THE CUT OF A SMILE (for Halloween)

My name is Jake.

Someone will find my photo in my shirt pocket after I finally give it up, and maybe think the photo is my family, older aunts, uncles, maybe a grandpa.

“Ohhh, look at the kindly lady in the first row, I bet that was his mum!

And, the gent standing just behind her, that might be his dad!”


It is not!

All the people in that photo are dead.

I like to think of people that way.


Oh, right,

I had a family, with a mommy and daddy and two older sisters.

But, they really weren’t mine!

I knew because of the way they treated me!

You know?  Like dirt.

Jake do this, Jake do that, Jake you will never amount to anything, Jake you have no future.

That was Jake’s song!

I heard that tune for a long long time.  Every time I felt good, someone would cut me.

Even if I did get a smile every now and then, someone would cut it out of me, and make me feel bad.

Now, it is my time to make a difference.

Now, I want to make more dead people, more quiet people, people that cannot cut me.

Why, you ask?

The dead never tell you that you have no future, no talent, no reason to live.

That is only for the living, telling someone are nothing, I mean.


Dead they are, till someone stops me!

Surely, the coppers should have caught me with the sister thing.  But I was shrewd!

I took a tube down the Rister Falls,  South River just after.

The South River ran so fast, and so cold, that by the time someone found them, I was three hours away, downstream, shivering, asking anyone around me for dry clothes.  Plenty of witnesses.

Could not have been me.  No blood, water washed it all away.

Cut their smiles out, I did!

A small knife I used, caused me to get real close to them, watch their eyes dull out, their cries more like mewingly at the end.

Started on the face, of course, but the blood got to be too slippery for me to cut and squeeze their throats.  So, I had to move down to the neck and cut the arteries.

Oh, that was grand fun, with the spurt, spurt, spurt.  But, it slowed as they died, and became more of a trickle.

Oh well.

Personal, it was to me.  Frightening to the core for them.

They did not have the energy to tell Jake, he was nothing anymore.

In those final heartbeats, Jake was all to his sisters.

Waited for a spell on my folks.  Had to!

The waiting almost broke me.  But, while I pondered on them, there were people in other towns I could practice on.

Cut that smile out, I did!  Put a smile on me.

Small knife for them, a big boost for me.

The South River took me away from where I could play, and the old handy highway thumb got me a ride back to my nest.

Three years I waited on Mum and Dad, but I got them.

They had mended their song since I was the only one that had a future now, but every now and then I got the word or the glance, “you are nothing, you will be nothing.”

So, looking back, what can I say?

I shut up the killers of my life.  I shut them up one by one.

Coppers come and find me!

But, till you get smart enough, old Southie river will give me a high tube ride to find another one to send over,

Without their smile!