A Price On My Head

Last night in my dream I put out a murder contract on myself.

The “broker” and I conducted the transaction in his office, a storefront with thrift store furnishings. I told him I wanted someone to kill me, and I gave him the money. Then, since it was early evening and I was at loose ends, I went by myself to a movie.

I have no memory at all of the movie, but by the time I left the theater it was full nighttime and I no longer wanted to die. I couldn’t find the storefront, so I headed home, keeping a close eye in the rear view mirror. After a while I decided I was being followed, and I was gripped with fear. Whoever it was, I thought, it would be a pro, and I wouldn’t have a chance.

Home turned out to be a second floor apartment that in real life I haven’t lived in for more than ten years. When I got to my door at the top of the stairs I was shaking so badly that I couldn’t fit the key in the slot. While I was fumbling, the outside door opened at the foot of the staircase. Terrified, I fell on my back near the top few steps. A broad-shouldered guy with handsome features stepped into the entryway. He was not the guy I had contracted with. He was the killer.

I could barely get out the words “I changed my mind — I really did…” He smiled in a friendly way and gestured for me to wait for him, then he went back out the door. Before I could recover enough to run, he came back in. This time he came up a few steps and snapped open a long, efficient-looking knife, no nonsense, with a simple bronze-colored metal handle, slightly corroded.

He said it was OK, he didn’t have to kill me if I didn’t want him to, but he had to cut something off me, a body part to show the broker that he had done the job. Otherwise he wouldn’t get paid. I asked what he wanted, and he said he usually cuts off the victim’s hand. Left or right, either would be fine.

I thought of not ever being able to play guitar again. I suggested an ear, but he said that wouldn’t be good enough because he needed a fingerprint. I tried for the little finger on my right hand, but he wanted an index finger if he couldn’t have the whole hand. Which one could I do without?

While I was trying to decide, the first big jet of the day took off from the nearby airport and woke me up.

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5 Replies to “A Price On My Head”

  1. Blue Girl – Reading it over today, it does seem nightmarish. But I think I was vaguely aware that I was dreaming, so even though I had all the appropriate feelings (basically, abject terror), I didn’t wake up screaming.

  2. That was a close call.

    I suppose you could have volunteered to “lose” your penis, but if the bad guy was decent, he might then have returned to the original intent and just killed you–why torture a guy?

    See why it’s best NOT to have a vivid imagination?

  3. Wren – I suppose it wasn’t bad that a big jet woke me up this time, but one of them flies over my house at 7:00 AM every single day. I curse the terrorists, because they have made it so difficult for me to get a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile thing. I believe that’s the technical term.

    Ron – Snap out of it.

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