The Traveling Salesman

He was a charming man; of course I am talking of James Poole. James was the kind of man that could light up the room with the simple act of walking through a doorway. Why am I saying this? You all know James, unless you have been living under a rock or some silly thing. It's funny to use the word "charming" when talking about James, after what he did, all those people, what a horrific thought, but it was true. He was quite the charmer, all the ladies were clamoring to be his sweethearts and some of the men too, if you know what I mean. But James didn't want any of that, something I understand now.

"Tony, how are you today?" James said with a swagger in his voice.

"I'm doing great, James, couldn't be better." I said back to him, it was the happiest day of my life at this point.

"I would expect so, I heard the great news. How's Carol feeling?"

"Oh, I suppose as great as she could feel after having a baby, she's in the kitchen feeding her right now if you want to say hello."

"I think I will." James walked himself into the kitchen. It was not uncommon for James to pop by unexpected, it was the way he was. He was a traveling salesman so the fact that he lived a distance away from our little farm house didn't mean much to him. He always brought a box of cigars and a fine brandy with him when he stopped in, so I didn't mind much.

"Carol, you look radiant," James said in his usual tone.

"Oh stop," Replied my beautiful wife. "You are making me blush."

"Nonsense, there is a glow about you, one that can only come from the birth of a baby." I opened up the bottle of brandy and poured two glasses.

"Brandy, James," I asked and handed him the glass without waiting for a response.

"You know me too well," he replied.

"Now what brings you so far away from home on a Sunday, it couldn't be just for me," asked carol.

"Oh but it is and for the baby too." James patted down his pockets searching for something. "It must have fallen out in the car, I'll be back in a minute, I have a gift for you all." James rushed out of the kitchen.

"What do you think he is up to," asked Carol.

"I don't know but James does like to be dramatic sometimes," I replied. James ran in and quickly caught his breath.

"That was quick," I said.

James pulled out a small handgun from his pocket and shoots me in the leg, just below the knee. I can still remember how the gun powder smelled, how it stung my nostrils. And how the sound of the gun and the screams of my wife and child pierced through the air and rang in my ears. But it is the pain that I can never forget, so much pain; I had never been shot before. It was too much I blacked out.

"Wake up Tony, wake the fuck up," yelled James. His tone had changed from his normal charm to something so sinister.

"Wha-what happened," I asked.

"Oh, I shot you. I didn't think you would black out. It's a shame too; I would have loved to see your reaction while I fucked your wife." I tried to jump at him, I would have killed him right there but it was at this moment that I realized I was tied to a pipe in my basement.

"I'll fucking kill you, I swear to God…"

"God," he laughed "God is not here, just me, just dear old James. I am glad you are awake now, I do want you to see this." James grabbed my baby girl from the floor, next to my unconscious wife. She was not crying at all, just looking at me with her beautiful brown eyes.

"Please, have mercy, she is just a child." Tears were streaming down my cheeks.

"There is no need to cry, trust me." James pulled out his gun. "It will be quick!" He fired one quick shot into my sweet baby's head. "I think she looks good on that wall, it brings some needed color to the room." James laughed loudly at his statement; it must have made him really happy.

"You're an animal," I screamed. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" The sound of the gun must have woken Carol, because a loud crying came from her side of the room.

"I see that you are up, are you ready for another round?"

"No, no, no, no," carol said softly.

"What are you saying," asked James. "I think I heard fuck me harder this time. Am I close?"

"I'll kill you I swear, I'll fucking kill you." I was screaming at the top of my lungs. "Just stay away from her!"

"I seem to have struck a nerve," said James. "How interesting, let's see what this does." James pulls a pocket knife out of his pocket and grabs Carols head roughly by her hair. "How about this," James yelled as he drove the knife into Carol's right eye. As James twisted more, Carol's yells seemed to fade until I heard nothing."

"Carol, Carol please answer me," I yelled. "Please, answer me."

"Oh, poor baby, you want your wife? I'm not sure she's still alive. Well lets be sure, one way or the other." James pulled out his trusty gun yet again and pointed it at Carol. "Do you think she is alive, Tony?"

"No, she's dead. You don't have to do it. She's dead. She's dead!"

"Well if you are so sure." James fired three shots rapidly into Carol's body.

"You're evil, you're a monster."

"You know what Tony, I think you were wrong. I think she was still alive." James pulled the knife out of Carol's now dead body and licked the blade. "Now that's tasty."

"You are sick," I said.

"Oh, you are probably right, but I love myself anyway." James pointed his gun at me. "And now for you to taste death," James said as he pulled the trigger. The gun clicked, it was empty. "Well, I guess it was not in the cards for you."

"What do you mean? Just kill me, I don't care how."

"I would love to Tony, but I'm out of bullets. You will just have to live for now." James walked up the basement stairs about half way, "It would be a shame if you died of starvation down here. I'll call the cops in a few days; let 'em know you're down here."

In two days the cops came and freed me, I was close to death; I had lost a lot of blood. And the smell of my dead wife and baby had caused me to vomit to the point of dehydration, but James told the truth, I would not die down there. Three days later they found James, he was covered in blood walking down route 66. They connected him to 27 different murder scenes with 43 total bodies. I was the only one who lived to tell their story.