The Perfect Self by Kristina Spears
The perfect body before him will soon be his. He just has to figure out how he should dispose of his own. The window is open with the curtains pulled back allowing for the cool evening light to shine through into the single room apartment. The sound of passing cars and the chatter from passing strangers make up the hum of the city. William leans back in his plastic chair musing at the weapons spread out neatly on the white folding table. The perfect body and his soon to be new self sits peacefully nude in the other chair across the table. It sits in silence seemingly asleep with a plastic smile. It is younger with thick dark hair and has sharp features with broad shoulders. Best of all it has a six-pack. William had always wanted a six pack and now he is finally be getting it. Sometimes he imagines The Perfect Self, as he has been calling it, agreeing with him. It too agrees that indeed, it, The Perfect Self is far more superior compared to him. William does not mind his new companion’s cockiness because he is sure that his Perfect Self is right. He knows by now that it has a slightly improved likable personality that surely others would enjoy. By their late interactions The Perfect Self may even be smarter, though he suspects The Perfect Self to be cheating when it came to card games. Rubbing at his protruding dark veins on his forehand William thinks back to the recurring nightmares. The dream is fuzzy with somebody unknown. The death was always out of his hands. The feeling of powerlessness always lingers past the point of waking but things are different now that he has The Perfect Self.
“The process will be like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.” The man says, disrupting the silence in the shadowing room. The evening light glows and shifts over the body making it appear to shrug at the statement. Despite The Perfect Self’s disinterest William continues to add another example to the process. “Think of it like this. A Phoenix. It dies and in a blaze of fury it is reborn.”
“Maybe”, speaks his Perfect Self thoughtfully with a deep, husky voice compared to the William’s own gravely, shrill voice. “Snakes, did you know, they shed their old skin and becomes like new.” Hell, thinks William. He fucking hates snakes. The lighting lowers to the body’s shoulder making it appear the body is moving forward to examine the tools before him.
“How about the knife?” William imagines the Perfect Self say. “It could be fun.”
“You think?” He questions pulling at the bits of his own stubble until a place of his chin becomes raw. William imagines this place on his face becoming infected and then spreading across his body after his death, leaving nothing behind but a pile of yellow festering pus.
“Yeah. Just picture pregnant Jenna finding you in the morning. Her big swollen breast bouncing about as she panics about losing her chance to bed you one last time.” William laughs at this and it only becomes worse as he thought of The Perfect Self playfully pretending to be cupping imaginary breasts.
“Is it yours?” Questions The Perfect Self. The room collapses to dead silence. William moves forward placing his weight against the table. His index finger tapping the blade until it makes a deep enough cut to draw blood. Of course it was, William thought. Whose else could it be?
“This method could be painful.” William admits, thinking about laying in the liquid of his own blood drowning.
“I guess you’re right.” The tone of voice The Perfect Self returns to its usual playful tempo. “Plus you could end up with bathrobe Joe coming in instead. Just think you could have his testicles dangling over your head if you somehow fall onto the floor.”
“Stop.” The man responds swiftly, feeling his face crawl with the idea that ball sweat could be dripping onto his face as he lays hopefully dead so not to be able to smell the salty musk. “Who knows, maybe it’s Bathrobe Joe.” The Perfect Self says, not changing it’s smiling expression.
“What? The baby?” Questions William. Joe? Bathrobe Joe? Hell no. That man can’t utter a word without it becoming a stutter and his looks despite him being younger, let’s face it, has a close resemblance to a dried up tanned manatee. And he’s always wearing a fucking bathrobe. No woman would touch that.
Luckily the shine off the revolver brings back Williams thoughts to the greater task at hand. “In one of my dreams.” William said. “ I was shot. I don’t know about the gun either.”
“Why do you have it as an option then?” Asks The Perfect Self.
William shrugs not certain himself, but he figures The Perfect Self deserve some kind of response. “I like the idea of having the option.” With that, the only other option on the table is the rope.
“It could be a quick death.” Encourages The Perfect Self, with a tone that almost seems to have too much interest by the idea of William swaying off the ground with a rope gripping tightly around his neck.
“I have heard that people piss themselves during this kind of death.” William responds, wavering from the idea. The mental image of him being soiled with saliva dripping down of his face does not sit too well with him. “I can hear them now talking at my funeral, William, I knew him well. He smelt of piss.”
“You know, no one would have to find your body.” Reassures The Perfect Self like a true friend. “I could just hide it. I will just tell people I-you had plastic surgery. Took vitamins. Did some exercise. We will continual living like nothing ever happened.”
“Maybe. Maybe- The dream you know-” The man pauses feeling foggy. “Sorry. I have been having trouble thinking lately.” William stutters feeling something growing in the back of his mind and he starts to laugh to some unknown joke. It could be about Jenna or Joe. Was it about The Perfect Self or was it about him? William jerks, and forces himself to sit silently in his chair.
“That’s okay. I am here now,” The Perfect Self responds still holding its plastic smile. The evening has almost faded completely, save for some streams of blue light that shifts across The Perfect Self’s body making it appear that it was moving closer. William doesn’t move as The Perfect Self pushes itself over him with its hands spread gently across his throat. William allows himself to lean back in his chair still trusting that The Perfect self will give him a dignified death like any true friend would.
“It’s okay.” The Perfect Self repeats. “It’s okay.” I know thought William. It’s okay.
Blood oozes from his throat as The Perfect Self dug its thumbs inside. For a brief moment William struggles in The Perfect Self’s grasp, forgetting that this was what he wanted.
In the blacken silence of the room, The Perfect Self whispers to itself, “Hello, I am William.”
Kristina Spears grew up in a small town in Ohio where she enjoys spending most of her time outside even if that means taking her laptop with her. She attended Miami University and graduated from the writing program. Kristina has a love for writing fantasy and science fiction. With an obsession in the supernatural, horror, and messed up stories, these themes tend to make their way into her writing.