Doug fancies himself the next Edgar Allan, with his short horror fiction. He contributes to the first edition of “The 100 Voices Anthology
A Detonator, An Angel, And A Chili Dog
A man bit into his hot dog; a smidge of chili dropped on the sidewalk.
“So you’re God, huh?” The man asked the boy waiting behind him.
I was given the detonator and I used it,” the boy whose name is Ryan said.
“Who did you blow up kid?” the man asked. “A bully, a school teacher, or a coach?” The boy avoided eye contact. He hesitated for a moment, then spoke in a voice tinged with remorse.
“I obliterated my parents and my sister.” The man swallowed his bite of food.
“That’s rough. Why’d you do it?”
“My parents grounded me and my sister was picking on me,” Ryan admitted. Ryan felt the eyes of the stranger bore into his soul like an earthworm through the dirt. The boy noticed the hot dog vendor, a red-haired woman, eyeing him. He looked behind him and noticed people waiting. Some were producing sighs, rolling their eyes, checking watches, and tapping their feet.
“Hurry up!” someone yelled.
“I’ve lost my appetite,” Ryan muttered. “Could we continue our conversation?” The man nodded, he took another bite, then Ryan and the man headed over to a nearby bench.
“You miss your family?”
“More than anything in the world,” Ryan answered.
“The angels don’t give second chances, kid,” the man said.
“I know that, all too well,” replied Ryan.
“Did you get an angel with tattoos?” the man asked.
“How’d you know?” Ryan asked.
“They’re the most likely to hand a kid a detonator and laugh when the results lead to disaster and misery.”
“Why would an angel enjoy misery?” Ryan questioned. Shrugging the man said,
“They derive great pleasure from the suffering of humans. They resent us for getting to be born,” the man replied, licking his fingers. The chili dog was now gone.
“You’ve made your bed and must lie in it.” Ryan hung his head, sighing.
“Will the pain and guilt of blowing up my family ever pass?” Ryan asked.
“It will lessen, sure, but vanish, never,” the man answered while getting up.
“But remember this.” Ryan looked at the man. You are not alone,” the man spoke while placing a hand on the child’s shoulder. We’ve all done things we are not proud of, certain things we wish we could do-over. But there are no do-overs in life. We all have to move forward. Wake up each day resolute to do more good than bad. Be a credit to humanity; don’t hinder it.”
With that, the man gave a wink and walked off. Ryan saw an empty ice cream bar wrapper lying on the sidewalk. He knelt down and picked it up. He put it in the trash and walked away.
© 2020 Doug robbins