisiting it.

I lose for failing to do the right thing. For choosing the wrong thing, one way or another, over and over and over again.

My sins. My recklessness. My fault. My mistakes. I pay.

I’m a bird hitting a window.

I flop and blood runs from my mouth. I’m helpless. I spasm and convulse.

My organs fail one by one.

Breathing stops. I’m bleeding out.

Panic surges like vomit.

My eyes are fixed. I can no longer blink. They begin to dry, my view clouds.

I am dying.

I often dream of catastrophe. Airliners plunging from the sky and exploding. Giant waves destroying civilization. Mushroom clouds and troops backlit by the sunrise of a detonation running along some ridge.

Seconds from death, I piss and shit myself.

I fucking hate that I’ve shit myself again.

My thoughts cease and I am dead.

2 Responses to “Man in picture. The end.”

  • Diane:

    This excerpt was a nightmare but I couldn’t turn away, I couldn’t stop reading. Even as I was aghast at the gore and maiming that was going on, I couldn’t wait to read the next sentence, I couldn’t wait to see how it would end.

  • admin:

    Is that you Dapne? I hope so. Thanks, it means a ton to me. I hope it’s you because then I can be profoundly flattered.

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