Author Topic: Shining Lights  (Read 685 times)

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Rivers

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on: 03:53:50 PM 10/25/17
{Authors Note: You can also listen to the full audio production here. http://toospooky.com/videos/shining-lights-audio-drama/ or check out the live action teaser here! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rklDnVl1bq4}

Shining Lights

Entry 1: March-16-2017

It was raining today. I like the rain. People rush all around me when it starts, trying in vain to escape the downpour. It’s the same for those not adequately prepared for the inevitable event as it is for those with their slickers and pop up umbrellas. The suffocating crowd develop a quicker step, rushing, scrambling to get to their various destinations, like ants caught in the deluge.

I slow down however, allowing the mass to move around me, jittering and jostling on the slick puddle ridden street, their footsteps splashing, adding to the cacophony of the never ending noisy cityscape all around. It’s in these moments when I truly feel like myself; the sometimes dormant thought surfacing again to remind me how apart I really am.

I’ve always had an eye for details, ever since I can remember; an ability to take in all those minor intricacies that everyone misses in their pointless rush. I see the water droplets collecting on my hands forming rivulets, taking paths of chance dictated by the texture of my skin; a wave of spray bouncing off the dark surface of an upturned umbrella. Looking skyward past the tall looming glass enclosure, I see the subtle movement of the dark grey heavy clouds as they slowly move on their meandering way. When I really concentrate it’s almost like time slows down and the individual drops reveal themselves to me, clear and in focus on their falling downward journey, reflecting light outwards, encompassing the entire visible world within; shining lights for a brief existence. I like the rain.

Entry 2: March-19-2017

Sometimes I ask myself “Why bother?”

At night I sit at my small window in my small shitty apartment looking out at the countless lights of the city beyond, glancing down every so often to the street below, seared orange by the glow of the road side lamps. Even then, people are rushing around in their cars or walking or cycling, going to places I don’t know nor care to. This is when the question hits me, “Why bother?” Something is missing inside.

During the day I work in an office, in a building shaped building the same as any else. I’ve been employed there for more than five years, my designated space a small cubicle situated on the dark end of the floor away from the glare of the large framed windows; my only light a single florescent fixture on the stained tiled ceiling.

My work consists of data input. Rows of figures that need to be checked and transcribed, click click, onto the next row. Every day.

My boss tells me I’m good at my job. I have an eye for details. Yet my pay is still the same and I’m working to live while living to work. Others in the office get promotions that have not been there for as long as I have.

Others like Greg; one of those suave loud talkers in a pressed suit with his blonde hair combed straight, a stupid smile on his clean shaven face. Am I being stepped over?

Peeking out from behind my enclosure I always spot him hanging around the water cooler, high fiving with his clique and saying things like “Did you see the game on Sunday?” Does he ever work? It doesn’t seem so to me.

On those rare occasions when I make a trip past his presence, he’ll turn and say “Here’s the quiet one”. That’s what they call me in the office because I hate talking and hate small talk even more. I’m there to work after all. I see those blue eyes of his moving up and down on me, taking in my lithe body, small breasts and cropped black hair; their intent clear and that stupid grin widening, showing a row of perfect bleached teeth. Greg is a fucking pig.

A dog howls in the night, a car horn echoes in the distance. A group of women stagger on the street below me, laughing in a drunken stupor, dressed up in their finery dictated by ritual.

This city is killing me.

I think I’ll take a trip this weekend, somewhere outside the confines where nature runs wild. A walk amongst the trees with nothing but the chirping birds might alleviate my thoughts; the fresh air might alleviate my lungs.

Entry 3: March-24-2017

Fucking Greg. The hate I feel for him is something I haven’t experienced before. This is new.

Yesterday as I was getting ready to leave the office, he approached and explained that he needed me to work over the weekend, and I needed to work late; a problem with the data. Someone had made an error and now it had to be fixed, making me the best candidate because of my efficient work rate, click click.

Greg doesn’t fool me. When I looked at the figures it was easy to see that the mistake was on his end. He’s the team leader for my department holding responsibility for the final output. So why was I shouldering his responsibility? Even my boss agreed and said some shit about how we all make mistakes sometimes and that I really am the best candidate to clean up the mess; that the data needed to be ready for the new business week. I’ll get paid overtime and my trip outside the city is cancelled.

I’ve never been in the office that late into the night before; I never had a need to be, my work is always exemplary. The rest of the floor lay in a shroud of darkness and my cubicle was for once the brightest beacon in the gloom. Any thoughts of peace and quiet I might have had in the empty floor were quickly dashed by the constant hum of the breathing city outside and my own working hands on the keyboard. I knew it was going to be a late finish but that didn’t bother me; I don’t sleep much anyway.

It was nearly twelve by the time I finally left; the only other person that remained in the building was the cleaner manoeuvring his floor buffer methodically in the front lobby, large earphones separating him from the rest of the world. Once out on the street the din was less but still ever present as I began my walk home taking my usual route of the 12 block journey. Public transport is an institute I try to avoid as much as possible. During the day it was exchanging the crowded street for the sardines of the bus or train, the sweat and odour in those tightly packed spaces assaulting my senses. At such a late hour those modes of transportation saw less use of course but I decided not to break tradition. I’m a creature of habit after all.

The journey home was uneventful, that was until I came to a particular alley I would always cut through. During the day it’s always empty; the rusty shuttered doors long since drawn closed after taking in the early morning deliveries, discarded plastic and paper gently moving in the breeze, like the vague signs of life on a small desolate wasteland. I quickly spotted something out of place there however in the shape of a man, which initially gave me pause due to the unexpected and unusual nature of the event.

I decided to press on, not wanting to add an extra fifteen minutes to my nightly excursion. Keeping one wary eye on this unwanted stranger, I slowly approached. He was leaning against the wall, a brown paper bag clasped in his hand that moved every so often to his mouth, tilting back to pour its contents in quick greedy gulps. I was finally noticed when only a few feet away. He took an immediate interest.

His face was shrouded, covered as it was by a filthy grey hoodie, as he turned to say in slurred fumbled words “Hey babe”. Of course it was a drunk for what else could it be in this damn city at this damn hour? I ignored him and continued to walk on, quickening my pace in the hopes of avoiding any exchange.

My heart began to beat faster when I heard, “Hey babe, c’mon now, don’t walk away” echo out behind me, followed by footsteps which were surprisingly stable given the drunken state this asshole was in. Then it was as if my heart was going to stop entirely when a strong hand grabbed hold of my shoulder.

I don’t know why I froze when that happened, my body deciding to seize up. Slowly he circled around in front of me, revealing his unwashed greasy stubble ridden face. He was definitely homeless, one of those wandering vagrants who spends their pitiful days looking at the end of a bottle rather than improving their station in life. I work, I pay my taxes. Doesn’t that entitle me to be left alone by these types? When he spoke again, the smell of thick heavy liquor emanated from his rancid breath.

“Hey bitch, don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you”. I was the bitch?

I held his gaze as a stupid grin began to spread across his filthy weathered face, a grin like Greg’s. I felt that anger rise inside me again; renewed and fresh, for here was another mouth breather ready to step over me among the many others. Who the fuck did this guy think he was? His hand was still on my shoulder more gently now, almost caressing as he said “I just want to talk is all baby”.

I closed my eyes tightly feeling the blood soar through my veins, rushing over every inch of my body inside. My fists clenched in anger and everything began to slow down. I could smell the rank stink of unwashed body odour mixed with the stale stench of alcohol, the usual sickly sweet smell of the cramped alley, and beyond, the damp worn concrete of the city encased by the polluted air. My breath began to steady into measured intakes and exhales and when I opened my eyes, I had my response.

I swiftly lifted my leg and kicked the man directly in the groin causing his eyes to bulge out in shock and surprise, his mouth opening agape as a scream of pain cried out. He stumbled unsteadily before dropping to his knees holding the afflicted area, the brown bag containing his livelihood lay forgotten to the side. I stood still, staring at him as he slowly rolled onto the ground, lying on his back squirming in agony, his eyes closed tightly.

“You… you fucking bitch” he managed to murmur through clenched yellow stained teeth.

His grunts of pain caused something inside me rise up in response and told me the moment wasn’t over yet. I turned my attention to the brown bag and on picking it up, I noted that the bottle inside was still intact. It was light due to sparse amount of liquid swirling around inside, yet there was still heft from the dense glass.

I stood over his still squirming from, raised the weapon and brought it down with all my might aiming for his head. The first two blows glanced clumsily off his outstretched hands as they tried in vain to shield him from my target. The third blow slipped through and connected with a satisfying thunk. He let out a disassociated groan. I hit him again and again, my arm feeling separate from my body in its speed and fury until a red welt began to appear on his forehead.

He was whimpering quietly as I walked away, dropping the makeshift weapon behind me. Exiting the alley I took a deep breath feeling euphoria grow inside me, a response to this release, to this weight that lifted from my being.

I feel like a different person now. No more being stepped over. I’ll be working late again tomorrow so I’m going to carry the kitchen knife to protect me just in case. If I meet that man again I’ll be sure to make him realise that I’m through keeping my head down. Next time I won’t stop.

Entry 4: April-4-2017

Greg has increased his flirtations with me, ever since I fixed his mistake. He had come over to my cubicle and said he personally wanted to thank me for my hard work in getting things back on track. I just smiled and nodded as I usually do upon receiving praise. He tried to engage in small talk and I replied with the usual cursory responses. Now he calls me by name as I walk past the cooler. Is it because of the work I undertook on that long weekend or is it because of how I walk now; more confident with my head held high since that night in the alley? Maybe it’s a combination of both.

I never saw that man on the second night; no doubt he crawled back to whatever hole he came from. I like to think he is afraid of me and this power I could have over another fills me with a deep feeling of joy after such a long time lying dormant. The mundane of everyday life however fails to give me that sense of euphoria delivered on that fateful night. Now I’ve switched from looking out my small window and observing the nightly landscape to wandering those looming darkened corridors aimlessly until the early hours of the morning.

What I’m looking for exactly, I can’t quite tell. Is it that man or an encounter similar to that one? All I do know is that it’s a primal urge inside me that is seeking out a feeling.

No, it’s that specific feeling I’m looking for again in the hopes of reliving that experience. The sense of oppression from this city has grown these past few days, its hum seemingly growing louder. So now this is my nightly ritual, my obsession. I’m not going to stop. No point in going back.

Entry 5: April-7-2017

It finally happened tonight and I’m struggling to try and convey what I’m feeling right now. It’s like what I experienced that night in the alley but more potent; A huge release from deep inside my body, I almost want to laugh out loud in giddy delight.

I had been wandering around my usual route, keeping to the back alleys and quieter parts of the streets. Tonight however I decided to switch things up, mostly out of frustration and stalked my way to the local park. It’s not the same as the woods outside the city, too small and polluted.

The trees were sparse and limp, a sickness afflicting them from inside as they moved painfully in the cold nightly breeze. As I walked, my thoughts drifted to how they could survive in such a place, in a patch of nature set purposefully in the concrete maze. Then I saw a man.

He was standing by one of the lit tunnels that led through to the other side of the park, a single figure carved out in stark silhouette. It wasn’t the man from the alley but he was of the same ilk.

I stopped for a moment to collect myself, asking if this is what I really wanted, if I should just turn around and go home. Yet the decision had already been made, this was going to be it. The time had come. I began to stroll slowly towards the tunnel keeping my eyes on the man, hands planted firmly in my pockets. My approach confirmed that it was indeed another drunken vessel, his greying unkempt beard matted with grime and dirt, his nose red and bulbous from a lifetime of abusing spirits. I was close enough then to see his eyes, glazed over in a film of an alcoholic fuelled trip.

He stared at me as I ambled past into the tunnel and then… nothing. I glanced behind to see that he had his back turned to me, taking another swig from his bottle. He was ignoring me. I was nothing to him but didn’t he realise that he was everything to me? That same anger and rage began to build up inside my body at this thoughtless affront. I was through with being ignored, through with being “the quiet one” sitting at her desk in her dark cubicle, tucked neatly and conveniently out of the way on the office floor, typing in the data, click click!

I turned slowly, deliberately, making sure not to make any undue noise and silently on the balls of my feet, approached the man. Lifting my hand from my pocket I took a firm grip of the kitchen knife, readying it to deliver a downward blow, the ceramic black handle comforting to the touch. My heart was beating so violently that I was afraid he would hear it, yet my breath was steady and my hands didn’t shake. I paused only momentarily and then plunged the knife down just below the right shoulder blade.

It grated off something hard and veered to the side but found an opening to embed itself in, the keen edge guiding true. The man cried out in agony and I felt that euphoria rise inside me once again, the hum of the city growing louder, less oppressive somehow. He staggered forward falling flat on his face, ragged breath laboured and steady. The moment wasn’t over.

I gripped the knife with both hands and yanked back hard; surprised with the amount of effort it took to release it from the flesh. Blood that looked almost orange under the lights of the tunnel covered the lower portion of the blade, gently dripping its excess. My heart began to slow, beat steadily as I brought the knife down again, this time driving it in deeper. Its slick surface slid easily from the man when I drew it out again, the sound like a boot stepping off wet mud. A spray of blood erupted, releasing a copper smell into the chill night air and I could taste it in the back of my throat. I plunged the blade in again and even more of the life giving liquid sprayed out, glittering in its elegance of random chance as it hit both me and every surface around, like the rain.

A long slow exhale escaped his lips followed by silence, a foul smell told me that the moment was over, it had passed. I took a pause to take the whole scene in, letting everything wash over me, even feeling wistful when I reached for his shaggy grey hair, brushing it back from his cold still face. He was my first of what I know now will be many and I’ll never forget him.

I rose to leave and walked a few feet down the tunnel before suddenly remembering the knife, forgotten in my new elation and returned quickly to collect it. As I slid it free, voices in the distance echoed out, a group was approaching, talking leisurely amongst themselves.

Slipping the knife into my pocket, I darted through the tunnel running faster than I’ve ever done before, my only thought then being to get home to my shitty apartment as soon as possible. Out of the park, I stuck to the alleys and shadows moving silently with purpose until arriving at my building. Thankfully, there was no one on the stairs up or in the hallway leading to my door. I was the only nocturnal animal prowling around at that hour. Once safely inside, I looked at myself in the mirror taking in the intricate spray of red on my face and clothes. This won’t do. The knife was too clumsy and my clothes will have to go. I’ll dump them out at the pier tomorrow night. I don’t want to get caught when I’ve just begun.

Entry 6: April-20-2017

It’s been a while since I felt that primal urge rise inside me once again but I have not been idle. Nothing in my daily existence has changed much. I feel it’s more important than ever to keep it that way. I don’t want anybody else interfering with my true work, my true purpose. Greg asked me out for a date and I politely declined; the brief disappointment in his eyes clear as he looked away clumsily to my answer. He managed a fumbled reply speaking of potential reconsiderations and future opportunities then walked back to his clique at the water cooler, talking in that loud and obnoxious manner once again. It’s strange but it was almost like he was a different person then. Does he have two sides like me, one hidden deep inside and the other left open for everyone else?

My nocturnal activities however have taken a change for the better. I’ve planned out my routes more systematically and bought myself a black hoodie, pants and a pair of dark grey runners to wear on my excursions. My instrument of choice is a nine ounce steel head hammer I picked up at the hardware store. Its plastic moulded yellow handle fits comfortably in my hand and I’ve taking to swinging it in practice, perfecting my technique. It reminds me of the bottle, a blunt force object instead of the cutting edge of a blade.

My careful strategy paid off tonight. I have come to learn of certain social gatherings for the vagrants of this city, places where they like to congregate in small bustling numbers, hands outstretched to the open flames of burning barrels. I had chosen one particular spot in the shadow of a bridge underpass that gave me a clear view of one of these sacred conclaves and waited patiently. It was past eleven by the time there was only one left; the rest having long since wandered off to their own nightly proclivities. 

His form was sharp against the glow of the dying embers in the barrel that was providing its warmth, his back facing me, making it the opportune moment. I approached silently on light practiced feet having to duck behind a ramshackle piece of plywood boarding only once when he gave a brief bored look around him. It was surprising how quickly and easily I closed the distance between us while avoiding detection. Gripping the hammer in my gloved hand tightly, I recalled my practice and raised it slowly over my head in a perfect angle. When I was finally within reach the muscles in my arm took over and whipped it downwards in one swift and precise blow.

It connected with the top of his head and the bone buckled under solid steel, a sound like a wooden mallet striking heavy meat accompanying the brief yet satisfying action.

My target fell instantly, landing flat on his face with a hollow thump. The head was tilted sideways on the tarmac allowing me to see that he wasn’t that old, maybe nineteen or twenty. I wondered briefly how he had managed to end up where he was, living rough on the streets at the bottom of the rung, no longer any use to the rest of society. But what sweet twist of fate guided him through all the choices of his short existence directly to me?

In the course of my newly discovered work, I have given him purpose once again. At least now he has significance by giving his life so that I can finally live mine; a fair exchange.

The moment was over so quickly but it was enough to sustain me. A single strike is all it took. I’m already getting better.

Entry 7: May-16-2017

This city is afraid of me. I can taste its fear in the air now, the continuous hum my sustenance. At first it was only during the night where I carry out my work, my purpose, but now it has seeped into the daylight hours. In the office, my co-workers whisper furtively, regularly about the “Claw Hammer Killer”; the name I’ve received from a news hungry sensationalist media. Reports on the television and radio speak their scripture often of the seven homeless vagrants discovered, connected by the nature of their end, a single blow to the back of the head. I smile to myself when I hear them. There’s a few they still haven’t found.

The Mayor says he’s going to crack down on my work, divert resources accordingly but they have no leads to go on as of yet; I’m efficient that way. I’ve been taking the late rail to different parts of the city, expanding my hunting grounds to throw them off the scent. Habit and tradition must evolve.

But it’s getting more difficult now. My prey of choice fearfully group together, huddling close when the darkness falls, terror their only protection. Opportunities arise less and less leaving those feelings of euphoria I yearn for wider apart.

I can usually stem this emptiness by examining my growing collection of trinkets. I began to take them on my fourth, always something small and what I felt was something intimate, like a ring or a coin. Now when I abstain from venturing out I sit at my small window in my shitty apartment looking on the nocturnal expanse, my selected item glinting in speckled light as I turn it, caress it; feeling its shape and form. It helps me to remember the moments more clearly. These are my treasures, a small fortune amongst the decay.

Yet even when I’m successful, the feelings of release don’t hold the same value. I’m going to change things up, find a new instrument for my craft and search for new prey. The hammer will be interred to the bottom of the pier tomorrow night; its work is now complete. That will keep the police at bay. It’s only practical.

Entry 8: June-3-2017

Sarah Longwood had long Auburn hair with a bright smile usually decorated by a particular shade of light pink lipstick. Her skin was creamy white, her face dotted with freckles. She always wore stylish flower patterned dresses over her thin tall frame and had what could be described as a bubbly personality. She was new to the office and was dating Greg. He’d long since given up his hopes of courting me and had once again taken to saying “the quiet one” when I happened to cross his path. If only he knew about my true self.

I can’t explain exactly why I chose to focus on her specifically but the raw natural force inside me screamed out in confirmation. I began to follow her after work, discovering where she lived, where she shopped and which dry cleaners she frequented.

The weekend had arrived and Sarah ventured out on the town with a couple of her friends, the group laughing loudly as they traversed the streets, like those women I used to observe from the perch of my apartment on those long nights a lifetime ago; when I was a different person, a lesser person. I trailed them from the restaurant to the bar and waited in coiled patience outside, across the street in the now comforting black of an empty cramped alleyway.

It was close to midnight when she emerged from the side door of the building talking on her phone. My being cried out that the moment had come; it was risky for sure but the long sought reward outweighed any doubt. Stalking closer, I could see her stood by a high cinder block wall amongst the empty steel casks ready for collection the following morning. I reached inside my coat lifting my new instrument from its carefully sown loop. The sharp edge of the hatchet glinted red in the flickering glow cast by the bar’s neon advertisement.

I had stood staring at it in the sterile white light of the hardware store, hanging on its designated hook amongst the other implements; the slightly curved form elegant and functional in its design. It had called out to me, singing a song of purpose, telling me of the work to come. Once secluded at home, I was disappointed with the factory machined edge and discovered the necessary steps online on how to sharpen it. Upon procuring a wet stone and strop, I dedicated hours to honing its edge, my movements slow and methodical.

As Sarah faced the wall I stalked closer, hearing her conversation on the phone coming to the end. I was right behind her when she hung up and my instrument flashed down connecting with the side of her neck, bedding in deep; my hours of refinement paying off in full. The arc of blood that escaped was beautiful in its spray, hitting the wall and barrels in a thousand tiny drops. Sarah slumped to the ground letting out a single gurgle and then was still, a dark pool of red rapidly flowing outward guided by the worn surface of the concrete slab.

The release inside me was incredible, the sight of the blood reminding me of my first. I took a deep breath inward, letting the hum of the city envelope me, the hot night air fresh with my work, with my purpose.

It’s a part of me now.

I felt myself expand outward in that moment, as if I could be everywhere in that manufactured expanse all at once, a spiritual connection with the whole. I own the night, my true form emerging, unfurling its petals like the Night Scented Orchid revealing itself to the pale sickly moonlight. This is the summer of my awakening.

I took a ring from her pinkie finger, a cheap adornment with a fake brown opal likely purchased at one of those pop-up market stalls littering the sides of designated streets. It is priceless to me. Once back in the shadows of the alley I heard the side door open and turned to watch. A man carrying another steel cask to add to the stack lumbered out and upon seeing my work, let his burden fall from his grasp in a short shocked gasp. A loud metallic thump followed by a steady rumble rang out as the barrel rolled noisily onto the street. I turned away then. The moment was over for me and the rest is for everyone else.

Entry 9: July-12-2017

Sarah Longwood, Michelle Humphreys, Lisa Chu, Robert Foster, Bridget Darlington; I remember all their names, their importance outweighing my treasures, my trophies. It seems only fitting after spending so much time getting to know each of them. They’ve contributed to my evolution after all; lives ultimately fulfilled by my divine purpose.

The police came to the office of course after Sarah, asking their questions, everyone getting a turn to sit in the small cramped break room across from detective Henry Glick. He is a short portly man in his late forties, balding with a neatly trimmed moustache, a tired yet sharp look to his eyes. He performed his duties well, enquiring about my relationship with Sarah and if I’d seen anyone suspicious around the building in recent memory. I answered truthfully for the most part but the alibi pertaining to my whereabouts that night was unsurprisingly the weakest of my interview. Being home alone with nobody to vouch for you doesn’t exactly paint a most trustworthy picture. But who would suspect the quiet office worker, slight in stature with an impeccable work record?

Greg was visibly upset at the news and took a two week break from the job before returning in slightly better form but no doubt scarred forever by the remnants of my work. His boisterous behaviour is tempered now; the water cooler talks less frequent. He was the primary suspect at the beginning of the case as is customary in those matters, leaving me to continue my nightly activities.

I underestimated detective Glick however as he began to suspect a link between the “Claw Hammer Killer” and my newly chosen prey. Experience, suspicion and intuition have formed a theory in his mind that won’t shake loose, with his interest circling around me. After Lisa Chu, I was called to the station for follow up questions on Sarah’s case. It took all my will to hide behind the mask of my office persona as I sat for over an hour in the small green painted room, the large two-way mirror the only fixture. The verbal ring he spun required complete flexibility to dance around and the heat inside the tight space added to the oppressive atmosphere. Ultimately he could find nothing suspicious outside of me being a loner, a person enjoying their own company.

I’ve spotted him a few times after that, a face in the crowd when walking home from work, on the same rail as me when I venture to the pier. There are others too no doubt, faces I won’t recognise. It took immense planning and subterfuge to get to Robert Foster. I had to be even more careful when it was Bridget Darlington’s time.

The hum and connection I feel with the city is now a dying ember, slowly burning out alongside the forward march towards the end of the summer. The instrument of my awakening has been discarded; I managed to dump it secretly into a random trash can along the rail line. It likely rests in a landfill now, an ignoble end compared to the kitchen knife and hammer. My treasures do not hold the same allure they once did. I barely look at them anymore.

But I know I’m not finished yet; one more is needed. I’ve been missing something all along, a certain detail that has, as of yet, eluded me. It’s not going to be easy with detective Glick’s keen attention but I won’t rest until that final detail has been revealed to me. It’s the eyes; I have to see the eyes.

Entry 10: July-29-2017

My final instrument I discovered in the confines of a hunting shop. It had to be special. A Helle GT knife drew my immediate attention with its six inch blade and polished birch wood handle. My entire being knew it to be perfect, that my last would be completed with an implement similar to the first; a simple object, yet pure and whole in form and function. I took it home and like the hatchet, honed the edge over many long nights. It fits snugly in my hand, becoming an extension of my arm, of my spirit.

I approached Greg as he was leaving the office, another working week complete. I explained quickly that there may be a minor problem with the data and asked if he could take a quick look.  We walked silently along the empty office to my isolated cubicle and after giving the numbers a check; he noted correctly that there was no error.

“I must have made a mistake I said” giving him a nervous smile.

I looked away momentarily then back, letting my eyes, normally obscured fall on his. I chose to wear my hair different that day for just that occasion. He smiled slightly in response and said “That’s unlike you”.

I held his gaze then placed a hand on his elbow. I could feel his body stiffen slightly at this unexpected advance. “I never really said how sorry I was about Sarah” I spoke softly.

He frowned at this and took a moment to collect himself before answering one silent word of “Thanks”.

With the subtle idea planted, I broke away turning off the computer. We walked slowly towards the lift without looking at each other and once inside, descended mutely facing forward. Eventually Greg broke the ever growing silence.

“Hey… do… do you want to go get a drink?” he asked. I remember those awkward pauses with delight.

Weeks of my prior subtle advances made it too easy. I gave him my best nervous smile and nodded yes then explained that I wanted to go home first to get ready. We exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up later, waving our temporary goodbyes outside the building, each going our own separate ways. Back at my shitty apartment I began the foundations of my alibi which involved primarily, my neighbour’s vacuum cleaner. The frail old woman was eager to help after I explained that mine was temporarily out of commission and awaiting repair. I had in fact sabotaged it a few days earlier in preparation for this event. I promised to return hers much later; my apartment needed a good solid cleaning.

After plugging it into a timer I turned my attention to getting ready. I had bought a long black form fitting dress for just the occasion. It hugged my body leaving my shoulders exposed, the silky fabric shining darkly. This was my garment of the night, my shroud enveloping, containing my entire being, the final uniform of my awakening, my second skin. The high heels accentuated my legs, the cherry red lipstick was inviting and alluring, the handbag pragmatic, necessary; my transformation complete.

Sneaking out of my building undetected was a simple affair. The landlord never did get around to fixing that alarm on the back exit. I took a circuitous route to the pier, sticking to those little used streets of the hour before boarding the rail on the final leg of the journey. When I arrived, I made my way to the chosen spot, within the shade of a large building on the water front not frequented. Making sure everything was ready, I finally called Greg.

He was confused at first, expecting to meet in a bar somewhere more locally. I confessed to him that the pier was my favourite place to visit and we could easily find an establishment to drink in.

“I’ll be there shortly” he said, and I knew he would be; the adventure of the mysterious quiet girl from the office a lure not to be ignored.

While waiting in silence by the cold metal railing, breathing the sea air in deeply, I felt the city hum louder, fluttering to life, calling out to me once more on this; the final hunt.

Eventually my phone buzzed and I asked Greg to come meet me, giving him my exact location. Before long, he was walking down the boardwalk in a newly pressed charcoal suit as I lay in the dark, emerging only when he was close, giving him a bit of a start.

“Wow, you look… you look beautiful. So what are we doing all the way out here?” he enquired. “I mean, I like a bit of peace and quiet as much as anyone else but this is very isolated out here don’t you think?”

I approached him slowly and he grinned nervously. Loud Greg from the office, who hangs around the water cooler, high fiving and talking about the game, was nervous of me? I placed my hands on his face and drew myself towards him, kissing him hard and passionately. He began to return the favour almost immediately. Greg is a fucking pig.

I led him towards the shadow of the building, to the darkness I’m most intimate with and I could certainly imagine where his thoughts lay. He pressed me up against it, our presence the only ones in this small isolated patch amongst the field of bustling activity. His hands snaked slowly around my waist as his passion took over, his attention turning to my neck, breath hot and heavy on my skin. Then I planted my knife into his belly to the hilt. He jerked away in shock, staring down in disbelief at the birch wood handle protruding out. Looking up at me; face painted with confusion, he swayed unsteadily and finally fell onto his back.

I loomed over as he gripped the handle weakly, the automatic fearful movement of a desperate human being. I kicked his hands away, burying my heels into the tendons, then reached down and slowly pulled the knife out of the wound, relishing the action. Its blade was wet and slick, yielding no resistance, a supernatural force parting flesh; anointing it in a crimson wash.

I never took my eyes off of his, anxious of missing the moment. He managed a pitiful “Why?” through those perfect bleached teeth speckled in red. Why? As if he could ever comprehend, ever understand. I was above and he was below; this is as it should be.

I grasped my instrument in both hands, its divine presence pulsing outwards silently in a song of joy; raised it above my head and with all my might, I plunged it down into his chest piercing his heart. A short gasp escaped his lips, tainted with a gurgling from deep within. I quickly leaned in closer studying his eyes.

Everything slowed down in focused concentration, my breath was still as the hum shuddered louder than I’d ever heard before. I could see the glow behind his eyes in crystal clarity begin to dim slowly, the moment stretching on for what seemed an eternity before finally, ultimately winking out. I am complete.

I raised my head to the intense orange sky, brighter in its splendour than I ever could have imagined and gently closed my eyes. Something primal inside cried and clawed to be let out in the only way I knew how. I filled my lungs and screamed a loud guttural sound that bordered on a howl, taking no heed of idle ears on that hot heavy night near the end of the long summer months.

Entry 11: August-3-2017

It’s raining today as I sit in my newly purchased car parked on the side of the road. The torrential waves tap noisily and soothingly on the light metal frame, washing over the windscreen briefly as the wipers move back and forth clearing the way.

I handed in my final notice to the office two days ago, early in the morning to the surprise of my boss. I didn’t stick around afterwards, that cage is now obsolete. My landlord I rang last night and told him I was moving out immediately, roots finally untangled. It hadn’t taken long to pack my few meagre possessions into the car. The dress and treasures were discarded; they no longer hold any meaning to me. I’ve outgrown them. The hunting knife and Greg lie at the bottom of the river, held in place by four cement blocks I carefully tied to his legs.

The police were called after he failed to show up for work two days in a row, colleagues becoming worried when efforts to contact him yielded no results. Detective Glick had made it his business to come to the office, the look on his face a clear declaration; I was his prime suspect. We danced again, spinning our own separate narratives, but the absence of a body meant Greg could only be considered a missing person. My alibi involving the elderly neighbour was built on shaky foundations yet afforded me some temporary reasonable doubt.

I’m outside of the city now, the mist veiled buildings small in the reflection of my rear view mirror. I’ve outgrown it, the hum is silent. I’m thinking of heading out into the woods to hear the chirping of the birds, and after that, who knows? The world is my sandbox and I feel unchained and free at last. The shy quiet girl from before is gone but not destroyed, instead hollowed out in the shape of a mask ready to be worn when the need arises.

My awakening was a force of nature, unstoppable and inevitable. I’ve become the person I am finally supposed to be. Those moments on every step of my journey are clear and concise now, laying in sharp contrast to the mundane existence of before, individually and as a whole; a jigsaw that affirmed its pattern upon my completion.

Yet still, it’s that final moment that calls out to me most of all; for when I really concentrate, the hum rises from deep inside once again, revealing the entirety of details in sharp permanent focus, and I see Greg’s eyes, reflecting light outwards, encompassing the entire visible world within; shining lights for a brief existence.

--Jane.



Written by:
Paul Rivers
« Last Edit: 07:10:54 PM 09/23/18 by Rivers »
Moochin' about.