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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cutthroat Heroes - sample


(1st draft. Excuse the typos, if any.)

CARMEN

The first thing I did was drink. I got hammered drunk, and then I ran into the woods and wept and screamed. Neighbors were far off, so they didn't matter.

“Whyyyyy!?!?!” I screamed. “Phil! My love!!! Whyyyyyy??? Come back! Come back! OH-GOD! HELP ME!!!!”

A plane flew over the trees – one of those fat jets. I yelled at it – yelled through its loud engines.

“He left me! Left meeeeeeeeeee!”

I leaned against a tree, blowing my nose on a leaf. My throat hurt. I was spitting blood. Good! I liked seeing my blood. I deserved to bleed. To hurt. I messed up real bad. I messed up the one relationship that mattered in my life. I should have loved him hard enough. Should have kept my problems to myself. Should have made him happier. Of course! Made perfect sense....

I ran through more trees, breaking through some branches, finding myself at the edge of the mountain. I could see the city lights below me, and I threw my empty beer bottles at all those happy people scattered all over Honolulu. I screamed as loud as I could, cried as loud as I could. I felt like a crazy person, but damn if each scream helped a little. I drank some more, then some more. I didn't want to think, or feel, or whatever. I wanted to pass out. Pass out in the woods – in nature like the animal that I was. The world spun, and I fell down on the wet grass. Something told me to open my eyes.

Fran was standing above me.

“I win,” she was saying. “I have him. I have HIM.”

And then I jumped up and took a swing at her, but she vanished. Jesus! I was losing my mind. Get a grip, girl. Get a grip. Is it wrong to wish your sister dead? Your own flesh & blood? Did the quality of her meat really matter??? The world would've been a better, much more peaceful place if they just got rid of all the evil people, that's what I thought. Electrocute them! Do us good souls a favor....Make them go away. That included my sister, too – get rid of her. Kill her. Make her go away.

She was always the bad egg.

When Mom gave birth, Fran came out in a black sack made of skin. When they cut the thing open, smoke came out, and all the doctors said it smelled like someone blew out a matchstick. As a baby, she cried all the time. Alllll the time. Drove us nuts. My mom turned to the drink; and dad turned to the drugs. Right then, even at that young age, I thought, My life will be so much better with this thing gone. No?

Then Fran grew up. Then her jelousy showed. Did she go into her ugly duckling rant? Don't feel too special. She says that to everyone. She always complained that I was prettier. Total confusion. I never understood what she was talking about. Honestly, she looked attractive enough to me. If boys didn't look at her, it's because she never looked at them.

She always walked with her head down, hair over her eyes...always wore these long “church dresses” from the 1800's that never showed any skin. There was a time when I tried to dress her up, but she just stared at herself in the mirror for a long time. Then she through a piggy bank at her reflection, and glass flew everywhere, all in my hair, in my mouth, all over my room. I started yelling at her, shaking her, asking her why she did it – why she would do such a crazy thing. Fran just laughed. She said she felt better. I kept trying to help her – kept trying to make her prettier by painting her face, cleaning her up, dousing her with the finest perfumes. She'd always burn the clothes in the bathtub and wash off what she called “that darn stink water”. I knew it was a bad idea to begin with, but what the hell. I wanted to help her. She was my sister. I even tried to get her to join me in cheerleading. Of course, the very idea made her puke. She gripped her stomach and went all over my feet. She then ran all through the school, crying, to the girls' bathroom...busted all the mirrors with a sock full of quarters. She told the police that the girl in the mirrors wouldn't stop laughing at her. One cop said he found a doll's head in the toilet, its eyes colored black with a marker.

Another time, again in school, I walked into the bathroom and saw Fran on the sink, real close to the mirror with a switchblade to her face. She was cutting herself...said it made her look better. I slapped the thing away and tackled her to the floor and called for help. Mom and Dad said that our great grandmother did the exact same thing. She was the same way.

Gross insecurity.

In time, with Fran, that turned into gross insanity. Fran felt the world was against her. I know this, because I used to hear her screaming in her room, “THE WORLD IS AGAINST ME!” There would always be these banging sounds, eating sounds, tearing sounds, whining sounds. I started fearing for my safety. One time, I walked into her room and saw pictures of dead animals and people – pages ripped from magazines – all over her bedroom walls.

I told my mom, and Fran got a good beating for it.

Maybe that's when she started really hating me.


2 comments:

  1. Good stuff, Ray. Looks like it's going to be a very compelling story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! Still trying to figure out what genre this is. I don't know....Thinking fantasy, something, something....

    ReplyDelete