Monday, November 1, 2004

Walking Away - Chapter 1: Taking Care of Business

The garage door hummed and started rising up as Jack sat in his car waiting impatiently. As soon it cleared the roof of the car, he released the clutch and drove it inside, pressing the button to lower the garage door once again. He didn’t want to disturb the neighbors in the neighboring apartment.

As Jack emerged from the car, he realized that his plastic insulated lunch bag was still in his hand so he threw it towards the far corner of the garage among a pile of odds and ends. I won’t need that anymore, he thought to himself, as he searched the shelving along the left side of the garage. On the upper shelf he spied what he wanted and grabbed the camouflage covered gun case, complete with a twelve gauge shotgun he had bought a couple years ago on a whim and had only used a few times. He unzipped the case, removed the shotgun and threw the case in the general vicinity of the lunch bag. Won’t need that either he smiled.

Again he scanned the shelves and after a little searching found the shells for the gun. All he had was birdshot used for two geese hunting trips he had done with his friend Scott the last two years. They weren’t slugs but he thought the shells would serve the purpose anyway. He loaded the first one and pumped it into the chamber before quickly loading the rest into the magazine. He set the remainder of the box of shells on the front of the car hood because he might need some more.

Jack opened the door to the house and started walking in but stopped and walked back into the garage. He looked on the woodworking bench and found a pair of earmuffs, which he put on and walked back into the house. It might get kind of loud and he didn’t want to screw up his hearing.

He stopped five feet inside the door and turned around facing the desk sitting just to the right of the door. Sitting on top of his desk was his target, actually both of them and he raised the shotgun up into position. Deciding he was a little too close he backed up a couple paced until he bumped into the entertainment center. Damned small apartments he thought, can’t even allow my victim a sporting chance. Again, he raised the gun to shoulder level, pushed in the safety and squeezed the trigger.


The computer monitor imploded in a hail of flying glass, the flat screen portion of it separating from the plastic stand and coming to rest leaning against the wall. The burnt sulfur from the gunpowder filled the air but nothing was coming from the wreckage of the computer screen, not even a spark. Damn, Jack thought, that wasn’t very exciting as he re-leveled the gun and pulled the trigger again.


This time the computer tower jumped up in a shower of plastic and bits of metal.


It jumped a second time spraying more bits of plastic and actually falling off the desk onto the floor where it sparked once and began to emit an acrid smell of burning plastic. That one made Jack feel a lot better. “That’s all I have to say about the computer industry, “ Jack said aloud as he pumped another shell in the chamber and looked around for another target.

This time he only brought the gun waist high like a wild west quick shot and pulled the trigger.


The twenty-five inch television screen imploded and this time a waft of smoke emerged from the wreckage.


He fired his last two shots into the left half of the entertainment center where the stereo components resided. The glass door shattered along with the receiver and the other glass door broke in half, the top half hanging on by the upper hinge, behind which lay the remains of the CD player. A few sparks popped and more burning plastic filled the air but no flames.

Jack was starting to feel the adrenalin from his racing heart kick in giving him a euphoric high. Damn this is fun he thought. I should have done this a long time ago. He raised his right leg and kicked out at the remains of the stereo sending them flying back against the wall with a very satisfying crunch. He returned to the garage to reload before heading into the kitchen.

Another six rounds later and the stove, microwave and refrigerator had been put out of their misery. The refrigerator was bleeding from the two wounds in the back. One shot had been pumped into the front door before Jack realized that the soft belly of a refrigerator was in the back. So he had pulled it from the wall and dispatched it with two more shots. Now it was silent. Jack went back to the garage and grabbed the last four shells in the box, which he fed into the shotgun. It should be enough to finish the job. He walked back inside, crossed the living room and took one step out onto the patio. He aimed and fired; taking out the pole light that the apartment complex owners had installed two months before. He had complained that the light had kept him up but they had just smiled, nodded and ignored him. The lamp cover and bulb exploded only leaving behind a stump.

He walked back inside the house and down the hall to the bedroom where he sent the alarm clock to radio heaven. He made one trip into each of the two bathrooms and blew up the toilets, not because he had anything against them but because he had two shots left and they seemed like the coolest thing to shoot. They didn’t disappoint him as they shattered into pieces, bleeding water from their still open fill lines. Jack didn’t bother to shut them off. He leaned the empty gun in the corner, walked back into the bedroom and began to pack.

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