A Bullet through the Throat
A man runs in the night. He breathes heavily, choking on his own inhales. Saliva slowly falls from the corner of his mouth, but he does not care. A few scratches cover his cheeks. They are not deep, but are slightly irritating. He does not acknowledge them. The night is full of silence. The sound of his leather soles on the empty street is muted. There is no one to hear his heart beating. He is an animal on the hunt. His prey is formidable — predator and prey, predator and prey, predator and prey. Upset is possible. The powerful might be made into the meek and the monstrous made into the beautiful. A holy gun goes off with a loud song and a life is hoarded by God’s unending hands in its obliteration.
When I was little I remember burning ants on the side walk. They curled under the beauty of their own consumption as sunlight poured through an otherwise useless magnifying glass and became a heavenly sword. My school related usage of my magnifying glass came and went, but I learned from other children that it made soft sunshine into a fiery beam of devastation that judged with no mercy. I enjoyed playing God as I wielded all mighty Death with ease and little afterthought. Ants are those loveless creatures that make up such humble armies, yet they did not wither like cherub faced soldiers blessed with bullet holes, but burned away like they weren't even flesh, but miniature paper dolls crafted into insectoid forms. Such unfortunate creatures. They were too small to consider as their lives were snuffed out. Whether death came through accident or orchestration they were ignorable. Their lives were as meaningful as quarter size puddles of water. Not like lizards, frogs, cats and dogs, as you break their legs and last their necks. Their lives were more like puddles of vomit to fall asleep in. Ant killing wasn't nearly able to satiate my appetite for destroying life. Their cries weren't even audible. Their eyes were too small to seek baptism in murder. The ants seemed to die instantaneously as the white focused beam struck their bodies. There was no banquet of suffering, just burnt insect parts that lost their tangy taste to the tastelessness of black ashes.
Burning came first and killing came second, if you discount the destruction of needless lives. I went through my kingdom and burned the lowly children, unable to fight the fierce seduction of my pyromania. I burned down an old lady’s house in my neighborhood while playing with the matches from my mother’s purse. She hated the fuck out of me taking her matches. She didn't trust in the unreliable cheap lighters and smoking was her happiness, not her children nor her marriage to my old man, the fat bastard that he was and all. All day she would wait for her 20 minute lunch break so she could drink some tea, light hand rolled cigarettes and eat leftovers that she bought to her job, as if the chips in the vending machine were beneath her hunger. I was nine when I burned down that old bitch’s house too, well aware of the dangers of playing with fire, but I never outgrew the pleasure of holding a hand out over an open flame, nor watching fire change the world into new abominable forms. I couldn't resist its ancient allure. It danced as if it had life and I wanted to love it like it could be more than what it was. The old lady was home, but her dog luckily led her old ass out of the smoke and flames before they got to be too much for her. Her pet raced through the doggy door first before she opened the door behind it and ran out as quickly as she could, right into the waiting neighbors’ arms. The dog was barking very lightly. As I watched what I had done from the street corner, I ran away from the gathering crowd, wondering if the dog couldn't bark louder because of the smoke. I scratched the American flag stitched into the left back pocket of my jeans. My head filled with questions: They have too many stars considering how a lot of people can’t even name all the fucking states in America (Do any other countries have that many stars on their flag? Do they have anything at all on their flags that make you count as high? If we lose a state would the flag lose a star? Why does the American flag demand so much effort?). My ass itched as I mused and so I scratched like Da Vinci tugged at his beard.
The flames began with a disgusting white rose. I lit it on fire with a humble match that lived out its one time purpose before being snuffed out and tossed away. The petals danced momentarily and crumbled like a child beaten down by its father’s fist. The repulsive perfume that spoils a rose’s pristine beauty disappeared. Flames spread to the rest of the bush so fast. White disintegrated in the outward red and interior blue of the inferno. Behind the bush was an open window. The curtains happened to blow out just a bit as the fire burned higher and higher. Eventually the curtains blew out enough to catch the open flames and so they too became consumed. The fire chewed its way viciously through the curtain before I stepped away slowly. I couldn't stop it and I wasn't even sure I really cared to try. I had always been like that I suppose. I started terrible things and just stepped back and watched as if they existed only to fulfill themselves and fulfill themselves my horrible acts would undoubtedly. My mother found me on the corner, terrified as she saw her matches in my hand and looked at the swirling flames.
“James, what the fuck kind of kid are you?” my mother said after snatching her matches and slapping me in the face. I responded the only way I desperately wanted to avoid, “ I'm your kid mama, I'm your kid.”
She packed her things that night and ran away from me and my daddy. He beat me with sorrow on his hands mixed with the usual fury.
My name is James. I am 23 years old. I have waited all my life to kill a human being. I shot a man tonight. I ran him down and shot him like a dog. I shot him even when he begged with the bulging eyes of a hanged man and the snot drenched face of a child. I made him holy…holy…holy…holy…holy. I made him holier than thou, holier than stagnant water with innocent mosquito larvae. I waited beside the corpse for the cops to come and before they could gun me down I used my gun to put a hole through my throat. My new hole sang out whistle sounds and squirts of dark wild pomegranate seeds scattered like rain.