The Scranton Strangler: a Toby Flenderson Story | Teen Ink

The Scranton Strangler: a Toby Flenderson Story

March 20, 2018
By KismetTheDressagePony, Upland, California
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KismetTheDressagePony, Upland, California
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Author's note:

This short story is kind of weird but I enjoyed writing it so I hope you enjoy reading it.

Chapter I: Boiling Over
Toby Flenderson never had a good life. He grew up Catholic so he just blamed his problems on God, yet never stopped believing. He was never well liked as a child either, his parents loved and cherished him but at school... he was always the one being picked on. The punching bag that even teachers would hit. He wasn’t too bright either so even the “nerds” and “geeks” wouldn’t let them in their clique. Which is why he turned to God so often, so much so that he wanted to be preacher when he grew up.
Toby attended a community college for psychology and actually graduated with his masters. After, Toby returned to the Church he grew up in. One sunday, he noticed the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. They connected right away; they would frequently meet up for coffee and go to the movies together. Not long after Toby knew he was in love, Kate had to move. But the two had only gone five or six dates, so Toby also knew it was way too early to move in together, even if they were soulmates.
For the next year Toby didn’t feel the same, there was something missing. He had the church, his friends from college and parents but still… there was something out of place. The epiphany hit him one day while praying, that it was kate that was missing in his life. That he had to go after her if he ever wanted to be himself again. She said she was leaving for Scranton, Pennsylvania. Toby booked the next flight out. The whole flight he was terrified she had moved on, she had found someone else. 
Before he left, he got her new address from her parents (who attended church as well). Toby booked a hotel and a rental car as soon as he landed. Even though he landed at one a.m. he drove straight to Kate’s apartment. When she opened the door to see who it was, Kate was delighted to see Toby. He told her how miserable his life was  without her so she let him stay.
Only two months later they were engaged and two months after that, married! Things in Toby’s life was turning around, he got a job as an HR rep for a paper company there in scranton. But not for long, by day one he knew he wasn’t liked in the office, yet he never minded because every day he could return home to his wife. For a few years everything moved smoothly in his and Kate's life, they had a daughter and moved to a bigger home too. Yet the torture of working for michael scott never ended. Toby was never an angry person, so he was persistent in trying to help micheal rather than report him. This, however, did not go as planned.
After a few years kate and toby began to fall out of love, they fought, and screamed until kate left her husband. Toby moved to a small apartment by himself and tried to focus on work for a while.
But work wasn’t working out either. His boss, Michael Scott, constantly tormented Him. Michael hated Toby with a passion and everyone who worked there knew it. He was sequestered in the back with only Kelly for company. And as everyone knew she could talk for hours and hours. This was all his bosses doing of course, to make sure he couldn’t ruin the mood of the salesmen.
The stress of work, hatred from michael and Pam, Pam Beesly, a girl he knew he had a shot with started dating Jim. His life was spiralling down and there was nothing to be done.

Chapter II: Stress Relief
One lonely night, Toby was trying to sleep in his apartment alone, with only a bottle of wine to keep him company. He began to dwell on the past as he drifted off, on his divorce, on michael, on the new girl of his dreams, Pam, slipping through his fingers. He realized how crappy everything had ended for him and knew who was to blame. His boss Michael Scott. The quite intoxicated Toby found a solution to the problem, to kill Michael. He dressed in black and lept in his car, determined to kill his boss. Toby didn’t know Michael's apartment number, but that wasn't what mattered to him now. He pulled up in front of the complex. Without a weapon or a clear mind, Toby stormed into a random room on the first level.
He picked the lock using skills he picked up in boy scouts when he was younger. Once inside he made a beeline towards the bedroom. There was a young girl, maybe 24 at the most. But Toby didn't care. He stared for a while before he did anything. Just watching her. Until he was ready to strike. He wrapped his hands around her neck to block her airway. She began to choke and turn red,her eyes bulging. But Toby felt powerful, that he now had some form of control in his life, if not that than in this girls life. She woke up and pounded her fists against his hands in an attempt to save herself, but to no avail, Toby had strangled her to death.
Realizing what he did, Toby fled the scene and returned to his home immediately. The next day at work he began to miss the feeling of being powerful. He knew he had to kill again. 
He knew what was happening was wrong. He was aware of the monster he was becoming. But he craved that power. That influence. Who will live or die next. The strangelings went on for days, weeks, months, it made Toby feel human.
He adopted the nickname “the scranton strangler” and his coworker Dwight was determined to catch this strangler but as far as Toby knew there were no leads that it was him.
He decided to stop killing, at least for a while, yes it felt great to see the life drain from his victims eyes, but he couldn't be sentenced to life in prison, or worse, he had a daughter to look out for.
Sadly, there was one straw that broke the camel’s back for Toby. He watched as the new love of his life, Pam Beesly, became Pam Halpert, now she was now having her first child with Jim, and there was nothing for him to do. But there was a way for him to stop being sorry for himself.
When everyone in the office went to the hospital to visit Pam, Toby decided to visit his neighbors. Although it was broad daylight, he couldn't help himself, he strangled his elderly neighbors with a rope he grabbed from their garage. It wasn't pretty but he felt much better about himself. The adrenaline pumping through his veins made him feel alive again.

After that final kill, Toby had to stop before he was caught by someone. So he did, and sat back and watched as another man, and innocent man, was sentenced to death. He was a part of the jury that decides his fate, which drove him crazy, but if he were to strike again they would know it wasn't who was prosecuted.
Years later Toby’s new coworker Nelly asked about the case, the trial, how Toby felt about everything. This all gave him a change to reflect, so he visited the alleged “scranton strangler”. 
In the irony of things he was strangled by the “strangler” at that point Toby gave up and decided it would be best to keep quiet about everything. In doing so he eventually became addicted to drugs and alcohol just to escape the guilt. But at least he knew who the real Scranton Strangler was.

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