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August 28, 2012 Posted by | Photo | , | Leave a comment

Twins in Death: Chapter Four – Part Three

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Four: The Red Twin

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:06 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo was looking at the potato chip selection before him and sighing to himself. Once upon a time the potato chip was a single item, and it came with salt on it. Then you could have it cut into ridges, to give better hold as you set your chip into the dip. After a while someone came up with the idea that you didn’t need the dip at all, they would simply put the dip into the chip. This idea really took off and soon many chips had the flavor of sour cream and onions and cheese. Then they began to flavor the chips with whatever flavors they could come up with. In the last ten years or so, the market for potato chips had exploded. A person could get chips with flavors mysteriously called cool ranch, or just hot n’ spicy. There were chips that boasted three different cheese flavors and some that just offered garlic and herbs. There were high-end chips that gave simple flavors like salt and pepper or exotic New York Cheddar flavors. There were very high-end chips that didn’t use the flavored salts and powders of other companies but actually used bits of dried tomatoes and garlic stuck to their thick chips. You could even get chips that claimed to use balsamic vinegar and the finest sun dried roma tomatoes.

 

            He had been standing for nearly ten minuets, looking at the huge isle of chips, trying to decide which chip was right for him. He hadn’t actually been out of the house since early August, and thus he was facing an overload of input. He had wanted to make a special dish though, he had said, so he had to go shopping. He had to leave the house, venture to Manhattan and enter a grocery store to get the ingredients himself. As Max, Jack and Tommy all said they needed things too, he was in good company.

 

            It hadn’t been so much that each of them needed something as they wanted to watch him. His leaving the house had become such a rare event that they felt a need to keep an eye on him. It was a bit like Archie Goodwin keeping an eye on Nero Wolfe. Half in the disbelief of his leaving the house and half to make sure he befell no evil.

 

            The potato chips had started off as a vague idea and had now turned into a sticking point bordering on obsession. He scratched the back of his head as he looked at the rows of chips, trying to decide on a flavor. He finally took a deep breath, and reached out. They were in a yellow bag and had the distinction of being New York Cheddar flavored. He thought about it and snagged a bag from the same company that claimed they were lightly salted. He tossed them into the basket he was carrying, and looked around for the other three.

 

            Max was the first to come into the aisle, carrying a box of raisin cookies and grape jelly. For reasons, which will remain a mystery forever, he liked to spread the jelly on the cookies. This is a disgusting habit and is in no way endorsed by the narrator, the chronicler, the editors or publishers of this tome. It’s inclusion in this particular history is only to show what long and careful research went into this tome, and that this is indeed a complete and true history of the events. The narrator has been told that small details like this are what really count when you’re making a complete history without falsehood or omission.

 

            Tommy came down the isle with a cart, which he had filled with a few loafs of bread and a box of berries. The Weirdo tossed the two bags of potato chips into the basket and set it down into the cart. Tommy looked and nodded approvingly. He then looked at Max who came with his two items.

 

            “Oh isn’t that cute, he’s got cookies.” Tommy smiled. “They never really grow up do they?”

 

            “Precious.” The Weirdo muttered.

 

            “Oh do shut up, the both of you.” Max said as he deposited his load into the cart.

 

            “You’re going to desecrate those cookies with the jam again aren’t you?” Tommy asked.

 

            “I happen to like it.” Max said.

 

            “I suppose if you like it.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Thank you.” Max said.

 

            They turned to see Jack walking down the aisle, carrying several small boxes of cookies and two boxes of fruit snacks that had been pressed into the shapes of popular cartoon characters. He set them down into the cart and got not even a second glance from the other two.

 

            “Okay, so why does Jack get off?”

 

            “Hasn’t The Weirdo explained that to you?” Tommy asked. “Or at least sent you to a pornography shop or something?”

 

            Max looked at him, for a very long time, without actually saying anything.

 

            “Why does he get to buy this stuff and you don’t say anything?” he asked finally

 

            “Jack has children.” The Weirdo said, tilting his head towards Jack.

 

            “Jack can kick my ass.” Tommy said.

 

            “When you’re old enough, you’ll understand.” Jack said.

 

            Max lifted his hands and looked at the ceiling. He raised his hands and shook his head in a stance of submission. He was more or less taking his posture from that of Job in a painting he had seen earlier that week in a museum The Weirdo had taken him to. Max had been fascinated by the look of sad tired implorement that the artist had rendered on the old man’s face. He had marveled at how much work had gone into the expression of pain and agony while so little had been done to the background. While The Weirdo had given it only a cursory glance and moved on to the mediaeval paintings.

 

            “Why me?”

 

            “Cause.” The Weirdo said. “If not you, then who else?”

 

            “Jack can kick my ass.” Tommy said.

 

            “Shut up.” Max suggested.

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:09 p.m.

 

            It was beginning to grow dark out, and depending on what part of the street you were on, it might already be dark. On streets running north and south, like this one, it was already dark and had been for some time. You could still see the faint slashes of light from the streets that ran east and west, but many of them has already begun to grow dark as well.

 

            Our villain, our main villain for this story that is, was skipping down the street merrily singing a thirteenth-century tune about the horrors of the pox. It wasn’t really a jaunty number, but he had found that the words would scan to the tune of Zip a Dee do dah, and was singing the lyrics to that tune. He skipped merrily towards his destination, singing his song, and drawing a bit of attention.

 

            Now there is nothing particularly wrong about a man skipping. One might even allow a man to skip while wearing red leather pants and a sequined shirt, though it would garner some attention. However, to skip, while wearing red leather pants and a sequined shirt and singing a song whose lyrics involve the removal of body parts and cutting open the sores… Let’s just say it’s generally frowned upon, particularly as close to Park Avenue as he was.

 

            He was in one of the better neighborhoods, one where the police cruised by on a more than regular basis. He was undaunted though, and looked at the notebook he kept. His little minions, little demons he called them, had compiled information about the people in this house. They had watched, they had spied, and they had done what he had asked of them.

 

            He looked at the address in his notebook and smiled as he matched it to the one in his book. He closed the book and slipped it back into the right rear pocket, where his wallet would go if he had one, and marched up the stairs. His foot landed heavily on the door and it gave under the tremendous strength in that limb.  He raised his voice in song as burst in on them. They looked over towards the commotion from the dinner table as he moved into the apartment.

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:10 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo was leaning up against a wall, watching Tommy and Max standing in the grocery line. He didn’t like grocery lines, hated being trapped in that space, so he stood aside. It was while waiting that his eye happened to fall upon trouble. It wasn’t like he went out of the house looking for trouble, really he would have liked to avoid it. Trouble however follows some people like crows followed the carts that carried the dead in other days.

 

            Tommy didn’t notice The Weirdo as the young woman who earned a criminally low wage passed items over the super market scanner. Tammy is what her name badge read. Her hair had been dyed and unnatural shade of purple, there was a small ring with a green plastic ball though her left eyebrow but at least she didn’t slouch. She moved with the efficiency of someone trying to do their job under tough circumstances. She was bored, but looked up and managed a smile for Tommy. She wanted more out of life than this, much more. For the time being though, until she was done with high school this was it. She had heard about people who were already working careers at her age, but no one ever told her how to get to it. They only ever offered the advice from shoe commercials to just do it.

 

            There were aspirations in her life, beyond the confines of this small neighborhood in this massive metropolis. She wanted more than this corner grocery could offer her, but she couldn’t tell these men that. They might understand, but what could they do to help? Of course had she only known what was about to happen she might have thought differently. She would soon enough be famous, and be able to shake dust away. She noticed the old man as he nodded to her and began to walk out of the store, and then those punks again.

 

            Mr. Soun was nearly eighty, and still worked nine hours a day in the grocery that he and his wife had started so very long ago. He was bent from the sixty years of work he had put in to making his corner grocery one of the finest in Manhattan. He had worked and strived and managed to now own a small chain consisting of three stores. His eyesight was bad or he would have noticed the four young men who had tried to cause trouble earlier. Bruno had been here earlier, but he’d gone home at four, and they had come back.

 

            The Weirdo saw them, and growled low and soft in recognition. It was a throaty purr that came with an annoyed face. The only part of him that moved was his right arm, which propelled him to a standing position without looking like any part of him had moved. He straightened and began to move towards the front door of the store. A responsible person might have asked someone to also call the police, but he didn’t want some cop interrupting him.

 

 

 

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

August 28, 2012 Posted by | Fiction | , | Leave a comment

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