"And the history books forgot about us. And the bible didn't mention us. Not even once."- Regina Spektor, Samson
"…Then he was all like Pistachio, I'm just not into you like that anymore," Carrie shrieks out in that fake little girl's voice of hers. I know it carries through out the store, because a couple of other late night customers whip their heads around to stare at us.
I hate her new voice, one day she was speaking normal, the next day she started up with this annoying practice of talking with a baby voice. It is so stupid; everyone, who has known her for ages, knows what her real voice sounds like. She just tries to sound like Marilyn Monroe. She has had an unhealthy fixation, with that dead movie starlet, ever since she watched one of her movies on TBS or something.
She is thinking hard now. How do I know this? Her face is scrunching up. This radical change -always occurs- when she actually has to think. It makes her look like she is really constipated. I cannot help but mull over that weird pet name of hers. Pistachio? Seriously, I cannot believe, she actually let that malnourished douche bag call her that!
I am thinking this while trying, but failing miserably to stifle an onslaught of laughter. What is worse, it ends up making my Red Bull go down the wrong way, so I end up in a spluttering fit. Great, just great, there go four of my hard-earned bucks... all over a very expensive rented costume. Spittle is dribbling down my chin, as the energy drink sloshes down the front of my costume, soaking it. For several minutes, I am bending over clutching the magazine rack for support; just, you know, trying to breathe. My face squashed right up against the smiling photographic faces of the latest celebrity couple to go bust.
Of course, my best friend takes no notice of any of this. This is of course, all very inconsequential to her, as she is much too wrapped up in her favorite subject-- herself. The side of her smudged cheek is brown, with the chocolate bar she has not paid for yet. Once again, she is eating her feelings. Pacing up, and down the aisle she suddenly swings around to face me. Her bright blue eyes are bulging out of their sockets. She is looking, a bit crazed, as she marches over to me.
Right now, she is scaring me shitless. Therefore, of course for my own well-being, I take a couple of steps back. Actually, it is more like a cowardly retreat from her, until my back forcefully hits the glass sliding doors. I end up, pressed hard, against a refrigerator holding an assortment of soft drinks. My back sticky with sweat, from the scorching August night outside, rapidly becomes cooler. I tiredly rest the back of my head on the cool glass. As I already feel the makings of an awful migraine beginning to form.
Carrie comes to stand really close to me, completely disrespecting, the usual safety bubble that is my personal space. Her palms end up, pressed on either side of me, as she's looking me unblinkingly in the eyes. The young gangly store clerk sweeping the store nearby us stops, he slightly props his chin on the broomstick, and turns his attention fully to watching us. Do you not have a paycheck to earn? I angrily think.
I guess he thinks the scene playing out in front of him is entertaining. It's not for me
Carrie so close to me, I can feel her breathe on me when she begins talking again in a whisper. Not that it smells horribly bad or anything. I do not talk much; Carrie says she talks enough for the both of us. That is why I mostly listen, and just try to nod along every so often. I am much taller than she is, so even with her heels she is on her toes trying to reach me, as she's quickly whispering the next horrid part of her story.
"In the middle of Mickey Dees, in front of like every loser in the whole wide world," she flings her arms very wide now, as if the whole world can fit between the particular space she has just created. The motion, it is sending her gold plated bangles racing up, and down her emaciated arms. She turns, and is off again colleting a bag of chips, before heading for the pastry section of the store.
Yeah, whatever Carrie, I can't stop myself from reflecting on everything I have heard from her so far. Bitch, there are wars in the world, what crisis do you have? I think, rolling my eyes behind her skeleton like back. I am of course, not nearly brave enough to say any of this to her face or aloud. Our relationship is one of necessity. Definitely, a complex hate/love relationship, if I was ever to classify it.
The gangly store clerk is still gawking at me, as if I was the most interesting thing in the universe. I know for a fact I am not. It is starting to annoy me, so with my right hand I motion for him to keep it moving. He smirks, but doesn't budge an inch. I turn, and Carrie is suddenly nose-to-nose with me. I had not heard her sneak back up on me, while I was trying to glare at the store clerk. All her soon to be purchases, litter the floor by her feet, practically discarded. Other peeved looking customers, have to step around her items so not to accidentally step on them. People freaked out by us, and our costumes, begin giving us a wide berth.
As she begins, chewing frantically on the fingers of her left hand, on her already gross looking manicure. She dramatically, with her free hand pulls out another handful of tissues from her Kleenex box. The one she has been lugging around everywhere, and I really mean everywhere, since her breakup with Dante, the up-and-coming artist. Up-and-coming, those are not my words but his, definitely his. This is because I have never seen, that pathetic hobo painting a goddamn thing. Yet, he never failed to boast; about his delusion of a new art exhibit, to anyone within earshot of him. Yeah, that idiot had a permanent stool, one reserved especially for him--in the loser lounge.
I still can't believe, she just, did not see through him. I mean come on, as if it was that hard. She goes on, and on, about not seeing any of the warning signs. While they were hitting me from left, and right, like freaking dodge balls.
Dabbing her nose, which by now is redder than Rudolph's, she blows hard into the wad in her trembling hand. It quickly turns a nasty shade of green from all her build up phlegm. Damn, I might even look better than she might right now. I am not a mean spirited person, but I can't help think it, okay. She after all is drop-dead gorgeous, everyday of her perfect life, except tonight. Her blue mascara is running, she by the way is dressed up as eighties valley girl--as if that's a real costume. Again, I am about to burst out laughing at her, so I grab a magazine to duck behind. Instantly I end up breaking into a wide smile, as I pretend to discern all the rumored turmoil plaguing the famous in Hollywood.
I'm at 7-11, flicking through the glossy celebrity weekly in my hands, now trying to find out where Lindsay Lohan is rehabbing. We should just hurry up, and canonize her already, I mean twice in less than a year… Turning a couple more pages, I quickly find what the bookworm in me, is looking for. I have only started scanning the book reviews… when the shouting starts. He is seriously ruining my already horrible night. The store clerk behind the counter, some old man, is shouting for me to buy the tabloid or put it down. I can feel his eyes, boring into my back, as I put it on the rack. I check my wristwatch for the time, and realize how late we are going to be. I do not know how, but somehow Carrie has suckered me into going to a costume party, at the club "What's up pussycat?"
"Carrie, shouldn't we get going?" I croak out, in my own foreign sounding voice, as for the first time tonight I finally pipe up. It is after all twenty- five minutes to midnight. Instead of answering me, she makes her way to the check out counter, and dumps all her items on it. She then turns, and arches a perfect eyebrow at me. Like her well-trained lap dog, I scamper towards her. The old store clerk, who is still giving me a particularly nasty look, is quickly ringing up all Carrie's purchases. He must really want us out of this store.
I turn, and spot the fat rent-a- cop. He is both huge, and asleep. A couple of preteen boys are throwing, random pieces of trash at him. If I could be brave, or try to muster it up somehow, I would try to stop them. I will not have to though; it looks as if their angry mother has caught them in the act. She grabs both boys by the ear, and starts reprimanding them, at the top of her voice. The rent-a- cop somehow manages to sleep through all this. Carrie, who is by now finished buying her items, grabs me by the upper arm, and steers me out in to the intense heat.
The sky above us is a deep inky shade of indigo. The stars must be hiding, somewhere up there in the sky, because tonight they are invisible. I try, but fail miserably, to keep up with Carrie's purposeful strides, as she weaves effortlessly in, and out of the crowds. I however, end up repetitively jostled around, and stumbling. I lose Carrie in all this hustle, and bustle. Carried away, by the tide of strangers between us, she disappears from me. I cannot help it, but in moments such as these instead of searching for her, I become aware of my lively surroundings. The bright signs and colorful displays of the stores still open, and the differing music blasting from the passing cars.
Suddenly, I feel jolted forward by Carrie, she has reappeared, and she is smoking from a cigarette. Our hands clenched in each other's, my sweaty palm, pressed tightly against her dry one. Her full bag, of 7-11 purchases swings hard into my thigh, every so often, it hurts me, but I am not going to complain. Taking her last couple of long drags from her cigarette, she flicks it to the ground, and stomps it out with one of her high heels. I just stand back, and watch the dying embers flicker out of it.
"We're going to have to use the subway if…"she stops, midway through her sentence, because she has as well spotted the large crowd. Pulling me along with her, she begins making her way closer to the front. As she attempts to do so, several people backtrack quickly from the scene, and hurry away, throwing glances back. Pushing a younger teenage girl aside, we have finally, made our way to the front.
The sight that is garnering all this attention, I now see to be a young man. He looks to be in a lot of pain, his chest is heaving rapidly, and you can tell he is trying to force himself to stop convulsing. He is constantly looking up, at the gradually clearing sky, and mouthing something amidst all his pain. And nobody looks to be calling for the help he so obviously needs. I am repulsed, to notice people are instead, taking pictures or filming him with their cell phones. It is as if these idiots think he is some caged monkey, put in front of them, for their viewing pleasure. I have about made up my mind, to help him, when Carrie starts disapprovingly pulling on my hand.
"Someone else will do it Selma, this isn't any of our business" She bites out scolding me, for just wanting to be a good person.
With one sad look, back at the poor young man, I feel compelled to follow her away--as if she is pulling me on leash. Her voice drones on, and on, about something, but I cannot really pay attention to what she is saying. I feel incredibly haunted, by the bright pleading amber eyes of the stranger. In some strange way, I cannot even begin to explain why; I feel I can relate to both his physical and emotional pain. With him on my mind, Carrie leads me through the thick crowd, which has yet to disperse, and down the close by stairs leading to the subway. I rub my forehead, knowing the pulsing sensation, is promise of the migraine I had been feeling earlier. All the while, I dismally reflect, on the loud music awaiting us at the club we're heading to.
Down in St. Michaels station, at the ticket collector's booth, the bored man behind the bulletproof glass makes my night, by telling us the turnstiles are broken. He then suggests when we have both paid our tokens, to jump them to get through. My stained Tinkerbelle costume keeps riding up, so I look like a slut, and I already have a bad run in my beige pantyhose. When it comes my turn to jump, I take one look back, at the middle age man in the tweed business suit behind me, before leaping. For a couple seconds, I fly, so I actually think I have broken the laws of gravity. Ten seconds afterward when suspended upside down, and Mr. Tweed business suit has saved me from cracking my head open I feel pathetic. The people behind us, in the line begin clapping, and I just know from the heat radiating from my face, that I must be some shade of maroon. As I shakily, but sincerely thank him, I wish Carrie once more could just shut her trap. As she goes on to bolsters his, already more than healthy ego, by throwing out words such as savior, and hero… I wish I could just sink into the floor.
By the time, we finally get down to the subway platform. I have made sure to put lots of distance between my supposed savior, and me. Surprisingly, the train comes roaring in on time, usually this leg of the line is notorious for its unpredictability. Once more, hand in hand, we walk in, and take our seat next to each other. After a few minutes, the warning buzzer is ringing out. In a few seconds, it will start the countdown to until the doors close shut.
That is about when the shouting becomes audible, and all hell breaks loose. All the current occupants of the train look apprehensively towards the steadily approaching figures. Several large men are chasing, a staggering young man, violently knocking down anyone in their way. As the doors begin whizzing shut, he barely makes it through them, his pursuers however, are not as lucky. The train begins slowly moving out of the station, by the time they catch up. Left to only angrily pound at the doors, they soon become minuscule dots as the speed of the train quickly picks up, and it takes a turn into a dark tunnel. Carrie's grip on my slack hand tightens, and her eyes are obviously darting about--trying to find some means of escape.
The young man chased onto the train, walks unsteadily, for several more steps before he collapses, twitching on the floor. The heavy thud of his fall sends the other passengers, scurrying to the other end of the train. Unlike the other crowd outside, other people's pain does not look to entertain them. This is because they get, as far as humanly possibly from him, pushing each other out of the way, in fear of their safety. From the frightened looks on their faces, I am sure come next stop; they will be all rushing out of this compartment. When he tiredly succeeds, in pulling his hood off, I instantly recognize the amber eyes. They are the pair, which had earlier this night irrevocably touched some part of me. He looks even more ill than he did outside on the sidewalk. Suddenly without warning, he begins throwing up all over himself. His vomit soon covers, most of his red plaid flannel shirt.
Feeling horrible for him, I twist my hand out of Carrie's grip, while she looks at me with tearful eyes as if I am crazy. The fear I myself am experiencing, is so profound I distantly wonder whether everyone else, can hear how loud my heart is beating. Putting up my hands, in an attempt to show him, I mean him no harm, I painstakingly slow begin to approach. His head shoots up, and his eyes suddenly look feral, like those of a rabid animal. Still frothing at the mouth, with his sick, he clambers further back from me.
"Get back…does not want it to bite… not be stupid…full moon…I am going to change," in a horse voice, he spits out this unintelligible sentence, as if it should explain everything. Perplexed and afraid, this dude is on some type of weird drug hallucination; I try to take things slow. Right now, I am feeling, like some kind of inept police negotiator so I try to sound comforting, like the ones in the movies.
"Listen, no matter what you took, it is going to be okay. At the next stop, I am going to try, and get you some medical help." I say trying to sound reassuring, but even to myself, my quavering voice seems to have uttered an empty promise. Nevertheless, he makes no more attempts, either to move or to reply. I decide to chalk this attempt as a loss, and draw back, to where the others fearfully now huddle--when it happens. The train inexplicably lurches to one side, definitely off the rails, sending me flinging across it. I end up crumpled in a heap, by the doors. When it with a crash, it comes to a stop. Carrie is screaming my name, she is shouting for me to get up, and run to her when the lights go out.
Everything disappears; the black smoke, now billowing through the train is so dense I feel like I have gone blind. Panicked voices intermingle, as passengers call to one another, they too know…where there is smoke there is usually fire. Uncontrollably people begin sobbing, and reciting bible passages aloud. They too think this is it. Somewhere deep below the city, they know we're all this night, probably going to die. Such morbid thoughts do not have to trouble several passengers, as they are either unconscious or significantly hurt. I attempt to make my way towards some these people, to try to help them, when the bizarre sounds start up. They sound almost like heavy footfalls, except they are coming from the suddenly shaking ceiling. It sounds strangely, as if there are giants walking on top of the train. Thinking it is some work crew quickly dispatched to rescue us. I try with what feels like all my remaining strength, alerting them.
"Hello, is anyone there? Please, we need help-" Someone grabs me, by the back of my hair and pushes me hard against their chest, before backing up with several trembling steps. I boldly try pushing them off me; I open my mouth, to try to vocalize my disapproval of my handling, when I disgustingly begin tasting the vomit trickle onto my tongue off their shirt. Suddenly understanding who is holding me. I panic even more in the vice like grip, of the handsome young man, yet probable junkie.
"Calm down or they will hear you," he calmly says. It seems now, between the two of us, he is the voice of reason. I can still hear Carrie's muffled sounding voice screaming Selma; she must think I got hurt, and can't hear her call my name. He and I, shortly lean up close to a wall. When something unexpectedly breaks through the glass, and grabs him by the scruff.
He makes a guttural moan, before forcibly attempting to dislodge me from him, and failing. As he begins disappearing through the remnants of the window, I try to grab hold of it, with all my might, as shards of glass dig painfully into my hands. The hurting from the glass, now embedded in my flesh, is overcoming me, as I begin to let go. My body is following his disappearing one, out into the underground tunnel. Slowly, I am resigning my self to my awful fate, when I feel the clammy hands grabbing at my ankles.
"I won't let go," Carrie grunts out in what is her natural voice. The happiness spreading throughout my body, is however, very short-lived. Carrie takes one brief look up, and the shock of whatever she sees, roll her eyes in to the back of her head. Her promise gone, she hits the floor in a dead faint. Now lifted out of the train, I chance a look up, and swear the sight I witness makes my heart skip a beat. As I know, without a shadow of doubt in that instance, that I am definitely a goner.
A/N: Revised version posted-- Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I love me some Chuck Palahniuk. This story is not meant to emulate his writing style because that would be impossible for any other writer to recreate, but it has been greatly inspired by his quirky genius. I want this story to be dark, peculiar, twisted and my own idiosyncratic interpretation of the werewolf lore. This is therefore, going to have swearing, and some slang to make it feel contemporary. This going to be romance, even though it's probably not looking too much like one in this chapter.