This One Goes Out To The One I Left Behind

for Lesley, who knows how to read, and for Jenne, who approved

There is a thump as the body hits the carpet but otherwise that is all the noise there is. It might have been a cat jumping from sofa to table: just so much noise, and no more. Bloodless; Blume disapproves of messiness. He uses his hands, anonymous lengths of rope, pressure points, a knowledge of human anatomy. So much force here, so much here, and that is a life.

It is poor form, serial-murderer showmanship, but he always leaves behind something, a poem, or a fragment of prose, in French, a memento mori. It is not the death that he has given or the one that waits in his future as it waits in everyone’s that he commemorates, but the one behind him. They are written — each time by a different person — on cream coloured card stock in heavy black ink. They seldom have anything to do with anything.

He is gone. Next to the body, the card reads:

Que les fins de journees d’automne sont penetrantes!