This is really really bad...I'm not kidding around here.
From the Desk of Minus Three:
You won’t enjoy today’s chapter. I’ll warn you right now this is some of the darkest shit I’ve ever written. It just is that way and there’s no other way to tell it other than as it happened. If it hurts you, I’m sorry. It hurt me too…trust me, this took forever and I had to keep stopping and leaving the room. My heart hasn’t even really slowed down yet as I type this introduction. I handle some issues in this chapter that make me genuinely upset and sick inside; I don’t sit around coming up with or writing stuff like this while thinking “Yeah! This is awesome! I love this shit!” I hate this chapter more than any other I’ve written in anything, even Welt ~3. It’s part of the story though, so here it is.
Descend the Shades of Night…
“Michael, this is a terrible idea!”
“Mom, look, seriously…” I tried to say but she cut me off. Of course she cut me off. What else was she going to do? Standing under the white glow of a streetlight at a gas station on the edge of an industrial area, she was tearing me apart with her words while Mark and Lisa sat in their rental car on the other side of the parking lot. These were the sorts of things you stayed out of if you could.
“I don’t care! What the hell are you thinking!?” She whirled from me to Samael, who was putting Becca’s bag in the trunk, her hair spinning around her like a dervish. “And you! YOU!? You’re actually going along with this…this stupidity!?”
“What can I say, love? Your boy’s got a good point…this world is pretty much fucked, yeah?”
Becca was in the front passenger seat with her hands clasped in her lap, trying to make it look like she was looking at the gauges on the dashboard instead of listening to my mother lose her mind at me and Samael. Magda was in the back seat with a worried look on her gentle and haunted face. I was leaning against the rear fender, just finishing a cigarette and crushing it out under the heel of one of Sam’s patent leather loafers.
“Look, Mom…someone has to do something. I had to have been born for a reason, right?” I asked her.
She stared sharp daggers at me with her hard green eyes as she spun back to face me, pointing at me with one of her little fingers as she spoke. “And you think that reason is to go play judge and jury and executioner? Is that what you’ve learned? Is that what I taught you!?”
“Don’t be like that, please,” I said to her, taking a step forward to put my hand on her shoulder. She pulled it out from under my hand and just glared up at me. “This isn’t because of you or anything you’ve done. It’s because of what I’ve seen on my own.”
“So you can’t just go around being…nice to people!?” she yelled. “What makes you think this is going to do anything other than get people killed?”
“I love you Mom,” I told her, putting a hand on each of her shoulders. She pushed one of them off but didn’t stop me when I put it back. “You’re perfect. You really are. You did everything you could to make the world a good place for everyone, me included. There are things you don’t see though. You see the good in everyone.”
“That’s the fucking point, Michael! There is good in everyone! You can’t just go and…destroy people!”
“I’m sorry. I know you wanted this to be over and done with. You did everything you could. Now it’s my turn.” I said to her as she fumed and frowned and scrunched her tiny face at me in anger.
“This isn’t right though, Michael! This isn’t the way to do it!”
“That’s why you couldn’t ever do it. You know though. I know you do. You know you’re wrong. There are some people who…well…who have no good in them at all.”
“Michael, please,” she pleaded, her anger turning to tears. I hated making her so unhappy but what I had to do I had to do. I told her so and she bit her lip like she was trying to hold all of hell inside her mouth.
“I know how you felt,” I said to her, pulling her to my chest to wrap my arms around her little body. “When you had to leave. When you had to tell Mark and Lisa you were going and that they couldn’t stop you.”
“Damn you, Michael,” she said, her voice muffled against the leather suit jacket Samael had lent me. “Damn you for making sense.”
I kissed the top of my mother’s head and she looked up at me with little inky lines traced away from under her eyes by her tears as I spoke. “Someone’s gotta do this. I don’t want to live in this world anymore if there’s going to be evil people in it. I can’t get them all, but I can show them what’ll happen if I do. Thanks to you there’s no one pulling the strings anymore, but there’s no less evil now than there was then. There’s more freedom…but that just makes what some choose to do with that freedom so much worse.”
“I’m really mad at you right now,” she said softly, wiping first one cheek and then the other as she sniffled back more tears. “But I love you. You’re a good son. A good man. I’m proud of you.”
“Thanks,” I said, smiling and kissing her on the cheek as I let her go. I opened the back door and got in next to Magda. “Let’s do this, Sam.”
The driver’s door was open so I could still hear easily as Sam went around the car and gave my mother a hug. Holding her he said, “I thought it was all over too. Just stay out of it this time. You’re not the Lamb anymore, yeah?”
“Fuck you Samael,” she said, letting out a noise that was a sob and a laugh at the same time. “You know how bad I’ve wanted that to be true? You know how long I’ve wanted that to be true? I just thought…I just thought that once it was true I could…I don’t know…go to the beach with my son or something.”
“Hey!” I said, rolling the window down. “I’m not destroying any beaches. Just hold that thought, alright?”
My mother pulled away from Sam and leaned through the window to kiss me on the cheek. She winked at me and said, “Thanks.”
“For what?” I asked as Sam got in and started the engine.
She pointed over her shoulder to where Mark and Lisa were waiting. “Showing me how they felt when I had to go fight my own stupid war. Staying is harder than leaving. It might be more than twenty years late, but I’m going to go make it up to them right now…”
“I don’t need to hear this,” I cut her off, suddenly embarrassed. She winked at me again and stuck her tongue out. “Sam, let’s go.”
He drove out of the parking lot and past the other car. I waved to Mark and Lisa and Sam slowed. Lisa rolled her window down and frowned at me. Her tone was all serious but I knew better. “You better come back or I’m renting out your room, Michael Fox.”
“I love you too Lisa. Yo, Mark! Thanks!”
“What’d I do?” he asked, raising his eyebrow as he leaned across Lisa to see me.
“What you said in the car, when we were talking. It meant a lot, man.”
He just smiled and waved. My mother had reached their car and as we drove off she was putting one foot on the hood and grinning impishly at them through the windshield. The last thing I heard as I rolled up the window and we pulled onto the highway was her saying, “Let’s go back to the hotel…right now.”
“I’m glad we got out of there when we did,” I said to the silent car. There was another second of silence and then Sam and Becca started laughing. I joined in and Magda looked at the three of us nervously for another second before smiling her own soft smile and putting her hand on my leg.
When the laughs subsided she spoke in her quiet voice. “Um…I…I don’t really understand what’s going on.”
It was Becca that spoke first, turning in her seat to face Magda beside me. “If I’m picking up what the boys here are putting down…we’re going to kill sinners, kiddo.”
“We’re what?” she asked, startled.
“She’s pretty much right,” I said, shrugging.
“I…I thought you were the good guys?” she asked sheepishly.
“We are, love,” Samael said simply while he drove. “We are.”
“Why are we killing people, then?” Magda asked, looking right at me as she said it.
“Some people…they just deserve to die,” I told her, meeting her gaze. “I want you to tell us where to start. Who cut you?”
“Oh, Michael,” she said, putting her hand over her mouth as her eyes turned suddenly sad. “No, really Michael. No. I don’t want to go back…no.”
“Heeey,” Becca said calmingly, reaching back to put her hand on Magda’s leg. “These are not good people we’re talking about here. These are really bad people, kiddo. Right?”
Magda had slid closer to me in the backseat of the car and was looking at Becca like she was some kind of dangerous animal. Becca was a sweetheart, but she could be very imposing from time to time. At 41 she was almost a spitting image of her mother, Cassidy Swanson, back when the first war started. She was tall, strong of feature, and had exquisitely piercing eyes. She and Sam had gotten married a couple years after I was born and they made a good couple. They both had a way of looking at you that could strip paint off a car. I hated to think what it was like when they argued about even the simplest thing. Their mutual love of Serielle, the fiery Cherub that had fallen to one of Ephra’s enforcers, was like a grim beam of force between the two of them. Now that I could actually see it I understood their relationship better than I ever had before. It was as if all the love they’d felt for Sara had lashed itself between the two of them and held them together. It was more like chains than the delicate strands I saw between most people. It was a love born of violence and it was scary even if you couldn’t see it like I could. I took Magda’s hand and put my other arm around her.
“Let’s talk about this later,” I said. Becca was still looking back at Magda with as strange smile on her perfect puffy lips. “Cool, Bec? Later?”
“Okay,” she said, patting Magda on the knee and turning back to the front seat. She spoke to Samael in the lighter and easier to listen to version of her intense voice. “Where are we staying tonight?”
“Davis hooked us up proper. There’s a clean car with a trunk full of tools and toys waiting for us at a motel on the edge of the city.”
“This is exciting,” Becca said, rubbing the top of his thigh with her hand. “Thanks for bringing me along.”
“Yeah, of course. Like I could have stopped you anyway,” Sam replied, smiling.
Magda leaned closer to me and whispered in my ear while they bantered in the front seat and the car slid through the night into the future. “Your family kind of scares me.”
I squeezed her tighter and nodded; not in agreement, but in understanding. I’d never thought about it until she said it, but they kind of scared me too. I kind of scared myself. I looked into Magda’s eyes but somehow she didn’t seemed scared of me, and I was glad of that. She tried to return my smile but couldn’t so she shook her head as she gave up and leaned her head back on my shoulder.
When we got to the hotel some very shady looking character traded cars with us and he drove off to dispose of the car that Sam had stolen to get me away from jail when I’d broken out. We had two rooms at opposite ends of the motel and we split up for the night. Once in our room Magda seemed to relax, but only slightly.
“I’ll tell you now if you really want to know,” she said softly. “If you come over here and hold me.”
I sat down on the bed next to her and we lay back against the pillows. She put one arm over my chest and curled up next to me with one of her legs draped over mine. Magda’s head was on my shoulder and I couldn’t see her face. I didn’t need to read her mind to know that was on purpose. For whatever reason she didn’t want me to see her eyes while she talked.
“I ran away from home when I was 12 because my step dad was a fucking cunt, Michael. He was always touching me and my sister and liked to smack us and my mom around for fun.”
“Like…if he had a bad day, or was drunk or something?” I asked her.
“No, Michael. I mean just for fun.”
“Fuck,” I breathed.
“Yeah,” she whispered. “Fuck.”
“So is he the one that cut you?” I asked her.
“No,” she said.
“So who was it then?” I asked, trying to urge her on out of her shell.
“If I’m going to tell you this you have to stop interrupting me, okay?” Her voice shook and her body tremored. “This is hard enough already.”
“Sorry,” I said, stroking her hair. “Go on…”
Meth Head Dumb Cunt Junkie Retard Slut…
“Give me one of those cigarettes,” Dane snapped at me, hitting my arm with the back of his hand.
“I only have three left,” I said apologetically as I handed one to him. He wasn’t looking when I said it and he swung the back of his hand to hit my arm again, catching the tip of the smoke as I handed it to him and breaking it.
“Fuck!” he yelled at me, snatching the half I was still holding away from me and throwing it in my face. “What the fuck, Mags!? Are you fucking stupid!?”
I flinched at his voice, expecting him to hit me. “I’m sorry, Dane. I was handing it to you and…”
“Shut up!” he said. “Stupid bitch, give me another one and try not to fuck it up this time.”
I took one of the two remaining from the package and held it to him in my shaky hand. He snatched it away and lit it, scowling at me from under his thick dark brows. “Can’t even get a cigarette right. Are you fucking retarded!?”
I probably was. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before. I just shrugged and looked between the bars of the fire escape to the street below. We were sitting huddled in the dark and the cold waiting on one of his friends who said he could get us some meth. He was two hours late and I knew the score; he wasn’t coming. He’d probably taken our money and gotten high on his own and when we saw him next he’d lie and say he got ripped off. It was nothing new.
“Where the fuck is this guy,” Dane said loudly. “Fucking loser.”
“He’s not coming,” I said softly. “We should have called Moses, he always comes through.”
“Moses is a fucking prick and a thief,” Dane said, drawing deeply on the smoke I’d given him. “You think we could trust that guy? You’re a fucking idiot.”
“He’s never ripped me off, Dane. He always comes through,” I went on, quietly so he’d know I wasn’t trying to start some shit.
“No? Why? Did you fuck him?” he said, his tone getting harsher. “Did you fuck that guy, Mags!?”
Dane grabbed me by the head and wrenched my face around towards his, glaring murder at me with his eyes. I put my hands up in supplication, shaking my head as best I could in his grip. “No…no…I just…I mean…he’s a good guy…”
“He’s a good guy,” Dane mocked my voice. “You fucking slut, you gave it up for that prick, didn’t you? Didn’t you!?”
“No! I didn’t!” I yelled, getting scared now. He was going to hit me. Any second now…WHACK! And then he wouldn’t stop until I admitted to what he was saying. “Honest!”
He jerked my head once and then let go of me hard so my head bumped against the metal of the fire escape railing. He spat out the word “cunt”, then flicked the cigarette butt over the edge to twirl and spiral like a little red shooting star into the night below us. Part of me wanted to follow it down.
“I’ll tell you this, you junkie bitch,” Dane went on. “If I find out you’re lying to me I’ll cut your fucking tit off.”
“I’m sorry, Dane,” I said meekly, hoping he wouldn’t hit me. “I’m sorry I made you mad.”
“You’d fucking better be, you dumb slut. First this guy’s two hours late and now I gotta worry about you fucking dirty pushers. Fuck you, Mags.”
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“Shut up,” Dane spat again. “Let’s go. Let’s go find this fucking guy and get our shit from him.”
He led the way down the metal ladders and off into the neighborhood to find his dealer. We wandered around for over an hour before we saw the guy, hanging around outside a pool hall with a bunch of motorbikes parked along the sidewalk. He was chatting up some really filthy looking girls. He was telling them he had some shit and they could all go party. He didn’t see us coming and the girls were just getting into it when Dane pushed him hard from behind and he knocked into one of the girls and made her spill her drink.
“Yo man, what the fuck,” Dane’s dealer said as he whirled around at us.
“Hand it over,” Dane said, holding his hand out.
“Fuck man, this is my shit I’m holdin’. Your shit is still comin’. It’s not my fault the dude’s late.”
“You are the dude as far as I’m concerned. Now hand it over,” Dane said, getting angrier. He was always angry, but when he got really angry he usually hit someone. He usually hit me. Part of me was glad that there was someone else for him to hit this time.
“Fuck you, Dane,” the dealer said. “Take your junkie bitch and get out of here.”
“Don’t call her that!” Dane yelled, taking another step forward and clenching his fist. Dane didn’t know what the word irony meant.
“Or what? You’re gonna hit me? Fuuuuck off.”
The girls were laughing and the dealer was turning back around when Dane hit him. He had one hell of a right, I’d felt it often enough to know. I flinched at the smacking sound of his fist hitting the dealer behind the right ear. I wanted to just run away, but I needed to get high. They scuffled and grappled, trying to hit each other. I thought it might turn out okay until one of the nasty girls the dealer had been talking with hit Dane over the head with her beer bottle and he hit the ground on his knees. The three of them had a good laugh at him kneeling there, holding the top of his head and wincing. Then the dealer kicked him in the face and I screamed and ran to him, trying to pull him away.
“Stop this shit!” a voice yelled. The dealer and the trashy girls looked up and stopped, I pulled Dane back a bit and he cowered against my chest for a second before he realized what he was doing and pushed me away to stand up on his own feet.
Standing in the door of the pool hall was a tall and lean guy with a shaved head. His black boots were over his tight jeans and his white t shirt was tucked into them. He stood and stared while everyone looked at him, twitching the corner of his mouth once and switching the toothpick in his mouth to the other side. His metal belt buckle was engraved with the word ‘niggakilla’ and he had tattoos on his neck, down his arms, and onto his hands and knuckles. He leaned on his pool cue and had virtually no expression on his face at all.
“Sorry Beanie, this guy was startin’ shit,” Dane’s dealer said.
“That right? You startin’ shit?” the bald guy said.
Dane just stared and moved his mouth, no words coming out.
“I’m talkin’ to you, brother.” Beanie said calmly. “You startin’ shit out here?”
“No…no…” Dane stammered. “We were just….we were…”
“Fuck you, Dane,” his dealer said disdainfully. “Standin’ there shaking like a bitch. Beans, he tried to jump me and…”
The bald guy with the calm face held up one hand and Dane’s dealer shut up in midsentence. “Shut up, brother. A white man can speak for himself. I asked you if you were startin’ shit out here.”
“He ripped us off…” Dane said in a shaky voice.
“You rip this guy off?” Beanie asked the dealer.
“It’s not like that, Beans. I was on my way to meet them when he showed up and jumped me.”
“Bullshit!” Dane yelled, getting his nerve back. I was still terrified. There was too much potential for final violence here and I was trying not to run. “We waited for two hours and had to come find you! And here you were about to get off with our shit with these tramps here!”
“Beans…I…” the dealer stammered.
The bald guy held up his hand and the dealer shut up again. Beanie took a step towards him and he flinched back. By now there was a crowd of other bald guys in the doorway of the pool hall, watching on with a mixture of calm or simmering anger on their mean faces. Black bomber jackets on some, white shirts and suspenders on others, boots and buckles and ink and hate.
“You made this guy wait on the street for two fucking hours?” he asked the dealer, who was still backing away as Beanie approached him. “Don’t walk away from me when I’m talking to you, brother.”
“Okay, okay,” the dealer said, standing his ground now.
“Okay? Okay?” Beanie’s fist shot out fast and caught the dealer in the chest, making him stumble and cough. “You work for me, fucker. So if you rip someone off word gets around that I ripped someone off. You think this is the fucking ghetto? You think you’re working for fucking niggers up here?”
The hand that held the pool cue shot out and punched the dealer in the face and he yelled out in surprise and pain. The violence and that word made me cringe. You couldn’t tell it to look at me, but my grandmother had been half black and I hated that word so much it hurt. My step dad had used it like a pet name for me and my sister growing up and every time I heard it I felt like I’d been slapped. This guy though…the way he said it was different than my step dad. To Earl it had been something mean to say to hurt us; when this guy said it is was something else entirely.
“I asked you a question, brother,” Beanie spat, hitting the dealer again in the jaw with the pool cue. “Do I look like a fucking nigger, you can just do what you want?”
“I’m sorry!” Dane’s dealer yelled. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a little crumpled plastic baggie and our eyes lit up. He tossed it at the tall bald guy. “Here!”
The baggie bounced off Beanie’s chest and he sneered down at it on the ground, up at the dealer, then back to the baggie. “Did you just throw that at me? Am I some spic at a fast food joint, you can just throw shit in my face and think I’ll take it?”
“No, no, I didn’t…”
“Fuckin’ rights you did brother,” Beanie spat, and then broke the pool cue over the dealer’s head.
He fell onto his knees and covered his face with his arms but that didn’t matter anymore. Beanie kicked him in the side of the head with the flat of his boot and started stomping on him when he fell over. The others at the door laughed and pointed and cheered like they were watching some kind of sport or entertainment. The trashy girls had taken off and I wanted to do the same but our shit was still lying on the sidewalk to close to where Beanie was putting his boot down on the dealer over and over, fast and measured instead of savage and brutal.
When he took his belt off and wrapped it around his hand we were able to see the dealers face; his gums were swollen and his teeth were crooked or missing, his lips were cracked and bleeding, his eyes were swollen shut and he coughed out blood when he tried to breath. Beanie started raining blows on him with the belt buckle and you could tell he didn’t even feel it anymore by the look on his face and his lack of reaction every time it hit him with a loud ‘clank’.
“Come on, Dane,” I whispered, begging. Fuck the drugs, I thought. Tears were in my eyes and my hands felt numb watching it unfold in front of us. “Let’s fucking go man.”
“Shut up, you stupid bitch,” Dane said, louder than I would have liked. “This is fucking awesome. That dicks getting tuned up hard! He ripped us off, don’t you care about that!?”
I took a step back, then another, and was about to turn and run when Dane grabbed my arm and slapped me across the face with the back of his hand. Just like that the beating stopped and everyone was looking at us.
Beanie’s voice was too calm when he spoke considering the punishment he’d just dished out on another human. He was too cold, too casual with his violence. I was used to white hot rage and clumsy anger, not…this.
“You just hit your woman, brother?”
“This stupid bitch? Who fucking cares?” Dane said. He pointed at the baggie, forgotten by everyone but us. “Can I grab that now?”
“This?” Beanie asked, picking it up in the hand that didn’t have the tail of his belt wrapped around it. As he stepped towards us the bloody buckle scraped along the sidewalk. He put the baggie in his pocket. “No.”
“What?” Dane asked, sounding angrier than I would have wished. “We paid for it already!”
“You got no more privileges around here, fucker. The white man doesn’t raise his hand to his woman. Now fuck off.”
“Her?” Dane asked, looking at me incredulously. “Hey, brother…she’s part black!”
Everyone looked at me. Everyone sneered or frowned or scowled. I wished I’d never told him. He hurt me enough with his hands; he didn’t need one more thing. I just never knew he’d use that against me too. I whispered, “Dane, what are you doing?”
“You mean part nigger,” Beanie said. “Say it, brother. Be a man.”
“Yeah, part…nigger,” Dane spat, trying to sound like Beanie.
“So you got nigger blood, that right bitch? You like walkin’ around lookin’ like us? You like trickin’ white men into fuckin’ your dirty jungle pussy?”
My hands shook, my knees shook, my whole body shook. Fuck, even my eyes were shaking. I wanted to run but my body wouldn’t listen to me.
“Bring her inside,” Beanie said, turning to go back into the pool hall. The other skinheads parted for him but didn’t follow. “Maybe I’ll let you have your shit yet, brother.”
“Dane, please, Dane,” I whispered, shaking.
“This is your fault anyways, you stupid fucking junkie,” he said, grabbing my wrist and yanking me along. “We’re gonna get that shit one way or another.”
They loomed around me as Dane pulled me inside. I tried to plant my feet but he was too strong. One of them slapped my ass as I passed through them, another one pushed me roughly. Dane looked a little scared too, but that’s when I realized he was going to get that baggie no matter what he had to do. I was crying without a sound, tears streaming down my cheeks as my lips shook and quivered.
There was no one else in the place, just them. Beanie pointed at the pool table with one hand and dangled the baggie from his pocket in the other and told Dane, “Show us how your little slut likes it and I’ll let you have this back.”
“Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease,” I was whispering over and over. One of them yelled out ‘she’s beggin’ for it, brother!’ and they all laughed. Dane chuckled too, the nervousness on his face turning into a grim and violent resolve.
Just like that it started. Dane grabbed me by the hair and slammed my face into the pool table. Blood from my nose splattered onto the green felt and he hit me in the kidney and kicked the back of my right knee. My legs buckled and he grabbed my hips and forced me onto my chest on the table. I tried to struggle free but there were other hands on me too. A different person had each of my arms and they were pulling them straight out to the sides. Someone else grabbed my hair and pulled it so my chin was flat on the pool table’s surface. Someone else put a pool cue against the back of my neck and pushed down on it. I screamed as Dane ripped my pants down around my thighs, tearing them and my panties roughly away from my ass.
There was laughter, cheers, voices yelling the meanest things I’d ever had said to me. Racial slurs I’d never even heard before. Dane rammed his cock hard between my legs and I screamed again as he ripped into me. The jeers and cheers continued as he fucked me hard and fast, slapping my ass mercilessly and punching me in the back. I think I kept screaming; I don’t remember. I felt him come inside of me and there were more cheers. I wanted to die, and just as I was trying to pass out he pulled out of me and someone else shoved up inside; fresh pain, fresh humiliation, fresh torment.
It might have only been half an hour, but it felt like forever as they slapped me and spit on me and hit me and raped me. As I resolved myself in shock that this was going to be forever, this was my life now, I was thrown to the floor and kicked in the stomach.
“Now get out you nigger slut,” a voice said. I rolled over weakly to see Beanie standing over me, zipping up his jeans. “I said get out!”
He still had his belt off, wrapped around his fist. I think he’d been hitting me with it. He raised it over his head and I rolled onto my side and curled into a ball as I saw it flying down towards me. I’d been beaten with a belt by my step father for years and knew what to do. I’d never been hit with the buckle though, and when it hit me with a ‘clank’ across the back of my head my vision went black and lit up with stars. I was yanked to my feet by my arms and they dragged me to the door with my feet trailing behind me and drool and tears dripping from my face.
As they were about to throw me into the street Beanie kicked me in the small of the back like he was trying to go through a door and I hit the sidewalk hard, the concrete scraping skin from my shoulder and the side of my face. He lashed the buckle down onto me from high above his head a few more times, I don’t know how many, and on the last swing the hook on the buckle caught my skin on the back of my left hip and tore.
“Get the fuck out of this neighborhood, nigger. Here…this is for the pain,” he threw a tiny baggie of meth at me. “Never say the white man doesn’t try to help you people out.”
I couldn’t walk so I crawled, pulling my pants up and trying to arrange my torn shirt to cover my breasts. I passed a couple of people but they just recoiled in horror, not wanting to get involved. No one would help me. The bus wouldn’t let me on. A cab driver saw me and sped off, leaving me sobbing and begging on the sidewalk. It was three hours before a cop saw me and took me to the hospital. They took my statement, but they arrested me for the baggie as well. None of those degenerate skinhead fucks were ever arrested for it. As far as I know Dane still runs with them.
No one gives a fuck about a junkie.
I got clean in jail, for a while anyways, and then got the fuck out of Boston for good. I’d never been back. I’d been up and down since that night. I’d had a string of shitty boyfriends in shitty towns and cities since, not feeling like I was worth anything more than how I let them treat me. I came to think my step dad had always been right about me. I’d tried to kill myself a bunch of times, but I’d never been able to pull it off for some reason.
I finally got clean for good, at least until I met Michael and then thought I’d lost him too. I didn’t want it anymore though, he cured me somehow. I was still scared, I was still waiting for someone to hit me all the time; to put me in my place, show me my worth. But I no longer wanted to die. Something about him made me want to live. Something about him made me want to change my mind about myself.
Deep inside though, I was still a weak little junkie waiting to get hit.
Gnash Down Our Teeth and Sing…
“No you’re not,” I said as Magda stopped talking and kept crying.
My chest was wet with her tears and she had such a firm grip on Samael’s shirt that I was wearing that two buttons had popped off and she had pulled out some of my chest hair. Her whole body was tight and clenched against me and her body shook hard.
“You hate me now, too, don’t you?” she sobbed.
“No,” I said quietly, still holding Magda tight in my arms. I didn’t know what else to say. What else could I say?
It was everything I could do not to spin out of control and turn the room into a pile of splintered furniture and shattered motel art. Somehow I was holding it all in, I felt calmer than I felt I should. I was the eye of the storm.
“I bet…you’re sorry…you ever…touched me…” Magda sobbed and panted.
“No,” I said again. “I’m not. You’re still perfect.”
“I’m not though, I’m all fucked up Michael!” she wailed, tearing at my shirt some more.
“I don’t have time to argue with you about this,” I said to her softly. “I need you to just know what I’m saying is true. I need you to see what I see and I don’t know how else to do that, I’m bad with words. I’m sorry if this hurts you.”
I put my hand on the side of her face and did…whatever it was I did to Paul on the street that day. Her body jerked and spasmed and when I took my hand off her face and looked at her her eyes were rolled back in her head. As they went back to normal she wasn’t crying anymore.
“Oh fuck,” she breathed, panting to catch her breath. “Fuck, Michael.”
“Right, so now I don’t have to convince you. I need to get up right now. I can’t lie still here anymore or I’m going to fucking explode…maybe literally, I don’t know.”
Magda rolled off of me and sat on the edge of the bed, shaking her head now and then and rubbing her temples. “That hurt my head, Michael.”
“Like I said, I’m sorry about that.”
“I know…I actually know that you are. You really feel all those things about me? That’s what you think of me?” There was something in her voice I hadn’t heard there before. I think it might have been hope.
“Yeah, it is.”
“No one’s ever…” she started.
“Cared? Well I do.”
“Where are you going?” she asked as I opened the door of our motel room.
“To get Sam, we’re leaving.”
I walked fast to the end of the top row of rooms along the balcony hung over the parking lot. When I got to Sam and Becca’s door I could hear the wild noises of sex coming from inside. I pounded on the door with the flat of my hand anyways and I heard them stop.
“Oi, what!?” Sam yelled through the door.
“Get dressed, we’re leaving!” I said.
“We just got here, Michael. The war can wait one night, yeah!? We’re sort of in the middle of something right now.”
“I don’t care if you’re balls deep and stuck there! Get dressed and meet us at the car!”
“Fuck, Michael!” I heard Becca yell. “Really?”
“Yeah, really. Do what you gotta do but hurry the fuck up!” I yelled, then I stalked back to me and Magda’s room. She had already taken our two small bags back to the car.
“We’re going to leave in the middle of the night, just like this? For me?” Magda asked me, leaning against me and putting her arms around my chest and her face on my shoulder. “And go…?”
“Yeah. Just like this. I don’t really need to sleep I don’t think, I’ll drive. We’re going now.”
“I…um…thanks?” she said in her soft voice.
I kissed the top of her head and held her closer. A few minutes later Sam and Becca were at the car, looking disheveled and frustrated with me.
“You‘re a right fucking tosser, you know that right?” Sam asked me. I held up my hand and he threw me the keys. He looked this watch as he continued. “Where are we going at…2 fucking 16 am that couldn’t wait until morning?”
“We start now,” I said grimly. “Right fucking now.”
As I opened the door the interior light shone on my face and he leaned back from whatever he saw there. “Michael…you look…whoa, mate. Whoa.”
I just nodded my head once and got in. Magda got in next to me, Sam and Bec in the back. I turned the key and we backed away from the motel and turned onto the empty strip of gray that carved through the night.
“Where are we going, anyways?” Becca asked me, still sounding supremely annoyed.