A path.

With vein like branches stretching out as far as capable they shift effortlessly in the cool arctic breeze. We are nothing but creatures of the easiest way, however, we would like to dismiss the fact. We are our own products of good enough. The cold wet blades of grass poke at the back of my head as the screams come back into focus, the path of least resistance isn’t always the best path.

The night is how it is, ending  up with happenstance, or is it repetition… I am far too drunk for a response as I call out. Maybe the reason I call into the dark is like a light house’s beam. It doesn’t search for the found, it only calls to the lost. But in reflection are the lost even there to answer or are they, like I, searching  far past the visible for the found? Or some bullshit like that.  I crawl myself out of my bed and stumble my way to the bathroom. I spit chunks of poison and regret into the toilet until my stomach settles. The world still spins, but at a manageable level. Sliding myself onto the tiled floor I cover my head with the fuzzy shower mat and close my eyes.

My foot jolts over and over, slipping the mat from over my head and my eyes burn to the light. Eugene stands in the doorway with a hand extended. “Morning sunshine.” He says as I swat his hand to the side and clumsily lift myself up. “Why are you here?” I ask before I slip my mouth under the faucet. The water feels fresh against my tongue. “I’ve seen things haven’t been going well for you, so like I thought, like maybe, you’ll like to go out and do something.” his voice sounds blurry through the running water. I swish some in my mouth and spit into the sink before I speak. “Oh, what do you have in mind? I could use some getting away.” He smiles and backs out of the doorway. “I’ll give you some time to get washed up then.” I shut the door and undress, I hear the TV come on, some sort of daytime courtroom crap booms out. The water cleanses and soaks. I feel at least 50% as I step out of the shower.  I look down at the toilet as I dry myself off, some remainder of the previous night’s terrors remain, with a little effort I make it disappear.

I pour two drinks, my bare feet slap against the wood floors as I walk into the den where the shitty 19″ TV sits. Eugene laughs as someone cries about what they can or cannot have on the television. I click it off with my pinky finger and extend the drink to him. He fills the leather bound chair he sits in, or the chair hugs him, he has a way of perfectly fitting into whatever setting. I think it may have something to do with posture. I take a few swigs and I can feel the shakes slip away, or well, see them slip off, the glass no longer bounces in my hand. Before I fall into a deep place of self-thought he speaks.  “So, like let us go to a tittie bar, they have like some good ones I know of.” He pours the entire contents of his glass down his hatch and sighs a little. “I’m becoming a big fan of this junk.” Setting the glass next to the leg of the chair he stands. “So come on man, lets like go.” He extends his hand in front of me. “Go on and take it, but like nothing gay about it, though.” I finish off the rest of my drink and take his hand. For one second the room is there, in the next it is not.

The warm summer air flows over me, I let my face absorb as much of the sun as it could before he interrupts. “Want to let go of my hand now?” I quickly let go and wipe the sweat from my palm on my jeans. “So shit man, let see some tits…” He strolls off in front of me as he speaks. “I know this place around here, the girls are great and the booze is cheap.”  We walk along the canal for some time before he pulls my arm and we’re indoors. Before I can recall or utter a thank you I have 4 fingers of scotch in my hand, Eugene smiles and pulls me along to a table in front of the bare woman dancing. “I love those dark-skinned girls.” He says. Her young body twists and stretches to the music and the colored lights changes the tone of her skin. I turn away from the display and watch as my scotch changes colors, I give a shrug and drink the multihued spirit.

More and more drinks come, I feel heavier and heavier. One girl, then another, then yet another, dance on Eugene’s lap, each time he becomes a little more grabby, but they don’t seem to mind. I chase one drink with the next, the repetitive nature of it all begins to degrade the little part of me that was not corrupted. With a tightly rolled cigarette hanging from his lips and a girl on his lap, he calls to someone off in the distance. Her hands from nowhere slide up and down my chest. One or two blinks later she is dancing on top of me. I try to stifle what I can stifle, but apparently, it isn’t enough. A feminine whisper is in my ear soon after “Are you cry?” I choke on my own breath, was I? The song with excessive bass ends and the ladies depart. I wipe my eyes with the tiny bar napkin. Eugene grabs my shoulder to make up for the distance between us, pulling himself close to me he whispers before the beat comes in once more. “I have a job, you need to like know…” The next song comes in and drowns the rest of the words that leave his lips. He gives a disgruntled face and ushers me outside. The door slaps almost as hard as the summer air. “I have a job…” He pauses to take another cigarette from his case, putting it against his dry lips he continues as he lights it. “A… A job I want you to come with. I think it will be like good for you.” He smiles waiting for my response. “Ok.” I say. Reaching out his hand again I take it and the canal disappears.

The cold air feels harsh against my exposed skin as I gather in my surroundings. The lawn, the house, it seems to, it seems to, here before. I struggle with the thought as he pulls the silver blade from his jeans pocket. This place. “No…” I whisper to him. He ignores my demand or request and starts to walk up the nearly frozen grass. I sit for a second and think, but something in the heart of me, the part that actually gives a fuck lunges out. Striking him in the back of the head with a nearly closed hand. His head and my hand shake from the strike, I tremble for too long. I begin to swing with my left but his white as bone fist clashes first, I feel the blow, I see the flash.

The trees above come into the center of my attention before the pain does. I hear her, her, I hear her scream and I am standing. The door is wide open, I try to find the source, the cause, there’s another scream, I knock something over, it breaks. I stop for a second and run through the floor plan in my head.  I begin moving again when a scream and a bang flows through the house. I turn down the hall as my foot catches onto something heavy. I fall, my face and hand ride the wall down. Soon I am greeted by her father’s gaping face. His eyes stare back but with no life behind them. I stammer to pick myself up as my hand and shoes slip against the wet floor. There is another scream and a crashing sound. I am up and running again but I don’t know how. The door is broken as he slowly creeps to her mother and her. I have him by the waist before I even know it. The ground feels softer when you have someone underneath you to buffer. I sit on top of him beating the smile from his face when I feel the silver digging into my arm. Wincing I fall back, the tiny dagger protruding from my skin I push my way to the wall of the room. “Are you like crying?” He asks as he picks himself up off the floor and walks toward me. A tiny beep plays somewhere in the background. “Only if this, like, could have been easier.” Pulling the dagger from my arm he examines it. “I can’t help everyone I guess.” He cocks his arms, there’s one last smile, then it’s gone.

The sound from the pistol reverberates over and over. The remainder of his head smokes as he drops to the ground. I cry, and I do. I can feel her hands on my wounded arm. I try to pretend, but when life and death are shown to you it’s hard to excuse pretense, I embrace her. “You’re ok…” she says. With tears in my throat, I choke out enough words “You’re ok…” We hold each other until the blue and red lights strobe around the room. “We should get out of here.” she says. With one heft she has me to my feet. The sobs from her Mother, somehow ignored before, can be heard in the hall. “You go ahead, she needs you.” Bracing myself against the wall she sprints out of the room and into her Mothers arm. I am about to leave the room myself when I see the glint of the silver dagger.

They cart the bodies away and soon we’re standing out in the cold. “I don’t know how you knew, but you did.” I don’t say anything as her Mother gets into the car. “We’re going to my aunts, can’t really see ourselves sleeping here.” I reply with just a nod. Soon the car is down the street and out of view. Tightening my jacket I take the long walk home.