Fiction

Ben Venice II: The Season of the Scorpion 6

BenVenice2

1963

Down in Texas, a shot rang out. A man died in a popping flash of red. A motorcade broke apart. Panic spread. A nation was shocked. A world joined them- in some regions. In other places, knives were audibly sharpened in the form of pointed words, vicious and feral, and backroom plots were hatched.

A circuit was completed. A phone rang. The High Priest answered. It was done. He smiled his toothy grin. His hands were red. He closed his eyes and inhaled ecstasy. He said three words “Praise the Scorpion.” The line went dead.

He let his head roll back. He felt dizzy. He locked his knees, wobbled on his heels, fell backwards with a thump. His body was scrawny and lithe. He didn’t eat much. His arms were akimbo. He started to move and slither. He could feel the clouds forming. “This is just the beginning!” he said aloud. One thing would lead to another. It would all happen very quickly.

He smeared his bloody hands across his white carpet. He held his hands like pinchers. He tried to feel his tail and imagine its sting. He bit his lower lip. He felt its juice. He inhaled deep through his nose, smelled the burning incense. He saw the pain that so many others were feeling through his closed eyes.He imagined the cold water rushing over him and the dying amphibian as the river took them

“This is just the beginning…”

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Fiction

Ben Venice II: The Season of the Scorpion 5

BenVenice2

1963

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.

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