#162 Help the poor and go to Heaven
Goddamn, I needed a drink. My nerves were shot from thinking about going to hell for what I’d done. Reaching under the couch I found a half full bottle of gin, took a long drink and wanted to gag from the burning in my throat, but the pain felt good. It would help me write out exactly what happened. I calmly sat there and wrote.
I can’t remember when I got the idea, but it was there forever it seemed. It haunted all my waking hours. An urge to kill the old man came over me. Though he never wronged or insulted me, I planned his demise. Rumblings from my subconscious told me this predator with the milky blue eye had to die. A ludicrous reason, the color of his one eye, to kill someone I thought, but my deeper mind said that that anybody with an eye color like that was a lycanthrope and had to die.
Why? I shouted to myself, and heard inside my head, “Just do as you’re told.” I thought I was going insane. I couldn’t control my obsession. Guilty about my plans, I treated the old man better than before. I made him happy with deceptive devotion. If he only knew that every night at midnight I’d open his door with a baseball bat in my hand, ready to beat him to death. I’d see him laying there, his teeth in a glass by the bed, his mouth open and drool running down his chin. Sleeping with his eyes closed, and his predatory blue eye out of sight, my rage subsided and I’d gently close the door thankful I didn’t do what I had intended. Night after night I’d open the door with the bat in hand, and see him on his white silk sheets, asleep with his eyes closed.
One night as I opened the door, so slowly time seemed suspended, a feeling of power overcame me. I held his life in my hands and there was nothing he could do about it. He didn’t suspect my plans for one second. A cat meowed outside the window and he stirred. I stood frozen in time and an hour passed as he sat up in bed. He couldn’t see in the dark, so I waited without a move. Then I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was a whimper of terror, not a groan of pain or of grief, but a low stifled sound that rose from the bottom of his soul. I knew the sound well from nights when the entire world slept but me. Terrors in the night distracted me, and I knew that moan well. I knew what the old man felt and pitied him. He had been awake since the cat’s meow, and his imagination had increased his fears a hundred fold. He tried to fluff them off as more frightening noises in the night, maybe a mouse in the wall, or a truck driving by. I’m sure he tried to calm himself with these thoughts, but all for naught because I was in the room, and I held life or death in my hand.
I could have this power as long as he slept, but he suddenly turned on the lamp. I swung with all my might. His pale blue eye opened and the dull blue hue sent a tingling down my spine. No other part of the old man’s face or person was visible, only his cursed eye. The sight of it caused my swing to miss. It would have sent his head to the moon if I had hit. Horrified, I dropped the bat.
He jumped out of bed, grabbed the bat, and beat me on the head until he thought I was dead. He must have known my intentions all along. I pretended to be unconscious and watched him open the leaded glass window. He gazed up at the full moon and howled like a wolf, then, he jumped back into bed, and before he turned off the light I saw a smile on his face.
Cold, callous, and able to sleep after thinking he took a life. He needed to die, and by the grace of God, I would be the one to do it. I crawled across the floor to the bat, got it in my hands and slowly rose to my feet. I stood above his unmoving form, raised the bat above my head and started my downward swing. His eye opened and the dull blue hue wasn’t a surprise this time. The bat smashed into his head again and again, and again, until his head looked like a squashed tomato.
Now I needed to dispose of his body before the domestic help arrived in the early morning. An idea that must have been sent from heaven came. “Help the needy,” it said, and I dragged his body to the kitchen where the old man’s help prepared catered meals. He had purchased a Hobart half horsepower meat grinder for making hamburger. It ground ten pounds a minute, so in a bit over ten minutes he became hamburger and I used his table saw to cut his bones to dog food sized pieces.
I packaged his remains in Saran wrap that weighed ten pounds each, and I put his bones in sacks marked, “Soup Bones” and delivered it to the homeless shelter three blocks away.
“Thank you my friend,” the cook said, “you’ll be rewarded in heaven for giving so much food to the poor.”
After he said that, I needed a drink, but now I think he was right, and I’ll drink to going to heaven for doing a good deed.