"Man Changes Mind," by Jason Armstrong. Thrillers, Killers, 'n Chillers. January 4, 2011.
This week I have been surfing the web for fiction (possibly because I just gave in and bought an iPad... and yes, it is very cool.) Most of the stories I looked at were free - both to me and to the publisher, meaning the author didn't get nothin' but fame and glory. Would I find something at that end of the field that was worth sharing with you?
I sure did.
I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to be a serial killer.
I mean, I'll probably just finish up with school and get a good job in management but it just seems like I should be doing something bigger with my life. But I think every young man has this conversation with himself at some point. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be a superhero. I've had that dream since I was five but there's no such thing as superheroes.
That's the start of this wonderfully quirky tale by Jason Armstrong. The publisher, Thrillers, Killers, 'n Chillers, described it as flash fiction, which astonished me because I thought it was longer than that. (When I say a story seemed longer than it was I don't usually intend it as a compliment, because I like short fiction, but in this case I mean the story packs a lot into a small space.)
Which is not to say a lot happens. As the title implies, it is just a meditation inside the character's brain. But the story manages to be authentically funny and creepy at the same time, a good trick, and leave you wondering: is this guy just a not-bright doofus thinking idle thoughts, or exactly the kind of person who goes off the deep end one day?
It just seems like the best way to be famous; it seems like the best way. I mean, everybody knows who Charles Manson is. But can you name one movie with Sharon Tate?[...] But serial killers have it easy. Just stab your way to success.
Definitely worth a read.