Curtain Call

Good evening. I am t1. My purpose tonight is to complete my assignment as a hired assassin. After this night my connection and association with the New York Marionette killings and, ultimately, all of CeN’s plans will cease. After this night I will return to my work as a freelance killer. 

My purpose tonight is to deliver a message.

This message, from CeN’s own handwriting, reads;

Don’t get excited. You’re not going to get me.

I have a reputation of cowardice. You yourself saw me bolt when you brought me face to face with a cop, notice me taking every bit of precaution I possibly can when it comes to keeping myself safe. For the longest time, I wouldn’t bother coming to the homes of the deceased. It seemed rather trivial to me. 

You think I got a thrill from all this; the killings, the showmanship, the delightful macabre that instilled a nice nation-wide crowd gaping at their televisions whenever their daily news reminded them of that crazy, crazy criminal mastermind on the loose up in New York. The crowd itself, I think, being the most powerful aspect of this delusional dance and of course my running play. Entertainment. The show. It’s all a crock of bullshit, really, especially the fact that you thought I was enjoying myself. 

In complete honesty, I am unsure if I harbor the capacity for joy. I’ve been alone for far too long. I haven’t seen a glimpse of love- honest, genuine love and appreciation- in ten years. Ten goddamn years. That’s nearly half your whole life, little guy, and it’s been cooking up in my head for that long that I’m just some pretty face gone to hell. 

Gone to hell and back. I’m forty. It’s absolutely ridiculous that so much breathing and eating and sleeping and singing and dancing and fucking and crying and laughing, loving, living has passed just in my own mind and body. It seems like seconds since I was a bright-eyed twenty-year-old on a boat from Germany, looking for a way to gloss my life to chrome. Moments since I bought my house. An infinitely small breath of time from when I sat broken and sobbing and screaming in a doctor’s office, wondering with all I had what I had done to deserve a death sentence. 

I’ll tell you one thing. I drove myself home that day, eyes full of a dying man’s tears. I was thirty-seven. My thirty-eighth birthday was the next week. I was told that I’d be long gone in a good three or four years. That night was the first time I ever got drunk. I will never, ever apologize for that much, nor anything else I admit to. 

In light of that, I might as well go ahead and make an official confession of sorts.

My name is Cuyler Dieterich McEnbrough. My legal name, as given at birth, is Fredrick Saxon Somblaine, Jr. I am happily and proudly responsible for many, many accounts of conspiracy to murder, several  accounts of first degree murder, and two accounts of second degree murder.

Oops. 

I’d do it all again.

Don’t get worked up over having my real name. You could absolutely look up the deed to my house and come barging in, and I know very well you will regardless of what I tell you. I encourage you to do so. Bring all your little minion folks. Especially Anthony. I want him to come. I miss him. In any case, you aren’t going to find much of anything but a mess of brain matter. I’m going to save you the trouble and put a bullet in my mouth. 

It took a lot of sheer willpower to make it this far. I’m entirely dependent on the drink nowadays and from time to time get drunk enough to null the pain of existing, if barely. The idea of uselessness corrodes my will and many a night I have had to hand my gun over to my maid for safekeeping until I managed to shake the chains of hopelessness. If barely. If barely.

My point is that you did not bring me to this. Don’t give yourself that much credit. I’ve wanted to die for a long time now. It is, once again, a matter of cowardice; I long for death but at the very same time it is what I fear the most. If there is a god left that wouldn’t despise me for all I am, I would be not only very surprised but also terrified of any beast who would still accept me in the very unlikely case there is a god at all. 

The gun lays beside me now. Its glint in lamplight is magnificently melodramatic when paired with my fear and excitement for what may come when I pull the trigger. The time is growing ever nearer.

That said, coming up with parting words is a bitch. 

Let it be known I respect you. All you do is good and, in all honesty, I had no intention of killing you. Humanity benefits far too much from your hand. So giving. Aren’t you special. 

I asked t1 to bury my cane and rings whenever he may stumble on my corpse. Other than that, I went ahead and left my fortune to you. You’re welcome. There’s going to be a will somewhere in plain sight near my body, whenever you come storming in.

Don’t touch my hair. 

I suppose that’s just about everything that needs saying, coming from a faded, dying star. There’s only so many words that can be stretched until my time comes calling. There’s a point of grace with these things, points at which people even get bored with the spectacle of death. It’s not charming, but it is truth, especially for a nobody as I am now.

Without my stage and my spotlight I am but a man. With lights dimming and seats emptying in this great big viewing gallery, forty years in the going, cascading into something, perhaps into nothing, I am very sure the time has come for curtain call.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for watching.

Have an amazing evening and many to come.

Goodnight.

Cuyler D. McEnbrough