Hit List | A Short Story from a 5-Minute FreeWrite
It was a rainy night and, as it used to happen in Revolland every time it rained, there was a power outage. As he used to do every time there was a power outage, Simon sat in the patio to scroll down his feed until his laptop battery died. That night, it seemed that all the crimes and heinous acts committed in the course of human history had been relived and revisited in news and social media.
By the time the laptop notified that only 1% of battery was left, Simon was wishing he could have the power to undo or prevent so much misery in the future. It would be so easy, he thought, if one could just put a hit list together with all the names of people who wrong others. From murderers to rapists, from corrupt politicians to cyber bullies and fake news spreaders.
The world would be better off without them all, he whispered. The laptop screen emitted the last flash of light and everything went dark. After a few seconds, a blue dot appeared in the middle of the screen. It blinked three times and then a voice announced: Wish granted!
“What the fuck!” Simon gasped.
A screen resembling an old-fashioned notebook page appeared before Simon’s eyes.
All names or faces added to the list will be exterminated at your earliest convenience, a metallic voice resembling the minions announced.
“You got to be kidding me,” Simon whispered.
I kid you not, the voice said. The screen interface started to reveal screens and images Simon had never seen before. Videos, photographs, and all kinds of documents started to flash before his eyes. Blood, screams, naked bodies, people being tortured in different ways, body parts, burnt houses, bombs falling on people and buildings, and a myriad of current and past atrocities rolled in seconds while Simon tried to understand what was going on.
It was still dark. It did not look like power had been restored and his laptop was still in his hands with a legally dead battery.
Do you wish to add the first name to the list? the metallic voice asked.
Simon thought this might be a prank from his tech-savvy friend, Felix. He was the only one capable of messing up with someone else’s computer like this.
“Sure,” he said. “Let’s add the first name: Felix Rivas!” Simon added matter-of-factly.
Name added. Select location, the voice announced.
The screen showed the name added and different hits. Simon selected the one with his friend’s face on it.
Target selected. Termination in progress, the voice announced.
Simon’s friend was looking straight at him. It was as if Simon was behind Felix’s phone screen. Suddenly, some sort of scanner illuminated Felix’s face. The young man’s countenance changed from distracted, to surprised, to terrified.
“Felix? Is that you?” Simon asked. “Are you ok, man?”
The screen turned sideways and Simon heard a thud followed by his friend’s voice gasping for air.
Target Terminated, the voiced announced.
“What the fuck?” Simon cried.
Do you wish to add another name to the list? the voice asked.
It took Simon a while to process the surprise, the bad news and the good news. This was not one of Felix’s pranks; Felix might now be actually dead; and Simon had actually the chance to fix the world, to clean it from any undesirable threat.
“Think. Think. Think, God damn!” Simon said to himself while he slapped himself on the face. Where would he start? There were so many people who deserved to be exterminated. It should be done more efficiently than Thanos. Thanos was an idiot. Half the population might not even be necessary. Half the population was a poor criterion. That left all kids of rotten apples in the basket. He could do better. He could ask these minions to select carefully following strict profiles. Killers, psychos, sexually depraved, narcos; but, where could he stop? Would he get to a point where he would be terminating people he actually liked, sort of? How about if he picked liars? Even his parents might fall dead! No, he had to be very careful. But, how long did he have? How many different profiled would he be able to enter the system?
Simon was about to start asking the pressing questions when a red light from his laptop scanned his face. He felt a piercing pain go through his eyes to some place inside his brain he did not even know existed. He was gasping for air when he heard a minion-like voice echoed,
Time out. You have been terminated.
Simon woke up after slaping himself. The blood of the fat mosquitoe was spread all over his right cheek. His laptop was still on his lap, off. He wondered what he hated the most: the mosquitoes or a wasted dream.
Thanks for your reading
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