Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
I forgot who I was for a moment. My memory burnt out before flashing back in an instant. The bloodied knife in my hand and the body on the wet Manhattan concrete in front of me was real.
I dropped the knife. I don’t think there was anyone watching, it must have been two or three in the morning, much too late out. The cold rain spattered on the blade and washed away the man’s blood. I dry heaved immediately. The ragged, skinny man was drained of almost all of his color already. His face lay on the ground surrounded by a crimson pool, his wrinkled bald spot on the top of his head almost staring at me, encircled by gray, wiry hairs. I’m not sure why, but I shuddered at just the thought of his face underneath.
Then, this struck me as funny. Hilarious, even. I cannot remember why. I began to laugh. I smirked, then chuckled, and then erupted into a hearty, victorious laughter. I did it, I killed a man! Just in an act of pure spite, I grasped the slick knife up from the ground and hurled it at the body. Murder is fun, most normal folk don’t know what they’re missing!
I began to walk home. I felt no rush, nor fear, and home was not even that far from here. The rain around me poured harder upon the blanketed earth, every drop clapping against it, almost as if the rain was applauding me for my gratuitous deed to the world! Soon later, with a twist of the freezing doorknob, I let myself inside of my familiar abode. The dirty floorboards creaked under my barely-covered feet, and the welcoming rats and roaches scurried about to hide themselves out of what I like to think of as respect for their benevolent master.
In the corner of my eye, I saw him. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I shuddered at the familiar sight. The man with the bald spot and the gray hairs encircling it like it was a gray fireball, the thin body and jacket, the ruby pool of blood enveloping his hidden face. I darted to go see if he was real, but he had vanished, seemingly run off! The bloody man was just here, I know it!
I was cautious, and I was not going to let my guard down for a second. I gave into my animalistic urges for just a brief moment and dropped to all fours. For an odd reason, I found this fitting, acting as if I was the predator hunting the prey. I stealthily crawled across my kitchen, the scent of the familiar grime on the floor calming my nerves briefly. Then again, he appeared! In the sink, watching with his bald spot, as if it were an unblinking, flesh-colored eye. The rain clattered against the plastic window and rotting boards like the heavens were pounding to come in and take me away for the dreadful sin I have committed.
I scurried across the kitchen floor and dove into the other, pitch black room, landing on my faithful stained mattress. I tried to sleep and rest for another day, but every time the warm embrace of sleep began to envelop me, he appears in the corner of my eye. The man with the bald spot, staring at me from across the room with his swirled silver hair and pale circle of flesh visible.
I cried to him, this angel of death, “What do you want from me!?” There was no answer from the man, who had just vanished. I knew had done something especially wrong this time, I know it. I must consult the Savior.
His location was always easy to find. The painting of our lord and savior Jesus Christ was hung by a rusty nail right above his ever-burning candle in the hallway. I bowed in front of his presence and hit my knees on the floor, making both a sudden thud and a squealing whine on the wood. Though the painting was worn with his face melted and dark, and his hands warped into swollen claws, I knew behind his grisly visage that he was the idol of all that is right and wrong in life, and the sole adjudicator of the universe, judging all actions.
“Oh, Savior,” I pleaded, “Please forgive me. I have done no wrong, you surely know this! My murder was an act of purity and nothing less! I am truly pure of heart, my Savior, forgive me! Forgive me and cleanse me of my sins!”
The Savior spoke but a low growl. The painting itself never spoke, but he whispered his tomes to me. I paused, and awaited another answer. Nothing came, and a pain had struck my gut. Savior had not spoken another sound save for the growl, but it did not matter. I was not forgiven.
The bloody man has won, and I am forever trapped. I would never be forgiven, every time I shut my eyes, or gaze upon the darkness, he is there, forever watching me and choosing my fate. He is the looming sword of Damocles that I know will one day crash down upon me with vengeful wrath and cleave me in twain.
It was not until he raised his head that I knew I was truly damned.
Credit To: Kilroy Jones