Where Does It End?

If it starts with, “He’s a fag. Shoot him.”
Where does it end?
What happens next?
“She’s a whore. Shoot her.”
And then what?
“He divorced her. Shoot him.”
Where does it end?
“She slept with a man, and they weren’t married! Stone her!”
Does it ever end?
“He reads Playboy, looks at pictures of naked women! Pervert! Gouge out his eyes!”
Or when one domino falls,
Does it knock over the next?
“He’s got HIV. Kill him, for the safety of us all!”
And then the next…
“She’s bipolar! That’s not normal!”
And the next…
“He’s mentally deficient, and dependent on his parents!”
And the next…
“She’s got red hair!”
And the next…
“His eyes are blue!”
And the next…
“Her skin’s the wrong color!”
And the next…
“He likes flowers, and wears pink!”
Where does it end?
“She wears blue jeans!”
Or does hatred,
And fear,
Of what is different,
What is not us,
Keep going.
“He’s left handed!”
And going.
“She’s cross eyed!”
And going.
“He’s fat!”
Without end.

Until there’s no one left.

No one left at all.

#FinishThatThought Week 2-9 : Problem Solved

I bought the gun because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught having Sally as a friend.

“What’s wrong with Sally?”

“It was a he. Now, it’s an it.”

At first, I was OK with that. Fred treated her politely when he worked with her. It was when she wasn’t around that things went bad. “I’ll hold it, and walk to the john down the hall, I won’t used that uni-sex thing.” Fred wasn’t the only one. Heads all over the room nodded in agreement, and said, “Damn right!”

Poor Sally. I was the only person who’d go to lunch with her. No one invited her. Fred said, “I don’t want it sitting at my lunch table!”

“It’s a person, Fred! Her name’s Sally!”

He laughed at me, “You’re an idiot.”

So, I took Sally to lunch.

“How can you be friends with that?”

“She’s nice, and kind. Not like you.”

“You’re going to have to decide. You’re one of us, or you’re not.”

So, Fred stopped working with me. And so did the rest of them. Hell, Birthday cards, Get Well cards, all that, they stopped letting me sign them. They didn’t let Sally sign them either. “How can you be friends with that?”

“How can you be such a bastard?”

Then he started quoting the Bible. “You associate with sinners!”

“And you’re not a sinner?”

“I’m a Christian!”

What got me was last week. When Sally walked across the parking lot to her car. She never got there. No one knows who it was that jumped her. They beat her up. Put her in the hospital. And Fred? “It was only a matter of time until someone did that.”

And the rest of them agreed. “Yeah. Cleaning the defective ones out. Getting rid of ‘em.”

“Yeah. It’s lucky they didn’t shoot it.”

“One gun, and the problem’s solved.”

That comments stuck with me. “Clean the defective ones out,” and “One gun and the problem’s solved.” Yeah. It was time to start doing that. Time to start solving problems. So, I bought the gun. And several clips. And filled them all. They all fit in my lunch box. No one knew. Until I pulled that sucker out.

And shot Fred in the head.

And then shot everyone I could.

I gave Fred his wish. He doesn’t have to like Sally. None of them do.

And now, none of them can hurt her anymore.

Problem solved. They won’t be hurting Sally again.

413 Words

I wrote this for Week 2-9 (Year 2, week 9) of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

Hiding In Plain Sight

I was speaking
With a group of people
That I once worked with.
Of course,
They all remembered
How I’d left
The job I had
With them.

Among them were a few
Of the people
That I call my friends.
We were all talking
About our lives.

That’s when
My old friend Bob
Said something
That really pissed me off.

Bob asked me
Where I worked.
And I’d answered him
Very honestly.

“Right now,
I work at Best Buy.
A member of
The Geek Squad.”

And Bob,
Being who he was,
And being normal,
I supposed,
Couldn‘t help but ask
That nasty question
I‘d been asked
1000 times before.

“Why do you work there?”

I’m sure that everyone
In the group that day
Saw the flash of anger
In my eyes,
And on my face.

I’m also sure
The only thing they saw
Was a flash.
Anger that was there,
For a heart beat.
Maybe two.
And then was gone.

What the didn’t know,
And couldn’t see
Was the reaction that had happened
Inside of me.

Nor could they have heard
The echo of the words
That Jesus the Christ
Had spoken
While dying
On that cross.

“Forgive them.
They don’t know at all
What they’re doing.”

My mind raced.
Running once again
Through a million thoughts
At once.
Through memories
Of things that I’d gone through.
That no one in that group
Would ever understand.
The perspective that I had
That was far outside the walls
Of the tiny world
They all lived within.

It only took a second
Of real world time
Until my answer came.
“Because it suits me,
And where I am,
In my life right now.”

Bob, being Bob,
And blind to anything
That he didn’t understand.
So boxed into his world,
That he couldn’t comprehend
Anything beyond the walls
Of his own beliefs,
And dreams,
And ways of doing things.
Bob had responded.

You’re so much better
That that.
You shouldn’t be
Working at Best Buy.
It’s beneath you.
You supposed to work
At a job
That uses your skills.
One that pays you
What you’re really worth.”

You should have heard
The quiet whispers
Race throughout the room.
Each person there
Confirming with the other
That what Bob had declared
Was absolutely true.
Heads nodding their agreement,
As they all looked at me,
With a look that screamed out loud,
“It’s so sad
To see you reduced
To this.”

I swear,
I felt that if I could,
I’d get a great big truck.
And run over all of them.
For not a single one of them
Had a clue at all
Of how they lived.
And the things they did.

I asked,
“Why, Bob?
Why is my job
Beneath me?”

That was when Bob stopped,
With no answer to give,
So Becky answered for him,
“You know why!
You know it is!”

And there it was again.
That same damned answer
That I’d heard
My entire life.
Just one single word.
With no explanation.
No reason.
At all.
Just the assumption
That I understood
How things really were.
How they were
Supposed to be.

Being who I am,
And having stepped
Far outside the walls
Of the tiny world
They all lived within,
I couldn’t help
But answer them.

“Because people like me
Don’t work at Best Buy,

Every head was nodding
In agreement
With that declaration.

“Because only useless people,
That can’t get a real job,
One that pays real money.
One that is respectable.
That shows their social status,
And their social worth.
Their ranking in this world.
Work at Best Buy?”

That was when
I let my anger show.
“That’s pretty damn close
To the most outrageous thing
That I’ve ever heard.”

I glared at all of them.

“Are you telling me
That the people I work with
Are not as good as you?
That you’re more valuable
Than they are?
More important?
Just because you have a job
That pays you so much money
That you can buy
Damn near anything
That you want to?”

I looked each of them
Smack in their eyes.
Letting my anger
Burn everything I saw
In their hearts
And souls.

“Are you saying
That it’s sad
To see the way I’ve fallen.
As if I’ve become someone
Less than I once was.
As if I’m now someone
That’s beneath all of you.
Because I work
In the job I do?”

I stood up.
And they all knew
I would be walking out
In another moment,
Or perhaps two.

“I take it none of you
Has a fucking clue
How prejudiced you are,
With such a biased view
Of life?”

I turned at started walking
toward the door.
Everyone there knew
I was leaving.
And that perhaps
I’d never talk with them

But as I headed
For the door,
I couldn’t help but take
A parting shot
At those within the room
That had such frozen hearts,
And stone deaf ears,
And eyes that no longer saw anything
Except what they wanted to.

“Just another case
Of prejudice
Hiding in plain sight.”

Since that day
I have not spoken
With any of those people.

And I never will