Saturday, March 04, 2006
Friday, March 03, 2006
Some of us define ourselves by who we hate, who is pissing in our sandbox, angry at the world as a way of life.
Marty was one of those people. He hated most women. The bitches out for his nuts, anyway. He hated people of color, any color, although he would be mortified to know that the office sysop knew he surfed to Asian she-male websites on his office computer in the mornings before anybody else came in.
He hated spics, Jews, blacks, queers and even tossed Unitarians in the mix because, well dambitt, you have to take a stand somewhere.
In the dead of night, he laid awake thinking up new ways to kill em' all. Mass murder, genocide, he would find himself finding new and better ways to get even with all those ball busting bastards, from his ex wife to his boss to that queer in the shipping department who he was sure wanted to give it to him up the ass.
He started stockpiling guns, ammo, knives and reading up on how to wage war, make bombs, booby trap houses and cars, and how to cultivate anthrax and other nasty things. He actually worked up a good napalm substitute one weekend in the middle of nowhere in the Nicolet National Forest, out camping and shooting guns and drinking heavily, far from his apartment. He thought of it as fun with gasoline and powdered Tide Ultra Clean.
He had a plan, and with time it became a mission, one that had as much urgency and importance as any suicide bomber's.
He was going to take out those fucks at the office, once and for all, and them commit suicide by cop.
He gave notice, sold most of his worthless crap, and headed back into the National Forest to train. He spent a month, the whole time studying commando skills from books, hiking, working out and shooting both his pistols and his AK-47.
He actually became something close to a real Army Ranger, in his own limited way.
He hiked back out to the camper, and headed south, the roads eerily empty, the power out. What the hell was going on?
No matter, he thought, and he kept on driving, playing the scenes from his office massacre to come over and over again.
He made it back to the office as dawn broke, loaded up his guns, strapped on his armor, and headed in, still obsessing over the sheer act of bravery and warrior like intensity he knew he could pull off. He'd start by killing the first ones in the door, and work his way up to as high a count as he could before the cops took him out.
He felt a little bad about making the cops shoot him, but it was worth it to clean up the vipers nest that his workplace had become. Insurance was a pure form of business evil, the thought.
The door was open, the lights out, and he started to get a glimmer that something was seriously wrong. Things he'd been ignoring all the way home finally started to fall into place, and he realized nobody was in sight, and that the glow he'd been seeing on the horizon wasn't the sun over the lake. It was fire, and a big one. headed his way, and there was not a human moving anywhere in sight.
Right before the fires took out the business park, he painted the walls with his brains using a single big, slow moving slug from a .45.
Not because he would burn, although he knew he would, given the wind, the fire's speed and the blocked exit roads, or because of joy over everyone being dead.
It was because he realized that without the rest of the world to give him something to bitch about, life wasn't worth living.
Matthew was a man of god, one who felt touched by his grace, in awe of the beauty of his creations, and well aware that life here on his earth was a gift, but not one without conditions.
He read his bible, followed the calls of his church elders, and kept all those things holy that the bible called for. His biggest concern was the outside world, and the many temptations that he and his family had to face in everyday life.
His wife had given him 6 children, and a lifetime of support. She was a quiet woman with mouse brown hair down to her back that she kept braided up most of the time, and he had never seen her naked. She was ashamed of her sinful body, even more so because she knew that the hips that made making babies so easy also gave her the kind of figure that other men liked to stare at, even in church.
They made their living selling honey, scraped from the many beehives that Matthew rented to area farmers, and lived very modestly in the hills to the east of Spokane. Matthew didn't allow much in the way of comfort in his house. The floors were bare, the walls decorated only with the crosses he had his family pray to every night. His life was a righteous one, and he kept his house and family in a way that he thought of as cruel but fair, like an old testament patriarch.
His children mostly loved their parents, and mostly feared both god and the secular temptations of modern life. Only his daughter Sarah seemed odd to him, and since she had become a young woman, he struggled with her on godly matters. He struggled with his on lustful thoughts, but so far he'd kept the devil in the ditch.
When the virus started sweeping through the cities, they were ready. They had barricaded the road into the farm, had posted big quarantine signs to fool the filthy heathen hordes from town into staying away, and were set with a year's supply of food and seed crops, a barn with horses and plenty of stored fuel and firewood. He looked forward to the return of god's rule, and no more visits from Family Protective Services, telling him what he couldn't to with his own family. Spare the rod, spoil the child was more than a bible suggestion in his book.
They even kept out other church members who tried to join them. He was happier being alone with his family.
The plague had run through several waves before one of the horses came down with it, picked up from a migrating bird or other animal's droppings. It had been hard, but he'd shot it and left it where it was, for the coyotes to eat.
That had been the last straw for Sarah.
She'd loved that horse more than her family, and she was sick of the beatings and
sick of her father's hungry and angry looks. Every time he gave her the eye, she could feel his tension, his lust and his need to beat her ass again. He seemed to enjoy it. Her mother was useless, sometimes egging her father on.
Her brothers just hid like scared dogs. So she snuck out, saddled up the big packhorse, and headed out before dawn.
She was just on the other side of the river, out into the open and fallow fields when she saw the wild fire tearing along the ridge, heading right for the farm.
With no fire department, nature had decided to take back some real estate, including the family farm.
She rode on, looking back only to make sure that she was riding parallel to the fire. She said a brief prayer to the god that had been beaten our of her for her family, and was glad she'd packed a lot of food and the highway map from her dad's truck.
Seattle might be dead, but she was going to see the big city one way or another. Maybe try and find a girlfriend if there were any dykes left, if just to piss off her dad in heaven or hell or where ever it is that god's bastards go.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Mary knew she scared people. Sometimes she scared herself. Skinny, trembling and dark eyed, she'd ghosted her way through high school and college without showing too many signs of the dreams and visions that haunted her, but the older she got the harder it became to stop the images that filled her waking and sleeping moments. They were getting on top of her most of the time the last few years.
She also knew she was a damn fine biologist. She saw through things her co-workers were to conventional to notice, and made intuitive leaps and observations that irritated them.
Leaps that bothered them even more when she turned out to be right. They figured she was off her rocker, cracking her nut and letting her elevator go past the top floor. They had lots of cute ways to joke about her steadily unnerving ways, and didn't care that she heard them using them.
She wasn't a team player, and didn't follow the rules needed to suck up.
But she did know her viral research, and her work with dead crows and other birds had been of interest to a few people higher up in the Lab. She showed enough promise to those who saw her results that kept her on that fine line between useful and too weird to keep around.
The people who didn't see her scars, self mutilated cutting, or have to be around her crazy eyes and neglected hygiene habits.
She was halfway through her fourth year at the research lab when she lost it. Or at least lost it enough to be locked up at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. They found her in the lab one morning, screaming, gibbering about the end of the world, some drug she had made that could save everybody. She did all this while waving a broken beaker around, and saying she had given herself the antiviral.
So they called the paramedics and cops and decided she was a danger to self and others, locked her up for "observation".
Everybody at the lab took a deep sigh of relief and went back to pushing grant proposals around and doing the tame and safe research that gave them a sense of place. Mary's research was cleaned out of the lab corner she had, her hard drives wiped and sent back into circulation somewhere else in the organization.
At the institute, they gave her a nice thick 400 pound blanket of Thorazine, little orange pills that took away all her demons. Kept her away from sharp objects, and gave her carefully administered shock treatments.
They put her on drugs that were supposed to stop the voices, the crazy fear and the paranoid feeling that the world was going to shit and she had to be back in the lab to prevent it.
The drugs made her fat, made her feel stupid and she hated every moment of it, at least the ones that she could feel when near the end of a dose.
It was the fat that saved her. For three weeks she had been locked up after the dying started, alone, living off tap water and the hope somebody would let her out. When the power finally went out at the nuke plant, the doors to her room unlocked, and she stumbled out into the light of day.
She started walking. Headed west and north. And all those old demons suddenly were quiet, pushed into the background by a world where paranoia and sharp intelligence were no longer bad things.
For some reason, this struck me as one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.
Mabye it's living in BushCo's world. But it captures how I feel too often.
Mabye it's living in BushCo's world. But it captures how I feel too often.
"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson