The Recluse

Posted on February 3, 2012

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He sat huddled in the corner of his dimly lit bedroom, shivering. His tears felt icy as they streamed steadily down his cheeks and dripped off his chin onto his shirt. Around the room lay the remnants of his rage: a broken shelf, its contents-DVD player, television, speakers, radio, game system and controllers-lay strewn around it; his desk flipped upside down, his laptop-now broken in two-books, pens, pencils and papers laying all around it, and the small desk lamp shined its beam ominously at the bloody hole in the wall. It was as if some unknown entity was trying to reprimand him. Look at what you’ve done, it said. Miraculously, though, he had left his bed alone; throwing sheets and blankets around didn’t satisfy his rage. After his fit, he had turned the air condition on. As to how long ago that was, he couldn’t tell. He just knew that he needed to freeze-to suffer. Then a thought crossed his mind.

Why? It challenged.

Why not? He challenged back.

Who said you deserved this?

Who said I didn’t?

I say.

Why?

All life is precious.

Not mine.

Why not?

Because I’m useless and worthless.

And who passed that judgment?

I did.

And what you say goes?

Who is there to say anything else?

There was a momentary pause, then the challenging thought process resumed.

No one…

My point exactly.

What about what those from your past? They didn’t pass such harsh judgment.

They did, at the end. You don’t recall?

Oh, yes…

They might not have said I was worthless, but they deemed me a nuisance. Remember that?

I do…

Good.

But! You just admitted they didn’t deem you worthless. They always challenged that judgment. Remember that?

One good aspect and one negative aspect cancel each other out.

Oh really?

Really.

There was another momentary pause. This challenging thought process seemed at its end.

Do it.

What?

You know what. Do it.

Don’t make the mistake of challenging my integrity.

Fool! You’re all talk. The most you do is break your knuckles on a wall.

You really wanna’ go there?

You’re stalling. You’ve proved my point.

Oh really?

Really.

Using his one good hand, he got himself off the floor, and navigated through the mess towards his closet. He dug through his shoe boxes until he found a small metal case with a combination lock.

Wait, the voice pleaded.

Too late.

He walked over to his bed and sat; metal case on lap. He put in the combination, and the lock clicked open.

Please.

No. You challenged my integrity. You should have known better.

He opened the case to reveal a .357 magnum. He took it out and held the barrel to his temple. He closed his eyes.

I guess I was the fool.

He pulled the trigger.

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Posted in: Stories