Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Oct. 8
- Community Blog
As You Sow, So Shall Your Reaper
I don't think I'm evil.
Oh, sure, I've caused the death of well over two thousand people in my forty-odd years. Some of them were very odd years, too, especially those coinciding with my adolescence.
That’s when I first discovered my ability to kill with the mere touch of my right hand.
But my power is a natural resource, an organic gift, so how can nature's will be evil?
The power to dish out death manifested all at once, just as I was learning to cope with acne and involuntary erections. A good bit of trial and error was involved.
My initial experiments showed that I could place four fingers against the skin of any living being, and they would be dead within hours. A car accident, heart attack, brain aneurysm, violent robbery, bolt of lightning - no telling what manner of demise was ensured, but death was guaranteed by my touch.
My power - unless inhibited by fabric, or by donning the surgical gloves I depend on to keep my power in check – causes me to feel a stinging electric "spark" whenever my touch completes the circuit, signaling irreversible doom.
Only my right hand has the "death touch." I consider it my life's duty to utilize my power at will, or else why would I have been granted such a gift?
Before long, I learned that I could hasten death in seconds, by inhaling deeply as I apply the touch, and then snatching my hand back, sharply, as if yanking away someone's last breath.
I did this with the cop who tried to jack me for a bribe, and he dropped stone-cold-dead at my feet.
As did the big black bruiser who tried to jump me at a bus stop one night.
Then there was the boss who fired me when I threatened to expose his shoddy and dangerous food preparation…that one was what I call an “instant-karma kill.”
Not that I have superheroic motives and seek to use my power only to fight evil. My reasons for choosing a victim can be selfish, even whimsical.
I kill in hopes of dealing out justice, I kill in anger, I kill in confusion or surprise, and sometimes I kill for amusement.
But mostly, I kill for revenge.
My senior class mourned that smarmy little cheerleader who laughed at me, who told me she only dated me because of my tricked out GTO. She was only the first of many women who didn't live long enough to regret rejecting my love.
Or rather, my touch.
I consider it my job, my fate, my mission in life, to deal death to those I deem deserving. I'm efficient that way; a one-stop shop, with a deadly chop. Judge, jury, and executioner, with no worries about being held accountable, since I can't be connected to the fatalities I orchestrate.
Rarely a day passes that I don't remove my glove and do the duty charged me by whatever god or demon placed this elemental power in my right hand.
There have been times, though, where I was having too much fun to hand out any death. My first ever record convention, for instance, carried me through one deathless week. As did the Woodstock revival concert, at least until a raging skinhead p#ssed me off during the final hours.
I laughed so hard when that speaker tower fell over and crushed him into the mud. So did the other skinheads, the sick f#cks.
I admit there've been unfortunate accidents which trouble me still. Like what happened to that lovely young Hispanic girl I met in San Francisco, whose name I've purposely blocked from my memory.
She took me to her Spartan little apartment, just hours after we met in a dry-ice filled Goth club, and we delighted in each other physically, intellectually, and spiritually for countless days. She considered my latex clad right hand a curiously fun fetish, and we easily worked it into our litany of lovemaking.
If only I hadn't agreed to let her use the bathroom while I shaved - she unexpectedly clasped my ungloved hand, intending only a show of affection but instead sealing her grim fate.
I hurriedly dressed and ran down the stairs from her apartment, so as not to witness the inevitable. Dammit, the poor girl chased after me...and then she tripped, landing in a misshapen heap at my feet.
Her sexy, full lips were still painted lightly with my semen as she whispered "But I love you," her perfect olive-skin tightening as the final death rattle shivered across her nude body.
I've never admitted my power to anyone. This is the first time I've acknowledged it by writing anything down. The reason I do so is because, just tonight, I met someone else like me. Another with the death touch.
I’ve wondered if there are others of my breed. This one’s a woman, doesn't it go to show.
Her name is Daisy. I don't think she considers herself evil either. I'm sure of this, in fact, because we've already talked, at great length, about things like evil, and destiny, and about the singular purity and irreversible power of death.
We met over the spiked punch bowl at a mutual friend’s wedding reception, where I was trying to talk her into a little private reception of our own.
Of course, I didn't recognize Daisy as a death dealer at first glance. Nor did she suspect my own gift.
Not until this militant lesbian who delights in killing flirtatious men took off her glove and touched my bare wrist.
Her expression was a two-sided smile/sneer, offering both her curse and benediction, even as my own arm recoiled - to my amazement and shock, I felt that selfsame spark I usually feel in MY fingers when handing someone else their final reward.
This time, the electric charge was followed by a sickly fizzling sound and a burning smell. This unexpected turn of events equally startled the two of us.
As our eyes met, we recognized each other for what we were, even as we simultaneously realized that our inadvertent connection had somehow short-circuited both our power sources.
In that second, we were reduced to the same lowly status as the poor, powerless humanity whose fate we'd once controlled.
Our shared anger was black and blind, an explosion of pure pain. Neither of us can stand the thought of living without the power. That would be, well, a fate worse than death.
We realized this even as we committed violent, atrocious sex against each other, shoving our once-mighty right hands into each other, deeply and roughly, as if trying to fist the life out of each other by pummeling our sex organs from the inside.
Now she's sleeping by my side, in a $35.00 hotel room where I'm composing this letter to whoever finds our soon-to-be lifeless bodies.
The creaky old rangetop stove is on, with no flame to consume its deadly gas. We seek to extinguish ourselves. A decision we made together.
Daisy's breathing is already faint, and I grow more dizzy and tired with each word I write. As the two of us have sown, so shall these grim reapers finally reap?
Except...I keep seeing figures, looming before me. More distinct now than just a moment ago. Hordes of people, I see, gathered tightly against the walls, around this bed, even peering in from outside the hotel room window.
I recognize them.
My old boss at the fast food joint, a scowling cop, a black man with his fist upraised, a doe-eyed little Mexican girl, and a far-too-pretty teenager wearing a cheerleader uniform...
Oh sh#t. I see dead people.
And, boy, do they look p#ssed.