Fifteen Seconds


There are a lot of weird Internet Meme’s out there, I have one for you, and this is based on a true incident…








I had a beautiful cousin named Marta, and she was going to Medical School on the mainland, but worked summers as a singer in a nightclub. She stayed with her mother, Irma, who was also my Aunt. One night while singing, she met a local guitar player named Carlos, whom she worked with at the club, and she fell in love him almost immediately.

Carlos had many friends, people who were maybe too afraid to be otherwise, and he was no stranger to beautiful woman, so I begged her not see not to see this man, for I knew him personally, and not just by reputation. Carlos wasn’t just a pretty face, for he was as handsome as he was sadistic, but he wore his looks like a mask to hide the truly ugly person he was inside.

Not long after they dated I found Marta trying to cover a black eye with heavy make-up. Carlos worked as a Merchant Marine, during the day, so when Marta and I were alone, I tried to convince her that he was no good, not just for her, but anyone.
One time I was standing next to him at the bar when suddenly he struck me with his fist on the side of my jaw. I tried to get up to hit him back but I could not find my legs. He hit me so hard I had to crawl out of the bar. He was laughing at me the entire time; that horrible evil laugh. Then I took out my knife.

The next day he told me he was too drunk to realize who he had hit, and he thought that I was somebody else. Then he told me that someone that same night had slashed all four tires on his new jeep.

Another time I went to see Marta play, when Carlos was not supposed to be there. It was her birthday that night, so I waited for her at the table while she performed on stage. Carlos showed up unannounced and made his way behind me. He grabbed one of the nearby table candles that were used as decorations, to set my Army Coat on fire.

I had it draped over the back of my chair, and he lit it at the bottom. I jumped up just before it caught in a blaze, I could have been killed.
I had a bottle of champagne that I ordered for Marta to celebrate her birthday, and it had just been delivered to the table. I was going to make a toast to her, right after she finished her current song, but I took the bottle out of the bucket instead, and tried to dump the melted ice on what remained of my jacket.

I just stood there in shock, until I heard that same evil laughter again. I saw Carlos nearby and he was laughing as if it was the funniest thing that he had ever seen. I was so infuriated by what Carlos had done that I grabbed the bottle out off the table and threw it at his him as hard as I could, aiming for his head. It just missed him as he ducked, and exploded on the wall behind him.

“Nothing to lose your head over, he said rather composed.”
“Go Marta, just leave the island, while she was still trying to cover that eye, leave him while he’s at work and never return. This man will kill you, I warned her. But all I did was give Marta an excuse to stay, she would not give up on Carlos the way everyone else had. And she explained that Carlos was the true victim, as he had never felt like he was ever loved. And that is why he acted so horribly.

Marta was a gentle soul, fragile and beautiful and she tried to see the good in every one, even if it never existed in that person in the first place, and that was to be her demise.

One day shortly thereafter, Carlos was working offshore when one the thick cables holding the support mast snapped, and cut him across the neck, slicing it open like a razor. The cut was so deep that it almost decapitated his head from his body.

Immediately, the other workers rushed Carlos to the hospital in the hopes that maybe the doctors could save his life, but of course that was impossible. His spine had been severed, and they could not stop the bleeding. In the end the doctors could do nothing but wait helplessly for him to die, like the rest of us.

Now we have all heard stories about the brain, and how it continues to live even after the heart has stopped beating, and vice-versa. Nobody knows why, but Carlos continued to live thru the accident, and was even conscious the entire time, even on route to the hospital, he never shut his eyes.

When I was in the Army I was told that if I was ever shot, and couldn’t move, to try and stop the bleeding with direct pressure and then try and lie still.

If you could keep calm and keep your eyes open; stayed conscious, it would help you survive. Maybe it did, because when we got to the hospital, Carlos was still alive, where by all accounts he should have died at the scene.
There was a famous case about a man named Phineas P. Gage (1823 – May 21, 1860) who worked railroad construction and survived a freak accident where the long iron rod he carried was used to pack gun powder, was driven completely through his skull, but he ignited it by accident.

Gage was setting a blast by boring a hole into the ground, but he was running behind, so after he dug the hole and filled it with gun powder he started pounding the powder with his crow-bar but forgot to cover it with sand first. The iron bar stuck something that make a spark and the gun-powder exploded sending the rod straight thru his head.

They rushed Gage to the doctor, with the rod still implanted in his head, and not only did he stay conscious, but lived another twelve years afterward. Medical Science is still at a loss to explain how or why, even to this day.

Regarding Carlos, the shock waves of the tragedy traveled thru the island at the speed of light, and everybody in the village crowded outside the hospital anxiously to verify if the story was true.

Was he alive?

Was he dead?

Could they save his life?

When I got the phone call, and heard what happened and I drove Marta to the hospital immediately. The hospital staff mistakenly thought that we were family, Marta his wife, and I his brother, and they let us both in, but confiscated our camera phones at the entrance.

When we entered the room the two doctors and nurse that had their backs to us, immediately left as soon as we entered. We didn’t have time to ask them a single question. Have you ever had a surreal experience?
Maybe you were the victim of a serial killer, but managed to escape? Or you got attacked by a bear while you were hiking, and despite being mauled, you lived to tell the tale?

Somethings experiences in life defy words but I’ll try to describe the experience to you as best I can. Carlos, couldn’t move, but he was still alive, and he could even talk single words, but everything sounded guttural. And he could still scream and yell.

Carlos had his neck bandaged but there was nothing the doctors could do to stop the bleeding. The doctors tried to give Carlos blood, but he was losing it as fast as he received it. Imagine pouring water thru a screen window.

If I was still alive, and I knew that I was dying, I would have been terrified, and like most people, I would have prayed to God, or at least thought the words, even if I was unable to say them. The fear of going to hell, would have motivated me right up until the last second, no-matter the circumstances.

Carlos, who had lived a horrible life; stayed true to character right to the end. He didn’t look terrified, which was ironic considering that he of all people should have been. If Carlos didn’t know he was going to hell, everyone else did.

Maybe, Carlos wasn’t even aware of his situation, I’m told, some people don’t even realize their dying if the circumstances of the accident are sudden or tragic enough. I went to the bathroom because I knew I was going to be sick, and after I vomited, I could hear Carlos, “yelling,” (for lack of a better term), at my cousin, Marta, who had been crying the entire time.

Your fault (which sound like Yurss-Vvvalt), he screamed over and over.
Finally, when I came out of the bathroom, Marta had the look of a woman, who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and ready to “snap.” There’s that word again.

I wasn’t the type of person to spread gossip or speak ill of another person behind their back. Not even about a horrible person like Carlos, but I wanted to tell him what I thought about him before he died even thou I’m sure he already suspected. Before I had only pretended to be his friend, and always told him that I forgave his behavior just so I could get him alone. I wanted to stay close to him, as much as I was able so that when I had the chance I was able to kill him. When fate stepped in I thought I had lost my opportunity forever.

So, I bent down slightly so I could face him, I hate you Carlos, I have always hated you, and if there is a hell, I promise you will find your way in it very soon, my friend, I said disgustedly.

My only regret is that I was not able to kill you myself, but you deserve this horrible death. I only wish that there was some way that I could make you suffer even more, up until the moment you die. And then I softly imitated his laugh, the evil laugh. I only wanted him to hear it, but my imitation was unmistakable. I don’t know if he even understood me, but Carlos had hate in his eyes and he spit which landed just under my eye. I’m sure Hell would find Carlos, but not soon enough for me!!!

I was about to do the unthinkable, something so horrible that only Carlos himself could appreciate it. I took my work-gloves out from out the side pocket of my coat. This was in case he tried to bite me. Then I covered his mouth so no one would hear him scream, and I reached behind his skull, and tried to wrench his head from his body.

I pulled on it as hard as I could until I could feel his veins, tendons, and the skin connected with stitches finally give way. Only when I felt that sickening weight, that same horrible weight of a dead animal that had got hit by a car in front of my house, that I had to pick up and dispose of, did I open my eyes, and only so I could put it on the second hospital bed next to his body.

I felt like I was about to lose consciousness, I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I was in complete shock, I stared at the two separate pieces of his body that I had separated. Then when I found the courage I turned to look at him again.

I thought that I when I separated his head that it would have kill Carlos instantly, if nothing else just from the shock alone. But when I finally opened my eyes to my horror, Carlos was still alive. And he was staring straight at me.

I looked over at the first bed and his body was pumping out blood from his neck, to the rhythm of his heart, but less and less blood squirted out with each heartbeat. Then I looked at the second bed and studied Carlos again, he had the look of a person who’d gone insane from the pain I just inflicted. His guttural yells that were muffled but were getting louder as he tried to spit out all the extra blood that was blocking his airway.

If I didn’t cover his mouth again he would start screaming and the doctors would come rushing in, and see what I did. Now I took off my coat as I ran toward him and tried to smoother his mouth with it as well. I was afraid to even touch him now. And then the screaming started again. While he was covered I kept looking around the room frantically, wondering what to do.

How do I stop the noise?

And then I saw it near the corner of the room, an appliance that was kept there as a convenience for the visitors, I ran to it put Carlos in it, shutting the glass door behind me. I shut the glass door to muffle the screams hoping the doctors wouldn’t be able to hear Carlos inside it.

I looked around the room. How would I explain the trail of blood to Marta when she came out of the bathroom, the separation of his head from his body or any of this?

I was stunned.

And then I could hear Carlos yelling from inside, and he was getting louder. I wanted to plug my ears so that I didn’t have to hear that horrible inhuman screaming.

And I stared him at him from the outside.
Was he screaming to tell the doctors what I had done, was he trying to stay alive just long enough to see me found guilty?

And then it dawned on me…you can cook things in a microwave.
I had heard an urban legend about a woman who put her poodle in the microwave to dry it after its bath, and it exploded. I don’t know if it’s true or not but I wasn’t going to take the chance. So, I set the timer for 15 seconds.

I didn’t want to leave it on long enough for Carlos head to explode, I just wanted him to suffer as much as humanely possible before he died.
Now, Carlos looked terrified.

I pressed the “START” button on the microwave, and I did not open the door again until that muffled screaming stopped forever.


I cleaned up all the blood, as best I could after I put the head of Carlos back on the bed with his body and covered it with a sheet before Marta came out. When the doctors and nurses saw me walk out with Marta, they looked at me like I was the one who was missing his head.

I simply told the doctors that I could not stand by and watch a friend who I loved as a brother suffer so horribly, and the state he was in was more than any human being should have to endure, so in my shock and grief I had performed a “mercy killing.” No one who saw me leave the room doubted I was in shock, I don’t even think that they doubted that I had lost my mind, at least temporarily.

I knew the doctors would never believe me, not after they examined Carlos again, so I kept waiting for the police to arrive and arrest me, after I left the hospital, but they never did.

Sometimes when I visit my cousin Marta, now a ward of the state, I see her walking around in her nightgown, with something that she carries in her pillow case.

I don’t know what’s in it, I never asked, but it’s about the size and shape of a human head, and sometimes you can hear her voice echo down the halls when she sings a song about a man she used to love named “Carlos.”


Copyrighted by Jason Gabriel Kondrath 2016

Copyrighted by Jason Gabriel Kondrath 2016










The Collective Copyright © 2017 by Jason Kondrath All Rights Reserved.

15 Seconds. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
Cover designed by Jason Gabriel Kondrath
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Printed in the United States of America
First Printing: Aug 2017

WOR (World of Rath)

ISBN-On File with Kindle