"... can't really trace it. It's not like I can point to something and go, 'Hey, here's when it started, here's when it ended, here's the middle, here's the climax, here's the twist.' "
"Because it's not a story. That's what I found out after I got out of college. I had my degrees, I was ready to go."
"I ended up in some little deli just a few blocks from my apartment. I got a job as a cook there. I wanted to tell them that I had all these fancy degrees. To tell them that I deserved something better. But it wouldn't have made a difference. Life isn't a story. Sometimes, the endings aren't always good. And that's what I felt then."
"How did you get out of that phase?"
"I... imagined doing things to Ricky, the manager. When he had his back turned towards me, I'd imagine gripping the butter knife I was holding in my hand even tighter. I'd imagine all of my muscles tensed and ready to strike. And when he turned around to berate me once more, I would imagine myself yelling out, 'Not this time, you fucker!' and I'd bring my arm down, and all that tension in my body would go into him. I'd imagine the knife sinking into him. And then the screams. Oh, how I enjoyed the screams in my mind."
"You found people being in pain enjoyable?"
"You didn't know Ricky. If the Earth had an asshole, it'd be Ricky. He'd blame you when something was wrong, and when you'd finally get it right, he'd point out this tiny, tiny thing that went wrong with it. He would just nag and nag, like an alarm clock going off at six in the morning and never turning off. And the worst part was that I realized that I needed Ricky to survive.
"He gave me the money I needed for food, clothing, bills. The change came when I saw that I didn't need him to really survive.
"One night, as I was cleaning up and Ricky was yelling at us once again for not being what he wanted in an employee, I threw off my apron and said, 'I quit.' When he looked at me, I couldn't tell if it was pity or anger in his eyes. I couldn't care less. I didn't want to stay for his little speech on how I wouldn't survive without money, wouldn't survive without him."
"So how did you live after that?"
"It sounds kind of far-fetched, but I built a cabin in the woods. Well, 'cabin' would be exaggerating things. Put simply, I was homeless. It soon was apparent that I had to do something other than rummaging around."
"What did you do?"
"I began with deer. There were some hunters that'd go into the woods every week. I knew their schedules, so every night while they camped in the wild, I would go into their camp and steal their rifles to hunt down animals. When I shot my first deer, I shot it in the leg. It was an accident. I somehow fell down as I fired the rifle, so the bullet went off-course, but it hit the knee of the deer. I got up just in time to see it stagger away. Since its knee was basically useless, it didn't take much effort to locate the deer. It was in the middle of a clearing, exhausted from hauling its dead knee a couple of meters. I raised the rifle to kill it off, but I forgot to bring extra ammunition. The rifle was dry."
"Did you kill the deer?"
"The first couple minutes of butchering were painful. Oh man, the screams of pain. I don't think you'd want to ever feel the pain of your leg being torn off. And I knew the whole time the deer was asking me, 'Why? I did nothing wrong to you. I just wanted to live like you. And you have to kill me like this. I'm providing for you.
"Without me you'd be either starving to death or eating half-empty Betty Crocker bowls of frozen soup. This is how you repay me?' And I knew the whole time the only thing I could reply with was, 'I had to do it. I had no choice.' "
"Did you really have no choice?"
"If I returned to the camp, I probably would have gotten lost while making it back to the deer. Yes. The only choice was to butcher it alive before sunrise, when the hunters would probably wake up and notice their missing rifle."
"You mentioned something about the first couple of minutes being painful - what about the rest?"
"Killing a living thing is like music. You got to get the right beat, the right tune. If you don't get the song, if you're not in the groove, the flow, you don't enjoy it. Well, after a few minutes, I got into the flow. The screams were just like trumpets at a carnival - expected. Normal."
"What did you do after you killed it?"
"I brought it back to my hideout. Only then had I realized that I forgot to return the rifle. The hunters would probably get suspicious and, if they did indeed come upon the conclusion that someone stole the rifle and they didn't simply lose it while getting here, possibly not come back. I had to take the rifle back quickly."
"And did you have any trouble doing so?"
"It was sunrise already. The three of them were probably up - and I was right. When I came back to their camp, they were already awake. One of them was out in the bushes, taking a small piss. The other two had their backs to each other, searching for the rifle. I had no choice. I really had no choice.
"It was a matter of survival and starving to death. I had to do it. I had to kill them. The guy in the bushes went down easily - I just snuck behind him and pushed his head forward, placing the veins in his neck into the blade of my stone knife. By this time one of the hunters had ventured out beyond the light of the campfire. I dealt with him like the first, telling myself that these humans were no different than animals."
"What happened to the third?"
"I don't know - somehow I took quite a bit of time to hunt the second down, and the first had already left his spot and found the body of the first. By now he was already making his way to the weapon crate."
"What did you do?"
"I sprinted forward and knocked him down, and he must have had a bad knee or something, because when he was down on the ground he couldn't get up even when I wasn't pinning him down. I knew his screams would probably attract attention from the main highway not far away, and so I had to do something. These group of men had caused me so much trouble, forcing me to move like a fox, taking rifles and shooting small game. I wanted them to pay. I wanted him to pay."
"But he didn't d-"
"Life isn't a fucking story! The truth hurts sometimes. People have to pay for their crimes, no matter their involvement in the deed itself. I wanted this man to suffer. I wanted him to scream not for help, but for mercy. I wanted to savor this moment. Oh, yes."
"H-how did you-"
"I loaded the rounds into the rifle, and shot him twice, once in each kneecap. I shot his elbows, and grabbed my knife to pry out the bullets in his arm. I watched him writhe in agony as I placed my entire body onto his midsection, preventing him from moving at all - not that he couldn't already.
"I watched him for a moment, wishing he'd scream like he did before. Wishing he'd think I'd spare him if he said something like 'sorry' or 'forgive me'. No. Nothing. He just stared at me with these eyes, full of anger, full of, 'How could you be capable of this? What did I ever do to you? You can't kill me - I practically gave you the means to survive.' "
"... di-did you-"
"I told him. I told him and he wouldn't listen. I told him, 'Not this time, you fucker,' and he should've known, he must have known what that meant, right? I had this entire story in my head, the quotes, the everything - he should've known! He was a fucking liar, a fucking hoarder that lived only for himself, because he didn't KNOW. He just stared at me with that fucking stare and went, 'What the hell is wrong with you?!' And as I carried him into the bushes that I knew were full of roses, I could hear him scream over the voices saying 'Why? Why? You had a choice!' I told them, 'No, life isn't a story, all endings aren't happy, no no no.' But they wouldn't LISTEN. They wouldn't fucking LISTEN."
"I think this interview is over."
"Y-y-yes, of-of co-"
"Also, I'd like to have you know that I did indeed do it to Ricky. With a butter knife."
Written by 41488p