Crime Contemporary Fiction

Trigger warning: suicide


It’s fine really.


The wind is buffeting my body and it is so chill, but it won’t take long. I can’t help remembering how it was only yesterday; images flicker across my mind’s eye, the celluloid trail of a movie that charts my journey to the now, and to here.


My world was warm yesterday, full of life and promise, and pathways untrodden and un-numbered, stretching away to horizons brimming with hope. What fools we are. Believing our own stories, the narratives we spin around ourselves to give us meaning and purpose in a random universe where life arose as an accidental by-product of chemical reactions on a world whirling around an inconsequential star in a solar system divorced from the crowded centre of an unremarkable galaxy. All spinning in random dances in the great void.


It was when I opened the door to the kitchen. The house was so quiet. No barking dog to welcome me home, no cries and laughter from two small children running around and reveling in their chaos and havoc -driven splendor. No voice from my wife, raised in welcome, raised in warm promise. No rancor-tinged words to stain the air, no accusatory dark looks brimming with the malice of knowing, no acid-laced conversation starters to sour the evening meal. Not anymore.


My hand stays on the door-handle. Its cold metallic touch holding my body in place as my mind screams and roars and cries out in defiance and disbelief. The neatly laid out sides and cupboard fronts are stained with runnels of red. The cream softness of the laminated floor is marred and made ugly with the scatter of utensils and broken crockery. So much blood. How can there be so much blood?


Crumpled in one corner, pushed hard against the washer-dryer, sandwiching between it and the fridge, broken forms that might once have been living beings, bright with potential, now consumed and empty. My knees wanted to give way, my body flooding with the consequence of shock and realization. Even the broken body of the dog, still twitching in its final defense of the family who had adored it, scratched at my appalled eyes.


I notice the door handle is also stained with the same red hue, but how? And then I notice the weight pulling at my other arm; the gun is heavy and still hot. Its rank cordite stink assailing my nostrils as the smoke curls away innocently from the long barrel.


Then I am running. Running out of the house and down the tree-lined street. But I cannot escape, no matter how hard I push, no matter how harsh the breath scrapes my lungs as I lengthen my stride and seek to flee the bloody images, the strident memory of a fury unleashed.


The rage is everything. It defines me, it always has. A rivulet of fire that has driven my life from childhood to now. Early parental betrayal; hurting where there should have been cherishment, isolation where there should have been love. All that I should have been, all the potential of a life yet to be lived, all burned away in a vileness and bitter betrayal.


The darkest path. Hidden beneath my human front, carefully crafted and constructed from the lessons of a hundred books and TV shows, primed for artful humanity, my monstrous visage cloaked beneath a vision of clever artifice. For friendships made, lovers found, marriage formed and children made. All a clever lie. She saw through me, through the darkling mirror of my illusion, to the heart of my unsanity.


Her words flew like razor blades, cutting and blood-letting. Slice after slice as her scalpel voice flayed away the cloaked shadows of my self. My retort, machine gun fast, cruel and accurate, designed to wound and to hurt. Her counter-attack, cold and effective. Its ice cruel fingers tearing away the last of my reserve. And the rage unleashed. The flame of anger burning bright and uncontrollable, a conflagration that would consume all. Her anger and disgust drain away, pierced with the birth of a fear that will never reach full realization.


The deadly weight of the gun in my hand came from nowhere I can remember. The dog barking, children screaming, her eyes brimming over with the knowing. Then the sharp, insistent cracks, impossibly loud in the enclosed space, my ears ringing in the new found silence of aftermath. Leaving the house to sit outside and draw clean air into my lungs, to blow out the red shreds of rage that choked and enfolded me. Then, after an agony of eternity, returning back through the door.


My narrative is nearing its punchline now.


Where minutes, hours, days and months once spun on in interminable procession, seemingly endless, seemingly meaningful, now the narrative line rushes towards a full stop. Seconds stretch into aeons, time has become elastic and pliable. Now, there is meaning, now there is a point to this existence.


My arms and legs stretch further, the wind is now the rage, tearing at my clothes as it once tore at my soul. The pathway of my passage stretches behind as the clouded mists reluctantly part at my rude intrusion into their peace.


The small plane was easy to steal. I just walked up to it in the hangar, passed polite words with its intended pilot, his eyes narrowing at my stained shirt and trousers. The gun spoke again, but without anger this time. This time its shout was one of needfulness and a mind for resolution. He dropped to his knees, bright scarlet flowers blooming on his overalls, eyes shadowing with the consequence of my coming.


Taking off into the clear blue sky was wonderfully releasing. The chains of earthbound life falling away as the single propeller clawed its way up. Autopilot set, and doorway opened. Was there a moment of regret, a moment of fear? I can’t remember. The step into the outside was both short, and long.


It really is fine, you know.


400 metres from first step to landfall, 10 long, beautiful seconds to review and think about things as my body hurtles towards terminal velocity. The clouds have parted now and I can see the toy-like network of roads and houses below me. It all looks unreal, feels like a fantasy. I glance at my watch as my body begins to turn and tumble – 7 seconds,8....maybe I miscalculate………………….


January 01, 2021 08:13

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