We are not into censorship, although for some readers, we do offer a content warning ( violence ) with this story.
Magic Marlon had been shooting geese on the wet grassland along the estuary for years. The gun scared him but he enjoyed the way the geese flapped and flopped about on the ground as death began to take hold. Brow furrowed, he often thought about whether other creatures would react like that after a salvo of lead shot had been pumped into them; dogs, pigs, goats, horses, humans. Would they all shudder and spasm in a mortal convulsion? That’s as far as it went.
Until one day, when an argument with his neighbour got out of hand. Magic Marlon was used to the abuse he received for his learning difficulties but when his neighbour threatened to burn his house down he became confused and agitated. How had a row about wheelie bins escalated to such a stage where he feared for his, and more importantly, his dear Gran’s life?
She was probably too frail to escape should there be a fire. Magic Marlon had to act.
At 7.30pm on a pitiful Thursday evening he knocked on his neighbour’s door and assumed a shooters stance, the butt of the shotgun wedged firmly into the fleshy groove between his shoulder and his chest. There was a brief flicker of red hot fear in his neighbour’s eyes when he realised what was about to happen. The trigger was pulled.
There was an eerie silence for a few seconds as the shotgun smoke dissipated. The body didn’t convulse and flap and flop like the geese did. His neighbour’s fingers twitched momentarily until the nerve signals stopped altogether. Half of his skull was completely blown away. The white walls and pale buff carpet were splattered with blood and brains in random patterns, like some grotesque Jackson Pollock canvas. A small bowl on the small table held car keys, human mush and tiny fragments of cheek bone. It was over.
The stillness was butchered by guttural screams from the other end of the corridor, coming from his neighbour’s wife. For a moment Magic Marlon was startled by the noise, almost as if he couldn’t understand what the commotion was about. With one last look at the faceless body sprawled awkwardly from the doorway into the corridor, Magic Marlon turned and walked away. He wasn’t sure whether to tell his Gran about what had happened but he certainly wouldn’t mention the twitching fingers. At least there wouldn’t be a fire now. Job done.
Bobby Gant is a writer from Yorkshire currently based in Cheshire. He has had short stories, poems, articles and reviews published by a variety of publications and websites, both in the UK and overseas.