Story Time

Thirty Seconds

“Choose one.”

On the table in front of me was a razor blade, a pair of scissors, a steak knife, a bottle of Hydrocodone, a bottle of Oxycontin, a syringe filled with Dilaudid (which is eight times stronger than morphine), a Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol, and a picture of my family whom I slaughtered. Behind me in white uniforms stood two men. In their hands they held long black staffs. The man standing behind my left shoulder raised his staff and hit the back of my head. I brought my head back up, flipping my hair over my shoulder. I rolled my eyes. “Only one? But they all look so fun.”

“Choose one.”

I raised my cuffed hands. “Do I get to administer my own death or am I even denied that pleasure?”

The man on the other side of the table in front of me slammed his hands down. His eyes were wide. I imagined that if they bulged out any further than they would pop right out of his head. “Any pleasure you have been denied is because you sacrificed it.”

I nodded toward the picture on the table. “Are you referring to them being a pleasure?” His right eye twitched. “Because, if so,” I leaned forward and rested my elbows on the table, “I didn’t find them pleasurable.”

“Choose. One. Now.”

“Pistol.” He reeled back and grabbed the pistol. He aimed it at me. “But, then again that would be too simple wouldn’t it be?” I smiled. He slammed the pistol on the table. “The steak knife, now that would be messy.”

“Choose one!”

I stretched my arms out and lightly ran my fingers across everything in front of me. “The medicine. That would be painless, but boring.” I brought my arms back and looked up at him. I pouted my lips and gave him the best doll face I could. “Don’t you have anything more fun than this?”

A vein in his neck began to pop out. I snorted as he got closer to my face. In a low voice he said, “Choose. One.”

“Syringe.” Before he could grab it, I snagged the needle in my cuffed hands and injected it into his neck. He quickly reached up and pulled it out. His elbow began to shake and eyes began to close.

I had thirty seconds before he collapsed. I snagged the gun. He fell onto the table. I stood up, and as I turned, I kicked the chair behind me. Both men easily avoided the chair. I shot the one who had stood behind my right shoulder. The one to the left was on me in seconds. He brought his staff down hard on my wrists forcing me to drop the gun. He quickly dropped his own staff and grabbed my wrists. He forced them above my head while he pushed me back onto the table. He placed one hand on my shoulder holding me down while He grabbed my wrists and brought them down to my abdomen. He flipped me over onto my stomach. The razor blade, the scissors, and the steak knife were right under me. I squirmed underneath the pressure of his hand on my back. He pressed harder. He pulled out a walky-talky and started calling for backup. There was a reply in seconds.

The pressure on my back lightened as he yelled orders into the walky-talky. He was giving the person on the other end a rundown of what I had just done. I squirmed a little more, maneuvering the steak knife into my hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the handle that I grabbed. I could feel the blade cutting into my skin, and I could feel the scissors pushing against my arm. I closed my eyes and took a deep a breath. I opened my eyes and began kicking at his legs. He momentarily lost his balance. I took that moment and was able to get my hands out from under me by moving them to the left. His hand slipped off my back and he fell on top of me. I quickly flipped the knife around in my hands so that I was holding the black handle. He braced his hands on the table and was about to push himself back up when I started repeatedly stabbing the steak knife into him. I was only going to count to five and then stop and push him off, but in my anger I lost count and continued stabbing him.

When I realized he wasn’t fighting to get up anymore, I shoved his body off of me. I took a few deep breaths before I got up myself. I dropped the knife and looked around the room. The man I had shot was lying on the floor. He had a hand pressed to his chest. Blood was bubbling out of his mouth. His lungs were filling with blood, and he was struggling to breathe. I picked up the gun and shot the man a second time. This time, I didn’t miss his cranium. I put the gun in the waistband of my pants. I moved back over to the table. I rolled over the man slumped on top and began rifling through his pockets. I pulled out a set of keys and pocketed them. Then I slid the picture off the table. I folded it in half and slid it into my pocket with the keys. I looked around the room before I left. It was time to go clear my name. I didn’t slaughter my family; they were still alive.