This would be the favorite holiday of the Capitalists if they weren’t too proud to mask it behind Christmas. It was so ironic to think that only a few hours ago they were all eating a thankful dinner with their families, projecting their gratefulness to the powers that be. But little had they realized the agendas of modern society had altered their thoughts to value ingrained hypocrisy as the norm. To be so thankful one day to become a greedy glutton the next? What a spectacle.
About three months ago I realized I needed to change this vicious circle. I knew others saw what I did as well. I could read their voices on soapbox forums plastered across the electronic screen that projected our world’s near-infinite database. I knew I was not alone, yet I knew none of us were trying to stop it. If none were brave enough to throw the first stone, I’d have to martyr myself to show all those ungrateful, brainwashed bastards that what they believed in was so tragically wrong. I knew I was destined to be like the modern consumer’s messiah, formed by the cosmos to shift the course of social norms and demonstrate the crooked agenda that controlled us via material goods.
My plans slowly came together like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces uniting to create a window into a beautiful future. I decided to take a job as night guard in my local all-purpose Superstore, which was one of the biggest one in United States located in Albany, New York. My job was as mundane as a stereotypical night guard job could be, restlessly watching the security cameras for any intruders, occasionally doing an on-foot perimeter sweep, and patiently waiting for sunrise to come. This was the job that allowed me to perfect my plan down to the most miniscule details. I knew exactly at what time the other guards were on shift and at what time they left. I knew which guards were least attentive. I memorized all the other guards’ perimeter sweep patterns - and I knew which spots they missed. I also recognized the blind spots of all the security cameras. There was a total of sixteen security cameras, and a total of twelve blind spots, mostly between the shelves that leaned against walls, and dark spots under rain gutters. Another thing that would be essential in my plan is how often the head of the security department checks the recording of the cameras. There was a monthly revision of film to make sure there were not any glitches and everything was in order. The other occasion that happened was when a crime was committed and evidence was needed. From 3 am to 4 am I was completely alone in the building, as this was when two guards had to swap positions - and later guard was rarely, if ever on time. These opportunities gave me time to surf the net through the computer that was facilitated to me.
Yet I was not naive in how the internet regulations function. I took the liberty to install an anonymity feature that would allow me to scour the part of the internet known as “the dark web”. It was in this illicit, anonymous side of the internet where I received all my support and help. I found a plethora of sources that allowed me to hone the craft of homemade weaponry. Everything from basic knives to automatic weapons were at my fingertips if I had the right hardware and the patience to follow each meticulous detail. Yet my favorite thing to study up on where the explosives, toxic gases, and not to mention home-cooked drugs. It could all be ready with a few minute chemical combinations and the right type of packaging.
Once in a while I would find myself starting at my drab work companions. They were so naive and oblivious to the true of their world. They would try to approach me with normal conversation, but I would answer to their questions with nothing more than a monosyllable. Yet I knew I could charm my superiors into trusting me and liking me. I was a great enigma to all my co-workers. They would all desperately attempt to get me to know better, grasping to know me intimately, but I had no interest in such affairs.
But then one day, one of my superiors mentioned that all the others co-workers felt excluded by me. I could not lose my chance to make a mark on our nation’s history over what peasants could think and feel over me. I donned my best crackpot smile and drudged myself to one of my co-workers. I passed my hand through my hair, and walked towards one of the security guards. He was the one who was would usually run late to his shift. “Hey” I casually remarked, “You are George, right?” He looked at me in surprise he was quite shocked at this interaction. “I just wanted to let you know that the company is doing a minor schedule tweak for employees, especially guards. I know you get here a little late sometimes, but I can cover for you a few hours if you try to make it at your new time, yeah?” I poked with a vague smirk. He nodded his head a little bit to then reply, “Oh yeah, thanks brothah. You want to go grab a beer or something later? I’ll buy!” I smiled showing my dimples, “Sure thing. Today I was schedule to have a shorter time than usual anyhow.” George and I were very different in all aspects. He was just above average height and had messy hair that reached his shoulders. He looked like a sophomore in college, he could have more than twenty three years old. Part of me envied his looks, my aging canvas of a face slowly oozing the almost thirty years of bodily tear showing in the stubble that plagued my jawline.
The hours passed and my shift was over. I walked outside to the parking lot and passed George, who waved at me. He cheerfully approached me, a brew of disgust boiling under the surface of the back of my neck. I once again donned a gumball machine smile, prepared to converse small talk with this mindless goober. Thankfully, George’s shift demanded our conversation be short.
After George finished his shift and I endured more small talk, we drove our way to a low class pub. Places like this were out of my understanding, they seemed so ridiculously stupid. Why would someone go to a place with the outdated television screens whose pixels were discolored trapped projecting sports events and ‘news’ all hours of the day? Not to mention the constant white noise caused by drunken bozo barflies, clanging beer bottles, and the scrapping of silverware against plates.
We sat down in the bar next to each other. “So ahem… I’m sorry, what was your name again?” pressed George. “James,” I remarked from my peripheral vision. “James yeah, you go to college?” questioned George with his annoyingly witty voice. “Well, I used to. I dropped out unfortunately,” I croaked through gritted teeth. Talking about my past made me nauseous and irritable. “Oh, what were you studying? Something interesting I assume,” remarked George, every word he said scraped at my nerves like the silverware on the plates in this bar. Why did he had to press on about ghouls that were long dead and passed? “Anthropology,” I said while I signaled the bartender. “Isn’t that lookin’ for dinosaurs or somethin’? Pretty rad dude.” I looked at him with a stare that ensured he could feel the annoyance building like meat in a pressure cooker. ”It’s not quite about that, it’s moreover the study of humankind.” I said trying to keep my composure. The trials of a messiah are enough to make anyone crack a little.
When the bartender meandered over to us, George ordered a round of beers for himself and his, I kid you not, ‘bestie’. I cringed with enough force to cause an earthquake that turned California into an island. I downed two beers faster than he managed to sip his first half. The incessant buzzing from the booze and the hazy static that his voice ravaged my ears with were one in the same.
Those first two drinks were the start of an intoxication cascade that drowned my throat. It was the only way I could bare the ‘companion’ I was stuck with. My vision started to blur, everything looking like one of those disgusting blended smoothies from one of those health shows. My palate became numb and even the taste of my own mouth was unrecognizable. My brain felt like it was being struck by a thousand of Zeus’ bolts. Soon enough the number of beers I gulped and the number of stars in the sky were discernable. I found myself awake on the sofa in my apartment the next morning, sweating like a pig and laying on my side.
The next day, the hangover sting lingered in my body like a scorpion’s toxins. I threw up a little bit in the morning. It didn’t help the burning in my throat, which felt as if I was spitting pure fire. After throwing up, I splashed cold water onto my face and ran my wet hands through my hair. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, the tips of my ebony black hair partially covering my eyes. I moved my hair back, my light blue eyes manifesting in my reflection. They were surrounded by dark circles that made me look like an emo teenager from the 2000’s. I had made a big mistake, but now I had ‘bonded’ with a coworker and I wouldn’t need to worry too much to seem like a threat. Although I looked and felt like a pile of defecation, I got myself together and got to my job on time.
My job would’ve gone over as usual, but strangely enough George was almost thirty minutes early to his shift. He approached me with a look of mild concern glistening in his eyes. ”Hey brothah, about yesterday... I just wanted to say I’m sorry about the whole mom dynamic thing.” I shot him a strange look and responded, “I’m sorry?” He shrugged and continued, “You’re a strong dude brothah. I don’t think I could handle a load of… trash like that smackin’ me around for nothin’. I won’t tell nobody though man, it’ll be something between us. Don’t worry about it.” He then went on his merry way, and I was left slightly dazed towards the whole exchange.
Three whole months of preparation had gone, and all my knowledge was stored and ready to be used. With a little help of “the dark web”, I had assembled a total of twelve homemade bombs. The idea of them not working haunted me day and night, but it was in the hand of fate and a pinch of luck. A night before the fourth Thursday of November was the day it would all begin. I gathered my twelve bombs in my usual backpack, and while they were quite small, they were as heavy as a thousand corpses. When I finally arrived to my work place, there were still some overwhelmed workers doing last minute inventory and running around the store like hamsters in a wheel trying to prepare everything for the next day. So I sat down on my office, putting my bag with the bombs aside and waited for my time.
Three am rolled around eventually, but the hours leading up to my hour were slow and tedious. The minutes passed like a slow lethal injection, so agonizinglyslow. I would’ve rather shot a hole in my foot than wait any longer if my task weren’t as important as it was. The hour finally came around and I had to get to work. I grabbed the bag where liberation packages waited. I felt my body tense up as my squishy meat hands tightened into an iron grip around the handle of the bag. The closest thing to this I had ever done was using a magnifying glass to burn ants under the sun when I was, what, six or seven? I knew I was putting a lot on the line, but there was no time to hesitate. I marched through the store a little faster than usual. I only had an hour and the twelve bombs, so I had to be as tactical as I could be given the circumstances. If I wanted to make it; I would need to only spend five minutes per bomb at most. When you include running to each blind spot and carefully planting the bombs so they were both inconspicuous and properly aligned to cause damage, all while remaining calm and collected, you could see why nervousness. Every time I got to blind spot I would quickly reach into the bag and position the bomb accordingly.
I finished with just enough time to clean myself up for the next guard, who was late to his shift as usual. I politely smiled and left the building, with no words exchanged. I was never the talkative type, but even if I had been a socialite, I’d avoid any eye contact for the next week of my life at least. My heartbeat pounded in my ears like the drums in a speed metal band. My body could not stop shivering in nervousness. Will enough bombs explode, or would I be mocked for the rest of my life as a failure within the walls of a prison?
I stood just far enough to appreciate the impending spectacle, contemplating the gigantic all-purpose superstore which lay waiting for the clock to forge the new date, sending the signal to release the hordes of impatient customers inside to fulfill their hollowed wishes and finish their unstarted Christmas shopping - or perhaps snag some goodies for themselves. I reached down my left pocket, fingering a pack of cigarettes. I took one out and placed between my lips as my other hand reached for my pale grey lighter. The flame flickered in the wind, but I managed to get the cigarette lit. I inhaled through the filter and I feel the burning sensation of the smoke in my throat. It was like putting a hand on top of a candle; the more you lingered above it the more pain you’d feel afterwards. With my index and middle finger clamming the filter end in the closing V, I moved the cigarette out of my mouth to let the smoke escape my lips.
I glanced at my watch and reveled in the fact that I would be the head of a new liberation. I smirked slyly at the thought of the costumers lying inside the gold-laden death trap. I gazed at my clock, 1:09 AM. The time was slipping past me. I inhaled through the cigarette one more time trying to calm my anxiousness. I again let the air escape my system, as the building ignited in flames.