Protagonist, Conclusion by Nicholas M. Bugden

Nov 16 2014 Published by under The WiFiles

Something doesn’t feel right for Sid.
It wasn’t the morning. Nothing went wrong then. Sid slept perfectly well. His wife even woke up around the same time and the two made passionate love, more passionately than ever before. It was as if their bodies were listening to each other and responding accordingly. So that was awesome… was it work? Sid did arrive late but since he was usually on time his boss completely understood. She even complimented his work from the previous day and talked about giving him a raise.
It must have been his co-workers then. He hated a few of them and he was sure there were a few that hated him back. One of them must have said something, done something to piss him off. But no. Each one was nice, hospitable, and even pleasant. And on the way home – sugar on top – people actually let him into their lane without flipping him the finger.
But something doesn’t feel right.
Was it his night class? It had to be. One of the professor’s readings must have concluded in a caustic debate that Sid was included in. Today the professor was reading a couple of short stories. After the first story was read, this student – a real moron – raised his hand. This guy always managed to piss people off. That was the thing that he did. He had to be the catalyst.
“Well I feel the story is kind of bad.”
Sid licked his lips. This was it. Give it to him professor.
“Sorry to hear that… is there any particular reason?”
“Well to me it doesn’t work,” the student challenged.
The professor looked back at the student. “I think it does. I think the use of language, punctuation and metaphor choices are nothing short of brilliant.”
“I… I guess… I think I just needed more description to get a better picture of what was going on and I think the author did a poor job with the ending… I am sorry for disagreeing professor.”
Now the professor finally looked a little angry. “Please do not apologize. Great ideas come from open discussion and intellectual back-and-forth. Thank you for sharing your opinion; maybe you will like one of his other stories better.”
And that was the end of the discussion: a respectful exchange of words. No complaints. Compliments? So then what went wrong? Was it one of the other stories the professor read that gave Sid this feeling? Nope. No one fought. There was only a free exchange of opinions. Nothing went wrong. Sid’s day was coming to a close, or concluding if you want to make the point crystal clear.
But something still doesn’t feel right for Sid. It was as if he awoke in a parallel world. On the way home he racked and wracked his brain. What is wrong then? What is wrong, wrong, wrong… that’s it! Suddenly Sid realized the problem. It’s this story he was in, nothing went wrong. You cannot have a story without conflict. When Sid realized this he knew what he had to do. He parked his car in the middle of the street, got out and shoved a stranger. Conflict must occur. The stranger did nothing. Sid shoved him again and called him a “fucker”. People don’t like being called “fuckers”.
The stranger looked at Sid concerned. “Are you alright sir?” Sid looked at the kind eyes of the stranger; he could not push him anymore.
“Yeah I’m fine, thanks for asking.”
“Are you sure? I will listen if you need someone to talk to?”
“No thanks.”
The stranger gave Sid a kind hug and continued down the street. What a bastard, Sid thought, I will have conflict. He went home to his wife. They have had vehement arguments in the past. It was simple: insult, argue, make-up, end of story. And he might even get the bonus of make-up sex.
“You’re a stupid slut,” Sid said to his wife as he walked through the door.
“Is this a sex game?” his wife asked unabashed, “I’m a naughty whore; you want to handcuff and punish me?”
That could be fun, Sid thought… no conflict. We need conflict.
“You’re supposed to fight with me.”
“Oh… you’re the naughty boy… do you want me to punish you.”
…no. …conflict.
“I’m insulting you.”
His wife looked at him with a blank stare. “Why?”
Sid did not have an answer. “I don’t know.”
“Oh… do you want to talk it through.”
“No,” Sid sulked.
“Do you want to have sex?”
Sid was getting angry. “What is wrong with you?” He gave his wife a disapproving shake of the head and stormed out of the house.
Conflict, conflict, conflict. That was it! These previous attempts were small, petty, he needed to go big. Very big. Gunfire down the street was big, fire a few in the air, wake up the neighbours, the cops come, spend the night in jail… maybe even get assaulted by a larger inmate. Now that is conflict.
Sid remembered there was gun shop up the street that was open late, with wallet in hand, he jogged to the spot where the shop was, but it wasn’t. There was a flower shop where Sid was sure the gun shop once stood.
“Fucking hippies!” he yelled at the top of his lungs.
We must have conflict! There has to be another gun shop in the area.
“Where do I buy a gun?” Sid asked a random woman walking by the street.
“A what?” the woman asked, with a look that suggested deep confusion.
“You’re kidding me right?”
“Why would I do that sir?” responded the woman as she blinked her innocence to Sid.
Sid was lost for words. Everyone has gone crazy. How can you live without conflict? Something has to be wrong. Has to be! He pushed passed the kind woman who only apologized for being in his way. There was not a gun shop anywhere. There had to be one. But his searching was futile. He would not find a gun anywhere in this city, or bullets, or even blanks. However a lack of fire power has never stopped humanity from hurting each other in the past: Sid would make a weapon. Make something sharp, break into a random house, rob, cops, jail, end.
Sid looked for somewhere that sells knives, bats, brass knuckles, cleats, something that would bludgeon. But no stores were open. Everyone was home, spending precious time with their families. What has this world come to?
Sid shambled home, defeated. This story was never going to end. He was doomed to make wild, judgement-free, mutual-pleasing love with his happy confident wife, listen to respectful debates and put up with the kindness of strangers. Fuck.
“There you are honey, I missed you,” his wife said as she wrapped her arms around him.
“Of course you did… you probably want to have sex now?”
“If you don’t mind… I can go without you if you’d like.”
“No…,” Sid said dejected. He might as well get this over with. Sid looked at his wife, whose pants did not make it up the stairs with her. Then he followed behind her, his head slumped: he failed at obtaining conflict. But then it hit him. This was the conflict! His inability to obtain conflict. Hero wants conflict, fights for conflict, fails. Classic tale. Something feels wrong so now everything feels right. And unfortunately, this story concludes with an unhappy ending. Then the two made long passionate love, each having multiple orgasms.

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