Chapter 6: Chicken Scratch 15-17

~15~

Brooks didn’t feel well. He crawled out of bed, leaving the Mexican whore soundly sleeping. He had no idea what he had taken earlier. On the nightstand, there had been a glass jar with several squishy, green cactus-like buttons inside. The girl he’d been with opened the jar and placed one of those squishy buttons in her mouth. She then retrieved another out of the jar and shoved it in Brook’s mouth. Before he knew it, he’d swallowed almost the whole thing after biting it in two.

The room began to take a life on its own. The shadows emerged larger than life, as the girl climbed on top of Brooks, eased his shaft inside her, and began riding him like she was on a mechanical bull. She shrieked over and over, and convulsed, flailing her arms about, as if someone was stabbing her in multiple places. When she was done screaming, her facial expression returned to normal, rolled off of Brooks. She turned her back to him and lift her ass in the air, motioning for him to take her behind.

Brooks did so. As he entered the girl, her body transformed into three girls from his past, still connected by smoldering flesh. The three women were Delores Stable, a girl he dated in high school when he lived in Toronto. The second woman was Connie, his secretary. And she kept whispering, “Come and get it, Cowboy,” in a sultry voice that sounded like Marylyn Monroe. The third woman was Debbie, while in the throes of passion, who was giving him lessons in how hard to thrust, where to thrust, and making sure he didn’t shoot his load too quickly.

Brooks finally did ejaculate, and all three women said simultaneously: “Now. That wasn’t too hard, was it?”

Brooks fell back on the soft pillows on the bed and calmed down from a short hyperventilating episode. Once he felt and heard his heartbeats return to normal, that’s when he crawled out of bed, opened the door to the bedroom, and crawled out into the hallway. The girl was fast asleep, bringing the ceiling down with her snoring.

Something was happening in the room across the hall. A woman was screaming, and there were voices echoing in a language Brooks didn’t recognize. He was more than interested, he was hoping for a glimpse of Paco or Thompson or Farelly being caught in some sort of shady deviance. That way he could use whatever info as leverage for bargaining, gaining, or just hurtful jokes.

The door opened slowly and there was Paco, standing behind four people whose faces were darkened by shadows. Paco looked uncomfortable, fidgety. He kept looking away, shaking his head, pacing in a circle. On a large mattress was a young girl, naked, writhing on bloody sheets. The skin on her midsection ruffled, moved around in tiny circles. She screamed, clung to the sheets, as a man in a long black robe wearing a paper Mache mask of a rooster over his face. His eyes lit up red as he chanted in that strange language. He held a charm attached to a red and black feather. A stream of light blazed from the charm and covered the girl’s abdomen.

At their feet was a red and black speckled rooster, repeating the man’s chants, eyes lit up red.

Brooks didn’t know why, but he wanted that rooster. Brooks burst into the room, announcing loudly that the rooster was his and he had a hankering for fried chicken. Running toward the rooster, Brooks tripped over his feet and fell on top of the girl, catching the light on the right side of his stomach.

Brooks screamed, his body frozen in an odd position, face contorted. The man continued chanting.

~16~

“Why did you two bring me back to Paco’s place—-wait…..” Brooks said, looking around the bedroom where they had found Paco dead, hanging upside down with his chest slit open. The house—or shack—was clean, covered in plastic. Brooks walked from room to room inspecting the place. No junk, no boxes of junk, no food or roaches around the house. “What’s going on?”

“We cleaned up the house,” Farelly said, smiling hugely at Brooks.

“I can see that,” Brooks said. “But why?”

“Why indeed?” A voice came from behind Brooks.

Heavy footsteps shuffled from the kitchen, the only room Brooks did not look inside. Brooks turned and saw Uncle Roy, holding hands with Debbie, whose hair was tangled, ratty, and her makeup still smudged. She smelled awful and had not bathed in days. Her eyes were wide, pupils dilated. She wasn’t looking at Brooks, nor anyone in particular—she was looking right through them. Her lips were moving, teeth grinding together, but no words were forthcoming.

“Uncle Roy?” Brooks cleared his throat, straightened his tie. “What are you doing here?”

“Well,” Uncle Roy laughed heartily, patted Debbie’s hand. “I’m here for a wedding….” He laughed again and urged Farelly and Thompson to do the same. “…And a birth!”

“Here, here!” Farelly cheered.

“Yeah! Hooray!” Thompson added.

“I thought Debbie and I were getting married in Dallas?” Brooks was feeling weak, the ferocious stomach cramps quickly emerged. That warm, hot sensation extended to his chest. He felt as if he was carrying a ton of bricks inside of him.

“There’s been a change of plans. But first,” Uncle Roy said, welling up. He fought back a controlled sob. “You did a great deed for me….I am returning the favor….”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand,” Brooks barely managed, the pain was the worst it had ever been. He was extremely hungry, just like when he ate Connie’s main organs.

“Well,” Uncle Roy chuckled. “Farelly. Thompson. Help Brooks into the kitchen, so he can see my gracious present to him.”

There were two bodies hanging upside down, their chests split open, blood dripping onto plastic that covered the floor. Brooks couldn’t really see who it was, but he instinctively knew it was the man and woman who had followed them from Mexico. They were still wearing those black outfits and the small man still had that strange mask on.

“Why?” Brooks struggled to speak. He felt a burning sensation on his chest. It was so uncomfortable, he tore his shirt open. Buttons fell to the floor, making tiny indentures on the plastic covering. That strange symbol was forming just below his nipples. The flesh was being seared as if someone was using a laser.

“Ah,” Uncle Roy slithered in, leading Debbie into the kitchen. Debbie was now holding Rufus in her arms, whispering to him. The rooster tilted his head to one side, eyes glowing red, listening to her every word. “Why, you ask?” Uncle Roy shook his head in disbelief the question was asked. “They were a nuisance, my dear Brooks. They were going to murder you…thinking you were in cahoots with Paco to steal my family and ransom them for money. Bah! Why do humans care for that sort of thing, I’ll never know! They did their job, killing Paco. Farelly and Thompson took care of them for me…to show you how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me.I am repaying you for your kindness. I am overwhelmed… wait….you have no idea what is going on? Nor what you have…done?” He turned to Farelly, anger crossed his face. “You didn’t tell him!”

Farelly looked at his feet. Embarrassed his shook his head no. “No sir. We thought it would be more fun….”

“You thought?” Uncle Roy scolded Farelly. “You thought? The two of you thinking is a frightening aspect. It’s a wonder this did not turn out worse!” Uncle Roy sighed, meditated a few seconds to calm down. He turned to Brooks and smiled. “Yes, my boy. You are going to marry my niece, be part of the family. You have no idea where I am from, do you?”

“Yeah…I-I think….so….Newport News, Virginia…from a family of thirteen, very poor….”

Uncle Roy laughed.  His eyes lit up red. At that moment, Brooks realized that the man in the robe, wearing the rooster face-mask was Uncle Roy.

“That’s my official bio, my boy,” Uncle Roy said.  “You see, I am really from a village called Roderjo, in Mexico. That is where my people ended up when we came from this world. Fleeing torment for our religious ideals….it as not easy crossing dimensions, my boy. My father, mother, and wife, all died. But the rest family survived. Many, many brothers and sisters! I eventually left to make it on my own here in this country. Sadly, I’ve had to leave my family behind in that village. My poor son, I have not seen in decades…” He reached over and gently patted the rooster on the head. “Alas, my son had family as well…..children….my lovely grandchildren….”

Brooks fell on the plastic, screeching in pain. Farelly and Thompson laid him on his back to monitor the ongoing cesarean section in progress. The flesh on Brooks’s chest peeled back with no medical instruments involved. There was another strange, milky residue surrounding another yellow fleshy lining. In the middle of that lining were thousands of tiny feathered heads with red glowing eyes and beaks, all chirping simultaneously.

Debbie and Rufus chanted, their voices monotone, hollow.

Uncle Roy began to weep. “I am so happy,” he broke down. “Finally….. My family is…… all together now!”

~17~

“Inside me, are two more eggs…..I have kept them inside me for ten years. Now you understand why you must kill me?”  Brooks said.

I didn’t answer him. I too busy watching two men sitting in a booth across from us.

“Why don’t you just disappear again?” I asked him.

Brooks sighed. “I’m tired. Too tired to keep running.”

“Who are those two guys?” I asked.

“Farelly and Thompson,” Brooks said. “They’re here to take me back and give birth to more heirs to Rufus.”

“Unless…..”  I let my sentence trail off.

“Yes,” Brooks unbuttoned his tattered, dirt-stained shirt and exposed his chest. He was just as dirty underneath his clothes and just as rank smelling. A huge, purplish-red, pulsating, egg sack was attached to his mid-section.

I saw Farelly and Thompson leave their booth and make their way to ours. They were anxious, but careful not to draw attention. Farelly removed a .38 from his left blazer pocket and motioned for Thompson to follow him.

This was it. I knew it.  I had to make a choice to either help Brooks, or let them take him.

I reached over and gripped the pulsating sack with my right hand. Brooks leaned back, closed his eyes, and exhaled. I squeezed as hard as I could, breaking the skin on the sack. A yellow, milky substance dripped down my hand and formed a puddle on the table.

“No!” Farelly and Thompson screamed in unison.

I let go of the sack, which by now, was flat and mushy.

The babies were dead. So was Brooks.

Rest in peace.

Next Tuesday, Chapter 7: The Spirit Fix Pt 1

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