Chasing Death

This one is a bit risqué at times but never fear, it goes right into the strange and odd that we can expect.

Chasing Death

The sounds of the hammer beating against wood and nail rang out in the still morning air. Jarad had been at it for hours. Cutting, sizing, hammering, he built the device of his imminent demise. He pulled up the plans again on his tablet and checked the measurements on the board in his hand.

He had gotten good with the tools. This wasn’t his first time building something like this though it was his first guillotine. The guillotine was actually one of the most complex creations he had ever worked on, moving parts and electronic gizmos galore throughout the design.

It worked with hands free operation, mostly automatic. Though there were computer-controlled operations throughout the design that enabled him to work it all with the push of a button on an app on his phone. As far as implements of death went, this one had become pretty high tech.

chasing death

flickr Creative Commons via Tim Green

His work for the morning had been to lay in the finishing touches that were more superficial than they were functional. Some inlays within the trim and a nice chute to catch the heads as they fell away from the body.

As he surveyed his handiwork he had to chuckle at his attention to detail. Most people wouldn’t have gone to nearly this much trouble to kill themselves. A bullet to the head or hanging yourself with your belt really isn’t the prettiest ways to die. He did those years ago. Never once did functionality win out in the end. He would always come away pretty much just as well off as he had been the time before.

“It’s pretty,” Sharon said. She had walked the wooded path from their house to deep into the back yard forest. It had been his father’s house. He inherited it when his father passed away due to complications to syphilis. Who would have thought of that one in this day of miracle cures and advanced medicines? People just don’t die of venereal diseases like they used to.

“I just hope it works this time,” Jarad said. He smacked the hammer down and drove the nail all the way into the wood. The blade twinged and shimmied with the force of the blow but remained high in the air, ready to fall at the tap of a button.

She walked around the guillotine and lightly traced the woodwork with the tip of her finger. As she turned to face him she tossed her long brown hair back over her shoulder. “What do you think you will do with it if it doesn’t work?”

Jarad looked into her eyes and then past the machine. That was the big question. It didn’t matter what happened to it if it worked, he’d be dead. But if it didn’t work, if it couldn’t take his head from his body and keep him dead as it should, then what? He could dismantle it, maybe use the various parts in some new scheme to try and end it all. But it had taken on a spirit of its own. And this is when he felt it talking to him in his mind, in his soul, again.

The guillotine spoke to him in a woman’s voice. Soft, soothing, not quite the same voice as his mother’s but close. Maybe her embrace would make it all better, make everything better. He put quite a bit of stock in the idea that the more work he put into this one would be the work that would free him, finally free him of this mortal coil.

“I don’t know. Maybe I can sell the design? Do you think governments would pay any money for an automated guillotine?”

She laughed. He loved to hear that laugh. Sharon had been one of the better lovers he had let into his life, one of the few to have learned his secret and stick around. The others had run when he whipped out a gun or jumped from a building. They couldn’t handle the stress of watching him destroy himself over and over again, but not Sharon. She relished the chase, the game he played so hard to win. A supportive influence in your life is a good thing after all.

“I think I might keep it,” she said. “If it works, that is. Out here in the woods, no one will see it but me. Maybe it’s a bit morbid of me, but I would keep it as a monument to the one thing that finally took you out.”

“That’s what you think is morbid?” He laughed. “Chasing death for as long as I have now, I guess that is probably one of the sanest things I have heard in a while.”

She moved beside him and brushed her hand across his cheek. “Would you rather I forget you? Leave this place to rot when you’re finally gone?”

Jarad smiled as he looked into her eyes. “I hope that eventually you can move on and find a life without the oddity of me.”

“That’s just it,” she said. “You have been the least bizarre part of my life.” She leaned in close and whispered in his ear. “Your difference defines my sanity.”

He fell into the embrace, fell into her warmth. The last place he thought he would find himself was in her arms on the day he might finally kill himself. But it felt right. After all the years, all the failed and wasted efforts, this could finally be the day. He felt it in his bones just as he felt her in his arms. This was the closest he had ever been to death.

Their lips met with fire and flame. The fluid movements of their embrace boiled and steamed as their clothes fell away. There on the wood of the guillotine they christened it with the song of their love.

She rode him, drove him like a beast as he lay under the blade of the guillotine. Their passions roiled and bloomed in the push and pull of the moment. And then at the height of desire just as Sharon was about to plummet over the edge she tapped the button on his phone.

The blade came down swift and sure. The sharpened steel sliced clean through the soft skin of his neck and the bone of his spine. As Jarad’s life’s blood drained out onto the fallen blade and his head rolled into the basket at the bottom of the chute Sharon’s passion ended.

She picked herself up and stood beside the carnage that had just moments ago been their love. His body lay there, lifeless, unmoving. The end had finally come.

Her knees wobbled and the butterflies still ran rampant in her belly as the body began to dissolve. Jarad’s body melted away, every trace of his death gone within the moments that she still felt their embrace. Another death that never came, she knew, knew it just as the sun would come up tomorrow, he would be in the house waiting for her.


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