Thursday, September 15, 2016

Murdering Rastari, Part III

This is a redraft of an old short story draft from 2007. Part I, Part II

We couldn't just hop off to a hunting cabin with Rastari in the state he was in. So we waited patiently nearly three months before we could even broach the subject. In the meantime, I visited Rastari two or three times a week. It was difficult, coming in every time to Rastari's "Hullo-hullo-hullo," his ugly, smiling face simultaneously stupid and evil, but discipline is the better part of virtue. I soon came up with a way to endure Rastari's endless laughter and annoying jokes. I would imagine his face turning blue, slowly deepening to black, and his laughing mouth contorting to a sheer agony, as the poison did its work to rid the world of the man and save all that was good and holy. It was a relief to think of such things, and there is no way I could have endured as much of Rastari as I did if I had not hit upon it.

As Rastari grew better, I began to broach the subject of getting away to the cabin for a good weekend's hunt. Since he is a complete idiot, he agreed it would be fun, and he soon began actively talking of it whenever we met, with a lot of blah-blah blather about how good I'd been as a friend coming to see him all those weeks, yadda, yadda.

So it was that we eventually found ourselves in a hunting cabin with Danny Rastari, watching with a certain amount of abstract pleasure as he wolfed down the poison-laced food we had prepared for him. It was only a matter of time before moral progress would be victorious and the world would be in a better state. We settled in for a short wait.

The short wait began to stretch out into a long wait. He just sat there by the fire humming stupid songs and occasionally burping, then laughing like a moron at himself. Finally, Max took me aside and said, "I don't think it's working."

"I thought you were sure it would."

Max shrugged. "I don't know what happened. Perhaps he's immune."

"Well," I said, trying not to panic at the thought of having to endure even more time with Rastari, "do you know of any other poisons we could use?"

"I think we need to move beyond poisons," Max replied. "Poison is too fickle. We need a more effective method. Something quicker."

As he picked up a heavy log from beside the fire, a chill went down my spine. "No, no, no," I whispered as forcefully as I could without alerting Danny. "We can't murder him; we just want him dead."

"The only thing that will kill him is the trauma to the back of his head. I'll just be helping it to start," Max replied, and, before I could stop him, he had rushed up on Rastari and, wielding the log like a baseball bat, hit him with full force across the back of the head.

The sound the log made when it hit the man's head was sickening; I expected Danny to fall like a stone. Apparently his skull was harder than even I had thought, though, because he only staggered back, holding his head. He shouted something I didn't quite hear in the confusion; but Max was already swinging the log again. It missed as Rastari scrambled out of the way.

For the next minute or two they played what looked almost like a gruesome game of blind man's bluff, with Max swinging recklessly and Rastari dodging like a madman. Finally Rastari managed to fling the door open and sprint out into the woods.

Exasperated, Max threw the log aside and grabbed his hunting rifle.

"I owe you an apology," he said as he made sure the rifle was loaded, "for setting us on the poison trail. You had the right idea originally. It will have to be a hunting accident."

"Wait," I said. "Surely it won't be an accident if you do it this deliberately?"

"I won't be deliberately doing anything but aiming the gun and pulling the trigger. The bullet will do the rest," Max replied, and before I could stop him he bolted out the door after Rastari.

After a moment of shock at the violent turn of the night's events, I followed. There was really nothing else I could do. If the world was to be made a better place for virtue, Rastari had to die.

to be continued

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