"Terrorism," a story 783 words in length, is another unsatisfactory attempt at an entry for the 1,500 word short story contest. It is similar to "Testimonial" in that it employs a bizarre first-person-second person-first person plural perspective and an unusual context. Eventually it becomes too obvious for its own good. It took me about an hour to write or so. Maybe it was a waste of an hour of my life. I don't know. Please waste five minutes of your life by reading it. It will make me feel better.
Give yourself up already. Come on, we know what you’ve been scheming. The thoughts you’ve been thinking—they’re not pretty, we know. It’s time for you to lose the pretense.
All our lives, we’re just waiting to be noticed. Well, you’ve just been noticed. Please follow us down this path right here. We’re helping you to achieve your destiny.
You don’t want to come along? You don’t like my tone? Oh, but you’re wrong! We’re looking out for you. We’re putting you into a category where you can feel comfortable. Why, if you only knew what was in store for you just down that path. Wonders, I tell you, wonders! Please don’t feel that I’m trying to misguide you in any way. I am part of an organization that only has your utmost safety and security in mind. We care about nothing else. We want to make sure that you can wake up in the morning and go to work, free of disturbance. Except for traffic, ha, ha, ha, that’s not our concern. We want to make sure that while you’re at work you receive the kind of treatment that every human being by all rights deserves to receive. We want to make sure that you’re going to be okay getting home, and that you’ll be safe in your house, and that there will be nothing to worry about creeping around in your backyard.
Oh, so you’ll come along? Fantastic! I’m very happy you saw my side of things. Now that we’ve come in here, I want to ask you, why have you taken such a negative attitude? Why have you been so cynical? Why have you been so sarcastic?
You don’t know what I’m talking about? Maybe you need to reexamine your memory a bit. There was a particular essay you wrote in school. You fit it onto one printed page. You made copies and posted them all around your campus. You put your name on it. Does any of this ring a bell? Well good, I’m glad we’re back on the same page, so to speak, ha, ha, ha. You recall some of the criticisms you made? Yes, I know it was a long time ago, so let me refresh your memory. “Police state.” “Death camp.” “Assembly line of pain.” These are rather strong words you used. The type of people that say these sorts of things are the type we like to check up on every once and a while.
Are you happy? Are all your basic needs being met? We can’t help you with everything, obviously, but we like to make sure you are at least able to properly take care of yourself. We only start to worry when we feel you have reason to start acting out. You’re not frustrated, are you? Thank God! It would be terrible if that were the case. You look like you’re a bit tired. Can I get you anything, a glass of water?
A gun? Now honestly, you must not talk like that! You may only request that sort of thing with a license, and to use for your own protection, or sportsmanship. I am certainly not going to just give you one out of the blue. Besides, crime is at an all-time low, and you’re more liable to cause an accident than to accomplish anything productive with such an instrument.
Now really! Why would you say something like that? You don’t know what you’re talking about anymore. I’m finding you to be quite an uncooperative subject. That is not good. I’m telling you. This is going to be written down. It is going to be on your permanent record. These interviews are extremely important. If you ever so desired a government job, forget about it. You’ll have to hope your next employer has no scruples and doesn’t care a whit for background checks. You’ll have to start behaving appropriately if you want things to work in your favor in the future.
That’s much better. I’m glad you see my side of things. Honestly, you don’t feel so cynical anymore now, do you? You’d rather criticize yourself than the surrounding atmosphere at this point—is that fair to say? You have to start behaving responsibly. You have to think logically about your future. I want you to start choosing your words more carefully from now on.
You won’t? Well, fine, if you won’t cooperate than I am going to write this down. Subject does not like to cooperate. Subject does not work well within a team. There, it’s done, are you happy? What a fool you are. You had your chance, and now you just blew it. I hope you’re proud.