New Fiction: ‘Listen’ by Karl van Cleave
Anonymity # 1: Listen…
Karl van Cleave
Listen up, motherfuckers, I’m not screwing around here. I’ve got a fucking gun and I’ll fucking use it. I mean it. This guy here…. Yeah, this guy, he’s my hostage. I don’t know him, I don’t care. I mean, he doesn’t mean shit to me, so he’s expendable. We’re all expendable. I’m expendable. I know it. I don’t know why you all think you’re so fucking special. The sooner you realise you’re expendable too, the better. Wise up! I’m telling you. No-one gives a fuck. You die, no-one will even notice. You die in dramatic circumstances, you’ll make the news for a few hours, maybe even a few days. Yeah, so I don’t give a fuck if I go down… I’d happily go down, be a footnote in history, a snippet of footage on the news, a half column in the morning paper. It’s more than I am now, it’s more than any of you are now. So what’s it gonna be? Huh? Huh? Yeah, I’m talking to you. And I’m talking to you! It doesn’t have to be this way… I’ll take the money and a break for freedom, that’s cool, but you don’t wanna fuck with me. Take the money and live, or get gunned down, it’s all the same to me. This is my one fucking shot, you hear? I’ll take you down, take this guy down – this anonymous guy – take you all down. I don’t give a fuck. Yeah, I’ve gone past caring and I’ve gone past living as just one more anonymous nobody. Hand it over, I’m a rich somebody. The cops take me out, I’m a dead somebody, but that’s more than any of you, more than any of you will ever be. You know it, you sad pathetic fucks. You’re scared of me, but you envy me, because you want to be where I’m standing. You want your fifteen minutes of fame. I’m getting mine, right here, right now.
I’m poised, I’m ready. I’ve rehearsed this countless times before. I’m coiled. One day, I’m going to snap.