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2 / Ordinary is Nice

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Origin stories can bore me. In many cases they're used as an info-dump. A way to fill in all the gaps you didn't know, and probably didn't care, existed. They can be served up like the gruel of a prison meal, splatted upon the plate to create nothing more than an unappetising mess

But knowing the origins of something or someone can also help you understand them. Empathise or, at least, sympathise.

So, though they can sometimes be inelegant or clumsy, they can be invaluable.

Don't worry about mine, though. It wouldn't, really, tell you anything about why. It wouldn't reveal any secrets that had long been festering beneath my stitched-on smile. My life was OK. Good in parts and not so good in others. I didn't have a bad childhood and nor was it wonderful. It wavered in between the two like one of those bendy, inflatable men you find outside of car showrooms, arms waving wildly to all who passed by in the hope that someone might find it inviting enough to venture in and buy the latest model two door when they actually needed an SUV to house their wife and children.

I had an SUV. It was black with a white lid. It fit myself and my children, two girls, comfortably. It had just the right number of gadgets to keep me happy and not too many to turn my wife off. She liked her cars to be suitable for the task at hand. Getting from one place to another. She didn't care if it had cruise control or speed limit sign monitoring. If it was purple or green or some other eye-catching colour that meant there weren't many around, all the better, but it just needed to go otherwise.

So, there was no hidden meaning or prompting. No demons to either bury or bend to their will. No murky past that would push me without my realising. It was ordinary.

And perhaps that was the problem.

Wonderful things had happened to me in my life. I married my best friend. I had the best children a parent could wish for, even when they are testing their boundaries or trying on the Precocious hat for size. I travelled to beautiful, awe-inspiring places. Egyptian tombs and super high landmarks. Gorgeous beaches and bustling cities with the best kebabs and circus you could ever wish to taste or see.

But, overall, it was ordinary. I lived in a nice house. Had a nice job. A nice dog that flipped from frantic to snoring rug in an instant.


So, maybe that's why I took the knife and slit the throat. For the thrill of it. To sprinkle a little glitter on the magnolia walls of my life.

They say a life for a life. Coincidence was my friend that night as I noticed afterwards, working back the time, that I killed her at 21:23, or thereabouts. So, she was my Exodus. My departure from ordinary into something more. Something broader. Though I am not particularly religious and only usually exclaim His name in extremes or either pain or pleasure, I did already know that Exodus 21:23 had the phrase 'eye for an eye' and so on. Perhaps fate, or something or someone else, was looking down on me.

I don't believe that. It was, as I said, coincidence. Chance. But one that gave me pause for thought. Her life should have changed my own. It didn't.


I'd never stolen a car. I'd never used a gun and never bought poison.

I thought I should best become acquainted with such things.

But first...

"Hey babe."

"Hi darlin'."

A kiss. A hug. A squeeze of her bum and a smile. I was home.

"Good walk?"

"Yes, babe. The rain held off, but I doubt it will for much longer." A nod as she sipped her coffee. "At least I've got my step count in for today."

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