Andrea Fitzpatrick
Instructional: How To Kill Your Lover(s)
Method 1, Variation C: Stoning in a Theatre

1) Preparation (Nerves)
The venation of the backstage room goes like this: powder pink, arteries of violet blue pillows tossed hither and to. The applause in your stomach are thousands of needling insects crawling home. Everything is cold; the fire of the moment cracks, inches out of your hands, and the smooth point of your index slices upward and over the ratty brown wrap of the paper box you carry your tools in. The ghost light flickers on, above the empty stage; everyone except the two of you: gone. The pink ribbon round the box curls in the air, drops to the floor in a leafy pink web of satiny lace.*

*When you're backstage, waiting, think of all the things you hate about your lover: the way he sucks at his bottom lip during awkward moments of conversation; the way he picks at his nails when you're in bed together, after the "loving" has finished; that time you found him in bed with that whore slut bitch Anne-Marie. This will help settle the nerves in your stomach.

2) Preparation (Tools)
The corners of the box leak an invisible auto-immune, a dialectical pull against the cold slabs of stone that rest inside, chunked in roughage like marble. You drop the pieces to the floor. A chalky dust raises itself in the air; the white powder clings to your eyelashes; gently covers your face; arms; wrists. You are a white, white statue.*

*Keep thinking about Anne-Marie. That bitch that bitch that bitch. Your anger means adrenaline means power means strength means the stoning will not take as long. This will be over quickly.

3) Initiation
Only you can hear these cries. The meat separates.

The pieces roll about the floor; wail out like babies. The downy underside of a cracked rock rounded like a knee slides across the floor.

When you hallucinate, this is what you see: feathers slide upward toward the ceiling, wait in fluttering content. A dream exploded in the pit of an anti-heart. The naïvete of shrapnel lodged deep inside gutted wonderment. A taste just like ice cream and soily black bugs. Beetles suck with clicking lips and shatter through the room.*

*It may be helpful, here, to imagine that it is Anne-Marie's skull, cracked like an egg, buckling beneath the weight of the stones. As you watch the rocks arc through the air, envision a quiet scene of birds migrating toward a watercolor sunset. This will bring your blood pressure down and ensure that the remaining steps are taken carefully. Do not think about how you should have killed Anne-Marie instead of your lover.

4) Final Execution

Completion takes time. The first component is comfort like ice and the fissure on the side doesn't seem wide enough for a mouth but this is where it goes; you put the largest stone there, on the tongue. His breathing stops, lungs spasm, the oxygen sucked out and rattling. Then, when your lover's eyes open,

they fall.

Like marbles through flat water.

Feathers flap through the window at the pale cream skin of the sun. We can hear you sobbing; heavy and pressing as heat fallen on black tar. The sound reaches into the pins of our ears. You pretend you've filled your lover's mouth with candies, all made of sugar and thick milk.*

*Stop thinking about Anne-Marie. Stop thinking about all the other relationships that have ended this way. Quell the panic that surges like vomit when you realize that you still need your lover. Desperately. That it is not him, but the affair that you wanted to kill. Not him, but yourself; but the impossible, involuntary beating of your empty, dead heart-

5) Cover-Up
Frantic, you search for a blanket; a rug; anything anything anything to cover his clammy pink skin, offensive as a writhing fetus. The stage is filled with motionless precision. Nothing of the cracked ribs, candy eyes, bruised gut, polished legs, sparkling marrow, spider hair. The horizon; the heart; the field; the wake: all minim in their mention of bodies.

The bodies.

Tools are taken up.