Dear Unknown and Future Victim,


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Dear Unknown and Future Victim,

This is it, my letter to all of you I know as little of as you know of me, and that much won't change, in which I write promising you fame, though it will be fleeting only, and if not fortune for you, perhaps for those who survive you and are smart enough, or stupid if it comes to that, to jump on the bandwagon, cheque in hand fresh from the functionaries of the media barons (they call them that) and speak and weep and doubt and question forth for the national audience, the international one if the 'baron' has claims beyond the stamping cruel ground of his natural baronetcy, and can reach the world, and with a story like this, who couldn't, baron or not, though such fortunes are not lasting and will seem cursed sooner or later, more likely the former than the latter, the way these things go though neither of us have the experience yet, it being as it will a one-off thing, people might pray. Hopelessly. And endlessly too, prayers serial by nature also. But enough of puns and black humour! You want to hear my punchline - am I right?

Wherever you are gone from this too too mortal shade (how many degrees of humanity are there in the shade?) in the opinions of contesting theologies to watch, gazing down, sideways, or through, you'll see them all, the friends the lovers the distant cousins the neighbours wives husbands fathers stepmothers aunts bus-drivers workmates casual acquaintances queue to speak before the reticulated unwinking eyes of the cameras and give out the authorised version of who you were and what you did and the last thing they heard you say or watched you do or shared with you some rainy afternoon you might have shared with them again but for fate and that other unlikely domino, circumstance, placing you where you are wherever it is (I already know) where you will be met by both fate and circumstance and with all the other fleshy dominoes fall beneath His (which is to say my) power ("Vengeance is…") illicit to be honest, adopted, taken up as I will have done, outside the scope of theology, psychology, any -ology at all to explain, explicate, but you can bet they will most definitely explore, the -ologists, them the perennial professional queuers (they are paid!) always lining up hands out and jaws thrust to explore and individually lay claim to explain and explicate, as if they know, but they don't, they are marooned over the horizon, in their exploratory and stumbling manner, they don't have an idea of why I have done what I will do, but claim to - they are paid regardless, contesting and contradictory though nodding their heads in sage sequence for the world to see (it is a simulation of sorrow) and flashing each other secret looks of fraternity and sorority and connivance (for no-one to see) in all their raucousness and shattering of the quiet of the temple, these competitive stall-holders of psyche and soul, myrrh and snake-oil who set the going price here a wink there a flash of fingers, a tug of a beard, a scratch of a head. And they thought I wasn't watching.

You (did you think I had forgotten you?) you will enter into the day as if it is, and it will be, any other day, and you will do the things you do just as you do on any day just like this day in particular and general, because there will be no sign, no warning intimation, no hint, nor indication that this day is to be unlike any other day you have ever known in your existence, the very day that curtails, the single day that concludes the simple fact of the many days of your existence that you have taken for granted for so long and will do on this day as well, and may, even in the last instant of it, fail to comprehend how it has come to an end and why and what and how. How most of all. You will not even know how the ceasing of being can come so unexpectedly, so unintimatedly, so out of nowhere in the midst of your doing what you have done so many times before in a place where you know exactly where you are and have been here before and cannot believe you never will again. But certainly you won't, for I will strike clean and immediate, you will not suffer if I have anything to do with it (as I will have everything to do with it, you have my word, consequently and in advance here and there) but beyond and after me is another one for the theologians and I would not presume to enter upon their turf, (oh no, not me, me, insignificant, passing me) me being as it were, a very specific 'angel' if I am any angel at all, specifically on that day, the angel of death, or at least, if you should meet such a creature, the organ of such introduction, and I will never know for you will not be able to tell me and besides we will not have met ourselves (for as now then, you don't know who I am, I don't know who you are, and you don't know who you are, for then where will decide who, your being there in that place placing you upon the list that is not listed now for then, just tallied as I go along then irrevocably in now) and you may not wish to share such intimate and transcending knowledge with a complete stranger anyway no matter how integral I have been to the understanding you now have that sages have starved and flagellated and excoriated and mutilated themselves to gain insight into for more centuries than history itself records.

Leave that to them left behind who may say of some of you that you were unstainedly innocent, that such a thing should never have happened to one such as you because you are someone who never hurt another human being nor an animal nor even perhaps a flower or a cabbage, and this thing should not have happened to you, but they 'know', they know for sure that you have gone straight to Heaven, you being so pure and innocent, there was surely a place for you in the mansions of Heaven, right there amongst all the other saints and seers who've lived blameless lives, with nothing on their consciences, neither the death of other folk, of donkey, of fish or fowl, not even a humble cabbage sacrificed ever to their advantage or for anything. Anything. So, they'll talk about you like that, because for sure I will, random as I will be - you do understand, it is nothing personal? - there will be some of you of whom even if the mealy-mouthed do take their opportunity to stand wet-eyed at the podia of the nation before said unwinking eyes and foam-knobbly microphones, there will be some of you who really are entirely innocent, squeaky squeaky stainless squeaky, to whom this did not, on the most objective of scales, if such a thing can be found in holy writ or anywhere else such fatuities might be attempted, on the scales of life and death and virtue and vice and deserved and undeserved, there will be some of you nipped in the delicately burgeoning bud before you ever had the chance to do whatever it was you were going to do that might, in the longer run, have brought you to just such a mansion as I will send you to ahead of what they will say was your appointed time - but I know at least that better, the time, don't I, because it is I who will appoint your time, setting that by my own set of scales, which are unset to any balance but that which I make, when I do so, and even I don't know till the day what will be weight and counterweight that day. They'll say that you have been taken away, cruelly removed from your own life, and that much will I suppose be true, though what is truly cruel you could not begin to imagine, and even if I spelt it out you would still not be able to conceive of it, so I decline the offer, here or anywhere else to put it into words, I decline, even if the unwinking eye was right here, unwinking sending my words and tearful face - there will be enough of those - to the world, the great wide world, I decline.

For all the innocents, I know, and this is not my mission, never believe that I have a mission, but for all the innocents there will be others who quite simply deserve to be taken that day, they deserve it, even if I do not know why nor them nor what they have done, there will be those who, even as their nearest and dearest - oh, yeah, where were you when I was doing what I will do? - will be seen with the wet and wrought faces, the catching sobs and the hands held out to fold around the baron's cheques, seen and the words will be the same, and the expressions on the faces will be the same, but the history will not, for there will be those, such random dominoes as I will see and sight and smite, yes smite, in this appointed task, a word for the theologians, "smite", there will be those who should have been brought down, breakers, haters, hurters, smotherers, uncarers, beaters, razor caressers, cursers, hitters, mockers, dismissers, there will be them amongst them who no-one will miss though they make a show of it for the electronic eyes and the cheques, there will be them who will not so secretly be wished twice on to their fate that I have delivered them once and forever, for some will thank me, some will, away from the 'eyes', even if still hating me and recoiling at the sound of my alleged name, they will triumph two in my singular acts, guiltily because of the others who will have fallen also, but in their own particular cases consider that the thing that has been done couldn't generally have been done at a better time and for a better result, and they may, and it may be someone you know who you never thought thought these things about you, they may over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee or a piece of toast with honey smeared on it and running down their fingers, thank me, thank me, twice over and more - can you believe it, actually thank me, congratulate me on my taste and marksmanship, as if somehow I knew, just knew, about their pain and came out to do what I did to reduce it for them, banish it for them, utterly wipe it from their lives for them - but I did not, I will have done it for me, even if the side effects may make for some a happy day when in many others it is not that at all. You can't possibly believe, can you, that there may be someone in your life who might feel such a thing towards you? Not me, stupid. Someone you know who wishes you didn't. Know them. Had never met you. Been bound to you by marriage, by the workplace, by friendship gone sour, by the accident of genes, the fate and circumstance of your engendering that made you and them family, that ugliest most utterly random and odious binding they'd break themselves but cannot, couldn't, until I came along and did it for them. Both of you. The two of you. Split, sundered. You do know such people, believe me, I do, and they will relish, they will applaud, they will celebrate your removal, your going, your gone-ness, your no longer casual, cruel, calculated - I don't know the details, nor do I care to - way of hurting them, disgusting them, disturbing and destroying them, more than two times over, a thousand times and more. You did it.

The innocent and the guilty and a measure of both in each, and all because I will choose you by an act that has no choice in it at all except that you will be there and I will be there, and the sun may be shining, and the sun may be not, but it is the day I have already chosen - forget checking dates for significance you -ologists, it's just a day like any other, my day - this day ahead, this day to come, this day when I will do what I will do, this lone day is still before us, this day of me, this day of you, this day of fame and fortune, of unwinking eyes and wringing hands and platitudes scribbled across the dotted lines of dollar signs the barons won't miss (add as many zeroes as you like, they have more) - they'll make money from it, from you and from me - this day is still waiting, it lies ahead, and is unavoidable, my day to come, yours to go, it's just around the corner, and as we meet the last thing you will know is that you have no idea at all how this has come to be, why this is happening, to you of all people, to you of any people, and you should hold onto that because I do not know either with particular regard to you, I know only that it is a day I have chosen for me, and what I will do. For the doing of it and the being of me are entwined and entangled and there is no separating of them.

Just as when I have done what I will do that eternally links us there will be no parting of us ever. To think we don't even know each other!

Looking forward as I am sure you are too, to the day we meet, which you will understand I am also sure, I cannot nominate here, except to say that it will be a grand day for it, grand.

Yours faithfully, and farewell…

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