"So will there be anything else?"
"No, just tell Chris Warnock that I said hello."

The bleach-white skull howled with laughter as Calvin leapt up from the bed and ran screaming from the room. After navigating the maze of halls, he burst through a pair of heavy steel doors and stumbled into the church's main sanctuary.

Calvin raised his eyes and gasped audibly at the scene before him. The grinning face of the old priest. The blood stained axe lying next to the headless altar boy. The unveiled faces of a hundred humming nuns with their eyes and mouths sewn shut. At the far end of the room a blood red exit sign pulsated in time with Calvin's heart, and he ran for it as fast as humanly possible, sightless, speechless nuns swarming after him.

Nearly twenty minutes later, Calvin slumped into a bus stop bench trying in vain to catch his breath and collect his thoughts. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a small boy tugging on his mother's skirt trying to get her attention.

"Can we go to the zoo, mommy? Please!"

The woman spun around and slapped the boy hard enough to knock him to the ground, "Shut the fuck up you little shit."

The little boy lay sobbing in the middle of the street; "I wanted to see the bears."

"I'm going to feed you to the bears if you don't shut up."

Calvin got up and staggered toward the zoo.

* * *

The sign said: "Don't Feed the Bears." The screaming was coming from the bottom of the pit, presumably from the teenage girl whose boyfriend had casually tossed her in a few moments ago.

"Make you wonder why they waste money on the sigh." The voice came from the janitor standing at the edge of the pit starring at the carnage below.

Calvin moved over to look just as the bear bit into the women's throat replacing her scream with a gurgling noise.

The janitor glanced at Calvin. "Quite a scene isn't it?"

Calvin stood silently… watching.

"Good thing it isn't real isn't it?" The janitor smiled and went back to sweeping.

Calvin quickly walked after him. "Wait. What did you say?"

"Didn't you read that government report? The one about the multiple universes?"

Calvin starred at him intently. "Go on."

"It's like Schrodinger's Cat paradox. You know, how for every decision you make there's another universe where you make the opposite decision. Well, apparently there's a way to predict mathematically which of these universes is most likely to be the actual one, and all the other's are unstable because they exist at right angles to real time."

"So this universe isn't real? It doesn't exist?"

"It does exist. But it isn't real in the sense that it exists in imaginary time, which makes it unstable."

"Is that like imaginary numbers?"

"Shit man, how should I know? I'm just a fucking janitor." He started to walk away.

"Wait. Do you think it's possible that a person could come from the real universe to this on?"


Calvin told his story.

"So you just left the Grim Reaper's head in the back seat of your car?"

"There it is again."

"There's what again?"

"Really bad déjà vu."

"Anyway… why don't you go check your car and let me do my job."

A small line was forming by the bear pit, and as the janitor walked by, he swung his broom catching a young man in the back of the head and knocking him in. Calvin didn't even care anymore.

* * *

"This is for you."

Calvin looked at the gun first, then the small girl holding it. The first thing that struck him was how shiny it was. The gun, not the girl. Calvin took the revolver from the child's outstretched hand and just held it for a few minutes trying to accustom himself to its weight. The girl just stood there staring at him with those ice-blue eyes, pigtails like a field of wheat, I'm sure you get the idea.

The reality of the moment finally donned on him. "Why are you giving me this?"

The girl looked puzzled, the way a person looks when you ask them something that should be painfully obvious. "To shoot your family with."

Bunnies. Calvin pictured in his head a field of wheat teaming with soft bunnies hopping about playfully. "To shoot my family with. Sure. I should have guessed that."

The girl smiled in the way that only a little girl who was just holding a pistol can smile. Think of it as the illusion of innocence… or something like that.

Calvin placed the gun in his jacket pocket. "So will there be anything else?"

"No, just tell Chris Warnock that I said hello."

"Sure." Calvin smiled back. It was a completely genuine smile.

* * *

Calvin was still smiling as he walked up his driveway towards his two-story brick house in the middle of suburbia. Jeffrey was smiling as well as he ran towards his father arms wide open expecting a warm embrace. Calvin slowed to a stop and pulled the gun from his jacket pocket. His smile stretched from ear to ear as he aimed and shot Jeffrey in the face.

Imagine Jeffrey's body falling forward while his head crumples inward, skull shattered, eyes rolling across the pavement. Imagine blood stained grass accented by fragments of bone and bits of gray matter. Imagine clouds overhead in the shapes of ducks and dogs, and yes… bunnies. Calvin stood over his son's motionless form and fired the remaining four shells.

An eerie glow from the back seat of Calvin's red car attracted his attention, and Calvin walked towards it. Imagine Sally running screaming from the house, hands clasped over her mouth, starring in shocked disbelief at what was her son. Calvin opened the rear door of his car and starred down at the bleach white disembodied skull of the grim reaper.

Before the skull could speak, Calvin interrupted it. "I don't need any answers."

Calvin picked up the skull and threw it at his wife as hard as he could. The ground beneath them melted away. The sky was red with blood. Where the house was there was nothing. Where the grass was there was nothing. Where the pavement was there was nothing.

Calvin hovered in the nothingness, surrounded overhead by dark storm clouds. He looked down and saw the swirling fires. Calvin's skin dripped from his bones and somewhere in the distance he heard the reaper's skull laughing.

Imagine a bright red sports car. Calvin looked up from the nothing and saw the car coming towards him, his car, being driven by him. At the impact, Calvin felt his skeletal remains crumple and his skull go sailing through the red car's windshield. Finally he understood... some of it at least, and he laughed.