By: Kayla G.

Content warning: This short story mentions multiple forms of violence, including violence against women, suicide, and murder, as well as mental illness. Parental/guardian discretion is advised.

Phineas Spunt:

It was a dark rueful night of pain and misery. Rain splashed onto the windows of bars and homes. My wife had filed for divorce, I was evicted from my dump of a home, my young children had been killed in a car crash. This is what pushed me towards murder. You see, as usual, I was walking down my main street, Eighteenth on Strait, when I saw a peculiar man and a woman. The woman had a fearful posture, her hair unkempt and matted. She looked scared of the peculiar man. I was going to walk by. Leave it to them. But I decided against it.

I pushed past a group of sailors. They looked at the woman hungrily. As if she had deserved the beating the man was giving her. They smelled illegal. Does that sound right? It was an odd smell of greed and hatred. Their wet hair gleamed in the pale streetlight. They cheered the man on.

I looked at the abusive man and asked him what his name was.

“Austin Seaward, my lad. Why are you asking?” Austin answered, quizzically.

“Well, you look like a simple bloke... Why don’t you come to my place for some games and drinks?” My plan was perfect, I would trick him into leaving the girl. I would take him to an abandoned street and leave him there. Then I could crash at a B&B. I pointed him in the direction of my car. All the sailors groaned and cursed as they walked away from the poor, beaten lady.

“Thank you.” She whispered in my ear, her warm breath tickling my face. I nodded at her and dropped 20 pounds at her feet. She gave me a look of gratitude.

I walked to my car. It was a shaky, unstable thing. A bit like me, except it did not lose its children or its home.

It was a long trip. Austin joked about beating the girl, while I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Hearing those gruesome details shook me to my core. Yet deeper than my core, a place of hatred, I thought it was fun. That’s when I realized - I had been devoured with insanity. My shaky hands gripped the wheel tight. I could just swerve. That’s it. I could get rid of this man named Austin Seaward with one simple movement.

He babbled on and on, but all I thought about was turning the automobile into a wall. The crash sounds. The flames. It all fed my greedy hunger of revenge for the girl.

My brain acted on instinct. I slowly turned the car into a busy street. It would be a perfect way to die. Ramming into a Peugeot on the slippery streets. Austin looked at me expectantly.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOIN---” he was interrupted by an explosion louder than a gunshot.

News Reporter, John Seaward:

“Today we honor the two late men, Phineas Spunt, and my dear brother, Austin Seaward.”

I wipe a tear off my face, hoping the audience will clap. They do and a few yell “Awwwwwww.”

They don’t affect me in the slightest. My brother was always, how do you say, a jerk. He did things, bad, bad, things at school and blamed it on me. Earlier that day, his Death Day, he had reportedly taken a man’s wife, evicted someone, and gotten in a fatal car crash, narrowly escaping handcuffs for drunk and disorderly conduct.

God! The man was evil. I’m glad he’s dead now. I feel bad for that Spunt man though, he’s going to be stuck in the afterlife with my brother. The poor thing.

Austin Seaward:

Forgive me for my pain

Inflicted onto others

For all I can say

Is they are not insane.

These are the last thoughts that would ever fill my head before death.

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