Ben Venice II: The Season of the Scorpion 5



He stared out at the city, Manhattan unfolding its legs for him as he watched from his penthouse apartment. He imagined it aflame. Explosions, smoke, bright lights going supernova and then embering out forever. One last, big wipe out. The screams would sound like a symphony.

He took no joy in his cruel thoughts, his midnight day dreams of death and destruction. Only a measure of solace that one day would be his day, and all must end. God would pay for creating him. He would make him sorry.

Here in his home, he wore no masks. His nude skin was white to the point of near translucence, his veins blue. He licked his teeth, tasted the cocaine and ash. He bit his tongue until he added blood to the cocktail.

He stood tall in his black stiletto heels. Hands clenched, he leaned forward, pressed his forehead to the glass. He closed his eyes tight, then punched with his left fist, then his right, then his left again, and again, and again.

The phone would ring. There would be a female voice. She would say “High Priest, the rumors are true.”

And then he would say “It is the Season Of The Scorpion, and our sign is ascendent. The toad dies in Dallas.”

But until then, the knuckles would be pummeled to swollen meat, the eyes would remain closed tight, and the window would stain with blood.