I have finished 0 stories this year and at this rate I will finish 0 more. As you are all aware, I’m in the middle of a career change which might require me to return to clown college to finish my clown degree sooner than I expected. So enjoy this story from last year.
What I’ll say about this one is that I made some decisions. I wasn’t happy with it initially but upon revisiting it I think it holds up decently well.
Meet William Shits
William Shitz woke up the same time every morning: 4:30AM.
He’d look in the mirror, trim his mustache, and evacuate his bowels. He’d always use two squares of toilet paper. No more, no less.
His bowel movement was a little more painful than usual this particular morning. But he thought nothing of it. After wiping his ass, William departed to his study to read the morning newspaper.
“Can you believe this Archibald?” William asked the butler in his thick transatlantic accent.
“Belief what sir?” asked Archibald.
“The Dow 500 crashed 8 million points yesterday. We must be in a recession!”
“Nonsense, sir,” Archibald said, “you’re a billionaire. None of that will affect you.”
“Mmm, right you are,” William said as he sipped his Earl Grey. “Do tell me, have I missed any phone calls this morning?”
“It’s 5am, sir. It won’t be start of business for another couple of hours.”
“Right. Well I better get moving then, I don’t want to fall behind on the day’s schedule.”
William Shitz removed his smoking jacket, put on his business attire and ascot then climbed into the back of his Rolls-Royce Phantom III. As Archibald was driving the vehicle, he handed the gold-plated phone back to William. “Your daughter is on the line, sir,” he said.
“Darla Shitz,” William said into the phone, “how have you been my dear?”
“Dad, I’m ready to come home,” Darla replied.
“Now now, Darla, you know I wish to be called ‘father’.”
“Father, I’ve been in France for six years! I know that it was rough on you when mother passed, but I want to be back with my family!”
“Now’s not a good time, darling. I must be going, I have a busy day ahead of me. Goodbye.” William abruptly hung up the phone and handed it back to Archibald.
“How is Darla doing, Mr. Shitz?” Archibald asked. “I would love to see her again.”
“Oh fine, fine,” William replied, “but I’m afraid she wishes to stay in France a little longer.”
The Rolls pulled up to Shitz Factory, a large DoD contractor that develops and manufactures weapons used to drop on villages in the Middle East. It was personally owned by Mr. William Shitz himself.
“I haven’t had a day off in two years,” said Allan Funt, Vice-President of operations and William’s right-hand man. “I’m overworked, I’ve developed a drinking problem, and my wife is fucking the mailman. All I’m asking is a couple of days off.”
“I’m sorry Allen,” Mr. Shitz replied, “but I expect all of my employees to give the same dedication that I gave into building this company for a laughable fraction of what I make. That goes for you as well.”
Allan began to tear up. For a fleeting moment, William felt a degree of sympathy for him. “Now now, Allen,” William said, “you’re my most valuable employee. Keep up the good work and maybe I’ll give you a day off next year.”
Allan nodded, wiped away a tear, and diligently went back to work. As William was returning to his office, he felt a sharp pain in his stomach.
“Are you alright, sir?” Archibald asked.
“I don’t understand, Archibald,” William said, “I already had a bowel movement this morning.”
His stomach continued to cramp. He rushed into his private office and on into the bathroom then dropped his pants. He noticed that he already soiled his silk underwear.
William continued to spray shit out of his rectum and into his diamond-made toilet. After a violent two minutes, he grabbed his usual two squares of toilet paper and wiped his crack. When he looked back at the paper, he was appalled.
It was covered in blood.
“You got ass cancer, Bill,” the big, burly doctor said to Mr. Shitz. “It’s inoperable and you likely have a year to live.”
“My God,” William responded, “how is that possible?”
“Well, since your factory manufactures uranium weapons, a piece of radioactive material probably snuck up your asshole…I won’t ask how that happened…where it metastasized into terminal cancer. So I recommend you get your affairs in order. Now kindly get the fuck out of my office because I’ve got more patients coming in.”
Mr. Shitz returned to the front desk and paid the $450,000 doctor’s bill. “Would you like to schedule your next appointment?” the receptionist asked.
William thought for a moment. “No, I don’t think that will be necessary,” he said.
He wandered back out to the Rolls-Royce where Archibald was waiting on him with the door open. “I trust your appointment went well, sir,” the butler inquired.
“I’m afraid not Archibald,” William replied. “I have cancer of the asshole.”
The news hit Archibald like a ton of bricks. “Is that so, sir?” the butler asked as he tried to maintain his composure. “Can it be removed?”
“I’m afraid not. It appears that I have only a year to live!”
Mr. Shitz’s longtime butler was shattered inside. He had a million things to say but there was not enough time to say it; Archibald wasn’t ready to tear down the façade of professionalism that held his world together.
“Will…,” the butler began to ask as his voice cracked. “Will you be informing Darla of this news?”
“In time, Archibald,” William replied. “Right now, there’s too much to be done. I must get back to work.”
Mr. Shitz and the butler returned to Shitz Estate. William immediately departed to his study while Archibald remained outside on the brick-paved driveway. The butler sat down behind the wheel of the Rolls-Royce and began to cry.
That’s when he noticed me. I was trimming the hedges along the driveway.
“Who are you?” Archibald asked me as he wiped away tears.
“I’m the new gardener, sir,” I responded. “I started yesterday. Is everything alright?”
“Yes yes,” the butler said, “I have terrible allergies this time of year.”
“I see,” I said, “I’m Jim Grey. You must be Archibald Duke, Mr. Schitz’s longtime butler.”
“Yes I am,” he replied.
“I’ve heard a lot about you,” I told him. “Mr. Shitz thinks very highly of you. In fact, I’d say that he regards you as his closest friend. You’re probably the only person, besides me of course, that truly understands him.”
A bewildered look fell over Archibald’s face. “How would you know anything about Mr. Shitz?” he asked.
I smiled. “I’ll just say that he and I have been inseparable for a very, very long time.”
“I don’t know sir,” Allen Funt said while bawling his eyes out. “I’m already stressed out enough. I don’t know if I can handle running this company while you tend to personal matters.”
“Damn it, Allen,” William retorted, “you’re a workhorse! The best one I’ve got! You should consider it an honor that I’ve selected you to run this factory!”
Allen buried his head in his hands. “I haven’t seen my kids in two years, sir,” he said. “Please, Mr. Shitz! Please loosen my load!”
William got up from behind his desk and plopped down next to Allen. “I’ll tell you what,” Mr. Shitz said as he patted him on the knee, “if you do a good job, I’ll give you a 1.5% raise on top of your $24,000 yearly salary. So please, Allen, find the strength to carry on.”
Allen nodded, blew his nose, and wiped away the tears. “Yes sir,” he said. Then got up and returned to work.
William sat back down behind his desk. I entered his office carrying a bouquet of lilies. “Good morning, Mr. Shitz,” I said, “I just cut these and figured you’d enjoy some.”
“Lilies?” William inquired. “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m your new gardener, Jim Grey,” I said, “If you recall, your wife wanted these planted at your estate before she passed. These were her favorite flowers. She wanted you to think of her every time you looked at them.”
William was dumbfounded. “How-how do you know this?”
I found a vase and placed the flowers inside of it. “Mr. Shitz, I know that you’re dying,” I said as I sat the vase on his desk. “Yet you feel that there’s too much to be done. And you’re right. You’ve always been a hard worker. But this might be the hardest thing you’ve had to face.”
“But…how do you know so much about me?”
I sat down in front of his desk. “Do you believe in the afterlife, Mr. Shitz?”
“I’ve- I’ve honestly never considered it.”
“Well I’ll just say that I’ve watched you your entire life,” I said, then smiled. “I guess you could call me your protector.”
“I see,” William replied as a growing look of concern fell over his face. “Then I suppose heaven’s been displeased with my performance.”
“Not entirely,” I said. “But there is an opportunity here to right the wrongs. It’s not too late, Mr. Shitz.”
“If you are who you say you are, Mr. Grey,” William said, “then what do you know about living as a mortal; to face the temptations of flesh and blood?”
“This is not just a chance at redemption for yourself, William,” I replied. “If we work together, we will both be back in heaven’s good graces.”
Who am I, this mortal shell Jim Grey?
Didst I fly too close to the flame? Did I sear off my wings and tumble to this providence of flesh and sin?
“Hear me now o Heaven!” I cried out, “must I die with the blood of my veins?”
But reprieve was delivered from upon high; “be a good servant, but not for thy sake.”
Yet a servant is nothing more than a slave; and I’m a slave by the Grace of heaven.
I was no more free than Mr. Shitz was free from impending death. “What happens when I die?” he asked.
“I am no more an expert on death than you are on life.”
“Is that the meaning of your visit Jim Grey? To give me one more shot at life?”
But how could I deliver something that I don’t possess?
Now enough about me….
The helicopter landed on the estate lawn. Archibald extended his hand to help Ms. Shitz deboard the craft. “How delightful it is to see you again!” he told her as they strolled across the grass and into the foreroom.
“Tell me, Archie,” Darla said, “how bad is it?”
“Your father is fine right now,” he replied, “but in time, his health will deteriorate. He will lose all control of his faculties. Piss and shit will flow out of him continuously before his bowels fall out of his asshole at the moment of death. I can’t think of a worse way to go. He would be better off ending it now rather than remain cognizant as his dignity melts away.”
“How horrible!” Darla bawled as she buried her head into Archibald’s chest.
“Yes,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her, “but you mustn’t say anything about it when you see him. He’s still processing his ass cancer diagnosis.”
“I understand,” she said while wiping away tears. “He’s always been a stubborn man. This will take time.”
“Of course,” Archibald replied as he offered her a brandy. “How was your stay in France?”
“Absolute dogshit!” Darla exclaimed. “They’re a bunch of chain-smoking, wino bastards! And the world thinks the US is racist?! Try spending 15 minutes at a Parisian bus stop! Jesus fucking Christ!”
I wandered in through the kitchen door bearing a gift. “A rose for you,” I offered Ms. Darla Shitz, “I’m Jim Grey. Welcome home.”
Nothing across all heavens, from the seas of Aquila to the moons of Indus, prepared me for the sight I saw; a woman, whose beauty rivaled that of Artemis.
“This is our new gardener, Ms. Shitz,” Archibald said. “He’s an acquaintance of your father.”
“Thank you, Mr. Grey,” Ms. Shitz spoke as she placed her hand into mine, “it’s a pleasure to meet you. Now, please excuse me. I must be meeting with my father.”
“Of course,” I said. I watched her gracefully gather herself as though there wasn’t a storm raging inside of her.
There too was a quiet storm gathering within me. What was it about Darla Shitz that promoted such passion?
Why was heaven hellbent on its temptations?
“Damn it Dad! When you spend six years in a French whorehouse as I have, you can smell shit from a mile away! And YOU, sir, are full of SHIT!” Darla yelled to her father.
“Darla, please,” Mr. Shitz responded, “I’m wearing adult diapers now. I assure you, there’s not an ounce of shit in me.”
“Well you can’t spend your remaining days toiling away in your study!”
William stood up from behind his desk and shoveled ice into a glass. He poured himself a tall drink of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. “Are you sure that’s a good idea in your condition?” Darla asked.
“Goddamnit Darla, can you stop pestering this dying man?!” he snapped.
This was the first time Darla heard her father drop his high-class pretensions. “So there’s a man underneath that mustache and ascot after all,” she said.
“Fuck you,” William replied as he pounded the whiskey. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. I raised you and I built a billion dollar company. Now leave me be.”
Darla laughed and stood up. “I’m home now,” she said, “you’re gonna have to face me eventually. Or else I will haunt you till your dying day.”
She stormed out of the study. Moments later, I walked in to find Mr. Shitz blind drunk. “Damn it, Jim, I can’t handle this right now,” he said to me.
“Yes sir, I understand,” I said. “Mind if I have a drink?”
I took a sip of the stout liquid and wondered how humans could stomach the stuff. “Sir,” I wondered aloud, “can you tell me about your wife?”
William swiveled his chair, back facing me. “What can I tell you about her that you don’t already know?” he asked.
“Well,” I continued, “I know that you loved her. Doesn’t that extend to your offspring as well? Especially since she’s a continuation of you and your wife?”
William swiveled back around. “Are you some kind of fucking moron?” he asked.
“In your ways, yes,” I said as I downed the whiskey.
William laughed. “Darla and me have an understanding,” he said, “care for another drink?”
The conversation trailed off after that. William eventually passed out on his leather-bound sofa in the study. But being new to this intoxicating experience, I ventured out to the garden, carrying the bottle with me.
The pond was the most beautiful spot. As dusk started to settle, katydids and frogs began their nightly symphonies. Across the way, I saw Darla lighting a cigarette.
I turned my head when she looked my way. I focused on the bottle as I pretended not to notice her. Then moments passed and she was out of sight.
The sun finally sunk below the horizon and the moonlight peered through the clouds. I thought I was alone.
“Mind if I have a swig?” a voice from behind me asked.
“Don’t tell anyone that we fucked,” Darla said as she climbed naked out of bed. “I can’t think of anything more embarrassing than sleeping with the gardener.”
“I understand,” I replied.
“By the way,” she asked as she strapped on her brassiere, “how do you know my father has ass cancer?”
I began to stutter. “I, uh…it’s a long story.”
“Oh shit,” Darla said, “you’re not one of his long lost children are you?”
“Oh thank god,” she exhaled, “I wouldn’t want THAT to happen again!”
“ANYWAYS…,” I replied, “Will you be returning to France anytime soon?”
“God no, I’d rather be the one that has ass cancer.”
“Then why’d you go there in the first place?”
Darla paused dressing for a moment. “I…I was dating Stromae.”
“But he’s Belgian.”
“Look, you’re not INTERPOL! I don’t have to tell you shit!” Darla exploded. She finished dressing and stormed out of the guest house.
I climbed out of bed when Archibald wondered in with breakfast on a tray. I was putting on my underwear.
“Exquisite dong, sir,” he said
“Thank you Archibald.”
“I trust you laid the pipe well last night.”
I tilted my head. “But Archibald, how did you know?”
“Now now,” he said, “Mr. Shitz pays me very well to know goings on within his estate. A flea can’t fart…as the expression goes…without me hearing it. So please, Mr. Grey, please handle Ms. Shitz delicately.”
“But Archie,” I replied, “it was just a one time thing. It…it won’t happen again.”
Archibald was skeptical. “Mr. Grey, what goes on between two adults is none of my business. But, I figured you to be of higher character.”
I nodded as I looked down to the floor.
“Now,” he continued, “when you finish breakfast, Mr. Shitz has requested that you join him on a hunting excursion. A rare breed of arctic fox has been brought to the estate, and Mr. Shitz would like to hunt it into extinction before cancer takes its toll. His associate, Mr. Allen Funt will be joining the party. Please be punctual.”
“The arctic fox spends its days burrowing underground and avoiding contact with its own kind,” Mr. Shitz explained while staring down the sights of his shotgun. “It’s a solitary animal, much like myself. When it dies, it dies alone.”
Mr. Shitz pulled the trigger, unleashing the sound of hell. A helpless fox, only a few yards ahead, exploded into a million pieces, leaving only fur and guts strewn about.
After witnessing the appalling sight, Allen Funt started heaving at the foot of a tree. With a slight smile on his face, Mr. Shitz reloaded the shotgun. “Mr. Funt,” he said, “I do believe it’s your turn.”
“No thank you, sir,” Mr. Funt replied as tears streamed down his face, “I just don’t have it in me!”
“Goddamnit Allen!” Shitz yelled, “I will be dead in less than a year and you will be the CEO of a billion dollar company! Now if you want PTO, a livable wage, and health insurance, you will senselessly kill the last surviving member of this species into extinction!”
Shitz cocked the shotgun and directed towards Funt. “You will!” he declared.
“Oh god I’m gonna die!!!”
“Gentlemen,” I interrupted, “what’s the meaning of this? Mr. Shitz, please lower your weapon.”
Allen Funt pissed his pants as he had a stare down with Mr. Shitz. He also shit pants. After a few moments, William came to his senses and lowered the shotgun.
“My apologies, gentlemen,” Mr. Shitz said. “Mr. Funt, it was my hope that killing these animals would give you the courage to turn this shotgun on me. It was my dream to be executed by the man who would supplant me as CEO.”
William then looked out onto the field to admire the last surviving arctic fox. It was juxtaposed proudly against the endless horizon. “It’s just you and me!” William yelled to the animal, “we’re the last of our kind!”
He dropped the shotgun by his side then looked over to me. “Mr. Grey,” William said, “you are my protector; my guide across the river Styx. But I’m not ready to punch that ticket.”
Mr. Shitz started stripping off his clothes, down to his underwear. Finally his bare cock was flapping in the wind. It was cold that day.
“Jim Grey,” William continued, “if you want me dead, you’ll have to catch me first.”
Allen Funt and I then watched Mr. Shitz’s flabby asscheeks jiggle as he hopped like a jackrabbit into the tree line.
“Mr. Shitz is no stranger to wandering bare ass naked in the woods,” Archibald informed us, “this is no cause for alarm.”
“He wanted Allen to kill him with a shotgun, Archie!” I said, “I think concern is warranted here.”
Archibald put his hands up to his face and rubbed his bald head. “What difference does it make?” he asked. “He’ll be dead soon anyway.”
Darla put down the booze and spoke up. “Archie’s right,” she said, “we should let him die the way he wants: balls dangling in the wind.”
“But that’s not the way he wants to go!” I replied. “He wants me to hunt him; he wants us to hunt him.”
“But why, Jim?! Why?!” Allen Funt cried out.
I went to the bar and poured a stiff drink. “Because…,” I said, “because his whole life he’s felt misunderstood. He’s been alone in this world. He wants us to to prove our love to him, by hunting him in the wilderness so we might see his true self.”
Allen Funt continued to bawl his eyes out. “I just want to go home and see my family!” he cried.
“Calm yourself, Allen,” I said, “you’re just as much a part of this as we are.”
Darla, already three sheets to the wind, tried to slur out her words. “And how do you know so much about father, Mr. Grey?” she asked.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I replied. “None of you would.”
Archibald picked up the shotgun and began loading shells. “Probably not, Mr. Grey,” he said, “but I know what I must do. I’ve been William Shitz’s butler for 47 years. If anyone must put him down, it should be me.”
“That’s your responsibility?” I asked.
Archibald took a long pause. “Yes,” he said. “It’s common knowledge that butlers must take an oath to do what must be done, even if that means mercifully killing his master with a shotgun. It is my sworn duty.”
I walked up to the aged butler and put my hands on his shoulders. “When the time comes,” I asked, “can you do what must be done?”
“Yes, Mr. Grey,” he said as he looked me square in the eye, “and if I can’t pull the trigger, then it becomes your responsibility…and I too must be executed for my dereliction of duty.”
“He’s close,” Archibald said as he dug his fingers into the soil.
“How can you tell?” I asked.
“There’s a steaming pile of bloody shit right there,” he replied. I looked to the right and lo and behold, right there a reeking pile of human poop.
“It seems like you’ve done this many times before,” I said to him.
“Far too often.”
The four of us-Archibald, Darla, Allen Funt, and myself- trekked through the woods in search of a mentally deteriorating William Shitz. The sun was starting to set. A gentle gust was blowing in from the north; a storm was brewing. While we found hopeful signs that Mr. Shitz was still alive, we only covered a small portion of the 148,971 acres that he owned.
We decided to hunker down for the night. I put together a small fire in the middle of camp. As usual, Allen Funt couldn’t stop crying. “What are we gonna do when we find him?” he bawled.
“We’re gonna kill him,” Archibald replied as he gnawed on a piece of beef jerky.
“But why 😭😭😭😭?” Funt asked.
Archibald threw down his jerky and pulled out a small machete. He grabbed Allen and held him up to a tree with the blade up to his neck. “Because Mr. Shitz wishes it!” Archibald screamed.
“Gentlemen!” I interrupted. “We must maintain our composure! Let’s not make any decisions on Mr. Shitz until we find him!”
Archibald nodded and lowered the machete from Allen’s neck. “I know what I must do,” he said as he slid the blade back into its holster. Then he looked me in the eye. “Just don’t forget what YOU must do.”
Archie climbed back into his tent for the night. So did Allen Funt, as he soiled his pants for the second time that day. Darla and I sat by the fire.
“Why did your father love your mother?” I asked her.
“You really are some kind of fucking moron,” she said as she lowered the flask from her lips. “Why don’t you understand the simplest of human concepts? Are you some kind of alien?”
“In a way,” I replied as I took a swig from the same flask.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Probably not! But try me! Nobody, not even Archie, understands your sudden appearance in my father’s life.”
I took another big hit from the flask. “It is my duty,” I explained, “to guide your father into the next life. Or at least it was. You see, I was his guardian…but I fell out of heaven’s grace.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” she replied. “So if you’re his disgraced guardian angel, then why are you bothering to fulfill your heavenly duties?”
“It’s a long story,” I said. “Redemption I suppose.”
“I…I guess I thought I could be human,” I stuttered. “But I never grasped human love. I was damned…damned to walk the earth; being neither human nor angel. I thought I could do one last thing…revealing to your father love and compassion in his final days; the kind he has never felt before. But then something strange happened.”
“What happened?” Darla asked longingly.
“I met you.”
Darla chuckled and shook her head. “You’re just another drunk weirdo that’s wandered into my life,” she said. Then she stood up and brushed the dirt and leaves from her jeans as the rain started sprinkling down. “But,” she continued, “you ain’t a bad fuck. So you’re welcome to join me in my tent. Just TRY to last longer than two minutes this time, mmk?”
“I found him!” Allen Funt screamed through the torrential rain. It was our second day of hunting for the surprisingly evasive Mr. Shitz. The terrain in the sprawling forest proved to be formidable.
Archibald, shotgun in hand, ran towards Allen’s screams. Darla and myself weren’t far behind. “Where is he?” Archibald asked as he approached.
“Right there,” Allen said.
The butler looked down and was puzzled. “That’s just a hole in the ground,” Archibald replied.
Allen cocked his head. “But I thought that’s what this was,” Funt said, pointing to his ass.
Darla had enough. “This excursion is pointless!” she yelled. “Just let my father die naked and shitting himself in the woods, just as he wanted!”
Allen Funt seconded the notion.
Archibald tuned out the noise as he gazed into the woods ahead. “There,” he pointed.
Less than a 100 yards away was the majestic arctic fox. The creature contrasted like an apparition against the wet and drab forest. “Follow that fox,” Archibald ordered.
The butler proceeded forward while Darla and I followed in his footsteps. Allen Funt fell into the very hole he pointed out moments before.
“Help!” he screamed.
No one came to his aid.
We watched closely as the fox trotted forward a few feet. As the animal neared a meadow, a totally nude Mr. Shitz fell out of a tree and onto Darla’s shoulders. “Father!” she cried, but Mr. Shitz was delivering a rear naked chokehold, quite literally, as he was hanging on to her rear, he was naked, and had her a chokehold.
“Release her!” Archibald ordered.
Darla lost consciousness and fell to the ground. With an open shot, Archibald raised the shotgun and fired. But the spry Mr. Shitz dodged the shrapnel and disappeared into the shadows.
“Goddamn, he’s like the Vietcong,” Archibald said as he reloaded the shotgun.
“What are we going to do?” I asked.
“He’s too dangerous like this,” Archibald replied. “If you see him, kill him.”
Right then, Mr. Shitz swung around a tree and knocked Archibald out cold. The shotgun flew forward to my feet.
I kneeled down to pick up the weapon. But Mr. Shitz was close enough that I could see the rainwater dripping off his ballsack. I slowly picked up the shotgun and returned to my feet.
It was nearing dusk and the rain was falling harder. But the red in Mr. Shitz’s eyes pierced the dark through the booms of thunder and brilliant flashes of light.
“Pull the trigger, Jim Grey,” William said as rain poured down his face. “That’s why you’re here, after all.”
I stood frozen in an awe-inspired fear. The nude figure that stood before me transfigured into a dark angel. He was still man, but appeared to possess the powers of hell.
I was unable to pull the trigger.
But before I could react, William grabbed the barrel and slammed the butt of the shotgun to my face. Still conscious, I fell backwards into the muddied forest floor. I could taste something from the corner of my mouth; it was blood, assisted by the rain, streaming down from the wound on my forehead.
I had never bled before.
William now held the shotgun but threw it aside as he stood over me. His cock was inches from my face. Finally, the rush of panic kicked in and I sprinted aimlessly through the woods.
But the newly minted demonic angel was never far behind.
Then I reached an obstacle: a gully nearly 100 feet deep but a little over 10 feet wide. I had no time to think. I leapt across the crevice but my feet missed the landing on the other side.
My life was hanging perilously over the side of a cliff, fingers barely maintaining a grip on a wet, slippery rock jutting over the edge.
William looked down upon me struggling like a helpless creature. For the first time in his 70 years, he felt something he previously thought impossible: sympathy…compassion. Mr. Shitz then entirely hurdled the 10 foot gap and kneeled down before me.
“It’s quite a thing to live in fear, isn’t it?” he asked. “But that’s what it means to feel alive.”
Right as my fingers slipped, William grabbed my wrist and single-handedly pulled me to safety. As he dropped me on land, I impulsively wiggled backwards up to a tree, not knowing what to expect.
The arctic fox wandered up and sat obediently next to Mr. Shitz. The old, dying man gazed upon the animal and sat down before me.
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,” William told me, “I’ve had shits like fire from a baconator in Hoboken. I watched Harry Reems and Arthur C. Clarke cheer as they masturbate. Now all of those moments will be lost, in time, like the career of David Blaine.”
A look of sorrow fell over William Shitz’s rain-covered face. “Time to die,” he uttered. And with those words, the clouds departed, and the fox trotted off into the sunset.
I laid there for what seemed like hours, pondering Mr. Shitz’s last moments. And in his waning hours, he bestowed upon me the gift of humanity; his last, and perhaps only, act of benevolence.
Then I heard a voice from across the gully. “I guess he’s through, eh?” it asked. It was Archibald, holding the shotgun.
“Finished,” I said.
Archibald tossed the shotgun to my side and started to walk away.
Then he paused.
“It’s too bad I won’t live,” he pondered aloud, “but then again, who does?”
After I shot Archibald for his supposed “dereliction of duty”, he managed to survive.
“Maybe we’ll just call it even,” the old butler said as he held his hand over the gushing shotgun wound. He placed his arm around my shoulder and I carried him back to the estate.
Darla regained consciousness after being choked out by her dying, naked father. “Is he finally dead?” she asked.
“About fucking time,” she replied, “let’s leave that crazy old bastard’s body out in the woods.”
We all returned to the estate and shared a bottle of brandy. Archibald was looking a little pale due to the massive blood loss. Darla was happy to be home. “What the fuck was up with that arctic fox?” she asked.
I swirled around my glass while I pondered. “I guess it symbolized Mr. Shitz’s soul,” I said. “At his moment of death, the fox took up his spirit. Now Mr. Shitz is truly free; free from man-made constraints, free to live the life he always wanted. And more importantly, he took up my spiritual burdens by becoming the Angel of Death, and bestowing up me full humanity; the greatest gift he ever gave anyone. Or some shit like that. I dunno.”
“Okay good. Glad I wasn’t the only one that saw it,” Darla replied. “Because I was REALLY tripping balls out there.”
We all had a good laugh, including Archibald who continued bleeding all over the couch. Then it occurred to me:
“Did we get Allen Funt out of that hole?”