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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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fiction experiment, draft 2

Here's a slightly updated version of last night's story with some edits that I like better.

Killing appears to have come naturally to me. My first murder, if you could call it that, was executed without preparation. When I left the house that afternoon, I didn't know what I would end up doing at the end of the night. But when I returned to the house early the next morning, I wore my regular personality like a comfortable shirt. I spent the morning with my wife and our only son uneventfully: made them each their favourite breakfasts, sent them off to work and to school with their lunch bags. I even made love to my wife the next night to prove to myself that I could act normally after taking someone's life. And then, once the days turned into weeks without her suspecting that anything was different about me, I realized that I was prepared to do it again. And again, and again, and again.

Now to tell you the truth, I think that I'm doing a public service. I don't kill anyone who isn't already on the road to killing someone else at some point. Since these saps are too ignorant to prevent this ahead of time, I consider my actions to be pre-emptive defense strikes, like the Americans in Iraq. I figure I need to remove them from circulation before they do some real harm to somebody innocent.

I own a bar on a secondary road near the airport. It's part of a motel that used to cater to tourists, but after they built a four-lane express highway that bypasses this road, the motel was foreclosed and I bought the place for a song. I had been itching for a change of pace for awhile, anxious to leave the tedious career that I'd found tedious since my second year into it. The bar provided a perfect place for me to settle, since I've always been a night owl who enjoyed meeting new people. I was never interested in re-opening the motel.

Business is certainly not brisk, but my wife's income as a partner in a downtown law firm helps considerably to offset my operating costs. Actually, it's ironic that the place is still afloat, given the fact that I've killed several of my customers and will likely kill several more.

Like any bar, mine has its regulars. In my case, mainly men who work on the ground and maintenance crews at the airport. But I also get an assortment of plaid shirts from the country who don't appreciate the atmosphere of the bars downtown. The first one I killed was one of these. So was the second, and also the third.

The fourth one though, was different. He was a sales executive for the makers of Choco-Delite candy bars who really thought he was the cat's ass. He arrived just after I opened the bar at four o'clock one Tuesday, and by the time the six o'clock news was on he had already demonstrated his considerable prowess as a drinker and all-round bullshit artist. I was considering my options when he suddenly left for a dinner meeting. I thought I might not ever see him again.

I wasn't unpleasantly surprised when he returned around 11 that night to pick up where he had left off. Like the previous three customers I'd killed, this one was a career drinker who obviously felt that he couldn't function properly without several drinks on board. He carried himself a bit more carefully than the others, but every time he headed for the can I could detect the telltale stumble-and-recover, the signs that he was too impaired for most other activities. Including driving or carrying on an intelligent conversation.

He was my last customer as I prepared to close at 1:00 AM. He was seriously impaired now, but I had let him continue drinking to see what he was going to do at the end of the night. When he turned down my offer for a free taxi ride and assured me that he was fine to drive on his own, I felt a familiar shiver of apprehension flutter through me. It intensified as I prepared what would be his very last drink.

As with the others, that feeling of apprehension only disappeared a couple hours later, after I had effectively disposed of his body. And as with the others, a familiar sense of peace settled over me as I drove home, thinking about my only daughter who had been killed by a drunk driver at the age of 17. I slept dreamlessly with my arms around my wife until her alarm went off two hours later and I rose to prepare breakfast for her and my only son. In their lunch bags that day, they each found a Choco-Delite candy bar wrapped with a note telling them that I loved them. And I opened the bar as usual at four o'clock to receive my next customer.

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gwendy September 16th, 2004
Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month?
http://www.nanowrimo.org ?
I mentioned it a couple times in my journal, but not in any sort of detail. I'm planning to participate this year. Still no clue what I'm going to write though. ;)

gwendy September 16th, 2004
whoops! i see that you have checked it out.

you aren't chickening out on me are you? i need someone to go through this with me!! :)

iamom September 17th, 2004
Whoops! I didn't finish reading the rest of my comments before replying to my previous one. The answer is probably yes, I am chickening out. :( But I'd still love to work with you!

iamom September 17th, 2004
Thanks, I have heard of it, and looked into it a bit, but I know almost for sure I won't have time to generate that much content. I'll keep fleshing out my story ideas though, and see what comes to fruition. Maybe one of them could be novel-length.

What kind of things have you written already?

gwendy September 17th, 2004
come on now... you can do this. isn't it even worth a try? even if you don't make it, at least you gave it a shot. it's another year to next november! can you really wait another year to give this a try? it doesn't have to be your best writing ever, and you've got 11 months afteward to give it a work over ;)

and um.. i haven't written anything lately. which is why i really think i should do this.. to get things moving. i haven't a goddam clue what i'm going to write about.

eatingart September 27th, 2004
I liked it. Smooth.....didn't know where it was going until the end. Keept it up. I could read more like that....

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