Hi there, all of you who still check in to see what’s going on. My apologies for disappearing without explanation. There were a few things I had to take care of and that didn’t leave time to update this site as faithfully as I’d hoped to. So thank you all for hanging in there. I’ll be updating Monday-Wednesday-Friday for the rest of the month. Thank you again for sticking around. Please comment too! I do love comment and critique. They only help me to improve!
“Listen to me, please. This anger ain’t gonna work. You’re too mad, you’re lettin’ that guy rile you up so you don’t think. He doesn’t want you to think. That’s how he works.” I feel like a shoulder angel facing off a shoulder devil.
‘Got it in one, T. You are and he is’ the letters spelled out in bright neon blue floor to ceiling, surrounded by gold stars with ‘attaboy’ written on them.
Sheer surprise stopped Travis voice. A shoulder angel? Like in that animated movie?
‘Exactomundo’ the letters printed in block three-D in white and ivory. Somehow they felt pleased and mocking at the same time. The feeling had Travis gritting his teeth in irritation. Something about that screen makes me really pissed off. How does it know to do that?
‘I pay attention to how you answer, and your mood, just like anyone with a smidgen of sense would do.’ The letters had the mocking tilt as they marched in day-glow orange across the view, blurring Travis vision of what was happening with the socks.
“Get outta the way!” he screamed at the letters, which stopped for a moment, then seemed to smirk as they slowly faded away. She’d pulled the blade out of the socks, and turned it over in her hand a few times. It was like she was seeing something there beyond just the knife. He shut his eyes and listened for the other voice. He knew it would be saying something right now. “That’s it, a little tape, and some padding to set it between your fingers and a slap will open their throats, one at a time, easy as slicing cherry pie.”
Oh god, please no. Wait, why am I so…oh yeah, the feedback the sign talked about. The link between his reaction and what was on the wall had him torn. He knew rationally that the girl was trying to find a way out of a bad situation, but the method was going to get her killed. Using a blade meant you were going to have to kill the person. In here, a blade would not just scare them off, it would make them decide to kill her right then and there. No excuses. No mercy. No more shoulder angel job.
There was a sense of mocking irritation from the screen, then letters in bright red rolled up from the bottom of the screen. ‘Throwing in the towel already, JIMINY?’
“I ain’t throwin’ nothin! I ain’t gonna quit! Not now! Not ever! You hear me you sonuvabitch! Never!”
His anger started pushing him more and more. Travis wanted to rage at the screen, and the voice. Something made him keep holding both of the embedded ski poles. It was a good thing as there was a vicious whipping lurch that would have catapulted him into the wall. He stayed on the platform more scared than angry now.
“NO! No no no no! You aren’t that! You don’t want to do that!” Travis found himself screaming at the wall as hands clasped and unclasped at the bottom edge. Panic filled him. How could you think that? Dying’s not an answer! If I could get hold of that miserable sonuvabitch I’d beat him into a bloody pulp! Travis clenched and unclenched his hands around the poles as he stood on the platform. His hands ached to have that smarmy asshole’s neck between them. He’d give it a…
Movement on the screen caught his attention. The girl had stood up, and moved to the bed. She threw herself forward, her face landing on the pale blue pillow. The view shifted black as she buried it in the pillow and began screaming. The rage resonated in Travis, burning the confusion and panic away. Girl’s a fighter. We got a chance to turn this around. It was odd to Travis that her getting mad would make him optimistic, but he accepted it as true. Anger is not a place where a person tries to kill themselves.
If she’s mad, then that slimy asshat can’t get her to cut herself up. Crud, but what about killing? That’s too easy to do mad. There’s gotta be a middle way. When the heck did I get so thoughtful? This ain’t me. I’m the walk up and throw punches kind of guy.
‘You WERE that kind of guy” the letters marched across the dark wall. ‘Now you’re dead. Your old life is not this existence.’
It was true. As much as Travis was caught up in all the tension and drama of this girl’s life, he kept hanging onto his own memories as they slowly lost the passion that they had engendered in him. The realization raised a flutter of anxiety. I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to lose all that Kimmy gave me.
‘Melodramatic much?’ The words displayed right to left. The mocking hues of pink and yellow drew a flash of anger and despair from somewhere deep inside him.
“I ain’t gonna forget, and I ain’t gonna quit feelin’ them, you piece o’ crap! They’s mine! You can’t take ’em from me! Tha’s MAH LIFE! It’s MINE!” Travis screamed at the wall, and he heard an answering scream of muffled rage from the girl as the hiccuping sobs grew back into a building anger. The other voice became clear as Travis quit his rant.
“That’s it. You can do something about them. The blade will make them stop hurting you. You should be mad. They’re trying to CONTROL you. No one controls you. You are your own boss, your own woman. Show them what it means to cross you. They’ll never do it again i you stick them with that blade.”
Oh crapola. Me getting mad got her mad and that slimeball took advantage. Travis watched as the top drawer of the low dresser was opened again, and the socks with the blade hidden in them was pulled from the back. “No one will give me shit like that again. No one’s gonna a lay a han’ on me if I don’t want ’em to.” The venom that she spat the words chilled Travis to the core. He could feel her hate, and resolve start to solidify. If he didn’t find a way to change it, there wouldn’t be a future.