Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan: Also Includes Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries and Brain Circus and (3 Essays About Donald J. Trump) and The Adventures of Man-Man and Soliloquy to My Soul

Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan: Also Includes Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries and Brain Circus and (3 Essays About Donald J. Trump) and The Adventures of Man-Man and Soliloquy to My Soul

Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction



Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction



So you’ve decided to journey back through time and kill every single reincarnation of yourself that has ever been in an attempt to prevent yourself from ever having been born. What could possibly go wrong? Um, pretty much everything does. The book also includes "Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries", a story where the main character is engaged in an epic battle, squaring off against an eight foot tall homicidal potato. Um, things may get a little strange. Maybe? There is also an extremely short play "Brain Circus" which is a representation of the absurdities of attempting to decipher neurological abnormalities within the medical system. There are then three essays regarding the ludicrous words and actions of Donald Trump's presidential run. Following this is the story, "The Adventures of Man-Man, Defender of Man. Episode 1: The Battle Against the Evil Tree". It is the first story involving the legendary superhero Man-Man, who may very well be the greatest superhero. Or so help me the absolute, without any possible question, the worst damn superhero ever. Which is it? I leave it up to the reader to decide. The book concludes with "Soliloquy to My Soul", which in terms of classification of what it is, I do believe it would fall under the label of Other.
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So you’ve decided to journey back through time and kill every single reincarnation of yourself that has ever been in an attempt to prevent yourself from ever having been born. What could possibly go wrong? Um, pretty much everything does. The book also includes "Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries", a story where the main character is engaged in an epic battle, squaring off against an eight foot tall homicidal potato. Um, things may get a little strange. Maybe? There is also an extremely short play "Brain Circus" which is a representation of the absurdities of attempting to decipher neurological abnormalities within the medical system. There are then three essays regarding the ludicrous words and actions of Donald Trump's presidential run. Following this is the story, "The Adventures of Man-Man, Defender of Man. Episode 1: The Battle Against the Evil Tree". It is the first story involving the legendary superhero Man-Man, who may very well be the greatest superhero. Or so help me the absolute, without any possible question, the worst damn superhero ever. Which is it? I leave it up to the reader to decide. The book concludes with "Soliloquy to My Soul", which in terms of classification of what it is, I do believe it would fall under the label of Other.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Start of novella "Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan

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Submitted: March 10, 2017

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 10, 2017



Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan:

Also Includes Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries and Brain Circus and (3 Essays About Donald J. Trump) and The Adventures of Man-Man and Soliloquy to My Soul


Aaron Aaronson


Copyright 2016-Aaron Aaronson

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Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan: Also Includes Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries and Brain

Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan

Give Me a Burger and Hold the Fries


Three Essays About Donald J. Trump

Donald J. Trump and the 2nd Amendment

Political Theatre of the Absurd V: Truth Is Stranger Than Bizarro World

Political Theatre of the Absurd VI:

The Adventures of Man-Man, Defender of Man.

Soliloquy to My Soul


Self-extermination. Sounds Like a Plan


Aaron Aaronson


My name is Xavier Fletcher. And there can be no argument, regardless of directions judges may have been leaning, once arriving to officiate the competition, there is none who can deny…I am the GOAT!

Um, wait that might possibly be a little misleading. I do not mean to assert by any means I am the GOAT as in the Greatest Of All Time, for I am nothing of the sort. In truth I am very much in the opposite direction. I am perpetually the GOAT.

Ah, considering the connotations of my personal goatness, I think it might be more appropriate to just use lower case letters. Very well then. I am…the goat. Clearer?

Jesus Christ. O.k., fine, I fuck up a lot. Understand now?

O.k., wait, why the hell exactly do they deem athletes who screw up and lose the game a goat but then those laying claim as the best ever to play it, march proudly behind the banner of GOAT? That would seem to be more than a wee bit confusing. Couldn’t they have just used the acronym, I don’t know, maybe EMU OSTRICH? The, ah. Extremely, ah, Majestic Utilizer Of Stuff That Really, um, Inexplicable, eh, Crazy Herpe.

O.k., but then athletes in every corner of sport would be boasting to T.V cameras “I am the EMU OSTRICH” which I imagine might very well confuse any actual emus, as well as perplexing all ostriches, who might be watching. And damn it, it is flat out wrong to perplex an ostrich! Not to mention emus and ostriches would then look at each other thus doubling their confusion. Not to mention athletes announcing that on camera would sound entirely idiotic, mentioning nothing even of the confusion level of anyone watching regarding trying to decipher what the acronym stands for or the certain to be immense confusion level of trying to figure out what the deciphered acronym could possibly mean. So fine, a bad idea. But how the hell do you think any actual goats watching current day must feel? Did any of you ever stop for a second to consider what your bravado proclamations might be doing to the collective goat psyche? Is it really fair, what the hell did goats ever do to you?

Having realized that, I retract my declaration. I am not the goat, either lower case or uppercase.

My name is Xavier Fletcher. And I am…Ah…Well, I fuck up a lot. For the game, well it was really already lost before it even began. Because I was playing. Well, not really, see I spent the whole time sitting on the bench. Though somehow I still managed to lose it.

You can be a loser at the game of life

I have been the scorn and derision of all the other members of the team ever since my first day of enrollment on the squad. The other teammates and even commentators mockingly declaring dismissively, “He’s not even areal player. He’s just a kicker. He’s not a real baseball player.” And well, I must admit this has always confused me because it is actually a soccer team. But damn right I’m a kicker! And I state that with pride, so fuck off to everyone else on the team. Eh, with pride may not actually be the correct way to phrase it. But damn it I do kick! I kick my damn ass each and every day, and so help me there is none who can do a better job at it than I can. Take for example the last game when I shanked a chip shot field goal. At which point all the other members of the team kicked my ass. But in time, even they were forced to admit they could in no way kick my ass anywhere near as well as I was able to do. Them all begrudgingly admitting. “Well he may not be a real baseball player but damn, he sure is one hell of a kicker.” And well, all of this just detailed really only added immensely to my confusion because, as already mentioned, it is actually a soccer team.

We’re 0-23 with one game left to play, about to take the field, all the other members of the team joined in a circle and chanting, me of course relegated to outside the circle, where in truth I preferred to be, alone on a bench, them chanting slogans about how they are the best, and their familiar refrain of “We are a herd of GOATs, we are a herd of GOATs, we listen to Hall and Oates, the losers carry our coats! GOATs, GOATs, GOATs, GOATs!” I often during this ridiculous show of bravado felt compelled to point out, “You haven’t won a damn game and the team name is The Pandas you dumb bastards! Bit of commentary on that first. It really is an incredibly stupid sports team name since all pandas ever do is sit there looking cute but being surly and eating bamboo. But, how the hell do you think poor Gimpy the team mascot is feeling who actually is a goat? Just look at the confusion in the poor guys eyes. And really, you named him Gimpy because you’re all Republicans as a tribute to Reagan but are you even aware of what the word gimpy even means? And the dude sucked as an actor as well as being a horrible president you idiots.” Really didn’t get along very well with any of them from the get go.

They, of course, laid the blame entirely on me for our donut season but to be perfectly honest I think it had more to do with them being a bunch of morons. I mean pretty much every game started exactly the same, the center fielder taking the ball from the opening kick off then going the wrong way and kicking it into our own goal, running toward the sideline, dropping to his knees, taking his shirt off, raising his arms to the sky in celebration while another of the teammates would join in with a drawn out shout of, “Gooooaaaal! Gooooaaal! Gooooaaaaaaal!” Yeah, like that’s not at all been overdone. While I just sat there on the bench with Gimpy, feeding him actual donuts. Gimpy really is quite fond of donuts.

Then in the closing seconds of every game, them coming to me and announcing I had to go on the field to kick the field goal that would win the game even though we were always down like 36-0 at that point, me of course missing the field goal that was in every way impossible to make since, again, we were playing soccer, them all then kicking my ass but every time leaving the field with the same words of, “Well guys, we gave it our best but just didn’t make it. We tried, though in the end we just couldn’t kick his ass as well as he could. Don’t worry we’ll get him next time.” Then returning to the locker room chanting “We are a herd of GOATs, we are a herd of GOATs…” Me just looking at Gimpy, saying, “Don’t listen to em Gimpy, pay no attention. Here, have another donut, you want jelly or glazed? Here you go. Oh that’s a good Gimpy, who a good Gimpy goat?”


I’m an idiot, an idiot at the door, and I’m fucking up like I never have before…

But, perpetual stupidity of my soccer teammates taken into consideration, I have been the incessant failure and have been kicking my ass every moment of my time upon the stage. And it wasn’t just me, or rather me me. Um, not Mimi, no damn clue what the history of Mimi has been. Let me explain. This shit has been going on all throughout history. And by that I mean in all my past lives. Now, I say this having no sort of recollection of who those past lives were, just an innate understanding that there were so many who were the essence of me, therefore my previous mes. My previous mes? That sounds sort of, anyway, there were many mes scattered over history, my previous reincarnations, who I was not in touch with at all, sorry Shirley MacLaine, not that you were a me. Um, nor an Amy. Or maybe you were. How the hell would I know.

Anyway, This damn crap has been going on ever since the very first day my very first incarnation stepped foot upon the earth. And you know, it really needed to stop. But how?...Hmm, yes, a trickier question. So on this topic I thought long and hard, trying to come up with an answer…Eventually, I did. I knew what I had to do. I would build a time machine and go back in time…And kill the original motherfucker.

But, it immediately dawned on me that all subsequent manifestations of the failure that is me were in fact just reincarnations of that original me, therefore merely killing the original me a different way, at an earlier time, would in no way alter the following non-comedy of errors and it would ultimately just culminate where I now was, standing here deciding that I had to build a time machine to go back in time and kill myself. So no, merely doing that would not be enough. I knew that I had to go back in time and murder every incarnation I had ever been, thus erasing me from the face of time itself, and so that is what I set about to do this day. And by doing so I would then never have to face or endure the feelings I now was feeling, desperately wishing I had never been born. And all would then be right with the world.

Um, but, if just killing the original you because all following yous were just reincarnations wouldn’t solve anything, then, um, how exactly would killing all subsequent yous in any way change that current you would still one day be born?

What do you want from me? I told you, I fuck things up.

I set out to begin my mission, a mission absolutely guaranteed to go well, with no problems whatsoever springing any sort of infinitesimal, microscopic leak in the boat of my travels as I gently and triumphantly sailed to my ultimate reward which I was certain to obtain without the slightest, most minute hindrance of any kind whatsoever possibly having any chance at all of occurring.

You sure about that, I mean--

Shut up!

And so it begins…

I spent the night at my work station and I built a time machine.

Um, I would detail what it was constructed with but I’ve already given away the copyright of it for a Danish because I was hungry. And if I was to then do so I would have to then give the Danish back. And I’ve already eaten it.

Some might wonder if my ultimate goal was to extinguish myself, why didn’t I then just do so and avoid what was certain to be a difficult, lengthy, time consuming process? The reason for that was that I didn’t think that would be fair and ultimately would in no way fully solve the problem. You see, the essence of the situation was that the cycle of reincarnation kept perpetuating and if I was to do so I would only be passing on the craptitude so called my life onto some new unsuspecting life, thus burdening this newborn infant with his own series of hellacious failures and despair and that really in no way seemed at all fair. I mean it wasn’t as if I had any illusion about being the last of my kind, to simply kill myself would only lead to a future me and the process would just continue to go on and on. So no, that would accomplish nothing in terms of fully and fairly solving the problem. My goal here was to bring to an end the whole reincarnation process and thus finally draw all of it and my existence in whatever manifestation it might possibly spring up in, to a close for once and all and that was what I was setting out to do.

Um, again though, if each previous you only led to a new you because they died then--

Didn’t I tell you to shut up?

But there were so many of me littered across time, where exactly to begin? I decided it probably made the most sense to just start with my most recent previous incarnation and then work my way down through the list. Damon Underhill. You’re days are numbered motherfucker.

One might wonder at this point how it was I was aware of who my previous incarnation had been. Allow me to detail.

I was out wandering the streets, realizing I had indeed created my time machine to go back in time and kill all the previous mes but also realizing I had not the slightest clue how to possibly determine who those previous mes actually were. So I racked my brain as I walked but instead of providing a light to lead my path it felt more like my brain was just skewered through and roasting over the questions, so I sat upon a bench, hoping that by taking a breather from the process I could emerge from my seat and actually ascertain a solution to my predicament. So I just sat there a while. At some point an old man with a cane came slowly hobbling before my sight. He stopped and turned to the bench, hobbled to it and sat down. He turned to me and spoke. “Oh boy sonny, legs sure don’t work like they used to I tell ya. Why back in the day I tell ya, used to run a two minute mile and that was taking into account I spent the first 90 seconds of it fixing my hair. Used to have these long flowing locks, aint got any hair now as you can see but back in the day I sure did. And back in the day I tell ya, you know what else was something? Juji Fruits. Boy I tell ya back in the day I could eat a single Juji Fruit and why it would be the only food I would need the whole week. Was at D-day you know. That’s right, me and the boys just sat there on the boats eating our Juji Fruits as we drifted into shore. They all got gunned down sorry to say but I made it out I sure did. But what’s with that intermnept thingy these days? I tell you the information super highway sure does seem to be backed up with a lot of useless, crappy, broken down cars if you ask me. Because they just don’t make movies like they used to I tell ya and music these days sonny, why back in my day there was the sound of the big band, now it’s all just rap crap. Hard to make due on scraps from a garbage can when you’ve had steak and caviar. And socks aren’t made like they used to be. Why a true sock is something that stretches all the way up to your belly button, nowadays it’s all quarter socks. But an eight quarters hat, now that there is a hat. I don’t even know what the deal is with hats these days. I look at people’s heads and think a bird must have shit on them. Oh boy I wish things could be like they used to be. I mean, you tell me, you ever been sitting there just wishing someone would give you a list of all your past reincarnations so you could go back with a time machine you built and kill them all?”

“Um, actually, yes.” I responded, surprised.

“Would you like such a list for yourself sonny?” the old man asked with a peculiar look.

“Um, well, if somehow you actually had it, yes, very much so.” I eagerly replied.

“Well then. No problem at all, have it right here I do.” The old man reached into his pocket and pulled from it a tattered, yellowed sheet of paper, then turned to me with a disturbed glean in his eyes. “Here then sonny. Why don’t you take it. It’s the answer to all your problems I promise.”

“Thank you so much, this is really helpful.” I said, then took the sheet of paper from him. Once it passed from his hand and into mine the old man immediately erupted into a boisterous, maniacal bout of wild laughter. And he just sat there bellowing his laughter to the sky with crazed eyes for minutes until he abruptly stopped and his face returned instantly to normal. He looked at me and spoke, “Sorry for that there sonny. I actually have a medical condition called PBA or Pseudo Bulbar Affect. Just start laughing for no reason whatsoever. But would having the list help in anyway?”

“Actually yes, it would, I can’t thank you enough.” I gratefully answered.

“Oh that’s good to hear, like helping people out I do. Hearing you say that why I tell ya it makes me happy and puts a smile on my face, so thank you sonny.” said the old man joyfully.

“No, really, I’m the one to be thanking you. I can’t begin to tell you how much this helps. Was in a real bind trying to figure out an answer to the question but could think of no way to. You’ve really solved all my problems and I truly can’t thank you enough.” I looked at the old man and saw that he was now weeping hysterically. “Um, is something wrong?” I asked.

“Absolutely nothing whatsoever right now. I’m very, very happy. I’m just thinking about how great my life is and what you said really made me feel wonderful inside.” He then started weeping even more uncontrollably.

“You sure, I could get you a Kleenex or something if you’d like.” I offered.

The old man abruptly stopped crying, his face returning to normal. “Oh boy don’t even get me started on Kleenex I tell ya. Oh boy back in the day why you could take three individual Kleenex, use one for your mattress, one for your pillow, and one for your blanket and get the deepest sleep you’ve ever had. Nowadays try to blow your nose with one and it sets on fire. And dagnammit why don’t airplanes these days have the propeller in the front of them anymore? And what’s with curly fries these days? I tell ya curly fries these days, they’ve gone straight. Back in my day I tell ya those that weren’t on the up and up, we called them finny on the moose. And you ever tried to give a goose a piece of bread, why they charge right at you, knock you over and try to bite your foot off. And kid’s shows these days, why I can’t even tell what they even are. I mean what exactly is a Telletubby? Back in my day I tell ya, back in my day we had Barney. Barney, now that was a kid’s show by gollit. The way he’d come out and sing to them. Oh boy, the kids would get all worked up when he’d come on out and start singing the songs like “Suffer the Children” and “Mass Appeal Madness”. All the kids would just start dancing around, bumping into each other. Now that was a kid’s show you could be proud of. Well, it was real nice talking to you. You sure are a good talker I tell ya. Not like most people these days, the art of speech has gone by the wayside, it’s all texting nowadays, eyes glued to their phones, fingers glued to the keys. Really no clue how any of them are able to drive. Should get some solvent I tell ya. But really should be going, that’s enough for this old man here. I wish you luck in tracking down all your past reincarnations so you can kill them. Nice meeting you sonny, you have a good day.”

So I now had my list of who every former me throughout history had been and it was now, with my time machine I had constructed the night before, the time to begin the process of locating and killing them.

Damon Underhill was the first target, originally perishing, it turns out, the same day as my own birth. I had not, until discovering this, known exactly what the transfer of non-power would be but apparently it was the life force passing the moment the previous incarnation became deceased into a brand new birth. I had been born in 1980 so I figured, what the hell, let’s lop off 15 years of the previous me’s life as a place to start and see what happened. So I got in my time machine and ventured back to 1965. Before leaving from my current day, I hatched my plan as to how to bring about his termination.

You see, I really couldn’t bring myself to employ any truly violent means by which to achieve his end. Now something like pulling a gun and shooting him or a knife and stabbing him would be methods both simple and direct but in truth I really didn’t have it in me. So I had to opt for a less hands on approach. I examined what possible alternatives there were instead of a brutal display of physical violence but there were really not many I could think of. I considered I could cut his breaks but I had no clue if he actually owned a car. Not to mention such an action would in no way ensure lethality, only a, whatever degree of an automotive repair bill. And I did not see how burdening every former me throughout history with a repair bill would in any way aid my cause. Not to mention cars really only first arrived on the scene in there extremely low numbers, most rudimentary form around the beginning of the 20th century, so it really would have in no way been a viable option for any of the mes that proceeded that date.

So what else was there? I eventually settled on poison. There was no necessity for any sort of brutality display, it would just be slipping something into whatever he might be drinking. Viewed this way, really now, I wasn’t even technically doing anything to him, I was merely performing an action on the drink, and I failed to see how I could possibly find any moral qualms with killing a drink. There could be no debate, in my years I had indeed killed a many, many, very large number many of drinks. So I tracked down on the web a place to purchase cyanide capsules and brought one with me as I traveled back in time.

The time machine started with a sputter, much like starting a lawn mower and then rumbled and whirred and shook and there were flashes of light then all was quiet and still…

I opened the door and stepped out into a public square within which there were numerous hippies as well as clean cut businessmen looking people and they were engaged in a back and forth discourse. Emanating from the disparate mass of people were calls of. “Peace and love be for one and all man.” “Get a haircut!” “Free love man! Uh, using prostitutes is making me broke.” “Get a job!” “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” “You’re ruining the image of the Republican party!” “Burn the bra! Aaaahhhh! Not the one I’m wearing you moron.” “You’re making Eisenhower look bad.” “Look in the shaman’s eyes and you will see, a new wonderful, spiritual reality, groovy.” “What the heck do you think Jesus would say seeing all of you hooligans with your long hair and beards?” “It takes a bridge to build a mountain, to enter the valley and so sail the stream. Defy the boundaries of perception and make your existence a dream.”

So help me, I wish I had a fuckin machine gun so I could kill them all. But no, that would not aid me in my mission, my mission was to find the previous me, Damon Underhill, and murder him.

Tracking him down was not that difficult actually. He wasn’t one of thousands in the area, scurrying through the non-descript rat race, where determining who he actually was could easily be a case of mistaken identity, and nor was he blended within some large commune, non-descript in his descriptiveness. He resided alone on the outskirts of the town in a small house so I decided just to pay him a visit at his residence. And that he lived alone certainly eliminated many of the variables that could possibly complicate my plans.

I needed a foolproof ruse to get me through the door though, else I would not have any possibility of finding the moment to slip the cyanide into a drink he happened to be having. But what? What should be my angle? Choose the wrong one and I would just be dismissed and the opportunity I sought would never present itself. It had to be something that I knew absolutely no one could possibly resist, something every single person would at least intently hear out so that, even if ultimately refusing, the opportunity to administer the poison would definitely present itself because the set up was so perfect there was no possible way he wouldn’t sit with me leisurely sipping a drink, enthralled by what I had to say. But what?...But what?...Eureka! I had it. I journeyed to the front door and knocked. After a few moments he answered the door and greeted me by saying, “Yes, can I help you?”

“No it is I that can help you.” I responded, then continued, “I am here to sell you a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica for $950 and I assure you it will change your life for good sir.”

Why the ruse was positively diabolical!

“Um, you don’t even have any encyclopedias with you.” he responded, gazing at me with a dubious look.

“Why of course not. For you have not bought them yet.” I replied.

He looked at me questioningly. “Yeah but how would I possibly know I wanted to buy them without actually seeing them?”

My face took on a pensive look. “Well, encyclopedias are the treasure of knowledge which is a gift for the mind so I am sure you can imagine what they might look like.”

“Um, yeah, that’s really not what I meant, the outside of them you know. But, really doesn’t matter anyway, I wouldn’t be interested regardless. Sorry, but I’ll have to pass. Good luck with your other attempts, God knows you’ll need it. But, sorry, good day.”

Sensing my opportunity might be slipping away, I decided to employ a different angle. “Well now fine sir, if you do not wish to grant the gift of Encyclopedia Britannica to your own brain, would it not be prudent as a parent to give that blessed gift to your children?” I said this even though I was well aware he had no children.

“Um, I don’t have any children, sorry.” His answer really should have in no way been a surprise considering I already detailed he didn’t have any children.

It was time to take my pitch to the next level. “But what of the neighbor’s children. Do you not think you should first consider their well-being before making a final decision?”

“Yeah, well I kind of really hate the neighbors and I hate their children too, they’re all always making a lot of noise, sorry.” he said, rejecting my argument.

“Well I hate children too.” I declared.

He looked at me puzzled. “Um, well, good for you, I guess, but I never said I hated children, I just said I hated their children.”

I knew I had to come up with an argument it would be impossible for him to resist. “Well do you not think you would maybe hate them less if you bought for them a collection of the Encyclopedia Britannica?”

“Are you actually suggesting I spend 950 dollars to buy a collection of encyclopedias so I can give them to a bunch of kids I hate on the off chance that by doing so I might possibly hate them less?” he asked with disbelief.

“I am quite pleased you have come to your senses. Let us both just step inside so the transaction can be completed.” I said to seal the deal.

“Um, really, no. Even if I didn’t actually hate the neighbor’s kids I still wouldn’t be buying the encyclopedias because I’m completely broke. Saw an opportunity to make a fortune and put all my savings into it but my business to sell wigs to hippies went belly up. Besides I really don’t have any desire to own a set of encyclopedias, so really, sorry, but I really don’t want any encyclopedias.”

“I fuckin hate encyclopedias too.” I stated.

“You fuckin hate encyclopedias?” he asked, confused.

“I fuckin hate encyclopedias!” I declared more emphatically.

“Um, you’re an encyclopedia salesman, you sure you should be announcing that to potential customers?” he cautioned.

“I just can’t help it. I fuckin hate encyclopedias that fuckin much.” I declared vehemently.

Looking more than somewhat frazzled he then said. “Ah, um, look, I need another beer, if you want to step inside, um, go ahead, but know before doing so, I’m not going to buy any encyclopedias.”

“Why I am overjoyed you have decided to purchase the encyclopedias, you have made a wise choice.” I announced.

“I already told you I’m not going to buy the encyclopedias.” he replied.

“Indeed I shall now come in for that drink you have offered.” I said with an attempted smile, but I never actually smiled in life so it looked more like I had broken my jaw and had it wired shut or it was my final grimace, after which I had frozen to death.

Appearing entirely flummoxed he said. “Um, I never offered you a drink, just said I needed one. Much more so by now. But, whatever, just come in then, whatever.”

I stepped into Damon Underhill’s house.

Well played my man. You truly are, the master of the game.

I sat at the table as Damon Underhill went to the refrigerator and took out a beer then turned to me “Um, as long as you’re here, do you want one too?”

“Why thank you. Some liquid refreshment would indeed be quite welcome right about now.” I graciously responded.

“Here you go.” He handed me a beer then sat at the table as well, opening his beer and drinking. I opened mine as well and began to drink.

I knew that what was necessary now was to engage him in conversation so that a time might come when he would leave his drink unattended. “So what is it that you do, if you don’t mind my asking?”

The both of us took a drink from our beers. “What do I do? Nothing in particular. No sort of career or anything, right now, sort of unemployed. Lost the last job I had when I told my boss he was an asshole. Job before that got fired when I accidently set fire to the store. One before that was just a landscaping job and I sort of accidently killed all the flowers and plants on a job and got fired. One before that was construction but sort of accidently demolished the recreation center we were building and got fired. One before that I called my boss a douchebag and got fired as well.”

“I call my boss a douchebag asshole all the time.” I announced, taking a drink.

“Yet you somehow still have your job, what’s your secret?” he inquired.

“Well, actually I work at a flower shop. I think it’s because I’m always calling him a douchebag asshole that he’s always sending me out to sell encyclopedias I don’t even have. I think it’s his way of getting back at me.” I replied, to give clarification of the absolutely non-existent circumstances of my absolutely non-existent job.

“Well, at least you’re getting a paycheck. Me, I’m broke.” He drank from his beer.

“Actually I haven’t been paid in months.” I said, thinking comradery might keep the conversation going.

“Um, then why don’t you quit?” he asked directly.

“Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that until now. You know, Monday after finishing my encyclopedia selling rounds I think I will do just that. Why thank you for the suggestion.” I was in fine form even I would admit.

He looked at me baffled then took a sip from his beer. “Yes. Well. When not working, which is pretty much always, I also write.”

I took a drink from my beer. “Hmm, how interesting. Maybe I’ve read one of your books.”

“Tend to doubt that, haven’t had anything published.” he informed me.

“What is it you write about if I might ask?” I inquired.

He took a drink from his beer. “Just how I see the world, my personal views of this mess all around us. Society, life, whatever I see and how I see it. You know I sympathize with the hippies’ world views and all, but man are they fuckin annoying. Jesus Christ I can’t spend two seconds in a room with them, listening to their idiotic delusional views of life without me hoping their heads will explode so I can be grateful they are dead. Then you have the other side who are equally unrealistic though diametrically opposite view wise with the whole pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality. Well you know that’s kind of hard to do when you don’t even have any fuckin boots. It’s changing times man, but personally I very much wish they would change into a nuclear wasteland so I wouldn’t have to see or hear any more of this shit. Everybody seems to look at this age with this idea that nothing will be the same, that it’s a pivotal moment in the country’s history. Well to be perfectly honest I would agree with that. But I really don’t see it as some sort of birth of a new generation or dawn of a new age where the world will be transformed. I think you can just mark it on your calendar as the beginning of the end. So much is made of free thinking emerging on the scene. They say it’s like the first drops of a river forming, more like the first drops of a cesspool. Free thinking alright. Free to be stupid. Christ, I can’t have a conversation with anyone without feeling like smashing my damn head through a window. I mean it’s one thing to be free to think whatever you want but is it really too much to ask that every now and then for there to actually be a coherent, intelligent thought? I shudder to think of where it will all lead, what the country will be like say 50 years from now where every moron believes just because they had a thought that thought must automatically be worthy of being voiced to paper or the air without any vetting, or filters to weed out all the crap. Ugh, just damn glad I won’t still be around to see it.”

“Um, that’s right, you won’t be.” I said, realizing my plan would bring about his end and he wouldn’t even be around to see tomorrow.

“Christ, you know if I was to die today, that would be perfectly fine with me.” he proclaimed.

“I’m actually glad to hear that.” I said, feeling a sort of relief in response to his comment.

He got up from his chair. “Well, excuse me a minute, just going to go use the bathroom.”

“No problem.” He disappeared down the hall. I sat there and stared at his drink, knowing the moment had come to set things in motion but as I did so, feeling a hesitation that froze me in place. But if I didn’t act now when would I get another chance and would I not then have to utilize a method I found more detestable to do so? Either that or the first step of the process would not be completed meaning all further steps would be irrelevant. All of these thoughts rapidly raced through my mind. I shook my head, forcing myself to not think at all then pulled the capsule of cyanide from my pocket and quickly emptied it into his bottle of beer and placed the empty capsule back in my pocket then just sat there and waited for his return. Shortly thereafter he came back and sat again.

“You know I’m really just sick of it all.” he stated. He picked up his beer and took a long swig then spoke again. “It’s the conflict of society that should be troubling to people. They see the rise of hippies and think the world will be transformed but people don’t seem to realize that it is creating a counter revolution to the revolution where two different diametrically opposed camps are both digging their heels even deeper into their stances.” He took another drink from his beer. “Where do you think that is going to lead? To a society that is split along a seismic divide that is forever at war with itself, nobody giving an inch or seeing any point of view other than its own, and the way I see it, it will only get worse with time, and that should be scary to people.” He took another drink from his beer. “You know I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating this issue and really believe I have come up with a solution though. One that will, not only prevent it from worsening but even repair the fractures already caused. The hippie camp so often speaks of peace but it is a peace that only leads to further war but I am relatively certain I have come up with the answer that will lead to a true peace and an actual solution to the problem.”

“Really, what is it?” I asked.

“Well. The answer to the problem is to--”

At that moment he made a gasping sound, his face froze still and he dropped down from his chair, dead to the floor.

I looked at him lying there, dead upon the floor, thinking to myself, ‘Damn, I really wanted to hear that.’

To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap. A time to go insane and kill every single person I see…

And so it was done, the first of the many of mes was now gone. I knew this itself wouldn’t solve anything so that I was still there came as no surprise, this was just the first step of what would be many and I knew nothing would change, any of my problems would not be solved. Only thing was, there was something that changed. It was odd. But the moment after the previous me was gone I immediately became fifteen years older. And in that moment my mind was instantly flooded by a tidal wave of memories I had never had at any time before. There were people I remembered whom I had never met. Actions performed I had never done. And, they were painful memories and mistakes all thrust upon me in the same instant. They all had occurred years ago but there was no passage of time, the supposed suture that never actually heals any wounds, but at least provides familiarity with the memories so that the pain is not the same as when it hit you for the first time. But for me, in this moment there were countless first moments I was forced to endure all at once.

I grimaced from the barrage. My head pounded. I felt a surge in my stomach I could not contain and vomited. I stood there on the sidewalk, panting heavily, trying to deflect these new images, push them away but there they were, raging and racing behind my eyes, roaring in my ear. I gathered myself and walked to the nearest liquor store and bought a bottle of vodka, wishing only to drown the images in my head. I found an inexpensive hotel and retired to my room for the night and began to drink and continued to do so until I passed into darkness and was asleep. Tomorrow would be a new day and there was still much work to be done.

Next on the hit list was one Laine Barnaby. Having originally perished in 1935. I figured, this time, why not just chop off 10 years of his life. It was about as straight forward a number as there was and I just felt that could only possibly be a benefit in the proceedings, for it seemed to me that when going back in time to murder all your previous reincarnations, keeping it simple was the best plan of attack. And so I got into my time machine and ventured back to the year 1925.

Lawn mower revving, grumbling, whirring, lights flashing, and then I was there…


© Copyright 2017 Xavier Cockroachal. All rights reserved.


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