Just A Thought (Short Fiction) by Jack Cameron

I’m not a violent man. I know that’s hard to believe, but I never wanted to be here. It’s not like they say. I didn’t ‘just snap’. That’s not how it works.


Once in high school this girl on crutches was going down the stairs and missed a stair with her crutch. I was right behind her. And I stopped her from falling. The thing is, there was a tiny part of me thinking what it’d be like to watch her just fall. To do nothing. It’s not like it would be my fault. I didn’t make her put her crutch in the wrong place. But I saved her.


That tiny part, well, over time it got bigger. And the thoughts went from simply letting bad things happen to making bad things happen. Like I would be driving my car and I’d see a car coming from the other direction and for a second, I would think about swerving right in front of him and shattering both of our lives. These thoughts didn’t bother me. I mean everyone thinks like that from time to time. Right?


So last Tuesday, when I thought of tossing Dean Kaplan through his corner office window during our weekly meeting, I didn’t think anything of it. Just another ‘out there’ thought. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea. I could see him going through the window. Falling…falling…and then splat. He kept talking about ‘action items’ and ‘plusses and deltas’ and other things that I hated that I understood. I smiled slightly.


I don’t remember grabbing him but I know I did because the next thing I remember is trying to get Dean Kaplan out that damn window. It didn’t work how I thought it would. I mean in my head, he wasn’t trying to stop me. He acted like a rag doll, too stunned to do anything at all. But that’s not what happened. I managed to slam him into the window, but it didn’t break. He punched me in the nose and tried to run. It took a second to figure out what happened. I hadn’t been hit in years. I grabbed his chair and pushed it. It wheeled across the floor and knocked him off his feet. I grabbed him. I was still thinking about the window. That’s when the security guys came in and tackled me.


Then they put me in this cell and now they’re trying to figure out whether or not I’m ‘competent’ to stand trial. Everyone thinks I’m nuts. I’m not crazy. I mean, after all, it was just a thought.


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