Killing Guss Killing Me

Alec Niedenthal

Me and Guss like to play a game at night. Me and Guss like to play a game where one of us kills the other one. It goes like this.

Me and Guss sit around in the dark in our room. It's night in here.

Guss stabs me in the heart.

I can feel everything inside of me that Guss made. I cry out a little.

I die and I almost go to heaven.

"Guss!" I say. "Why'd you go and kill me like that?"

Guss says nothing because I am a ghost. I am invisible to everyone, and Guss is alive. Guss is sitting in a bean-bag chair. I am nowhere.

I am in heaven with the ghosts so my voice is nowhere.

Guss says a prayer so I will wander home and build my body all over.

I brush my teeth in the bathroom. I live on the top bunk. Guss sleeps on the floor because he is punishing himself.

His sin was he thought we were soft the same way. Together, we're new brothers all over again.


Sometimes Guss dies. Sometimes I cut him open so slowly. 

When Guss dies, I feel strong. I leave electricity behind me. 

I am learning a new and dire science when Guss dies.

When Guss dies he does not return. It's only me. This is the sad part.

I wait for Guss to come back. I train myself to wait. I find that I am all and only the weapons of heaven--there is no longer the sun to speak of, just the patient bomb.

I am the bomb and the cloud to come.

I let electricity speak for me when I ought to scream.

I expose Guss for inventing the future.


The last time me and Guss played our game we changed the rules.

"Why don't we actually kill each other?" Guss said.

Guss lay down on the carpet. I took his clothes off so that I could see inside of him. I spread him out and I felt his skin shake with enjoyment.

"Okay," I said.

"Be quiet," I said.

I cut him open like I usually do. I gathered some of Guss's organs in my hands and I put them away for Guss's own good.

Guss smiled and reached for my hand. I took his hand and felt his softness go on in me. I took his arm out of him and I set it on the carpet.

I covered his mouth with my hand to turn his hisses into something else.

I did the taking and the setting down to each of his limbs. I kept his head on top so that he could speak when I was finished and we were new brothers.

I watched the wires coil out of him, sharp and sparking, silvery resistors--boards of circuitry slid out and collected beneath his guilty body.

I watched our little factory fill him in.

"Be quiet," I said.

And I waited for the lights.

I waited for my turn.