Chapter 1 - The Big Adios

Posted in By Aiden Cobb 0 comments

Senseless. Fucking senseless. He stares at the crashing waves.

The memory of standing on the Seal Beach pier is the only thing he can concentrate on. It moves around the frontal lobe like the guy who didn't get the memo that the party has been canceled. He could see the green water below and remembers casting the crap in his head into it, letting the sound soothe and wash it all away.

Tonight’s story is different. Tonight the sea is dark and the moon looms unusually large and full like someone had cut it from a full-page magazine and plastered it against the black background of sporadic, pinhole stars. Tonight the path back to the house is even longer.

There’s a dead weight hanging inside his chest. He didn't want to kill Steven and hadn't planned on it.

Usually on these nights he would drop by, watch a movie on that beautiful wall-sized plasma TV, have a few beers, shoot the shit for a bit, and then go home to sleep it off. Tonight strayed far from schedule and now there's a cave of bloody mush where his Steven's face had been. He didn't plan on spending the evening this way.

From the daze he remembers looking at the TV, muttering “Goddamit,” and walking down to the edge of the beach. There's nothing else that he could fucking do.

Steven was a friend. Not his best friend, because he didn't have any of those, but a good friend. Being with her fucked everything up and more than changed the group dynamic. Those days were dead and gone.

Gripping the nine millimeter in his left hand he's pissed to the highest point of pissitivity. His forefinger repeatedly touches the trigger and he wants to kill something. Or somebody. The whole thing is rotten. And senseless.

With his black hair, dark complexion, and dark clothing his silhouette is a fixed shadow on the beach. Standing there he continues watching the waves.

Fuckin' reflex, he tells himself. He's not a believer in blind rage or blacking out or whatever some shit sitting on the witness stand with enough money to get out of killing somebody can come up with. No clinical shrinks to second-guess what he had been trained to do; what he taught himself to do.

His mind races back to touching the door. Did he cover his tracks? He used his coat to open the sliding glass door that led to the beach but that's all he could remember.

Water encroaching, his black loafers sinking into the sand: time to get back to the house. Not that he wants to and there's no telling if or when the cops will show. He trudges up the beach in anger and determination. His friend’s ticket just got punched and damned if someone isn't heading for the Big Adios.

Returning to the living room he glowers at the crime scene. He hates to look left but does so anyway.

Black cherry syrup dripping down a sundae: that's what it looks like. The rivers of blood snaking down Steven's body run over his “Creature from the Black Lagoon” tee and onto the beige couch.

Turning to the TV he stares at the splatter pattern surrounding the spider web cracks with bullethole centerpiece. Then his reflection to the right. Not pretty.

Sitting on the end table under Steven's hand the object of at least half the trouble stares back at him: a DVD. Its plastic cover is suffused with blood, bone, and brain droppings in no particular pattern of clumps. Briskly walking into the kitchen he rips a paper towel from its holder and cleans the DVD's plastic cover.

They were supposed to watch it, some long-lost and thought to be held by only the greatest and wealthiest of collectors. Out-of-print and with a hefty price tag on eBay, Steven painstakingly had coughed up the cash for it. What Steven didn't know, and his “friend” reluctantly told him, is that a mean as fuck gangster named Thad is looking for it. At that point Mr. Movie lost what little composure he had and went “emotionally kerblooey.” One less movie nerd in the world...

Back inside his car he slides the key into the ignition and the lights pop on. Grabbing the gearshift he yanks it into reverse, slowly backing out of the driveway and turning toward the main road. Reaching into his pocket he pops out his cellphone and blindly dials a number. Her voice, in dreamy confusion, answers.

“Yeah, whatcha doin'?” he softly says.