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QRD #26
Ben Szporluk interview
Mats Gustafson interview
Save money without hurting artists
All That...and a Bag of Chips
The Baby's All Right by P Russo
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by Brian John Mitchell (this story went on to become the first issue of XO)

     I just killed someone for free.  I used to need to kill people all the time when I was young.  Back then I had an immoral & fast-paced lifestyle filled with drugs & money & violence & at the time it seemed more fun & exciting than dangerous.  When I gave it up I thought I would never go back to it.  My history with addiction is common knowledge, but nothing else is.  No one but me knows how degenerate I was & how far down I got & that made my life easier.
     A co-worker asked me if I knew anyone who could kill his ex-girlfriend.  At first I thought it was a joke, but he kept hounding me about it.  I told him, “I might know someone for $10,000.”
 He said, “What about for $8,000? That’s all I can afford.”
     “Yeah, probably.  I’ll look into it.”
     I didn’t need the money for myself.  I needed it for my sister.  She’d just gotten out of the hospital & the part her insurance didn’t cover was around $9,500.  Before I even really noticed what I was doing I found myself taking the ex-girlfriend’s body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp out of my trunk & burying her in a graveyard on top of someone who died in 1892.
     When I get back to work on Monday, my co-worker is telling me that his ex left him alone all weekend & he even had to call & leave a message to see if she was okay, but she didn’t call him back.  He starts making all these corny jokes about how it’s a good thing I hadn’t found anyone to kill her for him.  I am going to have to kill this guy.  I’m pretty sure this guy is still in love with the dead girl & when he finds out that she is dead, he is going to freak out & tell the police about me.  I am not going to jail for this guy.  I hate dealing with unprofessional people & amateurs, that’s part of why I had to get out of the criminal life style in the first place.  This joker probably doesn’t even have the $8,000.
     After work I follow him home.  When he’s walking to his apartment I get out of my car & tell him I need to talk to him.  I make sure not to touch anything with my hands on the way into his apartment.  After he shuts the door, as he’s turning to face me & is saying, “What’s up?” I swing my arm to hit his nose with my elbow for a solid break & he bends over holding his hand to his face & I knee his face & hands while driving my elbow down on his neck.  He falls on the floor & I kick his head three times to make sure his neck is broken & he’s dead.  I use the tail of my shirt to cover my hand & I open the door & shut it behind me.  I still need to get the money for my sister.