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Joy looked out the window towards a setting sun. Earl was due back at any moment. The sound of the baby’s distant crying awakened her from her painful thoughts. She disgustfully looks at the pile of bills consuming her kitchen table as she strolled towards the baby’s nursery. Her pace quickened as her baby’s wails started to intensify. Keys were jingling at the lock and soon Earl stepped hesitantly into the house.
“Hey Joy! I’m home!” Earl loudly shouted.
“Hey Hun! I’m in the nursery! How was work?” Joy loudly replied.
Earl slowly made his way towards the nursery. He shamefully turned his head away from the bills.
He reluctantly began to answer her, “Well dear, work wasn’t great today. Something happened and, well I got fired.”His head lowered and his body began to shrink as he crumpled into himself in self loathing.
“What?! You got fired again?! Earl you needed that job! We can’t afford you to lose another one! How are we going to pay all those bills?” Joy accusingly pointed her finger at the mountain of death threats.
After looking at her husband’s belittled face she felt the stung her words delivered. Holding her cooing baby she walked over to her troubled husband. The baby began to giggle as the parents looked down upon their little child.
“We’ll be alright Earl. I know you can get a wonderful job. And I can get one if we need to as well. Babysitters aren’t so expensive. We’ll make it through this.” Joy looked up towards Earl and they shared a loving kiss.
Weeks had passed without a single job opportunity. Nights began to feel longer and longer as Earl lay restlessly next to his wife. He could feel the disappointment glowing around her. His mind swirled in agony for his failure. He couldn’t support his family. Hot sweat dripped down his distressed face. His bloodshot eyes scoured the room. The little voices could not be silenced as he sat up and staggered towards his gun safe. A smile crept upon his face as he raised the gun towards his sleeping wife. As he began to aim she awakened abruptly.
“Earl what are you doing?!” she screamed.
“I know you think I failed you Joy. I know it! I can’t handle it! I see how you glare at me and how you feel I letcha down! I’m sorry Joy but I can’t live like this any longer!” Earl sobbed as he slid a little closer to her. Joy slowly placed her feet upon the ground and raised her arms.
“Now Earl, you know that’s not true. I love-“
“Shut up!” Earl interrupted, “I know you’re just lying to me you dirty hag! Now don’t you move. I’m gonna be doing us both a favor.” Earl lifted his gun once again. Joy sucked in one last deep breath and ran towards the nursery. His sweaty hands pulled the trigger and hit his mark as Joy plummeted towards the floor. Desperately she crawled and half dragged herself in a final attempt to help the baby. Laughter erupted from Earl’s throat. He groggily walked over to his struggling wife.
“Now you know what I felt like every day! I’d have to drag myself out of bed and to job interviews only to be let down! Well now you’re going to be let down as well! Goodbye Joy. I’ll see yah soon!” Earl smugly taunted.
Joy looked at him with pleading eyes, “Earl, please……. Don’t... hurt the baby.”
Earl grabbed her hair and pulled her head towards the barrel of the gun. “Now darling, how fair would I be if you don’t get to hold your baby in your next life?” he chuckled as he pulled the trigger. BOOM! Joy lay motionless on the floor as blood splattered the newly painted walls. The baby’s wails perked up Earls head.
“I’m coming baby” He sang as he slowly drug his gun behind him along with his wife’s blood. His hand slowly reached towards the handle until the pounding on the door abruptly sounded.
“Police! Open up or we’re coming in!” the police threatened. Another gunshot was heard as they threw open the door and frantically searched throughout the house. Joy was found dead with two gunshot wounds in the hallway connecting the baby’s room and the master bedroom. The police followed the trail of blood up to the door and into the nursery where they found Earl dead, hanging over the baby’s crib and the couple’s baby smothered in bloody blankets. Police found Earls one gunshot wound to the head and the baby’s minor injuries to the lack of air flow Earl tried to inflict. His own self hatred and insanity of failure lead him to taking the life of his wife as well as his own.