Riding through the morning fog a few months after joining the guild, the waves crashed and split at the shore on my right and I saw a body lying upon a wide mesa to my left. The mesa was composed of rock and short grass and I left my bike and walked over toward the body, expecting it to be a dead person, it was too odd a place for a person to rest without a blanket. When I got close I saw that it was a man about my age and that he was not moving. There was no one else around and I kneeled down to look closely at the face of the man, his chest slowly rising and falling. I wondered who he was, why he was lying there. He didn’t appear to be sick or wounded, but it was cold and the mesa was fogged over and when I reached down to touch the man his eyes opened wide and he grabbed my arm tightly with both hands, biting hard into my wrist. I shouted and tried to jerk the arm back from him but he was too strong, his grip was too tight. I hit him twice in the nose with my other hand and he let go of the arm, rolling over onto his stomach and folding upon himself. I was alarmed and hurt and I stood up, blood draining from my wrist. I looked around and there was no one on the mesa, no one down the road or behind me in the fog, and so I stood over the man and hit him in the head twice with closed fists, five times, then kicked him in the ribs and the back, the rage uncontrollable. I beat the man with my club, pounding him in the head and the torso, my senses heightened and focused, a ringing in my ears. I tried to imagine the man as the one who’d nearly killed me with his sword, the one responsible for my pain and chronic nightmares and I beat the man until he stopped moving, until he stopped breathing. I walked back to the bicycle and pedaled into the growing fog, the world silent. I can still remember the way the man’s head felt as my fists pounded it, his face mashed blood and flesh, a sack full of mud.
Published by TJ McAvoy
I am a thinker by trade and an artist by definition. Primary influences include, in no particular order, Chandler, Voltaire, Saramago, Borges, John Coltrane, Nietzsche, Ricardo Piglia, Emerson, George V. Higgins, Manuel Puig, D.F. Wallace, Cortázar, Denis Johnson, Michelangelo, Italo Calvino, Cormac McCarthy, Juan José Saer, Keith Jarrett, J-Dilla, Roberto Bolaño, and Don DeLillo. View all posts by TJ McAvoy