It is an anger deep and primal. It snarls and growls and wants to tear at your flesh slow, with determination, with purpose. It hungers for the chance, thirsts to tear you limb from limb. It doesn’t fear you. No matter what you wanted to do first, no matter your intentions. It will find you. Stalk you. Eat you alive. It shakes with anticipation when it feels your presence. Its lips curl. Rabid saliva collects at the corners of its mouth.
It is true, I have nurtured it. I have fed it in my darkest hours, stoked its appetite. And it is hungry now. Voracious. Indomitable. I am almost afraid of it, afraid of myself. Afraid of what I might do. Afraid of what I am capable of. But my hate is stronger than my fear. And even though I don’t know you, I hate you and I want to hurt you. Hurt you in a way you could never imagine, a way you could never recover from. Hurt you in a way that burrows into your brain; chews on your cerebellum. Nibbles on your hippocampus. All thoughts, conscious, unconscious, all of them, they will come from me; doused and flooded with the haunted corpse of my rage.
I work late at night. Welding and cutting. My eyes strain and grow tired in the lamplight. But the anger inside pushes me on.
This is my third design. The springs were wound too tight on the first. There was a good chance I would injure myself. The second was too flimsy. It would trap the target, true. But it would not sever it. This one, this one will be perfect. I can feel it.
This is not something that can be rushed; patience is imperative. But rage does not know patience. It must be given acquiescence. So it crouches, watches for opportunity, learns to recognize it, makes a plan, writes a script and practices it. There is little room to fear what could go wrong. The animal inside of me is taking over and I am confident that it will prevail. It isn’t just angry, it is vengeful in its hunger. When it is in charge, my mouth waters at the thought of your flesh: young, tender, virgin so far as my purposes are concerned.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” it will say.
And when the razors that are its teeth, when they grip your flesh, when they tear your member from its roots, when the laugh, too deep and curdled, too masculine for its voluptuous lips, when all of that happens, what are you going to do then? Suffer. Alone. Cold and bleeding out. Ashamed and desperate. Like the justice that has just been served to you, golden platter and all.
Sometimes I have to stop working because the laughter shakes my belly. It gives me too much joy, too much gratification; the thought of you lying in the alley, the perpetrator now the victim.
A man like you is easy to mark. You wear your intentions in your walk, in your stare, in your approach. A man like you never thinks the better can be gotten of him. He never thinks it could be a trap.
A man like you isn’t a man at all.
A man like you must be taught a lesson.
My blood pressure rises and my hands shake with anticipation as adrenaline rushes though my system. I put my tools down. Time for a break.
I climb the stairs out of my basement apartment and go through the door at the top into the utility room. The kitchen is just off of the utility room, past the washer and dryer. Katrina, my roommate, is at the table, looking over her kids’ homework. “How are you?” she asks as I grab a glass from the cupboard and the lemonade from the fridge. “You’ve been cooped up all evening. What are you doing down there?”
I pour the lemonade and shrug as I put the pitcher back in the refrigerator. “I like being alone sometimes. Don’t take it personally.” I carry my glass to the table and set it down across from her. “I’ve just been knitting, nothing to worry about. Nothing weird.” A smirk tugs at the corner of my lip but I force it down. If only she knew.
“As long as you’re not writing suicide notes or anything…”
“I am definitely not writing suicide notes!” I assure her.
“Good, good,” she says, absentminded as she scans over the homework in front of her. “But you seem a little…” she looks back up, “frazzled? Are you sure you don’t need some vodka in that lemonade?”
I smile and shake my head, do my best to be convincing and not blush. “What? No. I’m fine. Great, actually.” I pause, for effect. “Really? Do you really think I look frazzled?”
Katrina looks back up from the papers on the table. “It’s probably just me. Sorry. I must be… what’s that called? Deflecting?” She sighs. “This is really hard.” She leans back in her chair and throws her hands up in the air. “I’m stumped by ninth grade geometry. What am I going to do when he gets to calculus, trigonometry?”
What would she do if she knew what I was building in her basement? My cheeks start to flush but I fight back against it.
We talk about her struggles as a single parent, my job, her job, the sub development planned for down the street. I finish my lemonade and head back down the narrow basement stairs. Instead of going back to work, I decide not to rush it. I grab the brush from my nightstand and stroke it gently through each and every lock of my hair. Next, I floss, and brush my teeth, put on pajamas, and climb into bed. My project is a blur in the distance as I turn out the lamp on the nightstand. I smile to myself and drift off to sleep. The time would come. Soon. Very soon.