Tools of the trade

Reprinted courtesy of the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

The antique chest has been closed for quite some time. Is that a gossamer spider web on the rusty hasp I see? Have my tender tools of torture been neglected that long? As I lift the lid, my eyes fall lovingly on the contents. I’ve missed my little pretties. I remember the pistol — honestly, I know nothing of gun models or calibers and such. I just know it worked when I needed it to. And there’s the hunting knife that’s seen more action than anything else — amazingly it’s clean and ready for when I call it back into service. A pair of police-issue cuffs are tucked in the far right corner of the chest. A roll of duct tape, a length of rope, and even a few tools I don’t know the official names for; they all round out my little chest of horrors.
Bare hands will always do the trick of course, but it’s comforting to know these items are at my disposal. I carefully close the lid, but don’t lock it. I have an itch that needs scratching and the only satisfaction I’ll get is revisiting this box.
It’s true. I’ve taken a break from murder and mayhem and my carefully chosen weapons of destruction have been idle too long. I’ve never counted my victims in the past although I’m asked about them periodically. It’s a little twisted how many people want me to resume my evil ways. I remember a few hapless souls but so many of them were fleeting and anonymous; they served their purpose and then became worm food. Getting too attached would never do or I might lose my desire to elicit gasps of shock.
Actually, my favorite weapon of choice sits on the desk in the corner; more deadly than the entire collection in the chest, because no one suspects the power it wields. It’s a computer keyboard and I’m ready to do some damage. Happy endings are great and all, but they’re much more anticipated — appreciated, even — if a trail of bodies and sacrifice precede the final embrace.
After all, I’m a writer and shedding literary blood is what I do best.

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