Consequently, Cliche

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Christopher Lyles is an old man who's life is about to take a horrifying turn. Disturbed by memories of his former wife, and children who are not taking the right path, he chooses to solve his problems with a gun he has on his end table. But little does he know that, in suicide, there is a more sinister job needed to be done...

Submitted: September 09, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 09, 2012



June, 12 2012
P. 1
word count: 1007

Consequently, Cliché
By: Kaleb Bengston

Thunder cracked through the afternoon sky, and torrents of rain pounded on the window pane. Christopher sighed mundanely. At 62, the world had forgotten about him. The youth of this world no longer had respect for their elders. Enemy countries threatened each other with nuclear weapons. The only thing that held them back was the presence of mutual destruction. And along with all of that, the music nowadays just assaulted your ears.

His former wife, Rose, had died just six months back. She was enjoying a nice glass of tea, watching birds and other wildlife on their ranch, when a blood clot broke and caused a catastrophic stroke. They had been married for 32 years, and now he was alone. He had coped well, but nothing could remedy the impenetrable wall of despair. If any positive could possibly come out of the untimely death of his dear Rose, he could not find it. The only thing was the enormous fortune that came out of her estate and life insurance. They did have kids; the oldest was 24, then 22, and lastly, 20. But that wasn't enough for him to be lifted from a sadness that was almost palpable. He loved his kids to death, and, consequently, that was all too true.

A month after Rose had died, his youngest, Jenny, shot up a middle school. That news was traumatizing. She had killed eight kids and wounded three others severely. After learning this, he was hit with a minor stroke also. Call it what you will; irony, bad luck, Karma, but ultimately all it was was a stroke.

The next thing he knew, he was in a anti-bacterial scented hospital room and unable to move his body from the waist down. They had him catheterized and kept poking him with all sorts of needles and objects. He stayed in that dreaded room for two more months.

The day before his discharge from that place, the doctors prescribed a medication called Prozac. God forbid he be diagnosed with depression. But he was. He refused to take the medication, but the doctors with their patronizing, guilt-trip ways, convinced him to at least take it home. The next day he went home, glad to be in familiar territory again.

But challenges arose nonetheless. He was not used to being paralyzed, and he was too stubborn to accept help from people. Each day was a struggle for Christopher, and he soon found himself so far in the hole of hopelessness that he finally decided to try the Prozac. So he rolled himself to the bathroom, accidentally crushing his index finger, cursing , then grabbing the child-proof bottle. He got a pill, dry swallowed, and put the bottle back.

So after that he took the pill twice a day for a week. It didn't seem to help but he did it anyways. The next week was slow. The Texas heat was oppressive, and Christopher felt like a recluse. He hadn't been to town in almost two weeks.

On Monday of the next week, Christopher received a telephone call from Sunny Oaks, the local retirement home. They said his oldest, Christopher Jr., had referred him to there.

The Senior was appalled by that horrifying revelation. Was he really that old? Sure, he had a stroke and was paralyzed. Sure, he had lost his beloved wife to a similar but more aggressive stroke. Sure his daughter had shot up a school, but so, she was just irrational from the grief. But now his own son , his own junior, was trying to put him in a nursing home?

He loved his kids to death.

Christopher rolled his way to his bedroom, which in turn is where he kept his gun. It was in his dresser drawer next to the knee-high tube socks and denture case. He extracted the gun, set it in his lap, then rolled back into the kitchen. He rolled, rolled, rolled his way to the refrigerator, opened it, then grabbed a beer.

Wedging the bottle between his legs, he rolled into the living room. He selected his favorite chair, sat the gun on the stand next to it, along with the bottle, then struggled to get himself into the prized chair.

He sipped his beer for the next half hour until he realized that on this desolate ranch in the middle of Nowhere, Texas, his beer was empty. He picked up the gun and thought about all of the failed suicide attempts in which the victim, missing half of his or her head, called the police in sheer panic. He would not be part of that maniacal squad.

He loved his kids to death.

He bit down on the gun, tasting oil, a metallic bite, a hint of smoke, and senility. He could hear his voice resonating in the barrel and fought the overwhelming urge to laugh hysterically.

He loved his kids to death.

Silently bidding the world farewell, he pulled the trigger. The noise was tremendous, mind-bending even, but Christopher still sat conscious. He knew he was still alive. He adjusted the gun, feeling a slight tingle and knocking a few teeth out of his mouth, he shot again.

He loved his kids to death.

Still alive, though not very oriented, he tossed the gun aside. There was no pain, only a tingling and a dull throb. He rolled out of the chair to inspect the wall behind him. It was spattered red with yellow-white bone fragments imbedded in the dry-wall. A pale gray blob slowly slid its way down the wall, leaving a milky trail of membrane behind it.

He loved his kids to death.
Suddenly, as if a door of understanding was opened, he realized what he must do.

He had to love his kids to death.

He snailed his way over to the phone and punched in Junior's number. After three rings he answered:

“Bring your brother. We have something to finish. I love you.” he said in a raspy, bark-like voice. Christopher hung up and waited.

© Copyright 2018 Kaleb Bengston. All rights reserved.

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