|"My Own Personal Hell."
||[Mar. 6th, 2005|10:58 pm]
The Ox of Indecency
You'll think of some funny things after a while of lying on your back in a hallway that smelled like cheap liquor and rice cakes. The ceiling was stained with fire scorches and other types of shit over the many years of lazy up keep. |
My jaw ached. My knee did too. I was a mess. My mind made up excuses in my head trying to heal the wound that my pride had taken since the beating the little Asian had given me. I had been drinking and dizzy and the sun was in my eyes and my parents never loved me. I had enough excuses.
Even after I was ready to stand, I sat back and laid on the floor. No reason to move, I thought. Marissa was dead. Bits of her big brain all over her wall and the sheets of her bed. She'd been the last link to what had happened to Ron.
The drop dead gorgeous broad from my office wasn't at the club, where she'd told me to meet her. Maybe she'd skirted away, afraid that the brutes that had gone after Ron would come after her. Everyone was paranoid like that around here. People that had nothing to do with anything would run and hide at the first sign of trouble. Why? Because in this part of town, killing wasn't a sport or a means to an end. It was a hobby. Lots of people around here would kill you just to see what your skull was shaped like. A pit of constant fear and loathing. The Lower City wasn't far from hell. In fact, it might have been worse.
I didn't bother to go back and search Marissa's room. Mainly because I probably couldn't stand seeing a friend of mine in such a state. So I left. Down five flights of stairs and out into the cool night air, back at square one with nothing and no one to guide me. And when that ever happens to me, it's a sign from above: Stop. Drink. Wait.
Silly superstition I had that when I was lost, I'd take a shot and wait for something to turn up. It hardly ever worked but at least I got a drink and some time to relax.
The Lower City never slept. There were always bars, cantinas, pubs or any other type of watering hole open at all times of night. A quick and quiet out of the way place was the 324 Bar. Named after it's address. Run by a guy name Dave I'd known for a while.
I sat at the bar, on the end near the door like I always did. Just in case I had to make a quick get away from a bad guy, or hop out on my bill. Dave got me my usual, didn't say a thing and retreated to the other side of the bar where a few young whores giggled loudly at his cheesy jokes. One of them had a wandering eye and the other had the physique of a 11 year old boy. Besides those three, there were a few tough guy kids sitting against the wall in the very small bar. I didn't pay them much mind. Just kids in leather jackets trying to be tough.
I sat with my first drink as long as I'd stayed with my first wife. Which wasn't long at all. The second drink didn't fair as well either. I turned a sidelong glance to the guy next to me. He hadn't been there a minute ago. Must have scooted down to have a chat. Maybe he was queer. I was flattered. Cause I didn't think I was that pretty. The guy spoke before I could, interrupting my drink with his gravelly voice.
"Y'hear 'bout tha owner of the Puss?"
Ron's death was probably the talk of the town. He was the owner of one of the best clubs in this dump. Everyone was probably scurrying to grab a piece of the sinking ship before it fell under.
"Ehh. He 'ad it comin'. Flashin' all dat money 'round and buyin' all the other places. I'd buy the sons of bitches a drink, ifin' I figgered who done it."
"Yeah well, keep figuring, bub, and then let me know what you find out."
A mindless conversation with a drunk in a bar. It signified nothing, would lead nowhere. Everything I did anymore seemed to be just as relevant as talking to this asshole. The drinks were starting to run through me now. A trip to the little boy's room was in order.
I stood up and left a few bucks for the drink, turning and walking down the narrow isle that led to the back of the bar, through a door covered in shit and puke on busted hinges. The inside wasn't anymore glamorous that the doorway. It probably hadn't been cleaned in years. Who'd want to, or who could be paid enough to clean this place was beyond me. I found myself a urininal and preceded to introduce myself to it.
The door swung on creaky hinges, letting the noise from the jukebox outside stream in. Rocking type of music that was as grungy as it was definitively Seattle in sound. The door swung shut again and the sound of heavy footfalls filled the small bathroom. The sink turned on behind me and whoever was in there must have been washing grime from their hands with the brown water that left the sink faucet.
I should have guessed it. My luck has a funny way of doing things like that. Things that I should expect and should be careful of but decide against it. As I stood there trying to drain my snake over the urininal, a big set of strong forearms wrapped around my neck and head, tightening with no sign of loosening.
Piss was flying everywhere as this guy interrupted my bathroom fiesta. The man tightened his grip around my head and neck to the point of cutting off all my breath. I fought back in vain, but I was still weak from all the drugs and having been beaten by the little man in the hallway. About the time I started to turn blue was the time I snapped. All the recent happenings had piled up on my shoulders and crashed down around me. I was pissed off.
My flailing arms stopped. One hand tried to wedge some breathing space around my throat while the other grabbed firmly onto the closest and easiest thumb I could find, tearing it the opposite way that God had intended it to go. The man cried out and began to tighten the squeeze. That's when I got a foot up and pressed hard on the wall with it, forcing the man into the wall behind him. His back right into an archaic hand dryer. That moment was all I needed. The moment he hit, he loosened his grip and then I tore myself away, turning around and immediately starting with a devastating right hook into the man's jaw. A left followed that. I saw him recover quickly, this big black man, the man who'd sat beside me in the bar, and come in close to try and grab me again. I couldn't get my arms up in time, but my Pop had always told me to use my head.
So I did.
I lept off the ground just inches in the air and slammed the crown of my head into the jaw of the big man. I heard him scream, dulled by his closed mouth. I didn't stop, I was too angry. Getting shot at and getting surprised by two thugs in the matter of 30 minutes was enough to piss me off greatly. I kept swinging, pelting this guy in the face, chest and stomach. I had him beaten down, on the ground on the disgusting bathroom floor. I couldn't stop myself, a scary thought, but at the same time making me feel so free. I turned and put both hands on the hand dryer, pulling it from the wall with a loud grunt and turning back to the man on the ground, writhing from all the pain I was inflicting. I didn't have to, I'd already won. But I WANTED to. I wanted to take that metal box and slam it into his face. I wanted to feel and hear the cracking of his bones. As they gave way underneath the pressure and ferocity of the beating.
And so I did.
I didn't stop slamming that box into his face. I could barely recognize him when I started. Dozens of times in the face and neck. I just kept swinging. I didn't want to stop. So I didn't. The floor was covered with shit, and now a pool of blood. My face had the streaks of blood that would fly up each time I took the makeshift weapon and crushed the man's head some more. His skull lay in fragments, his brains oozed on the floor in chunks of flesh and hair. His body twitched all over periodically. Even then I felt compelled to attack him still. To kill him some more until even what was left of his nerves stopped responding.
I was panting, bloody all about the face, none of it my own. I dropped the dented dryer to the ground and stood up straight. Straightening my tie and the rest of my suit and long trench coat. When I corrected my posture was the moment I felt the cold barrel against the back of my neck. I heard a giggle and the cocking of a hammer.
"That was...brilliant. Magnificent. You, my friend, are a true artist."
I didn't know whether he was being sarcastic or just saying things to mock me. I didn't care. I was exhausted from decimating the corpse of the man who'd snuck up on me. The guy behind me with the gun kept giggling and then coughed to clear his throat. One of his hands reached out to the back of my head and shuffled around between my neck and my coat. He must have found something, I couldn't see what it was. I finally got a glimpse of it when he threw it down on the chest of the dead man before me. It was his tongue. I must have struck him in the jaw earlier and caught him off guard, causing him to bite his own tongue off. Had I still been infuriated, I would have probably been happy. But now I was back to normal. Or as close to normal as I could have been. The gunman continued.
"I wanted to see if you actually had the vision. The vision of a painter, of an architect or a musician. I see that you do."
"Well if we're getting so friendly, would you mind taking the gun out of my neck?"
"I cannot do that. You are so devoted to your craft that I'm almost positive that you would carve me into the same masterpiece if I didn't have this weapon. Even as I envy the resplendent scene you've just crafted, I must decline at this moment. Please, gentle lord, take off your coat."
The nudging gun in my neck was all I needed to follow orders. Even if he was a sick fuck. I took my long coat off and tossed it onto the dead body of the man I'd murdered. I could hear the man behind me shifting for something he had, and I could even hear his muffled gasp as I had covered up the body. It felt a bit nice to get out of that heavy coat and into my short sleeved shirt again. Only for a moment, before I felt the familiar prick of a needle sticking into my flesh. I could feel it withdraw only a moment later. And only a moment after that did I start feeling dizzy. I twisted around to look down at the skinny short man behind me with the gun. Smiling a cocky little grin, I recognized him immediately. I just prayed to God that I would die before I woke up again.
Light crept in through an open window. I could hear the cars running down the street, the kids and adults all talking back and forth as they pass my building.
I was back home. Back in my office. My eyes slowly adjusted to the surroundings. My desk, I must have fallen asleep there and dreamt it all up. Marissa's death, Ron's death, getting beat up by the Asian..And murdering that man in the bathroom.
All a dream.
I stretched my hands above my head and sat back in my chair, sighing a sigh of relief and giving a once over to my small office. I stared out the window to my left for a moment, with a genuine happy smile on my face.
When I turned back, I was staring straight at the man with the brass ring, who was sitting in a chair opposite of me now. He scared the shit out of me. He was wasn't even smiling anymore. And before I could even think of what to do or say, he took the words out of my head.
"That wasn't a dream."
His words and voice chilled me like something I had never felt before. His vacant eyes, black holes, endless universes unto themselves for me to fall into and weep. Staring back at me. I answered wearily.
"Ron..And Marissa. But.....Then I still have to find the murderers."
The man began to shake his head slowly, his smile returning and his laugh coming back.
"You've found him, spook."
I stared directly into the eyes of that monster before me..The eyes reflecting me perfectly back at me. I leapt up and back, slamming into the blinded window behind me. My hand sloppily grabbed at the gun on my desk, turning it towards him and his huge toothy grin.
I couldn't think of anything better to say in time. This was all too fast for me, I just had to react as it came to me. The man laughed and stared at me still, shaking his head. His voice became quiet and sinister.
The world was a swirl. I lived in a Picasso that was fighting to become right again. I shook my head furiously and cocked the hammer back on my gun. Without thinking I began firing into the man. Nothing affected him, he just kept laughing and giving me more and more reason to hate him and want him dead.
I kept firing until I was out of rounds. I sunk back against the window and vainly threw the gun at the sitting man.
"It can't be. I had nothing..There was no way I could have!"
"Think about it. A woman, so impeccably amazing. TOO amazing. Gorgeous and exactly what you've looked for in a woman all your life, comes to you and tells you of Ron's death. Then tells you she'll meet you at the club. But she isn't there. Because she doesn't exist. You made her up so you could go on this little adventure. So you could catch yourself."
I shook my head and snorted. That woman had been real. I knew she had....Hadn't she?
"But what about with Marissa? You blacked out for hours on the hood of your car? And then when you found her dead body, the suspected killer was OUTSIDE the apartment?"
His words didn't make sense. What made even less is when I started recalling these moments. My mind's eye clearly showed me above Marissa, beside her on the floor, myself on a line while she took a swig of Colt and heated a spoon. Then kissing her and pressing against her body on the bed. Feeling her chest rise with each breath and moan. Then fucking her. Slow and sensual. At the same instant of pleasure, the look I saw in her eye, I could feel my hands grip the pistol and shove it into her chest, shooting her one time. Her breathing sputtered and she she screamed through a punctured lung. I shot her again, ceasing her screams. She writhed in pain as I fucked her. And when I was done, I shot her in the forehead.
Before the man could say anything else, I began remembering Ron. The booth with him at his club. Everything was shady. I could remember the music blasting and his screams falling on deaf ears. Cutting his flesh with a large knife. Cutting him. Tasting his blood as it splattered on my face and tongue. Letting him scream as loud as he wanted as I cleaved him completely asunder. Taking his organs out to show him what his insides looked like before he died. I had to show him. I kept him alive to show him.
"You fucking liar! You fucking...!! I did not kill those people! Motherfucking! Cunt! Bitch!!"
Words flew out of me. I had no idea how to react to this. There wasn't a book that explained how to react to finding out that you're actually insane and living in a dream world, murdering your friends for pleasure in the sickest masochistic way imaginable.
It couldn't be real. I knew God wouldn't let be become the monster the man said I was. My thoughts of my friend Marissa pierced me deeply. The thought of doing that to her was more than I could bear. And Ron..I had owed Ron.
It was too much now. After all this, I couldn't live. I had to stop it all. I had to stop the voices, I had to stop the grinning, laughing man.
I reached into my desk for the bottle of alcohol. I took a long swig and nearly puked it back up. I grabbed it by the bottom and slammed it against the desk top, shattering the bottle-style neck to get even more out. That's when I turned it up over my head, drenching myself in the high proof liquor. The lighter I'd always kept in my front pocket was out immediately.
I was out of bullets and there was nothing else I could do. If I had done all those horrible things I deserved the pain. If I hadn't, I still had to get rid of the voices and the horrible thoughts in my head. Regardless of what had happened, it was going to end right here.
The lighter flicked on instantly just as I pressed it against my soaked clothes. I was lit up like a christmas tree, as they say. Fire bellowed all over me in just as fast as I could imagine it would.
My skin melted like butter, my hair was gone in an instant. The heat was unbearable. I writhed and screamed out incoherently as I burned in the hell I deserved. The man had began laughing again, but I could barely hear him anymore. I didn't want to hear him. I wanted him to hear my screams of agony. To hear our demise as the fire tore away at the meat of my frame, finally boiling my brain. My legs propelled me forward, towards the window with enough force to propel me out of the 4th story office and towards the ground below.
In my last few moments, through the fire, I saw the faces of children and men and women. Some of them looking up, some of them not realizing the falling fireball about to crash into the sidewalk. I tried to tel them all how very sorry I was, but my lips had burned away and my tongue was useless.
My own personal Hell.