By midnight, the families living nearby had already retired after a long day of work and school. Mindful of the rising costs of electricity, they had all shut down their lights, and were it not for the few lampposts that stood every dozen houses or so, the street would have been invisible in the darkness.

And so it was in the Gru residence. The lady of the house had always been strict about turning down the lights by the tenth in the evening, although an hour or so after that, there would be a bit of a glimmer as young Margo would often sneak her cellphone to bed in order to, among other things, text with her girlfriends about boys and stuff.

But, tonight, there was no glimmer from the girls' room. In fact, it hasn't had any light for about a month now.

Meanwhile, the first floor hallway of the house was very briefly illuminated. It was also so quiet that any observer fifty feet away would have detected the soft trotting footsteps that pattered on the wooden floor, and probably would have wondered if the culprit were a child... or a ghost. And then, almost as briefly as it had come, the light went out, and the Gru residence was plunged into darkness and silence again.

Mrs. Lucy Gru didn't notice. If it had been in the past, she would have been quite indignant. Of course, she had by now lost the ability to see. Besides, tonight, she was deeply asleep, exhausted after a long and tremendously satisfying round of lovemaking with her beloved husband. Or so she thought.

Dave the minion descended the stairs to the laboratory, as he had done everyday for the past month. He held his breath, opened the door, and, summoning as much courage as he could, inhaled. And inhaled again. Then, he smiled. And danced about the laboratory floor. For the first time in weeks, he could breathe in here without using a gas mask. His efforts in cleaning up had finally paid off.

Before that, the laboratory was filled with the stench of sulfur and rotting meat. Or, more accurately, the stench of rotting minions and one human named Dr. Nefario. It had been very easy to kill them, Dave thought. He reminisced about how easy it had been, the first time, to taint the ice cream machine with sleeping potion, to knock out everyone else during an evening party. Later on, even before Lucy had realized that her girls were missing, he did it again, this time with a potent cocktail of ricin and tetrodotoxin. The sixth part of the plan. The minions and Dr. Nefario, now having exhausted his usefulness in Dave's eyes, never stood a chance.

Disposing of the bodies had been a different matter, however. Dave was but a tiny minion, and he had hundreds upon hundreds of minion bodies, and one human body, to get rid of. What was he to do? After hours of deliberation, after which by then the bodies had begun to decompose, he decided there was no way but the hard way: a few at a time, day in, day out. So as not to arouse the suspicions of the neighbors, he carefully ground up the bodies until they were no coarser than mulch, and then used it to fertilize the garden. When the volume of compost was becoming too much for the garden to handle, he began to sell potted plants online, thus making some extra cash from the demise of his co-minions.

He would have been done within a few days had he been doing this 24/7. However, he also had to be with his beloved Lucy, and he wouldn't have done otherwise for anything in the world. Hence, it took him weeks to get rid of the bodies, causing the laboratory to smell like garbage truck many times over. After disposing the bodies, he had to scrub, deodorize, scrub and deodorize the laboratory over and over again to eliminate the festering smell, but, by being with Lucy, it had been oh-so-worth-it.

Noting that Lucy's favorite quality of Gru was his scent, he had captured his boss in order to capture his scent. He had knocked out Gru, trapped him in a large glass flask, and used odorless fats to grab his essences via a process known as enfleurage, all while keeping him alive and unconscious. After a number of days, when the fats had been fully impregnated with Gru's scents, Dave extracted the fats from the body, replaced them with new fats, and repeated the process until Gru no longer produced any more of his desirable scent.

Dave then extracted the scents from the fats and distilled them to make them more concentrated. A few drops of the essence of Gru added to a solvent and Dave would smell like his former master for weeks. Fortunately, Dave had collected enough scent to last him for many years to come, so he didn't risk running out of it in his lifetime.

Once Gru no longer produced any more of his scent, Dave had no need to keep him alive. As with the minions, Dave murdered the helpless Gru very, very coldheartedly. However, unlike with the minions, he needed Gru's body. This had been the biggest dilemma that he had encountered prior to his execution of his plans, this challenge of preserving and animating a dead human body, that had almost caused him to give up and to let go and to fall into depression. Nonetheless, thanks to his dogged persistence, Dave was able to solve the problem and continued with his plans.

So, by animating Gru's dead body and using his scent, Dave would be able to fool Lucy into thinking that he was Gru, her husband. But first, he had to get rid of the girls and the minions, and he had to make Lucy blind.

By mimicking Gru's signature, a skill that he had acquired by copying from Gru's handwritten letters, Dave was able to enroll the girls to military school in North Korea. There, they would be forced to become soldiers of the state and never be allowed to leave. The fate of the girls is unknown to this day; they may have been indoctrinated and assimilated into serving the nation, or they may be imprisoned, enslaved or dead. Not that any of that mattered to Dave, as long as they were out of the way.

As for Lucy, it had been too simple. By replacing her contact lens fluid with formic acid, Dave was able to irreparably destroy her optic nerves, rendering her blind. He then confined her in his "hospital room," which was nothing more than Gru's old office remodeled with the sounds and smells of a hospital ward. There, he pretended to be the people that Lucy had thought she encountered: Gru, the girls and the doctor.

He went to his work area and coughed. A black device, no bigger than a walnut, came out of his mouth. It was quite uncomfortable to have that thing sticking in his throat for hours at a time, and even more uncomfortable taking it in and out of his mouth, but he was already getting the hang of it. He worked on it for maintenance, then, satisfied with the results, popped it into his mouth again. He moved his tongue a bit, then talked. "Hello, Lucy," he said. Out it came in Gru's voice. Then, he flicked his tongue again. Margo's voice. Flick. Edith's. Flick. Agnes'. He smiled. The device was working just as good as before. By studying Gru's and the girls' voices and mannerisms over and over again, Dave was able to create the perfect voice modifier, so good that Lucy never suspected a thing.

He examined his face on the mirror. The hair on his head was starting to grow again. He took some hair waxing cream, applied it on his scalp, and, biting his lip, pulled. It hurt, and it felt so raw, but it had to be done. He had to be as bald as Gru. Lucy loved Gru's bald head, too.

He pulled down his pants. Thankfully, Gru had his deficiencies, which Lucy apparently liked (she called it his "cute little peepee"), so duplicating that part wasn't hard at all. (In fact, it had been bigger and better, thought Dave.) Lovemaking with Lucy was simply the best, and he was glad to see that she was more than satisfied with his ministrations.

He sighed. Everything that he had planned had succeeded. Thinking of this, he wondered: Why was he frowning? Why did he look so tired? He smiled, yet for some reason it felt so fake. He patted his scalp after the waxing; it still hurt, but not so much now.

It didn't hurt as much as it hurt to hear Lucy call him Gru instead of Dave. It didn't hurt as much as to know that she would never love him as who he really was, as a minion, and that he had to resort to these drastic measures for her to become his. Even now, she was still not his; she was still Gru's, now and forever. Even though it had been Dave she was kissing and fucking all these nights, it was still Gru she was making love to. She would never, ever be Dave's, no matter what he did from now until the day they die.

So was he happy?

This hopeless realization suddenly weighed upon Dave's final shreds of sanity, and he smiled, very sincerely now.

Yes, I'm happy. I'm very, very happy.

And the tears flowed from his eyes, down into his grinning mouth.

(The end. Thank you for reading!)