Chapter 28
by Branden Hart

Chapter 28

...until this:

“Oh my god, he's starting to wake up. There's blood everywhere! You have to do something?”

Whose blood? I think, turning around so quickly I almost veer off of a dirt road that, apparently, I'm driving a car down.

“Who the fuck is that?!?” I scream.

“Who?!?” she cries.

“The fucking guy bleeding all over the backseat!”

“ is Taylor—what's wrong with you?”

“Where the hell are we?” I ask.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Melissa manages through sobs.

“GODDAMMIT MELISSA!!!” I cry, my voice reverberating through the car. “Just give me a straight fucking answer!”

She makes a noise, most similar to a laugh, but far too intimidating, even in her debilitated shape. “You're blacking out, aren't you?”

“It's the fucking medicine.”

My headlights illuminate a barren gravelly road kicking up dust around us. There are intermittent pings as rocks fly off the car's undercarriage.

“Bullshit,” she says. “You've turned into a fucking drunk. The way you were stumbling around in my house, the stench of booze, it was like you'd been drinking all fucking day.”

“If I was so drunk, how come you guys didn't overpower me? Hold me down? Call the cops?”

Her breathing becomes more labored. “Because I had a dick in me and the other guy had his in his hands, and you had a gun.”

“So why do I feel sober now?”

She approximates a shrug by barely lifting her shoulders. “I guess that's what happens when you kill somebody. Johnny...” she mutters.

With that single name, it all comes back in a flash, and I know that all the details are there, waiting to be retrieved, but it takes minutes of thinking before it all bleeds into my consciousness.

I'm sitting on the kitchen floor with the gun in my hand. The room is grimly illuminated as the door swings open, then tossed back into pitch when it closes. There are two voices.

“I've been waiting for this all day baby.” The bastard.

“We'll get a drink after round one. I want your cock now.” Melissa.

Then there are other noises, muffled kissing, the unzipping of pants, footsteps into the back part of the apartment. I'm still hard, feels like I'm getting harder by the minute. When the footsteps stop and I hear another door close, I stand up and walk slowly back to Melissa's bedroom. The booze burns fiercely in my belly as I listen. Melissa is starting to moan, and I can hear the bastard saying, “Yeah, fuck that ho. Dirty bitch. Give her what she has coming.” I try the doorknob—locked.

I step back and regard the door with curiosity. A question—when I see what is on the other side, will I be able to do what I came here to do? And that's when I stumble drunkenly backwards, making an awful noise as I smash into a small table outside the bathroom.

“What the fuck was that?” says a voice from inside the room.

Now it's time to move.

The door gives almost too easily from one swift kick, and it's so light it only swings inward about a foot, but I can clearly see a guy about my age on the bed, on his knees, looking at me with horror, and I watch as he pulls out of Melissa's ass long enough to say, “Who the fuck are...”

And then the door comes swinging back on me with vengeance. I stumble back out into the hallway again as it swings open to reveal another person—one who hadn't made a sound—lunging at me with his pants around his ankles. “You little bastard!” he screams, seconds before he becomes tangled in his drawers and falls face down, inches in front of my shoes.

“Dammit!” he screams, “we're gonna kick your ass boy—don't even think about running!”

“No problem,” I say, watching as he struggles to put his pants back on. I point the gun at his head.

Target practicing is easy. But I had been curious as to whether I'd be able to pull the trigger when facing another person. With one squeeze, I understand that not only is it pretty much the same thing, it makes hitting your target even more satisfying.

There's blood on my hands. I lick it instinctively.

“JOHNNY!” screams the bastard, staring at his dead friend.

Another squeeze, and the bastard goes down. “My fucking leg!” he yells, crumpled on the floor.

By this time, Melissa's in the hallway, screaming. “What are you doing?!?”

I point the gun at her. “Get your fucking keys, pick him up, and get your ass outside. I'll let you live a little longer.”

“What kind of incentive is that?” She's in hysterics, barely able to utter a complete sentence.

“If you live, I might tell you why this happened.”

“You aren't going to get away with this,” she mutters as she reaches down to pick up the bastard. His dick is still hanging out of his boxer shorts.

“Put that thing up or I'm shooting it off,” I say, motioning to his member with the gun.

“Jesus—NO!” he screams.

I club him over the head with the butt of the gun, but unlike on the movies, he doesn't pass out immediately. His head just kind of rolls around on his neck as he makes guttural noises. So I hit him another time, this time hard enough that it draws blood. I hold it up to my nose and sniff.

“What the fuck happened to you...” asks Melissa as I lick the blood.

“You did.”

“Fucking shit,” she says, sobbing into her hands, “FUCKING SHIT!” she yells. “The cops will be here any minute—I'm sure one of the neighbors called them.”

I shake my head, smiling. “Now Melissa, you know that's not true. You remember what you told me that time we shook your headboard so hard it put a hole in the wall? 'Don't worry. The guy next door is an intern and is gone most nights. The lady downstairs is deaf—can't hear a thing.' It was reassuring then, and it's reassuring now. So help me pick up this son of a bitch and take me to your fucking car.”

“Do you even know how to drive?”

“NOW!” I scream.

She's crying now, sobbing uncontrollably, as she bends down and throws the bastard's arm over her shoulder. I watch her face. What pain she's feeling. What desperation. I chuckle.

“Are you going to help me? He weighs almost twice as much as I do, I can't do this by myself!”

I walk over, tuck the gun into the front of my pants, and grab his other arm.

“So is this the guy gave you the clap?” I ask as we slowly make our way down the stairs.

“Fuck you,” she sobs. The sleeve of his shirt is wet; she's been wiping tears on it.

“Ever call out my name when he's eating you out?”

“Shut up...”

“Melissa, do you ever think of me while he's fucking you in the ass?”

She stops as we reach the bottom step and turns her face to look at me.

“No. But I thought of him every time we were together.”

The shock is like a punch to the stomach, and as I stand there wondering what to do next, she drops the bastard and lunges at me. Suddenly, her breath is on my face, and her hand is down my pants. Holding the gun.

“So what now, little man,” she dons an evil grin. “You fucking needle dick. Aren't so big when a woman has the controls, huh?” I can feel her reaching down further, searching for the trigger. “There it is,” she says succinctly, smiling. She throws her head back to get the hair out of her face, looks at me with that killer smile, and flutters her eyelashes.

“I wonder,” she says, caressing the gun like she had me so many times. “I wonder how long it would take you to kill yourself if I shot off your balls. You know, assuming you recover. You're so obsessed with them, aren't you? Nothing but sex on your mind. Fucking problem with the world today, if you ask me. Parents, teachers, the clergy—they talk to kids about how bad sex is, how dangerous it can be, instead of teaching them what they need to know about it, so they end up like you—learning about it from pornos, wondering what the difference between fucking and making love is. And I'll tell you—there isn't a difference between fucking and making love.”

Even with her hand so close to ending my friendly relationship with my penis, her breath still smells like heaven.

“Not that it's going to matter when I get done with you.”

Her skin shines in the moonlight, musky from her sweat and stale cigarette smoke.

“Because you won't be able to feel either.”

She squeezes.

“What the...”

She squeezes again and again, nothing happening, except when I finally come in my pants and lose my erection. Her eyes are wide, and before she can completely pull out, I punch her, her face giving way to my fist in an satisfying crunch.

“Safety, Melissa,” I say as she sits on the ground, holding her face in her hands. “No idiot would put a gun so close to his dick without having the safety on.”

I tuck it back in, slowly, careful to make sure I really have the safety on. “Now get the hell up, and let's get on with this.”

Once I have them loaded in the car, we pull out of the complex, the shadows playing games of catch with each other on the dashboard in front of me. Driving isn't as difficult as I imagined. Only takes a few minutes to get used to the brake sensitivity. I go slow anyway; no reason to call attention to myself.

“He's in really bad shape,” Melissa says as we approach the end of the road. The moon is high, painting the world in glowing blue light. Where we are is high above the town below. Lights blink off, lights blink on. In the distance, a police siren.

How could I be forgetting so much, I ask myself as we get out of the car at the top of the hill. Fucking medicine. Fucking goddamned medicine.

By this time, the bastard's awake. Screaming. Help, help, help, but there's nobody here to help. That's why we're here in the first place.

“You are a sick fuck, you know that?” asks Melissa, stepping out of the car, then following me to where I'm standing in the middle of the clearing at the top of the hill. “I tried to help you. I tried to love you. And this is what happens?”

Her shadow barely touches my feet. The moon behind her, she stands as a silhouette, black against the midnight sky.

“You don't love me,” I laugh, tracing my steps around her. “You've never loved anything.”

She's crying as I level the gun to her face. “You don't even love getting fucked by whatever guy you can get your hands on. You just need it. And those are two very different things.”

I squeeze. This time, the safety is off. And I don't miss my target.

An Audience of Shadows Archive


Good job dude!


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