Alone she stands at the crossing by the light, among people who’re waiting.
People waiting for the light to turn green. Nothing’s happening. Stillness.
Gently and unnoticed she pulls it out of her jeans pocket. It’s sharp.
From her lean, blue and not washed in weeks jeans pocket it comes out.
An unused razor sharp scalpel. The blade shines and reflect the sun.
She never thought it would ever come to this. No one’s noticing her.
People in passing don’t even notice her, as if she does not even exist.
She’s been asking herself that very question – do I exist? Am I real?
The blade reflects in the sunglasses of a man walking towards her.
It leaves a bright spot on his cornea. He seems bothered by it.
This is not a planned act. It has not even remotely been on her mind lately.
Although the sum of it all and considering her goal, she could not don’t care less.
Not even about the consequences of her action to come. Why would she?
“Who will clean up?”, she asks herself having people around her.
No one is answering. Across the street a garbage man empties a trash bin.
He’s wearing that typical yellow-given-to-him-by-the-city type of working t-shirt.
From a distance he seem to emptying bin by bin filled with pride. “Maybe him?”
A woman, standing beside her, turns her head and blinks with judging eyes.
Gazing eyes are wandering up and down her entire body like a lion stalking his prey.
“I wasn’t speaking to you..”, she tells the woman who shrugs away.
A car drives by. A motion starts. A child across the street throws away ice-cream.
Standing by the light, her arm swings from her hip across the air. Around, silence.
The man wearing the sunglasses stops in the middle of the street, removes them.
He’s rubbing his eye. The shining yellow light is making him unfocused.
It’s rush hour. Phones are ringing. Texts arriving. Emails unread. Orange juice.
Cars keep on passing, left and right. The man without sunglasses walk.
He takes a step into the street. Disoriented, in his hand, his expensive Ray Ban’s.
He’s blinded by the bright yellow sun on this beautiful Friday afternoon.
Swirling in the air he travels fifty feet before landing.
Yelling. Lots of yelling. Traffic continues except for that one car.
On the ground lies a man, alongside with his sunglasses on his left.
The red liquid paints the street as people take pictures.
The driver cannot breathe, gets a panic attack. He can no longer move.
A drop of blood is squeezing through the skin, opens the possibility for a wound.
The garbage man turns around, drops his bag. Ice-cream on the street.
Her finger is bleeding even though she barely touched the sharp side. One drop.
Ray Ban’s are crushed under a big man’s foot. Someone thought he was helping.
Light. Bright light. Thoughts swirling around. Six and half minute to go. Then blackness.
Wheels go round and round, all the way to the red liquid square, thicker than juice.
Crying child, do not worry over creamy ice – mommy will buy a larger size.
Blackness and dripping blood, hand in hand what no garbage man can clean.
Sirens irritates ears of spectators as burning rubber scents the air, “we’re here”.
Death surrounds her and this place of redness. A simple act of kindness she offered.
Woman beside her sheds a tear. Traffic continues. Ambulance places darkness in bag.
Behind the scene of attention, ambulance disappears into the corruption of silence.
The sharpness of the edge can make anyone from this world bleed.
A place where dreams are set free talks to her. Incisive clarity strikes.
Sticky red in her hand. Two minutes since the man flew. Traffic back to normal.
She yanks. The moan of a woman is drowned by voices and chatter.
A stranger falls like Gabriel from the sky, all is now floating in red.
The messenger has crossed the street, dressed in death. No more life in her.
The story begins with a plastic bag and its yellow shirt wearing owner.
Never before has he seen such beauty carry discomfort with ease.
As he shove up ice-cream from the street his mind belongs to the darkness.
The light comes at lunch but vanishes by the time she crosses the street.
Open your eyes to the image of your savior and treasure the moment before.
It will be your last. It will be your best. That is the gift, as the story begins.
The woman in black
Halfway down on the sofa she lies. Used to hearing those four small yet powerful words her back squeezes against the thick leather as she pulls her body up, getting ready to leave. “How are you feeling?” echoes in her head. She truly hate those words. They have no meaning. It’s not like they know each other. “I have to be here”, she answers. From her warm body, condensation makes her movements squeak against the sofa’s back. On her feet, standing tall, she grabs her jacket and swirls her scarf around her neck. Her black scarf. Her scarf goes perfect with her otherwise dark outfit.
Her tight outfit, shaped with precision to highlight her two, according to men, perfect in size chest pieces. Rarely does she smile. It makes her uncomfortable. Just two hours from lunch she can hear and feel her stomach ache. Across the room another four words are spoken, the same as each and every time so far. “Same time next week?”
Walking out the door and down the hallway she, the woman dressed in death, stops in front of the elevator and presses the button, calling it to the twelfth floor. On the way down, a man steps in on the eighth floor. Two strangers in a tight space. He’s wearing a yellow t-shirt. A hand on his shoulder calms the nerve of this old man picking up trash for a living. Arriving at the ground floor, the sun shines through the tall from floor to roof windows of the office building this beautiful Thursday afternoon. Reflections from the window glimpses in the working man’s sunglasses as he opens the door, walking out and onto the streets of the pulsating with life, city. Shadows castes from her tight black dress covers the ceramic tiled floor as she follows the man, out the door. Joyful she walks behind the man in the yellow t-shirt, waiting for him to cross the street.
On the home front of things, her interior design is done to inconvenience anyone to a minimum. Not many people has fewer things than her. She believes in a minimalist way of living. For the past three weeks she’s been laying on the sofa her back condensates once a week, talking about her inner demons with her therapist. Her outlook is nothing less than a beautiful majestic woman who could lay, if she so wished, any man of her choosing. She does not know the man wearing the yellow t-shirt but has a weird feeling of, “being supposed to do so” as she follows him down the street, to the light by the crossing. A wave of cruelty floods her veins, making her heart pump twice as fast. She enjoys the feeling. Looking at the light, she waits with impatience for it to turn green. Instead, she turns and walks away. She now understand her purpose and the point of him wearing yellow.
After a quick stop at the pharmacy she now feels confident pursuing her future ambitions, allowing darkness to rule her mind. She understands the implications of her choice, but the choice makes her feel good. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Without feeling any pain, she walks six miles in high heels to her domestic address. The later hours of the day will be dedicated to conviction.
Three grandchildren from his four female children makes him feel like the last man on earth. With him being the only male left on his side of the family – the tree dies with him. When she jumped from a hundred meter high hill out towards the open sea, wind caught her sail and she lost control over her own faith. According to the coroner she died instantly due to the severe head trauma. At least she got to see the ocean on her last day alive, which is what she wanted.
Each morning he makes two cups of tea, as a memory of his late wife and her ocean head-on story that never appeared in the newspapers. This morning is no different. As the tea cools down on the kitchen counter, the man gets dressed in the large bedroom he and his former better half used to share during the hours of darkness. Zipping his pants he grabs a new yellow t-shirt from the laundry bin, walks to the kitchen and takes a sip from his cup of tea. Gently he clinks with his cup onto the other, cheering with his wife before leaving for work. At 05.30 am he leaves home.
The morning bus was a few minutes late. The driver seemed unusually sleepy letting people on board. After opening the bus window to let some air in, his energy level rises enough to stay awake until his stop. Getting off he walks two more blocks in the opposite direction to work and its central headquarter. Picking up his gear he looks at the time before punching his time card, 06.20. With his trolley equipped with everything needed to clean the streets of the city he departs from the big building where management holds his fate sealed, only to ensure another day of picking other people’s trash – doing his best in making his day pass by as quickly as when his wife met her fate. With the hours of hard labor on his back he strolls alongside the pavement of his beloved city with his brush, never looking twice at the people in passing, never looking at their faces.
A child drops ice-cream, something that happens more often than people think. Surprised by the amount of useful things people discard into the abyss of a black hole, the man sometimes wonders if we, the human race, will ever learn to value what we have. Living in a material world is a concept not realistic for our planet. A lesson most likely learned by us dying like flies. “We don’t deserve this planet”, the man always used to tell his wife after a long and hard day at work.
As the clouds dissolve the man sits down. Looking at his watch he takes out a sandwich from his little metal lunchbox. Seconds becomes minutes and as his mouth chews and swallows the chilling air makes its entrance known to his skin. Staring at the sky, each day at the same time, each day at the same spot – he sheds a tear. “For you.” It doesn’t matter what you think or feel about his nagging mind about his wife, he does not want to forget nor has he tried too. The memory of his wife is all he has left. He is no longer wanted by his children, not allowed to see his grandchildren and he’s been banned from all form of contact by the court.
Everyday is the same to him and at home he has five yellow t-shirts. During the weekends he sits alone, at home, staring at the TV-screen not paying attention. After doing laundry, time mainly stands still. At work, at least time passes by quick. Being at home, his consciousness is mainly like a graveyard – silent. He sends wishes each night, asking for his wife to listen to his misery, asking for companionship and love. She’s listening, unable to speak.
Lonely for many years, there are no angels in her home nor in her life. The only flying creature allowed, exists in her backyard. It’s her neighbors black and rare parrot. It’s the only mortal being which provides answers she’ll listen to. Pushing the big sliding door to the right, she takes a step and enters her closet. There, in the far back, it hangs. Inside its thick layer of protection from the outside world it rests, sealed away – waiting for its master to accept its terms and conditions. Afraid of accepting the lifestyle that goes along with it, she has only worn it once. Ten feet under the neighbor’s backyard lies the proof to that fact. Nine years ago, she caught her husband cheating on her with a younger woman whom turned out to be his second wife from another state.
He had an entire family beside her. Two lives. Now, there’s only one – hers. The chalky bones of the other five members are one with the dirt and the only witness hangs in her closet, behind blackness. Wandering through level by level until she reaches the basement, she takes her time choosing a bottle of wine for the occasion at hand. Her choice? A six year old Merlot because of the sweetness of it all – its taste symbolizes victory about her final choice of personality. Two sips later she pulls down the zipper on the protective case and reveals death to the world.
Without anyone watching, she dances naked in her tastefully decorated living room, holding her dress as a partner and lover. The wine has smooths her pain, anger and regrets. “This is how we all should feel, all the time!” she says out loud with her feet floating back and forth on the dark wooden floor. There’s no music. Her existence consists of three levels of emptiness; the basement, ground- and top floor – her designated sleeping area. Feeling satisfied with her choice, the palm of her hand swipes away the one and only drop of sweat from her body – between her firmly shaped breasts.
During a long and hot shower she pleases herself the only way she knows how – with an elongated object molded from her previous husband’s two index fingers. Reaching her climax, she adds to the water pouring from above. Shaved and moisturized to perfection she lays down, lean and clean, in her big covered with black rose pellets bed – – allowing her thoughts to play through the events of what’s to come once the sun rises upon her condemned soul. As the hours of darkness moves with the second indicator of her ticking clock beside her bed, she wakes up fresh and rested.
Minutes away from today’s big task – she prepare herself by not wearing any underwear. Time to wear her choice. Time to shelter the only thing she’s got – her appetite for ability. The ability to feel. “All dressed up and no place to go”, like the song says, could not be more wrong.
With the wine bottle almost untouched, she sprays a light touch of perfume on her soft skin and slips into her dress for the second time in her life. Outside the sun is bright, traffic’s heavy and the birds are singing. It’s Friday morning and just hours away from the big Thanksgiving weekend. Surgical steel hidden in her pocket. Having left her house using the same heels as yesterday, she walks all the way to town. On her way, buses passing her by. On board one of them sits the man who will salvage the remains of her actions. In passing, they catch each other’s eye but do not display a single emotion of recognition. It is, as if they both know what this means. The man on the bus turns his head, looking away. All that happens from now on, are all because of one, and one alone — her.
The red square
After the man flew and the woman was stuck by her temporary dark companion, the lady in black knew she had more to do. Stopping at this point would be pointless. It would all just come down to a random act and discarded as a meaningless one. It would be filed away somewhere, somewhere where no man or woman would adhere to its story with affection. She felt incompleteness as she kept on walking, stopping at the other side of the street. Clarity came down on her like the feeling of an orgasm – – a feeling impossible to mistake for anything else. “At least ten, if this is my last act of freedom”, she said to herself. She did not know where she was going or how to get there.
The only thing on her mind was “ten”. She does know that there are many men with yellow t-shirts and they all share the same responsibility; cleaning up. As the second ambulance drove off into the abyss of hurt and lost, she stood in silence, admiring her two accomplishments and the panic they both caused. Surrounding her; people eating, talking, texting, kissing and living out their lives as if nothing had happened just a few yards away from them. “When will they bother?”, was her thought as her foot took another step. A man in a yellow shirt passing her by, smiling.
Arriving at the next light, three people stood waiting for it to turn green. Opposite, five people. The choice of increasing her arsenal with an additional sharp edge made all the difference. This time she was able to let two people create a red square simultaneously by cutting them open in passing when they were both in the middle. This time she even stopped screaming after a ambulance, anything and everything to draw attention away from her. As people got involved, she dissolved like carbonation in water, rising to the top. As the third ambulance opened its doors, both were dead. No sign of the police yet, nothing more than usual.
Taking break from it all, her pulse stagnates as she chews down a slice of pizza just one block away from all the commotion. The built in push-up bra makes her look younger and thanks to her make-up, she looks more attractive than ever. The decision was easy – – pick up a young man to copulate with. Make him come in an alley somewhere just for the sake of enjoying the moment. So she did. After licking off the last drop of salt from his stick, she cut it off, allowing the fountain of redness to paint the street underneath her feet. Screaming does him no good and shortly thereafter, he passed out. “Five more to go”, she said to herself, standing with the young man on the ground beside her. Two men, walking nearby, has heard someone scream and looks in her direction. As they walk towards her, she, by holding one sharp edge in each hand, cut their throats in passing, thinking – “seven!”. Ten minutes later she’s almost reached her goal of ten, just one more to go. A familiar face. The man in the yellow t-shirt. She’s been walking in a circle.
She’s back to where it all began. The red square has been washed away from the old and grey concrete road. Expressing disappointment there is nothing more to do than to slowly walk away. “Stop!”, a strong male voice shouts. People are looking at her as she calmly continues to walk. “STOP!” She knows it’s about her. She doesn’t care. In her mouth, she can still taste the young man and his salty offspring. Makes her think back on the last time her husband used his tongue to satisfy her most palpitating lust. Smiling she shoves a few people to get ahead. A hand on her shoulder.
Stop. Stand still. Do no move. Turn around. Look at me. Who are you? Are you armed? Hands behind your back. Just as the officer is about to grab her and put her in restraints, she insists on making that wonderful opportunity into a showcase for how fantastic the next world can be. With her salty mouth, she attacked his jugular like a dog with rabies, eating away at its prey. The red square fills the street once again. She feels powerful.
Blackness in Redness
As if in a zombie movie she bites down, chews, takes a breath and bites again. Disliking the taste of blood she spits out small pieces of flesh, wiping her mouth on the officer’s uniform. Never before has she heard so many people scream at the same time. Sounds like a synchronized choir.
“Yes, I will”, she says with a low voice and eyes to the ground. Seconds later she yanks and cuts everything in her path. Her path to salvation. Along the street, falling people. Falling like unfaithful angels, sent to her by her master himself, to die. Blackness walking the street dressed in heels, stepping in pints of redness on their way to redemption. Sirens breaks the sound barrier as men checks for sign of life, putting lifeless shells in black plastic bags.
Red stickiness on her hands can be washed away by the man wearing yellow. Man with yellow t-shirt is having lunch. He enjoys a delicious sandwich without interference from the outside world. With a kind voice she asks for help from this aging man who picks trash. He doesn’t even question her motive – he agrees. All around, panic. Lovely panic. A shower of redness blends with radiant beams of yellow from above – – almost creating a bow of colors. “Almost there”, are her last words as she leaves the old man. Walking away from the old man, they both watch with exciting eyes how the fuss on the street dissolves like the smoke from a newly fired gun. Minutes later the pulsating city has once again healed itself. People are back to living their lives.
Police sirens passing by. Social media filled with speculating news about “a woman in black”, according to witnesses. Across the street, a woman wearing black is being pushed against the wall, held for questioning by the police. The aging man gave her a yellow t-shirt. Having turned it inside-out and put it on, she picks up her phone. Her fingers dances across the illuminated 5-inch screen, dialing the number to the reception. “Is he in? I need an extra session, quickly.”
Five minutes away lies the big building with its floor-to-ceiling windows, on its twelfth floor his office. Under her fingernails, solidified redness. Pressing the button on the elevator she, one minute later, asks reception for key to the toilet. Scrubbing her nails she makes long strokes through her hair, turning it into that typical “wet-look”. Having returned the key the lady behind the desk gives her a constant stare with an astonishing look, as if asking; “Are you OK?” The lady in black stands silent. “One more before departure..” she says walking into his office. “I’m not staying, I came to ask you one thing.” Across the room, the only man in her life stands. “OK Mia, what’s on your mind?” With firm, steady and gentle steps she travels across the room, placing herself right in front of him. Attraction in the air. “No, I’ve told you – I’m here to help you. There will be no sexual advances.
I have to ask you to leave, now”, the man says. “What about my question?”, Mia asks.
“Go ahead..”, David answers.
“Is this wrong to do?” Before David has a chance to react, one sharp edge cuts his jugular in half while the other one has penetrated his stomach, opening it up for the world to see. Sitting on her knees, Mia takes a shower underneath his red square. Reception presses the panic button. Leaving, screams and no words. People in chock. Pressing the elevator button, she enters and lowers herself to a human level. Walking towards the big glass door, police officers demand her to stop. She does not. She goes for the door. “I’ve done what my master asked of me. Now it’s masters turn to sacrifice.” Five officers falls to the ground like empty sacks. She continues her journey by walking out the door. “Thank you. I like redness.”