The Womb of Evil

Quite terrified he was, though he had no choice but to examine the dead body before the police would arrive. She had a tattoo behind her left ear. Why didn’t Edwin notice that before?

Edwin had to go to the police station to answer a few questions. There was not much for him to tell except that they met for the first time the night before her death. Luckily for him, her medical records were rather convincing that she had probably contemplated suicide. 27-year-old Kate suffered from chronic depression.

“According to her medical records, she was suffering from severe depression. I suspect one cannot leave the house if severe depression has one in bondage,” said Edwin.

“Perhaps she had a momentary hope and strength to leave the house that night,” said Laurent.

“She must have been driven by impulses.”

“For pleasure?” said Laurent, unengaged in the conversation.

“Yes. And why would one commit suicide after sexual pleasure?”

“Maybe she wasn’t pleased at all,” grinned Laurent.

“Why would she fancy to end a life of pleasure? It’s not reasonable. If there would be a window of time that one could come on to the surface from the sea floor, that window, I imagine, would open on an orgasm, and close probably the day after.”

“Reason doesn’t command people of hell. Neither does sex, I reckon.”

“What does then?”

“Misery. She used you as a means of self-sabotage. That was her design. You might have provided what was necessary for her to take the path she took. So she took it with certainty.”

“It cannot be! I am by no means responsible for her death. She and I communicated in a rather primal manner for an exchange of something we both desired. So we agreed on what was communicated at a level of non-articulation. There was no death-note in that that I would agree upon.”

“Of course there wasn’t!” cried Laurent. “Do you expect a resident of hell to show you her burning heart on the first occasion of meeting you? People try all they can to hide their truth. What would you do if you knew she was suicidal?”

“I would not share the same bed with her.”

“Why? Sickness of mind cannot be transmitted!”

“It surely can! Look at the situation her sickness has put me in! If it was her misery, let it be hers only! Yet she foolishly involved me in it! No! I am not responsible for that. I might have been a target of revenge, even.”

“What revenge? Her only act of revenge could be aimed at the misery, for she suspected death was the greatest possible harm to it. One might be disturbed by ants in the house, so one may attempt to destroy the ants’ nest. She destroyed the nest!”

“What about the ants? She destroyed them, also!”

“The ants merely suffered from what fate had to offer. Nevertheless, they may still live.”

“That’s rubbish. She had an obligation towards the ants which simply was to keep the nest safe. The ants, although had been disturbing, needed a nest. Sadly, the nest owner was mindless. Or rather selfish, yes! It was no act of revenge. Even if it was, it would still be selfish. Ants had a fate, and she had choices. Her selfish choice made their fate. Why would one choose certain path except for the sake of self-interest!”

“Her self-interest was freedom perhaps. However, she took the easy path. One that was quick and simple, and not leaving the possibility of turning back. Such is the nature of the best path, for it demands the brutality of no turning back, which makes it the hardest path. If one can look back, and take backward steps, one may be tempted to do so. Only a coward would enjoy having the choice to undo what can be done.”

“If she was so brave to slash her own throat with my straight razor, why then wasn’t she courageous to look in the mirror – to smile at what the mirror reflected?”

“Maybe she was jealous, of what other mirrors reflected. Living among other people in a society provides many sources of reference for how life could be regardless of how false or unholy the sources are.”

“In that case, one might fancy destroying the sources of reference instead of oneself.”

“That could be one great motive for genocide!”

“I should not care about that now!” cried Edwin. “I want to know what jealousy exactly governed her insanity.”

“Jealousy against a young bold man who is effortlessly surrounded by beautiful women in the pubs. Jealousy against the women who demolish all obligations, and spend their lifetime bathing in the sun. Or jealousy against being in which life is no more than an endless exhausting routine of days and nights.”

“Such envy makes one’s life miserable, that is true. However, I think she needed freedom above all. She was a savage that couldn’t be civil. So she freed herself from all, including the envy.”

“We are all savages, aren’t we? So we invest in shiny masks.”

“Could it be the case that her mask didn’t fit her? And so her savage side wasn’t happy about it?”

“That’s possible. In that case, you are very lucky the blade didn’t find its mark on your throat, for it’s likely, I reckon, for a naked savage’s blade to fancy flesh other than its master.”

“What difference does it make to kill oneself or others? One could simply take revenge on being by destroying oneself.”

“So, one may not have a sense of self-possession. Meaning, self-awareness may be absent, in that one may belong to external forces. The ants analogy is useful here, but in a slightly different way. The difference could lie in one’s intention. Maybe defeating God would be one’s ultimate design.”

“Interestingly, intentions change the whole structure of actions. One action could be considered good while it could be seen as nasty in a different light.”

“But can an intention also change the nature of an action? For example, Kate’s non-existence could save lives of others. Could her action be good although she might only had the desire to free herself?”

“How can there be any good in selfishness?”

“There is good in selfishness if others benefit from it.”

“Please, could you provide an example except a hypothetical one whose reality is subject to falsehood?”

“Remember John T— when he climbed on the shoulders of people whom he did not respect. He used them for the sake of his success, although that caused failure for those people. Well, it’s a zero-sum game. However, once he acquired a position of power, he could help them succeed if he liked.”

“‘If he liked,’ you say. It must be an obligation. And if it must, one can negotiate terms rather than use certain people in a manipulative manner. So, it won’t be a kind of manipulation, nor will one have to take the unethical hard work of manipulation.”

“There’s no joy in that if one cannot exercise a bit of power over the meek.”

“The joy is in the influence. Why bother if one can ethically influence people to take certain actions? Well, unless one doesn’t have the necessary forces on one’s side to do that. In that case, one should be terribly miserable, and seek unethical actions in order to satisfy the urges.”

“It’s merely one’s fault to be subject to manipulation,” said Laurent morosely. “There is always too much emphasis on the predator rather than the prey. Civilisation softened our skins us animals in human clothing, and so we blame those who have power over us by calling them corrupt. Nonsense! If one can take advantage from others, it is one’s moral duty to use such an ability. Do you see the joy in that? It is very joyful to exercise one’s domain of abilities, especially if one’s potential overextends others’.”

“You declared that we are savages, but now you claim that we are soft.”

“We are savages! by nature of course, and softened by civilisation. Do you see the walls around us?”

“Yes, we are sitting in a cafe.”

“No!” cried Laurent, “we are doomed in a cage. Look around you! Look at the anxiety in their faces. That’s a new epidemic, isn’t it? Anxiety! ‘Set me free,’ he says, ‘Master…’”

“Who says that?”

“The animal! to the anxious master hiding it under his or her skin.”

“Isn’t it best for all of us to have ‘the animal’ concealed from each other?”

“What matters is that they are constantly screaming, shaking the individual from the core. Can’t you hear that? Their cry echoes everywhere.”

“I can’t hear that, nor am I willing to.”

“Anxious little bastard! Are you afraid of blood, also? It just occurred to me why people are normally disgusted by blood.”

“Tell me. Why?”

“Scratch the skin, and he is revealed. Get to the bone, and he can prosper.”

“Could that be the reason? Maybe she wanted to meet the animal, and shake hands with him!”

“I suppose she was the animal. Let’s assume one is the animal. Wouldn’t one enjoy a bit of self-teasing?”

“Perhaps one would enjoy testing one’s domain of tolerance. But it was more than just ‘self-teasing’ as you put it, and I cannot see any amusement in that.”

“She enjoyed herself too much only to forget her level of tolerance. Ha-ha! That’s the problem with certain forms of amusement. They are more or less similar to sex; climax being beyond the limits. Have you ever had a toothache? And what did you do? Did you leave it be? Or did you clench your teeth?”

“Naturally, one would try to relieve the pain. What’s your point?”

“Yes, but pressing them is no help. One enjoys the pain so much that one is anxious to see beyond the limits. ‘Clench harder,’ the voice says. And one has no choice but to obey. Shaking and sweating, nervously grinding the teeth against each other, tensely the jawbones crunching for mercy. Pain! More and more! Reaching to a point of screaming! ‘RAAAWR!’ Seeing the happy face of the animal is indeed so pleasing!”

“That’s a very dark view of such matter. It is likely the case that one is only seeking relief. However, one may not be wise to seek it elsewhere. As a result, one would make attempts that once worked or could work in such circumstances. Stimulating the pain is itself a means of relief, for once the stimulation stops, pain would become… adequate.”

“That’s the word, Edwin! What pain do you think would become adequate? The one before the relief? or the relieving one? You see, every sensation of pain is a new pain.”

“To my mind, pain has a lifespan. Or it is a living thing. It is born, and it shall perish.”

“Right! And who dares give birth to it? Is it not one who dreams of naught but sensations of liveliness? One who fantasises brutality only for short-lasting joy?”

“No!” said Edwin angrily, shaking his forefinger. “What you speak of is born from the womb of evil. And evil is born from…”

“An animal!”