Dream a Little Dream CP2 & CP3
|Fiction Novel excerpts, short stories, etc.
Dream a Little Dream CP2 & CP3
01-15-2009, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Dream a Little Dream CP2 & CP3
Not that the first one got much attention, but here's number two
Chapter Two- A Friend and Another Loss
September 30, 2001: 11:55 PM
Dave is driving with the windows rolled down. He has a smile worthy of a champion on his face, in deference to the earlier events. He remembered his mother say once
‘Happiness is the best revenge.’
Or was it Erica?
And so he picks this time to use her advice. The radio is blasting out “Killer Queen” and Dave is singing along, smiling through all the verses.
October 1, 2001: 12:00 AM
A good number of confused people watch him as he drives by. They’re all going the other way.
Dave. Says Erica, sounding concerned.
Not now, insists Dave, ushering her silence. She responds only with more noise
They’re all going the other way. Dave ignores this comment. He can SEE that they’re all going the other way. So what?
|There might be some swearing... Don't remember. Alchohol references... Um, i think the little boy dies in this chapter too.
She’s got a point, says The Father.
Dave stops thinking. The Father and Erica have agreed on something-it must be monumentally important.
Dave turns off his radio quickly, and hears nothing but honking. He looks around carefully, and what he sees dismays him.
Dave is the one going the other way.
He’s driving in the wrong lane. All the other cars are going the other way because Dave is driving in the wrong lane. A large semi is hurtling towards the Bentley. Dave reacts impulsively and swerves off to the shoulder lane. He’s almost too late. The semi doesn’t even attempt to swerve away. It rips the door off the side of the car, and the Bentley is sent spinning over the guardrail and into the ditch. Dave hits his head, and his vision is slowly becoming red.
The Father and Erica are screaming. Just screaming.
Dave is shocked awake. The river is still here. The bridge still isn’t. Dave puts his hand to his temple. He can feel a wet stickiness on his fingers. He brings it to his mouth and tastes copper. Blood. What was Other Dave doing? He wonders pitifully. Dave double-checks the banks, but there is certainly no bridge. He lets out a cry of despair.
Dave looks around on his side carefully. There is a hill about two hundred yards away. A large boulder is right behind him. Otherwise, Dave’s side is barren and lost. Nothing but endless, dry desert. Dave has a feeling that he could walk forever on this side, and there would be nothing but the cracked ground and dusty air.
A figure appears faintly on the hill.
Dave calls out.
‘Hello?’ He yells loudly. The figure does not respond, but continues walking towards him. As the figure approaches, Dave can see that it’s a woman. She has long, brown hair that reaches down the middle of her back. A large, pink ribbon ties her hair into a ponytail. Her eyes are a startling green, and she smiles at Dave knowingly.
“Hello?” Dave asks warily, craning his neck to get a better view. She beams at him. The lady is suddenly much closer than she was.
“Hello, Dave,” she says seductively, raising her eyebrows. “I’m Erica.”
The semi driver has a load of grapes that he’s trying to get to San Diego. It’s already late. He justifies leaving the driver of the Bentley in the interest of saving his own ass, and drives away. All the other cars on the highway that see Dave’s wreck are able to justify leaving him where he is.
Maria Juanita Lopez is driving down the highway. The furthest thing from her mind is picking up people who are ditched at the side of the road. She’s thinking about her youngest son, Ferrard, and her husband, who she knows is drinking. She’s hardly paying attention to the road.
Maria, however, is a good person in a sea of bad. When she drives past where Dave’s wife’s Bentley has turned over in the ditch, she cannot help but pull over.
When she reaches the overturned Bentley, she isn’t surprised to see a dead man. He’s bleeding roughly from the temple.
Dead people don’t bleed, she thinks.
Sure enough, when she reaches in to check his pulse, she has no trouble finding one. Maria reaches into her pocket, trying for her phone. When she checks it, the battery is dead.
She unbuckles Dave’s seatbelt. Gravity takes hold, and Dave falls onto the roof of the car, crumpling.
“Damn it,” exclaims Maria. She rudely hauls Dave’s body out of the Bentley. His eyes flutter gently, and close again, exposing slivers of white. Maria pulls his body by the wrists up out of the ditch to where her Corolla is idling. She opens the passenger door, and heaps Dave’s limp body into the seat. She does up his seat for good measure, then hops into the driver’s chair and floors the accelerator.
Maria looks Dave over. He’s well dressed, and handsome. Probably, she thought, a married, successful middle-age man. She remembers the Bentley.
Maybe a lawyer, she thinks.
Dave coughs a gurgled breath, opening his eyes slowly. His chest rises and falls fast, and hard.
“Are you alright?” asks Maria, putting a hand to Dave’s forehead out of habit. Dave touches his hand to his temple. He brings his hand to his mouth, and tastes copper. He shrugs weakly.
“I’m bleeding,” he says pointedly. Maria smiles in spite of herself.
“I noticed,” she says, nodding.
“I had a weird dream too…” he says vaguely, trailing off.
“I’m Maria,” says Maria.
“Dave,” says Dave, and tries to shake her hand. An excruciating pain rips across his temple. He moans quietly.
“Are you alright?” asks Maria sharply.
“Just fine,” he lies. A tear crawls down his cheek. “Actually, I’m not. I just divorced my wife.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s alright,” says Dave calmly, “It’s not your fault.” He turns away as tears steak down his face.
There is silence.
“Do you mind…If I ask you… Why you divorced?” Asks Maria carefully.
“Long story.” Says Dave simply.
Maria nods and is silent.
“I’ll tell you if you like.”
“Only if you want,” she agrees uneasily.
Dave begins to recite his story, purposely leaving out the part with the Modern Cowboy. Dave hasn’t even decided if he exists or not.
He does, assures Erica.
October 1, 2001: 11:45 AM
Once Dave has finished, it’s almost noon, and he is superbly tired.
“Where do you live, Maria?’ he asks suddenly.
“Topeka,” she says wearily, “It’s a long drive.”
“Is it alright if I take a nap?”
“Of course,” she responds. Dave is already asleep.
When Dave awakes, he sees Erica standing over him. She’s wearing new clothes-a green kimono. It makes her eyes pop and sparkle.
“Wake up,” she says disdainfully. Dave rolls over, sits, braces his hands on the ground, and stands up. He brushes the dust off his pants. The river beside him is black as ever, and-
”There’s still no bridge, Dave.” Dave sighs disappointedly.
“I don’t suppose you know why,” he suggests.
“I don’t,” she says, “But I think I know how we can find out.” Dave looks at her quizzically.
Erica points to the desert.
“No,” says Dave firmly, “There’s nothing out there. “
“Have you seen for yourself? Have you left this river, even once in your life?” Dave kicks up a cloud of dust. He shakes his head.
“Then we go,” she says stubbornly. She walks towards the sun, out to the desert. Her green kimono billows like a flag in the wind. She turns her head to the side, looking back at Dave.
“Coming?” she asks.
Dave hurries to catch up.
They walk for three hours. Erica stops suddenly, beside a large boulder, and falls to her knees. The green kimono has been covered in the grayish dust of the desert.
“I’m exhausted.” She says, and falls onto her back. Dave coughs loudly, and also falls to his back.
“So am I. We rest here.” Erica nods her head in agreement. They both fall into sleep at the same time.
Dave flutters to consciousness. His first thoughts are of the blue-eyed man.
Dave, we have something for you, chant Erica and The Father in unison. Dave jerks awake suddenly.
“Hello, sleepyhead,” says Maria teasingly. Dave doesn’t answer.
Hello, Dave. A voice he’s never heard before.
Who is this? Asks Dave viciously. Get them out; it’s a handful with you two already.
A mental picture snaps across Dave’s field of vision. Now he knows the voice.
It is the Modern Cowboy.
“Dave, are you alright?” asks Maria cautiously.
“Yes,” says Dave, sounding panicked.
“Do you need me to pull over?”
No, says the Father.
Yes, says Erica.
You have to throw up anyways, says the Modern Cowboy.
Dave nods hurriedly. Maria jerks the Corolla over to the shoulder, and Dave opens the door before the car has even stopped. He throws up violently in the ditch, blood and cheerios, and a mineral taste fills his mouth. Dave falls to his knees painfully on the concrete, gravel digging into his skin. He brings up a mouthful of bile, and spits it out into the ditch. It leaves a foul taste in his mouth. Maria rushes out of the car and rubs his back. Dave is shaking wildly, his legs turned to jelly.
Dave gets back into the car with Maria’s help. The foul taste is changing and fermenting in his mouth.
Doesn’t that feel better? Comments the Father.
No, says Dave.
Don’t be so cynical, says the Father.
He can be as cynical as he fucking wants, Erica throws in. Thankfully, the Modern Cowboy is silent. Dave is crying and coughing and his head his beginning to ache as the folks in his head argue. Maria is silent, but keeps snatching worried glances at Dave as he keels over in the seat. He’s paler than the moon on a clear night.
The cowboy is in my head, He thinks dejectedly.
Hello Dave, says the Cowboy.
Get away from here, says Dave.
I’ve always been here, Dave, says the Cowboy calmly, as if speaking to a first-grader.
What? Asks Dave suspiciously.
Remember the Small Voices? I am them. They are me.
How do I know what your voice sounds like?
Please, Dave. We are all in your head, after all.
Dave shakes his head. The voices are silent once again. Relief. His stomach even seems to be better, and the thin bile-like taste in his mouth is clearing away.
Dave and Maria say nothing but greeting words to each other for the remainder of the trip. There is nothing to be said, it seems.
October 2, 2001: 10:00 PM
The silvery-blue Corolla pulls up into the driveway of the Lopez residence. It’s a quaint brick home, with lawn ornaments scattered helter-skelter across the overgrown grass. A pink flamingo is standing just to the right, and it seems to be glaring at Dave when he looks at it. The front wall is brick, but the adjacent walls are yellowish stucco. In front of the living room window, there is a small garden. Dave identifies beets, squash, and some dragon lilies. The driveway is cracking, and some needled weeds are growing in the fissures.
“This is my house,” comments Maria sullenly.
“It’s nice,” says Dave automatically.
“My husband is home. Brace yourself, okay? It might be best if you stay out here while I talk to him.”
“As you wish,” agrees Dave.
Maria walks up to the front door, steeling herself, and walking into the house.
Ferrard greets Maria’s entrance as she screams. His cold dead eyes accuse her of negligence.
Her husband walks in, holding a bloody knife in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other.
“Mah-ree-uh…” he slurs, “Wehlcum back.”
“What have you done…?” asks Maria in a quiet voice. Paul gestures the knife at Ferrard.
“Oh… This?” he says, dragging out the ‘I’ sound in some absurd French accent, “He just…just…woun’t shaddup. L’il bugger, that… that’ll *hic* show him.” Maria slaps his face just as hard as she can.
“Hun… what… I dot you’d like thiiiis.”
“You killed Ferrard, you bastard. You got drunk and killed him with a fucking kitchen knife.” She points at the door. “Get out.” Her blinding rage is stopping the grief from coming, holding it back like the Hoover Dam holds back lakes of water.
The Hoover Dam won’t break tomorrow, though.
Paul bellows in drunken rage, and slashes out at Maria with the knife. It slices her face from the eye to the cheek. Blood pours onto her face. Paul takes another swing, but Maria skillfully dodges it. It lands in the wooden door, getting stuck in to the hilt.
The door bursts open. Dave has heard the scream and has come to investigate. He sees a large man pulling at a knife that is stuck in the door. He finally yanks it free, screaming in rage, and swings the knife over Dave’s head. Deftly, Dave ducks the blow and runs into the kitchen, pulling Maria along with him. Maria is sobbing, tears mixing with blood and stinging her cut. Dave grabs a chair form the table, and when Paul runs in, waving the knife like a crazed lunatic, Dave hurls the chair at his head. The seat catches his head, and the knife tumbles from his hands. Paul tumbles also, and falls on the blade of his own knife. It is buried in his flesh, up to the hilt, and he yells an inhuman scream of pain and shock. Maria, disgusted but at the same time not willing to look away, stares on. The screams turn to gurgles, and blood rises out of his mouth like a fountain. His eyes roll back into his skull. Maria can finally look away, and she turns, retching. It’s not a calm death. Paul’s fingers dig into the linoleum, trying to cling to life. He bites into the plastic, muscles flexing, nails breaking. The blood is soaking his clean, white shirt.
Dave can finally look away. It’s not much help-the blood is trickling past his shoes-but he manages to catch Maria as she faints. He takes her unconscious body careful over the dying drunk, and places her on a silken pink couch. It looks vaguely Asian in manufacture, although Dave can’t quite say why.
Dave leaves Maria on the couch, and steps towards Paul. He’s fully dead now, but the blood still flows from his back and mouth. Dave tries to gingerly grab his shirt, but Paul was a heavy drinker. It shows now, his belly protruding from his once-white shirt like a mountain on a plain. Dave can’t budge his huge body.
He bites the bullet and grabs Paul under the armpits, feeling the warm blood squish against his fingertips. Dave musters all the bicep strength in his arms (not much, unfortunately) and pulls. There is a slight resistance, and then the drunkard’s corpse slides smoothly over the fake tile, towards the basement door. In a single fluid motion, Dave tosses the limp body down the stairs. His head makes empty noises as it hits four of the steps
We’ve heard that before, right Dave? Says Erica.
No. No. NO. Says the Father.
We haven’t heard that sound before. Dave tells Erica. She and the Father and the Modern Cowboy are all silent.
01-15-2009, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Dream a Little Dream CP3
Here is chapter three... read chapter two first.
Chapter Three-A Burial and a New Life
Erica is the one asleep this time. Her eyes are closed in a soft slumber. Her breath is leaking out in quiet breaths. Her kimono flows almost sleepily under her, contrasting deeply with the brown dirt underneath her. The pink lily in her hair blows dreamily in the breeze.
“Why are you watching me, David?” asks Erica, her eyes remaining unopened. Dave starts back about a foot.
“I was thinking about waking you up,” says Dave, but waking her up is far from what he was thinking. He was thinking about her pale, flawless skin. Looking at it sends cold chills up his spine.
“You certainly were taking your time,” she says, turning over and opening her eyes. The green flash he sees is startling yet beautiful, her eyes glowing in the steadily growing morning. A beautiful sheaf of brown hair falls unevenly to the side, the pink ribbon cast beside the rock. Her shadow is thrown, ghostly pale, behind her. She smiles slightly. “We should be going anyways.” She says nonchalantly.
Dave nods. “Yup, we should probably motor,” Dave says. Erica looks at him quizzically.
“Slang,” he elaborates.
“Oh.” Says Erica, still looking confused. She springs to her feet, grabbing the ribbon in a fluid motion. She quickly ties her hair in the bow. Her hair shimmers.
Dave paces out in the direction of the sun. There is a lot of walking to be had.
After three hours and sixteen minutes of paced walking, Dave and Erica come to a wooden signpost in the middle if the desert. The hot sun has cracked and bleached the wood white as bone. The sign looks ancient, and is written in some sort of old language.
“I can’t read it,” points out Dave.
“Nor can I,” states Erica, “But it is a sign of something or other. We should keep walking.”
Erica marches off again towards the horizon. Dave runs to catch up, joining her right by her side. She smiles slightly. Dave squints at the oncoming sun. The heat is almost unbearable. He sweats profusely, but the liquid is stripped off his body as soon as it is produced.
Dave can feel it creeping in his throat like a terrible insect. At first, he tried to deny it exists, but the effort is futile, and he thinks the thought that he’s been biting back.
You’re thirsty, Dave, he thinks.
And now it comes like a dam breaking, or rather, a dam drying up. The spider stretches its eerie legs, tickling his throat and drying his tongue. His mouth seems to be made of sandpaper, and the side of his cheeks rasp angrily against his teeth. His mind screams for water, every pore dry and cracking.
His vision goes white, the sun beating senselessly into his vision and blinding him. The thirst is rocking his body now, but he tries to keep walking nonetheless. His tongue shrivels meekly in his mouth, a useless flap of skin hanging in his mouth.
“Are you okay?” Erica asks urgently. She grabs hold of his shirt as he falls helplessly to the ground, clawing at the dirt in hope of unearthing some hidden spring.
“Dave, are you alright?” she asks, her voice on the brink of panic. Dave collapses into the dust, his face plowing into the ground.
“DAVE!” Erica screams, flipping him over.
Dave’s blinded eyes slowly turn to black. Erica slaps his face and this is the final trigger that sends him plummeting into unconsciousness.
October 3, 2001: 1:19 AM
As Dave’s eyes open, his hand springs to his face. The skin there is tender, as though he’d been slapped.
“-wake up, oh wake up, please, please,” He hears in his head. The voice sounds absurdly familiar.
But I’m already awake, thinks Dave.
Yup, you are, agrees the Father.
Where’s Erica? He asks.
Away, says the Father.
What? Asks Dave. In his life, none of his voices have ever been ‘away’.
In fact, I seriously doubt that she’ll be back, he says.
Dave sees a quick image of a woman in a green kimono, bent over a man. She’s crying, and-
Where is she? Inquires Dave urgently.
No clue. Says the Father. Really, I have no idea. He sounds almost smug.
There is the sound of crying, the woman is crying and
“TELL ME!” Dave shouts. His mental scream leaks into the real world, and he wakes Maria from her sleep. She sits up starkly, staring around. She opens her mouth to speak, but her words are drowned by Dave’s sobbing. Maria bounds up from the couch, and kneels by Dave, who’s lying on the couch opposite. His hands are over his eyes.
“Dave, what’s the matter?” asks Maria soothingly.
“I-It I was just a nightmare.” He lies. Maria checks her watch and presses the ‘nite-glo’ button on her watch. The green light comes up from the watch and illuminates her face with a greenish glow.
“It’s four-thirty,” she says, “I’m not going to even bother trying to get back to sleep. Are you?”
Dave shakes his head. There will be no more sleep for him tonight. “Then I’ll make some coffee.” She says, standing up.
“Black for me,” he tells her.
Maria smiles broadly.
“I figured as much.”
Maria walks over to the kitchen, stepping carefully over the coagulated blood. She makes no remark at the disappearance of her husband.
She’s in shock. Remarks the Modern Cowboy.
Thanks, Tips, spits Dave.
Several minutes later, Maria trots out of the kitchen carrying two coffees. She smiles dimly and hands a mug out to him. Dave takes it gingerly, and sits up on the couch. Maria takes a seat beside him, clasping her mug with both hands. She looks at him expectantly.
“Thank you.” He says warmly.
“No problem,” she replies. “Looks like you need it.”
“That’d be true.” He tells her.
Maria suddenly bursts into tears, and drops her coffee onto the table. The mug shatters and spills coffee on to the rug. It spreads like a brown bloodstain, and sprays porcelain mug pieces across the room. Dave puts a comforting hand on Maria’s back.
“It was so fast…” She moans senselessly. Dave looks at her, and puts his hand softly on her shoulder. The cotton of her shirt is sensual on his palm.
“I left him alone with that son of a bitch. I left him ALONE with him!” she shrieks. Tears pour down her soft olivine cheeks. Dave strokes her back slowly.
“It’s okay. Let it all out.” He says.
It’s some time later. The sun is high in the sky, and beams of light beat into the living room. Dave and Maria have bleached the floor. Dave has taken the body of Maria’s husband down into the cellar and buried him beneath the floor. His corpse stinks.
You’ve smelled that before… said the Modern Cowboy.
No, you haven’t, disagreed the Father.
Dave considers making a cross for the grave, and then realizes it doesn’t matter.
He’s going to hell anyways.
01-15-2009, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Dream a Little Dream CP4
Chapter Four-The Train Station and the Gas Station
October 4, 2001: 9:00 AM
Dave looks at Maria expectantly.
“Are you ready? We’re leaving in ten minutes. Maria looks at him, concerned.
“But I look like a train wreck…”
Dave rolls his eyes.
“We’re going to be on a highway. Nobody cares what you look like.”
Maria grumbles and starts for the door.
She needs this time, Dave, says the Modern Cowboy calmly. She needs this time to grieve for her son, and her husband.
|I don't remember...Uh... violence. Swearing as always... so yeah... it's not terribly offensive
“Yeah?” she asks, turning around sharply.
“Take as much time as you need.”
Maria’s expression softens. She smiles warmly.
“I’m going to take a shower, okay?”
Dave nods. “Sure thing.” Maria trots up the carpeted steps, and Dave hears the spray of the shower. He sits on the couch, rubbing his eyes. He hasn’t been able to sleep since he woke up screaming.
Like a reverse coma, says The Modern Cowboy.
He’s just overtired, explains the Father.
Then he’d be sleeping, argues the Cowboy loudly. Dave closes his eyes.
Reverse coma…? Is that as stupid as it sounds? Asks the Father.
Someone else is in a coma… elaborates the Cowboy.
What? Asks Dave.
There is silence.
What? Asks Dave again, urgently.
No response. The shower upstairs turns off, and Dave can hear the trickles of water like they’re right next to him. His vision blurs over, and he slumps onto his knees. It’s all of ten seconds before his vision goes away completely.
Dave opens his eyes. Erica is standing over him. Her eyes are wide and bloodshot. Her brown hair is ruffled and the red ribbon is nowhere to be seen.
Dave tries to sit up, and Erica pushes him back down with her hand.
“You need to rest,” she says, concerned.
“Wha… Where is this?” asks Dave looking around. He’s on a cot, with his head resting on some red fabric. The area around him seems to be made of wood, but it’s dry, grey, and cracking. Dusty cobwebs hang from the ceiling.
“It’s… A train station of some sort,” says Erica, gesturing to a set of steel train tracks, “It was a few miles down from where you collapsed.”
“A few miles?” he inquires, “How did I get here?”
“I carried you.” She says, shrugging. Dave smiles.
“There’s a lot of strength in your tiny-ass arms.” Erica giggles in spite of herself.
“You’re mean,” she says.
Dave closes his eyes.
“How long was I out?”
“Almost two days.” Dave looks up at this.
“ Er… How long have you been awake?” he asks.
“Almost two days.” She replies nonchalantly. “I’ve been waiting for you to wake up.” She turns to him.
Dave sees for the first time that her eyes are bloodshot, and there are bluish bags under her eyes.
“Oh my god,” says Dave. “You should rest… Two days?”
“No, you need to be taken care of.” Erica takes a soaking cloth and plops it on Dave’s forehead. The cool water drips down his face.
“This place is great,” she says happily. “I found a working water pump, and there’s a storehouse full of food.” She takes a packet of roasted peanuts out of her pocket, opens it, and pops one into her mouth.
Dave sighs. “I know this sounds strange… But I’m really tired.”
Erica nods. “I’d imagine. You were tossing and turning, and moaning about something.”
Dave wrinkles his brow. “What was I saying?”
“Talking to someone named Maria. She your girlfriend?” asks Erica mockingly.
Dave shakes his head. “No. You’re the only person I’ve seen in quite a while.” Erica tilts her head.
“Who was the last?” she asks.
Dave shakes his head.
Erica clutches his hand.
“It was near three or four weeks ago. Another woman came from over that hill. She had gray hair, and some glasses that made her eyes look wide and open. She looked real familiar, but I don’t know from where or when.” Dave pauses.
“Anyways, she had this purple handbag. It was full of these little china kittens, and they clinked together pretty loudly when she walked. I remember that her dress was the same purple as her bag, and she had this leather belt tied around her waist. She had these big hoop earrings too.
When she finally made it over the hill, I ran over to her, because she looked pretty sick and because she was old. She coughed damn loud when I reached over to grab her arm.
‘Thanks, sonny,” she said. I told her it was no problem, the least I could do, and walked her over to the river.”
“She sat down, and didn’t say anything for a long time. I just stood there with my hand on her shoulder. When she finally spoke, she sounded tired and old and sick.
‘So sonny, tell me, what are you doing here?’
It didn’t sound like a question to me.
‘I’m trying to cross this river.’ I said. She smiled, and looked at me. I remember her eyes, so well.
‘And why would that be?’ she asked me. I’d never really thought about it before, so I just said
‘There’s something on the other side I need.’ She laughed a little, a weird little titter.”
Dave imitates her laugh, and Erica smiles and giggles a little. “Funny, Dave,” she says.
“Anyways, she says to me
‘And what might that be?’ and that didn’t sound like a question either.
I frowned a little, and then blushed. She looked at me again.
‘I don’t know,’ I admitted finally. The lady nodded to me, and then reached into her bag. Her hand clinked against a few of the china kitties, and then she took out this old medallion.”
Dave reaches into his shirt, and takes a small necklace off from around his neck. It has a little medallion on the end. Inscribed into the old, scratched, dull silver is a symbol.
Erica places her hand on it.
“It’s beautiful…” she sighs. “But creepy, sorta. Can you put it away?” Dave obliges, and puts the medallion back into his shirt. He starts to speak again.
“She put it right in my hand. She looked at me, and then her eyes… Dimmed. She was done.
‘That’s all I need. When the time comes,” she said, “You’ll know exactly what to do.’
I stood there and looked at her for such a long time. She looked at me eventually and said
‘What are you waiting for? Put it on. Don’t ever, ever take it off.’ I smiled and told her I wouldn’t. She stood up. ‘I love you,’ she said, and threw her body into the water. It took two seconds, and then she was gone. Her purple handbag as well.”
“I sat down and cried, and then I fell asleep. I was sad for two weeks after that.”
Erica sighs, and then sits down on Dave’s cot. She places one warm hand on Dave’s chest, and then one on his arm.
“I’m so tired,” she says loudly. Dave nods.
“It’s weird, but I actually am too.”
“Move over then,” she says smiling. Dave scoots to the right.
“Take it away.”
Erica lies down by Dave, and closes her eyes.
Even though they don’t know it, they fall asleep at the same time.
Dave wakes up at midday, and there’s about ninety things happening at once. Maria is leaning over him, with a cold cloth. She’s smiling warmly, and looking down at his face. There are cold beads of water streaming down his face.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” she mocks. “Wasn’t it you steaming up my ass to get ready?” Dave slaps her playfully.
It’s true though, says the Father.
Arrgh, you asshole, says Erica.
Dave squints his eyes.
“You alright?” asks Maria. Dave waves an impatient hand at her. She frowns.
Erica? Asks Dave urgently.
Yep, it’s me… says Erica.
Where were you? He asks.
Fucking around, says the Father.
Shut up, old man, says Erica, I was sleeping.
Dave dimly recalls that he’s been awake since Erica was sleeping.
“Dave, what is going on?” asks Maria.
Answer her, Dave, says the Father.
But you have questions for me, don’t you? Asks Erica.
No. And yes. Says Dave. But later.
“Sorry, Maria,” he says imploringly, staring up at her. “Something weird just happened.”
Maria looks at him disapprovingly.
“You can explain it on the way.” Dave sits up.
“Where are we going?”
“Away. South to Osage City.”
“Let’s go then. I’ll explain on the way. But…”
“But you’re going to think I’m insane.”
“I already do. Let’s go.”
October 4, 2001: 1:00 PM
“You’ve been hearing voices.”
“In your head.”
“Since you were six.”
“And what happened when you were six?”
Dave shakes his head.
“I don’t remember.”
Liar! Shrieks the Father.
If he says he doesn’t, than he doesn’t, says Erica just as loudly.
“You crazy son of a bitch.” Dave raises his eyebrows.
“I told you you’d say that.”
“Now I mean it. I’m going to stay with you though… We need each other. I don’t have anywhere to go. We’re going to hit Osage City here soon. When we do, we’re gonna keep going. I want to get as far away as I fucking can.”
He voice hits fever pitch, and her eyes grow watery in their sockets. She takes a folded map out of the glovebox, and opens it quickly, tearing one folded crease slightly.
“After Osage, we’re going to go right to Emporia. Emporia, to Cassoday. Cassoday to Wichita. Wichita to Mulvane, Mulvane to Hunter, Hunter to Crescent, and then right to Oklahoma City.”
Dave nods intently.
“What are we going to do there?”
“We’re going to take it slow… I want to stop in every town. We’ll figure it out on the way, alright?”
Some of the edge leaves her voice.
“Sure thing,” says Dave warmly.
Maria looks at the dashboard. She grumbles.
“Low on gas. We’re going to stop.” Dave looks at the dashboard as well, as if to verify this statement.
October 4, 2001: 1:22 PM
There is a gas station up ahead. The letters on the faded blue sign have been gone for a long time. The rain here had beaten the paint to a dull sort of smudge.
Two old-fashioned pumps line the front of the store. There are no cars parked at either of them, so Maria pulls into the first stall. The door of her convertible squeaks open as she steps out. She looks at the cracked pavement, and the dirty white walls of the adjacent convenience store.
“Some gas station,” she says disdainfully to Dave, looking around. Dave takes the rusty metal handle, and plugs it into the gas tank.
“I’ll go pay,” says Maria.
The man inside the convenience store is hefty, but not obese. His white shirt is thin and stained with grease, and it does a poor job of concealing the coarse black hair on his chest. He’s wearing a pair of blue overalls that have seen better days. He’s bald, but his five o’clock shadow is creeping up his chin.
“Now, what can I do, for a pretty missy such as yourself?” he asks in a drawling Texan accent.
“I bought some gas,” Maria says slowly.
“Right, right. That’ll come to… um…”
He mumbles under his breath.
“eightnsix, carry the one.”
“Sixty eight dollars and ninety four cent.”
Maria looks suspicious.
“Are you sure? Maybe you want to use the calculator for that?”
The fat man in the greasy overalls sneers.
“Maybe you want to get out of my dern’ gas station,” he says quickly, “My math is sharp ‘s it ever was.”
Maria shrugs, because the next gas station is too far away for her to get on so little gas.
“Fine then, sixty-eight it is.” She agrees limply.
The gas station attendant glares at her as he punches in the numbers. They make odd little clicking sounds. He holds out a fat, hairy-knuckled hand.
“Sixty eight dollars. Ninety four cents.”
Maria digs in her purse and removes a credit card. The attendant shakes his head.
“Cash only. Visa is expensive for me.” Maria shakes her head this time.
“I don’t have cash. You can charge me for it but-” The clerk’s hand turns over and grabs Maria’s wrist. Maria tries to jerk away, but his grip is strong, so she goes nowhere.
“Questioning my math. Buying gas but not paying for it. Stupid city folk have-no-respect.”
The clerk swings Maria around, and throws her headlong into a chocolate bar stand. Maria falls over dazed as assorted chocolate bars rain down around her feet.
Meanwhile, the clerk has obtained his baseball bat from underneath the counter. Usually this bat is reserved for robbers (and has the blood of quite a few stained into it), but today he’s going to eliminate the thieving city woman who stole gas from him.
Maria thinks quickly and throws a chocolate bar at the clerk. He uses some hidden, lighting-fast speed and bats it away. Pieces of chocolate go flying everywhere. He laughs heartily. Maria jumps to her feet, trying to run away, but the clerk whips the baseball bat at Maria’s legs. It hurtles through the air, and when it makes contact with the back of her legs, she crumples. The clerk reaches down and grabs the bat off the floor.
“What can I do for you, missy?” he asks, raising the bat over his head like a sword.
“Nothing more, we’ll be leaving now,” says Dave. He brings a golf club sideways around his back, and it makes sickening contact with the clerk’s head. There is a hollow noise, and a crack, and the clerk falls over into a rack of sunflower seeds. Dave drops the golf club.
“Are you alright?” he asks, turning to Maria.
No, says the Father.
Yes, says Erica.
Let’s find out, says the Modern Cowboy.
“I’ll be alright,” says Maria, feeling her temples. “That was weird, though.”
“That it was,” agrees Dave. Maria smiles a little.
Dave looks at the more-or-less ruined convenience store.
“Let’s blow this pop stand,” he says.
01-16-2009, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Is anyone ever going to comment?
01-16-2009, 10:58 AM
I'm The Crazy One
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: On a Grassy Knoll, Next To a Lone Gunman
Is anyone ever going to comment?
It is quite a long piece, and most people may have some trouble reading through it all in one sitting. You just posted this less than 24 hours ago, so be patient
Plus, a good thing to do in the meantime is try to critique some other members' works. I noticed that you really don't have to many comments for anyone else, and we kind of live on the motto: Critique to be critiqued!
Just a friendly suggestion!
This Is Your Life and It's Ending One Minute At a Time . . .
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01-16-2009, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thanks... posted the first chapter like a week ago. Anyways. Thank you i will
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