Did you hear about Rob? Rick kicked back the beer in his hand and took another swig, the bottom of the Corona rife with the sting of lime.
What about the little fucker? Rick asked, not bothering to hide the contempt that fell out of his mouth like so much drool.
John smiled like an idiot, winked nonchalantly, and countered, The little fuckers dead, man.
Rick nearly choked on the last of his beer stifling a laugh. No shit?!
Yeah, man. Bum ticker or some shit. Hey, remember that time he jumped your ass in the hall?
Rick snorted. Fucker got lucky.
Yeah, whatever. But hes dead now. John finished his Bud. Last laugh, eh man?
Rick picked up the new beer just served to him from the barmaid. After gazing at her busty chest a moment, he decided to up the tip from the quarter left to the buck and quarter left. Yeah, no shit. He took another swig. Thats fucking great.
Well jeez, man. I know you two were pretty much enemies or whatever, and sure its worth a chuckle, but sometimes you push this whole jaded thing too far.
The little fucker was a worthless piece of crap. Darwin rules, man. Survival of the fittest, fuck the weak.
How many you had, Rick?
Does it matter? Rick shrugged, took another sip, and noticed the concern in Johns eyes. Ok, ok man. Ill stop it on this one if it makes you feel better.
Yeah, it would. John laughed nervously. We cool man?
Yeah, no shit. Way cool. Up for some cueball?
They wandered over to the pool table. Ok. But youre still an asshole sometimes.
Yeah, no shit.
The headlights pierced the gloom as Rick maneuvered the Ford Contour down the road. Sure is a foggy, spooky night he thought to himself. He checked his watch. Well no fucking wonder! he laughed aloud. The date had just flipped to October 31 less than fifteen minutes ago. Halloween. Samhain. All Hallows Eve. This was a holiday made for cynical assholes like him and he made sure to remember that every year. The gates of Bedrock Cemetery flashed past on the right. A really nasty thought pierced through the beer haze and a wicked smile cracked Ricks lips. Probably not a great idea, he thought aloud, but the idea wouldnt leave him. It was a nasty, wicked idea. A Halloween idea. The idea that could only come to the god hating, cynical, jaded-heart of a man like Rick.
Oh hell, he thought. He pulled the Contour off on the next side road and parked behind a red pick-up. Getting out of the car took a while. And why shouldnt it? This wasnt a normal thing to do but Rick kept flashing back to high school. The shit Rob would pull putting tacks on his desk seat. Knocking books out of his hand. Just basic bully torture shit, and it was pretty funny considering Rick was nearly six feet tall and built like a brick shithouse, and Rob was a little piece of crap that barely peaked over five. He wondered why he never just wailed on him. I guess I always thought Id kill him, and that wouldnt do. Ricks record and affiliation with the law was long and arduous and not on the good side of things either. He could remember facing down a half dozen punks at the pool hall down in the port. But there few knew his real name and if his slashes, kicks or swing ended in a kill or two which very well they could have for all he knew it wasnt that big a deal. But in school, well that would be a problem of course. Everybody knew him some of the administration staff knew him TOO well even. Or at least he told himself that he always backed down over legal reasons. Sometimes he believed it. So Rick never did anything. He just took it.
Rick stepped out of the Ford thinking he was done taking it, and it was payback time. Time to do the kind of shit you only saw in movies. He chuckled at that, ambling silently up to the gate, which of course was closed. Chained, locked down and eight fucking feet high closed it was. Rick peered through the fog and gloom nobody around. He scanned for a caretakers house and found nothing. Nobody lived on the property then, at least not that he could see. There was no sounds save the occasional car blocks away on the highway, and even that was only a once in a while thing. Fuck it, Rick spit out quickly. He flicked the Winston into the street, took one quick glance around, grasped the bars and hauled himself over.
The ground on the other side was soft and the tankers he wore clumped down on the ground from eight feet up a lot quieter than he thought, which was a concern at first. Unfounded, so it seems. Rick dropped to his knees anyway, scanning the cemetery grounds, street outside, houses across the way. No movement, not even the proverbial mouse. Nothing at all. Rick sniffed at the air, detected wood smoke, checked for action on rooftops and saw only two that were belching the occasional cloud of chimney smoke. He waited a couple of more minutes. The only movement was a lone car that slowly rolled past, and he waited for the taillights to disappear into the haze of fog and then, finally, he rose to his feet and headed to the newer section of the cemetery. Where Rob was buried just about a week ago.
Where are you, Robbie, you little fucker? The hills rolled the sound of Ricks voice over them slowly, without echo. If you were standing on the other side Ricks voice would reach you, sway about you like wind in reeds and probably send your balls climbing into your anal cavity such was the evil intent, malevolence and downright cynical gist that floated behind it. Robb-eeee! came next, spit out like a blast furnace turned up on overdrive. The sound of boots squashing grassless clods of recently turned dirt mingled with the light song of wind, and the smell of earth was strong and overpowering, borne on the singing wind and mixed with the fog that was only just beginning to get thicker as the night ticked on to morning.
The light stomp of the boots stopped short before a newly filled grave. There you are you little fucker. Remember me asshole? For a few more moments there was silence, then the rasp of a zipper broke the night. I piss on your grave, you little fucker, and then he laughed as what was left of the Coronas spewed forth to the freshly tilled ground.
It surely wasnt morning yet; the clock radio didnt go off. But something woke Rick up and he rolled over towards the side where the end table stood to glance at the clock. Twenty past four it read. What the hell woke me up? Rick thought and peered around the dark room. A figure shambled from the doorway. Who the fuck are you? Rick spit at the doorway. The figure shambled forward the fucking guy was wearing a suit! Rick could see the tie in the glare from the streetlamps outside his window. It approached, and Rick found that he was frozen in his spot in bed. He lay there stuck and unable to move, fear washing over him like a lukewarm shower.
The guy shambled closer, and as it reached the side of the bed Rick cringed away, squashing his head and neck against the headboard. A car went by outside on Main street, and for a brief moment the headlights reflected off of the white vinyl siding on the house next door and flashed a glare in the face of the stranger. Just for a second it was, but that was enough for Rick to see that the guy now standing beside his bed was Rob.
But that didnt make sense. Rob, who was dead a week or so now, standing beside his bed in a suit. His eyes were looking down on him, but they lacked the spark that they had back in high school. Dead eyes staring back at him. But the fear was there the manipulations, the terror, the whole thing flashed back through Ricks numbed brain. The beatings, the jumps in the stairwells or the boys bathroom on the third floor of the school complex. The tacks on the chair. The taunts. Again Rick was unable to do anything about it, as he looked up into the face of Rob in his funeral suit.
There you are you big fucker, came somewhere from Robs chest. Slowly, rasping, like the dead man was afraid to strain and break the rotting sinews of thin flesh that not long ago were a living mans vocal chords. For a few more moments there was silence, then the rasp of a zipper broke the night. I piss on your life, you big fucker, he said.