Extinction…A short story…

Timothy Michael Wormspore sits at his desk, looking out upon the chaos building in the streets below. An American flag hangs above his desk in a shadow box given to him by his unit prior to his retirement in 2012. A lone picture of Wormspore and his best friend sits on the far right corner of his cedar desk. 

“The world was troubled then but nothing like it is now. We are no better than the animals that attack and ravage without cause.” 

Two deployments to the Middle East and one to Afghanistan changed his world view forever. Eight years later, his utilizes his writings to protest the changes he disagrees with. Fingers poised on the keyboard, Wormspore tries to gather his thoughts. Fires burn, sirens scream and chaos runs rampant through the city.

“Look how far we’ve come. Buildings so tall they block the sun, technology so advanced we have mapped the entirety of the known universe. Yet, we’ve not been able to overcome our basest instincts.”

Ignoring the chaos, Wormspore pores over the manuscript he has written. His newest novel is titled, “The Extinction Files.” In the first week it was released, it sold 300,000 copies. His hard work earned him flattery and more than one critic. Given the nature of the book, and the dark foretelling of America’s future- many cried that the book was racist. They also called Wormspore a bigot, a xenophobe, and a fear-monger. 

The Extinction Files continued to sell. One reviewer called it a “pre-apocalyptic guide” to the end of the world. “All I wanted was to write a book. It was never meant to be associated with the end of the world.”

Still sitting at his desk, his attention is drawn to a racket outside of his door. Turning to his left, his right hand grips the .357 Magnum. Footsteps walk past his door and he releases his grip on the pistol.

Wormspore puts the gun away. After shutting the drawer, his phone rings. Wormspore glances at the caller ID, its his agent.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Tim. It’s Nicole. I thought you might want to know that the police have called. One of the death threats against you seems to be legitimate. Are you safe?”

“Of course, all good here.”

“Okay, we are going to need armed security at your book signings. I will contact you with the details.”

“What a world we live in. Alright. Thanks for letting me know.”

“Talk soon.”

Wormspore shakes his head. “What a cluster.” He makes his way to the kitchen. Since his success, he has bought weapons and stored them around his house. His bedroom holds his AR-15, and two sidearms. In the kitchen a Remington 870 combat shotgun is hidden in cabinets under the sink. A Beretta 92F hides in the silverware drawer. Many would call him paranoid. His perspective is simply to be prepared. After all, one book has caused his life to be threatened daily.

Tired of the chaos which reigns in modern society, he turns on the television. Before he can change the channel, Ms. Jennifer Burgoyne appears on the screen. The 61-year old doesn’t appear to be over 40. She has joined with the protesters against police brutality and the publishing of The Extinction Files. Ms. Burgoyne is popular with many liberal causes. A staunch abortion advocate, and atheist, she is not one to hold her tongue on her beliefs.  She is the head of the Utopian Party of Anti-Fascism. Controversy swirls about the media darling. No one is sure of what her staunchest beliefs are. Some have accused her in the past of wanting to purge America of lesser races. No evidence has been discovered concerning these theories, but the rumors persist. The bodies of those who cross this political party pile up, but no evidence can be linked to any part of the political juggernaut. Reporters gather around her and she pauses to answer the questions they may have.

“Ms. Burgoyne, what is your take on the newest novel to foretell the end of America if the chaos continues?”

Jennifer smiles that mega-watt smile and waves her hand as if dismissing some unimportant thing.

“Sweetheart, the world is not going to end anytime soon. This book is fear-mongering at its finest. The author should be ashamed of himself for writing such garbage.” After answering a few other questions, Jennifer Burgoyne enters the armored Lincoln and is taken back to her high-rise apartment. Shrugging off the heavy coat, she pours herself a cup of coffee and walks into her study.

Her bodyguard, Jody “War Chief” Williamson follows her into the room and shuts the door. 

“I want that stupid author dead. Do you understand me, Jody? I don’t want him beaten. I don’t want him to survive this ordeal.”

“Yes ma’am. So, you want it to appear to be a suicide?” 

Anger flashes in her eyes. The pale blue eyes appear to be white with fury. Rage causes her voice to quieten.

“No. I want him to be murdered. I want it so bloody people will know we did it and they understand not to cross me. This fool has set back our plans with his ‘novel’. When you’re done, take his head and put it on a spike.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Williamson departs the study and takes the elevator to the armory. The only way to access the armory is to punch in the key code which is only known by a handful of people. Jody Williamson is your atypical wannabe gangster. He got his start knocking off 7-11’s and robbing old ladies. However, Ms. Burgoyne recognized his talent for greater things. 

Now, he has been selected to kill Ms. Burgoyne’s greatest enemy. 

Selecting a silenced 9mm and extra magazines, Jody is ready to be the righteous vengeance of The Utopian Party of Anti-Fascism.

The cold night air enveloped Jody as he made his way to the Ford van parked at the corner. “Death is coming, writer. You have sealed your doom.” Driving past the burning husks of buildings gutted by looters, Jody smiles. Excitement builds in his chest, it’s not an unusual sensation. He gets it every time he is tasked to kill someone. 

Burning buildings gutted by looters pave his way to Wormspore’s home.

The long night passes by slowly. Every light in Wormspore’s apartment is off, when Jody pulls into the parking lot. “This should be easy. He is already asleep, this time it will be for good.” 

Climbing from the van, Jody shoves the pistol into his shoulder rig. Slowly, the human embodiment of Death makes his way up to Wormspore’s apartment.

Wormspore takes a quick shower. After perusing the manuscript, he climbs into bed. Scared of the dark, Wormspore sleeps with a lamp on. As he dozes off, he hears the door creak open. Pretending to be asleep, he waits. 

Jody takes a knee in the doorway. The creak is sure to have awakened Wormspore, and Jody waits for him to investigate the sound. Nothing happens. After what seems like eternity, Jody creeps into the house.

From the living room, Jody sneaks into the kitchen and then down the hallway to the bedroom. As he enters the doorway, he stops. The Remington 870 is aimed at his face. 

“Drop the weapon.” Jody chuckles as he places the weapon on the ground.

“You gonna kill me, writer?”

Wormspore smiles a bone chilling smile. 

“First, a question. Do you work for Jennifer Burgoyne?”

“No.”

“So, why are you here?”

“I’m just a concerned citizen. Figured, I would kill you to make the world a better place.”

“Uh-huh.”

Wormspore aims at Jody’s legs and pulls the trigger. The bird shot tears into Jody’s lower extremities.

Jody lies on the floor, his flesh ripped open. Sobbing, he puts his hands up to shield his face.

“Please, Ms. Burgoyne sent me to kill you. She considers you and that stupid book to be a threat to her power. If I don’t kill you, someone else will.”

“Thank you for telling me the truth.”

The shotgun roars twice and Jody is no more. Sirens fill the air, and Wormspore sits on the bed.

“What did I do to get on this woman’s bad side?”

Wormspore changes into jeans, t-shirt, and running shoes. “All I ever wanted was to write the next, great American novel, but now I am an ordinary murderer. What a load of crap.”

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