I’d been out drinking. Now I had to pee. I stepped into an alley to do my business. Mistake.
Maybe I hadn’t been paying enough attention. ‘Cause when I looked up, three guys were blocking the alley mouth. They stepped towards me. The middle one was holding a knife.
I didn’t really understand the words they were speaking, but the knife spoke a language I understood clearly enough. He was holding it out with extended arm. It was a threat, not an action.
As he stepped closer, so did I. My right hand grabs the outside of his wrist and, stepping beside and behind him, my left comes up to complete the arm bar. I step into him and he falls. The knife skitters away down the alley. A sick cracking sound comes from his shoulder.
I stand there, still holding his wrist. He lays on his stomach, with his arm sticking up at a 90 degree angle. One of the other men is closing fast. The other is reaching down for the dropped knife.
I am swept with the revelation that something needed to happen, and happen now. The revelation comes not from my conscious mind, but from the eternal, immortal seed which I carry in my loins. Understanding floods my body, my heart, my consciousness.
I am a 14 year old man, helping his pa clear land for the farm. A sapling is standing in front of me. It needs to go.
The man-child squatts down and grabs the sapling with both hands. Straining with all his might, he pulls. The tendons in his thighs tighten, his buttocks clenched. Had anyone been looking, they would see the boy’s face turn a deep, beet red as his blood pressure soars. The sapling makes a loud cracking and ripping sound, and suddenly come loose from the ground.
I hear a roaring sound. It fills my lungs. My whole torso echos with it. It is accompanied by a wailing scream coming from the ground at my feet.
The man who had run up to me is now staring. His eyes are huge white orbs. His mouth is a second orb, this one a black empty pit.
I am holding a club. I don’t know where it came from, but I know where it is going. The club connects with orb-man’s head.
It is a funny club. It bends in the middle, more of a flail than a bat. The man staggers but does not go down. He turns to run, while the club comes back on its counter swing. It connects with the left rear corner of the skull. I know it connected with the skull because I could see the scalp torn away and skull bone exposed. He stumbles forward two steps and crashes down.
The wailing still hasn’t stopped, but it is getting fainter. Number three is holding the knife, but certainly not holding himself. His body is shaking and his face has a pale greenish twinge. It looks like he is trying not to vomit. I wonder why he isn’t running.
The club pulls me towards him. He falls to his knees, whimpering and gibbering. The rich smell of offal fills the air.
The club raises itself. I’m trying to pray to God. I might actually be praying as the club comes down, again and again. Five swings, five hits, and the body is not whimpering any more. A dark pool is spreading from the back of its head.
I don’t really remember very much. I am standing in the street. I am in the staircase to my apartment. I am in the shower. My head hurts. I am waking up in my bed. My head hurts.
I don’t drink any more. My doctors says that’s good for me, though sometimes I wonder. I don’t go out, either. I’m afraid. Not of man, but of beast. The beast that I am.
Some days I miss the music.