Chapter 6: Chicken Scratch 13+14

~13~

“You sure you’re telling us everything?” Thompson asked.

“Yes,” Brooks became defensive. “I told you everything.”

Farelly ordered another cup of coffee. The diner was around the corner from Paco’s house was run down on the outside, exterior weather-beaten. On the inside, it was a nice fresh coat of pale green paint and clean tables and floors. It was almost as if the owners had run out of money when they decided to fix the place up.

“I don’t know man,” Farelly shook his head. “You don’t know what he was supposed to smuggle into the country?”

“He never told me,” Brooks said. “He even said, better if you don’t know. I’m sorry he lost his life for that.”

“I’m sure he tried to steal the contraband for more profit. So he paid you and you two were going to cut us out?” Thompson was getting steamed. But he and Farelly kept looking at each other. Giving odd glances, keeping smiles down. That much Brooks could see. They were idiots, acting like teenage boys pulling pranks, even when their lives were in danger.

“You need to tell Uncle Roy,” Farelly said.

“No,” Brooks shook his head. “I’m not telling him that. Why should I? He’s just going to give me a lecture on how stupid I was for getting involved.”

“What about the two weirdos that killed Paco? They will definitely be coming for us!” Thompson shouted.

Farelly patted Thompson on the shoulder.  “Calm down, man.” The waitress brought another cup of coffee and left quickly. She didn’t waste any time with small talk but watched the three of them suspiciously as she sat behind the counter. “Look,” Farelly leaned in, lowered his voice. “Uncle Roy can help. He has friends in high places. They can protect us. He can make Paco’s murder a priority. Besides, in a week, he’s going to be your Uncle too.”

“No,” Brooks said. “Uh-uh…I don’t want to hear it from him. We can take care of this on our own. Paco stole that shit from those two….I just don’t know what he’d stolen. Look…ever since we came back from Mexico….I-I haven’t been feeling like myself.”

Farelly and Thompson glanced at each other. “Like…how?” Thompson asked.

“My life feels out of place… Debbie’s been acting weird….at first, she hated Rufus, then she’s…taking care of it…almost obsessively. My body…my insides feel warm…hard to explain…but…” Brooks sighed. “Like I’ve got a lot of liquid between my ribs…at night I feel like I’m on fire. I can’t sleep…in the day…I fall asleep at my desk.”

“Man,” Farelly chuckled, tried to keep from smiling. “You need to go to a doctor.”

“Yeah,” Thompson agreed. “Never know what those Mexican whores gave you.”

“Okay, assholes! What’s the joke?” Brooks lit into them. He’d grown tired of the jokey-high school shit those two were always playing at.

“There’s no joke, Brooks,” Farelly said. “We can’t help it if we know how to have a good time.” Farelly stood up, tossed a twenty on the table. “We’re outta here.”

Thompson stood slowly. “Seriously, Brooks,” he said. “Stop being so serious all the time.” The two ambled out of the café.

Brooks lowered his head in his hands, closed his eyes. A flash of two Mexican girls kissing him, drawing that strange symbol on his chest, with his own blood. Brooks screamed, jolted upright. The café was dead quiet, everyone was staring at Brooks. He eased himself to his feet. Walked to the door. Smiling, he waved to the café’s patrons.

~14~

Brooks opened the front door and stepped into his house. There was a moment of silence, everything was frozen in time. Debbie was on her knees in a circle drawn with blood four lit candles sat at different points. She was only in her bra and no panties, straddling a naked, lifeless woman. Rufus stood in front of her, his feathers ruffled, his neck outstretched and the cowl on his head slightly ballooned.  She knew Brooks was there, but never looked up at him, just kept staring at Rufus. His eyes glowed red, somehow reflected in Debbie’s.

Debbie was holding a knife with both hands, which moved on their own. The blade was buried deep into the chest of the naked woman, carving away at the flesh, in spite of the blood splattering her face and neck.

Brooks recoiled. He realized the dead naked woman was Connie. Brooks gagged, fell forward, but caught his fall by bracing himself on the wall. However, this action helped instead of stopping his stomach from emitting or pushing out the remains of food. The action of vomiting brought Brooks to his knees. Anything else that happened in the minute and thirty-second process, Brooks would not be conscious of it at all.

Finally, Debbie said something. “I’m glad you’re here,” she whispered monotone, still not looking away from Rufus, the knife was busy carving more flesh, not even breaking stride. “I brought Connie here, as a surprise.”

“I’m definitely surprised,” Brooks said shakily. “I feel very sick…..but I’m starving.

“Connie and I had discussed this before. We’d talked of having her join us on our wedding night. We decided to give it a go. I…we…decided to start without you in hopes that you would walk in…then join,” Debbie began to sob, not taking her eyes off Rufus, nor stopping the knife from cutting away Connie’s organs. “But…” she swallowed hard. “Rufus…he was offended. So much so…he had me kill her….then we realized…even killing Connie, was still for your benefit.”

Brooks wasn’t sure what was happening to him. What Debbie had said made sense to him. Somehow….someway….it made complete sense.

Brooks crawled to her, kissed her neck and her back.  Then he stared at the flesh and heart and lungs that Debbie’s knife was steadily carving up. “I’m so hungry….Ravenous!” He declared.

Brooks dove in with both hands and started his feast, eating Connie’s heart wildly.

Next Tuesday, Chapter 6: Chicken Scratch pts 15+16

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