It serves me right, I guess, that I should end up like this. Had I known reincarnation was more than just shit being spewed to keep the masses living in mindless fear, I might have lived my past life differently. Though I suppose with people like me running around, it is best the masses live in fear, anyways.
It’s hard to say definitively if we would have done things differently when we look at our past actions through the lens of all that we know in the future. I didn’t have a crystal ball full of all the knowledge I have now, not that I’m so sure it would have made any difference. I’ve given a lot of thought to this, it’s really all you can do when you reincarnate like this- think.
Truthfully, even knowing what I know now, I couldn’t say in any confidence that I would have done things much differently. I had a lot of fun. I feel like no one really understands the meaning of life until you take it from someone; it doesn’t seem so special until you realize how easily it is taken, and I mean easily, I hardly had to put in any effort at times. Though, that happens when you hunt the sort of prey that I do. I never liked big game. At least I got to have my fun. Besides, it could be kind of fascinating to learn what it's like on the receiving end of the knife. Kind of like research, of sorts.
I hope I do get to learn what that’s like. Thus far, reincarnated life has been far from a vacation, not that I expected to get into heaven by any means. Honestly, I don’t think I could survive the knifeless option, I could’ve sworn I used to be tough as nails, but this, this waiting period, the ever-mounting anxiety, it’s a lot more difficult than I expected. That nervous feeling in your guts, the knowing that something worse is coming, knowing it as fact, so much so that the only question left is when.
At the same time, I kind of like it. It’s helping me gain greater insight into the artistry of my craft, seeing my own workmanship in a new light. You know, before I came back like this. Whenever I find myself drowning in the relentless waves of fear, the anxiety before the hurt, I remind myself of how many individuals felt this exact fear at my own hands- and I didn’t even know it! How funny is that? I’d only ever thought about the actual tangible hurt I caused, not the anxiety. I wish I had known this part back then, it would’ve made things substantially more exciting for me, if only I’d known to utilize the psychological as much as the physical. Maybe then I’d be the type of guy that gets documentaries made about him, not just newspaper clippings in the town archives.
Huh, the things you learn when you’re reincarnated. I think if I could go back and tell myself anything, pre-reincarnation, it would be to make them wait longer. So, maybe knowing then what I know now would have made me do things differently, I would have done them better.
I digress from the past, for the time being. There’s nothing I can do about it anymore, but unfortunately, there’s not much I can do now, either. This waiting period, I’ll tell ya, it’s more of a killer than I’ve ever been. I’d welcome death at this point. I’d beg for death. Hell, I’d pray for death. Might as well, if reincarnation is real, who am I to say that God isn’t? I hope he’s as merciful as they say. I hope he lets me out of here.
Today feels like a good day to be taken away, it’s not as cold as the last few days have been and my hopes are high. I’ve watched countless other bodies be pried from the algid grips of the mud that weaves around our bodies with spindly fingers, its dingy claws dug in just deep enough to keep us quiescent. Not that I could get very far even if I could wiggle some life into my aching body. Not with this stupid chain that keeps me in a chokehold, tying me to all the other prisoners of the mud. Maybe I am just jealous that I hadn’t thought of the iron necklace myself, ropes and handcuffs were so… tasteless. A bit overused too, if we’re getting into the subject, but a chain around the neck, now that’s something I wish I could tell my past life self.
I do apologize for my tendency to relish in the past. Try as I might, my mind continues to wander, as the mind often does when faced with nothing but time to think. I wonder if everyone that reincarnates keeps their memories or if this was God's way of making things a little more interesting for people like me.
Shhhh. Someone is coming. I hope they choose me. God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, whoever I have to fuck to get out of here, just let them choose me. By the time she’d come into my view, it seemed that maybe someone up there was listening to me.
She’s quite a pretty girl, she certainly shouldn’t be in a mucky graveyard like this. I hope she chooses me, I know I would have chosen her. She is just the type of girl I loved, the type that got me into this muddy purgatory, to begin with, the snobby, hyper-confident type. The type of girl that would have been so god damn beautiful if she didn’t already know it. You know the ones I mean. I reckon we would have had fun together, her and I, but even I wouldn’t have brought her to this forsaken place. No, she deserved somewhere nicer- six feet under with gardenias on top.
She’s coming directly toward me now with that sway in her hips, she’s lucky that I’m the one tied up or she wouldn’t stand a chance- that’s that easy prey I mentioned earlier. She stops in front of me and taps the dirtied toe of her boot to my nose, looking at me with eyes of judgement before she kicks me over onto my back. She continues to roll me over in the mud with her worn-down sole, looking over every inch of my lustreless body, deciding if I’m the one.
Please God, let me be the one.
“Kyle!” She called out, tipping me upright with her toe, “I think I found one!”
Her voice was squeaky, like a little mouse. I imagined a human-sized mouse trap snapping down on her slender neck, breaking the thin golden chain that draped around it, bearing an equally shiny nameplate that read ‘kyle.’
I bet Kyle is an asshole.
“Oh my God, Kyle, I’ve been calling you for ages,” she droned, as the man who could only have been Kyle took the spot by her side.
Yup, Kyle is definitely an asshole. I imagined a mousetrap breaking his neck too, even though it’s never as fun with the boys. They’re not quite so soft, not at all like I am now, all flesh and guts, no backbone, no spine. Hell, I’d be as easy to kill as a mouse if anyone here actually had the balls to do it.
“You want this one?” Kyle asked, an air of disgust in his voice, “it’s kind of pathetic.”
“You think it’s too small?”
“Well, look at it babe,” he said with a limp gesture at me as if I weren’t even there.
She knit her eyebrows in confusion and Kyle sighed, pulling a pocket knife from his jacket, and kneeling into the doughy mud in front of my body. He slashed the constraints around my neck and picked me up. I felt so free, finally, I’d been chosen.
She chose me. God is good!
Kyle handed me over as she took me into her hands, they were tiny, almost childlike, her nails painted stark black and complemented by an expensive array of silver rings. She rolled me over in her palms, her eyes as blue as the sky and as deep as the sea watching me, choosing me.
“You’re right,” she said, “it is kind of small.”
She dropped me to the ground and I felt my body break. I felt as cracks shot up the sides of my body and the frigid air nipped at my exposed insides- like knife wounds with all the pain and none of the relief. She didn’t want me. She didn’t choose me. How could she do this to me? It wasn’t enough not to want me, she had to break me too. She had to make sure I would never be chosen. That I would never make it out of this place.
Please God, why didn’t she choose me? I would have chosen her, I might have even been nice.
“This place sucks,” Kyle groaned, their figures growing smaller as they crossed through the field of bodies that nobody chose, “let's go to a different pumpkin patch.”