"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before." -Mae West 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chapter 11 - Bad Connection


 A while back I had decided against posting another chapter to this blog, but here I am...posting another chapter. My neglecting to publish mostly due to the whole, "don't give the cow away for free" theory. That is prior to my publish date. yada yada yada...


My reasons are good reasons, I assure you. Or so I think they are good. For starters, I have revisited several of the chapters I have posted thus far. So you should expect the final product to be, well different. The result still entertaining; or so I hope. 

It has been four chapters ago since I posted. Since then there have been two murders and now there is one in progress. I was toying with the notion of posting one of my earlier chapters, detailing one of the murders. Well, I decided against this due to the fact that some of those chapters exceed twenty pages, and I don't expect blog readers to have an attention span which extends beyond the length of a mouse fart. I mean well. I really do. On the flip side of the "cow theory", who wants to read a long story only to be left wondering, "what comes next"? No one, that's who. So I don't torture you and give you a mere sampling of what's to come. If I have tortured you nonetheless... I apologize. 

Never mind. I'm not sorry one bit. Silly silly reader. 

Also, my second reason is to inform my followers, {mainly the ones who have asked to read more material}, that I have been communicating with publishers. Although I'm not sure which road I shall travel yet, I am well on my way to the final product. When I finally get there you will be able to read all the wonderfully atrocious details. Including the cathartic final days of Alex, which I promise you will love. 

I am super particular about every detail, and because of this I know it has taken me more time than usual. Well, what is usual actually? I've been working on this novel for a little over a year now. My truest hope is I will be able to publish soon and that you will join me in my journey.

This chapter is a glimpse into a new character, or I should say a couple of characters. Most importantly the next victim. Hope you enjoy and of course comments are welcome. 

Be well and enjoy the holidays

Chapter 11 - Bad Connection:

To take revenge halfheartedly is to court disaster: Either condemn or crown your hatred.” ~Pierre Corneille, Cleopatra, in Rodogune, act 5, sc. 1 

A frantic shuffle resonated through the phone's receiver as it scuffled along the counter's polished marble surface, when the couple simultaneously fought to grapple a quickly fleeting handset. It continued to skeet along the ebony surface, as a blitz of chaotic clangs rang through the dispatcher's headset.

“Hello, This is 911. How can I help you. Hello? Ma'am? Sir? What's your emergency? Hello?”, the insistent undertone of the dispatcher's voice pricked the air with an alarming concern.

That evening's raucous sounds of turmoil were shortly followed with a shower of flesh striking flesh as Charles Nagle began the ruthless assault on his wife. Every last resounding blow and whimpering plea travelled a short distance to the dangling mouthpiece merely inches above her attacker's head, as a bombardment of dull thuds signaled her head being hammered along their tiled floor. That is until Charles had finally plucked the landline from the wall; certainly in hopes to somehow curtail the quickly descending police.

Moments before the call disconnected, April Nagle's distinct pleas grew faint as her husband's forceful blows scampered her frail body along the kitchen floor until she was flush against the velvet trim of her living room couch. Just when it seemed her delicate frame could no longer endure his unyielding blows, her husband's foot plunged violently into her exposed abdomen leaving behind a blotchy array of grey and purple blood quickly pooling beneath her alabaster skin. Her trembling hands fiercely clawed at the tassels that trimmed the couch's lavish arm rest, as she tried to pull herself up and away from his ferocious blasts. Her once audible pleas quickly became muffled when a gurgling abundance of blood spewed from her fattened lip and quickly rendered her faint pink nighty a deep hue of red.

Those last few eerie cries that were captured seeped through the phone's receiver, “Please Charlie, Please stop!! - thud, thud, thud- “Stop! Please! You promised you wouldn't...”

Once the maddening anger had loosened its tenacious grasp from the last shred of sanity that clung to the innards of Charles' drug addled brain, he allowed his tired body to fall to the floor merely inches from his wife's face. His body had finally succumbed to crippling exhaustion after beating April nearly unconscious, when he propped his face onto his hands and whispered his empty sorrowful words into her ear as he pulled the bloodied hair back from her engorged eyes. Then softly he pressed his fingers into a gash that split her forehead which revealed a bumpy plush abundance of blood soaked flesh. Just as his fingers pushed back the knobby flap of skin, a sudden torrent of emotion welled up inside him and quickly overflowed when he began to theatrically wail at the sight of his wife writhing in pain.

An outsider would surely believe his rousing display of sorrow was authentic, only his words were truly unsettling as he howled them loudly in a shrill cry, “Why?! Why do you make me do this every time, April!? I don't understand?! Why haven't you learned? I just want us to be happy and live here in peace. Don't you know how much I love you? I give everything for you, every day I give all of me out there for YOU!”

Somewhere in the murky depths of his troubled mind lurked these thoughts; amongst a thick cloud of inebriation through intermittent spells of lucidity lived these misconceptions of which he was thoroughly convinced. He was convinced that every time he had to beat his wife, it was for her own good, and their own good; and that she was ultimately to blame for his violent outburst. Soon enough he would discover that he couldn't be more wrong, only his troubled mind could never truly realize these lessons.

Without warning he swiftly stood to his feet as though he had just won a heated debate, and emphatically swung his arms through the air. Wildly he swirled his arms, motioning toward the swanky items scattered throughout the room.

“See! See all this! And that, that over there, April! That!”, he screamed loudly as he adamantly pointed toward a rugged Italian foot rest upholstered with thick Burgundy silk.

April struggled to lift her weary head and glanced over at the very object of his immediate obsession as he continued to yell, “That foot rest you HAD to have! That fucking foot rest that cost me two thousand dollars that you HAD to have to match all of the rest of this furniture that you throw your fat ass on every day!”
“ME!”, he screamed into the center of her twitching face.
“ME! ME! ME! After all the work I do so you can have all THIS! Then you do this! YOU make me angry, and YOU start the fights! YOU push me! You are an ingrate, April! That's your damn problem! You get me arrested like a dumb bitch and then all of this goes away! Is that what you want?”, he asked.
As she laid petrified, through a stream of tears, the overwhelming pain sent shock waves through her slight frame as she stammered a hesitant reply, “N..n..no..no, I don't want that, Charlie. I swear I don't want that. I'm sorry please don't hit me again, please!”
No sooner had she uttered those words from her trembling lips, when Charles dramatically lurched back his fist as he swiftly came down to one knee and angled his menacing fist toward her crumbling face. He expelled an exhausted sigh when he hesitated and shook his head in disgust. He stood menacingly and watched her wince in anticipation of another inevitable blow that just may have done the final job of knocking her out cold.

“Give me a friggin' break, April, you think YOU got ME?! You think you got Me!”, he insisted while needling his own chest with the tip of his stick like index finger.

“You think you're gonna make me feel bad about what YOU'VE done?! I don't feel bad! You got it made and this is what you're gonna put me through? Put US through?! Do you have any idea what calling the cops could do to us?”, he screamed into her face as she recoiled as far back as she could into a dusty neglected corner of the room.

'KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!', spine tingling pounds impetuously rattled the front door of their ostentatious Beacon Hill home and quickly echoed through the spacious foyer. Charles excitedly bounded to his feet, while bursts of air expeditiously wheezed through his lungs and swirled past his rapidly beating heart. As he began to hurriedly pace between the kitchen to where his wife laid, he nervously grappled his bloodied knuckles until he approached the living room's picture window.

Carefully he peered through his lavish drapes, that seemed to meld with flamboyancy of the room, as their shiny silken material reflected the blinding flash of white and blue police lights. The ominous banging bursts continued to echo through the lofty hallway for what seemed like hours on end; only to be left unanswered as he tentatively watched from a sparse opening through those hefty gold embroidered drapes.
A muffled command suddenly permeated the thickness of their front door, “It's the Boston, P.D. Someone made a call from this address, we need to make a well check! We can see you at the window, Sir! Please open or we are going to have to consider this an emergency and break down the door!”

With a quickened pace he made his way back to where his wife laid as she clutched her stomach coughing sporadic bursts of blood onto an elaborate stencil that embellished the baseboards of the room. For a few moments he stood over her quivering body, and studied every trembling muscle in her face and limbs; his callous face exuded a loathsome hatred for the predicament which he believed she was the sole cause.

Abruptly he cupped his hand over her mouth attempting to stifle her rasping coughs, when he angrily whispered, “Shutup, would you shutup already?! They are gonna hear you if you don't stop! Shit, shit, shit, I told you, April! Never call the cops!”

Hastily, he stood erect as his quick feet anxiously paced the floor, with his green tipped socks peeling out beneath his aimless gait. His feet nearly gave out from beneath him before he was able to gain some semblance of self control; for this his inebriated state could surely be attributed. He rushed back over to April, tightly grasped her blood drenched gown and jerked her to her feet; only her limp toes dangled beneath her flaccid body as he dragged her down the hall to a guest room.

Violently he crashed through the room with April's gown clenched tightly in his trembling fist and her body pathetically drooping beneath. His feet frantically stumbled as they collided with a neatly placed woven rug and left it in a jumbled mess that slid beneath the bed. Recklessly he flung her body, like a dirty sack, and she quickly sunk into the pristine plush blankets as a mass of decorative pillows slowly caved onto her face. Charlie snatched a tube shaped pillow that had slid over half her face and tossed it onto the floor, and drew closer to April so only she could hear what he had to say.

“I know you can hear me and you're just pretending right now, but I don't have time for this shit! Do you hear me?!”, he asked as he impulsively shook her body.
Only his words and the room's dim lighting melded with the haze that had clouded her shaken brain. Once she was able to peer one eye open, she could vaguely see through a pervading misty cloud that had infiltrated her murky vision. His words, like blasts of muffled trumpets, somehow seeped into her mind past the confusion of the moment. As he shook her tired body, she merely gave a nod and tried her best to mutter an intelligible reply.
From her thick lips she muttered a word that even seemed foreign to her own ears, “Yeeeesss.”

With her response, he effortlessly released her limp body into a luscious bounty of pillows and silk blankets. Just before he turned to walk out of the room, he looked back toward his wife one last time.

“Don't even think about making a sound in here, April. I swear to God you will regret it.”, he calmly commanded his badly beaten wife with his stoic cool eyes.

When he had left her behind, he was convinced she would surrender to exhaustion as he was certain a gut wrenching pain trickled through every alert fiber in her body; but she hadn't and as he quickly made his retreat he hurled her door closed. Slowly and quietly the door had bounded back from the jam and swung open.

April laid still listening, through the pounding whooshes of what could only be the blood swishing through the scarce space between her skull and brain. She listened to the sounds of frantic footfalls that pattered along the high sheen of their hardwood floors. Charlie anxiously prepared for his impromptu performance once he would finally open the door for the police.

“I will be right there! Give me a second! You got me out of bed!”, he yelled to the officers behind his front door.
“No problem, Sir, but please hurry!”, the officer's voice hailed.

Then the distant rush of running water could be heard to where April laid helpless, as he scrubbed the spattered blood from his quaking hands. Then the soft sounds of of his soiled clothes delicately cut through the air down the hall, right before he snagged his bathrobe from a hook on the bathroom door.

What then sounded like a stampede were his quickly descending feet as they stumbled over themselves down his front stairs; while his bathrobe swiftly fluttered along a passing gust of air. 'Boom, Boom, Boom,' the resounding echo of his heavy feet quickly stopped short of the front door, where he attempted to compose himself. As he cinched the dangling terry cloth ties around his thin waist, slowly he opened the front door to reveal two officers standing on his front stoop.

With his breathy attempt at cool refrain he asked, while his long boney fingers casually whisked his short bangs from his face, “What can I do for you officers tonight?”
“Hello Mr. Nagle, haven't seen you in quite some time.”, Officer McManus sarcastically replied.

As it turns out, not surprisingly, Mr. Nagle hadn't been a stranger to the inner working of Boston's criminal justice system. Ironically he was a lawyer, albeit not a criminal lawyer by trade, but a well known shark in the world of divorce law. To match his rather cavalier sense of entitlement he exuded a stellar kind of stereotypical snobbery that could have only been handed down from generations before him, one Mr. Charles Nagle, Sr. Esq. The very same reason why he had managed to elude imprisonment and the embarrassment of lengthy prosecution up to this point in his sickening life. However, his lifestyle which was akin to vomit inducing vertigo, would quickly stop short; sooner than he knew.

Charlie flipped his head back indignantly while adamantly tugging on his robe's stark white strings, when he replied, “Yes indeed, Officer. Can't say I enjoy a reunion at this hour of the night. How can I help you?”

Just then a substantial blast of scotch scented air suddenly smacked the officer's face when his eyes quickly fluttered and blinked in an attempt to fend of the thick haze of booze.

Officer McManus dramatically waved his hand to swat away the offensive smell before he asked, “Woah! Jesus, what the hell have you been drinking tonight?”
Charles answered with a disgusted tone, ”Really? Is that why you are here tonight? You want to know what I've been drinking? Give me a break. I've been home, what business is it of yours?! What the fuck do you want? If you don't get to it now, and I mean RIGHT now, you're going to hear about this from your boss in the morning. I don't need to put up with your harassment.”
“We don't want to bother you Charlie...”, McManus replied.
“Don't fucking call me Charlie.”, he quickly interrupted.
The officer mocked him with a chuckle when he responded, “Yeah ok tough guy. Listen, we got a phone call from this address. Dispatcher says it sounded like there was a domestic in progress. Is your wife home?”
“I have no idea what you're talking about, and of course you show up with your half assed report. My wife watches cops and robbers shit on TV all the time. She probably accidentally drunk dialed and left the phone hanging through another nail biting episode of Law and Order or some shit. Anyway, she's passed out in bed for the night, too much wine. Is that all?”, Charles replied with his arrogant tone.
The officer replied while shaking his head in disapproval, “Mr. Nagle, I understand but we can't leave without talking to your wife. I'm sorry but you're gonna have to go get her up so we can talk to her for a minute.”
“Yeah that isn't going to happen, officers. You wanna to talk to my wife, you're gonna have to come back here with a warrant to get in my house in the middle of the night. According to what you just told me, there wasn't anything said on the phone about a domestic taking place. So you wanna come in here, you go get your piece of shit warrant and maybe then I'll let you into my home.”, he responded with disdain dominating his inflection.
A few minutes continued to pass as their futile arguments blossomed and intermingled with the boisterous sounds of Charlie's disgust swirling like a maelstrom down the hall to where his fading wife laid. As he obstinately stood before them in his effete like house coat, the sharp bite of the Boston's gusty winter breeze wafted up the stairs and distorted their echoed voices. Their voices were indiscriminately devoured amongst the passing traffic, making their words even harder to interpret. In the guest room, April strained to hear through a thick woolen veil of gushing blood that funneled rapidly past her ear and along the right side of her engorged face. Despite a marked sting that filtered a hot rush of pain swiftly passed her ribcage, April successfully freed her body from the hellacious heap of tacky bed cushions.

As the battle of the wills continued to wage on her doorstep and its resounding wail walloped the swollen innards of her racing mind, she slowly slipped her bare feet onto the cool floor bracing herself with an unsteady foothold.

She continued to slowly erect her body as the pain pricked her nerves and paused her momentum into staccato like beats. She began her grueling walk down the hall, each footstep followed with hesitation as she braced her crumbling fortitude with a bloodied palm. A trail of blood trickled from her gashed forehead and onto the floor as her staggering feet smeared elongated streaks of gore; and her fingers left an eerie trail along the blanched white walls just beneath their framed wedding photos.

As April drew closer she could hear what sounded like her husband's final words to the officers on her stoop. In hopes to abandon her foreboding fate, she desperately quickened her pace as her feet wildly staggered and a heavy fog continued to infiltrate her mind. Her every limb struggled to fend off the desire to collapse and slip into a welcomed state of unconsciousness. Surrendering meant her being left unheard that fateful night, and each day that passed she knew could have been her last.

When she neared the corner leading to the stairs she could hear her husband's harsh words as he continued to berate the police, “I will tell you for the last time officers, you have no probable cause. No official report was made on the phone about a crime in progress. You aren't entering my god damned home without a warrant! There is no crime in progress nor was there ever! You're gonna need a warrant before I let you dicks into my house. Now if...”
Charlie's words were abruptly fragmented like shattered glass careening through the tenuous safety net that was his front door. Had he only slammed his front door seconds before without another word, perhaps her cries would have never been heard. Luckily for April, his foolish pride wouldn't allow such prudent behavior.

Her shrill cry broke through what seemed like an insurmountable wall of pain when she yelled, “Noooo, no don't leave don't leave me. Don't leave please!”

Her clumsy feet fumbled beneath her as she struggled to round the last corner; only her startling collapse rattled the floor and the guests at her front door. As Officer McManus' widened eyes swiftly entered April's horizontal view, he recklessly swung his thick forearm against Charlie's frail midsection brutally pounding him against the partially opened front door. Charlie's body slowly slunk downward as the officer's blow temporarily rendered him limp and lifeless; his boxer shorts and pitiful tufts of chest hair wafting in the breeze as the commotion had loosened his bathrobe from his meager waist.

While both officers stood over April urging her to speak, Charlie fought to shake the incessant rattle that overwhelmed his mind. When he couldn't find the strength to speak he listened to their words, their desperate pleas urging his wife to, 'stay with them' and reassuring her that 'help was on the way'. Then somewhere deep within the confines of his weak constitution, he discovered an untapped well of arrogance amidst the most unusual moment; as he struggled to find the air that had been thrust from him lungs just seconds before.

Despite his weakened state, he managed to howl his breathy rant, “Don't....don't listen to them, April!! Don't listen! They don't know what happened here and about your accident! Don't tell them shit! They will just mess every...everything up... Trust me. Trust your husband! Do you hear me....?!”

His shameless speech was then promptly cut short as he sat helplessly glaring at a fist plummeting toward his vulnerable face. An officer at the scene had rendered him unconscious with one hurried fist blast to the face; an action the officer's cohorts surely commended as well as Charlie's lawyers. With her attacker out cold, the next half hour that passed was thankfully silent, but for the clamoring madness that filled their halls while officers and EMT's desperately tried to revive April.

Minutes passed like hours as they struggled to lure her into consciousness, and when they finally had, any attempts at a discussion were sadly futile. April wasn't able to give a formal report about what had happened that night, but Charlie was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault nonetheless. As luck would have it April was blessed to see another day, yet not so lucky for her ruptured spleen; among several other unfortunate details. That night, the night April Nagle narrowly escaped the savage grip of death, I wasn't there to witness her agonizing pain. I wasn't there to see the likes of her miserable husband pitifully writhing in pain along their marble tiled foyer. Yet, I had the pictures to invigorate a healthy sense of disdain when Officer McManus' report crossed my desk the following day.

Briefly I scanned the report's meaningless facts that filled the first few pages, but the moment I felt the audacious glare of his shameless eyes staring back at me, I knew... I knew the moment his insolent face smirked at the snap of the camera, mocking all who could see...I knew. But then it happened, the very second I glanced down at the barbaric torment he inflicted on his delicate wife; I was more convinced than I had ever been.

I was convinced he had to die, and I was convinced it was me who had to do the killing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chapter 7 - Continued

 Hello, all... here is a preview of a continuation on chapter seven. a glimpse into the final hours of Alex. I hope you enjoy, and more to come. Editing and new chapters are coming up quickly. bless your little hearts. later ~b

 Chapt. #7 cont'd -

I heard the bathroom's linen closet door open, and it was then a jarring spasm strummed my spine much like a prickly handed harpist would harmonize to a grisly orchestra of sorts. The distinct pains shot through me and froze me cold and listless as I listened to his clothes swish to the bottom of the hamper. As he removed his wedding ring it hit the floor, 'Cling, clang, cling, cling!' My nerves so piqued at the time, it sounded as though a thunderous clang had echoed against my bathroom walls.

Carefully I peered around the corner and caught Alex trimming his goatee in the bathroom's vanity mirror. Once I realized how close he really was, my breath became shallow and quickened. As I slowly shifted myself back toward the wall, Alex turned on the shower and then returned his gaze to the vanity mirror inspecting his aged complexion. A soft rush of plunging droplets hit the porcelain tub, and filled the room with a light cloud of steam and a calming hush of cascading water funneled through the drain. The moist air consumed the bathroom's sparse space within seconds and its wetness pierced my then distressed lungs.

I tried to focus on my next seemingly impossible task, as I attempted to tighten my clammy palms around the knife's slippery rubber grip. Fear had struck a lightning bolt of trepidation through me and left me frozen in a momentary spell of panic. I attempted to hush my quickened breaths. Then it just happened, once I tightened my grip on the knife's handle I hastily lunged forward. Abruptly I hit the adjacent wall jarring my naked body and then suddenly, before I knew it...there I was, directly in his view.

Once Alex looked over at me, he appeared baffled with his bushy untamed eyebrows angled upward with a toothbrush hanging from the side of his mouth. You'd think, at that very moment, my bare quivering frame would have made me feel the most vulnerable I had ever felt. However, at that moment, it was in fact my fear of failure. My fear of failing a task that could not be abandoned. My reluctant leap that thrust me forward, revealed my truest intentions...there was no turning back.

We stood amongst the steamy bathroom fog that was gradually lifting as I intently stared into his eyes. When his eyes stared back into mine, I could sense their disbelief and betrayal; I recognized the look because I had felt the same for far too long. At that very moment, I had not expected my sentiment to be sheer joy yet it enraptured me. It made me feel like I had lost all control, and yet there I stood, proudly grinning.

He stood before me, mouth agape, when I hastily lunged forward cutting the thick air with the blade's razor sharp tip. Only my momentary hesitation gave him time to react as he continued to leap back from my failed attempts. Foolishly, I had abandoned my original plan to attack from behind,and for that I would pay the price.

He began to yell as I watched him jump back from the knife's edge, “What the fuck are you doing, Mira? You really think you are going to get away with this?!”

I didn't answer him, I continued to lunge forward with wide desperate swings, my arms wildly flailed, and my body quickly advanced toward his. With a pitiful sense of determination, he spat his toothbrush onto the floor and stood obstinately before the knife's point as it thrust straight toward his rotund gut. Impulsively, he grabbed the blade with both of his hands, cinching the blade with the meaty flesh of his bare palms. Blood began to drip from his grasp as he stood clasping its edge. His gaze shifted to the wall directly behind me, his eyes rolled back and seemed to touch the back of his brain. With his teeth tightly clenched, his eyes swiftly widened with a furious rancor. Instantly, he was a man who had become completely unhinged.

With his teeth clenched and bursts of mint scented saliva spewing from his lips, he finally met his eyes with mine when he said, “You sick twisted bitch, is this how you are planning on killing me? You better have something better planned than just a knife. You've got to be kidding me! You think you're gonna be the new sheriff in town now?! Is that why you want to get rid of me?! You got it licked around here, you dumb bitch!”

I continued to struggle as I attempted to tear the knife's razor sharp blade from his grasp. As the blood continued to pour from his wounds, his ferocious tenacity shocked me. Certainly by now his palm's searing lacerations were unbearably painful, but despite the pain he continued with incantations of profanity; all while grasping that blade. There seemed to be no sight of his waving white flag.

With his unflinching eyes, and his relentless grasp he pulled me closer toward him and said, “You think this hurts me, you bitch? You just wait till I put it straight through your stomach?! I will gut you like a pig! You are nothing but a pig. A dirty rotten pig! You got that?!”

Just then I noticed at the base of the knife, just above where his hands were clasped, his blood oozed and pooled along the grip like a thick burgundy jelly. The blood gradually pushed up between his fingers, dripped between his hairy toes and slowly pooled onto the floor beneath him.

For what seemed like several minutes, I watched him struggle to keep his foothold; and I knew at all costs he could not wrestle the knife free. Oddly, the sheer might of his grasp and his masochistic tug o' war with the knife's blade seemed to aid my endeavor. Without much warning, his upper body began to shift as his feet awkwardly shifted beneath him. Violently he fell to the floor, both knees simultaneously smacking the hard surface of the slick bathroom floor. A deafening crack followed as his knees met the unforgiving surface, 'Crackkk! Crackkkkk!'. Then in what seemed like a millisecond, he had pulled himself to his feet by the surface of the blade. He jolted upward miraculously regaining his foothold on the blood drenched bathmat.

Then with every last ounce of might I had within my upper body, I struggled to pull his body toward mine. Unknowingly, a steady stream of tears had begun to flow down my cheeks and onto my moist breasts. My body seemed to violently shake with either fury or determination. It was a sensation I will never fully understand, but I knew it was a fight I could not lose despite how vulnerable I appeared. With both my arms and upper body trembling with exhaustion, I continued to thrust myself backward against the force of his grip. Somehow, I had managed to pull him closer despite the consuming weariness I felt in all my muscles and joints. I think what I felt was a mix of exhaustion and pure adrenaline coursing through every ounce of blood.

To my surprise, at that moment I was struck with an unfathomable courage, my voice rendered a wavering inflection as my eyes stared directly into his.
My face merely inches from his own, when I said, “You were never the sheriff in town, you were never anything but a coward. Payback is a stone cold bitch and she's here to collect.”

My words seemed to incense him when he released one hand and frantically swung his fist toward my left temple; all futile attempts that appeared to leave him drained as his breaths swiftly became hastened. I cocked my head backwards to avoid his swings, making sure never to release my grip.

I can only imagine what happened next to be a surge of unmitigated madness masked with surreal joy. I craned my head backward and bellowed out laughter that seemed to erupt from the very tips of my toes. I continued to pull him toward me and then for reasons I cannot explain, during a completely unreasonable moment, I closed my eyes.

With my eyes tightly clasped, I saw in my mind's eye, an image of my Grandfather, Antonio; I hadn't seen him since he passed, nearly ten years ago. Yet, he was an image that appeared so real to me that day, one that seemed I could smell and touch. As he drew closer to me, I could see the worn pattern of his tweed jacket, the hard lines of his face and the smell of his sweet pipe tobacco that wafted by on a subtle breeze. He approached me with his hand outreached and gently placed it on mine.

Where I stood was a serene meadow on what seemed like a spring day; like something out of a magazine. I didn't recognize the place, but for the time I felt safe. When he approached he sat with me on a tree stump amongst a field of lavender and grain, a billowing willow tree sat on the horizon about a hundred feet to our left. We sat peacefully for a few moments. Today I cannot recall what it was we spoke of but I remember watching him smile so wide, his crow's feet nearly touched the tips of his ears. I simply kissed the hand he placed on mine, and we sat and enjoyed the intoxicating smells of lavender and berry.

Abruptly, there was a shift in the air, any sound that may have naturally occurred in such a place was hushed by a crescendo of moans that seemed to be drawing near and then grew to a deafening growl. I saw the worry in my grandfather's eyes, and instantly his eyes and touch made me feel like a small child as we embraced. The sound emanated from the horizon, where the beautiful billowing willow tree stood serenading our scenery. Sadly its beauty was slowly being consumed by a foreboding cloud, right before our eyes... until there was nothing left but a black void.

The darkness grew quickly and continued to grow, drawing closer to where we sat as lines of thick charcoal infiltrated the field's grain. The black melted along the horizon like thick wax streaming along a slanted picture frame; until we could only see hints of bright gold where the grain once was.

A deep unsettling sound then averted our eyes to the sky as a flock of birds emerged from where the willow tree once sat. As they flew overhead, their wings harmonized an ominous tone, 'Woooooosh Woooooooosh Woooooooosh'. As their wings cut through the clear blue sky, instantly their path turned a swampy grey. In a state of disbelief, again we both watched the gaping blackness consume the hillside.

He looked at me and said, “Mira, do you see that stream just beyond the hill?”
He pointed to a stream beyond a long decrepit stone wall that was speckled with glistening flecks of slate; a stone wall that seemed to dissect the land from a pasture of green hills with a mirror like stream running through it that reflected the midday sun.

Despite how he insisted, I found it harder to concentrate on anything but the looming blackness that drew closer as we spoke. He grabbed both of my arms and looked me in the eyes as I simply stared back at him in disbelief. With a distinct degree of urgency he shook me to awaken me from my trance. It seemed so real, those images, and the blackness on the horizon left me feeling helpless. 
With no response from me, he began to raise his voice when he said, “Now you listen to me and answer me when I ask you something, girl! Do you see that stream beyond the wall?”

The wind blew harder, stray debris and lumps of grass began to kick up and swirl madly until they snapped in our faces, making the conditions even harder to ignore.
He continued to insist, “DO YOU HEAR ME?!”
I finally replied, “Yes, grandpa yes! I hear you Jesus Christ! What is it already?!”
He scolded me for taking the Lord's name in vain and then lifted his boney liver spotted hand to point where the blackness grew.
He said, “Never mind that stream for a moment, we've wasted too much time. You see that evil over there on the hill? It's only there if you want it to be. It's only there because that's what you want to see, Mira. Stop this now, be brave!”

I nodded and he continued, “God showed you this place today, not me. I believe he wants you to see and feel what peace you can and should have. I have no regrets but for wishing I had more moments to spare; like right now. Don't live with regrets, Mira. It's time for you to go and move on from this.”
I replied, “I know grandpa, I'm just scared. What happens if I fail? I'm afraid of failing this and then I fail my children, I can't go to prison over this!”
He shook my body, when he grappled with my trembling arms then looked me in the eyes when he shouted, “NOW STOP THIS! YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU MUST DO THIS!”
I began to assure him, “Ok, I know, you're right...”
He interrupted, “Shutup and listen, girl. I told you we don't have much time, and I got more to say!”
So I did, finally I just listened, and momentarily the growls seemed to cease. I finally stood and listened, as I took in the sweet berry scented tobacco that clung to the air around us; a smell I remembered from childhood. A smell that always reminded me of him when I was lucky enough to enjoy the warmth of its familiarity.

He said, “Now Mira, you see that stream beyond the rocks?”
Finally, I replied, “Yes, Grandpa, I see it.”

The he said through a smile and slight chuckle as he turned his eyes toward the stream, “That's where I spend most of my days, and fish for as long as I please. That's where I sit for hours remembering the days with my family, our family, wishing I had enjoyed every moment I was granted; only a hundred times more. If that's even possible, because I loved my life. We made great stories together. Make great stories now, Mira. Let this go.”

He continued with a reassuring tone, “Get rid of the evil, Mira. You will not regret it, and someday...when you need me, I will be right there, by the river. But for now, you finish this. Be a brave girl.”

He released my arms and nodded at me with approval, and that's when I turned to walk from him. As I walked away, I turned back to look at him just one more time. I smiled at him as he stood in that field with a trailing blackness behind him; briefly he waved me on and then folded his arms gently rubbing the scuffed leather patches on the elbows of his worn suit coat. As I continued to walk down the meadow's path, wisps of long grass and grain tickled my ankles. It was then I felt as though I left behind all guilt and regret; I left it behind in that meadow along with the murky gaping void.

Abruptly, with my next step, it felt as though the birds above had plummeted from the sky when I was sheathed amongst their unsettling familiar sound I heard moments before, 'Wooooooosh! Wooooooosh! Woooooooooooooooosh!'. I felt like I was falling when my eyes fell blank and the distant growls dissipated into a swirling breeze. Swiftly, as though not a second had passed, there I stood... in my bathroom, struggling with that knife. In fact, my eyes were still set on the ceiling above.

Quickly, I snapped my head down to gain my bearings, and stared directly at my husband and grunted as I pulled his body toward mine with the knife's slippery grip. 
Desperately, I struggled to bring his body closer to mine. As I pulled the louder I groaned, 'Arrrrrr, Ahhhhhhhhh, Arrahhhhhh, Ahhhhhhhhhhh!'
My feet began to slip when the slick underside of the bathmat began to shift against the damp floor. Yet, I continued to insist and pulled him closer as his thick maroon blood drenched the rug beneath. An earthy smell of sweat and blood clung to the moist air that beaded along my arms and chest. I knew I had pulled him as close as he would come, and between us the bathroom's thick fog had dissipated only briefly; enough for me to look straight through him and absorbed trembling fear through his grasp.

I managed to pull him a few inches closer when I whispered in his ear, “And now it's time for you to go.”
Then I released the knife's grip.

I watched as he plummeted backwards with great force, head first on the wall across from the bathroom door. His relentless fortitude in grasping for that knife's edge aided his ultimate loss. Then I stood on the blood drenched bath mat, with dried blood spatter on my shins and ankles staring over at his slouched frame. As the moist bathroom fog continued to lift from the space between us, I drew closer to study his helpless state. His head was slouched forward onto his chest and the very tip of his inadequate penis peered up at me, like a very sad little face.

Standing over him, I lurched my hand upward and swiftly brought it down slapping him across the face leaving a distinct red mark in the shape of my fingers and palm. I laughed at the sound and the sight of the impression on his cheek. Then I pried the knife's blade from his ground chuck palms, and washed it clean of blood under the running shower head. With my blade clean I walked back over to Alex and placed its shiny edge just beneath his nose, when an opaque steam spread along the blade's surface. Of course he was still alive, surely a little bump to the head wasn't going to rid me of my monster.

Completely exhausted I reluctantly dropped the knife to my feet. I could have easily slit his throat as he laid there defenseless, but I felt there was no sport in that. I yearned to watch the last drop of life funnel through his eyes. Much like droplets of water cling to a spider's intricately woven web, then slowly dissipate till there is nothing left but white. Truly, now it was only the anticipation that kept the task exciting. It was my plan to let him rest, because in the morning we would spend more time together.

I leaned down far enough to kiss the blistering palm mark on his face, when I said, “Tomorrow we will have our own secret accord, darling. But I'll make it look like an accident. You rest up, sweetheart. ”

With what seemed like a hastened jolt to shake the pain from his heavy eyes, Alex awoke from unconsciousness at approximately 0600 hours. Alex stiffened his body amongst a downy comforter encased with a blood encrusted thick black refuse bag. Frantically, he looked down at the moistened bloody bag that clung to his skin. When he attempted to lunge forward the clang of handcuffs rattled against the headboard's frame and lightly chaffed his fattened wrist. With his free hand he grasped what little hair remained along his receding hair line desperately scanning the room.

I sat in the far corner of the room, far enough out of his reach and barely within his view. He continued to struggle, attempting to release his arm as he winced in pain. While he was unconscious, I had dressed the deep wounds on his hands, but surely the pain was overwhelming as he had lost considerable blood. Then He turned his free palm toward his face and brought the gauze covered wound to his mouth and clenched a free strand with his teeth, in an attempt to expose his wounded hand.

Instantly he froze when I said, “I wouldn't take that off if I were you. It's a pretty deep cut, and really you should have stitches. The dried blood and bandage is the only thing stopping the blood flow...well, for now. You really messed up your hands, moron.”

He jerked his head to the corner of the room where I sat, with his right eye peering as far as it could without bulging from his skull. As he tried to lunge forward, a metallic thunder caught him when the chains quickly snapped him back to where he sat.