Snuff

By Chuck Palahniuk; Published In 2008
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Novels
And I say no. The problem is the light, the dim light down here. Cupped in the palm of my hand, the cyanide and the wood pill, I can't tell which is which. What's sex and what's death—I can't tell the difference.
I ask which one to give her.
And Mr. Bacardi leans in to look, both of us breathing hot, damp air into my open hand.

Branch Bacardi, star of The Da Vinci Load, To Drill a Mockingbird, The Postman Always Cums Twice, Chitty Chitty Gang Bang, The Twilight Bone, A Tale of Two Titties...

Cassie Wright knows, the moment you make yourself available to any man, he starts to take you for granted

During the Cold War of the 1950s, American spies were issued eyeglasses with thick, clunky frames. If captured, they were trained to casually chew the curved earpieces, where fatal doses of cyanide were cast inside the plastic. It's these same horn-rimmed suicide glasses, the wrangler says, that inspired the look of Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello. All those young hipsters wearing death on their nose.

During the First World War, I told her, Hitler had been a runner, delivering messages between the German trenches, and he was disgusted by seeing his fellow soldiers visit French brothels. To keep the Aryan bloodlines pure,and prevent the spread of venereal disease, he commissioned an inflatable doll that Nazi troops could take into battle. Hitler himself designed the dolls to have blond hair and large breasts. The Allied firebombing of Dresden destroyed the factory before the dolls could ever go into wide distribution.

Fathers. Mothers. With all their caring and attention. They will f--- you up, every time.

I'm the dick that killed Cassie Lynn Wright.

Isn't a kid alive who doesn't dream about rewarding her folks, or punishing them.

It can only take a moment to waste the rest of your life.

It only takes one mistake and nothing else you ever do will matter. No matter how hard you work or how smart you become, you'll always be known for that one poor choice.

It only takes one mistake,' the Dan Banyan guy says, 'and nothing else you ever do will matter.' With his empty hand, he takes one of my hands. His fingers feel hot, fever-hot, and pounding with his heartbeats. He turns my hand palm-up saying, 'No matter how hard you work or how smart you become, you'll always be known for that one poor choice.' He sets the blue pill on my palm, saying, 'Do that one wrong thing- and you'll be dead for the rest of your life.

Kill me if I ever look that Bad" . . . "Dude, what are you saying? . . . On the TV? That is you, dude. From like five years ago.

Me, personally, I tell dude 137 how I'm adding an embossed slogan to my dildos. Cast in high-relief going around the base, it's going to say, "The Dick That Killed Cassie Wright..." On the thickest part, so if you twist it the letters of the writing stimulate the clit.

No, Miss Wright didn't want to meet her kid. To her, that relationship was just as important, just as ideal and impossible as it would be to the child. She'd expect that young man to be perfect, smart, and talented, everything to compensate for all the mistakes that she'd made. The whole wasted, unhappy mess of her life.

No, whether a woman is a concubine to fuck or a damsel to redeem, she's always just some passive object to fulfill a man's purpose.

Parents, they'll screw you up every time.

Potassium cyanide," says the talent wrangler as she leans over to pick up a paper napkin off the floor. "Found naturally in the cassava or manioc roots native to Africa, used to tint architectural blueprints in the form of the deep-blue pigment known as Prussian blue. Hence the shade 'cyan' blue.

Sex reincarnated that good, pure girl, but as something else.

That's the big letdown you'll notice about filming a movie: No underline music. No mood music.

The closest thing that comes to how the day felt is when you wipe back to front. You're on the toilet. You're not thinking, and you smear shit on the back of your hanging-down wrinkled ball skin. The more you try to wipe it clean, the skin stretches and the mess keeps getting bigger. The thin layer of shit spreads into the hair and down your thighs. That's how a day like this, how it feels to keep secret.

The damaged loves the damaged.

The damaged love the damaged.

The damaged love the damaged. True fact.

The religious school she went to, growing up, Ms. Wright said how all the girls had to wear a scarf tied to cover their ears at all times. Based on the biblical idea that the Virgin Mary became pregnant when the Holy Spirit whispered in her ear. The idea that ears were vaginas. That, hearing just one wrong idea, you lost your innocence. One detail too many and you’d be ruined. Overdosed on information.

The way to get a babe to act in a blue movie is you offer her a million dollars. The way to get a dude is you just have to ask him.

To hell with housework, our top priority has always been between our legs.

Want to talk third wave feminism, you could cite Ariel Levy and the idea that women have internalized male oppression. Going to spring break at Fort Lauderdale, getting drunk, and flashing your breasts isn't an act of personal empowerment. It's you, so fashioned and programmed by the construct of patriarchal society that you no longer know what's best for yourself.
A damsel too dumb to even know she's in distress.

What do you do when your entire identity is destroyed in an instant? How do you cope when your whole life story turns out to bw wrong?

Yeah, parents will always fuck you up.

Your dad was in a street gang?" My adopted dad was an accountant for a big Fortune 500 corporation. Him, me, and my adopted mom lived in the suburbs in an English Tudor house with a gigantic basement where he fiddled with model trains. The other dads were lawyers and research chemists, but they all ran model trains. Every weekend they could, they'd load into a family van and cruise into the city for research. Snapping pictures of gang members. Gang graffiti. Sex workers walking their tracks. Litter and pollution and homeless heroin addicts. All this, they'd study and bicker about, trying to outdo each other with the most realistic, the grittiest scenes of urban decay they could create in HO train scale in a subdivision basement