Ian Westwood, accountant, wore tweed and carried a pistol in a shoulder holster.
Accountancy, some claimed, was a lifeless occupation of numbers and sharks-teeth smiles. This was correct, and initially Westwood had suffered the long slow paralysis of a mind in decay. His numerical skills had grown in inverse proportion to his sense of self-worth. If all he did was juggle numbers, what did that make him? A calculator, a mere formula in a suit.
On the day that he found his calling, Westwood cowered in the stationery cupboard for the hour before his meeting. The clients were dissatisfied with Westwood's performance, relying as it did upon writing what the numbers said rather than what the clients needed them to say. This cardinal sin was due to bring down the wrath of God or, worse, Westwood's director upon him. Ignominy awaited.
Yet inside, when the yelling began, something made of ice cracked behind Westwood's weeping eyes. He unsheathed the pen from its scabbard pocket and, without hesitation, stabbed each and every person in the room to bloody death.
Ian Westwood, wanted felon, wears tweed and carries a pistol in a shoulder holster, and holds everyone accountable for their crimes.
The Rationalist Anti-Christ
No one noted his arrival; he was suddenly at large, in the town square, fog leaking in rivers from his hounskull.
We rationalised that he couldn’t be the devil. The devil would be irrational.
When it became clear he was the devil, we rationalised that he could do no harm – after all, no one could ‘win’ an argument. We had no arbiters, no gods. Either agreement was reached or it was not. He rationalised that if he made it his business to never agree, then nothing could ever be settled. That way, he could never lose.
Soon he had us locked down in a Sisyphean cycle – once we had thoroughly discounted his points, one by one, coldly, pragmatically, he simply returned with fresh refutations, more numerous, more diabolic. He rationalised that it was easy to introduce an idea or assertion, difficult to discount it entirely. In time, he abandoned a central thrust altogether, in favour of a swarm of smaller affronts to reality and logic. We were fists batting at clouds of flies.
After we murdered him, the gentle buzzing in our blood was as wonderful as anything. We rationalised that mistakes only made us stronger.
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