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The Gun

The Gun

A Story by TheTragicOffense
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A gun is honest, but it is a liar.

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THE GUN

 

  The gun stared up at me. I sat in my favorite dining room chair. To the uninitiated all the dining room chairs looked indistinguishable, but for me this one was unique, it had a little bit more cushion, and felt much better on my posterior.

  The gun, however, didn’t care; it wanted me to shut up.

  I told it I didn’t have to, I was a grown man after all.

  It told me to shut my pie hole and pick him up.

  I replied that I was not a fan of guns, and that if he didn’t mind he could sit there all by his onesy and leave me out of the picture.

  The gun didn’t appreciate my attitude and let me know just that in a very colorfully obscene way, after which he began to remind me of my past, bringing all the dirt out from under the proverbial rug. ‘Remember that time?’ He asked.

  I told it that I did, but that it was no business of his and that he ought to leave things that weren’t his business alone, and not go mucking about in the affairs of people who were bigger.

  He told me it wasn’t size that mattered, it was the caliber of bullet that one shoots that determines who gets to say what.

  I told him that was an unfair measurement, since only guns shot bullets, to which he only laughed.

  The gun said that he was a hand warmer, and asked if my hands were cold. I told him I wasn’t an idiot, and that I knew his schemes, and I didn’t appreciate his condescension.

  He said he really was a hand warmer, it wasn’t a trick, so I picked him up. He wasn’t really a hand warmer, it was a trick.

  Do you remember what you said to your little brother that one night? He asked me, looking me right in the eye because he knew my shame. Do you remember how he cried himself to sleep that night?

  I looked at the floor, trying to avoid the gun’s judging gaze. Yeah, I said, I suppose I remember that.

  Suppose?

  I do, I remember, I just don’t like to.

  I wouldn’t either if I were you. Did you ever apologize? Do you even remember why you got angry and said what you did?

  I didn’t answer, which was enough of an answer. The gun laughed and patted me on the shoulder, don’t worry about it, everyone makes mistakes right?

  I looked back up to him, so black and shiny, so stylish, knowing exactly what his purpose was, and excellent at the job given to him. I admit I was jealous, because I was getting old and still wasn’t sure what I was meant to do.

  It must be nice to know exactly what you were meant for, I said. He agreed that it was indeed nice, but that even those who had their futures set could deviate if they so choose.

  I thought about that for a moment, but my brain couldn’t follow it to the end, and so the meaning was lost somewhere in my head.

  You are a dullard aren’t you? The gun asked. I denied it, but it laughed in a smug fashion anyways.

  So, what’s your proudest moment? The weapon looked right at me again, and his voice sounded curious.

  My proudest moment? 

  Yeah, what’s the one thing in your life you wish everyone knew you had done?

  I thought hard for several minutes. Nothing.

  Nothing?

  I felt small and insignificant. No, I suppose there’s nothing.

  Well, that’s pretty pathetic don’t you think?

  I felt a knot forming in my stomach, I wanted to set the gun down and walk away, but for some reason I couldn’t.

  Hey, remember that time you got angry at your friend? Remember all those times you lost your temper? Remember when you slugged that guy? That could be your proudest moment, he laughed. What was it about? Something noble wasn’t it?

  No, because he broke my lego ship.

  Oh, ho, is that what he did?

  A bitter tear slid down my cheek.

  You should be so proud, I bet you-

  Please stop.

  Stop? Why would I stop? Stop what? I’m just remembering with you, don’t you remember?

  I don’t like remembering.

  No, I suppose you wouldn’t.

  He looked around the room, then back at me. I bet you’re a real lady killer though, eh?

  Oh, uh-

  Just kidding, I know you aren’t. He laughed at me again, slapping the table as he laughed harder and harder. Remember that time you got so mad you told that girl you didn’t love her?

  I didn’t mean it.

  But you said it.

  But I…

  But you what?

  I remained silent and looked at him, I think he saw my tears, but that didn’t help me at all.

  What did she do when you said that? I forget, but it’s my favorite part.

  She cut herself.

  She did what?!

  I didn’t answer, I knew he had me, I knew he was closing in to get to his point.

  She cut herself, he said again, rubbing salt into that open wound in my soul. Do you think she wanted to die too?

  Again, I couldn’t answer because I felt my heart flutter, felt my stomach tighten, felt my legs grow weak.

  I seem to remember her saying she wanted to die, don’t you?

  The floor wouldn’t swallow me no matter how much I begged it to in my head.

  Do all those people hate you? He asked.

  After a moment’s thought I looked up, No, I said, no, they don’t hate me. They still love me.

  The gun laughed in my hand, So essentially you’re a charity case, you have earned their hate, but instead they love you, but how have you earned their love? Do you owe them hatred that you can repay in love?

  Suddenly, the spark of hope and life I had felt died in the deluge of pain.

  That’s pathetic, the gun spat. You make your own girlfriend want to die, you do your best to alienate your friends, make a good run for worst brother in the world, and remain a disappointment as a son. Boy, I’m glad I don’t have to wear your shoes. That’s one heavy load you’re carrying.

  I watched a tear fall the distance from my face to the floor. Splattering, moving in one hundred different directions at the same time. My head hurt and I could feel my face scrunch up in agony, my chest felt like it was stuck in a vice. I’m sorry, I whispered.

  I felt his hand on my back, oh there there, he cooed quietly, gently.

  I cried openly.

  It’s okay there bucko, no shame in some tears.

  I felt my whole body convulse with the weight of the sorrow, as I coughed and sputtered and moaned, feeling a vast array of pain wash through me.

  Can I ask you somethin’ Tommy Boy?

  I looked at him.

  You ever tasted a bullet?

  I began to cry harder. I don’t want to die, I said.

  But you deserve it, don’t you? He asked.

  Please, no.

  It’s easy friend, just point and pull, and nighty night, right?

  No, I don’t want-, I choked on my spit and started sobbing.

  Just turn your wrist like this, he whispered, moving himself to point at my temple, it’s easy right? So far so good?

  What will they think? I asked.

  Good riddance, I assume, he shrugged.

  Now, just take a deep breath and make a fist.

  I closed my eyes, envisioning those transgressions past which still welled up in my heart, poisoning my soul, eating at my conscience, leaving only guilt in their wake. I remembered her tears, his tears, their tears, my tears, my rage, my life, my mess, the pain inflicted, the lies told, the hurt placed upon other shoulders. The death I wrought.

  Maybe to sleep is better, I whispered.

  That’s the ticket, I could hear the smile in his voice.

  Will it hurt? I asked, opening my eyes to look at him.

  He looked down, his eyes glowing with hatred. Like hell kid.

  I felt more sobs welling up in me, but tried to forestall them with calming breaths.

  I closed my eyes again, feeling my hands shaking, my knees wobbling, my heart slamming against my ribs, trying to get loose. I began counting down in my head, and could hear him counting with me, darkness closing in all around me.

  Suddenly, I saw a glow, I opened my eyes to see a firefly floating through the dining room, landing in front of me.

  “My child,” he said, clearly and very loudly for one so small.

  “Are you talking to me?” I asked, my voice dry and crackly.

  “Why do you torment yourself? Why do you allow this thing to wrest your life from your hands?” The voice was deep and strong.

  “I haven’t done anything good with my life,” I explained, feeling fresh tears crowd my eyes. “I should’ve been better.”

  Stop talking to this creature, the gun said. Nearly startling me, I’d forgotten he was there.

  “You have done nothing good with your life, so you decide to end it?” The gentle voice asked.

  “I don’t deserve to be alive,” I replied, trying to ignore the gun as he continued to try to distract me. “I just keep hurting people.”

  The firefly floated into the air, casting a beautiful green light back and forth across the room. Then with a sure, wise voice said, “Yet you continue to live. And those people continue to live, and they haven’t forsaken you, have they?”

  “They pity me,” I replied, wiping my nose on my sleeve.

  The kind voice was rough with disapproval, “How dare you demean them with such thoughts!”

  “What?”

  Stop listening! The gun called, but I dropped him to the table and looked more closely at the firefly.

  “They love you because they feel love for you, not because they pity you,” the firefly said, drawing beautiful patterns in the air.

  “How do you know?” I asked.

  “Because I am the one you have harmed most, child,” the voice was compassionate, but I could hear the hurt behind it. “I am the one you killed every day with your words and with your deeds.”

  “I didn’t mean to,” I said, feeling guilty once again.

  “Yes, you did,” the firefly replied. “But, I forgave you anyway, just as you meant to hurt those around you at that moment and they forgave you.”

  I looked at the floor.

  “You do not need to die, go forth my son, you are forgiven,” the firefly smiled. “Go, and sin no more.”

  “How can I be better?” I asked.

  “Love,” the firefly replied, taking off again and floating away. “Love without condition, without holding back, honor others more than yourself. Choose what is good.”

  I watched as the firefly floated out the window, leaving a trail of fluorescent green light behind him.

  The gun looked up at me from the table.

  I stood and looked around the room, wiping my eyes.

  You’re a stupid, wicked man, the gun said, catching my eye.

  I looked down, I know I am. I know. Goodbye.

 

© 2012 TheTragicOffense


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192 Views
Added on December 2, 2012
Last Updated on December 2, 2012
Tags: Suicide, depression, gun, bullet, hope, dialogue, death, life, firefly, salvation

Author

TheTragicOffense
TheTragicOffense

Jacksonville, AR



Writing