It began with a single post, made from a public computer, so Burpen wouldn’t be able to identify me.
Phil was my cat. Phil was my only cat. Phil was the most important thing in the world to me, Maryanne excepted. Maryanne was my girlfriend… my only girlfriend.
One day I found Phil in the garbage disposal. The top half of Phil. I knew the time had come to choose.
I waited for her that evening, armed with a switchblade, my wits, and the bottom half of Phil. I wielded him like a bolus, by the tail, ready to strike. She walked in through the door and I hit her with Phil. “WHAT’S THAT, BITCH!!!” I yelled as his intestines spilled onto her shocked face. She tried to play innocent. She tried to blame it on his catlike curiosity or our four-year-old son. I would have none of that. I showed her what I did have, which was a switchblade (and wits). She left the apartment screaming. I threw Phil after her.
Two days later she called to set up a meeting to “work things out”. She said to come unarmed. I brought a tazer, a semi-automatic rifle, and a Kevlar jacket. I had to kill a cop for the jacket. It has a hole in it now. I guess that tells you just how much you can trust this jacket, but I wasn’t trusting the jacket. I was trusting my gut. I was trusting my gut not to spill out.
She brought two friends to our meeting, a wop and a nigger. The wop had a knife and the nigger had a gun. But it was nothing compared to what I used to do back in the good old days. In a few short seconds they were both hung upside down from nearby tree limbs, their arms dangling. Her jaw dropped about as far. So I jammed a grenade in there and ran for the hills. The hills. THE HILLS!
She’s buried next to Phil in my backyard. I visit the graves weekly. I put flowers on Phil’s. But to hers, I only pretend to pay homage. I pretend, because that is the worst possible insult: to pretend to care. Just like she pretended to love me, all those years. All those long years.
Later the state took the kid away from me, but that’s another story. I guess I’ll never know his name.
- – - – -
Are short stories ok? I wrote this last year, it hasn’t been published yet. Does it have to be comedy? I find it kinda funny, I guess, the part about killing niggers is pretty funny in like, a really bad kind of way. I don’t know what the guidelines for this kind of thing are.
It was a humble beginning. While I was pretty sure I’d succeeded in writing in something utterly unlike my own narrative tone, a part of me worried that it wasn’t crass enough to truly offend my soulless writers. So I raised the stakes.
I have another. I have a whole bunch like that.
- – - – -
I fought in Vietnam. But I didn’t fight on either side.
Of course, I was enlisted in the U.S. Army at first. I was drafted. I didn’t volunteer, you see, didn’t want to fight in a war worth fighting. I got all the way through boot camp and training, fighting all the way. Fighting the man, fighting the system, trying desperately not to wind up halfway across the world killing people further down on my list of people to kill. But I fought the system so hard—hospitalized thirteen fellow recruits, you see—that they took a liking to me, the brass did. Not that I took a liking to them. Every chance I’d get, I’d punch the Lieutenant. Punch him right in the nose.
We finally got over there, and I was all doped up, and Sarge dies right away in a hail of gunfire, never even made it off the chopper. They gave us a man the other boys called New Sarge, or Sergeant Warren. I didn’t call him Sergeant Warren. I killed him. Yes it was because he was black.
They ran after me real hard after that. They were going to find me, court martial me, probably kill me. So I dropped a bunch of grenades on my way out, killed them, killed them all—boys I’d trained with, boys who’d sold me drugs, boys I’d previously hospitalized. For a while, nobody was running after me.
I’ll never be sure when I crossed the border into Cambodia, it’s not like there’s a red line in the middle of the jungle, but I do know that sooner rather than later the jungle was on fire, and napalm dripped from the trees like rain leaking from Hell’s downspout. I burnt my face, I burnt my hands, my government-issue shirt melted to my chest. I roared, screaming like primal man on the hunt, and ripped my shirt and skin off. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I ate the skin.
I killed a lot of Charlies. A lot. Women and children when I could. I was prehistoric man on the hunt, hunting inferior creatures who would run and hide and scream, and then I’d beat them to death with my shoe, just like God intended. Just like God intended, beating people to death with my shoe.
That’s right around when withdrawal set in. I started to hunt the napalm-planes. I started to look for the fires. Surely something in this forest would get me a buzz at the very least. And if anything then surely napalm. I had nearly found the perfect piece of fiery vegetation when I stumbled, fell, and found I could go no further. My feet were burnt to ashes, I had taken off my shoes to beat people you see. And I had forgotten, so now my feet were destroyed. I crawled over to the napalm-engulfed fern dragging my ruined feet along behind me, grabbed it with my hands, and it melted to my hands. I tried to smoke it and just wound up smoking my hands. When I was done they were melted to my mouth. I screamed man’s most guttural scream through vibrating fibers of my melted hands.
But at least I was high.