A Book for Every Body – Excerpt 2
Chapter 2 – Robert Souiller
You can stop this and let destiny handle your work instead. Think about it – you may be helping these poor souls. Six feet under may be a welcomed relief for those who are mostly evil. Mean people, angry people, selfish people, and people who trot on others just to get ahead – they all share one thing in common – unhappiness.
You’re just doing them a favor, putting them out of their misery. Maybe the same needs to happen to you… maybe then you will be free of misery?
Stop it, stop it, stop it!
No, you listen to me. The Dirty Joe meant nothing to you, but you found some good in him before slitting his throat… freeing the father of three so he could reunite with family and kin. See, you have done it! You have found pity for those who are mostly good!
Shut up, shut up, shut up!
Please shut up.
So what? I’ve let one go, but at least he had a conscious. None of the others, the three I have killed so far, had any conscious whatsoever. That’s the difference. Those people walked the Earth carelessly, lining their pockets along the way with treasures not their own. The first man was a simple creature, someone who profiteered by stealing the hard-earned dime from another. The second man, Earl, was more complicated because he profiteered from the destitution of many.
The third, my latest victim, was as simple as the first two now that I think about it – but he was a man who profiteered from both flesh and soil, both society and our sacred Earth. That made him complex. I fear this progression, this line of killing, may become habitual; but I would never hold myself to such bounds.
Robert Souiller committed crimes against society, and he ravished our precious Earth – but the fucking newscasters are painting him as some sort of god who was murdered unjustly in the dark of night, as if the shadows had cast evil upon an innocent man. “Murdered violently,” they said, “as he left a nightclub near the 2000 block of North Dale Mabry Highway.”
Well, at least they got one thing right – Rob Souiller was murdered violently…
The first time Rob spilled his guts before me was because we “shared so many interests,” which for him meant we enjoyed getting plastered together while watching women dance naked three inches from our nose. His buddies were just as susceptible, welcoming me as one of their own since we all enjoyed the same “tastes.” I, of course, leveraged these opportunities by cornering them one or more at a time, on different nights or in different situations, dissecting their simple-minded egotistical brains as if I were a ninth-grader dissecting a frog.
I had learned a skill, a talent for extracting sensitive information from people none the wiser, a technique that I mastered during my interviews over cheap American beer in my old luxurious double-wide – but this time it wasn’t Budweiser, it was Beefeater Dry Gin, Rob’s favorite. There were a few in his posse who didn’t like gin, but they had “acquired” the taste while in his company. There were also one or two in his posse who didn’t like me either, but if Rob liked me they had to play along.
I despised Rob and his friends, but I laughed with them as they abused and intimidated the dancers. I gated my feelings behind bare teeth, and buried my desire to slit their throats each time they harassed those women. Fortunately, I have since relieved myself from their company.
The first time Rob fell to his knees before me was when he proposed for marriage. He did so as if pleading for his life, with head bowed and hands clasped. But Rob then lifted his chin and grinned like a child would playing tricks on the floor of that filthy strip club. It didn’t matter that he was still wearing trousers from one of his thousand-dollar suits. Rob said, as he stood up and threw a drunken arm around me, that he would be in my hands for ever.
In the hands of a psycho.
Rob’s marriage proposal happened just moments after I had taught him the greatest trick in the world. Well, the greatest trick if you are rich and are used to getting everything your way. This trick is often practiced among us commoners, but Rob never had to jump through the hoops of frugality to obtain a palatable lifestyle. See, liquor isn’t sold in Tampa strip clubs, and Rob didn’t like that one bit. So he formed “citizen” groups and petitioned the powers that be, but Rob was too small of a fish in that big pond to wield significant influence over the Tampa City Council for something so controversial. He did, though, have significant influence over both City and County Boards of the greater Tampa-St. Petersburg area regarding other issues that concerned the public much more than his petty desire to have booze served at strip clubs.
It was me, the one with itchy fingers, who had served Rob his forbidden key. Anyone with a pair can sneak in their favorite booze with a flask into almost any venue they desire: football-games, concerts, dry weddings, movie theaters, and even onto airplanes. It was gin for me that fateful night; Beefeater, straight-up. Gin is clear and looks just like water, so all you have to do is order a tonic from the waitress, chase down the contents and then pour yourself a drink on the rocks. Or you can leave some tonic in the glass and have a gin and tonic.
Rob nearly stuck his nose into my drink when he caught smell of the gin. He then wobbled a bit before asking what was in my glass. I hid my smirk behind clinched cheeks and a long draw of gin. After downing the cup, I told Rob it was Beefeater – straight up. I also told him how easily I had snuck it into the club, tucked away safely in my back pocket. It was then Rob proposed. At first I thought he had fallen down drunk, but then he looked up at me with that grin and I knew then that he would be mine forever.
Too bad forever doesn’t last very long.
Word has it that Rob felt like he inherited his last name unjustly, because it carries negative connotation when spoken in French – not that he understood the meaning. He also never quite understood the teachings of his father, who had learned them from his father and his fathers before him. Supposedly, the first Souiller was a man who crossed the Atlantic by steamboat long, long ago and was cursed with the name when an English speaking Frenchman in line behind him spelled out to immigration authorities what his name should be. Little did Rob know that his family name is appropriate.
His distant grandfather knew what the meaning was, and that truth was why his fellow immigrants were so happy to spell and pronounce his name correctly for the English speaking INS employees who registered his name officially as Mr. Souillar. Legend says that Mr. Souillar fought with the men behind him in line, but Rob doesn’t know for sure. Rob never bothered to learn his ancestry beyond the story. He just knew that his name was cursed, yet each of his fathers had made great fortunes before him.
“And so shall I,” Rob said as a little boy.
Rob gets what Rob wants. Always. Or at least that was how things went for Rob before met me. It started with childhood, as far back as he could remember – but when his father died unexpectedly, murdered at the age of fifty, poor ole Rob was without a father and without inheritance. Father had not engraved a will nor had he put his trust with an estate attorney. The State of Florida therefore awarded Father’s treasures to his newlywed bride. After the settlement, she patted Rob on the head and said, “Tough luck, Chubby.”
They were the same age.
So Chubby went on a rampage, like he always did when things didn’t go his way – just like the kid who tilts over a board game when he’s losing. Rob stewed in his chair as Father’s newlywed walked away with the bulk of the inheritance. Rob then launched from his seat and attacked the probate attorney full-fledged until he was escorted by security from the building – and later escorted into the back seat of a police cruiser when he tried to re-enter. This first landed poor little Rob in jail; but with his pitiful inheritance of only fifty-thousand dollars, little Chubby was able bail himself out of jail all on his own.
The day Rob had appeared on the six o’clock news happened to be the first night I entered the club. I drew near when I saw him, and he laughed in my ear when I introduced myself. Rob was comforted by my confidence, and he spoke freely about the press conference when he heard that I was fresh in from Ohio. Rob later confided to me – and only me – that he intended to flee the Tampa-St. Pete area – leaving his workforce behind, without jobs or the profit-sharing that he had promised on TV. Giggling, he said that his workers would inherit nothing but ownership to a small plot of dried land.
I knew then that it was my job to kill him.
Rob told me a week in advance before he would bid his final farewell, to me and to the city. “Disappear like a ghost,” he said. How true. I tracked him anyhow. The days came and went until his final night had arrived, chocked full of meat from the club. All of us were there – Rob, me and his “friends” in the club. Though Rob promised to say his last goodbye to me, and he did. How little did he know that it would be goodbye forever.
When I recited his crimes, he simply laughed.
When I wielded my knife, he fell to one knee and then the other.
When I told him that I would cut him like he did his workforce, he simply cried.
When I approached, Rob held out his fists in mercy.
When I spilled his guts, I had a tear in my eye.
I’m not too sure if that tear was for joy or for sorrow, but I knew that I enjoyed it.
I may have freed a pack of indentured servants back home – people subjugated to a life not worth living – but killing Rob simply paid redemption for the Earth, and for all those he would have fucked over in the future.
Here is the third and final excerpt from A Book for Every Body.