Please know that while this short story is fiction and is meant to be enjoyed for its style and content, it is inspired by a frightening reality faced by people all over the world. Mental illness does not discriminate. The stigma surrounding disorders and diseases like depression and schizophrenia needs to be destroyed, and we can make that happen by creating a conversation and educating ourselves and others. Please show compassion to everyone you encounter in life. They may just hear or see something you don’t.
Another day of work.
You’re a joke.
Another day of mediocrity in the name of a paycheck.
You’re a waste of space. What’s the point?
Another cold morning with visible breath and achy joints.
You deserve to hurt.
She sat daydreaming in her unremarkable car, staring out the windshield at the other unremarkable vehicles, both idling and parked, between fading yellow lines.
The familiar pop song on the radio ended and the chipper, charismatic voice of an underpaid disc jockey interrupted her absent musing.
She sighed, defeated. She pulled the key from the ignition and opened the door, and as she turned toward the center console to fetch her purse, an object in the passenger floorboard caught her eye.
A large black pocket knife lay in plain sight, clumsily and mistakenly left behind by her husband. She paused and thought for a moment, and her flawed logic made her decide not to leave the weapon in the car.
I shouldn’t leave this in such a visible spot, she thought to herself as she retrieved the knife and, instead of concealing it in the glove box, she tucked it in her purse before locking the car and walking to her office.
The same stained carpet.
Disgusting, like you.
The same cluttered desk with stacks of unending paperwork.
The same jingles of keys from the same insufferable colleagues.
They all hate you.
She worked routinely, but just going through the motions allowed her to slip into an ever-darkening state of mind. Each sheet of paper and click of the keyboard left her more agitated. She heard her associates babbling too enthusiastically about their ordinary lives, and her phone seemed to ring again and again, just seconds after ending the call before.
Anxiety rose in her throat like bile, and she frantically pulled open her desk drawer to find the pills that would calm her enough to allow her to finish her work without a breakdown. Addiction was the name of only one of her many inner demons. With shaking hands, she fumbled with the zippers and snaps of her purse.
Her fingers grazed a package of tissues, a tube of lip gloss, her checkbook which might as well be kindling, cough drops, and-
An unexpected metal object.
Did you forget about that?
An unexpected desire replacing anxiety.
End their incessant chattering.
An unexpected lapse of caution and conscience.
Do it. You have absolutely nothing to lose, you piece of trash.
She suddenly rose and walked away from her desk, and she felt as if she was floating. She navigated the halls purposefully and quietly, but paid no mind to her surroundings. It was effortless; she acted similarly to a lucid dreamer who works impossibly quickly and without consequence.
Her boss was the first victim. He only had enough time to shoot her a concerned glance before she practically lunged across the room and made the first inelegant incision.
Voices told her to do it.
Make them bleed.
Voices whispered to her night and day but she attempted to quiet them with pharmaceutical muzzles.
We’re still here.
Voices convinced her to kill.
You’re a monster.
Her ears rang as she thrashed and plunged the knife into her colleagues’ flesh over and over, moving from office to office deliberately and rapidly. Her work mates had no time to process or react to her blows. She couldn’t even hear their pained screams despite how they must have been tormented by every stab and slice.
The rooms filled with the scent of pennies, and brilliant red adorned the mundane walls and stained carpets. She laughed joyfully and hysterically at the sudden change in scenery.
They were all dead. There was no one left to call for help but she knew someone would become aware of her actions soon enough. Oddly, she felt no remorse and even smiled as she leaned back against one of the freshly blood-painted walls and slid to the floor.
No more mediocre life.
No more routine, no more insufferable coworkers, and no more weight on her shoulders.
You’re going to die.
“Call an ambulance!”
“Oh, God, what have you done?”
“Check her pulse! What are those pills?”
“There’s so much blood!”
So much blood.
So much… blood…
So much… pain?
She slumped in her chair, and her downward glance revealed her bloody hands, holding both her entrails and the knife with which she was sure she had just murdered at least three people. She choked and sputtered as she began to realize the damage she had inflicted, not on any of her coworkers, but on herself.
As the scope of her vision receded, she lifted her head to see her physically unscathed colleagues, and the empty pill bottle, almost indistinguishable amidst the pools and spatters of crimson. Warm blood replaced the last of the air in her lungs.
One last heartbeat.
One last sound heard before everything faded away completely.
One last time the voice of her mental illness said
Available 24 hours everyday
I’ve been away from my blog(s) for a while, but I’ve still been a busy girl!
I’ve been working on stuff I have to, but also some stuff I want to.
On top of my internship, I’ve taken some time to dig in and do a bit of writing and some design.
When those devastating tornadoes swept through Oklahoma at the end of May, I realized I had the tools to help others, but not the money. I’m a poor college student who also has to scrape something together for a wedding in April. At any rate, I decided to use my love for graphic design to create something for my state.
I uploaded my design to CafePress, where it can be put on shirts, magnets, mugs and more. The best part?
I’M DONATING 100% OF THE COMMISSION I EARN TO RELIEF EFFORTS.
These tragedies happened a few months ago, but families are still hurting. And unfortunately, more tornadoes will come eventually. So, I’m trying to do my part.
You can visit my shop if you’d like to take a look around and make a purchase. Thank you in advance!
There’s my truth for today.
And now, for the fiction…
I have always enjoyed writing. It’s a way to escape from reality, explore my own mind and build something from the ground up.
The other day, this little piece of fiction just kind of… happened. Enjoy.
“Marry me,” he said, smiling.
“What?” The words didn’t make sense to her.
“Come on, you heard me. Marry me.”
“But why?” She was half smiling, half crying now.
He looked deep into her eyes.
“So you can do the dishes for the rest of our lives.”
He chuckled then, and it was contagious. She giggled at first, and then burst into bubbly laughter.
“Yeah, right, I don’t do the dishes now,” she said between breaths.
“Exactly,” he said. “I just want to spend the rest of my life with you, even if it means I’m stuck with the dishes forever. Marry me!” He ended his plea with a whine.
“But what about the money?” She was no longer laughing; her smile had faded and her eyes were glassy with tears.
He looked away now, afraid to show her the expression on his face.
“Well?” She waited, afraid of his answer.
“It’s gone,” he whispered.
She choked on her tears.
“I said it’s gone. All of it.” He started laughing, the kind of laughter that only the madly insane can conjure.
“No,” she backed away. “No, you didn’t do it. Tell me you didn’t do it!” She held a hand over her mouth, anticipating the sobs.
“I did. I did and I have no regrets. I had to do it. For us.” He tried to approach her, slowly, cautiously, offering a hand to wipe her tears.
“How could you think that?” She sobbed and again backed away.
“Baby, come on. I thought you’d be happy.” His face showed confusion and fear.
“Happy?” She snorted. “I’m supposed to be happy that you destroyed one-point-four million dollars?”
“Baby, it was blood money. I didn’t want to be traced. I’d surely rot in prison if anyone ever found out where I got that kind of cash.” He took yet another step toward her.
“Maybe you should,” she said under her breath.
“Baby,” he began.
“No,” she said defiantly, wiping away her tears.
“Baby, we can leave all this behind now. It’s just you and me now,” he urged. “We can go wherever we want, we can get married and we can start over.”
She turned around, feigning grief, and in one smooth motion, removed the revolver from her purse.
“Blood money,” she huffed. “How ironic.”
“Baby?” He couldn’t see her face or her hands. “Baby, what’s ironic?”
She turned to him, the revolver pointed right at his nose.
He stumbled back.
“Baby, why?” He couldn’t think of anything else to say.
She kept the gun pointed at him. “You weren’t supposed to fall for me. This is your fault.”
“But,” he began.
“No,” she snapped. “We were just working together. You were supposed to kill him, get your cut and be on your way. Now you’ve destroyed not only your money but mine, too. I’m just supposed to let that go? To ride off into the sunset with you?”
“I’m trying to start over. I want a clean slate,” his eyes were pleading.
“There’s no such thing.” Her fingers were aching to pull the trigger.
He swallowed. “There could be,” he said softly. “I’ll take care of you.”
“I don’t need you,” she began to shake and her lips quivered. She blinked away tears.
“But I need you,” he said as he reached for the gun.
He winced and backed away.
“You… You were really going to kill me?” He choked out.
She let out a sharp breath and frantically searched the chamber for bullets.
“You…” She trailed off, her eyes slowly meeting his, which suddenly seemed to be smoldering.
She dropped the gun. She had caught a glimpse of something shiny and silver at his hip and her eyes went there. He smiled, pointing his own gun straight at her heart.
“The money isn’t gone,” he smiled slyly. “But you’ll never see it again.”
“Lies,” she sniffed, “all of it.”
“No,” he said. “I did fall for you, but money talks. And if I don’t take care of this situation we’re in now, so will you.”
“Blood money…” she whispered.
“What was that you were saying about irony earlier?” he asked as he pulled the trigger.
It’s rather dark, I know.
Design and writing are both in my blood, and I use them for different purposes. In this case, I used design as a way to help others, and my writing as a creative outlet.
I think I might have another short story in the works……………………..
In the headlines this morning, two are dead after a shooting at a supermarket in Pennsylvania. The story from the Star Tribune is very brief, as this event occurred only minutes ago.
Apparently, the shooting occurred inside a supermarket in Philipsburg and is suspected to be a murder-suicide.
Trooper Matthew Reifer with state police in Clearfield said someone called 911 shortly after 10 a.m. to say there had been a shooting. Two people were found dead when police arrived, and no one answered the phone at the store later this morning.
Another source, The Republic out of Columbus, Indiana, offered a bit more information, but the matter is still under investigation.
According to The Republic, state police spokeswoman Maria Finn said the shooting was not random, and the two people were believed to be related. Apparently, their identities have been established, but will not be released until their next-of-kin are notified.
A manager from another store in the same shopping complex reported that squad cars filled the parking lot and that her store was on lockdown.
Apparently, a police officer had come in to tell staff and shoppers that several people had been shot nearby.
Emergency dispatchers said the scene was secure.
My first issue with this situation comes from some inconsistencies between sources. Some sources claim the shooting occurred at “County Market,” while others name the location as “Country Market.”
Secondly, I don’t know if shootings are actually occurring more frequently lately, or if it only seems that way due to media coverage.
That’s all the information I have so far, from sources such as The Washington Post, Fox News, The Associated Press, and ABC News.
At any rate, that’s what’s happening this morning. Another shooting.