Creepy looked at massacres with the jaundiced eye of an experienced gamer.
Mass shootings were inhuman, but what was so great about humanity?
It was no different than an ant-hill where millions of identical beings incessantly toiled to bring rocks and food, unaware of their god-like observer or the jar of gasoline he held in his hand.
Creepy considered the Aurora and Las Vegas massacres to be the botched work of amateurs. They lacked fire, literally and figuratively.
He smiled at his rows of mason jars containing home-made napalm, his extra AR-15 magazines.
Creepy knew he’d do so much better.
I doze through the mild turbulence until the plane jolts me awake with a huge bang. We lurch sideways, the passengers unwise enough to leave their seatbelts loose or unbuckled hurtling headlong into the aisle. The engines scream like tornado sirens.
I struggle against the mounting g-force to lift my head. I stare into the ghastly face of the flight attendant as she crab-walks down the aisle gripping the seatbacks like a kid on the monkey bars. “Stay calm,” she yells, her voice cracking with the strain.
The intercom crackles and the captain comes on, his voice a laconic drawl.
She gets up from the recliner. She’s wearing her old robe and pink sweatpants. I fix her a plate, pull out a chair for her. She sits down and starts to eat like she’s starving. I know better than to ask when she ate last.
The stove is a disaster. Beneath the towel, charred patties congeal in an inch of greasy water. The whole stove smells rancid, caked with ashy spatters. The calendar on the wall–December 1981, when Pop died–is singed at the corners.
I feel my anger rise. “You’re just lucky you didn’t burn down the fucking house.”
The patrolman was deferential as he opened the door. “Kept it just as we found it, sir. Nothing disturbed. Made sure meself.”
Inspector O’Neill nodded and stepped in and glanced around the small living room.
Soft eyes, he called it, this way of simultaneously seeing everything and nothing.
First impressions: masculine, almost to the point of parody.
Military clean. Leather chairs, glass table, a framed reproduction of Bird’s Death of General Braddock on the wall.
In the hallway to the bedroom, two portraits: the Virgin Mary, eyes skyward. A lady with heavy eyebrows and a stern mouth.
His mother, obviously.