Keeping score

September 6, 2007

   Carla wasn’t sure how long she’d known, but sitting across from Dale she was aware that she did.  Something about being in the room alone with him, or maybe it was the intensity in his eyes.   The news was playing in the background, and Jerry had taken the plates into the kitchen to wash.  She was alone.  With him, and she knew what he had done.

“13,” he said.

“what?”

“13.”

“I don’t understand.”  

“That’s how many.  People we’ve killed…I mean.”  He said the last part lamely, almost as if he was ashamed.

Her mind raced back over the stories she’d seen in the paper, and heard about on TV.   the bodies found all over the state.  The cold recitations of the condition of the victims, spoken or written about by people who didn’t know them, and were to jaded to even realize the damage their words must have done to the loved ones of the victims.  the cheerleader outside of Charlotte, hanging upside down between two trees under a banner that said “Rah-Rah.”

There was the preacher in Bern, hanging from the pulpit by a brass cross that had been hammered through his throat, and the farmer near Jacksonville found face up in the feeding trough, his mouth gagged, and hands bound to the fence rail decrying the fact that he’d been alive when he was put there.

    The horror etched across her face becoming more apparent as the list ran through her mind, and then her face crumbling in the horror of that one word.

“we’ve.”  He had said we’ve.

“Jerry.” she mumbled, already knowing the answer.

“of course Jerry.”

“But why,” she said.  She didn’t really want to know, but couldn’t think of a way not to ask.  How do you not ask?

“Everybody needs a hobby. ”  His voice was devoid of emotion, and she looked up to see him staring intently at her.

Pointing toward the kitchen, Dale smiled and said almost cheerfully “14. ”  Then, With the slightest hint of regret he pointed at her, and said

“15”

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You should stop and taste the flowers

August 27, 2007

   Carmine had a bad day.  Not horrific, but not good.  What he needed was to go for a walk.

As he strolled along the canal at twilight, he noticed a young lady bending over on the path ahead.

He asked her what she was doing.  She replied that she was smelling the flowers.  It’s always good to stop and smell the flowers.

Amused, Carmine smiled at the woman , and then with a cavalier bow bent and…

woke, laying in a mulch bed.  His wallet missing, his head throbbing, and the taste of rose petals in his teeth.

Carmine was having a bad day


I killed A millwright today

July 11, 2007

  I wasn’t going to do it, but the opportunity presented itself.  He was standing on the catwalk over kettle 8, talking to me over his shoulder.

he is a whiner, and a snitch, and a wiseass, and it suddenly occurred to me that one little shove….

he barely squeaked as he hit 8000 gallons of molten lead and disappeared.

I would have stayed and admired my handywork, but it was lunchtime, and I had lasagna.

The afternoon was beautiful.  Sun shining, a light breeze, and no whining.


I have to pee

July 1, 2007

  Like everyone, he had been born into light.  The birthing process had shed eternal darkness on his mother, but it was light that was his first experience among the living.  Blinding light, and being struck.  A harsh awakening.  One fraught with foreshadowing of what was to come.  Everything about it was a portent, a sign of what inevitably would lead him to his current predicament.  Strapped to a gurney with three lines of fluid about to be entered into his body until he was dead, dead, dead.  It was almost tragic that all he could think about was how badly he had to piss.

    Had he not been so worried about his urinary discomfort it may have occurred to him to have his life flash before his eyes.  He could have spun forward from his birthing to being potty trained like a puppy.  Having his nose rubbed in his excrement when the none to gentle hands of a man hateful at life and to drunk to exhibit good motor control failed to put on his diaper properly.  Then being beaten by those same work hardened hands until he had been trained to shy away from any touch as if it were meant to be a blow.

    as he twirled forward he could watch the young boy, already to shattered emotionally to cope with the rigors of learning being beaten by a surly nun that had years of pent up sexual frustration driving every blow. He could watch as the boy failed to read and was hit, failed to write and was hit, failed, failed, failed, and was hit,  hit, hit until the blows no longer made an impression on his thoroughly broken psyche.

   Imagine his joy at seeing the young man experience his first human contact that was not threatening to him.  the casual delight he would’ve taken in looking back on that first rape so many years ago.  She wasn’t atttractive when he started, and she wasn’t alive when he was through.  He learned though that in the silence and the darkness he didn’t have to be hit.  He didn’t have to be controlled. His first sense of accomplishment an act that others called monstrous.  Had he been able to read he would have been able to consider  the horrors he perpetrated.  Read about the empty liqour bottle he had used to crush the mandible, and the cross he had used for acts of sodomy.  He couldn’t.  All he did was go home to bed with a slightly warm feeling.  A feeling of strength.  Of comfort.  Power.

   He could have cascaded forward through a life of vagrancy and malice.  Of violence and sexual deviation so horrifying that it would make the people he came in contact with in Joliet cringe at the halting, stuttering retelling.  His greatest moments of success each a little more ghastly and provocative than the next.   He would not be able to see that he was infamous, because all the things that made that so were beyond his education, his intellect that of a boy of 8.

   this hauntingly tragic reclamation of all that he was, and all he had  destroyed were denied him though.  A full bladder made the last pathetic moments of his life just one more torment.

   He didn’t spend the last moments of wakefulness begging forgiveness for the things he had done.  He didn’t even know they were wrong.  What he did was to repeatedly state his final desire in life.  “i have to pee.  I have to pee.  i have to pee.

  precisely a nanosecond after he returned to the darkness that had granted him peace prior to birth a merciful god granted his last request. 


a literary tip

June 25, 2007

not many writers on here.  I mean everybodies writing, but most aren’t doing it well.  this guy is.  You may be a little put off by his ego, but I have to say the man can flat write his ass off. 

http://cliffjburns.wordpress.com/