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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hell may be closer than you think.

Submitted: July 15, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 15, 2017



I never believed in the idea of hell. Besides, I was too busy doing my job to worry myself with such metaphysical matters. The boss called me into his office today, in order to discuss my promotion. I wasn’t nervous. My current position in this software company was beneath me, considering my intelligence. I was always at the top of my class in elementary school, especially when it came to math. It was only natural that people with higher IQ's would rise to the top.

“Hello, Charles. Please, sit down. I would like to discuss your promotion.” Something wasn’t right. The boss didn’t look happy to see me. Why wasn’t he looking me in the eye?

“I’m afraid we’re letting you go, Charles. You’re very smart. Brilliant, in fact. But being intelligent is not enough in today’s world. You have not produced anything we can sell. Seeing as we are a business, surely you must understand. Goodbye, Charles!” The sound of the door slamming in front of my face enraged me. How dared they? They want productivity? I’ll show them! I will ascend to greater heights than anyone in this company!

There wasn’t time to waste. As soon as I got home, I looked up whatever old projects I had laying around. My anger fueled me in my pursuit. There we go! The best antivirus to date. I can do it! I’m the only one who can!

As the days went on, I began experiencing fatigue. It drained my will to continue. I just need a little boost. A little something to stimulate my work ethic. There were some stimulants in the cupboard. I only had one. The rush was otherworldly. No one was going to stop me. It was just a matter of time until the project was completed.

My mother came to visit. She took notice of my hyperactivity, but felt proud over the fact that I was doing something positive with my life. I never told her about the stimulants though. Some things were better kept secret. “I’m so happy for you, son. Just promise you’ll come to visit me next month. And don’t you go overworking that little mind of yours!”

It pained me to admit it, but some part of me was happy she left. I went back to programming immediately, popping another pill as I went. Outside influences were best dealt with through isolation. I locked all doors and pulled down the blinds. I need to get this ready soon. One month. I can take one month!

Days passed as the project got closer to completion and my pill supply got more and more scarce. It was fine. Only two more weeks of work left. Nothing would distract me! Not the odor of rotten food coming from the kitchen, or the sound of roaches crawling under my bed. My heart was pounding non-stop at this point. I noticed that I had not eaten for a while. No worries. I had to drop some weight anyway. It was time for the finishing touches. Not even the sticky feeling of Cola under my bare feet, or the vile smell of rotten eggs would distract me from my goal. After taking my three last pills, I continued. Only a basic user interface left and I’m done!

I awoke the next day to a loud knock on the door. “Charles? Honey, are you there? It has been a month since we saw each other. I tried calling you, but nobody answered. Please, son! Open the door!” Mother’s voice did nothing but annoy me. Who does she think she is? Doesn’t she understand that my work, my achievement, is more important than her stupid little gatherings?

“Just walk away, mom! I don’t need you here! I just need more time. You will be proud, you’ll see!” She wouldn’t leave. The loud banging on the door suggested she was breaking in. No way was I going to risk exposing my work before release date. Once she kicked it the door, I grabbed my pocket knife. As if controlled by some inner demon, I took a stab at her torso.

As she fell to the ground, my old boss came through the door. “Charles! What have you done? You killed her!” I looked around the room. My mother’s blood soaked the old pieces of food on the floor. I felt drowsy, weak. The pills weren’t working anymore. “What are you doing here?” I asked.

“I came to offer you another job but, Charles… your face… it’s just skin and bones. What have you been doing to yourself?” I glanced at my computer monitor. There was nothing but a document with random numbers. I never made an antivirus. I wasn’t even sure I knew how to program. It was only a matter of minutes until the police arrived, along with an ambulance. While I may not have made anything resembling a program, I had created something else. I never believed in it before. Hell! I was in it.

© Copyright 2017 A. L. Braysy. All rights reserved.