Prompt: Good, evil, gray
I dreamt of his death. But that didn’t make me the villain in this story. I did, though, long for the phone to ring. For someone to tell me of some terrible accident. A crash, maybe. But not an ordinary crash, I wanted a crash with fire. With heat that sizzled the paint off the car and the skin off his hands. Or a flood. Being swept along for miles, then hanging onto a tree branch, the current pulling relentlessly, remorselessly, his biceps burning, and knowing in that moment that his fingers slipped off, he would drink death.
I became the villain in the moment when I stopped dreaming of his death and began planning his death. The wishing away of someone, that can’t be such a mortal sin, can it? Because that is just a malevolent wish—perhaps that an overlarge boulder should ease itself loose from the edge of the cliff that overhung the road he drove on his way home and that it should happen at exactly the moment that would mean it would fall on him and him alone, with such force that his bones would splinter and pulverize and mix with his blood and skin and lung tissue. And that the ligaments that held his bones to bones, and the tendons adhering muscles to bones, should snap and pop audibly. Snap! Out loud!
But that was just a wish, and mere wishes are not plans, and wishes, especially wishes of such absurd specificity, are neither likely to come to pass, nor punishable, should they come to pass. The worst I would have been accused of, should he become muscle and tendon and bone porridge, was being prescient.
When I began designing ways that my wishes might be brought about, that was the moment I gave over to the darkness and became the fishwife, foul-speaking murder. No longer were these just gruesome and poetic wishes, but instead, they became crude and inelegant plans, as if I were trying to build a life raft from broken kitchen chairs, long braids cut from the heads of little blonde girls, and the damp boxes that lettuce is delivered in. That was when I gave over to the darkness.