The boy lay sleeping, restlessly in his bed as the man staggered into his room. Had he been awake he could have tried to protect his face. He stirred just as the large fist struck his face. Rudely awakened from dreams of a better life, He tried to cry out for help but the hands were around his neck. He opened his eyes but could only see a bright flash from the blow to his nose, which had been broken as easily as a twig.
He was a little small for the age of 15, he wasn’t athletic at all. He had wanted many times to play sports, but was never allowed. He lived in a world of fantasy he created for himself. The boy, like many abused children, the lucky ones anyway, had come to realize that being an “adult,” or a “parent.” didn’t automatically make you right, and all knowing. He knew without a shadow of doubt that wisdom did not come with age.
For weeks he had been trying to find a way out of this hell he was stuck in. He finally had what he needed, proof that he is being beaten. He called the child abuse hotline and had been instructed that he and his mother would be protected from his stepfather. Now was the time to act, if he lived through this attack.
His mother comes in from the hallway screaming. “Stop you’re going to kill him!”
She had never stepped in before, claiming she was scared of him, and that trying to stop him would only make matters worse. Mark had believed her, she had told him after a big fight six months earlier that she’d leave him and he had threatened to kill them both. Mark was under the impression she only stayed with this man to protect her son.
The man turned his attention to the boy’s mother, throwing her into a large armoire, shattering its mirrored door. Blood began to pour from her shoulder. Her light blue silk blouse was quickly becoming a bright scarlet.
“Oh god I’m sorry honey, I didn’t mean to hurt you!” He once again turned to the boy gasping for air crumpled on his bed and screamed. “You’re gonna pay for this, this is all your fault!”
The boy could only look on terrified of what he was seeing, paralyzed partially from lack of oxygen and partially from terror.
“I’m gonna kill you!” Screamed the crazed man his mother had married just 3 months after his father’s death. That was two years ago, and his life has been one beating after another since.
“No if you kill him we won’t get any more money.” Quietly spoke his mother.
His stepfather had been a former business partner of his father. His father had ended this business relationship and left this crazed man penniless because of unexplained large sums of money disappearing from the company bank account. This nearly crippled the company, but the boy’s father had been a very wise investor and was able to cover the losses until the business bounced back.
The boy’s father felt no guilt for leaving his partner broke, he could have had him arrested and put in prison, that he felt, was as far as his generosity needed to go. It was his company he had built it from the ground up, with no help, so why should he do more. This fact guaranteed the boy a miserable existence. The stepfather put all his blame for his financial straits on the boy, who had no more to do with it than the man on the moon.
The stepfather had planned on murdering his former partner so he could just step in and take the company by forging some documents, it would have been easy, because he had inside help. He never got the chance; the boy’s father died in a terrible accident, a truck driver fell asleep and ran over him. He was driving a tiny sports car, which ironically had been a gift for his wife. His death had been very hard for Mark.
Marks mother on the other hand had faired very well from his demise. With the large life insurance policy and a sizable settlement from the trucking company, she was doing ok. For a brief period things were even ok for Mark, but all that changed when the money started to run out.
Marks father had it in his will that in the event of an untimely death, his business, properties, and various investments were to all be liquidated and put into a trust fund for his son. His wife was to receive only 10%, but with that, the insurance, and the settlement she had well over three million dollars. That would have been plenty enough for any normal person to live lavishly all the rest of their days, but not her.
Mark’s new stepfather was not as wise with investing as mark’s father had been. He lost over two million in the first six months. He drank morning, noon, and night. He never made a business deal sober.
The boy struggled to get out of the way of the fist aimed at his nose, this time he was hit squarely in the ear. He was now partially blinded, and couldn’t hear anything but ringing in his left ear.
The boy’s mother just as calm as before asked, “what’s wrong Roger, what is it, what’s happened?” Realizing this had to be more than just punishment for his enemies son. She didn’t mind Roger beating her kid. Sometimes she enjoyed listening to the screams.
“He has to die, we have no choice. I’ve gotten in some trouble with some serious people who don’t accept failure or excuses.” Roger blurted.
”Sweetie let’s get a drink and talk about this. OK?” She asked sweetly.
The boy sat stunned trying to figure out why his mother was talking so sweetly and calmly to the man trying to kill her son. He then thought she is just trying to calm him down and get him away from me. He then felt so much undeserved love for his mother, still not aware of her true deception.
His mother had never wanted him; she had never wanted children at all. She had consented only because it was what Mark’s father had wanted. Just another part of the job she had taken, she was not going to be poor all her life. She loved that his father had worked so much. She had all the free time in the world to take lovers as she desired, she got to live in a beautiful luxurious home, and drive expensive cars. All these things she felt she deserved for giving this man his “perfect” son, and in doing so wrecking her perfect body. How selfish she thought him to be.
She never loved the man she was married to for fifteen years; she had begun cheating only after three months of marriage. When she became pregnant she wasn’t even sure who the father was until after the boy was born. He was a tiny reflection of his father.
After a few minutes Mark regained his bearings and remembered he had put a small listening device in the living room. Something he had bought with money he had taken from the safe in his dad’s office. He had the receiver plugged into his computer. He put on his headphones and waited, the audio was clear as promised on the package. He had waited by the mailbox everyday till it came and was nearly caught the day it arrived. He had thrown it in a hedge and had to sneak out in the middle of the night to retrieve it.
“Listen Theresa we need that money, these guys know where we live, they were describing the lawn to me on the phone. They must have followed me. I know you hate the kid as much as I do. If you want after we get the trust fund we can split 50/50 and go our separate ways, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Mark waited, expecting his mom to start screaming and crying, but soon found he was waiting in vain.
“We’ll never get away with it now; you’ve beaten him to a pulp. There will be too many questions about where all those bruises came from. Come on Roger we have to plan this carefully, we will have to keep him locked up until the wounds heal, then maybe use one of those damned 4 wheelers in the garage. We can make it look like an accident.” A single tear left Mark’s eye as he heard his mother saying this, but only one.
He decided that he would get them before they got him. He wouldn’t kill his own mother, but Roger was a dead man. He just wanted to talk to his mother, so he kept recording and listening.
“Look I am going out for a while, get him calmed down. I think I know someone who can handle this professionally.” Said Roger as he rose and headed for the door.
“Ok then, I will go calm the bastard son, be careful.” Mark had never heard such hate in his mom’s voice; it chilled him, and only fueled his anger.
After 20 minutes his mother walked in, riding high on her prescription cocktail. He noticed she had changed blouses and bandaged her shoulder. “Mom how’s your shoulder?”
“I’m ok sweetheart, are you ok?” Asked Theresa with all the fake sincerity she could muster.
“Well, I’m covered in blood, I can’t hear out of my left ear, that will probably be permanent. How the fuck do you think I’m doing mom?” He screamed at her.
“How dare you talk”, she began.
He cut her off, “I just want to know did you two kill my father?”
She was scrambling for answers, she was lost, and she couldn’t get her thoughts together. Wait, how dare this little ungrateful fucker talk to me this way? Besides, he doesn’t know shit, and if he does no matter he will be dead soon anyways. Then he can join his blessed father in hell.
She back handed him leaving a long gash across his cheek from the huge diamond ring she was wearing. “How dare you, you little fuck!”
He was in excruciating pain and could barely see. Even from his mother’s feeble blow new shockwaves of pain seared his face. His nose was in need of surgery, he could see the shape of her through the tears and blinding brightness only someone who has had their nose shattered has seen.
He rolled back on his bed bent his legs and before she could comprehend what he was doing, he kicked her with both feet square in the face as hard as he was able, forever disfiguring her beautiful features. What she hadn’t noticed was that although he was still in his night clothes he had put his hiking boots on.
The force of the blow threw her backwards into the same armoire she had collided with earlier. She slumped and fell to the floor in a heap, as much a bloody pulp as he himself was. He lifted her and put her in a chair and tied her in tight.
Before using the smelling salts from the first aid kit to revive her he made sure his microphone was turned on and his computer was recording.
“Mom wake up.” she pulled away from the smelling salt and realizing she was tied up, began to panic.
“You’re going to reform school if you don’t untie me this instant.” She demanded.
“Mom did you murder my father?” He asked, not moved by her demands, then added, “We are all alone till dick gets back.”
She just looked at him through her smashed face, too doped up to feel the pain, defiantly. “Please tell me, I deserve to know,” he was becoming hysterical, she was going to tell him the truth or she would pay.
“You don’t deserve shit you little bastard. You’ve done nothing but be in my way since the day you were born. So don’t tell me what you deserve!” She screamed.
“Maybe you’d like to hear something I recorded earlier.” He was trying to calm down, but having trouble keeping his hysterics at bay.
She listened to herself planning his murder and broke down into her own hysterical crying fit, barely audible, “please you don’t understand, he will kill me, it’s all him.”
“Listen carefully mother, I am recording this conversation, is that OK mother? It may help you not get in so much trouble. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Yes, that’s a good idea, you are such a clever boy, yes record what I say, you must believe me I would never hurt you, I swear to God.” She pleaded.
“Mother, did you or Roger murder my father?”
“Roger was going to, he even went so far as to try and hire someone, but had no luck finding someone to do it. So he decided to do it himself, he was building a bomb but never got the chance to use it because of the accident.”
“How long had you been seeing Roger before my father died?” Asked Mark, he was fully in control and planned on making the best of this situation.
“Ten, no, eleven years, but your father was so cold to me, he didn’t love me.” She cried.
“So you knew Roger before he became my father’s business partner then?” He asked solemnly. Mark had heard bits and pieces of conversations over the years, now they were finally making sense.
“It was all Roger’s idea, I introduced them, saying Roger was a friend from college.” She stuttered, trying to understand why he wanted this information.
“So you knew, participated in, and planned the stealing of the money from dad’s company?” He asked sternly.
“NO!!!” She exclaimed.
“Mom telling a lie isn’t going to help you at all, being honest is the best thing you can do.” He said earnestly. Mark was attempting to emulate authority, as he had seen on so many cop shows.
“Ok I helped get the money, but Roger said it was temporary and that he would put it back. He had an investment opportunity.” She squeaked.
“Mom didn’t you and my father have a prenuptial agreement?” That question was not planned it just popped out, yet another hold over in his mind from a TV court room drama.
“Yes, but what does that matter.” she trailed off, her son was far more clever than she had known, she just admitted to eleven years’ worth of infidelity. Which although they hadn’t divorced, there could still be repercussions and she was entitled to nothing. She would lose her house, and probably be ordered to pay back all that she had received in the first place.
He broke through her thoughts, it was easy to manipulate her, and she had been eating pills nonstop for years now, not even hiding the fact after Marks father had died. “This is my last question, and I promise I will never talk to you ever again as long as I live. Are you planning on killing me to get my trust fund, and is not my stepfather out right now attempting to find someone to pay to kill me?” He had silent tears in his eyes when he asked this, but turned his head so that she couldn’t see.
“God forgive me, yes we are going to kill you Mark, but I don’t want to.” She cried in relief, but it troubled him how she answered, yes we are going to kill you Mark, like nothing had changed in the plan.
He switched off the microphone and made 20 copies of the audio he had just recorded, he wrote on the CD sleeves that it was the confession of a murder attempt, put his address on them all and walked through his neighborhood putting them in people’s mailboxes. He knew what was coming next may not work and he wanted a backup plan to make sure his mother and Roger were made to pay.
It was almost two am, he only had until three to prepare. He knew Roger never missed last call, so he rushed back home showered and bandaged his face as best he could. He went down in the basement and switched off the breaker to the front of the house, he needed it to be dark when Roger returned. He climbed the stairs in the foyer and waited.
The girl was lying face down on the cold concrete floor of the isolation cell deep inside the girl’s reformatory. She was very frail; she had many visible bruises, and was completely naked from the waist down.
The worst of the bruises were on her face and thighs. The man looking through the glass stared bewildered at what he had just discovered. They had given him a map of the cavernous prison so he would not get lost as he worked.
He had been a prison inspector for nine years and knew how to read a map. This map was an exception. He was walking down hallways that should not exist in an underground wing of the prison that was never built. They labeled it a girl’s reformatory but it was no different than any prison he had inspected before. He was certain there were no doors leading to this place, nor were there any steps leading down.
Before he had found the girl he had retraced his steps and found no exit from where he stood other than the crawl spaces built in for electrical and plumbing. That’s how he found this undocumented labyrinth.
He wasn’t sure what he had stumbled into but was becoming very nervous. It was obvious the girl had been savagely raped and beaten. Who did this he wondered. He had keys so he slowly opened the door to her cell.
The girl heard him enter and tried in vain to crawl away from the noise. She was very weak and struggled with the effort. Buddy had never seen someone in such a condition. He saw she had a few gashes on her arms and they began to bleed as she attempted to crawl away from him.
“Dear God.” stammered the frightened inspector. He knew that if he were caught before he could alert the authorities this could end badly for him and this poor child both.
He could not avert his gaze and then realized she was indeed naked and this embarrassed him. He tried looking away as the girl slowly lifted her damage face towards him.
“No more please.” She whimpered at the startled man.
“I don’t understand sweetheart, what happened to you? Why are you here? Where are we?” he was at a loss for words, all he could do was stutter questions at this poor creature.
The girl realizing he was not one of her tormentors quietly begged, “Please help me.”
“I will get you help. Who did this? I have to find my way back out and call someone before whoever did this finds out I found you.”
“Please don’t leave me.” The battered girl begged.
“I will get help and come back please believe me.” He was scared and knew if he were discovered before he could find help he could be locked in one of these nonexistent cells himself.
She was too weak to argue. She lowered her head as he quietly locked the door. She slept for how long she did not know. She dreamt of what had been done to her. She dreamt of her father and mother before the accident. She also dreamt of the accident and this startled her from her sleep.
She was in severe pain and needed help. Had she dreamt of the man or was it real? She did not know. She pulled herself up to the small metal sink and slowly began to wash herself. She let the bloody water fall to the cell floor. She wanted to be clean. She didn’t want to be seen in such a state if indeed the man had been real.
She had been putt in this reformatory for repeatedly running away from her foster home. They didn’t believe her when she told them how the foster dad liked to touch her and the other girl staying there. The problem had been when her foster sister got on the stand she denied everything. She liked it when he touched her. Anna could hear her in the night moaning and giggling, always begging for more.
So after her fifth attempt at running away they had sent her here. This hell she had not deserved. She lost her parents to a drunk driver only eleven months earlier and she was still being punished.
She had heard the men talking before they began raping her. “Yeah she is a prime candidate, no folks, and a record of running away. No one will miss this one.” The man who spoke was large and had a southern drawl she never saw his face. He was speaking to a much smaller man almost weasel like in the dim room. They wore masks to hide their identity.
From what they had said she knew she would be killed after they were finished. They had her sitting on a bed in a larger room in a part of the prison she did not recognize. They had taken her through some sort of crawl space to get to this place.
The lights of the cameras burned her eyes when they were switched on. She was more terrified than she had ever been in her life. They did not speak to her or each other again.
They started beating her first; they then ripped off all her clothes except for the shirt she was wearing. They each in turn raped her in every horrible fashion she could imagine. She was a virgin but knew about sex. These men did things that she had never heard of. After an hour or so she went numb and really couldn’t remember anything else until she woke in the cell the man had found her in. That is if he were real.
She continued to wash herself as best she could. The water was frigid but after enduring the previous night’s abuse the cold was a welcome sensation. She remembered they had not used protection and she wondered would she be pregnant or sick from these deranged men’s pleasure.
She was going to die she knew, unless the man had been real. “Please be real.” She whispered aloud. She rested against the wall, the effort of cleaning herself had taken a great deal of her strength but she felt revitalized having their filth washed off of her.
She drank from the copper flavored water as best she could. She did not know what was to be next. How long had it been since the man was there? Was he there? She began to believe he was real convincing herself that had he been imagined he would have been someone she knew.
She dozed off leaning against the cold wall. There was no way to tell the time in this place but when she woke she was sure it had been many hours since the man was there.
The man slowly staggered down the hall. He knew he didn’t have much time before he was dead like so many others before him. He had to set her free if it was all he could do, she was hurt but he believed she would heal and go on to survive.
He had tried to get help as he had promised but the world was a madhouse and a lone girl in a prison cell was of little importance to anyone but him it seemed.
He had been wandering the corridors for over an hour trying to find the girl a safe passage out and he had finally been successful. He had found an old door barely visible in the dim corridor and after a great struggle managed to pry it open with a fire axe he had found. It led out into the woods behind the girl’s reformatory that was quickly becoming a tomb. He was wearing a fireman’s suit he had taken from the maintenance room. He didn’t want to get her sick as well.
She heard him opening the cell and grew terribly afraid. She did not know who or what was going to come through the door. More masked figures to end her suffering? Or was it the man keeping his promise?
No one entered once the door was open, then after a few tense moments she heard the man’s voice. Choked and muffled. “Come to the door sweetie.”
She slowly rose and made her way to the doorway. She walked unsure on her sore legs and nearly fell more than once. Out in the hallway she saw him, even though he wore a mask she could tell something was seriously wrong with him.
“What is going on?” she quietly asked.
“Sick, they are all sick. It’s why I couldn’t get help. Everyone in this place is dying. I found a door, follow that hallway take the first right then the next left and you are free. Listen stay away from people everyone is sick. There is a plague. I don’t know what it is but I have it too.” He began to vomit inside the mask. The few words he had said overexerted him and he could not breathe. The frightened girl watched as her savior choked to death merely 20 feet away.
She made her way down the hall slowly. She was barefoot and naked from the waist down. She was in shock but walked on anyway. She stumbled out into the morning light and was blinded by the sun. The air was fresh and cold. She collapsed right outside the door and slept until that night. Had anyone noticed the open door she would have been caught, but there was no one looking for her. The only three people who knew where she was were all dead now. Anna battered, bruised, and scarred for life, was now free.
When he saw Roger’s headlights approaching he dialed, “911 emergency, what’s your emergency?” He heard from the receiver.
“My stepfather is trying to kill me.” he gave the address and hung up, he didn’t have much time to waste, he then threw his mother’s cell phone shattering it on the foyer tile.
Roger was in a bad mood he had tried to reach a guy named Tony, a name Mark had heard a few times in passing, to see if he could find someone to kill the kid. What he heard when he got through was far more disturbing.
“Hey Tony this is Roger, I have a problem I need taken care of, then I can settle up with you and your boss. Can we talk safely on this phone?”
“Roger I have bad news bud.” Roger thought Tony’s voice sounded different like he was deliberately changing his accent to sound southern.
“Look Tony I can get the money I swear. Let me explain.” He was starting to panic a bit thinking these guys weren’t going stand for any bullshit excuses.
Tony began to laugh, “You have got to be the dumbest person I have ever met.”
“What are you talking about?” Roger asked dumbfounded.
Roger still didn’t get it. Had he been sober at least one of the times he had talked to Tony or met with the other guy, he would have realized something wasn’t right. Tony and his brother Jeremy had been in jail with Roger years earlier. Roger had always been spouting off about how connected he was, and how much money he had, and could make.
The brothers began to jokingly stroke his ego asking him to tell them stories. Roger, to foolish to realize it was just their way of passing the time ate it up. One brother was in the same cell block as him, and the other was a trustee, able to move around the jail. So one would tell him he had heard about him from someone in another cellblock and made up a name. He did this several times but to both their surprise, Roger always seemed to know the fictitious person in question.
It was nothing more than a game and Roger never caught on. Once they were out of jail they had forgotten him altogether. Roger was nobody special, and he so desperately wanted to be somebody. Then one day three weeks ago they were out at a rundown strip club when in stumbles Roger.
It was too good to be true, they were bored and the girls were overly skanky, but the drinks were strong and cheap. Tony approached Roger, who didn’t know him from Adam, until he started talking about the time they did. Roger started talking loudly, proud of his incarceration and greeted Tony like a dear old friend.
Tony told him he was there on business, but his contact hadn’t shown up yet. Roger nearly pissed himself with anticipation, thinking this could be his chance at something big. Tony saw the gleam in his eye and knew all too well Roger was ripe for the picking.
At this point the brothers had planned nothing more than a joke. Tony gave Roger details of a transaction of information that was supposed to go down, but he had to catch a flight out of town. He said someone owed his boss lots of cash and he was on his way to collect. He told Roger how to recognize the man he was waiting for. Tony even gave him a code word to say. It was all Tony could do to keep a straight face.
He motioned for his brother to leave and he left Roger with dollar signs in his eyes. They went home, Jeremy dressed to fit his brother’s description that had been given to Roger and they returned to the club, this time Tony waited outside.
Roger had been casing the door, every time the wind blew outside he would jump. He was on Jeremy even before he could reach the bar. “Silver Fish,” he blurted anxiously.
Jeremy playing his part told him, “The time is no good just now. I will get back in touch with you in a few weeks.” Roger was terribly disappointed, but willingly gave his cell and home phone numbers to this complete stranger, he had seen on a daily basis for three months only a few years earlier.
That set the plan in action, Tony and Jeremy got many laughs out of thinking of what to tell Roger they wanted him to do, completely convinced he was full of shit. They were only partly right. One day after watching the business news and seeing a company that had been outsourced to China and was shutting its doors very soon, Jeremy called Roger.
“I got that tip, sorry for the delay, this one is free because of the inconvenience.” Hearing Jeremy’s lie, Roger nearly began drooling.
He told him about the company and that it was all a ploy to drop prices so that certain interested parties could buy in, then after it was made public they were not closing; the stock prices would shoot through the roof.
Immediately after getting off the phone Roger had called Tony to share this tip, in the hopes of gaining status with Tony’s “boss”. Tony was very gracious and told Roger that if he were to tell his boss this and the deal fell through, Roger would be responsible for his losses plus twenty percent. Roger half drunk at the time swore on his own grave that it was fool proof and that there was no way they could lose.
Tony jokingly said “funny you should say your own grave as opposed to someone who is already dead, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
That would haunt Roger’s every waking moment for the next two weeks. On that Friday, as anyone who had done the minimal research would have known the company closed.
Tony called Roger within minutes of the closing, “what the hell is going on Roger, my boss is very unhappy, but not to unhappy, at least you guaranteed the success of this deal.”
Roger was barely audible, he choked out the words, “I don’t know what could have went wrong, I was assured it was a sure thing. How much did he invest?”
“Good thing you‘re a rich man Roger, he only put in one million, such a small amount because it is the first time dealing with you. You’ll get it back in no time, you’re a smart guy. And by the way the boss expects ten percent in five days and then ten percent every week after until you are squared away.” Tony said cheerily.
Roger thought he was going to pass out, “please”, was all he could get out.
Then more sternly Tony said, “There isn’t going to be a problem is there, the boss doesn’t like late payments. He really loved your beautiful home by the way, he told me to tell you, especially the way the ripples in the pool reflect off the back patio glass. The guys had followed him home the night after the strip club just to see how Roger really lived. Tony had bet trailer park, Jeremy had bet duplex, they both lost.
“No he stammered,” I’m going to get killed over this, Roger thought.
“Great, we’ll see you in five days bud, better luck next time.” Tony hung up and he and his brother who had been listening on a different line laughed until they both had tears in their eyes.
The guys had no idea what had really happened, only one exchange of the failing companies stock had been made that week, some poor fool had bought four-hundred thousand dollars’ worth of useless stock. Roger had spent all that was left of his wife’s money.
On Wednesday Tony called Roger again, just after he and his brother had smoked a large joint. They figured this would be the last call, and they would let Roger off after screwing with him a bit more.
“Roger, you got the boss’s money?” Tony asked, already fighting the giggles.
“Yes, but it’s not all in cash, I have fifty thousand in cash and one hundred fifty in bearer bonds.” Hearing Roger say this Jeremy fell backwards out of the kitchen chair he was leaning in. There was a loud crash.
“Fuck, dropped the phone,” Tony yelled to cover his brothers accident.
“Ok go to Kinko’s on 5th street. Drop the money behind the dumpster at 11:15 pm tonight, and leave immediately, someone will be watching, better be no cops or any other funny business. It‘s smart what you’re doing, paying twenty percent of the principle up front, the boss will take that as a sign of good faith.” Tony then hung up.
The brothers didn’t know what to think, they had imagined he would start whining and crying like a baby, begging for more time, but to be told yes he had it surprised them. They sat in silence for a long time that day.
They were sitting in an adjacent parking lot when they saw the new Jaguar pull up beside the dumpster, they thought it funny how Roger was all dressed in black cloak and dagger style, and he even had black gloves on. He stepped out of the car reached in the back seat grabbed a dark duffle bag and dropped it behind the dumpster as instructed, then left.
Tony ran and grabbed the bag once he was out of sight, as he reentered the car Jeremy said, “I’ll shit myself if there is a hundred bucks in there.”
“Better start shitting now because there is a lot more than that in here.” Tony’s eyes were the size of dinner plates.
“Well buddy, you were the victim of a prank by two good ole boys from Tennessee, there is no boss, and your contact was my brother you dumbass. This all started out as a joke for us in jail, something to pass the time, we both knew you were full of shit with all your gangster stories, we just went along to see how big your lies would get.” Tony chuckled into his cell phone.
“I’ll kill you both, I have your numbers I know people.” Roger barked frothing at the mouth into his own cell.
“These are disposable cell phones, prepaid type you can buy anywhere, and no you don’t have people, weren’t you just calling me because you have a problem?” Tony retorted.
Jeremy took the phone from Tony and said, “you know this all started out as a joke as my brother said, we were calling to screw with you the other day, and we were going to tell you it was a joke and leave you alone, but you made it so easy. As the old proverb goes, A fool and his money are soon parted.” at this he stuck the cell phone to the door speaker and cranked an old song called ‘send me your money’.
They could hear Roger screaming his head off as Tony threw the cell phone out onto the side of the highway.
The boy waited breathlessly at the top of the stairs, every sound was magnified in the darkness, Mark heard the car door open then close, he heard Roger as he dropped the keys and began to curse. He heard as Roger tried the key in the door, in the dark it took him three tries to get the door unlocked. He stumbled into the foyer still cursing. He tried the lights, but they did not come on.
To say he was in a bad mood was a bit of an understatement. Roger was completely out of his mind, he had decided on the drive home the kid had to die tonight. He would crack his skull then take the boy out back and make it look as if he crashed his 4 wheeler. But he was going to make him suffer first, yes he deserved it, all this was his and his dead fathers doing. That will is what caused all this, and if he couldn’t punish the father, then the son would have to pay.
“What’s wrong with the fucking lights, Theresa you worthless bitch where are you?” He bellowed through the silent house.
“She’s up here with me Roger, why don’t you come join us, were telling family secrets. Will you share with me Rog?” That was all Mark had to say to start Roger rampaging up the stairs.
“Rog, I’ll kill you for calling me that!!!” Mark waited crouched ready to attack.
Roger fell twice before he was halfway up the stairs. Again he screamed, “Where are you Theresa?”
“Well Rog she told me all her secrets and then I killed her, I made it look as if you did it of course. Luckily I got all her secrets on tape first, and she said you did it all. I enjoyed the part of how together you planned to rob my father’s company, and planned his murder. The best part is that she admitted to you two planning to murder me. I have made twenty copies and placed them in mailboxes all over the neighborhood.” Mark knew this would put him into a blind rage, it wasn’t hard, because Roger was more than predictable.
Roger had stopped to listen to what the kid had said, it unnerved him a bit, and then he thought, he’s bluffing, so what if he did kill the bitch, he didn’t have anything on tape. This would just save him the trouble of killing her later for her half of the trust fund.
Roger then blurted. “You’re going to die, it’s gonna look like you killed her and tried to kill me. Who would know any better, you see it all the time on the news, teenagers losing it killing people. But first you’re gonna suffer.” Roger bumped the table on the midway point of the stairs; there was a small landing with an armchair, table, and a reading lamp.
Roger picked up the lamp pulled the chord free from the socket and began to slowly climb the stairs. He had it raised like some sort of deformed crystal baseball bat over his left shoulder.
Mark was wondering how long it had been since he had called the cops, maybe just a few minutes, but it seemed like so much longer. He heard Roger as he reached the third step from the top, then the second, and finally the top step. He was terrified, but at this point it was either him or Roger, and he wanted to live. Roger had ruined his life.
The anger swelled inside him and just as Roger made his move Mark exploded, he swung the bat. The bat had been a gift from his dad for his tenth birthday. It had been signed by all the Pittsburgh Pirates. At the last second Roger attempted to use the crystal lamp as a shield, the bat drove shards of crystal deep into his face while simultaneously destroying his nose.
Roger fell backwards against the railing, seemingly unconscious, Mark had believed attacking him would have made him feel joy, relief, anything, but what he felt. All he felt was pity, his adrenaline was pumping, his head thumped with it. He was going to kill Roger, but when he had him in his grasp helpless he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
“I’m better than you,” he said to Roger who was still motionless. It was still dark and he didn’t see as Rogers eyelids began to flutter, as he turned towards his bedroom to get some rope to tie him up as he’d done his mother Roger leapt at his legs.
“Better than me?” He snarled. Mark fell flat on his face smashing his shattered nose, still clutching his bat.
Mark rolled to his back as Roger was trying to hold him and gain his feet at the same time, Mark began kicking wildly and one kick landed perfectly into Rogers’s throat, he heard a loud gasp. He used this brief pause on Roger’s part to gain his feet. Roger was half crouched against the railing gasping for breath, after a few seconds he straightened just as the sounds of sirens became audible in the distance.
Mark could not see Roger clearly, but the image, what he could make out, through the darkness and his diminished eyesight, due to such trauma to the nose was that of a monster. The crystal shards sticking out of his face made the effect far worse, and even more demonic. At this moment in time Mark was more scared than he’d ever been in his entire life. Frozen with fear, a crazy thought entered his mind, maybe he really is a demon. Mark began to shake.
Then as if in answer, he heard his father’s voice, warm and loving, telling him, “There are no such things as monster son, just monstrous people.” That was all Mark needed, he found his will, the terror passed, his hands steadied on the Louisville Slugger.
Roger not seeming to notice the sirens lunged forward again, this time he had found a piece of the lamp and was trying to use it as a weapon, “I’m going cut you into pieces you little prick.”
Mark swung and missed, Roger did not. Roger slashed across Mark’s chest leaving a long gash in his shirt. Mark could feel the blood start to flow down his stomach. He swung the bat again left handed this time connecting with Roger’s right elbow, there was a loud crack and Roger cried out.
Mark thought for sure with his arm broken, nose smashed, and face all cut up he would stop, but still he came. Mark swung the bat one last time; he connected the sweet spot perfectly with Roger’s teeth. Roger stumbled backwards; he was trying to curse through splintered teeth and a shattered jaw, all Mark heard was a sickening gurgling sound. He watched soundlessly as Roger’s lower back struck the railing, he didn’t move when he saw Roger’s feet leave the ground, he did nothing but wait. He heard the crash when Roger landed, then he ran down stairs and cut the breakers back on.
He came into the foyer walked over to where Roger’s corpse lay shattered and broken, the cops were in the neighborhood, they must have had a bit of trouble finding the place, because he thought they should have been here by now, it seemed Roger had been home hours, but he would never know. Time has an endless feel in the dark.
He examined Roger’s corpse for a moment, the feeling of pity had left replaced by relief. He almost laughed when a cartoon popped into his head he had watch long ago as a young child, where a cow had tried diving into a glass vase and its head had squished in to the shape of the vase with the body hanging out. Roger had found the real world did not work that way. The ceramic vase he landed heads first in nearly decapitated him.
He was sitting at the top of the stairs bleeding on his mother’s precious Ivory carpet when the cops sprang through the door. He had not even noticed he was covered in blood, the cut on his chest was bad, but not life threatening, but his nose was gushing blood.
“Son are you ok?” asked the first officer to reach him.
In a monotone Mark answered, “Its ok he’s dead now and she’s tied up, they can’t hurt anyone else ever again.” He handed the officer a CD case with bloody fingerprints on it, then passed out.