The Note

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Short Story

 

My life was coming to a close. Finally, after the constant years of torment, it was finished. I lived brought along the horrid baggage of disappointment and dejection each day. It was going to be over, problem solved. The warm embrace of purgatory awaited me. Entering my apartment, I have the full intention of firing a slug through my skull. Naturally, it would be a messy affair. The actuality of death is far different than it is often portrayed in television and cinema. Too often, the audience is exposed to such a false portrait of reality because very seldom do the deceased die in such dignified positions. As beloved ones kneel over slowly decaying bodies, never once have I seen these characters comment on the malodorous stench. A dead body is unpleasant enough as is, but they also tend to shit themselves. There is also the subject of blood. Many times, have I found myself laughing at the comical puddle that drips feebly out a person’s neck after being slit from ear to ear. A serious wound would cause the blood to erupt and welter out of control — more blood than many could accept being possible. A person would suffer difficulty approaching a corpse without stepping in the deceased’s extensive juices. When some poor fool found my corpse, they would understand reasoning on the subject. A shotgun blast would do a lot more than necessary to kill a person; I expect my brain to splatter onto the wall and dribble out of my skullcap with chunks of bone planted around the room like Easter eggs. I don’t need to waste the time on a meaningless ceremony. Enough thought and time had already been wasted on the internal argument to live or not. With the door shut and locked, I calmly make my way to the closet. I’m going to die but that doesn’t mean I need to go out like a coward hankering for my own death. I’m only a trigger pull from death’s release when a slight difference became noticed in my bedroom.

The note seems to sneer. Alone in the corner, it openly mocks me and my agitation. If your life ends, life on Earth will end as well. What did it mean? I wallow in my anguish, fingernails scratching against the uneven plaster walls. Was it a cruel observer? Was it meant as a callous gag, something to torment me in my final moments? Whatever the intention, it succeeded in furthering my painful existence. Just ignore it, please, ignore it, death is waiting, pull the trigger. The shotgun flies across the room and bounces off the dresser. Tears streak down my cheeks as my frustration reaches its climax. Jumping from the ground, I make my hurried way toward the letter. I can hear its taunting call as I approach. Grabbing it in my right hand it feels like any other discarded piece of paper, but as I tug and stretch, it refuses to tear. If your life ends, life on Earth will end as well. Why do I even care this much? Their lives would cease with mine anyway, why does it matter!?

It doesn’t. The simple realization is exhilarating. Wiping my face on my sleeve, the tears are thrown away. It doesn’t matter. I repeat this phrase repeatedly as I pick up the previously forsaken weapon. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Not one person in my life has ever offered me anything but ill intentions. Well fuck them! I’m able to think clearly now, this wasn’t some terrible predicament meant to question my will to live. This was a gift sent by an empathetic god. I wasn’t going to be a blip on the timeline of humanity. No … I was going to be its downfall. Opening my blinds, I’m welcomed by a bleak sky. Somber clouds stretched on for miles, the roads and sidewalks are moist as rain tumbles down. The metallic twang of metal reaches my taste buds; the barrel tastes burnt, the result of many explosive discharges. Everyone would die.

 

more by FRANCISCO LEYVA

Photograph by Pavan Trikutam

 

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