It's hard to do, you know? Getting a real job; earning real money. And, stealing and vandalizing is so much more fun anyhow. And, hell, it's easy. That's what I'm really looking for, right? Easy. So, here I am in some rich bastard’s home, trying to figure out if this is what I really should be doing. And I guess it is. It's the easiest thing for me to do, and, to be honest, after doing it for so long, why should I quit now? Why shouldn't I take this DVD player or this computer monitor? It's just sitting here unattended, ready for me to pick up and shove into the trunk of my car. It's just sitting here in this little suburban utopia where the houses all have two floors and the fridges have food in them--where the mommies and daddies buy their kids presents on Christmas. Nobody will miss their stuff for long. Hell, they'd probably throw it out in a few weeks for better stuff anyway.
And, you know what? I love smashing their matching plates and glasses on their shiny kitchen floors. The echo they make in this big fucking house is just too satisfying for me to stop. And what do these people expect anyway? They flaunt their big houses with the well-kept lawns and the fences around their yards in their little gated communities and practically say “Look at us; we have stuff worth stealing!” What do they expect when I have to live out of my car and I have to donate plasma for food money and they sit here comfortably with all this useless shit?! I'm not the bad guy here. I'm the fucking victim.
Maybe one day I'll live in a place like this. Maybe one day I'll have two refrigerators full of food and a pantry and a laundry room and I'll be able to sit on my own big couch and turn on my own big television. Maybe I'll come back from my office job and kick off my shoes and pass out in my own big recliner with the air conditioner on high, bundled in a blanket. My wife will wake me up for dinner and my kids will kiss me and tell me they love me.
I'm not trying to be the bad guy here. I'm just trying to survive and maybe show these people that their shiny little sheltered lives aren't all that's out there. Show them that there are people like me still out here in the world, stealing to survive and wishing I could live like them. It's not like I haven't tried to get a real job. But being treated like shit by an anal retentive boss in a job I hate for the rest of my life just isn't appealing. At least, not as appealing as this.
These people probably deserve this stuff; I'm not stupid. They probably worked hard for it and sacrificed a lot. But, I've sacrificed a lot and worked hard too. I deserve at least a piece of this stuff, but what do I have? Haven't I given up enough: my friends, my family, my life? Just so I could shit on the lives of people who probably don't deserve it? Didn't everyone always say “Go chase your dreams. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you love doing it?” Well, I chased my dreams and failed; now I take away other people's dreams.
I don't know; maybe I am a bad guy. But somebody has to be.
“This is so boring!” Tina rubbed the edge of her blade and turned it to reflect the light of the moon. “How come we always get caught up in the boring shifts?”
“Because,” Daryn's gaze pierced her annoyed grimace, “every shift is boring. You know that. Just try to keep it to yourself.”
“Huff,” Tina's short hair was a clear indication that she loved to play with her knives just a bit too much. She scraped her knife against her arm, it's six-inch blade catching every hair and throwing them to the ground.
“Guys,” Gareth's voice was a whisper, “I think I see a bit of excitement approaching at the edge of the field,” his hand motioned in the same direction his light blue eyes were staring. His focus was intense as he drew his bow, “I count three wolves looking for a late-night meal. What say we ruin dinner for them?”
Nathan already had his sling drawn and loaded, “I'll draw their attention.”
Daryn turned to Nathan, “Great. Tina and I will attack head on. Gareth, you keep them at bay from a distance.”
Tina's eyes flickered—two little stars amongst the millions in the sky, “Finally, some action. Daryn, you can handle the straight-forward crap. I bet I can get behind them. We'll be wearing their coats as trophies in no time.”
“Fine, just don't leave me hanging by a thread,” Daryn walked forward with his long blade in his left hand. The wolves noticed the man immediately and two turned to him, the third ignoring him completely, focused more on the sheep in the field. “Raah!” Daryn charged forward at the largest wolf. The wolf dodged the sword and Daryn rolled, coming back to a crouched position with his blade held in front of him defensively.
The wolves circled him, assessing the threat when a quiet crack caught the smaller one's attention. “Ugh, the Demons must favor me,” Tina let out a short curse as she looked at the twig she just snapped beneath her foot. The smallest wolf was on her in an instant, too quick for her to defend.
“Hey!” Nathan's stone knocked the wolf in the head and off of Tina, “Not so fast, you little shit!”
The third wolf circled slowly around the sheep, hoping to catch it's prey and leave quickly, but an arrow landed in its path. It looked around cautiously and crouched lower, maybe it could still make it past the guards.
Daryn struck out at the larger wolf, but his blade did not land. The wolf circled around to his partner and they stood back-to-back with teeth barred, letting out low growls. Tina ignored their warning and threw a dagger at the one that just tackled her. The dagger missed, but landed in the back thigh of the largest one. With a loud yelp, the two wolves ran away.
The third wolf, ignoring the scuffle, continued on his mission, until another arrow landed much too close to his head, spooking him and sending him off behind his friends.
“Yeah! You better run!” Tina tossed another dagger their way, but it fell short. “Well,” she turned to her party, “there's our excitement for the week.”
Nathan snorted at her words, “Too much for me. I'd rather be bored than risking our lives against wolves.”
“I don't know what you mean,” Gareth returned from gathering his two shot arrows, “I didn't risk my life at all.”
“Yeah? Well,” Daryn looked at the three, “the important thing is how cool I looked out there. How would you guys rate my performance?”
Tina smirked, “About one step higher than an adventurer clearing a basement of rats.”
“Yeah? Well, where's our wolf coats you promised us?”
“Next time, I'm sure. Right, Tina?” Nathan laid on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. He was too busy counting the stars to see Tina nod in agreement.
She smiled at him, her tears striking lines in the dirt on her face. I guess you were right. She laughed and empty laugh.
Yeah, His expression was bleak and his eyes vacant, A lot of good that does us now, huh? He turned to her, but his eyes were on the floor, Now all we can hope to do is survive for as long as we can. He tried to smile, but, like her laugh, it was left incomplete and didn't comfort her at all. The door on the closet in which they were hiding was thin, and they could hear the loud cry of another victim. The shriek, cut short, became a low, sputtering gurgle, mere feet from their hiding spot.
What if we can kill it? Her eyes, stained black from the taint in the air around them, pleaded at him.
We've tried and we can't, he insisted, biting skin from his dry lips. Even if we could, we're dead anyway.
Yes, her voice, a raised whisper filled with desperation, but we can try again. What are our other options: sit here and die? And even if we are dead anyway, if we kill it, won't we be saving countless other lives? Another shriek pierced the air.
What are we supposed to do? We can't run! We can barely stand; our legs don’t work. We're too weak; the poison has taken all our strength from us. He stopped himself from speaking any further, slumping silently. Outside the room, they could hear the monster’s heaving breath. It lumbered lazily past their door. Besides, his voice took on a quieter tone, what could we possibly use to kill him?
I don't know, she looked down, defeated. I was just being hopeful, I guess.
Yeah? Well, hope is what got us into this. His left hand began trembling uncontrollably. He tried to stop it with his other hand, but the trembling was too strong. Now all we have to hope for is that our organs liquefy before It sucks them from our necks.
She let her head fall hard against the wall behind her and sat in silence.
Weeks earlier the two were sitting in a small observing room, looking through a one-way mirror. The girl was young and lively, she wore light blue scrubs and her red hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She was almost bouncing with excitement.
The guy was much older than her. He had beard stubble lining his neck and chin and held a pen and pad, taking notes while he observed the creature on the other side of the mirror.
Her hands were crossed behind her and she turned to him, “Richard, what do you think? Isn't it amazing? We've finally been able to create life from non-living material!”
“Yes, well, that was our intent,” he sounded bored and never looked at her, keeping his eyes on the creature and his notes, “Do you need to state the obvious every time we come to observe it?” He glared at her before returning to his work, “Besides, our results aren't exactly what we were hoping for. It's mindlessly aggressive and hard to kill. It is dangerous, Kara; remember that.”
She looked at the creature in the other room. It was large with brown skin and skulked around the room, surprisingly light on its feet for its ape-like appearance, “Maybe,” she said, “But it's still amazing.”
Do you have a match? Her tone became a bit more excited as she looked around their closet.
Do you have a match? We're in the janitor's closet! I can't believe I hadn't noticed before.
I have a Zippo. What are you doing? He reached into his pocket and pulled out the lighter.
Good enough. She snatched it from him and grabbed a jug of ammonia and a jug of bleach, setting a mop bucket in front of herself. If we mix these together, maybe we can make an explosive.
What are you talking about? His vision was blurry and he could barely keep up with her frantic movements.
I don't know! It's Nitrogen something. You can get it if you mix ammonia and bleach, you can get it. Maybe we can kill it if we make it explode. Her expression became mischievous as she poured in the ammonia. Cover your mouth, this will burn. Once I pour this in, we'll need to make a lot of noise to draw its attention. If we're gonna die, we may as well go out in a bang, right?
He moved his right hand up to pull his shirt over his mouth. He left hand was trembling again, but he could no longer feel it. He tried to say something, but he couldn't move his mouth.
Hey, you big freak! We're in here! They could hear the monster running down the hall toward them. She struck the lighter and the little flame flicked up. In here! We're in—ahck! Hack augh! She began coughing uncontrollably, her lungs burned as the room filled with a sickly green gas. She held the lighter steady over the bucket. The suddenness of the door swinging open shocked her. The last thing she saw was the monster's grotesque face, deformed and asymmetric. She dropped the lighter.
If we leave her to the spiders, she will die! His eyes flared up, almost glowing against his dark skin.
A female spoke up. I know, Elwood, but we cannot risk losing the sword! It is the only weapon that can be used against the Dark Lord and it is almost within our grasp! Her voice was hard and weary, hoarse. If we go back for Tallie, we might miss our chance to grab the sword.
Who cares?! He swung his arm to the side as if to push the idea off of a table in front of him. We cannot go without her; too many lives have been carelessly thrown away on this journey. Not hers too!
I know, Elwood. She pleaded to him with her arms. But if the Dark Lord succeeds, we will have no more nation, no more world to go back to. We cannot risk this; we will fail.
Tears welled up in his already red eyes. Aaagh!The gods be damned! He clenched his teeth and threw his battle-axe to the tiled floor. The sound was quickly silenced by the small room. What kind of gods would send us all to our deaths like this? Have they turned our backs on us?
Her heart sank to see even a Paladin questioning the gods. She stroked her long, green hair, matted with dirt and blood. Her eyes lost focus as she wondered what they could possibly do. Remember what we all agreed, Elwood? If it comes to one of us or the sword, we all agreed that we would sacrifice ourselves for the greater good. She looked up at him, hoping he could understand.
His chest burned. But she was the youngest of us all! How could the gods take her like this?
She grew pale with fear at his words. Stop it! The gods have a plan for us all; it is not your duty to question them! Her hands were in fists at her side.
His eyes turned down in shame and tears ran freely down his brown cheeks. Then if it is the gods' will that we go after this sword, we must obey. He picked up his axe and turned toward the room's exit, a new determination in his eyes, fueled by anger and rage. His knuckles grew white as he gripped his weapon.
She tied her hair as he walked away from her. If this is the gods' will, She thought as she pulled out her bow, ready to follow behind him, then perhaps we need new gods.