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Friday, April 13, 2012


This is a flash fiction I wrote for a challenge on

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Death is a new beginning, isn’t it? That’s how I see it. I felt the hard steel barrel tap my teeth. The taste of gun oil isn’t unfamiliar to me. I’ve tasted the bitter-black tang on my fingertips when I absent mindedly touched my lips while cleaning my collection. My collection.  My obsession. Hand guns, shotguns, long rifles. Cool slick lifeless tools that could bring death racing on an All American Harley; thoughtless, mindless, yet cruel. No good intentions, no bad intentions; no intentions at all. My tools. My way. Death’s way.
I’d used them all to take lives. Their creators would be proud. Deer and bear; man, woman and child. I’d killed and cleaned many a man before my first deer. I killed the last deer out of necessity. Since I’ve found this abandoned cabin, I’ve survived on the few staples that I’d bought at the Quikie Mart when headed out of town. Shot the cashier, as I’m sure you know. Couldn’t resist. Not like you can send me away any longer for another one, right? Probably did him a favor. That bitch of a wife was giving it to him pretty good from what I could hear from their phone conversation. You know, all things come out of chaos. Good and bad. I truly believe that. Probably did that bitch a favor, too, since he could’ve had life insurance or something. Maybe he was boinking his daughter; who knows.
Didn’t take the time to take his body. Didn’t look all that appetizing anyways. Geez, how some people let themselves go. Where was I? Oh, that gun barrel taste. Sure would be easy to catch up with death. I’ve been chasing its shadow for years. You’d probably get a hard on if I blew off the top of my head, but I couldn't care less. I decide when death comes, not you. I know you think it was you who brought me here, but I could’ve went right on killing, you can count on that. I’ve been at it now for, what, thirty-two years, four months and five days. Held a forty hour a week job and had a wife and kids. Church on Sundays. Well, had a wife and kids is right. They’ve been gone a while, sure you know that by now. I only regret I never caught up with them for a little quality time. Even stayed away from the bitch’s parents. Took some will power, that one. Couldn’t take the chance of giving you hick cops any whiff.
One bullet will give me sweet release. I hope my blood and brain spatter won’t obscure this note. Kidding. I’ll be sure to use one of the Glad bags that the last hunters so graciously left on the kitchen counter. Locks in freshness. There will be silence at last. Sure, you’d love me to say, “silence from the torment in my soul, blah, blah, blah.” Silence from the idiocy of the human race, is more like it. Silence from the pathetic whining and begging to an apathetic God. Everyone I eradicated begged for mercy. Hey, you gotta’ go sometime, why not entertain me? Some entertainment. It was exhilarating at first, then just made me want to finish off the next tool all that much more. Damn, it’s cold in here, but I won’t light the fire. Why make it easy on you? Hell, I’ll have departed well before you get here. Dearly departed. Get it?
Had a couple beers. Still taste that oil. I’m a little hungry, but cold hotdogs don’t sound too good and I damn sure not eating raw venison. I’m not crazy. Where was I? Oh, yes. The human race. I’ve had more guilt stepping on a roach. Dead roaches? Guilty as charged! Everyone else? Not so much. What keeps you from killing someone? Let me help. Fear. Fear of retribution. Retribution from Mother, Father, friend… society. God. Mortality. Death. Well, I don’t fear. I’m a carrier! That’s a good one. Ha.
It’s dark now. Colder still. I’d like to pretend that you’re getting close. Might motivate me to get this over with. I’m not afraid of dying. It’s no different from what I already am. What you already are.
I heard you outside. I should do it. Quit writing. You have your chance; take it. I won’t fight. It’s done.
That was the strangest sound I’ve ever heard. I don’t think it’s you, but it could be, couldn’t it? Ha. You think you’re good. I’ve been sitting so still. Deathly still. My left leg fell asleep, but it doesn’t bother me. Got the gun right here. Now that you’re here, maybe I’ll wait and kill you first.

Saginaw, MI
Serial killer Thom McFarland was found dead in an abandoned hunter’s cabin in a secluded wooded area outside of Saginaw. State Police were investigating the killing of Juan Carlos, a Quikie Mart employee who had been shot in an apparent robbery attempt when officers were approached by local hunters who found McFarland’s body. The body of McFarland was found bound to a metal chair. Authorities report that McFarland had been tortured for possibly up to twelve hours by unknown assailants. The torture wounds were survivable, however police state that it appears that he had later been mauled by bears, probably drawn to the cabin by the scent of a deer carcass found within, which resulted in his death. McFarland, infamous for the deaths of at least forty Saginaw area citizens, had been known as the self-proclaimed “Grim Reaper" killer. The case is still under investigation.


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  1. Who knew Death's cloak was made of coarse, black hair? I'm not usually a big fan of epilogues but this was the perfect quotidian anchor to the Dali-esque fever dreamscapes of the story. Cool.

  2. I am now a big fan of epilogues. Nice twist. :)

  3. Thanks for the compliments. It was my intention to keep this one vague and leave the reader room for speculation on who the assailants may have been and also add the twist of the serial killer being deprived of having control of his own demise.

  4. A triumph of show over tell. I envy that: cannibalism alluded to, but not stated. A plain man's descent into carnage after the destruction of (or because of?) his family life. Did he cause it himself or suffer it and move on to killing?
    And yes, a great strength of horror/mystery is in making the reader do some of the work by obliging his imagination to fill in what's missing.
    John M Ford was a master of that - I always love the silence at the end of his sentences when I am obliged to stop and think and come to the only conclusion that he lets me draw.You let the reader fill the darkness with our own nastiest speculations.
    And what was his nemesis; a wendigo all the way through, or a wendigo finishing the job after another psycho steps out for more beers because torture's thirsty work?

    1. Thank you. H.P. Lovecraft used the technique of allusion(often misconstrued as obtuse by his critics; alas, being unable to write a cohesive tale) to great effect.

      Not that I'm any Lovecraft, but I love the guy!