This is a short list submission for the YOUTH Award




Nathan Boole

“You ever get stuff stuck in your head?”

“Why don’t you put the gun down, Jim?” he begs. “You don’t have to do this.”

I shoot him in the face. The gun roars and sends a shock through my numb hand.

“Not so smug now are you? Asshole.” I look around the classroom. None of them very smug now. The fucking song will not stop running through my head. Help me God I can’t control myself. Help me God I can’t control myself.

Shitty lyrics anyway. Someone whimpers. The terror on their faces makes me feel something. Powerful, that’s it. Better than orgasm. But some of them hate me with their eyes. I kill another one. Hate gone. Just fear now.

“How does it feel?” I scream at them. I kill a few more, the gun sound matches the sound in my head.

Reload. I’m exploding inside. I think it’s my heart exploding. I try to cry. Can’t. Fuck it. I kill the rest. Classroom looks better than it ever has.

This isn’t working. The world still seems far away, boring. I hurt inside, and I can’t make them hurt enough to match. Whatever. I raise the barrel to my chin. I hope I can feel this. I need to feel this. Fuck you God, I can control myself.

Referenced Lyrics

Zeromancer, “V”