I am as happy as I could ever be. It is Saturday. It is three AM. And I am in bed. Safely in bed with the knowledge that
I don’t have to get up for at LEAST five more hours.
I threw the
blanket off, and ran out into the living room. Johnny was already there. He rushed for the front door, I was right behind
The next door neighbor’s light was on. That’s not normal. That kid’s only like
eight years old. He shouldn’t be up.
The kid started screaming again. Johnny somehow managed to jump through the
kitchen window. I climbed through after him. I wondered if he came here often.
"SHHH! It might
be aliens again."
He went into the room the kid’s voice was coming from. I heard him gasp
once. A few seconds later, he came back out, this time carrying the little kid.
"What? What is it?"
second, OK? C’mon, Squeegee, you can spend the night at my house."
"Oh, yeah." Johnny put ‘Squeegee’
down, and ducked into another room. He emerged with a torn, stitched teddy bear.
The kid grabbed the
bear, hugging it to his chest. Johnny picked him up again, and, giving me a look, we walked out the door, and back to Johnny’s.
waited outside the room while Johnny put the kid in bed. I can’t believe how many rooms he has in his house. After what
seemd like an eternity, he came out, shutting the door soflty behind him.
"What happened? What’s wrong with him?"
I tell you this, I have to explain about Squee’s family. You don’t know them, but basicly, his dad hates him,
and his mom’s usually too high to remember he exists."
"Yeah. A lot of awful stuff happens to
this kid. I remember once he told me the son of the devil was in his class. I think he got abducted by aliens once…
His parents definatly did. And he sleeps on the roof with a crowbar on a regular basis."
"Thank you, social services."
gonna need them now. His parents are both dead."
"What the hell? Are you sure?"
"Yeah. You didn’t see the bodies.
I’m thinking a homicide/suicide."
"And he SAW this?"
"He’s gonna need
some serious therapy."
"What do we do?"
"Tomarro I’ll call the police…from a pay phone…
report it or something."
"What’ll happen to Squee?"
"Aw, crap. That won’t work. They’ll put him in
a home… knowing him, they’ll probably send him to a pedophile or something…"
"We could bury the bodies…
probably no one will notice… They never do."
"That might work. But what to do with Squee…"
"We could keep
"We’re not exactly the best role models…"
"So? It’s not our fault… evil forces remember?
Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘devil made me do it."
"I resent that."
"Oh, hi, Satan."
have a message for you from The Other Place."
"They run the whole ‘reality not imploding’
"Why didn’t they come and tell us?"
"They’re VERY BUSY!"
they arn’t very good at communication."
"Anyway, they said tell you that Todd’s your responsibility
"Yeah. Apperantly, he’s an important person in the future sometime."
Yeah. Take care of him… S’ok if he sees you kill somebody… apparently he’ll forget it in exactly five
minutes. He phobic enough. Speaking of Phobics, don’t take that bear away from him. It’s crucial that he always
have it, until he grows out of it himself. Something about a trauma-sponge. Without it, he’ll go more insane than originally
intended. That’s bad."
"Ok, got it. Killing OK. Don’t take away bear."
"And DO NOT, under any circumstances,
buy him a stuffed monkey. Bad things will result from your doing so."
Johnny and I exchanged a look.
"No monkey, got
"That’s pretty much it. Oh, and living in this house’ll probably make him immune to harm, like you guys."
THAT’S why I never get caught."
"Of course! I think the wall might get neglected if you get put in prison for all
eternity on… what is it now… 1,223,001 counts of murdur?"
I stared at Johnny.
"Well, y’know, that’s a lot of bodies to bury."
"You keep TRACK?!?!"
"Yes, we’ve established
"Be QUIET, satan."
"I don’t like you’re tone."
"What’re you gonna do, kill me?
You know where I’ll end up, don’t you?"
Satan’s eye twitched.
I love having power
over Satan. It’s actually funny that he hates me so much. Of course, that probably means I’ll be one of those
people you read about in horror stories who drank the Elixer of life. Now they’re all rotted and crap but they CAN’T
die. I can scare the crap outta little kids at night. I am a mean Marissa.
"I gotta go now. BACK TO THE NETHERWORLD!" There
was a puff of smoke and the eight-foot devil disappeared.
"Okay… I don’t remember him ever doing THAT before."
wonder how Squee’ll feel about this?"
"Oh, he’ll probably be terrified. He seems to be quite
horrified of you, Johnny."
"Nah, he’s always like that."
"I wonder if I’m too hyped up to go back to sleep."
know I’m not. It’s Saturday. Which means I gotta get up at 7, eat lots of sugar cereal, and watch cartoons."
going back to bed."
Somewhere around 7:30, the same day.
"I’LL GET YOU, YOU WASCALLY WABBIT!"
What the HELL?
I walked out into the living room, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Johnny was on the
couch with Squee. They were both watching Bugs Bunny, the volume on the bunny-eared TV turned ALL THE WAY UP.
RUN!!!" Yelled Squee.
"No, no, he doesn’t need to run." Explained Johnny. "See, the hunter can’t get him, he’s
"What the heck? What are you guys DOING?"
"Watching TV." Said Squee innocently. I noticed
they both had huge bowls of Sugar Crappies. Mmmm, sugar crappies.
"Gimme some of those." I said, taking a swipe at the
"NO! OUR CEREAL!" Yelled Johnny.
"MINE!" I leapt over the back of the couch, grabbing the box out of his hand before
sailing another three feet, and landing in a rather impressive roll. This effectively crushed the box into the width of a
sheet of paper, but I HAD IT! They’ll still taste the same.
Johnny stared, unbelieving, at his hand.
"MY cereal NOW! BWAHAAHAAAHAAA!"
Squee looked terrified. This kid was gonna take some
getting used to.
"It’s OK, Squee. We’re just fooling. He’s not really serious. See?"
hit me from the side, and pushed me over.
Something might be WRONG with this cereal. It was making Johnny
nuts… Maybe that’s just the sugar.
Fortunatly for me, Johnny’s a twig. He kept trying to wrestle the
cereal away. Dis, you know, means War.
"MINE! You let go! GEDDOFF MEEEEEE!"
I was pretty much pinned to the floor. He
was sitting on my stomach, trying to get to the box. I held it away. He couldn’t get to it without getting off my stomach.
Or so I thought.
"Nooo! NO TICKLE! No FAIR! Squee! Help!"
Squee was looking on in terror. Which wasn’t helping
me at all.
And Johnny was getting That Look. I don’t like That Look. Maybe I should just give him the stupid cereal.
when he pulled a knife out from somewhere.
Yeah, definatly give him the cereal.
Cautiously, I handed it over. He looked
very pleased with himself. Without another word, he got up and returned to the couch. The box was leaking cereal dust on everything.
There couldn’t be a solid nugget left in the whole box.
I am worried.
"Johnny? Can I talk to you in the kitchen
for a minute? NOW?"
He handed the cereal to Squee, whispering something about ‘protect with your life.’
the heck was that?"
"You just attacked me over a BOX of CEREAL. While I do know that you wouldn’t really
kill me, that’s not a good thing to be doing."
"I… you took my cereal."
"That’s not the point. Remember,
we have Squee to think about, now. He’s traumatized enough without you pulling shit like this."
"But you TOOK my
"WILL YOU FORGET ABOUT THE FRIGGIN CEREAL! It’s a frigging two-dollar box! You can’t DO that over
a TWO-DOLLAR BOX of CEREAL!"
Johnny grinned maliciously.
"Sure I can."
I threw up my hands.
"I’m going to
bring this up again, at a time when you’re NOT high an sugar." I stalked back into my room. I am not ready to be awake
yet. Maybe I’ll just go back to sleep…
(A/N in real life, I can fall asleep after pretty much everything.
It’s great. That’s one of my better attributes that I decided to give to Marissa, just to make her special. (A/N2-
You may notice that Marissa and I are alike, A LOT. But this isn’t a self-insertion. Like Jhonen says, any character
you make is 100% you. (A/N3 but our names are almost the same… Melissa = Marissa Whee!)) What the HECK was that?)
note from me... Yes I know i just did one... But i write lovely stories for you so you just have to put up with me. I have
a NEW OBSESSION... actually an old one I took up out of nessessity... Called Invasion America. It's about aliens... and...
uh... It was a TV show cut off after one season. (WHY MUST THE GOOD DIE YOUNG?) Ok, more ficcage, being bombarded DIRECTLY
INTO YOUR BRAINS!!!!)
It was about an hour later that I decided that I really should wake up. I got out of bed and
pulled on a black t-shirt. I put on a white tiger-claw necklace, plus my dragon-ring. It’s cool. I spiked up my bright
red hair. (I dyed it. ;)
I was almost afraid to go outside. When I finally opened my triple-bolted door, all I saw was
Squee. He was making a pancake.
"There’s not any cereal left." Her said simply. "So I’m making you a pancake."
Aren’t you a little young to be working a stove, though? You’re eight, right?"
"Seven. I cook a lot. Daddy
doesn’t, and Mommy… she forgets to turn on the heat." He looked up at me, tears twinkling in his eyes.
dead, aren’t they?"
Christ. How do I say this?
"Yes. Yes they are."
"Thought so." He turned back to the pancake,
and flipped it over.
"Is the Nny going to kill me?"
"Where on Earth did you get that idea?"
"He killed people before…
like the guy at the mall. And the survey man. And Shmee says he kills lots of people."
This was gonna take some explaining.
Nny isn’t going to kill you. You’re safe."
"Is the Devil going to take me?"
heard you talking to him this morning."
"That wasn’t the devil, silly, that was…"
"He’s my friend’s
dad. I know the devil when I see him."
"Fine. And, no, he isn’t going to take you. He put you with us. And he said
to keep you safe. So that’s what we’re going to do."
"Okay." He flipped the pancake onto a plate, and handed
it to me.
"I’m going to my room for a while, OK?"
It was about two minutes later that Johnny came
in. He had a few mud smears on his clothes; I could only guess what he had been doing.
"I took care of the bodies…"
about this morning…"
"Sorry. I got carried away."
"Yeah. I know. Any idea why?"
"I don’t know.
I know that was a stupid thing to do."
"Stupid, nothing. That was DANGEROUS. I got to come back to life once, I don’t
know if I could pull it off again. If I get killed, I’m just as gone as everyone else."
"I KNOW, Ok? And I’m
not exactly sure what I was doing."
"I know what you were doing. And I don’t want you EVER to do it again."
"I’m gonna go repaint the wall."
"See you later."
It’s scary that painting the wall has
become almost as regular and normal a chore as cleaning out dryer lint. ~Shudder~
"I know what he was doing."
up, MEAT. I’m not in the mood for you now."
"Nice kid, that Squee. Did you know his teddy bear’s a mind parasite?"
"So was Damon. So were the doughboys."
"So was nail bunny. So was Elijah."
"Evil outnumbers good."
Devil says keep him with Squee."
"HA! The Devil’s who made Johnny go psycho today."
"That wasn’t the Devil.
I think he got a bad rap. He just RUNS the place."
"If it wasn’t the Devil, who was it?"
"If you know, tell me.
Quit teasing me."
"Oh, let’s just say I know a little girl named Devi. Devi D."
"And who is she?"
But he psychotic
statue just grinned at me. God, I hate that guy.
I don’t go poking into other’s business. And anyone who
knows me knows I’m just FINE with leaving the past where it is. But being human (Regrettably) I have a natural sense
of curiosity. I just had to find this Devi person. Thank you, internet.
So I found myself outside an apartment. The curtains
were drawn, it didn’t look like any lights were on. I wondered if maybe I could have the wrong address.
I knocked on the door. It opened just a crack. I noticed there were about ten chain locks.
"Is there anyone in the hall?"
looked up and down the bright corridor.
"No, not that I can see."
The door closed and I heard the chains
being undone. The door opened, and I was pulled inside.
"Sorry. But you can’t be too careful. He knows where I live,
"What do you know about him?"
"I went out with him
once. Just once."
"He was fine! The perfect guy! I thought maybe, for once in my life I was gonna have a date
where the guy didn’t shit himself or something!"
Devi was circling around the room. I was getting a little nervous.
all of a sudden, he starts grinning like a maniac, and he disappears into a back room, and when I went to find where he’d
gone, he pulled a couple of daggers on me! Talking about "Immortalizing the moment" and I fought him off… kicked his
skinny ass too… But the scary thing is the police don’t believe me. They keep ascting like I didn’t even
report it!" She eyed me suspiciously. "Why? How do you know him?"
"Um… I’m kind of dating him…"
Get away! He’ll try to kill you too! At the very LEAST he’ll give you the BRAIN PARASITES!"
"Already had those.
I lost mine."
"Oh, really? You’re lucky. Mine’s a pain…"
"I know what you mean. Mine went crazy and
tried to kill me. Annihilate the population of Earth, ya no?"
"Yeah, but- WAIT! Back to Johnny! You have to get away from
him! Seriously. You don’t believe me, I know. He’s such a nice guy. He’d never do anything horrible like
try to kill you. BUT HE DOES. I’d never have believed it, either."
If only you knew.
"Get away while you still
can. And if he tries to kill you, too, don't try to reason with him. He seriously thinks he’s just ‘immortalizing
the moment.’ He’s insane. Violently so."
She gave me a cold look
"No. I know how you feel. I
would have made excuses for him too. I love him still. But the fact still remains. Leave him alone."
"The beast what Squeaks."
She hid behind the couch, and a banging started on the door.
"QUICK! The window!
I opened the door, to see a black girl standing there, squeaking a little rubber doll. I grabbed it, threw
it down the hall, and ran the other direction.
By the time I got home, I was beginning to get worried. What if Devi
was right? Johnny, she was right, was not the most sane guy on the block… in the world…. And the afterworlds…
decided to go looking for him, although that means venturing into the basement.
I walked through the normally-locked door,
and down the stairs. I could hear Squee playing with his bear in the living room. (Ironic)
I passed through room after
room of horrendous torture devices, going deeper and deeper. One looked like ip would hurl about two hundred knives simultaneously
at a person. Another appeared to be able to rip a person apart. I shuddered. All I had ever done was slit the throat. For
the most point, a painless way of incurring death.
I could hear voices echoing out from below me. Johnny had a young woman
down there. Probably a cheerleader.
"Please let me go! I promise I won’t go to the police!"
"Ah, the shrieks of
the dying. But you would. They all would."
"I don’t want to die…"
"I regret to inform you, that, sadly,
you have little to say in the matter. See, you are an asshole, and I am a crazed madman. Therefore, it’s pretty much
a foregone conclusion."
"But I was just PLAYING! You can’t kill someone over a couple giggles!"
"Oh, but I can.
Look around you. I would say that not only CAN I, I have, and with alarming frequency. Because life should only be in the
possession of those who appreciate it. Not like you. For, had you really appreciated it, you and you friends would have more
CARE as to who you MESSED with."
"My friends? Oh, God. Marana, and Jesse… Alex, Patricia, you killed all of them?"
no I didn’t."
"Who got away?"
"No one. Most of your friends are somewhere below us. Awaiting the same fate as
"FUCK! You crazy BASTARD! How can you DO this? Don’t you ever THINK-Gchhu-"
"Yes." Johnny said softly. "I
My God. Maybe Devi IS right…
I kept heading down, and found a room full pf people, just as Johnny was coming
through the door on the other end.
"Oh, Hi Marissa… I was just um… working…"
"HELP ME! Lady, GET ME
DOWN! That stupid bastard’s a psycho!" Johnny threw a knife he had produced from nowhere, cleanly decapitating the man,
and embedding the knife in the wall behind, balancing the head on the knife.
"Anyone ELSE wanna talk?" the bound victims-to-be
shook their heads franticly.
"Good." He turned back to me. "Did you know you can still feel pain after you’re beheaded?
You’re still alive until your brain suffocates."
"Wonderful. I just had a talk with someone MEAT sent me to."
god. Why do you LISTEN to him?"
"OFF THE POINT. Does the name ‘Devi’ ring a bell?" He glared coldly at me.
That was before. When the Doughboys still spoke. And I tried to make up with her. I TRIED."
"You TRIED to KILL her!"
was losing it! That was right before I committed suicide. The wall was seriously nagging me, I hadn’t fed it for weeks…"
not the POINT. How do I know the same thing won’t happen to ME? The first thing you DID upon meeting me was kill me.
And I LIKE you, but that little ‘argument’ we had today WORRIES me."
"And it worries ME, too, but Marissa…
I LOVE you. And I wouldn’t ever kill you."
I couldn’t help it. I had to giggle.
"We have gotta be the only
people EVER to have this conversation, EVER."
He laughed a little, too.
"So you’re not mad at me?"
"No. I just
wanted to talk about that."
"You women, with all your talking."
"I can be quiet."
I leaned on him, and we kissed.
And for once, I realized that I really did love him. Love love.
Distantly, I heard a wolf whistle, and I felt Johnny move
his arm a little; I suspected someone else had just lost their head. I didn’t mind right then. I was otherwise occupied.
was a few minutes later that a weird half scream, half ring came echoing down the stairs.
"That would be the doorbell."
"Yeah… It’s a custom design."
"Who could that BE?"
I heard the door open.
ran up the stairs two at a time. Squee wasn’t supposed to open the door. We had him illegally.
got to the top of the stairs to see a kid about Squee’s age at the door. He had short little horns that looked surprisingly
Johnny came up the stairs a few seconds later. The kid beamed at him.
"You can put the knife down. I’m a
friend of Squee’s. I just wanted to ask him to come over to my house for dinner?"
"How did you know I was here?"
"Oh, Squee, you underestimate me.I know EVRYTHING."
I don’t know that I like this kid.
"I don’t know,
Squee. How long are you gonna be gone?"
"Don’t make me go, Marissa! I WANNA LIVE!"
"Oh, about an hour." Said Pepito.
make me go! His dad’s the Devil! I DON’T WANNA GO TO HELL!"
"Oh, trust me, Squee. Hell’s not nearly as
bad as the Christians make it out to be. I’d personally prefer it to heaven. Bunnies…"
I gave Johnny a look.
sure you’ll be ok, Squee. How about if the Devil shows up you can call me and I’ll come to get you, OK?"
Squee walked out the door, Pepito floating along behind him, yammering about his PS2, and Halo.
"Well, that went well."
the devil really that kid’s dad?"
"I guess so. I don’t really know. I’ve never seen him before."
think the phone’s connected right now, isn’t it?"
"Yeah, about that. If it rings… you get it, OK?"
"Okay. I can live with that."
It was about two hours later that the phone rang, but it wasn’t Squee.
this is Mrs. Flynn, Pepito’s Mom. Is he at your house? Because they went outside an hour ago, and now I can’t
I looked out the boarded windows into the yard. It was empty.
"I don’t see them anywhere. I don’t
think they’re here."
"Oh, Okay. Call me if they show up, OK?"
"Will do. Bubye."
I walked into the
living room. Johnny was watching the news with a mischevious grin on his face.
"-six confirmed dead, three others injured
in the mysterious explosion at the Café Le-"
"Hey, Johnny, Mrs. Flynn can’t find the boys. Have you seen them?"
other news, a young boy was found unconscious today by the Waterfeild dam. He was taken to St. Joseph hospital, and further
details are unavailable."
"That’s…" Johnny trailed off. I just stared at the screen. The boy on the television
was unmistakably Pepito. There was no sign of Squee.
"We’ve got to get to the dam. Squee must still be there."
ran to the kitchen to call Mrs. Flynn back.
After an agonizingly long five minute drive, we came to the dam. A spillway
connected the pond to the river, which rushed for miles before disappearing into hundreds of tributaries.
It was easy to
find where Pepito had been. There were still a few cameras loading up. Johnny went to ask if they’d seen him. I went
to look at the waters edge.
A quick scan revealed nothing. I racked my brain to remember what he had been wearing. Something
green, I think…
I found marks in the mud that showed two small sets of footprints walking along the side of the lake.
I followed them around a corner, behind some trees. A larger pair of footprints came out of the other direction. A couple
of scorch marks were scattered around, adding to my conviction that Satan did have a kid.
There were deep grooves, pointing
towards a struggle. I guessed that was where Pepito went down. There weren’t any small footprints leading away. So either
Squee had been carried off, or thrown in the water.
He appeared behind me.
"Look at these footprints."
"Either kidnapped or murdured."
"Only one way to find out."
Nny set off after the mysterious foot prints. I followed him. They went across a few playgrounds and such, and then went onto
a parking lot. Without the mud, they disappeared.
I slumped down on the aphsalt.
"Less than 24 hours, and he’s
gone. Some parents WE are. We’re even worse han his REAL parents."
"Actually, they spent seven years HOPING he’d
get kidnapped. So we’re a little better than them, at least."
"Shit. I’m going back to look at the lake some
more. Maybe he’s still there, hiding or something…"
Seven hours later
"Marissa. He’s not here.
We have to go back home. Maybe there’s a ransom note or something. You must have searched the whole park a hundred times
I sighed. He was right. I dejectedly shuffled back to the car. Johnny drove home, I stared out the window. Maybe
I’d see something.
We got home at about four thirty in the morning. A paperboy rode by on his bike, chucking a paper
at us. It slammed into Johnny’s head.
"GODDAMIT! GET A BETTER AIM!" I could tell he was itching to throw something
sharp at the kid, but he didn’t.
"I don’t even ORDER the newspaper…"
He scratched his head.
inside to see if the phone had rung or ANYTHING. I’m starting to realize why people spend five million dollars to get
their kids back. I’d only know the little guy for one DAY and I was freaking out.
I went around the whole house,
looking for I don’t know what. When I came back, Johnny was in the kitchen, reading the obituaries. He had a red marker.
I saw about a third of the obituaries were marked. I desperately hoped those weren’t the ones he DIDN’T kill.
He was giggling psychotically, which didn’t make me optimistic. I went to the local section, hoping for the comics.
The headline caught my eye.
"Local girl murdured in apartment." I read out loud.
"Don’t look at me, I’ve
NEVER broken into an apartment."
I looked at he picture, and gasped.
"Yeah?" He looked up. And froze.
The picture on the front cover was Devi.
"What the HELL is going on?!?!?!"
"I don’t know,
"They have to be connected somehow. Two things like this don’t randomly occur in one day. They just don’t."
The phone rang, I dove for it.
"Oh, god. Squee, where are you?"
with me, Johnny."
"I’m not Johnny."
"Oh. Er… put him on, will you?"
"Yeah." I keyed the speakerphone
"Johnny." The man on the other end said, his voice dripping hate.
"Give us back Squee."
"Oh. Why? Do you
love him?" The guy made a sing-song voice. "Do you love him like you loved Devi? Like you love Marissa?"
Fear flashed through
"Why are you DOING this?" I asked.
"Uh… no actually I don’t."
Maybe this’ll help. Mmy."
"Me? What does that-" I cut off at the look on Johnny’s face.
"Ah. We all understand
it now. My little brother, Mmy. The linking factor in a twisted horror story. Now, this is all quite simple. I am determined
to ruin your life, Johnny. And I’ll do this by killing the few people you actually care about."
kill a kid, to get back at his NEIGHBOR?"
"No. I won’t just kill him. I’m going to frame YOU for it. And just
to make it worse, I’m proposing a contest. You have twenty-four hours to find ‘Squee’ here. After that…"
phone went dead.
Nny’s eyes were the size of eggs. I imagine mine must have been quite the same.
"What are we
“Find him? Good god, the man’s a genius. Any clues on how to go about that, Sherlock?”
up! I’m thinking!”
I stared at the phone. It was saying something to me. There was something there…
sixty-nine.” I said.
“I picked up the receiver and dialed 69. A number flashed across
the caller ID screen. I copied it down. Someone picked up the phone.
“City morgue, Mort Rigor speaking.”
ha very funny.” I said sarcasticly.
“What the- hey didn’t I just call you?! You’re supposed to
be out looking for Squee. Good-BYE.”
I turned to Nny, who was looking at me questioningly.
“What did you
“I called our kidnapper. We need a link to the internet. So we have to go to the library, now. Let’s
“Just one thing. It’s five in the morning. What libraries do you know that are open before 9?”
pulled out a penknife.
“Any one with a door this can jimmy.”
The library was surprisingly
easy to break into. But I guess, who wants to break into a library? It was an easy matter to pick the lock, and there was
no sign of an electronic system. They have to put a sticker up, if they have an electronic system. I guess so robbers can
tell which system they have to destroy.
It was dark inside, and kind of scary. I’ve never been in a dark library
before, I hope never to be again. The racks of books loomed over us, threatening to collapse. I inched along, certain a book
was gonna jump out and scream ‘attack!’
The computer terminals were along the back wall. They were all on sleeper
mode, so as soon as I clicked a mouse, they all whirred to life.
“I’m checking the phone number.” I said,
pulling out a scrap of paper. “You search articles for a missing person named ‘Mmy’”
opened a Google search, plugged in the phone number.
“About him… how did you get caught on that? And why didn’t
this psycho just go to the police?”
Nny concentrated on the newspaper’s article list.
just forget we were ever reported. I used to think they were just stupid, but now I think there’s some department down
in hell devoted to making sure we don’t get caught.”
The white screens lit the immediate area eerily. Nny features
were thrown into sharp relief. He looked terrifying, and a spark of the fear I felt earlier returned.
out about me somehow. He came to my house, dressed like me, hair like mine used to be, boots even like mine. He told me he
was my biggest fan. He told me about people he’d killed, and it scared me a little too much. I killed him, he’s
still in the basement, I think. But his brother must have put two and two together.”
I looked at the entry for the
phone number. There was a name, and nothing else.
“Gregory P.” I said. “So we have a name.” I ran
a search on the name.
“Oooh, Gregory has quite a record. Armed robbery, breaking and entering, and…”
looked at me fearfully.
“What?” he asked.
“Kidnapping and murder.”
I looked through the crimes
on the record. He served a total of three years. His record was as long as I guess mine would be. Over 15 convictions. Out
of a suspect list of over thirty.
“We’re looking at something special here.” I said softly. “He’s
done as much stuff as you or me, but he almost never gets convicted. And when he does, they let him off early.”
“Nothing. There’s a N/A in the address bar. What the hell does that mean?”
got something.” I leaned over to look at his screen. A picture of Jimmy glared up at me. He was decidedly goth, and
none too good at it, either. In case we didn’t read the article, the subtitle ‘missing’ was printed under
the picture. But that wasn’t what I was looking at. Next to him in the picture was Devi.
“What the hell was
he doing with Devi?” Nny asked moodily.
“I don’t know. Read the article.”
of all, his full name was Jimmy P. Look that up.”
I did. We got a location.
“254. North Court street.”
about Devi in the article. But there has to be a connection.”
“And we can find it later. Right now, we have
a few hours to track down Squee. Let’s move.”
254 North Court street was deserted. We jimmied the lock, and
searched the whole house. There was nothing there, and judging by the dust on the floor, there hadn’t been for quite
some time. Maybe since before Mmy’s death, even.
We sat outside the house, racking our brains for something we may
have missed. Anything at all. Nothing came to mind.
Suddenly I sat up.
“His bear.” Nny groaned.
hate that bear!”
“No, really, did he take it with him?”
“I don’t think so.”
started the car and threw it into gear, speeding off toward home.
“They’re baaaaaack.” Shouted MEAT
when we burst through the door.
I ran into the living room. Luck of lucks, the bear was lying on the couch. Watching TV.
The bear turned to look at me.
“I prefer Shmee, but yes, what can I do for you?”
came up behind me. Shmee did not look pleased.
“Keep that neanderthal away from me. He’s a bit to trigger-happy
for me.” The bear gestured to the stitches criss-crossing his cloth body.
“Shmee, we have to find Squee. He’s
“I know.” Said the bear, turning back to the TV.
“And that doesn’t worry
“He’ll be ok.” Said the bear. “He always is.”
I almost flew across the room.
Picking up the oversized bear and pinning him to the wall. There was a knife in my hand suddenly, I wasn’t quite sure
where I got it.
“Listen, Bear, we are going to find Squee and bring him back. We are going to see that his kidnapper
gets a nice little vacation to the basement.” Nny looked happy.
“And if you don’t help us I’m going
to tear you to bits and so help me there won’t be anyone to sew you back together!” I made like to stab the bear.
geez!” Shmee shouted, throwing his arms up in a show of defeat. “You win!”
I turned back to Nny. “You’re
right. I don’t like the little fuzzball either.”
“You mean you guys have two hours and NOTHING?”
The bear screeched.
“We couldn’t find anything off the phone number. We know WHO we’re dealing with,
but not where.” I said. Nny was sulking in the corner, pointedly ignoring Shmee.
YOU know where we can find him?”
“Maybe. He took a piece of my stuffing. He never goes anywhere without it.
So I can try to talk to him. It might not work, though. Sometimes when he’s extra terrified the link goes dead.”
are you waiting for?!?! Try it!”
“Okay, geez! One second, please.”
Shmee closed one eye, then the
other. He hummed a little. It was like watching a séance in the daytime. Only less scary. And the supernatural was trying
to contact the living, instead of vice versa.
“Okay, gottem.” Shmee said after a moment.
he?” The bear glared at me.
“I don’t KNOW. It’s not my job to interrogate the poor kid. I just
listen to his horrified rantings for a few minutes, then I get to ask a question or two. I’m a very professional trauma
“Glorious. What’s he saying?”
“Eh… there’s a scary man with a gun…
scary building, cracks in the walls, light coming through.”
“It’s open on the east side. The sun’s
just rising.” Nny said from the corner.
“He can hear water. He’s ranting about sharks bursting up through
the planking. And octopuses. And sea monsters. Oh, shoot. He’s afraid of tuna, now, too. Another thing to add to the
“He’s at the docks.” Nny said, grabbing a trench coat off a chair. “Grab the bear,
we have to start moving.” I grabbed Shmee around the arm, and pulled him off the table. By the time I got my coat and
got to the grey car, Nny already had it started. He was looking impatient. But I think he was just pissed that the stupid
Bear was helping us. I wasn’t exactly dancing cherries either, but, hey, what can ya do?
It was a long drive to the
docks. We parked a few blocks away, loaded up on all the sharp things we could carry on our immediate person, and left to
stake out the docks.
Three docks were covered. So he had to be on one of the three. One was covered in new aluminum siding.
So we ruled out that one. The other two were old wood storage. He had to be in one of those.
So now even though we knew
where Squee was, we were still dead. Squee said Gregory had a gun. So we were outweaponed. Nny hates guns, therefore, he had
none. And I only killed for blood, guns wasted too much. So all we had were knives. Albeit a large collection of very big
knives. Second, this was a perfect strategic position. All he had to cover was the door to the warehouse.
There was a twenty-foot
dropoff into the sea. The dropoff started about five feet after the door. So the only way in was the door. Unless we dropped
twenty feet into the freezing ocean, swam out, climbed twenty feet up a wooden pole, somehow adhered there while cutting a
hole in the floor, and then got in without being noticed. We then had to get an eight year old kid to jump into the ocean,
swim back to shore, scale the cliff, and get away. Again all without being noticed.
“We are totally screwed.”
I said, in quiet awe.
“Yes indeedy.” Said Nny.
“Okay, we got a question area.” Shmee muttered.
“What do I ask?”
“Is there anyone else in the area?” Nny asked.
We waited a minute for Squee
“No. It’s just Gregory.” Shmee said, still mentally taking notes. “He’s covering
the door. He’s got a handgun. That’s it.”
“So he has six shots, then a ten-second gap while he
reloads. If he has more bullets.”
“Which he might not.” I said hopefully.
“Yeah. And Shamu might
jump out of the ocean and save Squee, and save us the trouble.” Said Shmee sarcasticly.
“You’re not helping,”
I told him. “And how do you know so much about guns anyway?”
“Hey, I watch TV.” Said Nny. “It’s
not like I’m anti-violence.” He grinned wolfishly.
“Right.” I said sharply “Back to us being
screwed. So what do we do? We have ten seconds to work with, providing he misses with the first six shots. We have enough
knives to take out the US army. Any other equiptment consists of what we can find on this dock in the next…” I
checked my watch. “Twenty minutes.”
“That’s it. Unless my watch
stopped, in which case we have less than that.”
“Thank you, Ms. Optimist.”
I replied smugly.
The rising sun sent blood-red hues over everything. I covered my eyes… and got an idea.
I said to Nny. “I think I might know how to get him to miss those first six shots.”
I looked around at the
junk piled on the docks.
I’m going to need a long pole, some kind of hooks, and both our trench coats. I hope we
can find something better than them, though. Because these things are gonna get wrecked.
“What are we gonna
do?” Asked Shmee. I pointed to the sun.
“He’s going to see two figures inching along the lip. They will
be silouetted against the bright morning sun, so he won’t see much. But he’s at an abandoned warehouse that’s
also coincidentally a drop point. So it’ll be enough to shoot a few bullets at, right?”
“So when I’ve distracted him, he shoots ‘us’ with six bullets, then Nny, you get in the door
and do… your thing.”
Nny expertly twirled a butterfly knife around his fingers. I could hear my mother in my
head saying he was going to poke his eye out. And I giggled. Insanely.
“Come on, let’s figure out this plan.
We have about fifteen minutes, and then Squee’s dead.” We set out to look for anything of use.
A twenty foot metal pole was attached to two makeshift coat hangars. On these were our trench coats. They looked
like people, sorta. It was my job to make these into a suitable parody of two people on a half-foot ledge. And of course,
make as much noise as possible doing it. He can’t shoot what he doesn’t see.
The two coats were at the far
end. I lifted the pole over my head, and ran the end along the side of the warehouse. Nny crouched by the man door to the
warehouse, ready to impale anything that came out too fast. I could imagine Gregory inside, turning his head and seeing, oh,
dearie me, two people outside the warehouse.
Twin gunshots echoed. The sleeves of my coat flapped. I could see the torn
fabric. I shrieked accordingly. Two more gunshots these hit my coat in the chest. The coat was ripped off the hangar, falling
into the ocean. Again, I shrieked, this time petering out, and stopping when my coat hit the water with a splash.
If the fifth bullet knocked Nny’s jacket off, we were screwed again. The fifth shot came… But it wasn’t
high in the chest.
Oh, no. Greg really DID hate Nny. I grimaced, and hoped Nny never found this coat. The sixth shot hit
the cloth bags we had stuffed up as heads. It flew off. This must have looked strange. A body, minus the head, still balancing
on a six-inch platform.
I heard the barest hint of the words “What the hell…” And then Nny was through
that door like greased lightning. That’s fast, case you didn’t know.
I dropped the pole, not even watching
as it fell to the ocean. I darted inside after Nny. Shmee tottered in behind me. Squee was in one of the boxes, hiding from
whatever he was most scared of at the moment. When he saw me, and I swear, I have never seen such a look of pure joy on a
kid’s face before or after that.
“I thought he got you!” He shrieked, launching himself up at me. “He
said he’d get you and come for me!”
“No, shh, it’s okay,” I said. He was latched around my
neck, it was getting slightly difficult to breathe. “Nny’s taking care of him right now, don’t you worry.”
of the devil, Nny called to us. He was in the front, we were behind some crates. We walked around the wooden boxes, to find
Nny had Greg pinned to the wall. If he moved, he would get his throat slit.
“Our friend Greg has something to say
to you, Squee.” Said Nny.
“I’m sorry, Kid.” Greg rasped. He was trying not to move his Adam’s
apple. I didn’t blame him. “I was wrong to interrupt your playing with your little friend.”
“And I shouldn’t have made you come here and stay here when you didn’t want to.”
I promise I won’t ever do it again.”
“Damn straight.” I muttered. I walked toward the exit, carrying
Squee. Who was carrying Shmee.
“Lady, come on!” Greg pleaded from behind me. “This guy’s gonna
kill me! Like he killed my brother! Like he’ll kill you! You just wait. He’ll-”
The door slammed shut
behind me. I waited in the car with Squee for about five minutes. Then Nny came out, splattered with red.
be getting a record much longer.” Nny said., getting into the driver’s seat. He held something out to me.
got this off him. Think it’ll replace our coats?” I opened the calfskin wallet. There must have been ten or eleven
hundreds in there.
“Why would he carry this around with him?”
“My guess: Drug money. He’s just
taking it somewhere to launder it or something.”
“He’s dead, right?”
“As the Dodo.”
ask him about Devi?”
Nny took a deep breath.
“Mmy dated her. To find out about me. He was obsessed with
me. Greg found her. She told him where he could find me…” He looked at his shoes. “After she told him, he
killed her. No links between him and me.” He looked up at me. His eyes were big.
“I killed her. As sure as
if I had actually stabbed her.”
I leaned over, wrapping my arms around him.
“No, you didn’t. You didn’t.”
stayed like that for a long time. Squee was in the backseat, out like a light. I thought about what Greg had said to me. And
I found I no longer cared.
Wasn't that good? I don't know. Tell me if it was or not. Thumbs up to anyone
who thought THAT plan up before me. .