Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homicide (25)

Hunched over a mysterious gray object, I lifted my eyes and looked around the room I found myself in. There appeared to have been a struggle of mortal proportions here. The first thing I saw was a chrome and yellow kitchenette chair overturned on the blue and white speckled vinyl tiled floor.The other three chairs had been slammed against the far wall causing chair shaped holes when the dining table was violently pushed aside.  A butcher’s knife teetered precariously on the edge of the counter where the drawer had been ripped out of its place; flatware, knives, spoons, and forks scattered everywhere around the upturned room. The knife falls to the ground with a sharp din that pierced my bone to the marrow.

Barely breathing, struggling for breath as if I had never drawn air before, I see the fractured top end of what seems to be a wooden log or a pole of some sort. I can just make out a half oval with the words “Louis Slug.” written on the broken end. I wonder who that is, Louis Slug? Didn’t I attend college with him? Is that whose home I am in?

I continue to survey my surroundings. On the far wall I could see a picture of a seemingly happy family smiling back at me, but their faces were blurred so I could not recognize them. Dripping off of the ornate frame some kind of deep red liquid drips and falls into a small pool collecting on the floor below. The painted walls surrounding the portrait have a splattering of the same red ooze.

Tick, tick, Tick, tick, Bong! A clock beyond the dimly lit room breaks the silence sounding its 1:00 am chime.  Shit! It’s late. My wife is going to wonder where I am. I need to go home. I will call whoever's house this is and apologize for this mess in the morning.  As I take my first step toward the open door leading to the exit, I look down and I seem to be holding the other end of the mysterious wooden object. The letters “V-I-L-L-E and G-E-R” are clearly emblazoned.

”Oh God!” I screamed, “What have I done?” I drop the handle of my most prized “Louisville Slugger” baseball bat, the one that my father bought me just before he died many years ago when I was a young boy. I fall to my knees, with a sudden feeling of regret. There is more of that same coagulating red liquid as was on the picture frame and on the wall, but now it is on my knees. It is almost purple in the dim light and sky blue painted room. Perhaps it’s Kool-Aid; there seems to be an awful lot of it. Could I have been making cherry Kool-Aid and was attacked from behind?

I reach out my hand and touch the red substance and bring it up to my tongue to taste. A putrid coppery taste belied my original assessment.

Suddenly, the room comes into clear focus. Shards of white and pink fragments of bone litter the still growing pool of blood. My eyes follow to where there is a lifeless body of an older salt and pepper haired man lying face down. The top of his head is cracked open wide spilling its contents of gray and white brain matter onto the blood soaked floor. His left arm is twisted at an angle that could only mean it was dislodged from its place with enough force to the point of nearly removing it from the body entirely. The right leg had a bulge on the inside at the knee--obviously the first crippling and disabling blow.

It took several moments for the shock of what I had done to wear off. I looked to see who had caused such unnatural and murderous fury within me.

I had fantasized about this moment many times over the years. Now that it was real it didn't seem so sweet to stand over the lifeless body of the perpetrator that had caused so much damage to so many like me. I got up to leave. One last kick to the ribs for good measure. As I brought back my steel toed boot I see the reflected blue and red lights of the police car coming to investigate the noises. I finish the kick and could hear the remaining air in the lifeless body escape with a gurgle. The body shudders with the blow.

My body involuntarily convulses me awake. I turn my head and open my eyes--1:30 am. I get up to take a sip of water. I lay back down in my bed now cool and clammy with my sweat soaking the sheets and comforter. Fuck! It was only a dream. As I lay awake remembering every detail, as If I was in a movie, I try to decide how I felt. My mind took me back into the scene and this time, as I saw the reflection of red and blue lights I looked up across the room and saw my own reflection in a mirror. I wasn't the 40 year old man I am today. I  was the 15 year old boy who had sought his own revenge against AFB. He was standing there heaving and panting. His eyes wild and red but not from the reflection of the lights. I looked at that young man with wonder not recognizing myself in his face, but knowing it was me. I was surprised that while looking at this hurt, angry almost monstrous animal. All I felt was pity instead of sharing his rage.

Is that who I am fighting against? Is it me?


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