Confessions of a mad man
by P.S.Gifford
forum: Confessions of a mad man
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Confessions of a mad man


       It is a curious and one might say tragically comical set of circumstances that brought me to my impending doom, sitting here on death row counting the hours to my execution. I am having a hard time eating my last meal; New York Steak, three eggs, hash browns, orange juice and coffee and I feel my story should be told.

       It was three years ago on a sunny spring Monday morning, I shall never forget it, how could I? I am, or rather was, a knife salesman by trade. This allowed plenty of time to travel, and the lonely existence of the road was far more enjoyable than the sheer level of wretchedness I suffered when I was at home with Mildred. Mildred, please understand, was my wife of twenty six years and I suppose I had loved her once, yet, as I strive to recollect the emotion, my search is in vain. All that I can bring to mind is the nagging, both incessant and constant gradually etching away at my confidence. Each derogative utterance chipping recklessly away at my increasingly fragile sense of self, but as I awoke upon that spring morning things were about to change. On this beautiful spring morning the events that were about to unfurl had been meticulously considered for months…

       We awoke, as we always awoke, and her mouth began moving the moment her eyes opened. The insults quickly began as I made her breakfast; I always made her breakfast, and served it to her in bed. As she examined the tray in front of her the usual bombardment of condemnation flooded;
"Eggs too runny," "Coffee too strong," "Idiot," and "Useless."

       This was the typical routine, yet this morning as my mood was so highly elevated that I could withstand the verbal pummeling. At precisely 8:30 I was meticulously packing the fine German knives in a large stainless steel case for a presentation later that day. I had in my possession a second case, and this one I placed on the bed empty. Moments later I heard my wife contently singing some wretched show tune in the shower, something from the Sound of Music, I think, but with her it was hard to tell. I calmly picked up the shiny butcher boning knife from my collection, this is a strong long narrow knife and as its name implies is used to sever through bones. Perfect.

       As I approached the bathroom door I could hear her shrieking rendition of Julie Andrews and the sound of the gushing water. Holding my breath I opened the door and entered. As I watched her flabby silhouette wobbling behind the floral shower curtain I could not help but shudder. A moment later, and with speed that surprised even me, I had thrown back the curtain and plunged the knife with exacting precision into the base of the neck. The shower water continued to gush relentlessly, and the water turned into the most beautiful hue of red. Her death was almost instant and relatively painless. Within a few moments she collapsed into the bathtub. I watched fascinated as the blood continued to flow for a few moments. This is why I had decided upon the shower, so that the blood would drain away. After about twenty minutes not a trace of red was left to be seen.

       It was then time for the next phase of my plan, and I once more went to my trusted knife collection and returned the boning knife lovingly back into its place, spotlessly clean and shining. Then I removed a stainless steel meat cleaver and a butchers saw. My spirits were rather high at this time, I was enjoying this far more than I imagined I would. I turned my stereo on and the joyous sounds of Beethoven filled the diminutive bathroom. Perfect. As I set about my gruesome task I imagined the conductor gallantly guiding the orchestra as they pounded out the fifth symphony and I too took the rhythm of the music, and orchestrated my movements to it, I was having fun. The arms and legs came off with relative ease. However the head, which I had saved for last, was a little more trouble, in fact it took me nearly ten minutes to finally disconnect each stubborn sinew. Finally with one almighty whack from the cleaver the last ligament surrendered to my blade. I laughed to myself Mildred was always being awkward of course her murder was not going to be any exception.

       Finally the body had been cut and sliced tidily into small pieces and I took the suitcase and lined it with plastic bin liners and methodically positioned all of her body pieces in it. I placed Mildred's head on top, and with much satisfaction at a job well done jubilantly closed it. Perfect.

       I meticulously cleaned my knives and scrubbed using copiously amounts of heavy duty bleach the shower. After all of my efforts I surveyed the bathroom; spotless, perfect.

       At this point it was almost 10:30, still plenty of time for my drive to West Virginia for my presentation at the Hotel association. By 11:00 I finally pulled out of the garage of my tidy little house in Ohio in my station wagon. I had the two suitcases crammed into the back, along with my overnight bag. I placed my favorite Mozart CD into my player and as the piano sonata number eleven filled my ears
I finally started to relax "almost done," I had thought to myself, "almost done."

       I had driven this exact same route many times over the years and as I sped along the highway I knew precisely what needed to be accomplished. I came to the appropriate exit, which is located right in the heart of West Virginia, and took the adjoining mountain trail into the green hills. I just needed to travel two miles up. You see I had already dug the hole where I was going to dispose of Mildred. I remember looking at my watch, 1:45; perfect. I still had four hours before I had to do my presentation at the conference which was plenty of time. I hummed along merrily to Mozart once more as I bounced along the logging road. Very few vehicles ever traveled out here so I considered it the ideal spot for the disposal. It was then the unexpected happened. I felt the car veering sharply to the left. I realized at once what my problem was, a flat tire. As I hastily removed the contents from my car to reach the spare and tools, I cursed to myself. Still, only a minor hitch and I still had time. Thirty minutes later I was speedily racing along the mountain road yet again. It had begun to drizzle at this point, and the road in front of me was quickly turning to mud… These sudden April showers were common enough, but I could not help to wonder deep down that some strange kind of bad karma was beginning to overtake me. I quickly suppressed the growing gnaw of guilt in my gut. This was not going to be as easy as I imagined, I was no longer enjoying the process, but now I had to keep on going…

       I finally made it to my spot, with the rain still falling. I hastily got myself from the car, grabbed the case and dropped it deep into the awaiting cavity. I hurriedly started to fill in the hole, and slipped, falling directly on top of the case. As I clambered to my feet I realized that Mildred would have gotten a good laugh out of this. I could just imagine her cackling disparagements at me "Useless, pathetic, feeble, stupid…" It took almost an hour to finally cover her up. I hadn't counted on it taking so long and I was really behind schedule now, I was going to have to hurry. Placing the inspiring music of Elgar into my player and turning the volume up to maximum I once again bounced along the mountain road, back to the freeway, and on to my convention. I managed to distract my unfocused, doubting mind by considering what lay ahead of me. The next couple of days were going to be fun, hotel conventions always were.

       Two hours later I had hastily pulled into the Charleston Weekender inn, where the convention was being held. It was now six o clock, and almost dark. I hurriedly checked in at the front desk, and as the reservations clerk handed me my room key, she seemed to be eyeing my dirty clothes suspiciously, I felt that somehow she knew what I had been doing. Or was I simply getting paranoid?

       In a few moments I was in the hotel room, safely locking the door behind me. I had unlocked the mini bar and poured myself a generous quantity of bourbon. As I took a hot shower I kept seeing Mildred's face from the corner of my eye, silently mocking me, and I had began to question my own sanity…I remember thinking that I had to pull myself together, that the worse was surely over.

       Just at the stroke of 6:00 P.M. I marched punctually into the auditorium, my confidence restored. Several hundred anonymous faces greeted me with polite applause. I studied the carcass of the pig on top of the stage, the expression on the dead animals face held a spooky resemblance and I shivered. I took a deep breath and lifted my trusted knife set next to the pig, my presentation on butchery was about to commence. Perfect.

       You can imagine my shock when I eventually opened the case. The auditorium instantly became hushed and I was unsure as to what had provoked such a surprising reaction. Then I saw Mildred's face, smiling up at me. See, I told you it was kind of funny, you have guessed what mistake I made haven't you? Of course-I had only gone and buried the wrong case.



copyright 2006 P.S.Gifford.

P.S.Gifford has been published in all sorts of odd places. Most recently he can be read in,,,,,,,, and

He has a website which is, oddly enough, called