The Last Laugh


The janitor used to get mad when the children arrived from Summer. Those days where he could feel anything resembling human emotions are long gone. His wife took him to church for years. He was rewarded not with eternal life, but with the adulterous acts between her and the Youth Minister who was leading their children in Christ. The children must pay. He poisoned them while they all slept. The police determined it was Carbon Monoxide suffocation. A horrible accident….or so he let them all believe. ALL the children must be removed from the earth now. If he couldn’t live with his kin, no one could live with theirs. The children at school today will all die. He has seen to that. Called out sick for the second day in a row. No one will think it’s him when the gas chokes the offspring of those that dared to have kids on HIS watch.


The farmer never liked anything his son did with his life. He made it known when his seed reported his plans for leaving everything his family had built for him. The farmer was too old to make anymore children. His wife smothered 3 of the others when they sassed her using a large stuffed bear. He never cared much for any of them and never asked where they went. His wife was not someone that he ever questioned. The last survivor of the brood had convinced his parents he would take over the plot of land as his ancestors before him had. Though it was only to keep himself from befalling the same fate as his late siblings. What ended up killing his parents, the farmer and his wife, was when their son announced to them he was gay, and they had no chance of their hateful bloodline to continue. Hearts that are as hard as theirs can’t endure such a shake to their foundations without crumbling and dying. Their hate murdered their legacy permanently. The son, upon their deaths, was able to have a child. He adopted one with his husband.

054366:Portrait of a Fisherman Cullercoats Unknown c.1920s

The captain could feel the eyes and muttered discourse of his men, but had no words to offer them. The sun was going to set again. Another night without a plan to get help. Another cold night on the Bering Sea for these men to endure without food and the more precious resource, fresh water. There was no way they could turn around now. Safety must be just over the horizon. He convinced them they were 2 days from home but knew he didn’t know anything at all. A gut shot to head north east could be their salvation or their death. His, coming sooner than others, as they would surely mutiny before the crew painfully suffered deaths from dehydration. The captain clutches his lucky knife. It would never keep the men at bay. He doubted that there could be a defense to prevent the crew from turning their pain on him. There was nothing more he could do. He turned the knife on his own throat. Cutting his grizzled, salty skin from ear to ear. A few blood-filled gargles of doubt that come way too late, alerts the crew. As the leader they were beginning to hate was drowning in life’s essence, they shuttered with disgust. The wound to his neck resembled that of a wicked smile. The captain’s throat appeared to be laughing at them as the ship’s natural rise and fall created the effect of the superfluous gob opening and closing. The sounds of life escaping from the flaps resembled a grim taunting. A laugh meant to be the last; it wasn’t to be for long. Land was on the horizon….it is most certainly home. The crew went from jealousy that the captain was able to liberate himself so easily from the pain, to a feeling of mass hysteria. A raucous laughter was released by the first mate….it slowly built and infected the rest of them. The moment of bliss shared by all the men who remained living, was never told to anyone who wasn’t there. They couldn’t be made to understand the joke….



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