What follows is a short piece of writing that speaks for itself. Problem is, it doesn't really say what I want it to. I'm considering using it as a springboard/intro for a larger piece, perhaps covering the issue I originally intended to address--the questions that inevitably arise in the taking of a human life--but in a less direct fashion, and alongside a host of other, larger but perhaps less timeless issues in a Snow Crash
-esque, quasi-apocalyptic environment. Or maybe not. *shrug* At any rate, "Hand to Hand
I killed him quickly, stepping behind him, buckling his knees, and breaking his neck in the time-honored fashion. He was beginning to asphyxiate—I had kicked him in the throat, and his trachea had collapsed—and I placed my left hand under his mouth, setting his lower jaw against my palm and grasping the right side of his chin with my fingers. Then, carefully settling the elaborate tracery of my right palm across the back of his head, I jerked my hands in opposite directions, forcing his chin to the left and rotating his neck much farther than it was ever designed to. There was a sharp crack, and I returned his head to its natural position, gently lowering his lifeless body to the warm pavement. Slowly, I closed his eyes, ending forever their unwavering gaze into the darkening heavens, stood up, clasped my hands behind my back, and walked away.
When I was four blocks away from his cooling, stiffening corpse, I peeled off the latex gloves that covered the skin from my hands to the top of my forearms and dropped them in the middle of the oily road. Reaching into the small cargo compartment of a white motorcycle resting on the broken sidewalk, I retrieved a canister of lighter fluid and a box of Diamond strike-anywhere matches, which I placed on the bike’s white leather seat. Sliding open the carton with my left hand, I removed a single match, and then gently flipped open the seal on the canister. Pointing it at the flesh-colored gloves laying crumpled in the worn flakes of asphalt, I played the stream over the only evidence that could ever convict me of David Sapin’s murder, drenching the vaults of genetic information in pyrotechnic potential. Finally satisfied, I struck the match against the left leg of my jeans and held its burning sulphurous head in the path of the fluid. The flame, borne through the air onto the shriveled latex, hungrily consumed the entrails of the past. I tossed the match onto the pyre.
Within sixty seconds, the fire extinguished itself, and my crime was a pile of smoking carbon on a decrepit, abandoned alley, deaf to history and mute to inquiry. I slid the matchbox closed, secured the seal over the lighter fluid, dropped them both back into the cutaway in the bike, and sealed it. Then, bringing up the kickstand, I retrieved the key from my inner jacket pocket, started up the machine, and rolled off the sidewalk into the darkness.
Please feel free to post (or contact me directly with) comments of almost any nature; I welcome any and all thoughtful feedback.