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by Joseph H. Stryker

I saved a fly today. It was trapped in Dave’s web. Dave is the daddy long-legs that lives in my room. I hope he doesn’t starve now.

My mouth is dry and I’m out of water. I just got really comfortable, I’ll get water later. What was I doing? Oh yeah, reading about how to soundproof my walls. I hate hearing the gardeners next door. That weed whacker sounds like my blender. I hate that sound.

Damn, there they go again. I can’t read like this, can’t concentrate. I need to work out, that relieves stress. Where did I leave my weights? Oh, I see them now. Next to the bottles of … Well, that explains the smell. I take the bottles and pour them in the toilet, flush the smell away.

In the bathroom I catch my reflection. I hardly recognize myself.

Last week I made my house look nice. Everything is calm now. Painted everything blue and green. Reminds me of the sky. Haven’t left the house in weeks. Got a call today, Uncle left a message saying he’d drop by tomorrow.

It shouldn’t be too bad. Just tell him they went to Vegas for a little vacation. No vacation lasts two months, not for our income bracket. He isn’t that stupid. Their income bracket, I should say. Guess we don’t have an income now. I, I don’t have one now. No we anymore.

Dave’s got another fly. I’m watching him eat it. That liar. We had a deal. He told me he’d stop killing. If he can lie, so can I. I grab him between my fingers. He crawls up my arm. I press my hand to my bicep. Now he’s jelly. Tastes good to be honest.

I can’t wait for Uncle to get here. He’ll probably show up with his girlfriend, that blonde bitch. He’s so normal, so disgusting. Just like my parents used to be. Maybe I can pull the same trick on him. They didn’t even realize it, I tricked them and they’ll never know. Unless Hell is real … No, that’s stupid, it can’t get worse than this.

Without the pills everything hurts.

Maybe I should just take a break. I’ve still got some sauce left. Made more than I needed in the blender. It was so easy, just grind it all together. I doubt they even tasted it. Tomatoes and garlic have such a strong flavor, can mask anything I suppose. Even it.

I open the fridge and take a soda. I love soda, so sweet. Most things aren’t sweet these days.

Mother told me I couldn’t have another soda, said I was too fat. Said we couldn’t afford all the medical bills. I showed her.

Father wanted to kick me out. He said, “A thirty-year-old should have a family of his own. At least a job.” Showed him too.

I take the sauce and mix it with the soda. Still tastes sweet. Guess they really didn’t feel a thing.

Joseph H. Stryker is a writer of lowbrow fiction, usually of the crime genre. Born in 1994 in Laguna Hills, California, he now resides in Lake Elsinore, California, on the other side of the Santa Ana Mountains. His stories can be found in Near to the Knuckle and Out of the Gutter Online