It was a gloomy day in early June, with the kind of lazy, drizzling rain that lasts forever. The perfect day for a murder, and that poor sap Jerry wouldn't even see it coming.
The drive-through was crowded, so I put the wipers on intermittent, the better to watch Jerry hand out sacks of fast food and collect money, giving each patron a phony smile. He looked bored out of his mind, probably wondering if his day could possibly get worse. Days can always get worse, Jerry.
I held the weapon down low on my right side, out of view. There were four cars ahead of me, then three, then two. The guy just in front of me must have been ordering for the whole office, it took so long. Finally, it was my turn, and I eased my car up to the window.
"A burger and a cola. You don't even recognize me, do you, Jerry?"
He looked at me uncertainly.
"No, sir, I don't think so. Would you like fries with that?"
"High school, Jer? Probably no reason for you to notice me then, of course, you being the star of the basketball team and all. I was just one of the geeks who worked on the yearbook."
"Well, it was a big school," he said.
"The goofy looking kid with glasses who sat in the back row in Mrs. Lee's English class? Ring any bells, Jer?"
I saw recognition begin to creep into his eyes and, perhaps, just a little bit of fear.
"You're the kid who kept following me around and asking me to sign your yearbook, aren't you?"
"Bingo! Remember what you finally did? You were eating a hamburger and fries in the cafeteria, and you gave me the fries and told me to go away and quit bothering you."
"You certainly don't hold a grudge after all this time, do you? It was just a slight slight. And look at me now -- isn't the kind of life I have punishment enough?"
"A grudge, Jer? I loved those fries, so I had to have more and then still more. Those fries got me hooked on trans fats, Jer. Do you realize what that's done to my body over the years? So, in answer to your question, no, I will NOT be having fries with my burger and cola, Jer."
His lower lip trembled.
"But I didn't know. Nobody knew. Who knew about clogged arteries way back then? Have some free fries today, buddy -- they're guaranteed trans-fat free."
"Too little, too late, Jer. I'm afraid it's payback time."
My vision blurred, and I felt the muscles in my neck tighten. I was actually going to do it. I held the weapon up so he could see it.
His eyes widened as he finally realized what was coming.
"No, you can't! Please!! I have protection -- there's a law."
"Sorry, Jer. The big boys on the council had another meeting last night and 'clarified' the situation. The protection is only for entrances -- that would be a door, Jer -- not for drive-through windows."
He looked like he wanted to run, but I was too quick. I brought the cigarette to my lips. It was already lit, so I inhaled as deeply as I could and blew the smoke right in his face. Just like that, it was over.
"What have you DONE to me?" he screamed. The other workers had seen my assault and rushed over to see if they could help Jerry. But there was nothing to be done, and I could see that knowledge in the pitiful looks they gave him. Jerry was a dead man walking.
I sat easy in my car, finishing my smoke. The police would be there soon to take my statement, but I didn't care. I had my revenge.