The Lifeless Valentine : Short Story

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I wasn’t really sure what the old woman told me to help her with but they way she trembles while talking and walking made it difficult for me to refuse to help her. I was aware of the recent case where a young student was killed (butchered, actually) while stopping to help an old woman carrying her groceries. The old woman turned out to be Satan but when the innocent samaritan found out about it, it was already too late. Someone found her remains near a drain, thinking that it was something people cook for dinner or something.

I was scared at first but after realising that I’m still alive after a few minutes, I figured that perhaps this old woman is truly innocent. “Where’s your house?” I asked her. “It’s just by that corner over there,” she replied. That instant, I knew that something was wrong because there’s no house at “that corner over there”. “I think my gun is falling,” I said, lying. The old woman trembled even more after hearing that I have a gun and she immediately said, “Oh look, my grandson is here!” while pointing towards a guy that’s double my size. It took me less than a minute to get out of there and drove away.

I figured that it would be too risky to go straight home from the market so, I decided to stop at my friend’s house. She might be my friend but I couldn’t care less if the huge guy and the old woman chop her into pieces. “Do you have a date for valentine’s?” she asked me while I sat at the table, sipping a cup of coffee. I made an excuse to meet her, giving her a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates, as a symbol of appreciation for being my “friend”. “No,” I said. “I don’t intend to go out and buy someone a dinner for a day cause that’s what everyone is doing,” I replied. “Oh don’t be a square,” she replied. “Valentine’s are fun. You get to date anyone you like without people judging,” she replied.

“That reminds me of a movie,” I replied. “A horror movie about someone going on a rampage,” I said, finally knowing what I would do for the night. When her lover arrived, I asked “When are you going to get married?” and she replied, “As soon as the closet could fit 100 people,”. I left after half an hour, driving around while occasionally checking mine rare mirror, seeing if anyone followed me. After deciding that I was safe, I went home, only to find that the door was unlocked. I called the cops immediately and I was told to stay in the car in case the robbers were still inside, armed with weapons. Five minutes later, they arrived and barged into my house. It was a wreck but at least, they stole nothing. The only thing I had in the living room were novels that nobody reads anymore. Of course, ever since I started listening to audiobooks, I stopped reading them too.

I was asked if I have enemies to which I replied with, “Not that I could think of,” with a shaky voice. Then, I told them everything that happened about an hour ago, causing them to warn me against staying alone for the night. “Do you have somewhere else to stay?” they interrogated and I nodded. I rang my best friend and asked him if he had plans for Valentine’s. He was all excited, thinking that I was asking him out but the excitedness went to terrified after I informed that serial killers were probably on the loose and that they might be looking for me. “Oh dear lord!” he exclaimed over the phone. “What kind of problem did you get yourself into now?”

“It isn’t my fault,” I retaliated. “Listen. I will tell you everything once I get there,” I replied and hung up, realising that I probably already spent nearly half an hour on the phone. After reaching his house which was in a gated community, surrounded by “extra security”, I told my best friend to lock everything, including windows and doors. “Don’t be silly,” he said. “If one of us dies, the surviving person will get a huge amount of money,” he said, laughing. “This isn’t funny,” I complaint. “I shouldn’t have been so helpful all the time,” I continued. “Didn’t you see the news?” he asked. “Look. I know you think the news is right-wing conservative propaganda but you can’t ignore them all. Sometimes, they also provide information about…..” my best friend blabbered as I stared out of the window.

For a brief second, I thought that I was a man wearing all black standing at the far end of the road, but maybe I imagined things. “Hey!” my best friend touched my shoulder, bringing me back to reality. “It’s sad, isn’t it?” he asked. “Sad?” I asked back, confused. “Valentine’s day was supposed to be a happy day, a day for lovebirds to go out and enjoy themselves. Not for large corporations to rip-off people and certainly not for people to guard you 24/7,” he said, pointing at the cops who were staying in their cars. “Am I stopping you from seeing someone?” I asked, feeling guilty. “No, no,” he replied. “You know since my divorce that I no longer date anyone,”. “So, what are you doing tonight?” I asked. “Watching a movie and before I sleep, listening to an audiobook on Audible,” he replied. “What about you?” I was asked. “I will just stay up all night, holding your gun,” I replied.

 

That night, my best friend put on a horror story, the one that I thought about earlier in the morning. “I hate these movies,” he complained. “They are so predictable,” he continued. “It always starts with a guy or a girl, doing something innocent when they meet someone suspicious who comes to their house at night and murders them. The lovers would be separated by death or they would live happily ever after that is until the psycho comes back and the screen cuts to black,” he said and I nodded in agreement. “I don’t watch movies for the messages or the story. I watch them for the killings,” I replied. “What’s so great about killing?” he asked.

“Well, I would just imagine that I’m in the psycho’s place. I imagine that I’m the one killing people aimlessly cause that’s what I want to do,” I replied. “Movies and books are my gateways. They let me be someone that I always wanted to be. They let me be me,” I explained. “So you had always wanted to be a murderer?” he asked. “Well, there are some people who just manages to annoy me so much, I just wish I could cut their head off and chop their meat into small pieces and feed them to the animals!” I exclaimed with a tone an excitedness, as I pictured myself doing it. “Get away from me you psycho!” my best friend exclaimed and panicked a little before calming down. “You know,” he said. “I totally agree with you. Fiction is a form of escapism,” he continued.

“So,” I asked. “If a psycho running around is cliched, tell me, what isn’t?” I asked him. “When the writer does something totally random. Like writing a short story without a plot and ending it just like that,”. “But what’s the point of doing all that?” I asked, confused at what he said. “Well, a story never ends. It keeps repeating. There’s never a happy ending. There’s no happily ever after. People fight. People break up. People die. Somewhere, somewhat, somehow, something would happen,” he explained. “Oh,” I replied, amused at his level of wisdom. “That’s why instead of finishing a cliched story, the writer should just end it, after it became too mainstream.

I dailed the number of the policeman who said that I needed to call him to report anything and he came in. He didn’t have a chance to do anything as I shot him in the head and locked the door behind me. I took the knife and it took me nearly two hours to cut out his heart. Bringing towards my best friend, I asked, “Oh honey, would you be my valentine?” and he nodded. “That’s a good move,” he said. “But it’s still clichéd!” he complained and took the gun from the floor. “Killing yourself is cliched too,” I pointed out. “I know,” he replied. “That’s why I’m killing you instead,” he said. “That’s cliched too,” I said in defence. “What isn’t?”

The End.

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