Notes from the Complex by James Cox

James Cox's character snaps and goes on a destructive rampage.

The precise moment that I gave up all hope is not really important. Was it the day last week when I opened Yahoo to see: "Woman pepper sprays fellow Black Friday Shoppers"? Possibly. Or perhaps the news that "Dancing With the Stars" had been renewed for another season. Or was it the new celebrity show that Drew Pinsky created where struggling young actors can volunteer to be injected with various highly addictive drugs in exchange for a starring role in "Celebrity Rehab - The Prequel"? Shit, could have been any of those things or something else. Bottom line, the ammo had been purchased and the targets decided upon. Just needed to empty Claudius' litter box, take a shower and head out. Bob was on the roof of the parking area. Interesting guy, Bob. A fellow traveller. The government was killing us. That type of thing. Always wore his headphones. I think he was listening to Rush or maybe some Satanist mantra. Hard worker though. I decided to use the .38 on him. No particular reason. Maybe because it would be quick. Nice guy, Bob.

Evita had been very talkative last night. Maybe too much coffee. I remember reading that coffee can keep one from developing pancreatic cancer. Or was it that one would actually have a better chance of getting pancreatic cancer with coffee? Thought about this while waiting in line for my daily Vente Drip. I would use my last charge on this Starbucks. No need to be without coffee even during Armageddon. Still the idea of no coffee gave me a bit of a chill. That's when I would go. After the last Vente Drip. Hell, maybe just stay there chatting with the cute college chick with the big rack. Knowing   that we would both be incinerated in moments. The look on her face when I ask, "What are your hopes and dreams, Georgette?" seconds before the plastique kicks in about five feet from us. Knowing. That was the kick. Knowing what they did not know. Just like with Evita last night. Good girl. Not part of the plan though. The look. Priceless, as I removed her nose. Messy business though. Thank God that cats are not as finicky as is generally believed. Another one of those "Old Wives Tales". Like the one that states that human beings will pass out after a certain amount of pain. The body's default as it were. Not true! Just ask Evita. Thank god for my new stereo. Jesus, could have been problematic.

"I think that I will never see something as beautiful as a tree." Can't get this out of my head. Who was it? Some great poet from my elementary school days. Just a nice poem. Maybe if I had a Kindle or some such ridiculous object invented to further eliminate any chance of social discourse/intercourse among human beings I could find the author. That's all gone now. The news story about the USC students who took pictures of the dying homeless guy burned alive in plain sight. They actually took pics of the perpetrators pouring gas over the guy (was it a guy or a woman?). Just a charbroiled whimpering mass. I think somebody did make the 911 call after all pics were taken and uploaded to various essential social networking sites. Priorities very important to the New Age Children of Occupy Whatever.

What would Dad think of all this? He had raised me and my brothers to be... what exactly? He was full   of fear, that was essentially it. Shit, Dad needed the release, but in the days of "Father Knows Best", "Ozzie and Harriet" and "The Munsters" maybe it just wasn't there for him. The release I mean. If somebody had told us that little Ricky Nelson would be incinerated in a plane crash, or that the kid in "Family Affair" (now there's a sitcom title for you) would die from drugs, and the star, the wonderful fatherly figure, Brian Keith would himself be a suicide; Christ maybe it would have helped. To be forewarned. Shit, I'd still be fucked... or maybe not.

Joyce Kilmer, that was the name. A guy I think. The guy that wrote that poem. I used to be creative. An outlet when I was a kid. It left though. The creativity I mean. Poof. Just like the side of Bob's head a   few minutes ago. Jeez, I don't think those headphones will be of any use to anybody anytime soon. Maybe they can be auctioned on eBay along with some Gabrielle Giffords stuff. Shit, probably never. All that brain matter and such. I hope Rush was on a commercial break when the round exploded in Bob's brain. Or maybe better if Rush was actually on. Yea, very cool. RIP, Bob. Shit, now who will do   all the handyman stuff around the apartment complex? Well I won't be around. Christ, after I'm done, they'll probably close the place anyway. The scene of the carnage. Maybe build a museum. Time to check the "To Do" list. I feel so much more serene since this rampage (is that what it's called?) began. Some order to my life now. Not this restless, irritable and discontent feeling. That was a drag. A sense of accomplishment now. Too many Americans with no sense of purpose. Just find a hobby - anything. Create or destroy. Isn't destruction a form of creation? Nietzsche, or perhaps something from one of Kim Kardashian's Reality shows.

Just a few things to do before the final cleansing this evening. God, it is so liberating to be of use, I must...Who is that now?

"Father Joseph? So good to catch you. I've been looking for you all day. The Monsignor would like you to say Mass for the victims. Are you okay Father? You look pale."


  1. outstanding. appropriate commentary on the modern world. very nice, dry style.

    Michael McCarthy

  2. Thanks, Michael!


  3. I love the premise, but I wish it were longer. I guess that's why they call it Flash Fiction~Good Job

  4. I found the writing compelling and the subject matter frightening. Since that's probably what you were going for, well done.