Rerun number two from Joy.
“This is it.” I say. “That’s what happened.”
Had I been sitting opposite from this man myself, I think I would have gone: ‘Oh right, sure. Thanks for clarifying that!’ and would’ve gotten the hell out of there.
This piece has a very entertaining unreliable narrator. Unreliable because, well, they are clearly out of their mind. I think the length of the piece is perfect for this narrator: short and not so sweet. The narrator is all over the place and claims they aren’t very good at storytelling, yet it is very clear they enjoy doing it. The detailing the narrator uses, especially at the start of the story, makes it all the worst when you finally come to discover where they are and what’s happening. The fact that the narrator was arrested for speeding is a detail that just drives (ha!) the point home on how disconnected they are. The ending gives me a strong feeling that they can’t wait to tell another story.
Reading this piece gave me chills. It’s sentences like ‘I didn’t like her saying please to me. I never like women saying please to me. I feel like, you know, I am some sort of chauvinist. Oppressing them.’ that just makes me loathe the narrator so much (in a good way). It wouldn’t have surprised me if the narrator would’ve followed up with: ‘Well yes, I murdered her! But she asked, and I was a perfect gentleman about it.’ Yuck!
Now the question remains: Does the narratorbelieve their own stories? I would personally like to believe they do. For the narrator to have imagined and heard the girl ask them to (ahem) “make love to her” is in a way better than the alternative. Then again, is there even a lesser evil in this case? Probably not.
Questions for the author:
Q. The narrator seems to have a passion for storytelling. Do you see them as someone who would’ve turned out differently if anyone would’ve just listened to their stories to begin with?
Q. This story was posted quite some time ago. Have you written any murder-themed stories since?