i_17bingo: (Default)

previously...


The mornings were always the hardest. Everyday he had to ask himself why he needed to continue living. He was never sure what the correct answer might be, and so he promised himself he'd figure it out later on. But everyday he rolled onto the floor, put on some pants, generated some coffee, ignited a cigarette, consumed the coffee, and determined the class to which he would devote his attention today, and gradually he'd forget the question entirely.

Some days, though, didn't fit into this otherwise ironclad routine. This was one of them. Slowly he drifted to partial consciousness, and as soon as he realized that the pillow pressing against his skull wasn't his own, he woke the rest of the way up.

Oh. Right.

So instead of clothing, coffee, cigarette, and class, he was reduced to deciding whether he should wake the woman beside him on the full-sized bed.

Lying facedown, her slightly matted, blond--but not naturally so, as he found out recently--hair splashed across her shoulders, a heavy snore rattling out of her nose, she still looked like your typical college sex kitten. Sean smiled.

When they'd arrived at her apartment last night, they skipped the pretense of a cup of coffee or small talk, and instead headed directly for the bedroom. She shrugged off her February coat, tied her scarf on the doorknob to let her boyfriend know she had company, and giggled, "Lose the sweater, or you're sleeping on the couch."

Sean didn't want to sleep on the couch, so he tossed his once-white-but-now-more-of-a-brown, stretched-out cardigan to the floor. It occurred to him that the thorough examination her eyes performed on his body might be due to the fact that she'd never actually seen him without it before. He felt kind of naked now, and he still had a lot of layers to go.

Blushing, she asked, "Is this really crazy, or is it just me?"

It wasn't just her. "Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable if we simply retired to our corners for the night."

Shannon bit her lip in thought before crossing her arms in front of her and whipping her T-shirt over her head. "It's Valentine's Day," she replied, "and if I don't bounce tonight, I will not be happy." She began to pace deliberately, like a cat about to rub up against him. "And you like it when I'm happy, right?"

Most men who were knew her were endlessly fascinated by her cleavage. She accommodated them by making it highly visible, regardless of the weather. A part of Sean wondered how wearing a push-up bra at least three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year could possibly be comfortable, but the other part was just grateful. Given the snug fit of her blouses, he didn't expect to be surprised by what he'd see when he was finished blinking. His imagination had always been able to speculate how her bare skin might curve and glow and tease, and it turned out that his imagination had done a pretty good job. It even got the goose bumps right. But it hadn't counted on her bra, though, which wasn't lacy, or see-through, or even all that interesting. And because of that, it occurred to him that this was really happening.

"Yes," he replied.

With a grin, she told him, "Okay, now you go."

Fumbling with the baggy T-shirts he always draped himself in, he asked, "I don't get why you don't just fuck Rocky then."

"You are such a weirdo, you know that?" Balancing herself carefully, she kicked off her fashionable boots. "I can think of four hundred and thirteen guys off the top of my head who would trade places with you so fast." She stepped forward, penetrating his comfort zone. "Do you think I'm spooky or something?"

Flailing and backing away, he attempted to reply, "I..." He lost his balance and fell onto the bed. "I don't often find myself in this situation."

"Really?" This revelation seemed to utterly baffle her, and so she put all of her concentration into sorting it out. Unzipping, dropping, and stepping out of her skirt didn't seem to require any thought at all. "Because you're totally fuckable."

"That's something I don't hear a lot," he told her as she crawled onto the mattress next to him.

"Are you sure?"

"I have problems..." His sentence stalled when he realized that she was unbuttoning his pants. He tried again. "I have problems being intimate."

She stopped mid-zip and frowned. "Who said anything about being intimate?" She turned her attention to untying and yanking off his shoes. "You don't need to be intimate to have sex! My boyfriend and I are totally intimate, but he's at the bar tonight, looking for lonely girls to comfort."

"Ah."

After yanking off his socks, she added, "And he's not being intimate with them."

"Your relationship confounds me," he told her.

"Well, I'm not confounded." She freed his pants completely from his legs with a sharp tug, but sacrificed her balance in the process. He leaned over the edge to find her on the floor, laughing uncontrollably. "Never tell anybody about this," she pleaded.

With a smirk, he hauled her back onto the bed and kissed her, hard.

Her back arched, her hips rose, and her throat moaned. As soon as she could speak again, she sighed, "So I have to be a total doofus to make you brave?"

"You just had to remind me why you're one of my favorite people in the world," he replied.

"Because I'm clumsy like a clumsy lizard?"

He shook his head. "That you're not even remotely the person you look like." This close to her face, and with this much light, he could make out crow's feet around her teal eyes, which was odd, considering that she was two years younger than he, and he was only twenty-three. "So who are you?"

"I'm Shannon, weirdo."

"Seriously, who the hell are you?"

"Shannon Veronica Heidebrect?"

"I mean..." he began.

"No," she told him. "I am not going to tell you my whole poopy story so you can fall in love with how deep you think I really am."

"I don't fall in love that easily."

"But you fell in love with her."

He sighed. "That was an accident."

"You want to talk about the scars on your arms?" she asked. "The ones that don't look like an accident?"

"No," he admitted.

"Well, I don't want to talk about my poop." Her fingers crept under the elastic of his boxers. "So how about you take these off, and I'll get a condom, and we can bounce."

He couldn't argue anymore. "Okay."

She crawled delightfully toward him. "A lot."

With a grin, he said, "Don't you have to remove something to make that work?"

She looked back at her own underwear. "Oops!" she giggled before rolling her eyes innocently. "Um, could you do me a favor and take care of that for me?"

This morning, he had no idea what to expect from tomorrow, or the day after, but today, he had an answer to his daily question. His finger tickled the small of her back, and she squirmed.

"Good morning," he whispered.

She replied by reaching for his waist and pulling him closer.

Coda

Jun. 8th, 2012 12:04 pm
i_17bingo: (Default)

previously...


She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. She led us down the hall, away from the library's study room, and whispered, "What's up?"

"Where have you been?" I asked. "I've been calling you all week."

She sighed.

I was only eighteen, and my experience with breakups was limited. On one hand, I had my one-and-only personal breakup, which had consisted of me walking in on my girlfriend being groped by my oldest friend. On the other hand, I had movies and TV, in which such breakups were merely the prelude to the actual romance. On a third hand, I had the ongoing histrionics of my high-school friends, all of which were pretty stupid, and none of which plumbed the emotional depths I thought I'd had with the girl I'd once loved. The idea of a couple splitting up with minimal drama was one of those things I knew existed but had never witnessed--like a blue whale or a quark.

And yet I recognized that sigh.

"Oh, Bupkis," she said.

"My name is Max." If I was correct about where this conversation was going, she had given up all rights to affectionate nicknames.

"Don't ruin this."

"Ruin what?" I asked. "You're the one who's dumping me."

She flinched. "Bupkis..."

"Max."

"I want to remember how much fun we had together," she replied, "not how it ended."

"Why does it have to end?"

"For starters, you're a freshman, and I'm not."

"So?"

"We have different priorities."

"I don't have any priorities."

"There's that," she said. "And the fact that I'm going to grad school next year."

"We could do long distance."

"Really?" She closed her eyes. "Are you really thinking that far ahead with someone you've only been sleeping with for three weeks."

"But we're so good together!"

"Which is why we need to wrap this up," she told me. "Before it gets complicated."

"But complicated is good, right?"

She averted her eyes. "Not for me it isn't."

"I don't get you," I mumbled.

"There's that too."

Neither of us looked at each other or said anything for a long time, until she concluded, "Look, I have a final tomorrow. Can we talk about this later?"

"Do you really want to talk about this later?"

She shook her head.

I then uttered what was probably the smartest thing I'd said since the moment I'd walked into the building. "Then don't worry about it."

"Thank you."

My mind, stalled and adrift, ceded control of my body to my feet, which shuffled me through the exit doors of the library and to a bench just outside. The December chill tried to remind me that I'd forgotten my jacket, but I wasn't paying attention.

If the loss of my high-school sweetheart was the back story to my personal narrative, then what was I to the woman I just walked away from? Just another chapter? Was that what she was to me?

In the midst of this identity crisis, I barely noticed the figure who appeared beside me. "Can I sit here?"

I nodded.

My new neighbor settled down with a peripheral rustle of wool and a whiff of cigarette smoke. "Aren't you cold?"

I shrugged, turned to the owner of the voice, and blinked at a pair of sharp eyes, a set of smiling lips, and a hint of soft curves that squirmed at the touch of the frozen concrete slab we shared.

You know, you can cram a lot of chapters into a novel.

"Hi," I said to her. "I'm Max."

Leviathan

May. 29th, 2012 09:37 am
i_17bingo: (Default)

The first thing she remembered about that day was how annoyed she was that she had to come onto campus during the summer. The asshole still lived on campus, even though he was, like her, a senior in a month and a half. Besides, she'd heard he was rich, so if he really felt like isolating himself, he could live anywhere. Whatever. It was one of those stupid fucking things he did to make himself seem cool and unique--kind of like that stupid fucking sweater of his.

Lisa's relationship with the asshole had cooled by that point, so they could actually take a small amount of comfort in each other. Maybe it was because their mutual presence brought to mind her boyfriend--his best friend. Maybe it was because she couldn't trust him to be alone with his own thoughts, and vice versa. What mattered was that it was Fourth of July weekend, her boyfriend was back home in Idaho, she was bored, she was hungry, and she was going to drag his skinny ass over to May's Cafe for a greasy omelet.

When he didn't answer the door, something she couldn't put a finger on thought it was a little weird. He was always home, except when he was at her place. Sure he was entitled to go to the restroom or buy cigarettes or something, but not if it inconvenienced her. She knocked again out of spite, and, for a second there, she thought she'd heard something. She knocked one more time, and there it was--a dull moan. She tried the knob, but it was locked. After a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching, she pulled out her men's wallet and removed a key.

What she was doing with that key was a long story, but the short version was this: before she came to college here, she ran with a pack of hoodlums. The alpha hooligan, a sneaky son of a bitch and aspiring criminal mastermind named Fuentes, taught her dozens of tips and tricks for breaking the law, none of which she'd forgotten. High up on the list was never to let a good skeleton key go to waste. Lucky for her, her boyfriend was an RA, and that meant he had access to every room in this dorm. She made herself a copy, not because she'd been planning on stealing anything, but rather to honor her heritage.

Besides, you never know what that kind of thing might come in handy. And that day, it was really fucking handy.

Inside, the asshole was lying on his back with his eyes half-open and a little stream of drool trickling down his cheek. It didn't even take her a second to figure out what was going on.

"No!" she whispered. "No, no, no!"

Breathing deeply, she tried to figure out what needed to happen next. "Think," she muttered, "what would Fuentes do?" He'd figure out what it was that was killing the person in question. That was easy. The asshole was overdosing on something. The next thing would need to get a little more specific. Something about the drool shouted opium, so she'd go with that. Next up was the delivery. It wasn't a needle, because there wasn't one lying around anywhere, and he wouldn't have had enough time to stash it. She was pretty sure that wasn't possible to smoke that much heroin, and besides, there was no smell. Snorting was out, or there would have been blood coming out of his nose. That left his stomach, and that she could do something about.

She crawled into bed next to him and listened to his chest to make sure he was still breathing. Satisfied, she stuck two fingers in his throat. He gagged, and, just before he threw up, she rolled him over so his head was hanging over the floor. She let him finish, and then repeated the procedure, just in case. When she was sure he was done, she wiped her hand on his stupid sweater and sat him up.

"Hey fuckface!" she yelled.

"Uh?" he mumbled.

Oh, thank God. "Yeah, you, fuckface!"

"'Appen?"

"You tell me, you rock-stupid motherfucker!"

He shook his head imperceptibly. "No."

"No, you're not going to tell me?"

"Don't," he coughed. "Stop."

"This is getting us nowhere. Phone." Because, honestly, she'd forgotten that hers was in her back pocket.

"Sweat," he sighed, "er."

It was right where he said it'd be. She called 911 and told them, "I have someone here that OD'd on something."

"I need you to calm down, ma'am, and tell me where you are."

"This is my calm voice!"

After a bit of back and forth, she stayed on the line while at the same time trying to stop him from nodding off. Just when she thought she couldn't keep it up anymore, the EMTs showed up and did whatever it was that EMTs do, and in no time, he was gone.

They had a lot of questions too: "Do you know what he took? Does he have a history of mental illness? Is he your boyfriend?" Shit like that. She answered the best she could--"No. I think so. Are you fucking kidding me?"--until they left her alone.

She held it in as long as she could, but really, that wasn't very long at all. She collapsed onto his bed and sobbed like a goddamned baby. Eventually, she pulled her shit together and remembered the phone in her hands. Sniffing, she sat up and scrolled through his contacts. A part of her was disappointed when L went by with no mention of her. That part, as much as she hated it, pushed her back down onto the mattress, where she cried some more.

Finally she returned to the phone and scrolled down to where it said "Mother." She hit send and waited.

On the other side of the phone, an exasperated voice sighed, "What is it this time, Sean?"

"Mrs. McCoy?"

"My name's not fucking McCoy."

"What the fuck is it then?" Lisa didn't know why she asked that question.

"Yoshida."

"That your first or last name?"

"Look," the voice snapped, "stop wasting my fucking time and tell me why you're calling me on my son's fucking phone."

"I think he tried to kill himself."

The other end went silent.

"Hello?"

"Goddammit!" the voice bellowed. "What the fuck?"

"I'm sorry."

"I can't keep dropping what I'm doing every time he pulls shit like this?"

"The fuck?"

"Are you with him right now?"

"No," Lisa replied.

"Well, where the fuck is he?"

"Hospital."

"Are you there with him?"

"No," Lisa told her, "I--"

"Well get the fuck over there and keep an eye on my son until I get there!"

"Okay?"

The call ended, and she stared at the phone for what was probably five minutes before she finally shook her head and muttered, "Asshole doesn't fall far from the bigger asshole, does it?"



to be continued...

i_17bingo: (Default)

previously...


"It's Bupkis," I said to the pixie-haired, bespectacled woman who answered the door.

She replied, "I remember." Her face then twisted into a frown. "I never told you where I live."

I shrugged.

"I never even told you my last name."

I shrugged again.

"Well?"

"I know an art major who I'm guessing has a promising future as a police sketch artist," I explained. "Given the fact that you could legally buy alcohol, I asked around in the hangouts where junior and seniors go--this took a while, by the way--and then headed to the registrar's office and cashed in a favor."

"You're putting me on."

Again, I shrugged.

"You know," she said, "in some places, that's considered stalking."

I smirked. "But not in this place."

She smirked back. "What can I do for you, Bupkis?"

"I was considering... acquiring some beer and sharing it with you." I had no idea how I would acquire said alcohol, me being eighteen and all, but I had time to work it out. "After Thanksgiving, of course, if that's okay with you."

"Hell, you can share on Thanksgiving if you want," she said. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Seriously?"

It was her turn to shrug.

"Come on over to my house for dinner then," I told her. "My parents never turn down a stray."

She blushed. "I couldn't."

"Yes, you could."

She pondered this for a minute. "You live close?"

"More or less." I clarified, "Right on the border of Arizona."

"Close enough." Not really--it was about a five-hour drive away. Regardless, she asked, "You got a car?"

"More or less."

And so, the next day, we sat in the back of a bus. We'd managed to fill about a hundred and thirty-five miles with small talk before she grinned and shook her head. "You're really paying attention to what I'm saying, aren't you?"

"Why wouldn't I be?"

She looked at her legs, which had somehow draped themselves over my lap without me noticing. "You tell me."

"That," I agreed.

She studied me. "I can tell you're not gay."

"I most certainly am not."

"You must be a virgin then." A disappointed pout momentarily drifted over her face.

If there was ever a call for a spit take, this was it. It was a good thing I wasn't drinking anything. "What?"

"It's okay, you know. You're only a freshman. Lots of guys wait until they're older," she told me. "And lots of guys lie about being a virgin too."

"I'm not lying," I said.

"About what?" she clarified. "That you're a virgin, or that you're not a virgin?"

I shrugged and pulled my arm back, and with it, my fingers. They came to a stop at the top of her knee. My thumb, however, rested on her inner thigh. I pressed my nails into her leg--just hard enough to get her attention, and began dragging them upward toward the hem of her skirt.

She squirmed, but she didn't retreat.

As soon as my hand felt fabric, it came to a halt. I leaned close to her, my gaze resting on her cheek and her neck. "Go on..." My lips brushed against her ear. "... guess."

"Why would you do that?"

"I wanted to show you I'm not inexperienced."

"I mean," she said, "why would you stop?"

"Good question." My thumb followed the outline of her underwear, where it met with the inside of her leg. She moaned. And when it slipped underneath, she sat up and kissed me. It wasn't so much the romance of the moment as it was she needed to keep herself from crying out.

I don't know how much time had passed--based on the throbbing ache building up between my legs, it must have been a day and a half--by the time I asked, "Are we supposed to fuck on a bus, because I don't know if I'm brave enough for that."

"Just keep... doing... that."

I stopped moving my hand and instead ran my tongue from her collarbone, to her neck, and to her ear. "Doing what?"

"What you were doing?" she whimpered.

Her hips tried to do the work, but I kept pulling back, just out of reach. "Say please."

Suddenly, her nails dug into the back of my skull, her eyes seared mine, and she growled. The voice that poured out of her clenched teeth didn't even sound human. It said, "I am so close to fucking coming right now, and if you don't fucking go back to fucking fingering me again, I will fucking kill you."

I did as she asked. "Like that?"

"Oh," she grunted, and, after two more gasps, she lunged forward and bit my shoulder with enough force that, even if it didn't draw blood, it was going to bruise.

It took her a while to breathe again, and when she could, she giggled, "So you're not a virgin."

"Yeah, but only barely."

"It's a zero-sum game, Bupkis," she told me. "You either are or you aren't."

"I guess I'm not."

"How could you barely be a virgin?"

I shrugged. "There was only one girl."

"Really?" she asked. "You learned how to do that from one girl?"

"There was a lot of build-up," I replied. "Lots of time together in cars. Lots of groping. Lots of oral sex. You know--practice."

"Are you trying to tell me you went down on your high school sweetheart?"

"Doesn't everybody?"

She threw her arms around my neck, laughed, and kissed me, for real this time. "Bupkis," she said, "this is going to be a long vacation."



to be continued...

Bupkis

Mar. 2nd, 2012 12:31 pm
i_17bingo: (Default)

"This is what I don't get," the clerk said. "You are standing there, telling me that you can get me anything I want, in exchange for two cases of beer." He added, "And, because that's not hilarious enough, you want to pay for the beer?"

"I'm not sure what's so hilarious about this."

"If you could get anything," he said, "then why don't you just get your own beer?"

"Were you a philosophy major when you dropped out of school?" I asked the clerk.

"I graduated, jackhole," he replied.

"I see that worked well for you," I replied back.

"Insulting the guy with the stuff you want isn't helping, you know."

"Respecting the guy with the stuff I want wasn't helping me either," I told him, "so I guess that leaves me at square one."

"You got balls," he said, "I'll give you that. You just marched in here and told me you were eighteen without giving me any bullshit about a lost ID or even a fake."

"That would mean a lot more to me if it came with a liquor purchase."

"Well, it doesn't."

"What does?"

"A valid driver's license or state ID with your real date of birth of more than twenty-one years ago," he told me.

"Then we're at an impasse."

"No," he clarified, "You're at an impasse, and the chick behind you who's probably not a minor is also at an impasse. Me, I'm right where I belong."

I smirked and raised an eyebrow. "I was right! You really were a philosophy major!"

"Get the hell out of my store."

"If I do what you want, will you let me buy the beer?" I asked, just in case.

His voice went up a couple of extremely frustrated octaves. "Are you fucking serious?"

"Only a little bit," I admitted as I obeyed and whispered a quick apology to the chick behind me, immediately averting my eyes from hers, which were stunning, amber, and hidden behind thick-framed glasses.

Shrouded in frustration, I'd made it nearly a block and a half before a voice called out from behind me, "Hey, Bupkis!"

Since I didn't remotely look Polish, I ignored it and returned to pondering my line of attack for the next gas station.

"Bupkis!"

I looked around for a Mr. Bupkis and realized that I was the only person on the street--other than the owner of that voice, of course.

"Why are you yelling Bupkis at me?" I shouted back at the shadowy figure strutting up to me.

"Because your name is Bupkis," the figure replied, stepping into the light.

"Why?" was pretty much all I could choke out at that point. That was because I finally got a decent look at the woman who had been behind me in line, with her black, boyish haircut revealing a neck that sloped from her jaw all the way to the collar of her jean jacket, which both concealed and hinted at the snug T-shirt beneath, with a hem that didn't quite make it to the waist of her just-as-snug jeans.

"Because that's all your incredible ballsiness got you," she replied.

"My name's actually--"

"Don't tell me," she interrupted with a grin. "Bupkis is cuter."

I blushed.

"Hi," she said, "I'm Mac." After a moment of silence, she added, "Mackenzie, in case you were wondering, but I'll be fucked if I'm going through life with a cutesy Scottish surname like that."

"Hi," I squeaked.

She held a case of Sheisse-Haus Lite to eye level and said, "Pay up, Bupkis."

"Really?"

"I wouldn't buy this shit for myself, that's for damned sure."

I handed over a wad of cash and reached for the case, but she yanked it away. "That just covers the beer," she informed me. "For me getting you the beer, you owe me one or two."

I'm not stupid. I knew what she meant by that. Unfortunately that's not what I heard.

What I heard were eight-month-old sounds, which were echoes of sighs and moans coming from the only comfortable spot in the car graveyard just outside the boundaries of my trailer park back home. What I smelled was weed, which was perfectly normal in this private, hidden location. What I saw was the misshapen lump of a hand underneath a T-shirt, cupping a breast, which was also perfectly normal in this private, hidden location. What I tasted and felt was bile burning the back of my throat, because that breast belonged to my girlfriend, whom I loved hopelessly, and that hand belonged to my oldest friend, whom I loved like a brother.

"Well," I replied in the present, "I was, uh, planning on using it to, uh, bribe this guy in the theater department for..."

"That's fine," she said. "I can't stay up too late tonight anyway. Classes and all." Her eyes never found their way back to mine by the time she turned and wandered away.

That's right. I was Bupkis.



to be continued...

Haute

Jan. 27th, 2011 07:44 pm
i_17bingo: (Default)

Before this ordinary duplex in the middle of this ordinary town, a bellow rose from the earth, deep and dark as if it had been mined by an army of industrious dwarves. Birds took flight from the surrounding trees as words formed: "Anybody home?"

The most reasonable reaction to this sound would be terror and retreat. However, baking in a cloud of ozone on the roof of this ordinary duplex were a pair who could not be described as reasonable; she knew no fear, and he just didn't give a damn.

He shouted, "We're on the roof!"

The bellow replied, "The door's locked!"

"Please," he muttered. "As if that would stop that."

"You're useless," she told him with a glare. "Keys!" she announced before flinging them over the edge.

From beneath them came a roar of pain.

"You could have given some kind of warning," he said. "Or at least aimed."

She punched him in the shoulder.

The building shook as it ascended the stairs, stomped across the threshold of the apartment, and approached the window, blotting out all light from inside. "You guys out there?"

"No," he replied.

"Sean, is that you?"

"No," Sean said before she hit him in the shoulder again. "Yes."

"Cool." Somehow, it pulled itself through the narrow window without breaking anything. When it was fully outside, the A-frame of the roof bowed, but held. This particular golem was named, appropriately enough, Rocky. "Smoking weed?" Rocky asked.

"No," Sean replied, "we're sitting here with bloodshot eyes, heightened appetites, and mellow demeanors, wondering where that smell is coming from."

Rocky's eyebrows slid together into a frowning shelf. "You think it might be coming from that pipe in your hand?"

"Care to join us for once?" Sean offered.

"I can't," Rocky replied.

"Why not?" he asked.

"I kind of ..." Rocky started. "It's hard to explain." He tried: "I ... change."

"Into what?" Sean begged.

"Trust him," she said, "and just let it go."

"Not now that my curiosity has been piqued!"

Rocky sighed. "Fine."

She bolted to her feet. "You don't have to do this, Rocky."

"I'll be okay."

"No you won't!" she pleaded. "Remember what happened last time?"

"You know Sean," he told her, "he's like a Chihuahua."

"I'm more of a Shih Tzu," Sean declared.

"He won't let go until he sees for himself," Rocky continued.

"While that is a softly blended metaphor," Sean said, "it is accurate."

Ignoring him, she asked Rocky, "Are you sure this is okay?"

Sean appeared between them. "Enough with all this foreshadowing!" He handed Rocky the hash pipe and a lighter. "On with it!"

After a few thoughtful, cautious tokes, Rocky sat down and exhaled.

"Well?" Sean whispered to her.

"Wait for it," she replied.

Rocky jumped to his feet and exclaimed, "Zut alors!"

Startled, Sean lost his balance, but she caught him before he could stumble off the roof.

"Tu bien?" Rocky shouted at him.

While Sean gasped for air, she said, "He'll be fine, Rocky. How are you?"

"Comme ci, comme ça."

Regaining his physical and mental balance, Sean cried out, "What the fart?"

"We warned you," she said, "he changes when he's high."

"Changes into what?"

"Je suis français," Rocky explained.

"What?" Sean took a few deep breaths before asking, "Why?"

"Je ne sais pas," Rocky replied.

"Are you just fucking with me?"

"No," she lied.

Rocky shrugged. "Ça va."

Sean retreated through the window, mumbling, "I can't deal with this."

Rocky smiled an enormous smile and handed the paraphernalia back to her.

"Tu es très haute?" she asked him.

"Mais oui," he replied.

Icarus

Jan. 22nd, 2011 01:43 am
i_17bingo: (Default)

previously...


"What's your relation to the patient?" the duty nurse asked her. "Family?"

"No," she replied.

"Girlfriend?"

She would rather get a pap smear with a rake than date the patient in question. Still, desperate times... "Yes."

"I see." The nurse wheeled her chair back to a stack of files on the other side of the desk.

"He wake up yet?"

The nurse glanced at one of the folders. "There's been no change in his condition."

So he wouldn't be much company. There was some good news. "Can I see him?"

"Room 313," the nurse said before returning to whatever it was that duty nurses did.

She crept down the corridors of the intensive care unit, in no particular hurry to get there. She didn't know what to expect when she did. It couldn't be any worse than finding him alone on a bed in a dark room the night before. She was wrong about that; seeing him today, alone on a bed in a bright room, was much worse. Instead of shivering and convulsing like he did last night, he now just lay still.

But what really disturbed her was the way he was wrapped in needles and tubes and pale sheets rather than in the droopy cotton sweaters he preferred. She'd known him for a while, and had no idea he was so tiny. Sure he wasn't all that tall, but she'd always attributed that to his slouch. Turns out he was just this little skeleton with some skin on it.

He wasn't going anywhere, so she might as well get some rest. After settling into the visitor's chair, it took only a moment for her eyes to drift closed. They took less than a moment for them to shoot back open as soon as something she'd seen reached her sleep-deprived brain.

Wide awake now, she hopped to her feet and crept closer to his side. Slowly--oh so very slowly--she rotated his wrist to get a good look underneath. A white, surgically precise scar ran down the length of his forearm. It had completely healed, but still couldn't be more than a few years old. And it was serious. Whoever made this did not want it to close up.

She sank to the floor. When she'd discovered this drooling mass of sweat and flesh in his dorm last night, she'd just assumed his overdose was accidental. Now she felt really, really stupid. He'd always been the kind of guy who just shuffled his way through life, glassy-eyed and distracted, as if he'd rather be elsewhere; but it wasn't until just now that she realized that he really did want to be elsewhere.

She'd had to drag herself through years poverty, abuse, illness, and mountains of cruelty to be alive, and yet here he was, surviving a second suicide attempt out of dumb luck. What an asshole!

Behind her, on this bed, without his cigarettes and marijuana and smartass comments and narrow, condescending eyes, he looked just like a little boy. And that's all he was: a petulant, self-absorbed, frightened little boy. So why the fuck did she even care about him?

She didn't even like kids, much less this guy. It was only a combination of boredom and curiosity that brought her to him in the first place. If she had any sense whatsoever, she'd get up off of this floor and fly the fuck away while she still had a chance to escape.

But she couldn't.

After a while, she melted into sleep, waking some time later to a soft voice croaking, "Crap. Not again."

Embarrassment yanked her to her feet immediately.

He blinked a few times, squinted, and frowned before focusing in on her face. "Shit," he whispered. "If you're here, then I must be in hell."

The only thing keeping her from laughing in relief was the way she collapsed back into the visitor's chair. Too late now. She was going to burn, and it was her own damned fault.

Drowning

May. 10th, 2010 12:21 pm
i_17bingo: (Default)

Sean studied his drink carefully. Not a day went by that he didn't think about his old friend, scotch. They went way back, and it was really too bad things had to go the way they did. He flicked the glass, and a dozen bubbles scurried to the surface of his ginger ale, breaking the spell.

If he could, he'd walk backward, past one hundred and ten weeks of sobriety, and then twenty-something weeks further, until he reached a time when he still enjoyed drinking. While there, he'd order a double and toast tonight, which happened to be the worst Valentine's Day of his life.

He loved her more than anything. He hated her even more than that.

"Last call," said Craig the bartender. "Not that it matters to you."

Sean grunted.

Craig slid a glass over to him. "Here's your ginger ale, big spender."

Sean pointed across the room to the bar's only other occupant, a buxom blonde with a thousand-yard stare. "What's she drinking?"

"Gold label tequila," he replied. "Top shelf. The sipping kind."

"I always took her for a daiquiri girl; maybe a margarita if she wanted some fire in her water."

Craig shrugged. "She's usually a gin and tonic. Must be a special occasion."

Sean threw a ridiculously large bill onto the counter. "Get me one more of those."

"Gin and tonic?"

Sean picked up the bill and threw down a different one. "The denomination will go down every time you ask a stupid question."

"Seriously?"

Sean replaced the bill again.

Without another word, Craig poured a glass of gold label tequila. Sean replaced the bill on the bar with the one he'd originally left, flashed him an ambiguous smirk, and strolled over to the blonde with the drinks. As he sat next to her, he asked, "Thinking about him?"

She blinked, but didn't look up. "Thinking about who?"

"Shannon," he replied, "we both know who I'm talking about."

"What makes you think you're talking about the person you think you know I'm thinking about?"

"Same way you know who I'm thinking about."

She relaxed and turned to him. "Apples."

He was used to the way her mind careened from topic to topic, like a caffeinated pinball. "Oranges?" he replied.

She slapped his forearm with a weak grin. "No, weirdo; I bet his lips taste like apples. Granny Smith apples." She sighed. "I hate that he goes home with her every night."

"I both hate and love that she goes home with him."

She lifted her fresh glass in a salute. "To unrequititude."

He saluted back. "So," he began by way of conversation, "what do you think you'd say to him if he were here and she wasn't?"

"That's a good question," she said, furrowing her brow. "How would I phrase it?" She bit the inside of her cheek in deep concentration for a moment before lunging forward and kissing him furiously.

When she pulled away, Sean took a moment to fan himself with a beer coaster.

"Or something like that," she concluded, averting her eyes with a blush. "So how did that taste?"

"Top-shelf tequila," he replied.

"If I were her, I mean."

"Copper."

"Want to get out of here?" Shannon asked.

"Right behind you," Sean told her and gulped down the last of his ginger ale, pretending it was scotch.



to be continued...

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Jeremiah

January 2013

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