The Cannibal Night
The Cannibal Night
There Will Always Be
Someone Behind You
For Jesú;s de Leó;n
A shadowy hand presses your head against the ground. You're able to muster enough force, and supporting yourself on the edge of the bed, you stand up. A constellation of lights pulses across the walls. The television set projects mutating colors, greens that seem to take root in the ceiling and electric reds that look like blood. They spread through the air and your brain at critical speeds. You can't think. Where? What? An open wound flows slow and painful at the back of your head.
Elisa. The book. They're not here.
The chaotic rhythm of the flashes makes you nauseous. Vertigo. Red and blue lights run through the house, filter through the walls. You try to walk, and a blade sticks in your right foot. You fall down again.
The back of your skull throbs with pain. Now you would like to hurt her, you think, while you suffer like hell trying to stand up. You can't walk without leaning on the walls.
The living room door is open; you have to close it. There are more lights outside, people watching. Red and blue spinning lights. "Don't move," they yell.
How long were you passed out?
They order you to throw down your weapon and raise your arms. They want you to get down on the ground, but you don't move.
"Throw your weapon down."
You're carrying a knife in your left hand, and the TV remote in the other.
Through the doorway you're able to make out Elisa behind the police barricade. Policemen talk on radios. You can see the book in someone's arms. Elisa could explain everything, but someone grabs her by the arm and takes her away.
A flash of light enters your house and slams your eyelids closed.
Galactic tonalities invade your closed eyes. They throb as if alive. They explode and merge, producing schizophrenic gradations. You open your eyes. The whole room is an observatory shining with constellations that the sky will never hold.
The muted television set offers images that no longer matter. You're propped up in bed just nine feet from the set, but it seems miles away. The slightest movement of your thumb on the remote is enough to remove you from reality. Your eyes shift from one button to the other. You alternate pressing them, paying no attention to the effects produced on the screen. In front of you a man quarters a cow, but it's not enough to keep your attention. The newscast begins by promising to describe the day's crimes. They delay the lead story until after the anodyne pieces. They spend some time on political events, one or two scandals, a small, less than six-figure, diversion of funds. You use the wait to get the suitcase where you keep the book of clippings and your drawing supplies.
When you return, the black and white portrait of a face fills the television screen. Wide forehead, aquiline nose, thin lips, big eyes, full beard and moustache. "Thirty to thirty-five years old," the reporter says. "Husky build, medium height. The killer remains at large," he cautions.
You hang on each detail, every expressive line, and immediately try to duplicate the image on a blank piece of paper.
You ignore the broadcast again. You'll know more tomorrow. You'll be able to decide tomorrow.
Upon finishing the portrait, you thumb through your collection of newspaper stories about violent crimes. There's nothing wrong with skipping ahead, looking for a space to put the copy of the new portrait. You'll only use it if the crime deserves to be added to your book. You improve your technique each time. You could have easily studied fine art. It's a good picture, an expressive drawing. It even reminds you of someone you know. That could be a poin