posted on Jan, 22 2014 @ 01:24 PM
Elrin Hudson was a milquetoast man, most days. Today, he was covered in the blood of fellow marketing executives. Those bastards were finally going to
listen to what he had to say. He held a submachine gun pointed at a crowd of shocked advertisers.
“Now… We’re all going to sit down, and think about a few things. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we could run the company better?”
Elrin spoke at a moderate voice level. He was shaky, looked unhealthy. A couple of weeks ago, he had been bitten by a bat at a company retreat. He had
shrugged it off, and now had completely lost his mind.
“We could, uh… not… point guns at each other? I mean… if you like that as an option. Please don’t shoot me, Mr. Hudson.” Frank pleaded
with a man who had been consumed by hydrophobia.
“Who do you mean by we? You see, Frank, I don’t like that option. It’s an uneven compromise. The rest of you don’t have guns. I got a
counter demand. Take your shirt off.” The crowd of hostages balked at his apparent demands, but began to comply. Women with vulture-like features
began to strip. He fired a burst off into the ceiling to indicate displeasure, and the crowd stared.
“What?! What do you want? You told us to take our shirts off, you weirdo. “. Jill usually spoke in a low, condescending tone, and today was no
different. Still, Elrin wasn’t the type to hit a woman, and he was fairly certain that bullets counted as hitting. Her voice got on his nerves
“ Keep your shirts on. Everybody except Frank, keep your goddamned shirt on. And Jill, pipe down. I didn’t come to work today to hear you
whine at me. That’s called a hostile work environment. It’s against company regulations, and you could get fired. If I need to, I will file a
complaint up the chain of command.“ He had already shot the vice president of sales, and the chief was on vacation in the Caribbean, but it didn’t
matter. Principles were principles. Frank took his shirt off, and Jill became quiet.
“Why did I have to take my shirt off? That’s not right, or fair. No one else had to. Jill’s right, this is weird.“ Frank’s complaints
were irrational, he knew. Here, this man had a loaded gun in his face, but Frank still had self-image issues about his weight.
“Do you know what the number one problem people your size have? It’s self-esteem. Frank. Now, I’ve been in touch with a telepathic publisher
in my head, and they’ve told me about a book that will really knock your socks off. It’s about improving your respect for yourself, while
remaining on the edge in this fast paced business world.” Elrin’s idea had merit, even if the source of the idea was an omniscient yet oddly
untrustworthy raccoon that spoke to him in thought. Frank considered what he had said, finding it strangely convincing.
“That’s actually a really well put together pitch, Hudson. It’s hard for me to admit this, but you’re right, I am ashamed of my weight.
This book will make a ton of money.” Frank had begun to come around to Elrin’s way of thinking. Jill was shocked.
“There is no book! Are you stupid, Frank? This nut-job is out of touch with reality! He’s making it up as he goes along!” Jill might have
been right, but her delivery was poor. Her message was one of malice. As deranged as he was, Hudson’s pitch had been nothing if not positive.
“You’re entitled to your opinion, Jill. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I have some thoughts on how you can improve your own life. We’ve all
got our share of baggage, and we can become more effective as a team, if we let go of that baggage. In this book, which will retail for about twenty
nine ninety nine, you’ll find a number of easy and practical steps towards self-actualization and becoming a better Jill, a more polite, happier
Jill. For instance, you don’t realize how your hostility drives people away. But I have a list of twenty nine steps towards eliminating that
hostility.” Elrin listened to and spoke for his source of wisdom. It was easy to dismiss his speech as lunacy, but Jill couldn’t manage to do
that. She could see the dollars in a book like this now.
“I see you’ve put a lot of thought into this. I’m sorry for making such a hasty judgement. But I think twenty nine steps is a few too many
to remain marketable.” Jill wanted to complain, to find fault with the man’s idea of what self-improvement was, but it struck a chord
“It’s perfectly alright. You’re obviously under a lot of stress. Is something wrong? I mean, like at home? You can tell us. We won’t laugh,
or make fun of you.” Elrin stared at her with an intensity that seemed to shine right through her. Her mind ceased all thought for a few seconds,
an eye twitching in the orbit it called home. After the initial adjusting period, she nodded in agreement.
“I hit a man. What in my car, back thirteen years ago.” She spoke in a monotone, blood flowing freely from a single nostril. She clasped her
fingers together and tumbled over after letting out her last secret. Elrin, unphased, waved his hands over her prone form.
“Don’t. This isn’t right. She’s dead, Elrin.” Frank pleaded, his eyes wet with despair. He had opened his wrist at the horror of what he
saw. He had decided to opt out.
“You’re going to choose death, after you’ve seen how much we could accomplish, how far we could all go?!” He tried his best to close the
bloody fat man’s wounds before he could bleed out. An aneurysm was simple to heal, hidden away from the prying eyes of disbelievers by the skull.
With an audience of a dozen or so of astonished and silently judging marketing professionals, his task had become difficult. He could bring them back,
but there was no guarantee they’d be the same person they were at the beginning. The raccoon had told him all of this.
“I think he’s out of ammo. I heard thirty shots. If he still had any, he’d just shoot us! Yep, he’s out.” One of them spoke up. Then, he
“That was Scott! You just killed Scott. He’s special needs, you jerk. Counting was one of the few things that made him feel like an equal!
What’s your problem, anyway?” Scott’s friend spoke up. Elrin drew a bead on him and pulled the trigger. The firearm clicked as it fell on an
“I didn’t spare you. I’m just saving your life for later usage, and therefore you will bow to your new God.” Elrin spoke, and the puppets
he had under his thrall kneeled to him and the raccoon. At once, he and his victims could see it was all too real.
“You’re a monster. Worse still, you never learned my name. Hello, I’m Mike. I’m an ex-recovering alcoholic, and smoker. I quit, but then,
the divorce, and, well..” Mike was prone to ramble. Still, he had never shot anyone in cold blood. He fumbled with something.
“Get to the point. Do you want me to help you? We can cure your problems, one step at a time. I cured them, Mike. I can cure you.” Elrin
fixated his stare upon the man, yet had no effect. Mike’s eyes wavered around drunkenly, and he lit a cigarette.
“Salvation comes from within, man. You know that this pseudo-religious garbage won’t sell, right? Your pitch was awful. I don’t know how they
didn’t break out laughing. I guess there really is a sucker born every minute. Anyone want a drink? I know I need one, listening to this fool.”
Mike offered an oversized flask to his co-workers. One meekly raised his hand, and took a sip. He then proceeded to sputter and cough.