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why am I doing this?

By James U. RizziPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2024
Photo by Vincent Chan on Unsplash

They say there's no atheism in the foxhole. While I wasn't currently neck-deep in a river of soft sediment, I was still praying to whoever would listen. Why am I doing this again? I would ponder while staring at the device that in no less than a minute could be my undoing. I scanned each and every variable panel and commonplace button as I watched the bright red L.E.D ticker countdown. No wires to cut, no code to put in, there was only one way to stop this infernal machine, and that incurred perfect timing.

Under a minute now.

The beastly contraption stared back at me with just enough dim illumination that I saw a haggard reflection. “You scruffy idiot,” I almost said out loud when I saw myself. The absence of light was pressing against my back surrounding me like a blanket, smothered in darkness, pushing me forward towards doom.

Why am I doing this again?

I asked for a second time. I do it to myself was the usual answer. Did I love the rush? Am I a glutton for punishment? How in the world could I be having existential dread right now? Did I hate myself this much? Do I have a deep affection for danger?

The questions flowed around me dulling the required sharpness I needed to fix the mess I was in. I could answer all these questions myself if I survived. Just focus now.

Thirty seconds.

I hovered a clammy finger over what I thought was the right button. Or what I hoped was the right button. I retracted and wiped the sweat from my brow. How long was this minute? The low hum emanating from the devilish instrument was laughably calming, then eerily ghoulish in the span of a couple of seconds,

Why am I doing this again?

The last ruminating thought left me breathless. I braced myself, white-knuckling the apparatus; it was the only thing around to grasp. I swallowed hard keeping the bile from rising.

Twenty seconds…Fifteen.

I've done this a million times and I've never felt this panic before. Run just run I nearly screamed, my legs wouldn't let me. I can't do this, this is it.

Why the fuck am I doing this again?

I closed my eyes deeply, lids so tight that not even a sliver of wicked machinery could pierce its fleshy veil. I sang gently, holding it in my throat, stimulating the vagus nerve. It also quelled the low purr from the contraption around my sweaty hands. I took a few small sips of air through my nose and asked again,

Why am I doing this?

Why? Because I'm the fucking best at it. Ten seconds… The bewitching moments. The machine had an ace trigger that would only stop at the last possible second. There was no other way. I gathered the last bit of resounding courage while I still had it.

Five… Four… Three.

There it is, that's the button I need. An inch away from my shaking digit.


No time like the present. Bam! I hit the trigger with the utter precision of a coiled snake. I glared at the digital clock with a widening grin. One second left. I did it. I cracked open the microwave and a splash of delicate cheesy aroma hit me in the face. A perfect plate of nachos and not a single ding to hit the ethos of silence. My family was still sound asleep. Why am I doing this again? Like I said, I'm the best.

MicrofictionShort Story

About the Creator

James U. Rizzi

I cant wait to see what I can create here.

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Comments (15)

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  • Anna 29 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago


  • Great fiction, had me wondering til the end. Happy to subscribe to your work

  • AliMartabout a month ago

    Like it

  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Lol, that was a great suspenseful story with an ending twist, well deserve top story, Bravo 🎉🎉🎉👏🏽

  • Abdul Qayyumabout a month ago

    Your writing is incredibly engaging and vivid! I felt like I was right there in the scene alongside the characters."

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Well, you led us a merry dance there!

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    At first, I thought there would be a twist...then I got so caught up I forgot to look out for it!

  • D. D. Leeabout a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Okay, you got me. You totally suckered me with this one. Twisty twist of all twists. And now, I'm gonna eat some nachos. Boom. 💥

  • Gabriel Huizengaabout a month ago

    This is BRILLIANT! The urgency, the drama, the hilarious reveal...loved it! Well-deserved Top story!

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Very clever misdirection and well written story. You really got me from the first line

  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    I've been there, but with popcorn after all else have gone to bed.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Awesome story and loved the ending!!!

  • Oneg In The Arcticabout a month ago

    Omg 😂😂 I did not expect the ending AND WE HAD TALKED ABOUT THIS EARLIER 😂😂

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