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Short story


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Hey guys, i wrote a short story, as a passtime. If you feel like it, give it a quick read. It's a little over two pages long. Don't forget to let me know what you think. Any criticism or appreciation is most welcomed.


Here we go:


After lying awake for several hours, the man finally got up from out of bed, ticking off the 9 AM buzzer on his dresser. He tiptoed his way to the bathroom, trying not to wake his sleeping wife. Brushing his teeth, he cringed because of how the taste of the toothpaste spread through his mouth. Four out of five dentists had agreed it tasted deplorable, but he could never remember to mention this to his wife, who did all their shopping. He took his clothes off, looked into the mirror to dislike what he saw, and went into the shower. 


The stream was violent, searing hot and exactly what he needed. While the water poured down his face he'd think of overly literary sentences to narrate his own life: "as the morning dew pearled down the window outside, so too the damp heat had settled in on its other surface. Two sides of the same coin. Hot and cold". Then he'd smile at how pretentious it sounded, as to remind himself never to attempt to become a writer. He was simply awful at it. 


His wife hadn't noticed he had left his pc on for the night, seeing as it still was powered on. The man was relieved. This meant he wouldn't have to wait for twenty minutes for the old girl to boot up. He checked the news site he was subscribed to and his e-mail. His condition had taken away most of his sight, so he had to crawl up to the screen to read even the biggest news stories. His e-mail inbox was full of questions and problems again, sent to him by his son. Some two years ago he decided to step down from the company he had raised from the ground up, and left it in the only moderately caring hands of his son. Francis had never given it the dedication the position needed, and the results showed. It's not that he didn't try, but the lackluster attention during his training period now caught up to him, and he was forced to ask his father question after question. Clearing the letter opener and opened letters from his keyboard, he answered some of the easier ones and closed his pc again by turning the top side down. Even though it made his old gal wheeze and puff, it's how they do it in the movies, and it brought a smile on his face when he emulated it. He'd regret it the next time he started her back up, but being retired had its advantages, not the least of which was time.


Knowing the contents of his letter box would anger him, he tried to remain calm as he made his way downstairs to check for mail. As expected, another letter fell out from between a commercial magazine as he picked it up. As usual, it was sent to him by P.L. Simmons, 40 Green Park Way, Yellow Rock Minnesota, a twenty minute drive from where the man lived. It was not stamped, so it must have been left in his mail box by the sender personally. Feeling the frustration bubble up again, he reminded himself he had to stay calm and took the letter back inside, leaving the rest of the mail behind. He sighed deeply as he sat by the kitchen table, not remembering the trip from the mailbox to his chair. Getting flustered often meant getting blackouts, and it only worsened as his condition progressed. Two years the doctor had given him. He was now halfway past year four.


As if to taunt him, the letter was typed in an overly large font. It would still make it easier to read, had its contents not made his hands tremble with frustration. He knew what the letter said, so didn't bother reading it all the way through. The man took his coat, got into his Mustang - a gift from Francis for his retirement -  and drove to 40 Green Park Way, Yellow Rock Minnesota. It had been like this for the past six months . Every first saturday of the month, he'd receive a letter directed to him by P.L. Simmons, demanding a sit-down and threatening to sue.


About 30 years ago, when the company was little more than a handful empoyees and a copy machine, The man had taken some shortcuts. Most of them were barely legal, the rest of them were definitely crimes for which he could be tried and convicted. Which could ruin his company if any of it ever saw the light of day. And which was found out by that little weasel Simmons, shortly after he had been hired by Francis. Even Francis, who was always a poor judge of character, had never really liked the guy. But Simmons was admittedly a brilliant bookkeep, and Francis needed all the help he could get. This brilliance however, also meant that it only took him a couple of months to find out about the shortcuts that were made in the companies' early days. Unfortunately, he only revealed this knowledge after he had been fired for grievous misconduct towards the female personel. And he hadn't revealed it to Francis either, who was still the rookie in everyone's eyes. He went straight to the retired chief by sending him a letter every first saturday of the month, inviting him over to negotiate and threaten for hours. If he didn't go, the next letter he'd receive would be a summons to court. 


Nearing noon, he drove up the long driveway to the house, got out of his car and made his way to the back door. He was expected after all, and didn't want to give Simmons the courtesy of ringing the doorbell. While pulling down the handle, he didn't notice the small bloodstain left on his left index finger. The house immediately felt threateningly quiet. On the floor, between the coffee table and the couch, Simmons lay motionless. Considering the dirty business Simmons pulled on a daily basis, the man couldn't bring himself to show any sign of surprise. After a short while contemplating, his disgust for the blood on the floor changed with a frightening realization. The realization that if Simmons was ever found like this, the man would be suspect number one. Not only that, but the hour-long, exhausting visits he had paid Simmons in his final months in this life would be reduced to nothing. He'd spend his last few days in jail as a murderer, reading the news about how his company was brought down and how his son was under investigation for fraud. So he made a decision. 


He drove his car alongside the house, thanking a god he didn't believe in for its secluded location. The body along with the carpet it was lying on were dragged to the back of his car, and with a great deal of effort, put into his trunk. He briefly wondered how it had only taken him a couple of moments to decide what he was going to do, before making his way back to the house to clean up the cooked blood which had set in on the floor, draining through the obviously cheap carpet. He went back to his car, thought about his next move for a bit before losing conciousness to shock and exhaustion.


After waking up some six hours later, he spent three more hours reading several news articels that he normally wouldn't bother with on his cell phone and ultimately made his way to the Yellow Rock cemetery. He drove through the cemetery gates and stopped next to a grave which was still missing a tombstone, but had a shovel next to it, thrust in the ground by the groundskeeper most likely. A grave that would be occupied the next morning , but which would now receive an additional early guest. He shoveled out the dirt about one more meter, threw in body and carpet, and closed it up again to its original depth. He gave it a few hard kicks, to assure that nothing would be revealed under the weight of a casket being lowered into the grave a couple of hours later.


He came home, sat into his lounge chair, and breathed a sigh of intense relief. Through this weird turn of events, his worries were suddenly over. For a brief moment he doubted whether he was the one who killed Simmons. The story about the events of the day he accounted for in his head, was showing some big blanks. Too sick and tired to care, he shrugged and tilted back his head on his chair. "Gone is gone", he contemplated. He closed his eyes, and never opened them again. 

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