Johnny fingered the smooth mechanism of the pistol.  The weight in his hand of the finely machined steel was good – solid and heavy.  He turned it around, looked down it’s small barrel, spun it on his desk.  He found the hard scraping sounds reassuring.  

He’d bought it quietly at a shop in Burbank. The owner of the shop lovingly showing him pistol after pistol and enjoyed the fact that Johnny wanted a beautiful, brand new, and expensive gun. Johnny paid cash and patiently waited the requisite 10 days before picking it up. Johnny thought of it each day.  

This was the tool to relieve the pressure. A machine designed to end the pain and pulsing ugliness that continued to grow.  His release was in his hand. No more waking up in a puddle of vomit, his ribs bruised from the stomach pumping, his body dehydrated from the medicines, the concerned looks of the professionals, the tears of Mark and others.  Soon he’d be free and they would be free – the ugliness purged and spilling out into daylight. 

He’d done his best to say his goodbyes.  There would be pain of course.  But he’d already caused so much pain – this, at least, would be final. 

He was not surprised to find his hand wasn’t shaking as he raised the pistol.  He heard the waves softly washing the sands of the Pacific outside his window, gulls crying and people laughing. 

He opened his mouth and pointed at the ugliness. His eyes sought and found light. 

He squeezed.

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