\"Killing Scarlett Johansson*: One Man's Journey into Insanity\" A Short Story by Jonathan Bratcher *Nothing personal Ms. Johansson, I just wanted to pick a young and beautiful actress that I felt would help add to the depth of the mystery behind the main character's actions.
Bill Thanoski was a seemingly happily married man who lived in the suburbs of Charleston, South Carolina. Everyday he would get up, eat two eggs over easy (somedays he preferred them hard boiled), two slices of bacon, and drink a glass of ONLY Tropicana orange juice. He would then put on either his navy blue or black with white pinstripe suit on, and kiss his wife on his way out the door. Bill would then drive to work and put in an honest day's work. However, Bill's darkest secret happened when he got home from work. We all have our ways of dealing with anger; some of us go for a jog, count to ten, or listen to some music. Bill had his own way of dealing with his anger, and it was quite bizarre. You see, for some reason known only to Bill, he kept photos of Scarlett Johansson in a lockbox that only he had the key to in his dresser. Every evening when he came home from work, Bill would wait until after dinner, when his wife would stay downstairs and watch tv, and go upstairs. Bill's wife didn't ever think to bother him; she just thought that her husband needed a couple hours by himself to relax. So, while Bill's wife was watching tv, Bill was in his bedroom taking out a photo of Ms. Johansson. He would then take all of the anger that he accumulated throughout the day, somehow mentally funnel it into his voice box, and then for however long it took, Bill would verbally focus all of his anger at that lone picture of Scarlett Johansson. He would tell her how much he hated her, yelled out all kinds of obscenities, and sometimes he would pound his fist at the photo. When he was done, he would place the photo back in the box, lock it, and put it back in his dresser. He would then take a shower, get dressed and go downstairs and watch tv with his wife until it was time for bed. This was a typical day for Bill Thanoski, but things were about to change. One morning, Bill woke up like he usually did and ate his eggs and bacon, but when he took one sip of of his orange juice, he slammed his glass down. He then demanded to know why his wife had not purchased Tropicana orange juice. The previous morning, Bill noticed that he was almost out of orange juice, so he asked his wife to pick up some Tropicana orange juice at the store. When she went to the store, they were out of Tropicana orange juice, so she bought the store brand. She told her husband why she bought the store brand, but this did not sit well with Bill. He started yelling and complaining, and called his wife useless. He then stomped upstairs, put on his navy blue suit, and walked straight past his wife without even looking at her as he left for work, slamming the door behind him. When Bill got home that evening, he didn't even eat supper; he went straight upstairs to his bedroom and took out his box of photos. This time he took out all the photos he had of Ms. Johansson and laid them all out on top of his dresser. He then did his usual lashing out of anger at those photos, however, the last thing he said before he finished venting was that he wished Ms. Johansson was dead. Bill then put away his photos in his box, which he put away in his dresser and went to take a shower. When he finished, he got dressed for bed and went to sleep. One evening a week later, Bill did his usual post dinner routine. He took his shower and started to get dressed when he heard the doorbell ring. He threw on his clothes as fast as he could and rushed downstairs. When he opened the door, all he could see was flashing red and blue lights behind a tall, shadowy figure. It was one of the sheriff's deputies. He told Bill that he needed him to come down to the police station and answer a few questions. Bill complied, and the deputy drove Bill to the station. On the way to the precinct, all Bill could think was why the police needed to speak to him. When he arrived at the station, Bill was taken into one of the interview rooms, and he was sat down in the chair facing the door. Ten minutes later, a detective came into the room and sat down in the chair across from Bill. The detective asked Bill where he was a week ago. Bill, perplexed by this question, answered that he was at home with his wife. The detective then asked Bill if he was sure he wasn't in California the previous week. Bill told the detective yes he was sure and then demanded to know what was going on. The detective informed Bill that there had been a murder out in California, and so far, all of the evidence pointed to him as the prime suspect. Bill then asked the detective who had been murdered to which the detective responded, \"Scarlett Johansson.\" Bill, utterly confused at this moment, asked the detective why was he considered a suspect. The detective told Bill that multiple witnesses reported seeing a man of his description fleeing the scene where Ms. Johansson was murdered. A business card had also been found at the crime scene with fingerprints matching Bill's. Before Bill knew it, the detective had charged Bill Thanoski with the murder of Scarlett Johansson. As Bill Thanoski sat in his jail cell for months waiting to go to trial, all he could think about was who really killed Ms. Johansson. When the time finally came for the trial, Bill sat in the courtroom, helpless. Even with a decent lawyer defending him, it wasn't enough. All of the evidence pointed to him, despite the fact that no one knew how Bill had travelled to California and back without anyone noticing him gone. To make matters worse, the prosecution even proved that Bill Thanoski had committed murder in the first degree. Bill was found guilty of the murder of Scarlett Johansson in the first degree. The judge sentenced Bill to death by lethal injection. Bill couldn't believe what he had just heard, his mind went numb and his eyes stared out in the distance as he was led back to his cell. A few months later, Bill was brought to the room where he was going to be executed. Just as the needle was about to enter his skin, Bill heard a knock on the door. He opened his eyes and found himself back in his bedroom in his house in South Carolina. He heard the knock again; his wife asked Bill if he was going to watch tv with her. He responded yes and came downstairs with his wife, apologizing about the orange juice incident before sitting down on the couch together to watch tv. Just as Bill started to feel relieved with the thought that everything he had just experienced, the interrogation, the trial, and the almost execution--Bill and his wife's tv program was interrupted with breaking news. Police out in Los Angeles, California had found the body of Scarlett Johansson; apparently she had been murdered. The news anchor then said that the police were looking for a man with the following description as a police sketch appeared on the screen. Bill couldn't believe his eyes--the sketch looked just like him. Then the anchor reported that more breaking news had just come in. The police were now looking for one prime suspect--\"Bill Thanoski.\"
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Short Story / Mystery and Crime
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