Mixing it up with the Writer Gal Letters are short stories that I experiment with, for form, for storytelling, for exploring the darkest, most heinous side of human nature. And, because my MA lit prof once told me I could never write a short story.
The Red Crayon is part one of a short titled ‘Remorseless Beauty.’ I hope you enjoy it.
Proper destruction requires careful planning. But it was going to be fun. Careful planning always was. Ultimately, it all comes down to creating the perfect lie. The perfect illusion of truth. A truth constructed like a hall of mirrors so that you entered a naïve little innocent looking for a fun ride, and by the time you came out, you were unrecognizable.
It’s why I do what I do. Sure, I enjoyed the game. And it was about seeing how well I played, how many moves I could make before somebody caught on. But…like a magic trick, I made the rabbit appear out of the hat. And everyone just saw the rabbit. No one saw the hat.
People don’t really want the truth. They prefer the lie.
You see, in truth, it was about getting away with it. And what you can do. Proper destruction meant stretching the limits, ripping the fabrics of reality and creating the most believable illusion.
Why do I do it? I ask you, dear reader, Why not?
It started when I was four.
I had broken a crayon in the kindergarten class mom sent me to because she couldn’t stay home and take care of me. I had friends, I was friendly and curious just like the others in my class. Belinda, Melissa, Georgia, Aaron, Nikhil, Harun.
I had no motive to do it. Everybody liked me. My teacher adored me. They thought I was sweet and nice and I had a beautiful smile. I suppose, I still am. It’s nice to be thought of that way. Knowing what I have inside of me, knowing what I am capable of…damn, now I am getting ahead of myself.
So, anyway, I was four. The red crayon broken. Done that on purpose. And the girl sitting next to me, coloring inside the lines of her blue unicorn looked at me and smiled.
“It’s alright,” she said. Then she handed me her red crayon. “You can use mine.”
I smiled. Broke hers too. She started crying. The teacher, Mrs. Gupta, came over to see what the fuss was about. And the girl said, I broke her crayon. And then I did it. I said those words that gave me a taste of what I could do. I smiled my beautiful smile, and spoke, in a really wobbly voice.
But she did it first.
She broke my crayon, so I broke hers back. And I started crying too. Wailing actually. Tears are so easy. Tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of rage and frustration. Tears you cry when your stomach hurts so bad you want to rip it off. Tears of pain because you can’t live with the things that are inside of you.
That day, I cried, because it was needed. Boy, did I kick up a fuss. And, of course, the teacher never punished me. Or her. The girl never spoke to me again. I think, she was the only one, the only person who saw me for what I truly was. The perfect mirror.
A red crayon-holding girl, who was coloring a blue unicorn who didn’t want to be my friend, because I lied. I had lied so well. So convincingly. She was half right. I did it for all those reasons. And one more.
Because I couldn’t help myself.
I don’t want to bore you withthe details of who I really am. About what inner monologues go on inside of me. Suffice it to say, the day I broke the red crayon, twice, I knew. What I was capable of. What I could get away with it.
Hearts and morality don’t bother me. Neither do right and wrong. I believe in the absolute sole value of my life based on one single rule. Why not?
It’s incredibly selfish and incredibly simple. I am not talking about ethical follies like murder, robbery, and all that pathetic anti-social crap that criminals go through to justify their behavior. I am not talking about psychiatric crap like being the best that you can be, although it rates way up there. I am not talking addiction or lying or adultery. Or any of the other million vices that we are capable of.
I am talking about things that are beyond being a pathological liar or a sociopath. You could classify me as both. It doesn’t matter. I am who I am. I don’t love misery. I have not had a rotten childhood. I like being happy, and I like people.
Sociopaths manipulate people because they don’t like the state of equilibrium the others exist in. The state of balance that they themselves can’t have because of whatever motivations have set them on their retarded path.
I don’t want people to suffer because I take vicious, voyeuristic pleasure in their pain. Not a psychopath either, for the very same reasons.
You’ll be thinking now. Okay! Big deal! She broke a crayon. My mom’s favorite perfume bottle. A fucking video game. A boy’s heart. I did all of that.
I even broke my car, wrapping it around a tree because I was too drunk to see where I was going. And of course, I wanted to see what would happen to me if I drove the car into a tree. Why not? The car got totaled, I ended up in the hospital. And I was grounded.
I got away with it, though.
And there, when I lay in bed for about two months. I figured out several things. I wanted to go to college. And become whoever made me the happiest. I wanted a gorgeous job, a pricey apartment with a view, a generous credit allowance and a man who adored me.
The time I spent in the hospital, I also realized I was deeply bored. Single linear trajectory towards a single linear goal. So, because it was no fun sitting there, plotting my own future, I decided to do something else. An experiment, if you will.
The nurse’s name was Ginger. She was sweet, a little fat, very motherly towards me and very understanding about the sneaky visits that my boyfriend Noah used to make every night. Or, almost every night, once the cast was off. Now, he made me happy. And I love him. We are engaged now.
So why did I do it? Why did I manipulate Ginger, the sweet and understanding nurse to take her own life? Well, you can actually see it. For yourself.
To Be Continued…