An Invitation to Murder

Maybe it’s the way that I pierced the knife into her, a little too much to the left to her heart, that didn’t kill her instantly. She only gasped with a huge shriek, which freaked me out. Her right hand immediately wrapped mine, which holds the handle of the knife. I felt the numbness creeping. My hands were shaking vigorously. It’s cold, but not ice-cold and I couldn’t feel my fingers at all. And it felt cold, but I thought to myself that maybe it was the blood gushing from her torn veins, dripping to my hand. I was really on my nerve. After all, it was my first time killing something bigger than a mosquito. We waited awhile, but there was no scream. My left arm was behind her back holding her body. I let her down easy, sliding the knife out bit by bit; or at least I tried to. What we didn’t think about is that as she lost her consciousness because the loss of blood, her feet could no longer hold her body. We should have done this with her lying down, I thought to myself.

I laid a white fabric –which quickly turned red from the blood– over the stiff, cold, inert flesh and bones of her, lying on the Persian carpet in her room just by the now-bare bed.

The room was peculiarly silent. I was still catching my breath. My heart was pounding like medieval war drums, and my hands were shaking like a rabid dog.

All that was happening in the room reeked a particular smell. Time was not ticking as it used to be. It had become slower, and slower, though never to the point where it stops completely.

It took me around seven minutes to finally be able to move my legs. I made my way outside the room to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of red wine from the counter, and went outside to the porch. When I arrived at her house about two hours ago, I lit a cigarette and forgetfully left it burnt on the ashtray. It’s still there but had burnt its way up to the filter so I threw the butt far to the street. Nobody’s around, so I guess it was fine to litter.

The time was three a.m on a particularly chilly day in December –because it had rained all night long. The streetlights were fairly dim, even I couldn’t see a thing from two house away. Somehow I felt that it was safe for me to keep sitting on the dark porch like this so I lit another cigarette and drank straight from the bottle.

Sitting still is hard, especially if you had just killed a person three minutes before. All the things you had read and watched at this point always end up at the same conclusion; no murderer is left uncaught by some form of authority. My feet was moving up and down, up and down. The fingers of my left hand tapped five times per second while the other hand was holding a cigarette which once again I left burning, leaving a trail of blue smoke over my face.

What if somebody caught me, I thought to myself. They might saw me with my hand dripping blood, caught me, pinned me to the ground. Police would come, saw the body lying on the floor of the bedroom, put me all over the crime scene and matched the blood on my hand to hers, and threw me in jail. Or I might saw them first and leaped on running as my first reflex, and they would get suspicious, and caught me, pinned me to the ground.

But what if nobody caught me?

Two hours ago, She called and asked me to come over. I lit a cigarette just before I went inside her house, left it burning on an ashtray at her front porch. She told me, “I want to die, now.”

Right now?” I asked.

“Just, I want to die, now. You owe me a favor remember?”

“I know, I know. But you didn’t even give me time to prepare or anything.”

Maybe it’s in the way she said it, indifferent and well-thought-out, that I didn’t think of saying no to her request. She said words that were almost interchangeable with anything else but an invitation to murder.

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‘’We can’t even begin to remember what we have had for dinner that day when you told me That dying is one part of the thousands of things You eventually wanted to do before you and i happened.‘’

‘’Those who wander are left without any formidable answers to each of their non-questions As to their will to end their rummage of the ruins who were once a vessel of all the things we have once loved Ends with an urge to become.‘’

‘’Maybe this is the beginning of what makes up my mind And while I know for sure that you are struggling to do just that We have already agreed that there is certain possibility that we were wrong after all.‘’

“What if things were better then, when we were wrong”

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all the people in the world, fables and all
should know that you are in the possession of
the most.
[beautiful soul]
creases of what presses me is the
mere thought of you
[not knowing] as you do

and if all the people in the, [who should know already]
world
[that] you have the most beautiful
soul and sound
and sights and sorrow
and seclusion

[in the world, fables and all.]

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Youth

There’s a rain coming, and at first, nobody noticed. She had been fidgeting with what she would listen to for the last 15 minutes. After every first chorus of each song, she’d press next and change the song. The rain outside were barely audible, and the crowd inside the tram were speaking sotto voce. Generally, trams made a humming sound, but she had been using them so much in the last three years that the noise had been eliminated completely. Their last stop was Bellevue, about 20 minutes away from where they were.

She brought her umbrella along, hanging down from her right lower arm as she bent her elbow. Her right hand was holding an iPod, the one she had been pressing and scrolling since she got on the train on Albisriederplatz. Her left hand rested on the railings inside the tram. It was quite a full tram that day, so there were no seats available. Everybody seemed to have somewhere to go that day. A guy in a suit, two girls in khaki raincoats, a man carrying a cardboard box which looked heavy, an old man holding a hat and a crane, four schoolboys whispering lewd things to each other, three individuals coming home after a morning shift.

There’s a coffee shop in front of the station in which she boarded the tram from, Albisriederplatz. The one where she usually went to to get cups of coffee and to sit in silence. There’s a seat by the window, where she could see Trams coming and leaving. The coffee was fine, and the croissant was fresh. On her off-days, she would sit there for hours to write postcards and to do crossword puzzles.

She locked her bicycle in front of that coffee shop that day before she boarded the tram. When she offered him to have one last high tea that day, She was thinking to have the rendezvous at that coffee shop where they usually went. He joined her every time she was there, to distract her from finishing the crossword puzzles and writing postcards.

That day, just by the time she was about to lock her apartment door behind her, she texted him to change the meeting point.

Her fingers were tapping the railing of the tram anxiously for she was half an hour late. She lingered around at the balcony of her house longer than she should. The balcony oversaw a giant parking structure, with more than 200 car lots. There was a small military pickup parking in reverse, and judging from the path of which the truck was moving, it was going to double-park. She lit her last cigarette. It was like watching an impending disaster. They must be new here, she thought to herself about the pickup. For other residents, double-parking would mean that the car is going to be thrashed or, at the very least, urinated on. She put out her cigarette after two drags and started to get ready.

To ride her bicycle all the way to Bellevue was easy, but she went to the usual coffee shop first anyway, where they were usually meet, and decided to take the tram from there. She lingered outside the coffee shop, looking through the wide glass window at her usual spot. There’s a couple there, talking while holding their cups of hot beverages. They looked happy. She crossed the road and bought the ticket.

When she got off the tram, everyone was in hurry. Peals of thunder were hanging above Zurich. Nobody wanted to get soaked, except for a few indifferent souls.

She came in the restaurant, and the maitre d’ seated her next to him. She gazed to the right, at him, and smiled. “You didn’t bike here, right?” asked she. “No, I walked,” he answered and smiled. It seemed like at first, when they were looking at the menu, that nobody wanted to talk about anything but the food.

“I hate it that they still have foie gras,” she muttered. “What do you mean?” he asked, “I don’t see the problem with it,” he paused for awhile, “I mean it’s not that we don’t have enough ducks. Unlike those shark fin.” “You know it’s not about that,” she said, “They fed the ducks in– I don’t know how to say it. To say that it’s inhumane sounds a bit dumb, don’t it?”

“Because they’re ducks,” he smiled. “Yeah, because they’re ducks,” she replied.

The longseat they were sitting on was covered with green Moroccan leather. The bistro was filled with longcoats, jumpsuits, blazers, horn-rimmed glasses, and intricate watches. The clouds hanging above the city were dark and heavy, but the city bustled as usual. After a short discussion on what to order, They finally decided on two espresso shots for each of them and five desserts. “Thanks, I wasn’t really hungry,” she said smilingly. “That’s a lie. I know it,” he teased, and her smile faded instantly. “Sometimes I hate that I forgot that somebody may actually know me better than I ever will,” she droned on. “You know that feeling, right? I mean it’s a very complex thing, your memory. But I can’t remember everything, yet it changes me bit by bit–” “Hey,” he interrupted, “I just met you after months, and this might be our last meeting before you left. You can’t do this now, OK?”

“OK,” She replied.

“OK,” said he.

The coffee came in too hot. He burned his tongue. They were still sitting in silence, making few remarks on paintings hanging on the wall of Kronenhalle. “Do you think that these paintings are real?” he asked her, just as she was raising her hand to try to get the waitresses attention. “Sure,” she answered while still trying to get attention, “I mean the timeline fits, the bar opened and had stayed opened during the time where all of these artists worked and sold their works.” “Exactly, don’t you think that there’s more reason to false all of these paintings because they were from the same era, and nobody would ask if it’s real or not because they’re from the same era,” he explained. “Just imagine that they’re real,” she said annoyingly, a little pissed because she failed to order another dessert.

There was music playing from the speakers of the restaurant, mostly piano rendition of classic jazz numbers. After a certain period of time, each note of the music started to blend and blurred together, creating a distant hum in the background of everymen’s conversation. So did all the paintings and sketches hanging on the wall of the Kronenhalle. After a certain period of time, they went out of focus from the eyesight of whoever was inside. In his case, Picasso’s portrait and Matisse’s sketch started to look like a considerable, gray, blurry rectangle. Her fair eyes, on the other hand, glowed and as clear, as two moons on a dark December night. He smiled a little.

They split the bill equally and paid in cash. “This is actually my last €20 bill,” said she. “I can’t believe you’re really leaving in two days,” he replied, “We aren’t going to be strangers, are we?”

It finally rained over Zurich. She smiled at him.

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Just Before 12:04

Along with his college graduation, his first day of work, and first visit to the dentist, today was one of those moments when he sweltered peculiarly plenty. His shirt was drenched with tiny sweat spots on the back, as he kept trying to wipe off little drops of fidget on his forehead and neck with a blue handkerchief. He had never worn that shirt before, as he always thought that it falls too heavily on his shoulder. It had blue-yellow combination stripes, with white as the base and ivory buttons through yellow buttonhole stitches. It barely fitted him as when he leaned back, the buttons were dying to pop off. He bought it almost a year ago with his girlfriend at a little shop in a city they visit during the Christmas holiday.

He was sitting in a car with his parents. Mother was at the steering wheel. Her sunglasses were resting on the top of her head like she was somebody from 1990s’s MTV. She looked beautiful, for him and for everyone in the car. The digital clock on the dashboard read 11.30. “Are you nervous?” she asked him. “Huh?”

He wasn’t listening, just like everybody else in the car. His brother was riding shotgun ironically sleeping with his mouth opened. Behind that seat was his father, keenly checking something on his phone but might as well be playing Candy Crush as nobody paid any attention and he held his phone close to his face. His younger brother was sitting beside him, wearing a pair of headphones and blasting acid jazz so loud that the radio was turned off. Strangely, his head was bobbing up and down. He peeked through the rearview mirror and tried to make eye contact with his mother.

“Not really,” he lied. She replied with a smirk.

They are thirty minutes away from their destination. The road was empty, but the car was only cruising with a mild speed. Mother drove with no shoes on and a constant speed. She hummed “Ladies Who Lunch” from the musical play Company, as she usually does –singing show tunes while doing house chores or other automatic activities.

He didn’t remember the lyrics and had no desire to learn it. Musicals were always his mother’s thing. He rested his chin on his palm and started to mum his speech all over again. This had been bugging his mind from the start of this road trip. He took a short breath and exhaled a long one to get his heart rate to slow down. I had never been this nervous, he thought to himself.

“Are you sure about this?” Z asked him the night before. She called his phone in the middle of the night, and he answered on the first ring. He wasn’t sleeping. He couldn’t.

“Yes, I guess. Come on, I’ve prepared a speech and everything. Don’t make me doubt myself. I can’t sleep, you know.”

“I know.”

“Shut it. You don’t. You’ve never been in my positi–”

“I’ve been in hers, and A and I shared our side of that stories almost every year.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

She giggled. “Have I ever told you that A couldn’t even poop from five days before D-day? And my father couldn’t fart. Not five minutes after the event was over, A went straight to the bathroom and my father basically turned into a Chewbacca, if he growls from his ass. In that instant, everybody knew that they would go along.” She laughed.

“At least you’re laughing right now, and pooping I assumed,” she said.

“I’m not.”

“You smirked. I know.”

“I’m so nervous right now.”

“You said that already.”

“No, I didn’t. Shut up.”

“You kind of did,” a pause hung for five seconds.

“You’re gonna be fine,” she continued.

“Do you want to hear my speech?”

“No.”

“Shut up. I remember my first love. Her name was Sam…” He wrote his speech on a piece of paper, which he folded and put into the pocket of a blue-yellow striped shirt. Reading it to Z, he didn’t need the paper as she practically helped him wrote it.

“… and that’s why, today, I braced myself and brought my parents and my brothers to ask you, what do you think?” They said the last sentence in unison, over the phone.

“See? You’re OK.” Z said. He let out a big sigh.

“Get some sleep. It’s gonna be one hell of a day tomor– today.”

“Damn it. OK.”

“Thanks,” he sighed.

“Anytime.”

She hung up. But he still held his phone to his ears. He opened the window next to his bed and drew the curtains back. Every light in his room was turned off, but the lamp posts from the street below came through. He looked at the third lamp post on his left. That was where he first told his girlfriend that he had loved her dearly.

“This is right, isn’t it?” His mother suddenly asked and pulled him from his castle in the air. “Yes, Mother. Take the next right and the house would be on our left. White fences and brick wall with a wall of greens –I don’t know what plants are those but I’m pretty sure you’d know.”

“Probably Ficus Pumila. They’d grow well with this kind of Sun.”

“Stinging sun rays like this?”

“This is why I told all of you to put on sunscreen this morning! I knew it’s going to be this bright.”

“Have you told her that we’re close?” His father suddenly spoke.

“We’re still on schedule, Father. It’s OK. I told her mother that we’re coming at 12.”

She told him to wake everybody up as she parked the car. She fixed her hijab, and his brother yawned loudly. Everybody put on their shoes and started to get off the car one by one. He looked at the door of the house. The wooden door was opened, but the screen door was closed. There were two cars parked in the driveway, which meant everybody was probably home. Of course, on this kind of event, he thought to himself.

He no longer counted how often he had come to this house. He hoped to himself quietly, that today wouldn’t be the last. His nervousness was growing with every step closer to the door.

He was already at the door with his brother beside him. He still yawned, but silently this time. Mother just got out of the car, with full makeup on. Father closed her door gently and was the last one to enter the house.

There are nine of them in the room that afternoon. The AC hummed continuously, and the TV was barely muted. Her mother and father sat beside one another, and her sister and brother shared a single ottoman, just like his brothers.

After bringing everyone tall glasses of water, she slowly sat down between her parents. She wore a white shirt and blue pants, and her scent was of spring flowers and sun-washed cotton. He forgot his speech all over again.

Standard

the trouble with the impending unfortunate occurrences is that

nobody would ever predict their own circumstances,

in which freedom, who is once said to be the illusion of the century,

is taken by those very hands which break it into

a million pieces of some tiny severed anthem of the unheard voices,

and in a cold December day, when winter was in its plight

of making an underline of the contrasting tendency

in between two resembling adjacent sounds,

something was heard in a distance

by unwilling listeners who in an instant rose into a fright

and turned into a something resembling a fetal position

where they enveloped their own heads near their thumping chest

with their beating heart banging in a steady pace

and not a single sign of slowing down for a finite amount of time

as their terror is becoming

and their error is beholding

each and every of their intent

to do any better on the next descent.

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akin to an auteur’s annihilation
beaten up to the border of becoming
carry my creationist cruise
deantagonize dreadful dedication to
enigmas of exclamating enterprise
fear the frozen freckles
girding guides and golden generality
hoping hours halt and heed the heroes
ineffable to insignificant incidents
jarring jaggedness jolting from joy
keeping kiteflying kids keenly
looming loads of lingustic lead
more than merry make me meddling
noone narrows the night nulling
or obscure ornaments of open olfaction
peek the peering premeditation
quizzing the queen for quiting the queer
rolling roadblocks raking the routes of
superintention seeking subliminal seance
taking tours of the tender timeless takeback
uprising the utmost unprecedence utterance
victoriously veneered the vessels of villain
wryly wonder of why we wander
xeric Xanadu of Xanthippe
yield yesterdays in yellow yonder
zeroid in zombified zealousness

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