This 14-paged short story opened where the reader will instantly question the sanity of the main character. Doubts may be entertained whether The Man’s obsession to kill was rooted in facts or mere delusions.
“You STOLE my term paper for that class. You fucking stole it! Then replaced mine with the one you paid for! You KNEW that they would know someone else wrote it! They kicked me out of school, you stupid FUCK!”
Jerry Punchard’s life and ambition were shattered when he was accused of plagiarizing a term paper for his elective class, Modern Computing Theories under Dr. Carver. The accusation caused his premature dismissal. Years after, he found a way to drag himself out of this lifeless existence he is holed in. He is going to kill the one man who caused all these troubles for him. He already found Brad Stevens, and his death will be an act of sweet revenge as Jerry had planned.
In all that he had endured, the nights alone or in a crowded, stinking shelter, in the days of hunger and fear, in the returning and unpredictable bouts of voices digging into his personhood, the sadness was always the worst.
He didn’t want to be in this house anymore, he wanted to execute Brad and leave. But more than anything he wanted validation. He wanted vindication.
Abraham Lopez wrote with arresting clarity and morally conflicting concept. On one hand, you’d wish that Jerry will succeed to complete his revenge, he more than deserves it. Besides, Brad is one hell of a good-for-nothing guy, who doesn’t give a hoot on anyone. On the other, conscience will dictate that Jerry must show compassion instead, and realize what more damage his current plans will do for his future. Aside from that, there is no proof that Jerry got all his information straight or if he is remembering it all correctly because he was not taking medication for a long time. Jerry’s illness posed a big problem for the readers to recognize reality apart from his hallucinations.
The Man is a well-written short story, conventional, but poetic in the right places. This is a very angry crime story that I do wish to read in full length if ever there is a plan.
Read The Man here.
Rating: 4/5 stars