The Luckiest Man Alive- Short Story

Seven days in NaNoWriMo and in full swing of the raging battle with my sanity. Hahaha don’t worry I’m fine I swear just wait till later in the month when I could be deemed a lost cause. Well though working hard I thought I would upload a short story to keep myself sane. WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence and strong language that can be considered offensive and deals with heavy subject matter. Please enjoy and feel free to comment about your thoughts:

The Luckiest Man Alive

Finally I had made it to the final flight of stairs. It had been a treacherous journey from the car to the flat with heavy bags of shopping weighing me down. The final steps to salvation were hard but nonetheless I make it to the door. I battle to get the keys in the lock, I sigh with relief when I hear the lock click. I make sure not to drop the bags on the way in; I rush towards the kitchen doorway.  “Hey Dave I’m home come get something to eat-” My roommate had an arm round the new toaster, trying to pry the element with a fork. The bags fall to the floor crashing and spluttering everywhere as I rush towards him. I knock the wind out of him, he probably wasn’t expecting a full body tackle. We went down in a heap while the toaster flies in the air before imploding on the floor. “What the hell Robert?”

“Don’t you what the hell me! That’s the third toaster in two months!”

“Well maybe if you didn’t keep buying one or even better, let me do what I want you would save some money.” This intolerable man battling me on the floor like a spoilt brat is Dave Carter, the suicidal maniac. He jumped out in front of my car six months ago and he has been living with me ever since. It’s been chaotic; I can’t even leave him alone for a few minutes before he is trying to top himself. I don’t know his motive and to be honest, I hardly know anything about him at all, but as long as he lives under my roof, he will live. “Well if you feel like that why don’t you just leave?” Dave stops struggling and looks up at me with a disturbing grin, I feel a chill run up my spin with his stare. “I know you are going to snap… and take vengeance.” The comment was unsettling, I could feel my veins pulse as my blood pressure started to creep. I take a deep breath, I wasn’t about to play one of his mind games.

I shove him out my grip and get up. I walk over to shopping bags with their contents sprawled all over the floor, guess eggs for breakfast was a no-no; since the ten second rule definitely does not apply here. “Look what you did! Come on help me clean up.”

Dave shoots past me out the kitchen as he hollers “Not my problem Robert!” Damn him. I stay and mop up the mess, salvaging what could be saved before picking up the pieces of the toaster, this thing was expensive. I don’t know how much more I can take of this, he is nothing but a troublemaker, I’ve never seen anyone so eager for death it’s almost comedic. The theatrical to plain stupid attempts, those bloody puppy eyes when I’ve removed everything harmful, like he is five and I took away all his toys. I’ve not had any pain killers in months, my migraines are beyond insane like someone’s shooting me countless times in the head. Is that not the most messed up thing you have heard? He is just one, big, joke. Him jumping in front of our car, a joke, a joke that- I take a deep breath, calm. He is a joke, but I know he needs taken care of, some professional care. I probably should have handed him over to a mental institute by now. I just seem to think that after everything that happened, he was my responsibility now. It’s as I said as long as he is living with me, he will live. Drip. I felt something wet on my head. Drip. I look up and I see water collecting on the ceiling, why on earth would there be- the bathroom. Shit. I’m going to fucking kill that idiot.

I storm out of the kitchen. How dare he, that’s my bloody bathroom! “Dave!” No answer, what a fucking surprise. As I get on the landing I notice the carpet soaking up water and I storm through the marshland as it squelched and squished under my feet. Great, I’m going to have to replace that too, and the ceiling will need fixed, and the bathroom- oh he is so dead. I walk up to the door and try the hand but it won’t budge, I removed the lock. The male Dave seems to be getting cleverer, barricading his habitat from its natural predator, someone who’s actually sane. How much will a new door cost? Ah fuck it might as well splurge. I take a few steps back before ramming the door and it cracks and caves in. It swings violently, smacking against the wall. There he was, bound in the bath, his clothes still on, facing downward and drowning. The water splashes all over the floor from the overflowing bath.  It’s so beautiful I could drown him myself. I firstly turn off the taps before grabbing his hair and drag him to the surface by his hair, before grabbing his shirt and I swing him out the bath so he makes a satisfying smack when hitting the floor. What? He is dying, he can’t feel it. If he can though, that’s even better. I check his breathing and heart, nope, nothing. I go through the motions of CPR; I’ve had a lot of bloody practice. He will have a fit about me giving him mouth to mouth again, but it’s his own bloody fault.

He sputters and coughs, the water from his lungs spraying everywhere, including all over my face. His eyelids shoot open and for a minute his face looks as if he wasn’t in this world, or at least he wasn’t expecting to be. He looks at me, every time after his attempt I see this expression, filled with confusion, sadness, anger and bitter disappointment. When I see this it reminds me, that he is serious about wanting to kill himself. With his weakened strength he pushes me away and I topple due to my awkward position hovering above him “Get the hell away from me.” Shakily he gets up and for a minute he seems to almost fall over I quickly try to get up to support him “Stay the fuck, away from me Robert.” He walks out the bathroom slowly as if trying to maintain some dignity as he walks across to my bedroom –technically ours since I can’t leave the bastard alone for a second- and he sits on the bed in his sodden cloths, his hair dripping as he puts a hand under the mattress.

I finally get up being careful not to slip and slide. My clothes were now half soaked, but I didn’t care. I walked across to the bedroom and leaned on the door frame, watching him fiddle with a cigarette and lighter he had grabbed from under the mattress, I knew I should have checked under there this morning. “You just tried to drown yourself in the bath.” He looks at me slightly smugly the cigarette between his teeth muffling his words as he continues to try and light it. “No shit Sherlock.” I take a deep breath, before smacking his face. The cigarette falls out his mouth while the lighter spins across the floor.

“What the fuck-”

“Don’t act like you’re in the right! That’s not fucking normal Dave; you need your fucking head examined.” My voice shakes with anger, and I crunch my fists tightly, my whole body starting to shake violently. I haven’t been this angry since- yeah, I’ve not been this angry at him in a long time. I try to calm down, there is no point getting myself worked up. “Right there Robert, that’s your hate coming out. Go on, you know what you want to do.”

“I don’t hate you; I just don’t like how you act all high and mighty after the shit you just pulled.”

“I can do whatever the fuck I want!”

“Not here! I’m fucking done with this shit! If you want to go on a romantic evening with your beloved death then be my guest and leave!” He gets up off the bed and walks right up to me, so close that our noses almost touch. His stare is intense, I try to hold it. “Okay, I’ll say hi to Sarah.” I close my eyes.

“Don’t speak of the dead, Dave.” My voice is barely a whisper; her name breathes life back into her, into my memory. The room is suddenly filled with her perfume, I feel warmth radiate from her ghost pressing against me. She whispers softly in my ear, her voice though quiet was vibrant as she again and again said she loved me as if it was a chant. As always her voice fades to nothing. Her body grows cold as she slips away, my senses overtaken by the sharp metallic odour of her blood. This isn’t good, I remember what was taken that day of the crash, what this fucking waste of a human being took from me.

I open my eyes and he has not moved an inch, his stare is still intense but venomous. He breaks the eye contact to move his head near my ear. “I’ll see her in hell.” The vicious hiss is enough to break me. I just, snap. I rip out a raw roar as I violently grab Dave and hurl him to the nearest wall. He grunts at the impact and slides down to the floor. I rush to the floorboard before getting on my knees to lift it. I needed it now. “What are you doing I’m fucking over here!”  Dave shouts until he falls silent when I turn around. I get up, from the floor to tower above him, making sure the barrel was always on him. He looks at me with a tranquil face; I still quivered with adrenaline and anger. “You deserve this; this is justice, you more than anyone in this world at this very moment have a right to kill. I am the lowest of the fucking low and I took Sarah away, I murdered your wife Robert!” As he shouts I take the safety off and ready my finger on the trigger. Dave looks to me, those fucking eyes. “You’re doing the right thing Robert.”

“I sure fucking hope so.” My last words as I put the gun to my temple.

Then pulled the trigger.

So when I woke up in hospital it was a bit of a surprise. I nearly died of shock to see that fucking son of a suicidal bitch next to me. I look at him but it seems that one of my eyes was covered in bandages; he seems to be preoccupied with staring and the floor. I decided to call out to him, though my voice comes out weak and raspy. “Dave…?” Though my voice is small he immediately looks to me before shooting up from his seat. “You’re awake.”

“Where…?”

“You’re in the hospital. Here have something to drink.” He pours me a glass of water from the container at my bedside and holds it to my mouth. As I drink I feel a pounding headache coming on, but the drink quenches my thirst and cools me down. After I finish off the drink I find it easier to speak?”

“How long have I been here?”

“About a month, I’ve been here almost every day.” I start to chuckle.

“Holy shit, that’s probably a record for you.” He doesn’t laugh.

“They said you would have major headaches for the rest of your life. Your left eye is destroyed and they put a metal plate in your head. You were lucky to survive. Why the fuck did you do it?”

“Did I give you a fright?”

“It was mortifying!”

“Good. Now you know how I felt you fucker.”

“It’s not the same thing.”

“It isn’t?” He falls silent and looks down, before taking a seat. I sit up though it was bloody painful. He looks to me as he begins to tell his story.

“When I was three, an earthquake hit my town. In the end, there were only seven survivors. Most of the town was dead, including my parents and sister.” He takes in a shaky breath. “My grandparents lived in the UK, so I had to come over here and leave the devastation behind. I never belonged here; I belonged with my family who were dead in the ground. This feeling grew as I got older and my grandparents died. I swam around in a broken care system and then I was too old for anyone to acknowledge me anymore. So I decided to end it all. I got a rope and knotted it. I stood on a chair as it hung from the ceiling ready to hang myself. I put my neck in the noose and knocked the chair down. The roof collapsed and I was still alive under rubble-” I burst out with laughter, I didn’t care how much it hurt my head.

“Robert, it’s not fucking funny.” Whoops, I calm down to the best of my ability.

“Carry on.”

“Well, ever since then, every attempt on my life has failed. I’ve done it all, cutting my wrists, drowning, suffocation, hypothermia, electrocution, jumping, guns, hanging, poison, starvation, disease, drugs, smoking and-” He looks me in the eye.

“Trying to get killed by impact and always, something goes wrong or someone saves me, I’ve been denied my peace.”

“Don’t you mean something goes right?”

“You know what I mean.” He starts to cry with his head in his hands.

“Then you came along and fucking did this. Weren’t you angry? Didn’t you want revenge? What the fuck is wrong with you Robert?” I let out a sigh.

“When my wife died I was going to kill you or make sure you went to jail.” He looks up at me. “But when I arrived with all that rage and hate it all disappeared. I didn’t see a murderer. I saw someone who was broken and that my wife swerved the wheel to save. In a sense, you were a victim yourself.”

“I don’t understand-”

“Let’s think about it this way Dave, what if the soul of every person that died in that earthquake, you’re parents and sisters, all your friends, neighbours, classmates everyone were pushing you to live. My wife too, gave up her life in exchange for yours. So how about you stop trying to change your fate and just see where life takes you. Life is precious.” We were silent as Dave cried harder than ever. When he was calm he stood up. “I’m going to go get a pack of cigarettes.”

“Dave!” Seriously, did he not hear what I said at all?

“I’ll start cutting down and try and quit okay?” I smiled. He smiled back before leaving the room.

Dave never came back.

He left this world twenty minutes later. A brain aneurism. Apparently with all of his attempts and drug taking he was a walking corpse waiting to drop dead. When I heard he died I didn’t know what to fucking believe in anymore. After telling him to wait for fate he finally got what he wanted. At least he understood that^ even his life, was precious. Even if he didn’t see himself to be lucky, till the day he died he was probably the luckiest man alive.

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The Luckiest Man Alive- Short Story

2 thoughts on “The Luckiest Man Alive- Short Story

  1. This was an enjoyable story overall. I felt somewhat invested in the suicidal gentleman, although I feel that the backstory of his colleague was rather tacked on. This does not detract from my overall appreciation of the story, however. Good work Hannah!

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