Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Only Appropriate Response

Kris wasn’t a violent person.  He had endured beatings and lost profits because he would rather not raise a hand to do harm under any circumstances.  But if Tyler had a demon moving him in the Poet, Kris had a demon too.  It was summoned by the words ‘little leech,’ which had roots far back in his childhood.  It was summoned by threat directed at his sister.  Or maybe it just came skipping down from the path to the moon.  

“FUCK!”  After long seconds of struggling and twisting, Tyler managed to dislodge the eerily silent Kris with a sharp elbow to the head.  There was a ragged wound in his neck, and while the blood wasn’t spurting from it, it was still running all too freely.  He turned, stumbled over a beanbag, crashed to the floor.  

He twisted, illusion of immortality shattered, reaching out reflexively - to see Anna, glasses dislodged, purple bruise blooming on the side of her head, holding his knife.  He clapped his hand to his gushing neck and swore a string of expletives.  

Anna’s voice was quiet with rage.

“Your phone’s on the bed in the room.  Call a doctor, tell them that if they want to see a dude with his shit together but his blood falling out, they better send someone.  Don’t say anything other than that you had an accident, and no cops will get involved.”  

“You ...”

“... are going to leave now.  And we’re through.  Done.  Don’t get it your head to do anything dumb, and you won’t see or hear from us again.  We’re ghost.”    

Tyler looked them up and down - Alex was getting up with danger in her eyes.  His blood was running off of Kris’s chin.  And Anna was looking down the length of the knife at him.  He nodded, and they left.  They hadn’t seen him since.  They hadn’t told the story to anyone.  But every now and then a scene kid would nod in their direction and elbow a friend, quietly muttering the word “Vampires.”  

A nearby park provided them with water fountains for washing up, solitude for calming down, and Alex’s backpack divested itself of two 40-ouncers to share.  They talked, hugged, and played on the playground equipment; it seemed to be the only appropriate response.  By the time dawn found them, they had decided to pool their resources and look for a shared place to live, off the radar and out of sight for a while.  

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