The Kid


I didn’t think the kid had it in him, but he’s good, keeping his cool. I had my doubts at first. All the shit he’s been through. Most break, few come out of it stronger. I was convinced he’d change his mind. But I was wrong.

As soon as I put the guy in front of him I know. I can see it in his eyes. He wants to do it. Kill the motherfucker and get on with his life. Whatever is left of it.

The kid’s small for his age. At nineteen he’s just five foot six. Reminds me of my Adam. Maybe that’s why I want to protect him. I don’t want him to end up like me. I don’t want him to get a taste for it. I turn away, think about how I ended up here. I wasn’t much different, just some kid getting even.

The guy screams and the kid says, “That’s for mom.”

Another scream.

“And that’s for dad.”

I look around. The guy is a mess. He’s tied to a chair, blood all over the floor. I hit him with some adrenalin and he comes around fast. The kid isn’t done yet.

I step back, stare at the ground. Watch the blood seep through the floor boards. I think about my father, wrapping me in a bed sheet. Burying me under floor boards just like these, beaten but still alive.

“For Emily,” the kid says.

His hands start to shake and I can see he’s losing it. He starts to cry. Big, heaving sobs. And despite everything, the guy starts to smile. I want to punch his face in. But this isn’t my kill. It’s the kid’s, so I stay back.

“She made everyone happy,” the guy spits out. “So did you.”

That’s all the kid needs. He lifts the knife and stabs the guy over and over again in the chest. I let him. I know how he feels. When he’s done, the kid’s exhausted. I look at his uncle’s body, slumped in the chair.

The kid smiles, pulls a gun from the back of his jeans. “For me,” he says, then puts the gun under his chin and shoots.

I walk back to the car, leave everything as it is. There’s no point in cleaning it up. Murder-suicide. They’ll all side with the kid. My steps are heavy, same as my mood. I should’ve stopped him. Reacted faster. Fuck, I should’ve checked if he was carrying.

I open the car door. There’s an envelope on my seat. I open it and pull out the letter. All it says is Thank You.

~ fin ~

Cal Marcius is a freelance writer living in the frozen wastes of northern England. He spends far too much time writing when he should be doing other things. His writing credits include Shotgun Honey and Out of the Gutter.