Editor’s note: The following is a work of fiction and any relationship to real events is purely coincidental.
She sits at her computer late into the night, drinking glass after glass of Pepsi. The keyboard clatters through the otherwise silent house as she desperately attempts to blog up a better future for her six children. No dirty trick is below her. Young and impressionable minds are her favorite prey, and lies are her ammunition. She’s just finished a brilliant piece, dismissing the latest popular protest as a group of Marxist traitors bent on destroying America. In her mind, this opinion has been cleverly disguised as a piece of leftist investigative journalism gently cautioning against the vices of Socialism.
Already, people are disagreeing. A feed is informing her of any mention she may receive. ”Honey, the trolls are at it again. You think you could get on Twitter and defend me for a bit?” she shouts from her filthy nest, which is strewn with empty Pepsi bottles and unwashed dishes. Begrudgingly, he pulls himself away from the television and finishes his beer. After firing off a few tweets in defense of his wife, he attempts to get her attention. But she’s staring into the monitor as if in a trance, clicking away at random.
So he gets his wife’s attention by smacking her in the back of the head. ”It’s getting late. I’m too old for this stupid bullshit,” he complains.
There is a short silence before she sneers, “and what, let these motherfucking cunt teenagers continue to expose our lies?” And her tone sharpens, “Get some fucking beauty sleep you haggard old piece of shit.”
This time, he smacks her for effect. She sobs.
“I’m sorry, it’s just these fucking trolls. They keep calling me a liar and making fun of my shit. I just need you there,” she sniffles, “to defend me.” She looks up at him with her eyes wide and a face covered in tears. The couple embraces, and they passionately kiss. This romantic scene has played itself out hundreds of times.
Abruptly, she pulls away from her husband and eyes the computer monitor behind him. She shrieks, waking three of her six children. She regains her composure immediately, and commands, “Go get the kids settled back in, I’ll take care of this troll.”
Shaking and nearly in tears, the three children have huddled outside the computer room in a late night scene that has become all too commonplace since their mother began blogging. “Your mother is alright, let’s all get back in bed so we can be ready for school in the morning,” their father says in his most reassuring tone.
“But daddy I’m afraid, is it the bad people – the Marxists – come for us again?” Each child shivers at these words and their father stiffens.
“No. But they will come for you if you don’t go to bed NOW,” and the threat is enough to frighten the children into compliance.
“Thanks, honey,” says the wife from the next room.
She pulls herself from the computer sometime in the early morning and prepares lunch for her children. In each bag, she places a note expressing her motherly love. Finally, she can rest.
The sound of the computer fan across the house draws her from sleep in the late morning. Without brushing her teeth, dressing, or getting a bite to eat, she heads for the computer to check her blog for comments. But it doesn’t load. She spends two hours reloading her blog with no change in results. Something in her brain is shaking loose as she refuses to understand what is happening. She emits a low-pitched moan and it grows in volume. The pitch climbs rapidly. She falls out of her computer chair and her face reddens. She claws at her breasts and her eyes widen with a sudden realization. Her rasping voice proclaims with surety, “It was the JEWS! I knew they couldn’t handle the truth. I knew those Marxists would come for me!” Still laying on the floor, she blindly gropes for the telephone so she can call her husband home from work for the third time this month.
In reality, the young people this woman has been fooling have grown militant. They have seen through her latest blog post because it was too transparent. She has greatly overestimated her ability to dissemble and the house of cards has already fallen. She lifts the computer monitor and throws it through the window, letting out another rage-filled screech. She carves a swastika into her forehead with a shard of broken glass, which calms her down – for now.
When the children get home from school, she is still in her pajamas and breathing heavily. Blood is streaming down her face. Her husband stands by, nodding sternly as she speaks through her teeth. “Everyone sit down and shut up while I talk. This is IMPORTANT!” The speech that follows is so heavily laden with curse words and xenophobic racism that it is unnecessary to repeat here. By the end of the rant, the children are all holding back tears and sure that the Marxists and Jews will raid their home at any moment.
“Why do you always scare us like this, mommy?” asks her oldest child, who is almost 14. She closes on him, face contorted with pure rage.
“You DARE talk to ME like that?! You want to be a little troll? You’ll see what happens to trolls in THIS HOUSE! Go to your room! Your father will take care of your shitty little attitude.”
The sounds of a belt smacking bare flesh resound through the house. Her mood settles. She leaves the cowering children for her husband’s computer. Now is time to declare victory. She is beginning to think that being attacked like this proves how important she is. When she signs onto her Twitter account, she finds her inbox full of new messages. “Good,” she thinks, “supporters coming to my aid!” But they are not. Contributors to her blog are outraged at the statements she has made. They no longer wish to be associated with her. Message after message, her blood pressure rises. Involuntarily, she crosses the room to the unlocked gun cabinet and retrieves a loaded revolver, plated with chrome. She holds it up for careful inspection and cocks it so she can give the barrel a nice whirl. Her finger is putting light pressure on the trigger when she collapses against the wall. She is breathing heavily and holding the cold steel against her cheek, smearing blood across the polished metal. She closes her eyes and runs her tongue along the barrel. It feels so nice. The blood tastes so good.