All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The List by Hugh Cron

One more drink.

Only one.

I need a clear head to stop me doing what I really want.

I have a list of names and I want to type up some misfortune beside each of them.

But I’ve not done that yet.

I wanted to think them some bad thoughts but I decided not to do that as it would all come true.

So I wondered about typing it?

I’ve looked at those names every night for the last year.

Tonight is the anniversary of when I wrote them.

I don’t know if that means anything.

But it must as I am doing this.

One year on and I haven’t added any more names. That says something that I don’t want to think on.

I consider their death, loss of earnings, of possessions, of loved ones and I wonder about writing a few specific sentences by each of those twenty seven names.

It would have been twenty eight but that one is off the list. I’ll keep something specific and special for him.

In the dark corners of my mind I know what I would do to who but I can’t allow myself to focus on that as it may come true.

If I type it, it will.

I need to be sure this is what I want.

I’ve never been jealous. I always managed to smile and wish everyone well.

There is no way that I’d swap lives with any of them. I wouldn’t do that to anyone.

That is more for me than consideration for them.

Not so much swap or remove I want something…more.

I’ve decided that.

I would just change. To alleviate my conscience, I wouldn’t swap their good fortune for my bad. I would just want them to taste something that they’ve done to others.

Let them see that life isn’t what you make it.

Only the successful say that.

Life is more about what is given.

It has given me nothing but struggle.

I was a generous person and would share anything. The problem was I ended up with nothing to share.

Except my bitterness.

Maybe it’s time to pass that on.

All I need to do is start typing beside their names.

Up until the last couple of months, guilt kept me in check.

But things change.

Guilt got up and left.

Now, it’s not an issue.

For every bad thing that’s happened to me, I could pass that experience on.

The lessons to be learnt aren’t that bad and as the saying goes, ‘What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.’

I’m very strong. Stronger than those on my list.

I pride myself on my ability to survive and adapt to whatever that survival requires.

They need to learn.

They need to feel.

But I can’t kill.

Well, that’s not strictly true.

Especially when some of them deserve to die.

I won’t kill.

Although I’m not sure that I can trust myself completely.

After-all, they wouldn’t be here to experience what I have in store for them.

I’ve decided.

I’m ready.

For each person I will write the same thing.

It won’t be the R.I.P. that they deserve.

Against their names I will type one word.


Hugh Cron

11 thoughts on “The List by Hugh Cron”

  1. This makes me wonder what goes on, late at night, in that one window with the light still burning. I imagine an otherwise “normal” person, a bus driver, or maybe a grave digger, or even a civil servant, stilling at his table under one naked bulb, gloating over a secret knowledge, smiling the only time he ever does, feeling like a god, for however briefly he is in control of the fates of the persons on his list.,,generously allowing their puny existences to go on out of his own generosity.
    I still see it like a grinning skull.
    Excellent as always. Well past the century mark and headed for more.


    1. Hi Leila,
      You really should use that comment as a part of a story!!
      Thanks as always, especially when the review is as interesting as that!!


    1. Hi Doug,
      It’s always great to see you around.
      Thanks as always.
      If I can draw a picture, even of someone we are uncomfortable with or don’t understand, then I’m happy.
      All the very best my friend.


      1. Hugh – You succeeded. I fall into the trap of narrator, but as the fires of passion subside for better or worse, I’m less affected. The cliche is “letting him live rent-free in your head”. Disliking someone hurts yourself more than it hurts the disliked.

        We are not rational beings, hormones and the reptile brain rules.


    1. Hi Dave,
      It’s always a pleasure to read your comments.
      I did nearly end it with the R.I.P beside their names but wanted more emphasis on what was pissing off the MC and that is why I ended it the way that I did.
      …I just wonder if that would be enough for him??
      Thanks again my fine friend.


  2. I read this as a moral tale. For many years now, I’ve had a mental list of people (like Trump, for example) for whom I felt a near-pathological hatred. This seemed to me a harmless foible, since they were people from my past or public personalities with whom I’d never be in contact. And I figured that periodic concentration on their many gross faults and failings made me more tolerant of the relatively minor faults and failings of myself and those around me. Now, my life is changed: I shall simply draw up a list of names to ignore. Thank you!


    1. Hi Mick,
      Thanks so much for the comments.
      We all need some coping mechanism to, well, cope with those who we don’t want to or can’t tolerate. I think when we get this sort of revelation then that’s not a bad thing.
      That’s what so good about writing – If you are having a bad day or someone has annoyed you, then we can use that medium as an out-pouring!
      All the very best my fine friend.


  3. Today they call this “ghosting” and its done virtually. I like the short sentence style that builds up the tension… you wonder who is this guy and what is he doing… is he crazy … he thinks he’s God? Nothing to share … except my bitterness…. reminds me of a few people I know, hope I’m not on their “lists.”


    1. Hi Harrison,
      Thanks so much – I always enjoy your take on the stories.
      I have a confession to make – I wrote this months back and at that time I never knew that ‘Ghosting’ term. It wasn’t until a few weeks back that someone used it and explained it in the same piece of text.
      HAH!! My finger is on the technical pulse and I’m up there with the kids!!
      Man – Even reading that back makes me sound like a fud!!!
      Thanks again my fine friend.
      I hope this message finds you well.


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