My Shadow

I walk away.  The residual blood drips onto the floor.  The sound echoes through the empty hallway.  I strip as a walk to the bathroom.  I hold the knife till I step into the shower.  I masturbate as the water dilutes the blood on my hands and washes it to a pool at my feet.  Showers have a way of clearing the mind.  The steam opens the lungs, opens the pores and has the ability to make every muscle in your body come alive.

I wipe myself down on my way to the kitchen.  I usually don’t drink red wine unless I am entertaining guests but the Pinotage seems to go well with the blood seeping into the sheepskin rug.  I empty the bottle, put on some clothes and leave for a walk on the beach.  It is a glorious, peaceful day.  I don’t stay on the beach. I am not in the mood to drive there either.  I walk for a good solid hour from my home in the city centre to the beach.  The lives of strangers seem fascinating, every person playing their role.  Smiles, tears, faith, anger, desperation, all etched on the faces I pass.  A destitute woman comes up to me begging.  I notice a little child no more than two sitting by a street pole.  I am tempted to ask, “Will you blow me for fifty bucks?” Instead I look at her kid and offer her my wallet.  She looks confused.  I carry on walking.  I hear her mumbling something about me being cruel and mocking her.  My outstretched arm holds the wallet behind me for a while before I let it drop to the floor.

The thought of being able to help the poor helpless kid makes me happy. The child’s parents however should be killed. Why bring life into this world when all you can gift it is misery and hardship? The sand looks soft, golden and inviting.  I remove my leather slip-ons, pull of my socks and allow my feet to sink into the grains. The salt of the sea fills my nostrils. Whispers of the sea-spray beckon me to venture closer, to embrace the blue expanse.   As wet manifests upon my clothes I realise that I am dressed in a three piece suit. I wade deeper into the sea. My face is wet.  It is not the sea but my own tears.  I cry yet am unaware of the act.  I stand there surrounded by water, pouring water out from within, washing myself, cleansing myself inside and out.  I am in a state of ecstasy. I feel free. This will be over soon. Like any bad dream I will wake soon and sigh with relief at the unreality of it all and make love to my wife to connect to reality.I shut my eyes, hoping that when I opened them again I will be home in bed, my family around me.  After countless contractions of my eyelids it dawned upon me, “from this nightmare there is no peace in being awake”.

I sink to my knees.  The waves push my head under water.  My body lacks the will to fight it.  Why am I alive? It will not be long before the questions begin.  Who killed them?  What was the motive? Why was I left alive?  Did I kill my family? Was anything taken? Why did I not contact the police and the paramedics? Will people understand? Will they accept my answers?  Will they believe me when I tell them that by the time I got into my house my wife and kids were already dead? I walked into my bedroom to discover a pale corpse that resembled my wife, naked on the bed.  Evidence of the abuse she endured visible on her soft skin.  My kids were in their beds, like I leave them at nights after I tuck them in. When everything is lost what need is there to fight. The bullets and blood stains however made this image unique.  Will people believe that I was stupid enough to pick up the discarded blade that lay on the floor beneath my wife’s slit throat and failed to sever the blood vessels beneath the skin of my wrists?  Not there to protect them to weak to join them now. Will enquirers believe that I noticed nothing of the possessions in my house? That I still do not accept that it is real?  This is a thriller which I am watching on my own in 3D.  I ask myself these questions for I know that they will come, but the answers and the response to them is insignificant.  I have lost everything in my life.  Vengeance is selfish and to what end?  Hunt down the demons who ripped away my life, see them punished and then what mellow in the bitter emptiness that remains.  When one removes all the joy – all the colour and intricate, merry decorations, all the love and details that give meaning, then what is left?  In photography and art when everything is removed and replaced by black a silhouette is created. In life when the light is behind you and nothing but emptiness ahead, all that is visible is a dark shadow, my shadow. I have been robbed of all joy, love, colour, expression and emotion, my shadow is all that is left of my life.

My shadow is all I have been left with and with the setting of the sun it too shall leave me and if my prayer be answered it will not return tomorrow.

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