A thousand thoughts flashed
through Jack Kelly’s mind in rapid succession.
Like maybe he should retire when he gets the chance. He should be selecting colors from a pallet
while painting on a sandy beach somewhere.
Maybe he should have stuck with the blues band, that
big record deal was just around the corner.
Maybe he could write cheap, sleazy, big-city crime novels, spitting them
out like a welfare mother in a trailer park spits out kids. Or he should have pushed for that cushy
paralegal investigator job. Maybe even
get a law degree and become a practicing attorney-- No, he wasn’t that desperate.
His life was flashing, rolling
along like a filmstrip, in front of his mind’s eye.
The blade was slowly pressing
into the flesh on Jack Kelly’s throat, right below the Adam’s
Apple, slowly cutting the skin through its layers. It was a sharp pain and Jack guessed the
blade was probably very, very sharp. He
felt his warm blood trickling down the center of his chest.
Kelly flashed on the night, as a young
patrol officer, he was dispatched to what the voice on the patrol car radio
said was a disturbance at a residence.
As he pulled the cruiser up to the single-family house the dispatcher
updated with “Possible attempted suicide.”
Another cruiser pulled up in front and Jack made his way cautiously
through the front door and into the dark house with his flashlight and gun
drawn, not knowing what he would find, or what would come out of the
darkness. The two light switches he
tried were unresponsive and the glowing beams of their flashlights bounced off
the walls in the musty house. There were
no answers given to Jack’s loud announcement, “Police! We need to talk to you.”
Then, as he entered a dark parlor
in the back of the house, there in front of him, with the eerie flicker of the
television set blaring away, sat a pale man on a couch with his neck and throat
slit wide open in a bizarre smile from ear to ear. An Exacto knife was
clutched in his blood soaked hand. His
eyes looked straight ahead in the direction of the television.
Jack shook involuntarily as he
walked between the dead man and the flickering television set. He prayed the guy would not look up and say,
“Hey! Down in front! I’m watching ‘Cops!’”
Blood still oozed down the front
of the dead man’s shirt. Blood had
filled up in the waistband of his pants, in his lap, pooled up again on the
couch, down his legs and onto the floor.
Pints and pints of blood. An array of other blades, a steak knife, a
bread knife, a big, heavy vegetable cutter and a meat cleaver lay arranged and
spread neatly on the coffee table in front of the dead man. But the box cutter, the Exacto
knife in the deceased man’s bloody hand, seemed to have done the job. No one is truly creative committing
suicide. They blow their brains out,
jump off a bridge, hang themselves, overdose, or slash and bleed out. Its all been done
before. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the artistic statement?