Today, they were all going to pay.
That’s what Derrick was thinking as he walked through town with the comforting weight of a duffel bag full of weapons bumping against his hip and a list of names in his pocket. Every single one of the ignorant fucking sows and shovel-faced castrated oxen that made up the population of MacAusland’s Corners was going to have their tiny minds blown wide open (some of them literally) today by the deeds of Derrick Williams, town joke, and this stupid fucking town would forever go down in history like Columbine as a place where the evil shit people do to those they think are beneath them every day was finally flung back into their faces so they would have to deal with it.
Not that he planned to kill indiscriminately, like his heroes, the Columbine killers. He wanted it to be crystal clear that his was a mission of justice, not revenge. By this time tomorrow, the press would have found his indictment of the people on his list, and would know exactly how they had earned their death sentence.
Derrick didn’t care what happened to him after that.
History will have been made. He would be famous for the rest of his life. His name would be forever burned into the minds of people all over the world. He’d be more famous than any rock star, politician, or podcaster, at least for a day, and while people would hate him, nobody would ever be able to forget all about him ever again.
His bag of goodies would take care of that.
A long gun, for distance shots. Handguns for close up work. Pipe bombs for area damage. And a special mixture he had cooked up from a recipe on the Internet guarnateed to be the highest yield explosive in the world for taking out structural supports.
As he walked through town along his carefully planned route, Derrick passed all the places where the worst moments of life had occurred.
There was the lawn where, Leonard Hauser had pushed his face into a dog turd while all Leonard’s idiot friends had hooted and hollered and chanted “Eat it, eat it!” while the rest of the kids of Miss Stephanopolis’ grade three class had laughed and slapped each other on the shoulders.
And there was the stoop where Tess Peterborough had told him, in front of everybody, that she would rather eat that dog turd herself than date Derrick.
And look, there was the bus stop where his court-appointed Child Services social worker had abandoned him in order to go shopping and hang out with her friends. But that hadn’t surprised Derrick much, because he’d already seen her taking money from his father so he could go on molesting Derrick with impunity.
Guess that’s where she got the money to go shopping.
And there was the post office where his mother had smacked him for talking, then smacked harder for not replying to a question, then smacked him hardest of all, so hard it had sent him sprawling with blood coming out his his nose and ears, for crying.
She’d only taken him to the hospital because people were watching. Derrick knew that. And then she had left him there for five days.
They kicked him out after three.
By the time reached his special spot on the Tipper Hill overpass, the spot with the perfect field of fire to cover the entire football field, bleachers and all, Derrick’s rage was transcendentally pure. It would all end today. People would pay, the world would know his name, and his story would dominate the news for days. Why had he done it? What went wrong? What could possibly have driven this seemingly normal teenaged boy, a straight A+ student (not that anyone had ever noticed) with a scholarship to MIT for computer science, to commit such a “senseless” and heinous deed?
The emails he had programmed to be sent to every media outlet in the world, from the biggest networks to the tiniest blogs, would give them the answer to that question. In detail.
As he carefully and methodically set up his base camp (just like he’d practiced), Derrick laughed to himself to think of all the jocks warming up for the “big game” below who thought that being big and strong and fast was all that mattered. They were about to learn a harsh lesson in what really counted : intelligence, preparation, patience, and above all, the ability to see beyond the petty boundaries of social reality in order to understand was was REALLY going on.
His eye to the scope of his hunting rifle, Derrick lazily swept the crowd below, taking his time, enjoying the feeling of power. He felt like he could feel the crosshairs’ gentle caress over each face, hear the heartbeats he would soon quicken (or silence), smell the stink of the terror he was about to unleash, taste the blood that would soon be shed.
Who would his first target be? There were so many to choose from.
Would it be the high school principal who treated his every complaint about being bullied like Derrick was nothing but a pushy telemarketer before shoving Derrick out the door?
Or would it be Mrs. Pickerson, who had pretended to listen sympathetically to his complaints but didn’t even bother to look up from her grading?
Or maybe it should be the cheerleader, Rebecca Simmons, who had pretended to like him only long enough to copy his homework, then called him a loser and laughed in his face?
It could even be…. wait, no.
Derrick stopped his sweep on the homely face of Debbi Taylor, and he found himself staring at her, remembering.
Remembering the day of the dog turd incident, when Debbi had been the only person to help him up and who had given him a big handful of candy-smelling Kleenex from her purse so he could clean himself up, then asked her mom to drive Derrick home.
Remembering how Debbi had sat with him in the hospital on that first long, long day and told him dumb jokes to make him smile. And how she’d been the only one to visit him the other two days.
Remembering how Debbi had stood up for both of them when some pinhead jock had called them “the fatty and the freak”. Her standing there, fearless and defiant, in front of this mountain of a teenage male and cowed him into mumbling an apology.
How Debbi, the girl everyone liked if not exactly respected, had been the only person to show him any mercy or pity at all to Dog Doo Doo Derrick, despite having a lot to lose by even being seen with him.
And that’s why Derrick decided not to go through with his plans. He couldn’t do that to her. He could do it to them…. but not her.
Fortunately, he already knew what he was going to do if he decided today not to become a murderer. He took careful aim at a certain fusebox, held his breath, then pulled the trigger.
And half a second later, the school’s expensive new scoreboard, the one the parents of the town had voted for in lieu of fixing the school’s crumbling foundation. exploded in a fireworks display rivaling any 4th of July, and for a few second, the football game was forgotten as the people of MacAusland Corners stared at the black space where the scoreboard had been.
By the time they regained their wits and all hell started breaking loose, Derrick was long gone, and nobody would figure out who had slain the mighty scoreboard until Derrick was far, far away at MIT, having the time of his life, and far too happy and busy to even think about that one fateful day when things could have gone so very wrong for him.
He thought of it now and then over the years, about how things could have gone differently if Debbi hadn’t made it to the game that day, and while he sometimes felt a little guilty about the distress he’d caused her and the other decent people of MacAusland Corners that day, there;s one thing that remained true till the day he died :
He never felt sorry for the scoreboard at all.