Short short story

Getting Rid of the Gun

My first thought was the pond off Thompson Road. If I saw anybody (not likely), just keep going—if not, pull over, slip through the woods, and give it a good sling out into the middle, which I guessed had to be at least ten feet deep. Maybe fifteen. Back to the car, drive away—the whole affair a minute or less. Because I knew that time was, as they say, of the essence, requiring speed and stealth, though I was also aware of the dangers of rashness.

The key is to find the right balance.

Because I knew that the pond, though isolated, wasn’t that isolated, and it was possible someone would see my car—or see me. And I am, I guess, distinctive looking, even from a distance. Some kids out playing in the woods? “We saw him throw something out in the middle, Officer.” Some future Stephen King getting a story? Except kids don’t play in the woods anymore, remember? Still, it was risky, a pond. Some car going by? Why do cars have to go by? Why can’t they go away? Why can’t everything go away? Where was a volcano or an ocean when you needed one? But remember how they found all the pieces of the space shuttle? And if I drove to the coast and rented a plane, they would want to know why. And of course the pilot. Even if you asked him how to open the window and told him not to look. “In his thirties. Not unattractive. But something haunted about his eyes.” The APB would go out—a dragnet for haunted eyes.

But I was very careful in removing the fingerprints. So what if they found it? They couldn’t connect it to me. Me, cool as a cucumber, amused at the absurdity. When they came. And they would come, don’t kid yourself.

Maybe stuff it in the kitchen garbage bag and take it to the dump, where it would be compacted and hauled away and buried. But what if the guy working there, if you can call it working, remembered me, remembered my car? They would estimate the time, dig in the appropriate place, use a metal detector. They would find it. And the question would be, why did you bury this gun in your garbage and throw it away, son? Plus, it would take too much time.

Put it in somebody else’s garbage!

Toss it into the boxcar of a passing train?

Put it in somebody’s random mailbox? A delivery for you!

Drive behind Domino’s and chunk it into their disgusting dumpster?

Better yet, drop it in a vat of acid. Where do you find a vat of acid?

Ah! Maybe not throw it away at all. Because what if they asked, where is your gun? Just clean it thoroughly and put it back where I kept it in the drawer by the bed. And if they asked, why was this weapon recently cleaned? I would answer, it needed cleaning, and if they asked why, I would think of a good answer. Yes, cool as a cucumber, even though I don’t really know why cucumbers are cool. Plus, the gun is not registered, so how would they know I had it?

It would just be better all around not to have any kind of encounter with the authorities at all.

The authorities. What a joke. Drinking their coffee and trying to run other people’s lives. There are too many of them. The world would be a lot better without authorities.

What in the hell is the point of authorities?

I knew I was taking too much time, but you have to admit it was a tricky situation. Maybe even, viewed one way, funny. No, not funny! I had to push that thought away. Far away. Think of something sad. Like Mother, who couldn’t help herself dying and just me in the house and I could go anywhere, even her closet, her little boxes. Shit! Too late—I had started laughing. Because I knew when I started laughing sometimes, I couldn’t stop.

And it wouldn’t be good to be laughing when they came.