Tony, Tony, Tony

Tony, Tony, Tony

A Story by SirEdwinSantosIII

A short, dark, cerebral novella practicing economy and dialogue.



Tony… Tony… Tony…


Part 1




Tony heard clattering in the kitchen.


“Ghosts?” he said to himself, “I have no time for ghosts.”


Tony lived alone.

He settled deeper into the water of his oversized bathtub. The clattering began again, the sound of someone rifling through the cabinets.

“Damn ghost… I’m tired. Go home.”

The sound continued.

“Goddamnit,” Tony said under his breath, then yelled, “Mary!”



“What!?” Mary could be heard stirring something in a pot.

“S**t,” Tony said to himself.

He suddenly felt much more tired. His ankles screamed in protest. He sunk down to his neck for a second then clasped the edges of the tub and raised himself up, cracking his back as he went. He turned on the stand up shower and hopped in as soon as the water was lukewarm.


Tony walked into the living area wrapped in a towel. Mary sat at the dining room table with a bowl of spaghetti.

“How’d you get in?” Tony asked.

“I carded it,” Mary answered spinning a heap of noodles around Tony’s fork.

“No you didn’t. You can’t do that at a house.”

“Why not?” asked Mary.

“Door jamb’s in the way.”

“Hmmm…” Mary took a bite of spaghetti and looked up at Tony.

“You’ve got a key,” Tony said.

“So I do…”

“I want it.”

“It’s mine,” said Mary, “It’s a copy.”

“It’s my house.”

“I paid for the copy. It’s mine.”

“What the hell are you doing here Mary?”


Tony walked into the kitchen and took a cold beer from the fridge. He popped the top, leaned on the counter facing Mary, and sipped it.


“I’ve left some Stouffer’s here, and a couple of pots,” said Mary.

“You broke in for Stouffer’s?”

“We’re not making out very well. I was hungry and you were on my way.”

“You’re eating my spaghetti.”

Mary looked up with a smirk, “I know. I wasn’t in the mood for Stouffer’s.”

“So you mean you and Mitch aren’t making out very well?”

“It’s none of your business,” said Mary, still looking at Tony.

“You just told me.”

“I shouldn’t have.”

“Hard to imagine with Mitch you know�"”

“Stop it.”

“I want my key,” Tony said, walking back to his bedroom.

“Where are you going?” Mary called out.

“I’m getting dressed.”



Mary got up and followed Tony into the bedroom. He turned around as she walked in the door.


“What do you want?” Tony asked.

“You smell good,” Mary walked closer to Tony, who didn’t move.



Mary put out her finger and poked Tony lightly in the chest. He felt fuzzy around the temples.


“You look good,” Mary said, eyeing his chest. She looked up at him with a smile.

“What do you want Mary?” he asked.

“I just came to say hi.”



Mary blushed and turned away,


“I don’t know. I missed you.”

“You’re not allowed to miss me,” Tony said.

“Yes I am.”

“You’re with Mitch now,” Tony backed up and turned around to his dresser. He pulled open his underwear drawer and rifled through it quickly, “Why don’t you go back and see Mitch?”


Facing the dresser he dropped his towel and pulled on a pair of boxers. Mary stared at him. She leaned back against the door-jamb and crossed her arms over her chest. Tony turned around and she looked past him at the floor. He looked her up and down and then turned back to pick out a pair of jeans. He stopped, stared out the window above the dresser, and sighed.


“Why are you here?” he said.

“I said… I missed you.”


Tony looked back at her and she looked up at him. Her eyes were dark and sinister. He felt his chest tightening and then he smelled her shampoo from across the room. When she saw Tony coming over to her, Mary dropped her arms from her chest and let him walk right up to her so that they were face to face. They both breathed deeply. Mary wrapped her arms around Tony’s waist and laid her head on his bare chest. He put his arms around her as well, breathing in the scent of her hair and losing track of his thoughts.


“I think you should go,” Tony said.

“I don’t want to.”


Tony’s hand flinched to let Mary go and she felt it and squeezed him tighter. Tony held on…




“Why don’t we talk about October?” Dr. Markham readied his pen. He maintained eye contact. Tony watched his milky stare through the reflections on his glasses.



“Yes,” said Dr. Markham, “Why don’t we talk about October.”

“I don’t want to talk about October.”

“We need to…”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Why not?”

“It’s always there…”


“Okay,” said Dr. Markham, closing his notebook and crossing his legs, “Why don’t we talk about the girl then, what was her name? Mary?”

“Her name…

I don’t remember. I think so.”



“Dr. Markham, I want to stop.”






There was an incessant knocking on the front door. Somehow Tony knew it, the sound of her knuckles.


“A dream. Just a f*****g dream…” he said to himself.


Tony opened his eyes and saw Celine’s 20 bracelets on the nightstand in front of his alarm clock. It was 11:30.




She wasn’t in his bed. He listened for the shower, the TV. He saw her black panties on the floor. Her car keys were gone. She wasn’t home.

The knocking started again.




Tony opened the door in his boxers.


“What is it Mary?”


Mary wore a necessary anger. Tony made out a tricked out Honda Civic in his driveway behind her. It had tinted windows and giant custom rims.


“I remembered you have some of my books,” Mary said flatly. She looked at his chest, “Looks like you had fun last night.”

Tony looked down and saw the bite marks on his right breast.

“It’s really none of your business,” he said.

“Whatever, can I just come in and get them?” Mary said.



Tony stepped out of the way and Mary walked by him without looking. He caught the scent of her shampoo. While she rifled through the book-shelf Tony went into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of juice. He walked into the living room, sat down on the couch, and turned on the TV. He caught a glance of Mary glaring at him. She went back to sorting out her books as soon as she saw him. Tony turned down the TV.


“Who’s car is that?” He asked.

“It’s Derek’s,” Mary replied without looking up.

“Oh, who’s Derek?” Tony asked obnoxiously.

“He’s my boyfriend.”

“A new one?”

“I figured you’d heard,” Mary opened a book and flipped through the pages looking for damage.

“Nope…” said Tony.

“Well then…”

“Believe it or not, I don’t keep tabs on you.”


Mary glared at him again but didn’t say anything. Tony was quiet for a moment. Then he couldn’t resist,


“Derek’s got some set of wheels. Didn’t think you were into that.”

“Please don’t harass me. I’m just here to get my books. Then I’ll leave you alone.”

Tony muted the TV, “You don’t have to leave me alone.”

Mary was flipping through a book again, “I think it’s better if I do.”

“Okay, I’m sorry that I’m an a*****e,” Tony said, “I can’t help it. You know that’s how I am.”

“I’m sorry too,” said Mary.

Tony paused. Mary was looking him in the eyes. He searched for any sign of weakness. Everything in them was far away.

“I dreamt about you last night,” he said.

“Don’t start Tony.”

“It was when you were with Mitch, when we got back together.”

“Un huh.”

“You said you missed me…”

“That was a long time ago.”

“It didn’t feel like it.”


Mary’s shoulder’s jerked. She stared blankly at her book and then shut it,


“You know what. I’ll call you about my books. I’ve got to go. Sorry Tony.”


Tony didn’t move while she got up and walked out, leaving a pile of books on his floor. He changed the channel to the news and turned the volume back up.




Tony awoke to a loud clang.


He was sitting in the front row of a sparsely crowded auditorium. He didn’t remember falling asleep. He looked at his watch and saw that he’d been out for just under thirty minutes. The presentation still wasn’t to start for another twenty. He looked at his feet and saw the book he’d been reading resting upside down on the floor.  He’d been dreaming of two years ago…

Dr. David Markham of the psychology department was to be giving a presentation on the prevalence of sexual abuse among young women. Tony had few friends at the university. He saw the flyer at the campus café and decided he had nothing better to do.

He began reading his book where he left off. Just then he started he heard Celine’s voice from beside him,


“Hello Tony.”


He looked up. She was wearing black boots, a black miniskirt and a black long sleeved jacket covered in safety pins. Her dark-brown hair as was long and gorgeous as he remembered it. It shined where it hung down over her shoulders.

She had a slightly younger girl with her with hair like hers. As soon as Tony looked at the other girl, he was captivated. She was tall, fit, and tanned. She dressed in khaki shorts and a pastel pink shirt. She was a more beautiful version of Celine. Her face was soft and she looked happy.


“Celine,” Tony dropped his book on his lap, “How have you been?”

“I’ve been well. This is my sister Tracy.”

“Tracy,” Tony looked straight into Tracy’s eyes, “This is Tracy?”

Tony turned to Celine, “She doesn’t look anything like her pictures.”

Celine glanced off to the back of the auditorium as if hoping to see someone.

“Well I’I just got back from New Orleans,” Tracy said, looking back at Tony, “I’ve only been in town a week.”

“Well welcome home,” Tony said. He couldn’t stop looking at her.

Celine interjected, “Why are you here Tony?”

“Bored,” he replied, “You?”

“You know why.”

“Mhm hmm.”

Celine looked off into the distance again.

“I’ve got to meet someone,” she said, “You should call me sometime.”


She made for the aisle, then looked back and saw Tracy standing where she was.


“Come on Tracy.”


Tracy didn’t look up.

“I want to meet your friend,” she said.

“You’ve met,” said Celine. Still she turned and walked off, leaving Tony and Tracy together.




“And Celine cut herself?” asked Dr. Markham, slowly feeding himself butterscotch hard candies from the bowl on his coffee table.

“Compulsively,” answered Tony.

“Do you know why?”

Tony grabbed a handful of candy from the bowl and then lounged back into Dr. Markham’s plush, oversized sofa.

“I assume it’s because of her step-dad.”

“Why is that?”

“Celine told me that her step-dad abused her...

She also told me she’d been raped 14 times. I’m not sure what I believed. For a while I believed it all. I assume that at least something happened to her. The story about her step-dad was the most together out of all of them...

She also told me that she’d never told anyone the stories about the abuse before, but I found out that was a lie. She’d dated a guy who was a friend of mine for a bit later on. We got drunk one night and somehow we were talking about her and it got brought up…”

“Who brought it up?” asked Dr. Markham.

“I did…”

“And why would you do that?”

“I can’t keep my mouth shut I guess. I’ve always had that problem. People always lay s**t like that on me. Celine wasn’t the first girl to tell me her secrets. They all did. I don’t know why.

Anyway, she’d told the other guy too, all the same stories. He didn’t really believe any of them. Like I said, I believe something had to have happened to her. She was broken, seriously broken.”




“F**k me harder. Come on. F**k me harder!”


Tony grabbed the headboard. Mary pulled her knees up to her chest.

“I’m coming! F**k! Oh my f*****g God that feels so good! I love you Tony! F**k!”

“I love you too.”

“God! F**k!”



“You said you loved me.”






Tracy sat down next to Tony and he put his book on the floor. He turned sideways in his chair to face her.


“So Celine talked a lot about you way back when. You sound interesting,” Tracy said.

“Unh huh. Maybe I am. Maybe you are too.”

“Oh, I know I am.” Tracy crossed her bare legs toward Tony. He looked at them long enough for her to notice.

“So how was New Orleans?” Tony asked.

“Oh, I loved it. I’m so glad I decided to go. I wish Celine would have come with me, but she was always closer to mom.”

“You weren’t?”

“You’ve met my mom, right?”


“ You see Celine’s like her. I don’t look like I am, do I?”

“No,” said Tony, “You really don’t.”


Tracy smiled at him. Tony thought he could feel Celine’s eyes burning into him from the back of the auditorium. He turned around for a moment and she was nowhere to be seen. Tracy jabbed him in the ribs. He clenched his fist spasmodically.


“You don’t have to worry about my sister,” she said.


“She has a new wannabe rock-star boyfriend every two weeks. She hasn’t mentioned you in a long long time, seriously. I doubt she cares.”

“Cares about what?” Tony asked.

“About us flirting.”

“Oh, is that what we’re doing?”

Tracy blushed, “I think so.”

“She’s not here anyway,” said Tony.

Tracy turned around and looked at the back of the auditorium,

“Oh yeah, you’re right. Hmm. I didn’t think she’d want to miss this one.”

“No…” Tony looked down at the floor.

“Of course when Kyle wants her to do something, she does it,” Tracy continued.


“Kyle her boyfriend, for now.”

“She lets them boss her around?” Tony looked back at Tracy.

“Only the ones she really likes,” she said.


“What, she didn’t let you boss her around?”

“I never tried to.”

“Oh. Well you shouldn’t worry about Celine. Celine will be fine. She b*****s a lot, but she’s always fine.”

“I suppose.”


“You know,” said Tracy, “you remind me of someone…”

“Oh yeah, who?”

“Some celebrity, I don’t know which one.”

Tony laughed, “Oh god.”


“Damn if I haven’t heard that line before.”

“Psht. Whatever. It’s supposed to be flattering. I’d almost thought of someone too.”

“You can still go for it.”

“No, you squandered it. Tough luck.”





July 17th


“I want you to come on me. I want you to come on my face!”


Tony slowed his motion.

“I said I want you to come on my face. I want to feel your cum on my face.”

“You don’t have to talk like that.”

“Umm… okay? I thought guys liked it that way?”

Tony felt himself going flaccid.

“What’s wrong?” Mary asked.

He stopped, withdrew, and rolled over to his side of the bed.

“What’s wrong Tony?”



“Who taught you to talk like that? Is that the sort of s**t that Derek likes?”


“Or whoever you’re dating now.”

“Well, yeah… most of the guys I know like it.”

“Guys you ‘know’?”

“Please don’t do this right now.”

“Do what? I’m just a little creeped out. It’s not like you.”

“I just thought you’d like it.”

“I liked you fine before. I don’t need to f**k you like some w***e to show you I like you.”

Mary’s expression darkened.

“I’m going to go,” she said.

“No. Wait.”

“I’m sorry,” she was starting to cry, “I’ve got to go.”




“So that’s when it all went sour with Mary?” asked Dr. Markham.

“No,” said Tony, “It started to. I guess it started long before that. I don’t really know. We didn’t talk for a month. But she came back. She came back in September.”

“And what happened in October?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“What happened with Celine?”




Part 2


Tony twirled Tracy’s hair around his finger. She lay on her back smoking a cigarette.

“I see why Celine liked you,” she said.

“Don’t say that,” said Tony, “It’s weird.”

Tracy put her cigarette down in the plastic ash-tray on the night stand, rolled on her side and looked at Tony.

“Are you sure it’s not strangely hot?” she said, and smiled.

“Hmm,” Tony sat up, “I guess it is a fantasy we’re all supposed to have.”

“Supposed to, yes…” Tracy retrieved her cigarette.

“It’s just weird,” said Tony.

“Unh huh… Celine didn’t talk much about what happened with you guys.”

Tony looked at Tracy, “I don’t talk much about it either.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Let’s just pretend she doesn’t exist.”

“I suppose we can do that.”

Tracy lay back down, bare-chested, and stared up at the ceiling fan. Tony looked her over,

“You’re gorgeous you know.”

She grinned, “More gorgeous than Celine?”


“I’m sorry. I had to.”

Tony looked past Tracy at the night stand where her tiny silver watch rested in front of his alarm clock. The set-up was sparse. He was in a different house with different furniture, different bed, different armoire, different sheets…

“I need to change those curtains,” he said to himself.




July 25th


“Why the F**K would you tell me that?” Celine had jumped out of the bed like it was on fire. She stood beside it in her bra screaming at Tony. He watched the muscles of her abdomen tense up. Her whole body tensed up. He never noticed how sinewy she was.

“I had to,” said Tony.

“You had to now?! You wait till after we f**k?!” The veins on her neck were popping out. Tony was offended by them.

“Please calm down.”

“Oh F**K YOU! I’m not calming down! You-you twisted f**k! You weak twisted f**k!”

“You didn’t even let me finish. It only happened two or three times.”

Only two or three times?” Celine reached down and grabbed the sheets, white knuckled, and flung them off the bed. Tony was left naked. He didn’t make an effort to cover himself.

“What’re you…”

“Did you do it here?!” Celine interjected, “Did you do it here where I’ve been stupid enough to sleep for the past three months?”


“Did you f**k on these f*****g sheets?” she held them up in her fist. Her eyes were starting moisten. Her body softened up. She dropped the sheets on the floor.

“Celine I,” Tony started, “I wasn’t trying to hurt you."

Tony made to get up.

“Don’t come near me,” Celine said, glaring straight at him.

“Okay,” Tony said deliberately, “Do you mind if I put some underwear on?”

“Don’t talk down to me either you s**t.”

“Okay. Sorry.”


Tony crawled to the foot of the bed and grabbed his balled-up boxer’s shorts off the floor. He saw Celine turn toward the window as he slipped them on. Her shoulders were quaking.


“I thought you were done with her.” Celine said.

“I was,” said Tony, “I don’t know what happened. She came over for some things and we started talking again.”



She stared out the window with her arms crossed over her chest. She’d stopped crying.


“I guess you thought you could pull one over on me,” Celine said flatly.

“No I didn’t,” Tony had climbed back up to the headboard and propped himself up comfortably on his pillows.

“Yes, it’s pretty f*****g obvious you did.”


“Stop saying my name you son of a b***h,” she turned around, “Maybe you thought because of what happened to me, I wouldn’t care either way!”


“Maybe you thought because I’d been raped so many times you could just f**k me too; Treat me like a b***h.”

“No… it’s not that at all.”

“You thought because my step-father fucked me in the a*s you could too!”

“Oh god, seriously?” Tony felt nauseated.

“What? You don’t want to listen to me?!” she took on the appearance of a raging triathlete, “You don’t want to hear about me getting fucked?! I get to hear about you getting fucked. I get to hear about you getting fucked right after we f**k! I get to hear about you f*****g your ex-girlfriend behind my back! You don’t want to hear about my f*****g problems?!”

“You’re acting insane.”

“WHAT?! Insane?” Celine was grinning as tears ran down her cheeks, “I am SO F*****G TIRED OF MEN F*****G ME!”

“Jesus Christ. Come on, Celine!” Tony yelled.

“I said DON’T say my name you worthless little piece of s**t!”


Celine stomped around the room and snatched up her clothes. She went to the corner of the bed and feverishly started putting them on. Her eyes were glossed over and she scrambled like a lunatic. She cursed to herself,

“I am so f*****g done with this s**t. I am so f*****g done. God I feel sick. This is so f*****g sick,” she turned to Tony, “You wait till after you f**k me to tell me this…”

Tony was speechless.

“Sick! F*****g sick!” she pulled on her panties and then pulled them back down and looked at them, “you tell me this and I’ve still got your f*****g sick spunk INSIDE ME! F**K!”


Tony cringed. Celine pulled on her panties and skirt, slipped on her shirt, walked over to the bureau and absently fingered a lamp. Suddenly she seized it and hurled it at the wall beside the window,





“Your sister slashed my tires every week for a month. It got annoying.”

“Oh yeah? What did you do to her.” Tracy ate a plate of spaghetti.

“Something awful.”

“What was it?”

“Something awful.”




July 17th


“Hey Mary, it’s me. I’m sorry about what I said today. I really didn’t mean to offend you. I was just freaked out. I mean, I was worried about you. I am worried about you. Anyway… call me back.”


“Hey, my phone was off. Wasn’t sure if you tried to call. K, call me back.”


July 19th


“Hey, it’s Tony. Give me a call sometime. I miss you.”


July 20th


“Are you okay? Anyway, I’m getting off work and heading home. I’ve got nothing to do all afternoon. Give me a call.”


July 22nd


“Still waiting to hear from you. Let me know what’s up.”




July 27th


“Hey, umm. Celine and I split two days ago. I umm… I guess I’m available. Really available. Umm… I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I… I’m sorry. I’ll try to leave you alone.”


July 31st


“Hey, it’s Tony. I’m sorry to keep leaving messages. I wish you’d call me. I miss you. Seriously. I want to talk to you about some things… serious things.”


August 2nd


“Have you been getting any of these messages? Call me.”


“I’m on break. Call me.”


August 9th


“Mary… I really want to talk to you. I’m not lonely or anything. I think I’m figuring some things out. I don’t want anything from you, just to talk about some things.”


August 12th


“I talked to Mindy. She says you’ve been acting weird. Are you okay? She told me she’d ask you to call me. Please do. I miss you.”


August 14th


“I don’t know anymore…”


August 18th


“I had that dream about you again. Not the one about Mitch. The one where we met. I hope you remember. I mean, I’m sure you remember, but I hope you remember the same way I do. I still remember the first time I kissed you. I want it to go away. I just wish�"well I’m getting the warning that says I only have 8 seconds left so�"“




Tony and Tracy lay in bed again. It was mid-afternoon. She smoked another cigarette.


“Why do you go to a shrink?” Tracy asked.

“I’ve got problems,” answered Tony.

“Oh yeah. What kind of problems?”

“Deep seeded problems.”

“Sounds exciting…”


Tony rolled over and stared again at Tracy’s watch on the night-stand.


“What’s your sister’s number?,” he asked.

“Oh boy…” Tracy said.

“I just want to catch up. She told me to call her.”

“Unh huh. Right.”

“Seriously. I promise.”


“You are more gorgeous than she is.”

“I know this.”

“You asked me.”

Tracy rolled her eyes, “It’s (856) 847-2122. You gonna write it down?”

“No, it’s the same as she had before. I remember now.”

“Good,” Tracy put out her cigarette, turned and wrapped her arm around Tony’s torso, “So do you wanna watch a movie or something?”

“Mmm… you smell good,” said Tony. He kissed her on the lips. She kissed back. He ran his hand down her stomach between her legs. She grabbed his wrist and pulled it up around her hip.

“No, I’m sore,” Tracy said.

“Oh. I guess I am too.” Tony pulled his hand away.

“Should I hang around?” asked Tracy.

“If you want to. I have to cook dinner and do some homework.”

“Mhm hmm,” Tracy sat up, “I guess I’ll go.”

“You can stay for dinner. I just can’t entertain you much after that…”

“No, I have stuff to do. I don’t want to bother you.”

“You wouldn’t be bothering me.”

“Nah, it’s okay. I’ll call you tomorrow and we can hang out.”

“Maybe,” Tony said.

Tracy got up and started putting on her clothes.

“Let me walk you out,” Tony said.

“You don’t have to.”

“No, I want to,” Tony quickly put on his clothes.




“Hello?” Celine answered her phone. There was loud music in the background.

“Hey Celine,” Tony said.



Celine turned down the music, “Tony… why are you calling me?”

“You told me to,” he answered.

“Oh… yeah. Yeah I did, didn’t I.”

“Yes, so how are you?”

“I’m doing fine. Listen Tony. I don’t really want to talk to you.”

“You said to call you.”

“I was being polite.”

“You sounded sincere.”

“I was being polite.”

“You had that look in your eyes.”

She was silent for a moment, “… Ugh. No I didn’t.”

“Yes. You did.”

“You’re fucked up Tony. Don’t call me anymore.”

Tony waited for her to hang up. She didn’t.

“Aren’t you going to hang up?” he said.



“I heard about what happened with Mary.”

“What? What did you hear?”

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t want to go near you. You’re dangerous.”

“I didn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Sure you didn’t Tony. Sure you didn’t.”

“I really didn’t,” Tony started to feel sick.

After a long silence, Celine said, “And I really don’t like you being around my sister.”

“She came to me!” said Tony, beginning to choke up.

“I don’t give a s**t. I want you to stay away from her.”

“She came to me Celine! I don’t think it’s any of your goddamn business.”

“My sister is my business!”

“She’s barely even your real sister. You didn’t see her for 12 years!”

“Shut up!”

“You left her at the f*****g school! I gave her a ride. You practically put her out there on a silver platter!”

“You’re a real a*****e Tony.”

“Yes I am.”

“F**k you,” Celine hung up the phone.


Tony sat for a moment and then fell down on his couch and started to cry.





Why                Why

                                    Why                            Why                Don’t

                        Why    Don’t

Don’t               Don’t               Why    Don’t

                                    We                  We                  Why

October          We                  Why

            Why                Why

Why don’t we talk                 Talk                Talk                Talk

            Why don’t we talk about



“I,” Tony started. Dr. Markham leaned forward in his chair, “do not want to talk about October.”

“What was her name again?” Dr Markham asked.

“I think it was…

I’m pretty sure it was Mary.”

“Are you sure it was Mary?”

“I said I was pretty sure…”

“You can’t remember?”

“I don’t really want to.”




August 19th


“Please Mary… Please just call me… I… I just want to talk to you… please….”



Part 3




“Hey Tony. It’s Mary. Give me a call. I want to talk to you…”




“What if I told you…” Tracy stood in front of Tony at the beach, shimmering olive in her bright red bikini. The sun lit up the sand like a spotlight. Tony squinted at her silhouette, and the sapphire waves that cascaded behind her,

“What if I told you,” Tracy said, “I didn’t exist?”

“Huh?” said Tony.

Tracy smiled at Tony and then spun around and skipped off toward the ocean. He lost sight of her in the watery haze above the sand.




September 2nd


“Mary, where are you? I thought you were coming over for dinner and a movie at nine. It’s nine forty-five. Call me please.”


September 6th


Tony awoke at 5:00 am and saw the space beside him empty. The covers had been thrown back. Mary’s car keys were still on the night stand on her side of the bed. He heard the fan from the bathroom in the hall and rolled over on his other side and tried to go back to sleep. He drifted in and out until he finally opened his eyes again at 5:30 am. The other side of the bed was still empty. The bathroom fan was still running.

Tony stared up at the ceiling and watched the dots swim across his pupils. He saw the bedroom door cracked and the faint light from under the bathroom door casting a grey glow in the hallway. He lay staring at the glowing wall outside the door for another fifteen minutes. Then he was wide awake.

It was still dark outside when Tony sat up in the bed and cracked his back. He pulled on a pair of boxers and track pants and walked out into the hall scratching his head. His eyes fixed on the fluorescent light pouring out from under the bathroom door. He walked over to it, stopped, and listened. He heard nothing.

Tony reached down and twisted the handle to find it locked. He called out,


There was no answer.

“Mary?” he called again.


“Mary? Mary are you okay.”

Tony knocked lightly, “Hello?”

“Maybe she’s not in there…”, Tony thought, “Maybe it’s a ruse…”


Tony banged on the door.

“Mary! Open the door!”

Tony put his ear up to the door and waited. He thought he heard a dripping faucet.

“Mary!! Say something!! Open the door!!


“I’m going to get the key.”


Tony rummaged through his kitchen drawer in the dark until he found the tiny flat-ended shaft that would release the lock to the bathroom. He walked back to the door, shoved the key in the round hole on the knob and fidgeted with it frantically until he found the mechanism. When he felt the lock click he pushed his shoulder into the door and turned the knob. At first he was blinded and then he made out Mary’s pale body sprawled on top of the toilet. She wore nothing but panties and a towel she had draped over her shoulders. Spread out on the floor were a spoon, a straw, a cigarette lighter and a wadded up piece of Saran Wrap. A thick line of dribble ran from Mary’s downturned mouth to her chest. Tony instantly thought she’d OD’d.


“It’s too much like one of those f*****g movies… “ he thought, “Is this what I’m doing now? One of those f*****g movies?”


“What the f**k!?” exclaimed Tony, “Mary!”

He rushed over to her and picked up her drooping head. Her eyes were part-way open. She had some red in her cheeks.

“Mary, wake up! What the f**k are you doing? Wake up!”

She gurgled something and then smacked her lips. Tony let go of her head and it fell back to her chest. He knelt down on the floor and started gathering up her equipment.

“So you’re freebasing now?” Tony said, looking up at Mary’s face from between her legs, “I said, so you’re freebasing now?!”

She mumbled unintelligibly.

“Goddamnit Mary, Heroin?! F**k!” Tony pocketed the cigarette lighter, threw the spoon and straw in the trash and tossed the baggy in the toilet, “This is ridiculous!”

He stood up flushed the toilet, “Stupid! F*****g stupid!”

He bent down and picked up Mary’s head. Her eyes were still half open. Tony grabbed some toilet paper and wiped the drool from her lips.

“What happened to you?!” Tony slapped her in the cheek and she started to murmur,

“It’s alriiight Tony. I didn’t O-deeee. It’s nooormal. Just leave me alone. Just leave me…”




      “Did you ever talk to anyone about all of this?”

      “No.” Tony continued to look Dr. Markham straight in the eyes. The doctor hadn’t flinched once. He looked at home.

      “Did you ever think about it?” Dr. Markham continued.

      “Yes, I thought about it. Of course I thought about it. There was no one for me to talk to.”

      “Your parents…”

      “Didn’t want anything to do with me.”

      “Your brother…”

      “I told you about my brother.”

      “Well Tony. You know what I’m going to say.”

      “That you can’t hold stuff like that in.”


      “Well I did.”

      “Yes,” Dr. Markham looked at the clock on the wall, put his pen inside his notebook and closed it, “I just wish you’d found someone to talk to. You probably wouldn’t be here if you did.”




Tony ran down the beach turning his head from side to side. His diaphragm was near the point of combustion. He began to see spots and lost track of what was around him. Suddenly the beach was empty. Suddenly he was alone.

“Tony!!” Tracy’s voice came from behind him. He dug his foot into the sand and whirled around. He saw no-one.

“TONY!!!” Then she emerged from the ether in her bright red bikini, seemingly miles away. He saw her waving at him. Tony ran.

“Tracy!! Tracy hold up!!”

He saw her start walking toward him. When they met he was winded. He embraced her and inhaled her sunscreen. Her skin was moist and warm.

“Where did everyone go?” Tony asked.

“They disappeared it seems…” said Tracy, leaning her head on his chest.

“Where did you go?”

“I was looking for you.”

“I thought you were playing a joke on me.”

“No? Why?”

“You said, ‘What if I didn’t exist?’ and then you ran away.”

“No… I didn’t run away.”

“You disappeared.”

“No I didn’t,” Tracy said, “You did.”




September 12th


“Are you serious?” Mary asked, “You really have to know?”

“Don’t act like I’m acting weird. It’s the same question you asked me when we got back together.” Tony said.

Mary rolled over in the bed and faced away from him. She pulled the comforter up to her neck.

“Ugh… I don’t think you really want to know.”

Tony’s heart sank but he couldn’t resist, “Yes, I do. I’m sorry. I need to know.”

Mary clutched the comforter tighter. Tony reached for her and she pulled away,

“Okay… ummm… okay…” Mary started. Tony began to feel sick, “Okay… Fourteen…

 I slept with fourteen guys since we broke up…

That’s what I remember…”

For ten minutes neither of them said a word. Tony stared at the bureau. Beside him the bed was shaking softly.

“Goodnight Mary,” he said, and then turned off the lamp and went to sleep.


September 13th


Tony awoke. She was gone. He lay in bed until noon and then called in sick to work. He picked up the phone and dialed Mary,


“Mary… Mary, wherever you are, please be safe... Please.”


Tony curled up under the covers and started to cry.




      “I talked ran into her friend Mindy a couple weeks later. She hadn’t seen her. She’d heard some things…”

      “What did she hear?”

      “She heard that Mary was f*****g a smack dealer. She heard that she was sucking dick for heroin.”

      “How did that make you feel?”

      “I don’t know…”

      “Were you upset?”

      “Yes,” said Tony, trying desperately to make Dr. Markham look away, “I was upset.”

      “Did you try to contact her?”


      “Did she contact you at all?”







October 4th


“Celine,” Tony held the phone, shaking. In his other hand he held a half empty bottle of vodka.

“What the f**k do you want?”

“Celine. Have you seen Mary?”

“Don’t ever call me again Tony,” Celine hung up the phone.


October 10th


Tony lay in his room with the lights off. It was 2:00 am. He saw the glow of his cell-phone on the night-stand and jumped to grab it. The screen informed him that the battery had finished recharging. Tony threw the phone at the wall.


October 12th


“Mary. This is Tony. I’ve… I’ve heard some things… Listen… Come back. Please come back. I can give you a safe place. I don’t care what you’ve done. I don’t care. I don’t care. I want to help you. Please come back.”




Tony heard a fight break out in the hallway.




“I forgive you…”


October 20th, 2:19 am…


Tony came back from the bathroom and saw his cell-phone aglow. He had a voicemail from Mary,


“Tony…” she was crying, “Tony? Please pick up the phone. Tony… I need help. I… oh GOD I NEED HELP!”


Everything began to go cloudy for Tony.


“I’m at the Exxon station by my old apartment. I’m scared… I… I’m going to wait here… Please call me back… Please…”


Tony blacked out…




You said...

   loved me!




“Stop day-dreaming...”



Tracy sipped a frozen coffee through a straw across the table. The lighting was warm in the cafe and the few customers present were engaged in quiet conversation.

“I said stop daydreaming,” Tracy said, “I know what you’re thinking.”

“What?... What am I thinking?”, replied Tony.

“It’s rude you know, to zone out in the middle of a conversation, especially if your mind is full of bullshit.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” said Tracy, “You’re thinking you killed your ex-girlfriend.”

“I wasn’t...”

“You were. You are. You’re thinking you went out there and she rejected you and you killed her.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. How do you know anything about my ex-girlfriend?”

“Maybe Celine told me. That’s what you’d think.”

“You’re confusing me.”

“Forget it.”, Tracy set her drink down and sighed. She looked out the window. Tony followed her gaze.

“I keep having these dreams lately,” Tony said.

“Uh huh.”

“I’m trapped in some tiny room, and I get woken up and led down a hallway...”

“You get led down a brightly lit hallway...” Tracy turned her head from the window and looked down at the table sullenly.

“Yeah, I get led down a brightly lit hallway, like with fluorescent lights. The walls are cinder blocks painted white.”

“They’ve got gunk all over them,” Tracy said, “And they smell.”

“Anyway, I get led to this dingy office where I have to talk to a shrink for an hour,” said Tony, still staring off into space, “and the whole time he’s eating butterscotch candies, and he wants to talk to me about Mary and your sister.”

“He thinks you killed Mary.” said Tracy.

“How do you know that?”

Tracy looked back at him,

“Everyone knows that.”

“I don’t know what conversation you’re having, or with whom... I think I want another drink,” Tony made to get up.

“It’s a prison.” said Tracy.


“You told me that you saw a shrink a couple days ago.”

“I did?”

“You said you saw a shrink because you had ‘problems’, ‘serious problems’.”

“I don’t remember that.”

“Of course you don’t,” Tracy looked him in the eyes, “You’ve got cliché problems Tony.”

“Again, I don’t know what you’re...”

“Jilted lover problems... Dissolution problems... Stream of consciousness problems... You’re all over the place. Just learn to compartmentalize and pull yourself together.”

“Compartmentalize. That’s what they all say to do.”

“You don’t even know where you are right now.”

Tony sat back down,

“Well fine Tracy, why don’t you tell me.”

“Okay, I will. I’ll tell you a little story about yourself. I’ll tell you where you are and what you’re doing.”

“But you won’t tell me why...”

“No,” said Tracy, “I won’t tell you why. You figure that out for yourself.”

“Alright, so out with it...”

“Okay, you’re sitting down in a plush chair by a window. You’re all warm and cozy but you don’t want to be. You’d rather be here, thinking everything is confusing and that you should have worn a sweater because it’s a little chilly. They crank up the AC too f*****g high in this cafe,”

Tony looked down at his T-shirt.

“They gave you a composition notebook and a little golf pencil and told you to write because you’re introverted and they thought you’d be really into that sort of thing. See, now everyone’s playing cards and drinking orange juice out of little cartons and you’re over in the corner watching cars go by on the highway. You think it’s nice that you can’t hear all that noise.”

“I would think that,” said Tony “I like watching cars go by from inside.”

“You’re doing it now too. See, little things like that carry over. Anyway, you’ve got this journal about half way full, and you think you don’t know it but you do - the staff peeks at it every now and then when you doze off and dream you’re in prison. You’ve got the entire thing full of cryptograms. They think you’re some sort of genius and you think they’ve got an entire team of educated people pouring over them trying to figure them out...

But they’re totally meaningless. It’s a nice little joke, but no one’s really looking.”

“So I’m imagining that they’re all in an underground office working on this right now...”

“And you’re imagining you’re here right now, imagining that you got all pissed off and murdered your ex-girlfriend.

You want to kill my sister too.” Tracy said.

“Mhm hmm.” said Tony.

“You’re just all broken up that she dumped you.”

“Right...” Tony tried to remember what happened when he went to the gas station.

“You’re still doing it... I can tell you if you want.” Tracy interjected.
“No, said Tony. I think I’d rather work it out on my own.”

“Suit yourself. Just so you know, you did do something half-ballsy, well in your own opinion anyway. I think it’s stupid.”

“I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”

“I’m sure you will too... Anyway, what now?”

“I try to put the story back together now that you’ve fucked it all up.”

















“I think this is the start of something good.” Tony turned to Tracy and smiled big, “Tracy, will you go steady with me?”

Tracy burst out in laughter. Tony kept smiling.

“Oh god… ha…,” she looked into his eyes, “Sure Tony. I’ll be your girlfriend.”

She vanished.




January 2nd, 2009 - 2:30 pm


Tony walked into the cinder-block walled office and sat down. Puffs of air blew out from rips in the cushions of the faux-leather couch. Dr. Markham finished typing something on the laptop computer at his desk, arose and walked around to the dark-red lounger where he conducted his sessions. He sat down to face Tony and placed a mini-cassette tape recorder on the table in front of him. He pressed the record button, opened his notebook and took a pen out of his shirt pocket. Tony watched him scribble something on the page.


“Good afternoon Tony,” he started, “How are you today?”


“Do you know where you are right now?”

“I’m in Dr. Markham’s office,” Tony replied, smiling.

“Okay, and do you know what day it is?”


“Alright, just a minute,” Dr. Markham scribbled something else in his notebook and then took a handful of candies from the dish on the table and put them in his lap. He smiled at Tony,

“Just gonna do the technical stuff…”

“Okay,” Tony said.


“My name is Dr. David Markham, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Wakeford University. I am conducting a series of sessions at the Holdenfield Maximum Security Prison withTony DeCosto to determine his competency to stand trial. It is Wednesday, January the second, two thousand and nine and the time is,” Dr. Markham looked at his watch, “Two thirty-three p.m.”


Tony tapped his hands on his knees and looked around the office.


“This is my fifteenth session with Tony concerning a murder that took place on October twentieth. At three fifteen a.m. on the twentieth of October, two thousand and seven, Tony DeCosto strangled Mary Lutz to death in his car and then dumped her body in the ocean before sunrise. Tony was arrested on November seventh of two thousand, seven and transferred to Holdenfield prison one month later to await trial. His guilt is heretofore undisputed.

Tony has so far displayed a complete and isolated break from reality concerning these incidents and I am seeking to determine whether or not he was aware of his actions or their consequences.”


Dr. Markham sighed and turned to Tony, “Did you hear any of that?”


“Did you get any of what I just said?”


“Okay Tony, let’s get started.”




“Celine said you were dangerous.” Tracy and Tony lay in bed again, “She said that your ex-girlfriend turned up dead.”

Tony turned over and looked Tracy straight in the eyes.

“She was gang-raped by a bunch of drug dealers and then they strangled her to death and dumped her body in the ocean. She called me that night. She left a voice-mail. I went to find her, but I was too late.”

“Oh my god! Really?”

“That’s why I go to a shrink…,” Tony said, still looking at her, “That’s why I don’t like to talk about it.”

Tracy was frightened, “Okay… I won’t bring it up.”

“And tell your sister to shut the f**k up.”

“Okay Tony…

… I’m sorry…”

Tony rolled over, turned out the light, and went to sleep.




“You said

            … you loved me!




© 2021 SirEdwinSantosIII

Author's Note

I need to do a little more editing on this, but appreciate feedback. Please forgive any formatting errors due to the transfer over from Word. This initially started as a rewrite of the other novella posted, so there are some similarities, but it became it's own thing.

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Added on September 19, 2021
Last Updated on September 19, 2021
Tags: Novella, Story, Dark, Dialogue, Cerebral



Greenville, NC

I grew up in the deep south. I write poetry and prose about love and corruption. My genres are anywhere from Southern Gothic to Sci-Fi. My favorite authors are Coleridge and Vonnegut. I could only hop.. more..