There’s a stoplight where the cul-de-sac I live on meets the main road. A few mornings ago I was sitting in my car at the red light there when I dozed off for a split second just before the light turned green. A blaring horn startled me from my microsleep, causing me to slam my foot onto the gas pedal. As my car screeched around the corner, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw the SUV belonging to the guy who lives directly across the street from me turning the other way.
Now I realize he had to beep his horn. I get that. But the dude laid on it for four whole seconds when a quick, staccato beep would have been just as effective. Four seconds of blaring horn! To me that translates into, “Get moving, asshole! I’m a big fuckin’ toughguy, and you’re holding up my important schedule, sissy boy.”
So to show this dickhead how gangsta I am, I decided to kill him.
Since I planned on holding him captive for a few days before I cut his ass up, I went and salvaged some pallets and scrap metal from the local junkyard, used them to construct a makeshift cage in my basement.
There were two small problems with my murder plot, however: the intended victim’s wife and toddler-age son.
How could I put his wife through such hell, deprive that innocent tot of his daddy? I realized I’d never be able to live with myself after unloosing such agony on these people, these virtual strangers to me.
My solution to this problem, however, was simple: I’d kidnap and murder the wife and child too. That way they’d never have to experience the loss of the husband-father, never have to adjust to a life without him, never have to work through that terrible grief.
Only there was a slight problem with my solution: the couple’s parents.
Peeking through the barely parted curtain of my front window (as was my habit), I often saw either pair of grandparents dropping by to visit the young couple and their beloved grandchild. Sometimes all four came by to visit at the same time. How could I take away from these grandparents, these God-fearing, law-abiding Americans who were in the twilight of their lives, all that they held dear — their very children, their sweet grandchild, their living legacy itself? Surely my guilt would be unbearable if I committed such an atrocity.
So I guessed I’d have to kidnap and kill the grandparents too.
For just a moment, my revised plan seemed like it might work before further logical complications dawned on me. What about the extended family? The brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles? The nieces and nephews, first cousins, etc.? How could I bear the thought of these folks receiving the terrible news, the news that such a huge chunk of their family had been tragically lost, imprisoned and slaughtered like animals no less? To spare them the pain, I supposed I’d have to kidnap and murder them as well.
But what of the second cousins, third cousins, cousins once-removed, twice-removed? Why, they’d simply have to die too. And what about the friends of the family? It appeared I was obliged to murder them as well.
Either that or suffer guilt something fierce.
And that’s not even considering the effect my criminal actions would have on the friends and families of the friends of the family.
As I contemplated my dilemma, the number of people I had to kidnap and murder grew exponentially. Ultimately, I concluded that I’d have to wipe out everyone in the world. Such a task posed a number of obvious practical problems of a seemingly insurmountable nature. For one, where would I possibly hold all these people — the world’s population minus me? What holding cell was so large as to be capable of imprisoning all the world’s masses of men, women, and children?
Ah ha, I got it! I thought in triumph. The earth itself would be my cage! This simplified my task considerably. Now it was unnecessary for me to physically kidnap anyone: for everyone was already stuck here on this giant cage of a planet, and they didn’t even know it!
Quite brilliant, if I do say so myself.
But there was still one major kink in my plan. How exactly would I exterminate all these people that I’d caged and kidnapped so cleverly, the billions of them?
Guns? Knives? Fire? Explosives? Poison? As I’m only one man, such methods were obviously unworkable. Nuclear arms? That wouldn’t do either. I’m just a regular (albeit super-homicidal) sort of civilian, and I simply don’t have access to Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Ah ha, I got it! I thought in another moment of triumphant perspicacity.
I’ll let disease, starvation, and old age wipe them out, I vowed. Car accidents, house fires, and drownings. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods. Shark and bear attacks. Lightning strikes. And the people themselves will assist me. Political wars, ethnic cleansings, terrorist attacks, drug wars, fatal crimes of passion. Yes, any person who kills another person, whether by intent or accident, will unknowingly be one of my hit men, one of my soldiers. Every suicide victim — unbeknownst to the victim — will be a kamikaze warrior acting in my service. My weapons will be Mother Nature, Chaos, and Humankind itself! And though it might take a while, eons even, in the end no one will escape my unstoppable path of global destruction.
So the next time someone you know dies, though you may want to chalk it up to cancer or train derailment, know that it was really me.
And when you eventually die — regardless of how — know that it will be me killing you, me slipping an invisible noose around your neck and pulling it tauter and tauter…
Yup. That’s cuz I’m a reeaaaal badass muthafucka. That’s right, biotch.
Douglas Hackle likes to write stories that are bizarre, surreal, absurd, darkly humorous, satirical, horrific, macabre, veiny, vainglorious, childishly stupid or some combination thereof. His stories have [vein poppet] appeared in a number of online and print publications. Douglas resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and little boy, and he’s not exactly sure how that blasted vein poppet be gettin’ all up in his bio n’ shit.