This continues the story begun with this post. It was about as scary as I could devise for today. Happy Halloween!
I grabbed a towel, wiped myself fast and wrapped the dingy thing around me as the doorbell wheezed for the fifth time. I leaped out of the bathroom and barreled dripping down the hall to the front door.
Stop. Started the wrong way first, but I recognized the kitchen door up ahead before I actually got there, turned right around and went half-naked and still damp to the door. I didn’t even hesitate opening it. Bad guys or robbers, mayhemming murderers—on a day like this it just didn’t seem to matter very much. Let them take me off. It’ll be a relief.
Two guys were there. Suits. Nice suits. Armani maybe. Better suits than I owned. Better suits than I remembered ever talking to before. Good ties too. Not too shiny: real silk probably.
Both looked good as well. Healthy. Tanned but not cancerously so. They seemed athletic without flaunting it. Either one could probably beat the crap out of me with one hand tied behind his back and drinking an iced cappuccino at the same time.
Just one of those days.
“Mr. Bronson?” Number one didn’t even move his lips as he asked.
“You want to speak with us.”
“You do.” Number two echoed with no inflection whatsoever. Suddenly I felt as naked as I was.
“You gotta be selling something.”
“Not exactly.” Number one smiled.
“And I don’t think I’m buying.” I started to pull on the door.
“Then I assume you haven’t had time for breakfast yet?” Number two inquired mildly, his face unexpressive.
“I just got outta the shower. Couldn’t you tell?” Moving the door some more.
Number one just kept smiling. “You probably want to visit your kitchen then.”
“Maybe after you’ve gone.” And I tried to completely shut the door.
But number two simply pushed on inside. It wasn’t any effort for him at all. And his friend followed. All three of us were just cozy together there in my little hallway.
“Maybe right now, Bronson.”
Number one shut the door completely. I felt claustrophobic.
It was a hold-up. I knew it. You shouldn’t think about things: it makes them come true.
“What do you think you’re doing?” It sounded lame even as I said it.
Number two started pushing me down my own hall, backward, toward the kitchen. He thumped my bare chest with both hands, repeatedly, to make me move. He was pushing at a pretty good rate. I stumbled over my own feet, and fell flat on my rump.
Number one, trailing behind, laughed. “Clumsy little runt, isn’t he?”
Number two kicked me. Hard. Right in my gut. I couldn’t even breathe, he slammed me so hard. And he never even grimaced; his face stayed blank and unconcerned. “Get up, f——face.”
I just sat there, hurt, trying for air like a landed trout, a pathetic excuse for a man in a green bath towel. I wasn’t moving fast enough for old number two. He kicked again. Harder.
I was gasping, the wind totally knocked out of me, vision swimming. I couldn’t move.
So he kicked me again. Really hard. He was smiling now. I think I felt something crack in my lower chest. A rib? I couldn’t breathe worse than ever, and my gut was a swollen bag of hot pain.
My sight went dark as I sagged completely supine on the hallway linoleum.
“Oh, no, you don’t. Dipstick. You’re staying with us.”
Hands grabbed me, hauled me upright, roughly, against the wall. Hands I didn’t even see slapped my face about a dozen times, rapidly. I sobbed out loud. My belly and ribs hurt like hell. Whitehot pain with every strangled breath.
“Go ahead and cry. But you’re staying here, buddy boy.” And he shoved me on toward the kitchen. Seven eight nine staggering-backwards steps and I smashed into the door frame.
“God! What a jerk.” Number one’s voice chuckled.
“We really sure he’s the one we’re after?”
“Oh, yeah. He’s the one.”
“Hard to believe. —Come on, douchebag. Let’s take a good look in your kitchen.” He grabbed me by the shoulders, spun me and shoved me right through the swinging door. I fell down inside, and even half-conscious I saw it.
The kitchen was a shambles. Literally: a slaughterhouse.
Everything was blood.
“My my. What have we here?” Number one was still laughing. This was real funny.
“What have you been doing in here, Bronson?” Even number two found it humorous.
There was a body in the chair at the table right in front of me. She was naked. Lying flat on my back, I was looking right up at her. She was ripped open, and I could smell her intestines, a warmish toilet odor—excrement. A blonde, she was looking at me, her mouth hanging obscenely open. But she was dead. It was her blood that was all over the place. All around my head.
“Looks like you’ve been a bad, bad boy, Bronson.”
And number two kicked me once more. In the crotch.
I vomited. The pain, the hideous kitchen, terror and shock all collapsed into me.
“Nice job, Richie.”
“Goddamn. The wad puked on my shoe.” His name was Richie. For some reason I focused on that. He just kicked me again. Right in the nuts. Again. “You puked on my shoe!”
I knew then I was going to die. I really couldn’t breathe any more.
Richie still couldn’t get over it. “The little rat’s rear puked on my goddam shoe, Travis.”
Now I knew both of their names. Travis and Richie. Realizing that made it hurt a little less. Realizing that they didn’t care if I knew their names scared me. And the blonde was still somewhere behind me, sitting dead and gory in my kitchen chair.
My crotch felt warm. Bleeding? No… not quite so bad. Travis looked at me, noticing it himself. Worse.
“He’s peed his pants, Richie. Look at him. He peed his goddan pants!”
“Would have if he had any pants.”
“Peed his little towel then. What a jerk.”
“Guess he’ll need another shower now.”
“Guess he will, Richie.”
“Gonna take another shower now, Georgie-boy? Now that you’ve gone and wet yer little self.” He kicked me. There. “Come on, creep. Talk to us.”
Travis had moved around above my head. Now he kicked me in the back and neck. “Come on, Bronson. React. You miserable cocksucker.”
Everything hurt. More than hurt—red stinging pain made my body feel jagged. I couldn’t see straight; the two goons and the kitchen looked blurry. Where was the dead girl now? Still in her chair, jerk. The dead don’t move. Then I realized I was crying.
I was terrified. They were going to kill me. I didn’t know why. Two strangers walked into my house on a rotten morning, before I’d even had breakfast, and they were going to kill me. Torture me first. And for how long?
Now it was more than just tears in my eyes. I sucked in an agonizing breath and sobbed. Out loud. I sobbed in sheer pain and fear.
My neck and shoulder exploded. “What a wuss. The little baby’s cryin’, Rich.”
Richie took a swing at my crotch again. “Don’t cry for me, Argentina. You spineless little crap factory.”
Another kick from each of them and the whole world seemed to turn into fire. Things popped inside of me, cold, and then it seemed warmth was oozing through me. They were sending me to join the blonde. Sheer agony bloomed through my whole being. I really felt I was dying…
…And the alarm shrilled…
Anguish. Rolling waves of mindbending distress. Stabs of torture and wild throbs filled my being. Everything felt hot and cold all at once and all together. Everything was torment. Redness going black…
I cleaned up Travis and Ritchieʼs dialog a little, and at this level it doesnʼt even seem to do any harm (maybe make them just a touch less dangerous).
©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.