Special Delivery


My therapist said I should start writing in a journal to help me organize my thoughts, I think my therapist is full of crap.


This was our place. Cheryl and I would come here at least once a week, sit by the water and watch the sun set. It was our thing, our routine, and the way we turned our backs on the world for at least 30 minutes to take in the beauty of the sun setting over the water.

I’m here now alone. Instead of Cheryl beside me, there is a loaded gun. My head and clothes are wet with someone else’s blood instead of the spray coming off the water. I find it fitting that I should be spending my last minutes on Earth here, watching the sun go down one more time. I can hear the sirens coming from a distance. They will be here in 10-15 minutes, and I will cease to be, at least in my earthly form.

In what will sound like a typical lead in to a superhero story, one evening Cheryl and I were leaving the theatre after watching the film premiere of ‘The Slaughterhouse Rules” based on a novel of the same name by Jeff O’Brien. The movie wasn’t bad. The book was definitely way better, as is usually the case.

As Cheryl and I were walking to our car, a vagrant who asked for some help approached us. Cheryl refused, stating that she knew the money wouldn’t go for food, and it would go for drugs or booze. There was something in the vagrant’s eyes that concerned me and I quickly fished a 5-dollar bill out of my wallet and handed it him.

He took the money and stared angrily at Cheryl who would not drop her gaze.

“You know, bitches like you need to learn their place,” the bum said. “You never know who just might stick ya.”

“Look,” I said. ‘You got your money. We don’t need or want any trouble. Just go.”

‘Shit, even worse, you never know who might pump some lead into a bitch who thinks she’s better than everyone else.” Then, everything switched into slow motion. The stranger pulled a pistol from his belt and fired one shot straight into Cheryl’s head. He turned the gun on me and pulled the trigger. For some reason, it misfired and everything snapped back into real time. I tackled the man and attempted to pin him to the ground. He was a lot stronger than I imagined he would be, and strangely enough, he didn’t smell like a hobo. He was clean and smelled of cologne that I could not place. Suddenly he brought a knee, breaking my nose and sending me spinning face first on the cement. I landed on the gun and quickly tucked it into my pants. I could hear people shouting, “I’m calling 911” and “Hey, get away from them.” Footsteps were approaching rapidly. The man who just shot my wife in the head took off running in a sprinter’s fashion and was long gone before help got to us.

Cheryl was killed instantly. The coroner assured me that death was instantaneous and she felt no pain. I think that was supposed to comfort me. His efforts were useless.

Unlike a typical superhero story, I didn’t run off to some foreign dojo and master martial arts. I didn’t build a secret hideaway and stalk the night in the form of a terrifying vigilante seeking to right all wrongs.

I drank, then I drank some more, and when I was done drinking that, I would have even more.

Binge, puke, and repeat. That had become my life. I didn’t care anymore. There was nothing left for me but to drink myself to death.

I kept the gun the killer used. I’m not sure why. I could have turned it in, no; I should have turned it in. But I wanted it. I wanted to look at it every day to remind me of that moment I lost my only true love. It could have killed me too, but it didn’t. It was meant for me to own. It was my greatest curse and my good luck charm all at the same time.

One day as I was sitting on my couch, wearing the same dirty clothes I put on 5 or 6 days ago, I was drinking a beer while flipping through the channels on the TV, not looking for anything, just channel surfing, when I saw his face. I saw the man who killed my Cheryl. He was on the news. Shit, he was being interviewed. I quickly turned up the sound. The man was talking to the reporter about a large number of burglaries that had occurred in his area. He said that no one felt safe and he wanted to know what the police were doing about solving the crimes. As he was talking, they showed his name on the screen. The man who killed my wife had a name and it was Tom Watkins. Not just Tom Watkins, but ‘Tom Watkins, Sycamore Street Resident.” As he talked I noticed the mailbox on the left side of his door. I zoomed in with the remote.


Tom Watkins, the murderer of wives, lived at 1475 Sycamore Street in my own town. For the first time in a long time, I felt alive again. I sobered up almost instantly and a perfect clarity took over my mind.

I showered, shaved and found clean clothes hanging in my closet. I dressed in blue khakis and a tan pullover shirt. I got in my car and drove to the closest pizza. I ordered a large cheese pizza and then I made my way to Sycamore Street and parked in his driveway. I walked up to his front door and rang the bell. The door opened and. holy cow; there he was standing right in front of me.

I was wearing a ball cap with the brim pulled down to hide my face as best as possible

“Hi!” I Said. ‘I believe you ordered pizza?”

“Nah,” he replied. “I didn’t order any damn pizza. “

‘Are you Tom Watkins?” I asked. “Because it says Tom Watkins from 1475 Sycamore Street placed a delivery order right here on this tag.”

He opened his screen door and stepped out onto the porch.

‘Listen, prick. I’m not sure if you have a comprehension problem or what. But I didn’t order any pizza so get the hell off of my porch.”

“Well, I’m terribly sorry Mr. Watkins,” I said. “So you weren’t the one who ordered the “You Shot My Wife in The Face and Now I’m Here To Kill You” special with an extra side of “Fuck You” sauce?”

I removed my cap and looked him straight in the eyes. His expression was priceless. I saw recognition, anger, and best of all absolute terror. He made a mad dash for his door and I shoved my way inside before he could close it. I closed it behind me and locked the deadbolt. He stared at me motionless for a moment and then he began to blubber.

‘Ah Man, I was in a bad place. I was broke and homeless. I was all drugged up. I wasn’t in control.”

I looked around his place; it looked like the back room of a pawnshop. TV’s lined the walls, DVD and game consoles were scattered everywhere. There was a huge pile of cash on his coffee table.

‘Yeah, I think you might be full of shit, Tom. You were clean that night. You even smelled clean. What was that cologne you were wearing?”

“It was Obsession for Men, I swiped it from a store.”

‘You got a thing for taking stuff that’s not yours, don’t you? Things like my wife’s life. That wasn’t yours to take.”

I walked over to him and tried to hand him the firearm.

“I was going to kill you, Tom, “ I said. “But I’m going to give you the chance to finish what you started. Take the gun and shoot me. Get it right this time.”

‘I ain’t taking that,” he said. “The neighbors will hear the shot and then call the cops and I’ll get caught with all this stolen shit, plus the gun will tie me to your wife’s murder. Screw that!”

“I guess you really aren’t as stupid as you look, Tom,” I replied. “That’s a major miracle in itself.”

I kicked him in the groin and he doubled over. I grabbed him by the hair and kneed him in the nose. You could hear the cartilage crack. His head snapped up from the force of the blow and his blood sprayed all over me.. I pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger.

It misfired.

Tom laughed through his pain and said something that sounded like ‘That gun always was a piece of shit..”

It didn’t misfire the second time. His face exploded out through the back of his head and splattered in all directions. He was knocked back a good ten feet and crashed through his table full of money.

I grabbed a handful of bills and filled the cavity in his head where his face should have been.

I found a pen and pad in his bedroom and wrote the following note”

‘My name is Dan Willoughby. This dead piece of shit was named Tom Watkins. He shot and killed my wife about 6 months ago. I shot him with the same gun he used to kill my Cheryl. Probably most of the stuff you will find in this house is stolen. Please make sure the proper owners get it back. In case the medical examiner wonders why this dead guy’s lower half smells so good, tell him he will find a bottle of Obsession for Men shoved up his ass. You can find me at the Shoal River East Landing. I will be sitting there watching the sunset just like Cheryl and I would do.. I will be armed. I will open fire on you, please be prepared to defend yourselves.”

The cops are here. They are shouting that no one else needs to get hurt. They claim we can “work it all out.” There’s nothing left to work out. It’s all good. I’m all good. Time to move on. I’ve got to close this here and put down the book. I need my hand free to hold the gun. This journal turned out to be a good idea. I guess my therapist wasn’t so full of crap after all.


Short Stories

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