Usually when an employee is destined to be laid to rest, the decision is made based on the opinions and experiences over a period of weeks, sometimes months. However, Malcom had been employed for merely seven hours when several of his co-workers unanimously decided he didn’t deserve to live. It wasn’t that Malcom brought morale low; in fact he had made the self esteems and egos of his fellow co-workers soar. That wasn’t enough, though. He was annoying, redundant, and dimmed the intelligence radiating from the other five men trying to run the department. The engineers got together by Zach’s car before work to develop a plan.
The bar was dirty; there was no doubt about it. The environment was ripe for conflict. The tabletops were dripping with spilled beer and sweat. Hanging lamps swung a bit from random slaps from pool sticks, cigarette smoke having stained the glass long ago. Several waitresses migrated through the crowd of men, mostly suit-wearing types, with plates of alcoholic drinks to drown sorrows, annoyances, and memories with.
Malcom laughed at the top of his lungs for no reason in particular. This was one of the many things he did that bothered his co-workers, other than breathing. The other men sitting around the table were Dylan, Freddy, Joseph, Bob, and Lars. Dylan smiled forcibly and passed Malcom another shot of whiskey. Freddy and Joseph talked politics, Bob scanned the crowd for possible partners after this was over, and Lars sat still, trying to hide the seething hate boiling under his skin. Lars was the designated driver, also known as the guy who was to make sure the job got done.
Dylan passed Malcom yet another drink, cheerfully talking to him about robots and other things that don’t matter. Dylan was voted to be the friendly one, making sure Malcom didn’t see through the plan, and not only did Dylan seem to be the nicest of the group, he also pulled the shortest straw.
Malcom stood up suddenly, slurring out “Party time for – yeah!” then started to stumble toward the door. This was it, the moment of fruition. Freddy headed towards the van, tossing Lars the keys and sliding the door open. Together he and Joseph helped Malcom into the backseat. Joseph then climbed into the front passenger’s seat. Dylan climbed in and sat down. He was followed by Bob, several phone numbers crumpled in his hand. He shoved them in his pocket, and then slammed the door shut. Lars took the last drag off his cigarette, lifted up the arm of his t-shirt, and jammed the butt into his bicep. He gasped a little, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Then he tossed the butt away and sat in the driver’s seat, turning the ignition. He then turned to Joseph, who was staring in disbelief. Lars shrugged, and for the first time in months, grinned and backed out of the parking spot.
The upcoming forest surrounded the highway, and eventually, the van. The road winding, spirits high, the six men shouted drunken declarations over the rock music playing on the radio. Lars slowed the van down, and turned onto a dirt road surrounded by more trees. He drove until they could no longer be seen on the highway. Once more the vehicle turned and they arrived in an empty field, surrounded by yet more trees. Lars parked the van and turned off the ignition, then climbed out to smoke yet another cigarette.
Malcom began to get uneasy. “Hey uh, fellas? What’s going on?”
Freddy retrieved a roll of quarters from his pocket and smashed his fist against Malcom’s jaw, fracturing it in several places and knocking a few teeth to the floorboard. Bob threw the side door open of the van and grabbed Malcom by his hair, dragging him to the ground. Joseph retrieved a baseball bat from under one of the seats and hit him in the kneecaps, shattering one and sending pain all throughout his body. He started to scream, but Dylan wrapped a cloth around his mouth tight, cutting off almost all noise.
Freddy descended from the van, pocketing the roll of quarters and retrieving a knife from under his shirt. “You could never shut the fuck up, could you?” He asked menacingly as he neared the bleeding mass of pathetic flesh in front of him. He knelt down next to him, and with a slight grin, sliced Malcom’s broken kneecap. Then he stabbed the wound, twisting the knife around. The sound of bones grinding was enough to make Dylan uneasy.
“Guys, maybe we should cut this out. This is getting really out of hand.” Without a word, Freddy plunged the blade of the knife through Dylan’s throat. Bob instantly threw up in the grass. “Oh God,” he choked out through the vomiting. He then collapsed on the ground. He no longer wanted to do this. Everything had gotten out of hand.
Freddy, wild-eyed, slowly waved the knife around as looked at the remaining 2 men. “Does anybody else have a problem with this?” Lars answered his question with action, not words. He grabbed Malcom’s leg and broke it again twice at the knee. Then he twisted it and ripped the bottom half from the thigh. Finally, he used Malcom’s leg to beat him in the face. A disturbing chuckle escaped Joseph’s lips. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a pen. He removed the cap, then stabbed it into Malcom’s eye, then twisted the pen and pulled the eye out, ripped it and threw it to the side.
Malcom passed out from shock. Freddy awakened him with a stab to the stomach. He then cut around and made a hole. Blood spurted and poured from the several wounds in the poor man’s body. Lars grabbed the bat and thrust it into the hole, lifting Malcom up into the air. By now Malcom had coughed up so much blood into the gag that he choked on it and died. Lars lowered the bat and let his lifeless body fall to the ground.
Bob came to, and saw the scene in front of him. He started to freak out, breathing uncontrollably and muttering to himself. He jumped up and swung a gun up that was concealed in his pants. “You sick motherfuckers!” He fired sporadically into Freddy and Joseph, sending them to the dirt, both spiraling toward death. Lars stood still, staring intensely at Bob. Bob pulled the trigger several times, but only got clicks. He became very frantic and turned around to run. The bat flew through the air and struck him in the legs, knocking him to the ground. Lars calmly walked over to him, hovering over his body like a vulture. He picked up the bat and hit him repeatedly in the face and neck until the life leaked out of his head alongside the blood.
Lars lifted his arms up and stretched. He then dropped the bat and surveyed the area. Suddenly a harsh commanding voice broke through the night. “Hit the ground, you sick bastard!” Lars turned to see four police officers coming through the trees. They were about fifteen feet away.
Lars scooped up Malcom’s body and took off towards the officers. Bullets came at him like sideways rain of death. One bullet hit him in the shoulder, and Lars barely winced. He reached the officers and threw Malcom’s body on two of them, knocking them down. He ripped a gun out of one of their hands and took three of the officers out before the last one shot him in the face, taking half of the skin from his cheek with it.
Lars threw a punch into the officer’s head, cracking his skull, and knocking him to the ground. They both then shot each other directly in the head. The officer died instantly. Lars collapsed to the ground, life escaping his body. He lifted the head of Malcom, and in a last act of brutality, pressed his thumbs through his eye sockets until the remaining eyeball popped, sending blood squirting. Then he dropped the corpse and fell into unconsciousness, eventually becoming one himself.