A Short Story

This is a piece a already had written:

It’s actually not that hard to kill your best friend. It’s just death. Just murder. I’m walking away and I’m not sorry. That part of me was one of the victims. It’s the lead up that’s hard, the moments before the killer takes over. It’s when you have to pretend to be anything other than what you are, a cold-blooded assassin, that can break you. Especially when you’re lying to the person who knows you best. How could he not have known?

I’m reliving the end in my head. People always say that the eyes of the newly dead are staring, piercing. As I stood above him, his eyes were still open, but they were blank and empty. There was no judgment or fear because he was so unprepared to go, so unsuspecting.

My blood pumped with adrenaline, excitement and sorrow, anger and fear. I knew the second he was gone. It left a sort of sick thrill in my veins that was accompanied by a terrible weight of guilt. When the last breath left his lungs, leaving a curl of gray in the air, I stood up, ready to walk away, but that lasting curl of air swirled in front of me. It seemed alive, so much more alive than the corpse in front of me.

Before that, I watched the soul leave his eyes, and it was my fault. Blood was painted down his front. It oozed from the wound, hitting the pavement with a sickening noise. It slid between my fingers when I helped him to the ground, taking his weight as his strength abandoned him. And it felt like a lifetime, like eternity, that journey to the ground. My first kill.

I stabbed him with a knife. It was as brutal as it sounds.

It just took a moment, just a second of metal through flesh, a quick twist of the wrist. The knife felt so good in my hand, so stealthy and invisible. I felt invincible, so powerful. It’s like being God. But there was a weight of guilt, a premature repentance.

“Sorry,” I whispered. I didn’t look in his eyes. I still don’t know if I meant it. I just moved close to him and did it, slid the knife beneath his coat, metal to cloth, not even slicing off a button. He didn’t even notice, didn’t see it coming.

We had just been walking. Night had set just enough to obscure the eyes of any witnesses. It lent a sort of eerie perfection to the scene. He didn’t know. I wished that I didn’t. I would have felt better if I could have shared his surprise, but this was purely premeditated.

I felt sick because I was excited. My palms itched with the desire to hold the knife in my hand, to move it in that practiced movement. But the other part of me was acting, pretending nothing was different about this walk, this conversation. And the assassin crouched, waiting to carry out her mission.

The idea was to write a backwards story. It's a little different than the usual.


The Human Business

We raise foundation. Naturally unnatural ties. Mother. Father.
We grow, roots. Heart beast and blood, vines. Love.
We bloom and we blossom.
We break. We rebuild.
We trust. Again. Sheltering leaves. Fear.
We move along.
Our roots fill the cracks in the concrete.
We are destroyed. Fire.
We stand up again. Singed.
And we go about the human business of making worlds. Again.
Like birds and nests we live. Fragile.
This is the human way.



There is a house, no tumbledown shack
that in the woods pours forth
with lights like golden fires
not burning but simmer softly
if soft can be untouchable
and illuminating memories
in every room
painful and unreachable
because they are dead
or at least quiet
unlike the city
with its fires
not lights that conserve
as is the style and same humanity
but energy burning
energy in thought
and thoughtless making
of painful memories
like flickering sparks produced
fly bravely in struggles
not so different from stars
but able to be forgotten
if left unembarrassed
and scarred
within the four golden lit walls
that were built both before
and after
but really light spills out
and leaves a vacuum
of inexpressible loss
here in this floor and roof contraption
of the past and unfolding regret
dark is created
by the enclosing structures
that shield away from dark
and both allow illumination
so it is lightening pain
or deafening darkness
let me have my shadows
why, oh why, is the sky so far away
oh, firefly city
sleep on in ignorance
to not feel the agony
that is now before me
in this cold seasonal slumbering death
not any more painful when someone knocks
as past is passed and cannot be foregone
only shut out by blindness
that is now destroyed
by a switch of mechanical invention
has become a psychological trigger
that in this skin I must face
until I can shift away in the forest
that hides also this house of recollections
and run from these golden fire squares
casting their light into the trees
only ghosts of memories
that I can handle
for I’ve already forgotten in that form
which I now maintain
under the star net sky