Chapter Twenty-Seven


June 6th, 2017

            Is this what Hadley felt like? Was she dead inside too? How could I not have seen it coming? Simon lay on his patio, watching the sun start its perilous decent into darkness. How many pills did I take, anyway? I can’t feel either way. Doesn’t matter. Simon tried to sit up, failing after hovering two inches off the ground for a few seconds. I thought killing that son of a bitch would fix me. I’m worse off now than I was before. At least I felt anger, then. The sun cast a violent pink over the lake, casting vivid shadows off the large trees surrounding Simon’s house. The moon was already visible, sitting upon its nightly throne, ready to shoo the sun out of existence. Would it be so bad if the sun stayed dead? What did the sun ever do for us? Besides skin cancer and life. The latter is just cancer on a planetary scale, anyway. Take me, moon.

Simon heard a faint, musical chime. The doorbell? Shit. Don’t think I can walk over there right now. The sun’s pink had blended into a melancholy purple haze. That purple. It and the moon, it gets it. The sun won’t though. Fuck the sun. The musical doorbell played again, restarting halfway through. Hold your horses. I’m coming. Well, maybe not. I’m a lame horse you see. Simon laughed loudly, or quietly, he was too high to tell, too low to care. As the mystery-visitor began to knock, Silgan charged the door, barking profusely. Now you’ve gone and pissed the dog off. Simon rolled onto his bare stomach and pushed himself to his knees. Walking is hard. Panting, he got to his feet and stumbled forward towards the open glass sliding-door. Why’s he still knocking. Just fuck off.

Finding his sea-legs, Simon walked towards the front door, avoiding the purple couch. Too soon. Still. Reaching the door, Simon tripped the dead-bolt, and swung the door open, nearly losing his balance. Well shit. “Hello, Simon.” Said the bearded man. Flashbacks of Clifton screaming roared into Simon’s mind, causing him to wobble and fall to his knees. “Woah there buddy, I know you’re excited to see me, but keep your head on straight.”

Gasping, Simon asked “What do you want?” Silgan ran at the man, jumping up onto his waist, sniffing. The man enthusiastically pet Silgan’s head with both hands.

Smiling, kindly, the bearded man responded “It’s Vincent. And I want to offer you a job. You know, you really were impressive the other day. The boss wants to cut you in.” This clown better be kidding.

            “I paid you, Vincent. I have a job.” Retorted Simon, getting to his feet.  

            Mouth tightening, spreading into a condescending grin, Vincent said “Yeah. And I have you torturing a man to death on tape. I also have these pictures, friends of yours, I think?” Simon’s blood thickened, he could hear his heartbeat in his jaw. Vincent dropped around five pictures, in what seemed like slow motion. Tom…Amy…Gia…he’s threatening Tom’s family.

Rage igniting in Simon’s core, he swung at Vincent, shouting “I couldn’t give a fuck if I got a life sentence, but if you fucking touch my brother or his kid I’ll do you worse than I did that drunk prick!” Easily, Vincent side-stepped Simon’s punch, pushing him off balance. Silgan’s gate changed from cheerful to vicious in an instant, looking to Simon for a command. “Sic!” Simon shouted, before bouncing off the pavement. Kill this fuck. Simon watched Vincent cry out in pain as Silgan buried his sharp teeth into Vincent’s left leg.

As Simon tried and failed to get to his feet, Vincent, with a practiced motion, drew a skinning knife from his sleeve. No! As Silgan released his bite, he jumped for Vincent’s right arm. Vincent side-stepped and brought the knife down on Silgan’s exposed neck, mid-air. Silgan went limp before landing a few feet away, knife sticking from his youthful, gold-black, fur. You bastard. Simon’s eyes started to well as Vincent lectured “Okay, you’re clearly high off some shit right now. I get it. I like to partake myself, a fellow connoisseur. But you ought to start thinking a little more clearly, bud. You ain’t got a choice in this. You don’t say no to my boss. I think I’ve given you enough material to think about, when you come down, of course.” Vincent let out a low rumble of a laugh. “Sorry about the dog, I liked him, but you did try to have him kill me, dumbass.” Vincent took a small black object from his pocket and tossed it into Simon’s door. “I’ll be in touch. Don’t try anything, and you’ll make better money than you are now. Fuck up, and your little brother–Tommy, was it?–is gonna pay.” Simon struggled, prone, towards Silgan, who had a pool of blood enveloping his small body. Halfway across the porch, Simon’s vision went black.   


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