STALKING EMMA STONE
The homely young man Justin posed alone in front of his reflection holding the rifle, speaking his best bad-ass, “We all die. Some of us need to die sooner.”
Thou shalt not kill
“Thou shall not murder.”
What is murder?
“Murder is killing without Justice.”
What is Justice?
“Justice is balance.”
An eye for an eye? Where does it end?
How can you be sure you aren’t interfering with God’s Justice? Even Evil bends to God’s will
“How can you be sure there is a God?”
If there is no God, there is no Justice; only random choice or personal whim
“So I need God for True Justice, God for to kill righteously? OK, then ‘God guide my hand’.”
That is hollow
“So are my bullets.”
Justin held the rifle behind his back and leaned forward to kiss his drawing of the actress Emma Stone that he had hung beside his mirror, sniffing, “Good-bye, I still love you.”
Justin lived alone in his apartment. When he was a child his father had shot to death his mother and her friends in a custody battle. His father was still on death-row. Justin dwelt in the government foster-care system until he “aged out” at eighteen years old. He was on his own from then on in the dark forest of statistics.
Only half of foster youth will graduate from high school. Fewer than 10 percent of foster youth enroll in college and only 2 percent actually graduate. More than 25 percent of foster youth will become incarcerated within two years after they leave the system.
But Justin found a job working at Liberty Supplies gun shop. The owner, Ravid “Rabid” Kohn, had listened to Justin’s story and he had taken Justin under his wing. Justin could legally work there and legally own a rifle, yet not own a handgun until he became 21, and he couldn’t sell firearms until he became 21. Justin had thought about just joining the military at 18, but he was afraid of another government system.
Justin wanted to be friends with Rabid’s tough little daughter, Karni, who also worked at Liberty Supplies, but Karni soon became jealous of her father’s doting attention on Justin, her father treating Justin like the son that he never had. She would tell her friends, “Justin is ugly, so I only pretend to be friends, ‘to keep my enemies close’.”
Karni soon enough found out about Justin’s obsession with the actress Emma Stone.
Justin gushed, “I posted how much I liked her on her Facebook blog and she posted me back, saying, ‘Thanks :)’.”
Karni sneered, “That wasn’t her. She’s got dozens of publicity agents running that Facebook site. I could have sent that answer for all you would know.”
Justin had only Emma Stone that he treasured and he sounded inordinately hurt by Karni’s words, saying, “She wouldn’t do that.”
Karni shook her head as if at an ignorant child, saying, “She has 30 Facebook sites. I looked.”
Justin replied fiercely, “I posted on her personal blog. It said so!”
Karni mocked, “Oh, Facebook said so. You can only post the truth on Facebook, I forgot.”
That hurt Justin and Karni sensed the terrors starting to ooze through his dented faith in Emma Stone.
Yet, together, Justin and Karni would use Liberty Supplies’ test shooting range in the basement. They made good competitors.
Rabid had several “special customers” to whom he made “special sales”, yet he trusted Justin and Karni to be silent when he would let them try “special” sniper scopes and “special” elite weapons in the shooting range in the basement.
Karni grinned with satisfaction as she was now beating Justin regularly on the range. That crack about Emma Stone really got to you. It was his gaping, palpable weakness. Karni said to her friends, “He is a hollow fragile retard. I figured out how to get him to get rid of himself.”
Karni searched the internet for alternate truths about Emma Stone, “Oh, this is good”:
“She’s just not a pleasant person. I have no interest in spending time with this person, let alone looking at this person. It was hard to achieve any form of friendship relationship…She’s convinced everyone that she’s this thing when she just isn’t…She’s a bitch.”
And Karni soon discovered that Emma Stone likes black tar heroin. She forwarded all the links to Justin’s sad little Facebook account.
Later Karni found the right moment to comment casually while together with Justin on the shooting range, “Hmmm. You know, Justin, I’ll bet you could get rid of someone just about anywhere with this stuff and nobody would ever know it was you.”
Justin responded nervously, “No way. You mean like the President?”
Karni replied, “I mean like Emma Stone.”
Justin was aghast, “What?”
Karni said again, “Like Emma Stone. She is fooling everyone and she is becoming so famous and she’s a lying tramp. I’m getting sick of her, aren’t you?”
Justin wavered, “What, what, how…”
Karni hissed, “It might take two of us to be sure of succeeding. But I could do it myself if I had to. Listen to me.”
And they talked for an hour, back and forth.
Justin then brooded broken-hearted and alone in his apartment over what Karni and he had discussed. Justin made up his mind and stood before the mirror, arguing with himself, grasping his rifle, the “special” compact sniper rifle with silencer that could fold into an apparent briefcase; a briefcase that could snap back into a sniper rifle with a press of a secured button. Justin then held the rifle behind his back and leaned forward to kiss his drawing of Emma Stone that hung beside his mirror, sniffing, “Good-bye, I still love you.”
Emma Stone was to host The Amateur Film Academy’s “Breakthrough Awards” that night, being held at the quaint old Stayfree Pavilion, a red-carpet venue downtown. The back entrance was visible from dozens of rooms in the old high-rise apartments surrounding the Pavilion. And that was a good decoy for the positions that Justin and Karni took on two separate rooftops across from each other as they arrived separately in the mid-morning before security was established.
Karni had found out days ago that some twit had tweeted that Emma Stone, and not some stand-in, was going to attend the rehearsal that morning.
Justin and Karni saw each other’s face low above the two rooftop parapets. After several minutes a luxury car, not a limousine, pulled up at the rear entrance. Emma Stone emerged alone from the backseat, opening her own door, dressed in nondescript casual attire and sunglasses. Justin was nearly bloated with adrenalin, but he noticed Karni’s barely perceptible nod. He saw the barrel of her rifle creep over the parapet.
Justin slid his own rifle barrel over the edge of the roof. He saw Emma Stone chatting with the driver, not in any hurry. He looked over at Karni’s position. They had agreed to fire together, they had practiced.
Justin suddenly shouted, “NO!” and stood erect and he fired toward Karni’s position, shattering a cloud out of brick mortar near Karni’s cheek, stunning her. Emma Stone and her driver glanced up startled but they did not run.
Justin screamed down to Emma Stone and her driver, “RUN!” and he fired again at Karni’s position, not realizing that Karni was dazed and already immobile behind the parapet.
Emma Stone was tackled by her driver and pushed to the side of the vehicle. Her driver yanked a pistol from his jacket. Emma Stone screamed, “WHAT THE FUCK?” as the driver aimed upward at Justin and emptied his gun.
Later, Karni confessed crying to the police that she was not going to shoot and only wanted Justin to fire and take the heat and be out of her life forever, saying, “I figured he wouldn’t hit her. And I don’t really hate Emma Stone.”
Karni’s father was questioned but he had too many connections and he was quietly absolved.
But, after the whole story was sorted out, and against all advice, Emma Stone actually empathized with Justin and visited Justin in jail.
Justin told Emma Stone, “I went along to stop Karni,” sighing, “This makes it all worth it.”
Return to THE_TABLE_OF_MALCONTENTS