A Picture As Pretty As A Tree – KILLtober Short Story

“A card by any other name, would not be a card,” he says with a thoughtful pause as he looks out into the sea of a few thousand faces, all focused on his every word. He smiles, winks playfully before spinning around and exploding into a cavalcade of roses. The crowd sits in stunned silence, people rush from everywhere in a panic. Whispers start to break out throughout the audience, like a wave it picks up pace until it is a roar, and then he appears back on stage with the a sarcastic smile upon his face to everyone’s amazement.

“But what if a card was something entirely different, and you only assumed it was a card, because that’s what it looked like,” he says as the room once again centres upon him. “Take this ornament,” he says pointing to the massive screen behind him. “To any of you this bauble is nothing more than a decoration to be hung upon your tree come Christmas. But what if it was something entirely different. What if this cheap looking ornament was something wonderful? What if this simplistic looking ornament was something you could not live without?” He says, emphasising each word without a subtle vibration that hums throughout the stadium. The rhythmic wave that flows sends the crowd into a fevered frenzy, hitting every point they were designed to hit, literally making Samuel Wight into a god.

He flashes his million dollar smile as he wizzes around the stage and ignites the crowd in a chant, calling for them to feed their own desires as well as his.

“What if I told you this tiny little ornament, would be the biggest salvation your empty pathetic life would ever hope to find! Would you believe ME?” He screams out, thrusting an ear towards the crowd, who roar with a united “YES!” Back at him.

He touches his chest and smiles softly. “You touch me with your kind words, and I love you all so very much for that. But, what if someone out there, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance you hardly know tells you I’m a fraud, a charlatan. Would you believe them?” The crowd roars back with a venomous “NO!”

“What if someone told you that, that little ornament was only an ornament. What if someone told you that, that little ornament would only bring you pain. What if someone told you that I was a liar, and had lied to you not only about this little ornament, but everything I had ever told you. WOULD YOU BELIEVE THEM?”

The crowd erupts like a volcano with a unanimous “NO!”

He smiles and struts across the stage to a podium that stands in the centre.

“This knife,” he says as he turns towards the screen, which now displays a large bladed knife. “This knife will not only set you free, it will change your life. This knife,” he says turning back to the crowd, with a wicked smile upon his face. “This knife will not only change the way those nay sayers feel about the AMAZING ADVANCES what we are ACHIEVING HERE IN THIS ROOM EVERY SINGLE DAY! It will SHUT THEM UP, FOR GOOD!” The room fizzes with excitement, as whispers once more begin to build into enormous waves roaring upon the shore of life.

“This KNIFE will be their END and your BEGINNING!”

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