We had a light lunch. Preparing for the strenuous march, we felt sick feeding ourselves with the nerves in our stomach. It was pastrami with sauerkraut on the day we were to take our first life together. It seemed extravagant. I felt a danger biting into it. It had a complicated construction of vinegared confetti falling from the New Year. This was ostentatious. What if this sandwich knew what we had planned? It would tell. It looked as if it would tell.
His name was Harris Meldon. He taught math. It was Brad’s idea to wear our winter clothes doing it but it was my idea to kill the man. Try to describe it and not use the word sinew. The days of living with a twin who dreams in loud, fast fashions. My brother the magazine cover had a voice like a car alarm in my ear when he told me what Harris Meldon did to deserve his death. I agreed as I did because I’m yet unconvinced Brad is not just the voice of my soundest reasoning.
We followed him home the next afternoon to learn his address. It was to be a long walk, but we couldn’t be seen driving there. Our luck would have it that his house backed up to the man-made woods on the western edge of Springwood. Aside from the clothes, it was the only forethought we gave it. Not even the means was discussed.
We’re gonna kill him.
That was my thought.
Or was it my thought?
As small as we were, the dog door would let us in to the garage.
Do I want this or do you?
Do I want this or do you?
I don’t know if I want this to be over as quick as it can be or if I never want this feeling to end. We could’ve gone in but we knew if he was ready for us, he could do well in fight back. If we lured him to the garage, he would be confused.
His sternum was no more solid than a bit from my Bumble Bee transformer toy that perpetually shed its parts magically when Brad was nowhere near it, he promises. This should take more effort. Once inside a man’s body, I should be pushing the same boulder up a hill I’m doing on the outside before the current of his blood goes still and becomes thick to wade but it was easy then. I was swept ashore.
He’d fought us but the moment had gone by so fast that it would stretch on.
We had done enough to him that he finally stopped moving. A spray can was rolling across the garage floor when Brad declared him dead. The resistance of that kill had returned when it was time that we move the soulless body of the man. Pulling him up was nearing impossible for us all of 250 pounds combined, but between the two of us, at least it took a very long time to fail getting him to the river.
The Bronco towered over us. I didn’t like him. He thought we’re too weak to go through with it. His taking up all that room said so. It was me who threw the first tool at the car. Harris Meldon would hear us, I knew, and come and see what clatter we made.
What are you doing? I don’t know, what are you doing? I don’t know, somebody’s gonna hear us. Yes. Yeah.
Brad threw a wrench next, and then a box of nails. Movement.
We passed the area where our schoolmates fight and smoke weed and the area where a fifth of the girls in our class will become pregnant by the statistics we were taught in our sexual education course. The stars were eloping with those romantics who believe they hold the key to the future. When we reached our home we burned our clothes in the backyard. It was May and Mrs. Cartwright took an active interest in what we wore and did not wear from our closet. The winter clothes was a good idea.
We dreamt in the backyard of what we would do if we were caught. A backpack is no place for a heart. I laid Harris Meldon’s heart between us and we dreamt some more. I would shoot you in the face. I would smother you out with my hands. We found a new life in Mexico. We killed everyone who got in our way. Have you ever noticed the face in the moon is always laughing? Were we lost before tonight? We left tire marks in the road.
We were heartbeat sprites circling down the drains of night and of recognition as shopkeepers turn their blind eyes to our blood-soaked clothes.
Do you suppose that’s death?
Nah, no. No way. We just rescued him from life.