I Take His Picture

I take his picture in the basement of an old mansion.

There are no lights.

The floorís dirty.

Later, Iíll create a folder on my laptop and place the picture in the folder. There will be other pictures, but no other folders.

The boyís dead but not bleeding. Iím very careful.

"Goodbye," I say to the boy. I put my camera away. "Iíd like to say it was an accident but it wasnít so I wonít say that because it would cheapen your picture probably and I might have to delete it sometime or feel guilty or something and you wouldnít want that." Sometimes I talk to comfort people.

My cell phone rings. "Good job," Bronson says. "Did it go exactly as planned?"

"Of course." I open the basement door which is low and sloping and I step outside. Itís morning. The sunís low on the horizon and hovering quietly away. "Do you have the package?"

"I have the package."

"Okay, then."

I put my cell phone away.

I lied about the folder. I have many folders and many pictures on many laptops in many apartments. The apartments are all mine, as are the pictures.

I pull my jacket tight to my body and walk along the highway. There are no people, only tall streetlights. The gravel makes noises. Ahead is my car. I get in the passenger side.

"Youíre ready?" Lemmy asks.


"No evidence?"

I donít answer.

"Then weíre ready for phase two."

"Yes," I say.

"Good." Lemmy starts the car.

Lemmyís my little brother. I slowly pull my gun from my pocket. "Iím sorry," I say.

Lemmy turns.

I shoot Lemmy in the face.

Thereís blood and other things, parts, and I scoop the parts and wipe the parts and gather parts into Lemmyís shirt. I drag Lemmy out of my car and lay him on the ground. I shoot Lemmyís mouth and destroy Lemmyís mouth. I shoot Lemmyís hands and feet and I shoot Lemmyís face again and now when I look at little Lemmy and the pieces of Lemmy I donít know him and I know that no one else will know him either.

I take a picture.

My carís running. I sit in the driverís seat.

I drive. This is phase two.

My carís a mess. There are blood streaks in the windows and Lemmy-parts I missed. I step on the gas. My car moves quickly and I wheel it around corners and change lanes. My hands are sweaty. My cell phone rings.


"Youíre coming," Bronson says.


"You destroyed him."

"Of course."

"Okay, then."

At Bronsonís house I set my car on fire.

Earlier we dug a pit. I drove the car into the pit, and now the fire. Bronsonís waiting on his front porch in a thick white bathrobe and I imagine myself in a matching bathrobe, very soft and comfortable and sitting quietly at home, watching television with the lights off.

"Youíre bloody," Bronson says.

"You should hug me."

"Maybe after you shower."

"If I shower I wonít want to be hugged. Iíll want to be alone."

Bronson steps down the porch-stairs and walks slowly to his backhoe-loader. Thereís a lot of smoke now. He starts the backhoe-loader. "Move," Bronson says. "Youíre in the way."

I move.

Bronson uses the backhoe-loader to push dirt into the pit. He covers the car with dirt and smoothes the dirt and parks the backhoe-loader. Now we lay fresh sod over the bare dirt. I remove my shoes and walk barefoot in the sod whichís very green and comfortable. I start to sit.

"No no," Bronson says. "Take off your clothes. Weíll destroy those also."

"Of course," I say. "But first you take a picture." I hand Bronson my camera.

"Will you pose?" Bronson asks. "Think about Lemmy," Bronson says. "Think about me."

I try not to laugh but I canít help it.

"Good," Bronson says. "Sexy. Now roll in the grass. Roll in the sod."

I take off my clothes.

Bronson takes more pictures.

I carefully fold my clothes and set them on the backhoe-loader. Iím naked and posing and Bronsonís taking pictures and I imagine taking the pictures of myself so that Iím Bronson and Iím watching me and my breasts are floppy probably and blood-covered and there are little bits of Lemmy on my nipple and neck and little boy-bits stuck to my toes and in my naval. "What do you see, Bronson?" I ask. I donít listen to the answer. I imagine Bronsonís naked body and shooting Bronsonís naked body and I think that if I were to shoot Bronson I would shoot his bellybutton first. When I touch my bellybutton I think about knots and I imagine untying my bellybutton and my liver and lungs and pancreas flopping out in front of my, or maybe intestines and stomach, and piling there while I watch. "What do you think about bellybuttons?" I ask Bronson.

"Theyíre okay."

"Could you untie one?"

"Is that possible?"

"Could you untie mine?"

"I donít think so."

"Good," I say as I grab my gun. "Itís time." I aim the gun and Bronson looks suddenly very tired. "Take off your robe."


"Just take it off."

Bronson takes off his robe. "This isnít very funny," he says.

I aim my gun.

I shoot.

Ofelia Hunt