Pen Through the Moon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
What really happens when you let yourself go mad?

Submitted: February 11, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 11, 2019



“You know, if you decide to ever kill anyone, make sure you’re not wearing lipstick. Who’re you tryin’ to impress, the police? Your parents? C’mon honey, stiffen up--you’re slouchin again.”

It’s true, so very much true, yes of course. I nod half-invested on her words, thinking instead about a deadlock hold, and how it would only take me about fifteen seconds to kill the Mafia leader right here, right now.  Of course I refrain--to have the whole Mafia on your tail is a death wish ready to eat you alive.

Though if I wanted to get a better lesson on ticking off my bucket list, I could’ve gone on Youtube. Or asked Stephen King.

This bastard…

I feel the smile glowing from my cheeks. “You are so wise, Master.”

....but to have the Mafia on your side…

“Oh, sweetie, you’re too kind. It’s only in a lifetime that you find someone so young who wants to take a stab at our work. Get it? Stab?” Her giggles bounce of the walls, the giggle of an elated toddler cradling a lollipop in one hand and the bloodied heart of her victim in another. “Well, be safe--as safe as you can be. And when you come back, bring me something back from the bakery down the corner. No nuts though. I can’t eat nuts.”

I flash a smile. “You got it, boss.”

...this bitch won’t know what hit her.


Whistling, pockets in dark green cardigan, round sunglasses perched on the bridge of my quaint nose. I try to look casual. Try not to poke myself on the switchblade in my pocket. The hit list branded into my brain.

 Who have I become? Has murder become so desensitizing that I don’t really care much if I take out one or a thousand today? If they’re my best friend, or my worst enemy?

I’m alone.

But I didn’t use to be.

It’s a game show. The theme music begins through my headphones.

It’s time.


Public enemy number one: Ashley Mendoza. The cutest gosh darn girl you’ve ever seen. My best friend, and greatest nuisance, since the second grade. I don’t remember when I realized our incompatibility,  but now, I’ve grown to hate our little contradiction. Thus, I’ve planned an even bigger oxymoron for our departure: a wonderful death.

It’s a game I’ve been playing with myself recently, how much I can contain my anger before I get the tick. (Oh, the itch in my eye, the one I can only contain by scooping the damn thing out of its socket.) The front of her house looks clipped, per usual, a result of her mom’s crippling OCD. I hide my grimace with a bright smile that matches hers as we hug on the porch, her crying hysterically, screeching just how sorry she was. Even her smell pisses me off--the lavender perfume she applies on her neck, chest, knees, wrists, and ass (just in case, she used to tell me). Neither of her parents are home, off on a trip in South America for the fifth time this year, so she slams herself on the bright white couch, chomping down a bag of baby carrots on her mother’s most prized possession, a joint extinguished on the coffee table.

A few things you should know before her glorious death. She’s an only child, and for good reason, too--her parents realized they hated kids. I mentioned the mom, but the dad...oh boy, there’s a reason why I stuck by Ash’s side so long: no one should have to live with a man like that. Borderline anorexic, insomniac, and smokes weed in her free time--I blame it on her mother. She’s nice...too nice. To everyone. Like she wants the whole world to know how nice she is.

A kiss up, one who would rather shove her best friend under the bus in front of the whole school rather than admit that it was her weed they found in the girls’ bathroom. Just to name one example.

I don’t stand for those people.

But I promised a wonderful death. So I chose decapitation.

Turns out Mafia knives are sharper than they seem. A simple flick of my wrist slices the head clean off--she didn’t even have time to scream, just look all confused and cross-eyed; that was her signature look, when she’s trying to remember exactly why something is happening. Right on her Mother’s couch, too, the blood spattering out of the place her head used to be. It was for Ashley’s sake, one more vulgar gesture before her parents never had to deal with her again.

Trust me, Ash. You’re life’s going to be better off now, anyways.

 I’ve come to the realization that people don’t know who you are, only that for a brief moment, you exist. A man smiles at me, twice my age and a cigarette shoved between his yellowed teeth. I feel the knife in my pocket, wiped clean on Ash’s mother’s couch, imagining, but never executing. Never in broad daylight, anyways.

Just another man on my bucket list. A life the world would be better without.

Then again, the same could be said for myself.

The song blasting to my brain is disturbed by a phone call. I smile, the wickedness in it hidden by warmth I’ve so forcefully placed into my cheeks--the people checking me out in the alleyway turn to the walls, realizing their mistake.

I pick it up. “Hey, baby. Don’t worry, I’m heading over now.”

“Hurry up, baby. The lasagna isn’t going to be warm all night.”

“Keep it warm for me. I’ll be there in five.”

“I love you.”

I smile brighter. “I’ll see you.”

I hang up. Just a girl, walking to another one of her eligible bachelors. Making them think I’m the gullible one. The weak one. A girl wrapped in a cardigan two sizes too big for her small frame. Listening to Taylor Swift, or Brittany Spears. Pumping herself up with nonsensical songs about love.

 Not a killer, the Mafia Princess, soon to be. Listening to the theme song for a psychopathic game, where I’m the host, and anyone who crosses me becomes the victims--ahem, the contestants.

And I always win.


 Public enemy number two: Christian Walkman. My boyfriend of two and a half years. Starting quarterback for the Varsity team, scholarship to UCLA, a poet in the dark hours of the night. I scored, big time.

Seems almost too good to be true.

Every month, we have picnics in the park. He caters with his spectacular cooking, and I bring the booze. Always in the secluded back section, so we can, you know, do our thing when it’s all over. When he sees me, oh that lovestruck expression, I’ll never get over it. We haven’t seen each other since the last picnic, him all busy getting set up at college. His eyes are filled with agony; I could feel it in his lips too.

“Hi, Alyssa.”

“Miss me?”

Another kiss. “Of course.”

Only his tone was laced with distance, as if he’d left it up in LA. I pretend not to notice, though, holding up the bottle of champagne. “Excited?”

He gestures to the blanket he’s laid out. “I made lasagna.”

I let out a bark of laughter, dragging him to the little alcove in the trees we’ve dug out for ourselves. I push the lasagna out of the way before I’m on top of him, watching the waves of his hair dance in the summer air. He really is beautiful, the way a tree is beautiful until it’s cut down. But, just like everyone else, he’s awful, and that beauty is only the mask to hide it.

He’s a rose: delicate, and smothered with thorns as protection.

Only I realized too late that there was no rose to begin with.

This time, I’m the one initiating the kiss, feeling the warmth of the two of us as I press myself against him. The knife jabs gently at my ribs.

We go at it for a couple minutes, a blur of hickeys and hands and garments being torn off him--I got him down to his jeans before I rolled off, panting, opening the bottle of booze and taking a big swig. He’s panting too, flushed and pink, like raw meat. He begins to put on his t-shirt again when I notice his journal, snug in his inside jacket pocket, thrown askew. I open up the pages, past the ones I’ve already read, to the new ones, scribbled in dark ink.

 My mouth presses into a hard line, and all at one my eyes begins to twitch again, “You’ve only written two pages since last month.”

 “I’ve...been having bad Writer’s Block.”

 “For a month?”

 “It’s been hard, moving to a new city.”

 “And you’ve been keeping it all inside? That doesn’t sound like you, Christian.” I glance down the first couple lines. “A girl that soars my heart to the big stellar sky, like a pen on the moon, she’s creativity blown high. This doesn’t sound too bad.”

“No, see, I wrote this before I left…”

Slowly, my warmth melts away, and the wicked smile begins to shine. “See, in real life, the stars are more than bright little lights; they’re monsters, haunting children in different galaxies, through the night. But you, on the moon, your cap falls off your shell, and you write stories others are too afraid to tell. And your words, they penetrate the universe as we know; you, this pen on the moon, it’s far away, but our love’s still to grow.


My tears smear the writing on the page.“But what can be done, when we’re galaxies away? When only a rocket ship can take me to you, when I’m held back by the clamps of gravity, reality, this calamity? So, I mean, an Earthling, another girl,  that pretty much the same thing? Right?”

I watch him shift on the blanket, his muscles rippling beneath his shirt. Jaw twitching. He was embarrassed, sure. Not crying, though--I wasn’t worth his dignity. I never was.

I wipe my tears, giggling. “You and your Earthling. Ashley, right? Oh, you two would be so cute together, wouldn’t you?”

“How do you…?”

“I wish you two all the best on your honeymoon. In Hell.”

Unlike Ash, Christian and I weren’t an oxymoron. No, we were very much consistent--together, I mean--and in the meantime he was very consistent with other girls. Very consistent. Thus, his death was just that.


A stab in the chest. Over and over and over again. He might as well have been Caesar.

Maybe he would finally know what it felt like to be heartbroken.

Public Enemy number three. The alley’s not well lit, a flickering lamp post casting the concrete in ominous yellow light. The Mafia leader sits on a crate, alone--though the both of us know there’s men sitting on the rooftops. I don’t mind, though; I take one of my earbuds out, placing the switchblade into her outstretched hands.

“Any luck today, dear?”

 I throw her a croissant; with greedy eyes, she reaches into the bag, tearing off a piece of the corner.  “Quite a bit, actually.” I smile a toothy grin, exposing my bloodied canines. I had to kiss him one more time before I left him.

“Ooh, you sneaky little savage.” She giggles, and I flash another grin, before I detach a flask from my side hip and take a swig. I offer to her, and without hesitation she gulps the rest of the stuff down her thick jowls. She smacks her lips, satisfied, then leans forward, her arms on her knees. “Tell me everything.”

“Well, public enemy’s one and two are dead. So, I suppose you could say that I killed it.”

Dough flies out of her mouth, warm chunks squirting onto my face--oh, her satanic giggle. I wipe it off with the back of my hand, grinning, the blood dripping down my cheek. “She’s funny too! Oh, darling, someday maybe you’ll even be half as good as me. Just you wait.”

 I feel the smile waver on my mouth. Straining, like a leap in a heartbeat. To keep itself together.

“Of course. I hope so, Master.”

“Well, you mustn’t waste any more of my time. I’v got a banquet to go to.” She stands, tossing her paper bag on the floor, stepping on it with the heel of her heel--God knows she uses the razor sharp ends for her ‘dirty work’. A delicate cough into the crook of her bare arm, before turning her attention back to me, unmoving. “What’s the matter with you, Pet? Get up, it’s time for you to go.”

My grin grows wider. “I don’t think so.”

Her lips go stagnant, frozen in her bitter smile. “Don’t play me. Do you know who I am?”

“As far as I know,” I unsheath the knife I’d hidden in my back pocket. My vision begins to vibrate, the tips of my fingers numb. “You’re just another obstacle.”  

She laughs her horrible laugh, followed by a tirade of awful coughs. “You’re a dead one, Alyssa Ultima.”

“No.” I kneel, doubling over; when I stand my shirt’s stained with the remnants of His blood. And mine--

“It’s both of us.”

I guess three milligrams of cyanide go a long way. Mixed in some peanut oil just for the kicks--turns out the Mafia leaders’ allergy was real.

I feel her seizing up besides me. A man’s grabs me gruffly by the shoulders; I only laugh, the blood sputtering out of my mouth like a dysfunctioning car.

Public enemy number three, dead. I see her as I’m carried away. On the floor. Forgotten. She didn’t deserve to be leader, anyways.

And neither did I.

 Public enemy number four. Unconscious in the man’s arms.



The headphones dangling from her limp neck finish the final tooting lines of a theme song.

 The very last person on Alyssa’s horrible, horrible bucket list.



© Copyright 2020 halle schaffer. All rights reserved.

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