Read A Christmas Carl Online

Authors: Ryan Field

Tags: #Erotica, #Romance, #Fiction

A Christmas Carl (9 page)

BOOK: A Christmas Carl
13.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

sex with truck drivers on Christmas Day. Carl clenched his fists and shouted, “She should have told me she was going to

 

have a baby. She should have driven to my school and told me everything. I’m not a

 

mind reader. I had no idea.” He also knew he should have answered her letters. Breaking

 

all contact with her had been the worst mistake of his life. Donna had always been a

 

proud, independent woman, and she never would have begged him for anything.

 

The Ghost pointed to the younger version of Carl. Young Carl stood in front of

 

the truck and unfastened his belt. He opened the black leather coat and let it slide off his

 

shoulders. The coat hit the sidewalk, and he was naked except for a pair of black boots

 

that came up to his ankles. Young Carl slowly turned so his back was facing the truck. He

 

leaned over the trash can, spread his legs, and arched his back.

 

After that, two tall men got out of the truck. They crossed to the trash can where

 

young Carl was leaning. They were both in their early thirties. One was smoking a cigar

 

and rubbing his crotch. He was wearing a red plaid shirt, loose jeans, and a red baseball

 

cap. The other one had long black hair, a thin lanky body, and a long tattoo on his right

 

forearm. They were both wearing wedding bands, and they were both staring at young

 

Carl’s smooth, naked ass.

 

The one in the baseball cap said, “Me and my buddy here been watching your

 

little show from the truck.” Then he stepped behind young Carl and ran his large, rough

 

palm down young Carl’s back. “Looks like you wanna give us both a little Christmas

 

present tonight.”

 

Young Carl stood up and leaned into the man’s chest. While the man ran his

 

rough hands up and down the sides of young Carl’s naked body, young Carl lifted his arms in the air and said, “Let’s go into the cab. I’ll give both of you a Christmas present

 

you’ll never forget.”

 

The thin guy with the dark hair smiled. Then he reached for young Carl’s arm and

 

yanked him away from the guy wearing the baseball cap. “You gonna let me and my

 

buddy take turns on you?” His voice was deep. He had a rough beard and it looked as he

 

hadn’t shaved in two or three days.

 

Young Carl’s naked body went forward and he fell into the strong arms of the

 

dark-haired guy. He put one hand on the guy’s shoulder and grabbed his crotch with the

 

other. He said, “Do you guys have condoms?”

 

The dark-haired guy nodded yes and slapped young Carl’s ass a few times.

 

“Extra-large, and I wanna go first.”

 

While young Carl and the two men climbed into the truck, the Ghost pointed to

 

the truck’s cab and shook the black glove up and down.

 

Carl turned away from his younger image and said, “I want to leave now. I

 

already had to live through this once. I don’t want to do it again. I just want to go home

 

now. I can’t take much more.”

 

The Ghost turned toward Carl and lifted the glove. “It’s time to leave anyway.”

 

Chapter Seven

 

“What are we doing here?” Carl asked. The Ghost was standing beside him. They

 

were in the lobby of a low-rent high rise apartment building, but Carl wasn’t sure exactly

 

where. The walls were gray cinderblock, the floors had gray tiles, and the elevator doors

 

were dark brown. Carl took a deep breath and rubbed his jaw. This looked like one of

 

those buildings in places he saw on the six o’clock news, where people shot each other

 

without thinking twice and gangs ruled the streets. Carl knew what it was like to be poor.

 

He’d been the child of a single mother who’d worked as a housekeeper. But he’d never

 

known this kind of poverty.

 

Two teenage boys loped past them. Their shoulders rocked and their heads went

 

back and tipped to the side. Their jeans were so baggy and hung so low on their waists

 

their boxer shorts were showing. One was taller than the other. The tall one had an

 

earring in his nose and the shorter one had large diamond studs in both ears.

 

The taller one banged into the shorter one with his elbow and said, “I’ll whip your

 

fucking pussy ass today, man.”

 

The shorter guy was carrying a basketball. “The fuck you will, man. I’ll fuck you

 

up.” He bounced the ball on the gray floor a few times. The cracks and snaps echoed

 

through the hollow hallway. Then he lifted his arms as if he were about to toss it through

 

an invisible basketball hoop. When he lifted his arms, Carl noticed a small handgun

 

hanging halfway out of his back pocket. Carl stared at the Ghost and shook his index finger. “You’d better have a good

 

reason for bringing me to a place like this. I’m a well respected man in my profession and

 

I don’t go near places like this. And frankly, I resent you subjecting me to this.” He

 

couldn’t understand how he could possibly be associated with anyone in this building.

 

The Ghost touched Carl’s shoulder. A second later, they were standing inside the

 

living room of a small apartment, with white walls that were turning brown at the edges.

 

In one corner of the room there were seven old televisions stacked together. They were

 

all different sizes, and covered with so much dust you could write your name on the

 

screens. Above the stack of old televisions, there was a long, cloudy window with

 

Christmas balls attached to faded red ribbons. The ribbons had been fastened to the

 

window with masking tape. One of the Christmas balls was cracked in half; another was

 

coming loose from the ribbon and ready to fall to the floor. The entire room smelled of

 

stale beer and cigarettes and there were huge piles of magazines and newspapers

 

everywhere.

 

On the other side of the room, an overweight man was watching television in his

 

undershirt and boxer shorts. He hadn’t shaved his round face in a few days, salt-and

 

pepper stubble popped from his double chin, and his white undershirt was faded and

 

stained. He crushed a cigarette in a plastic ashtray overflowing with butts and coughed

 

without covering his mouth. He cleared his throat and swallowed back. Then he lifted a

 

can of beer from the coffee table and took a long, hard gulp. He crushed the can in his

 

palm and tossed it toward a trash can next to the sofa. It was already filled with so many

 

other crushed beer cans it hit the top and bounced to the floor with a soft clink. The large man looked down at the olive green rug and shrugged his shoulders, then rubbed his

 

stomach and belched so loud his lips vibrated.

 

A middle-aged woman stepped out of a small kitchen and frowned. “That was real

 

nice, Bucky. You’re a real class act, you are. I can’t wait to hear the grand finale.” She

 

was wearing a faded pink housecoat and blue vinyl mules. Her teeth were yellow and

 

there was a large round mole above her lips on the right side of her face. She had thick

 

ankles and stood with a permanent hunch. Her red hair was long in the back and there

 

were two pink curlers fastened to the top of her head. She held a dishtowel in one hand

 

and a can of tuna in the other.

 

“Ah, go fuck yourself, you dumb bitch,” Bucky said. “You’re not exactly the

 

queen of England yourself. You haven’t taken those curlers out of your hair in three days.

 

And it’s Christmas Eve.”

 

The woman slouched and rubbed her hip with the dishtowel. “We’re almost out of

 

cigarettes, Bucky. You’d better go get some. We won’t be able to get anything around

 

here tomorrow on Christmas Day.” She had one of those high-pitched, irritating whines

 

that went up at the end of each sentence.

 

“Why should I go?” he asked. “I was just getting ready to watch something on

 

TV.” He rubbed his stomach again and belched.

 

“I’m not dressed,” she said. “And my hair is in rollers. By the time I get ready, the

 

store will be closed.”

 

Bucky laughed. “Yeah, like anyone cares what you look like.”

 

She threw the dishtowel at him and shouted, “Your sister’s ass, you pig.” Bucky ducked and the towel landed on the back of the sofa. He sat back and

 

scratched his private parts. He shook his head and said, “Send the kid.” Then he laughed

 

and said, “This is one of the good things about having a foster kid.”

 

The woman stared at Bucky for a moment and shook her head. Then she turned

 

toward and narrow hallway and shouted, “Hey, Carl. Get out here right now. I want you

 

to go to the store for me.”

 

Carl’s eyes opened wide. He turned to the Ghost and asked, “Did she say Carl?”

 

A minute later, a small boy limped into the living room. He looked to be about

 

eight years old; he was small and thin. There were dark circles under his eyes, his face

 

was gray, and he walked with a limp.

 

When he entered the room, the woman reached for her purse, pulled out a twenty

 

dollar bill, and said, “You need to go out and buy us cigarettes. We’re almost out.”

 

The boy frowned and looked down at his sneakers. “I hate buying cigarettes,” he

 

said. “They always look at me weird. They think I’m the one smoking.”

 

Bucky reached for a magazine and slammed it on the surface of a table beside the

 

sofa. He glared at the boy and shouted, “Don’t you dare give us any lip. We give you a

 

home and food. You should be thankful, you little shit. And when we ask you to do

 

something for us, we expect you to do it, buddy. Now get your ass moving and get the

 

fucking cigarettes like she asked.” Then Bucky looked at his wife and shouted, “This one

 

has to go back. He’s nothing but trouble. No matter how many times I take the strap to

 

him, he never listens.”

 

Carl stared at the boy and shook his head. “Is this my son? Is this the baby with

 

one leg I saw on Riverside Drive?” He pressed his hand to his forehead and closed his eyes. The Ghost didn’t have to answer him; it didn’t matter. He already knew the boy was

 

his. The kid had Donna’s dark hair and Carl’s strong chin.

 

Carl lifted his fists and clenched his teeth. He crossed the room and shouted at the

 

woman, “You can’t send a child for cigarettes. Are you insane? What kind of a person are

 

you?” Then he looked down at the boy’s arm. He had a long black-and-blue bruise from

 

his wrist to his elbow. There was an open cut on his index finger that looked infected.

 

The woman reached for a tattered brown coat on the floor next to a pile of old

 

shoes. She tossed the rag at the boy and said, “And don’t spend any money on anything

 

else. Get the cigarettes and bring me all the change. I know how much they cost.”

 

Bucky slammed the magazine on the table again and shouted, “And if you don’t,

 

I’ll get the strap out again tonight. Just like I did last night, when you thought I was

 

asleep and I seen you in bed reading. Do you understand?”

 

The little boy frowned and nodded his head up and down very slowly. “Can I

 

have something to eat when I get back? I’m hungry.”

 

Bucky scratched his privates again and said, “She’ll make you a tuna fish

 

sandwich,
if
you’re good.”

 

Carl turned to the Ghost and said, “There has to be something we can do. I can’t

 

leave him here with these horrible people. This is no life for a child. Please, tell me we

 

can help him.” He’d never felt such an awful pull in his heart before. This was even

 

worse than when Victor had left him. This was more painful to watch than anything that

 

had ever happened to him in his entire life. He wanted to run up to the boy, scoop him up,

 

and carry him away from these decrepit people. The Ghost moaned, “There’s nothing you can do. You’ve made choices in life,

 

and these are the results.”

 

“But I based my decisions on the information given to me at the time,” Carl

 

shouted. “If I’d known I had a child, I would have been there for him.”

 

The Ghost pointed at him. “You could have known about him. You chose not to

 

know about him when you threw away all the letters from his mother. Indirectly, you

 

didn’t actually base your decisions on the information given to you. You were too busy

 

wallowing in bitterness and self-pity to care about important information.”

 

When the little boy put the bruised arm through the coat sleeve, he pressed his lips

 

together and made a face. He zipped the coat up halfway and crossed to the front door,

 

leaning most of his weight on his right leg.

 

Bucky looked down at the boy’s right foot and said, “Tie your shoe, too. You’re

 

already missing one leg, and the last thing I need is for you to break the good one. Or

 

worse, have you break the fake leg. You’re lucky to have that peg leg paid for by child

 

services. I wish someone would give
me
something for free, is all I can say. I never got

 

anything for
free
.”
BOOK: A Christmas Carl
13.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Damaged by Alex Kava
Unmistakeable by Abby Reynolds
Hostage by N.S. Moore
The Serpent's Curse by Tony Abbott
Shadow on the Moon by Connie Flynn
Romance for Matthew by Fornataro, Nancy
Survival of the Fiercest by Chloe Blaque