The back of a person’s head looks so vulnerable. Everyone looks like a buffoon from the back, slightly pathetic and clueless. The crown of the skull, the base of the cranium cradled on top of the spine, all exposed and witless. I am standing right behind him as he sits in his armchair. I raise my arms, hands clenched over my weapon. He does not move. He continues reading, head bent down, the tips of his grey spectacle arms jutting out behind the tops of his big old ears.

     Suddenly, I am contemptuous of this non-man. The instinct for survival, where is it? This is the point at which base animal instinct ought to take over, his head ought to whip around as a reflex reaction, his arm rise to defend his face. Not that it would help him much. But it might make me respect him a little. Intellect might have helped him at one point. Even now, it could tell him – if it took the trouble of clicking into action, that is – that since I have not yet left the room, I must, given the layout of the study, be directly behind him.

     Anyhow, here I am and about to strike. A house is full of possibilities of violence and murder. And I am not talking about the obvious potential of the kitchen. There are some pretty interesting things you could do with a screwdriver or a hot iron, say. A kitchen knife is convenient, no doubt, but maudlin. My choice of weapon is a hammer.


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