Chapter Four

Chapter Four

A Chapter by Raven Starhawk

1

     He didn't know what came over him. Stimulating embers injected him and forced his senses into submission. He tired to reason, tried to operate but as he observed her progress through the crowd he was hypnotized. Finally he was able to tilt the glass to his lips and drink a drop of its tawny liquid. He neither tasted it nor enjoyed it. His piercing cerulean eyes sharpened as she neared the exit. He could not let her leave, not without at least saying hello however, his legs refused to budge.

     This was a memory, discerned a sweating Rory, his fists clenched in cotton blankets. This was a memory of the old Rory, the old me. He chuckled and then coughed as the recollection continued.

     With immense effort he slipped off his stool. His first few steps were unsteady as if he were a child taking his first. When he saw her push open the door, the glimmer from the glass must have shook him loose from whatever spell he was under. He sprang forward and darted through the smiling, dancing crowd, his heart racing. He burst into the chilly night air panting and examining each direction for her whereabouts. Surely she could not have gotten far. He thought for a moment how that sounded. He wasn't about to go stalker on her, but this was the third time he had seen her and failed to utter as much as his name when they crossed paths.

      He spied her fishing in her handbag for a set of keys while approaching a red Dodge Shadow sports car. As she drew them out and the jingle chimed in his ears he dashed toward her. His footsteps gave him away and she curved with wild speed. He froze upon seeing a miniature tin bottle aimed at his face.

      "Wait," he said, shielding himself from the possible assault of pepper spray. "I just wanted to say hello." He peaked at her from between his fingers. He could tell from her expression she wasn't convinced yet she hesitated to spray him.

     "Hello," she said and backed slowly toward her car.

     He lowered his shielding arms and hands, enough to smile and use his husky southern accent to perhaps win a smile from her as he said, "I should have said something earlier, but my name is Rory."

     He extended a hand in hopes she would shake it. As the seconds ticked by his optimism dwindled. It appeared as though his charm had failed. His smile faded, but not entirely so. Her hand closed around his briefly and then jerked back. As she lowered the small cylinder he valued it as progress well ought to have.

     "I saw you here a few nights ago, but never said anything because..."

     He let his sentence drop like a cold dead fish. What were his grounds for not immersing in conversation those other times? He laughed nervously and ran a hand through his unruly brown hair. He shouldn't have been nervous. It usually came so natural to him, but he sensed she was no ordinary woman. He didn't know what it was but there was something about her that stood her apart from other females he knew.

     Her eyes locked onto his. He thought for a moment they would burn holes into his skull and felt a hot flash course throughout his body. They were two angelic coffee gems flecked with green and they had him glued in place. There wasn't any way of knowing how he managed it, but he shifted his gaze toward the night sky. It was beautiful but nowhere near as beautiful as she was.

     "I suppose you are in a hurry," he said and frowned. There wasn't anything more to say was there.

     "It was nice to meet you, Mr. Rory," came her response and he looked at her with new interest.

     "Please just call me Rory," he said, shoving his hands in his faded blue jean pockets.

     She nodded and slid her key into the lock. She was about to hop inside when she said, "My name is Eve. Maybe we will meet again sometime."

      Before he could say another word the door closed and the engine roared to life. A wash of headlights blinded him a moment. As she sped out of the parking stall and into traffic his hopes and dreams went with her. Suddenly everything lost all its vividness. He never knew what possessed him to feel so helpless and empty, but when she was around him that void was filled. It was balderdash since he didn't even know her. How could one woman have such a lasting effect?

       His focus slid back to the raucous bar. There was nothing more here for him. The one person he had hoped to encounter for a correlation was gone. If he returned inside and resumed his seat on the stool he would just drink himself into s stupor and need to waste money on another Taxi. Time wore a dreadful face, but time was all he had. He would revisit this site again the next night, place his order for his favorite beverage and wait; wait for the angel with coffee eyes to return.

      He watched until her car was a minor speck in a flood of others. Maybe if he had actually chosen a major and went on to some big fancy job he wouldn't be wasting his nights here. He might have a big apartment in some skyscraper with a woman in each arm. Wasn't that what the good life was? He shook his head. Maybe for some it was all that mattered, but for him it just seemed too outrageous.

     Eve was her name. At least that much he accomplished. He folded his arms across his chest. He found little interest in his truck parked a few stalls from where she had been. Still, a nice hot bath and a meal perked his desire and he shuffled toward it. Everyone found it odd he enjoyed preparing large volumes of food. A man, especially one of his attractiveness, being able to cook well was rare. He never thought much of it. It was just something he liked to do. He opened his door, listened to the long squeak of its rusted hinges and winced. It was going to need repair soon and he started the engine.

      In the dark Rory smiled. Was it really a memory? If it was it was tampered with but that was certainly all right. For the real Rory would not know any different, now would he?

      2

 

      Maneuvering through bodies and their various colognes and perfumes I sneezed, hiked the strap of my backpack further up on my shoulder and grimaced as it tugged on a corkscrew lock of chestnut hair. It was the least of my worries though. Lurking amongst the average horde was a beast so foul that the mere thought of him made my legs turn to rubber.  Like a vulture he locked onto you, circled and patiently waited.   Even as I turned a corner into another elongated hallway I sensed his talons closing in around my throat though he was nowhere in sight.

      At this point it was a simple game of cat and mouse and these twisting corridors was my punishing maze. Lockers slammed and I about leapt out of my skin, charging toward the nearest exist. How many years has it been now? Wouldn't he have tired of the game by now?  I squatted, hoping to collect myself before starting the trek home, but it was then I saw the spiky headed platinum fiend. I sprang to my feet and darted back inside. This time however my luck had run out. From behind I felt his grip entangle my shirt and before I knew it was lifted off my feet. He set me down seconds later, pushed me against a wall and stared down at me. At that moment I wanted to apologize, but instead I laughed nervously and cracked a sheepish grin.

     "You think you are so funny, don't you?"

     It was a simple question he asked me, but at the moment I could not answer. I didn't think I was funny and yet I knew admitting I was anything but amusing might encourage his revenge. Any moron would know that would be a terrible fate and especially since I was ten times smaller than him I knew he could kick my butt. Though in that sense he had yet to lay a hand on me I didn't want to press my luck.

     "Look," I finally said. "I shouldn't have said that. I was wrong to have said that. Now let's just let bygones be bygones. It is all water under the bridge."

     His eyes narrowed then widened as he folded his arms across his chest and clicked his tongue. He had heard it all before. It was the same thing I told him time and time again, but honestly I knew it would smooth things over at least for a little while. It would give me time to escape his clutches so that he might focus his energies on more important matters like getting laid.

     "Do you think I am going to keep accepting your lame apologies," he asked.

     My stomached fluttered. Oh, crap I was wrong. I was so damn wrong. He was not going to fall for it this time. What the hell was I suppose to do? I thought about starting to cry. Usually a dude wouldn't stay around to witness a tantrum but I was gearing up. Then as he leaned closer I aborted the idea and swallowed hard. All I could think was he was going to head butt me or spit in my face. I cringed and began to shield my face with my hands.

     "Don't," I said and jumped at the sound of my voice. I hated how it sounded. It was like a little girl shriek, totally feeble and weak.

    "Stop," he said and pulled my hands away from my face.

     I jerked loose and looked around. People had started to stop and stare. I didn't need this right now. I suppose I could fake a stomach cramp or force myself to throw up, I thought. I don't like throwing up but it would be worth it to dodge this situation.

     I slowly stepped aside until his eyes were back on me and then I froze in my tracks. It was almost as if he saw me move I might turn into stone or something.

     "We'll talk later," he said and walked away.

     Since when did Alan ever want to talk? I thought he was show and no go, but s**t I have been wrong before. I still didn't like the butthole. He just made my skin crawl like fingernails on a chalkboard or that Barney show for young kids. A big purple dinosaur just seemed wrong on so many levels. And Alan was worse than a big purple dinosaur singing with kids. I guess it is because he offends all my senses.

     "What did Alan say to you?"

     I jumped at the sound of that annoying nasal voice. It belonged to cheerleader Brenda Sparks. Right before me in her overdeveloped glory she held a pair shoes along with her outfit. Judging by the looks of it they were about to head off and practice a cheer or something whorish.

     "Nothing," I said and turned to leave but her voice kept me from making a clean exit.

     "If you think he is interested in you guess again because last night I was the one who he was kissing under the stars. He is a good kisser."

     I cleared my throat, staring at the double doors off to my left. "That is really fascinating, Brenda, but I have to go vomit now."

     I had to get out of there quick. There was no sanity in that prison lamely dubbed "school". Why did it always have to be about sex all the time? There was never an end to the crap, but I realize that stuff is what really has the world buzzing. It isn't news without a bit of sex and violence to hammer it home. There was plenty of it around too.

     Charging outside I breathed a sigh of relief. Another day was behind me. I was so happy I could just s**t, but then Alan reappeared. I tried to maneuver around him, but he grabbed me by the straps of my backpack and I came to an abrupt halt.

     "Dude," I said, struggling. "What the hell?"

     "I was avoiding Brenda," he said, still holding on tight.

     "That is all fine and dandy, but I have to go. I already said I was sorry! I mean it this time."

     He spun me around to face him. His blue eyes blazed something fierce. I wasn't sure what it was he wanted. Maybe he wanted to harass me for money. That would be a good guess except he knew I was dirt poor and could barely afford a pot to piss in.

     "Why are you such a punk," he asked.

     I was a punk? The mere idea of it made me snort. If he thought I was a punk what did that make him? True I fashioned myself in the so called "gothic" trends and I liked to dye strips of my hair red but that certainly didn't make me a punk.

     "Dude, I seriously do not know what you are talking about."

     "You come to school every single day with an attitude. It is like you think you are better than everyone else."

     Oh my crap that was something to hear. I never in my life considered myself better than someone.

     "I do not think I am better than everyone else. "

     He tilted his head to one side. His face softened but his grip remained ever so tight on my backpack. "One of these days you are seriously going to bite off more than you can chew."

     What the hell did he mean by that? I looked down. I knew he was right. I hated to admit it, but he was. Maybe I did have a sassy mouth. In my pocket of the world you have to. There are too many people who want to seriously mess you over and if you do not watch out for yourself people are bound to walk all over you. I think I learned that early on in life.

     "Hey," called Angie Crandall. She pulled up along the stretch of sidewalk we stood fixed at. Her white Chevy Aero purred. "Alan, do you need a ride?"

     I laughed. He loved to ride, I thought. It just mattered who was behind the wheel. His look from the car to me forced all the humor out of it though. He let go of my straps and backed up toward the passenger's door. He pointed at me while slipping inside, his gaze dark and piercing.

     "I will be watching you," he said, slamming the door shut and off they went.



© 2019 Raven Starhawk


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Added on March 10, 2019
Last Updated on March 10, 2019
Tags: fantasy, fiction, horror, paranormal, supernatural, occult





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