Well – here it is! I promised I would put up a short story this week and I’m keeping my promise!
I guess I could write a great and long introduction with lots of unnecessary crap OR I could just let you read it and let you be the judge.
Warning: Contains brutal and violent content. Enjoy. 😉
He has a phone – with a cord. I’m glad he has one. Some would say it’s old-fashioned. But I like it. Of course a cellular phone is a phone too but they’re so impersonal. There is only air between and no cord to connect you to the other. You’d have to shove it down someone’s throat before you get that same kind of connection. But that’d take so long. With a cord, it’s different, you can feel it. I can feel it right now.
I can feel the pulse of his heart beat through the cord. I pull it tighter around his neck. The cord makes a noise, it’s under great tension. That’s the great thing, they don’t snap, I do.
A sound escapes his throat, it sounds like a rubber chicken toy for dogs. It makes me smile. I like dogs.
“Shhh. Shhh.” I whisper, “Let it go, Joseph. Let it go.” I can hear his nails scrape over the cheap Ikea carpet on the floor. He’s still struggling to live.
There’s pieces of potato chips, cigarette ashes and a few beer bottle caps strewn about. Left behind from the party, the fun neighborhood get together that I wasn’t invited to. Why? Because I quietly moved in just this morning? Because I haven’t said hello to the neighbors yet? Didn’t park my car on the driveway? Where’s the respect and empathy for the socially different like myself?
He doesn’t even know who I am. To him I’m just a guy that rang his doorbell and barged in. I wouldn’t even know his name either if it wasn’t for the sign at the door. I guess I can’t even be a hundred percent sure if he really is that Joseph. But he looks like one, he acts like one. That’s good enough for me.
“You see. This could’ve been different. This could’ve been so different, Joseph.” I whisper, he’s making odd snorting noises but still conscious, “Imagine if you had invited me to your party. We could’ve talked. We could’ve drank. ‘Do you like Japanese rape porn? I do too!’, ‘Do you like Absinthe? It’s my favorite!’ Wouldn’t have that been fun? Joseph? Joseph, are you listening, Joseph?”
He’s gone quiet and I let the cord loose a little, he gasps for air as if he’s completely back to his senses. I crash my knees into his back and pull him backwards even tighter than before.
“If you had invited me to your stupid, fucking party – you would’ve gotten to know a whole different side of me! And you would’ve gone to bed thinking, ‘What a nice guy, there should be more guys like him’. And then you would’ve woken up tomorrow morning and started a new day. But no! You left me out! No more new days for you, Joseph! Everything ends tonight! We could’ve been friends, Joseph! Friends!” I growl and lean back, pulling him upwards and curving his back.
He lets out a last breath and goes limb. Just to be sure I hold tight a little longer, it’s no effort if you’re angry. I hear something crush in his throat, probably his Adams apple or windpipe.
I let go and stand up, the way the light falls into the house is quite enchanting. The light of the moon is blue inside. It’s so quiet and restful in the house, I could almost fall asleep.
I suppose I like what he’s done with the place but this is no house to have parties. Even though it’s spacious, Joseph has too many things. Pretty things though. Besides some Ikea furniture, as if no one would notice.
“You don’t mind if I give myself a tour of the house, would you – Joseph?” I chuckle at myself. I never lose my sense of humor. I think Joseph would’ve appreciated that, had he gotten to know me.
I stroll into the kitchen, it’s a mess of empty bottles, half eaten plates of food and various wrappers. But I can see the potential. I can see what he was trying to do. Some sort of Italian style kitchen. A bit of Tuscany. Cute.
I open the fridge, an antique Smeg, classy. The light pops on and the machine hums. I hum along as I look through the contents. I see a plate of untouched Sushi, looks like generous Joseph went all out for his neighborhood soirée.
“Perfect!” What better than some well deserved Sushi after an accomplishment?
As I reach for the platter, I notice the deep cuts in my hands, from pulling the cord so tightly. They don’t bleed, they never broke the skin. Rather they drained my hands of blood, I might be white but this white-white. White like Joseph will soon be, what a guy.
I set the plate down on the kitchen table, throwing some trash in a small, plastic bag. I don’t like to eat messy. I reach into the fridge and grab an ice cold Budd when I suddenly notice a bottle of champaign.
“Oh, Joseph. How considerate a friend you could’ve been.” I mumble reading the label, “…Méthode Champenoise. Well maybe not that considerate. But at least you got a reasonable brand.”
I open the chilled Freixenet Cordon Negro bottle with a pop, not a drip spilled. I smell the cork and bottle, the enchanting flavors twirl in my nose. As I go through kitchen cabinets I can’t find even a single, true, champaign glass. Just regular wine glasses.
“Who drinks champaign from these? Now that’s a sin. Good thing I killed you.”
I sit down and poor the champaign into disappointing, crystal wine glasses. It doesn’t even foam or bubble the right way. What a waste. Then again, here I am with Sushi and champaign after a personal victory.
I squeeze out a small, plastic fish filled with soy sauce onto the plate. I dunk my Sushi in it till just the right amount has been absorbed in the rice. I place the delicacy into my mouth and just gently, with my tongue, squeeze the soy sauce out and bite down. My pallets lavish in the fresh fish flavors. It gives me a real kick, good Sushi.
I don’t get a kick from killing, it’s simply an obligation, I owe it to myself to make right for the wrongs done to me. Some things need to be balanced out. It takes a man, a real man, to do what’s necessary. I’m that kind of man.
I take another big gulp of champaign, it goes so elegantly with sushi. Photos and magnets decorate the classy fridge, defiling it really. I walk over and look at some. Most are rather dull and uninteresting. It’s not hard to tell who these people are. An older couple that looks like him. Some men and women about the same age who look like him. How I wonder who they are. I could feel sorry for their loss but I’m not going to. He brought this onto himself.
I tear the photos up one by one and dip them in soy sauce before throwing them away. It’s all trash. Joseph and the people that care about him are human garbage. They deserve every shred of pain and indignity that comes to them.
I walk back into the living room to find Joseph still laying there. He’s certainly dead, he’s pissed his pants. I suppose a tour isn’t complete without including a quick visit to the bathroom. Justice served makes the bladder go anxious.
After I relieve myself, I stroll into his bedroom to find a pair of silk women’s underwear on the floor. I guess I’ll keep them as a trophy. I can only hope Joseph isn’t a cross dresser. But they don’t smell like a man.
I take a deep breath and prepare my departure. I walk to the back door and open it. His patio is all Tuscany too. Good God, some variety would be nice.
Someone put out a cigarette in a pot of tropical flowers. Joseph wouldn’t have liked that.
I walk back into the house and take some expensive looking watches and his wallet. It’ll look like a burglary gone awry now. Before I leave, I look around the door at him.
“Goodbye, Joseph. I wish you had acted differently.”
I sneak out the front door and close it quietly. It’s deep in the AM’s, not a soul is awake at this ungodly hour anymore. I take a stroll across the street towards my new house, I haven’t even removed the “For Rent”-sign yet. I don’t think anyone saw me park my car, it’s not even in front of the house.
I suppose that tomorrow I will call the landlord, a sweet, little old lady and tell her I wish to cancel my rent. Surely, I can’t live in a neighborhood like this. Not after such a brutal murder.
She doesn’t even know when I was to move in, just gave me the keys, I told her I’d move in a week’s time. Guess I was early. And short. But it’s all for the best.
Besides, if I move somewhere new – I’ll hopefully get the opportunity to visit such another wonderful neighborhood soirée.
Finally! I’m so happy! Fresh material for my blog! It’s been ages – essentially February has been my off-month – since I posted something original that’s mine. Not because I’m lazy but because I’m so busy I’m essentially processing back-orders of stories!
To just give a quick overview of what I – have – been doing, just haven’t been able to post yet due to it being cooperative projects, I’ve been working on:
- A drama-romance with Lindsay Pate entitled: “Camo & Silk”. (We’re currently working on the second part)
- A cooperative story with Christopher Shawbell and Chris Liccardi – currently taking the shape of a Spy-novella. (But it could change completely as we have no pre-set storyline – which is what makes it fun!) (I started the story, Mr. Shawbell has finished his addition, Chris will be adding his soon)
- Finished the first story for “Hobo Horrors” for our website The Darker Half. (A serial story about a hobo travelling through America, experiencing strange and scary phenomenon)
- Finished my version of “Coming to America”. (A series of short stories by all writers at The Darker Half about immigrants arriving in America at the turn of the 20th Century.
So, essentially, I’ve got all of this done – it’s just waiting for release dates and/or additions from my co-authors! So I’m not dead, I haven’t stopped writing and I don’t plan on doing so anytime soon either!
The challenge was to make a story based on this photo:
Waiting for Cam
“Anything yet?” Micky said to Daphne as she peaked out the window.
“No…” She sighed and sipped from her glass.
“Fuck!” Mickey hissed, “This is going to be the world’s lamest surprise party ever!”
The door swung open, for a moment everyone held their breath.
“Look who’s fabulous!” Francois yelled, posing with two bottles of champagne.
A sigh of relief filled the room.
“Christ, Francois! We thought you were Cam!” Duane said lowering his professional Canon DSLR camera.
“I love Cam but he doesn’t know how to work it like I do…” He said and Vogued with the champagne.
“Nice. Now we can’t open those bottles for the next half hour or so, way to go Flashdance.” Ryder mumbled while sipping from a beer.
“Honey, I know you’re a straight but you throw shade like a queen.” Francois replied.
“I don’t even know what that means?” Ryder said confused.
“In straight guy talk it means you have an attitude like an effeminate gay boy.” Duane said while nonchalantly fiddling with his camera.
“…What the hell am I even doing here?” Ryder said with big eyes.
“What we’re all doing here – waiting for Cameron to come home from Japan.” Mickey kicked in and smacked his friend at the back of the head, “Come on! You, me and the two fat guys from the printing department against the rest of the gay population at this party!”
“Good luck with that, that’s the four of you against twenty of us.” Duane smiled, “Welcome to our world!”
“Actually, you’d still have it worse than we do. You’re black too.” Ryder snickered, the three laughed.
The kitchen was slowly becoming a mess, after three hours of waiting everyone was drinking and eating.
“Where’s the sushi?!” Francois said demanding.
“Will you calm down?” Replied Daphne, “It’s in the fridge.”
Francois ate one and sighed dramatically.
“So, who’s genius idea was it anyway to bring the poor guy sushi after coming back from Japan?” Daphne asked while making a rum cola.
“Duane… He has no class.” Francois assured.
“You know, for a guy who still Vogues in 2013 and eats the party boy’s food you’re pretty full of yourself.” Daphne’s girlfriend said while sipping from the rum cola. Francois rolled his eyes and marched off.
“Men, right?” Daphne laughed and kissed her girlfriend.
“So, anything yet?”
“Oh, you again…” Duane said and gave Francois a look.
“Don’t give me that, when was the last time you even had contact with Cam?”
“Two, three weeks ago. We discussed that Tokyo fashion brand though I never heard back about that… Hmmm…”
“Hey, you know what? That is odd. He was supposed to get back to me about that new logo for the campaign, he didn’t!” Ryder remembered.
“So typically Cam.” Francois said, “He always forgets everything, I seriously wonder if he cares at all.”
“Oh, hey… Come on now!” Mickey added, “We’re not doing this, are we? That’s not right.”
“It’s a little right.” Duane smirked, “Remember when you had to hang out with that Swedish marketeer all day because he forgot about the appointment?”
“Oh yeah, that. Yeah, I had to hang out with a gorgeous Swedish brunette girl who really wanted to make out with an American… Yeah, that was terrible… Good call, Duane.” Ryder laughed and checked plane arrivals on his phone, “Says right here that his plane should have landed hours ago now.” He mumbled, “Are you sure you got all the right info?”
“Oh my God… Are you doubting me?” Francois replied, “I should know! Cause I ordered him those tickets – he probably missed his flight, typical.”
“So where do you think he is?” Daphne’s girlfriend said to her as they walked back into the living room.
“Knowing Cam he’s either missed his flight or somehow successfully managed to catch a plane to the wrong destination and meets a local girl he falls head over heels with…”
“Scatter brained, huh?”
“I do believe that is the term.” Daphne sighed.
“Makes you wonder how he got the j-o-b…” Francois smiled slyly as he walked passed.
“Hey!” Daphne said in shock but couldn’t oppress a smirk.
Francois re-filled his cup with punch and strolled back.
“It’s true though, isn’t it!” He continued and rolled his eyes, “He’s always late, forgets everything and has NO sense for fashion what so ever… Just look at these folding chairs! Oh… my… God… Was that his only family heirloom or something?”
“Franny!” Daphne laughed loudly in shock, “That’s terrible!”
“I’m just saying it like it is, you know me.” Francis said and blushed just slightly, “This queer here has swag for the whole party.”
“What was that now?” Micky kicked in as he replaced his beer with another Amstel.
“That Cam has no style…” Francis repeated himself.
“…Looks okay to me.”
“Does it?” Daphne said with a mild grin.
“Well… It’s clear he doesn’t have a girlfriend to fancy up his place, but… Ryder’s place is worse.”
“Hey, man! I resent that!” His friend snickered, “He already took my promotion, I’m not letting him take the fancier place either!”
“He did so steal your promotion… He took your thunder, darling.” Francis added.
“He kind of did.” Daphne agreed and kissed her girlfriend on the cheek.
“Hmpfff…” Ryder grumbled.
“It’s cool – it’s cool.” Mickey snickered, “Ryder just – had – to sleep with that chick from marketing.”
“Oh, come on! Everyone slept with the chick from marketing!” A voice said, the two print workers had joined the conversation, their office clothes, beer bellies and party hats standing out like a sore thumb.
“…Well, did you?” Ryder said with a tone of discomfort, the thought of the print workers having had intercourse with the same girl he did was unnerving at the least.
“Oh, you mean the two of us?” The print worker replied and look at this friend momentarily.
“…Yeah?” Mickey said with curious, big eyes – entertained by the awkwardness.
“Oh, no – no.” The print worker admitted, “But we’ve heard stories you wouldn’t even…”
“Okay, thank you!” Francis interrupted and gasped for air, “Have you two even brought anything?”
For a moment both men kept silent.
“We brought party hats…” The other replied.
“Yes, you did. And your beer bellies. Thanks, boys.” Francis bit at them.
“…I hate Cam.” Ryder said depressed, “I mean he’s my friend and I love him but… He’s just so damn lucky. You know?”
“Yeah, he kinda is.” Mickey jumped in, “I mean, it’s only because of his ex-girlfriend’s dad that he got to work at the most prestigious fashion magazine… And the promotion!”
“Naw, I fucked up the promotion myself.” Ryder sighed.
“Well, yeah but his ex father-in-law jumped at the opportunity! Word has it that he’s trying to get his daughter and Cam back together. Even though he cheated on her twice! Twice!”
“Wow!? Twice!? Man, he only told me of the one…” Ryder said disappointed.
“He did? Oh man, you missed out! He even had pictures and a video of the second girl!” Mickey said enthusiastically.
“Oh- Ewww!” Francis said and waved his hand.
“He did!? Oh goddamnit – that’s it. The second he walks in that door I’ll twist his nipples… I even showed him my pictures of back when I was still with Sandy… What a douche-…”
The front door of the apartment opened quietly and within a second everyone went silent.
“Surprise!” They all yelled together.
In front of them stood a man slightly older than Cam, surprised and confused.
“Who are you?!” Someone from the crowd yelled, everyone laughed quietly.
“I’m his brother, Allen…” He seemed in total shock, holding onto a vase.
“Well, your brother’s late for the party but feel free to come on in!” Someone else said.
“Ugh, typical… Even stands his family up.” Daphne hissed.
“What is up with that guy sometimes?” Mickey shook his head.
“I don’t think you understand…?” Cameron’s brother said.
“Oh?” Francis said and walked over, “Enlighten us and maybe you can explain to us Cam’s terrible taste for style too. That terrible vase you got there will fit perfectly around here.”
Cameron’s brother turned red and his eyes watery.
“…Fuck you guys.” He said and put down the vase next to the alcohol, several cups fell over and splashed onto the vase. “This… This is Cam…” And pointed at the vase, “Enjoy the party.”
It was quiet all throughout the apartment, slowly Cam’s brother backed out the door looking everyone in the eyes as he left.