The Unsightly Treatment of One, Benjamin Schatz.

The wind whistles through the sky-scraping sequoias of Washington State, rushing through their limbs and deep within the folds of my jacket.  It’s cold here during mid-winter, and strikingly beautiful.  My bated breath, a visible vapor, joins the fray and whisks off into the forest.  They will be here soon.  I need to get to Seattle, but where the fuck is the moon?


“I’ll ask you once more, do you recognize any of these individuals?”  

He holds up a polaroid of a woman in her mid-twenties, arm around another person, a man.  They’re both wearing fatigues; the man smiles brightly into the camera.  Around them, some sort of celebration rages.  

“Bring the photo closer, I think one of the barstools in the background looks familiar.”  

“These aren’t even the questions I want to ask you, Mr. Schatz.  We know exactly who these people are, you know that.  So, just tell us what we already know, no harm in that.”

“I’ll think about it.”  

My interrogator’s lip often quivers when he gets frustrated, and it did so now.  The soft brown hairs of his mustache tremble and sway from side to side, despite the stagnant air in the room.

“Answer just this basic info, and I promise that today you will avoid the knife.  I will protect you.”

“I’m not willing to get used to answering your questions.”

“Well, then you’ll get used to this treatment.”  He motions over his shoulder to a masked figure who’d been standing motionless in the corner of the room.  In a single fluid motion, he pulls a dull knife from his overcoat.