Monday, December 3, 2018

The Quitter

A kitchen table sat in the center of an empty meadow. Two men approached from opposite sides. It was a long walk for each of them.

The men sat down. One had a cigarette. One didn’t. Neither had a name.

“I’m quitting,” Agent M said.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Agent G said. He was the one with the cigarette.

“I’ve begun to see it as killing,” Agent M said. “I have to quit.”

“What was it before?” Agent G said. “All along?”

“Voluntary termination,” Agent M said. “They wanted to die. I was simply the means.”

“They all just lined up to be shot?” Agent G said.

“In a sense,” Agent M said. “They grew tired of life. Their experience in this world had ended. I helped them move on.”

“Why didn’t they just kill themselves?” Agent G said.

“Because drama plays out,” Agent M said. “We all live within a framework. The system dictates the rules. They needed to be murdered to get out.”

“An interesting justification,” Agent G said. “Why has it failed you now?”

Both men paused to take a breath. Agent G lit another cigarette. Agent M didn’t. The meadow yawned quietly. It was a place where nuclear war had never struck.

“I just played my part,” Agent M said. “Every actor gets used up someday.”

Agent G nodded. “Doesn’t mean there isn’t still killing to be done,” he said.”Quitters make us all look bad.”

“My apologies,” Agent M said. “Morality hinders all human progress, doesn’t it?”

“Only the guilty perish,” Agent G said. “What more can you ask than an infallible system like that?”

“We never even know,” Agent M said, “where our instructions are coming from. Who’s ordering these killings, anyway?”

“I think it’s God,” Agent G said.

“God uses contract killers?” Agent M said.

“All the time,” Agent G said. “Right there in the Bible.”

An ant crossed the table. The two men waited until it was through.

“I’ll kill anyone,” Agent M said, “who tries to stop me from not killing anymore.”

“That’s why they sent me,” Agent G said.

“To kill the killer?” Agent M said.

Agent G nodded. Both men had guns hidden under the table. One was probably faster than the other. Soon they would find out which.

~FIN~