The Taylight Zone - Anthology Seven

17 - Puppy Killer - Arielle

The red was steadily flowing from his head and staining the carpet. That wasn’t a good thing; his mother would fret. The carpet was white; the whole goddam room was white. That red was going to stand out, all right. But it didn't matter; nothing mattered anymore.

He knew his father had to die. He had started all this. He was the one who was going to send him away. Away from his family, to a nuthouse somewhere upstate. He couldn't leave. No one could make him. Who were they to say he was insane? Not his family. Not the doctors. They didn't know who he really was. He wasn't insane. He wasn't a murderer. He was just being himself.

It all started last month: he got agitated. Killed the dog. So what? Dumb dog. Always ignoring him, never wanted to look at him. But he showed him. Dumb dog. Couldn't he have just looked at him? It was his brothers’ dog anyway; he didn’t want him. His parents were suspecting. Kept him locked in his room tight when he was at home. But they couldn't hold him forever. The group was more important than his sanity, anyway; they couldn’t keep him there when he had to play.

She was supposed to go out with him to the movies. She was supposed to like him, and they would live happily ever after. She wasn't supposed to dump him for some stupid jock. She was a cheerleader, she said. She was supposed to go out with a jock. Why? This wasn't supposed to happen. She wasn't supposed to hate him and call him "puppy killer." It wasn't right. That wasn't polite. People should be polite to him, always nice; they wouldn't want to end up dead, now would they?

She got what she deserved, though. Her and that stupid jock. Who was she to dump him? She shouldn't have done that. It wasn't going to plan. Things weren't going his way. They had to go his way. It wasn't right. She got it, though. Cut the phone line, block her way, stab and stab and stab…her blood tasted sweet. Like syrup. Like a cheerleader.

That dumb jock got it, too. Just a little road rage, some fun on the highway, run him off the road…it was all too bad he couldn’t stick around to watch him bleed. It never was any fun when you didn’t see them bleed.

For all this they were going to send him away? But why? He tried to tell them that those two got what they deserved. But no one would listen. The doctors had declared him mentally insane. But what did they know? She didn't dump them; she dumped him. Only he would know how badly she had to pay. They were going to send him to a looney bin upstate. His father had the papers with him in the living room when he shot him in the head.

Now the blood was spreading; mixing with the gasoline. Pour more, there must be more - wouldn't want the house standing now, would we? The tank was finally empty, and he threw it away in disgust. Not enough gas. There wouldn't ever be enough gas.

But he found more. Turning the burners in the kitchen on high, and turning the heat on full blast, he could hardly wait until he could light the match. Cries from above: angels? Were they God's messengers of mercy? No - muffled screams from upstairs; his mother and siblings were testy. The gasoline smell must be horrible for the baby. She has underdeveloped lungs, you know.

Stupid baby. Why did they need to have more kids? It was fine with just him; but no, they had to go and have six others. Six! Zoe was just a couple of months old. He hated them all. He never got any attention anymore. It was all just about them. The perfect little family, and the puppy killer.

The gas was filling up the house nicely; he could already smell the toxic fumes entering every room. They'll be getting what they deserve. This is what happens when you try to cart me away.

He stormed out the front door, trying to keep warm. Silly him; it was November, and he forgot to take his overcoat with him. He couldn't go back now; the show was about to start. A little pressure on the trigger, and he shot into the house, bullet breaking friction and causing the house to go up in a beautiful foom.

November. It's November. My birthday just passed; do they care? They were too busy wondering where they were going to put their "special little boy." If I was so special, then why did you hate me?

No more muffled cries anymore. No more crying from the baby. It was all over. He wouldn't be going to a nuthouse, after all. They tried to lock him away. But you can't lock me away. I won't allow it. And with that, Isaac Hanson slowly sauntered away from the blazing inferno, not at all agitated and nevermore worrying about the dark red stain on his mother's living room carpet.