Cash and Carry: Flash Fiction by Thomas Winship

Originally published on author S.M. Boyce's website.


Cash and Carry by Thomas Winship


I purchased a chainsaw today. No plastic. I paid cash. No one needed to know that I was the proud new owner.

Well, a few people may find out … but they’ll never tell.

I whistled as I walked through the hardware store. Doing so felt odd—out of place, if you will—but I had to. I certainly can’t whistle while I work. Not with the sounds of a chainsaw and the havoc it wreaks.

A few people smiled. A few turned away. Some looked at me like I was offending their god, which, of course, isn’t possible, because I am god.

When I hold a chainsaw in my hands, I have the power to create or destroy. I have the power to take life or give it. I can see the past, the present, and the future. I am omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omni-whatever-the-fuck-I-want.

I also look sexy as hell swinging a chainsaw—the bigger the better. Give me a blade that’s longer than my arm and the debate over the world’s sexiest man is over.

Still, the chainsaw I purchased was the smallest one available. You see, in many ways, chainsaws are just like penises. The biggest ones are real impressive, but they turn out to be pretty unwieldy when you try to use them. On the other hand, the smaller ones allow a person to get up close and personal. Makes for real intimate encounters.

Intimate encounters. I like that.

So I whistled as I walked through the store. After I paid, I even whistled as I walked through the parking lot. All the way to my van, a white, windowless wreck that screams “serial killer,” but remains my most reliable friend. I stopped whistling once I climbed behind the wheel, though. Driving is serious business. No drinking, texting, sexting, or whistling while driving. Ever. Or someone like me will cut you off and remind you where your attention should be.

When I got home, I opened the box but didn’t allow myself to touch the chainsaw until I read the entire manual. Even the Spanish and French sections, although I couldn’t understand a word. It hurt my head, but that stuff’s there for a reason. When the pounding behind my eyes lessened, I picked up my new toy and held it aloft. As always, I resisted the urge to dance around with it like Leatherface. I might whistle now and then, but even an idiot knows to leave such tomfoolery to the pros.

After testing its heft and balance, I filled it with gas and revved it up. So small, yet so powerful. It purred like a kitten, but my arms still shook. I’ll admit I was light-headed with excitement. One day, it’ll be the death of me. I know it.

But not today.

Today, I purchased a chainsaw. Today, I’m god. And tonight I’m going to do the godly work that already had me a-whistlin’.

I open the door and head down the stairs.


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