Hi I'm a Social Disease: Horror Stories (8 page)

BOOK: Hi I'm a Social Disease: Horror Stories
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Elijah stood in the middle of the room, shivering cold and still sweaty—clammy. He felt the blue moving all around him. He felt it brush up against his ear and whisper something no more intelligible than the wind. Sitting down, he marveled at the way the blue could coil itself up before slowly, hypnotically unfurling. He admired the color and the sheer mystery of it.

Over the next week, his feelings changed.

The blue continued to visit him, gaining in intensity.

Three days after the first, Elijah noticed there were people in the blue. Spirits maybe. Ghosts. Who knew? He wasn’t sure he
wanted
to know. By the end of that fourth day, he could make out some of the faces in the blue. There must have been hundreds. All surfacing through the blue before receding.

Before the sun ate the blue that day, he saw the face like a bruise. That was when he knew everything wasn’t going to be okay.

On the fifth day, there were fewer faces.

On the sixth day, even fewer.

On the seventh day, the day of Eileen and Cynthia’s death, the only face remaining was the one that looked like a bruise. That was when Elijah assumed the man with the face like a bruise had somehow consumed the other faces. Maybe he would have opened it up to speculation, something to ponder, to think about, maybe even ask somebody about, if it weren’t for the car crash that took Eileen and Cynthia that night.

The grief in and of itself was crippling and then there were all the legal ramifications on top of that, the people in suits telling him his time for grieving was over, and the blue was gone anyway so there wasn’t really anything to think about.

A little more than a year later he met Maya and his grief was replaced with love. Although the love was somewhat tainted with guilt. So much guilt, in fact, that Elijah could never really bring himself to tell Maya about the previous loves of his life. Initially, he told himself he was just waiting for the right time. Eventually, he convinced himself there wasn’t a right time. He had waited too long. To tell her now would surely cost him the relationship.

But the blue had come back—and the man with the face like a bruise—and Maya had heard him crying and whimpering names, fragments. Enough to make her suspicious. That, on top of the impotence and the despondency, was sure to ruin everything he and Maya had.

 

Neither one of them had gotten out of bed to open the windows or turn on the air conditioner and Maya lay beside Elijah, the tears coming out of her eyes mingling with the sheen of sweat on her cheeks. She brushed the moisture off with the back of an already moist hand and reached over to the nightstand to get a cigarette. He had never seen her smoke. She seemed like a different woman as she greedily lit the cigarette. She inhaled the cigarette and coughed up a combination of tears, phlegm, and smoke. She sat up, keeping the sheet pulled to just above her breasts.


I thought,” she said, “that you had found someone else. I thought those were the names you were saying. Some whore at the office you were fucking.”


I would never do anything like that to you.” He put his hand on her thigh, ran it up to the crease between where her leg met her pubis.


I thought that was the whole reason why you couldn’t… you know.”


I would never cheat on you. You know that…
don’t
you?”

She shook her head. “It happens.”

There was a moment of awkward silence. Maya’s crying increased. Unable to finish the cigarette, she crushed it out. Elijah moved his hand onto the soft mound of her sex. “It happens,” she mumbled again through a thick mouth. He brushed his hand over her clitoris and then stopped, bringing his hand quickly away.


I need to go,” he said.


Don’t go,” Maya cried.


I have to work. I need to go.”

He dressed in a hurry and left the apartment, slamming the door on his way out.

 

Once in the car, he knew he wasn’t going to work. He was too angry. He didn’t exactly know why. He sat in the hot car, sweat rolling down his face, shaking with anger. Slowly, he composed himself enough to pull away from the curb and take the twisted mess inside his head with him.

Stopping at the liquor store, he bought a bottle of Jim Beam and continued on to the Moston Memorial Gardens. There, he would be able to sit. To contemplate. Sort some things out.

He opened the Jim Beam as soon as he got out to the car and was nearly drunk by the time he got to the cemetery. He pulled the car up near Eileen and Cynthia’s gravesites and stumbled across the freshly manicured lawn until he reached their tombstones. Once there, he sat down in between them, the bottle between his legs.

It was then he decided to sort some things out, to try and figure out why he was so goddamn enraged.

The most obvious fact was that this was the two-year anniversary of their deaths. The grief and anger had never really relented since he had received the call at home to come to the hospital and identify the bodies. The grief, he knew, would have to subside on its own. It would never go away completely. He didn’t expect, didn’t even really
want
, that to happen. The grief was like a memory. To remove the grief, he would have to take away all the memories of them. He didn’t want that. Memories were the only things he had left.

The rage, though. That was something different altogether. It was something he hadn’t expected and, once upon him, couldn’t figure out how to get rid of. Entangling himself in hostile relationships with virtually everyone he knew didn’t seem to do the trick. That merely rendered him isolated and friendless. It wasn’t just the world he was mad at. It was Eileen, too. If she had been more alert, maybe, or a better driver, then none of it would have happened. He knew that was ludicrous, of course, but knowing it didn’t stop the feelings and the thoughts rushing through his head. Knowing it almost made it worse, turning the whole situation into some all-consuming paradox.

God was at fault too, naturally. Elijah had never been a very religious person but he wouldn’t have considered himself an atheist until that day. A god that would kill a beautiful, successful woman in the prime of her life and an innocent child wasn’t a god worth believing in. A god that would force him to suffer as much as he had after their deaths was a god that was better off dead.

Completely drunk at this point and watching the thunderheads gather up their black dresses of grief and march toward the graveyard, he realized there was a new dimension to his anger and he finally figured it out.

Maya was cheating on him.

The signs were there, he had merely refused to acknowledge them. But now that he did, now that he told himself she was cheating on him, the pieces fell into place.

It started with the way she was acting this morning. How she had told him affairs happened. It wasn’t even the way she said it, “It happens,” it was the way she completely broke down after he had told her he wasn’t cheating on her. Like, after her suspicions were denied, she was the guilty one. It would be completely like Maya to fuck someone to get even with him.

Then Elijah remembered something else. Actually, it was some
one
else. All last week, about the same time everything became blue again, Elijah had seen the same man coming from the direction of their apartment building. In a small town like Moston, it wasn’t unusual to see the same faces over and over again, but he hadn’t seen this man until last week and he never saw him at any other time.

Elijah remembered touching Maya this morning and how unresponsive she was.

Well, he thought. There’s only one way to prove it.

With that, he stood up, guzzled down the rest of the bourbon, pulled some flowers away from a neighboring grave and put them into the empty bottle, setting it down in between the graves as a small reminder he was there.

 

On his way back into town he drove straight through the storm. By the time he reached the apartment the storm had subsided and the air around him resonated with the ozone blue of sun trying to break through dark clouds. He did the best parking job he could muster, nearly popping the tire as the car flew up onto the curb. It didn’t matter. He didn’t plan on being there for very long anyway.

He knew what he expected to find and, at this point, a scary thought, it was almost what he
wanted
to find. He wondered if they would actually be fucking or maybe Maya was now feeling guilty and blowing the guy off. Whoever the creep was, Elijah felt certain he would try and get a little something from her before saying his goodbye.

Elijah threw open the door from the street and bounded up the stairs.

Would they even bother locking the doors?

He had his key ready but, turning the knob, discovered he didn’t even need it. Hell, the anticipation of getting caught had to be half the thrill of it.

One could not see the front door from the bed. It was one of the small touches that made the apartment feel a little less like an efficiency.

Elijah grabbed the aluminum Louisville Slugger he kept propped against the door in case of intruders. It had never really occurred to him before that was probably the worst place he could have kept it if anyone wanted to break in. It would be like arming the criminal. Of course, there was a gun in the bedside table. He anticipated Maya going for that if he didn’t act quickly enough. Elijah hated guns. He had no intention of trying to go after it himself.

As he rounded the corner, his mind took a quick snapshot of what was happening on the bed before he moved in to put a stop to it.

Maya was lying back, her eyes closed, her ass supported by the edge of the bed. Her sundress was pushed up to her waist and there was a man’s head between her legs, his hands wrapped around her hips, one of her legs thrown over his right shoulder.

Elijah moved in quickly, taking a firm grip on the bat’s friction tape and hoisting it above his head. Maya must have heard him. She opened her mouth, trying to say something, but it wouldn’t come out before the bat smashed across the man’s upper back, the fat of it landing on his left shoulder, the very tip of it connecting with Maya’s right leg.

The man let out a pitiful groan as he fell to the floor, struggling to turn over onto his back and identify his assailant. Elijah was on him, pressing the bat down against his throat so he couldn’t yell. He needed this to be as subdued as possible because this wasn’t the end. The more he thought about it, the more gruesome he wanted it to be.


Everyone needs to shut the fuck up,” Elijah said calmly. “If anyone decides to cry out or yell for help then I’m swinging the bat again. And this time I’ll hit something more vital.”


Eli…” Maya said.

Elijah put more weight on the bat and watched the man’s face turn purple.


I think you should be quiet, Maya,” he said. “Now, we’re all going down to the car. If we pass anyone and you try and say something to them, I’ll beat you both to death before any help can arrive. When we get down to the car, you are going to get in the driver’s seat, Maya. Do you understand that?”

She nodded her head.


Good,” Elijah said. “Loverboy here is going to get in the passenger seat and I’m going to sit in back. We’re driving to Keifer Road, where it meets Salton Lane. Do you know where that is, Maya?”

She nodded her head again. Her mouth was pulled tight and she was trembling, exactly what Elijah wanted to see. Her hands were gripped tight over her knee, already swollen and purple.


Do you think you’re going to have trouble walking?” Elijah asked her.

She nodded her head.


If you fall down, then I’m taking this bat through loverboy’s head, do you understand?”

She nodded.


Are you going to fall down?”

She shook her head.


Good. Let’s go. Maya, you first. Loverboy second.”

Elijah pulled the bat away from the guy’s neck and stood up, backing away from the small battery scene. The man still had his shirt on but now the back of the shirt contained a lump that looked something like a football. He had absolutely no use of his left arm and Elijah found the way he had to struggle to stand up quite comical. He chuckled a little.

This was definitely the guy Elijah had seen on the street in front of their apartment. They must have had some way of seeing Elijah coming so they could get him out of there in time. For some reason, this infuriated Elijah even more. The fact Maya didn’t feel the need to be even more discrete about her affair. The fact neighbors had to have seen this man come into the apartment, never at the same time as Elijah. Elijah wondered if any of the neighbors had heard them fucking, heard the headboard beating against the wall. Surely they must have.

BOOK: Hi I'm a Social Disease: Horror Stories
3.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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