Two Years Earlier ...

Links to earlier episodes are at the upper left of this page.

And now ...

The Kid sat back in his seat, eyes closed, the thrumming of the engines beating a slow rhythm through his chest. He was airborne, headed to Vegas. Chicago and Midway were fading behind him. Next stop Des Moines. And then a whole bunch of other stops as this all night milk run to Vegas wound its way from one rusty bucket to another. Just as long as he made it to Vegas. Yeah, Vegas. They were building new hotels and casinos and the rackets were running wild out there. He'd get a job with somebody - he just needed to make the right connection. And he had one. A name at least. The guy worked the protection racket. Sully. The guy's name was Sully.

His hat was down over his eyes. He thought he might sleep. He hoped so. He hadn't been able to rest for days. The cops were on his ass. He had messed up. He hadn't done his work with his usual efficiency. They found Joey The Hat quicker than he thought they would. And too many people had seen him with Joey. And the fuckers ratted him out. The cops were on him so quick he didn't even have time to set up an alibi. So he had to run. And it seemed wherever and whenever he stopped to rest they would be hot on his heels and he would have to keep moving. But he'd given them the slip long enough to catch a cab to Midway and get on this plane. Yeah, well he'd been thinkin' about Vegas, anyway. He just didn't plan on goin' so soon. He didn't even have time to pack. At least he'd got this hat. Yeah. Thanks Joey. But now he was tired. He thought about how tired he was. He hoped he would sleep. He needed sleep. But sleep didn't always help. The dreams would come, sometimes. Them fuckin' dreams. Oh, how he hated them dreams.

The dreams made him crazy. At least, he thought they did. He knew he wasn't 'right'. He knew he was different. And he didn't care. In fact, there was something very liberating in knowing that he didn't care about things that mattered to other people. Like life, for example. He didn't care one way or the other whether people lived or died. There was power in that. Power, because he didn't care whether HE lived or died, either. Which meant he could do just about anything. Anything at all. Except go to jail. He'd been in jail a couple of times and he resented, he hated, being cooped up, being prisoner. And that's how he felt when she put him in the closet. Like a prisoner.

The sound of the engines drifted away ... farther and farther away ...

He was in that dark place. It felt hot and stuffy and cramped. There was no light. But he could hear sounds through the door.

I'm in the closet again and I have to stay in here cause she's not alone, there's a man, I can tell it's a man, I can hear his voice and he sounds rough and angry and she wants me to stay in here when she's not alone, but it sounds bad, like he's hitting her and hitting her and I can't get out, the door is locked, she locked the door, I can't get out and now it's quiet and I don't hear anything. I feel something at my feet and it's wet and slimy and it makes my fingers sticky and it smells familiar and I know it's blood.

He waited and waited and finally, there was light under the door. The cop opened the door and lifted him out of the closet. He tried to pull away, but the big Irish cop just held on to him all the more tightly and the rage began to build in him. The rage and the hatred at being held, he didn't like being held, it made him prisoner again, he needed to get away and he couldn't and the rage built and it built until he finally let out a blood-curling SHRIEK!! "Sir!! Sir, are you alright?"
"Fuck!" He shook his head, tried to clear the cobwebs. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Fell asleep, I guess. Bad dream. Where the fuck are we?"
"Des Moines, sir. We've just landed in Des Moines."

Des Moines. And then Kansas City, and then Oklahoma City, Albuquerque and then Vegas.

Shit. It's gonna to be a long night.


Anonymous said...

Lou - that was good.

That was really really good.

You can really write, I'm so happy to read your stuff.
Nice ending. Feels like it sets the tone for the next installation.
I like the way you write the Kid's thoughts, in that choppy kind of way. I feel what it's like to be the Kid.

Nice work Lou.

Eric S. said...

You wove that one together perfect. I like the way you set up the prelude to the dream, it seemed to fit some pieces together. You made the right choice, and created yet another intriguing tale. Keep going, and let us see the reasons why he is the way he is.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I checked in just before leaving town to scoop up this brain candy. Well done!

www.ayewonder.com said...

Can't wait for the next installment.

Shadow said...

you MAY tell a story. lovely stuff!!!

Unknown said...

warriorwoman: Thanks. Thank you very much. And yes, one episode needs to lead to the next - and next he flies to Kansas City.

eric: Thank you, too. 'Keep going'. I guess I'm committed. But I'm going to have to learn a bit about sociopathology - and quick.

witchypoo: I'm so glad you find this as 'candy'. That's so ... cool. Have a nice trip. The Kid will be back next Thursday. Or sooner.

Mike: So far it's next Thursday. But it could be sooner. I don't know yet.

Shadow: Thank you, ma'am. That's high praise from someone who writes as well as you do.

moneythoughts said...

Very nice, I liked it a lot.

And to think, you could be a writer. A very good writer.

This reminds me of listening to the radio when I was a little boy before we had a TV. Did you listen to the Lone Ranger or Sgt. Preston on the radio? That is what these installments remind me of.

Hope you will have time to finish the story down the road, I'm hooked.

Expat No. 3699 said...

Wow! That was great. I'll be at the edge of my seat waiting for you to turn the page for us to the next chapter.

It's kind of like we all cheated and read the last chapter first, hehe.

Elizabeth said...

That dream sequence gave me the chills. Good work.

Ndinombethe said...

And to think you were 'terrified' - terrified that we wouldn't like THAT????!!!!!!!!

Another excellent piece. Oh my comments are becoming so repetitive - but I blame it on you because you keep flooring me with brilliant pieces.

Well done Lou!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done, once again! I love the thread of confinement weaved throughout and the way you get inside The Kid's head. This piece was my favorite, maybe because I love characters even more than storylines themselves. I look forward to more installments!

Casdok said...

Wow, i see you have been busy writing! Super stuff!

C has just come home today for the weekend for his first visit since he moved :)

Vikki North said...

Outstanding Lou!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alice said...

Great work Lou!

I was there.

Holly said...

You have the perfect writing style for this kind of piece.

Reminds me of Road to Perdition for some reason....

Holly said...

Well, of course I know the reason....

Christy said...

nice work, Lou!

Momisodes said...

LOVED this piece, Lou. Well done from start to finish :) You really have a gift in developing these scenes and characters.

Side note- Blogger has been pissed at me all day! Not sure why, but it's eaten my comment about 4-5 times :( Perhaps it's my flaky internet.

OHmommy said...

That was awesome. I really like your character development.

Unknown said...

moneythoughts: Are you kidding? Not only did I listen to them when I was a kid, I have XM radio - I listen to both of them NOW. And I WILL finish this.

employee: I just finished about 95% of the next piece. I don't know if I'm going to be able to hold out until Thursday.

tash: I saw this comment earlier today and this is the first chance I've had to come back and reply. I'm glad I'm terrified, in a way. If I ever get to the point where I'm not, I'm afraid of what my attitude will be and what I would be willing to publish.

maggies mind: Thank you. More coming.

casdok: Thank you, ma'am. I hope it goes well with C.

redchair: Thank you, Vikki.

holly: And the reason is ....?

Christy: Thank you, Christy.

Sandy: And thank you, too. And for your help.

Unknown said...

OHmommy: Thank you. Character is what this thing is all about. And this is the longest piece I have ever written. I never thought I would be able to sustain a character for this long.

Unknown said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm right there. Don't stop now!

Okay. I'll wait.

Thursday. Next week.

I have this crazy idea that you'll paint the Kid and post his picture. With that hat.

Crimzen Creative said...

Wow, love this installment. I want to read more about whoever locked him in the closet (perhaps his mother?) And her issues and what he dealt with as a child. I'm hooked too and you are certainly a great writer. Thanks!