Killing Sloth

Below is another rather morbid short story I wrote.  It’s definitely not the best I’ve written, but I hope you find it enjoyable in any case.

That feeling you get in the middle of the afternoon of a long day…  When you’ve exhausted all your resources and your all your muscles…  When you’ve tried so hard to find something to do, but nothing seems to work…  It has a name.

No, it’s not naptime.

It has more than one name, really.  It’s most well-known name is Boredom.  Boredom, Laziness, Lethargy—with the name of Sloth it actually got to be a Deadly Sin.  That was about as far as Boredom got, however…  But with its least well-known name it had an all-time record of not being acknowledged at all.

The facet of Boredom known as Pete was rather chagrined when he found this out.

It had always irked him how far Sloth had gotten, even though, admittedly, being a Deadly Sin wasn’t exactly a good thing.  Even Boredom had gone places with its moniker.  But Pete…  Well, he never got the credit he thought he deserved.  Walking around the world zapping people into a state of indolence wasn’t too much fun, and frankly, he was bored.  He had even fallen so far as to make up pun-based jokes.  “What do you call a two-by-four shaped into the letters U and M?”  “Board-Um.”  What else could he do to pass the time?

Last week Sloth had gotten an award for his work in the DS office.  Pete hadn’t been invited to the after party.

Pete would do anything—anything!—to be recognized by his fellow members on the Bored of Directors.  He had tried a few things that hadn’t worked.  Stink bombs in the Men’s Room had been later blamed on Lethargy’s digestive system, an exploding pie during the dessert course of the Bored’s last dinner meeting had been blamed on the fact that the cook had a degree in chemistry as well.  Reactive chemistry hadn’t been his specialty, he claimed, but nobody—except Pete—believed him.

Pete blamed his general dismissal on the fact that his name wasn’t catchy enough.  No one knew his name on the Bored of Directors—he was “that one guy”.  But to have a catchy name…  Boredom—at least that was two syllables!  Lethargy had an awesome-looking name.  And Sloth—Oh, Sloth!  What a name!  An animal had even been named after Sloth!  Yes, Sloth was by far the most famous of them all.  Why Boredom was still head of the Bored was a mystery to Pete.  Not that he wanted Sloth to become any more famous.

One day he had a brilliant thought: all the entities involved in Boredom were essentially one and the same, weren’t they?  If one died, they all would.  There went his earlier idea of assassinating Sloth.  Or did it…?  Would it be bad to die?  If Sloth died at the same time, it might make it all worth it.  Unless, of course, there was Heaven—that might mean that Pete would be stuck with Sloth for eternity.  Of course, a Cardinal Sin would never be let into Heaven.  Pete might, however, for ridding the earth of it.

From that day forth, Pete had a new resolution.  He would kill Sloth.  He practiced on the fuzzy little animals who held his name first—they were easy to pick off with a bazooka, one by one.  They just kept walking in a straight line, since they needed a year’s notice before they could change direction.

Pete didn’t think much of sloths.  It was a stupid animal named after a stupid person.

His first assassination attempt failed.  As did his last.  They were one and the same.

Pete had had it all planned out perfectly.  As Sloth walked through the pillar-strewn, rather uncreative front hall (it was made especially for Boredom, after all) just as he did every night at the same time, Pete was ready to jump out from behind his pillar with his bazooka at the ready.  Unfortunately, only five minutes before a servant of the Bored had sidetracked Sloth with a new flavor of Italian Ice—the one dessert Sloth loved above all else.  Throwing protocol to the winds, Sloth followed this lesser servant out of the hall early.

Later that night, a frustrated Pete heard the news that Sloth had just survived an assassination attempt—poisoned dessert items.

He pounded his pillow in frustration.  He wanted to be the one to kill Sloth.

That night, he made a resolution.  If he couldn’t kill Sloth, he would do the opposite.  He had already contemplated suicide—to the best of his knowledge, murder within the Bored was the equivalent.

The next day, after Sloth spent half an hour gleefully explaining to the entire Bored of Directors how the assassin had attempted to murder him—three times without stopping for breath—Pete finally made up his mind.  Before the next morning, he was no more.  His fellow Bored members did not die with him.

He was the only person to actively engage in the work involved in boredom these days.  He was the only person to make people bored in the world.

He would have been extremely angry if he had known how happy people were after he died.


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