The Ascent of Man

I killed him with my hand around his throat until he lost his air. He was different from me, a short one. I wanted to use his female.

I killed her with a stone on her head, as I was done using her.

I killed the child in the river, until there were no more bubbles from its mouth. It did not float towards the lake so I left it on the sand for the tigers and the birds.

I killed them on the edge of the cliff as their cave was better than ours. They fell over the side.

I killed them with my club when they crept through the tall grass towards the giant beast we had freshly killed.

I killed both with the stone tied to my pike which I used to break the logs for the enclosure so that our birds would not wander. They approached our hut but were not of our tribe. When I looked closely, one was only ten seasons, still three seasons from taking a woman, and one of my women said I should have spared him. I had my other women explain why it was for the best, as I needed to bury them both before darkness. I have no time to explain to women.

I killed them, the two with the hard hats and long spears, because they were dressed like the ones who came last harvest with many in their cohort and told us we must give part of our cuttings to their leader who lived far away. I do not know this leader. Our elders agreed that if this clan returned and there were not many, we would kill them rather than give them our cuttings. Our whole village helped to beat them, although one female was slain by a long sword before they died of our village beating them about their face and chest. We hid their hats and shields deep in the forest, in case their clansmen returned in numbers, but could not agree about hiding the spears and swords as they were so powerful. Finally the elders agreed it was dangerous to keep them but Ludefor tried to keep a sword.

I killed Ludefor because the elders instructed it, to kill him at night with that sword he kept, and then to drag him and the sword into the hills where we hid all the rest. So I did, as he slept.

I killed one from a horse although he had much armor, as he had killed my lord and over-run the manse with his legions, and had taken many women including my daughter who was still a maiden. So as he lay there with her, his helmet and leggings aside, I drove a knife into his throat and I showed his blood to my daughter, but she lay there with open eyes and did not speak or turn. So I saw she was ruined and I kissed her forehead and slew her too, most gently, and cried and let my tears mix with her blood on the grey stones of the floor.

I killed a heathen near the city where our Lord our God had died cruelly by the hand of the Jew, although my King had told us that these heathens were not the Jews, not even such as those in the towns near Shropshire before they were sent away. And I killed many more but we could not capture Jerusalem as there were too many no matter how many I killed by sword and pike and stone.

I killed three men in the pay of a foreign prince though, as I, they did not come from the land of the prince for whom they fought. Word of my bravery against the pirates led the regent of the Frankishmen to seek my sword, and the money was paid first to my eldest son before I departed. They knew I would not run away even though the money had been paid before, as I do not kill for coin and sought the monies only for my son as he is not yet strong in killing.

I killed the red men across the sea, though was so ill by the passage that I feared I had no power for it. They came with axes and simple bows, and by arranging in ranks so there was always fire we were able to slay them all. I know not how many I killed, but our army killed many at a distance. I was told too that I killed many by my seed spread among their women, which caused many of them and their children to fear and die, but I cannot count those dead except as by the hand of God, as these red men do not know him nor care to hear of his tender mercies.

I killed the yellow man when he ran towards our ship, which had come peaceably to trade. It was I, as I fired first and saw his head hinge backwards on his neck just before his body melted downward. My companions killed the rest, and praised my first killing, and did not mention that I could not kill further, for the sight of that head dropping backwards like the cover of a hinged box made me sick. But my companions praised me nonetheless, and I smiled and let their praise engulf me.

I killed many in the trenches although they would not fight like men. I threw many grenades over the wire and heard them scream. Perhaps they were only wounded, not killed? But there were so many that I am sure that many were killed. I never saw a one of them.

I killed uncounted. The bomb site was not so true as the government would have you believe. And some factories lay next to workers’ quarters. I often have wondered if my pilot told his family that HE had killed people even though he was only flying and had no control over the release of the bombs. I, myself, never told my family that I had killed them, but that is another story.

I killed one hundred and seventeen men and boys, their heads illuminated and as voluptuous as Crenshaw melons between the fine black lines of my site. I know exactly as I kept count. I am sure as I am very skillful, and you can see the round black hole begin to fill crimson before the head disappears from view. Twelve were spared. I think those days the cross-winds were difficult.

I killed one person, in a suit, in a hot city on the Arabian peninsula, but I am not cleared to tell you any more. I was not in uniform.

I killed a small city while sitting at a computer console in the high mountains. The satellite showed the drone explode, the buildings disappearing in white smoke and dust. I do not know the name of the place, I was only given map coordinates.

I killed by beam one warrior designated by the other hemisphere, as my justified laser beam intersected his beam close to his face and particles blew his brains out of his eye sockets and his ears. This was the 664th monthly Mano-a-Mano, but we still train to fight by wars if the Agreement of Peace and Diversion were ever to fail. I am not certain I could kill using the weapons of our fighting force, but I may try to do so next month; as an exalted warrior, I am entitled to kill another in my brigade with a cross-bow if I would like to gain that experience.

I killed my second wife today. I impressed my brain on her thoughts and crushed the life from her spirit. Computer tells me that killing once required touching, and that it was accomplished upon corporal entities.