25 09 2005

A work of fiction by kevin verbael

He walked into the night, cold, bleeding, but utterly silent. He walked into the night. Like a shapeless figure dancing before the firelight, he flitted from shadow to shadow. He was scared, he was broken. His movement showed no signs of the cold breakdown going on inside of him. He fell. His face reflected in a puddle, he shed one single, small tear.

So I shot him. So what. He wasn’t good for me or anyone else. I walked after him. I followed him. I made sure he went down. I am not a bad person. I am good. I am a good person. I did the right thing.

He stayed down, the moonlight reflecting from the puddle and into his face. His face contorted a little, breathed a heavy sigh, and he closed his eyes. He wasn’t dead. He told me, ‘Forgive me, I’m so sorry, I don’t know why. What did I do to you? Who are you’. He saw my response before he heard it. He knew that he had cut me down. He had hurt me personally. He hoped to see in me some regret. He knew I wasn’t going to let him get away.

So I shot him again. Five more times. But before I did, I responded to him. I told him why. I thought about this moment for so long. I first began imagining it three years ago precisely on March 15th. I remember it well. I saw everything that happened on the television. I saw the haunted, broken people. I saw him turn to his audience, chuckle and promise me a better tomorrow. So I told the president that night, ‘Beware the ides of March, for in due time the past will bring justice and retribution for the suffering of my people. You have plagued our nation with criminal lies’

One bullet.

‘Do not cross my path again’

Another bullet.

‘Don’t lie to my country again’


‘Why are you killing me and my family?’

A fourth round.

‘Why did you ignore us when we needed you most? I’m sorry Mr. President, but you simply will not do. You just won’t do. You never volunteered your future to someone else. You never had to sit silently and listen to your own twisted lectures as the firelight died down and wait anxiously for mother to tell us it’s time for bed. Remember me, father. Remember me, your son.’

A fifth and final round.


E/N (editor’s note) Even though I have made it as clear as I possibly could to people that this in no way relates to me, except that I’m interested, like many educated Americans, in politics and that I have, like many Americans in general, a family. Apart from that, I have no (repeat) no desire in any way, shape, or form to harm our president. I just felt like writing something during a lunch break.

My stories never have an ending planned out when I write. I felt I wanted to twist the entire story over in a Sixth Sense ‘you have to see it again’ kind of way. If you reread it, the rather strange things the narrator says take on subtly different form when you know that he is the son of the President. To extrapolate my story to the real world – you can call it a lesson not to believe everyone buys your story; that the ones who know you best are the ones easiest to disillusion. Again this message doesn’t relate to me, I’m just the writer. In fact, I invented that perspective on my piece just now.

I honestly don’t claim to have much woven into this story. I just wrote it during a lunch break. And during that break, Chase H looked over my shoulder and mockingly gasped, “You shot someone?” – I responded, ‘Uhm no it’s just a random story’. I don’t mean for it to be anything but something that interests some people. Like a mini-Grisham novel. Is there a moral? If you want to, I guess, sure. But in the end, this is just a story for storytelling’s sake.

I wanted to write something different, something dark. It’s not that I’m trying to secretly code into story form some secret plot. I’ve gotten good feedback, but also with reservations on this piece. Mostly people think that this is anti-Bush propaganda radicalism. Can I just say no? More like, ‘Kevin wanted to play around with the concept of a narrator’s voice’. I’m not exactly a lunatic, but it was interesting to try to play around with the voice of a lunatic; it was a strange writing experience I must say, to write as a person that isn’t me. I just draw on what you see in the news and the history books.

This comment turned out to be a lot longer than I had planned. I had imagined writing something like “Remember my disclaimer, I actually don’t think (and I know this is weird because most authors do) just like my characters”. Actually Faulkner does this in “A Light in August”. Do we take it for face value and believe he actually means to be racist? Most would agree that he is commenting on social prejudices and segregation and how it is wrong. So I’ll sum it up for everyone: “Crimes” is just a story that does not reflect on my actual beliefs except inasmuch as it came from my hands and is representative not of some crazy, dark persona, but rather someone trying to see the world from someone else’s (very) different perspective.

And besides, come on assassinating the President – guys, how political do you take me for?

I wonder what Mr. Allen thinks on this piece. And the editor’s note, which actually turned out to be as long as the story itself.

Oh guys, *sigh*




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