A story based on the song "Machinehead" by Bush

Breathe in

Breathe out

It was hard to breathe. He was just so happy, so absolutely excited, so engulfed in this natural ecstasy that he had forgotten how to breathe. Was this true happiness? The way he was grinning so wide, so big, so amazed at what had happened, so scared at the same time. He couldn't even formulate what had happened -- the pick up's rear view mirror was bent, he couldn't see out of it, so instead, he looked forwards, tracing the dashed white beelines with his eyes, the dial traveling up and up. He was so happy, he could feel it tightening in every muscle of his face.

His hands twitched, the plastic pieces that bound his hands to the steering wheel too tight around his wrists. His fingers were starting to go numb, in the way that he could feel every bump, every groove beneath his skin on the plastic wheel. The rubber tires ground anxiously on the asphalt below, filling the car with a humming sound, move prevalent in his right ear than his left.

Tied to a wheel

My fingers got to feel

His mouth was dripping, and he could feel each drop pound into his lap, staining his shirt and pants, but he could not stop grinning that toothy grin. He couldn't stop being so happy. Someone was coming up alongside him, faster than he was, probably going one hundred. He could see the nose of their car pushing into the view of his left most window. He was feeling rather competitive now, in his ecstasy, in his abrupt happiness, his excitement. His foot slammed down on the gas pedal, and the pick up wavered, wiggling back and forth with the wind resistance, piercing past both sides of the vehicle. He had to clear that car, even if his car was in the red. The pick up pushed past one-hundred and ten, vibrating horribly, the wheel in his palms slipping about.

Bleeding through a darkened smile

Quickly, he turned the wheel to the right, the car jerking abruptly into the right lane in front of the car behind him. His teeth, stuck in that grin, clenched tight, prevailing in this unconscious content. But he could not feel anything but happiness in what he had done, and a little bit of anger for what was just in back of him, getting his mats dirty.

I spin on a whim

I slide to the right

The rear view mirror was still bent, no matter how hard his view looked at it. He couldn't see the body, slumped over in the back, shuddering with the pure speed that coursed throughout the car. He was no longer grinning: his teeth were clenched, and the muscles had turned over to frown, baring those blood covered pearly white bones. His speed was increasing, but he had to stop soon, had to get rid of the body, the rusted out pick up, had to cover his tracks, had to get out of these bones. Again, his eyes went instinctively to the rear view mirror, and he could almost see the road behind him, wide open and imagined. He thought he could hear breathing over the roar of anything else, and thought he could feel a heartbeat, low and slow.

I felt you like electric light.

Abruptly, he thrust the wheel towards the left, taking the exit in an abrupt fashion, diving the raunchy pick up to a lower speed, the tires squealing and skidding over the worn back top., The heart beat was getting faster, the breathing louder, and he had to turn, to look in the back of him, in back of the seat. Behind him was the body, slumped over and lifeless, the back arched and creating a hump in the blanket that had been tossed over it. Was it still alive? He could have sworn it was, from the breathing he heard, the heart beat becoming louder and louder.

Off of the highway onto the exit, and he gazed left and right, towards where the roads had pointed. The roads were empty still, because of the time of the night it was. The street lamps guided the way, making his car move left again, where a broken down Citgo gas station sat, between a low and high spot. His teeth ground together, little pieces coming off to form the sand in his mouth. The grin was gone, and this anger was left. All this because of that woman: how proud she would have been now, to see him strong like this. She had always thought him weak, always saw the blank slate outside, not the angry, happy inside that defined him. How amazed she would have been. How fearful she would have been.

For our love

For our fear

For our rise again the years and years and years

He parked the car, sliding it up with ease against one of the gas tanks, sliding the keys from a turned on engine to a dead one. His wrists strained against that plastic tie, rubbing up against it, twisting and ripping back at it. How strong he was. The plastic shattered after grinding into his flesh, and his hands became free from the shoddy clasps. She thought he was weak; imagine how afraid she would be now. He removed himself from the car.

The pickup's door slammed shut, and he grabbed at the nozzle. How amazed she would be. The pump said to pay inside when he was done, just how he had wanted it. Tightly his fingers clasped to the nozzle's handle. His grin had turned to a frown, a deepened one, a guilt in his heart. She was right when she had called him weak.

Deaf, dumb, and thirty

I'm starting to deserve this.

She was right, and he knew it. He wasn't even strong enough to hold himself back. His dear love was right. What would she think of what he had done? What would she think of him hovering the gas nozzle in the air? What would she think? What would that two timing bitch think of him now, the weak one? The last one? The dumb one?

He couldn't have helped it; all his friends thought he was dumb, and he begged to differ, but this had proved it. He was weak and dumb, both at the same time, ready to fuel, ready to take another unhealthy kick from his friends, ready to feel his ego drip down into the negatives. He was ready to take another fall for the team. His friends, all that pressure, his goddamned ego. He felt it drown within him, making the guilt even harder to bare.

Leaning on my conscience wall

Blood is like wine

Unconscious all the time

That was when he had noticed his fingers twitching, from how long he had held that steering wheel, how tight he had clasped it. The nozzle was dripping, and he got to work, cocking back on the trigger to openly spray his pickup, washing the blood off of the rusted side, spraying through the opened window. He was weak, and dumb, but he was strong, and clever. He wanted to go back to change it, to control himself and show he wasn't weak, he wasn't dumb, but he wasn't strong or clever. He wanted to prove different, prove different to her and just walk away.

If I had it all again I'd change it all

But he couldn't now, not after he sprayed the gasoline like a coat of paint, cutting the tank off at $41.60. He couldn't go back, and that made the grin on his face reappear, and suddenly he was happy again, pulling out his lighter, the one she had given to him as a present, and pushing back on the reel. He couldn't go back, and this was the end. He said a silent goodbye to his girl - HIS girl -- and pressed the flame into the rotted side of the machine.

It took rapidly, and singed his eyebrows, burning the tops of his hair, puffing up quickly like a mushroom cloud, a nuclear explosion, his own personal Hiroshima. That was when he began walking, walking with that cheshire grin, lighter in his palm, as proud as ever, arrogant, maybe, his head held high and his deed being done, the warm flames behind him feeling soothing on his aching back.

I walk from my machine.