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Cutting it Close

The scissor story

By Michelle DevonPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
Self Publishing the Right Way

Too much potassium could stop a heart. Too little could stop a heart too, but in a less accurate, more painful way. Back when they used to still kill people with lethal injection, potassium chloride was one of the ingredients in the cocktails that were pushed by intravenous drugs to bring about death. With enough potassium, it’s a fast way to die.

One way to commit murder or suicide would be to inject the victim with potassium. The autopsy reports might show the extra potassium if they were looking for it, but chances are unlikely anyone would look for a murderer. Unless one was suspected. Maybe then. Guess it would depend on how much was used. Suicide by potassium overdose wouldn't be fun. The heart would act erratic, and it's likely there would be pain. And suffering.

Suffering… that’s what this one will be about: Suffering. Pain. The blades of scissors that glint moonlight as they go piercing and plunging deep into the chest of the victim.


This is my Saturday night, spent Googling death causes and trying to discover what the best way to kill someone would be. I’m not crazy—though the jury is still debating that case.

I’m a writer. Fiction, mostly. Thrillers. And my Google search results have included suicide statistics for jobs with the highest suicide rates to drug trafficking rings. It’s dentists, by the way. Suicide rates, that is, not drug trafficking, though I suppose that would explain why a dentist would want to die.

This is what I do, especially in the planning stages of a new book. I sit around and write or think in circles and spurts and jot down notes to be used for later. I love this planning stage. I crave it, constantly watching for the next idea, the next story. It is my joy. At some point, I create a main character, and I breathe life into him. That’s when I get to start the best part: the actual writing.

I love what I do. I call myself a full-time professional dreamer. I am living the dream. My dream, from the front lines of my living room chair with a laptop as my weapon of choice and short fingernails so my fingers don’t get stuck on the keys. Hey, it’s a thing!

But it wasn’t always like this. From a young age, I wrote. My parents owned fast food restaurants while I was growing up, and I spent a lot of my time in the back rooms of these businesses. The order taking pads were given to me and my sister to draw on and color.

I used them for writing books.

I will never forget that feeling of awe I got when I sneaked into my mom’s sewing room and I picked out her pair of scissors, the ones I wasn’t supposed to touch. They were mostly metal and they were heavy and much too big for my small hands, but this was a special book, and I had used my special calligraphy ink pens, and I needed good, sharp scissors—special ones—to make the book as special as it could be.

I spent hours alone in my bedroom, jumping and hiding the scissors under the bed in order to prevent anyone from seeing them any time someone walked into the room. To this day, my mother says she doesn’t remember ever catching me using them, but I was certain she knew and just chose to let me do it because the book was so special.

After several days, my mother was going to work on a patch for a pair of paints, and she came from the sewing room. “Has anyone seen my good scissors?”

My father called back, “What are good scissors? Don’t you have a few pair? Use one of the others.”

Daddy didn’t understand that when you sew, you have regular scissors that might cut thread away or will cut paper, like for clipping coupons (which my mother also did a lot of), but the there were the ‘good’ scissors that were reserved only for cutting fabrics, and they were kept away from mundane chores like paper and plastic and were reserved for their proper use.

“I must have put them in the bedroom the other night.”

My heart skipped a beat knowing the scissors were under my bed. When mama went into the bedroom, I scrambled into the my bedroom and ran with the shears – which I know you are not supposed to do, but desperate times call for desperate measures – and I scrambled my way through my room to the sewing room and put the scissors in my mom’s drawer.

“Mama!” I yelled, and then realized I was out of breath. I took three heaping breaths before she came running.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“I found your scissors. They were there in your drawer.”

“But I looked in that drawer,” was all she said.

She shrugged, and said nothing more, and that’s why I believed to this day that she had figured out that I had stolen---no, borrowed—the scissors without permission.

The final product was a small, hand-sized book, with cardboard covers. I realize now how mama would have cringed to see me use her shears to cut cardboard, but nothing bad happened. Each page of the book was neatly cut with super-sharp scissors, straight and perfect. I hand numbered each page at the bottom and put my name on the cover.

I gave the book to my mother for Mother’s Day as a gift that year. I can’t tell you how elated I was when she put the book in her special box and told me she was going to keep it for when I was older and had made it famous as a writer and then she would auction it off to the highest bidder and be rich.

I pouted and said, “You would sell it?”

“Of course not, sweetie. I could never!”

Boy, does that conversation look different from the other side of adulthood.

That was my first self-published book, and I made every component of that book from the ink cartridges for calligraphy pens, the drawings, the lettering and numbering, the binder, the cover—everything. I wouldn’t do that now, but as a kid, I used to think that was what being a writer entailed and I just needed better tools, like the fancy scissors and a book binding machine. I knew nothing of printers and publishers at that age. I just thought I needed practice.

Now, I’m a multi-published, award-winning author with a platform in the thousands. And I leave the publishing to the printers, venues and publishing companies. My job is to write. It’s not what I do; it’s who I am!

I’m proud of my profession as a writer, but for my type of books, there is some morbidity in my life. People ask me why writing makes me happy, and I say, because it does. If I didn’t write, I wouldn’t exist. Still, when I die, I’ve asked my best friend to delete my internet browsing history. There are things there that I wouldn’t be around to explain.

Oh, one more thing: I now have my own pair of sewing scissors that my now-grown children are not allowed to touch. History repeats itself when I once found them under my son’s bed. I picked them up and put them back in the drawer and never said a word. I learned that from my mom.


About the Creator

Michelle Devon

An award-winning author and professional dreamer....Michelle Devon lives on the southern Gulf Coast of Texas with five amazing parrots, and a very tolerant cat.

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