Tuesday, March 6

my dark comedy...

this is my 2nd attempt at a short story.. definitely better than the first. Give it a read, and let me know what you think!

This is the story of how I died. It all comes back to one thing, or rather, one person. Collin. It all began with Collin. It was my first semester at university and all my life had been building to this moment. I was a straight "A" student in high school, part of all the clubs: Drama, Yearbook, Student Council, World Involvement, Eco Awareness. I had fully prepared for my first university class with my five pencils all sharpened to the same length. I sat in the front row, because I liked my professor to be aware of how astute I was. I ignored most of the students coming in because I had a feeling it would be like high school. I wasn’t very popular in high school; people were mostly jealous of me. They liked to shun me because I got the best marks and the teachers all liked me. As class began, a young man sat in the row behind me to my right. This is the boy that would later be the cause of my downfall. Collin.

It started off innocently enough. The first day of class he was shuffling his papers around a lot and it was very disturbing, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. It was the first day and there was bound to be some shifting and bustling.
            After a couple weeks, however, I started to realize that Collin was far more nefarious than I initially thought. In one lecture, he slurped his drink so loudly I couldn’t hear what the professor was talking about. I cleared my throat in hopes he would get the hint, but he didn’t.
            Over the course of the lectures, I began to get increasingly more disturbed by Collin. He was incredibly distracting and I was unable to focus on the professor. Some people might say I should have simply moved seats, but it wasn’t me that was the problem, it was him. One day, when he was picking his nails with his teeth, I had my first fantasy:

I was sitting in class on a day like any other, taking notes very studiously.  Collin was being his annoying self, and then began to pick. It wasn’t just picking, though; he was also chewing. I could hear him grind his teeth on his nails; his teeth clicking as he bit pounded into my head. With each rip of the nail, a little hammer banged deeper and deeper into my brain. The picking of the nail bed and his sucking as he chewed at the macerated piece of nail just drove me utterly insane. I got out of my chair and ignored the looks from the other students and even the professor, who stopped his lecture to look my way. I walked up to the front of the lecture hall, and picked up the overhead projector.
            “Excuse me? What are you doing miss?” The professor inquired angrily.
            I ignored his question as I carried the heavy projector in front of me, my arms straining under its weight. I walked straight to the stairs toward the second row, beads of sweat building on my temples. As I entered the row of chairs where Collin sat, the other students began to whisper and even laugh, but I didn’t care. They weren’t the problem. It was him.
            I finally got near him and looked into his questioning eyes. I could see the whites of his eyes grow as he realized what was happening. Before he had a chance to close his eyes, I lowered the projector down on his head. Not once, not twice, but continuously. The screaming and shuffling around me was muted because all I could hear was the cracking of his skull. The force of his head shattering under the weight of the projector reverberated up my arms. I reveled in the sweet satisfaction of the red blood oozing and spraying like a gushing hose in the middle of summer. The metallic smell of blood mixed with the adrenaline-filled sweat that flooded from my pores as I exerted myself. When I could no longer raise the projector again, I dropped it and surveyed my success; his face was no longer a face, but a squashed mass of blood, bone and brain like a sickening cannibal lasagna.
The bell at the end of class jolted me out of my reverie; I was suddenly aware of my surroundings and that it was all a fantasy. My hands tingled at the thought that I could do something so vile, even in my dreams. At the same time my heart fluttered, because somewhere in myself I knew I enjoyed it. I pushed aside all thoughts and chalked it up to stress.

Life for the next few weeks went on as normal for everyone. For me though, I felt increasingly more disturbed by the fantasy I had. At one moment I would be nauseous at the thought of committing such an act, and then Collin would do something completely disgusting in class and again I would feel myself wanting to relive the satisfaction I felt in my dream.
            My second break from reality came on the day of laboratory. Collin had brought a drink to class and as he finished it he began to slurp, as usual. My ears felt violated by his popping and slurping sounds that went on and on - and just when I thought it was over, he would start again. He pulled the straw in and out of the cup, making a honking sound like mating geese in spring. He did this over and over, and it was beyond any normal human behaviour.
            My eyes began to twitch. I couldn’t focus. I wasn’t able to read the notes on the chalkboard. My hands started to shake. My whole body felt assaulted. He was causing me physical pain from his actions. The bell for class rang, and I followed him to our lab classroom. Along the way, he chucked his plastic drink container in the garbage, with no regard for recycling. After entering class and getting settled, I scanned the room for my tools. My skin itched with anticipation as I sauntered over to the barrel, beaker in hand. The other students were busy getting prepared for their own labs. No one noticed me filling my beaker with highly concentrated sulfuric acid. When it was sufficiently heavy in my hand, I cautiously carried it in front of me. I didn’t want to spill it on myself and ruin my plans.
            I saw Collin across the room. Our eyes met and I gave him a smile. I saw through his dark eyes to the evil in his soul. I approached him and, without hesitation, threw the contents of my beaker in his face. The reaction was instantaneous; his skin began to melt. The screaming and ensuing panic was pure joy to my ears. He clawed at his face, but it only made the skin come off in clumps in his hands. His eyelids sagged over the whites of his eyes like candle wax burning down from the top of a flame. Before anyone had a chance to react, the damage was done. Collin was laying on the floor, his face no longer a face but a melted mass resembling a deflated Halloween mask. My breath was short and I didn’t even realize I was laughing.

            “Did you understand that last part?” My neighbor whispered into my ear.
            “Uh,” I stammered, “Pardon?”
            The girl looked at me with questioning eyes and pointed at the screen with equations the professor was explaining.
            “No, I’m sorry,” I whispered. “I wasn’t paying attention.”

I spent the rest of the lecture in my own thoughts, not even paying attention to the professor. I couldn’t help but smiling as I relived the moments of the dream. I was surprised at not feeling as guilty as I had about the previous fantasy. After class, and for the rest of the day, the sun seemed brighter. The faces around me all smiled, as if they knew my secret and approved.

My obsession came to a head the day Collin did something so unexpected, so disgusting and unforgivable that I couldn’t let it slide. I had to act. It was up to me to rid the world of someone so evil. We were learning about thermodynamics the day I turned to my right and witnessed him stick his finger in his nose, dig around a bit and pull out the largest glob of mucus I had ever seen in my life. That wasn’t the worst of it, though; he then proceeded to wipe it on the back of the chair in front of him. Its green and yellow sticky mass lurked on the red plastic, waiting for some unsuspecting student to sit on it. I couldn’t contain my audible gasp as I turned and looked at him with confusion and condemnation. The nail in his coffin was the malicious smile that stretched all the way to his eyes with satisfaction.

That day I followed him after class to the bus loop. I paid careful attention to not make it obvious that I was following him. I listened to happy pop music as we synchronously crossed the pedestrian walkway. He was engaged with his mobile phone, as he stepped into the bus line, completely unaware of his surroundings. I needed to time it just right as the bus rolled past his place in line. My heart slowed. I could see the situation so vividly in my mind. My fingers tensed in preparation. I was so focussed on Collin, that I didn’t even notice the open sewer grate. I stepped forward and plummeted into a liquid mass of waste. I regretted not taking swimming lessons as a kid. Students screamed from the top of the hole. Their cries for help rang out hollow and muted as they filtered their way into the sewer. The oily meniscus filled my ears and coated my face. The sound of my desperate splashing echoed back at me as the sewer mocked me. I thrashed my arms, occasionally clutching old cigarettes and apple cores. I was amazed at the amount of garbage people threw down here. I sunk below the water line and my mouth and sinuses were violated with a foul smelling gush of liquid. I thrashed again and brought myself up to the surface for one last breath filled with the stench of garbage. I had time for one last thought before I was pulled down again into the depths of the hole of my doom.
            “How could this be happening to me? I recycle!”

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