I’m sick of this life, being pushed around at work, squeezed like a lemon by the government, the banks charging whatever they like for doing practically nothing, the Bank of England interest rate at a ridiculously low level and stock markets crashing all over the world. Tell me one banker that’s been jailed for incompetence and I’ll give you every penny that I’ve ever invested? Take Fred the Shred for example. Sir Fred Goodwin, chief executive of RBS, who presided over the bank while it slid into bankruptcy. What did he get for his incompetenceSir Fred Goodwin, the inept chief executive who allowed RBS to slide into bankruptcy. What did he get for his ineptitude? The sack? Prison? No, he got a £17 million bonus. £17 million for mishandling one of the biggest banks in the UK. And what do I get? Sweet nothing! I put my inheritance into a stocks and shares investment plan — with the advice of RBS — and it is now worth half the value that it was when I first invested. Thanks for nothing Sir Fred! All the money my hard-working parents had accumulated throughout their miserable lives down the tubes in less than a week: my father sweating his guts out in a foundry — pouring molten metal from a blast furnace, his only protection a leather apron and heavy gloves (he had hands like shovels: “You’ll feel the weight of my hand if you don’t behave,” he used to bellow, then with a hard thwack he would swipe me round the head); my mother spending her entire working life nursing in a hospital, selflessly labouring to treat and save people’s lives (not to mention courageously standing between me and my rage-filled father — and it didn’t take much to enrage him), and what for? All their hard earned money, bequeathed to me when they died, down the tubes thanks to those greedy bankers and incompetent politicians — those elite bastards who are as far removed from the people who elected them as the moon is from the earth What’s the point of it all? What’s the point of living? Everywhere you go you get a kickback. There’s always somebody somewhere ready to pull the rug from under your feet. One step forward and two steps back. Everything I ever did has gone wrong. I can’t see the point of staying alive any more.

There must be a simple way out of here, an uncomplicated way of killing myself. I thought about taking sleeping pills but I wondered — as I drifted into a coma — if I would dream I couldn’t breathe or that I was dying and struggling to survive; or maybe I wouldn’t take enough pills and end up on a life support machine, unable to talk or move or even blink but my mind completely active — locked-in-syndrome, screaming inside, begging the doctors to end it all but not being able to communicate and having to listen to clinicians discussing my case while I lay there, the ventilating machine rhythmically pumping air into my lungs, as I stare up at the ceiling, my eyes fixed on a single spot, as I oh so silently go mad. No, definitely not. Sleeping pills are not an option. What about hanging myself? Tying a belt or a rope around my neck and stepping off of a chair, kicking it away from underneath me and swinging free, my body thrashing around as I fight for breath, until I eventually choke to death. Definitely not. Like I said in the beginning there must be a simple, uncomplicated way out of here. Perhaps I should throw myself under a train, be cut to pieces by those massive iron wheels, my body tumbling along the tracks, bumping over the sleepers, maybe touching the electric rail — a blinding flash that sears the flesh from my bones. Hang on, I could survive limbless and terribly scarred. Again I could end up on a life support machine paralysed from the neck downwards, my spinal cord irrevocably damaged, and suffering terrible injuries to my brain. I’d have to have 24-hour care, be hoisted from the bed into a wheelchair and just sit there all day dribbling, my urine filtering into a bag, the chair parked alongside a window with the burning sun filtering through the glass and heating me up with no possible way of communicating my discomfort, my mind in a frenzy as a tear oozes from my eye and dribbles down my cheek. The same could happen if I threw myself in front of a bus or lorry. Couldn’t guarantee that it would kill me. There has to be guarantees in this game. It has to work first time and it has to work good. It’s got to be faultless. Hey, I could score some heroin, find some drug dealer somewhere and buy a gram — a lethal dose since I have no tolerance to the drug. The police say they are everywhere and that drugs are easy to get and heroin is cheap and plentiful and as fast as they arrest one lot of dealers, clear them from the streets, another lot appear. Theoretically there should be no problem scoring heroine but I’ve got to know where to go and who to contact, and for Christ sakes I’m just an ordinary guy who doesn’t do drugs, so where would I begin? Then I’d have to go to the chemist, make up some excuse to buy a syringe, or maybe go to A&E and pretend I’ve got some illness, let them put a cannula in my arm and then walk out of the hospital and with a plastic syringe, shove the heroin through the cannula and into my veins. I remember once going to A&E and having a cannula fitted and forgetting that it was in my arm. I was discharged and drove all the way home not realising the cannula was still there. That was funny. I had to drive back to the hospital and ask them to remove it. Yeah, I was in the A&E unit all afternoon that day, watching people in reception puking up all over the place, people swathed in temporary blood-soaked rags or bandages and waiting — some of them in agony and clearly distressed — to see a doctor, others hobbling around with injured legs, people sitting in chairs with the most abominable, glum looks on their faces. Ha, ha, ha, that’s was a weird day. Fancy forgetting I had a cannula in my arm … What an idiot! That’s what I need, a good shot of really potent heroin, a one-hit wonder, a hotshot, undo the tourniquet and wham — eyes rolling up inside my head and keeling back dead as a door nail. But, hey, what if I survived? Suppose some neighbour or family member discovered my semi-comatose body, lingering near death, and I was rushed to hospital and the doctors managed to revive me? Once I was stable, they would immediately section me on the grounds that I was a danger to myself. The do-good social workers, psychologists and doctors would deem that I was mentally ill, deranged, off my rocker. They would whisk me off, lock me away in some obscure nut house, confined indefinitely with a load of screwballs, people wailing and gnashing their teeth, screaming in corridors, having to be physically restrained by overworked staff and maybe abused at the same time. God! I wonder how many people are abused in these places? I’ve seen films taken by reporters with hidden cameras of patients being physically and mentally abused by staff who want to feel superior, whose sole purpose in life was to find somebody weaker than them to come down on. Yeah, it makes them feel good to be in power or to have power over other individuals. Pathetic bastards. They’re the ones who need a shot of heroin. And what about rogue policeman? The worst kind of scum, those who abuse their power, their privilege, and use their authority to undermine, belittle and even destroy people they do not like. What about that, then? You’re in a position of power and you suddenly see somebody who doesn’t fit your ‘decent citizen’ profile and so you come down on them hard, make their life a misery, exercise your authority in the most abusive and demeaning way, bring people to your knees and have them lick your boots clean. Scumbags! Suicide? What am I talking about? I’m not the problem here. I shouldn’t be thinking of killing myself, I should be thinking of cleaning up society by getting rid of these pricks. Okay, so I’m talking about murder. But they deserve it. The fuckers are not worthy enough to call themselves human, let alone to be holding positions of authority.

Let’s see now? Who else is deserved of my wrath? Take that prick Johnson, the section manager who lords it over us lesser mortals, struts around the department like he was God’s gift to humankind, the only person on earth who knows everything about nothing or nothing about anything and whom without the company would collapse. I’ve seen the way he sucks up to the boss, takes all the credit for the work we do. And the smarmy way he talks to the female staff, the flattery, the sweet talking, the fawning — the insincere bastard with his put-on smile, flashing his porcelain teeth salesman-like disingenuous leering grin towards pretty females and we’ve got some crackers here in the office. He behaves in the most shameless way. Yeah, the world would be a better place without him. Hey, this is highly therapeutic. I suddenly feel a thousand times better. Maybe I ought to think more seriously about getting rid of this slimy toad. There must be a sure-fire way of killing him without attracting any attention to myself. A timely accident, perhaps, like pushing him in front of a car, or tripping him up on the stairs? No, it’s not possible. Anyway I don’t know his routine and it would be too risky. What do I know about him? He’s married with kids. He sometimes eats out at lunchtime, but generally uses the staff canteen. Can you believe that? He’s been a major player in the office for three or four years and what do I know? Jack shit! I just accept that he’s there, like part of the furniture. Mr Johnson. Mr fucking Johnson. Please may I have a shit, Mr Johnson? I do apologise, Mr Johnson, but I need to go to the dentist — I’ve shattered my teeth, grinding them together so hard due to the fact that I cannot stand you.

This is more like it. I can feel the excitement building up, the exhilaration, the anticipation of doing something really different. It’s like being a child again, having that sense of wonderment as you gaze up at the stars and realising for the first time that you are an integral part of a vast cosmos, or waking up on Christmas day and seeing presents at the foot of your bed, or maybe that incredible sense of elation you feel as you embark on a holiday trip. I’ve often looked at documentaries on the television, real-life murderers and wondered how anybody could possibly kill in cold blood. These guys — and they are mostly men — seem to have no soul, no remorse, no empathy or conscience. The only thing that energises them is taking somebody’s life. They need death — the death of somebody else, of course — in order to live. I have never contemplated anything like this before, and neither have I displayed any narcissistic characteristics, at least not to my knowledge, and yet here I am, surprisingly, contemplating killing the section manager. Goodbye Mr Johnson. Goodbye you prick-arse-fucker. But how? How to do it without any comebacks? This is how killers get found out. They are compulsive, spontaneous, and they make mistakes. I am calculated, ingenious — even if I do say so myself — and I’m therefore going to plan this very meticulously.

 We pan down now and see our protagonist mulling over his thoughts, scheming, trying to come up with an audacious blueprint of action, a strategy that will bring about the sure-fire demise of Mr Johnson. He opens the kitchen cupboard and pulls out a couple of tins of fish, turns them around in his hand, strokes his chin and then puts them back. Turning to the fridge, he pulls the door open and looks inside. Takes a plate of uncooked chicken from one of the shelves and puts it on the work surface, then slides a knife from the knife block and begins to slice the chicken up. What’s this? He is actually whistling! Can he really be happy? Now he’s singing: “Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be …” He places the slices on a saucer and moves to the conservatory. “That should do nicely,” he says leaving the fresh meat on the windowsill under the fall glare of the sun. Stepping back, he stands between the conservatory and the front room and waits. Soon three or four bluebottles are crawling over the meat, their phosphorescent green bodies glinting in the bright light. Smiling, our protagonist is suddenly overcome by an intense feeling of well-being. Smiling, he says: “Yes, that should do very nicely. Fly to daddy you little beauties …” A week later he puts on a pair of plastic gloves and carefully scrapes the rotten meat with a knife. Opening a small jar, he puts the foetid scrapings inside and screws on the lid.  

Neither that rotten scumbag Johnson or anybody else is going to pin anything on me. No one will know that I have laced his salad with a smear of botulinum infected meat. When he becomes ill it will simply be a case of food poisoning. Hopefully it will be enough to kill him. Botulinum is deadly — very deadly. Now all I’ve got to do is meet him in the canteen, sit down at his table and engage him in conversation, distract him enough to smear his meal with a small dollop of rotten flesh. That should be easy enough. A few of the office girls will be eating there, too. “I’m sure Linda fancies you,” I’ll say. “Look, she keeps glancing your way.” That will be enough to distract him. I wonder how long it will take for him to become seriously ill? Pains in the stomach, vomiting, then coma followed by paralysis and death. Happy days! Hey, I might get a taste for this. Not for rotten meat, though. Ha, ha, ha! Already I sense that I’m in the grip of an addiction, an addiction that will need feeding. And there’s plenty of fodder out there. Plenty.