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Page created on 8/6/2020, last updated on 8/6/2020

Dead Man Writing

Words have always surrounded him, rushing past without making a noticable impact. Not quite in the sense that they went 'in one ear and out the other', more like a letter picked up by a postman right before he was shot. A message that was acknowlaged, carried halfway to its destination, and promptly lost forever. If that postman had known his fate and accepted it, he might have written a note, something like 'carrying urgent message, please deliver at once on discovery', but without that note, the information may well be doomed-- buried along with the body, still tucked inside the postman's boot. Thankfully for us, there was indeed a note. Unfortunately for the postman, it contained far more information than necessary.

A single bullet could spray one's life story across a variety of surfaces. Few people could read it. Fewer still would want to. Blood, gore, the occasional chunk of something that smelled ripe, for all their inelegancy when thrown across a wall or floor, they looked rather hypnotic bobbing on the water. That's the legacy, after all. The standard life cycle of a made man: victim, muscle, boss, fish-food.

Chicago, New York, Detroit, and maybe Paris and London too-- who knows what they get up to all the way over there-- the unerbellies of all these places have spent generations stewing in blood. Some for a little longer than others, and some at a higher heat.

The most important thing for you to remember, whoever you are, is that he had none of this information when he started. He was nothing. Blank. You have to have a mind to lose it, and he was barely smart enough to know when someone called him dumb. Nonetheless, he got around to growing some smarts pretty quick when it was urgent. Maybe too quick for his own good.

It's a long story, and a lot to take in, but remember, if nothing else, please remember: you have to grow a mind, to lose it. You can't lose what you never even had. The man had something, once; he was at least half as bright as a collage graduate, and don't you dare fucking forget it. You have to remember. We owe it to him. And, uh, feel free to take notes. You'll know why later.

I'll be starting his life's story in the middle, because that makes it sound better, and because thats when I found out about him. I only met him face-to-face later, but found out about the man in mid December of last year. So I heard these rumors about another rising newbie, and made a mental note-- heh-- to meet him and share stories. I'd finally set foot in the uptown location, you know the one, three stories, brownstone. Cozy place, things were finally looking up. The night I spent there was the first one in a long time where I felt safe enough not to face the door.

Before I got the chance to see his face, though, I woke up-- in the middle of a really good dream, no less-- to the sound of some sorry bastard getting painted on the walls. That was my Christmas morning. No early morning carolers, instead it was the unmistakable sound of a beating, and someone shouting the word "rat". Well, not just one person shouting it, there might have been two or maybe ten for all I knew. I was on the third floor, they were on the sublevel. It was that fucking loud. So the first time I heard his voice, it was-- it was--

He... still sounded like a kid.

I need a minute.

He really was a young one, but not young enough to be a boy. He lost his mind at seven in the morning on Christmas day, and never got it back.

They beat the shit out of him extremely well. They did the usual, minus his right hand. Practically everything else was fair game to break by boot, club, fist-- I thought I heard a hammer at some point, but it was unclear what that was used on, and how. I only went downstairs when the noises stopped. I didn't want to be next, if they thought I was an accomplace or something. Don't look at me like that. Don't you dare fucking look at me like that.


So I went down there and he looked like a sack of flour that had been dragged through a can of red paint. But by God, by no fucking means was he close to being the most disturbing thing in the room. No. God, no. That would be the notes. The fucking notes. This kid-- no, this man-- it was insane. Hundreds of them, strewn like ticker tape, not just our dirty laundry but his too. How in the name of God could they have accused him of being a goddamn rat when he had his own-- I'm sorry--

I have to calm down.

His entire brain was on the table. Every memory, every word, every name, date, bank detail-- he had his own damn birthday on one of the pages. It had a set of tally marks next to it.

So, that was my introduction to him, and this scene is how I will introduce him to you:

A young man's brain was in pieces on the table. He had not yet died.

The others called him many things, but I will call him Scritto.

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