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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Microstory 1789: Kendall Cole

Kendall Cole is one sick puppy; not evil, per se, but certainly not a good person. She loves to start trouble, and she is a master at it. She knows how to manipulate others into doing what she wants, and not even for her own gain. Well, she appears to gain the joy of watching people squirm, but she isn’t otherwise benefiting from all this conflict. At least, it doesn’t seem like it gets her anything else. She just likes to watch people in pain, and her parents were always worried that this would translate into something really bad and violent when she grew up. Therapy didn’t help. Socialization didn’t help. Nothing did her any good. If there was an opportunity to make people feel bad, and get away with it, she would do it. As she grew up, however, she got better at causing trouble in secret, leading her parents to believe that she had learned to change her ways. She stopped getting in trouble at school, because of how good she was at convincing others to become the agents of chaos, so she never really learned what consequences were. No one gave her any real reason to improve herself, so she never did, and she never regretted it either. Kendall didn’t become a serial killer, or anything, though. That much could be said of her. She just liked to undermine people at work, especially her boss, and make the job unnecessarily harder on others. A missing file here, an anonymously forwarded private email there. She didn’t limit herself to her real workplace. She once took a second job at a family planning manufacturer. She deliberately tampered with thousands of pregnancy tests to make them all show up as positive, no matter what. She timed it according to a co-worker’s tenure at the company, and framed him for the crime. No one ever suspected her, and bonus, she made a little extra money.

She might have said that sabotage was her middle name, except then that would be admitting to others what she was, and that would have ruined all the fun. Her power came from her invisibility, and no one could ever know that she was behind all of this turmoil. Someone took notice once when she gaslit an entire apartment complex into believing that a virus was spreading through the gas lines. She tricked them all into shutting off their gas, and quarantining themselves in the building for an entire week before the children of one of the tenants grew suspicious, and reached out to the CDC. She didn’t set one foot on the premises, and no one could have possibly connected her to it. A self-proclaimed “mastermind with genius-level intellect” felt compelled to investigate on his own by looking into who had contacted the building manager. He traced the call to a payphone, then phished his way into reviewing the security cameras of the convenience store next to it, where he witnessed who he thought to be the culprit making that call. Using facial recognition software that he bought for a steep price on the internet, he figured out the woman’s identity. He began to stalk her to find out what her motivation was, and whether she did other things like it. He never saw a damn thing, and he became impatient with the whole matter. He decided to give her a taste of her own medicine by killing her on paper. He notified her place of business that she was dead. He cancelled all of her credit cards. He informed her parents that she was gone. He identified a Jane Doe as her in the morgue. The authorities found him rather quickly, and arrested him for fraud, harassment, and a number of other charges. He only received one visitor in prison. It was Kendall Cole, there to gloat about how she had tricked him into ruining a completely innocent person’s life, as well as his own.

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