by Eric J. Krause
Once, when no one was looking, I murdered a man. Not because I particularly wanted him dead. Heck, I didn't even know the guy. He hadn't cut me off, didn't give me a rude stare, or done anything out of the ordinary. No, I just wanted to see if I could get away with it.
And do you want to know something really scary? I did.
Yep. No consequences. Not one, unless you count the few sleepless nights I had. The police would figure it out. They'd bust down my door at three in the morning with their search warrant and haul me in.
The local fishwrap picked up the story of the dead businessman the next day, but in the end they reported that the police, with no leads, had to consider it an unfortunate random act of violence. Sleep came easy after that.
Some may ask about my eternal soul, and I have an excellent answer. Maybe most wouldn't agree, but it keeps me sane. I perform random acts of kindness. I've received even less press for those than my single murder, and I've given hundreds of random niceties. Does that get me down? Not at all. This is my soul we're talking about.
A lady with three kids ran for the stop light. She wasn't going to make it in time to hit the walk button, and that'd mean missing the bus. Though I wasn't crossing, I pushed it, and she didn't acknowledge me as her clan legally dashed across the street. A young man dropped a twenty out of his pocket at a fast food joint. I picked it up and laid it on the counter in front of him. He didn't notice, but the girl at the cash register did. I knew he'd get it.
Those are just a couple of things. Do they balance out the murder? No, not by a long shot. But if I keep it up for the rest of my life, maybe it'll help. The only problem, though, is that my mind keeps going back to that night. The guy's blood dripping down my knife and onto my hand. His breath laboring. Pinpointing the exact moment his existence on Earth ended.
The more I think about it, the more I realize I might need to double my random acts of kindness . . .