In the morning, he sat motionless, staring at the ceiling. Looking at the blankness, total emptiness, he wondered about his life.
What had he done to deserve a paper job, God? God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Why? Why him?
It echoed through his mind. He tried to think about it further. He tried to think of solutions. But, after a while, he got up and went to Buddy’s
Buddy’s was a wonderful place, where he would go in the morning on Sundays, eat a couple of pancakes, and wash it down with syrup. In the diner, Bob relished a world free of work and jobs, and money.
He savored the pancakes. The smell of them reminded him of memories of swinging as a child. Fall leaves formed interesting shapes. Grainy VHS tapes, old technology, and school. He remembered the soft morning air waking him up. The pancakes lay on a plate. The note from his mother. He was alone in the house. His father had gone to work.
They were gone now, as was the house, as was the place. His family, the Christmas mornings, the breaks, the homework, the pencils, the desks, the chairs, the people. Gone from his memory. The friends, the people, the schools. His life. He had forgotten most of it.
While he sat, he leaned against the icy windowsill, wondering about pancakes. How had they made them? Why were they as happy, delicious, savory, as they were?
The waiter tapped his shoulder and gave him a plate of pancakes covered in syrup. He smiled at her, but she walked away. He was alone.
He wrenched a plastic fork free from a dispenser and attempted to eat a juicy pancake. But when he held his hand, a warm rush of feeling bloomed through him, and then he felt the fork grow lighter in his hand.
He turned gray, he felt sick, lightheaded, and woozy. Oh god! Oh god! Not a nosebleed again.
No… Not… No…. It wasn’t… No blood from his nose like the last time… But something different.
The process, he remembered. They had all been taught this in school, but he didn’t remember its name. But he remembered the letter… S… S for something… S for sickened? No… But something… Something...
He stood up to head to the bathroom, holding the fork in his right hand. The dishes on his table jumped into the air, one split open, letting loose a sludge of soup onto a man wearing a monocle nearby.
“You mother-h. I hate - going to ki- go- God-, son of a b-”, said something muffled behind the soup, stuttering the threats toward him.
Bob tried to find a word to say but rushed away instead.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, he said, stepping a bit faster than he was supposed to.
He tripped, he fell, and he crashed to the ground, slowly, as his head bounced against the solid concrete.
He groaned, wept in shock and embarrassment, and grimaced at the sight of the people surrounding him.
“I’m fine!...”, he cried, “I’m f… Fine! fine!”
He could still speak and felt no pain at all, on the outside. On the inside, shame burnt through his chest. He tried to look away from the people around him and began to back away, crawling into the forest of shoes and socks.
A crack echoed from the iron door, he dropped the fork and felt a rush of pain enter his head and eyes until he fell into whirling darkness.
As he fell unconscious, he saw that the people were not looking at him, they only saw a crumbling crater the size of a middle-aged man’s skull.
“I’m fine!”, Bob shouted, “I’m awake, I’m fine, I’m awake! I’m fine!”
He looked around in a dark hospital room.
Bob stopped, then quietly bowed his head in silence.
The nervousness faded away. He felt numb, he was cold, and there was nobody in the hospital, except for the faint beeps of the heart-rate monitor.
Beside him, a remote control lay dully against the moonlight. He tried to turn on the television, but it was static.
He saw a tray of food laying near his bed on a separate table. Hunger drove him to drag it off onto the bed, and he ate slowly with a fork and then felt a rush of warmth flow through him again. He felt lighter than the morning air.
Something starting with an S...
His memory had been foggy. His head had felt funny. He felt lighter as he held the fork. But then… It was ….
The Strontium Process… That was it...
Rays of warmth, he remembered, and that was the Strontium Process. Sudden, random, rare.
Perhaps, he could be better than UltraMan. Better than SpoonMan, Lawnmower Man, or Explosion Man. Finally, after all those years, he was one of them.
A nervous laugh, part excitement, part questioning, burst deep from inside him.
Ha? Ha! Ha?.... Eh…
But, Paper and Superheroes didn’t mix well. His job. His life…
He thought about it, turned, and twisted in his bed. His eyes were red and raw with his restless wake.
Perhaps, he could. Perhaps, there was a way...
And, as he thought about powers and superheroes, he fell asleep.
He dreamt about forks.
“Yes?”, he said, with a little jitter in his legs, “I’m awake”
“He awake?”, said a voice from outside.
“He is, sir”, said someone else, who he couldn’t see.
A bearded man walked inside. Big, gruff, with thin legs and a casual smile.
“Hahahahaha! You're awake, that’s good”, the man put up a wide smile, “Address me as sir, but I’m Almost-Captain Gregory Sr.”
“Good morning sir!”, Bob returned the greeting with a nonchalant smile.
He squeezed Bob’s hands, “Hahahaha! I’m part of the Police Database.”
“Hahahaha! Yes, yessir”, he nodded.
“Don’t laugh. Here, let me finish”
“Ha-. Yes, yessir”
“Don’t interrupt-”, the bearded man sighed and then nodded, “Okay, let’s cut to the chase, get to the point, Strontium Process, entered into Database, wish you a farewell.”
“Yes, yessir. But wouldn’t you rather know about my powers? Perhaps maybe-”
“Don’t interrupt. First off, do you often splurge on your money? How is your bank?”
“Your bank account”, said the nurse that had randomly appeared.
“Yes, yes, he knows”, the man said, nodding.
“Your bank account”, said the nurse again.
“Your money, your moolah, your millions, your bucks”
“No, I don’t… spend much… But I don’t have much… What does this have to do with-?”
“No, no, we’ve already done that! Let me and the nurse talk for God’s sake!”
“But I don’t-”
“We’ve seen your credit score, Mr. Bob”, the nurse quietly explained, shaking her head, “Have you seen how low it is?”
“No, I don’t spend on my-. But what? I was wondering if we could talk about-.”
“You’re being discharged from the hospital. Your hospital bills mean that you are currently in debt by over two thousand dollars”, said the nurse.
“No, no, no. But I have the money. And I usually spend on my debit, not on credit. Why do I have to p-? But the powers, I can punch through walls if I hold a fork. I don’t understand!”
“What do forks have to do with debt?”, asked the man
“I can use my powers through forks”, Bob held up a fork in front of them, “See, If I hold it-”
“That’s okay, that’s fine. But we’re going to have to discharge you”
“Don’t you need my information? My powers, the fork, isn’t that-?”
“Well, we’re going to need to contact your credit card provider first.”
“Credit Card Providers? But I-”
The bearded man sighed, the nurse kept quiet, and Bob shifted awkwardly around in the bed.
“I thought we talked about this Bob...”, the bearded man sighed.
“We’ll see you out on the desk today at 9:00 AM”, the nurse gave him a slip of paper, “Remember to pay this when you get home.”
Then, the bearded man walked away, drowsy, unkept, unshaved, like he hadn’t gotten enough sleep because he had been looking at his own bank account for the whole night.
Randy hid from the police in his ragged clothes, breathing heavily as he rested against the cool bricks.
“Come back! Come back!”, the police officer said, “Where the hell are you Randy? Randy! Randy!? Randy!”
The police were everywhere. While he was hiding in that alleyway, minding his own business, they had come.
“Goddamn them…”, Randy muttered to himself, leaning extremely against the wall to blend into the shadows, “Damn them...”
Nearby, there was a nice subway. Full of hot nice food, but nobody would let him in. The police would beat him up if they ever saw him.
He sighed and listened for footsteps, sirens, or tires screaming out onto the street, potshots, or anything. But he was fine, for now, they were getting nets, and more police perhaps.
He could ask Frank to give him some shelter at his place. But he lived in Boulevard CT, in the alleyway, where it was depressing because all those shelter-less people gathered in groups, flocks, just moving around in a circle on the street until someone called the cops. And then, he’d never get any sleep. With that, recently, the raids had made it a dangerous street.
Maybe Kriya, but the police had also raided their area. Nowhere left to run for him...
The whine of the siren echoed blasted through the air. He jumped a little and landed on the ground dazed.
Wait... what the hell was it?... He heard the raid siren again. Heavy boots crunching against the soft pavement. They were coming!
No, not him, not him, not him, not them, not her, not anyone. Who was it? Who? Who?!.
There was a siren, approaching soon… Quick… Quick...
George’s place, but that was in a rich neighborhood, where they had tents and families, and that would seem too strange… No raids yet, though, not that he’d heard.
As he thought to himself in the miserable rain, a downpour of mist rained upon his ragged cap, and he shrieked as the water hit his skin.
“George, F-”, the shriek of a siren hit his ears and he ran out of the alley, hating the police, wishing that, one way or another, they would all die to someone like Tankman.
Bob exited the hospital at 9:00 AM and paid half of the fee with most of the remaining money that he had stashed for his retirement.
But, he smiled. The clean air, he sighed in, letting the burdens of money drop from his shoulders. Finally, after all these years, with no hope, nothing to wish for. Finally, finally, finally.
Forkman, a new pseudonym, a new name for him to fight with. Perhaps, something like Prophylaxis, or The Righteous One, but he liked Forkman.
Bob rested his feet upon the park bench, rested his head on the metal bars, and napped in the soft sun. No more worries about money. The hospital was gone. They were all gone. The years of studying business and economy. The years of worrying about money and income.
All gone. All gone. All gone. He was to survive and walk as a new person. Forkman. Forkman. Forkman…
After a while, he woke up to a family of four staring at him and a sun eclipsed by a cloud.
He stood up, tired, woozy, drunk in peace, and calm. He sighed and walked home. He felt a bit funny, a bit empty, a bit guilty, but very content. Happy with his place in the world. His freedom. He had no worries because he had no job. Strange how that’d happened.
Bob visited the art exhibition at night, staring at the interesting paintings. He liked a very good painting, “The remembrance of lost things”, containing a fantastically cosmic eye that ‘continuously stared into the soul and formed unease in the heart’, reading the description he felt none of that, but only a deep nostalgia that made him warm. He stared at it, looking at the same painting again and again like he was trying to remember something, and that this singular eye was the catalyst for the remembrance of forgotten things.
But all he remembered was that he had wanted to be a painter a long time ago. But, as he had run forward, something had gotten tangled into the mix.
Now, he sold the paper. So he could hear that endless whine of lasers skimming the infinite papers. Sales reports, bar graphs, all scrawled in illegible lettering until his eyes grew red and dim, so he could grope blindly for the next sheet and write checks and sales reports.
But, he had a gigantic canvas hidden in the basement of his home. In it, there was a single drop of paint, a single stroke of color, and a figure. Hidden deep behind it was a chaotic rush of color and lines going across the bare canvas in a beautiful image of Everything.
Years and years, but where had it gone? He hadn’t painted on that canvas. It had been rotting away forever in a warehouse somewhere. He hadn’t painted on it for years. Perhaps, today was the day.
But, he didn’t need to worry about painting. He would be something free. A superhero. A man with a fork, who had powers. He would save people in need, and, finally, leave his job and enjoy the last years of his life as a man who fought supervillains.
The quiet valley filled with deer that nibbled on the wild grass. Around him, trees grew from the earthen walls of the forest, and vines curled around the strong stumps. It was an oasis of rotting beauty, and there was nobody. Nobody at all.
Bob sat on the grass, on a homemade bench, in his homemade shed, where he had been living for the past few years. A few logs stacked themselves together in a zigzag pattern until it formed a crumbling pyre. There was a lightbulb at the top, flickering and buzzing, and a cloud of bugs that were fried alive on the touch of the glass.
He held a fork. Three actually, one shoddily carved from wood, one made of metal, and one drawn on a piece of paper. The metal one was cold, rusty, overused, bent in many places. The wooden one had splintered, frayed at the handle, was freshly carved, and could be easily broken. The piece of paper had a burnt mark, a streak, that stretched down it quickly until it dimmed.
He held the metal spoon, and he could feel it enveloping him. He could feel the weight of gravity fade away, a burden fading from his shoulders. And then, he stepped forward, felt the grass bend underneath his worn soles. He crouched down, picked up a pebble, and gently tapped it against his palm. It split open, revealing a mixture of quartz smashed against white limestone chalk. When he tested the wooden spoon, nothing happened, nor did the drawn-on-paper one, so thus, he wrote it down.
Now, what was there to do?
He checked the radio for something from the news. CNN, NPR, Local News Channels, Police Radios. There was quiet all over, static sometimes, and a mixture of calm, soothing voices, talking about politics, fast cars, and more.
No bank robberies, no crime, nothing in the city. It was a quiet place, for quiet people, and quiet things happened in areas like that. Ah yes, there was no crime.
But tomorrow, he would fight crime. Tomorrow! Soon, he would retire from the years of hard work...
When Randy arrived at George’s place, he had been running for two hours, in that rain. Cars rang their horns at him. The rain made his clothes cling to his skin. Wet and miserable, he ran as people yelled at him and children curiously reached out to touch him while their parents looked disapprovingly
At midnight, he reached George’s place, steel beams stuck into the dirt, with a steel plate roof, to form a makeshift shelter.
“F-Ouch-ing children”, Randy shivered in the frost of the cold.
He heard the shudder of metal, turned around, and laughed at George’s pitiful attempt to get his fat body out of the tent.
“Oh, hey”, George waved. Then, he drank from a rusty tin can. He smelt the fresh brew of coffee, crushed from the finest grains of the trash heap. Boiled in used coffee filters and mixed with the spine of a pet weasel.
“Y-y-you sterilize that?”
Randy laughed suddenly, while George made a small smile at him. He didn’t reply.
“It isn’t too safe here because of a raid. The police came.”, George stared at him.“What?” Randy shook his head, “They were at my place too. They’re everywhere now. God, they shot down most of the people living near Brita Street.”
Randy sighed. George paused to drink further from his mug.
“What to do?...”, Randy sat down. “So many dead.”
George didn’t reply, shivering as the wind beat against his wiry body.
“But, all of that police. That kind of thing never happened. They used to take care. Those government apartments. Families livin’ inside them. Tommy, that kid who dropped out of high school. And then, so many people. Free, but then crime… Then poverty… But it wasn’t our fault. It was those frickin’ drug lords, who’d shot someone dead.”
“I dunno’. The apartments weren’t great”, George murmured.
“The police again, and idiotic everything! Everyone! Why the hell! Why the hell do I have to worry about the police every day? I can’t sleep on a bench without someone looking at me. I can’t warm myself near a-”
“We’re safe here.”, George nodded and smiled toward him again.
“Aren’t their patrols?”, Randy sighed, stared at George in the eyes, “I don’t know why you’ve still survived. Anything that comes through one end of your ear goes out the other way.”
George quieted down and shuffled back into his abode.
“Quiet, George”, Randy sat against the muddy wall, “I’m thinking...”
“Sorry”, George whispered.
“I’m thinking...”, He screamed aloud, ”Don’t you want to survive the police! Dammit, shut-!”
A great pain filled his mind, like thousands of carved clay spikes stabbing through his skull.
“What?!”, George backed away, “Stop that, why are you screaming! Please stop! I’m s-s-sorry, alright, I didn’t mean what I meant-”
George continued to ramble.
But, he ignored this. In his eyes, Randy saw small fires, blazing lively inside everything. When he reached out his hands, he could manipulate each of them. First, he slowly increased the flame of a broken can.
As he continued, he began to see it slowly levitate.
George shook his head, in sudden disbelief, as the rusty can split apart.
“I think I’ve figured it out, George...”, Randy jumped up, “I’ve figured it out!”
He wandered the shadowy bridge and waddled forward in the ice of the water. He held a fork in his hand, but with a light grip.
He had waited an entire night for crime, not sleeping, listening to the empty whine of the radio. The newscasts, the worldwide web, and the soft noises of the city. But, there was only the endless rush of traffic, until he was swept away into a world of silence and nature.
God, he remembered when he was a boy. When the Strontium Process was newly discovered, when the world was whimsical and new. There were parades, it was fun, and there was no need to worry about college. No need to worry about jobs. No need to worry about time.
The stream trickled into a quiet pond. The ducks bobbed silently in the gray waters. Mud bubbled and squelched. The moon’s reflection warped in the water.
Bob skipped pebbles across the water. They bounced only thrice, before hitting a rock and flying into the air.
He wondered about nothing, thought nothing. His forehead dripped with sweat. He tried very hard to keep himself awake. In the silence, there was chaos internally.
As the sun came up, he slept.
“Are you sure?”George asked Randy.
“The stash is full today, and it’s good practice for the full heist. The heck’s wrong with you. Want the police to get you? Chickening out? Because we can get a couple of dollars, bust out of there, and run.”
”C’mon, I’m not-” George stopped midway. He saw the floating garbage can.
Randy had practiced. Before they’d come to the gas station. They’d spent a day seeing what made the power tick and tock and activate and whatnot. Running around, saying certain words, until it had worked.
Near him, Randy was concentrating, closing his eyes, muttering “I’m thinking… I’m thinking… I’m thinking...”., using the Strontium Process again.
“Been practicing, George. A marvel, a beauty, and imagine that to somebody else. Quick, easy. I won’t kill m’, just steal the money while he ain’t lookin”
“F-ouch-k”, the garbage can fell to the ground. George heard the blare of the car alarm. He mumbled out his reply, “Why can’t we rob from an ATM?”
“Cause’, an ATM isn’t a bank. And, c’mon! Look at us, look at the police. Those pigs! Did you see them, George? Hunting down our people, killing our own. Who cares?! The police don’t, and we’ll give retribution by breaking their stupid system!”
Then, Randy walked forward, into the light of the gas station, while George stayed behind, and watched from his hiding place, the garbage can.
He heard the muffled sound, as the man behind the register, wearing his usual bandanna and smoking a soft cigarillo. He had American eyes, mixed in with an Asiatic sense. Poking his head through the smoke, Randy stared at the man. There was talking, a more muffled sound, with Randy shuffling into the shelves, buying something, and then returning outside. There seemed nothing wrong.
After a while, Randy moved forward and unfolded thousands of dollars from his pockets.
The radio near him buzzed. He rose and awoke.
“Please contact our local police department for the whereabouts of a robber who has stolen over $400 from the gas station. Eyewitnesses recall that the man had brown hair, over 5 feet, about nearly fifty years old, and wore glasses… ”
He grabbed the radio closer to his ear.
“We report him near Obrik’s Lane as where he was last. The local police call him a polite, but an extremely dangerous person.”
Bob held the radio in one hand, and a fork in the other. Running around the marshes and the mud, and to the trail again. Up the rocky hill, and then running on a bridge over the highway. Underneath him, cars sped past in random blurs. Trucks rumbled and spewed hot steam into the air. An advertisement from Treeflower(C) inc hovered over them all.
When he finally stopped, he had arrived at Obrik’s Lane, a suburban place full of ignorant people, and foreign liquor stores. People biked, jogged around, and a police cruiser was neatly parked on the side of the road.
The stained concrete walls and tinted glass windows built up the silent neighborhood. A vendor selling hot dogs called out to him. He ignored it and walked around the nearly empty place. He saw the familiar faces of the working, white-haired janitor, and the neon signs of ENTER and OPEN. ATMs dripped rust onto the ground. Scratched pennies lay on the ground. Leaves stirred up a musky scent that made him gag.
He searched around for the gas station robber. The rusty and poor-looking man who’d he heard of on the radio. He imagined him in his full form, a fearsome man with large hands to snatch the money out of anyone’s hands. Or, perhaps, a man who acted strangely polite, but could steal virtually anything.
But he saw them only in his head, for there were children, father, mothers, suspicious old men, men in suits, and a few more policemen who stared at him for a while, before driving off.
“Get your Hot Dogs! Wrapped in Treeflower(C) inc Napkin Paper! Fresh, fresh! Every time you buy a hot dog, you might receive a ticket to that special, special football game sponsored by Treeflower(C) inc. Get it now! Get it now! Every time you buy, I earn money, and you earn money! It’s a free deal, so get a hot dog now!”
The vendor stared specifically at him and approached him as he was walking around the block again, looking for the Gas Station Robber.
“Hey! You, would you like a hot dog? You could get a ticket from Treeflower(C)! Perhaps, a second hotdog to go down nicely with the second one! Why don’t you buy a hotdog now? Covered in onions, mustard, and ketchup. Goes down nicely with a nice coke and sprite!"
“No thanks”, Bob waved his hand and continued onward. But the vendor stopped him again.
The man rolled his cart toward him, huffing and puffing, wheezing as he did.
“I’ve noticed that you walk around the block a lot. You must be interested in my hot dogs! Why don’t you try some?" The man just kept smiling as he talked.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have time. I'm really busy right now. “
“It won’t take much time then.”, the man paused. His ears perked up, “ To buy a hot dog!”
“But- I”, Bob sighed, “Fine, I’ll have only one.”
He pulled out his wallet and saw that it was nearly empty. Only four dollars. The exact price of the hot dog. After that, he would be broke.
But, he would figure it out away. Perhaps, maybe. After he found that robber, after that, then there was a chance.
“Here you go”, he put his hands in his pockets, shivered in the wind, as the vendor made the hot dog.
He ate with little relish, although he’d been starving for hours.
They spent the money on food and water. A feast to enjoy. Chips, salsa, beer, coke, hot dogs, chili, soup. They put it on a grand picnic table and ate with real forks and real spoons. After they stuffed themselves, they collapsed on the benches.
Randy napped in a sleeping bag. George biked around the neighborhood. It continued like this for the day. They enjoyed the sun, the sky, the neighborhood, and the soft clatter of the train on the rails.
Nobody stared at his ragged clothes, his unshaven and dirty appearance. They stared at his new bike instead. But he was still a bit ashamed, ever since he’d lost his job. Perhaps he would never recover. But he’d tried job hunting around the U.S., driving around in the trusty jeep that his parents had given him on his 15th birthday. When he was out of willpower and hope, he'd sold it for a thousand dollars.
For a whole year, he had never even thought of being homeless, and yet, he’d run around the world without a home, without anyone. But it’d been fine, drinking those hot cans of soup, living a normal life. He had gotten used to it, even as it’d grown worse and worse, and he was forced to wander forever.
It wasn’t the police. It was their own fault. Their stupidity, their own weaknesses that had made them homeless. Randy had refused to believe that and blamed it on the police, feeling no guilt.
He continued in his rambling thoughts in the silent world. The plastic bulbs tangled in trees lighting blue and red, and the traffic rumbling through as usual. The clouds faded away as the moon lit up into view.
It had been years since his life had been like this.
Bob sat on the bench, watching the people that walked by, and looking for the robber, while he held his fork at ready.
He kept awake by whistling. When he got tired of whistling, he snapped his fingers. When he couldn’t snap his fingers, he tapped his feet. When he couldn’t tap his feet, he fell asleep. Snoring on the cold metal, the street lamps flickering in the night.
The trees wavered, and only one person walked the streets.
With ragged clothes, riding a bike, and fresh awake from a nap, the wheels on his bike wobbled.
From the squeak-squawk of the wheels, Bob woke up. His eyes fluttered open, and he stared at the man biking in front of him.
Brown hair, tall, ragged clothes, polite, average-sized, and nearly as old as him!
The man sped past him. He jumped off the bench, and ran forward, calling out various names, yelling out something unintelligible to the man.
But, he, with a fork in hand, overcame the bike and its owner, running faster than he’d ever tried. He barely wheezed and caught the man by the shoulder. A hand pushed him away.
“Stop! Stop! I told you to stop!”
“Goddammit. The neighborhood watch”, He heard the man murmur to himself
The bike swiftly turned left. Muffled, furious yells echoed through the neighborhood.
“Go away! I don’t have any money on me, and I’m definitely not the gas station robber.”
“But you look like him!” He ran around a fire hydrant, “Come back! Come back! Stop for the sake of the law!”
“I’m not a crook, I’m only biking, minding my own business. Go away, dammit!”
“Come back! Come back!”
The bike chain clattered to the ground. He felt bolts split apart, a bike wheel launched itself onto the road.
The bike gave a sharp swerve and hit a signpost. The middle-aged man flew through the air, sharply went up, and floated there for a while before slowly going down.
“I’m thinking… I’m thinking...”, the man murmured under his breath.
He dropped to the sidewalk, lifting the bike parts onto the sidewalk invisibly.
“You think that’s funny? Almost killing me, breaking my new bike!”, he pointed toward him. His face was grim.
Bob backed away, holding his fork with one hand, and trying to stop his other hand from twitching, and his entire body from nervously shaking.
“Stop this! Stop it! Come down slowly!”
“Can you explain why this?”, the man pointed to the bike, “Shut up! All for robbing 400 dollars from a stupid gas station! It’s not even that much!”
“Come down slowly! Please, please! I just need this. Please don’t give a fight. I’ll pay for the bike afterward. I’ll do anything. Please just come down!”, he shivered, his frail figure shrinking.
“I’m not going to the police station, dammit! I’m not dumb! They kicked me out of my place, evicted my place, raided my home, made everything so stupidly dangerous!”, the man strode toward him, “I’m gonna kill you first, then teach the entire squad a whole hecking lesson!”
A great shadowy object flew toward him and hit him with a truckload of force. As it collided into his chest, his skull, his entire body, he blacked out, the fork strangely loose in his hand.
He heard the sound of a car alarm…
He might’ve killed him, maybe not. Randy slowly backed away from the motionless body, horrified. A shocked look spread across his face. The car alarm continued blaring. He looked around, lifted the lamppost away from the man. The fork had stayed steady in the man’s hand overall.
Randy expected people to run out. The police holding him down, ready to shoot him dead.
But there was nobody. Everybody was sleeping. Doing whatever they were doing. He had a chance, he was alive. He could run now, or stay with the body in the snow.
“He deserved it!”, Randy shouted aloud, “He almost killed me himself! He was going to!... Oh god…”
He ran away into the night, wobbling, drunk on guilt, and deathly pale.
“Oh god...”, the words echoed through the neighborhood. Children waiting for Santa heard him. Taxi drivers watched him run. A man in his office who’d rested his head on the keyboard woke to the sound of sprinting.
“Oh god… Oh god… Oh god!...”