“Only One”

Only one person in the world knew what I had done, and I intended to keep it that way. That’s not hard to do when the rest of ‘em are dead.

And that warn’t easy, let me tell you. If you think it’s nothin’ to bury five bodies by yourself, well, let’s just say you’re smokin’ something that ain’t tobaccy.

You’re probably wonderin’ how it happened. You got time for a bit of story, right? Hah! That was a joke, see? Jes’ you sit there and listen.

It was Billy’s fault, really. You know old Billy Smith, right? Used to live up by the old Bloomberg place? We used to call him Billy Willy, on account of him always whippin’ it out to show all the girls.

Anyway, Billy had brought over three cases of beer. Cheap stuff, not worth the piss it’s made of. We was drinkin’ and shootin’ the shit, when he said, “Howie, you ever kill anyone?”

Course, I told him I hadn’t. That’s not really true, but you knew that. You don’t? You remember when Jake Stillwell was datin’ Lisa, right? And we found out he was beatin’ on her? Well, I took care of him. I thought you knew that. That warn’t no huntin’ accident.

Anyways, I told Billy I ain’t never killed no one, and he said, all in this mysterious whisper, “I did.”

“Get out,” I told him. “You never killed no one in your life.”

“Sure did. I killed Mary Beth jes’ a little while ago.”

“No shit?”

And he did. He took pictures even. Blowed her head clean off. I gotta admit, she had it comin’. Always naggin’ him to take out the trash, get a job, take a shower. You know what she’s like. Was like, anyway.

Well, Mary Beth was a real bitch, but it ain’t right that Billy Willy should get away with murder. I mean, what if some kid came along and saw the body? That just ain’t right, you know? So I got my Ruger outta my pickup–you know the P85 I bought off Jimmy Jack last year?—and killed ‘im. Right there in the back yard.

That was stupid of me, I know that now, and I’m real sorry for what I did. I completely forgot Susie was havin’ one of those parties where some ol’ gal tries to sell everyone baskets. Never did understand that. If they wanted a basket, why didn’t they just go to Wal-Mart and buy one? Anyways, it was a  good thing there was only three other women there, otherwise, I might never have got them all. Even as big as they are, it’s hard to shoot ‘em when they’re runnin’.

I wish they’d all been havin’ a Weight Watchers meeting or somethin’, though, cause they was heavy. I swear, that Cindy Rosellini musta weighed three hundred pounds. I think I threw my back out tryin’ to move her.

My only regret was you showin’ up while I was burying them. I didn’t want you to see what I done. You mighta thought less of me, and I respect you too much for that. Sorry ‘bout havin’ to hit you over the head. I’m sure it’ll stop hurtin’ soon.

I know you’re hopin’ to get outta this here basement sometime soon, but this here door’s solid steel. Picked it up at that auction down in Baton Rouge. Don’t bother yellin’, neither, ‘cause the room’s solid steel, too.

I won’t forget to feed ya, though, even when I go to Shreveport to visit the boats. You’ll be happy. That there’s my promise to you. And I won’t have to worry ‘bout you tellin’ no one neither. Ain’t that right, Pa?