Many years ago I wrote this story.
My brother Matthew reminded me that I wrote it and a few others.
I need to write more.
I’m not certain what to do with it. You see, in one of the boxes that my grandfather left behind was a strange gun, rounded and very rusty. It weighs several pounds and has knobs and dials along the side. If you put your ear against it, you can hear it quietly humming, and on its side is a dark and cracking piece of masking tape, upon which is written “Disintegrator Gun: still dangerous.”
My grandfather worked in a granary since the day he turned twelve and didn’t learn to read until his was forty-five. According to my mother, he’d never been able to change a lightbulb without blowing a fuse. He couldn’t have invented this, it’s too complex to be a toy, and it seems unlikely that a man who spent most of his life hip-deep in feed corn would have ever been in a situation to stumble upon something like this.
So where did it come from? I don’t know, but it’s sitting on my desk now. Every time I bring it close to my laptop, the LCD starts flowing and the fans start spinning faster. My cat’s hair stands on end when she gets too close. I set it next to a fountain pen which promptly started leaking ink out of its tip. If I hold it near my head, my fillings ache.
If I hold it in my hand, I feel like the most powerful man in the world.
It’s like a little boy’s dream come true, but I can’t bring myself to so much as touch the trigger. I thought of testing it in on a rock in the back yard, but what if it’s got a really wide beam, or punches a hole in the ground the size of an SUV? What if it explodes in my hand? What if it does nothing?
So for now it sits on my desk, all but begging me to pick it up.
“Be a superhero,” it whispers.
“Be a villain,” it suggests.
“Be whatever you want, so long as you use me to do it.”
I know that I’ll break down soon. I’ll use it on a tree or a wall, a car or a criminal, on a bank or on myself. But I’ll use it.
And I’ll never stop.