FIRST NEW ORLEANS catfish countdown

The elderly man in the wheelchair clapped his hands together excitedly.

“Das rite, missuh fulla, EXPEL them demons! CLEANSE yo soul!”

Mr. Fuller wasn’t having any more of it. He was tired of the corruption in his life, and was working feverishly to end it. These ephemeral, material things did him no good. He heaved another massive leather armchair above his head, and marched towards the balcony. With tremendous effort, he carefully navigated it through the sliding glass doors, and threw it over the edge. Fuller watched it as it slowly, gracefully rotated in the air, peacefully suspended in time for a brief few moments before violently crashing into a small convertible. It made a satisfying noise as the 21 floors of vertical force met with the vehicle, the aluminum crumbling in on itself, the shocked yelps of the passerby, the car’s alarm system weakly bleating in artificial pain. Fuller was sure he’d accidentally hit a small child with his sofa earlier, which he regretted, but alas, such is the burden of cleansing sin. Fuller took a moment to stretch and remove the kinks from his back, then lurched toward the kitchen.

Suddenly, there was a loud, frenzied pounding on his apartment’s entry door. It seems like the police had found him. Fuller looked towards the sound. The old man in the wheelchair rolled up to the door, placing himself between Fuller and the door.

“Mmm-mm! Don’t you stop now! You ain’t done yet, missuh fulla. Keep on at it!”

saved

Oh, wise old preacher – no need to worry. Fuller hadn’t considered stopping. Why would he? He instead directed his attention towards one of his most sinful pleasures: his espresso machine. Every day for the last 3 years, he had worshiped it – manipulating the knobs, watching the gauge, pushing the buttons, and wiping it down, treating it with love and care. It had cost him a lot. Big heaping mugs full of steaming hot Satan, with a packet of artificial sweetener. And now, out the window it goes. He didn’t bother with unplugging the power cable, he just ripped it right off the counter and threw it out his kitchen’s window. More screaming from those below.

The pounding on Fuller’s door had now given way to a rhythmic, repeated THUMP. Fire axes – how rude. They didn’t even bother to ring the doorbell or shout for him first.

“Boy, you know what you gots tah do.”

Fuller knew that even an experienced fireman couldn’t break down his door in under a minute, but he still didn’t have much time. Luckily, he hadn’t chucked his nightstand yet – he made a beeline for it and hastily retrieved his revolver from the top drawer. Loading it as he walked back, he shakily leveled the barrel with the center of the doorway, and took the shot. I’m sorry, whoever you are. I’m not done yet, and I can’t be interrupted now. BANG. A short yelp from the other side of the door. A small hole in the wood. The thumping stopped. The preacher hooted and hollered.

rips and shreds

For a time, there was peace. Fuller pocketed the revolver, and continued his work. The nightstand. His dresser’s drawers. His dresser. His standing lamps. His stylish little bookcases. There was no more screaming or shouting down below. He finished his work, and he was ready. The preacher watched him intently as he stripped naked, finally freeing himself of the last of his material chains. He untied his shoelaces and dramatically kicked the air, sending his fine, custom-fitted Italian dress shoes flying out the window. Loosening his belt, Fuller’s khaki pants readily dropped to the floor, weighed down with the revolver. He ripped off his shirts, balled them up, and threw them off the balcony. He slipped out of his boxer-briefs and socks slowly, and with care. In this moment, Fuller was reborn. He sat on the bare floor of his living room, on his bare ass, in his bare apartment. Void. The preacher was quiet, now. No more jeers, comments, or shouts of encouragement. He rolled up beside Fuller and sympathetically placed his hand on his shoulder. Together, they waited.

It took the police about 15 minutes to find the body of their comrade, organize a squad, and break open his door. When the blue men with guns surrounded Fuller and his dear, wise old preacher, Fuller rose, and walked towards the one who faced him. Surprisingly, the officer in front of him didn’t fire at him. He didn’t even flinch much when Fuller embraced him. Fuller was elated.

“I’m finally free.”

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