Ah, another peaceful Monday afternoon drive home from work. You know the type. Radio blaring its 20th commercial in a row while you sweat your ass off on a hot leather seat. Air conditioner out of Freon. Plumes of blackish, grayish exhaust add a delicate, zesty scent to the air and complete the illusion that the rusting pickup ahead of you might fall apart the next time it hits a pothole. Oh, don’t kid yourself, that’d be too lucky for you. If it did that, then you’d never get to hit the pothole too.
Just as I’m passing underneath an overpass, I slam on the brakes, stopping suddenly, followed by a brief resurgence in motion and then another stop. Faking pain, I open the door and fall out, screaming about my poor shattered sphincter. Oh the pain, oh no, now I have restless leg syndrome. A few people slow and act like they’re going to do something. Most of them just drive on by. Even the guy who rear-ended me doesn’t want to get out. I mean, it is a nice car I just dented. I don’t know if that color of red is cherry or apple, but it’s a Ferrari. The balding, bearded man within finishes the call on his hands-free phone and steps out. 6 foot, maybe 6’1”. I can see why his stepdaughter would be intimidated. He’s got muscle, and a belly, so he’s a big guy overall. He’s also too annoyed to realize I’m faking an injury, wearing a trenchcoat on a hot day, and stopped just to talk to him.
Then again, his stepdaughter told me he claims to not be able to help himself. Funny he should phrase it that way.
He steps forward, knuckles whitening as he squeezes his hands together. That would explain the bruises. Anger management problems. See how much of a menace people are when they let themselves get out of control? I smile, dropping all pretense of injury, and draw out my trench knife. He stops, incredulous. With a giggle, I raise the spike up and gouge it through my cheek and out between my lips before pulling it out. Is he pondering what I’m pondering?
Eyes bulging, the man turns, scrambling for the door. I start to walk for him, mentally going ‘Woot!’ Finally, he gets in, cranking it quickly, and drives forward at me. I jump, hitting the hood and windshield, driving the blade into the roof of his car. We smash into my lovely, muscley black car as well. Probably prompted by the sight of a spike sticking through his roof, he remembers to turn so he can actually move away. Since drivers have stopped to watch, he leaves my poor car in the dust. Speeding down the freeway, he swerves, trying to throw me off. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten to my knees and slide onto the roof of the car, smiling all the while. Then I swallow a bug. While I’m hacking it up, the evil stepdad takes a ramp. He makes a very wide turn at the top, coming out of an intersection in the wrong lane. A light flashes as we speed through. Wow, he’s going to be pissed about that ticket. The picture in the newspaper would later show me yelling gleefully, throwing up the devil horns with my free hand. I love my job.
As I get settled in, and he has to slow down through traffic, I dip my head down over the side of the car, watching my panicked target from upside down. “Hey asshole!” I call. No response. Oh, he’s trying to dial that headset phone. Luckily I have the number. I fish my phone out of my pocket, only to have it drop from my grasp to the fast-moving road above me. Beneath me. Whatever. Either way, it’s gone now.
I look up to find that he’s noticed me. I wave. Then we crash.
I go flying, and do my best to flap my arms, but unfortunately they’re all tangled up in my jacket. I know I do a little skidding, so that explains the intense pain around my mouth and that grinding, tearing sensation of lost teeth on road. Checking a nearby rear view mirror, I ignore the screaming woman inside that car, wipe some rocks off my bloody flesh, and pop my jaw back into place. My regenerative nanites will regrow the skin and muscle tissue missing from the lower half of my face. Noseless is not a good look for me, but pain is not a good feeling for me and I just have to deal with that too. I never dull it. Why bother with the hardship and sadness of existence when you could sit it out in a mellow high…bleh.
Still don’t know why I got this massive pain in my ass, though. Checking, I find my knife. I pull it out and turn back toward the Ferrari. The door flies open and the disoriented driver steps out. He looks around and spots me, the man with half a face and all of a big metal spike with a knuckleduster handle, and starts booking it for a nearby alley. I follow, and am in much better shape. I catch up and punch him between the shoulderblades. It’s not my best, since we’re running, but the knuckledusters of the knife knife give it enough oomph to drop him. Everybody’s just skidding their brains out today, ha ha ha. Nevermind, his are still in.
I turn him over, his shirt partially torn open from lost buttons. In desperation, he bites my ankle, so I punch him in the jaw until he stops. He holds his mouth as I kneel beside him, a lipless smile on my face, “You know, it’s a good thing I ran into the rapist, because I’ve been told I need the rapy. Scratch that, therapy.” He groans. Geez, tough crowd. “No, no, you don’t have to say a thing. I just want you to know I had a lot of fun out here today. I was really looking forward to the ride, and it didn’t disappoint. Your daughter, sorry, stepdaughter, she doesn’t care so much for the riding. She has requested you be inhumed and for me to point out the humor of you greatly increasing her allowance in order to help keep her quiet about what you were doing to her. So there you go.”
Knife in hand, I reach down and spread his legs. Moaning incoherently, he tries to push me off, but I just hit him, again and again, until he can’t object. Then I get him in the femoral artery. Ew, I hope that was blood that just squirted on me. While I’m at it, he gets the spike-like blade up his taint. The screams are…so nice.
They remind me of when I lost my virginity. I was so young. Of course, it was either go through with it with that young…too young…girl…or take a bayonet to the neck. I was hardly any older either. I’m…I don’t know. I don’t know when my birthday is.
I see it all over again. I know what I’m about to do this time. When I’ll hold her down by her throat and-. I can still feel myself tense, cold blade against the back of my neck, eyes trained on me, every muscle in my body in the middle of a fight or flight response, except there was no flying or fighting. If. I. Don’t. I. Die. She. Dies. If. I. Run. I. Die. And. She. Dies.
“THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING,” I hear blared in my ear. Like a puppy with a phonograph. His Master’s Voice.
I blink, noticing the screams have stopped. They’ve stopped because my blade is now through the man’s spine. Follow the trail of blood down and you would see the mess I’ve made of his general groin area. I don’t even know what all the bloody globs are I’ve tossed around.
Don’t you hate it when you get caught up in reminiscing? I didn’t even have anyone around I could crack a joke to, so instead I have to talk to myself. To myself! Do you believe it! No, no I don’t! “Rectum, ha ha, darn near killed em!” Gets me every time.
I stand up, sighing, noticing that my lips are finally about healed. That’s good. I’m ready for the stinging to be over and I feel the lack of lips has prevented me from properly expressing my emotions. It’ll also help me blend in, another happy face in the crowd.
Well, it would if not for the blood all over me. Ah, I’ve had many a good time covered in blood. But why reminisce about bachelor parties and donkey shows back on the old planet or last week.
The day before all this, I sat down in some high school bleachers and watched the grass. There’s just so much of it. What if it got real big? Giant blades of grass, large enough to wrap people in their leaves, or even papercut them on a massive scale. I shook my head and focused on the person I came to meet. “You have to excuse me, I’m just not the sort to hang around a football field and watch the guys and girls in tight pants. Perhaps we can go sit in my van, where there’s lots of candy.”
The girl in front of me gave a nervous titter, looking like she was regretting her decision already. I could read her with my eyes. Literally, the implants I have function as a computer. It whites out my eyes, but it gives me excellent computing capability. On this alternate Earth, they call it augmented reality, which is a good name for it. Nobody knows about having a little something extra with their reality quite like me, even if I’ve been told I never needed new eyes to see the world differently than anyone else.
Anyone’s eyes would recognize the bruises on her. You’re not that good with the makeup yet, sweetie. “Um…it’s the only place I know. I mean…we can’t talk at home,” she stumbled through her words.
“We’ll have to have us a girl’s night. You can braid my hair and I’ll spread the latest gossip about that bitch Jennifer. Why don’t you start off by telling me why we can’t have a slumber party at your place?”
She bit her lip, thinking it through for a minute, so I prompted her a little. Just a little. It had to be her choice.
“You don’t have to tell me everything, you know. You can just give me a name and the money.”
The far off look in her eyes comes close. She says a name and a number. “It’s all I can get…is it going to be enough?” She blinked, tears welling up in her eyes. She didn’t seem like the type to be comforted by a lesson about all the knots you can tie with a person’s intestines, so I didn’t know how to comfort her.
Finally, I came up with, “It’s enough. We have the deal already. I am one-hundred percent guaranteed to be a threat to him. And not you.” I lowered my glasses to look her in the eye. Crap, robo-eyes, way to comfort a girl.
She sniffled. “You don’t think this is too far?”
I gave her a grin. “Trust me. I’m the guy named Psycho Gecko. If anyone has gone or is going to go too far here, it’s not you.”
We talked. I must say, for an occasion that didn’t involve any gore, mayhem, murder, carnage, venom, toxin, doppelganger, or banshee, at the time at least, it turned out ok. The only thing I tortured on a regular basis was a comma.