Righteous Indignation
Bev Vines-Haines
Dorsal Winner

Hayden Hillman-Stone was a fucking pacifist.† In my opinion, not too cool for the editor of a major metropolitan newspaper.† Needless to say, this affected every assignment the crazy bastard gave me.† I covered the police beat and court scene.† Beginning work at any newspaper.† That in spite of the fact Iíd been with the Post World Banner more than twelve years.

On the morning in question, I realized Hillman-Stone had killed six of my last six stories.† Was it my fault they all covered murders or assaults?† Furious, I watched the sanctimonious prick pace around his office, phone to his ear, furtively checking to see if his minions followed his every move.† The editorís office used to have walls and an open doorway but once Hillman-Stone got the job he had floor to ceiling windows installed and a steel door that locked.† Kind of a Ďpiranha in a bowlí affectation.

I often fantasized finding the cocksucker dead in there, splayed out on that white carpet with oozing red stains creeping slowly out around him. I typed the story in my sleep, punctuating it with the most violent and graphic words in my thesaurus.† Words he always edited out, words that smote his creepy and controlling conscience.

Who does he pretend to talk to, I wondered for the millionth time.† Probably some covert right-winged, book burning organization or another crazy dictator-type who helped fan his paranoid censorship issues into flames.

I donít remember picking up that letter-opener.† Or using it to pick the lock.† I donít remember the confrontation.† Iím told I apologized for the method I used, quoting that old journalism school joke that a reporter always used an eraser to rub people out.† No eraser here.† I plunged that letter opener into Hayden Hillman-Stoneís neck and chest at least fifty times.† Later they wrote it was close to one hundred times but journalists are known for hyperbole these days. Even from prison I take pride in the stories that ran in the Post World Banner the next several months.† And those delicious, formerly disallowed words. Blood. Gash.† Letter opener as sharp as a blade.† Stains.† Death.† Screams. Murder.

Of course I didnít get to write the stories.† Hawkins who used to cover the social beat got the honor.† He attended the trial.† Every day.† And the afternoon they sentenced me to fifty years with no chance of parole?† He gave me a surreptitious smile and toasted me slyly with his pen.

First published: May, 2008
comments to the writer: doorknobs@iceflow.com