Letting Go of Reality

I thought about it.  Why do I want to write fiction?  Because if I were really interesting I would be writing an autobiography.  Frankly, I'm boring and my life up to now proves it.  I have never been chased by evil ninjas or pirates looking to trade me into slavery for a chest of gold.  I have never been given secret microfilm to deliver to a British spy trying to thwart the plot of an evil villain.  No, I am boring.  My greatest adventures involve grocery shopping, laundry and looking for a job.  This is why I want to write fiction, to make me seem interesting.

Part of what I learned while doing NaNoWriMo last November is that a good writer needs to set aside reality for a little while (or a long while) and just write.  I admit that what I wrote is not that good, but I found one scene in particular that made me realize what I could do.  Most of the time while I was writing, I kept using myself as a guide as to what to do next, but it seemed boring.  That's because, in the world of fiction, I AM boring and it won't work.  I tried another approach by asking myself what I would do and then thought the opposite.  This resulted in one of my most disturbing written moments...mind you, it's a little long...

"I can't close my mind, but I will sleep...permanently."  He thrust the knife upward under his sternum and dropped to his knees.  Blood was pouring out all over the floor as I had initially tried in vain to stop him.  He took one last breath and let out a long exhale as if life were leaving his body.

I ran over toward him and pulled him up to me, but it was too late.  The young recruit's face was void of life and all I could do was close his eyes and bow my head for a second.  I set him back down on the floor and picked up my phone prepared to dial 911, but thought better of it.  I dialed Horus' phone number and explain to him what had happened and he said he would send over a private ambulance to take care of the situation.  I told him that I didn't want to attract any attention in my neighborhood.  He told me they would be discreet.  I thanked him and hung up the phone.

I stood there for a few moments looking at the body that was laying on my kitchen floor.  I don't know what happened to me, but I wasn't sad, I was showing no emotion whatsoever.  I simply stood there looking at him as he bled on my floor wondering if I had any humanity left or if I just figured this would eventually happen at some point during this job.  "Damn this job," I thought, "it stole my conscience."  There was a time when I would have stood there weeping and feeling sorry the victim and for myself.  Now I was just concerned that the body get removed from my kitchen and how much it was going to cost to replace the grouting between the floor tiles.

Rain stepped into the kitchen and before I could avert her eyes she saw the body on the floor.  I waited for her to scream in terror, but it never happened, she looked at the body and then at me, "Did you call somebody?"  This whole situation was taking a bizarre turn.

"I called Horus and he assured me it would be handled quietly."  It was almost as if I couldn't stop looking at the body.  There was a sense of peace after all of the torment he had probably taken from Patrick.  My mind turned to Patrick, did I kill him?  Is he able to avoid being frozen while in a mind?  I had no idea how he did it, but it looked as if he had to be dealt with in the real world.

My concentration was broken by a light tapping at the side door.  I stood on the top step and unlocked the top and bottom locks on the door and opened it to see a man standing there in a black windbreaker and black baseball cap.  "Where's the corpse?"

I hesitated a half second thinking this was all a bad dream, but then answered, "Up here, in the kitchen."  He and another man came in and looked at the mess on the floor.

"I've seen worse.  This one did a nice clean job and on the first try."  They appeared to be measuring up the body and finally the one looked at the other and said, "seven C black and six N."  The other man ran out the door and returned a couple minutes later with a folded up body bag and a seven-inch carving knife with a cardboard sheath.

"What's this?"  I asked, looking at the knife.  I was informed that they learned that most of Patrick's victims have an affinity for this knife or the wider chef's knife, so they started carrying various models with them to replace the one the victim used.  "That's very courteous of you."  They spread the body bag out on the floor and moved the body into it and zipped it up.

The first man turned to me, "I'll call in the cleaners, they'll be here shortly."  They carried the body out the door and into the van.  The doors closed, the van started and pulled out of the driveway.  I put the knife in the kitchen drawer and made a pot of coffee while I waited for the maids to show up.

About fifteen minutes later, a car pulled into the driveway and two women in blue polo shirts knocked on the door.  I called out to them that the door was open and they walked in.  "Where's the mess?"

"Right here on the kitchen floor.  I hope you can clean the residue out from in between the tiles."  I was pointing down at the pool of blood while the two women looked at it and appeared to be taking mental notes.  "Would you like a cup of coffee?"

"Not right now, honey, we have work to do."  They walked out the door and came back with several spray bottles and rags and knelt down around the pool of blood.  One of the women looked back at me and asked, "Seven-inch carving knife?"

I was amazed that she guessed it so quickly and easily.  "That's amazing, how did you guess?"

The first woman answered, "Aw, honey, we do this for a living, you can tell by the amount of blood left behind.  You're lucky he didn't use a nine-inch chef, that would require a full retiling job and probably a replacement of some boards in the basemeent ceiling."  They were just so nonchalant about the whole situation.

"I'm going to let you two work, I'll be in the living room."  I turned and walked out of the kitchen and sat down on the couch and thought about the day's events.  It wasn't even 8:00am and I already had a suicide, a pair of well-prepared ambulance drivers and the super maids in my house.  What could happen next?

I think there's a certain beauty to this scene, at least the way I see it in my mind.  This is the result of suspending reality for a time and just writing.  This is not the way I would react to this scene in real life, I would probably crawl into a corner and suck my thumb for days if I witnessed this in real life.  That's why I love fiction, it doesn't have to resemble reality at all.