JunkTaylor Lewis lives in Orange County where he "accepts ridiculous amounts of money for toys." Check out his tumblng tumblr, Rust in Pieces
by Taylor Lewis
He stood in the doorway and stared inside, listening to the soft tapping of rain on the roof and remembering. In spite of what he was about to do, he still loved the smell of grease and oil. Loved the feeling of holding a wrench. Loved bringing broken objects back to life. He was good at what he did, or at least he thought so. Still, he had no other choice.
He would double-check to make sure he had set up everything correctly. It had to look believable or else they wouldn’t pay and that wouldn’t do. After all, he was now worth more dead than alive and they wouldn’t give his family a dime if it looked like suicide. He knew they would probably think that anyway, since everybody knew about his money troubles. They would know that hardly anybody ever came into his shop anymore. And with the bank getting ready to take his house, a business just about ready to go under, and his wife having already left him, suicide would be the first thing they suspected, which was the reason why he was being so careful. It has to look believable, he kept reminding himself. Besides, the equipment was old. Of course, even though it looked old and worn it was always expertly maintained, but they wouldn’t know that.
He walked slowly past all the machinery, running his callused and leathery hands lovingly over each one. He sighed, and felt bad that they would soon perish by his own hand when it was he who had cared for them for so long. Still, it was necessary.
Spending a few moments looking at each of his tools, with every step his chest slowly filled with both dread and excitement as he carved his way further inside. He felt guilty because of the excitement. Then again, he felt guilty about a lot of things.
At last he reached the back of the room and stopped next to where he kept the welding tanks. The cart that held the oxygen and acetylene used for welding had been sabotaged and if any traces of his handiwork were found, it would appear as though the tank had been dropped and developed a leak.
While the room filled with the highly flammable gas, the rain continued to pelt the roof overhead. Then, an air compressor nearby kicked on.
A violent explosion rocked the building.
Standing on a small rise half a mile away, he watched the explosion through a set of binoculars. Flames ate at the roof and snarled out of the shattered windows. He turned and took a step but looked back at the rising flames again. Then, with all the effort he could muster, he turned and began walking down the hill, toward the rail yard. Soon he would be just another vagrant riding the rails.
He had thought about actually going up in flames along with everything else, but he wasn’t ready to die yet, and he could still be useful. And he would find a way to keep an eye on his family somehow. Maybe someday he could return to them and offer an explanation for what he had done. Or maybe not. He still had to learn how to look at himself in the mirror.