Saving My Life

I took the clock off the wall and crept downstairs to where I’d heard someone breaking in – my worst fears realised, the crack dealer had found out where I lived and hired someone to kill me. I spotted him, opening my bedroom door and peering in, dressed completely in black and wearing a black balaclava. I crouched and sliently shuffled towards him, my heartbeat deafening in my eardrums. He began to turn around, so, with a desperate sprint, I lunged at him. A look of shock appeared in his eyes as he witnessed a skinny 17-year-old with all the fierceness of a striking tiger, brandishing a clock, in mid-air, but that disappeared, as, with the unmistakable crunch of breaking skull, I hit him. He collapsed on the floor, immobile and drooling slightly.

He had a gun in his hand. I know fuck all about guns, and I’ve a vague idea how to fire them from rifle training, but I knew I’d have to be armed if I wanted to save myself. I examined it briefly. It might be an automatic. I pulled his fingers from it and shoved it down my pants. I felt like Duke Nukem must feel like.

I strolled out of my apartment and aimed at myself in the mirror in the lift. My adrenaline was pumping madly. My eyes were dark with fear and my face pale with the thought of confronting death. Fuck me, I muttered. Let’s fucking kill this scumbag.

Y’see, some crack dealer wanted to kill me, after I’d been selling crack to his crackheads. For fuck’s sake, that’s just so petty.

I took out my mobile and called one of the crackheads, who gave me the dealer’s address. Piece of piss. Apparently he had a young girlfriend and a baby, but I was decided on my plan, it was a completely moral case of survival and my attempts to stay alive, and they were just collateral really. It was a shame, but…

I knew the area. I took a bus, and got off at a nearby petrol station. I pulled down my balaclava and marched angrily in to the convenience store, picked up 2 4-pint bottles of milk, which I proceeded to empty and fill with 4-star unleaded as the cashier looked on, not even objecting.

I arrived at his house, still wearing my balaclava. It was a pretty little suburban house, with climbing ivy and it all looked very lovely. I spat on his driveway and poured the petrol through his letterbox, laughing madly. I dropped in a match and stepped back to look at my work.

The fire spread rapidly, quickly shooting up his stairs and breaking all his windows. Black smoke billowed out, followed by the distant wails of a baby crying, lost somewhere in the smoky blackness.

Well, fuck it. I’d better make myself scarce before the fire brigade and police get here, I thought. I was just about to leave when a strong arm grabbed me from behind.

“Don’t… fucking… move…” a man sobbed. The crack dealer. He pulled up a gun and drew it to my head. I gulped.

What the fuck was I doing? What the fuck had I got myself into? This wasn’t worth it for any amount of crack money. I don’t want to fucking die! I’ve got too much to live for! I’m still in a morally questioning stage, I’m allowed to make a few mistakes here and there, it doesn’t make me a bad guy, why is it that the good guys always go? I’m just a sweet kid who got messed up because I wanted a bit of cash.

Fuck me. Tears began to stream down my face as my mind ran a trailer of my life. I’m going to die as a crack dealer, as a gangland killing – what about all I stand for? What about my politics, my morals, everything I’ve tried to make and tried to become, my dreams – will they be forgotten, do they not matter at all? It’s all going to end, from a bullet in the brain – in the brain, where my entire self is.

Then again, I had killed his family. Maybe he has a right. Fuck it.

I pulled the gun out of my pants, dropped to the floor, and swang it up, so the butt hit him solidly in the testicals. He fired into nothingness. I span around and shot several times in his general direction. Three shots hit him in the chest and one flew straight into his eye.

He collapsed on to his knees, his head cleaved open at the top from my bullet. “Fuckin’ Hell man,” I said, “you don’t look good.”

He opened his mouth and tried to speak, but brain just fell down his face and blood flowed out of his neck. He gasped, his face contorting with the pain and his lungs seeping out air and letting in blood from the bulletwounds. With a gurgle, he fell face-first in front of me.

The warmth from the house was very comforting – it was like a big bonfire. Lovely. Sirens began to wail in the distance. Probably the fire brigade, I thought. Thank fuck there’s not a crowd yet.

Movement caught my eye coming from inside the house – movement amongst the searing flames and fire – an inferno of Hell. As I span to focus, a young blonde woman leapt from the window and rolled on the ground. Her clothes were on fire. She was weeping loudly. It was the mother and wife. She stood up and looked at her husband and then turned her gaze to me.

Her face was red and peeling with large welts covering her arms and legs. Black burn-marks were around her ankles. A bit like some burns ward victim, pretty much. She pointed at me.

“You…” she snarled. “My baby…. my husband….”

I lifted up the gun and shot her in the face. Fuck me, impressive accuracy. The bullet had gone through her nose and exploded out of the back of her head. Brains streaked up the driveway. I laughed and pissed off.