Novel Preview No. 1 ~ Cain

Chapter One – January 29th, 1983

It has been a long time since I have felt remorse for killing people. That plane took off a long time ago. Since then, it has been the challenge to make it look like a tragedy of natural causes. Getting caught wasn’t a concern, there is no way that they could trail it back to me. In a sense, I am invincible. Invincible from life’s natural consequences. 

   I am a man of many nightmares, but I must keep that to myself. No one should know what this curse has pushed me to do. I don’t think that even mere mortals could compare to the damage I have done to humanity as a whole. I’m not human, at least not anymore. 

And yet here I sit, again, looking at the man who did this to me. The man that has me indulged in the art of our kind. 

“Kill them,” he ordered, releasing the brume of his cigar, filling the cabin of the plane with a thick, musty stench that couldn’t tickle the fancy of a primate. 

“But why? What is the point?” I asked, a shocking sense of fury pulsed through my body. 

“I don’t need to have a point, the point is that I need them dead,” he growled, blowing more smoke out of his puggish nose. 

“They are not a threat to you,” I said, almost begging. 

“But they are a threat to me, and without me, you’d be fucked.” 

I couldn’t negotiate with that. If I didn’t comply with his wishes then his efforts to help me would have gone to waste. 

“But why can’t I just leave them behind, why do they have to die?”

“Because you can’t leave a trace of your existence. You are a ghost. Do not make me regret helping you,” he growled. 

“Mr.Serlanos, how many times do I have to tell you? No smoking on the plane!” the stern stewardess scolded, stomping into the cabin. I wasn’t much of a fan of hers myself, but I hoped that he would listen to her. I could feel the second hand smoke settling in, not that it would matter anyways. 

“Another drink,” he barked at her, and she reluctantly marched over to the mini bar and prepared his usual, a Shirley Temple. 

I observed her as she murmured under her breath, her brow furrowed and I felt every urge that she withheld to spit into the glass. She slammed the bottle down and threw a straw into it, marched over, and rashly set the drink onto the table and sashayed through the curtain. 

“She knows too much,” he said, with no feeling of embarrassment in his voice. He enjoyed pushing people’s buttons, always had, always will.

“Well maybe you should keep your circle smaller,” I snarked. 

“Why do you think I have you around?” he laughed, his big belly heaving,which threw him into a fit of coughing.

“Maybe you should quit smoking, I am getting whiplash from the way you cough every time you let out that piggish squeal you call a laugh,” I jeered. 

“Not in this lifetime.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that comment. 

That flight attendant dress never suited her anyway, I thought, looking down at her uninhabited body. She didn’t have the right curves, she was built straight as an arrow, and it seemed that look of disgust wasn’t a constant emotion. It was just her face. Her lips that were once a tacky shade of red were now colorless. Her eyes looked more livelier than when she was alive. I sat next to her body and observed the way she just lay there. 

She may have been happier if she didn’t have to deal with Serlanos. She may have still been alive.

In reality, I feel more so embarrassed for the people who fall for our tactics of manipulation, they really should have known better. She didn’t put up much of a fight, I think she had known that this was a long time coming. When strangling her, it seemed in a way that she thanked me, the look in her eyes showed that she wished she had done something different. I had never learned her name, even though she wore a nametag on her uniform. I unclipped it and examined it carefully. Brenda was her name. It was such a simple name, for a simple person. Simple, that was a word that was misleading to me. 

“It’s simple,” he told me, when describing how he did it.

“I’m not a cold blooded killer,” I said.

“No, not yet. Eventually your blood will feel no heat nor cold.”

When I entered the cabin, Serlanos was pouring his own drink. 

“I never did like her,” he said. 

“She wasn’t too fond of you either,” I said. 

“Well at least she died knowing that the feeling was mutual.”

This was life, if that’s what you could call it. 

The plane landed in Chicago just as the sun was starting to rise. It was about 7am. I stepped off the plane into the busy terminal, people pushed past me to get to their gate. I, on the other hand, was in no rush to get home. I ambled my way down the terminal toward the baggage claim, observing businessmen, families with mother’s fussing at their small children to catch up with them, fathers scooping them up and jogging with a small child hanging off their shoulder. Several older gentlemen sat in a waiting area, fast asleep and snoring. 

I found myself fixated on one particular gentleman who was being doted on by his fussy wife, who kept checking the message board for the gate they were waiting by, most likely making sure that they were not getting on the wrong plane. I envied what they had. They looked their age, they could finally sit down and rest. They had lived life, it was their time. 

I was slightly amused by the way he swung from the electrical cord, the way his legs dangled and recoiled from side to side. Luring him into the bathroom was no trouble, it seems that when you grow older, your bladder shrinks down to the size of a hamster. I stuffed his wallet and passport into my bag and continued on with my trek back home. 

On the train to Evanston, my mind was rattled with plots to avoid Serlanos’ request. Usually his word was law, but this, I couldn’t abide by. 

 I walked the three blocks to where the cement met with the cobble stone and took a detour. I needed more time. 

   I felt the warmth of the air escape into nothing as the sun set over the lake. The metal railing around the dock creaked along with the tide under the platform. I crossed my arms as I leaned against the railing, hanging my head. This spot used to be a place of happy and memorable thoughts, but now I questioned every moment of positive reflection. 

My wife and child were curled together under a heap of blankets on our couch. She had called me earlier saying Cal had the chills. Quietly, I snuck into the linen closet and pulled out our ratchet looking heating pad. The cheap baby blue fabric had been shredded by our asshole of a cat, Frickle. I always feared that it would one day catch on fire. I returned the heating pad and retrieved our space heater from the basement. Setting it on the side table, I checked the temperature of their feet. They were like an iceberg, with a magma plume pounding its way through. I turned the space heater on medium and removed my jacket and pants and joined them in this cuddle puddle. My wife stirred and smiled as I wrapped my arms around her and the small boy. I lay there, holding them close to me, inhaling their scent with every intent to imprint it in my mind. My body synced with their rhythm of breath, as if I were the last puzzle piece. 

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