Getting ready to die

May 29, 2010
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Dennis finished toweling his brown hair and wiped the mist from the bathroom mirror, gray eyes staring back at him. Face expressionless, he fished the frayed toothbrush and rolled-up toothpaste from the cabinet and brushed methodically, then slipped on a black and gray suit that hung from the bathroom door.

Running a comb through his half-damp hair, he slipped on his shoes and straightened his tie, then stepped out of the bathroom and walked down the hall toward the kitchen.

Dennis was getting ready to die.

He knew what he had done to deserve this inevitable fate. He also knew that, while fishing out the chilled bottle of red wine from the refrigerator and a chilled glass, that his killer was already on the way here,

Coming to kill him.

Dennis remained expressionless as he stepped out of the kitchen and sank down into the worn, crimson armchair dominating the center of his living room. The living room consisted of a few pictures of his close family and an assortment of books, antiques, and postcards he had collected during his high school years. Next to the armchair stood a small table with a lamp, a pack of cigarettes, and a lighter on top. Dennis reached for a cigarettes, lit one, breathed deeply; poured himself a glass of wine as well.

As he sat, Dennis heard the low hum of a car pulling up on the curb outside his house. He heard the slam of the car door and the sound of crunching dirt and gravel as the person made their way up to his front door.

He sensed his killer pausing at the door, then heard the loud chop-click as the lock on the door was sucked out, saw the door slant on it’s hinges as the force of the blow to open it did its damage. A tall, black-haired, pale-skin man stepped in, his dark brown eyes surveying then room, rested on Dennis.

“So, Dennis,” the man spoke, “I’m sure you don’t need to hear the full explanation as to why I’m about to kill you, do you?”

Dennis sipped at his wine. “That I do not, sir. However,” Dennis sat the glass back down. “May I have the pleasure of knowing my killer’s name, sir?”

The man at the door smiled. “Of course, Dennis. Really won’t make much difference since you’ll be dead an all... my name is Chase.”

“Just Chase?”

“I don’t see the point to last names, Dennis. No one remembers them, and if they do, they either say or spell them wrong, so what’s the point?”

“True, true.” Dennis took a draft of his cigarette. “So, shall we get on to business then, Chase?”

Chase smiled. “Of course, Dennis. Besides, I have an engagement later, and I don’t wish to be late.” Chase reached his hands into both pockets, pulled out a gun and a bowie knife. “Now then, Dennis, how do you want to die?” Chase held up his left hand, the gun glinted in the lamp light. “I could shoot you through the head or chest, a bit painful, but your suffering will come to an end quicker. Or,” Chase lowered his left hand and extended his right, the wickedly jagged bowie grinned at Dennis. “I could sever your jugular and watch you bleed out for about five or six minutes, seven tops. But then I would have to set this place afire to hide any evidence. So Dennis,” Chase stood before Dennis.

"How do you want to die?"

Dennis extinguished his cigarette and drank the last sips of his wine. His gray eyes met Chase’s own. “Chase, Chase, Chase. Don’t you realize that you cannot kill a person who is already dead?” Chase blinked twice, then laughed.

“Don’t play mind games with me, Dennis. You will die tonight by my own hands and there isn’t a thing you can do about it!” Chase’s brown eyes turned almost black with hate. “Good-bye Dennis, remember, this is your own fault.” As Chase raised the gun to Dennis’s skull, Dennis reached down on the side of the armchair and pulled the recline lever and...


Gone was Dennis and the armchair, nothing but an empty hole in the floorboards. Cursing, Chase leaned over the hole and saw Dennis, unharmed, sitting in his armchair, gazing up at Chase from the basement, a small device in his hand. “As I’ve told you before, Chase,” shouted Dennis as he pressed a button on the device that made a flexible glass barrier slide from the sides of the hole, blocking Chase from Dennis, “You cannot kill someone who is already dead. That, my friend, is impossible.” Furious at losing his victim, Chase began to scream obscenities and fire his gun at the glass barrier, which only resulted in a hoarse throat and a grazed shoulder from one of the bullets ricocheting back from the barrier. As Chase hacked and sliced wildly at the solid barrier, Dennis rested his thumb on the second button in the little device, a small, red button.

“Oh, Chase,” Dennis shouted, holding up the device for Chase to see; Chase stopped beating on the glass,recognition gleaming in his eyes.

“You really thought you were going to kill me, didn’t you?” Dennis mashed the button on the device, bracing himself as the house above exploded in a fiery ball of wood, mortar, and tile flooring.


As Dennis pulled himself from the smoldering rubble and glass, he brushed his suit off nonchalantly and sauntered over the limp, bedraggled form of Chase, who lay quietly on the gravel earth, a gore-splattered plank jutting from his skull and chest. Though barely barely alive, Chase manages to fix his glazing eyes on Dennis.

“Chase, Chase, Chase,” Dennis whispered, pulling out a black gun from his coat pocket, aimed it at Chase’s face. “You can’t kill someone who is already dead, but in your case,” Dennis pulled the trigger and watched in cold neutrality as Chase’s skull imploded in a crimson bowl of brains and teeth, “I think we can make an exception.” Standing, Dennis flicked a piece of flesh from his shoulder and placed the gun back into his pocket. Gazing up at the night sky, he saw the shimmering and twinkling of the stars in black velvet night. Eyes misting over, Dennis faded away as mist on the night breeze, mouthing the mantra of the day,

“You cannot kill someone who is already dead.”

And in this case, it was true.

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cyanidesun said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 1:47 am
Very well crafted. I applaud you. Even the dialogue was flawless. Except for maybe one or two tense switches and grammatical mistakes, this article was perfection. 
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