Monday, April 25, 2016

Dispatch #51: The Tax Man

by Lupe Fernandez

From the Department of Where Ideas Come From

I watched the final episode of The Walking Dead. Yes, there was zombie action, but the greatest horror was what people did to each other. I've always wanted to write a horror story, but I didn't want to use the usual suspects. Vampires. Werewolves. Zombies. Asparagus.

I wanted something bland and ordinary. Something appearing non-threatening at first appearance. Something or someone we face everyday or at least once a year.

The Tax Man. Everybody pays taxes. Sales tax. Gasoline tax. Income tax. If you don't pay, the consumer is penalized.

Was gazing upon a flimsy tax table? Was sitting in a dark room listening to the howl of coyotes? Did I smell the acrid burning of hair?

No, I was in the bathroom doorway on my way to the commode. The window was open. A pleasant breeze ruffled the curtain. Sun washed the gray driveway below. The faint laughter of children echoed in the neighborhood.

Then I thought...

The Tax Man will make you rich. But if you owe, you’d better pay or he’ll take a 50%...of everything. Your house. Your wife. Your life.

The Tax Man offers to make clients rich, but clients must be a steep tax. If they owe or refuse to pay, The Tax Man will pursue his clients for payments. Nothing will stop. Not death.

A poor guy shows up rich at his new school. Brags he won’t pay taxes on his new-found wealth. He’s warned about The Tax Man, but he’s not scared of a short, portly man, wearing wrinkled clothes and carries a shiny briefcase. But our poor guy turns up dead. Fifty percent of his body is messing. Literally sliced in half.

The Tax Man works on a sliding scale. He starts with 10%.

Ten 10% of your organs, limbs, brain.

Want a tax break? Inform on others who owe.

How can the The Tax Man be defeated?

I envision a YA contemporary horror story.

What happens next? I have no idea. Perhaps I should step into the bathroom doorway again. Seek out the commode.

Or should I flush this idea down the toilet?


  1. This would totally work if you created a world where school aged kids payed taxes. Not just some of them All of them

    1. Great idea. Not so far fetched. I'm sure an a adolescence tax legislation sits on someone's desk.
      Tax Tabby


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