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Today I recieved some mail. It's always nice to recieve mail, I don't often get the chance to converse with people in my present situation. I hear it's common during this time to get more mail than usual, and so the recent increase has not come as a surprise. This one is from San Francisco. Usually these are the worst, the people there seem to always have a solution but don't know what the problem is. I read it anyway, it wasn't like I had anything else to do.

It's amazing how many people will write you without any of them saying anything different. This man wrote me about the same old shit, but for some reason one line caught my eye. "What happened that night exactly? Why did it happen? I need all the information."

Through everything, I had never really thought about that. I laughed at myself, the fact that I never answered these questions, even to myself, was disappointing. So I pondered a moment, thinking back to find out what in did happen and why.

Another night of ball-busting cold in the city was all I needed. It had been a stressful day at the office, in part because of my business partner Vince's failure to attend the presentation we had planned. This was an important presentation. We needed to sell the new model or risk bankruptcy, and the asshole has the nerve to just go ahead and skip it. I didn't even want to talk to him, and the idea of quitting to company altogether seemed the only reasonable one.

The Uvack vacuum was our most original design in years. The industry had been thriving the past few months, with Oreck's value nearly doubling and housewives buying new vacuums as if they needed them to survive. Vince Neilson and I had been in the business for twenty-three years, starting it together after high school with the little money we had saved up from our job at Frankie's Burger Hut.

Vince and I had always made great business partners, and outside the company we were as good of friends as there could be. He was almost like a second father to my daughters Tammy and Alice, and I'd introduced him to his wife Olivia at my daughter's basketball game. Alice was only eight years old at the time, and Olivia also had a daughter on the team. She was divorced from her first husband and after weeks of small talk at the games, I gave Vince the opportunity to meet her.

He went crazy for this woman. I don't know what it was, but his life revolved around her since they first met. I was the best man at the wedding, just over ten years ago. Although Vince's mother always nagged him to have children, Olvia and him never did. Olivia's daughter Nadia was all the two needed, and with her father almost completely out of the picture, Vince took over the role as dad.

It was a happy family. All of us seemed like one big family. We'd always spend the weekends together, with my wife Hanna cooking the best barbeque this side of the Mississippi. I can still taste those ribs she'd make so perfectly, if I concentrate hard enough.

As is life, happiness is never permanent. This fact was made truer on one windy autumn night when Olivia's life came to a tragic end at bottom of a telephone pole. Same story you always hear in the local newspaper: woman drives too fast on country road, loses control, fatal crash results. Needless to say Vince was devastated, and I was respectful of his decision to lay off work for awhile, although we never discussed it openly. He just didn't show up to work and I understood.

But it never stopped. It was three years later that day he missed the presentation, and his skipping it did not come as a surprise. He was always skipping his responsibilities, and I had just begun to show open frustration about it. I'd tell him he needs to get over his wife's death and get back to work, life goes on, etc. He wouldn't listen and he would get upset. There was no getting through.

The presentation. That is what did it. After he missed that, we lost the deal. We lost the only thing that was going to keep the business afloat. My life's work, my business, was ran into a hole so deep I couldn't see above it. Bankruptcy, reposession, lawyers, the IRS, none of it mattered. I stopped caring once the business failed. My family and I were kicked out of our home with nothing but the clothes on our backs.

We were living in a motel room after it all went down, thanks to a friend of mine who was one of the owners. He'd let us stay there for free but I knew it could only be temporary, like me he knew that the business came first.

That motel room was probably the lowest point in my life. Stains everywhere, a lingering smell of cigarettes and booze, in one of the worst parts of town. Crack dealers were standing on either side of the block and cops rarely dared venture down our street. After only a couple of weeks of this misery I knew my kids were hurting.

It was on a Sunday that I took them to the park. We had to drive some two or three miles to get in a decent area of the city so my kids could play without the dealers ruining their fun. Those fucking dealers would hassle anybody, even ten year old girls, trying to get them to buy something.

It was great for them but terrible for me. I knew they deserved to play like this every day but I just couldn't give it to them, I couldn't provide them with the childhood they deserved after the company went under. The drive home was filled with laughter from the backseat and me, nearly in tears, in the front. We arrived at the motel parking lot at around five o'clock in the evening, and made our way to the room.

I slid the key in the lock and put my hand on the knob. I opened the door, relieved to get back home, but as it crept open the feeling of betrayal pierced me like a bullet in the chest. It was Vincent, and he was sitting on the coach. And in his lap I saw the back of my wife's head, my wife of fifteen years. That fucking slut threw it all away just like that. The kids came in and saw everything. We all just stared at eachother for a moment in disbelief, until I walked past them and towards the closet.

"I'm sorry it's just.. it's just you're never willing to.." she started, "To what? To fuck you in front of the kids? I'm real fucking sorry Hanna," I shot back. Vince was still silent, putting his pants back on. It was that silence that aggrevated me even more. I reached in the cloest and grabbed my .45 calibur pistol, loaded in case any of those drug dealers ever tried fucking with us.

"No, don't... please don't, it was all a mistake!" she screamed. The kids were still by the door but I was too blinded with rage to care. Vince started to stand up and put his hands up, as if he could stop this thing with his hands. What a stupid fuck. I raised the gun with one hand and without hesitation fired straight into his heart. I rasied the gun slightly and again fired, this time into his skull. I could see the inside of his brains as he fell limp to the floor in a pool of his own dirty blood.

My wife started screaming more. That's exactly what I wanted, I wanted that bitch to pay. This was the hardest time in my life and she decides instead of supporting me she'll just go down on the fucker who put us in that motel in the first place. That's all I could think about at that point. Alice and Tammy were still in the corner, probably pleading for me to stop but I wasn't paying attention. The only thought going through my head was picturing Hanna on her knees, throwing away our marriage and family. She was at my feet pleading for forgiveness. I looked straight down at her and raised the pistol to her face, staring her straight in the eyes. This time I did hesitate, just to make her more scared than she'd ever been in her life. I stared down at her and lay my finger on the trigger, applying a slight amount of pressure and waiting for the right moment. "No... no! Please no, not here, not with the children here, no!" That's all the fucking cunt could say. "No." It was when she started repeating that word again, grabbing onto my leg and crying, that I stared her straight in the face. I squeezed the strigger and watched her face open up and splatter across the room, as she fell against my leg and onto the floor.

I was covered in blood now, and as I looked at the children, pieces of their mother's brains had splattered onto their chests and faces. They looked at me in disbelief.

I sat down on the couch and pushed Vince out of the way to get some more leg room. The children left and I sat there for what seemed like hours, until the police came. I was still covered in blood and brain matter, I hadn't bothered to wipe it off, when the officers handcuffed me.

That's why I am here. That's why this time tomorrow I'll be strapped in that chair and have massive amounts of electricity shot through my veins, enough to shut down my heart and kill my body. I do not deserve to live, but neither did those that I killed. I have no regrets.


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Comments

The following comments are for "Death of a Vacuum Salesman"
by flymos

Vacuum
I enjoy a nice dose of violence and you've given me a nice spoonful here. I'd change the title, it's a little too Arthur Millarish but other than that it flowed smoothly. Cool.

By the way, I noticed in your other story you had a Vince, is there any reason why you use the name?

Emlyn

( Posted by: Emlyn [Member] On: March 4, 2005 )

your story
Hello! That was an interesting story. I liked the way you paced it from a fairly open beginning whose plot may have gone anywhere, to the murder scene and the wait for execution. Thanks for sharing that.

Adele

( Posted by: AdeleCosgroveBray [Member] On: March 4, 2005 )





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