Thrash Behavior

Okay, I’ve been away for a while, but it’s time to start posting more regularly. Here’s a piece of flash fiction that’s all the rage…

 

Thrash Behavior

By Joe Nazare

 

The glass coffee table’s the father she never knew. Kerri’s aluminum, “HAVOC”-barreled Easton vibrates in her grip as she cripples the walkout, kills the deadbeat.

The giant flatscreen is the mother she often wishes she didn’t have. The woman who keeps hounding her to go talk to Pastor Simms, believing his platitudes could be the patch for curing an unabashed Nicotine Fiend. Kerri projects her mom’s disapproving visage onto the TV’s blank surface before fracturing it with the borrowed bat.

All the while Fred Durst supplies a growling soundtrack inside her head.

She’s been wanting to do this for a good chunk of her eighteen-year existence, but the urge to inflict damage has never felt more, well, urgent, than of late. Eager anticipation has blazed since the second she first spotted the Facebook ad: for Wantin’ Destruction, the state-of-the-decimating-art rage room that’d opened up downtown. At the undeniably steep price of $179 per half-hour session, a person could give vent to her deepest frustrations, by unleashing on a furnished niche.

According to the company website (Wantin’ Destruction? the heading entices. Give Unbridled Aggression a Swing!), 70% of the place’s paid ragers are female. Kerri doesn’t struggle in the least to understand why.

That flower-sprouting pink vase over on the end-table is her childhood BFF Susan, who basically told her to go eff herself once they reached middle school. Now Kerri makes like Negan wielding his beloved, barbwire-vined Lucille, redressing treachery with a vicious overhead chop. The abrupt cascade of shards sounds downright symphonic to her.

Ahh, if only she could get do this shit for a living. Life would be a scream.

Why bother to scarify herself, she realizes, when she can redirect her anger, and make destructive mark elsewhere. This way, she gets to indulge her id, spoiling it positively rotten.

Kerri feels omnipotent as Godzilla as she stomps across the room, whose mounting debris crunches satisfyingly underfoot. She recalls her current classmates, the Mean Girl stand-ins with their boundless capacity for disparagement. All the genetically-blessed narcissists who tramped their way to Tik Tok stardom and will soon graduate to having the lavish lifestyles that they believe themselves entitled to completely financed by their OnlyFans pages. She thinks of the hulking male jocks in morning gym class, always teasing her about her uncurvy physique. Telling her she was heading into the wrong locker room. Sneeringly asking her if she ever planned on finishing transitioning.

Kids can be so, so cruel. Kerri presently takes aim at a generic pair of family photos (young wedding couple; smiling, dog-hugging children), framed and suspended eye-level on the nearest wall. Coiling herself for maximum impact, she sends them crashing down with the Easton, first one, then instantly the other. Click Click Boom.

Her spit doesn’t convey adequate contempt. Pressing one nose-ringed nostril shut, she rockets snot onto the newly created ruin.

You wanna see wanton destruction? she tacitly dares an absent audience. She scampers over to a kitty-cornered hutch, shattering its glass-paneled upper doors with a single well-placed swing. Stacked inside on the exposed shelving is someone’s notion of fine china. Upon spotting it, Kerri feels her mouth twitch into a pixie grin.

Her first period as a pre-teen simply gifted her with prostrating cramps, not some kickass telekinetic ability. But that doesn’t mean she can’t willfully send these dishes soaring, doing a spectacular number on them that will make the most rambunctious poltergeist jealous.

Reaching into the hutch, she seizes the topmost piece of porcelain dinnerware. Flicking her wrist with the facility of an expert frisbee-tosser, she launches it, causing it to crash into the far wall like a flying saucer commandeered by a kamikaze. As the detonation reverberates, she grabs another dish and repeats the routine, over and over until the shelves are emptied.

Plate breaking: not just for Greek weddings anymore. Opa!

Amidst commission, Kerri doesn’t consider these various acts of violence deviant at all. No, she’s only accelerating the natural scheme of things by adding to the pile of kipple, the rubble that everything ultimately degenerates into anyway. So to hell with civilization’s false constraints, says she. True contentment lies in hauling off on the offensive, not in keeping your spleen unvented.

But forget this philosophizing. Precious time is ticking away, so Kerri surrenders to brute instinct. It’s a quick shift: years of torment enable her to sick up bitterness as easily as a uvula-poking bulimic. Shrieking, she strikes indiscriminately, obliterating countless objects all around the room. Their random savaging hardly registers on her, as she carries on and on, forming a whirling dervish of pulverization. White-hot lightning strobes within her darkest recesses; her self-feeding and seemingly bottomless fury sends her nerve endings sizzling like Tesla coils.

Eventually, she’s spent. She stands there panting, sensing the upheaved dust of demolition pasting itself to her sweat-sheened skin. Inside, she feels like she’s just gotten herself off with her own diddling hand, but the post-climax high is compromised. While chemical euphoria floods her bloodstream, burgeoning guilt sluices through the folds of her brain.

If she ever does transition, she can rechristen herself Tad Overzealous.

As the red drains from her vision, she grows more cognizant of her surroundings. Slowly, she turns to survey the devastated area, beholds all the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Kerri. Man, did she lay Category-5 waste to this place.

You couldn’t help yourself, Kerri rationalizes. The catharsis promised by Wantin’ Destruction was just too tempting: she had to let her personal Pazuzu rise up and run wild. The power of angst compelled her.

At least she had the foresight to use fake ID, or else she’d be facing costs a lot steeper than a hefty admission price right about now. But she better start thinking about finding a new gig, if she ever hopes to amass enough scratch to relieve her terrible itch within the rage room’s sanctioned space.

After tonight’s illicit redecorating spree, working again as a subcontracted house sitter isn’t a smashing idea.