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by Ignacio Carrion
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Halfway up the ladder, he decides that his luck turned with the recession.  Prior to that, strangers were few in these parts and big news. Things changed one cold afternoon when all the talk was about the man down near the Walmart who was pan handling for food or money. Fool didn’t even have a coat. The wife of an acquaintance, a busybody who thought she was better than everyone, made a big show of stopping afternoon traffic down the main avenue so she could give the man one of her old coats. He looked a right fool after that, wearing a bright red woman’s coat made for city walking and not for the unforgiving winter nights of this part of the country.


The guy was easy to spot later that night when he was trying to walk to the next town. The woman’s coat was very helpful. He stopped to ask the pan-handler if he needed a lift. The guy, no more than thirty, but a rough thirty at that, said yes and thank you.  Afterwards he thought he could give his wife the coat, but changed his mind two seconds later. It was a small town after all, bound to run into the busybody.


When the mood struck, he set out whichever way the wind was blowing. Sometimes the trip took more than an hour, sometimes he lucked out and found them just as they were nearing the town. They were all alike. They were all hungry and polite and they all disbelieved their luck. At first thinking it good and that he was their savior, then realizing that it was just plain bad. Like the weather. Like their lives.


Sometime when the drive was unproductive, he thought about what he could do with his wife. How she would start out confused like the others. How her eyes would go wild when she realized what the instruments were for. How she would cry, maybe shit her pants but piss herself for sure. But then he’d realize it was just too risky. He’d turn the car around and head home.


He finally makes it up to the attic. Even up here he can smell the food his wife is cooking for dinner. It is getting harder to bring his lot up the ladder, he’s getting old. It helps a bit that the gal he dispatched this afternoon weighed no more than 80 or so pounds. She’d begged then offered sex before he taped her mouth.


Finally making it to the crawl space he misjudges the height and drops her with a loud thud. It might have been louder had she not landed on part of the red coat.


It is very cold in the attic – as cold as outside. Soon the first signs of spring will show and the world will start to thaw. That will present a few problems. But tonight all is well, cold and silent. He stops to survey his work then looks for the string near the bulb. He pulls it and the lights go out.





Ignacio Carrion is a writer and designer living and working in Houston who hopes that Orwell is getting residuals. He is currently working on a novel in three parts inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Ignacio’s micro, During the Day He’s a Good Man, appears in the January 2013 issue of HelloHorror.

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