This Is What I Need to Sleep Well

This Is What I Need to Sleep Well

A cool, dark room.

A sleep mask.

Knowing that the body is buried deep in the ground.

It was this last point that was missing from last night’s sleep, and why I kept waking when I should have been sleeping so peacefully, getting ready for the grandkids to arrive the next day. My daughter Sharon and her husband Tom were going away for their anniversary weekend. I couldn’t cancel on them.

The body was in my basement. I never brought my work home as a rule, but also as a rule I never had a body that refused to die. I shot him twice in his head and heart, but he still wouldn't die.   

As I was burying him out in Glenford Woods, he kept moving, kept shaking, kept trying to get out of the garbage bags wrapped around him.

I banged his head with a shovel for a good five minutes and he was quiet and motionless for a few minutes, but as I was dragging him to the grave he started moving again.

It was almost 3am. I had to get home.

I put him in the trunk. That was a struggle. He was banging the whole way home until I got in the garage and dropped a bowling ball on his head.

 

A good night’s sleep is often overlooked in my work. They expect you to kill at all hours. I function best on at least eight hours of sleep. 

After that my performance drops.

Before I kill anyone I see if they have good sleep tips. It’s something that I do to put them at ease. I don't always have time to talk though.  

It's particularly upsetting since this was my last job. I had finally enough money for retirement. 

Anthony Romero Reynolds, this is the man who I was supposed to kill last night. He didn’t have any tips to share.

He was silent, brooding. I like it when they share recipes with me. I have a wonderful chili con carne from a Texan man I killed last year. He was a real gentleman before I shot him in the face.

Now the body is in my basement. I never do that. I hear him moaning. I need a few hours of sleep. Just a few hours of sleep.

 

No, don’t go to the basement darlings, I tell them. I’ll get whatever I need, the stairs are so steep.

I have music playing, to cover any loud noises from the basement.

Here’s the things I love about Grandma, Liza says. I love her cookies, I love her house I love her swing, I love her kindness. I love her hugs, I love her kisses.

Thank you, darling.

We eat lunch. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

That's when he comes into the kitchen.

He was covered in dirt, his face misshapen and bloody. One eye is hanging loose.

Ha ha, I said. It's Ted, you remember Ted, my old friend, right kids? I say.

The girls scream.

Ted, great costumes, but you're scaring the kids.

He comes over to me and starts chocking me.

It's just a Halloween joke, I manage to say.

I shake him off.

I grab a knife.

We're going to play a little game, I say to them. 

I tackle him. Hold him down, I yell at the girls.

This is part of the joke, I say.

I cut his head off. It takes a while, and it gets pretty bloody.

Wow, Ted, this is really realistic make up you have here, and so much blood, so much fake blood, isn't this crazy, girls, don't be scared, it's just a Halloween prank.

Ewww, they say.

What fun! I say.

We drag the body downstairs and put him in the basement. 

Lilly has the head.

What should I do with this? she says.

Oh that's hilarious, darling. It's so realistic, isn't it?

Yeah, it looks real, she says.

Yeah, Liza says.

One of the eyes in his head looks over at them. He smiles and tries to bite Liza.

She screams and drops the head. 

I tie the body down and kick the head in the corner.

 

After we clean up, I say, Let’s go out for ice cream! 

We get in the car. The girls sit in the front with me.

I tell them a story of how I met grandpa.

The body sits up in the back of the car. The girls scream. He's trying to choke me again.

I keep driving though. I have to get to Roundabout Ridge.

Ted, you're really persistent, aren't you? I say. You're taking this really far, you're committed that's what I always liked about you.

When we get to Roundabout Ridge I get out and drag Ted with me. I throw him down. He's crawling in the dirt, searching with his hands for me.

I stomp on his hands.

He stands up.

I push him over the cliff.

The body falls and falls. I look down and see it hit the water.

Okay, ladies, let's get that ice cream, I say. I want two scoops of chocolate with sprinkles. What do you ladies want?