(1995 - originally appeared on 16 to Midnight and Insomnia Theatre)

You always remember your first time.

Sometimes the memory bombards you like a succession of mortar shells. Other times it's like a cool breeze. But you never forget.  Your first whiff of cascading human blood is always the sweetest. The warm salt frothing like white caps over jagged bone.  Yep! It's quite a rush.

The first time I killed a man was in the summer of '75. I had just been released from Stateville - armed robbery charge - held up a gaggle of nuns on a field trip to the Shedd Aquarium. It was kind of like vindication for 12 of Catholic school. The cops caught me, served 8 years, but oh Lord was it worth it.

Any way, after I got out I got a job working for a demolition company. Houses, garages - that sort of thing. I was working with this smartass named Earl. Up 'til then I could call myself a tolerant man. I was always kind of an easy-going, mellow felon. But this guy Earl, he knew how to push my buttons and really piss me off.

Finally, I'll never forget this, he was lippin' off about some stupid shit and I just...snapped. I gripped the back of his head like a basketball and slammed it into the nail-ridden wall we were busting down. I just kept bouncing this shmuck's face off this one carpenter's nail. I did it so fast and so furious that the space between Earl's face and the wall was just a bloody smudge.  His blood didn't even have time to bead and plummet to the ground before I slammed his face into the wall again.

Finally my elbow started to bother me and I stopped.

He stumbled around, trying to talk, but blood and loose flesh were stopping his throat up. He just kept on yabbering and bubbling and gushing. Finally I decided to shut the bum up. I brought my sledgehammer up, right into his jaw.

I pulverized his skull into a fine powder and turned the fleshy organ inside into a moist, fistful of memories. I took off and stayed away until the heat was off. Luckily I was able to find some seasonal work here at this department store.

But enough about me. Why don't you sit up here on my lap, little girl, and tell Santa what you want for Christmas.