Sunday, March 09, 2008

Chapter 14: My fingers do the walking


I swerve onto the Saw Mill Road, pressing harder on the gas pedal even as the rear of my car fishtails wildly.

I thought Emily would never leave. She was very cuddly after we did it, pressing tightly up against me in bed, her leg draped over mine. Luckily, she's helping her cousin plan a wedding shower, and has to be across town first thing in the morning.

"It's way closer to my house, otherwise I'd stay, baby," she cooed. "I'll be done around noon; can I come visit you then, so we can play some more?" she asked, and I grew hard in spite of myself.

I thought a lot about what I would do when I finally saw the hairless patch between her legs. I fantasized about the scene, saw myself wrapping my hands around her throat and squeezing until she turned purple, just like I did in gym class that time. Except, instead of letting go, maybe I would just keep squeezing until her body went limp.

There would be a deep sense of satisfaction in that, wouldn't there? It would be the ultimate I-told-you-so, proving to her, and to that cocksucker Doug Barrett that they badly underestimated me. I would make her pay for disrespecting me, pay with her life, and the weight of the guilt would crush Doug forever.

But in the end, my affection for Emily won out. She melted me with her sexy eyes, disarmed me easily with a gentle brush of her fingernails across my skin. "I love you Eric, I love you so much," she whispered as I fucked her, and I could barely hear her above the rhythmic thumping of the headboard against the wall.

No, I didn't hurt Emily. But I'm going to hurt someone. Doug.

I'm sure Emily hasn't shown him my picture. He wouldn't know me if I stood right in front of him and stared him down. I could do this. I could totally do this.

I make a frantic U-turn, barely touching the brake pedal, and head for the highway. I have an errand to run.

I drive 45 minutes out of the way to a Home Depot in Rhode Island.

I don't know how I'm going to do it, so I have no real idea of what I need. I'll just wander the aisles and grab anything that seems useful.

My heart pounds as I grab a five-gallon jug of bleach. It's more real now that there is something I can hold in my hand.

A reciprocating saw with an eight-inch blade. A 28-ounce steel framing hammer. A pick, a shovel, a giant blue tarp, and two wooden handles.

It's strange. As I look at the items in my cart, I see exactly how I'm going to do it. It's almost like I'm watching someone else shop, and trying to figure out what kind of project he's working on.

I see myself now, spattered with blood like a butcher, cutting Doug's arms off with the reciprocal saw, twisting and pulling them away from his torso as the last few tendons stubbornly stay attached. I can hear his bones crack and snap--it would almost be like cutting up chicken wings.

I can see his dead body beneath me, his blood-stained tie askew, the buttons of his shirt torn away, his hair a filthy, tangled mess, like a homeless man's.

Gonna get laid tonight, Doug? Gonna fuck my girlfriend, then brag about it to your buddies at the health club? I'd ask his corpse, grabbing him by the collar and screaming into his dead eyes. Are you--



"Can I help you find something? You seem--"

"I seem what?"

"Well, I--"

"How do I seem, Toby?" I ask, reading the name on his orange vest. "Tell me."

"Y-You just seem frustrated, sir, that's all," he stammers. "I just wanted to ask if I could help you find anything."

"Where do you keep the razor wire?"

* * *

I'm not stupid enough to look up Doug's address on my PC. I know just how I'll find it.

I was at a convention at the local Marriott a year ago, and I remember a bank of pay phones in a little alcove. With a local directory under each one.

I walk through the main lobby, trying to look inconspicuous, like a guest. If I do this right, no one will even give me a second thought. I make a right turn into the phone alcove and look underneath the first phone. Pay dirt.

Watch this guy be unlisted, I think, as I scan through the B's: Banet. Banks. Barnes. Barnett. Bartlett.

Shit. He's not there. I should have known that a well-to-do guy like Doug would never have his name listed in a phone book. I'm an idiot.

This whole thing is a joke. It's never going to work. I'll probably get there and find a huge cocktail party going on. It would be just my luck.

Wait a minute. I was spelling it with two "R"'s; maybe...

I scan a bit further up the page, and my lips curl into a small smile at what I see. The letters might as well be a neon sign, a giant, flashing reminder that I had no idea what I was capable of.


Next... Chapter 15: Bismarck, North Dakota