Loss, guilt, comfort, wrath. Sometimes things get complicated.
From the desk of Minus Three: If you’re just beginning to read Muse, click on my user name to bring up the list of stories I’m responsible for and start with chapter (1). Trust me; the chapters don’t stand independently and it was never intended to be read that way. To address a message I received that there isn’t enough sex; my apologies, sincerely. I don’t often feel the need to justify my art to those that wish it was something different; which is ironic because I’m about to do just that. There are probably writers that are more to your liking, and I can’t sacrifice the narrative of an already-complete story to write what some readers would like to read. I could no more write a simple but hot stroke story than Slayer could write a country album. I love those kinds of stories and read them avidly; I just wouldn’t know how to write one if I tried. For the rest of you, there’s still a long way to go and we have to get there. This is by no means a short little story that wraps up soon; it isn’t a pure ‘sex story’, but is certainly a story that also happens to include sex and I’m glad that’s as appreciated as well. Continue to enjoy it for what it is and I’ll keep posting it. I love win/win situations.
I also received a message asking me about the music that is as central to the storyline as the sex (and often intertwined with it). It was my original intention to leave that to the imagination of the reader so they could like what they heard in their mind’s eye (ear?) through application of their own tastes, but for those who are wondering (and the person who asked me to provide an example) I recommend this http://soundcloud.com/bloglin/presents-keep-watch-vol-xix or this http://www.mixcrate.com/mix/43064/Dj-Jerome-Excision-Dubstep-2011-Mix or even this http://soundcloud.com/bloglin/01-presents-keep-watch-vol-xxi ; but I also recommend a healthy subwoofer, or eight of them, to get the proper effect. The author takes no responsibility for your damaged speakers or whiplash. It’s not even a kind of music I’m particularly fond of, though I paid my dues in that scene once upon a time in what feels like another life now, but the main character is enmeshed in that scene; who am I to tell him any different?
Thank you for reading, rating, and commenting. The only honest version of a story exists in the minds of its audience.
I sat cross legged on her grave facing the headstone, my fingers trailing along the words carved into its granite surface. I was biting the inside of my right cheek trying to stay still as my whole body threatened to vibrate apart into its component atoms. Rain fell on me and pulled my hair down into my eyes, dripping off my nose and chin. I’d done this every day now since she’d died. I barely ate, I hadn’t slept, and all I had drank was vodka. I took a sip from the pocket flask and put it back, lowering my face to my hands.
I’d killed her. She was dead because of me. Breaking up with her had always seemed the hardest thing I could imagine doing, but I should have just done it and saved her the trouble of dying because of me.
I wished that my last memory of her could have been from the night before she died. She’d driven us out of the city, not telling me at first where we were going. As we left the tangled veins of the streets and forests of glass and steel behind us and headed north all she would do is look over at me and wink that sly wink and grin that sly lopsided grin at me whenever I’d press her to tell me what our destination was. Her jet black hair fell over her right eye in that sassy way and her pale skin had more pink than usual from the outdoor party we’d been at a few days ago. The bridge of her nose peeled just a bit from the burn and the smattering of freckles across her cheeks stood out more than it usually did. There was no question in my mind at that moment that I was going to marry this girl one day. The things we often argued about seemed so far away, left back in the mess of desperation and rabid pursuit of external experience in the city dwindling in the rear view mirror.
“Serious, Mark,” she said as she turned off the CD player, “we’re going camping. Can’t we just leave the music off for a change?”
“Alright,” I sighed, conceding to her request despite my fear that I wouldn’t have anything to talk about, “but you have to pick a topic.”
“Can’t we just drive? What’s wrong with a bit of silence?”
“Whatever, Cy,” I shrugged, a bit of tension in my voice, “it’s your weekend.”
“Actually it’s yours you dope, we’re doing this for you,” she said to me, tension creeping into her tone as well, “we need to get out and do more stuff like this, too. I like the parties man, you know I do, but some sun and fresh air will do us both good.”
We set up camp by a creek and spent the afternoon with our feet in the cold water. Our conversations always seemed to go back to something I was doing as a DJ. She’d bring up the beauty of the trees and somehow I’d suddenly be talking about someone I was trying to impress in the club circuit to get better bookings. She’d mention how the air smelled like air out here, instead of cars and people, and I’d somehow bring it around to talking about the studio where I’d just been promoted to assistant manager by the owner and left in charge while he went to set up shop in another city. She was getting frustrated, I could tell, but what was I supposed to do? There was nothing more important to me than my career in music. Nothing at all. When I didn’t talk about work I’d talk about Lisa. “Lisa would love this,” or “I’ve gotta take a picture of that so Lisa can paint it.” We’d been sitting by the creek for over an hour when Cyan suddenly grabbed the can of beer from my hand, my fifth since we’d sat down on the gravely bank, and upended by the tips of her fingers into the water.
“Please pay attention, Mark,” she said quietly, “this is really happening right now.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked jokingly, then took the joint from her fingers and tossed it in the creek after the beer “so’s this, Pot Shot.”
She’s earned the nickname, a play on hot shot, by smoking more weed than anyone else we knew…except maybe Cutter. She even made her own custom t-shirts that had a Pot Shot logo on them, designed by Lisa and silk screened at a local shop. She looked with open mouthed shock at it floating away, and then turned her surprise on me before laughing. I joined her laughter; there was no point in crying over spilled milk. She took me by the hand and stood up, wading out into the water. It was cold, wickedly cold, and we pranced on our tip toes to the other side laughing like little kids. We sloshed up a trail on the other side of the creek in our wet shoes, she doing a silly walk so that the squishing sounds punctuated her steps while she crouched and made menacing claw gestures with her hands with her bottom teeth over her top lip. She chased me up the trail roaring like a bear and at a bend at the top of a rise she grabbed me around the waist and pulled me down into the long grass beneath some trees. Rolling over on top of me and straddling my hips she leaned down and bit my neck, still growling. The biting turned to kissing and before long we were locked in each other’s arms making out in the woods.
My hands slid up and down her sides, pressing into her soft flesh, groping at her ass and grasping at the back of her shoulders. She kissed me harder, wet and with abandon. No one had ever kissed me like Cyan did. From the first time I kissed her I knew; she was the one. Anyone who could kiss like that was someone you kept. Her tongue swiped around the inside of my mouth and across my lips before plunging back in. I pushed the fingers of my right hand deep into her curly black hair and clenched my fist, her beautiful full round ass in my left, and rolled over on top of her. She let out a quick “Ah!” as something jabbed her in the back, but wrapped her legs around my hips and kept kissing me anyways. My hands pushed her t-shirt up over her bulging breasts and I filled my right hand with one of them, licking at the top of its curve as I pulled the cup of her bra down over it so I could suck on her erect nipple. Soon both her breasts were exposed like this, her bra pulled down off of them, as I licked and sucked on them while massaging them with my hands. Her breathing was coming faster now and I started licking her neck under her ears. She always went crazy when I did that. The hand not holding me up against the grass and pine needles went down and grasped at her ass again, round and soft while she ground her pussy up at me. Her legs released their hold on me and she pushed herself up onto her hands with her ass still in the grass.
“please fuck me,” she said in her tiny high voice, breathy and barely audible. She reached to the bulging lump in the front of my shorts and squeezed gently, “fuck me right here Mark, please?”
I started to open the front of my shorts and she turned around and wrapped her hands around the trunk of a tree after pulling her tiny green shorts and white panties down to her knees, exposing her nice round ass and already opening wet pussy. I went up behind her with one leg on each side of her with her feet and knees together and started to rub her quivering lips with my fingers. I rubbed the head of my cock up and down her opening as she sighed high and breathy, then I grabbed her left hip with one hand and guided my cock into her with my right.
“AHHHH!” she cried as I pushed in all the way to the base of my shaft in one stroke.
She was so horny and wet that there was no resistance except the wet grip of her clenching herself around me. I drove my dick in and out of her with long strokes, slow at first and then gaining in speed as the small swiveling of her hips formed a counterpoint to my in and out motion. She cried out sharply and lustily with each inward stroke of my throbbing cock, and inhaled with a high pitched sigh on each outward stroke. I grabbed one ass cheek in each hand as I fucked her harder and harder, her swiveling hips now jerking up and down in time with me. The wet squishing sounds of my thrusts joined by the slapping sound of us coming together hard. I could feel her pussy gripping and releasing my throbbing shaft and her cries became screams as we both raced towards a shared climax. I released her ass with one hand to wrap her hair around my hand and pull her head back, bent backwards at the neck and putting a sexy downward arch in the small of her back. Her nails dug into the bark of the tree she was holding as my cries joined hers and I came hard into her smooth wet pussy. I could feel her thighs and ass quivering, and her sloppy, dripping hole squeezed me over and over in rapid succession, milking the cum from my cock. Buried deep inside her, I pulled her by the hips backwards. She released her death grip on the tree trunk and sat into my lap with her back against me as my hands went up her smooth stomach to grip one of her firm round breasts in each hand as I kissed the side of her neck and face.
“That was really…loud,” she said, gasping as I thrust upwards on last time into her.
“You’re supposed to make noise in the woods, Cy,” I said into her ear, my breath on her face, “it keeps real bears away.”
We laughed and collected ourselves. We made love three more times that day; on the picnic table, against the hood of her car, and once more in the woods on some large rocks at the top of a waterfall the little creek dropped over a half hour walk from our campsite. As we lay on the blankets, listening to the waterfall holding hands and watching the stars come out, Cyan had rolled over onto my chest and looked into my grey eyes.
“I like it out here, “she said, “everything that sucks seems so far away.”
“I wish we could stay longer, but I have to play Cutter’s house party tomorrow,” I replied to her.
“Yeah, I know,” she said biting her lip and frowning in that way she had, “but it’d be nice to live out here I mean.”
“Say what? Are you trippin’?” I asked, “I love the city too much for that.”
“It’s different when you’re born there,” she said, a wistful look in her eyes in the growing darkness.
“Ha! Always trying to get out, while people like me can’t wait to get in,” I laughed.
She smiled and flicked my ear lobe with her finger then bit my nose.
“Speaking of trying to get in…” I said with a wink as my hand slid down to her naked ass and my finger caressed her pussy from behind. She laughed and we started kissing again, making love on the rocks one more time with her on top of me and her black hair hanging in her face and over her beautiful full breasts before going back to the campsite.
As we fell asleep in each other’s arms I asked her, “So how long have you wanted to move out of the city and into the woods?”
“Forever,” she told me drowsily, and soon we were both asleep.
Had we both died in our sleep that night I would have been happier. I wish that had been our last conversation. Sitting on her grave, leaning my forehead against her headstone in the pouring rain, I thought instead of my actual last memory of her.
We’d been arguing on and off all the next day, starting half way back to the city and continuing on all afternoon as I helped Cutter Jean set up the sound system in his back yard. We had popped some pills when we got there and her nervous energy turned into deeper anger at me as I basically ignored her while laughing and drinking with the other DJs and promoters that were there. We were doing shots of tequila on Cutter’s deck and talking about records, leaving her to socialize with the gathering in his yard. She hated how I just clicked off around my ‘f(r)iends’ as she called them, ditching her both mentally and physically for the company of other scene people. I’d tried to explain to her before that if I didn’t put in time and get in with these people then I’d be playing shitty basement clubs all my life, but she didn’t care once she got high. I called it ‘shaking hands and kissing babies’, but she called it ‘being an asshole’. It wasn’t my fault she didn’t get it though, and so I coolly and dispassionately brushed her off whenever she desperately tried for my attention. When we were done setting up the music started and the party took off. I lost track of Cyan at some point but that was nothing unusual for us.
Cutter’s wife ran out onto the deck while I was spinning records and he was flowing on the mic to the medium sized crowd dancing in his yard later that night and grabbed his wrist. His face twisted in shock and he grabbed me from the decks and pulled me inside.
“What the fuck, brother?!” I yelled at him.
“We gotta go, NOW, seen!? Your gal’s crashed hard, bredren,” he said in a shaky voice.
There was a group of about six or seven people blocking the door to his downstairs bathroom and he shoved through them with his muscular frame like a truck through pylons. Cyan was on her face on the floor, still and motionless, with a needle hanging from her arm. I didn’t even know she’d started shooting up. There was vomit on her cheek and the floor beneath her face, and Cutter rolled her on her side and checked her breathing. Paramedics appeared from nowhere behind us and shoved us all back. As they loaded her into the ambulance I jumped in with them. I could hear the music in the backyard; someone had taken over my spot and the party was still continuing, oblivious to what was happening on the front street. I looked back from the front seat to where the paramedics had cut her shirt open and were using the paddles to try to restart her heart. The last thing I’d said to her a couple hours before had been “quit being such a fucking bitch” to which she had replied “I fucking hate you sometimes, Fox. You always fuck this up.”
She died two minutes later before we even reached the hospital.
I looked up at her headstone:
Cyan Malorie Mavis
Beloved Friend, Sister, & Daughter
February 3rd 1979 – July 4th 2006
Always With Us
I took another sip of vodka.
“I’m so sorry Cy,” I whispered, “we should have just stayed in the woo…”
“Mr. Fox?” a voice said as a hand touched my shoulder lightly. I snapped my head up and blinked the sleep from my eyes, looking towards the voice. A nurse was leaning over me, her practiced blankness cracking a bit when she looked in my eyes, “Mr. Fox, we need you to step out for a second.”
There was a doctor behind her. I looked to the hospital bed where my face had been as I slept in a plastic chair, a small spot of drool accenting the depression my head had made. Aliona looked even smaller now, her body barely making an impression under the thin sheet. I got up weakly and pushed past the curtain surrounding the bed in the emergency room and went back to the waiting area. Lacy Casey was sleeping in one of the chairs, wearing sweat pants and a zip up hooded sweatshirt, curled into a ball with her feet under her and her head against her arms where they were crossed on the arm of the uncomfortable plastic chair. The hair on one side of her head was still a tangled mess from where I’d grabbed her and violently shook her. Her face looked different while she slept than when she was awake; her practiced irony was gone and all that was left was peace. She looked like someone’s daughter, not some drugged up slut. I sat in the chair next to her and picked up the blanket that had fallen on the floor, no doubt given to her by some nurse or orderly while she waited, and put it over her again. She stirred and woke, looking up at me with her big brown eyes. Her exaggerated make up was gone now and she looked relatively normal, not the strange clubland creature I was used to. I’d never seen her like this.
“Hi,” I said, my voice cracking a bit.
“Yo,” she replied, then yawned and stretched. Her feet pushed the blanket down again and her sweatshirt pulled up to expose her sculpted and toned midriff. ”So what’s the story, Fox?”
“There’s a doctor in there now, I don’t know,” I said in a small voice, sitting with my elbows on my knees, looking down at my feet with my hands clasped in front of me.
“Buck up lil camper,” she said kindly, putting her hand on my back and rubbing it. I wished she had chosen different words.
“Look, about last night,” I said sheepishly, “when I grabbed you. I’m sorry, I just thought…”
“I know,” she replied without a trace of malice, “don’t sweat it. Sometimes shit gets mashed up.”
I looked over at her. She was probably trying for her usual irony with her smile but achieved warmth instead. Right now she wasn’t the Casey I’d come to know. She took one of my hands in hers, twined her fingers with mine, and kept rubbing my back. After a few minutes she went in her pocket and took out my keys, handing them to me.
“I drove Cutter home. He didn’t want to leave you here alone but he had to get his daughter to school,” she explained, “then I went home and changed. I hope you don’t mind.”
I shook my head.
“I brought a bag of clothes for your girly,” she went on, “her’s were kinda messed up.”
“Really?” I asked.
“I’m not evil, Fox, I’m just drawn that way,” she said, “Do you remember threatening to kill the lady at the admitting desk?”
“Ha! I did that? No, it’s a blur.”
“They gave you a shot of valium so you wouldn’t have a heart attack. You probably don’t remember that, either. I’ve never see you like that, kiddo. You were someone else.”
I just sat there for a bit while she rubbed my back and held my hand.
“Who did the forms?” I asked her after sitting there for awhile with her rubbing my back and my hand in hers.
“Cutter,” she answered, “he filled them in while you repeated her name to each of his questions. Now that you’re with it they need to talk to you over there because she didn’t have her ID on her.”
She pointed to the admitting desk and I got up shakily and went over. They needed more information, but I couldn’t provide it. For address I gave them mine. I didn’t know where my phone had ended up so I couldn’t give them her number either. They filled in mine. I couldn’t give a last name, so they left it blank. The desk nurse explained that a doctor would talk to me shortly. I went back to Casey and sat down. She just sat there with me, leaving me be, holding my hand and rubbing my back some more. A doctor came out later and told us that Aliona was fine now, though she might not wake up for awhile. She was cognizant but confused and needed rest and quiet. I filled out the release form at the desk while Casey went and helped put Ali into the pajamas she had brought for her. Soon we were heading out to my car in the parking lot, an orderly bringing Ali’s sleeping and disheveled form in a wheel chair. I helped him put her in the back seat and Casey offered to drive again; one of her friends was going to meet her at my place to give her a ride home. I rode in the backseat with Aliona leaning against my shoulder with my arms around her and my face on her head. She moaned and shifted now and then, but didn’t wake up.
“People like us are a menace,” I said at one point half way from the hospital to my neighborhood.
“There’s no ‘Fox’ in ‘us’,” Casey said to me.
“What?” I asked distractedly.
“You’re not part of the ‘us’ you’re talking about, Fox. You never were. You’re like Cutter; one foot in and one foot out. There’s no ‘us’.”
“Maybe, but there used to be,” I said to Casey.
“I get why you lost it so bad. Cutter told me what happened,” she continued, “last night in the waiting room he told me about Cyan.”
My breath caught and I tensed up, making Ali shift and moan again, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Like I said…he told me, so you don’t have to,” Casey went on, “I still lived at home back then and got busted trying to sneak out. I was almost at that party. I just…I’m just really sorry. That must have sucked.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said again, quitter, looking out the window at the city passing by and stroking Aliona’s soft brown hair.
We went the rest of the way in silence and Casey’s friend was already at my building waiting for her in a pink Volkswagen bug, the old retro kind. Outside of the car she turned to me and gave me a hug, as she let go of me and walked towards her friend’s car she spoke again.
“She seemed sweet from what I saw last night, and she’s crazy about you. You’re one of the good ones, Fox,” she looked at Aliona in the backseat before returning her eyes to me, “don’t fuck this up.”
I carried Ali up the stairs and into my apartment.
I rolled over and took my arm from around Aliona’s little body to grab my phone, found in my car on the floor of the backseat, from where it vibrated on the speaker I used as a nightstand. It was a message from Keith. ‘homey wut the fuck. at the stud. no bitch boy and no u 2?’ I replied ‘no session today…emergency’. He came back almost instantly with, ‘lame. can we jam?’ I replied ‘do it, but no Womb’. His reply came back ‘fuckin tight homey thnks’, and I put the phone back.
I rolled back around Aliona and she snuggled against me with the back of her body, a perfect set of spoons. She still hadn’t woken up but now began to stir in my arms. I loosened my arms around her lithe little body and she rolled slowly onto her back and opened her eyes.
“Hey,” I said as she met my gaze.
“I don’t like your friends, Mark,” she said, quiet and weak, trying to twist her lips into her impish grin and failing.
“Those aren’t my friends,” I said back to Aliona.
“I feel like I died,” she croaked. She looked like she was about to be sick.
“You almost did. Your heart stopped in the car on the way to the hospital,” my voice shook as I said it and tears came to my eyes. She put her arms around my neck and pulled my head down onto her barely-breasted chest, softly caressing my face with the backs of her tiny little fingers. She was comforting me again. What the hell? I put my hand on her flat stomach and rubbed it gently through Casey’s flannel pajama top. She was so tiny, so thin, so small, that with my hand spread wide my thumb touched one edge of her waist and the tip of my little finger touched the other. I felt her stomach muscles jerk and looked up at her.
“I’m gonna be sick,” she said in a quiet panic and she rolled over top of me and ran to the bathroom. She was back in a moment, “false alarm.”
She crawled back into bed and lay on top of me, her hands on the sides of my ribs and her legs draped lazily on either side of me. Her breathing was shallow and shivered slightly. I pulled the blankets over us and put my arms around her, holding her close. Having her lithe body against me like this, the firmness of her under my hands and the feel of her hip bones against mine, would normally have been incredibly arousing; I felt like human garbage though and the thought didn’t even enter my mind. I felt like if I touched her with anything more than gentle caution that I might break her apart. Despite her condition it must have entered hers though, because she started moving herself against me, very slightly and slowly. One of my hands moved down to gently touch and stroke her back and her small little bottom under the too-big pajamas. She moaned and her body relaxed further as my hand went lower to cradle her entire tiny ass. It was so small. She pushed at me with her pelvis, gaining a response from my until-now-limp dick and pressing it against her narrow crotch. She moaned again and her hands gripped my ribs just under my armpits.
“This is nice,” she whispered, “meow.” We lay like that, moving gently and slowly against each other until we were both asleep again.
Aliona was still on top of me with my hand on her ass under the back of the pajamas and the phone was vibrating again. Trying not to disturb her I reached for it and held it above her to see the call display. It was Keith again. I pushed the ‘reject’ button on the screen and was putting it back when it rang again.
“Hello,” I said quietly, but Ali stirred and woke up anyways, “this better be important, ‘homey’.”
“Dude! Bitch boy is here and he was running his mouth fierce. He locked himself in the Womb and closed the blinds!” he yelled.
“Handle it man!” Ali slid herself off me in surpirse onto the bed as I sat up fast and put my feet on the floor. “Get that motherFUCKER out of my studio!”
“What, do you think I carry dynamite? They’re steel doors,” he said incredulously, “you gotta get down here, Fox.”
“Give me 30, try to get him out,” I said and then hung up. I turned to Aliona, she had a scared look on her face at a tone she’d never heard from me before now.
“What’s happening, Mark?” she asked in her small voice, the corner of the blanket in her tiny fist at her mouth.
“I don’t have a choice,” I said, putting my hand on her face, “I have to go deal with something. I’m sorry. Will you be okay here or do you want to go home?”
“I can’t go home like this,” she said, “my aunt’ll freak. I can stay? Really?”
“The Chairman’ll keep you company,” I said opening the door. The Chairman ran his wide body in and jumped on the bed, kneading the blankets under his front paws. “Just get some more rest and I’ll be back before you know it.”
I took my shirt from the night before off, still smelling like old sweat, nightclub, and hospital in equal measure, and pulled on a fresh t-shirt. Aliona was looking at me.
“What’s that tattoo mean?” she asked me, lying back down and pulling the covers up, the cat sniffing at her nose.
“I promise I’ll tell you when I get back,” I kissed her forehead and left. She still looked scared. I slammed the apartment door harder than I realized behind me as I left.
Sometimes an innocent jam in the studio becomes a party. It usually only happens when the producer isn’t onsite and the band find themselves under their own supervision with nothing productive to do. The front lounge had become a party. The bass player was fucking the same girl Keith had banged against his drum kit yesterday on the pool table, her on her hands and knees and he behind her being cheered on by a bunch of people I’d never seen before. The singer and the lead guitar player had drawn a line picture of the guy from the Zig Zag pack with cocaine on the coffee table and were attacking it from both ends; I think it was a race. There had to be about 70 people in the lounge, and it poured over into the hall that led deeper into the building. The back lounge had more people, a huge hazy cloud of smoke hanging in the air. A guy with a handlebar moustache in the hallway grabbed me by the arm.
“Who are you?” he asked gruffly, “this is a private party.”
“What?” I asked, pulling my arm away from him and staring daggers, “Get out of my studio.”
“Oh, it’s your studio,” he said, rolling his eyes and laughing as he took a pull from a bottle of whiskey.
Studio B, smaller and for doing lower scale projects, had its hall door open and music blared from inside. The sexy funk band that had rented it for their own session had had no choice but to join the party and so they were playing at top volume, girls dancing and grinding. In the larger Studio A I found Keith, banging on the door with the palm of his hand from the live room into the Womb, yelling, “I’m gonna rip your fucking prick off and show it to you if you don’t open the door, bitch!”
He saw me and moved aside, a look of fear on his face when he saw mine. Jarv had broken the key off in the lock. I went into the hallway and saw that he had done the same to the hall door with the spare key from the front desk. I stopped and looked around, shaking with rage, at the people in the hallway laughing and smoking and drinking.
“Get out of my studio,” I said. No one heard me, so I said it again louder, “GET OUT OF MY STUDIO!”
I got a few weird glances and some laughs. With my elbow I broke the glass on the fire box in the wall beside me and pulled out the extinguisher, yanking the pin and spraying it wildly down the hall and over all of them. Yells and shouts and a few cheers issued from them, and I dropped it with a loud clank and grabbed the axe. Everyone flinched back and it went silent but for the funk band.
“Get out of my studio,” I said quietly, my voice shaking and people jumping back out of my way as I stalked back into the live room of Studio A, raising the axe above my head as I sped up.
“Whoa!” Keith yelled and he jumped back from the doorway as I came in and walked fast up to the glass separating the Womb from the floor. In one motion I crossed the distance and swung the axe high and down, gripping the very end of the handle. The thick window exploded with a loud boom, jagged shards and glass dust bursting outwards as the vacuum between the two panes erupted. I used the axe to rip down the blinds and break off the jagged bits at the bottom of the frame and saw Jarv spinning around from whatever he was doing to see me standing there, axe in hand, my eyes seething and my mouth turned down in a grimace of rage.
“Wait! Fuck! Wait!” he screamed as I grabbed the frame in my free hand and leaped over, my feet scraping across the board and breaking off knobs and faders before landing apart on the floor of the booth. He grabbed the swivel chair and pulled it clumsily between us, pulling one knee up and bringing his arm across his face, “Wait, Fox! Don’t kill me!”
I dropped the axe with a thump to the carpeted floor and kicked the chair hard into him before throwing it across the room, grabbing him by the hair and face with both hands. My nails scratched blood lines across his face and caught his bottom eyelid, part of his cheek, and his top lip in a fierce grasp and I spun him around to slam him with both hands face first down into the mixing desk; once, twice, and then again with more knobs and faders flying away. Releasing him roughly on the upswing from the last blow, he fell to the floor in a heap with his eyes clenched shut as Keith climbed through the window and over the board. I raised my foot and stomped on the side of his head twice and then on his ribs once as he curled up in a ball to protect himself. I dropped to one knee beside his turtled body and violently wrenched one of his arms away from his face and started rhythmically driving my fist rapidly into the side of his face like a piston.
“Yo, you’re gonna fuckin’ kill him!” Keith yelled as he pulled me off of Jarv and to my feet.
The live room had filled with people, watching aghast. A few more climbed into the booth. Jarv lay in a ball, his arms over his head like he thought I was still pummeling him, flinching and twitching and sobbing. I strained against Keith intermittently and my chest pushed in and out as tears of rage rolled down my cheeks. My hands were covered in both our blood and there were bits and pieces of glass in the palms of my right hand. Someone had unlocked the door from inside and there were people dragging Jarv from the Womb into the hallway. I lunged and broke free of Keith to descend on him again and rained a few more savage blows at his head and face while he cowered, before more hands restrained me and Keith got between us and pulled my face around to meet his gaze; I jerked free and lunged against the people holding me. I had been screaming something the whole time, but it was only when I stopped that I realized I had been doing it.
“FOX!” he yelled, pulling my face back around again, “what the fuck, homey!? All he did was lock the booth!”
I left the police station with my copy of the promise-to-appear in my hand. Keith was waiting for me in the parking lot, smoking and sitting on the hood of his Mustang. He had been on the phone and got off as I approached. He handed me a cigarette and lit it for me before passing me the metal pocket flask from inside his leather jacket. I took a long sip, then another short one and capped it and handed it back.
“Jarv was erasing masters,” he said with a serious look on his normally jovial face, “he’d already killed the backups before you stopped him.”
“Fuck,” I said sharply, “how much?”
“He got most of them. The label wants to sue for negligence. I’m sorry, but I had to tell them, homey.”
“Fuck,” I said again.
“Don’t PMS, Fox,” he went on, clapping me on the shoulder, “I convinced them to sue bitch boy personally and not the studio. I told them it was him acting on a vendetta.”
“Thanks,” I said as we got into the car and he pulled out, “for everything. Thanks.”
“Jenny from your front desk was there last night,” he said as he drove and smoked, “she told me what happened while the cops were arresting you. I’d have tried to kill the little faggot, too. He’s fucked now though, in more ways than one.”
“Oh yeah? Apart from being sued by a major record label? Fill me in; this I gotta hear.”
The club had fired Jarv on the spot last night and apparently there was already an online petition on the local rave and club message boards to boycott his future events. DJs and fans alike had rallied against him and that just isn’t the sort of thing you can recover from in a cliqueish scene like that, no matter how big the city. The word was out, DJ Jarv drugged a girl and almost killed her. He was through. I wanted to be grimly smug but I just felt numb. The only thing I could feel other than guilt was the pain in my hand where I’d broken a knuckle on Jarv’s face and my palm had been stitched up. Keith took me back to the studio to get my car and told me sincerely to call him if I needed anything.
“Oh, by the way homey,” he said as he pulled his car alongside mine with our drivers side windows open and facing each other, “I’ve never seen a guy batter someone like that. You had the fucking WRATH, dude! The metal in me wished we hadn’t stopped you, but the guy that likes working with you is glad we did. Keep it together man.”
I just nodded and tried to smile. He punched it, spitting gravel as he drove away and I started heading home. My phone vibrated with a message from Lisa. Her grammar and punctuation were always perfect, even in text messages.
‘Remind me later to ask you why I found a little girl sleeping in your bed when I got home. She and I have been talking about you, but she won’t tell me what’s up. We’re going to eat supper on the balcony together, you should join us.’
Another followed it only a moment later, from Aliona.
‘ur friend Lisa is nice. r u coming back soon? I miss u. meow! ’