The Road Not Taken

by Will Christ

Before:

"You WHAT?" I almost howled.

"I said I'm leaving you. You're never home-" My Wife began

"I work twelve fucking hours a day! Just to pay for this house! To put food in the fridge!" Anger pulsed through me.

"-You don't talk to me anymore. You just come home, and go to bed. On your days off all you do is sleep!" My wife said, her tone rising to match my own. Blood sang in my ears.

"What's his name?" The savagery of my voice even scared me ever so slightly.

"Its not important." She said, her anger seeming to melt away into fear. My own anger was starting to boil into rage. I could see it. He was here. In my house. Making love to my wife. In my bed. No they weren't making love, they were FUCKING! Rutting like animals in the woods.

The sudden quiet between us seemed to infuriate me even more. Names. I wanted names. I wanted a face that I could hunt for. On a hunch I fired out sadistically,

"Its Sherman, isn't it?" a barely recognizable shift of her eyes told me it was before she denied it.

Sherman was a mutual friend of ours. He'd been my best man at our wedding. He was going to be the godfather of our children (Had we decided to have any). For twelve years, I'd slaved away in a hot steel mill, while MY wife had been banging my "friend" behind my back for who knows how long. At first I'd noticed the number of times she'd called his number on the phone bill. Then she started talking about him to me, almost like he was seeing her on a regular basis. He was always there to "give advice" and lend "a shoulder to cry on".

I would kill my wife for this infidelity. No, better. I'd kill Sherman. The blood thundered through me. I could feel it surging through me, carrying my anger to every cell in my body. With out a word, I turned, picked up my helmet, and returned to my motorcycle in the driveway. It was still hot for Christ sakes. She hadn't even let my bike cool before she'd dropped this bombshell on me.

"Where are you going?" She said, her anger melting to almost hysterics. I looked at her with eyes I assumed were filled with a fury of a man so unjustly wronged. She involuntarily backed away from me.

"Out." I said, very softly. I swung my leg over my motorbike, and pressed the start. The engine roared to life. A roar that I wanted to echo so greatly. I wanted to slaughter this betrayer of my trust. I would take pleasure in feeling his hot lifeblood fountain across me from his dying body.

I was no longer the man I was when I'd woken up that morning. I was now a killing machine; dead inside, living for only one purpose: To destroy this man. No, he was no longer a man in my eyes. He was vermin. An insect. I would crush him under my boot. I kicked the bike into gear, and it roared into the street, feeling as though it were as eager for the kill as I was.

The last lingering thread of reasoning left in me, whispered in my fury filled mind that my wife was probably calling the police right now. Well, that was fine with me. Just as long as I had my blood. They could do what they wanted with me after that. But I would cleanse the world from this filth first.

The bike howled along the almost empty road. It had grown dark out. I hadn't noticed. My body drove the bike for me, while I savored the purity the act I was going to fulfill. I'd never thought I'd take a human life. Rage drives a person to strange things. But those thoughts didn't concern me right at that moment. I was busy fantasizing about what his face would look like as I purged the life from his body, on pint of blood at a time.

Then, after I was done with him, I'd go after his family. Yeah, kill the scum who spawned the scum. The idea filled me with a cold certainty that mixed with my white-hot rage to produce a steam that went right to my head, and made me all light headed and giddy with killing pleasure.

I laughed, a laugh not of humor, but a laugh born of pure intent. I would enjoy killing Sherman. Then his family. Then anybody who got in my way. My laughter produced a bizarre counterpoint to the bikes screaming engine. I imagined that it was what Sherman would sound like screaming.

My light was green, the other was red, but the truck was still coming. Through the curtain of my rage, I heard the truck horn. I looked to my left in time to see the front end of the massive eighteen wheel-

After:

"He ran a red light officer, I tried to stop, but" The truck driver gestured at the jackknifed truck and trailer near the side of the road. The officer, whom he was speaking to, glanced at the mangled wreckage of both man and machine strewn across the road. Blood, both human and machines, was smeared in a grisly skid mark a quarter of a kilometer down the road. The cop shook his head, and continued to fill out the report.

An onlooker glanced at the wreckage, sighed, and then muttered.

"What a waste. Lord knows what that person would have been able to accomplish with his life."

"I pity the family that he's leaving behind." Another added. Both looked at each other, and nodded. Then they both walked away into the night.

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