Turn That Frown Upside Down


I broke into your house, Ted.

I hate your name, Ted. Sounds like some jackass manager that’s the butt of every joke even though he doesn’t know it. Sounds like the guy who gets killed in every movie just because the script calls for a high body count. Fodder, Ted. You’re fodder. A joke.

Suck it, Ted.

I’m pretty sure Marie said you’re a hide-a-key man. Standing on your porch, looking around at your expensive trim and your expensive imported Peruvian decorative rocks, I don’t see no hide-a-key thing. No obvious plastic rock with a secret hatch holding a key. Nope. I did find a cement block in my truck bed, though. Worked as well as a house key.

You know, sitting here on your real leather couch, enjoying the midday sun as it dances along all the shards of your triple-paned front window, smelling your hovel—Marie bragged you bought actual scented paint for the walls, you snooty fuck—I can’t help but be glad for the last three months when I was smelling antiseptic and my own feces. Your place is a high-dollar, bought and paid for fake life. If you’re the type of man who needs to display to the world how small his dick is by means of his huge wallet, you ain’t worth the bullets in the gun I have right now.

Marie. How you got Marie is what kills me. It ain’t the tumor killing me. Okay, maybe in a technical sense it is, but really, what killed me was when she came into my hospital room and said, “The kids and I are going to stay with Ted while you work this out.” That’s what took away my life.

You, Ted. Some fodder, some joke, took away my life. With his scented paint and convertible limited edition Italian car. Sure, I married a whore. I put two babies in a whore. And now, there you are in an eighty-inch family photograph wearing your custom made polo shirt next to that whore. I’m so glad that even though I couldn’t buy Aiden a matching custom made polo, you did. I’m even gladder he’s standing next to you in the picture. Matching shirts. Matching pleats on your matching khakis. It’s like I’ve been erased from my entire life and you took it over. You and your bank account. Money has a smell to it, you know. And them whores have bloodhound-quality noses.

Comfy couch, though. I keep having the urge to lean back and just get buried inside this thing but every time I do I hit my head on that damn family photo.

I came here to kill you, Ted. I came here to put one round in your smelly, fuck-ugly face and then gloat over how you thought you won but in the end, I did. But I’ll be damned if I’m not tapped out over throwing that cement block. Docs said I’d have some fatigued days. Said they’d get more frequent as the end drew nearer. The end must be this coming Tuesday, then, ‘cuz I am quaking at the knees.

“The kids and I are going to stay with Ted while you work this out.” Who ends a marriage with that? Work this out. She should have said they were coming to live with you while I rot from the inside out and give up the life insurance money. Then I could respect her on at least one level.

You’re looming over me, Ted. In life, in this preposterous photograph behind me. You’re like my new tumor. One looming over my head, one deep inside my head. It ain’t fair. None of it.

See this gun, Ted? The one pressing against the roof of my mouth? I hope my afflicted brains spray all over you and your too-white smile and your arm wrapped around my wife and my kids. And then you can come home to your perfect life and find your one problem giving the gift that keeps on giving. You’d have to move, I bet. That’d make my life worth it, all right. That’d put a smile on my face.

Gun powder tastes like sweet revenge, Ted.

~ fin ~

AUthor Pic - Color

Ryan Sayles is based in the Midwest. His hardboiled private detective series featuring Richard Dean Buckner is forthcoming through Down and Out Books. The first two novels, Subtle Art of Brutality andWarpath, will be released in July and October, 2015. His short story collection, That Escalated Quickly! is out through Zelmer Pulp. His chapbook Disordered Mullets was released by Weekly Weird Monthly. His Buckner novella Disco Rumblefish was published by All Due Respect Books as part of the Two Bullets Solve Everything split with author Chris Rhatigan.

Ryan’s short fiction has been widely published online, in anthologies and in print. He’s been included in the Anthony-nominated Trouble in the Heartland: crime fiction inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen, as well as Dark Corners magazine, Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory and more.

Ryan is a founding member of Zelmer Pulp, a writer’s group dedicated to genre fiction. Their multiple publications span numerous brands of fiction including zombies, science fiction, westerns and more.

He may be contacted at www.vitriolandbarbies.wordpress.com