Blowing Stuff Up by Kenneth Pobo

September 24, 2012 Comments Off on Blowing Stuff Up by Kenneth Pobo

In the Micah library, Spacker looked at the Missouri map, two pages of despair, in an atlas. The library rules were typical and clear: no smoking, no loud talking. Mrs. Cripshaw watched the patrons closely. A book thief could be in the three-room library. Or a teenager sneaking a smoke in the bathroom.

Spacker believed in hell, not heaven. Mrs. Cripshaw would be damned to hell forever, mourning a world of card catalogues replaced by computers. He was sure she assumed she was going to heaven, but here was Satan, checking out books that he had no intention of reading or returning. In fact, he was the best book burner the world had ever known—impotent Mrs. Cripshaw could do nothing to stop him.

Micah was an hour south ofJeffCity. He had a used truck, but rarely drove more than twenty miles from town. St. Louis may as well have been on Mars,Kansas   Citytoo. He thought of it as his own little hell, one that Satan never bothered to visit.

“When I blow this town, I’m leaving no survivors. They’ll thank me,” he said to no one, uneasy that he’d probably never leave. You don’t leave hell.

Most residents thought that Spacker was peculiar. He’d wave when he saw neighbors in the town square, but his ways and habits were pretty well known: He liked blowing stuff up. One time he gathered twenty-six buckets, turned them upside down, peed on each one, then took out his gun and shot them–all while laughing like a hyena.

It didn’t matter what it was, big or small, if Spacker could blow it up he would. For now, he left houses and stores alone, saving them for the Big Explosion on the day when he left town for good. In the mean time, he blew holes in electric fences, shot the heads off of daffodils, and everyone believed that Spacker was responsible for blowing up Mayor Adelle Turner’s shed.

Risking Mrs. Cripshaw’s nose and wrath, he lit a Marlboro in the back of the library and burned a hole in the atlas, burned Micah off the page, taking the county with it. Mrs. Cripshaw dashed over and tossed him out. He laughed, loudly, and she forbade him to ever return.

No problem. He didn’t like reading anyway. Maybe it wouldn’t be more than six months or so before he’d have enough explosives to ka-boom the library, Mrs. Cripshaw in it, red bricks tumbling from the sky like meteors falling all over town.

© 2012 Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo has a new chapbook of micro-fiction out from Deadly Chaps called Tiny Torn Maps. His chapbook of poetry, Ice And Gaywings, won Qarrtsiluni’s 2011 chapbook contest and came out in November 2011

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