There’s a story that’s been playing in my head.
A girl. Stupid. Retarded. The blows rain down amid the sound of children’s laughter. Her hand clutches at the mud in front of her. She’s hurt and bleeding. She still won’t give up. She drags herself forward, clutching at the dirt. A kick to the head sends her into darkness. She wakes up at night, caked in mud. She knows she’s an animal. She knows she’s still better than those around her.
A man sits at a table. Around him sit others. Drunk men, playing cards. Hard men. They gave up their names long ago and now call themselves devil, and animal. Their forearms are as wide as a baby’s head. Their eyes are quick and hard. They know violence. They know what it means to take from others. Yet none would take from him. He is the worst. The cruellest. The most brutal. The smartest. He knows he is evil, but that knowledge does not help him stop. Still, he has a purpose beyond gluttony. He sees the shining path in front of him and the abyss to either side. He will walk where angels fear to tread. He will bring light to the darkness. No matter the cost.