Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Fields Chapter 4: I don't like coffee anyway

The first thing my blind fury wrecked as soon as I got into my apartment was my collection of school trophies. My fists jabbed and smashed them across the room. Foaming through gritted teeth, I kneed my bookshelf repeatedly, splitting the spines of several paperbacks. How could my life come to this? I should have run away from home when I was 10 like I planned, I swore at myself. I pity myself. Being an obedient child all my life, just to get shat on. The nerve of my dad, my sisters, my mom even. All I am now is crazy, and the worst part is that's my best case scenario. Insane in the membrane. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every odd thing that's ever happened to me was a hallucination? To think, my dad could even say such a ludicrous and heart breaking thing to my face. "None of us were born in this dimension." These are the only people I trust in the world, if there even is one world, and they're useless. Batshit crazy.

My exhausted dad sent me home in a taxi which, thankfully, he paid for. I got a whole car ride to let my anger, confusion, frustration and pain come to a boil. It didn't help that the roads were totally cleaned up, probably the CDC or something. Like nothing even happened.

I thought of every missed opportunity due to my parents' paranoia and all of the times they haven't been there to stop me. Now that I was home - well, let's just say that home isn't a word I can use calmly anymore - the aggression wanted to maintain momentum, but I was in a tiny apartment. So I began hitting things.

So then I'd crushed the glass protecting my print of the Kill Bill: Volume 1 framed poster on the wall. The cracks echoed out into a web-like pattern and I left droplets of blood on the shards. I dug my fingers through my hair and tugged, giving myself an even bigger headache and flopped to the floor. I was in full toddler tantrum mode. Parts of that damn conversation with my dad wouldn't stop coming and going just like waves of nausea.

"Then why specifically us? What's so special about our family that's worth hunting over?"
"Son, there's no easy way to put this. All five of us escaped them at one point, but I well, I had already ended the lives of many of them by then."
"You mean to tell me we're now part of a revenge plot? Fuck."

I was dry sobbing after that, which even for me is a little strange. I was jolted back to the real world as my landlady busted through my door, yet all I could muster was lifting my head to point my eyes back at her. "What on Earth is going on here!" Crap, I thought to myself, even with everything, it would suck to get evicted. "...a dance routine." I slowly spoke, wondering how I come up with these things. "Oh..." She slid back out, bringing the door with her, "Just quiet down a little then."

I was defeated. My knuckles and elbow were covered in cuts and I didn't feel like getting up to take care of that. I fell asleep, on the floor.

Beeps, almost in the theme of Pac-Man.

"Oh, shit." I said out loud, not opening my eyes. I groped around, realized my phone was in my back pocket and that it was weird how I was groping my own butt. I lifted it up to my ear, followed by a weak "Yeah?"

"C'mon Derek, I know you don't really have food poisoning. It's been over a day, the toxins should have left your system even if you did have it." That didn't really make sense, which means this was Kyle. I completely forgot about work, but I stayed silent. "Anyways," he continued, "Meet me at the Darkstar Cafe. You're going to be my wingman, 'cuz I'm meeting Julie here." I sat up immediately and barked into the microphone, "Why the hell would I agree to do that?" Then he hit me with a grim reminder.

"If you don't, I'll tell her about your little, uh, scandal, to put it in a lighter tone." I jumped to my feet and grabbed a spare jacket on the small table next to me, "That's just a rumor! Don't even bring it up, it's not tr-" He interrupted me, "Doesn't matter. She won't think of you the same again. Gotta go." He hung up and I growled in frustration. I went over to the sink to rinse off some blood and noticed that the cuts on my elbow were already reduced to scratches the size of paper cuts. I wrapped it in a bandage anyway. I spotted my treasured Katana that is displayed on top of a shelf. Now I remember what it is that I forgot, I told myself. I grabbed it without taking it out of its silk cover and slung it over my back, since it has a handy string that can act like a shoulder strap. I headed out the door.

I forgot that my car is as good as gone and sighed, deciding that the cafe isn't too far away anyways. I spent that time thinking about how much of a dick Kyle is. Whenever I bring up the fact that he regularly tries to access my computer files remotely - because I refuse to tell him my sisters' phone numbers and so he tries to get them another way - he'll 'accidentally' drop the pizzas I made at the counter in front of a customer just so I have to do it again. There was another time when a group of grade school kids made a pit stop here on the way to some field trip and he wouldn't stop making references to drugs as he handed them their food.

I was only a block away from the cafe, which was really more of a fancy restaurant with its own parking lot, when I bumped shoulders with a man going the same direction, I wanted to mutter a simple "Sorry," but the encounter just had to be weirder than that. Time slowed down by what felt like 40,000x and I could see the world through the lens of this man's very own mind. Although, it was a snippet, I couldn't see his whole life or anything.

He was making his way to the cafe to look for someone, except that he probably already knew they were there. He would ignore the Barista and sit right in front of this person with a huge sickening grin on his face. The person is Kyle Davis. It's weird, I thought Julie would be here right now. Or maybe this person has no idea who she is and isn't anticipating her. That could get messy. It seems now Kyle realizes who is sitting in front of him and shits himself. The man seems to be trying to get Kyle to follow him, but just in case he cocks a small pistol under the table, mostly for the intimidation factor. The two both stop a dark construction site somewhere, the things I see become patchier and more sped up. He murders Kyle.

I gasp, back in real time. The man is still making his way to the cafe and I'm stopped dead in my tracks, trying to think quickly without thinking about the fact that I just became someone else's brain. My left hand touched the Katana to make sure it's still there, although I'm not sure how I'd be able to use it. "Sir!" I ran after him. He only glanced at me, but with my persistence he was forced to utter a low and jarring "What?" I blinked a couple times. I needed something in 0.34447578 seconds, which-

I was running, apparently. Great plan, Derek. There were only a few cars in the street and even less people, but the cafe, yes, the cafe! It's the hottest tourist attraction this town has. I kept run-jogging, trying not to go too fast, looked back at the confused man with a fearful expression and exclaimed "He's got a gun! Run, everybody! G-U-N!" I made sure to make eye contact with as many people in the cafe and saw that the Barista already had her fingers on the number pad of the phone. I dodged into the alleyway, waiting for him and peeked back. He was gone. What the hell? I circled around the back of the cafe and, oh shit, there he is. "Tell me who you are, or your brains stain that wall over there," he gestured with the end of the barrel as he spoke. This guy looked like he walked straight out of an audition for the part Cruise Ship Party Host for some stupid 70's Hollywood movie. White dress pants, lime green polo, snake skin belt, pilot shades. His hair was slicked back but his facial hair was unkempt. How long do they say police take, five minutes?

He rushed me, stuck the gun barrel over my tongue and showed me his crusty lips twist into a frown. "You rotten little shit, you have three seconds," he spoke with a gruff voice of a man who gets no sleep. Julie and Kyle crept around the corner behind me, which made me have to attempt to talk with metal in my mouth. "Ka-uhl! Ge'h ou-" he removed it, grinning once more. "It's a little more than I wanted, but I'll take the girl anyway. You, Kyle Davis, son of a bitch-" he only got to do his macho thing for so long before I smacked the gun out of the way with the hilt of my Katana. I wasn't sure what I'd do after this. Julie wouldn't budge. Kyle's look of horror blinked on. I ran back to them both, using my body as a meat shield. "Are you that desperate to get killed?" he asked, before shooting all three of us.

Two minutes and thirty-eight seconds left until the police get here. Too much time. He could run. A quick assessment showed that he has poor aim, which is why he would have only ever used it less than two feet away. Two bullets bit off a chunk of Kyle's arm, one grazed the entire stretch of Julie's forearm and another bounced off the wall to the right of her face, thank God. I was struck in the thigh. We all hit the ground, writhing in pain, now a crowd is forming in the street that the staff of the Darkstar is desperately trying to restrain.

However, mister Lime Polo, you underestimated my freakishly quick healing. I rose to my feet, crouched because I can't deal with putting all of my weight on that thigh yet and whip out my onyx Katana sheath with a stereotypical (read: traditional) golden dragon in the middle. He fires twice more, and they hit the flesh of my left forearm making a blood spatter pattern on the wall behind me in the shape of a wing. Nice. "Don't be a hero," says Kyle, "You're going to die," says Julie. I take some more steps forward, Lime Polo has this concerned look on his face. Concerned like I'm about to devour his brain, not concerned like he's about to get arrested. I swing down, angled chop up and left and smash his right thumb with the hilt. The sword is still sheathed, it's not like I was slicing him open.

I guess he decided this was just too weird for him, so he runs away, clutching parts of his body. The police arrive and then a few ambulances, but the man is nowhere to be found. Julie asks why I have a Katana and then thanks me, Kyle thanks me but when Julie is driven to the hospital and he's about to be too he whispers hoarsely to me "You were supposed to be my wingman, dude." I lay down on my own and then it's just paramedic radio chatter for another ten minutes. At least we all get the week off from work.

I was released the next morning but Kyle has to stay a few days and Julie has to stay for observation. I still wonder sometimes if my one blood wing is still faintly staining that wall next to the Darkstar, but probably not. I also promised Kyle that we'd all have some coffee or a dinner date or something once we're fine. Except, there's one thing I want to check first, even with no comment from Kyle on who that man was. This is the first thing I've seen that actually petrifies Kyle.

Time to go show Lime Polo the shiny side of my Katana.

1 comment:

  1. Flesh wounds won't keep you in a hospital. Only if you have to have surgery or you lose a lot of blood. (Just for future reference. You'd be surprised how sick you can be and be sent home.)

    Also, maybe when he does his mind reading thing, you can put that part in italics or bold font? It might make it easier to follow.

    But even so, the story is literally getting better with each chapter, which is something you should be proud of.