Thursday, January 18, 2007


Brandon's hands quaked. He stood in the short isle of medicine and toiletries in the shabby little all-night convenience store. He carried a twelve-pack of cola in one hand and had a handful of chocolate bars stuffed into each pocket. He tried reading the labels in the little plastic bottles, but his eye sight blurred in and out of focus, and a sharp pain crept it's way around the inside of his skull. His body sagged under the weight of his pain and extra few pints of blood. He had dried blood on his hands from wiping pink tears from his eyes, and the distinct taste blood, coppery and faintly sweet, hung in his throat. He grabbed another bottle and tried in vain to read the label. I don't care any more, he thought, realizing that any off-the-shelf pain killer would more likely give him ulcers than take away even a fraction of the pain in his head. I need to drain myself. The pressure's building up. He grabbed a couple bottles of what he assumed was ibuprofen and headed down the aisle to look for razor blades.

The convenience store clerk, underpaid and overconfident, had been keeping an eye on Brandon since he had put the chocolate bars in his pockets. As he watched the oddly conspicuous man with weird and untimely Halloween costume move from the toiletries aisle to next aisle over, he noticed the man had left something behind: a pink hand print on every bottle of pills he had picked up and confusedly looked at.

The clerk came out from behind the counter to inspect the mess this customer left behind. He shook his head as he thought how much had disliked "alternative lifestyle" people. Hippies and gangstas I can handle, but I absolutely hate these heavy metal, wannabe-badasses. On his way to the medicine, he noticed two emo-punk teenagers, one with too many piercings, the other with straight, died black hair covering his eyes, ogling the pornographic magazine rack, most likely deciding which ones to shoplift. I hate emo kids, too. This just isn't my night.

Taking cursory glance at the blood-covered pill bottles, he became aggravated. "Hey, dude! You got fake blood or makeup or whatever all over these pills!" He looked over the top of the aisle and noticed the weirdo was now ferociously eating one of the candy bars from his pocket and breathing heavy. "Hey, you didn't pay for that, yet. Are you gonna pay for all those?"

Brandon didn't care, or even realize that someone was talking to him. He gulped down large chunks of sweet chocolate in hopes of getting his ever-dropping blood-sugar level back up to normal.

The angry clerk whipped around the aisle to confront Brandon. "Hey, are listening to me?" Brandon finally noticed the young man. He looked over, barely understood or cared what the clerk was saying, and opened another candy bar. "Hey, freak-tard, listen to me: Quit eating those. You haven't paid for them yet." His feigned condescension did little to cover his growing rage. "Aren't you a little old to be playing dress-up?" the clerk asked, trying to get a response, any response. When Brandon did not even flinch, the clerk said, "Alright, you goth-wannabe smart-ass, get up to the counter and pay for your shit." Brandon didn't move. "Did you hear me?" Brandon kept chewing. "Did you hear me?" said the clerk, emphasizing his seriousness with a slight shove.

Brandon stabilized himself and snapped out of his frenzied chocolate engorgement. He turned toward the clerk and, trying to keep as calm as he could manage, muttered, "Don't fucking touch me again, you piece of shit."

"Alright, that's it, goth-boy. Get the fuck out!" the clerk shouted. He stepped in and pushed Brandon again, making him drop his twelve-pack of soda.

Brandon's head reeled. He took a few steps back to regain his footing. A pain like lightning flashed down his spine and up into his head. White, hot anger was all he saw. His hands balled up into fists, and by instinct alone, he struck out at the threatening clerk. Brandon's fist made contact, though not very hard, with the clerk's face.

Brandon had not taken into consideration the long node of bone, poking through his skin just below the wrist, following his palm, and protruding several inches past the tips of his fingers.

The clerk stood, mouth open in horror, as if he was about to scream. One of his eyelids twitched. The other would have, had it not been pierced by bone.

"Holy shit!" one of the two boys by the magazine rack shouted. Brandon, wide-eyed and speechless, turned his head to them. His eyes pleaded for their understanding, for their forgiveness. The boys stood still, horrified looks on their faces, then made for the door.

The clerk's body began to shiver. His legs buckled, and he crashed to the ground, taking Brandon's arm down with him. Now leaning over the convulsing body of the clerk, Brandon tried to remove his fist, and his long, protruding bone, from the young man's face. He tugged a little, but could not pull away. He put his foot on the clerk's neck and yanked his arm back.

There was a sickening pop, like a cork out of a champagne bottle, and blood bubbled up from the man's now-vacant eye socket, pouring over the side of his head onto the ground.

Brandon looked around. There was no one to help him. But there was no one to condemn him either. He grabbed the twelve-pack of soda and ran out of the convenience store into the shade of night.


  1. is this the birth of a villian? if so the process thus far is awesome. me likey!


  2. The pacing on this story has been excellent so far. I love how this is all shaping up.

    "Make Mine McBastard!"


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