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Short Story

Killer (short story)

I’m going to shoot you in the head.

 

How strange that something that sounds so melodramatic can have such consequences. Did he actually practice that line? Is that really the best he could come up with. Why are these the thoughts crowding my brain as this man steps into my office holding a gun.

 

Well, sir, while I’ve had that said to me before, usually there’s no real gun. How can I help you.

 

You can help me by dying.

 

Really, that’s no way to talk, if you’re going to shoot me, shoot me, just don’t let me listen to such terrible one liners. Before you pull the trigger I would love some explanation of why, here, death is going to strike me; but the chaos of the world is collapsing and I have some semblance of peace. I suppose that maybe it is ok if you don’t tell me why you are here to kill me, really, all that will happen is that if I ask, I  have to hear a bunch of shit. Shoot, stranger, I have been at peace forever, and there is no fear in me.

 

I have no idea who you are, this is the first office I walked into. I have sat outside your office, I know there is no rush, as I also know that my gun will make a noise loud enough to attract others who will then come to arrest me. Before I do that, I will kill myself.

 

Well, honestly that makes no sense. But then again, I suppose the person being irrational enough to perform a completely random murder can’t be claimed to be wholly logical. But really, if you’re depressed, we can talk about it, if somehow we can’t talk through it, then I see no reason, logical or illogical, for you to take me with you. Yeah, it’s heartless of me to say, but you have no right to take my life, and you do, however tenuously, have the right to take your own life. I will not interfere in your ability to control your own destiny as long as you do not take away my ability to control mine.

 

Why does everything have to devolve into some form of dialogue? I am not killing you in cold blood, yet you can see my hand does not waver. I am in no rush, so we can talk as long as you want, as long as you have the appreciation that you will be dead soon; keep the talk honest and fluid because if your conversation is pleading and tripe all that will happen is that we will both die all the quicker and, now,  that I have such few poignant seconds left, I seek to enjoy every last one of them.

 

You make no sense: if you want to live, then continue on living. You can walk out of here, I won’t tell anyone, and you can consider yourself doing a job well done since you will have greatly increased the vibrant colors of life for me.

 

Sorry, I genuinely am, you seem like a nice man, but I have to kill myself, and I have to take you with me.

 

Why?! Why. Are you lonely, then we shall be friends. If you’re angry, then vent your rage to me and we will think of solutions. If you’re forlorn I will help fill you. If you’ve lost love, we will find it again. Life is vibrant and fantastic. Let’s both treat this as a wake-up call, let’s both act like we were just born and begin life anew.

 

Your arguments are sound, they have swirled through my head for days months years. If I was feeling any of those emotions in the simplistic sense you describe, I would succumb. Sadly and unfortunately for both you and me, it is none of those emotions. What I feel is sated, that I have lived life long enough. That if life is wine, and you only get one cup, then I have had mine and all I know is that it was wonderful and I have a long life ahead of me without wine. Why should I continue living? Why should I dilute the equation of my life? It can go no higher, why watch it go lower? Why watch the fantastic memories I have fade and crumble, the romance of my life to fizzle. I am Cinderella, and the glass shoe just fit, the dress has yet to turn to the leaves of a pumpkin, and I am going to end the entire charade before I even knew of it’s fallacy.

 

Oh, weak man, who has read the first chapter of a book yet fears that the book might be a tragedy, what do you know of life. For all you know, you know nothing. What know you of life being a glass of wine? Drink your glass and ask for another. Finish your fairy tale and realize that you hadn’t even gone near the climax. You are afraid of diluting perfection! You know nothing of perfection. If a man is a compendium of ups and downs, you’ve had mild ups which make these mild downs seem so depressing. Fight! Have a great swing up! Have a bottle of wine, a case, a truck, and it will still flow and perfection will still weave it’s tapestries. You, an author who seeks to write a book, and has written one letter and fears how to follow up on it. Give up on the attempt? Disgusting. Weak. And worse yet, you seek to kill me. You are a creature of logic on a foundation of misguided romance. If you want to die now, and deem it happiness, go ahead. But that is not the case. All you have is pleasure? Well then suffer to make the past happiness so much more poignant. Suffer to hit a bottom, get to the point where you are a contrast to who you are now, where you walk into my office, and go all the wine has been sucked out of me, help me live and everything will seem sunnier then the night where I’ve been living. But beyond all this, all this you purport on yourself, it is your choice, and it should be your choice. Yet: what is also your choice, and should not be your choice, is this idea you have stuck in the supposed last moments of your mind to kill me. Why? Why am I a part of a plan. Let me live, and you can at least die knowing that your death has provided someone with happiness.

 

My last friend, it is not as even maybe I have described as having lived a life of too much happiness, that was just a verbal dart missing the mark; close yes, but not true, and I worry that perhaps it is simply not in my ability to tell the whole truth. I am chipping at the edge of a masterwork, I know it, and my inability to express myself is troubling. I truly hope that when all is revealed, my actions will make sense, that my death will not be in vain, and even more so your life, which yes I do regard as precious, will not be in vain also.

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