By: Nomar Knight

The most profound moments of your life stay with you forever.

As I stand in the kitchen, the stench of burnt meat triggers a gnawing urgency to complete my task. I glare at the
disgusting display before me. Dirty dishes overflow the silver sink. Roaches parade in and out of open containers of
leftover Chinese takeout. The constant tick of a black wall clock goads me to move to the bedroom.

My quest for absolution lingers in the air as time itself keeps me prisoner. Without question, any man in my
predicament would react the same way. When pushed to the brink, one finds the darkness compelling, indeed soothing.

The whispers, at first subtle, are like a reassuring breeze on a humid summer day. So I do it. I pick up the knife.

The cause of my woes, Lily, sits on the bed, her feet tucked underneath her smooth rear. Her attention is not on me, but
on her favorite late-night comedian.

With each slow step, I think about her vain existence. Even now as she paints her fingernails a disturbing pink, her
premeditated strokes awaken my correct perception of her deliberateness in all things. It’s as if she is an ancient
goddess hell-bent on tormenting good souls like me.

Tick. Tick.

Images flash in my mind of Lily talking with her clients as she lets them touch her. Her hips swaying like a bitch in heat.

Tick. Tick.

With every dollar placed in her g-string, I endure watching a squeeze of a breast, a caress of her buttocks; madness.
Blood trickles down my lower lip as I bite down. I ignore the pain, loathing those greasy, dirty men.

Tick. Tick.

I gag when I recall the disgusting spit spewed from their mouths onto her tongue.

Tick. Tick.

I try to convince her to quit that life. She rolls her eyes, adjusts her golden tresses, laughs and says, “Who is going to
pay the rent? You?”

Tick. Tick.

Rage consumes me as I recall her ungrateful attitude. She forgets I made her who she is today. She owes her popularity
to my track star status in high school. Without me, she’d still be a skinny airhead.

Tick. Tick.

I despise that I’m unemployed and want to scream that this economy sucks, but I grind my teeth and wipe sweat off my
brow.

Tick. Tick.

The whispers get louder, more distinguishable. It seems the closer I get to her, the more hate consumes me.

Tick. Tick.

The whispers turn into chants. “Kill her! Kill her!”

Tick. Tick.

My heart beats faster and I worry she can hear it.

Tick. Tick.

I don’t realize when it happens, but bloodstains spatter on the wall. I have no time to clean the mess. The white linen
soaks in Lily’s blood. I must burn the evidence.

Tick. Tick.

I glance at the wall clock and I’m no longer in her bedroom. Instead, I stand in a crowded courtroom and listen to a
juror announce the word that seals my fate...

“Guilty.”

I resist with all of my strength, but my frail frame is no match for these executioners. They force me to sit in a large
chair. A small group of people stare at me through a glassed partition and my stomach churns as if their orbs possess the
power to riddle my body with daggers.

I yell, “She had it coming!”

A leather strap secures my legs while metal cuffs attach my arms to wooden extensions. The primary executioner leans
close, nose to nose. It takes a strong effort to keep me from throwing up my last meal on his righteous face. His gray
eyes exude contempt. My trance breaks and I glance at an object he wears around his neck. A pink chiffon scarf
delivers Lily’s scent.

When our eyes lock again, he grins and whispers, “Rot in hell, Clyde Hawkins.”

A sudden movement from the corner of my right eye reveals a wet sponge as it soaks dirt water on my shaved skull. A
metal apparatus is fastened to my head by Lily’s new ally. I want to say that I’ve done him no harm, but remain silent as
I realize a putrid aroma permeates my drenched prison garbs. Crap escapes me and I finally recall believing in God.

“The priest,” I beg, “please, I need a priest.”

A man of the cloth administers my last rites and I wonder if it will be enough.

“Lord, forgive me!” I wail out what I hope to be words of salvation.

I catch a glimpse of the warden as he nods to my executioner. He pulls a switch and fire rocks through every fiber of my
body. Burnt meat reeks off the top of my skull as smoke clogs my nostrils. For what seems like an eternity, electricity
jolts my senses making me wish I never laid eyes on Lily. All of a sudden my point of view rises as I watch my body
twitch and the faces of the blood thirsty crowd; some salivate, some cry, but most don’t stare at my remains. Instead, I
can tell their mundane lives consume their thoughts.

I suspect heaven is not within my grasp. Just when I think this is all there is to death, a familiar voice from my past
booms out my name like the sound of thunder clapping across the night sky.

“Clyde Hawkins!” I recognize the voice as Mrs. Clearwater, my fifth grade teacher. She always said I would amount to
nothing.

“Do you remember what I told you?”

In the midst of a dark abyss her image eludes me, yet her presence carries an unmistakable bitterness. I nod.

“The most profound moments of your life stay with you forever.”

Before I can ask for clarification, I am whisked off by unseen forces. Instead of witnessing the Biblical depths of hell
where fire and brimstone rule, I am back in the dreaded apartment. Lily is alive, painting her fingernails, watching
television, ignoring me again. I stand behind her with knife in hand, listening to the voices, listening to the clock, ready
to kill her. Just before I strike the blade down Lily’s back, I grin because I finally realize that this part feels like I’m in
heaven, “Die Bitch!”  
Cursed