Sentence Beginnings


"It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw." from Travels by Michael Crichton.

Here I go. . .

It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw. In fact, using a semiautomatic would probably be more effective if one was hoping for a simpler method of disposing something or someone - as my accomplice, J, and I were doing one chilly October night. However, we were ill prepared and didn't have access to a hacksaw, much less a gun. Instead, my tools for that particular night consisted of a knife, an old sack, one rust caked shovel and -of course- the victim.

The night was strangely clear and the moon a slit in the stretching black above our heads. It was a night filled with unspoken mischief and actions motivated by adrenaline. Dim streetlights lined the road with their glowing hope for those afraid of the dark and a calm blanket had been extended over the neighborhood. Luckily, both J and I had outgrown our childish fears and were unbothered as we set out on our engagement.

J's eyes were craters on her face's shadow as she looked up at me in alarm. Flaring lights of red and blue colors moved in patterns across our thin frames bent over a half dug hole. They were quickly joined by the more common beams of golden flashlights and husky figures of hesitant men in blue. I cursed quietly under my breath as J and I faced the authorities through squinted eyes. Somebody had caught sight of us as we dragged the bulky bag down the boulevard though we kept to the darker spaces. This was unexpected and our plan was cut short as they took us in.

Earlier that night I had given my best friend an encouraging smile. It wasn't a daily thing for us to commit such a deed and our doubts needed to be subsided. She had scouted out the arranged area like planned and I had our subject. In a silence where an ant’s steps could be heard, we set to work. I heaved my collection in front of us and we instantly brought our knives down, penetrating the skin into flesh. Fluid stained our shaking hands as we tossed handfuls of the mutilated pieces into the sack, tying the opening off nicely.

We sat in another uncomfortable silence as the policeman drove without a word. A chuckle broke between my lips, growing in volume, as I contemplated over the night’s events. J’s snickering laugh soon mingled with mine. It could have been regarded as insanity from us both. The police didn’t mirror our amusement as they faced us from across the table, the evidence against our crime set between us. Dark stains where the fabric had absorbed the oozing liquid could be more clearly discerned in the lit room.

In approximately two hours later we were released from the police station. They didn’t appreciate our humor when we told them “Happy Halloween” after the chunks of an assortment of fresh fruit was found in the bag.


Remember That Day?


You've always been the quiet kid haven't you? Reluctant to participate in group activities or go where there was bound to be a lot of people. Awfully shy, weren't you...?

I remember a few years ago when I saw you for the first time. That summer we moved here. I was in the passenger seat when we drove into the drive-way of our new house. I refused to call it a home, all it was was an empty shell to live in. The rain had just passed and the ground was still damp. You were standing outside the house next door, staring up into the sky as if it was the first time you've ever saw such a thing. Your hair was wet and your suit soaked through. You must've been standing there a long time. Do you know what I remember most about that picture? It was the way your mouth formed silent words in that stillness. I wonder what you had said.

The next time I saw you was on the second day of school. I had missed the day before because I got my days mixed up. You were sitting in the back, a little apart from the others. All the seats around you were taken so I sat near the door. Immediately the friendlier students gathered around to introduce themselves and ask about me. I glanced in your direction to catch you looking up at me from your desk. We didn't say anything after class. I didn't see you the rest of the day.

On the third week of school you came in late to first period. By then the whole "new kid" excitement had settled and the fake-friends that just wanted to get the gossip were uninterested in me, and the others came to conclusion I was a bit too strange to befriend. You handed the tardy slip in and wordlessly took the empty seat next to me. You smelled of smoke. I was unsure if someone in your family smoked, or if you did. After class, I gave you a jolly rancher. That was the only time I saw you smile for the rest of that semester.

The next time I saw you smile was the fourth day of spring break. We were close then. You were a time bomb and I was a small girl with a knife in each hand. I bet I could fit everything you've said since the first day in less than two pages. We spent that whole day laying in an empty park looking at the sky. You still look at the vast space in awe - just like that day. That day, you explain, when your mother passed away. Your father had left and you live with your uncle, but they were a struggling species. You ask why I became your friend. Simple, I tell you. You're real. You scoffed softly at me and turned away, but I still saw it.

The school year was over and the halls were drowned in "good-byes" and "I'll miss yous". Some of my less close friends came by my locker to give me a hug and promise to hangout when they came back from vacation. "Have a great summer" I tell them. I wouldn't be around when they came back though. You knew this. I let my phone ring for the fifth time before I picked up. You tell me to come outside. I met you in front of my house and we walked to the park together. Shy? you repeat. No, I'm not shy. Others just aren't interested enough to get to know me you clarify. The sky was dark and sprinkled with tiny worlds. It was strange. I wasn't scared when you held the gun to my forehead. You told me that night what you said that day I moved in. You had begged The Lord to send you someone, anyone.
We stood there for a while. Just you and me.

You should smile more often - happy looks good on you.

The next day, the movers came to pack up our final things. As the car passed by the park, I could see where we stood the night before. It was stained with your life. A few feet to the right where you were looking at the sky. Only difference was, the awe was gone, it was replaced by a curve of your mouth.