DEATH AND JELLY JARS by Sandra Seaman

Ahh, there you are. Just in time. Mrs. Kaine’s hand has gone lax and the glass is slipping from her grasp. I love to watch as the Welch’s jelly jar with the pink Flintstones painted on its smooth surface drops to the floor scattering pieces of Fred and Barney across the warped linoleum. A small price to pay for the pleasure of watching Death make its grand entrance. Or exit, as the case may be.

Death is a passion of mine. I enjoy sitting on the sidelines watching people die, rather like those NASCAR fanatics who go to the races hoping someone will crash and burn in front of them. In my case, it is a given that someone will die. Some will go easily, just quietly slipping away. Others? They’ll struggle against death. Too much unfinished business I suppose. Each individual death is unique and quite enjoyable to observe.

Oh, I know, who could do such a thing? Doctors and nurses, paramedics, and policemen. Those are the lucky ones. Their profession requires Death to join them in an odd sort of wrestling match. Now, people like me, we have more of an “aiding and abetting” relationship with Death.

Psychiatrists and profilers have a name for us. Serial Killers. Ever notice how they like to capitalize those letters? And always, they include our middle names when they manage to catch us. That added touch somehow makes us special, sets us apart from normal society. They make it seem like nobody else has a middle name. These learned minds interview us, study us, and write books about us. And still, they can’t quite wrap their minds around the idea of us. Of course, if people really understood the thrill, they might be tempted to join our ranks and then how special would we be?

Oh, excuse me one moment, Mrs. Kaine is a struggler. I’ll need to tie her down. Not to worry, it’s only to steady her, so I don’t miss anything. The flopping around when in the throes of death can be quite distracting to a connoisseur like me. There, all done, and it didn’t hurt a bit now, did it, Mrs. Kaine?

I’ve never understood this need of the elderly to struggle against death. Take Mrs. Kaine for instance, she is nearly eighty and still she resists. You would think that when life holds no more thrills, only diaper-wearing hours of inactivity, a person would be glad of a little help in moving along into their next life.

Now, Mrs. Kaine was quite greedy for the Absinthe I offered, even though she’s been told that taking even one drink could kill her. Damaged liver, you know. She nearly inhaled that jelly jar full of green liquid, hoping to chase away those malevolent ghosts who have taken up residence in her mind. She tossed the Absinthe back so fast she never had time to savor the sweetness my splash of antifreeze added to her drink. Just as well, I suppose, for my purposes anyway.

I wonder, have you ever looked into the face of a dying person? No? Well, come closer, look at Mrs. Kaine’s eyes. Do you see how bright with understanding they are? Look at them, darting back and forth, back and forth, perhaps seeing her past and the future all at once? Seeking. Something. Oh, if only I could see with her eyes. To know for sure what she’s experiencing. There, they’ve stopped. Look! She’s seeing the immensity of forever. Have you ever seen such bliss? It takes my breath away.

Dear Mrs. Kaine, she’s gone now, leaving me with nothing but a glimpse of her ecstasy. Don’t turn away. Can’t you see? This is where I live. Walking my own crooked line, searching for answers, always standing on the boundary between life and death. Do I enjoy the killing? Of course not, but it is a necessary part of my search for the soul that holds us earthbound. For that faintest glimmer of eternity.

What do I fear? Oh, not the getting caught. That is inevitable. I fear I will never find what I’m searching for, that I will never find that divine spark that makes us human. I fear that I must keep trying.

Well, enough of me, would you care to share a toast to the late Mrs. Kaine? No? I don’t suppose I blame you, considering who’s offering the glass. Which reminds me. I really must find the nearest thrift shop. That was my last jelly jar and really, these events just aren’t quite the same if Fred and Barney can’t join me.

Bio: Sandra is a short story writer whose work can be found scattered about the Internet in places like Beat to a Pulp, A Twist of Noir, and Spinetingler. She blogs about writing and short stories at http://sandraseamans.blogspot.com

6 thoughts on “DEATH AND JELLY JARS by Sandra Seaman”

    1. I have never read a story by Sandra, I haven’t loved. Such lovely writing makes it go down easier, right?

  1. Very impressive. You managed to create an original story about a serial killer–I didn’t think it could be done! Hilarious and creepy with a heavy dose of cracking lines. Thanks for the fantastic read.

  2. I’m catching up on PMM stories, Sandra, and I’m so glad I didn’t miss this. Eeek! Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult kept playing through my mind as I read this positively making me squirm. The fact that his fear is “never find that divine spark that makes us human. I fear that I must keep trying.” And yet how human it is to go shopping for jelly jars with fred and Barney on them. Its this kind of personalness you use through out the story that can make us relate to the killer that makes me. I don’t know. Feel like I could be a killer? (I admit. I kill bugs. big ugly roaches.) Wonderful story, even if I feel like a bad person now…

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