Eli Edelmann never intended on making a living through mercy killing @greg_levin

continuing with July’s ’emotional scenes’ with
The Exit Man
Greg Levin
Sgt. Rush looked around the room,
then at the exit hood, then back at me.
“I’m ready,” he said.
“Is there any music you want to
hear, or something you want me to read aloud while you are, you know, going
“No. Let’s just keep things
“You’re the boss.”
“Thank you again, Eli. You have
no idea how much this means to me. You just have to promise me you won’t let
your conscience torture you on this. You are a good man, doing a noble thing.”
“I appreciate that, but don’t
worry about me. I’m honored to assist.”
I wanted to say more. I wanted to
tell Sgt. Rush how I admired him for having lived a purposeful and honest life.
For having raised a happy daughter. For having endured his wife’s illness and
death with courage and poise. And for having been such a good friend to my
father for so many years. I realized, however, that expressing such sentiments
would have been more for my benefit than for his. Sgt. Rush didn’t need me to
deliver a living tribute or eulogy. He didn’t need to be reassured that he had
been liked and loved and respected by the people he encountered on this planet.
He felt no existential despair. He needed no soft words to send him home. He
simply wanted to leave.
I checked to see that the long
plastic tubing was securely hooked up to the release valve of the tank, and
picked up the plastic bag.
“Remember, there won’t be any
helium in the bag when I first slip it over your head. You will be able to
breathe freely. Once I insert the tube into the hole and turn the valve, just
continue to breathe slowly and deeply. It will be just like you are breathing
oxygen, and you’ll drift off before you know it. Is that clear?”
“Good. Are you ready to begin?”
Sgt. Rush scooted back in his bed
and propped himself up on a couple of pillows. I carried the connected tank and
the bag to the side of the bed, close enough for the tubing to reach Sgt.
Rush’s soon-to-be hooded head.
Here’s where I had earlier
thought one of us might crumble. This is the point at which I had half-expected
to suddenly come to my senses, or for Sgt. Rush to suddenly come to his. But it
turned out to be the easiest part of the whole plan. A dream sequence. Distance
and detachment, yet each of us locked into our respective role – doubtless that
what we were doing was right. Beyond right. Bordering on obligatory.
Me: Focused and methodical as I
slipped the bag over his head and attached the straps, tube and tape.
Him: Unwavering in his response
to my final “Ready?”
No tension at the turning of the
valve. No coughing as oxygen was ousted. No struggle as helium stole the show.
No panic as the number of living
people in the room was cut in half.
Sgt. Rush, or, more precisely,
the body he had borrowed for 62 years, lay slumped awkwardly on the bed, his
head tilted to the left at a sharp angle, his torso leaning heavy in the same
direction yet still supported partially by the pillows. After I removed the
plastic bag and packed all the hood pieces into my duffel bag, I carefully
un-stacked the pillows and guided the body into a position more in line with
that of a man who had been napping rather than one who had been sitting up in
bed to watch a program on a non-existent TV set. 
On my way out of the room I snatched
the envelope Sgt. Rush had left on the dresser and slid it into my duffel bag.
Just like that, I had been transformed from a rank amateur to a highly paid
professional – nearly doubling what I had earned the entire year before in a
matter of minutes. 
I turned to look once more at the
body. I would miss the man who had exited it, yet I felt no remorse. On the
contrary – I was overwhelmed by a strong sense of achievement. An impenetrable
sense of… there was that simple word again…
Sgt. Rush had just been released.
He wasn’t the only one.




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Suicide should come with a warning label: “Do not try this alone.”
If you truly need out and want the job done right, you should consider using an outside expert.

Add The Exit Man to your Goodreads

Edelmann never intended on making a living through mercy killing. After
reluctantly taking over his family’s party supply store following his father’s
death, he is approached by a terminally ill family friend who’s had enough. The
friend, a retired policeman, has an intricate plan involving something Eli has
ready access to – helium. Eli is initially shocked and repulsed by the
proposal, but soon begins to soften his stance and, after much deliberation,
eventually agrees to lend a hand. 

It was
supposed to be a one-time thing. How could Eli have known euthanasia was his
true calling? And how long can he keep his daring underground “exit”
operation going before the police or his volatile new girlfriend get wise?
About The Author
Having spent much of his life weaving intricate tales to
get out of things like gym class and jury duty, Greg Levin is no stranger to
fiction. Greg’s début novel, 
Notes on an Orange Burial was published in November 2011 by Elixirist (now 48fourteen) and
has sold over 11 copies to his immediate family. Greg’s second book, 
Exit Man
 (available Spring 2014), is already being
hailed as one of the top two novels he has ever written.
Greg has been getting paid to put words together since
1994, working as a professional business journalist, freelance writer and
ghostwriter. He has written hundreds of feature articles, case studies and
satire pieces, as well as a critically acclaimed business ebook.
When not busy writing, Greg enjoys thinking about writing,
and spending time with his wife and daughter. He also enjoys cooking, traveling
and exercising, as well as freestyle rapping for his friends even when they
don’t do anything to deserve such mistreatment.
Greg was born in Huntington, New York in 1969, and then
moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his family when he was six. He attended
the University of New Hampshire and graduated summa cum laude in 1991 with a BA
in Communication and a special concentration in Creative Writing.
Greg currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he is one of
just 17 people who don’t play a musical instrument or write songs. He is
currently wanted by Austin authorities for refusing to eat pork ribs or dance
the two-step.
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Cowboys, Firemen, Policemen, oh YES!

Another guest post on #wwbb 

Ever have one of those days where you just
can’t find something to read that really grabs you? Well I had one of those
about 12 years ago and it made me decide to write my own…couldn’t be that
hard right?….umm not quite!

See I’ve always had this thing for
Military… also Cowboys, Firemen, Policemen… any who, I was really into
military/ romantic/ suspense at the time so I sat down and wrote what would end
up being the first in my Operation series. It started with Operation Summer
Storm, followed by Operation Willow Quest, and I have just released book number
three, Operation Swift Mercy. I’m 
working on book four, Operation Avenging Angel, as we speak, so hopefully that will be out in
the next month or so.
My series is about four U.S Recon Marines
who always seem to be in the wrong place at the right time! And it’s always the
women in their lives who get them there in the first place!  Each man has his own book, and I have to tell
you, I have adored this journey these characters have taken me on. Since
starting the series I’ve fallen in love with all of them and they really have
become ‘real’ to me—it’s going to be very hard to write the end on book four!

I thought I might give you the blurbs to
the first three books and let you see for yourself what these guys get up to!

Tate Maddox is a wanted man, accused of a
crime he didn’t commit. Summer Sheldon holds the key to his freedom-for a

Her demands are simple–rescue her journalist sister from a rebel
hostage camp and she’ll hand over the evidence to clear his name. There’s just
one small catch. He has to take her with him. From the depths of a Cambodian
jungle to the tropical paradise of the Philippines, two unlikely allies are
forced to learn how to coexist or lose everything each holds dear. Together
they must expose a truth that leaves them both vulnerable to the ruthless
killer behind Tate’s nightmare. Murder, blackmail, and injustice brought them
together. Will Tate and Summer save Willow and restore Tate’s reputation in
time, or will they pay the ultimate price for honor?

Peter Delaware is a man on a mission. His
job is to save Willow Sheldon’s delectable but antagonizing butt before she
gets herself killed.

Unfortunately, she has no intention of making his job
easy. Willow Sheldon has a habit of finding trouble. As a photojournalist, her
job has often taken her to some dangerous places, but when Peter ‘Del’ Delaware
comes to her rescue, suddenly it’s no longer the hostile environment posing the
greatest threat to her safety. On the trail of an elusive weapons dealer,
Willow is determined to bring the man responsible for the nightmare of her past
to justice. If in doing so she also gets the scoop of the decade, then all the better.
From the tropics of the south pacific to the jungles of South America, these
two unlikely allies must learn to let down their defences in order to make it
out alive.

She needed help…someone brave…someone
tough…someone like a rough and ready Marine.

When Mercy D’Silva, discovered her
ex-boyfriend was behind an elaborate people smuggling movement, life as she
once knew it, ended abruptly. Finding herself on the run with no idea who to
turn to for help, her days seemed numbered. 
For Chase Maloney, everyone around him
seemed to be moving on, while he was simply marking time. When he decided to
take a short break from groomsmen duties to go fishing, the last thing he
expected to catch was a beautiful woman! 
Can they outrun a vicious killer, and hand
over the evidence to convict him, in time? Or will he find them first and
inflict swift vengeance?

Look me up on facebook if you haven’t already—I’d love to say