the voice in his head screamed:

i love to play with knives, it’s a fun thing to do,

especially when i find, that i have stabbed you…

the red starts to pour,and you start to scream,

in the deep of the night,you hope it’s a dream…

no dear matshidiso,

it’s not a dream,

this is real

this is steel you feel[1]

the bloodied bible laid open before him. “when daylight is gone, the murderer rises up, kills the poor and needy, and in the night steals forth like a thief.”[2] the words danced in a kaleidoscope of blood-colors. blood dripped in rapid rhythm from his nose. he can hear the pulse in his ears drumming up a rhythm to the blood. the bloodied corpse laid naked on the the bed in the next room. riddled with burnt knife wounds. will all great neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? no, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
 making the green one red.”

he felt his brain drain through his nose and the emptiness replaced by hungerlike gas. the words are rearrannging themselves in his vacant brain as if on a scrabble rack. baleful! deathly! expired! fateful! ghastly! macaber! phantom! aah, cadaver, that’s the word. 13 points. no luck. no bonus! his throat was dry. his lips were moist with blood from his nose – dripping onto his hand making the green one red. he sat in the dawning room and watched the blood glisten on his hands as the first rays of daylight streamed through the shuttered windows. the voice in his head was screaming:

the walls are all spattered with gore,

a terrible symbol of guilt;

and the bloodstains are fresh on the floor

where the blood of matshidiso was spilt.[3]

the blood wounds are burnt at the pore

so the blood wouldn’t flit

on the exit door

as they come for you on stilt

he got up, got dressed in fresh clothes and went out of the room. he returned moments later – with cleaned hands. knelt besides his bed to pray, but his mind kept drifting to the events three hours prior to this moment. he had been studying all night for his cardiology exams. then he heard the song and knew he was coming back. the key turned in the lock and the song reverberated all over the room. he got up from his reading table intending to confront him but thought otherwise.  he sat back down in muted anger. his whole being ravaged by rage. the voice inside his head was screaming:

the whole — came not at once —

’twas — murder by degrees —

a thrust — and then for life a chance –

a wait – for the throes to decrease —

a stab — to ease the bloat –

i watch — to leave nothing to chance —

as jets — set the bed afloat —

the bliss — to cauterize – [4]

the words on the open page danced on the pages. he slammed the book shut and grabbed the bible underneath a sheaf of papers he had been making notes on. he started to flip through it, maniacal-like. the song from the cellphone was making his skin crawl. he suddenly felt pressure and agitation. he felt the urge to hit himself to lower the pressure – he hit himself once, then hit himself again, harder, and then harder and harder to try calm himself down, but the rage wouldn’t ease. he felt hot and started to sweat. he was having trouble breathing. the voice in his head was screaming:

in the darkness fluidly

my dreams bleed

i see you in the shadows

watching loudly

feeding my anger

whetting my ache for insanity

in my weakest hour

your vision haunts me still

he felt like smashing everything on the table. he felt like screaming but bit his lower lip and drew blood. then his legs began to shake. unaware of the rage in the room, matshidiso is whistling to the song. he had just returned from rehearsals and was in good spirits – as always. he switched off the song on the cellphone. silence. he switched on his radio. the mist rose. the cord snapped and the mad juice was let loose. he grabbed the scalpel and marched steathly into matshidiso’s side of the room. his breath came in short gasps. the voice inside his head had screamed itself hoarse:

            “use a headphone.” matshidiso was shocked to see joab standing just inside his room. he smelt like a field mouse.

            “hey, joab. didn’t even realize you were in. wassup?”

            “use your headphone.”

            “from the bed? come on man, be serious.”

            “use the damn headphone.” matshidiso reduced the volume.

            “look man, it’s 12 a.m. i have been at rehearsals all evening and i need to rest. can we talk about this in the morning?”

            “use the bloody headphone.” matshidiso looked at joab and laughed, and then raised the volume. he settled back on his bed. hands folded across his chest, eyes closed he started to bob his head to fetty wap’s bang my head against the wall. he opened his eyes to notice joab hadn’t moved. he turned his head slightly to face joab. joab’s face, a mask without expression, stared vacantly at matshidiso. matshidiso could tell he was holding something in his left hand – he wasn’t hiding it, but matshidiso couldn’t tell what it was in the dim lighting in the room. weird guy matshidiso mused and laughed.

            “chill, we will talk …” the scalpel caught him on the neck expertly just below his jaw cutting the carotid artery. all matshidiso felt was a pressure and sting like a bad shaving cut. then he felt cupfuls of what felt like warm water flowing rapidly down his chest. in less than a second he felt woozy, as if he had stood up too fast from a lying position. next he felt a wave of severe nausea and then his vision became cloudy. joab stood still and let the spray of warm blood hit him. he stood still and watched as matshidiso gasped for air and then lose consciousness. joab didn’t care as sia sang:

though i feel light headed, now i know i will not fall

i will rise above it all

found what i was searching for

though i feel light headed

i should have failed, and nailed the floor

instead i rose above it all

oh, oh, oh

bang my head against the wall[5]

joab returned to his side of the room, threw the scalpel on the table and sat on the bed wondering why he had cut matshidiso’s throat. amygdala took a backseat and realization kicked in: why did i do it? how do i hide the body? can i claim he was attacked by a thief who had a knife? where was i when the attack took place? he looked at his hands. he leaned his head back, closed his eyes. the red mist won’t clear. he sighed. “you drive me crazy.” he sat up, looked out the shuttered window – seeing nothing. muttered: “and not the good kind of crazy.” the voice in his head was screaming:

there sat down, once, a thing on joab’s heart

so heavy, if he had a hundred years

it would not clear for there always more

weeping, more sleepless nights, in all them time

joab could not make good.

he did not want to make good

starts again always in joab’s ears

matshidiso’s midnight voice, matshidiso’s loud music, a chime.

he got up, searched in his reading table drawers and found his pack of cigarette and lighter. he took off his blood stained shirt and returned to matshidiso’s side of the room. he was still. eyes staring blankly into space. joab proceeded to stab him with his scalpel all over. he uttered no sound while he carried out his gruesome act – not even a grunt. satisfied he had enough stab wounds on both sides of the corpse, he sat down on the blood-soaked bed and lit the cigarette, and then proceeded to painstakingly burn each stab wound. the voice in his head was screaming:

i never meant to kill you,

i never meant to hate you,

overwhelmed with rage, knife in my hand,

i slit your throat,

i watched you bleed,

i didn’t mean to love it,

but it was too much fun matshidiso,

while you lay bleeding, i turned you over …[6]

he went back to his side of the room, took off his clothes and stood stark naked in the darkened room. i’ve warned him so many times before. i can’t afford to fail my third year again. he mused. he laid on his bed and soon was asleep. he dreamt of running stark naked across a field without fences. no noise – just the sun rising in its orange splendor. he awoke with a start – the metallic smell of blood wrapped around him like he had been cleaning pots and pans with a metal scouring pad. the roasty smell of burnt flesh teased his palate. the voice inside his head was screaming:

we pass each other and our eyes briefly meet.

you hold the door open for me as i enter behind you.

i say thanks, but you have no idea that my mind is blank.

you crack a joke, i flash a smile,

you have no idea that my heart is in turmoil.

you ask me how my day was and i say fine.

but my brain and i are arguing if i should cross the line.

my happiness is gone as i walk in this world.

he got out of bed slowly and very slowly he put on a new set of clothes and went out of the room. a sweet smell that is quickly overpowered by the combination of body gases and waste hung about the room like an unwanted guest. he returned three hours later with his breakfast which he proceeded to eat slowly. having eaten, he started to clean up his side of the room. he picked up the bloodied clothes, and carefully folded them into a plastic bag. the room began to spin round like a ferris wheel. he staggered to the table and sat down. the voice inside his head was screaming:

for all of us have become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;

and all of us wither like a leaf,

and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

there is no one who calls on your name,

who arouses himself to take hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us

and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.

was this fate? if matshidiso had turned down the volume would i have killed him? how’s it fate when more than one person makes something happen? was the original sin a predetermined event, and adam and eve mere hapless victims of a puppet-master god? didn’t, adam and eve have free will? if it was fate, did god set up adam and eve to sin? he mused. time is consistent – but each moment in time exists separately to the events attached. tonight he merged both. and for that he is fully responsible. he took out his cellphone – “please come to my room, i have done something bad, real bad.”

the bloodied bible laid open before him. the words danced in a kaleidoscope of blood-colors. blood dripped in rapid rhythm from his nose. he can hear the pulse in his ears drumming up a rhythm to the blood. the bloodied corpse laid naked on the the bed in the next room. riddled with burnt knife wounds. he felt his brain drain through his nose and the emptiness replaced by hungerlike gas. he sat in the dawning room and watched the blood glisten on his hands as the first rays of daylight streamed through the shuttered windows. the knock. he got up lazily to face his fate.

fkregie 2016.

[1] Olsen, Toby. Knives.

[2] Job 24:14

[3] Paterson, Banjo. The Ghost of the Murder’s Hut.

[4] Dickinson, Emily. The Whole of it Came not at Once.

[5] David Guetta ft Sia & Fetty Wap – Bang My Head

[6] An adaptation of Dillon (Blood Tears) Psycho Killer.