Friday, April 06, 2007

Knife In The Soul

“Oh, God, nooooo! Why are you doing this? Somebody please help me!”

Seeing her in abject terror, paralyzed with fear, it was in these moments Knife Man lived. He watched as the woman crawled in agony and dread across the plush carpeting of her home. Amidst all the finery and neatly arranged luxury, she left a trail of blood. The killer studied her as the trauma set in of life leaving her body. She cried out to anyone.

“Please help me! Dear God, won’t someone please help me!”

She no longer addressed the Knife Man, who always waited for the point where they stopped asking him to help and just started screaming in vain. He spoke coldly.

“I am your God. And God hears you but does not help. I see your pain but say nothing and do nothing. Turn to God and die!”

“That’s not God, that’s just you!”

“Show me the difference!”

She noticed for the first time a bitterness, an emotion to his voice. Maybe it was an opening. All her animal instincts were alive right now.

“Why did you have to pick me? What did I ever do to you? WHY do you have to do this?”

“Yes! Yes! Those are the questions!”

Now she heard satisfaction, maybe even approval. But she needed to know more. “Questions to what? You make no sense!”

“Yes, confusing, isn’t it! Answer questions you cannot answer! That is the only way out. Die another day!”

She understood. “This is your torment, isn’t it? This is what you live every day.”

“Yes, I have brought you into my domain. There’s a knife in my soul and God won’t take it out. All the yelling in the world won’t change a thing. I pray for the death you’re about to receive.”

She was like a soldier in battle; bloodied, facing death, yet fighting on. Was that what war was all about? Millions of men with knives in their souls? Couldn’t be! Why was this popping into her head at this particular moment?? Think!

“I can’t help you!” she blurted out, taking a stab at honesty.

“I know. No one can. I pray and pray and nothing happens. God doesn’t hear me, maybe he’ll hear you. And when he saves you I’ll know how to save me.”

Her blood was still draining. “But I don’t deserve this!”

“Exactly! God might actually save you. I find the nicest and prettiest, His favored few, and pick you off one by one till His sorry ass decides to step in. Guess what? He never does!”

“But God wants to save you!”


“It’s the truth!”

“The truth is what I say it is! Truth has no meaning! The truth was I deserved a place to live and some goddam, motherfucking food and not be spit on and treated like a fucking animal! That’s the fucking truth and NO ONE ever admitted it. You want the truth you goddam cunt? The truth is I deserve -”

From the look on his face, it seemed as if he had just been stabbed. She saw the knuckles around the shaft loosen. It was as if his soul had come back to him and just now realized the horror of what he’d done. She had to get that last word out of him.

“Say it! Tell me what it is.”

“No, no. I can’t. I just can’t…” The power was tilting from him to her. His head drooped and his body shrunk away from her, Knife Man realizing her as a threat. “If I tell you I die. If anyone finds out, I’ll die. You can never know.”

Her motherly instincts instigated in full bloom. Here was a wounded child, lost and needing direction. His aches had turned to rage and the beast could not be trusted, she knew. But the desire to kill him dissipated with her desire to hold him. Knife Man was holding a conversation with himself.

Unknowingly, he rocked back and forth. “They’ll get me. They’ll get me bad. All of them. They’re all the same. Just kill, kill, kill! Oh, God, please help me! Why do I have to die?”

Feelings streamed from his eyes but she knew wasn’t safe yet. He had fully retreated back into his own world and that was a place of living hell. She needed him back in this world – a place he hadn’t been in a long, long time. Over and over he mumbled his inner voice: “I don’t deserve it…I don’t deserve it…”

“It’s love, isn’t it? Love is what you need.”

His eyes slowly looked in to hers, the fear of a trapped animal within. Those who find out his secret must die. But first she must be made to understand. “You don’t get it, do you? I don’t fucking deserve it! I can’t do what it takes!”

“Well, then maybe you don’t.” Her head told her not to say that but the mother in her knew best.

The cold, sobering shock of her words stopped Knife Man’s rocking. He couldn’t resist the calmness he was now feeling – even if he didn’t fully understand it. Those before who had so emptily mouthed words he “deserved love” had only sealed him further into his fate. She was different. All the other victims had only returned hate for hate. Ancient lyrics sang into his swooning head:

"Yes is the answer, and you know that for sure.
"Yes is surrender, you got to let it go."

“Call the police. Hurry, I don’t know how long I can hold on.”

When the police came he was grateful to be handcuffed and made safe. They cut him with their words but the “sick bastard” didn’t mind. At last he felt he had truly lived up to their longstanding contempt. When the psychiatrist arrived on the scene and asked him why, knife man was surprised to see his reply as headlines in the morning paper: “At least now my hell is known.”

In the hospital the next day, knifing man’s victim knew her life had been changed forever. She would go on to heal stronger than before and become a respected voice of reason in the ensuing media frenzy. Making the rounds on talk shows, she chafed at the applause whenever someone declared, “I think you shoulda just stabbed his ass back!” Eventually, she ceased speaking.

The crushing isolation even made her wary of her husband. “Honey,” she asked on a sudden inspiration, ‘is there a knife in your soul?” The flash of anger in his eyes was not missed before he replied in measured calm. “Of course not. What a silly question. Don’t let that psycho stay in your head.” As he kissed her on the forehead, she thought to herself, Which one?

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