What Happens When…

“What’s wrong?” I asked. He looked up from the table, moments before chipping away at the fake wood with his nails. I fought down a smile. “How’s Kimberly?” I asked switching topics as I sipped away my coffee. 

He didn’t answer. I continued to drink nonchalantly. “Alright, what did you do to me?” He finally asked.  

I looked over in surprise. “Why Matt, whatever do you mean?”

“Don’t play dumb with me. You found out about the affair. Fine. But you chose to stay,” I nodded in agreement to all the above. “But ever since then… I haven’t…” he trailed off. I raised an eyebrow as encouragement. “You know!” He snapped. “I can’t get “it” up. What did you do to me?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I set aside my drink and folded my fingers. “I haven’t done anything.”

“You’re a liar,” He spat. “It started after you found out. Of course it’s your fault.”

“Now Matt, with that sort of attitude we will never move on and grow as a couple.” Standing, I walked around the table pausing at his shoulder. “But really, isn’t this only fair? You cheated on me and now it’s like God himself is punishing you, preventing you from ever doing something like that again.” I smiled, patted his shoulder, and left the room.

Hurrying down the hall to the bedroom we still shared I rooted through the bottom drawer of the dresser. Near the back my fingers met a small vial. I smiled to myself. After discovering the love of my life cheated on me, I was of course distraught. “Lift something, wax something, have something peeled,” he told me. “Deal with it.” Deal with it I tried, and failed. Eventually I decided the only way I would ever feel better was to take the revenge route. But how? A little research through the deepest and darkest recesses of the internet revealed the answer to me readily (at quite the reasonable shipping price to boot).  

“Chemical Castration”. There was a surprising amount of information to be found on the topic. Typically it’s reserved for pedophiles: those who truthfully feel they can’t control their urges. That almost perfectly fit my situation. She was younger than me (by six months) and he just couldn’t control his urges.  

It had was enough. A small needle at just the right moment could never be detected. It’s not my fault he was too stupid to figure it out; even more-so that he would continue to stay when he suspected foul-play. 

I stayed, and would continue to stay as long as the revenge business continued to be this fun. Vengeance was still mine. 

You

Shelby and I decided on Mexican for lunch and walked into a small diner off the highway. Ordering quickly we settled into customary small talk.

The bell above the door rang boldly and in walked a woman. I tapped Shelby’s hand rapidly and motioned with my eyes. She coyly turned her head an inch and her eyes a mile. Seating herself, the elderly woman threw her spiked leather purse aside and patted her purple hair daintily.

My jaw dropped as did Shelby’s. “What the–” I mouthed. She shrugged.

A moment later in walked a man. He appeared to be equally elder as the woman; bearded with a stocky build, he dressed in dirty farm overalls. Glancing around his eyes landed on the most visually interesting person in the joint. The woman turned her head on instinct, looking the new arrival up and down before locking eyes with him. “Are you Jezebel?” The man asked.

“Are you Carl?” Jezebel asked. He nodded and sat down opposite her in the booth. “You look different in your profile picture,” she said with a small, bitter smile.

“So do you,” Carl grumbled, grabbing a menu.

Shelby and I ducked our heads. “Dude,” I whispered to her. “Is this really happening right now?”   

“I don’t know,” she whispered back. “But if it is, it’s pretty cool.”

“You wanna eavesdrop?”

“Is that even a question?” She asked. Discreetly, we turned our heads again to watch.  

“So am I to assume that line about loving motorcycles was a lie?” Jezebel slowly unraveled her silverware.

“I to assume the line about liking older men was a lie?” Carl did the same but with far more aggression. “Anything older than you would be dead.”  

“Don’t you know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet?” Jezebel’s words flowed like silk.

“I guess not,” Carl frowned beneath his beard. “By the way, I’m taking back my offer to pay for lunch.”

Jezebel sighed. “Here I thought I finally found the man of my dreams: a rough and tumble go-getter; someone who likes to get his hands dirty.”

“Here I thought I found my dream-girl;” Carl spat back. “A woman who cooks well, takes care of her looks, and above all: knows her manners.”

Jezebel calmly sipped her water. “Chauvinistic pig,”

“Bratty old bat!” Carl’s beard quivered. “Look at your hair. How long did that take you?”

“About the time it takes to make a sandwich,” she batted her eyelashes. “But you hardly have room to complain. Ever heard of a razor? Your hands are covered in dirt and grime; when was the last time you bathed?” The couple glared at each other intensely, spitting fire with cold silence. Suddenly…

“Hey Babe, lets blow this joint.” Carl nodded towards the door.

“I’d love to,” Jezebel cooed, grabbing her purse. With that they sprung from their seats and rushed out the door, hand in hand.

The diner sat in silence. “Shelby,” I whispered, leaning closer to my friend. “Did that just happen?

“I don’t know,” she said. “But it’s pretty cool.” 

Conspiracy

Aside

“Everything is still green. Good work. This will reflect well on your review.” I smiled down at my phone. Everything was proceeding as planned. Better than expected actually.

Within the past week the company I worked for successfully purchased several plots of land to make way for a new hotel. “Riots are sure to follow” many predicted. However we found little opposition to the proposal. The area to build on was considered by most as “No Man’s Land”. But my boss, the CEO of the company, saw something else, something more. What a space could be rather than what it was. Ultimately with the aid of some brilliant marketing from my department the city was easily won over and promised prosperity and a mass increases in revenue. Unfortunately the project put the nail in the coffin for several businesses on the block. Even a local park could not be saved from the wave of industrialization and was fated for the scrap heap.

“Quickly sir, we haven’t much time.” A man next to me whispered. I didn’t hear him of course, for my headphones where in and my music was up. That’s what you did while waiting at the station for the train to take you home. But I noticed his obvious looks.

“Can I help you?” I asked, taking one ear piece out.

“That depends. Can you help yourself?” The man asked, pulling up his coat collar to properly block his chin.

“Uh…” I trailed off and went to replace my ear bud, as set to ignore the man next to me as best I could.

“Don’t disregard me boy!” The man practically floored me with his force. “Not unless you wish to die.”

The cars arrived a moment later. I narrowed my eyes as the doors opened. “Listen buddy, there’s a police station just five minutes away from here. Find a taxi and sober up.” With that I stepped onto the rail-car swiftly, hoping to end our encounter there. The man stepped on after me.

“You fool.” He whispered. I tried turning away only to have him duck into my gaze each time. “Don’t you realize what is at stake?” It struck me then just how short the man was. I wondered if his grave tone of voice compensated for that. With a chime the doors to the car closed and we were on our way.

This was the problem with public transportation now and days. “Can’t you just leave me alone please?” I asked.

Without warning the man pulled open his oversized jacket and pulled from within a sawed off shotgun. Reeling back in surprise I landed heavily on my butt, staring up at the looming figure of a man crossed boarders. Slowly every other person on board took notice. Scrambles followed screams as the population shifted around us in alarm. Cocking the weapon in his hands he looked down on me. “Now do you get it?”

“Get what?” I panicked, struggling to put distance between us. Breathing heavily, I flung my water bottle at the stranger in a feeble attempt to chase him away. Flinching, the man turned away and discharged his gun into a nearby window. Blowing out the entire panel the compartment fell deadly silent as shock and terror gripped mother’s and son’s lungs.

“You’re crazy man!” I shouted over the sounds of roaring winds as the train rushed onward.

“Crazy? HA! That’s what they all said! But I’ll show them.” He ended in a whisper that somehow reached me. “Now where is she?”

I blinked. No. No way could this be happening. “Who?”

“Don’t play dumb with me!” The man shouted and turned his gun to my chest.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I backed farther away franticly. The man followed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” My back hit a pole and stopped.

“I know you had a hand in it. Just tell me where she is and I’ll let you live.”

“Where who is?” I screamed as the man stepped closer. I felt tears leak down my face.

“Don’t play dumb! Because of you I lost her.” The stranger’s face crumpled. “She had to leave her spot, her home, and disappeared. I want to know where you moved her.”

“I really don’t know who or what you’re talking about, but everyone that moved—” The man cocked his gun again and I faltered. Beneath my hands I felt the subway’s brakes kick in, slowing its roll. The man blinked but remained unwavering.

The doors opened slowly. On instinct everyone glanced outside to survey the new area. Unexpectedly the man’s face lit up. Dropping his gun he ran from the train. Shakily, and not without hesitation, I stood along with a few others and inched my way towards the doors.

What we saw made no sense. The man who moments before threatened my life now stood in front of a cotton candy stand and with pure, child-like glee marveled. “Oh Candy…” He mouthed to the woman who stood next to the operation. A cute woman full to the brim smiled back, her rosy cheeks glowing. They embraced to the cheers of many around me. Even those who moments before were cowering in horror bloomed beholding such a pure sight of love.

Retracting my head I calmly walked to a seat inside the compartment and sat, waiting for the train to continue on its way.

Taken

“Hey Mista?”

 

“What?”

 

“Where was it you’s said we were goin’?”

 

“To look for my puppy.” The man answered for the hundredth time.

 

“Are you sure we gonna find him?” The little boy asked.

 

“I’m sure we’re going to find something.”

 

“Cuz’ I’ve been lookin’, an’ I ain’t seen nothing. And I’m hungry.”

 

“I heard you the first time.”

 

“Ain’t you got something to eat?”

 

“No.” Came the rude reply.

 

“What chu’ say you’re dog looked like?”

 

“He’s brown.”

 

“Is that him?” Screeched the child, pounding on the glass for impact.

 

“No!” Snapped the man, grabbing the young boy by the arm. “Just sit down and be quiet!”

 

“You’re no fun…” Pouted the boy, folding his arms with a huff.

 

The man’s eyebrow twitched uncontrollably before he slapped a hand atop it. Why had he done this again? He glanced over at the thin body of the boy. Oh yes. Driving around mid-afternoon, he’d passed a park full of children. It had been easy enough to pick out a suitable target. Hearing his sad story, the boy had been more than willing to follow him to the ends of the earth for his long lost puppy. It was hardly a challenge anymore. He was a pro after all.

 

Sleazily, he gripped the steering wheel tighter and turned a corner. Almost there now, just a little longer…

 

“So’s there’s this girl in my class right?” Broke the boy. “An’ she likes me, but I don’t know if she really likes me likes me, or if she just likes me. I as’ her once, but she jus’ ran off to the sand box.” Confided the boy.

 

“And?” Asked the man, hunched over the steering wheel in a pitiful attempt to shield himself from the boy’s attention.

 

“So what do ya’ think?” Asked the boy, throwing up his hands in a dramatic way.

 

“Think of what?”

 

“Do you think she likes me? I get al’ shy around her…”

 

“Hard to imagine.” Whispered the man under his breath.

 

“She’s awful nice when she wants to be. But she’s mean too. I wanted to play a game, and she said she would, but when time came she ditched meh.”

 

“That’s… awful.”

 

“Do you think I should give her something for Valentine’s Day? Bobby, he’s the one who sits on my left, say’s I should forget her. He said she was runnin’ around with Dylan just last week! But I’m not sure. I don’t remember seeing her with Dylan, and I would know cuz’ I was watchin’.”

 

“How old are you?” Begged the man.

 

“What’s back here?” A pair of legs dangled over the back of the passenger seat, kicking at odd angles.

 

“Sit down!”

 

To someone walking along the sidewalk it would have appeared that a grimy white van was driving itself down the street in that moment. The driver of said van was far too busy trying to wrangle a young child to be worried about steering.

 

With a short screech and a sudden stop, the van parked itself in the in the middle of the road.

 

“Get out!” The man yelled, throwing open the side door. “You’re more trouble than you’re worth!” Tossing the young boy onto the street he stomped his foot on the gas, slamming shut the door with force as he sped away.   

 

“What a weirdo!” Dusting himself off, the young boy couldn’t help but smile as he looked back on the past ten minutes. “Works every time.” Smoothing his hair, he turned on his heels and headed back to school. He had obligations after all.