Matt Murphy Flash Fiction Postcard Program #1
Matt Murphy - June 25, 2007
"Attached to my podium is a red button," said the Great Leader, "a button that, when pushed, will detonate our entire nuclear arsenal and destroy the planet. I have time for three more questions."
The Press Corps, usually boisterous and jumpy, sat in awed silence. The Leader didn't joke. There was evidence that suggested he had never even laughed. Timidly, they exchanged wide-eyed glances. Papers began to rustle as notes were referred to. Fact checking murmurs were uttered. Mumbles grew into a babble, which became a furor. A woman stood up.
"Great Leader, why are you destroying the world?" she asked.
"Terrible question, but I'll indulge you: I'm insane." To prove his point, he pulled out a pistol and shot the woman through the forehead.
A man directly behind the first woman stood.
"Sir," he said as he wiped bits of brains off his face, "how long have you been mad?"
"Better question," responded the Leader. He shot the man in his writing arm before he continued. "I've been mad all my life. The Voices have told me endlessly that the only way to make them go away is if I destroy everything, hence my motivation for gaining unprecedented power. Final question ever?"
A woman in the back stood up.
"Wouldn't it just have been easier just to destroy yourself?"
"Huh. You know, I never thought of that."
The Leader pointed the pistol to his temple, smiled a smile of tranquil bliss, and pulled the trigger.
The button was later found to have been the mute button for his microphone.
As the first of the series, this proved to be very clunky. I had no idea how much text I could fit into a single postcard, so I tried to be as concise as possible. It turns that that aprroximately two pages of my cursive longhand equals one single postcard, and I have since expanded the formula. More words are added in the next installment. Also, I noticed that the best installment appears on the handwritten draft of my work, consisting of the third revision. I neglected to transcribe said draft at the time. Said failure shall not happen again before I post next.