I can see things when I touch them, but imagine my surprise when I grazed my father’s shotgun and saw myself wielding it as I walked into work.
The vision was vivid. They’re always vivid. No smells but the sounds and sights are real enough. My future self was wearing my favorite shirt, the blue-grey one that matched my eyes. I did not falter or hesitate in my vision. For once, I was confident. I even had a slight smile.
On time as usual, Patrick the mailman greeted me on the way out. He didn’t make it. I blew a whole in his chest. This is when the whole office fell silent. It was like a heavy weight, tangible and so thick, it clumped in my throat.
Desmond popped his head around the corner with wide eyes. The idiot. I bashed him in the face, pumped the gun and blew half of it right off. Close by were the twins. I turned the gun on Samantha and Julie. Even in death, they looked the same. Matching gunshot wounds.
I found Wendy and Suranka. I liked them. They were cool but, they had to die. I couldn’t pick favorites apparently, that wouldn’t have been fair. Shells hit the floor with tiny clinks and the screaming began.
I hated the screaming. It disrupted the silence and the grip it had on me. There was something terrifying and powerful about the silence in between the shots. Something that told me I had to keep going because there was no turning back.
A few more steps.
Hello, Akigawa. Good morning, Jeffrey.
They tried to run and they tried to hide. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get them all but no one expected this—not even me. I reloaded, pumped the shot gun and got to my manager’s office; Richard. Yeah, he was a real Dick.
Richard raised his hands up and cowered. He was crying pathetically at the end of my barrel. It made me feel a bit sorry. Unlike the others, I gave him time to fear me. I let him gaze down my barrel. My ears rung.
I looked down to see the front of Richard’s slacks darken. Is this really how he wanted to go? I don’t know why, but I pressed the barrel to his stomach and filled it full of shots.
I heard the screams of my boss after that. The head honcho, Elizabeth Rosales. I swung my shotgun to the side. She had been hiding under the desk in the same office as Richard. They were having another stupid ass meeting.
I ask her to get up. That was no place for a lady of her caliber.
I must have said it so sweetly and calm that she believed I would spare her. She got up and saw my shotgun still raised. Elizabeth pleaded. She was fairly pretty and worked hard to get where she was. She could be an asshole and got on my nerves but who didn’t? Did she deserve to die? Probably not.
I rammed the gun in her mouth. It was way too big and her teeth were in the way but broke as I jammed the gun down her throat. My finger pulled the trigger and crimson liquid and pink matter redecorated the wall.
That was it. The vision ended. I was in a cold sweat. I tore myself away from the gun on the wall and stared.
I wasn’t going to kill my coworkers.
Hell—I liked Suranka, and Julie was too cute to die.
I wasn’t going to brutally murder them all. I had too much to lose. A home, a car, two cats and a chihuahua. My friends were cool and I was getting out more. I had dates lined up, although they only wanted to fuck. I had bills to pay, too little money and school debt that would take me a good decade to pay off. My family disowned me, or rather I disowned them. My sister stole from me and my uncle asked for my kidney. I wasn’t working the job I wanted to or in my chosen field. I had got a degree in communications because it seemed safe, but no one had hired me for any real jobs.
I was happy, but I didn’t know what I wanted out of life and was barely above minimum wage. One full time job and two part time jobs wasn’t cutting it. Not really. I survived but everything was pretend.
And Elizabeth wanted her damn meetings. Richard wanted his reports. I had to cover for Ed and Gina but no one wanted to fucking pay me for it. Only two people were in our department, I had to train all the new hires, and I was always late because traffic was trash.
I couldn’t dwell on it. I had to play pretend. Life was good. Everything was fine.
I went into the bathroom. Brushed my teeth for ten seconds and didn’t bother to shave. I looked like shit. I was stressed. I never got a day off; a regular slave to the system.
Richard would notice if I was too quiet though. Talk too much however and he was in your face about keeping a quiet work environment because he couldn’t concentrate. Elizabeth didn’t like when people came in with a frown. “Perk up,” she’d say, as if she demanded you to be happy—a little more confident, something to fulfill her fantasy that we actually liked her and our jobs.
There was no time.
I had to leave. I was already late. I went into my room and stared into the closet. I realized I hadn’t washed my clothes and only one shirt remained. I cursed and yanked it off the hanger. It was my favorite; a blue-grey shirt. I put it on and went to the mirror.
It matched my eyes.