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Literature / My Work is Not Yet Done

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"I wanted to do things to Richard that would make the sun grow cold with horror."

Frank Dominio, a mid-rank supervisor for the company New Product, comes up with what he believes to be a fantastic idea for a, uh, new product. But when he brings it up in one of his weekly meetings with his higher-ups The Seven, they quickly set about arranging his demotion. Swearing revenge, Frank suddenly finds himself in the possession of horrific supernatural powers, and wastes no time in using them. After all, the newly-christened Domino's work is not yet done.

A novella from the twisted mind of Thomas Ligotti, published in 2002 and noted for being different from his other works by (mostly) diverging from the Cosmic Horror Story and focusing on a tale of supernatural revenge.

My Work Is Not Yet Done features examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Richard.
  • The Alcoholic: Sherry.
  • And I Must Scream: Frank does this to a few of his victims.
  • Animal Motifs: Swine.
  • Arc Words: WORK NOT DONE and "All right, then!".
  • Asshole Victim: The Seven, to varying degrees.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Richard manages to goad Frank into killing himself.
  • Batter Up!: Frank kept a baseball bat for "self-defence". He uses it to demolish his computer as Domino.
  • The Brute: Harry.
  • Big Bad: Richard, the most intelligent and dangerous of the Seven.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Frank dies after getting Out-Gambitted by Richard. Richard suffers no consequences from Domino's Roaring Rampage of Revenge. But six of the Seven are dead including Harry, Frank is finally free from the Great Black Swine, and Frank's confession supposedly has irrefutable proof of his proposal for New Product as well as evidence of Richard's deeds, so there might be a small bright spot in all the bleakness
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Richard and the rest of the Seven.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Pretty much all of Frank's executions come off like this. Except for Harry, who totally deserved it.
  • The Dragon: Harry is Richard's.
  • Driven to Suicide: Three of Richard's former underlings, which is how he earned the nickname of "The Doctor." Frank realises this happened to him too, and he finishes the job in the end.
  • Dual Wielding: Frank briefly considers doing this, noting that he is naturally ambidextrous.
  • Fat Bastard: Barry.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Said almost word-for-word by Frank near the climax.
  • First-Name Basis: Richard. We never learn his last name, unlike all others from the Seven.
  • Forced Transformation: Barry is turned into a pig. Mary is turned into a mannequin, though she is soon smashed to pieces.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Frank.
  • God Is Evil: The Great Black Swine.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Seven are terrible people to be sure, but Frank sinks pretty low when he goes on his rampage against them.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Human Garbage Can.
  • Karma Houdini: Through sheer cunning and knowing about Frank's true nature, Richard survives.
  • Karmic Death: It's hard to feel sorry for Harry.
  • Large and in Charge: Richard, a former sports star.
  • Last-Name Basis: Chipman, supervisor who fired Frank.
  • Married to the Job: Richard demands it from all the Seven.
  • Meaningful Name: Sherry is also a kind of liquor.
  • Odd Name Out: The Seven are named Perry, Barry, Harry, Kerrie, Sherry, Mary and... Richard.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Frank considers all life to be an abomination and is momentarily disappointed that even with his new powers, he'll only be able to kill the Seven, and not every single human being alive.
  • Paint It Black: Invoked when Frank buys a new set of black clothing in preparation for his rampage.
  • Pet the Dog: Even after his transformation into Domino, Frank still looks out for his landlady Lilian.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Barry is said to be great at management, but is actually infamous within the company for leaving the departments he manages in utter chaos due to his nonsensical project schedules.
  • Posthumous Narration: This is a "supernatural memoir" that Frank sent to some people with his Reality Warper powers moments before he kills himself.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Frank liked his Buck Skinner Hunting Knife so much that it even followed him into his Domino state.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Harry, the worst of the Seven, is a serial rapist.
  • Reality Warper: It doesn't take long for Frank to realise that he's more than just a Flying Brick.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Deconstructed. Frank was all set to start his rampage until he's planning the notes he'll leave behind...and realises that all he can really say is, "They were mean to me, so I killed them all." This spurred him to throw himself into the path of a bus.
  • Scenery Gorn: An interest of Frank's prior to beginning his rampage.
  • Shopping Montage: Darkly humourous one when Frank is buying the guns he's planning to use to take down the Seven.
  • The Reveal: Frank tried to kill himself. He's been a broken mess in a hospital bed the whole time.
  • The Sociopath: Richard, pretty much by his own admittance. It's part of why he's not afraid of Frank.
  • Title Drop: In one of Frank's internal monologues.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: This happens to Frank at the hands of Richard.
  • Theme Naming: Aside from Richard, the Seven's names all end with a '-rry' sound.
  • Those Two Guys: The police officers.
    • Delinquents who found a certain mannikin also qualify.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe, Sherry's defining characteristic. She's the youngest and most attractive of the Seven, but the moment she moves or talks she suddenly seems alien and inhuman.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn the actual contents of Frank's proposal.
  • Wham Line: Richard sarcastically mentioning "swine" to Frank, making Frank - and the reader - realise that Frank isn't the only one with special powers.