There’s a murder in my pocket. A hot red bludgeoning I finger when I’m nervous. From time to time I pull it out and throw it against the wall. Bounce. I catch it on the rebound.
Sometimes I forget my murder, leave it on the bookshelf next to my bed. At various times throughout the day I reach into my pocket and feel its absence like tonguing the empty space of a pulled tooth. I won’t forget it again — a workday just isn’t the same without it.
Once in a while I share my murder with a close friend, but only in emergencies. Some people don’t have murders of their own so they make do with toys and trinkets. My best friend has an indigo disdain but personally, I wouldn’t be caught with one. I suppose he finds the little bell inside soothing when he’s upset or nervous. My mother has a slap she ties her hair up with when it’s hot or on dressy occasions but my father doesn’t like her hair pulled back.
I took my murder to the beach once but it got too hot to hold and it soaked up the salty water becoming too heavy to bounce. When I dropped it on the boardwalk it went thud. I don’t take my murder to the beach anymore.
Please, don’t put my murder in your mouth. And don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done playing with it. Once I got canker sores because I didn’t wash my hands and face after handling it. I keep antibacterial soap with me now.
I used to sleep with my murder on my pillow but I had to stop because it affected my dreams and I would wake feeling restless and irritable — I began biting my nails too. One night I awoke and caught it whispering red verbs in my ear so now I put it in a velvet lined box before I go to sleep. I don’t have problems with it anymore.
I was young when my dad gave me my red murder. He wrapped it in brown paper bag and a black bow, it wasn’t even my birthday. He’s had a gorgeous boring that he tucks behind his ear for as long as I can remember so I’m not sure how he got to be so good with red murders, but he taught me everything I know: the bounce, the squeeze, “around the world” without a string, the flying verbs, and so on. He’s really good with my murder.
The palm of my right hand is a shade of red from constantly catching my murder. It used to be tender too but I’ve developed a tolerance for the sting. I may have tennis elbow from pitching my murder so much but I’m careful to soak it in Epson salt on the evenings I play more than usual.
I’ve never lost my murder — knock on wood.
Once my son turns twenty-five, I want to give him my red murder. He’ll pass it on to his son and so on and so on. My murder will become a family heirloom.