I wasn’t bothering anyone. I was just sitting there, alone in my apartment, no lights or sound. But that damn clock, it wouldn’t leave me alone!
Tick tock, tick tock. The second hand smugly ticked the moments away as the numbers burned their accusation into my brain.
1 2 3 4 5 6-Pointing, taunting, laughing.
“No! No! It’s not my fault!”
7 8 9-“You’re a monster!”
“No! It was them! They were evil!”
10 11 12-“MURDERER! MURDERER!”
Tick tock, tick tock.
I had to get out. I couldn’t take it anymore! The Red was coming. I could see it at the edge of my vision. I could hear the voices in the distance, whispering their command:
I jumped out of the chair. My fingers ached from where they’d dug into its arms. I walked back to my room, not bothering with the lights. I knew what I was after, and right where it was at.
I went to my bed and flipped the mattress onto the floor. There it was, my freshly sharpened Buck knife with the eight inch stainless steel blade, the word REDEEMER scratched from tip to hilt. So pretty…
I picked it up. As I stood there, admiring its weight in my hand, it all came back to me…
Jasmine…She was my first. First crush, first love, first redemption.
She had it all. Looks, brains, a rich daddy. She was popular; a straight A student, candidate for valedictorian, and on her way to Harvard Med. Everybody loved her. Especially me.
Jasmine was a high school queen, but I was the exact opposite. A scrawny loser with bad acne that earned me the nickname “Frog Boy.” The only reason she knew I existed is because she tutored me in biology, a class that, with her help, I managed a high D in.
All I was to her was extra credit, but that didn’t stop me from falling in love with her. It was stupid, I know, but I had this crazy idea that if I could just make her see how I felt, that she’d feel the same, and we’d share an undying love, and live happily ever freakin’ after and blah blah BLAH!
It was all crap! I learned that the hard a few weeks before graduation. We were at an empty park near the school, studying for finals. Jasmine wanted a joint break, so we stopped for a minute. I still wonder if anyone knew miss perfect was an undercover pot head.
I chose that moment, as she toked away like Cheech and Chong, to tell her how I felt. I tried to find a way to be cool and smooth, but nothing sounded right, so I just blurted it out.
“Jasmine, I…love you.”
She looked at me for a moment, and then she started laughing. LAUGHING!
“I-I’m serious!” I stammered.
She stopped laughing and looked at me. Her features softened into a mask of sympathy.
“Oh, honey, that’s adorable. But you and I could never be. We’re too different. I’m beautiful and popular. I’m going places. You’re just a loser who can’t pass biology.”
“We’re incompatible sweetie. It’s like that story. I’m the beautiful princess, and you’re the grody frog!”
That got her laughing again. That conceited bitch! Loser, huh? Frog?! I was consumed by rage! Everything turned dark red, like blood. The only sound I could hear was an incessant buzzing in the distance, but growing louder.
What happened next I still don’t remember. One minute I was sitting there, watching Jasmine as she mocked and laughed at me. The next, Jasmine was on the ground, and I was straddling her, panting, my hands aching, and Jasmine’s face looked like raw hamburger.
I didn’t know what’d happened. I was confused, and more than a little scared. There was so much blood!
I couldn’t think. My mind whirled, and the buzzing in my ears didn’t help any. By now it sounded like the roaring winds of a raging storm. I thought I could make out words, but I was too panicked to care.
I’d never killed anyone before. Well, at least not people. My neighbor had like a hundred cats. Every couple weeks one would go missing, and I’d learn something new about feline anatomy. Who likes cats anyway?
But this wasn’t some self righteous ball of fur. This was a person. One I knew and went to school with. I was so screwed!
I had to get rid of the body. I was thinking about how to do that when she started moaning. I felt a surge of relief, but it quickly died with the realization that she’d go to police about this. I was still screwed!
I tried to calm myself. I thought, “Maybe she won’t remember what happened.” Then she spoke.
“You bastard! I’m calling the cops! Your life is over geek!”
So much for that idea
“You thought I’d go out with a loser like you?! You’re pathetic! Don’t worry, though! You’ll get plenty of dates in jail! I hope you like sausage Frog Boy!”
Beaten to a pulp and she was still a bitch. I decided something then. It’d be easier to finish her and get rid of the body, than to try to explain the situation to the police. The fact that she still wouldn’t shut up, even between spitting blood and teeth, helped with that decision.
I wanted to make it quick and painless, but she just wouldn’t stop! The Red Rage came back, and before I knew what was happening, I’d picked up a large rock and was beating her head the rest of the way in, screaming, “Who’s the frog now bitch?! Who’s the frog now?!”
By the time I finished there wasn’t much left of her head. Most of it was spread across the dirt and rocks. What wasn’t was splattered across my upper body.
I thought I’d freak out again, but the feel of her blood on my skin had a calming effect. My pulse slowed, thinking cleared. I could breathe again.
I even knew what the buzzing was now. It was voices, whispering one word over and over. Redeemer… Yes, Jasmine was a vile person, but I redeemed her. She was good now.
I redeemed her, but I still had to get rid of the bitch. If beating her bloody was a hard pitch to sell, try explaining this. “Uh, yeah officer, she was an evil whore, but I fixed her.” I couldn’t see that working out.
Lucky for me, the park was a perfect place commit murder. At 11pm it was completely deserted, and thick trees blocked the view from the outside. The best part, it had a big, deep duck pond in the middle. That’s where Jasmine and I’d go to study, and where the evil bitch took her last breath.
It was pretty far from the rest of the park, and surrounded by lots of heavy rocks. The water was so filthy you could barely see six inches into it. It was perfect.
I emptied her pockets; to make it look like a robbery, and also because I figured I deserved a little something for all she put me through! She didn’t have much for a spoiled rich girl. Twenty two dollars, half a pack of gum, her bag of pot, and, surprise surprise, a condom. I knew she was a whore!
I stuffed all her crap in my backpack. Then I dragged her to the edge of the water. She was heavier than she looked. 115 my ass! I stuffed her pants and jacket full of rocks. I did the same with her backpack, and then I strapped it to her chest. Then I drug her as far into the pond as I could, and said my goodbyes with a kiss and a middle finger.
I washed as much blood off me as I could, then got out of the pond. The cool night air felt arctic on my wet skin. I took my shirt off and wrung it out, put it back on, damp but tolerable, and did the same with my pants and boxers. Then I threw on my jacket and backpack and started the trek home.
I walked in a daze, hypnotized by what I’d just done. I was freaked out at first. I expected the police to come and get me any second. Or Jasmine’s IRA supporting father to unload some buckshot into my ass.
But by the time I got home, my feelings had changed. I felt high, almost euphoric. This was the biggest thing I’d ever done! It was a hundred times better than anything I’d ever experienced! Even better than the time Candy Jenkins gave me head in the school gym for a bottle of my dad’s Wild Turkey!
I didn’t even notice I was home until my front door opened and whatever bimbo my dad brought home from the bar that night walked out, stumbling and giggling. Dad walked out behind her, put his arms around her, gave her floppy tits a squeeze, and whispered something in her ear that made her giggle louder, then sent her on her way.
When he saw me he said,” What the hell’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing,” I said.
“Nothin’? Then what’s all that blood on your shirt?”
“A dog got hit by a car. I carried it to a shelter.”
“Well aren’t you a regular saint? Get to bed, you got school.”
He went inside.
“It’s Saturday,” I said.
“Get to bed anyway,” he yelled over his shoulder. “Damn smart mouth punk!”
I heard him take his bottle of whiskey from the cabinet, his one true love. I headed to my room.
I went inside and locked the door behind me. I took off my still-damp clothes, stuffed the bloody shirt into a trash bag, and shoved it underneath my bed. Then I lay down on my bedroom floor.
The initial shock, and high, had worn off. Now I was just numb. I laid there with my eyes closed, seeing only Jasmine’s emerald green eyes, until sleep finally took me.
That night I kept having the same dream. I was swimming in a sparkling green lake. Then the water would turn blood red, and I’d start to drown. But I wasn’t afraid. I liked it.
A year passes. I’ve graduated high school, barely, and am working as a bag boy at Carcer’s Grocery. Not a glorious gig, but it paid the bills. Sort of.
Dad had died a couple months earlier. He was wasted, driving home from the bar. He wasn’t paying attention and ran a red light. At the same time, an eighteen wheeler was coming into the intersection. Dad never had a chance.
With him gone, I couldn’t afford to keep the house. I had no other family, and Carcer’s didn’t pay enough to get a place. I figured I was pretty well screwed, until one of dad’s steadier girlfriends; Sheila came into the store one day and invited me to stay with her and her son Dan. I didn’t want, but I saw no other choice, so I accepted.
Sheila was a decent person. What she ever saw in my dad was beyond me. Dan was a different story, though.
He thought he was a tough guy. He hung out with other wannabe tough guys, and did nothing but drink and harass people. When I moved in I became his favorite target.
It was the same crap every time he seen me. He’d intentionally walk into me, then say, “Watch it Frog Boy!” Then his idiot friends would laugh and chant Frog Boy, Frog Boy! I hated him with an unbridled passion.
He came into the store one night during my shift. He was drunk and in a foul mood. He decided to take it out on me.
He started with the usual Frog Boy routine while criticizing my bagging skills.
“That’s the sorriest sack I ever seen Frog Boy! Can’t you do anything right?”
The manager asked him to stop, so he grabbed a cart and pretended he was shopping. He walked through the store shouting, “Frog Boy, Frog Boy, ribbit ribbit!” He made regular trips by the check-out to make sure I heard him.
He finally got bored of that, and decided to step it up a notch. He got on a PA system and made a store-wide announcement.
“Attention shoppers, welcome to Carcer’s, where we’ll hire anyone! Be sure to say hello to our bagger, the amazing Frog Boy! He’s what you get when an alcoholic amphibian mates with a meth whore! Don’t get too close folks! Those things on his face are contagious!”
The manager got him off the PA and finally asked him to leave. This enraged him. He walked toward the exit shouting profanities. I thought that’d be the worst of it, but then he turned and came over towards me. Without a word, he spat at me, then slapped me hard across the face.
A couple employees were able to get him away from me, but it was too late. The Red was there without warning. I didn’t hear the voices until afterward.
I picked up a large can of refried beans from the counter and stalked towards Dan. I took the can and smashed it into the bridge of his nose. Stunned, my co-workers let him go and he dropped to the floor, bleeding.
I knelt over him and smashed the back of his head into the linoleum several times before I was pulled off. I got up and calmly walked out of the store, still gripped by the Red, but now it was more a trance than a rage. I could hear the voices now, screaming at me. They weren’t sated.
I walked aimlessly, seeing the world through a scarlet veil. I don’t know for how long, but I eventually found myself at an abandoned motel. Well, it wasn’t completely abandoned. A car was parked by where the office had been. I couldn’t see its occupants, but by the way it rocked like a boat on rough seas, I could tell what was going on inside.
I took out the pocket knife I used to carry as I crept towards the car. The voices were deafening now. I tasted blood.
The windows were down, and a man’s head was visible just above the door. I reach in and grab him by the hair. Then I pull his head back and stab him in the neck several times.
The woman screams from underneath him. She scrambles out of the car in nothing but a mini skirt and stiletto heels. Her bare breasts are covered in lover boy’s blood.
She tries to run, but those shoes weren’t made for moving quickly. Her flight isn’t helped by the way she looks over her shoulder and shrieks every couple feet. It was a ridiculous sight.
I giggled idiotically as I stalked after her. I didn’t have far to go, either. She got maybe thirty feet when one of her heels broke and she went down hard. That had to hurt.
She tried to get up. She was too slow. She’d made it to all fours when I got to her. I got behind her, yanked her head back hard, and slashed her throat from ear to ear, the whole time still giggling like a stoned Beavis and Butthead.
Those were my first knife kills, but not my last. Not even that night. I quickly developed a taste for cold steel on warm flesh.
I still had a big, dumb grin as I got back to the apartment. The Red was gone, though. The voices too.
Whistling the tune to “Beavis and Butthead,” I headed for the back entrance of the building. As I was opening the gate, a car squealed to a stop just behind me. I heard the door open and then slam shut.
I had the gate opened when I felt someone grab me by the shirt collar. I was swung around and roughly thrown to the ground. As I lay there dazed, a face comes into view. Dan’s face, all bruised and battered.
“That wasn’t very nice Frog Boy! You smashed my head pretty good! Not good enough, though! Now I’m gonna return the favor!”
His voice sounded funny, probably because his nose was broken. He sounded all stuffed up and nasally. It made me laugh.
“You think this is a joke,” he screamed.
“No,” I said.
“No, I don’t think it’s a joke Danny. I think you’re a joke. You act big and bad, but Sheila showed me Mr. Scruffy. Told me how you carried him in your book bag until the sixth grade. I didn’t believe her, though. I think you still carry him around. Big. Tough. Sissy.”
I could actually see his rage. It was like a cartoon. His face went beet red, and I could almost swear I saw steam billowing out of his ears.
Unfortunately for Danny boy, my rage was stronger. He wanted to hurt me. I wanted to do more than that.
As Mr. Scruffy’s bestest buddy reached back to beat my face in, I slipped my knife out of my pocket. I watched his fist barrel at me like a freight train. As it connected with my left eye, my blade connected with his kidney.
The punch dazed me, but Dan’s agonized scream brought me out of it. He squirmed on the ground, clutching his side. Blood bubbled from his lips. He didn’t look too hot.
I crawled over to him and forced him to look at me. He tried to speak in between gasps and moans.
“Ssshhh. It’s ok Danny. Save your strength.”
“Wh-why…,” he coughed.
“What’s that Danny? Why? WHY?! I’ll tell you why Danny boy. Because you’re cruel. You’re evil. You’re a horrible person. You never cut me any slack. But it’s ok now Dan. I’m going to make you good. I’m going to redeem you.”
He clutched weakly at my shirt. I grabbed his hand and squeezed it reassuringly.
“Everything’s gonna be alright now Danny.”
I raised the knife high, then brought it down deep into his left eye. He shuddered once. Then he was still.
I leaned over him and whispered, “Now you’re good. Now I forgive you.”
Then I walked away whistling “Oh Danny Boy.”
I decided it was time to go after that. I hitched a ride to the next town and, with what little money I had, bought a bus ticket to Las Vegas. I figured it was a good place to get lost. I was right.
The first couple months were rough. I slept on park benches, survived off panhandling, and did my best to avoid attention. Though the town was filled with people who didn’t give a rat’s ass about hard luck cases such as myself, that last part was difficult, because one group of people who always cared about vagrants were the police. I was in and out of jail a lot during that time.
After a while I started working. Day labor and under the table jobs, mostly. Pretty soon I was able to afford a weekly apartment. It was a cozy little rat hole with a fridge, a TV, a couch and an ugly ass clock. Home sweet home.
I kept to myself mostly. It was better that way. It kept the Red away. The voices too.
The changed the day I met Sarah. Sweet Sarah…She reminded me so much of Jasmine. She was beautiful like her, smart, popular. The only difference was she wasn’t a complete bitch like her. Couldn’t say the same for her friends, but they didn’t matter anyway.
I’d landed a part time gig at a liquor store a few miles from me. It wasn’t great money, but it helped make the rent. That’s where I met her.
Her and her two friends, Dumb and Dumber, came in one night. They were talking and laughing like idiots, and really getting on my nerves. I was about to tell them to shut their skank mouths and buy something or get out, but then I saw her. She took my breath away. Flowing red hair, sparkling green eyes; she looked just like her…
I watched as her and her friends milled about the store, grabbing things we all knew they weren’t old enough to buy. I could hear them talking about some party they were heading to. They were discussing their dates, and whether or not they should put out; you know, real pressing issues.
Then Dumb (or was it Dumber?) saw me staring. She made a face and said, “Eew! Stare much loser?”
“Sorry,” I said. “I’ve just never seen anyone with a giant turd growing on their face. How do you deal with the smell?”
This was in reference to the big brown mole she had next to her nose which I’m sure she called a “beauty mark,” but looked more like a rat took a dump on her face. Her reaction said she knew exactly what I meant. She gasped, and her face turned red. She pursed her lips in a deep frown and said, “What-ever!”
I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. It looked like Sarah and the other bubble head twin were having the same problem. Don’t worry ass face, we’re laughing at you, not with you.
They went back to their shopping and I got the store ready to close. I was already open fifteen minutes later than I was supposed to be. Normally I had the joint clean and ready to shut down at ten to eleven, but love makes you do funny things.
The girls were in the back by the beer cooler. Dumb and Dumber were looking at 30 packs of Natural Ice. Sarah was a few feet away, talking on her phone. She sounded like she was trying to be quiet, but she failed miserably.
She was obviously talking to her date. Most of it was the goo-goo talk of young sluts being courted by horny douche bags. One thing caught my attention, though.
“Yeah, I’ll see you there! It’s at 5400 Harris Avenue. Uh huh…”
Since she walked in I’d been trying to come up with a way to see her again. She’d just given it to me. All I had to do was drive to the party, wait for her to leave, then follow her. Of course, chances were she’d be leaving with her douche bag, but I’d cross that bridge when I got to it.
Sarah hung up and the trio finished shopping. They came to the counter and unloaded their cart. It was quite the impressive cache. It included a bottle of 151 and a two-liter of coke, a fifth of Jagermeister and two 4-packs of Red Bull, two 30-packs of Natural Ice, and a 6-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade for the wuss of the party. All said they had about $130.00 worth of alcohol: the makings of one hell of a night.
Before I rang anything up I asked to see some ID. Gotta be a good employee! The Bubblehead Twins stared at the floor. Sarah riffled through her purse, pretending to look for her ID. As she shuffled things around, her real ID fell onto the counter.
“There it is,” I said as I snatched it up before she could grab it.
She looked nervous as I studied it for several moments. I looked at her, then the ID, then back to her. The suspense was obviously killing her.
Finally, I looked up and smiled, cheerily said, “OK,” and handed it back. All three of them let out audible sighs as I began to ring up their items. I tried not to laugh.
When the last item was scanned I gave them the total. Without blinking, Sarah took out a credit card and handed it to me.
The last name on the card matched the ID, but the first didn’t. I figured it was her mom’s. I couldn’t resist messing with her about it.
I swiped the card and gave it back. I bagged the items as she signed the electronic reader. When it was all bagged up I said, “Have a good night Ginger!”
She let out a nervous laugh.
“Oh, uh, that’s just…”
“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “You guys be safe.”
Then I looked over at Dumb and said, “Don’t get that thing snagged on a beer can!”
She gave me a dirty look and said, “Screw you!”
Dumber bit her lip to keep from laughing. Sarah said, “Thank you,” as they walked out the door.
As they pulled out, I noted the car they were driving. It was a red 2010 Mitsubishi Montero, pretty supped up. Probably costed more than I made in a year, too. The plates said LVPRNCS, a testament to the vanity of a spoiled rich girl.
When they were gone I hurriedly closed the store: shut off the sign, locked the doors, pulled the register, quick sweep and mop. Then I grabbed a couple bottles of Southern Comfort, a pack of Camel menthols, set the alarm and headed out to my beat down, rust brown Toyota 4×4.
I figured Sarah would spend at least a couple hours at the party, so I had time to get something to eat. There was a Jack in the Box down the street, so I headed there.
There was no line in the drive-through. Thank God for small miracles. I pulled right up and ordered, then went to the window. A kid with worse acne than I ever had took my money and prepared my order. They called me Frog Boy; I wonder what they’d have called him. Pizza Face is one thing that came to mind.
As I waited for my food I cracked open a bottle of SC and took a generous swig. Right then the pimply cashier came with my change.
“Drinking and driving’s illegal,” he said.
I burped a nasty plume of whiskey and said, ”I’m not driving, I’m sitting here waiting for the artery clogging slop you serve in this heart attack factory.”
“Whatever,” he muttered as he bagged my order.
I grabbed my food, then handed him an extra five and said, “Here ya go kid, go buy yourself some Clearasil,” then peeled off in a cloud of exhaust.
I’d finished my burger by the time I’d hit Harris, and was half way through my fries. At a stop sign I dumped out half my soda and replaced it with Southern Comfort. Coke always tasted better with a little splash of something.
I drove slowly down the street, straining to see the numbers of the houses. I was at a steady crawl after 5380.
Two houses later I’d come to another intersection. I stopped at the sign and took a look around. The street curved right, making it impossible to see the houses at the end. I knew I was close, though. The House Music drifting through the street was confirmation.
I continued down the street, taking the curve. It ended in a cul-de-sac. At the far end stood a three-story white ranch style house with half a dozen cars parked out front, including the Montero I’d seen Sarah leave in.
In the front yard, a group of teenagers played beer pong, a couple made out on a porch swing, and a girl who’d obviously had a few too many puked her guts up in the rose bushes. Yeah, it was definitely the place.
To avoid suspicion I parked at an empty house facing the party house. The driveway was mostly obscured by an overgrown Weeping Willow, making it a perfect place for observation without being seen myself.
Two hours, three-quarters of a bottle of SC and half a pack of smokes later and she still hadn’t come out. The beer pongers had long since abandoned their game. The lovers had no doubt found a cozier spot to do something a bit less innocent than making out. Puke Girl was passed out in a lawn chair, but no sign of Sarah.
I was lighting another cigarette when I heard a door slam hard in the distance. I looked up and saw a girl hurrying down the walk from the house. She was too far to be sure, but something told me it was Sarah.
She was just to the street when a shaved ape in a letterman’s jacket ran out of the house yelling after her. Yep, it was Sarah, and she didn’t look happy.
She stopped at the curb and let the muscle bound moron catch up. They talked for a moment, and though I couldn’t hear the conversation their body language suggested that jock boy had screwed up somehow.
He grabbed her arm and tried to pull her to him but she shrugged away and walked off. He threw his arms up exasperatedly and went back to the party.
This was perfect! Now I didn’t have to get rid of her date, the idiot did it himself!
I watched Sarah walk down the street, right past me without even looking up. I waited a few minutes to make sure she was far enough away, then I started the truck and went after her.
She was halfway to the main street when I caught up to her. Even with anger motivating her, that was impressive. I rolled down the passenger window and pulled up beside her.
“Hey, do I know you,” I called to her.
She looked at me for a second, then recognition dawned in her face.
“Oh yeah, the liquor store, right?”
“Yeah that’s right. You were with two other girls. One was kind of a bitch with a hideous growth on the side of her face.”
“Brenda’s not that bad,” she laughed. “She can be really sweet!”
“I guess I just caught her on a bad mole day.”
“Hehe, that’s mean!”
“Well she was a little mean herself.”
“She was. I’m sorry. You were really nice, at least to me and Tanya anyway!”
“It’s alright. I actually should’ve thanked her. That was the most fun I’d had all day.”
“I guess there’s a bright side to everything!”
“Yes there is. So what’re you doing out here? I thought you guys were going to a party or something.”
“Yeah,” she said with a hint of irritation. “We were at a party, but something happened and I decided to leave. I couldn’t find Brenda or Tanya so I left without them. Now here I am walking to a bus stop at 2:30 in the morning.”
“Wow that sucks. Where are you headed?”
“The Candlelight, on Charleston just past Hollywood.
I whistled. “Fancy. Want a ride?”
“I don’t know, I’m not supposed to get in the car with strange men,” she said.
“Luckily this isn’t a car, it’s a truck.”
“Touché, but you’re still a strange man.”
“If you think I’m strange you should meet my boss. He carries a cricket around for good luck.”
“Ha ha ok, but only if you promise not to bite!”
“I promise I’ve had all my shots.” Including penicillin a few weeks back when I had a little touch of the clap. I didn’t that part out loud.
“Ok, I guess that’s good enough,” she said as she hopped in.
“So do you live around here or something,” she asked when she was inside.
“My brother does,” I lied. “I stopped by for a beer after work.”
“Right on. So hey, I just wanted to thank you for being so cool at the store. Most people wouldn’t have even let minors into the store.”
“You’re a minor,” I said with mock horror. “It’s ok. It hasn’t been that long since I was in that position. I had a fake ID, though.”
“Brenda had one but she loaned it to her sister for the weekend.”
“Wow, that girl is useless.”
“You’re mean,” she giggled.
“I’m just kidding,” I said. “She’s friends with you so she can’t be that bad.”
She was quiet for a moment as we neared Charleston. She stared out the window, a distant look on her face.
“You ok,” I asked.
“Yeah,” she sighed. “I’ll be alright.”
“Wanna talk about it?”
“Not really.” Liar.
“Men are such assholes,” she blurted. “No offense.”
“None taken,” I said.
“I mean, we’ve been together since our sophomore year in high school! I can’t believe he did this to me again!”
“What did he do?”
“He was making out with his ex! Right in the front yard, where anyone could’ve seen!”
Ah, I knew jock boy looked familiar.
“Anyone dumb enough to cheat on you should have their head bashed in with a rock and their body dumped in a lake.”
“Uh, thanks,” she said. “I just can’t believe him! After he practically begged me to take him back! I’ll never forgive him for this!”
“You shouldn’t have to. He betrayed you twice. You can do way better.”
“I can! I was prom queen! I don’t need him!”
“You don’t,” I told her.
“Screw him! He’s a pig! But…”
“But? But what?”
“It’s just…He can be really sweet when he wants to be…?
“You mean when he’s not tonsil boxing his ex when your back’s turned?”
“You know what he did on Valentine’s Day senior year?”
“Made out with your sister while you were in the next room studying,” I asked.
“I don’t have a sister. No, he made the janitor mow a big heart with S+D inside on the football field! It was so romantic! He got suspended for a week and the janitor got fired, but he said it was a small price to pay for showing the world his love for me!”
Are you freakin’ kidding me?
“So, he ruined school property and cost some poor sap his job because he was too cheap to buy you flowers?”
“It’s the thought that counts,” she said.
“Of course it is.”
All the sudden she started crying.
“Hey hey, what’s the matter,” I asked.
“I just…I miss him so much,” she sobbed.
“Miss him,” I said. “You just caught him cheating on you at a party he took you to!”
“I know! He’s a cheater, but…I love him!”
Christ. Where the hell did this all go wrong? Everything was working out perfectly, and now she was bawling like a baby over a moron who cheated on her twice! I made a decision right then.
“Wait,” she sniffed. You missed the turn. That was Hollywood right there.”
“Did I? Sorry. I just gotta make a stop real quick.”
“Couldn’t you drop me off first? The Candlelight’s right there.”
“It’ll only take a second.”
I gave her my most innocent smile, which probably looked more like a sneer right then.
I drove up the hill, past fancy houses and empty worksites. Pretty soon there was nothing but desert around us. I pulled off to the shoulder.
Sarah had been strangely quiet to this point, but now the spell had broken.
“What’re you doing,” she asked.
I said nothing as I shut off the truck and got out.
“Hey,” she yelled. “What the hell are you doing?!”
I walked to the back of the truck and searched through the bed. When I found what I was looking for I smiled. Sarah saw me pull the item out and began screaming. She tried to get out but the door wouldn’t budge. That lock never worked right. You have to open it from the outside. She could’ve tried climbing out the windows, since they’d both been open the whole time, but I guess fear makes you stupid.
She made for the other side, but she must’ve realized she wouldn’t be quick enough, because she locked the door instead of getting out. Then she went back to the passenger side and pushed herself as far into it as she could get.
I ducked below her line of sight and crept to the door, peaking over the window. She looked from side to side, like a cat following a string. I tapped on the window then crept to the other side of the truck. I saw her in the mirror, checking out the window, body trembling with fear. She didn’t see me so she went to the other window. When she leaned her head out I jumped up and said, “BOO!”
She screamed like she was on fire! I couldn’t help laughing! Man, what a set of lungs!
I grabbed her hair and yanked her out of the truck. She flopped around like a fish on a line. I wanted her to shut the hell up but she wouldn’t, and she was seriously starting to piss me off! I threw her on the ground and grabbed my toy: a pickaxe I used on landscaping gigs.
She tried to get to her feet but I kicked her back down. Then I started digging into her with the pick, driving the pointed end into her chest and abdomen over and over. I made a bloody mess of her, but I finally got her to shut that trap.
When I looked down at her, Jasmine was looking back. She was laughing at me again, still making fun of me! All the anger and humiliation came flooding back. I went in the truck and took out my hunting knife. Then I went back to Jasmine and took the only thing I ever wanted.
“I gave you my heart you bitch. Now I have yours. Forever.”
I put the bloody prize in my lunchbox and set it on the passenger’s seat. Then I grabbed a shovel and began digging Jasmine’s final resting place.
When the she-devil was rotting in the earth where she belonged I got in my truck and left.
Driving home was a chore. I swore I heard her black heart beating from the next seat. It was distracting. I don’t know how I made it as far as I did without a wreck.
Unfortunately, my luck didn’t hold. As I was driving down a back street about a mile from my house I ran through a stop sign, and into a Prius.
A fat lady in a business suit got out of the car looking angry and raising a fuss. I was going to just drive off, but something she said caught my attention.
“I got your plates asshole! I’m calling the cops!”
That was a problem. I grabbed my knife next to the lunchbox and, holding it behind my back, stepped out of the truck.
I held up my left hand in surrender.
“Whoa ma’am, there’s no need for that. It was an accident. I’m sorry, ok? Let’s just forget about,” I said as I closed the distance between us.
“Forget about it?! Are you…”
Before she could finish I had my hand on her throat. I slammed her back against her car, put the blade to her throat and said in her ear, “Listen to me very carefully. This was an accident, right?”
“Y-yes,” she barely managed.
“And accidents are nobody’s fault. Right?”
She just whimpered.
‘RIGHT,” I yelled.
“Yes! Oh God please don’t hurt me!”
“Sshh. Now, since this was an accident, it was nobody’s fault, and there’s reason to tell anyone. Is there?”
She sobbed heavily. I put pressure on the blade, drawing a thin trickle of blood.
“Ahhh n-no, I won’t tell! I swear! I swear!”
“Shh, sshhhh sweetie,” I cooed. “I know you won’t. Know how I know? Because if you do, I’ll come back for the rest.”
“Th-the rest? Of what?”
I slammed her hand down on the hood of the car and brought the knife down on her thumb, severing it. I shoved the digit in her face and screamed, “THE REST OF THESE BITCH!”
She screamed in agony. I slapped her hard across the face and yanked her head back by the hair.
“Do we understand each other honey?”
“Yeeeeesss,” she moaned.
“Good, because I know who you are, and it wouldn’t be hard to find where you live. Don’t make me come back.”
I went back to my truck and got the hell out of there, taking her severed thumb with me, and silently wishing the deserted street to remain so.
I got home a few minutes later. I took my lunchbox and bloody knife up to my 3rd floor apartment. I didn’t have to worry about the pick; I’d used it to dig the hole, so all the blood on it was back in the desert.
When I got inside I put the heart and thumb in a Ziploc bag and buried it the back of my freezer behind potpies and TV dinners. Then I took a quick shower, quick being the key word, since, on a good day, the hot water that miserable excuse for an apartment complex might last fifteen minutes.
When I finished I threw on a pair of boxers then fished a bottle of Wild Turkey from the cupboard. I drank from the bottle until I passed out right there at the table, and dreamt of finger foods for the rest of the night.
That was all about five years ago. They never did find Sarah. (Sarah, not Jasmine. I kept forgetting.) She was listed as a runaway. Her folks didn’t buy it, but with nothing to go on there was no case. Throw her file in the cabinet and let it collect dust.
The four fingered broad in the Prius never did blab, as far as I know. Nothing came of it if she did, so whatever.
Anyway, that’s about it. No more to tell. It’s getting close to that time anyway. Yes sir, it’s almost here.
Ah hell, I suppose I got time for one more story! There’s only one fitting for the occasion, the important one, so I’ll tell that one. Ready? Too bad, here it goes.
It all started with that damned clock. Well, to be exact, it was probably before the clock. I’ll just start with that morning.
I woke up to the phone ringing. It was Mr. Chen, my boss at the liquor store. I was an hour late for my shift, again, but that didn’t matter because he was firing me for stealing. Apparently all the bottles of hooch and packs of cigarettes hadn’t gone unnoticed.
He said I could pick up my last check and after that I was permanently kicked off the property. Wow, big loss, that joint had more roaches than downtown Fremont.
I got to the store about an hour later. Chen’s not there, but his rat-faced wife May is. She handed me the check with a scowl, not saying one word.
I look at it and see that it’s about $100 shorter than it should be.
“Whoa whoa, what the hell is this? Where’s the rest of it,” I demand.
“Oh, the rest,” she says, “that went to the liquor and cigarettes you stole.”
“What?! That’s bull! I have rent to pay!”
“You should’ve thought about rent before you stole from us. You get out now, or I’ll call the police.”
I gaped at her for a moment. She just turned her back and pretended to dust the shelves.
I walked out of the store, snagging a bottle of wine on the way. I hate wine, but it was the principle of the thing.
When I got home I went straight to the manager’s office. I had to tell them I’d be short on rent again and beg for more time. They told me I had 24 hours to pack my crap and get out.
To make matters worse, the dick groundskeeper reported that I was parked in a red zone and had my truck towed.
So my day was going great. I was jobless, homeless and carless, all before noon! I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, but of course I was dead wrong.
As I walked back to my apartment, a funny thing happened. Not funny “ha ha,” funny “that’s messed up.” As I got to my staircase, I felt a sharp pain in the back of my head that threw me on my face. I tried to get up, but was stopped by a flurry of punches and kicks that left me barely conscious.
I felt hands rooting through my pockets, removing my wallet. Then I heard their footsteps as they ran off.
Perfect! On top of everything else I get beaten and robbed!
I picked myself up and crawled up the stairs to my apartment. Then I filled a freezer bag with ice, put it to my lumpy head, and lay on the couch where merciful unconsciousness took me for the rest of the afternoon.
It was full dark when I woke up. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I thought I was hung over at first, but then the day’s events came back in a nauseating wave.
I stood up, feeling like I needed to do something. The realization that there wasn’t a damn thing I could do put me back on my ass. And that brought me to the clock situation.
Tick tock, tick tock…
Looking at that pretty blade and reliving all those memories made something snap inside my head. Without warning the Red was there, clouding my vision. The voices came too, but they weren’t whispering, they were laughing.
Without thinking, maybe without the ability to think, I picked up the knife and left the apartment. I had no destination. I just walked, much like the night I cleared Danny boy of his sins.
About an hour later I found myself on the Strip. Since I despise the Strip with every fiber of my being I had no explanation for this but, hell, since I was there, I might as well mingle.
I took a look around. I was in front of the Starlight casino. People flooded the joint in droves. The laughter grew louder.
I went inside. The place was packed. Saturday night on the Strip you could expect no less.
I walked through the casino observing the cattle as they grazed through the field of flashing lights, ringing bells and falling coins.
Eventually one of the cows caught my eye, a scantily clad blond tripping over her own bare feet. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the cocktail she sloshed all over her evening gown. The floor must’ve been uneven.
She went into the ladies’ room and I followed, surprisingly unnoticed. Despite all the traffic in the casino, the restroom was empty. Stumbly miraculously made it to a stall, but that’s where her luck ended.
I rushed her as she entered the stall and smashed her head against the wall once to keep her quiet. Then I held her head inside the toilet and stabbed her in the back several times. I don’t know how many, I lost count in the teens, but by the time I’d stopped I had her blood all over my pants and shirt. I left her there, face down in the crapper, and left.
I was almost at the exit when I heard someone talking loudly on a cell phone. I pressed against the wall and waited. A boisterous bitch in a hooker skirt traipsed in like she owned the place.
This was a problem. It was too soon for witnesses. I had to deal with this.
As she admired herself in the mirror I crept behind her and tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned around I said, “HI!” Then I grabbed her by the neck and squeezed until her face turned purple under all that whore paint.
What a sight she was: makeup thick enough to cut with a knife, tongue lolling out of her mouth, eyes bulging from their sockets, and still she held on to her phone! That’s dedication!
Eventually, though, the spark died in her eyes, and she died in my hands. I got the hell out of there before any other idiot witnesses could stumble in.
Conscious of the blood I was now soaked in I snatched a long coat off the back of a chair at one of the slots. I also snatched the beer and pack of cigarettes that were with it.
I felt giddy. I’d never done this so publicly before! It was a hell of a rush!
I walked through the casino, headed toward where the crowds wee thickest. It was like wading through a sea of human flesh. The best part was no one even bothered a glance at me. They were all too engrossed in the ancient art of throwing their money away. It was perfect.
I walked over by the bar. Some Guido douche bag had just got shot down by a pretty thing in a leather skirt. To console his fractured ego he ordered a shot of Patron, staying true to the Jersey Shore image. As he waited for his drink I walked up and stuck my knife in his gut, ruining his pretty silk shirt. Then I walked off before the moron even knew what’d happened.
A midlife crisis was slobbering all over a group of college girls at a Wheel of Fortune machine. He looked fun.
I walked up behind him and stabbed him in the spine. I think he may have grunted or something, but the sound was lost to the cheers of the girls winning 20 bucks on the slot.
I was having such fun! But, alas, all good things must come to an end. I knew it was only a matter of time before the bodies were discovered, and as soon as the thought struck I heard the first screams, coming from the direction of the bar. Woops, time to go.
I made my way to the closest exit, now avoiding the crowds I’d welcomed just moments before. I had to get away ASAP.
Apparently my escapades hadn’t gone unnoticed. As I started out of the casino a security guard with pepper spray tried to stop me.
Pepper spray? Really?
I put my hands on my head. He came over to cuff me, but he obviously failed to notice the 8 inch blade in my right hand. When he reached for my wrist he got cold steel in his chest. I ran off, leaving him to choke on his own blood.
I exited to the employee parking lot. I needed a quick getaway, and I found it in a car just pulling in.
The driver was halfway out when I got up to him.
“Hello. I was wondering if you could help me,” I said.
“Sure, what can I do fer ya,” he said.
I kicked him hard in the crotch. He dropped like a sack of bricks.
I positioned him with his head resting on the car’s frame, and then I drove the door into his face again and again until I was out of breath. He was damn near decapitated by the time I’d finished.
I drug him away from the car, which was no easy task. The guy must’ve been pushing 250! Then I dug his keys out of his pocket, got in the car and took off.
I could hear sirens everywhere now. Looked like Vegas Blvd. was no longer an option. Lucky for me there a series of back streets behind the casino I could use. I pulled out and drove away.
I dumped the car about a block from the complex and hoofed it from there. I never liked Fords anyway.
When I got home I didn’t even bother cleaning up, I just took out my bottle of hooch and drank myself unconscious. The last sound I remember hearing was that infernal clock.
The next sound I heard was that of my front door exploding in, followed by a lot of running and a guy with a gun telling me to get my damn hands up or he’ll put a bullet in my chest.
“Ok super cop! Easy with the hardware!”
He slammed me down, cuffed me up and took me away.
On the way to jail it finally sank in; they actually caught me.
Between physical evidence, eyewitness accounts and surveillance footage it wasn’t that hard. Then they found the trophies in my freezer, completely eliminating any chance I may have had of beating the case.
I declined a lawyer and plead guilty. The judge asked if there was anything I’d like to say before sentencing.
“Yes sir your honor,” I said. “There is one thing. I noticed when the officers were searching me for weapons that they spent an awful long time in my crotch area. I was just wondering if it was normal police procedure to cop a feel on a suspect.”
He sentenced me to death by lethal injection. No sense of humor at all! Honestly, I expected more from a guy in a long black dress!
So here I sit, waiting for my date with the needle. Hey, I think I hear them coming!
“DEAD MAN WALKING.”
Ha ha ha ha haaa, I love that line!
Well, time to go. Hit the lights and pay the strippers, the party is over. In the immortal words of Porky Pig, ableet ableet ableet, that’s all folks!