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The Pillowman

The Pillowman



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Published by excreto
The Pillowman short story
The Pillowman short story

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Published by: excreto on Aug 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE PILLOWMANOnce upon a time there was a man, who did not look like normal men. He was aboutnine feet tall and he was all made up of these fluffy pink pillows: his arms where pillows and his legs where pillows and his body was a pillow; his fingers where tinylittle pillows, even his head was a pillow, a big round pillow. His head was a circular  pillow. And on his head he had two button eyes and a big smiley mouth which wasalways smiling, so you could always see his teeth, which were also pillows. Little white pillows.Well the Pillowman had to look like this, he had to look soft and safe, because of his job, because his job was a very sad and a very difficult one. Whenever a man or a ladywas very very sad because they’d had a dreadful and hard life and they just wanted toend it all, they just wanted to take their own lives and take all the pain away, well, justas they where about to do it, by razor, or by bullet, or by gas or…Yes. By whatever  preferred method of suicide – ‘preferred’s probably the wrong word, but anyway, just asthat person was about to do it, the Pillowman would go to them, and sit with them, andgently hold them, and he’d say, ‘Hold on a minute,’ and time would slow strangely, andas time slowed, the Pillowman would go back in time to when that man or that lady was just a little boy or a little girl, to when the life of horror they were to lead hadn’t quiteyet begun, and the Pillowman’s job was to get that child to kill themselves, and so avoidthe years of pain that would just end up in the same place for them anyway: facing anoven, facing a shotgun, facing a lake. ‘But I’ve never heard of a small child killingthemselves,’ you might say. Well, the Pillowman would always suggest they do it in away that would just look like a tragic accident: he’d show them the bottle of pills thatlooked just like sweeties; he’d show them the place on the river where the ice was toothin; he’d show them the parked cars that it was very dangerous to dart out between;he’d show them the plastic bag with no breathing holes, and exactly how to tighten it.Because mummies and daddies always find it easier to come to terms with a five-year-old lost in a tragic accident than they do with a five-year-old who has seen how shittylife is and taken action to avoid it. Now, not all the children would go along with thePillowman. There was one little girl, a happy little thing, who just wouldn’t believe thePillowman when he told her that life could be awful and her life would be, and she senthim away, and he went away crying, crying big gloopy tears that made puddles this big,and the next night there was another knock on her bedroom door, and she said, ‘Goaway, Pillowman. I’ve told you, I’m happy. I’ve always been happy and I’ll always behappy.’ But it wasn’t the Pillowman. It was another man. And her mummy wasn’t home,and she soon became very very sad, and as she sat in front of the oven when she wastwenty-one she said to the Pillowman, ‘Why didn’t you tried to convince me?’ And thePillowman said, ‘I tried to convince you, but you where just too happy.’ And as sheturned on the gas as high as it would go she said, ‘But I’ve never been happy. I’ve never  been happy.’Well…the end of the Pillowman…the end of the Pillowman…See, when the Pillowmanwas successful in his work, a little child would die horrifically. And when thePillowman was unsuccessful, a little child would have a horrific life, grow into an adultwho’d also have a horrific life, and then die horrifically. So, the Pillowman, as big as hewas and as fluffy as he was, he’d just go around crying all day long, his house’d be just puddles everywhere, so he decided to do just one final job and that’d be it. So he wentto this place beside this pretty stream that he remembered from a time before…And he

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