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a point of fruition
I watched him lower the metal thing, smirking insanely, watching me sit still as I waited for the moment to come. Something dripped down the side of his face, and his eyes were dark, red veins showing. He looked absolutely maniacal.
I could only wonder what I must have looked like. I felt numb, but ready to explode at any second, ready to run, but also ready to take whatever he had planned for me in that corrupted mind of his. Under that, I felt scared. I felt fright like I had never felt it before, and yet I sat there, completely, almost eerily, calm. Under that, I just wanted to go to sleep.
He was standing in front of me, that object limp and ready in his hand, as I sat against the wall, oh so casual, oh so calm. The only sounds were my rough breathing and the tick-tick-ticking of the clock.
“It’s funny,” he said, “that we’re here.”
“Why is that, Max?” I said. I felt like a shrink.
“I’d always pictured this at night, with everyone lined up.” He looked around, as casually as he could muster.
“Strange,” I commented half-heartedly, and he nodded.
“Do you think I should have waited?” he asked, looking back at me sincerely through his crazed, green eyes.
“I don’t know what you mean, Max,” I replied. His fingers twitched against it, but that was okay.
“Do you think, maybe, I should have done this some other day? I always felt like a test day like this would do well, since everyone would be worn out, but I’ve been starting to think otherwise….” He crossed his arms. It was normal for him.
“…No,” I said, and unconsciously I brought my knees closer to my chest. I choked on my words. “This was a good day… better sooner than later, you know.”
“Yeah.” He pulled a chair around and sat, leaning elbows on knees. The intercom chimed the dismissal tone as the minute hand hit the eight. Max didn’t bother to look at the clock anymore; he had never been one to care too much about time until today, but that was past now.
Silence maintained itself for a long minute.
Then, truly considering his words, he said, “Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be thrown out the window of a semi? And on a cliff road?”
I shook my head no.
“I have.” He put his right hand up to his cheek, resting, though his expression did not suggest any level of exhaustion. His eyes were not on me. “Of course I have. That’s how my dad went. I’m sure you would have thought about that under the right circumstances.”
“Maybe,” I said. I cleared my throat, all cowardice gone by now. “But you especially would think about that sort of thing, huh?”
His eyes slid to me and then to the clock. Two minutes had passed. “You haven’t asked me how my day was yet, Laurie. You always do. Every day.”
I kept my gaze level. “How was your day, Max?”
“It was… interesting,” he began with a smirk. I don’t remember him ever talking this much to me before. “I only slept an hour last night. But when I got up, I got on the computer and researched massacres for a few minutes, then I looked up some cheats for Call of Duty and ate a cheese sandwich. My mom had gone already -- she left the night before -- so I drove myself to that donut shop on N and Amber Boulevard ‘cause I was still hungry. Then I went to the Adult Video store, and then to the pawn shop…. That guy still got on my nerves as usual, but I told him about my problems with his attitude and he shaped up a bit. Then I drove to school with all my stuff. Accidentally slashed my leg, too, on the way. Hurts like crap, but you don’t care much about that, do you?”
“No,” I told him honestly. He most likely deserved it, all things considered.
“Hm,” he said. “I expected that. But, you know, Laurie, you’re looking kinda pale. Everything alright?”
I didn’t answer. Instead, I coughed up who knows what and continued to stare into his sadistic face.
“You’ve given up on me, huh? Or did you give up a long time ago?” he asked.
Still I didn’t answer. Vivid memories were replaying in my head now, memories I wished that I would never witness again.
“I knew it…” said Max. He stood and took careful steps to a blinded window. “I think that’s why I did it… because everyone had stopped trying with me.”
“…You don’t know why you did it?”
“Not specifically, no.”
I stared, refusing to look anywhere else, pushing down the urge to throw up. He looked back at me then.
“You look sick, Laurie.”
“I know,” I said hoarsely. I tried even harder to block out everything else besides him.
“I’m not sorry,” he said.
“It’s kind of sad, you know, that Tyler went first… I’d been aiming at you, but he leaned forward.”
“I know.” I coughed some more. His words were not helping my stomach in any way, and as I stared at him, he simply stared right back, cheeks pulled tight in a Cheshire smile, as if he were trying to push me.
“Mrs. Mastersons’ face was priceless, though,” he chuckled. “She hadn’t expected any of it.” He sat down again. I watched his thumb stroke the metal -- his only friend.
I didn’t say the words this time. I focused on breathing, on keeping my head straight.
“When I took care of her -- that was when the panic really started….” Sirens now blared outside. “Then Jess tried to protect you, but he tripped and took care of himself.”
I started to sway.
“One by one… like little pigs lining up for the slaughter, I tell you.”
I got on my knees slowly and decided not to crawl to the trashcan.
“Then you were the only one left.”
My body emptied itself on the floor, mixing with the scarlet stains. Max didn’t even flinch, but why would he?
“You should have been first. And I would have done you in a few minutes ago but the blood looked too good on you.”
“Stop,” I croaked.
He didn’t listen. “But you’ve been wounded enough, I think. It’s better to just watch you die slowly. Isn’t it?”
I fell, and I felt my arm touch Jess. I would have heaved, but my stomach was already empty.
I watched him raise the gun then.
“But there’s not enough of you left to quench me,” he said, insanity back a hundred and ten percent. “I want it all… quicker.”
I waited for the moment to come, lying still on the ground, watching the stuff pool larger and larger around me. He didn’t do or say anything for several eternal minutes, and I was sure of this because I counted down the seconds.
The classroom door flew open as the minute hand of the clock hit the ten. There was gunfire, and Max fell, but I closed my eyes. It was already too late; I would just be another lifeless body that they could add to the list.
I watched the object fall to the ground, Max still smirking crazily, and it seemed like he was watching me, even in death. Something dripped down the side of his face, and his eyes were dark, red veins showing. He looked absolutely maniacal.