Personal project/short story She's going to kill me and there's nothing I can do about it. She is tall, fit, put-together. Glorious starched white shirt. Perfectly sculpted calves. I am small, frumpy, naive, weak. I am a subitem on her afternoon to-do list. I am thirty-two ounces of plain nonfat yogurt, and she is beyond bored. But she doesn't know about my Wahl Color Pro 79300-400. The Wahl Color Pro is a twenty-piece complete haircutting kit. Self-sharpening, high-carbon steel blades. Adjustable taper control. Eleven color-coded guard combs in sizes ranging from one inch to one-eighth of an inch. No guards today, though. I want a close, clean cut. I run the naked blade over each of her corneas, first the right one, then the left. I use a slow, steady, upward motion, just like the manual says. The texture of her eyeballs frustrates me. Gelatinous clear-brown gunk is caking up in the high-carbon steel blades. Done. The surfaces of her eyeballs are flat now. Well… flat enough. At any rate, she can't see. She slide-falls to the floor, khaki skirt stretched taut as her butt hits the berber carpet. Feet knock together awkwardly. Off falls a black gucci pump and I realize that her calves aren't actually all that muscular. It was just the heels. ---- I've always had violent dreams, but in recent years my dream violence seems to be following a very consistent set of weird parameters, and it's creeping me out. The violence is always carried out by me, in response to some external threat or another, which I will collectively refer to as The Bad Man. These dreams go something like this: The Bad Man is here, and he is emanating danger. Often it's nothing more than that. The Bad Man rarely says or does anything to incriminate himself. But in that special dream way, I just KNOW that he is evil, that he wants to get me. I know it more certainly than I've ever known anything. The danger is blatant and vivid. Faced with this all-consuming terror, I react instantly and instinctively. I pour all of my rage and focus and strength into the task of protecting myself. I remember a weapon that I have. (The weapon that I remember is almost always a weapon that I actually own in real life. Sometimes it's not a legit weapon. Sometimes it's an electric hair trimmer or other handy household item. It's usually something sharp.) I find said weapon and pick it up. This all happens in the space of a few seconds. I attack The Bad Man with my weapon. It's a strange kind of attack, though. It reminds me of trimming fat from a chicken, or untangling a box of christmas lights, or drawing the outline for a painting. My movements are slow and meticulous. The Bad Man doesn't fight back, or does so very feebly. He doesn't yell. In some cases he is so silent and motionless that I might as well be mutilating a corpse. I hack away methodically. The brutal attack becomes tedious drudgery. Fear and rage are overshadowed by disgust, stress, frustration, exhaustion. At some point I finish. I can tell that I'm finished not because The Bad Man is dead or incapacitated. By this point the body has probably been still for a long time. I can tell that I'm finished because it just feels right. It feels finished. I wake up. There's residual stress and frustration, and some fear coming back. The strongest thing I feel is disgust. I feel nauseous.