A little solution goes a long way

Submitted into Contest #158 in response to: Write about a character with questionable morals.... view prompt


Crime Drama

“You know, it’s not fair”, said Larry, as he took a drag on a Marlboro.

Larry exercised regularly. He had a six pack stomach and powerful, triceps, biceps, pecs and calves. He could dead weight lift 400 pounds. He trained three times a week for at least an hour and a half in the gym. He could still run the mile in six minutes. He stood 6 and a half feet tall. Finally Larry took care of himself by having hair cuts at least twice a month. Every hair and piece of clothing in perfect position.

In fact Larry could still not believe it when Dr. Gray read him the diagnosis on the x-rays. Larry had come in with a cold that did not seem to go away. Even with all his gyrations and practice he felt short of breath. He could not believe it still that Dr. Gray told him he had Lung Cancer.

Yeah, if only the law was different. Damn the ethics of law.

“I do want to become a better man, really”. As if stating it emphatically, should be enough. I want to beat this disease and become the amazing runner that I used to be in high school. He had run the four minute mile in high school. Before all the stress of becoming a lawyer and that insult of being called an ambulance chaser.

The law as practiced by Larry was really about not meeting the spirit of the law. Larry coughed again. He started smoking after the cigarette companies had already been sued, so the fact he had ‘picked up’ cancer of the lung would not payoff to his family. He had seen all the warnings and ignored them. None of his other smoking friends had gotten any kind of sickness. Why did he end up being the only one?

Larry painted each room in his house masking things perfectly, not a misplaced drop. He applied the paint brush as if stroking flesh, back and fourth. His eyes chose the perfectly color that in his minds eye created the unique feelings meant for that room. There were two bathrooms painted aqua with little violets on stems green a mural. He also piped in the perfect music in volume and tone. Each room had its own sound-proofing because never should a sound escape from that room. And each room had an automatically locking door that could only be opened by Larry.

Yes, these could be the rooms that he could invite his prey or as he euphemistically called them short term guests. His favorite room was dry blood red, including the floors. It would make clean up so much easier.

Larry liked things just so, he could find his way in home in total darkness. Each window had its own draperies but with sliding metal shudders also. All the doors and windows were controlled by a fully off the grid electronic system backed by battery and a propane powered electrical system.

The home was located in the middle of a private forest grown years ago by the previous owners. Larry had looked for the home for months with several realtors. He had spent months finding realtors that did not have any time to be with family or friends. He wanted realtors dedicated to finding his perfect home but that would few other than their clients would miss them. He only spoke to them by phone so nobody would know what he looked like. Larry valued his privacy.

Larry thought, if he had to die then maybe he could make it meaningful if even a few people quit smoking. If they only had more fear about smoking than a desire to smoke. It did not seem that wrong to save a few people before he died. As always Larry was very practical.

The plan did not hatch all at once. It really began more like an onion and each layer begat another layer to the plan. The overall plan felt like a dream. Or a movie with the camera lens smeared with Vaseline. Nascent feelings serpentine within Larry’s mind. Slowly it wormed into his mind and snaked deep into the lizard part of his brain. He got angrier and angrier at the situation.

Larry hatched his plan in one night and then took only six months to implement ‘The Plan’. He enjoyed coming up with the plan as much as he enjoyed practicing law. He left nothing for chance. His motivation and purpose were locked and loaded.

He thought who should die first? The doctors that did not diagnosis his disease? Or should it be the advertising execs that perpetuated these lies on him and all America and the world. Or maybe it should be largest shareholders that supported the companies that sold tobacco laced products. Perhaps the cigarette executives. Or maybe tobacco farmers that grew the product. So many choices, so little time. Or should it be the shop owners that sold the cigarettes?

The second part of the plan was how they should die so just the right message would be sent. Should there be a pack of the smoker’s favorite smokes be in his pocket. Or should they be stuffed in mouth, or perhaps down his throat.

Then he thought what if particular inventors of the most addictive of all smoking products such as flavored tobacco should be done away with. Children and teenagers are the most vulnerable. Those that attach these vulnerable and get them hooked maybe they should be the targets.

Next he thought about what kind of ‘cryptic’ messages he should leave that would destroy the profits of these companies. Finally, should he simply poison a few packages of the cigarettes so that people might be afraid to smoke or die? Ha ha, he thought. If it perhaps a little quicker death, and it would save medical bills. People might actually feel the fear of smoking.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few he thought. And yet he still knew something had to be wrong with this thought. He knew every life mattered. Maybe he would put this off awhile.

August 13, 2022 03:01

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Daud Moor
16:05 Aug 30, 2022

Very nice. Even added to the nicety of this is my picturing of Larry David throughout the read. The character feels reminiscent of a Dean Koontz villain. It would be nice to have this refabricated into a novelette where Larry's vindictive/martyrlike actions are explicitly described.


Glenn Holt
17:47 Aug 30, 2022

Thanks for the comparison. Love Dean Koontz, maybe I unconsciously have been influenced by him.


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