Short Story –Too Fucked Up To Care Anymore

Jasper Willems
7 min readMay 24, 2024

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Too Fucked Up To Care Anymore

December 27th, 2023

11.27 PM — Knightsbridge, UK

Roddy is sitting out Day Three of his weeklong ban from the Doomlot Online Community. His memory of the particulars remains fuzzy. Another hash-induced tea-bagging frenzy? Or perhaps he called the moderator a cunt again? Never mind. His primal impulses have taken root into a different type of perfect drug. With affixed gaze and sweaty upper lip, lurched behind his proudly customized PC set-up, Roddy’s Flaming Hot Cheeto-stained fingers attempt to type the words ‘menstrual clown porn sex party’ a total of three times. Yet the results always seem to fall just short of expectation.

Falling short of expectation has actually been a running beat in Roderick ‘Roddy’ James Augustus MacDougal’s twenty-six years among the living. He’s the youngest progeny of disgraced TV Host Oliver MacDougal. In the wake of the sex scandal, his older siblings Karen and Gary have recoiled in disavowal, straight back into their own lofty enterprises. The former is ‘fighting the good fight’ as a fashion entrepreneur and production manager for sustainable clothing materials. The latter, meanwhile, is cutting ribbons with toothpaste smiles as the freshly-minted interim commissioner of the Global LaCrosse Foundation. Roddy hasn’t been on speaking terms with either since his father was sentenced to six years without parole, much to his own indifference.

Instead, he has spent the past few weeks behind closed blinders bragging about the whole media circus to his fellow community members. Life has been a shit show, but then again, it also hasn’t. No matter the outcome, Roddy would hebdomadally live in his self-imposed hibernation, surrounded by his games, his collection of novelty bongs and an ever-mounting clutter of plastic bags, paper burger wrappers and pizza boxes. “Too fucked up to care anymore,” the anguished, bile-drenched voice of Trent Reznor bellows from his Bluetooth Speakers. A sober Roddy MacDougal would have surely nodded in approval, but this one remains in delirous mental stasis.

The menstrual clown porn wasn’t triggering in the slightest. Even though Roddy has the financial means to fly to Ibiza and back a thousand times over, offering money to a bunch of clout-chasing Instagram models for a ‘forced hang’ might be ill-advised as the son of a registered sex offender. In a sigh of resignation, Roddy unlatched himself from his beloved GAMEFORCE Throne, waddling to his bedroom as The Butthole Surfers’ “The Shame Of Life” rings outside of the doorway. As soon as he burrows his face into the pillow, he blacks out.

After what could conceivably be hours or days, a piercing peeping sound shakes Roddy awake from his anodyne slumber. “Now what?” he mumbles under his breath. Roddy shuffles back to the living room, his rotund head slowly rocking sideways to shake off the cobwebs. As the computer screen light invades his retinas, his brow furrows. The main browser is frozen out by what looks like a countdown clock. Fifty-six days, thirteen hours, seventeen minutes and twenty-three seconds. Roddy frantically tries to close the browser window: instead of it disappearing like a regular spam message, the countdown clock moves up with each click. Sixty-five, eighty-seven, one-hundred and sixty six.

“What the fuck is this shit?” Roddy jeered in incredulity. Before he could finish his thoughts, the brisk buzz of his phone, buried between a Boba Fett Funko Pop and a bong shaped like a .45 Caliber pistol, startled him. A text message from Unknown Sender: ‘Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in 166 days’. “Fucking adware, man.” Roddy scoffs in bemusement, chalking up this little snafu to his little tryst with menstrual clown porn. Stupid sonofabitch, should have known better, his inner thoughts mulled. Roddy shrugged and ducked his burly frame behind his desk to restart his computer. As the first crack of dawn peered through the dense curtains of his apartment, he went straight back to bed.

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June 23, 2024

3.34 PM

Malibu, USA

“Love…? Love!” At first, Gary Godfried, formerly known as Garrison Godfried MacDougal , merely musters agitated grunts, as his wife Eleanor nudges his shoulder with increased intensity. As one final shake turns into an outright shove, the former interim commissioner of the Global LaCrosse Association opens his left eye sternly at his wife’s looming bedside shadow: a gaze teeming with acidic dejection. “For Pete’s sake, El, let me lay the fuck down!” “Oh you’re impossible!”Eleanor Westbrook-Godfried shrieks, as if receiving an electric shock. She struts away in a tantrum, gesticulating her hands in taut, claw-like shapes.

Gary pulls his bedsheet from his lean bony frame in one swift motion. “That’s right, go! Go shopping or whatever the fuck is it that you do!” Another Hennessy hangover, however, keeps him from chasing Eleanor with matching intensity. Gary’s nervous system quakes and trembles in feverish fatigue, halting a feeble attempt to rise to his feet. His behind plunges back into the soft mattress like an anvil. Gary cradles his face with both hands in defeat, letting them slide down his neck. A false outward gasp of reassurance leaves his lungs.

Not even Gary Godfried could have anticipated the strange peaks and valleys that have transpired lately. The frantic distancing from his father’s tarnished legacy, to the point of purging the family name entirely from his administration. Somehow, through blunt luck and elite PR power, he attained the function he always dreamed of, no less in a sport he excelled in for decades. Only for it to be clutched from his fingers again when Lara Weymouth was promptly elected the new commissioner of the GLA. Weymouth’s team played hard ball, threatening to expose Gary’s attempts to silence one of his father’s accusers. Even with a majority stake, stepping down was the only option.

Following this debacle, the former prodigal son — the man who tallied Doctoral and Honorary degrees in Science, Computer Engineering, Business Administration, Art and Linguistics before the age of 25 — finds himself peering over the same 12,344 square feet oceanside property for thirty-something days straight. This place should remind him of all he accomplished, but instead it feels like a cruel dream. A facade of a theater backdrop, willingly pulled over his eyes to blind him from an increasingly perilous world. Global warming, political disarray, waning natural resources, economic collapse rule the daily discourse. Now there’s suddenly talk of a mysterious malware virus, reportedly linked to an unusual death toll among the human populus. Still though, when confronted with a view as majestic as this, Gary remains distant and unperturbed.

The only thing eating away at him is a deep inner shame. Shame of how his peers are probably ridiculing him at their fancy country clubs and family resorts. How his attempts to game the system are no different from theirs: except he was the one who got caught in the act. The unfairness of it all. Just the thought of it makes the veins protrude from his temples. His wife’s futile attempts to reignite their romance and conceive a child merely feel like a bothersome fog amidst it all.

Gary wearily rises with crackling knees from the bed, letting out a dry cough. He claps his hands to activate the kitchen TV. “The fact remains, no one knows who is behind the global malware attack. No authorities have located a dispatch system, or even a stationed computer source. Meanwhile, the death rate among the poor and working class continues at an alarming rate…” Gary claps his hands again. Out of sight, out of mind. Eleanor walks in the doorway of the guestroom, batting her eyes at her husband with backbiting impatience. “C’mon, Gary, quit being such a wanker. Let’s go for a walk at least. Please.”

“Eleanor, I know you want to, you know, try… but for fuck’s sake,” Gary scorns “Do you really want to raise a child on a planet with killer computer viruses on the loose?” “Yes, I do actually!” Eleanor cries, clasping Gary’s right hand in a beckoning way. “B-but…” Before the couple could reconcile their dispute, the phone echoes urgently through the penthouse walls. “I’ll get it,” Gary seethes.

“Gary Godfried?”

“This is him.”

“Are you by any chance the brother of Roderick MacDougal?”

“I am. Cut to the chase.”

“This is the London Police Department. We’ve found your brother dead in his apartment.”

“You can’t be serious!”

Gary felt his airways stifle and the worrisome stare of his wife on his back, seering into him like a sunbeam through a magnifying glass.

“I am sorry for your loss, Mr. Godfried”

“T-tell me more.”

“The body has been decomposing for an estimated twelve days. It would have been even longer: one of the tenants of the apartment complex happened to be a coroner, he recognised the smell and started investigating.”

“Any leads on the cause of death?”

“His heart just stopped. Like a heart attack, with no noticeable symptoms of disease.”

“You mean just like the others…”

“Yes, it is remarkably consistent with all the other malware-related casualties”

“But how? Reports have indicated that the virus only infects those of lower income. Roddy has generational wealth!”

“We’re looking into that. Please stay in touch as we continue our investigation. Once again, I am sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you very much.”

“Is it…”, Eleanor stymies. “It’s Roddy. That fucking…thing! Whatever the fuck it is, snuffed out my brother!” Gary yells, his voice rebounding across the kitchen interior with a metallic clank. “I’m sorry, love… I know you cared about him.”

Gary paused for a second, eyes widened and lips purled in stumped cognizance. No, he did not. His imbecile brother pissed his life away, flunked out of school and refused to leave his room for days at a time. If anything, he was more a nuisance, someone he forgot even existed for long stretches of time. Except for now. Gary turned his gaze back to Eleanor, summoned his most vivid memories of his Oxford University drama fraternity, and concentrated. A small fleck of what resembled a tear emerged from the corner of his eye.

“Roddy…”, he mutters, as Eleanor’s soft embrace swallows the base of his neck. His mind drifts off, not towards funeral arrangements or eulogies. His eyes instead turn to stray drops from the lawn sprinkler, finding their way beneath the opening of the glass garden door.

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