written by Stash January 2005
Three empty glasses and two coffee pots vibrated on Caroline's tablet from the shaking of her hands. Her eyes were still speaking the desperate language of fear and concern. Focusing mine. Obviously searching my face for any kind of reaction to her clichèe but nevertheless strange forecast.
"Awe, come ON, Caroline..." My reaction must have sounded almost as dumb as it was unspectacular.
"What... I mean, I...." How on earth could she be so surprised about my openly showing doubts? Had she really expected me to buy that stuff about being 'embraced by death'. Oh PLEASE! That's the kind of material B-movies and 3rd class crap novels are made of!
The Eagles' 'Hotel California' sounded through the café as Caroline reached out for my right arm and grabbed it. Her breath instantly started to slow down, and I felt a slight dizzle of electricity flowing through my arm and quickly making my whole body shiver from inside. Jesus, this chick was REALLY strange! And getting stranger still by the second. She inhaled deeply - as if she was smoking a cigarette - and closed her eyes for a short moment only. When she opened them up again, all fear and confusion had gone. They were replaced by the clear and confident look of a strong, tough woman, and a glimpse of mystery shone from their deep warm green, instead. She cut off the electrical contact by releasing my arm from her tight grip, closed her eyes once again and started to move. There was an almost too loud sound of breaking porcelain when the tablet hit the wooden ground, and one of the cups fell to pieces, but she didn't care. Actually, she seemed to be as far away from caring about the cup as she was from the world around her. Her arms slowly and majestatically raised like wings in a perfectly controlled motion that looked like the dance of a cat in slow motion. Calm. Peaceful. Trance-like.
I was completely taken by surprise (and believe me, I'm not easily surprised!). Like in a fever, her head glided back into her neck, her arms slowly raised and lowered again as she turned around, and the streaming light from the flooders beautifully reflected from the pink gloss on her full and female lips.
"Oh... my... God..." My body gave a shake when Craig's hand touched my shoulder from behind, but I didn't turn around to face him. I was too fascinated by Caroline's weird behaviour.
'...some dance to remember, some dance to forget...' the Eagles described it throughout the whole café, and I silently wondered if Caroline would get back home to Kansas if only she clicked her heels together three times. '...we haven't had that spirit here since 1969...'
"I told you, dude, she's fuckin' crazy!" Craig whispered.
"Either that, or she's..."
"... possessed?" he finished my sentence.
I nodded my head yes.
"Yeah, right. Possessed by Linda Blair, maybe. Does she spit, too?" He giggled back and quickly added a breathless "Umph" sound when my elbow hit his stomach.
We watched her dancing for several minutes, both of us fascinated by the smoothness of her motions. '...anytime of year, you can find it here...'
And then, somewhere half through the long guitar solo at the end of the song, she stopped. Her head hung down as if she was sound asleep and it took her some seconds and obviously more than just a little effort to lift it with a long, deep sigh.
"So then, Scott." She looked me directly in the eyes. "How did you like THAT scene?"
I was stunned. How could she know? Could she really? Was she able to... 'read me' or something like that? Not that I really believed it, but the more I realized what had just happened, the more I disliked the thought of someone - a total stranger - sneaking around inside my head. There were memories. Dreams. And secrets. Secrets I didn't want to share. Not with ANYbody.
My voice turned icy and sharp, and my eyes went blank as I stared right through her.
"It wasn't mine." I answered her question, before I turned around and left the café. The guitars faded out with the closing of the door behind me, but I didn't really notice that anymore. Outside, cars were rushing by in both directions of the street, and an almost naked CK cover boy seductively gave me a knowing look from his poster on the other side. Just be.
Half an hour�s doze and a re-vitalizing bath later, I was slowly beginning to feel myself, again. The familiar atmosphere of our apartment made Caroline Cummings draw back into the farthest corners of my mind until finally, after two of Craig�s famous Mojitos, she was hardly more than just the vague shadow of a faint memory.
Kevin and Mark had already left when we came home, and I couldn�t really say that I was sorry about it. I was totally drained out, deeply inhaling the eucalyptus steam that calmly rose from out of the still hot water I was lying in and already filled the whole bathroom with its sweet and dazzling odour. Maurice Ravel�s �Bolero� perfected the surreal atmosphere, and the shadows thrown at the walls by what must have been almost three dozens of candles almost seemed to sway to the sound of the slowly crescending strings. Now focus, Scott! Breathe in... breathe out... and focus!
By the time Mark Andrews literally called himself back into my freshly re-charged world, I was already dressed and styled again.
Craig's knowingly evil grin adoringly commented the concerned lines I covered my face with as soon as I had picked up the phone, and when he heard me say "Gee, sweetheart, I was SO worried about you!", his head turned dark red from choking before he finally lost his self control, spit a full load of his Mojito all over the living room table and fell backwards onto the couch, holding his stomach with suppressed laughter. Actually, me, I was grinning, myself. I knew I was good. But after all, it never hurt to see it being appreciated...
"... and then he yelled at me and went all crazy, and... and..." His heavy breathing and slightly high pitched voice could not hide that Mark was still more that just a little upset about his encounter with his ex, and I could not help but get suspicious by the desperate on-edge-tremble to the sound of his words. Was there something more to what had happened while Craig and me had been celebrating freak hour at "Caroline's Motel"? Something he did not tell me?
"What did he do to you?" My voice was icy and cold from both tremenduous triumph and breathless excitement.
And he told me something I couldn't possibly have guessed...
I raised my head and my eyes connected to the soft red of the setting sun. The horizon seemed to be hardly more than a thin and fragile line somewhere far away above the rooftops of the city. There was no doubt that this was going to be an extremely hot day, and the rain the weather forecast had promised for tonight would have lots of heated tempers and even more broken hearts to cool down.
One of the clear advantages of living in a big city was that there really was plenty of everything. If you walked your world with open eyes, you always had the chance to witness personal tragedies and emotional nightmares wherever you turned. With the palm of my right hand, I wiped some sweat from off my forehead, leaned back on the park bench I was sitting on and focused the people around me.
The first thing I saw was a couple in their mid-twenties. They stood about 5 meters away from me, leaning agains one of the trees the park was covered with. She hid her face in her hands although the sobbing sounds from underneath made it clear that she was crying. "It's not that I don't love you anymore..." I heard him say with a voice so soft and caring that she instantly doubled her crying volume.
Now, THAT was what it was really like! All those couples with their attentiveness, their feelings, their "love"... in the end, they were all condemned. Condemned to break up someday, to feel unspeakably hurt and, what's worst about all this, to stand before someone they always thought they could never live without and deeply hurt them.
I closed my eyes again and lay my head back to absorb the feeling of the warm autumn sun on my skin. Images formed before me as soon as I took the first breath. Images of Kevin Sanders, who stood before me and shily unbuttonened his shirt, his eyes never even leaving mine for a second. His sweet but nevertheless wicked smile re-lit a bonfire of excitement in my memories, and the bright sparkle of his eyes gave my whole body a warm and intense shiver that no one else had ever made me feel in my whole life.
I heard his voice the moment I imagined him stripping off his khakis, and when my eyes flew open with surprise, I realized him standing right before me.
"Now, look who's here!" He looked down on me with an expression stern and icy enough to scare away a newborn baby.
"Well, yeah..." I replied, wearing a bright, winning smile to match my mean and sarcastic undertone. "Look who had a bad day, today!"
"Cut it, Scott!" he snapped - obviously one of his favourite sentences, recently. "It's not funny, anymore, you know..."
"Fucking right, it's not!" I shot back at him.
"You know what... You're sick, man... Really sick..."
"Yeah, right, I'm sick..." I couldn't help but laugh out at his accusation. "Like it was me who raped his ex-'boyfriend' this afternoon..."
Gotcha! That shocked spark in his frozen face gave away that he had not expected me to know about his little 'blackout' after Craig and I had left the apartment to him and Mark.
I gave a long sigh and leaned back on the park bench to bathe in the victory that my cool but evil grin projected to the outside.
"Face it, Kev... I might have initiated all this... But it was still YOU who finally blew it all on your own..." My words cut sharp. After all, they were carefully aimed and fired, and not only the slight traces of sweat on his face showed me how easily I had pushed him to the edge. Just a tiny step further, and he'd completely lose it. Just ONE more step.
It was my game. My rules. And right now, he finally began to realize that he didn't stand a chance against me. Insecure like a cornered rabbit, he shifted his weight from his left leg to the right one, obviously more than just a little uncomfortable with the satisfied smile with which I slowly eyed him up and down. I felt my cock stiffening in my pants from the sure pleasure of seeing him squirm before me, and my whole body almost physically urged me to finish him with the last blow.
'Time to strike, now!' I though. I felt my smile getting even wider... Every muscle I had clenched with anticipation... In slow motion, I saw Kevin take a surprised step backwards as I rose up to my feet and started to slowly circle him.
My mouth opened...
... and I quietly began to sing.
"One of us is crying..." I started. "One of us is lying... in his lonely bed..."
And, of course, it worked! The first suppressed sobs escaped his mouth when I got to the "One of us is shaking, feel my heart is breaking"- part. His face was pale and motionless as if it was carved in stone. The only sign of life was the nervous fluttering of his eyelids and the wild but somehow numb dance of his pupils.
"... sorry for himself, feeling stupid, feeling small..." I sang on, determinedly preserving the volume of a lullaby with all the intention and power of a bloodthirsty siren.
"Why are you doing this to me?" It took him all his strength to talk in (an at least vaguely audible voice), but he couldn't help his whole body shivering with both humiliation and helplessnes. My very special thanks silently went to Mr. Grant, one of my teachers in High School, whose Drama class had been the first occasion to show me how humiliated and vulnerable you feel when you're being circled.
"Why, Scott...?" he repeated, a little less confident and a little more desperate than before.
I stood before him, now, my eyes focusing his for merely a second before he broke out of my stare to blush and closely inspect the tips of his shoes. Slowly, my hand reached out for his chin and carefully lifted his head until we were eye to eye, again.
"Because I can." I answered his question in a voice that was sweet enough to glacier a birthday cake. "I'm doing it because I can, and because YOU made me do it, Kevin!"...
... and I continued in my singing voice, again: "... that's why I started the show, one of us had to go. Now it's different, I want you to know..."
While I was singing, my hand left his chin and let it fall down to watch the floor, again. Actually, I don't think that he saw too much there... not with that now openly flowing stream of tears before his eyes, anyway. Slowly, I turned to leave - still singing along, of course.
"... one of us is crying, one of us is lying in his lonely bed..."
I took a few steps away from him (in a most casual and triumphant way!) before I turned around once more.
"Oh, and Kevin.." I called over as if I was a good friend greeting him from two steps afar. His head helplessly spun in my direction. Obviously, he was no longer trying so suppress neither his tears, nor his heavy sobs... oh, well...
"What...?" he somehow managed to ask back.
"Look at you..." I answered, wearing one of my brightest and openly teasing grins. "All depressed and crying and stuff..."
He gave of one his deeper sobs as an answer, but I continued, anyway.
"This is a public park, Kevin. Show a little... CLASS!"
'... never left at aaaaaall...' I continued singing what I'd call this scenes' theme song, my voice low, again, but plainly audible.
My work here was done for today, but Kevin and I both knew that all this had only been foreplay to the main attraction. Unfortunately, his clear disadvantage was that he didn't know the time and place for the next act. He'd simply have to let himself be suprised. And I'd fucking surprise him, alright...
"Wow..." Craig said admiringly, his head cocked to one side and he temporarily forgot about the not yet rolled joint in his hand. "Gee, Scotty, you gotta get a portable camcorder or something like that... I'd have loved to see Kevin's face, man..."
"Yeah, bet you would." I grinned back at him. "But, speaking of seeing... I didn't know that you're into weed, man..."
I pointed to the joint in his fingers, but he didn't seen to take notice of me anymore. Carefully, he licked one end of the paper and finished his job.
"Oh, I'm not." He stated. "You should know THAT much about me, Scotty, shouldn't you?"
He held up the joint, grinning like an advertisement salesman.
I couldn't help but grin, myself. "What are you gonna do with that joint, then?"
"Loosen up your brother." He answered, cocking one eyebrow.
"Don't tell me he..."
"... called, again. Yupp, damn right, he did. You know, Scotty, I'm sick of his attitude. He calls every day, now, and since you chose to just ignore him, I'm always the one to talk to him."
"I'm sorry." I answered. But honestly, I was far more interested in what Craig had in mind for Joey. "So, what's the plan?"
"He's into weed, right?" he asked.
"Correct." I nodded my head yes.
"And he's straight like me, right?"
"Right... As far as I know, anyway."
"See... that's what makes it simple. Listen: the weed gets to his head, we slip a cute little pill into his beer... and when he's passed out, we only have to strip him and take some good pictures."
"Okay... so far, so good." I nodded my head in agreement. "And I suppose we're gonna use those pix to..."
"... shut him up." He finished my sentence, again. "I'm sure that he won't bug us again, after tonight... unless he's eager to start a new career as a Twink- Of- The- Month centerfold, of course..."
My Cruel- Intentions- grin shot onto my face again, showing Craig the appreciation he quite obviously expected. I didn't really know why, but I had to admit that I was surprised to hear such a perfect (and, of course, evil) plan from him. Most of the time, he simply stuck to the kind of small intrigues that didn't hurt anyone, nor required too much preparation. Obviously, he had learned quite a lot from all those scenes he had assisted me at in the last few years.
"When's Joey coming over?" I asked him.
He took a quick glance at his watch.
"At 8." He answered. "So we have about half an hour to prepare everything."
"Prepare... what, exactly?"
"For instance, what YOU're gonna tell him, Scotty..."
Questioningly, I raised my left eyebrow. "And THAT could mean...?"
"Quite simple." Craig grinned back. "I told him to come over cause you wanted to talk and apologize."
"You... WHAT?!?" I couldn't believe what I had just heard.
"Of course I did." He simply stated. "I had to get him to come, didn't I?"
"Well, yeah... guess you did..."
My mind was working extra time, now. Originally, I had planned to fill in Craig on my last big plan for Kevin Sanders, but, hey... that could wait until tomorrow morning. It was more important to talk to Pete, now, anyway.
"Just a sec, dude. I gotta make a call before we get to the details."
"Pete." I answered, fumbling my cell from out of my pocket.
"Ah..." His renewed grin told me that he obviously liked the idea. "So, it's time for Mr. I-fucked-Mark-cause-I'm-head-over-heals-with-Scott, again...?"
"Oh, please, Craig... don't call him that." I threw him one of my favourite disapproving fake- smiles. "He's the Downfall's Saturday Night DJ, and I definitely need him till I'm finished with Kevin fuckin' Sanders."
My grin widened because I perfectly knew that Craig was dying to hear the details, but both of us also knew that his curiosity wasn't to be satisfied before the next morning.
Nonchalantly, I picked the right number from my cell's phone register and let it dial. I did not have to wait for long because I heard Pete's young and naive voice right after the second tone.
"Hey, Scott..." Obviously, he had recognized my number on the display. "Gee, I've been hoping you'd call me again..."
"But, of course, Sweety, I told you I would... didn't I?" I almost whistled in a tone that Dawson would have been proud of. "Now, listen..."
I told him as much as he needed to know, and he greedily absorbed every single word of it. He was going to play along without hesitation, and my promise of a nice little fuck after his shift at the turntables ensured that he wouldn't change his mind. Like he'd do that...!
I still thought about Kevin Sanders and the great show that I was planning for him. His little emotional outbreak this afternoon had definitely turned me on already, but the mere thought of Saturday night made my internals vibrate with excitement and passion, and I felt my heartbeat racing like that of the literal "fox on the run". It was gonna be just perfect...
I booted my PC and opened the mp3 folder. A quick glance at my watch told me that I still had 10 more minutes until my dear little brother would arrive (his usual 15 minutes delay not included, of course). That should make enough time to burn a special CD for this little family reunion. After all, Joey was meant to get into some sort of brotherly mood and so, the right soundtrack for the occasion was definitely necessary. Pink's "Family Portrait", "He ain't heavy, he's my brother" and even the "7th Heaven" theme song... It would be just perfect! Corny, maybe... but definitely perfect!
I clicked the "BurnNow" button and allowed my mind to wander back to Caroline Cummings while the read buffer filled up to 97%. I couldn't say why, but somehow, I still got the creeps when I thought about that "strange encounter of the weird kind". But then, maybe it was just me. After all, she had pretty much taken me by surprise. I wasn't used to someone else taking the lead... and me by surprise, of course. And, once again, I knew pretty well where that came from - I was definitely not comfortable with it!
After all, that was one of the reasons why I didn't really like my own birthday - people I didn't care about, throwing some lame-ass surprise party with the clear intention of getting a better one on THEIR birthday. It was just pathetic!
Now, don't get me wrong, here... I just LOVE birthday parties. Parties in general, actually. After all, everyone who ever saw one single episode of "Dynasty" or "Melrose Place" knows that a good party is always the place for the best scenes to take place. And, what's best, it could never be wrong to let the notorious "final curtain" fall at a crowded feast, with everyone around looking. This way, you could easily maximize the humiliation of the protagonists involved. Like, for instance, what I like to call my "Prom Night Production". I dated that girl back then (hey, I'm talking HIGH SCHOOL, here... I was testing!). She had every reason to look forward to be elected Prom Queen, mostly because everybody thought that she was really sweet with her long blond hair, her cocksucker lips and those big tits. Her big mistake was that she had always tried to persuade and later even blackmail me into fucking her last 2 brain cells out. She could be REALLY bitchy when that subject came up! So, when Andy "Short Dick" Richards (a dumb but cute football jock with whom I'd had some intimate jack off parties in the boys' locker room back then) told me how the whole football team was freaking hot for my "girlfriend", the idea of making her pass out from drugs and alcohol and then "lending" her to them wasn't really THAT far fetched. Those stupid jock boys gladly agreed to video tape it and hand me a copy, afterwards. Gee, it was SO sweet to watch her "mass penetration" on the big screen on Prom Night, half an hour before the results of the Prom Queen and King election were announced. Guess who got herself a last minute disqualification...
Suddenly, I heard both my PC's completion message and the ringing of the doorbell, but I couldn't really say which of the two had taken me out of my thoughts.
"You ready, Scottie?" Craig asked me halfway through the living room.
I nodded and stood up to put the new CD into the stereo.
"Rock'n'Roll, little brother!" I whispered to myself as I heard Joey's voice from out of the hall.
... to be continued