Monday, April 16, 2012

Jerry's Beard

By Matthew Vaughn

It didn’t take Jerry near as long as he thought it would to grow his beard. This was something he was new at, he’d never let his facial hair get further than stubble before. Now he was starting to feel like a pro. Jerry’s beard reached his chest and he liked to proudly stroke the coarse red hairs.
     Originally the idea to grow the beard had come to Jerry after reading a book by the author Andersen Prunty titled The Beard. In this book a young man named David Glum found himself at a point in life where he was unsure of what to do. David had decided to go back to his parent’s house and grow a beard.
     Jerry had felt kind of like David Glum. He didn’t know what to do with his life. He felt like he needed some time to sit and think about things, and he decided to grow a beard during that time.
     It had only taken Jerry a couple months to grow his beard to its current length. He wasn’t sure but he didn’t think that was normal. That’s when he realized his beard was special. So as the beard got longer Jerry dedicated more time to growing it than he did anything else.
     By the time seven months had passed the beard was past his waist line. Jerry had moved a T.V. into his bathroom and turned his bath tub into a large cooler for junk food and drinks. He stayed sitting on the toilet without any pants on and just grew his beard. It was around this time that his beard started helping him with the few remaining things he did throughout the day. His beard would brush his teeth for him, would flush the toilet after he relieved himself. It would even change the channel when something boring came on.
     After a year Jerry’s beard had grown to epic proportions. The beard explored outside of the bathroom. The apartment was pretty small and compact, but the beard used the time Jerry spent sleeping to explore every inch of it.
     When it felt that it had seen everything there was to see in the apartment, the beard decided it wanted to know what was beyond these walls. Jerry did not want to leave; he had everything he wanted there in his bathroom. While growing the beard Jerry had lost all desire to do anything with his life. That’s when the beard decided it didn’t need Jerry anymore.
     One evening while Jerry was watching T.V. the beard snuck into the kitchen and got a hold of an electric turkey carver. It snuck back into the bathroom and plugged the knife in.
     Jerry was startled out of his program by the sound of the turkey carver. He turned in time to see it coming towards his face. He ducked before it struck him and curiously wondered how much damage a turkey carver would actually do. He grabbed the beard right below the knife and slammed it down onto the sink. The beard released the weapon.
“What’s wrong with you?” Jerry demanded as he shook his beard.
     The beard didn’t respond to Jerry’s question, instead another portion of hair crept up behind Jerry and wrapped itself around his throat.
     Jerry dropped the part of the beard he was holding onto in surprise. He grabbed at what was wrapped around his neck and tried to pull it off, but it wouldn’t budge.
     Jerry’s arms flailed madly as he struggled for breath. He smacked the shelf above the toilet and remembered the electric razor he had up there. Getting a hold on it he hoped the batteries hadn’t gone dead in all the time he hadn’t been using it.
     He pushed the button and the razor came to life. He wasted no time digging at his face, his sight starting to get black around the edges.
     Finally Jerry shaved the beard off his face, but it didn’t matter. The beard didn’t think it needed him to live, and it continued to strangle Jerry until he died. In the end the beard got what it wanted, it was free of Jerry and could go where ever it desired.
     After Jerry was dead the beard tried to get outside of the apartment. It couldn’t work the locks on the door. The best it could manage was squeezing some hair under the door. It tried the windows and couldn’t get them open either. The beard wrapped itself around a chair and threw it through a window.
     With part of it hanging out the window and some hairs under various doors of the apartment it turned out that the beard did need Jerry after all. The beard died mostly piled into the living room trying to force the door open.

1 comment:

  1. I never thought I would feel sorry for a murderous beard -- I don't even really like them when they're not homicidal -- but the ultimate futility of its actions was sad.

    That poignancy really hit hard after the whimsy of the beginning.