“Look at them,” Jim thought.
His eyes grew thinner as he began to squint in disapproval while failing to cajole a rapidly expanding inner monologue.
“They think that they can come into my life, day in and day out, and shit all over my business?”
Jim reached under his folding chair and unscrewed the top of his flask before shooting down a quick swig. It was a clichéd gesture, yes, but when you’re as mad as Jim was in this moment, any kind will do. Sometimes all an angry man needs is a clean space in his head to vent, no matter how he decides to wipe it out.
“Why did I ever get into this business?” Jim wondered.
“I used to aspire to be someone,” he said with a long sigh. “This responsibility has become less of a burden and more of an existential nightmare.”
Jim got up from his folding chair, walked over to the mini fridge in his office and pulled out a small bag of cocaine.
“You still love me enough to hurt me in that way I like, don’t you?” Jim asked the bag of cocaine, as if it were going to talk back at any moment.
He began to dump the entire bag onto the table, riddled in coffee stains and lonely semen as it was, shuffling the powder with his index finger into something that resembled lines drawn by a drunk cartographer.
Jim was a portly man. Bald-ing, but not quite there yet. Gruff face, but not a spec of hair on it. If you were to look up ‘Sad Sack’ in a thesaurus you would probably see a picture of poor slovenly Jim.
His mind was now balls-deep in an orgy of powdered lust and escapism. His face, covered in the evidence.
That’s when his assistant, Debbie, opened the door he was too wrapped up in his self-loathing to lock.
Debbie was a lovely young redhead who had gotten the job from an ad off a billboard. Kind, shapely, literate; she was everything Jim wasn’t.
“Sir?” Debbie asked, “One of the smaller ones just bit a bigger one that was sleeping.”
There was a long pause.
The pause was, no doubt, to cover up the fact that Jim was hunched over a table made of balsa wood frantically trying to rub cocaine onto his white work shirt in lieu of it being blasted all over his greasy nose.
Jim seemed to think it had worked, but Debbie knew better. She just didn’t want to get fired. She knew in this line of work you could be shit-canned for a lot worse. If she was going to go down, it certainly was not going to be for pointing out her employer’s shortcomings.
“I’ll deal with it,” Jim said, “but make sure if any of their parents show up early that they wait in the main lobby.”
“Yes, Mr. Hoytt,” said Debbie, as she rolled her eyes and closed the office door.
Jim got up and pressed his head against the wall as if he were about to give up on life completely in the hopes that his spirit would just fly away to somewhere more pleasant.
Still unbelievably out of his mind from his cocaine fix, Jim started to cock the tiniest of smiles as he slowly realized what he should do.
This would be his ultimate masterstroke.
Jim was about to give himself one last shot at infamy, at any cost, while making sure someone, anyone, would never be able to forget him.
“I’ll kill the little bastard,” Jim thought.
It was positively classic. The old fame-by-infamy routine. If Jim had to waste 25 years of his live working in this dead end job then the reward might as well be to end up in the papers while he goes out in a self-destructive blaze of glory.
Jim flung open his door and walked toward the screaming little creature, its arms squirming, completely oblivious to the scene that was about to take place.
Reaching down, Jim grabbed the thing he had called a “demon spawn” so many times before, wrapped it in his arms and walked back into his office.
Then he locked the door.
For an act this admittedly devilish, Jim needed a bit more powdered courage.
He flung open his mini-fridge, though only to find that all of his cocaine had been used up already.
This should have been obvious, really. It had only been ten minutes, tops, since he shot all of it up his goddamn nose.
But who could blame him for the confusion? The man was higher than the International Space Station by this point.
It was at that point when Jim decided he might as well go for broke on the drug front.
In his office closet there was a small stash of cleaning supplies. Jim had never used them to get high before, but why should that stop him now?
Jim grabbed a small canister of something that must have been several years old.
The label on it had deteriorated from age and the outside of the canister was rank with a slick, waxy buildup.
It was just the kind of unidentifiably potent shit Jim had been looking for.
He quickly twisted open the cap and swigged a large gulp of the stuff into his mouth.
Jim began to cough furiously to the point where his body flung back against the wall.
The taste was akin to burning plastic with just a hint of black licorice, as if to give a nice ‘fuck you’ to your throat when the aftertaste hits it on the way down.
Once Jim regained his composure, he began to walk toward the table where he had placed his victim and proceeded to drop his hands into his pants pockets and shuffle them around in search of something that would get the job done nice and quick.
By the time Jim had procured a simple pen-knife the effects of his odd drinking habit had caught up to him.
He looked down on the table only to see an emaciated, charred, and blackened corpse wriggling around and moaning for mercy in some indecipherable language.
The corpse was a fully-grown human, shrunk down to fit on the table, just enough to fill all of Jim’s peripheral vision.
Jim jolted back, hitting the corner of his head against the wall and falling down on his backside as if God himself had just struck him down from the heavens.
Staring up at the table, Jim saw the arm of the smoking corpse begin to grip the edge of the table and prop itself onto its side as the creature turned its head to get a good piercing look at the sad sack man.
“Your head is in the clouds, but your mind is dying,” said the rotting creature, with a charred voice that sounded like its vocal chords had been set on fire long ago.
Jim began to cry nervous tears as he screamed for Debbie to bust through his office door as a sign that this was all just some horrible nightmare.
The door began to shake.
Debbie was trying to get in.
The sad sack man had locked the door and was now too fucked-up to get to unlocking it.
The charred corpse began to rise up from the table, ash falling from its skin like dust.
By this point, Jim was visibly shaking while a small gash on the side of his head began to drip warm blood from his fall.
“Your intentions betray you!” the corpse growled, in that rough voice once again.
The corpse started to reach down, seeming to aim at Jim’s throat, with smoldering ash falling into his lap.
Jim took one last look at the door, shaking as it was, and realized that either Debbie wasn’t able to get in or she wasn’t even there to begin with.
Afraid, alone, and crazy enough to take a life; Jim opted to reach for the pen-knife and kill his demons once and for all.
Jim shook his head back and forth rapidly in a sign of ultimate disbelief and plunged the knife into the side of his neck.
In that instant, the corpse began to evaporate into the air, disappearing completely at the exact moment Jim’s eyes closed for the final time.
Two minutes later, Debbie was finally able to break through the door and began screaming in disbelief.
She knew that, in this moment, she needed to be strong for the rest of them.
Debbie ran over to the table; picked up the baby; ran back into the lobby, closing the door behind her; and alerted the other caretakers to call both an ambulance and all of the parents to come pick up their toddlers.
There had been a grave incident at the Hoytt Family Daycare.