Adapted from Martyrs and Exquisitions --
               Erotic Structure in Acted Death Scenes
(unpublished 2004)

Tarrant reads Reich:

orgastic sensation itself, however, she expressed in the same feelings in which she expressed her striving for death. Orgasm as well as death were represented by dissolution, losing oneself, melting away; thus the same thing could be the object of intense striving as well as intense fear. This association of the ideas of orgasm and of dying is a general phenomenon. The striving for non-existence, for the Nirvana, for death, then, is identical with the striving for orgastic release, that is, the most important manifestation of life. There can be no idea of death which derives from the actual dying of the organism, for an idea can only render what has already been experienced, and nobody has experienced their own death. The ideas of death and dying as we see them for analysis are of two kinds. Either they are ideas of severe injury or destruction of the psychophysical organism; in this case they are accompanied by severe anxiety and are grouped around the idea of genital castration. Or they are ideas of full orgastic gratification and pleasure in the form of bodily dissolution, melting away, etc.; in this case they are basically ideas with a sexual goal.

and feels encouraged how he stages and grades his victims' performance of their deaths for the camera he conceives behind his eyes trained on his hands, attention to the weapons and wounds, whence flows the sequence of response in waves and cascades per segment of the crime, stages to which he has given unique names. And though all occur in sequence in any murder -- by virtue of the suddenness, say, decapitation from behind -- one or more might be passed through near-instantly, or superimposed on one adjacent in the sequence.

First comes Luctance, alarmed response to awareness of intrusion, victims' outrage at violated privacy compromised, fight-or-flight motions that via their violence and strength offer resistance, if in vain. Its emotions are hope and rage, its action struggle; its memory victory or defeat. Bodies stiffens, blood rushes to centers and speeds out limbs to enable strike and grasp. Mouths dry, anticholinergic, fine motor control flees fingers, surprise reddens to fear, sluiced away in bloodlust. Victims resist, enraged or apprehensive as tides of combat ebb, flow and level.

Stifled mid-gasp, Instancia claws Tarrant's hand clamped to her mouth, jerks it away to emit an outraged squeal, an interrupted plea before it twists free of her grasp and the meaty palm clamps down again, irresistible.

Whelming follows: overpowered, victims surge helplessly at killers' wills, the struggle realized unwinnable.

Eyes open wide, reflected as the blade flashes before them, first in a slow up-arc then reversed in a sudden downstroke that ends with a hooking upthrust into flesh.

A cable of blood ascends Instancia's throat, stifles a grunt of surprised disbelief and unraves. Strands burst red between her Tarrant's thick stifling fingers, then reverse direction as she gasps reflexively and sucks the hot fluid back into her lungs, blots out her breath.

Tarrant jerks the knife free with a ripping twist. Instancia's knees buckle and her body stiffens into a quaking arch, held vertical by Tarrant's hand that now moves to her throat. Thumb and opposed fingers sink deep below the angles of her jaw.

The blade plunges twice more, probes fiercely inside, then withdraws free in a ragged spray of blood, then drives full home,grates on bone as it pierces Instancia's racing heart. Her arms fling wide, shudder and twitch, then close to embrace emptiness.

Exquisition is a transcendent moment beyond fear and pain, when numinous information supersedes dread and agony of dying and the victim achieves terminal enlightenment.

Paradoxical, Instancia breaks beyond Tarrant's long reach even as he grips her tight, feels her hair's tips' light brush across bare shoulders, source of a tumbling, vibrant wave down her body that obliterates pain and ntensifies weak helplessness. Her killer releases her and steps back, so she stands shakily on her own, eyes wide and pupils dilated to accommodate a cascade of inverse light. A summation as to orgasm excruciates her body, wrings her empty of will in an instant cleansing gush.

Spastion is the final throe, autonomic response to body's devastation.

Instancia's spine's arch stiffens and her pelvis thrusts spasmodically. Quivers run her length and traverse her breadth. Each nerve depolarizes of its total charge as adrenals empty into her draining bloodstream.

Obliteracy, final surrender, release of life, relinquishment of corporeal continuity.

Instancia shapes her lips around a volumeless whispered groan. Her head falls back to accept the blade's traverse that opens her throat to the bone, and her chest fills with a breath pure blood to meet its downward looping stroke through her heart that clenches against the cutting steel and spews red spittle at its twist of withdrawal. Twin jets arise from her severed carotids to fall back into her eyes. Her body, now fully liquid, sags to the deep carpet, its last blood thirstily drunk by the deep wool pile.