Fiction: Getting Fixed



By Joe S. Thomas 

            John and Terry were pill heads seeking any type of fix they could find. Every day the mission was the same. Roll out of bed, hopefully have a small fix that would get them going and start dialing the phone numbers of every dealer they knew to score and make it through another damn day. Assuming they had the money or the credit to do so.

            Growing up in Georgia was hard on John and Terry. As high school students in the mid-eighties they found the town they'd grown up in to be the most boring shit hole known to mankind. They didn't understand why everyone there wasn't a drug addict just out of sheer boredom. Now that they were in their late thirty's nothing much had changed. Both John and Terry had been married, had kids and divorced all within the space of a long and grueling six-year hell ride. The two of them would be the first to tell you that getting married at eighteen was about the dumbest thing you could do. Adding children on top of a fucked-up marriage ran a close second place.    

            The guys always dabbled with drugs as far back as middle school. The good old days when you did it for kicks and not just to function through the day. Now the guys were in pain and a severe depression if they ran out of their dope. That's to say they were addicted. Every morning was a struggle and a race against time before the sickness got the better of them.

            After his divorce John had secured a place in the country from his father who was a two-bit real estate hustler and a drunken asshole who was never there for his son as he was growing up but now wanted to somehow make up for all the times he'd fucked John over as a child. Dave, John’s dad, was a real piece of work. He made his son pay rent and cut him no slack but acted like he did him such a huge favor by letting him stay in the house. Dave would often bring by his nasty bar whores to the house so he could fuck them and not get caught by his third wife. John found this truly disturbing and disgusting as hell. He harbored so much hatred for his dad that he was afraid it would spill over one day. A few months after John moved into the house Terry got divorced so John had invited him to move into the 3- bedroom, two bath house. Terry knew the situation between John and his father. The two guys were basically brothers who didn't share the same parents. John and Terry got along splendidly when they had their drugs and they shared everything they had. When they didn't have their fix, they knew to stay out of each other’s way and only speak when necessary. Neither of the guys were personable unless they had their drugs. It was a mutual understanding and the living situation worked well for the two friends.         

            John sat in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal as he heard Terry's door open and saw a very cute and obviously hungover girl slink her way into the bathroom. John had two oxycontin sitting beside his bowl for after he ate. Terry came out of his bedroom shortly after the girl and gave John a half-assed wave. John threw Terry one of the oxy's and gave him a small smile. “Thanks,” Terry said. “I am in absolute need of this motherfucker. I'll explain in a few minutes.”  Terry poured himself a cup of coffee and waited for the girl to come out. After about five minutes the girl exited the bathroom wearing John's favorite Motorhead t-shirt. John gave Terry a what-the-fuck-is-up-with-that-look. Terry shrugged his shoulders and started dropping hints for the girl to hit the road. He acted as if he had to be at work in a few minutes even though the bastard hadn't had a job in four months. “Leave the shirt on the couch please” John chimed. The girl did as she was asked. As she slid off the Motorhead   t-shirt she was without a bra. Her tits were very beautiful, and she knew it very well. She took her tank top out of her purse and slid it over her head and covered up no doubt the best part of the guys' day and said, “I'll catch you two later on, remember what I told ya Terry.”  Just like that she shut the door and was gone. “What's all of that about?” John asked. “I'll tell you after you slide me the pill crusher, a credit card and the straw you were about to use on that oxy. Please tell me this isn't the last of the stash man. Today's going to suck if it is.”  “Well it is” said John. “Fuck man, I guess this plan that Ashley just told me about will have to go into effect as soon as I lay it out to you unless we can find a few to get us by.”  “I made a call and Scott is dropping us off 20 Percocet, we'll have ten a piece for when you tell me about this plan that you and old Tits Magoo came up with,” said John. “What the hell did you guys get into last night?” John asked.

            Terry crushed and snorted the oxy that John had given him and slid the plate to John for him to do the same. After the deed was done the two went into the living room and John put on the new Mudhoney album that he received in the mail yesterday morning. The two started listening and grooving to the album. Mark Arm had apparently not lost his touch with his fuzzy guitar sound. “So, what the fuck?” John asked.

            Terry kicked back on the couch and folded his arms behind his head as he lit a Marlboro Light.   Just as Terry was about to go into the plan an obnoxious horn blast came from the front yard. John and Terry looked at each other and rolled their eyes at the same time. “Fuck man. It's only 8 A.M. Could you tell that fucker to lay off the horn?”  John stood up and looked out the window even though there was no need to. He knew it was his dad, Dave. “Fuck!” John said. “Let me go deal with this asshole and I'll be right back.”  John walked out the front door and waved at his father who was sitting in his brand new, silver, Dodge Ram pick-up truck smiling like a fucking retard with two hands full of cookies. He opened the door and slid into the cab. “Hey buddy,” Dave said. “What are you two getting into today?”  “Ah we have band practice over at Tony's house in about twenty minutes' ' John lied. “Well hell, Dave said, I guess I'll have to eat these pills myself.”  John was sick as hell of the stupid shit his dad said to try and get him to hang out with him. “Yeah, I guess so” said John. Dave opened his palm and slid John 10 Vicodin. “Thanks Dad, sorry I have to leave but we're running late as it is.”  “Ok” said Dave. “Give me a shout when you boys get back and maybe I can come over.”  “Sure thing Pop” said John. “I'll give you a shout after-while.”  John opened the door, slid out of the cab and acted like he was in a hurry to get back into the house. He walked in, shut the door and stood there for a minute to make sure his dad was pulling off. It always took the bastard twenty minutes to do anything. Dave pulled out and took off down the road. John looked at Terry with a smile on his face and opened his palm. “Well alright!  That fucker can be annoying as fuck but at least he compensates fairly well for our time” said Terry.

            John halved the Vicodin with Terry and popped two of them which left him with 3 until Scott could get by with the Percocet. The day was looking much brighter now that they didn't have to scramble as hard to feel decent. The oxy started treating John well and the new Mudhoney album sounded better and better. He was anxious to hear about Terry and Ashley's plan. “So how in the hell did you meet up with Ashley again?”  asked John. “She came by Tony's with some shit last night while we were hanging out and jamming,” said Terry. “Oh, so you don't save me anything, but you wake up and I'm Mr. Johnny-on-the-spot?” John laughed. Terry picked his pants up off the couch and threw them jokingly at John. “Look in the right pocket douche face.”  John poked his hand around in the pocket and felt a plastic bag with what felt like some powder in it. “Well praise Jesus” John said as he pulled the bag of cocaine out of the jeans pocket. “Indeed,” said Terry, “this is what I need to talk to you about.”

            Terry began his story of how he came into possession of the coke John was now holding in his hand. Apparently, Ashley had been hanging out with this little dick named Shaun that was a wannabe hipster type which is about the worst thing you can be. Shaun still lived with his parents and was the type of bitch that constantly griped about any and every situation that didn't go his way. Ashley and her friend Mandy, who had a crush on Shaun, went by his house yesterday and said he had four or five bags of the powder. Ashley said she overheard Shaun say he got the coke from an old guy named Gene. “Wait,” John said, “The only Gene I know of in these parts is the old, fat twat that used to be in business with my dad and who was supposed to still be in jail.”  “You're right,” said Terry. “Apparently good old Gene rolled over on some scumbag coke dealers he met at the methadone clinic that hailed from the Nashville, Tennessee area. That sprung his fat ass from the joint about a year early.”  “Oh, that's great,” said John. “It doesn't surprise me in the least. Well, are you down with what is hatching in my brain my friend?”  Terry smiled and said “does the pope fuck little boys...”


               Gene Williams looked like a human pig so everyone except his poor mother called him “Porky” most of the time. Some called him much worse. He was a real piece of shit by almost everyone’s account. He and Dave had gone to school together and grew up as pals that would pull penny ante crimes together. Dave got married and had his son John and Porky went to jail a lot for DUI’s and small crimes such as breaking and entering until he got caught with a pound of blow and spent 5 years in the pen until he turned on the cats from Nashville who he’d bought the coke from. Porky just got out a week ago and he’d already heard the Nashville boys had caught wind of his rat-like ways. The Nashville Police had warrants on the boys, but they managed to skip town before the hammer fell on them. They wanted Porky’s fat ass in a sling and nothing else would do. Porky was a nervy bastard and everyone around town gave him shit for being a rat. He started carrying a snub nose .38 for protection even though Dave said he’d never fired a gun in his life. As Porky bragged around town to anyone who would listen about “having something for those two Nashville punks” he would pull the .38 out from under his fat gut holding it as if it were going to bite him. Everyone knew those guys were going to kill this fat fuck.

            Dave pulled up to Porky’s trailer and honked his horn. “Why the fuck do you have to be so loud, asshole!  You know I got fuckin’ neighbors” Porky said as he stepped onto the rotting front porch and took a slow look all around. “Get your fat ass down here and talk to me” Dave shouted. “Man, do you have anything at all?  Ol’ Porky’s not feeling too swift this morning” the fat man said, still looking around. Dave lifted the middle console in his truck and pulled up a prescription bottle with the label long torn off. “Here” Dave said as he filled Porky’s plump paw with about fifteen 30mg Oxycodone. “Damn Dave, you are the man!”  “Don’t get used to it, Porky. You know I’m the only friend you have in this world and you owe me more than you could ever pay off in two lifetimes.”  “I know,” said Pork. “So how the hell are you gonna get out of this mess?” asked Dave, popping two pills of his own. “I don’t know Dave. I have 5 bags of coke I scored off some young nigger fella I met the day I got out of jail. I figure if those Nashville boys do find me and start some shit I could bribe them with the powder. I don’t know the weight but it’s a damn good bit and it’s good as hell son.”  “You’d better hope those boys don’t just open up on your ass and put you six feet under. Stay out of that coke. It’s the only card you have to play right now. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for you and help how I can, but you need to keep a low profile until some of this shit simmers” said Dave. “You fucked up Porky. Nobody likes a rat and I don’t know the two from Nashville and what they have the guts to pull off. You’d better hope they’re yellow because I sure as shit know how me and my kind take care of rats and I believe you know too.”  Dave patted Porky’s forearm as he started his truck up and pulled away. He looked in the rearview to see Porky pop a handful of pills without a drop to drink. He’d never seen his old friend look so bad.

 

In Nashville, James and Eric were sharing a motel room after getting off their prison stretch. James was sitting in a chair at the desk next to the television as Eric flipped through the channels that had the same old shit that was always on. “Man, we been here for two days and you ain’t said shit about that redneck motherfucker that ripped off our stash. I say it’s about time something jumped off. We’ve been sitting in this goddamn motel room thinking the same thing. I say we take back what’s ours.”  James, now lying on the other bed, was thinking the same thing but only rolled his eyes at Eric’s statement. He was dwelling on the time they’d just pulled and had no real desire to go back anytime soon. Though the two weren’t in the same cell-block, they often received the same treatment. Both were bitter young men who were caught up in something neither started, but were damn determined to knock a dent in. James was the more level-headed of the two. Both men were capably violent and wanted nothing more than what they deserved, revenge. James was getting older and starting to realize there wasn’t a goddamn thing he could do to make things better by himself. These thoughts rolled continuously over in his mind as he listened to Eric’s blabbering. “Man, I wish you’d shut the fuck up. This shit is fucked up enough as it is. James told Eric to shut off the television and give the shit a rest.

 

The evening had set over the house John and Terry occupied. They’d been cooking up their plan for most of the day. The plan was to have Ashley and Mandy get Shaun over to the house and attempt to pump him for information. They’d been drinking and eating pain pills since Dave had left earlier that morning. 

Later that evening, the girls finally arrived with Shaun. They were lit upon arrival just as John had instructed. When they entered, things were cordial but there hung a fog of uneasiness in the air. When Shaun went into the restroom to do god knows what, the girls were asked to leave so the business at hand could unfold. The door shut, and John took his position beside Terry. When Shaun came out, Terry dropped him with a solid right to the temple. John scooped Shaun up and placed him on the tattered couch. The guys waited a few for Shaun to come around, he was hurt worse than John had anticipated. Terry immediately started freaking out and took more drugs in an attempt to dull the act of violence he’d committed. It was a fucked situation. John took out his knife and began playing with it knowing he could never really stab this hipster fuck. Crying, Shaun started coming around and knew he was fucked when he saw the girls were no longer around. John put on his best Manson face as he twirled the knife and switched it from hand to hand as Terry continually paced. 

Meanwhile, James had had enough of Eric’s shit and decided to drop him the first chance he got. He thought of going back to Georgia to square things himself but decided better of it and went back to Tennessee. As the two hit the Tennessee line they stopped at a convenience store. James planned on deserting Eric there. “Man grab us a few beers while you’re in there.”  “Will do,” said Eric, stepping from the car. James lit a cigarette and waited a few minutes. He didn’t want to be obvious. As he looked up to see where Eric was, he noticed Eric had pulled a gun on the unsuspecting cashier. James saw the flash from the muzzle of a customer’s gun drop Eric where he stood. James no longer had Eric as a problem, but he sure as shit didn’t want any part of this shit. He quickly pulled away as cool as he could and headed for his destination    

James was somewhat worried when he pulled up to his spot. Catrina and Agnes were waiting as he pulled into the drive. He immediately went to the trunk of the car where he realized Eric’s luggage was and opened it, finding the coke they were able to hang onto. James realized he was in a true shitstorm of epic proportion. The ladies were yapping in his ear about how happy they were to see him, but James’ heart was pounding out of his chest and he hadn’t even got into the evening yet. The ladies finally coaxed him into the house but not before he grabbed the suitcases to check and make sure there was nothing that could incriminate him any and to also get the fucking blow. Stepping into the house, Catrina said, “Let me get you some Cognac daddy, before you break out that girl.” James steadied himself as he sat down with his drink to rifle through the suitcases. He pulled out the 8-ball of coke he’d found that was left in Eric’s shit. He told the bitches to start a fire in the burn barrel out back and to burn that sucker’s clothes. The ladies did as they were told, and James finally calmed down enough to split up the coke where he could fucking think. He split the 8 ball into as many lines as he could. Of course, the ladies, often like hoover vacuum cleaners came right over to where he had the shit laid out. In his mind, he thought, I think I will go pay that fat fucking redneck a visit. Watching these two chicken heads go at the blow left a sick feeling in his stomach. Man, fuck it, James thought.

 

Terry came from the back room where John heard several sniffs beforehand. Terry made a beeline straight to where Shaun was sitting and started punching him over and over until John had to pull him off and ask, “Man, what the fuck are you doing! That kid didn’t hurt us, I already got the fucking information we needed from him, what is your goddamn issue?” “Fuck him,” Terry said. “I never liked the cock sucker anyhow.”  Goddamn, I’m surrounded by fucking idiots, John thought before retreating to the back room himself. 

John’s dad Dave had made his rounds and money pick-ups for the day. He’d come into the house finding a message from his old lady to call Porky back as soon as he made it home.  Well Goddamn, thought Dave. That sonuvabitch is more annoying than a three-peckered billy goat. “Janet, I’ll be back in a while. I’m going to see a man about a dog.” “Whatever Dave,” Janet replied in her nasal, northern tone. Dave popped a few Vicodin and headed back to the truck and was yet again headed to Porky’s to see what the hell he wanted this time.

         James left his spot and left the coke with the bitches. He’d done four fat rails back to back and that was enough to really get him started toward heaven or hell one. I’m stuck in between, James thought as his mind raced and his heart pounded. He found himself behind the wheel again with a sense of vengeance in his soul. Come hell or high water, someone’s going to pay.

            Across the way, John was attempting to tell Terry what they needed to do but he couldn’t seem to get through to him. John came out of the bathroom sniffing, he’d finally calmed Terry down enough to get the directions after a quick call from the ladies in on the plan. John was worried about the condition Shaun was in. Terry fucked him up. John told Terry to check in on him one last time while he went and cranked the car. John made it to the car and heard what he feared he would. 3 back-to -back shots fired before John had a second to react. Terry came flying out of the house with his .22 caliber rifle slung over his shoulder and running like a motherfucker. Getting to the car Terry said “Man, fucking go, just fucking go… I fucked up!”  Goddamn, thought John, this motherfucker is insane and stupid. I am fucked. There’s only one choice left to make. John thought, Dammit, please get me through this one more time again.

            Dave decided to stay the evening with Porky. He was the fat bastard’s friend after all. Hell, he had no reason to go home to the general whining and bitching he was used to from the old lady. He could tell Porky was on way too many drugs to be left alone with a goddamn firearm in the house. Besides, there was something in the air Dave couldn’t quite put a finger on… a general chill in the bones. Neither man had slept in at least two days and were only being fueled now by amphetamine and black coffee. Good old “trucker speed.”  Hand made by Porky himself. Both men were reaching the end of their run but neither wanted to give in. That would mean two days sleep at best, so each continued to pile their faces with each substance until wired to the hilt and damn near insane. Dave made sure to check where Porky kept the cocaine just in case it was needed for barter.

            James had made up his mind to kill Porky and sell the rest of the stash that was stolen, if it was still around, to fund his trip away from the swirling horseshit he and Eric had landed in. He knew regardless of what happened a poor, black man was not going to get a fair fucking trial in the south any time soon. He was no dummy. New South my ass,thought James as he creeped toward his destination. 

            

3:10 am: Police report…

 

3 shots fired in the area of MLK and Vine, Neighbors reported two Caucasian males exiting Vine and heading west on MLK. The two males are wearing shorts, and t-shirts, all black according to neighboring reports. Both wearing “ball caps.”   “Badge 655 be aware one of these boys is accused of being a meth-head and is reportedly ‘armed and dangerous.’  Please stand by… over.”

 

            John was trying to get the story of what happened from Terry as he nervously attempted to swerve from the ditch he had damn near bottomed out in. “Man, what the fuck is going on, what did you do?”  John asked, wiping his nose and forehead damn near simultaneously. “You stupid fuck, tell me what the fuck you did… why did you bring that fucking gun man?”  John had the pedal to the floor with panic in his every pore. He was elated, pissed, scared, yet somehow content. The plan to head for Porky’s was damn sure in swing now.

 

            James had a head full of worries his damn self. Goddamn Eric, man. That motherfucker was stupid as fuck for doing what he did and getting me into this bullshit. How the fuck am I supposed to remember where that fucking punk lives… rat motherfucker. I wanna pull his tongue out of the back of his fucking neck… motherfuck!  James angrily pounded the steering wheel as he slowed himself and began getting in the mode for Porky’s. It wasn’t hard to do, he simply thought of the abuse at the hands of many folks over the years. Especially those from the last stretch he’d just pulled. Thrown in solitary and left to shrivel for defending myself… Fuck the police and everyone else in this fucked-up town. One way or another, I’m out…  James Brown’s: Live from the Apollo cut through the static in James’ mind.

 

3:23am Police report…

 

Dispatch, this is 655, I’ll handle it. I’m not far from the area now. Hold on, I have to check into this creeper we have rolling. He looks up to no good if you know what I mean, show 655 pulling over a lone, black male. Stand by…  

 

The officer pulled James to the side of the street, put on his cap, opened the door and began walking to the driver’s side door where James was waiting. Wallet in hand. The cop had unlatched his holster before he stepped from the car. The fear showed on his face. “Hello sir, I couldn’t help but notice you were rolling a little slow through this area. It is a high drug trafficking area. Lemme see your license and registration boy.”  “May I ask what I did wrong this time, sir?” James managed to squeeze through clenched teeth and a head full of rage. James had his left arm resting on the side of the door. The cop started to make a move to put his hand on James’ arm when he caught the glint of a metal object by James’ leg. “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to put your hands where I can see them and remain in the car. Follow my commands and everything will be fine.”  The cop’s inflection gave away his chickenshit position. He saw that James was a rather large gentleman. Sure, you cocksucker, James thought to himself. The cop keyed up his mic, spoke some bullshit code which meant back-up would soon be there. They never work alone. Never. Cowardice.

            James tightened his grip on the blade he had by his leg between the seats. “Sir, I’m going to ask that you slowly step from the car with your hands in plain sight. If you fail to follow my commands I will use force, do you understand these commands?”  You’re goddamn right, thought James. The new set of blue lights were now in view as James stood from the car and in one whirring motion tore the cops throat out with his blade before the cop could speak a word. The cop’s body fell. James hopped back in his car and proceeded on before the other pig could see what he’d done.

            Dave and Porky were still seated at the fold out table they often used to play cards upon. Both wired to the hilt yet to the point of crashing out of sheer exhaustion. The sort of tired that makes one see things and imagine horrible scenes. This had pretty much turned into Porky’s life. Of course, it was his own fault. Dave was loyal to a fault and he would fight with Porky, but Jesus he had a horrible feeling. Look at this ignorant sonofabitch thought Dave. I should just drive my ass home, eat and call it a damn day. Goddammit, how can one man’s life get as fucked as this motherfucker’s here…Dave’s elbow slipped and hit the coffee cup between he and Porky spilling its contents on Porky’s pudgy arm and making him alert and annoying all at once. There were two rails left of the speed and Dave was about to make another pot of coffee when Porky stood up and announced he was going after the coke. Dave knew from previous dealings with Porky that he would either have to go along with him or knock him out. There was no reasoning with the ignorant sonofabitch. It had been tried many times before to the point that it was no longer an option to Dave. Porky stood, wobbled and headed to his bedroom where Dave knew the coke was in his favorite closet hiding space. He wasn’t very smooth about much of any damn thing. A crash came through with Porky as he tripped over a stool that was in his hallway, he mumbled something unintelligible and made it back to the card table with the huge bag of coke. Dave rolled his eyes. There was nothing more to do…

 

3:51 am Police report:

 

Dead air… “655, you there… 655?  I repeat, 655 can you respond?”  Dead air…  The sound of a squad car pulling up and two seasoned officers vomiting up their dinner at the sight of 655…  “Dispatch, this is 227, we need medical personnel right now, god damnit!  Right fucking now!”  Undecipherable noise… “Stay with us buddy, just stay with us… Oh Christ, Bill, he’s going to fucking die…”  Undecipherable… EMT arrival. End radio transmission.

 

            James parked his car a few blocks up the street from Porky’s pad. How could someone ever forget that shithole… He casually strolled up the street as cool as one could at 4 am without looking shady. He found a thicket of shrubs to stand between where he could see the lights on at Porky’s pad. James noticed another vehicle in the driveway he wasn’t familiar with. Mother fuck he thought as he stood pondering having to take on whatever may come between himself, Porky and the coke. This is my last shot…  He had his blade and a 9mm that held 10 rounds. He wasn’t quite sure all 10 were present. 

 

Flashback:


            A couple of ten-year-old children are out in a large field without a care in the world. They are throwing a football and tackling one another to the ground and howling with the laughter only a child can perform. A man and a woman sit off in the distance with a blanket spread and a basket made up for the family. The children continue to play, and the adults begin adult play. The man wants the woman, but she doesn’t seem to want him. He tells her to relax, “It’s going to happen.”  He slides his fingers between her shorts and though she’s frightened, her vagina is wet. He tears at her shorts and panties until he has her spread. He rams himself inside her with no regard to her well-being. Thrust after thrust of pure rage and rape shot into her cunt. He tells the bitch to get the kids together, he’s ready to go…

 

            Dave wished he’d never knew about that story. Made him sick every time. If only he and his brother had known what that man did… well…   “You ready for some coke my man,” Porky asked Dave who was gladly pulled from his morbid revelry. “Are you sure you want to break into that shit now?  Hell, I feel like death.”  “You won’t when I break open this huge fucking bag… hang out with ol’ Pork. Come on, don’t be a pussy. Your old lady’s nowhere around so we don’t have to listen to that shit, thank fucking Christ.”  “Shit, you’re right. The bitch is probably passed out drunk. Throw me one out, fuck it.”  Porky was attempting to gently cut open the wrapped bag of coke with a butcher knife, but his shaking wouldn’t allow the deed to be done. Dave grabbed the knife from Porky, shook his head and zipped in through the tightly wrapped plastic and came out with a beautiful snow-like powder. Pure as the driven snow…

 

            Ashley and Mandy had done their deed for the evening. They’d been paid off with pills and powder. They stopped at the liquor store for a fifth of vodka and then got really stoned. They soon found one another caressing each other in a lust neither had felt before. Rubbing became kissing became licking became coming… they slept like drug-fueled angels…  Like the dead.

 

            John pulled up as quietly as he could behind his dad’s truck at Porky’s. He cut the lights because he wanted to try and talk to Terry before anything could get worse.  Looking at Terry, John was frightened. Terry was sitting with shaking hands and a glazed look on his face. “I shot that kid in the head, in the heart and in the balls,” he stated as if telling him he was going to grab a beer. John could smell the metallic stench of blood that had splattered on his friend’s clothes from where he’d shot Shaun. There’s no getting out of this thought John, realizing the severity of this fucked situation that seemed to get worse by the minute. John tried to breathe deep as he turned to talk to Terry. His friend’s appearance was damn near too much to take. Terry was in a state of no man’s land. Whatever he’d done, he was now changed. John reached out to touch Terry’s shoulder, but Terry nervously jerked away from the touch. John could see tears welling in his friend’s eyes. “I can’t do this man, I thought I could, but man I can’t,” Terry said in a low, even voice. “What the fuck can we do now, man?” asked John. Terry’s hands seemed to tremble more at the words his friend had just spoken. The two sat in a state of panic, fear and shock for what seemed like forever, but only seconds had elapsed. John took a glance over at Terry in time to see a small hole form in the middle of his forehead. He saw the hole before he heard the shot. Terry had pointed the gun directly to his face and pulled the trigger. His legs were moving rapidly on the floorboard of the car. Blood began to trickle from the small .22 caliber hole as Terry tried speaking to John. “I’m sorry man,” Terry said as terror struck John. “Terry, Terry, stop man… just stop talking… what have you done man?”  “Tell that kid’s folks I’m sorry John,” Terry said as his legs stopped moving quite so much. John grabbed his friend's arm in time to look him in the eye and watch him lay his head back on the headrest, close his eyes and fade into what awaited him. John grabbed the .22 rifle out of Terry’s hand as if he were going to strangle it, but realized from his friend’s stillness, there was nothing he could do. John pulled the gun from Terry’s grip as he opened the door to vomit. He remained in stunned silence and panic at the sight of his dead friend and the frantic thoughts that were running through his mind. In a stupor, John stepped from the car and began walking toward Porky’s back door. The plan was no longer with him, only shock, tears and reality remained. Though John was spun, he could feel nothing. Porky’s door looked as though it were at the end of a long tunnel that he could never reach. He felt his legs give a bit as he continued onward. He felt cold though he was soaked with sweat. John could only think of getting to his father. John dropped the rifle and didn’t care. He never felt it slip from his hands. They were numbed well beforehand. He felt he would never make it to the door. “Dad!” John shouted.

            As Porky bent over to do the second of his two rails Dave heard a faint sound and pulled Porky upright. “Did you hear that?” asked Dave. “What the fuck Dave, said Porky, you almost wasted my damn line!  There’s nothing out there, man, you’re just being paranoid. Do another line and shut up. Gimme some of that coffee, I’m starting to feel like myself again,” Porky said as he stood to make sure his snub nose was where it was supposed to be. He stumbled into the bathroom to piss and Dave stood to look out the window toward the faint sound he thought he’d heard. His head was lit from the speed, cocaine and pills. It took a good bit for Dave to get high, but he certainly was. Looking out the window he saw a man approaching the back door. His pulse quickened as he yelled for Porky to get his fat ass out here. “We have some sort of company.”  Dave reached to the small of his back where he kept his .45. Porky quickly came from the bathroom not knowing what to think. He had his little snub nose shaking in his hand, Dave told him to put the damn thing away before he shot himself. “Listen, said Dave, I’m going around the front of the house to try to see who this could be. In 10 seconds, I will knock on the side of the kitchen wall. When I do, throw the flood light up and blind this motherfucker. Any questions?”  Dave left Porky’s gun on the table and stepped as silently as he could out the front door. Porky was as lit as any human should be and was trying to remember his part of the plan. He stood shaking from the drugs and the adrenaline pulsing through his every pore. He maneuvered to the back door awaiting Dave’s knock, so he could throw the switch on the floodlight that lit up his backyard like an artificial sun. Dave slid around the corner of the house and behind an Oak tree that was conveniently located for sneaking up on this stranger’s back. He slid over to the kitchen wall from the tree and knocked loudly 3 times on the outside of the house. It seemed to take Pork a minute to figure out the light switch, but about 4 seconds late, the light flooded the back yard and Dave realized he had his gun trained on his son. “John, why are you here?  I thought you and Terry had practice.”  As John turned to face his father he nearly whimpered at the sound of the familiar voice. Dave could see that something was wrong with John. He saw the lights from the car still on and rushed to his son’s side to see him shaking and incoherent with blood on his clothes. “What the hell is going on son, are you alright?”  John tried to mutter what would come to his mind but the only word that would form was “Dead.”  Dave noticed the .22 rifle laying a few paces behind his son and feared that John may have been shot. Dave hadn’t yet registered the single word that came from his son’s mouth. “What are you saying, John?”  Dave said as he attempted to lead his son to the steps of Porky’s back porch to sit down. “What the hell happened, are you hurt anywhere?”  John weakly pointed to the car. Dave told his son to sit tight and he would be right back. John sat on the steps with his head in his hands and a mind full of confusion and fear. Dave started toward the car and could feel that something bad had gone down. He saw the vomit on the ground near the driver’s side door that was still opened on the vehicle. As he saw the carnage inside, it took his breath away. In his mind, Terry was like a second son. He inspected the situation, felt his heart drop, shut off the lights and shut the door to the car as he began to make his way back to the porch and his shattered son.

            John was coming around a bit from the panic he was feeling. He reached in his pocket for his cigarettes and found the rest of the speed he and Terry had left for the evening. John pulled out the baggie, took a slow look and buried his nose in the remains. He pulled out a Marlboro Light, took a deep draw and died 5 seconds later from the blade of James’ knife clean across his throat.

            Inside, Porky was getting into more cocaine, oblivious to the possible threat of a stranger. James calculated the time he had to do Porky before that old, white motherfucker got back to the porch and saw that boy. James almost felt sympathy, but then remembered it was useless in the real world. When you’re trying to live. He peeked through the hole in the back door to plan his attack on Porky. He gently opened the door attempting to not make a sound but failed. “Dave, did you find your ghost, you paranoid sonuvabitch?  Ha Ha.”  Porky was bent over another rail as James slid in and quickly over to Porky, grabbed him by his greasy hair and slammed his face into the Poker table. He pulled Pork around so he could see who he was dealing with. So he would remember. As James inspected the damage he’d done to Porky, he saw the remnants of the brick of coke that started this whole goddamn mess with this rat motherfucker in the first place. Porky began begging for his life. James snickered at the fact that Porky had a straw lodged deep in his nostril, bleeding profusely from the face plant he’d received. “You motherfucker, people like you are the reason the goddamn world is the way it is!”   Without a word or seemingly a thought James gave Porky a single shot to the temple ending the bullshit.

            As James slipped through the front door with what he’d come for, Dave was running toward the fired shot he heard just a second earlier when he caught the first glimpse of his son’s lifeless body resting in a large pool of blood. Dave fell face down in the dirt and wept about everything.

 

 

Epilogue:

 

Miami, FL.

 

            The kids are playing in the pool at James and Alma’s house. James owns his computer business and Alma stays at home with young Annette, their 4 -month- old daughter. James looks up at the sky and realizes just how good he does have it. He hardly thought of the past anymore, but when he did, he wondered what became of the only man he left alive that night… well fuck him. James slid his knife back into its sheath and in its spot hoping it would never be used again but knowing he absolutely would if it came down to it. Every single time.

 

 

North Ga. Hills:

 

            An old man sits with a whiskey bottle between his legs around what seems to be a shrine of candles and pictures of many people lost over the years. The man smells of week- old body odor. He pulls at the whiskey as it dribbles down his chin and onto the yellow -stained undershirt that seems part of the skin at this point. His life ended many years ago. Face down in the dirt.

 

 

Hollywood, CA.

 

            Ashley is an “actress in training” as she waits tables at the local celebrity hot spots, hoping to soon be discovered… for something.

            Mandy had moved to Hollywood as well but died of a heroin overdose her second week there.






Joe S. Thomas is an author who lives and writes in Northwest Georgia. When not huddled down behind the keyboard writing crazy stories, you’ll find him in his basement recording punk rock music as the Sonic Haints. Joe has been published in the Georgia Mountain Review as well as many underground zines and blogs. He has also done a few interviews with some of your punk rock heroes. May have shared a stage with them as well…  you never know with this guy.  

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