Flash Fiction Competition 2021 – Third Place: Guidelines to Safely Using Your Murderous Tendencies

By Tiago T.I. Viergever

Let me give you some advice, killer to killer. After all, that’s something we all have in common: We’ve all killed before. At one point or another each one of us, dear reader, has been guilty of some grizzly murder. Or do the critters, so unceremoniously crushed beneath your soles, not count? I am inclined to recount, still, all the weeds you’ve pulled from their roots, or
even the vases, lamps, and useless memorabilia, broken by bouncing footballs and running disasters. All those ideas we’ve given no more life to, or the memories we discarded along our way. All these and so many more have been victims of the murderous intent we all, one way or another, harbor within us. As such, they all deserve some form of remembrance, even if it is a half-hearted eulogy by some abstract, unrecognizable, writer. To you, my killer-in-arms I have some hard-learned advice.

First, I should make a quick disclaimer: I, as your narrator, am, of course, unable to control who this advice might reach, and could find myself in the truly awkward position of addressing, in you, my careful critic, another kind of killer altogether. By this I mean, a killer of humans, who under the employ of some bloodthirsty criminal organization has been forced to
shoot, stab, maim or choke the life out of another and is now looking for advice on removing blood stains from the backseat of your 1974 Chevy Nova. I can, unfortunately, (or perhaps, fortunately), not provide you with the help you seek. Although, for my myriad nosebleeds and cooking mishaps some hydrogen peroxide always seemed to do away with those pesky bloodstains on fabric surfaces.

I might also find myself addressing another subset of human killers altogether. Those whose first kills came early in the form of family pets, and small defenseless mammals, and when the grunts of the small became all too common, progressed to less vulnerable targets. You, kindest psycho, will find nothing in this reflection on carving out bodysuits from another’s
skin, or a recipe on cooking your hapless victims.

No, this advice is addressed to the never-asked-out-that-person killers, the too-scared-to-take-a-chance killers, the can’t-leave-my-bed-today killers. All those killers, who like me, found solace in killing off their ideas before they had even sprouted and found sick pleasure in salting the earth where they could. This advice is dedicated to all of you whose families and
close relations insisted you were finding woes where there were none or making mountains out of molehills. No, I won’t repeat their bland advices. You have, I assume, been told not to give up far too often. Giving up is, after all, often too satisfying, and sometimes all too necessary. I will also not relate your struggles to abstract anecdotes, or other personal tales. Nor will I remind you of all those who are right there beside you. My advice, dear killer, might not even be worth a thing to you. Moreover, it might even just be bad advice. If it is, please don’t blame me, I am learning just like you.

My advice is to keep on killing. Kill time with friendly faces and random canines (or felines if that’s your thing). Kill your boredom with awful movies and sometimes, good ones too. Kill ideas, why not, kill those that don’t suit you anymore but stick around for convenience’s sake, leaving little room for novelty. Kill your hang-ups, ask out the pretty being for whom you’ve
been swooning over for however long, they might, after all, say yes (and even if they don’t, sometimes all you need is the comfort of their company and not much else). Kill all those setbacks you’ve created and leave yourself some room to grow. Kill them all with the kindness with which you hold your lovers, or the kindness with which you pat your pet. Or, rather,
defenestrate them from 30 story apartment buildings. You do you. But for god’s sake, please don’t kill anything that breathes. We all need to know our limits after all.

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