Site icon Alexander Hammil

Helen Jewett, Killed by an Axeblade

Even among the whores there was the gaud of possession.

He hated owning, hated more feeling owned, and so he changed his woman two or three times in a month, smilingly, though he came back more often than not to the madam, whom long years had broken of the habit of expectation. It was after he had wearied himself and his latest woman, barely a woman, a mere slip of a thing, fifteen or sixteen perhaps — he had daughters himself as old, or older — that the dream came to him, there in the bed still reeking of sex.

In his dream they came for him with knives, and he shot them until the gun-barrel grew hot and burned his hand, but there were always more: eventually they dragged him down. Then their knives tore his clothes away, and then his flesh, and then his muscles and tendons and nerves until he was only bones. Then they stood him up and dressed him in their robes and gave him wings and drove him from the city. He flew across the world for a year and a day and when he woke up something of the wild bird woke with him.

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