by Rune Cutter
|Start soundtrack - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM8ix0siRVQ
Steve watched the beer bottle drop in slow motion. Everything moved like winter molasses, except Steve. The bottle fell straight down and hit the kitchen linoleum floor then bounced. Thousands of tiny bubbles appeared in the golden liquid. They raced up the neck of the bottle and became a fountain of white. The bottle was upside down spewing beer suds across the floor when it hit the leg of the kitchen chair and shattered. The bounce stopped and for a moment that seemed like an hour, cracks spread across the bottle's surface. It held its shape then seemed to melt away; divided into countless razor sharp shards and a miniature tsunami of frothing Coors.
Reflex dropped him into a squat; his hands locked on the wrist; he pulled down with his entire body weight and then rotated the hand holding the knife smoothly up.
Yeasty beer smell flooded his nose. This wasn’t right. Nothing was right. His clothes were too tight, restricting his movements. The light wasn’t right; there was too much green, too much moisture in the air.
His body was moving on its own, rising to its full height and pushing the knife up and away from his center of gravity. There was resistance for an instant but then the blade slid past it.
He was still looking down watching the beer as it spread from the point where the bottle shattered.
A tinny little transistor radio played - "Oh, see the fire is sweepin’, our very street today, burns like a red coal carpet, mad bull lost your way."
Steve and some buddies had watched from the side of a mountain as B-52s made a bombing run. You couldn’t see or hear the giant jets; they were up too high, but you could watch the line of bombs hammer the terrain; like giant fiery footsteps. You could feel the concussion before you heard it, like somebody punching you in the stomach, then “P-POOM!” and “POOM”. Two bombers could drop more than a hundred bombs and turn the land into hash. The people just disappeared, gone, erased. The fireballs looked like the beer, the way it rolled out in a perfect circle. It scrubbed away the dirt and now broken glass; the way the bombs scrubbed away people.
His knee followed the kitchen knife up and pushed his hands with even more force. It ripped and cut through intestines and bone as if they weren’t there and stopped in her left lung.
He looked up from the beer. Silky smooth legs ended in his favorite blue flannel shirt. There was a circle of red around where the knife had gone in; he had driven it so far into her that there was no handle for her clutching fingers. A fountain of blood gouted out of her mouth and splashed its thick heat across his face.
“NO!” . . . . .
She couldn’t talk; her mouth worked, but there was no air to make the scream. He caught her and cradled her to the ground, killing hands suddenly became gentle.
He screamed for both of them.
Pressure! Direct pressure! His hand pushed the knife in deeper; she arched her back and then was gone. There wasn’t a rattle, no moan, nothing. She was just . . .gone.
His hands shook from frustrated adrenaline; cold sweat beaded across his forehead and ran down his back.
Now it smells right; like fear and death but there needed to be the smells of jet exhaust and open sewage too. There should have been the whistling thump of rotor blades, cracks of rifles and the pounding beat of his heart, not; “What do you want on your sandwich?” The temperature wasn’t right either.
"Gimme Shelter"- Rolling Stones