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Conformity Is for the Dead

Updated on December 22, 2017

Today he got up like he does every day. Today, however, he looked for a change. The news was depressing as ever. Nothing positive ever comes from the bias that the news tells him. His job search was futile up to this point. It did not matter that he had a graduate degree in geology. The world was changing and geologists were not as important--climate changing every day, and non one having the right answers. Geology; oil searches, coal, oil shale, even dirt were not to be dug for, drilled for.

He looked in the mirror. His face, covered with a healthy overgrowth of hair, looked tired and old. He decided that today he would shave it off. He pulled his straight-razor from the drawer--he never did like those new-fangled razors. His cup filled with a soap block and the little brush that made it frothy were readily available on the tiny shelf under the vanity mirror. He lathered up the soap, and started to put it on his face but stopped. Instead, he decided to try to shave without the soap. He wanted to feel the change.

As he placed the razor to his cheekbone he felt the cold steel against his skin. He pressed a little more and saw a change; his skin broke with the pressure of the sharp blade. Blood began to run down his cheek. He pulled the razor away quickly.

His wife came in as he was washing the blood from his face. She wondered what he was doing. Never did like that beard, though, so she was hoping he was removing it. Maybe he could get a job if he did not look like Grizzly Adams. Maybe he should be more like everyone else.

He thought back to the television news. He was not like everyone else. He was blamed for things he had no control over. He was part of the problem because he refused to conform. He went back to shaving but left a goatee instead of taking the whole thing. Then he went to his safe and pulled out his Ruger LC-9. He checked to be sure that it was full of ammunition. It was not safe to go outside. The world was not the same as it was a few weeks ago. Something clicked and something had to be done.

He left to look for a job, fully armed and ready for anything. They came up suddenly, and he had no time to think. He only had time to react. He pulled his fully loaded pistol from his back pocket and pointed it at the crowd that swarmed his truck. They held signs protesting his vehicle. They thought it used too much natural resouces. He was not going to put up with it, and he shot a hole through one of the signs. The swarm kept coming. There were more of them than he could shoot with his legally allowed 7 rounds. They did not know he had more than one clip and was skilled with changing them out. He sat at home most days and nights just practicing loading and unloading clips, changing them in about two seconds. They had no defense other than the sticks that held their signs up. Skinny laths against a pistol, yet they thought they could win.

They did not win. He stood there, in the midst of swelling pools of blood, his shoes becoming stained from the crimson tide that was running toward the drain. He pulled out his hose and washed it all away, leaving the bodies for the government clean-up crew. Turning, he walked back in the house. He was smiling. Conformity is for the dead.


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