Russell sat on a wooden chair in his cluttered apartment, his bloodshot eyes glued to his monitor. Ever since returning home from his service in Afghanistan, he had lived on Facebook. His old friends didn’t understand him anymore. They remembered him as the star basketball player on the varsity team, the guy who liked to cut up in class, and the guy with the infamous big dick; it was no secret, he used to whip it out and show it off with or without request. They just didn’t know how to take him anymore. His clean face had become hidden behind a thick, brown beard, their lovable friend lost forever.
Somehow over there in the Middle East religion had become the most important aspect of his life, his number one priority. He prided himself on being a true Christian and was intolerant of the “pagans” and “kenites” that believed in the fairy-tale New Age Jesus and His hippie Christian rules that allowed the world to deal with death more easily; you can do whatever you want, just ask for forgiveness before you bite the big one and the riches of Heaven are yours. What trash! Unfortunately, Russell was completely surrounded by that type of believer in his Mississippi town of 4,000 people, the majority of which proclaimed to be Southern Baptists.
With no one near him to turn to, he stayed on Facebook, the one place where he had found others just like him, other who understood him. The world had become a place where even the antisocial had friends, and social media made it all possible. Russell belonged to a group of over 16,000 members and chatted with them at all hours of the day, often sharing memes that expressed their true feelings about all of God’s fallen sheep, “the sheeple.” Unlike his parents, his new brothers and sisters were always there for him.
This day, he scrolled so long he forgot about the lit cigarette dangling from his lips until the hot ash fell off and burned his forearms as they clicked away at the keyboard. After putting out the remains of the cigarette in his cold cup of black coffee, he slumped down on his wooden chair with frustration and complete rage at the posts he found in his newsfeed from past friends and family members, he felt ashamed to be associated with any of them. It had been bad enough with the “share for Heaven and ignore for Hell” posts, but nowadays it was getting worse as the presidential campaigns rolled around. To Russell all the candidates were hypocrites like the Pharisees and Kenites, liars to the bone. They were set on destroying God’s most precious creations, the Earth and its people for nothing but monetary gain and popularity.
Russell knew better than to buy into their phony bullshit, him and about 16,000 others. It became his duty to terrorize the thoughts and views of anyone that didn’t fit into his mold of what a true Christian was. And with more than 16,000 others like him, Russell knew he was right. They all cheered him on and made him feel like he was truly doing God’s work, no matter how cruel his posts became. With God on his side, he’d be fine, to hell with friends and family.
The big day had been building up for over four years since his return home from his time in uniform in the sandy deserts. With a little more resentment for the world building up in him on a daily basis it was finally time to stop complaining and make a difference.
Russell was a trained killer; trained by the world’s best, the US Armed Forces. Russell had learned tact and how to handle his weapon. He had several medals, badges and honors for being an ace shooter. He knew he would succeed on his latest mission.
He ran through the plan in his head as he rolled down the gravel roads, a cloud of dust around him. The rocks flying up and clinking against the red, ’92-Ford pickup did nothing to distract him as he prayed to his master for the strength to carry out his mission.
Arriving at the abortion clinic, Russell checked his watch. He lowered his shades and searched the area. Clear. Black iPhone in his hands, he opened up his messenger application and went to his group chat, Christians in Angst, and confirmed that the others were in place.
They had scattered about at several abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood groups, homosexual clubs, and tax offices. The time was 10:55. At 11:00 the world would be on the right track once again, on the path to salvation and righteousness, a better place. The sheeple will finally feel the full fury of God’s wrath.
Russell grabbed his AK-47 and hit send on one final post in his group “See you on the other side. Go with God.”
He climbed out of his truck and slammed the door. He wasn’t hot, but was sweating through his white t-shirt. He marched straight towards the door with his gun in his hands. He heard sirens in the distance. “Dammit!” Someone from the group must have tipped off the police, another traitor following the heart of false preaching. He would have to hurry if he was going to get the job done.
He sprinted inside as the police car squealed to a stop at the front entrance of the little brick building. As the glass door closed behind him, he opened up fire and shot off over fifty rounds in the nearly empty room before taking a bullet in the back of his head from the first officer on the scene.
Bio: S.L. Kerns may have southern roots grounded in Kentucky, but has branched out to a life in Asia. He spent over 5 years lost in Bangkok before moving to his current home in Japan. He loves soaking in words of wisdom, and training his body, making him one of the only bodybuilding/prose writers since Yukio Mishima. He teaches English and has recently begun writing, using his surplus of wild experiences to fuel his stories. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Magazine, 101 Words, Silver Birch Press, Visual Verse, and 47-16: A Collection of Poetry and Fiction Inspired by David Bowie. He also blogs for Muay Thai Lab.