The Man With Finger Guns - A Short


A short story about a boy and his reason for his silly gesture that involved guns and his fingers.

"I'm getting better", I thought as I changed the empty clip, pulled down the safety, and used the palm of my left hand to cock back my right hand so it released back to place, and I had a loaded finger gun. Next, I would rest the nozzle on the edge of my lower lips and pull at my middle finger as if I was pulling the trigger. My head would flip and nod while my body thrust back from the imaginary bullet piercing out of the back of my head. The play would end with my slow drag down the metal lockers until I was on my ass. The inspiration for my sudden performance was Tommy. He had just sounded in the halls that he would never date anyone from this school again, followed by an accusing of all the girls in Valley High of sluttery. Lacie had torn the poor fellow's heart out. Guess he must have been sad, but he was still out of line with his comment. 

I had always done my little gesture when I felt a little bit agitated after an eerie experience. It could be a teacher saying something unnatural, some girl on an ego trip, or a snide remark from big old Tommy. What’s weird is it all started as a joke, I was 6 when I learned from my dad, who always did it. Whenever Frank heard my mother yap at him, he would have his middle finger to the side of his head and Pow! His head slammed on the table with a bang. He would have his tongue hang out along with the rolled-back eyes. After a second or so, he would wake up and laugh his manic laugh. 

Any time I did the whole gun thing, I never did the laugh, I'd just come back to life. My friends would laugh though. They had turned it into this game of "Who could make Ethan do the gesture with a cringe joke or opinion". I never enjoyed the game seeing as how it involved my theoretical suicide. But Matthew Cruxon never failed. He had never lost a game because he was the first from our group to have seen me do it. When we were kids, I remember how his mother had told my mom that I was a bad influence on her son. 

The first time Matthew had done it, he was only 8. The Cruxon family was having a later than usual dinner that night. His father had just finished his overtime and had sat down on his far-end chair when Mrs. Cruxon began complaining. After ten minutes or so, she paused to take a sip of water and soak her cheeks full of peas. In that instant of time, she had turned to Matthew, who was standing on his chair, about to do the little stunt he learned from Ethan. Matthew being a bright child had added a twist to it. Instead of pointing the gun towards himself, Matthew had put the tip of his right-hand middle and index fingers between his mother's lips. By the time Matthew had let out a Pow! Pow! Pow! Mr. Cruxon was on the floor, his hands on his belly and his mouth open wide to let out howls of laughter. Mr. Cruxon seldom swayed from side to side, letting his tears roll down the sides of his face. I mean, imagine what was going through this guy's head when he saw his little son stagger to stand up on his too-small high chair, stretch his arm out to his mother's face, and just shoot her. Mrs. Cruxon, however, was still clueless about the hypothetical homicide that had just happened on their 5-piece dining set. Unaware of the un-existent splattered blood on the back of the yellow Sofa in the living room. Thus, the end of the Cruxon-Wang playdates. After that, I could only see him at school.

Sometimes I did automatic rifle gestures to scare the teachers and the older students. They would tell me how un-ok I was in the head. But you have to admit, it was kinda funny. I'd step into school and everyone would think I'm some sort of risk and I'd get special treatment. But believe me, it was only a silly joke. 

So much of a silly joke that I had practiced making every little sound that most guns would make. From rolling a Magnum's barrel to the auto reload of the M4 Carbine - I could do it all. I loved guns. And it was not only because of how they were a prop in my father's humorous acts, but I'm obsessed with them and their strange arrival. 

Humanity had been trying to survive for years, and then out of the blue, they make this tool that could be operated with a finger to put an end to it. People were blown away by its simplicity, literally and figuratively. It was simple to make, simple to operate and simple to end lives. 

The first gun was some Chinese contraption of bamboo and gun powder. The people who created the gun powder were trying to make a potion for the fountain of youth. What a paradox? Imagine trying to make something that'd make you live forever and end up with the complete opposite. That's how I feel about guns. 

I don't like violence and I've never understood war, but it exists. That's why I only point my finger-made guns to myself. This uncanny history of the gun carries onto the wars it plays in. You'd see people wage wars to make peace. They'd fill their guns with bullets and their hearts with propaganda. The propaganda didn't even have to make sense, it'd only have to be loud enough to wake up what was wicked and within. We'd ostracize ourselves on some divine decree. But really? Deep-seated intuition, heavy with sins, would tie itself to the soul's ankles so it doesn't evade to the heavens.

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