The Mercy Giver
A Tale of Death
By Woelf Dietrich
The traffic cop stopped me on a Thursday. I rolled down my window as he approached. "Hello, Sir," he said. "Did you know you were speeding back there?"
"No, I didn’t officer." My hands were still on the steering wheel, relaxed. A moment of silence followed as the cop studied me. His belly squeezed over his belt. It reminded me of rising dough.
"The speed limit is 60. You were going 72. I’ll have to give you a citation, sir.” His aviator sunglasses had mirrored lenses and I could see my distorted face in them. The bristles of his mustache glistened with sweat. His pudgy face shined with it. Dark stains circled the armpits of his khaki-colored shirt. With the window open, the heat felt like crushing weight as it forced its way inside the air-conditioned interior.
"Your license and registration please, sir.” The fat pig seemed not to mind the heat so much, or that he looked like a wet stain. Probably used to it if he’s doing this shit every day.
"Sure, no problem, officer,” I said smiling while I reached towards the glovebox with my right hand. His gaze followed suspiciously, his hand dropping to the holstered service revolver resting on his hip, primed in case I pull out something other than my license. The movement seemed more a reflex than actual suspicion. I surprise him with my left hand, producing a small pistol that I had tucked away between my seat and door. I squeezed the trigger and the pistol coughed. The bullet entered his left eye, drilling a hole in the lens of his sunglasses, and he dropped like a marionette doll. The little pistol, a .22 Ruger, has a special place between the door and the seat. I always thought the glovebox was a stupid place to put your gun. It’s too far away. Plus, my way makes it less visible from outside.
I got out of the car. The road shimmered in the distance with heat and the nothingness around me. No cars. No pedestrians. Not even proper shrubs, just dry tousled bursts of brown short brush over flat ground with some hills vaguely visible in the distance on both sides of the road. The blistering sun dominated the sky, diluting the blue to a cloudless white.
I looked down at the cop, at his lifeless body, in a heap like he imploded on himself. His face frozen in surprise.
Yeah, I’d be surprised too if someone shot me like that.
A thin red line trailed down the side of his face soaking the dust under his ear. Sometimes they bleed a lot. Sometimes they don’t. I’m disappointed with this one. I thought he’d gush more. I dragged him away by his ankles and deposited him in the trunk of the police cruiser. It took some effort, as it usually does with deadweight, and this guy must have loved his donuts. I ripped a piece of his shirt off and opened the gas cap, dunking part of the cloth inside until it became soaked. Pulling half of it out, I lit the sodden material and walked away.
By the time I had gotten in my car and onto the road again, flames had engulfed the police cruiser, angrily licking at the paint making it bubble and peel. Black oily smoke swirled up out the windows high into the sky, followed by a muted eruption. A ball of black smoke billowed and filled my rearview mirror.
It was beautiful. I watched as the image grew smaller and smaller, fading to a shimmering dark smudge on the horizon until it disappeared from view as the road swerved down into a canyon.
The memory would fade soon. By the time I reach my destination it’ll be just another vague moment. One of many I have drifting around in the dark recesses of my mind. I don’t boast about my deeds, about my killings. That is not why I do them. Life is quick and fleeting. It’s a joke. We cleave to it like a tick to skin, but it’s fragile. Fragile and ultimately pointless.
I’m here to give meaning to life.