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Ullman Mourns

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For one moment, Ullman thought it was going to work.

Jack Torrance had stood in the ballroom, truly feeling and sensing the totality of the Overlook. Not just the scandals and scares, but the essence and life of the Hotel. All of the guests who’d visited, the laughter, beauty, and fun, as well as the blood. He’d tasted a little of the joy Ullman always felt, when he stood within the Overlook. His Overlook. Something had Shone out of Jack Torrance, glowing within this educated thug entrusted with Ullman’s treasure. Something which might actually be worthy of the responsibility. Something which might actually add to the Overlook’s glory, instead of diminish it.

Alas, no. Jack Torrance was a powder keg, not only of psychic energy, but of violence. Far worse than Grady had been. If Grady had been the crack, which had gotten the Overlook addicted to domestic violence, Torrance was the PCP. Alas, Ullman’s beautiful Overlook had gotten a taste for dangerous drugs, thanks to that damned Grady. He’d broken under the strain of caring for the Overlook, snowed in with his wife and daughters. He’d spilled blood, feeding death and despair into the Hotel walls. The Overlook had gotten hooked to the taste. Along had come Jack Torrance with his alcoholism, his horrible temper, his pretty wife, and his cute little son. Having them stay at the Overlook, snowed in, was simply too much temptation. However, Al Shockley had wanted Jack Torrance hired. Big mistake. At the time, Ullman had thought it would simply lead to more blood and scandal.

Sensing Jack’s sensitivity in the ballroom, to the totality of the Overlook, Ullman felt hope. Maybe there was more to this caretaker. Maybe the Overlook would take something beautiful from him. Alas, no. It was too addicted to the domestic violence. It wanted too badly for Torrance to pummel his family to death.

This addiction had destroyed Ullman’s beloved Overlook. Shockley and everyone else believed Torrance was the martyr who’d sacrificed his life, trying to dump the boiler and save the Overlook. Ullman knew better. Torrance had been the powder keg, the drug, that had led the Overlook to its destruction. Ullman would live out the rest of his life, cursing the temperamental little thug, who’d destroyed his hotel.

Damn Jack Torrance! Why had the Overlook wanted him so badly? No one had ever loved or cared for the Overlook as much as Ullman did! If only the Hotel had let him take care of it, as it deserved, instead of letting itself get addicted to violence! None of the violence at the Overlook had been the Overlook’s fault. As far as Ullman was concerned, it had been Derwent, the gangsters, and all the thugs who’d ever stayed at the Overlook, who'd corrupted his Hotel. They’d been pushers, pushing violence, and they’d gotten his beautiful Hotel addicted to violence. Jack Torrance was a slut, a pusher, offering the ultimate in violence. If a woman dressed in a low-cut gown, dangling her clevage in front of an audience, was it the audience’s fault for reacting? No. Nor was it the Overlook’s. It had been given a diet of blood and violence, so it had gotten a taste for it. The ones to blame for the taste were the ones who’d committed the violence.

Ullman believed this, fully. However, his Hotel had paid the ultimate price for what these thugs and philistines had done to it. It had burned down. It had been destroyed. Now, Torrance’s wife and brat were collecting a check for its destruction. Ullman hated them for that.

“Let it go,” Shockley had said, sounding tired. “The whole thing was a fiasco. We’re lucky they’re not suing us for more money.”

Lucky. Ullman didn’t feel lucky. His beloved Hotel had been violated and destroyed. Where was its come uppance? Where was its revenge?

There were lots of families and thugs. There had been only one Overlook. He’d asked Jack Torrance to take care of his Hotel. The bastard had smiled his toothy, insincere grin, and said it would be there in the spring. It hadn't been there in the spring. It had burned to the ground.

If there’s a hell, Torrance, I hope you’re burning in it! Ullman thought with all the venom of a man, who’s wife had been raped, her corpse despoiled. There isn’t enough misery down there to equal what you’ve inflicted on me. Nor was there anything that could ever replace what Ullman had lost. His Overlook.

Ullman took another drink and contemplated revenge. The thought of tracking down any remaining family members of Jack Torrance and taking it out on them was very satisfying. His wife. His son, who’d seemed so innocent, when Ullman met him. Anyone else. Anyone.