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Joe P. Squance

Blik Nickers

Blik Nickers had an abnormally large heard. As a child, he tried to conceal it under a knit hat or sombrero but the neighborhood hooligans wouldn’t hesitate to jump up and knock it off, then point and laugh as he ran, crying, into the safety of his house. When Blik had aged to prepubescentism, instead of trying to make his head look smaller, he would cleverly try to make his body look bigger with baggy clothes and shoulder pads. All in vain, though, because even bullies can’t be fooled into forgetting omnipresent truths: Blik Nickers had a big head.

Head big or little, no one could say that Blik wasn’t a devout Christian. He could sit among his brothers and sisters, he no different from them, and they no different from he. As long as Blik sat in the house of God he was safe from ridicule and shame, leaving only eternal damnation to wrestle with. No one snickers under their breath and no one gave any strange looks. Although he in his middle age, along with his amorous churchmates, had long become accustomed to his irregularity, the rest of the world, unfortunately, had not grown so sophisticated.


“Do you think, Mother, that this tie goes with my suit?” Blik tightened his bolo tie as tight as it would go and smoothed the ends over the white shirt underneath.

“Is it supposed to hang down that far?” she creaked. Even though Blik’s head was so unusually large and misshapen, the neck that held it up was thin and cracked blue with veins. It didn’t look like a neck to hold up a noggin of such magnitude. Blik tied his wingtips and brushed his hair. His arms were fully extended.

“Oh, wear the loafers, Son. You don’t always have to look so snazzy.”

“I’m more comfortable in wingtips.” He licked his thumb and wiped a smudge off of the tip of the right shoe, then stood back to admire himself in the body length mirror that he had hung on the back of his bedroom door. His navy blue pants were neatly creased, steering the pinstripes in the proper direction. His belt was perfectly horizontal, and his jacket without a wrinkle or grain of stray lint. Bending his legs at the knees, he took a final look at the smooth skin of his cheek and the glistening sheen of his dark brown hair.

“I’m off to Wednesday night mass, mother.”

“Is it Wednesday already? That means tomorrow is bingo night. I’ll have to give Margery a call.” In a flowered muumuu and lime green house slippers, she made her way to the phone.

“I’m going to be late,” he said to himself, still staring at his watch as if the hands were about to give the real time. He said a hurried good-bye and left.

The last noise Blik heard his mother make occurred when the receiver met her becurlered head.


His usual seat having long been taken, Blik quietly sat in the only open space he could find, five rows from the back, four seats from the aisle. He was not comfortable sitting in front of people, but knew that he would not be comfortable standing. “Besides,” he thought, “these are my brethren, and they understand.”

“Let us now turn to page 973 in the hymn book and sing together, ‘The Lord Which is Thy Shepherd Shall Lead Thee Out of the Pit of Ultimate Darkness and Into the Light of All That Which is Good.’”

Soon Blik heard the collection basket approaching from the right. He reached into his shirt pocket and found the pile of change he had put in there earlier, which he proudly deposited without hesitation. He handed the basket to Mrs. Gail who handed it to Mr. Gail who handed it to Raymond who handed it back a row to Lady Victor who handed it to Jean Streamer who passed it to Nickolas who handed it to Jitz Nitsu who happened to be sitting directly behind our beloved Blik. “This shall not go on much longer,” Blik heard the man say.


Jitz Nitsu had a culinary fixation and a short temper. He was not a tall man nor was he very good looking, but he had a collection of exotic knives, bayonets, spears, razors, axes and other such items that various people use to kill various enemies in various ways. He was an avid collector and had little time or capacity for much else, save recreational lumberjacking and an occasional outing to church.

When he was little, Jitz took pleasure in popping off dandelions and wasted no time reciting the ‘mama had a baby and its head popped off’ anthem. He hadn’t the patience for it. He did, however, have the patience for grass mowing, hedge trimming, tree pruning and other such lawn tidying activities, out of which grew his fascination for bladed objects. He loved to cut. He perfected his chop swing at an early age and refined his technique as he became older. “A collection can be quite a healthy pastime for a boy,” a psychologist once told his mother. And that it was, until the other boys grew taller and the other girls stopped passing him notes and the other teachers began to call him a problem child. That was when his fuse was shortened considerably and principals started losing their pinkie fingers.


“God DAMN this bow tie! How in the hell is anyone supposed to be able to tie this god damn thing? I’m reading the diagram, I’m following the directions. Tie this god damn end around there, tuck that into this, wrap that around these, shove that through here and that should be it.” Standing on two phone books, Jitz looked at himself in the bathroom mirror. His powdered blue tie was twisted and wrapped around itself like a phone cord with a knot in the middle, and spilled limply out of the collar of his black shirt which slightly augmented the growing red of his face.

“FORGET THIS GOD DAMNED BOW TIE,” he bellowed, breaking the brief still like the shattering of a dish. “I just won’t wear a god damn tie.” He slapped his shaving cream onto the hairy floor of the tub and sliced the tie loose from around his neck, unable to untie the knot he had just invented. “What purpose do ties serve anyway?” he said as he stormed out of the drippy wet bathroom to look for his shoes.

Jitz found his shoes, white leisure shoes, and his favorite buck knife. The shoes he put on his feet and the knife he hung from his belt. Now all he needed were his keys.



Jitz arrived rudely at mass and took one of the few seats left, four seats from the back, four seats from the aisle. He did knot kneel before shoving his way to the empty spot on the pew and made himself quite at home once he got there. Soon after, the doors opened again and a final latecomer crept in.

“Well, at least I’m not the latest,” thought Jitz as he looked back to the doors, stretching his neck to see above the shoulders. “Of course it has to be a tall person,” he didn’t whisper to Nickolas who was sitting to his left. “They think they can do anything. He’ll probably sit right in front of me.” Jitz’s teeth clenched when his view was blocked by the biggest head he had ever seen. His muscles tightened as he eyed the thin neck that held it up.

“Let us now turn to page 973 in the hymn book and sing together, ‘The Lord Which is Thy Shepherd Shall Lead Thee Out of the Pit of Ultimate Darkness and Into the Light of All That Which is Good.’”

Jitz could not sing. His rage at the insensitive man in front of him was growing and he was afraid he might curse in the house of God. His nails dug into the closed hymn book and, as dozens of voices harmonized around him, he continued to eye the neck.


Blik sang as he had never sung before. And as he sang, a feeling of complete contentment befell him. He had never felt so at ease, so unworried about himself and his surroundings. He felt he was home and, for a moment, believed that he loved everyone in the church at that moment. When the collection basket came around, he took it with gusto, and filled it with pride before passing it to the lovely Mrs. Gail.


Jitz could barely contain his rage. His face was scarlet with hate while his hands were white with stifled fury. His fuse was quickly burning down to the core and his impulses were slowly moving towards the knife on his belt. From his left, Nickolas offered him the collection basket.

“This shall not go on much longer.”


All words, thoughts, coughs, scrapes, squeaks were halted, dead in their tracks, by an ungodly shriek that reverberated off every wall and window. Candles blew out, alter boys froze, and the holy water ceased its evaporation. Even Jesus on the cross opened his eyes and all was still for an immeasurable eternity that happened in less than one second. Then came the unsettling FWAP—a fwap straight out of the center of hell, the kind of fwap that butchers and mobsters and Civil War nurses heard on a regular basis—that made the congregation blink back to life. All as one, they turned their heads in time to see Blik Nickers’ fall to the floor and Jitz Nitsu standing on the pew behind, following through with his sing, the trailing end of a howl still tapering out of his mouth. Slowly, like a balloon that had lost its helium, the head fell to the floor and the rest of Blik slumped politely onto the right side of Mrs. Gail. Once again, there was a moment of stillness between the end of Jitz’s scream and the beginning of Mrs. Gail’s. And just as her scream began to echo off the ceiling, Jitz became conscious of his actions and made a jump for the aisle, only to be taking down by quick-handed Jean Streamer, who snatched him out of mid-air like a beach ball. And, leaving his hysterical wife who was still supporting the weight of a dead body, Mr. Gail dove down to ensure the capture of this vile killer. Soon, the rest of them joined him.


A procession was held in the streets for Blik and donations were given to his broken mother who gave a heartwarming speech about her little egghead. A statue was erected in the park after a scrap metal drive was held to finish the top, and the Blik Nickers memorial hat shoppee opened its doors on the first anniversary of his death.


Jitz Nitsu was tried, by a jury of Blik’s peers, convicted and sentenced to death, all in a matter of two hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon. His sentence was carried out the following Wednesday. He deserved, it was agreed upon, to die in the guillotine in the center of town, after everyone turned their backs. The only person to see his head fall into the basket was Blik’s mother. Everyone else had merely to listen to Jitz’s mouth suddenly go silent.