drab, horrible, artless short story
by Eager Gallows Pole
The sight of the backgammon case annoyed me. I owned it for maybe 10 years. It spent most of its existence near the back of a top closet shelf, or equivalent. Its pseudo-leather complexion was less then stellar, the corners ratty, and there was the flimsy prideless hinge that kept the case closed. Like the many times before throughout my many spent years I pondered how mindlessly unintellectual the game is as i oogled the case. I suppose I am a few subtleties short of mastering the game because I have no desire to rout out the last nuances of strategy. For one, doing so would be a waste of my time, and for another, doing so would officially sterilize the game rendering it a mere feat of tieing my emotions to dice rolls; the game was already that.
Finishing those thoughts i anyway craved rolling a few white and brown dice so I opened the case. I rolled the white one a few times, both of them once, the brown one once. The serendipity was quickly drowned out by the mentally mondain annoyances of sighting familiar numbers. I was lucky to get a 6 both times I rolled the brown die, though. The white rolls: 5 followed by 2 hurt my brain to view. ..Rolled the white die a few more times: 4, 5. The street outside the window was empty. Marginal direct sunlight struck reasonably clean asphalt, trash cans, parked cars et al. Boring. I rolled the brown die again: 6. I smirked wryly. Maybe if I roll the brown die quickly again I'll get another 6. Wait, maybe rolling the white die first is required. I rolled the white die a few times to stall: 2, 5. The first two rolls of the white die where 5, 2, hmm. I also haven't rolled a 6 on the white die yet. I rolled the white die 10 more times: 2, 4, 4, 3, 5, 6 (dammit), 4, 1, 5, 3. Now for the money, I rolled the brown die: 6. I smiled through a cracked face. This isn't fun, this is torture. I rolled the brown die again: 6. damn!
So I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down everything before the memories fleeted: 5w,2w,6b,6b,2w,5w,2w,4w,4w,3w,5w,6w(damnit),3w, 6b, 6b. Now I had to ask myself, were these unusual rolls, with the brown die always rolling 6s? or was the sequence of numbers usual and the color of die irrelevant. A curious spin on precieving the math. I looked outside, the streets were empty, and dull.
Instead of ruining the paradox by again rolling the brown die and watching it not be a 6 I looked for something else to do to distract myself and mull over the problem.
Those plastic clamshell packaging things are hell, and ironically, I bought some scissors to cut them open which itself was in plastic clamshell packaging. I was already angry, and my fingers tingled in fear on prospects how to open it. All I could think of was that damn chef's knife in the kitchen. f'n great. I became a weak minded individual and blindly, blankly walked to the kitchen and back getting it. Ok, here it goes. A mostly nice slice down the long side, not quite to the edge. My stomach ached, nagging me with its disappointment of what I was doing. Down the short edge. Whoa, I watched the blade come up about 6" straight towards my face. The doorbell rang. Damnit. I rolled the brown die once: 6!! ?? then went to the front door. It was an intimitatingly overly tall wirey muscular UPS guy with pokerface set to 'polite'. I hate the sight of a guy that almost surely could physically subdue me and smiles too. He was looking downward, not at my face, and looked like he was ready to fill out a report or something. I looked down. In my haze I didn't realize I was still holding the chef's knife and began raising it as I began to appologi.. he lurched a few inches, not backwards, and I stabbed him. First to keep him away then continued robotically to keep him from getting away, then continued in my sudden new catatonic state of mind. Minutes later I found myself actively thinking again at the count of 27 stabs and did not stop until I got to 32. 32 stabs was a number of closure.
The front of his shirt was soaked. I got a towel and a bunch of oversized plastic bags. Threw the towel over him and tiled the plastic bags in the entry and pulled him in and shut the door, unlocked, then returned to my room. I looked at the dice then the package of scissors. I elected to finish opening the scissors. Pull the knife away from me, tug. This is the most fruitless, boring day ever. pry. Very high chance the roomie that lives on the far side of the house--we never talk--will be back in 6 hours. 6, i sighed. When you are at someones house and see a knife you run away, not stand your ground, mo$$#r #$ck#4! I reached between the clamshell plastic sheets and tried to wiggle the scissors out, gave up and took a 20 minute trance nap.
Lake, where's a low traffic lake. I'll chain him up with an exagerated number of chains. what if fish eat at him and his decapacitated head floats to the surface? hmm, that might happen. This is the worst day ever! I need to keep it simple and not vacillate. I'll bury him, but really really deep. This SUCKS. that's not simple, too long. I'll bury him in a big plastic tub, ! but I'll bury him with the tub upside down to shield away animals. It's going to take months before I can even begin to get over this! Oh my god the truck outside. I'll park it by the last place. no, gps. I'll deliver a few packages but only on the doorstep. risky, wow. wait, take his cellphone, but leave mine. pick his cell phone up with a plastic bag. wait, the plastic residue is signature of fowl play. handle it with his own clothing, a sock, no look for a napkin in his truck..
Keep it simple.
Off to Home Depot I went. Inside the store was surreally ordinary. A person at the front said hello as I entered. I almost felt I could snap out of it. Snap out of it I thought. I got a big thick rope then returned home. I googled noose, then hangman's knot, then gracefully tied a proud knot, then wrote a note. "I stabbed the UPS man to death. At first from a misunderstanding, then continued in fear. I will never recover from this. I'm speechlessly sorry. goodbye. P.S. Give his relatives all of my assets, KenL"
And anticlimaticly, windless days moved forward, away from a short mention in the local newspaper, and plain obituary writeups.
Dedicated to KenL (and his self esteem)
Happy Halloween in advance