[Malice] comprehends not only particular animosity "but also wickedness of disposition, hardness of heart, cruelty, recklessness of consequences, and a mind regardless of social duty and deliberately bent on mischief, though there may be no intention to injure a particular person." 21 A. E. 133 (2nd Edition 1902). . . . "[It] does not necessarily mean an actual intent to take human life; it may be inferential or implied, instead of positive, as when an act which imports danger to another is done so recklessly or wantonly as to manifest depravity of mind and disregard of human life." State v. Trott, 190 N.C. 674, 679, 130 S.E. 627, 629 [(1925)]. . . . In such a situation[,] "the law regards the circumstances of the act as so harmful that the law punishes the act as though malice did in fact exist." 1 Wharton, Criminal Law and Procedure § 245 (Anderson, 1957).