Aka Manah

I am not exactly sure of when the idea popped into my head. It grew slowly like the moss on the stone and it crawled up my scrawny frame like a poisonous creeper. In the beginning it was less than a murmur; a conversation half overheard through a distant door between indistinguishable and indistinct voices. With time I was able to understand with more clarity what my ears picked up. I say hear but I am being imprecise if you would pardon me, it wasn’t a voice like mine or yours. More than sounds they were strange symbols whose meaning came to me before my eyes. Like suddenly learning to read. It was so clear. It was so obvious. It was like re encountering with the alphabet, organized in a simple idea that now refused to abandon my mind and started to devour me.

For a good time I tried to drive away that thought, scared of the consequences it could have. I didn’t comment on it on detail with my therapist, but I did tell them that a voracious idea consumed me day and night, fogging everything around me, preventing me from even completing the simplest tasks. Damned I would be if they took me for a another madman.

“Do you keep hearing the voice?” they asked, notebook in hand.

They know nothing. Don’t mention it. Remain silent.

“No.”

I tried to ignored it for a month, but the idea had transformed into a physical affliction. I could feel the words running over my skin, discolored and constantly covered in a thin layer of sweat that seemed to never leave me, even if I carried a handkerchief with me at all times. My mouth was a desert; ninety nine questions stuck like daggers on my tired back.

Sitting in my bed I implored to the heavens for an answer. I cried the few tears I had left for a name, an explanation. If only I could understand the reason to this illness that stalked me day and night, everything would go back to normal. Then it hit me, it attacked me, a bullet going through my frontal lobe. As clear as crystal and as red as blood.

Aka Manah

That is how I knew. Understood. Comprehend the mission that had been given to me. I decided to leave aside all my attempts at fighting it. In the precise moment that I took that decision, my symptoms disappeared. It was a matter of seconds, I only had to quit and stop protesting, and then my health was back to what it had been. I think I even experienced some sort of vitality chill marching through every fiber of my body; like I had been given new batteries. For a couple of minutes I felt more than human. It was my destiny; the vindication of all sin.

It was only a matter of taking things into reality. There it is where most of the problems reside, in the logistics. If I was to do this I had to do it in the best way possible, no mistakes, it must be performed to perfection so my mind could feel at peace again.

The hardest thing was to find them, once I did it the planning took me about a month. When for a moment I doubted, the voice, the whisper, the words written in red ink over my pupils, grew stronger and assured me that I must continue in my way. So I continued and planned and the days passed before my eyes so fast that I became dizzy.

The day had come and the idea resonated with out-most strength inside my head. Decided to keep on my journey I checked my watch. The big hand marked eleven pm while the freezing air struck my nape, kneeling next to a car in the almost empty parking lot of the side-of-the-road mall. I was dressed in black from head to toes, hidden in the shadows. A minute later, precisely at the time I expected, the lights went out in the interior of one of the shops and two minutes after a tall and svelte figure walked out –a paper bag in one hand, a fake leather messenger bag across their shoulders– and started walking towards me. I was a car away to their right, waiting for the perfect moment. Those minutes of anticipation, when you wait, are the most intense. There, among the shadows, in those seconds while I moved towards the figure that without fear looked for the keys of their car in their pocket, I found God.

I approached in silence with a wet handkerchief in my hand and promptly took them by the back, carefully pressing the cloth against their nose and mouth. My arm squeezed heavily against their throat, and with a leg and the whole weight of my body I kept them still for the seconds (almost half a second) in which they fought.

Here is the thing with chloroform: it will not knock you out for hours, so you need to act fast. It has a sweet smell, terribly sweet, and it is cold as ice. If you are going to apply it with some kind of cloth, make sure it is heavily impregnated and that it is chloroform of the highest concentration possible. Block the airways for a couple of seconds and if the subject is breathing rapidly –which is the most likely situation given they will be startled– they will soon start to feel their extremities lose sensibility and become numb; give it a little more time and there might even be some hallucinations. Then comes unconsciousness, but only while they keep breathing the substance. So you must keep the handkerchief close to their face while carefully but quickly you drag them to your car, because they might recover in minutes if you are one unlucky bastard.

Once inside the automobile I tied their hands and feet with duct tape for security purposes, I removed the wet cloth and replaced it with a clean one before covering it with the same shiny tape. Make sure you change the license plates before you realize the operation; you can steal ones from an abandoned car or simply transfer your license plates to another one and borrow theirs. Nobody notices, almost no one knows their license plate number by memory.

Who else can brag about such a feat? Folks, who else can say they knocked out this individual with chloroform and restrain them with simple duct tape? I was the first man to have God tied like a pig in the trunk of his car.

I drove to my house minding all the signs and speed limits, I parked inside the garage and made sure my guest was still unconscious after the ten or fifteen minutes of traveling. Once we were home I put them over a sheet and dragged it to the basement, prepared and covered with an old plastic tent. I could feel the voice in my head smile while I carefully placed them over the plastic. I meticulously took off the tape from their arms and tied each one to a piece of rope that met up high in a pulley screwed to the ceiling.

I waited for a couple of minutes for them to wake up and I look directly into those still clouded eyes with a tilted head.

“Hello.”

Their pupils dilated and they tried to scream. I believe that was the best moment, seeing the sudden change of expression as they understood what was happening. I don’t think there is a way to explain with words what it is to see true terror in the eyes of your maker.

Don’t fear God, for God will fear you, man. I smiled.

“If you are all-mighty, why don’t you untie yourself?”

They answered with another muffled scream.

“All this time and you were hiding. Look at you, with your no-prescription glasses and your messenger bag. Your fashionable hair, your ironic clothing and a scarf in the middle of the summer. Who would have thought God was a fucking barista?”

God has abandon you, but not for long.

“Millions of years after creation and you never had the decency to show yourself. How can you sleep, if you sleep at all, with the cries of all those victims around the world? Tell me, oh Lord, where were you during World War II, where were you during all those terrorist attacks that harass the world? Where were you, God, when I screamed and asked for you to give Damian back? Do you have anything to say on your defense, you filthy rat?” I told them, violently ripping the tape from their face.

“I am not God.”

“Fucking coward.” And I taped their mouth shut again, letting all those lies rot inside it.

They looked at me with anger, asking for mercy, with resignation, all that in the minute that took me to go fetch my knife; his screams muffled still. I made a clean cut at their jugular vein and it was sufficient and effective. Their blood –golden– drenched my shirt and started accumulating in a growing pond around them. I approached it and with a finger I took the golden liquid to my lips. I am not the first to say it, but I am the first to confirm it: God is dead.

Now came the hardest part of this whole ordeal. You can see a lot of tutorials, read a lot of articles and practice on small animals, but in the moment of truth it is all too different. The skin of a deer is thicker than human skin, the morphology is completely different, so I could only hope for the best.

I am an accountant, not a butcher. Nevertheless I prepared and enter the task with diligence. I pulled the rope attached to the pulley and soon enough I had mi subject hanging from the ceiling by its arms. First you cut around the wrists and ankles and let the rest of the blood flow to the ground; you look at your reflection in this new mirror, distorted, closer and closer to your real face. You stick your hands in the liquid, let it invade every pore, you drink from the spring and let it drip down your chin. It is a matter of balances, a simple mathematical process, and a settle of counts. The blood that it has made you lose must return to you.

Then you make a cut starting at the legs and up the crotch towards the stomach careful not to scratch the intestines or any vital organs since they can damage the meat. The blade enters softly and slides with delicacy; it ruptures the skin and the muscle. Once you have made all the cuts you just need to pull the skin towards you like it were a really wet and slippery sheet. The sound is similar to the one of unclogging a toilet; a kind of suction. The skin is not soft like that of a deer, it isn’t smooth… it is harsh, treated by time and wear, rough, with marks and tattoos like a cattle. A man is not God is not a deer. You draw a vertical line in the torso to remove the organs. Wow, apparently God does have a heart. Who would have thought? Now start cutting from the neck down, try to think in the muscular groups –easy to distinguish in this stage–, and slowly you will have what you need. Don’t forget to put everything in buckets of ice, this is of sum importance.

It took me around four hours to take all the meat, but it was worth it. I was almost done, so close to finally get this idea out of my head and sleep tranquil, to return to my mundane life free of strange thoughts, free of him, free of Aka Manah. It starts like a whisper, like a tiny voice on the other side of a corridor, but it grows and grows and it becomes the only thing you can think of. Has it happened to you? I can’t be the only one harassed by these ideas. I don’t want you to think I am a psychopath, a lunatic; I understand the theological and moral implications of what I had just done… but you don’t know what it is like to be possessed by such a strong idea, you don’t know what it is like not being able to sleep or eat for days when your mind screams and asks and cries for only one thing.

God has abandoned you, it has hurt you, it has dismembered you and exposed you to unimaginable pain. God has consumed your soul; it is time that you consume your creator.

You don’t know how hard those months of resistance were. Imagine thinking every day about the taste of God’s meat, the color of their blood spilling between your fingers, what you will say and what they will respond. I just ask for a little compassion.

I finished my first holy plate with tears running down my cheeks. I cleaned it and served myself some more. I cried, I swear. I finished the second plate and felt my body spin and fall. The idea was gone, the shadow had abandoned my mind and the only things remaining were the echo of a laugh, my sobbing, and the sizzle of a piece of biblical meat on the grill.

I am sorry. I don’t know how it came into my mind; I swear it was never my intention for it to end this way. It came as a whisper that I couldn’t shut out. It came without a warning. It came and went so fast… I am sorry. I am sorry, I had no other choice, no way to escape. The demon entered and got out and left me alone and empty again. The therapists don’t help, the hypnosis doesn’t help. Maybe if I had gone to the closest cleric, if I had prayed more on Sundays… I don’t know, maybe, maybe.

Maybe if God had listened to my prayers they would have known I was coming for them that night, that I was going to wait for them outside their job with a chloroform drenched cloth. If only they had listened instead of yet again ignoring me, maybe they would still be alive and not in plastic bags in my freezer.

Previously published in spanish in the 2017 anthology book: “Cuaderno Amarillo”.


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