“We must all hang together or, assuredly, we will all hang separately.”
Monday, February 18th, 1952
Hi, Mom, it's me, Eddie,
Good news! You can put that umbrella in the closet. No need to bang it on my head anymore. I got a job! Yeah, Mom, a job! At Crack Rock State Prison. They didn't tell me too much about what I'm gonna do, but I'm going to be a kind of jailer, a "special one." Yeah, Mom, I start in my first real job as a very special employee, aren't you proud? I knew attending that special school would pay off one day.
PS: Hmmm, if it's not asking too much just hiding the umbrella, could you make a pumpkin pie when I drop by next Sunday?
Tuesday, february 19th, 1952
Hi, Mom, Eddie again,
My first day at new job was real fun! First they gave me a pointy mask to put on my head, a bit like that one Uncle Louie wore to meet his friends at night when the black folks were getting "uppity"'.' Of course, his mask was white and mine's black, so I thought that maybe I was meant to hang white people, but I was wrong. There's almost only black people in what they call the "Death Row" - that's a corridor of cells where the prisoners wait for their turn on the swing. As it was my first day, they let me play just with the gallows, which they call "the wooden toy"'.' Hey, don't blame me, Mom, I'm still a good Christian. It's just the way my job-mates call their instruments: the wooden toy, the electric toy, the canister toy, the target toy, and that you-don't-wanna-know toy (they didn't show me that one, I'm soooo curious!).
Yeah, the wooden toy. Don't you think my job is just pulling the crank mindlessly. Noooo, it's quite a sophisticated function or else they wouldn't need as smart a kid as me to do it. When the prisoner's neck does not break and he starts choking, I have to hop on his shoulder and bump with my feet until the spinal cord (that's some bones in your neck, see, I'm learning new words...) tears apart. It's an act of mercy, apparently. So no need to tell it to the Pastor or ask people to pray for me. Well, in fact I have to say that it was not so easy. This job demands some sensibility and it was my first attempt so I accidentally decapitated the hanged (and, well, from the photo I'm sending, you can tell I'm a little tiny bit out of shape). It was ugly, but well... nothing they can't stitch at the mortuary.
At the end of the day I scored 3 - or two and a half counting the headless as half. This day, all black. You can tell Uncle Louie, he'll be proud!
PS: I'm reconsidering the pie. I'm on diet now...
Wednesday, February 20th, 1952
Me again, Mom!
I'm so excited that I just can't stop writing letters. Yesterday just after I glued the stamp to our last letter, my job-mates, Derek and Rudolph, rang my doorbell. They told me I was going to pass through a "initiation ritual". I told them I am Christian but they laughed in my face. Actually, there wasn't anything unusual or devilish in the ritual: I just had to drink two shots of straight grain alcohol and after they asked me to go hunting some animals called genbois, gungbos or gan-something with a shotgun. It was dark and I was so drunk that I'm not sure if I killed a coyote instead. Gansters are quick, at the first shot they simply ran to their nests at the forest. I looked for a gamboi image at the Prison's library, and that one was the most look-alike animal I could find (sorry). Anyway, shotguns are no fun.
By the way, today I had to work with a hell of a hangover. So bad that I barfed over a convict when I was doing the gallows dance over his shoulders. I politely said "I am so sorry", just as you taught me - even condemned men ought to expect good manners.
PS: No matter the hangover (hang-over, hehehe) I scored 5 today!
Friday, February 22nd, 1952
Y'know, Friday is such a lazy day. Everybody keeps looking at the clock waiting for the 6. Including the prisoners, and that's kind of weird considering that they're not working.
Yeah, but that's my first week over. I worked double shifts to fill the quotas, cause some of my colleagues are too lazy to get their job done. Today I met my first white prisoner. What an uneducated fellow! He shitted his pants like a small kid when they dropped him. And guess who had to clean that mess? Yeah, good ol' Eddie here! If he was not already dead I would kill him!
PS: hmmm... Changed my mind again. Can you make that pumpkin pie? That diet can wait 'til Monday.
Monday, February 25th, 1952
Thanks for the pie, Mom!
Huhhh, bad news. I broke the gallows today and was almost fired (too much pie?). Director Sullivan told me it was a family heirloom, an antiquity from the 18th century. The good side is that they introduced me to the other toys. We had that convict, Benedict Mortimer, who survived the broken gallows so we had to play hide-and-seek to find him. In the end he was in the gas chamber, which is no place to hide - no wonder the police caught him. (I'm attaching a picture of it - who in his sane mind would enter such a thing?). I slapped his face a little: "No, no, no." I said. "You don't belong in here - we've been charging-up the electric chair for you all morning!".
The poor man was so scared that I had to sit on the chair myself to prove how it was comfy and there was nothing to fear from it. That's very weird but just when I was executing Mortimer someone started a barbecue close by. What a lack of respect for Mortimer's death day, I'm gonna tell you! Anyhow, that smell made me hungry so I telephoned for a burger. I offered the convict a bite, just as you taught me, but he refused. Nevertheless, after munching 20 bites, I swallowed and pulled the lever.
The people with the barbie seemed quite absorbed, so they kept making their burgers the whole day while I sent 5 more to see their Creator.
With plenty of love,
PS: Now I'm serious! I'm starting my diet tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 11th, 1952
Mommy, my only and only!
You know something? It was just today I realized that I'm dealing with dangerous people. At lunch time, Derek had such a sinister smile after barbecueing four criminals. He told me that Jesse Whittaker, his last convict, had tortured and killed 13 women and 7 men. He was a bank clerk, so nobody suspected from him. Mom, I tell you, I was shocked. How can someone be so heartless to kill people and then just lay his head on the pillow as if nothing happened?
We had more problems. Mr. Sullivan became very angry after he heard some screams at the execution section. He was like "What the hell is going on?" and we like "Nothing! There was a power-cut so we had to use candles!". That was true.
Your sonny, only and only!
Friday, May 9th, 1952
I'm such a bleeding heart! Today a convict started crying out loud and I gave him anesthesia with a lead pipe. Unfortunately, I couldn't dose it well so the pipe had all the job done before we fried him. Guess who had to clean the mess? Yeah, good ol' Eddie here! we fried him anyway once I'd cleaned him up, mind. the victims' relatives expect a show.
You know, I'm becoming a little bored. Everyday is the same stuff: Eddie fetch the prisoner, Eddie tie the prisoner, Eddie pull the key, Eddie carry the corpse to the morgue. But today I had to do something very disturbing. Killing a pretty chick in the gas chamber. Seeing that girl in her slumber, so gorgeous and so peaceful, gave me some ideas. Say what? I am human at all... But people just didn't let me play, no matter how I complained that she wouldn't notice a thing, as she was dead. I was just finding some good use for maggot fodder.
It breaks my heart! But now I'm cool.
PS: Did you hear the news? Seems like some sissy congressmen are trying to ban the death penalty in our State. What a bunch of insensible brutes! How can poor, humble people like me earn a decent living without our jobs?
Wednesday, June 27th, 1952
Things are bad. They are really ending the death penalty in our State, so I guess that I will spend the rest of my life bringing food to the scum in the cells. Director Sullivan called for emergency procedures so I finally met that mysterious "you-don't-wanna-know" machine. He told us it was originally designed to write the offense on the criminal's back, as "Rape", "Arson", "Murder", but it jammed a long time ago so he turned it into a sausage-making machine. And, Mom, that devious thing is quick! We could deal a rate of about ten convicts an hour until the Governor called us on telephone and told us to stop (such a party spoiler, I'm telling you). He sent a commission to take all of our toys to a museum. At least we had the chance to serve the officers who came to take our machines some "special" sandwiches! I barely could control myself for not rolling on the ground laughing.
Yeah, my period as a executioner was quite an experience. Now all that I can do is keep on hanging out with Derek and Rudolph hunting for some Gambos.
Your very bored son,
PS: After seeing those sausages, I guess I finally have the will to start my diet.
Saturday, July 1st, 1953
Good news! You can put that umbrella in the closet! Gotta new job! I'm now working in what they call an "aesthetics clinic". You know, that place where women go to try freakish treatments and leave just as they came, but with the skin greased. I passed my first day making a weird concoction of honey and lemon they call "The Wax". When I was done, Dr. Rita asked me to spread it over the hairy legs of a middle-aged lady. I became so ashamed that my face turned red, but Dr. whispered that the customer couldn't see me with that towel covering her eyes. I gonna tell you, it was quite as delightful as my previous job. Even the screams were back!
With the advantage that now I'm a lady's man!
Yours (and theirs, hehehe),
PS: Pie Sunday?