Happy Go Lucky by Tony Byrer

So I killed him, shot him in the face. I killed him to death and when his grotesque swollen body burst open on the floor and all the horrible miniature mutant horde scurried across the rug, I killed him some more. I killed him so much the carpet is black and tacky with his residue.

Killing him over and over like that was thick and rich and flavorful. I admit I picked a few of his squirming shrieking miniatures and chewed them alive. When I tore them apart with my gnashing teeth, they tasted like blood and shit. It was nasty but I helped myself to half a dozen or more of them. Their tiny screams were deeply satisfying.

Killing him in life was good and right and proper but not so good that I can resist killing him again in writing. See, he had to die. He had to. There’s no way I could live with myself knowing that glad-handing sack of shit still lived when I was perfectly capable of killing him. So I did. I killed him.

He was my first. They say your first murder is like your first fuck. They say you always remember your first. I don’t care. Like my first fuck, I shot my load too soon. I should have lorded it over him. I should have taunted him. I should have made him beg. But in the movies, that always backfires on the murderer. Ha ha. That’s me. I’m a murderer. Whenever the murderer– me! Ha ha.– explains his motivations, the intended victim always finds a way to overpower him and save his own skin. I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted to kill him. So kill him is exactly what I did. I killed him.

I killed him so dead he burst into a million perfect replicas that now stink up the whole house. They’re mashed into the carpet, they’re mashed into the cracks between the floorboards. They’re scurrying inside the walls. Most of them escaped. I couldn’t catch them all. I tried. They were shrieking and squealing and scurrying, running over the tops of each other in their panic.

I could have stomped more of them, but I stopped to eat some of them. They tasted awful, but their frantic little pig squeals made me happy. And the way those frantic little pig squeals just cut off when I bit down– CHOMP!– made me laugh. So some of them got away. Okay, most of them got away, but hell, I can fix that.

I have ten five-gallon cans full of kerosene. Kerosene burns slower than gasoline. It doesn’t make as hot a fire, but it burns longer. That’s what I’m after, a good long clean burn. Fifty gallons of it should burn a good long time, long enough to make this old heap of lumber quite festive. ‘Tis the season, you know. Deck the halls with burning bodies, fa la la la la, ha ha ha.

I haven’t yet decided whether or not I’ll stay behind. I feel like wrapping myself in a thick porous– porous, that’s a good word. It means it’ll soak up a lot of liquid. So I feel like wrapping myself in a thick porous– porous!– quilt and turning a can of kerosene over my head. I’ll light myself and run through the house spreading FESTIVE! GOOD! CHEER! I’ll be the Good Humor man of cleansing fire. And when my bones show black through my blazing skin, I’ll lie spread-eagle in the middle of a boiling blazing cleansing ball of fire and die.

It’ll be okay. With that grinning sack of shit gone from the world I no longer have a reason to live. My work here is done. Besides, there’s that hope I can catch him on the other side and kill him a few more times.

Tony Byrer drives a truck for a living, which gives him plenty of time to think. So far, it hasn’t helped. He lives in southern Indiana with his wife, a few cats, and a dog.

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