There is a smile I smile whenever I am in a sadistic vein. I can’t help it. It’s entirely involuntary. I can just feel my face doing it. I have tried to stop it. It’s impossible. My face is just set on doing it.
I thought about it somewhat today, and how to describe it, and this will be a bit convoluted, so bear with me here.
There’s a phrase from what is quite possibly the worst book ever written – well, it’s a novella really. ‘The Eye of Argon’. A ‘Conan the Barbarian’ rip-off, written by the one and only Jim Theis, armed only with his barely working type writer and much abused thesaurus.
It is so atrocious that the editor who came across it thought that reading it out loud would make an excellent party game – you laugh, you pass on the ‘hideous entertainment’, to quote the editor-discoverer. I’ve played it repeatedly, it’s heaps of fun, especially when everyone is appropriately pickled.
Anyway, from amongst the word salad that is ‘The Eye of Argon’, this one phrase has stuck in my head; ‘a sadistic grin of knowing mirth’. My own personal standards won’t allow me to adopt this mangled wreckage of a sentence, hence this rather convoluted backstory. Whenever I try to describe that smile, however, it’s the only phrase which comes to mind.
That smile is at once knowing, amused, and sadistic. Or at least, that’s how I feel in the moment – the cool, calmness of the sadism combines with a joy, a pure contentment in the moment, and that extra satisfaction, that glee, that I know what is coming.
I can see he’s scared and I alone know what is coming, what I’m going to do. I suppose there is no greater edge, no greater power, than knowing someone’s fate when they themselves do not.