The mind is a strange object. Its decisions are based on a set of rules called logic. The beauty of this system is that first whatever may be the decision, and how many times it changes, it always follows logic. But, this system itself is not uniform. Logic differs in its implementation among individuals, but it again follows a set pattern, the basis being goodwill to a fellow human. But sometimes, this logic warps.


You feel the edge of the knife under your thumb. It reminds you of the years as the son of a war veteran, once a decorated soldier, and later a frustrated drunk. The son of a caring, loving mother, and a waft of her cooking, especially that chocolate cookie she would make just for you, fills your nostrils. It also reminds you of the cold, harsh reality of violence. Your mother’s shrieks during “belt time”, you running to her aid and being brutally thrashed. You remember the syringes of meth, the last bastion of peace, in the cupboard and your mother lying next to it, foaming at her mouth. You then remember your father’s increased ire towards you, “belt time” now becoming “belt and knife time”. Walking down the street became an arduous task. Every brush with a fellow human made you clench, your body tightening, ready for the next hit which never came. You see your wounds every time in the mirror, seeing how each cut, each bruise took away something from you. It took away your control. You wanted it back so badly, that the next “time”, you pulled the knife and put it in his neck, the blood gushing over you, each droplet bringing back control: piece by piece. And you realise, your logic now twists, you now know how to get back control.


Slick……. The knife draws blood. The very knife, gifted as a commemoration for valour, is now the focal point of your mania. As you suck your blood, you eye him. In another world, he is a young graduate, fresh out of engineering school, returning home after a sucessful job interview. But in this world, he is just another target for your logic. “Stay Away”, you mutter, as the human in you fights against the cloak of your mind, twisted by years of abuse. “Stay Away”, now a whisper, as the candle of compassion is put out by your psychosis. You move towards him and grab him. His eyes register surprise, which turns to shock and horror as he catches the glint of steel from the corner of his eye. Then you do it. You slide it in, right in between his ribs, the years of nursing your wounds has taught you quite a bit about human anatomy. Slicccckkk……… as the knife slides in smoothly, nicking a rib but gliding in, as if his chest was the perfect sheath for it. The blood fills his lungs, gushing up, gagging him. You see his eyes cry out ‘Why me?’ for his voice fails him.  And then you feel it, the blood now coating your hand, bringing back control. You let go, and you let him, once a beacon of hope for a family, crumple right before you as a lump of muscle, sinew, bone and blood. And your mind, contorts your face into a small smile as you watch the light fade from his eyes. The blood still oozes out from under the knife, deep in his chest, covering his clothes, giving him the one final comfort of warmth as his soul leaves his body.


Madness claims one more for the reaper. And, the reaper is happy.


Author: Tanmaya Mishra

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