The Murderer

There was something dead serious about his eyes. He was staring at his reflection on the rearview mirror and his grave countenance sparked a jocular internal laugh. His eyes were revealing the truth, he would soon murder someone. Yes, he was dead serious about his crime. A deathly stare revealed his intentions but no one was around to take warning. With trepidation he awaited the closing hour. The blazing stars where his only companions as the retreating twilight unleashed the nightly spectacle. With one hand on the driving wheel and the other on his right thigh gently caressing the firearm through his worn jeans. Two in the chest and one in the skull, he speculated. Perhaps two in the skull and one in the heart, he concluded. How delicate the whole situation was, how easily it could all go wrong. But his mind was set and he was going to terminate his victim and relish in the sight of his last living breath.

The night was turning cold. He could sense the bloodless air acquiring his own ghastly evil as it became increasingly cold. The fibers of his muscles presented a quivering tension, a display revealing both excitement and loathsome anticipation. He wanted it to be over, to dissolve the burden of impatience that was taking over his whole spirit. Yet the most severe vexation to exterminate was the life of his victim. The thought of him being still alive was more unbearable than the thought of committing the homicide. His impatience grew with the knowledge that his victim had taken pleasure in his most precious jewel. One week ago they were still friends. Now, his victim had become the most abominable monster to be wiped out of this earth.

His gaze is fixed on a hollow void in front of him. He is picturing the agony he is going to inflict on his despised friend. The scene becomes very clear. His friend opens the front door of his house as he makes his regular Saturday night visit to the video store. After a short five minute walk he will catch up with him and salute him in the most conventional manner. He’ll feign surprise in the apparent coincidence that both are on the way to the video store at the same time. They will discuss the past week’s work anecdotes as they approach the store. There is a long lonely alley one can go through before you reach Luvall St., where the video store is located. While walking through the alley he will voluntarily drop his mobile phone and make his friend stop while he picks it up. He can visualize the expression of impatience in his friend’s face, he knows him too well. He doesn’t want to leave their daughters at home alone for too long. The visit to the store does not take more than twenty minutes. Their daughters are obediently watching cartoons on the TV and nothing has ever happened in this short lapse of time as he walks to the video store. That is why he is eager to return as soon as possible. He sees himself bending down to pick up the phone with his left hand while his right hand reaches for the gun. As he rises he points his gun straight into his friends face, oh the grisly shock on his face, the interminable second or two before he pulls the trigger and the last remnants of his friend’s life come to an end. He will leave the body there and return to his car. He will exhale in an avalanche of relief. He will clean the firearm and will make sure to give it a good bargain price next Monday in his firearm store. He will change the ammunition so it will not match with the bullets in the body. After concealing the weapon he will make his way to his friend’s house to pick up his daughter. He will ring the door bell and the girls will obediently open the door. He will come in and wait for his friend’s return. After an hour wait he will call his friend’s wife and let her know that he has to leave and urges her to come back to watch her daughter. As she arrives they will decide to drive to the video store to look for him but since no clue of him is to appear they call the police. He will dismiss himself on account of an obliging dinner with his wife. He will make his way back home and peacefully have dinner with his wife and daughter, if she still has an appetite. The police will find the body and he will be interrogated. He’ll have an infallible alibi, first he was with his wife and then with the children and finally with his friend’s wife. The weapon will be disposed of in the hands of an inadvertent client, a gun model extremely popular these days. His eyes focus back on reality as he sees from afar the door opening slowly. The hour has come.

He steps out of his car and walks hastily towards his friend. As he draws near he sees the back of his head, a delicate egg shell that will soon be smashed to pieces. That pretty white shirt shortly will be dappled by the draining crimson fluid that will announce his death. A slight emetic paroxysm takes place but he retains the vomit from coming out of his mouth and swallows it back again. He calls out his friend’s name and he looks back in astonishment. They greet each other naturally without stopping and they both state their common objective of renting a movie. Scrupulously he examines his friend’s face, those twisted perverted eyes, the smile of a living daemon, the smell of a psychopath, a ruthless child molester. A sharp injection of sadness takes hold of him as he imagines his poor daughter being assaulted by this gruesome creature. He barely keeps his face straight as he manages to continue the casual conversation. They discuss the happenings at work this last week.

The air is so cold mist bursts out in the articulation of each syllable. His friend is particularly excited in the narration of his last sexual encounter with his new secretary. He listens this time with repulsion to what was once a normal topic of discussion. They approach the narrow alley and enter it… straight into the dungeon, he thought. The shadowy darkness engulfs them and they walk in a steady pace. He spots an empty canister at midpoint, the point, he intuitively assesses, is the decisive place for the murder. He grips his phone slyly and as they pass the canister he drops it with diffidence. An eerie echo resounds on the paint-peeling walls. They both stop as he bends down to pick his phone. His friend kneels down as well to help him but he rejects the help with an intimidating shriek. His right hand firmly holds the grip of the gun. He raises his torso almost in a theatrical fashion and swiftly takes out the gun and points it to his former friend’s face. Less than a second has passed and his whole vision turns pale white as if all his blood has gone to his feet. The second is complete and in lieu of a shattering gunpowder explosion only a nervous laugh is heard and a cowardly response comes as his resolution broke down, ‘This is my new gun to keep my family safe, how do you like it?’. His friend retorts, ‘I’d like it better if it were pointed some other direction.’ In an attempt to not arouse any suspicion of his initial intentions he asserts there are no bullets in. They continue with their walk and reach the store.

On his way back home with his daughter he is overcome by a relentless guilt, a penetrating pain as he could not fulfill his revenge. They arrive home and have a dinner in impervious silence, the chewing sounds of meat, peas and tomatoes perform a beastly symphony in the dining room. He excuses himself as soon as he is done and leaves his house pretending he was given the wrong film he rented. He walked this time towards the store, semi-consciously aware that he will pass by the house of his degenerate friend. He forges images of blood and slaughter in his head but through these images a weakness is felt, he acknowledges he has not the heart to become a murderer. He passes the house and walks towards the gloomy alley. His thoughts are racing in immeasurable speed, what to be done?

He halts near the empty canister as a dog is seen upfront. He sees the helpless animal staring at him in expectation of a kindly gesture. He puts his hands on his waist and realizes he still has the gun in his pocket. He takes it out and presses it to his forehead. All the troubles of his life seem to coalesce in this single instant and then, without hesitation, he holds the firearm, points, and shoots the dog between its eyes. A cat flees the scene and the dog falls to the ground like a sack of flesh. The man comes near it and to his brutal surprise he introduces his finger in the dog’s skull, and as if indulging the finger in a sweep of whip cream, he smells the canine blood and sucks his finger with dauntless delight.

That evening he went to bed and twirled around for hours without end. He went to bed with the conscience of a murderer. And he very well knew it wouldn’t be his last.