The Music

Chapter 18: Terry the Killer

Story by Ray

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Terry sank into the bed, his breath hot after fucking his first casual hookup in months.

“You’re good,” the man said. Terry had forgotten his name. It might have started with an H, or a T. “You’re like, really, really good. How often do you do this? Just hook up with a random guy?”

Terry stared up at the ceiling.

“Come on, it can’t be your first time, stud,” H.T. pressed. “Tell me about it. Tell me a story about one of your crazy hookups.”

Terry crossed his arms, and exhaled through his nose. “I killed someone,” he said. H.T. laughed, but he wasn’t as good of an actor as Terrence Young. So Terry continued, thinking out loud about the facts: “Fifteen… no, sixteen days ago. I killed a pimp. He had killed my friend Cristy. And he was in the middle of killing my friend Ruben when I shot him. Right where the brain meets the spinal cord. The police said it was the cleanest kill they’d ever seen. It wasn’t in the news for very long, but you can look it up if you don’t believe me.”

H.T. got out from under the sheets. He bent down to pick up his clothes, but he never took his eyes off of the killer—could he be a killer?—in his bed. H.T. opened his mouth to say something more, and it didn’t upset Terry when he came up blank. The man left, and Terry continued to stare up at the ceiling. It was a popcorn ceiling.


Flawless Killer.

When Terry took the shot, he hadn’t known that his target was Cristy’s ex-pimp. He hadn’t even known that Cristy was dead. So why did that justify it so perfectly? Why did Terrence Young feel like the same person he had been beforehand?

H.T. reentered the room, armed with pepper spray. “Get the fuck out of my room you motherfucker. Now!”

Flawless Killer.

As Terry dressed, he made up his mind that it was the adjective that mattered: Flawless. Over the course of a lifetime, people acted out all sorts of nouns. Terry alone had been a student, a queer, a dancer, and during some particularly dark times that he no longer cared to speak of, he had been a fry cook. But no matter what nouns people became, they always tended to follow the same adjectives. And Terrence Young was flawless.

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