The Douchebaggery Virus (Flash Fiction)

I think I got everyone. I cocked my head to the side, listening. Silence as the smoke cleared. I held my breath for a moment, and that’s when I heard it. The tiniest squeak.

I yanked back the door that had been partially knocked off its hinges to reveal my terrified assistant. How had she gotten away? I lowered the gun, aiming straight for her face. She screamed.

It was short-lived. My rifle was louder and put an end to it.

I pulled back the forestock to eject the spent round, and another one fell into place. This time I think I really got everyone.

I wandered through the now empty building checking behind doors and under desks. Nope. Not a soul left. Every last one was dead. No more lawyers. No more paralegals. No more criminal clients. Who likes lawyers, anyway?

Although maybe I should have kept one alive to defend me in court.

Innocent until proven guilty, right? I decided to plead insanity. My boss drove me to it. He drove me. Insane.

But I didn’t feel insane. I felt more awake, aware, and down to earth – coolly rational – than I had in months. Maybe since the month after he started.

Everyone he had come into contact with had gotten it. The smallest cootie. The tiniest trace of his douchebaggery. Contaminated. Everyone he touched in the whole building. Shaken hands with, schmoozed with, stood too close to. He had seduced them all. Brainwashed them.

How could anyone have thought he was a decent guy, otherwise? Why was I the only one immune?

I had done the world a favor, ridding the world of everything he had touched. Or the city, at least. I thought briefly about hunting down the rest of his family. His friends. But he hadn’t been in touch with any of them for months. Perhaps they had worked him out of their systems.

He wasn’t worming his way into their souls any longer. Besides, they all lived on the East Coast. There wasn’t any hope for them anyway. Douchebags.

All of my co-workers had been turning into him. First it was just that everyone tolerated him. And then some people actually started being buddies with him. And then, before I even realized what had happened, he had won all of the firm over to his side. And fired me. Me of all people. After all I had done for them.

Didn’t they realize they’d fall apart without me?

Of course, they were all in pieces now, anyway. So, quite literally, they fell apart without me.

I reached the top floor and looked out of the bay windows down on the city. I could already hear the sirens. Cops everywhere, surrounding the entire building. Yes, a fitting end to the story. As well as I had done resisting him, it had taken its toll, and the last favor I could do the world was to leave it.

I was debating whether to swan dive out the window or use one of my shotgun rounds, when I heard sounds coming from the kitchen area adjoining the conference room. Gun at the ready, I made my way through the door.

I blinked. My boss was standing there. But…he had been the first one I had killed.

“Hello Leah.”

I raised the barrel of my shotgun and let him have it. I cranked out shots until I was out, and he had turned into Swiss cheese on the carpet.

Satisfied, I stepped back and turned around. I’d have to jump now. I was out of bullets.

“You put holes in my only clean suit,” came a voice behind me.

I whirled around. There he stood, still in one piece, his suit the only thing the worse for wear.

“What the fuck?”

“They don’t pay me enough for a different one every day, and this was my last one for this week.” He was plucking at his suit in dismay.

“How are you not dead?” I screamed. I flipped the shotgun around and began to bludgeon him with the butt. He bleated at me to stop, that I was giving him a headache. I stood there, chest heaving, standing over what should have been his lifeless body. But he shook his head, ran a hand through his already askew hair, and stood up.

“There really wasn’t any reason for that, you know. I apologized about letting you go. But really, I had no other choice.”

I yanked open one of the kitchen drawers and found a large knife. Slightly blunt. A began stabbing him, over and over again. I gleefully shoved the point into his eyeball.

I pulled the knife from his collapsed body and watched him closely. He twitched. What was he? Was he truly the demon I had feared? I was right, after all. If I could just-

“You can’t kill me, Leah. You can’t ever kill me. I live inside everyone. All it takes is a little nudge to turn the nicest people into assholes. You can do what you want to me, kill me in a thousand ways, but I will never die.”

I believed him. I would have to kill everyone on the planet to rid them of the douchebag taint. So I did the only thing I could think to do. I ran at him, full speed, and we crashed through the window.

The least I could do was try to take him with me.

I heard him shriek as we plummeted through the air. I smiled as the wind whipped past my face on the way down.

This is better than anything.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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