A laugh in hyperbole

Bradford Keen
Oct 12, 2016 · 2 min read

“It’s not impossible to alter reality. I am not referring to a simple shift in perspective. I mean really altering reality, objective reality. It requires single-minded focus, often borne from tragedy and the extremes of our emotions. When cultivating this —”

It felt like shards of glass being strained through her ear holes. The shrieks and heaves lacerated the wholeness of her private space. Where was once a quiet sanctuary to soothe her troubles had now become compromised and contaminated by his egocentric displays of comedic appreciation — the arbiter of all things funny.

The laughter must fit the joke. She raised reluctant eyes from her recent Amazon purchase — Focused mind, constructed reality — weighted as they were in opposition to discovering the inevitable. His bulbous eyeballs jutted out from a bloated face glued to a little screen. Between the desperate gasps, Jenny heard the scratching of canned laughter.

He can’t even laugh in sync. Jenny allowed the inky solace to pull her back into its world. A moment of respite buoyed her to new heights until the foul and pestilent noise again snuffed out her joy.

The laughter must fit the joke. A simple social rule to live by. Jenny counted four times in her life of real, uninhibited, beautiful laughter. To be sore in the belly, stiff in the jaw, wet in the eyes and fighting off more — to have the gleeful noise yanked out of her despite her resolve — these were rare moments, fitting for a true connoisseur of humour and life.

The laughter must fit the joke. She bore her hardest stare into his oblivious face. Ah, the most severe response of the non-confrontational person. The silent look, seen by no-one; how it only stokes the scalding embers of despair. But she had let resentment burn up too much of her for too long. She needed the salve of action to deliver her salvation so she focused.

With single-mindedness her stare bore into his flesh. The extreme rage of a lifetime spent biting her tongue, suffering in silence to avoid a scene, subjugating her desired reality for the appeasement of another.

The punishment must fit the crime. With single-minded focus her stare tore into his flesh. His laughter waned and his face grew grim. But still she stared, recalling that year she got punched in school and her money nicked without a word said or a culprit picked.

The punishment must fit the crime. With the solitary focus of a bee trying to escape a swimming pool, with the sole goal of a rat chewing off its own foot to flee the chains of an inhumane tool, Jenny stared.

The punishment must fit the crime. His breathing stifled and his headphones dropped to the floor. His eyes finally met hers. She saw his plea. Too late.

His tongue swelled inside his head, blood squirted from his ears, as he fell back into his train seat, dead.

Silence. A frugal coffin for a moral degenerate.

“ —we should always remember the occult is not for personal vendettas or petty self-gain.”

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