Death Cannot Be Delegated
By JJ DeCeglie
I’d been watching her for maybe three days. Wasn’t hard. Not for a sumbitch like myself. The way I saw it she had at least one guy she
was seeing other than her husband. Maybe there were others. Maybe not. Wasn’t my concern really. Now she was a piece. I can tell
you that. A real piece. Red hair like a forest fire. Legs long as the day. Generous chest. Face like a fucking china doll. Yeah watching
her was real easy. Now I’d been hired to kill her. And I was kind of looking forward to that. You know. It was a chance thing too. I
needed cash worse than ever before. And I’d needed it real bad at times. See I’ve got what they call an illness. A disease. I gamble just
like a damn demon. Money and me don’t go. We don’t. Like uh, oil and water, we don’t combine well. Don’t sit with one another. You
can imagine I guess, I piss it away. Time and again. And I’ve had much of it. Real load. Booze, broads, drugs, more gambling mostly. It
just leaves me. Departs. I’ve woken up with nigh on a hundred thousand cash to my name and by that same night been sleeping in an
alleyway. No word of a lie. The thing is too; you can’t gamble, not like I do anyways, without owing the wrong people money. Now by
the wrong people I mean real evil sons of bitches. Downright mean bastards. The murderous kind. They shake your hand, look you in
the eyes smiling, nodding and guffing, asking you bout your girl, your mother, your children, look you right in the damned eye, smiling
bright, clicking their tongue and all, then shove a blade right in your gut, call you less than human, a lowlife, a gambling flunking
degenerate, leave you bleedin, you don’t believe it, I’ll show you the scars.   
Now I’d been hired by a bona fide piece of work to kill his slice of pie wife. He didn’t say why. Just how and by when, and I said how
much? To which he replied you can forget the thirty large you owe me, and I’ll throw in another twenty. A man like me can’t say no to
that. He knew. Also knew my morals were deformed. I couldn’t stand that asshole. Beat me to nothing in a poolroom til I owed like a
filthy bastard. His fat ass paunch sitting on the felt of the table banking ball after ball in grimy light. Taking beer after fucking beer. I
figured I had him hustled flat to begin. I’d hold my game awhile. Up the stakes, you know, hour after hour. Playing the part of
dumbass, more wealth than brains. Ends up at pool for three large a match. I win maybe twice on the new stake. I can’t recall. Boy if I
was holding my game I’m not sure what he was doing. I’d figured like shit. Beats me level ten straight and I quit. Which was when we
got to drinking. Which led to talking. Which led to me sitting in this car watching her pretty little ass twitter about all over town. Yeah
as I said I was enjoying myself. I got ten up front you know. I was eating at restaurants. Drinking beers all day long. Sleeping in nice
hotel rooms. And watching her made me feel good. It did. She was a right piece. Hair redder than a settin swollen sun. Skin like fresh
cream. I could see those green eyes shining. I was planning on strangling her. Not much blood that way. And I could get nice close
look at her. Breath her in. Let struggle up against me. Fight some. Yes sir, I was looking forward to that.
The husband wasn’t home most nights. He’d told me that. The son of a bitch worked the poolrooms and card halls looking for suckers
like me. She would get in around nine herself and then not leave again. That was the routine five nights running. I didn’t watch her that
evening. Went to a movie instead. People are predictable you know. Set themselves like watches. Expected to the letter. We’d
determined to make it look like a robbery. He suggested I could have my way with her, make it look more authentic, but as yet I was
undecided. Killing is one thing you know. I done plenty of it. Don’t bother me. There was a time when it rattled but that is long gone.
Raping a woman is another case all together. I figured he hated her pretty good. Her sharing herself all about. Though mostly it was
never really about that. Sure he wanted her gone, but he wanted his money staying put moreso even, you could your ass on that.
Well I waiting for her when she got in. Hiding in the bathroom like some kid trying to get peek at his aunt’s titties. It wasn’t like I
thought it would be though. I was more jumpy than I would have liked. Standing there in the fucking dark. Sweating so as it ran down
my flanks. Hands kinda trembling. Mind kinda racing. And she took her damned time too. Heels clicking on the polished floors all
over the house. Crashing about in the kitchen. Like maybe an hour or so to get into that bedroom. And by then I was edgier than
busted up razor blade. The cord in my hands strung tighter than piano wire across em. She did calm me though. Undressing like she
did. All racy. Slowly and playfully. Enjoying herself somehow. Looking at herself in that big ass mirror. Combing her hemorrhaging
head all naked and aglow. She was practicing lines to herself too. Making kissy faces to her double. She was a genuine piece. Genuine.
I was maybe half sweet on her by the time she was done. So sweet I was figuring on letting her live another night just so as I could do
this all over the following night. Course I fucked it up. Wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t. You can imagine what happened I think. I don’t
have to go into the goriest of details. I was excited you know. I lost myself a minute. Maybe it was two. She was beautiful and it was
nothing sinister or the like. It was admiration I believe. Anyways she heard me in there. She was staring right at me. We both froze like
popsicles. I had to bust out of there right then. There was no choice in it. It was that or run out the house like a loon with my dick in
my hand yelling obscenities. Which I considered some, seeing as I didn’t feel like hurting her too much. It seemed a real shame to be
murdering her. Especially since I was pretty sure I was sweet on her. So I busted out the bathroom and grabbed her all rough while she
was screaming murder. Which was well within her rights. I hit her without much in the face and she went down like a wilted stem
under a boot heel. I proceeded then. Strangling her. One knee in her back, the other balancing myself on the floor. Truly I wasn’t
giving it my all. I was thinking you see. Thinking bout how she looked damned sexy straining with her ass bucking just below my knee.
Her breasts warbling out her sides squashed against that floor. Her ribs poking out the snowy skin of her back. Be a real shame to
finish her. I was also thinking she may have some scratch. And she may hate that son of a bitch husband of hers about same amount
he does her. I knew I hated him. Just like poison. Just his overweight pocked face. His fat ass gut and balding shiny head. What was
she doing with that bastard anyway? Smelt like plain money to me. I restrained myself then. Reigned it in. Let her breath. Put my other
knee on the back of her pretty neck and relayed my confession to her. I patted her on the ass when I was done. I really wanted to you
see. Really did. I thought about doing other things too. Wouldn’t had been a man if I didn’t. Like I said though. I ain’t no rapist. Not
mostly anyway.
Now she said she understood. Said she’d double it for his ass on a stick. I said twenty up front and she said sure. Said let her up. I did.
Her neck was red and blue from the cord. Her eyes were more bloodshot than mine own get when I’m drinking. I felt a little bad for
her I admit. I asked her where my money was and she said in that lovely voice of hers follow me. Which I did. She still hadn’t dressed.
I said where we going and she said the safe. It’s downstairs she said. Wagging her ass in front of me walking down a flight of steps.
Teary eyed and breathing funny. I knew that safe would be trouble. Folks keep guns in safes. Not just money. Sometimes not even
money. I thought to myself if she tries anything I’m punch her right in that pretty mouth. Leans over the safe of course. Clever little
bitch. Starts stacking the cash by her feet. Me standing over her. I could see her asshole twitching. I swear to god I could. It tipped me
off. She was nervy. Something was coming. After the last stack was out and I’d counted twenty big I knew she’d make a play. And she
did, just not like I figured she would. She stayed on her knees. Turned her head with that face hidden mostly by her red hair. Arched
her back and made that creamy ass of hers sky high. She winked. Now I tell you. Man to men. It took me a might of control to steer
clear of that. A might. There was more to it, had to be. I knowed she was a whore, the type of girl who really didn’t get to know a
person, but I’d just tried to end her. I was feeling like I really hadn’t pushed the correct buttons, even for her. I’d never had no trouble
getting ladies, in fact at times I wish it were harder cause I would have saved myself a hell of a bunch of trouble. If you know what I
mean. Maybe she was some sick kind of bitch, wrong in the head and all. Even if, that’s right, even if, I kicked her hard as I could in
the ass. Knelt down and took the gun from the bottom of the safe. Yeah, I was real pleased with that.
Now it’s when things are looking up for me that I tend, if you rake through my history, to fuck them up the most. I was up thirty
thousand and I hadn’t lifted a finger, not really. I was playing the right angles, and I was concerned as to whether it could last. I was
well aware of my proclivity for fouling up situations. I’d lost more than that amount in just over two hours on at least three separate
occasions. Poker typically, some horse action too. There were times when I looked certain to ride off into the sunset yet found myself
stuck in the mud at midnight cursing every available bastard I could. I deemed needing some thinking time then. I was determined you
see. I told her to get me a drink. She asked if she could get dressed first and said no damnit get me that drink. I wasn’t running a
church group. You look good cold, makes those big breast ends gather up blood and point just like fingers. Told her to hurry and to
get herself one too. Which she did. A thorough four fingers of vodka. Taken in a gulp. Crazy ass broad. She bought me over bourbon
and I sipped at it some and played with the gun in my hands rolling it around like I imagine a cowboy would have. She was just sitting
all huddled on the couch, shivering every now and then, her eyes gazing downward. I walked about. Watching her close. Seeing that
waist slip into those hips. Those thighs run into them calves. Those ribs lift and return with every breath. Nice place I said. She didn’t
respond. I said it again. She mumbled a thank you. She was riling me. Being so inconsiderate and the like. Sore about me making her
stay naked, about her dumbass plan goin to hell. Maybe it wasn’t that. Maybe it was me, being so strung up with making a decision. So
tied in my mind and aiming so hard at clarity. I felt I was being a swell guy not touching her and all she was doing was playing like that
weren’t the case. There was a moment when I almost did her. Almost put a bullet in that pretty little skull. That fine red mist wafted
over my vision. It took me. I was gonna have her face down then blow her brains out as I ended. I lost reality momentarily. I saw it
through my two eyes yet never stopped seeing what was clear ahead of me. One hand full of rusty bright hair and the otheren pushin
that gun hard as I could into the very same scalp that hair was shooting from. I saw it clear as light from a torch in your eyes, every
wonderful portion of it, every rumble and squelch. Yessir, the glory of it. The undeniable truth in it. It was a bum play though. Put a
murder wrap directly on me. Skin and semen and the rest and they got all that stuff on me already. From a while back. From recent
times. Why risk more joint years over her, I didn’t need it and no one ever had, hell though why not, she was probably worth it, with a
damn fine ass like hers, those legs like forever, and I’d got away with worse than before. Much worse. I toppled it in time. Slammed on
the brakes. No I was gonna kill him when he got home. Do it in a flash. Then extort her for as much as possible. Inclusive of her
pouting ass. She could put the whole deal down to a robbery; explain it to the cops as such, just like a scared little rabbit with her teeth
chattering and eyes wide and wet. I’d sort out a story for her. Then I’d arrange a meet with her at a later date. One where she was
explicitly on the menu without choice. If she didn’t want it or like I didn’t care, hell all the better. I told her I’d kill her prissy ass now if
so. First. Make her husband’s look like a suicide committed after he’d ended her. It’s easy enough to do, and she had enough of the
street in her to know it was absolutely possible and that I was no damn pretender. She agreed then, with tight thinking seconds in
between each nod, I could see her brain ticking over in the black dots of her eyes; it only took us a minute. And the hatred I was
gauging in her made her all the more sexy, Yessir, she was a hard one to avoid, very much so, all that bristling making it all the more
wonderful. Hell, it was beginning to be a whole lot of fun. I told her to get me another, she could have one herself if she liked. She did
it both, and did it well, ice and a fair servin, then told me her boy might not be back for hours, might not even be back. Sometimes he
don’t come back for days she said. I told her to shut up and have a drink, I know it I said, I been watching your sweet little ass for
days now, I know he ain’t been home for a couple too and I know most likely he’ll be back tonight, he does that, so get yourself
comfortable and keep them bourbons coming when I ask it of you, otherwise, as previously stated you’re likely to become a victim
rather than a participant. She was kept quiet then. I gazed upon her like I would the shining moon. She gave that same glow to things
about her as a full version of it would have. That same gleam. She was dead quiet for about an hour. Thinking I guess. I know I was.
Thinking. She was quiet but I put her to use, with them bourbons. Must have had maybe four more, real thorough slugs. I was in fine
form though and felt the liquor only furthered my swerve. I got to expounding though. Hell I couldn’t take the silence no longer. Nor
heed her feeling toward me. Her brooding naked slurs just coming at me from those green eyes, just shooting at me like arrows from
the ends of those breasts. Like a great swarm from the stark little fire burning between her legs. I stared as she did. Hating each other.
Yes I spoke, my father was the same, he gave sermons, when drinking, righteous choice words dripping from his tongue, no like these
though, not of the same ilk, nor importance, nor God, and anyway, I shut that old fucker up a long time ago.
“You know what your problem is there honey, you ain’t even alive. You got no concept of life, no method of livin it. You sleep your
way through, think you’re living but really you ain’t even here. Not really. Cause you got no method. No means. You’re what they call
a somnambulist. You see, you walk in your sleep. You live from damned habit. From programmed lame reaction. You do nothing and
are nothing but what your emotions and history let you be. You see I read a damn lot, I make time for it, and I especially consider life,
mine own particularly. I read all I can on the subject, always have, and I realized from all that reading that I had to live a certain way
to get the most from life. Others don’t need it like I do, others can fill up on intellectualisms and from the attacking of reality. By
choice they do it, quite amazing you see, they take away that feeling, you know, that dreaded awful feeling, in your bones and gut, that
life ain’t worth shit, they did it by just deciding so, by intending it that way. I can’t do it. I tried. Wouldn’t sustain. It came and went.
Gambling could hold me awhile, women even moreso, books do it nice, but it left always, it left me cold. Fleeting experiences and
moments. I could not maintain the intensity, and without it I was constantly undermined by one, worthlessness, and two, boredom. It
puzzled me like a bitch you see. Twofold again. One, how most others didn’t see it, or feel it, and two, how the problem could be
solved…I found the answer though, I did, reading again, the counter to the first part was that most people were just dumb as posts,
and that their life interested them very little, I felt I always knew that anyhow, I clarified it though, read it true, now the second
counter, to the question, it wasn’t the common solution, others had come across it, they uh, they found it drastic you see, not me, no
sir, you see honey, life is lived most intensely in the face of death. Heidegger said that. A German. Not a truer word ever spoken.
Sartre, now he was a Frenchman, much influenced by Heidegger, he said he never felt any more alive than when Germany occupied
France and he felt he might be killed at any moment. There was a Russian, Dostoyevsky, when put in front of a firing squad had the
revelation that nothing, but nothing is boring. Said he’d rather live on a metre by half metre ledge set into a cliff face for all time rather
than die. You believe that. What I found is that I’m that way. I live most in the face of dying. Those intellectuals they spent their lives
trying to find other ways, more reasonable types and methods, there was a guy named Gurdjieff, he said that no man really lives until
he’s constantly aware that himself and every person he ever sees or knows or speaks to will die. Even that wasn’t enough for me. So I
set about creating conditions whereby my life was constantly under threat of being ended. And whereby others in my life could die just
as easily. Took some time to set it that way.  But I tell you sister, since that day, since it, I ain’t never felt it. That dread. Not once. No
way. Not ever. I mean I could die tomorrow, I got people after me, all assortments, cops, gangsters, loansharks, revengers, I would not
change it. No sir. No sir. I am always in immediate focus, all my energy, all the time”
She just stared at me some more. Didn’t smile, didn’t move. She spoke eventually, you’re fucking crazy she said. I told her I’d
considered that. That maybe I was just justifying my behaviors, legitimizing, all the gambling, drinking, stealing, blackmailing, killing,
maybe I just liked it, maybe it was all just a front. I didn’t believe it though. Cause I disliked killing. It was vital and necessary, was
important in and to the method. I disliked it though. The mess it made, all the cleaning up and backtracking it forced one to do just so
as to keep your ass outta jail, real pain in the neck it was. Truly agitating. On the flip nothing made you feel more intense, nothing put
you closer to your own death. Not a thing.
I was smiling after that. It was a detailed lecture. And she was quieter than she’d been all night. Her goose-bumped skin looking bluish
in the beam. Veins like comet tails trailing across her body. Man is most free in moments of conquest I told her. She was wide eyed.
Think about that you stupid little bitch. I ain’t crazy I said. Too much logic in my thoughts. I’ve written it down and read it aloud. I
may be some sort of agent of evil, or such, whatever evil is. I mean I approach it so objectively. Which is what I imagine Satan to do.
It would seem entirely possible. I ain’t saying it’s true or such, but it could be.
In all my parading I’d failed to hear her husband get his sorry ass home. He must have walked it, I heard him fumbling about with the
keys and door, stopped me in my tracks, told her if she made a noise I’d end her first. She obeyed just like a dog would. He hauled his
fat self up the steps and I let him make his way to the lavatory and heard the piss begin to gush. The flush and suck of the toilet next.
I made it quieter with stealth to the door just outside and snuck a peek at him considering himself in the mirror. That oversized
fleshpot, that useless human excuse, I did it quick and ruthless, whipped in behind him, fastened his arm behind his back swift and
then jerked it upward with might, bought him to the tips of his toes, I knew he was a righty so I shoved the gun to that temple, slight
upward angle so as the police ate the suicide, didn’t even get to see the look on his whopping face cause his bigass head got in the way.
Just the squeeze of the trigger and the crack of the shot. The blood spray settling on the white tiles of the wall and floor reminding me
of the fine mist of freckles sitting on her shoulders and pretty perfect nose. And when I went back she was still sitting there naked
expecting me to hold up my end of the bargain. After all that.
I could see the fear fizzing in her. Hell I could almost smell it in the room. I had her now see. She was whimpering and cowering no
matter what else she tried to display. It was the straight up motion of my speech, of my actions, I loomed up over her feeling like a
giant, a king about to slay some peasant, grabbed a handful of hair and heaved her head face first into the couch, her ass up there like
the sun at midday, undeniable, undefeatable, I asked her if she wanted this and I’m sure she mumbled yes, I told her that when I
considered it mostly, in the darkest times, the loneliest ones, it seemed entirely possible, it really did. Why not I asked her. Why the hell
not? Then I played out what I had planned from the get-go, and as was usual, when I was done, all the way done, I was pretty
convinced, cause all that in the face of death jibe, all that philosophizing, the sum of it, who knew, nah I just felt good and alive, and
the simplest answer seemed the most likely.