This is part 2 of a scary story started by Rosemary Carlson for a Flash Fiction Friday thing over at Chuck Wendig’s Blog. Enjoy!
Evan didn’t want this. He didn’t want this with every fiber of his being.
“I’m not a killer. I don’t kill. I won’t do it.”
The fairy sighed, pondering the stick in her tiny hand.
“The stick worked well for your grandpa. Perhaps for you it will be the carrot instead,” said Ramona.
“There’s nothing you can say that will make me do this,” said Evan.
“So confident,” Ramona said knowingly.
“Okay then, why? Why does the woman need to die?”
“Need is a strong word,” said Ramona.
“Answer me,” said Evan.
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Why, because my feeble human mind couldn’t possibly comprehend?” Evan asked angrily.
“Close. No it’s less a matter of comprehending than it is a matter of context.”
“Stop playing around with me and answer me straight! What did she do to deserve death?” Evan asked.
“If you want the whole truth, we’re going to be here for a while and neither of us have that kind of time. Wouldn’t it be easier to be a good pet and do what I say?” asked Ramona.
“I refuse. I won’t do it no matter how much you hurt me,” said Evan.
“Would it be easier if she was an abuser?” Ramona asked.
“No. She should be reported and go to jail for that,” said Evan.
“What about if she was a child molester? Hmm? What if she preyed on the children of this neighborhood? On her own daughter? Would that change your mind?” Ramona asked.
“Well… no. She still wouldn’t deserve…”
“And!” Ramona said, cutting him off, “what if she herself had killed? What if she was going to kill again?”
“Killing her wouldn’t be the answer.”
“Why not?” Ramona asked.
“Because everyone deserves a chance to own what they’ve done. To make up for whatever it is you think ought to get them killed. They deserve a chance at life,” said Evan.
“Oh, my precious pet. No one deserves to live,” she said with a dark smile. Evan felt himself shiver, or maybe it was the cold night air.
“That’s insane. Of course we do,” said Evan.
“We? Are you putting yourself in the same boat as that monster? No no, she’s got to go. She is a plague upon this earth, my pet. She ‘deserves’ everything you’re going to do to her. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. I’ll teach you. I’ll show you how. But I did not misspeak when I said we had a job to do. It is a job. A most important job. Do you believe in Karma?”
“Karma. Not a lot of people believe in it anymore. Not around here anyway. Not really. They give it a lot of lip service, but they live their lives like it doesn’t exist. But the great wheel cares not whether you believe in it. It’s kinda like the rain, or earthquakes. It just is. But the problem with people, especially people around here, is that they’ve found a way to get around good old fashioned Karma. They’ve dumped it on other people. Across space, across time.”
“You’re not making any sense,” said Evan.
“See? Context. Maybe you’ll understand after I tell you a little story. Once, little Suzie was a good girl who wanted to become a firefighter. But that didn’t last very long. Her family moved away when her uncle died, they had to get away from the stigma around the whole thing. So Suzie grew up, studied Literature, married a lawyer, had two kids, aborted one because reasons. She was living the American dream. Is this America? You still call it America, right?
“Anyways, Suzie moved into a nice two story home here in the suburbs with her family. She doesn’t do anything with her degree. She wants to, but it just hasn’t turned out that way. Instead she bides her time, waiting for her moment to be relevant. Maybe she’ll write that book she’s always wanted to, or maybe get a job at a magazine, or hell maybe her blog will take off. I mean something’s gotta happen, right? Guess how many people Suzie’s killed to get where she is.”
“Killed? She’s a murderer? Maybe, I don’t know, lead with that next time?” Evan asked. Ramona hit him with the stick again.
“Ouch! Okay! Um, I don’t know. If she’s a serial killer, like four or five?”
“Three hundred thousand,” said Ramona.
“Two people died in the forest cutting the trees down, another in the lumber yard that processed the wood for that house. Five commited suicide who’d worked in the factory making the smartphone in her pocket that she’s going to throw away in a week or two when the new model ships. One hundred people died in the mines getting the precious ores that went in her phone and computer and car and…”
“Stop! She didn’t do any of that! That was just…”
“If you say ‘It’s the system’s fault’ I swear to everything that is holy… ha, never mind. Little pet, I didn’t say she was directly responsible for all those deaths. She is a grain of sand on a scale, tiny and insignificant on her own. But. There’s a lot of sand. A LOT. Tipping things in favor of her and all her friends which means we have a lot of work to do tipping that scale back towards balance.”
“But that doesn’t mean…” Evan stammered.
“People she’s never met suffer every day, die, grow ill, working themselves to the bone to make her life so comfortable. But like I said, Karma doesn’t care about her ignorance, it reacts all the same.”
“I’m not going to kill her because…”
“Because what? She doesn’t know any better? Of course she does. She has the entire span and breadth of human knowledge at her fingertips. It wasn’t her fault she was born into these circumstances, but then neither was it the poor little girl’s fault who made her shoes. So how to make this right? What to do, what to do,” Ramona said, pushing Evan forward.
“I’m just as guilty as her for all those things. I deserve death just as much according to that logic,” said Evan.
“Logic: a system of thought developed by Ancient Greeks that didn’t save them from their own destruction. Don’t be like them, my pet. This is nature. This is the world. The universe doesn’t care what you think. The wheel keeps turning, gears crush and grind the dreams and hopes of every living thing that can dream and hope.” Ramona stroked Evan’s hair. “Tonight, it’s going to get a little more grease.”