Runner on the Edge
by The Mighty Bean Crosby


A couple of years ago I resolved myself to kill a man. I had actually made up my mind to take a person's life. I was so dedicated to the task of ending this man's life that I even bought a gun with which to kill him with. That day the clerk had told me that I had to wait the five day cooling period. "Cooling period?" I had asked. "Yes." he replied. He said it was to make sure that people don't go out and shoot someone with the gun that same day. It was so that people could settle their differences. This, to me, was stupid. That would be five more days this man I despised had left to live. Five more days I had to live with the suffering of knowing this man still walked the Earth. Five long days.

The longer I waited the more I hated. The more I loathed this man the more ways I came up with killing him without the gun. I thought about asphyxiation, I thought about using a knife, but to me the gun was the swiftest way I could think of killing him. So I waited the five long days for the gun, suffering every minute of those five with the thoughts of this man still living, still breathing.

The day finally came when my need would be nourished with the blood of this man. I felt that it was only way I could make him stop suffering. So I walked toward the bridge where I would be sure to meet him. I couldn't let this man live any longer. I had to end his suffering. He was once a man I loved and because of that I had to do this vile and cruel act.

He was once a man who showed promise. A man of impeccable taste and cool demeanor. A man with charm who could get almost anyone to do what it was he ordered. A leader of the highest caliber. He was physically fit. Built for hardwork he was capable of fighting off the opposition but also the finesse to accomplish the most delicate of tasks. He was handsome and great looking and got all the girls. He was never without a girl on his arm. Always bragging the next day about his exploits and conquests. Unfortunately, he never learned when to say no and took drugs. He began to drink. He squandered his youth away by making bad decisions, and because of that now he struggles. He lives day to day, from job to job. He suffers from severe bouts of depression that last from weeks on end and refuses to seek help for his problems. That is why he must die.

Every corner on the way to the bridge reminds me of this loathsome man I once loved. The store on the corner where I met him for the first time. Where I saw him there full of potential, where he was hired to do his first job. The excitement he felt when he cam back to the corner to get his fee for a job well done. The joy he felt when he spent it and the pride that came with being offered another job. The reputation he dreamed of was becoming a reality.

This man I hate became successful despite his vices for drinking and drugs. He got the perfect wife and made a lot of money, but again squandered it all away for a temporary thrill or fix. He'd use his money to buy cocaine, marijuana, and even tried heroin a couple of times. He cheated on his wife and when he came home every night from fucking a some girl or stripper he met at a bar he'd beat on his wife, in front of his kids. He'd blame her for everything. The dinner was cold, she wouldn't have sex with him, she didn't trust him, she talked to much, she complained to much about the simplest things, why couldn't she shut the kids up, then he'd leave the house. He was eventually arrested and subsequently divorced. Smart woman. He threw it all away, the perfect job, the perfect wife, and his almost perfect family, he threw it all away for a cheap thrill or fix. He soon lost his rep. His performance on jobs was never the same after the divorce, so he blew what ever he had left on one last fix. That's why this man must die today. It's the only humane thing to do. Why should he suffer any longer?

As I walk past the trees through the park in which he used to meet, I remember him as he was when he was a kid. Maybe if I can think of him as he was I can love him and hate at the same time and make it easier to take his life. I wish he could live, but there's no other way. I remember when he climbed up a tree in this park once and fell and broke his arm. He didn't cry but screamed and cursed an awful lot from the pain. I remember when he brought a girl here in his car after a run in this parking lot to make out with her. I remember when he got caught drinking by the Lone Star and how his parents were mad at him. I remember when he came to this park with his friends when he got divorced and confessed to him what it was he had done. Every sordid detail, every foul atrocity he confessed to his friend. I remember that was the last time he ever saw his friend. This man has to die tonight. As I get closer to the bridge I see him there in his youth standing kissing on a girl, or diving into the slow moving stream from the banks near the bridge. I see him sailing boats he had built from model kits. The bridge was a place of peace and quiet for him and I knew he would come here tonight.

Upon reaching the bridge, I lean over the railing with the gun in my pocket and I look into the gentle stream and see this monster of a man. The ripples in the water sort of distort the reflection but I know that it's him leaning over the railing staring at himself in the stream all alone with heaven at his back. And I stare for a long time at the man that I have become and resolve myself to take the life of this man that I have become. I pull the pistol out of my pocket, put it to my head and resolve to take the life of the man I hate, myself.