Friday, February 14, 2014

Renaissance

Continued from Running Blind in a House of Mirrors

For the first time in a long time, Wolf is 'awake'. His eyes opened rudely to the perversion of his son and the sexual antics and humiliation of his daughter.  Six young men dead under suspicious circumstances and his children are implicated. It's a wake-up call from dream into nightmare one exacerbated as Carl's unattended phone begins to buzz on silent, shuddering across the coffee table. Wolf retrieves the phone and reads two messages. One from Virgin reminding Carl of his flight time to Brisbane, the other from Leisl giving an address.  


"Be happy for me. mtg my man at 36 Parkland Ave. So stoked!"

Wolf calls Grant, "I think you need to get to Brisbane. Something weird is going down."

***
Lou's lack of discretion when he first contacted Leisl was astounding. Only now when he checked his calls and messages did he realise how foolish he'd been. Sucked in by good looks and a tenuous past connection, he'd revealed too much, to soon. Played too hard. She was on her way. She wanted to meet. He felt stupid for egging her on, flirting outrageously, having phone sex so quickly after connecting with her before he realised her stupidity was a complete turn off, her obsession bordering on crazy. He'd clearly given her the wrong impression and had failed miserably to quell her affections despite being blatantly obvious in his own mind. May as well meet her. He'd be easy to find anyway, his contact details on his website, his landline emblazoned in bold print in the White Pages. Blind Freddie could knock on his door whether he'd given out his address or not. Might as well bite the bullet, respond to her message. At least then he can give her some home truths, tell her how it is. Reject her advances and send her packing.

***
Carl watched Leisl enter the departure gate before checking in. This liaison was going to be no more successful than the last. He swiped his card and queued for the flight following hers. His bag is passed through the security x-ray and he's frisked and swabbed on the other side.

"Sir? What's this?" A customs agent calls him back and points to the screen at what appears to be a pack of disposable hypodermic needles and a small vial.

"Oh. Sorry, I should have mentioned that. It's Kynoselen. Here, I have the prescription. Just a vitamin and sodium injectable to help with fat loss."

He flashes the prescription as the customs officer opens his bag and inspects  the vial.

Carl twitters nervously, "I'm a body builder, it's perfectly legal."

The customs officer is unmoved, "You can't take that as carry-on. You'll have to leave it behind or check it in."

Carl is astounded by his own carelessness but the decision to follow Leisl was sudden, and planning rushed, he'd even forgotten his mobile phone. He complies and walks back through the metal detector to check in his luggage. His heart races. Should they actually test the stuff, they'd know it was KCL they'd surely be suspicious about his reasons for having it. Domestic security is lax, his bag is checked in as hold luggage, and he saunters through the departure gate, heads for the first bar he sees and orders a double vodka and Red Bull. He needs to be hyped to do what has to be done.

***
"Hi. You're here already?"  Lou's voice is emotionless, cold, he's biting the bullet but wants to get this over with, and quickly.

"Hi Babe!" Just got off the plane. Can you pick me up or should I get a cab."

"Look Leisl, I'm not crazy about this but you've come a long way. My car won't start, can you get a cab?" The last thing he needs is to be locked in a vehicle, her hand on his thigh and nowhere to avoid her.

She touches up her lip gloss and smooths her hip-hugging pencil skirt. She fidgets with the scooped neckline of her top until it reveals just the right amount of shoulder, decolletage and cleavage, hails a cab. She's barely seated next to the turbaned driver when she receives a message from her father.

"Leisl, where's Carl? Disturbing news. Call me."

She won't. She doesn't. Nobody is going to spoil this moment. She ignores it.

She has no idea where her brother is anyway. Carl's been behaving weird for days but it's a phase, he's just jealous that she's found someone new. He'll come round.

She's on Lou's stoop and rings the bell, ready to throw eager arms around him and be warmly welcomed. It doesn't happen. He's dressed scruffily, a sloppy joe, dirty board shorts and thongs. His hair hasn't been brushed for days, his face is sporting more than a five-o'clock shadow and his breath reeks. He keeps his distance behind the open door.  Leisl's face can't hide the disappointment in his appearance.

"Lou?" She's not even sure he's the same man, he looks nothing like his clean cut Facebook images.

"Come in."  His voice is emotionless.

The flat is sparse. A computer stand, a small pine dining table with 2 chairs, a mini kitchenette, a stack of putrid dishes waiting to be washed, a bookshelf and a small two-seater couch covered in papers. He scoops them up and nods for her to take a seat. He remains standing and towers above her. Hazel eyes staring adoringly into his cold blue. It's beyond uncomfortable, he was supposed to be welcoming, at least give her a kiss and a hug but he's angry. He doesn't offer her anything other than sharp words.

"This has to stop! I only agreed to meet you to tell you that I'm not your 'babe', I never was. I made a mistake. I thought you were cute but that's it. You're not my girlfriend, you never will be."

"...but you said..." Leisl's words are cut short.

"You're a pain in the ass, you message me too often, call too often. You talk shit and understand nothing. I thought you'd get the hint over time but you're so obsessed, so persistent. I want you out of my face, off my phone, out of my house, gone from my life! You're not my type and never will be. You're a pest and a pariah! Am I being perfectly CLEAR?"

She leaps at him and slaps him hard across his cheek. He recoils momentarily, wiping the sting from his face before she lays into him in a vicious attack and begins screaming.

 "You said you liked me! You fucking came over the phone while you were talking to me! You said you wanted to touch my skin, you prick! You let me come all this way just to tell me to shove off?"

Lou takes the beating. He deserves it for leading her on, before realising she was unbalanced. She'll be done and off his back soon enough. He backs into a corner of the small kitchenette as she reaches for the knife block and covers his head with his hands. She has strength as well as a temper. Only he notices the shadow looming behind her, hypodermic needle grasped in an elevated fist. Before she can strike with the knife the Potassium Chloride already courses through her veins as she turns to face her assailant.

"Carl? What've you done?"

The pain is excruciating. Lou remains curled in a ball in the corner as Carl catches the falling girl in his arms, the knife dropping with vibrating clang at Lou's feet. He grabs it but remains motionless, gripped and stunned at what's unfolding before him. The girl begins to shudder.

"Jesus Carl, what was..." she convulses as the lethal dose shuts down her organs.

Carl cradles her and begins to cry. "I'm sorry Leis, I'm really sorry. If I can't have you. . ."

The shuddering continues.

"Man, you're crazy! You're both fucking off tap crazy!" Lou screams and comes to a stand, knife in hand, poised but uncertain what to do when the door bursts open. Grant and two police officers burst in.

"Christ! Call 000!" Grant grabs the mourning boy, bending his arms tight behind his back and cuffing him as the srynge and Leisl's trembling body fall to the floor. A puddle of urine leaches from between her lovely legs.  One officer taps his radio and hurriedly begins ordering an ambulance and backup. Another officer attempts CPR on the dying woman but the poison has done it's work as rapidly as Carl had read. She shakes for one last time and lies motionless, eyes wide. Lou Mariano's horrified face, the last thing she sees. Once again the knife drops to the floor along with Lou, now on his knees, his expression one of abject disbelief.

***
Lou emerges from the shower, shaven, hair combed through. Slides on a pair of casual trousers and tucks a crisp white shirt into them before tightening his belt.  He slips socked feet into a pair of comfortable loafers and straightens the now discarded towel over the towel rail.  Slings a Timbuktu Messenger bag over his shoulder and picks up the mobile phone on the dresser. He hesitates in front of his computer, takes a sip of black coffee. His index finger hovers above the 'unfriend' button on the page of a pretty girl he once knew. Her smiling face staring at him, creeping him out, but the office beckons. No more of this working at home, wasting time on people he doesn't know. If only he could forget the expression on her face, now indelibly etched on his mind. He clicks, and she's gone from his Facebook feed.

5 comments:

  1. great story, a bit rushed at the end, but good twist, and twisted! Gotta keep up the writing, yur a natural

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good ending! Totally unexpected twist. As for critiques, there are the odd typos and punctuation issues, but you know that. The one thing that drove me crazy was the captcha thing. Arrgggghhh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry, I didn't turn Captcha on. Must be a blogger default.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not a complete fan of the ending. Definitely rushed. Definitely compressed. But not a bad tale.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, unexpected. Not being sure I even 'expected' anything. Great.

    ReplyDelete