Blake stretched out from his Thrustmaster T800 Evolution Ultimate Gamer Chair and kicked his mancave door closed. Remaining perfectly still, he strained to hear the distinctive klop klop of his mom’s sensible brown work shoes as she headed down the garden path towards the Toyota Prius that disgraced their driveway. Holding his breath, Blake waited for the dull thunk of the door closing before the wheezy hum of the weak engine signalled she was on her way. A second later, mom was gone, the house was completely quiet, and Blake was free to go hunting.
Step one: ready the hunting grounds. Blake had been looking forward to this moment for the whole week, but he’d done little in the way of preparation. A mess of energy drink cans and empty bottles of malt liquor strewn across the floor and discarded protein bar wrappers and soggy sports socks obscured his desk. Still, if “ground zero” looked clear and tidy, Blake would be fine. He sprung to his feet and kicked the junk out of view, clearing a little island in the middle of the room that looked relatively clean. As long as there were no distractions, he would be fine. As long as nothing drew his victim’s eyes away from The Main Event.
Step two: prepare the bait. Blake rotated on his gamer chair and regarded himself in the long mirror he had meticulously positioned to show his body from his toes to his crew cut. Lounging backwards, he took some time to appraise his impressive physique. He was having a good muscle day for sure. His abs were sharply defined by the low morning light that sliced through the closed blinds. It was just bright enough for him to notice a tuft of hair out of place on his otherwise immaculately styled beard, so he licked and fingered it back into place.
Sliding his thumbs round the waistband of his boxers, he pushed the stray hairs down. He was hairless everywhere except there—and his head obviously—but he didn’t want them to realize that at first. There was a boyishness about his smooth, bulging body that they pretended to enjoy, but he knew what they really wanted to see.
Step three: clean and load the rifle. Blake adjusted the bottle of hand lotion, putting it on the right of the desk, then the left, then back to the right. He was never sure where it worked best. On the right, he would reach across with his other hand, and they would see he was doing something, and they might wonder what, and they might get nervous, and he fucking loved that. On the left though, and he could get to it quicker, then he could move on to The Main Event with less time wasted. It was a dilemma. He shifted it to the right.
Squeezing a tiny amount of lotion into his right hand, Blake slid his fingers into his underwear and got started. This was an essential step. He would never forget the time he had blown his chance because of imperfect preparation. It had been one in a million: a hot young girl’s first time. First time. And he’d been caught with a limp dick. She’d actually laughed. He could never, ever let that happen again. He had to be ready to go from the very first roll of the dice. Tragedy like that could never happen again.
Thomas Welsh is an award-winning fantasy and short story author based in Scotland. He was the winner of the Elbow Room fiction prize for ‘And Then I was Floating’ and has also been published in The 404 Ink F Word Collection and Leicester Writes. His fantasy trilogy Metiks Fade debuted in March 2018 with book one, Anna Undreaming published by Owl Hollow Press. He also writes for games, and is a narrative designer on two major unannounced cyberpunk titles coming in 2019.