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Twins in Death: Chapter Two – Part Four

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay



Chapter Two: Love Lost




March 29th, 2002

2:45 p.m.


            The boat had finally been consumed and lost seaworthiness around noon. It sunk below the waveless lake and only a few charred splinters and planks remained on the lake, but they were slowly loosing their buoyancy and sinking into the odd lake as well. The lake would not tolerate anything breaking up its dark surface. It wanted to look like a scryer’s mirror, and would truck no interference in that goal. He had watched as the fire had leapt up, while the boat sank. It had tried to get away from the lake, but had been consumed and quenched. No doubt the pieces of flame that hadn’t escaped the cold grasp were still under the water, being kept alive somehow.


            Max and Mrs. Pendleton had driven away together; Marla, Judy and Sheila had gone with them, leaving the three fellows together. Jack, Tommy and The Weirdo sat together in the cabin. There was a silence about them, none of them wanting to be the first to speak.  For men who had known each other for as long as these friends had, there was little to say. They had told each other everything as soon as it happened. There was almost nothing that any of them kept secret from the others. These men knew what the other was thinking already. Never mind the telepathy that they each shared, they could block that for the sake of privacy. Each of them had, and this was the more important art, a profound understanding of how the other two’s minds worked.


            The Weirdo got up and walked to the kitchen. It was such an ordinary kitchen filled with ordinary appliances, a stove, a refrigerator, a toaster oven and all the other little things. He touched the handle of the refrigerator and tugged it open. Almost without looking he reached and pulled a two-liter bottle of cola from the door. He set the bottle down on the central island of the kitchen and withdrew a large glass tumbler from the cupboard. He opened the bottle and began to fill a tall glass tumbler with cola. It was Tommy, unable to take it any longer, who broke the silence.


            “Did you speak with Doc?” Tommy asked.


            “Not yet.” The Weirdo said. “Why?”


            “Shannon was…” Tommy halted, and it looked like he was trying to hold back tears.


            “Shannon was what?” The Weirdo demanded, holding the bottle and glass out like he was offering them.


            “She was…” Tommy halted again.


            “She was pregnant.” Jack said. “About five weeks.”


            The Weirdo’s face twisted, the glass and bottle shuddered in his hand for a moment. It wasn’t a large, exaggerated shake like one might make in a movie or if they were trying to gain attention. It was in fact barely visible to someone who wasn’t looking for a reaction. If you didn’t know him, you might have thought he was reactionless. The Weirdo set the bottle and glass down on the counter before he did something stupid that he’d regret later. He didn’t want to destroy these things, it wasn’t their fault, and he understood that.


            Just suppress, push it down, not now. Don’t explode, don’t smash things that had nothing to do with it. Just hang on, find an anchor line, hold on to something. Find that nugget of rage and hold it in, it could be all you have soon. Just clamp it down and compress it into a tiny little atom bomb of emotion. Hold on to it, and don’t let it go. You may need that later. Don’t blow it now.


            He turned back towards them, holding none of the rage on his face. He looked supernaturally calm and his barely concealed rage was kept in check by his look of interest in this topic. Tommy and Jack both knew him well enough to know that they should keep telling him before he asked in a very loud voice what was going on. This way they wouldn’t fall into reading each other’s minds and loose shape of their world. It was, again, Tommy who began.


            “She only told me the day before.” Tommy said. “She said she wanted to be sure before she told you, she was going to tell you that morning.”


            “I see.” The Weirdo said, walking to a wooden chair and sat down. “That’s what she was going to tell me. Her surprise that would trump my surprise.”


            He took in every sensation, noticed every detail. The solid wood that he could carve ever so gently with his fingernail. That he did carve into it in fact, not very deep, but a small visible line in the pine furniture from with his nail. The way the backing of the chair pressed against his back, the exact temperature of the room, the way that Tommy’s shirt had bits of lint that glowed in the light. He always seemed to be doing this, recording everything for later record.


            “Doc said that one of the bullets struck her womb, killed the baby.” Jack said. “Would have been a girl I understand.”


            “My daughter.” The Weirdo said. “My wife and my other both killed.”


            There was silence in the room, Jack looked from The Weirdo to Tommy, who for a change of pace was looking from The Weirdo to Jack. They all sat in silence as the two men tried to find things to occupy their eyes so they didn’t have to look at the terrible face of their friend. The Weirdo sat in the chair, his face twisting from one emotion to another.


            Jack and Tommy stood like helpless children, watching him sit in the chair, unmoving. He would look at them, his face would twist, his eyes would squeeze shut and then he’d open them again looking around the room. His hands tightened into fists and untightened again. Every time his left hand tightened into a fist, the tendons would snap across the bones and the sound would twang from his hand. He sat in the chair, unable to move, not wanting to move for fear of himself. He wasn’t angry with them, but he was angry, of that there could be no doubt.


            “I think I would like to be alone for a little while.” The Weirdo said after what seemed like hours.


            “Yeah,” Tommy said, “But make sure you come home.”


            “I will.” The Weirdo said. “Why wouldn’t I?”


            “Well.” Tommy said, leaving the unfinished remark to hold out its obvious ending.


            “No.” The Weirdo said. “I wouldn’t do that.”


            “Alright.” Jack said standing. “We’ll go home then.”


            “Okay.” The Weirdo nodded.



© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions



June 11, 2012 Posted by | Fiction | , | Leave a comment