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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2233073-In-Praise-of-Door-to-door-Delivery
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2233073
Dark reflections on modern life and death. 2nd in Murder, Mayhem and Massacre, Sep. 2020.
Word Count: 894

In Praise of Door-to-door Delivery

Oh, I know this leads to growing problems of disposal. I have already made so many holes in the basement floor that there’s hardly any concrete left. Doubling up for each grave helped to some extent but the success of my enterprise soon closed off that solution.

Then there was the acid bath, very slow when it came down to the bones, but a bit dangerous for myself. One slip and I could be in pretty hot water, if you get my meaning. For some reason, this possibility escaped the defences of my imagination and I emptied the damn thing after dissolving only three customers.

The freezers are crammed to capacity, of course. And, for pete’s sake, don’t look in any of the cupboards in the spare room. Talk about skeletons in the closet. I’ve started carrying the bloody things (ooh, very punny) up into the attic but now I worry about the ceiling collapsing and burying me in my past successes. That would be altogether too ironic.

Recently, I had some mail order power tools delivered and I’m going to try cutting up the products of my labours into smaller pieces. That will certainly make packaging and transportation easier but I still have the matter of storage space to solve. Were I twenty years younger, I’d resort to burying in the yard under cover of night, no matter how risky it is. But I haven’t the physical strength for all that digging now.

You could suggest that it might be time to consider retirement and I admit that I wouldn’t mind a break. That’s ignoring the compulsion, however. I’ve fought the urge throughout my life and I know it can’t be thwarted. With my will power eroded in old age, there’s no chance I’d be able to resist it. When the call comes, it has to be answered.

So I’ll soldier on in spite of the disposal difficulties. My mobility is extremely limited now but the modern world has made it very easy to ensure a constant flow of customers to my door. Pizza delivery, parcel post, grocery pickers, flowers for special occasions (the irony doesn’t tempt me to overstep the mark by ordering funeral wreaths), prescriptions (very useful to an old pill-popper like me), liquor supplies, it’s amazing what they’ll bring meekly within my reach.

It helps that I’m not picky about method. I used to prefer the good old strangulation from behind with a garrote as the thuggee used in Victorian times, but now a blade of any kind will do just as well. Wonderful the range of knives available on the net these days.

You’re probably wondering what sort of score I’ve managed to achieve. It seems to be the modern obsession with statistics and numbers that has led to a sort of hit parade of the most successful serial killers. I believe those Russians are the experts in that way; there’s one guy whose reputation gives him hundreds. But I’ve no idea what my score is. It’s not as if I keep a big book somewhere with the details of each kill and disposal. What am I, an accountant? Let the police try to add ‘em up when they finally get around to uncovering my magnificent career.

That’s a point, actually. I’ve been quite surprised at the apparent inability of the cops to catch up with me. You’d think the neighbours would have noticed something about me and the house to get their suspicions up and alert the rozzers. The smell, for instance; that’s given any number of my peers away. It’s true that I try to keep that down by liberal use of bleach and disinfectants. Maybe I’ve been more successful in that than I realise.

And there’s nothing in my behaviour to alert them. They never see me because I don’t leave the house so what’s there to notice? Oh, they might catch a glimpse of me occasionally when I’m answering a delivery driver’s knock, but that’ll just encourage them to think I’m a crazy old recluse and quite harmless. Which I am, to them, of course. Never shit on your own doorstep, my old pappy used to say.

Increasingly, it’s old age that worries me, however. I can’t keep up the delivery trick forever, not with my legs getting thinner and less reliable every day. Sometimes I have nightmares of being bedridden and having to wait for a nurse to bend over me before I stab her with a bleeding butter knife or a ballpoint pen. I really don’t want to end up in that sort of scenario.

Ideally, I’d like to go out with a bang; make a dramatic scene for the newspapers and television, you know what I mean. And I’m beginning to think that the best way of achieving that in my condition is the house siege route. They really don’t like it if you barricade yourself in your home and start shooting passers by. That’ll do wonders for the score too. Might even get me up past that Russian blighter, whatever his name is.

So I’m going to need an arsenal of suitable weapons. Heavy duty stuff like assault rifles and the like. Maybe even a grenade launcher to catch their eye. Must get one of those catalogues and see what’s in this year. Thank heavens for these new-fangled door-to-door delivery systems.

Word Count: 894
For Murder, Massacre and Mayhem Competition, September 2020
No prompt.

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