Paranoia Part 4
By Joseph Logsdon
Just as things started to look bleak, Fred grabbed the man by the throat. The man tried to use his gun, but he didn't have the strength to pull the trigger. After several agonizing seconds, the man was dead. Knowing that he would be convicted, Fred left the area. Whether he liked it or not, Fred knew that he would have to face his wife again. Hoping to reconcile with her, Fred returned home. Once inside, Fred attempted to confront her, but, before he could reach the second floor, Rick prevented him from going any further.
"Dad, you can't see her," Rick stated.
"You attacked her," Rick stated.
"She deserved it," Fred replied.
"How could you say that?"
"She fucked you," Fred stated.
"Dad, that's not true," Rick sighed.
"No matter what you say, I'll never believe you," Fred hissed.
"I won't let you hurt her," Rick stated.
"I'm not going to hurt her, I'm going to hurt you," Fred laughed.
"What do you mean?"
"You're just as guilty, if not more guilty," Fred stated.
"What are you talking about?"
"Let's face it, if you had resisted, this wouldn't have happened," Fred stated.
"Dad, you need help," Rick replied.
"Are you going to get out of my way?"
"If you want to see her, you'll have to kill me," Rick stated.
Using all of his strength, Fred attacked his only child. The fight, though brutal, didn't last long. Knowing that he was going to lose, Rick left the room. Making his way to the bedroom, Fred finally learned the truth. Instead of finding Marsha alone, he found her with his psychiatrist. Not only were they naked, but they were also fucking.
"Fred, I didn't expect to see you," Marsha stated.
"You mean, that all this time, you were fucking him?"
"Life is full of surprises," she laughed.
"Why would you do that?"
"Well, let me explain, if I may," the psychiatrist stated.
"Why should I believe anything that you say?"
"Because I'm the only person who knows the truth," the psychiatrist stated.
"What is the truth, exactly?"
"You know, before I met your wife, I was a very lonely man. Sure, I had my work, but that wasn't enough. When Marsha visited my office, I knew that she was the one for me. We wanted to get married, but Marsha was too afraid. Because of your fragile nature, I decided to destroy you psychologically."
"What do you mean?"
"Sanity is a fragile thing, isn't it? It was her idea, not mine, to slowly drive you insane. Everything that you saw, including your conversation with Mike, was staged."
"What do you mean, staged?"
"At first, Mike didn't want to betray you, but after we upgraded his fee, he was more than willing to betray his closest friend. Rick, on the other hand, wanted to do it from the start. Sure, he hated kissing his mother, but that was part of the job. We hoped that, given time, you would succumb to insanity. I must say, I didn't expect you to return home. Well, now that you know, there's no point in keeping our relationship a secret."
"This is too fantastic," Fred cried.
"It's true, every word of it," Marsha laughed.
"Well, what happens now?"
"Just because my plan failed, doesn't mean that you won. On the contrary, you've suffered a great loss. Your family hates you, your friend hates you, and your psychiatrist hates you. No one, not even your own wife, feels any sympathy for you. Honestly, if I were you, I'd kill myself," the psychiatrist laughed.
"That's it, I've had enough," Fred exclaimed.
Before another word could be spoken, Fred pulled out a gun. Normally, Fred would have hesitated, but after everything that he had been through, there was no room for hesitation. The gun was fired not once, not twice, but three times. When it was all said and done, they were dead. Unable to live with what he had done, Fred placed the gun in his mouth, and fired. Rick ran into the room, but he was too late, far too late.