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1. Night is a silent partner

Benjamin’s mother died well before midnight. All the fuss with the doctors, the confirmation, the papers, the transport of the body lasted only a couple of hours. When everybody left, Benjamin still had a long night in front of him and no idea what to do with it. He smoked and watched the cockroaches race each other across the ceiling.

His mother was barely alive the final weeks of her illness. In a way this was a huge relief. Benjamin sucked on his cigarette listening to the sounds of the city outside. The wailing of sirens, the faraway car engines roaring with impatience, the screeching of tires, the argument in Spanish coming from across half the town it seemed. The night went on as scheduled.

There was nothing to eat in the fridge. Mother didn’t eat the last several days and Benjamin didn’t really eat at home lately. He didn’t eat at all, lately.

The last few days… It all blurred into one big, slow, frustrating scene with the same routines repeated over and over, the minutes of sleep interrupted with hours of dumb sitting around. The smell of soiled diapers and wet bed linen. He was used to it but still aware.

His mother melted before his eyes, eaten from inside, her body preying upon itself in the desperate final attempt to extend time spent in this world.

The sun went up as the voices subsided and the sound of car engines became dominant in the aural landscape of the city. Benjamin’s head felt heavy, yet resting it on his chest and closing his eyes didn’t bring the expected relief. No advancing tide of blissful sleep. On the contrary, closing his eyes only made him more aware of the sounds. They distracted him, made him painfully aware that there is no rest, no absolution from daily life. Just grind.

As the sun rose, the sounds changed. The singing of birds. The chatter of children. Music. Television. Their TV broke several days ago and Benjamin never had time to have it fixed. He was looking after his mother. And then she died. As everyone knew she would.

He did his best. That’s what he told himself. He did his best but his best was not good enough. He was never that good at taking care of people. Hell, come to think of it, he was really bad at taking care of himself either. Absentmindedly, he touched the scar that was splitting his left eyebrow in neat halves. People spend time in front of their mirrors with electric razors, carefully designing those stylish scars. Benjamin earned his the old fashioned way. He moved his finger further back up and felt another scar in his hair. It came as a free addition, no extra charge.

He was no caregiver. Never imagined he’d be one. He was better at taking than giving, anyway and early in life he decided he should be caring only about himself. So there was a lot of irony and frustration going around the house these last months and weeks.

He sucked one final long smoke from the cigarette before throwing it out of the window. He didn’t switch the light off so the room looked strange with sunlight and electric light fighting for supremacy. He inspected his forearms, the tattoos looking old and worn out. They needed to be redone ages ago but there was always something else to be done and, frankly there was never any spare money lying around. He looked at the shelf near the now empty bed. A collection of little printed cardboard boxes and small brown bottles. Useless medication. It didn’t save lives and now it was even more useless as there was no one here to take it. Perhaps he could sell it. He got up and took one of the medication bottles, trying to read the small print on the sticker. The light was supposed to be good but the letters looked like angry ants engaged in a vicious battle. He threw the bottle into the wall. The glass shattered and the pink pills flew upwards and sidewise briefly before remembering the law of gravity and obediently falling to the floor.

He wiped all the remaining bottles and boxes off the shelf in one wide move. He ripped the shelf off and threw it into the wall. He stomped upon the bottles and boxes savagely, angrily until they were reduced to fine dust. It was supposed to make him feel better.

Benjamin reached for another cigarette but was surprised to realise the box was empty. He was out.

2. Out and down

Setting out to buy cigarettes, Benjamin became distracted very quickly. His neighbour from across the street gave him a strange, sharp look as soon as he got out of the house. Benjamin thought of walking up to him and punching him. The tall, shorthaired father of a family across the street never made much effort to conceal his scorn for Benjamin. He was a veteran of the first gulf war and more than once Benjamin would hear him talk about his seven confirmed kills and the disappointment he would feel seeing what kind of people they were fighting, bleeding and dying for. More than once Benjamin felt the urge to kick him between the legs and headbutt him in the face and piss all over him. To teach him how to really bleed, he thought. But he never did it.

He returned the look until the neighbour turned away to get back into the house and headed down the street. Skinny, smug piece of shit, thought Benjamin.

He was in his first bar when his phone made a noise. It was ‘raining blood’ all over his pocket so it had to be Carla. He didn’t feel like talking to her so he ignored the call. The people at other tables gave him the looks but he ignored them, sipping his drink. Not that Carla would give up. She knew him. She knew him better than he liked. The phone kept making excited sounds, all distorted guitars and martial drums. He picked it up on the third consecutive call.


“Why aren’t you picking up the phone, asshole?”

Benjamin didn’t feel like talking to her. He told her that. The reaction he got was really bad. Carla was shouting insults at him. She was informing him of all the frustration he’s caused her through his insensitive, careless treatment, of the way she felt, tired and disillusioned. She was also asking whether he knew what she was talking about and how long did he mean to keep it this way.

Benjamin couldn’t think of anything to say. Making an effort to think, even to say Carla’s name aloud looked like too much to ask at the moment. So he just hung up on her and went back to his drink.

The phone exploded with angry noise only a few seconds later. The looks of people around him started scanning him again. Nervously, ironically, inquiringly.

Benjamin lifted the phone off the table and then smashed it against its surface, fiercely. It stopped making noise right away but Benjamin smashed it against the table again. And again. Then he threw it on to the floor and used his boots to grind it to pieces.

The guy who was serving drinks wasn’t too happy about this all taking place on his shift.

“Hey, buddy, take that shit outside!! You hear me?”

Benjamin just looked at him, not saying anything.

“Fine, if that’s how you want it, get ready to have your ass hauled out by cops.”

The guy made his way back to the counter using straight, determined steps first. But then he started running, when he saw Benjamin coming after him. Some of the people at the bar started screaming when Benjamin threw the guy onto the floor and proceeded to punch him in the face. No one dared approach, though. No one dared speak to him when he got up, threw a five dollar bill into the guy’s bloody face and walked out.

That was his first bar. By his third drink in the second bar he was feeling seriously angry. He needed more drinks. He needed drugs. He needed to smash stuff and hurt people.

A skinny teenage girl made it obvious she is interested in him after he made obvious that he was carrying a wad of cash with him. She started bothering him to pay her a drink. Benjamin ignored her, drinking and blowing his smoke at the ceiling instead. She wouldn’t go away though. She called him names that were supposed to make him feel attractive, she made clear what he could expect of her in exchange for some of that money he had on him. She touched his hair. He hasn’t washed it in more than a week. She tried to sit in his lap.

That was when he caught both her wrists and squeezed them tight together.

“Aaaa, motherfucker, don’t!!! You’re hurting me!!!”

The little stupid bitch didn’t even seem to have any protection. Benjamin got up and pulled her out in to the street while she struggled and screamed to be let go. He pulled her into a little street next to the bar and forced her to her knees. The people across just walked faster.

“You wanted to do it, bitch? You wanted to do it? Let’s do it, then!!”

She just kept screaming, trying to tear away from him, pulling away, trying to scratch him, to kick him, her thin legs fragile and weak. Benjamin slapped her hard, still holding on to her wrists. He slapped her again and again until her screaming sounded different. Better.

“You’re gonna suck my cock now, bitch. Let’s see if you’re as good as you were bragging!!!”

She did have protection after all. The skinny, dirty looking guy with a ridiculous moustache and an oversized coat came running from around the corner, a large baseball bat in his hands.

“You motherfucker”, he announced himself. “You are so stupid I almost feel sorry for your empty skull!!!”

He advanced a few steps before he froze in front of the barrel of Benjamin’s gun.

“Drop that thing, cockhead.”

The pimp wasn’t expecting Benjamin pulling out on him. He was hesitating, trying to assess whether Benjamin was really as fucked up as he looked and whether it’d make him pull the trigger.

“You’ll die, motherfucker”, Benjamin said dryly.

“OK, man, OK, it’s cool, OK, we’re cool.” The pimp dropped the bat and raised his hands, trying to make things look more like business and less like insanity. “It’s cool, we’ll work it out. What’d the bitch do to you man? She ripped you off, man? I’m gonna skin her for that man, trust me. You gonna be satisfied in the end, man, trust me.”

Benjamin let the girl go and stepped up to the pimp, his arm extended in front of him, his gun acting like some kind of strange guiding force. He put the barrel on the man’s chest and pushed him into the wall. The pimp was sweating, his moustache looking really bad from up close.

“It’s OK, man, it’s OK…”

The girl got up and took off without a word. Just the sound of her bare feet on the sidewalk, her sandals left lying on the ground. Benjamin pinned the pimp against the wall like a butterfly collector adding his latest kill to the cushion.

“man…” whispered the pimp.

“Did you imagine you’d die today when you got up this morning?”

The man trembled and pleaded.

Benjamin hit him across the face with the gun. The pimp fell down and rolled on the sidewalk, putting his hands over his face. Benjamin kicked him in the ribs, savagely and proceeded kicking him anywhere where he could see an opening, cursing in the process. The man was quiet most of the time, trying to roll with the kicks and minimize the damage.

3. Damage out of control

Benjamin’s mother named him after Ben Franklin. She wanted him to do great deeds, she had told him. His mother was so proud of him when he was little. Benjamin grew up to be a large human being but great deeds never happened. Benjamin had plans and, well, dreams, but he never did anything great in his life.

Smalltimer. That’s what Carla’s been calling him when she wanted to hurt him. She knew him well. She would laugh that annoying laugh of hers as well. Benjamin would hit Carla sometimes. He never gave her any serious injuries, but it was not uncommon for their arguments to finish in her getting her due.

Benjamin was in and out of small deals, small jobs and small schemes all his life. He’s been dealing with small people with short vision and bad planning skills.

Benjamin has been in and out of several different bars over the course of the next several hours. He left a formidable trail of damage, anger and fear behind him. He kept smashing property and hurting people, screaming at them, pulling his gun on them.

A bartender in one of the bars had a glass smashed against his face. A girl in the street was thrown against her car then punched two times until she collapsed to the sidewalk while Benjamin kept kicking the side of her car, then smashing its windows with a piece of a pipe.

He kept drinking as well.

Too restless, moving too quickly from place to place, he somehow managed not to be apprehended by any law enforcement officers that surely someone had to have called. Miraculously, not even local gangs reacted quickly enough against someone who was obviously causing trouble for the sake of it and messing with their property.

He moved on, like a demented hurricane angel, bleeding pain and destruction left and right, never staying in one place long enough to cool off.

A bouncer in one of the bars managed to land a lucky punch on Benjamin’s face. Benjamin went blind in his right eye for several minutes. He knocked the man’s front teeth out with his gun, then forced him to his knees and, standing behind him, the gun pointed at the back of his head, with a couple of girls screaming behind them, he kicked him into kidneys, hard. Then, when the man fell to the floor, convulsing from the pain and shock, trying to protect his back, Benjamin stepped on his arm and broke his hand under his boot.

Some people got beaten because they gave him funny looks. They didn’t like his appearance, he messed them up. A nerdy looking college student was made to kneel in front of his girlfriend and beg for his life as Benjamin repeatedly hit him in the face with his gun. The girl kept screaming. He told her to shut up then when she didn’t he punched her and broke her glasses with his fist. The blood came out of her nose as she backed off into the wall, trying to protect her face and still screaming.

It has been several hours. Benjamin was very drunk and most of his money was gone. His face was swollen and his sleeveless Slayer T-shirt stained. The black teenager in the back of the room looked like a pusher and Benjamin thought that he should score some drugs.

He waited until the kid looked his way and lifted his fist, clutching at his remaining dollar bills. The kid gave him a barely visible nod and made a businesslike walk towards the door. Benjamin left the money for his drink on the table (no tip) and followed.

The kid was waiting for him in the nearby building entrance. It was dark even in daylight and it stank of garbage and urine.

“You a cop, man?” the kid asked eyeing Benjamin’s drunken swaying.

He knew Benjamin was not a cop. Still, force of habit prevailed. Benjamin shrugged.

“I look like a cop, retard?” The kid stayed silent. Rules are rules, after all. Benjamin sighed. “No. I am not a cop. OK?”

“What you looking for, man? Eh? What you looking for?”

The dance has started and Benjamin knew all the steps.

“What you got?”

“Man, I got everything. I got rocks, I got pills, I got speed, I got white, I got brown. I’m here to make your dreams come true, baby, just name your price range.”

Benjamin grinned. One of his teeth hurt, someone’s fist connected in the previous bar. Benjamin was pretty sure he broke the nose of the person in question, hitting them with his head.

“The money’s no problem, dude, show me the best you got.”

“Show me the money first, baby, let’s see you put some money where your mouth is.”

The kid knew the dance too, OK.

“You bullshitting me, nigga? casino oyna You saying you don’t trust me?”

The kid’s face started looking like he’d bitten into a rotten apple.

“Man, you know it, show the brother some money so he sees you’re a serious customer.”

“You got coke?” Benjamin asked, changing the subject.

“Man, I got coke that will make all your life so far look like a bad dream. You ain’t never tried something like this. But let the brother see some good will notes first.”

Benjamin pulled the money out of his pocket, a mess of pieces paper barely enough to buy another drink or two in a cheap bar. He showed the money to the kid who started frowning.

That is when Benjamin pulled his gun out and pointed it to the boy’s face. He grinned to himself, because he was positioned so well that there was no way the kid could make a run past him, for the street or the staircase.

“I think, nigga that you’ll find that money is more than enough, now out with that cocaine before I make your life and your dreams end here.”

“Man, fuck this shit, man!!!” exclaimed the pusher, equally frustrated, angry and scared. This probably was not the first time for him to have to face gaping barrel of a gun, but something about Benjamin suggested that any bets he might be placing in his head were off from the word go.

“You’re fucked, man, you’re fucked. You have no fucking idea who I work for, man. If you knew you’d be already running so quickly, your ass would be bleeding from all the kicking it got from your heels.” The kid was trying to back off while shaking his head in disgust and fear. Benjamin stepped up.

“If you think I prefer searching your corpse for the goods, well, then, I don’t want to disappoint you.”

“Fuck it, man, fuck it, man” the kid spoke nervously as Benjamin’s gun got nearer his face. “OK, wait man, wait, you get the goods man, OK, it’s on the house man.”

Slowly, he fished a small package out of the pocket of his jacket with two fingers of his left hand.

“OK, man? OK? Here it is man, straight from Columbia man, here.” He slowly handed the bag to Benjamin who was still grinning. “Make your nose happy man, make it sing beautiful songs about love and harmony, man.”

Benjamin took the package and then caught the boy’s hand, then twisted his arm viciously. The kid screamed and fell to his knees. Benjamin kept twisting his arm while still pointing the gun into his face.

“You little shit… You… little… shit…”

“Aaaaa, man, nnooooo!! Man, let me go, you can have it all, man, noooooo!!!!”

The kid probably thought Benjamin also wanted his money. But Benjamin didn’t even remember to ask for money. Benjamin just kept twisting the kid’s arm because he enjoyed his screaming and the look of agony on his face. He kicked him in the face, hard and the kid fell over, his arm already broken. Benjamin spat on him and gave him another kick in the ribs before leaving. For the moment he felt better. For the moment, he felt successful, he felt as if he had a purpose he reached. He felt content and safe. When he was a kid this feeling could last for days. Now he had to be satisfied with mere moments.

4. Moments of beauty

The cocaine was very bad. Back home, Benjamin wished the kid was here so he could kick his face until it sprayed blood all over the floor. The cocaine was shit and the euphoria never really materialised. There was some pain in his head and some sense of confused elation but that could have been just the effects of alcohol, sleep deprivation and adrenaline overdose.

Benjamin found some pills in the pocket of the jacket hanging in his bedroom. He washed them down with the last drops of scotch in a bottle that reminded him of some better times.

Looking at himself in the bathroom mirror, inspecting his face for bruises and cuts (and there were new ones indeed) he noticed how dirty his hair was. He touched it with his fingers, then let the water run and splashed some of it on his head.

He fished the razor out and started removing the hair. It took him almost forty five minutes as his vision blurred and got back to focus, as his hands shook and as the razor kept splitting the skin with surrealistic ease, causing bleeding from half a dozen of small, shallow cuts.

Then he put the jacket on. First, he looked for a clean shirt but apparently there were none so he stayed in the one he was wearing all day. He did run into his handcuffs under the bed. There was that pair there, the one he purchased last year when he tried to persuade Carla into allowing him to tie her up during sex. He put them into his pocket. He burped. The bitch had it coming for a long while. The bitch had it coming for ages.

There was nothing better to do, really. He didn’t eat anything for longer than he could remember. The day seemed to have no end. Benjamin didn’t even know for sure what time of the day it was.

He left the house and slammed the door behind him. His neighbour was outside too and the noise made him turn his head Benjamin’s way. His face was not happy. It never was.

“Hey, neighbour!!” The man gestured at Benjamin to come closer. It was a rigid, impatient gesture that Benjamin associated with his late uncle. He looked the man’s way but didn’t stop.

“I found a rat the size of a pony in my backyard this morning, neighbour.”

Benjamin thought about this. The tone of the man’s voice made it sound as if he should be interested.

“Why should I give a fuck… neighbour? You need pest control? The phonebook is available online, you know.”

The man spoke just the way Benjamin’s uncle used to. Calmly, rigidly. Discipline above all. Accusation being practically his second nature.

“I think it came from your basement, neighbour. I’ve been watching you pile junk in your yard and house for quite some time. I’ve been telling your mother for a long while that’s not the way you want to live.”

Benjamin had no idea what to say. The man, however seemed to have remembered something.

“By the way.” He looked Benjamin in the eyes and extended his arm. The first time ever he made an attempt to get in physical contact. “I have heard about your mother. I am sorry.”

Benjamin looked at the man’s hand, waiting for his. He could practically hear the man’s thoughts. He was standing in front of an ex-soldier, father of two girls and a respected person across the board in this neighbourhood. He was standing with his head freshly shaved, his T-shirt covered with bloodstains, mostly from other people and his face all wild and bruised. He looked at the man silently offering to shake his hand.

The man almost broke in half when Benjamin’s boot hit his groin. It felt good.

He watched his neighbour collapse on the lawn and thought how one thing leads to another.

The sun was already setting. The day was, miraculously coming to a close. The neighbourhood felt somehow happy and euphoric.

Benjamin descended on the man and proceeded to punch him in the face. The man fought back the best he could which was not much. He even managed to get a swing at Benjamin’s face, but, in his current state Benjamin felt no pain. He punched the man several more times and then got his gun out.

The sound of metal hitting bone was good and loud. The blood followed obediently from the man’s forehead.

“Now, you pussy, now you and I will have a proper conversation.” Benjamin’s grin was back on his face. The day hasn’t finished yet.

“Turn around!!! Turn the fuck around!!!” He helped the man by kicking him into ribs, hard. “Now get your fucking hands on your back!!!!”

The man cursed but could barely get enough air into his lungs.

“I’m going to fucking kill you right here and now, you fucking cocksucker! Get your fucking hands on your back now!!!!”

Benjamin put the barrel of his gun on the back of the man’s head and pulled his arms behind his back.

“Keep them there if you want to ever see sunrise again.”

The cuffs clicked. That was a satisfying sound.

“Get up!!” Benjamin pulled the man up by his arms. The man stumbled, trying to rise. “Get the fuck up you piece of shit!!!”

He pulled him across the lawn, towards the house as the man tried to keep pace. He threw him into the door and proceeded to kick him on the floor.

“You like that? You like that, motherfucker? You’ve been calling me names and giving me shit since forever man, now it’s payback time!!!”

The man tried to get up but Benjamin kicked him in the small of his back. Then he grabbed his collar and threw him face-first into the glass door to the living room.

The sound of shattering glass was another satisfying element.

Benjamin pushed the man’s bloody head back to the wall. He put the gun in the man’s mouth.

“Now you and I have a little chat, fucko! Now I get to choose topics for conversation, instead of you always calling me trash and bastard.”

He uncuffed the man, keeping the barrel of the gun in his mouth all the time, then cuffed him again, but this time making sure the cuffs were attached to the pipe in the wall.

“You have no idea, you dick, you have no idea how long I wanted to do this.”

Benjamin was kneeling near the man, talking to his face. His head was spinning slightly in this position but he loved being this close to his victim. He knew the man could smell his sweat.

“So,” he pulled the gun out of the man’s mouth but kept it pointed into his face. “I don’t think we’ve ever been properly introduced. My name’s Ben. What’s yours?”

The man managed to get some of his composure. But then he looked past Benjamin and his eyes went wide.

Benjamin turned his head and saw the man’s wife standing in the door. Benjamin never talked to her before. She never addressed him and he could never even overhear her mentioning him in any of the conversations with the neighbours.

She was a little old for Benjamin’s taste. In her late forties or even early fifties she still had the good, strong figure, two births she had given rounding her up but not ruining her looks. She was tall, assertive and intelligent looking.

Seeing her husband beaten, bloody and restrained she stood frozen for a couple of seconds and then started backing off. Benjamin pointed the gun at her.

“I think you want to join this little party, lady. Please, do us the honour.”

The woman stood silent. Her options were limited. Perhaps she could outrun the bullet. But that was still leaving her husband at the mercy of a lunatic in their living room. Quietly, she raised her arms in a calming motion.

“It’s OK, Benjamin, it’s OK. I am not going anywhere.” She slowly walked into the room, making sure not to startle him with any sudden gestures.

She knew Benjamin’s name. That was a surprise. He motioned to her to get on the sofa. Now he could talk to her husband and still keep an eye on her.

“Sit down there, lady.” She complied but she didn’t show much fear. She sat down, neatly placing her long legs together. “Who else is in the house?”

“The girls are both at their aunt’s. “

Her reply was indirect. The information required him to think. He grinned. Then he turned his attention to the man on the floor again.

“So, mister, where were we? Oh, right, right, I was just about to splatter your fucking brains all over the wallpaper there.”

”Benjamin!!!” exclaimed the wife, as if to stand up.

“Get down bitch!!!” She complied. She stayed silent but her face WAS worried. That had value.

“You know, you still haven’t told me your name, moron. Was that a difficult question for you?”

The man looked up at Benjamin.

“I don’t know how you possibly can think you’ll get away with this. You…”

Benjamin’s fist slammed into his face before he could finish.

“Why not stay on topic here, man, eh? I asked you something!!!!”

“Jeremy!! It’s Jeremy, for God’s sake!!!”

The wife was the smart one after all.

“Jeremy, eh? Like that song?”

The man blinked. There was no recognition in that look.

“Nevermind, fucko, your wifey seems to be a little more intelligent than you anyway.”

“Helen. My name is Helen, Benjamin, we were introduced to each other, don’t you remember?”

Benjamin looked at the woman, this time making an effort to focus his eyes. Sure, he knew Helen, he thought. He knew her face and her body. He knew the way she walks and the way she laughs when her daughters do something silly. For the life of him, though he couldn’t remember he ever knew her name. Much less being introduced to her. He couldn’t even imagine her talking to him.

“No… I don’t.” He closed his eyes and then opened them remembering the helpless man in front of him.

“So… Jeremy… mister war veteran, mister seven-confirmed-kills, it’s very nice to finally have the chance to meet you inside this cosy home and beat the living crap out of your ugly fucking face.”

The man was still scared but at the same time it looked as if the rage was building up inside of him. After all, Benjamin WAS trash. With a gun, yes, but still trash.

“You’ll never get away with this. You fucking retarded basehead. You’ll end up in prison fucked in the ass so hard you’ll be coughing blood for the rest of your life.”

“Jeremy!! Don’t…” Helen didn’t move but her voice rose in fear.

Benjamin laughed. The first good laugh he had in days. It felt so… liberating. To be talking with people like this. To be able to hurt them whenever he wants.

“You’re one dumb piece of shit, Jeremy. I have been in prison more times than you’ve taken dump, you stupidass motherfucker. You think you can scare me off with your stupid fairytales?”

Benjamin placed the barrel of the gun on Jeremy’s forehead.

“Tell me, mister war hero, if I pull the trigger now and paint this wall here all red and brown with your fucking blood and brains, will that go down as a confirmed kill?”

“Fuck you”, uttered the man, his jaws tightly closed.

“Come on, Jeremy, you’re the expert here, I never did time for murder and you have seven confirmed ones in your stellar war record. That must be making you feel proud, eh?”

“What the fuck is this? Who the fuck are you to judge me, you piece of dirt?” Jeremy breathed hard between sentences.

Helen’s face was serious. There was no fear on it as much as sadness.

“I’m not judging you, motherfucker. I don’t fucking care, you idiot. I have my gun right where I want it, I have YOU right where I want you and I have my finger right where I need it. The shit couldn’t be more perfect if God and Carmen Electra happened to drop by to give me a foot-massage and a free blowjob.”

Benjamin leaned closer towards Jeremy.

“You get it, motherfucker? There is no fucking agenda behind this. No fucking reason, no fucking room for negotiation. This is what I wanted to do for ages. I own your life now, it is one simple gesture away from being ended. Do you know how that feels?”

He pressed the gun against Jeremy’s forehead, hard. He kept pressing as Jeremy tried to push back, all the way through the wall.

“It feels GREAT, man, that’s how it feels. But of course you know that, mister I-liberated-Iraq-for-you-bitches-and-you-don’t-even-know-what-freedom-is-good-for. Of course you know that, you have not one but seven delicious confirmed kills, don’t you? DON’T YOU!!!!!”

The last two words came out as a savage, animalistic shriek. Jeremy squirmed.

“yes…” he whispered, breathing hard. “I… do.”

“Do you know any of their names, motherfucker? Do you? Can you tell me any of the names of the people you canlı casino iced back in Desert Storm?” Benjamin’s anger grew. It never went away, it just developed new muscles.

“no… no…”, Jeremy whispered.

“I wonder if that makes me any better than you, asshole.” Benjamin increased the pressure. The finger on the trigger itched. The moment could last forever for all he cared. Things like this are too good to be squandered just like that.

Then Helen stood up.

“Benjamin… You don’t have to do this.”

He looked her way but didn’t tell her to sit down.

“Woman, you have no idea how badly I have to do this. It’s like I was fucking born just so I could do this.”

Helen shook her head, straightening her skirt.

“No. I know what you really want to do.”

Benjamin raised an eyebrow.

“I know what you wanted to do for a long time. I know what you came here for.”

There was something in what she was saying but Benjamin was too smashed up to really try to think.

“Suppose you could tell me as well? I am intrigued now, you know.”

“Yes, I can tell you because you’re holding my husband at gunpoint and threatening to kill him.” Helen’s voice trembled slightly but she was in control. “I can tell you that you came here because you want to fuck me.”

Benjamin thought the blood in his brain had started to run backwards because his thoughts suddenly started behaving like characters from some underground comic whose author enjoyed working on acid.

“I am not stupid, Benjamin. I have seen the way you look at me, whenever you see me. I know you wanted this for such a long time.”

“Lady, I just lost my mother, you think I even know what I am doing here?”

“Benjamin.” She addressed him firmly. Not sarcastically or impatiently. “Please. Please be reasonable. You don’t want to kill my husband. Whatever he might have said to you, whatever you think he may be accusing you of, he is not a bad person. You didn’t come here to kill him, Benjamin. You came here because of me. Please, Benjamin.”

The confusion. It was never welcome. It always made him want to smash stuff. Break stuff. Bones and stuff. But right now, right now this confusion… It was different.

“Benjamin, you came here because you have wanted to fuck me since forever, I know that. Please don’t kill my husband.”

Benjamin realised he needed the time to think. One thing he didn’t have. Helen kept talking.

“Please Benjamin. I…” she hesitated. “I… You can fuck me. You can take me here and now, use me any way you want. Please, fuck me, do anything you want to me. Just don’t… don’t kill my husband…” Her voice trailed off into silence at the end of the sentence. She stood above Benjamin, her eyes filling with tears.

Benjamin was fucked up. He had years of aimless wandering through life concluding with weeks of futile efforts, culminating in hours of senseless violence. He was drunk and he took more drugs than he could name. Helen’s words made no sense. They came from a universe beyond any universe he could ever claim knowing. They did something strange to his body but he didn’t even have a word for that.

“Helen…” whispered Jeremy in a weak voice.

“Shut up Jeremy, please!!!” Helen’s voice was on the verge of falling apart. “Just shut up. I can almost pretend I can do this. Just shut up.”

“Helen, don’t…” Jeremy managed to raise his voice and automatically, Benjamin hit him with the gun.

“Jeremy!!!” screamed Helen. “I said shut up!!! Don’t you understand!!!! He will kill you!!! He will kill you and I’ll be left alone forever Jeremy!!!!! Don’t do this to me, Jeremy, don’t do this to me if you love our children!!!!”

Benjamin got up. He didn’t need any more time to think. The effort would be wasted anyway.

“Woman…” he hesitated, trying to think what to say next. “You’re a bigger slut than I ever imagined you’d be.” Yeah, that was as good as anything else. Benjamin shrugged. “But if Jerry here doesn’t mind, I’m ready to give you a shot.”

“You piece of scum!!! Get away from my fucking wife!!!!!! I’ll tear your throat out!!!!!” Jeremy tried to kick Benjamin from his place on the floor but Benjamin kicked him into the groin instead and then once again in the face.

Helen placed her hand on Benjamin’s shoulder. She squeezed him really hard. He turned her way and saw tears coming out of her eyes.

“Please… Please… just take me… leave him…”

Was this love? Benjamin couldn’t figure out. Not that he cared that much after all. This was all still very surprising and strange. He grinned.

“Woman, I should probably tell you that I have taken every drug known to man in the last twelve hours. Right now I am not even sure I feel most of my body. You’re welcome to try and remind me which part goes where but as soon as I feel bored, the hubby gets it.”

Helen didn’t answer. Her hand was still squeezing his shoulder, hard. She motioned them towards the door, but Benjamin stopped her.

“No. Here.”

She shook her head.

“Not here… Not here… I can’t…”

“Hey, I don’t give a fuck, this is my show. You’re just an extra here, right? You don’t like it, get the fuck out so me and Jeremy can talk man to man.” It felt good, it felt good.

“Please…” her voice broke but she managed to get it back almost instantly. “Please, not here, not in front of my husband.”

“Lady, either you start giving my cock some attention right now or I blow a hole in your husband – it’s as simple as that.”

Benjamin motioned her to the sofa. He sat there and she placed herself next to him. Making himself comfortable Benjamin smiled. She was not going to be able to do anything. His body was almost checking out. The feel of the sofa was too good. He was not in the mood for love. He was floating between spaces.

“Get my cock out.”

Her hand on his combat trousers produced no reaction. She pulled the boxers down next and was holding his limp cock seconds after.

“Come on, baby, let’s see what and old broad like you can show to the new generation.”

He wasn’t supposed to feel anything. Yes, Helen was a sexy woman. Yes, he found her attractive. And, yes, he masturbated sometimes thinking of her. But he was so full of chemicals right now it wasn’t even funny.

Still, when Helen brought her face down and sucked his soft dick into her mouth, there was a shadow that moved in the back of Benjamin’s mind. The look of it all was satisfying in the first place, her neat hair covering his lap, then there was that warm hand on his thigh. He realised her smell was good as well. There was a name for that perfume too, probably something sounding like some Japanese martial art…

She moved her head up and down, using her right hand to stroke his balls. Benjamin stayed soft and kept grinning. He closed his eyes just so he can open them again and witness this unbelievable thing happening to him all over again. He put the barrel of the gun at the side of her head.

Helen stopped sucking him and looked up.

“There’s no need for that, Benjamin. I’ll be good, I promise.”

The voice was soft. Deep and rich and… submissive. He smiled, but this was somehow a different smile. His facial muscles felt different.

“This is just… for me, you understand?”

She nodded. She understood.

“I understand, Ben. I understand.” She stroked his cock slowly. “Do you like this? Does this feel good?”

Benjamin started laughing and then coughing. The absurdity of it all.

“I don’t know, woman. I don’t know how that feels. I have no fucking idea how that feels.”

She started sucking him again, even slower than before. Benjamin touched her with his gun, then traced the shape of her head, down her neck. Gently…

“Helen, for the love of God, NO!” screamed Jeremy from his corner. His voice was helpless, angry, frustrated, scared, all at the same time. Benjamin thought to himself: this DOES feel good. He grabbed Helen’s hair and started pushing her head onto his cock harder. He was still limp but that felt good.

Then he heard her. First it was just sucking noises her mouth made on his penis, but then came the soft moan. She didn’t protest against his gun, she didn’t protest against his rough treatment. Instead she moaned in a low, barely audible voice.

Then the miracle started happening. Benjamin felt. Benjamin felt good. Benjamin felt better and better. Benjamin felt becoming hard.

5. Hardcore

Jeremy was kicking and screaming, trying to rip the pipe from the wall and break free. His wife was swallowing what was now visibly a hard, large penis. Benjamin started breathing heavily.

“Agh… woman… Unhhhhh…” He was shocked himself. Normally, in the state he was, erection could be just a distant memory. “You fucking slut…. Aghhh… swallow that cock, swallow it!!!”

The woman continued her slow, sexy, methodical assault on his penis. As it grew bigger, she placed her fingers on its lower half. Now, every time her head went up, her fingers followed and the other way round.

Benjamin was getting harder and bigger. And progressively more and more confused. He didn’t have any plans for the day. He didn’t have any plans for the rest of his life. The things just happened. He just threw himself into anything that was standing in his way. Things broke. But this… This was beyond anything he could even imagine.

He let go of the gun. He needed both his hands. He placed them on the back of Helen’s head and started pushing down. At the same time, he started making short thrusts upwards with his hips.

Helen instinctively tried to back off when Benjamin’s swollen cockhead slid into her throat. But Benjamin wouldn’t let her. He removed her hand from his cock. He kept her head firmly down and moved his hips. The efforts she made to get her head up made it feel even better to him. He was still strong enough to keep a woman down and it was a good feeling.

He proceeded to fuck Helen’s mouth, pushing his cock into her throat while simultaneously moving her head up and down with his hands. He was in complete control, Helen was now only trying to accommodate herself the best she could. She was now making loud noises. Her breathing was heavy and irregular. She gagged, loudly, as Benjamin pushed his entire penis inside, leaving only his balls unattended. He pulled her head up, his cock falling out of her open mouth, covered with her spit and his precum.

“You love this, Helen, don’t you?” he asked jovially.

She didn’t answer. She was struggling to get enough air before what she knew must follow. But Benjamin was feeling so good he wanted her to answer.

“Tell me, please, I am very curious. Do you ever suck Jeremy’s cock with such enthusiasm?”

Helen shook her head with a sad expression on her face, her eyes full of tears. Her voice was deep and soft.

“Please, Ben, please, you don’t have to do that…”

Benjamin grinned. He didn’t have to but he loved it.

“Please, I’ll do anything you want…”

This made him feel even better. She’ll do anything he wants!!

“OK, woman. OK. Then let me see those tits.”

“You want to see my breasts? Alright, Ben, I’ll grant you your wish.”

Helen started unbuttoning her shirt but Benjamin caught her wrist.

“No, no, no, no, I want you to do it slowly, with feel. You have to entertain me. Otherwise it’s back to hurting your hubby.”

She looked at him but didn’t say anything. Behind them, her husband screamed.

She continued unbuttoning her shirt but now her moves were slow, deliberate. Benjamin started stroking his penis, enjoying the show.

“That’s it, woman, let me see those old tits.”

Helen removed the shirt and Benjamin could see her large, motherly breasts trapped inside a rich, white, bra.

“That’s an impressive rack you have there, Helen.”

The woman looked at him. It was a strange look that he couldn’t quite figure out. Then again, he did give her a compliment. That was strange as well.

“I’m going to fucking kill you, I’m going to fucking kill you, motherfucker!!!” screamed Jeremy from his place on the floor. Benjamin ignored him. The show in front of his eyes was occupying his attention.

“Out with them, come on!!” He demanded it in a cheerful voice, like a child on a Christmas morning impatient to see the gifts.

Helen started taking the bra off. But the way she did it made Benjamin almost gasp from excitement. She pulled the left strap down from her shoulder but then she pushed her hand into the bra cup and pulled her large, heavy tit out.

“Holy shit, woman…” He watched as she absentmindedly stroked her nipple between the tips of her index finger and her thumb. No doubt, she has been doing similar shows for others (husband?) before. And she took Benjamin’s request to be entertained seriously. Benjamin was entertained. Seduced even.

She fished her other tit out as well, then placed her hands on the sides of both tits and brought them together. She looked into Benjamin’s eyes.

“Do you like them?” Her voice was very low. Benjamin thought that she perhaps didn’t want her husband to hear their conversation. But that was hardly possible, being that they were all in one room, not far from each other. However, his shouting was probably a safety blanket of sorts.

“God, woman… I had no idea you were such a slut.” Instead of replying to her question, he grabbed her breast and started massaging it. It felt good. It was softer than Carla’s, but so… full. So rich. He squeezed her nipple between his fingers. Helen flinched. Benjamin squeezed harder.

“God…” her whisper was urgent. Hurt.

“Does that hurt?” Benjamin loved this. He loved it.

Helen nodded, biting her lip. He maintained the pressure. She squirmed.

“Ben… you’re hurting me…”

“You want me to stop?” He asked this in an innocent, almost childish way.

“…please…” she exhaled loudly as he twisted the nipple, savagely. “Please, stop…”

Benjamin didn’t feel like stopping. When Helen tried to move his hands away from her breasts, he slapped her.

It was not a hard slap, especially in comparison with the levels of violence Benjamin demonstrated himself capable of during the day. Still, it made her head snap violently to the right and it made her hair fall over her face. Benjamin thought this made her even sexier.

“I’m in charge here, woman… Is that clear enough?”

Helen looked at him through her hair. There were tears coming out of her eyes, smearing her makeup a bit. She nodded.

“…yes… it’s clear…”

Benjamin smiled.

“Good. So try not to forget that. Not only there’s more where that one slap came from, but also, remember that I get bored easily. You stop making me happy and I’m back to teaching your husband how to perform orally on a gun!”

“…God… you don’t have to be like that… I’ll do everything… I told you…”

“Helen!!!” screamed Jeremy.

They both ignored him. Benjamin pulled Helen by the hair, so that she leaned his way. He placed his penis between her breasts and instructed her to bring them together so it was fitting tightly. Then he started moving it up and down.

“Spit on it” he ordered. He didn’t want friction ruining his pleasure. It was a long time since he was this hard and he wanted every bit of fun he could get out of it.

Watching Helen spit on his cock, trapped firmly between her tits was certainly fun. She knew why he demanded it and made sure to spread the saliva along the length of his member with the palm of her hand. Then she pressed her breasts together and started moving in synch with his pelvis thrusts. Benjamin’s eyes kaçak casino went wide. This was much better than… well than anything he could remember about his life so far. Like a Christmas morning that really lived to expectations.

“Suck on the head” he said.

She obeyed without words. She made herself more comfortable in her kneeling position on the floor, got her head down and started licking and kissing his swollen cockhead. Then she made the additional effort, pushed her head down a bit more and opened her mouth. Now he would dip his cock into her mouth with every thrust.

“Man, to think I thought you people were completely useless… Jeremy, I don’t know if it was you teaching this slut how to give head but, man, SOMEBODY did a good job!!!”

Jeremy was choking in anger.

“You fuck… You fuck!!! You’re dead!!! You’re fucking dead!!!”

Benjamin laughed and waved his both hands at Jeremy. Then he ceremoniously placed them on the back of Helen’s head and started pushing it down again.

The woman gagged on his penis, trying to back away, but Benjamin was not letting go. He enjoyed the sound of his victim fighting for breath and trying not to puke, the feel of his penis violating her throat, triggering the gag reflex, savaging her in the place where it was never meant to be.

“That’s it, baby, that’s it, Helen, take it all the way in… All the way down to those fucking balls… That’s it, be a good slut… I bet old Jeremy never had the courage to stick it all the way in, eh? Lucky you ran into me to finally make your fantasies come true, eh?”

He pulled out, letting Helen have a few moments to catch her breath. He pulled her head up and enjoyed the look on her face. The total helplessness, the fear, pain and humiliation. As well as the wish to satisfy him in any way he might want. Against her will, against her instincts. Because she was protecting her mate, her partner.

God bless people who know their responsibilities to their families, thought Benjamin.

Then he tugged her head down again, violently.

“Lick it, lick all of it, whore.”

Helen complied. Her tongue danced around his testicles first, then went up, along the length of his penis. She spat on it again, then used her tongue to spread the spit everywhere. The sensation this gave to Benjamin made him moan aloud. He spread his thighs wider, pushing her down. He didn’t even have to tell her what he wanted, Helen buried her head between his legs and toyed with his balls.

“Aawww, fuuuuck… Aghhhh, fuck, yessss!!!!”

She sucked on his balls. And made loud noises. And moved her head left and right, not letting his balls out of her mouth. She was good. Really good. Much better than Carla. Much better than anyone, anyone really… The way she jerked him off as her mouth and tongue were caressing his balls, the sounds she was making…

Benjamin pulled Helen’s head back once again. With surprise he realised that her mouth and her hand alone seemed to be quite capable of bringing him off. All the way. In the state he brought himself to this was no small achievement. And Benjamin wanted more.

“Not so fast, woman, not so fast. I’m not such a selfish fuck after all!” He wouldn’t let go of her hair. He pulled her head to the back again and ordered her to open her mouth. She obeyed, instantly even though it was not hard to guess what Benjamin would do next.

He spat in her mouth. Helen flinched but did nothing else. She didn’t protest or try to break away from him. Benjamin smiled and spat into her face again, this time saliva falling onto her lips and cheek, then starting a slow descent towards her chin, neck and breasts.

“You love being treated like a slut, don’t you?”

Helen didn’t answer. Her eyes were full of tears, the fear and humiliation painting her face ill colours.

“Tell me, Helen. Don’t you?”

He shook her head violently, reminding her of the script and the setup.

Helen looked straight into his eyes. Then she closed hers.

“…yes…” she whispered. The voice was so low, so heavy with shame and fear that her husband, drowning in his own fury couldn’t have possibly heard her.

Benjamin could feel a slow electric charge going down his spine, into his guts, then outside towards his genitals. She was…

She was acting, right? She was just… staying in character for him. She was trying to save her husband from a gun-wielding maniac running on drugs and anger and burning with misplaced desire. And yet…

And yet, she made him even harder. He had to have her. He had to have her right now.

“Helen…” For a second he didn’t know what to say. Then it came to him.

“You almost made me cum there, Helen, you know that? I bet you would have loved it if I just lost it and sprayed those tits and face of yours with my baby-juice, eh? Would have made it easier on your old pussy down there too. Well, no such luck, Helen, I’m afraid you’re gonna have to earn my gratitude the old fashioned way. “

6. Waysted

Jeremy’s screams resembled some wild animal. Some animal in pain or mortal fear or blind rage. He thrashed on the floor and if there were any words coming out of his mouth they were lost in the torrent of inhuman cries that were ripping his throat and lungs into pieces.

His wife was also loud, she was moaning and screaming and begging. But the difference was telling.

The difference, Benjamin told himself as he methodically pushed in and out, was that his screams were just amusing and hers… Well, hers were arousing. Incredibly arousing.

“Ben… please… not so hard… oh my God… please, Ben…”

It made it so much better for him that she was trying to resist. Not in a serious way, of course, after all he was still the man with the gun, wasn’t he? But as he was taking her from behind, pushing her face into the sofa, as he was slamming into her with cheerful abandon, she was begging him to go easy on her, she was trying to push him away from her with the palm of her hand pressed firmly onto his lower belly.

It was better than anything he could remember. His head was swimming in a thick soup made of fog and feather most of the past day, hell, most of his life. But this, this made him feel good, it made him feel alive. Finally and irredeemably so. Benjamin fucked her, grabbing her hair between his fingers and pushing her head into the sofa, small fleshquakes rippling through her large buttocks with every thrust of his.

“My God… no… please… no… not so hard… please, Ben… you’re too big, please…”

It… it almost made him lose control. Never. No one ever. No girl ever said something like this to him. No girl ever. Just this woman. Just this woman, wife and mother of two daughters. And if pushed hard to think about it he would know that someone must have been lying to him. It was either all his past girlfriends or this woman. And Benjamin was no Ben Franklin but he was not that stupid.

But he didn’t care. This was it. This was the big one. The biggest show on Earth. This was their show. And Helen… Helen played it well, so well.

He slapped her asscheeks repeatedly, satisfied with the way her screams neatly followed. He pulled on her hair, lifting her from the sofa, bringing her close to himself.

“I love it how you do this, Helen.” He whispered into her ear. “I love it how much of a slut you turned out to be. This is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

And as he pushed her back to the sofa, it felt strange to experience the tremors in her body as he continued to fuck her. To rape her.

Yes, he thought to himself, this was actually it, one way or the other, he raped her. No matter that she volunteered for this after assessing the situation between her husband and the rascally neighbour. This was rape, no matter how it felt for him. Or her. No matter whether her pleas and screams and tears were all playact or reality. No matter whether she really needed some thick manmeat in her as he was telling her. This was rape.

And, closing his eyes, Benjamin wiped the sweat from his forehead. The body beneath him was so warm and rich. So inviting and beautiful. And what he did to it was shameful.

He stopped, mid-thrust.

Is this it? Is this what I worked myself towards?

Benjamin was thinking. He could hear the woman under him softly cry into the pillow. After all these years he had her on his cock. And… It’s hard to imagine his mother would be proud of him after all.

So, yeah, this is it. A rapist. That’s what it is.

And Benjamin closed his eyes for a second again. The sun was down now, wasn’t it? What time it was anyway? And what did it matter anyway.

So that was it.

Benjamin pulled out. Yes, there was, there was this silly and perhaps even naïve thought at the back of his head about mending what he did, about stopping before it’s too late, before the damage was done to the fullest. He didn’t come yet, not everything was over.

Helen screamed in very realistic pain when Benjamin started pushing his swollen cockhead into her asshole.

“no no no no no noooo, please!!! NO! Not there, NO!”

Benjamin had to hold her down with one hand, as she was thrashing under him, trying to get him off her. Not a hope in hell, he thought, not a hope in fucking hell, I am bigger than you Helen. You have no hope, Helen, sorry.

“Please Benjamin, I can’t, NOOOO!”

It was painful for him too. It was painful pushing into her ass like this, with no preparation or lubrication. But it felt good. It felt right. He pushed, violently, brutally, mercilessly. And he broke her in and continued pushing and pulling out and pushing in again.

Helen was crying, loud sobs accompanying Benjamin’s grunts. It must have been easier for her too now that her sphincter surrendered to the brutal force of Benjamin’s assault. But it must have been much more humiliating than anything she ever experienced too. Raped in her ass, in front of her husband, helpless and fucked, like a ten dollar whore.

Benjamin was sweating like a pig, pushing as deep into her as it would go. This was it, this was a loud ending to a ghastly story so far. There was no place for doubt and regret here any more. He was fucking Helen’s ass, he was raping her the way no woman in his life would let him, he was on top of her, controlling her every move, humiliating her in front of her husband. He was in her so deep he was drowning.

And as he felt the orgasm build inside of him, he grabbed her breasts with one his hand and buried fingers of his other hand into her pussy. And screamed, loud, like an animal.

The impossible was happening and Benjamin was almost laughing from the absurdity of it all. And the elation he felt as his body was doing what it was built for, going through all the motions that make life have any sense. He shot his semen into Helen’s ass, bellowing like it was him being raped, not her. And he could feel her body spasm as well, just the way his body did. They were two animals, trapped inside a circle built by Gods at the dawn of time. This was rape, yes. But it felt so right.

7. Rights and wrongs

The police found Benjamin sleeping on the kitchen floor, the bottle of wine on the floor near him. He was planning to get back to the room. After all, there was something to be said about basking in the light of the humiliation he brought onto Jeremy. And he did want to talk to Helen. He didn’t know what exactly he wanted to talk about, but when he got up from his knees and when she turned her head back towards him and looked into his eyes, he knew he needed to. But, he realised he didn’t know what to say and tactical retreat to the kitchen to look for any alcohol the family might have had in the fridge looked like a good idea back then. He could think along the way.

But then the wine felt so good sliding down his throat (and chin and neck and chest) and his body was growing warm and soft and tired. And he sat on the floor. Just to get some rest. Helen was still on her knees, face-first on the sofa, making no noises. He just needed some rest.

The clubs and shoes rained down on Benjamin, hard. And there was shouting.

“Don’tfuckingmovemotherfucker moveonefuckingfingerandyou’refuckingdead.!!!”

The screams made little sense as the men were kneeling on Benjamin’s throat, spraying his face with pepper spray, turning him around and cuffing his hands. Benjamin was a big man, normally it would take at least two police officers to subdue him. But now he was weak, drunk, he was sleeping and totally helpless. And there were five of them, shouting like mad.

“Here’s the gun, here’s the gun”, said one policeman to the other, holding Benjamin’s piece by the barrel between two fingers.

“Ma’am!” said the other, pointing his gun at Benjamin all the time. “Ma’am, please come here!”

“Is this the weapon?”

Helen nodded. Benjamin’s vision was blurred but he could tell she was crying, her lips pressed together tight. Somewhere in the distant other room he could hear the sound of metal screaming. Someone was sawing through the cuffs he’d put on Jeremy. That meant it was Helen who called the police.

“Get up, motherfucker, get UP!!!” the policeman said.

Benjamin was pulled onto his feet, dizzy, disoriented, confused, silent, his eyes, nose and mouth swollen from the pepper and the punches. He couldn’t speak, he couldn’t breathe without hurting. The police twisted his arms into unnatural, unpleasant positions as they were pushing him to the door.

He looked Helen’s way.

“Step away ma’am, we’re bringing him out”, said the cop in his business voice. “He’s under control”, he added reassuringly.

Helen didn’t step away. She could probably see Benjamin was no threat to her or her family now. The police was here now to protect them. To protect her. She stayed in the room, watching in silence as Benjamin was half carried, half pushed out.

Benjamin was unable to think clearly or even at all. He only knew that the price was paid. The price was paid, no matter how high it was. He shook his head, trying to clear his vision. He wanted to get one last clear look at Helen. One of the cops punched him in the back of his head.

“Keep walking, fuckhead, don’t resist!!”

I am not resisting, thought Benjamin. I just want to have one last look at her.

Helen was inches away from him as he made one shaky step after another, cops directing him. She could have been miles away now, no difference to him or her. He couldn’t touch her now. Not any more. Not ever again. He could, to his surprise, still smell the perfume on her. Through the mucus coming down his nose like rain, he breathed in, deeply.

They took him out, passing Jeremy on the way, Jeremy being surprisingly silent and calm. They took him out and into a squad car with rotating lights.

The police officer took out a pen and started writing things down on his clipboard. He asked Helen whether she felt she could give him a statement right now, as they wait for the ambulance to arrive. Helen nodded and answered something in a low voice.

“Sarge! Sarge!” said the other policeman, still holding Benjamin’s gun in is hands and examining it.

“What?” said the policeman with the clipboard and glasses.

“The gun is empty.”

The sergeant raised his eyebrows.

“This thing is empty, sarge” said the cop pulling the magazine out to prove his point. “The fucker didn’t have a single bullet here.”

The sergeant looked at Helen, then looked at the gun, then looked at Helen again.

“You weren’t aware of this, ma’am, were you?”

Helen was silent, allowing the absurdity of the question to coat and protect her from all the evils that the world might throw at her again. The night felt as if it would finally bring some calm.

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