Final Solution

Jack picked up his assault rifle, checked that it was loaded, put extra cartridges in his jacket pocket, tucked his Colt into his belt, and headed for the garage. Being fired, after losing half of his retirement benefits, was the final turn of the screw. “This is it! I canʼt take no more! Somebody has to pay!”

Driving through the blowing snow, on his way to the place he had worked more than half his lifetime, he ran through possibilities for his final confrontation. It wouldnʼt make sense to shoot just anyone he saw. Most of his fellow workers were in the same position he was, they had no control over their own lives or jobs or future. Bosses had the control. Supervisors had the power to decide to hire or to fire. No one was safe who depended on anotherʼs judgement to keep his job. They had killed his future, as surely as if they had sentenced him to a living death.

Pulling up in front of the factory, he slid into the bossʼs parking space. “Might as well be first in line.” As he got out of his car, he ran through his plan again, making sure there were no slip ups. He walked into the office area, and immediately saw the terror on Maryʼs face as she recognized the rifle. She reached for her phone to call security. “Oh, hell!” he swore, and began shooting.

Twenty minutes later, he saved the last bullet in his Colt for himself. He was dead, even if he was still breathing. This was his final solution.


9 Responses

  1. Wow that one packs a punch. So much in such a short piece. Well written. (I had to read it twice because I didn’t know what a Colt was)

  2. Hi Barbara. Powerful stuff, very true to life (well, about disgruntled workers, not murders) handled without any fuss. Like the “oh sod it” moment when they gave up their plan at the first hurdle!


  3. Unfortunately, this was a response to a shooting spree in my home town yesterday. Four dead, including the shooter, and three wounded, two of those critically. I wrote this when the news was just hitting the t v, and had no idea of how bad it was going to be. I just had the flash of what must have been going through his mind.

    Barb Relyea

  4. A chilling story, Barb. Unfortunately all too real.

  5. You portray his loss of hope and desperation very well. I’m sorry you were confronted with such horrible violence so close to home.

  6. Very chilling Barb – “Oh hell” says it all

    The only things that took me out of the story were those gorgeous sheepdogs in the photo at the top 🙂

    • Oh, hell is right. I wrote this short bit shortly after I saw the first news report. Hours later, with news reports almost all day, they reported that one of the people he shot was his supervisor. The police are trying to figure out why he took this action. Glad you like the Sheepdogs. Josie is mine, on the right, with her foot on Harry’s back, giving him what for. Harry and she were adopted by my friend, Deb, and myself in June of 2001 from a puppy mill operation. They have brought us endless laughter. Barb Relyea

  7. A short lit fuse, both the character and this piece of writing. Very nicely done in such a short space.

    Good stuff

  8. A short read with a lot of power. So sad that it is all too real.

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