School Day

School Day

“Take a look at this, sheriff,” Deputy Clanton, a short, dumpy, red-faced older man in a baggy khaki uniform, said to George Martindale, a tall, rangy, almost gaunt man in his sixties.

Martindale walked to the desk where a laptop was open, screen lit, with ‘Play me’, in blood red letters. He slipped on a latex glove, then pressed play. The intense almost manic face of Jerry Fornith grinned at them angrily, then said:

“Today’s the day. I’ve planned this for months. If you’re watching then you know I’ve paid them back for everything they dumped on me,” and he laughed. “I got up this morning, didn’t brush my teeth, loaded my AR-15, loaded my Beretta, which I tucked in my belt, put on my coat that concealed my rifle, looked in the mirror to be sure it didn’t show, then went to school.” There was a pause, as if he was savoring his journey.

“I thought about shooting people on the street as I passed them, but decided to save my goodies for you know where. I timed my entrance just right, so when the metal detector went off the hall was crowded with kids. I threw off my coat, grabbed the rifle and opened fire. The kids started screaming and falling. Blood spattered everywhere. Mr. Donaldson charged out of his classroom, shaking like a leaf. He didn’t get off a shot as I put half a clip in him. The rest was easy. I fired two more clips until the screaming almost drove me nuts. I looked around and saw the classrooms were locked down. I was out of rifle ammo and targets. Mission accomplished. I put my Beretta to my head and ended the best day of my life.” There was another long pause. “If it didn’t go down that way, I hope somebody killed me.”

Deputy Clanton looked at the sheriff and whispered: “Holy shit. He done like he said.”

Martindale shook his head sadly. “Used to be kids was just full of talk. This video is going to shock a lot of people.”

“Will it change anything?” Clanton asked.

“Only if they ban those guns and it ain’t gonna happen.”

Gary Beck

Gary Beck has spent his adult life as a theater director. He has 14 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press), Dawn in CitiesAssault on NatureSongs of a ClerkCivilized WaysDisplaysPerceptionsFault LinesTremorsPerturbationsRude AwakeningsThe Remission of Order and Contusions (Winter Goose Publishing). Conditioned Response(Nazar Look), Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications), Blossoms of DecayExpectationsBlunt Force and Transitions (Wordcatcher Publishing). His  novels include Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pig Productions), Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance  and Flare Up Wordcatcher Publishing). His short story collections include A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications), Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories(Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). Feast or Famine and other one act-plays will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of magazines. He lives in New York City.

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