Shark River Anthology.
Genesis of the Killer instinct.

It was long, thirty years past. The days flew unlike chickens or penguins. Ennui set in like living rigor mortis. There were none to hold the interest of the smallest child though my interests were cast about like grass seeds in March. The time for action had come and while the window of opportunity was open I jumped a double back flip into the weightless suspense of freefall. A smile twinged the edge of my crooked mouth, finally I could read my own mind. Where does the origin of the mind lead? Where is the endpoint? Is there an eigenfunction on the boundaries that we might find them? Do the boundaries flap in the wind like a parachute in a third grade gym class or stay rigid as the top of a tin drum in the clamped case. If none of these are true, than why not fly? That is when I decided never again to touch the ground.
          -Sherman Stein

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      The shark bites but the shark never chews. If there’s one thing I can’t stand in this world it’s a philosopher. I don’t like to talk because I don’t want to listen. I don’t need inspiration; I can breath through my nose just fine. When people smile it cracks me up. Makes me wanna kill. It wasn’t always that way though. After I was discharged from the army corps of engineers, I needed something to do. I had grown weary of my job being a machinist. I wanted more. I was missing something, or something was missing me. I wanted to see what religion was really about, to find what people really believed at the ends of their lives.
I had always found kindred in machinery. The cold precision was, and still is, exciting, a thing to aspire to. Now was a time to discover the ghost-inhabited-machine of the human. After long self-deliberation, I settled on my neighbor. He never said much, and also like myself, lived alone. For the first time, this was fascinating to me. What was going on in his head? Did he also find kindred in some non-human form? If so, when he was dying, would he regret his separation from others of his biological species? Has he given up hope, and would that affect how long it takes him to die?
     I had to select an instrument. As a machinist, I had a rather extensive machine shop in my basement. I must have spent six hours weighing the relative merits of different tools before I settled on the Phillips-head screwdriver. What better (and more purpose-functional) symbol of the communion of man and machine than the screwdriver. It is the technician’s scalpel, and tonight it would applied to human flesh.
     The night had come while I was in my shop and I was glad, because now that the tool was chosen, I wanted nothing more than to use it. I ran the screwdriver through between my belt and jeans and headed up the stairs leading to my neighbor’s door. Knock knock knock. I stood still for slightly under a minute before I heard stirring within the house. Finally after another thirty seconds, Mr. Stein came to the door. We stood looking at each other for an eternity before I sent all six inches of the Phillips-head into his gut. He just stood there. He didn’t gasp, he didn’t cry or beg. Was this how humans faced death? I tried to pull the Phillips head back out, but it was stuck. Simultaneously I noticed his bowels and bladder had relaxed. he walked back into his house and sat on his couch. Not knowing what to do, I followed and sat in the recliner. After the second eternity of the night, he said, “I ask one favor.” Sure. “Help me hang myself. That’s how I want to go. I want to swing.” Sure.
     Since then, killing has become my business but I have never lost the curiosity or the silent electricity of the two short eternities of that night. I love what I do and I have finally found a way to be a part of the whole; a way to commune with my own species. I am the Angel of Death.