How to Get Away with Murder

Reuben Rodriguez


What the fragments of his conscience seem to say was truth was an exact science. Fact and fiction can be decided by a court of law – if it was necessary. He didn’t think it would be. The handbook would see to that. Truth is told by the victors, but what few realize is that truth is written by the ignorant, and that’s what he thought drinking his coffee with the axe lying across his knee. If no one knew, truth was relative.


The guilt was crushing, trying to spark some human response that just wasn’t there anymore. It tried to weigh on him but the handbook seemed to dissipate the effect, the coffee didn’t taste any different and his typing was not hindered except when blood managed to make the keyboard sticky.


The handbook had been given to him just a few days earlier. He was told to research it. To Analyze it. To Study it. To try to figure out why there were over six thousand unsolved murders each year. No one said anything about following it. But it was an exact science. It had to be tested.


The manual first appeared on a DIY website, but was quickly taken down. This was a falsehood. Once something is placed on the internet, it never fully goes away. There were always traces and clues to the absolute truth. Like the lines of blood leading to the back yard. But like everything else, the handbook gave strict instructions on how to get rid of those. How to kill truth. How to leave everyone ignorant.


The forum freaks and internet junkies had to weigh their own opinion on the handbook.

 

srsly? is this for real?

 

lol im so gonna try this


that’s sick. This is sick. Why would anyone write this?

 

If someone tries this get it on cam for the rest of us

 

He wasn’t able to get it on camera, the best he could do was write it all down and turn it
in for the press next week. He breathed in copper; the air was slowly becoming saturated with rust and if he didn’t finish the news story soon the blood would dry and be difficult to clean.


He had pored over the handbook, the thick ream of paper constantly being read and reread, every detail given and every response adequately devised to achieve success. It was perfect. It was all there. The truth. And for everyone’s sake it had to be proven wrong. So he took his well-thumbed manual and his axe and killed his family.


He felt partially better. Some pieces of his conscience were still screaming.


His family was partially packed in the shed. Some pieces were in the kitchen. And the study. And the bedroom.


But the manual was never partial. Always infallible.

 

He finished his news story and emailed the editors. He read the handbook’s instructions
and cleaned up. Then he called the police.

 

They searched everywhere, contacted every specialist, examined every corner and found
no evidence to his claims. The handbook succeeded and the authorities wrote their version of the truth: nothing happened. The handbook had won and his family simply ceased to exist.

 

He packed his things and left, and he wondered how many people were out there just like him, nauseous of truths with the absolute stashed away in the glove compartment.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790