Kids (work in progress)

February 9, 2009
By
More by this author
Prologue


Thomas stared into that deep scar that had been carved in the forest floor. He had dug it himself, and filled it. But today there was nothing in it.

Three feet deep, he remembered. It was exactly Three feet deep, for that was what was intended. There was no way for him to know that it would be empty when he returned, but when he had filled it, he had chosen the depth specifically.





Chapter 1

First Mission


Walking through the dead halls of St. Patrick's High School Thomas walked up to his locker. Number 31. It was set between lockers 42 and 36, which he once again realised was a strange place for it to be.

He was trying to prepare himself for his football game. He had the plan in mind and even knew some of the people that he would be targeting on the other team. There was no way that he could lose so he let his mind wander.

He thought of the plans he had for the next day. It would be a Sunday and Jack's parents were to be at church and out shopping for the morning. They would be able to do everything they had planned and they might even have room to add something.

He changed his clothes to the new outfit that he had in his locker. There was no way that he was going to see all of his buddies in the same clothing that he had worn the day before at school.

He stripped down and wondered what would be people's reactions if they were to walk into the hall and see him. It was just a slight thought, but it took him several seconds to process it.

He finished changing and headed down the four flights of stairs to his locker room. He put on the padding that was necessary for him to play. He left out the tail and hip pads because they hindered his movement, and he waited, listening to Fuel, for the rest to arrive.

* * *


The game was a horrid loss, but Thomas was still satisfied with the results. He had knocked three people out of the game and he knew that at least one of them wasn't going to be coming back for even the next season.

He got dressed and headed for the bus that would take him away from uptown Quebec and out to Loretteville where he would meet up with Jack, then the fun would start.

He walked down to Perrault, one of his school's many rivals and waited outside at the bus stop for the number seven. He thought vaguely of the fight that he had been meant to participate in the year before. The one that the police had prevented. He knew what the outcome would have been, and it was one that pleased him to an extent that nobody but himself could possibly fathom.

He got on the bus and began his forty-five minutes of waiting. He hoped that this weekend he wouldn't have to turn around and get on another bus. That didn't cost much, but it was money that he didn't want to have to spend, and time that he didn't want to have to waste.

He got off on the boulevard Pere-Lelievre. The bus stop was right at Avenue St-Leandre where it forked off into itself and Avenue Marivaux. He headed down the latter of the two sides of the fork to the second house that belonged to Jack's family.

Jack greeted him at the door and the two headed into his basement. It was only five o'clock and there were at least four hours until the planned deal was supposed to happen. They reached into the pocket they had made in one of the couch cushions and pulled out a white grocery bag from the local IGA. They pulled out two joints and lit up.

* * *


Thomas sat up on the couch giggling at the image on the TV. Him and Jack where playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. They had figured out that if they threw their character off of the tallest building in the game he collapsed when he hit the ground. They had been doing only that for the past hour. 'We should probably check the time,' he said, 'it's at least six seven, and we gotta be out of here by eight.'

'Go,' said Jack. He gestured at his stairs on the opposite end of the basement in such a comical manner that he sent him and Thomas into a five-minute laughing fit.

Thomas got to the top of the stairs and headed right towards the kitchen. When he got in he looked at the microwave. It was eight-thirty. 'Jack! We gotta go! It's eight-thirty.'

The two got their shoes and hoodies on and headed out into the night. It was uncharacteristically dark for mid-September. Guided by the streetlights they headed left down the street towards Chevalier Street from which they would head into the church parking lot where they made their arrangement.

When they arrived Jean-Michael was already waiting for them. ''a fait quarante-cinq minutes. Vous 'tiez ou?' He spoke in w rough voice that made him sound like a guy that people shouldn't mess with.

'English tonight.' Thomas had to hold back the laughter that was trying to escape him because he knew that it wouldn't make for a nice sight if he laughed in this guy's face.

'Okay. Where the fuck were you?' He was truly angry and looked like the only thing that he was thinking of was a method to tear both their heads off. 'You're both baked. You had no idea what time it was did you?'

'Let's just do this.' Thomas was taking the lead. Jack had been there to follow him around since the beginning of this new obsession. He had never really planned to do any of this. 'Here's the coke.' He pulled a bag of white powder from the pocket of his sweater. 'Now where's the cash?'

'Right here.' Jean pulled out a roll of green bills from his pocket. It was more money than either of the two friends had ever seen in one place. 'Now give it to me.'

'You know how this was supposed to work. Money first.'

'How do I know that you won't just run away with my drugs after?'

'You could swallow me without chewing, that's how. Now hand over the cash.' The money and drugs exchanged hands and both parties involved left feeling calmer and more relaxed than they had all night.

On their way back to Jack's place the money was counted. There was six hundred dollars in total. It was divided between the two and the both slept a little better.




Chapter 2

First Fight


They both woke up at noon on the Sunday after their first deal. They still had a bit of adrenaline left from the rush of their first deal. Thomas was vaguely reminded of a line he had heard in a movie, but he chose not to mention it. He couldn't think of the name of the movie anyway.

They ate Cap'n Crunch for breakfast. It was exactly the same routine they used every single time they did this. There was never any slight variation from the wake up time to the breakfast.

Jack checked his parents' bedroom to make sure that they had gone to church and to shopping so that him and Thomas could go and do their usual crap.

He walked back into the kitchen and told his friend that they were clear. They put on their sweaters from the previous night and stuffed the shoulders and chest with paper towels to distort their figures. They went down the hall to Jack's bedroom and put on the face-covering bandanas and glasses, they grabbed the metal cap guns that they had painted black and left the house.
They got to the Eko store on the corner of Pere-Lelievre and Masson and walked in. They grabbed a twelve pack each and started to leave. The teenager at the counter began to yell at them and Thomas pulled out his gun. They boy hid and they ran off laughing.
They stashed the alcohol in Jack's basement and lay about for the rest of the day. They would need their energy for the night that they had ahead of them.

* * *


At seven o'clock that night they met up with the gang in the church lot. They saw that Emile had decided not to come. When they asked why, Sean told them that he had been busted and that he doing at least six months if he didn't get into any fights.

They may have had one less guy, but it was still going to be a fair fight. Six on five wasn't too much of an advantage. They pulled out the beer and drank until they were all tipsy.

The other gang showed up on the other side of the lot and they made sure that Thomas's group knew that they had arrived. They threw a bottle that almost caught Jean on the face.

A lot of angry words were shared between the two groups, but in the end there was only one thing that was going to happen, and they both knew that it was coming. A boy with a goatee from the other group struck Jean on the face and the fight broke out.

Thomas reached into his pocket and put on his brass knuckles. This wasn't the first time he used them and he knew the damage that they would deal upon whomever he happened to hit. The blow connected and a boy spat out a mouthful of blood.

The satisfaction of a good hit didn't last long because the next thing that happened was that a pipe hit his shin and he fell. Once on the ground he kicked the kid with the pipe and he fell too. Thomas smashed his head against the cold asphalt and he was out of the fight.

After throwing the pipe as far away as he could he joined the fight again. By this time there were three people who were on the ground and not fighting. One of them was Jean, and he was their tank. Without him there to regulate, things could get ugly, but there was no stopping a good brawl once it started.

Thomas pulled out his knife and stabbed a kid in the arm. It was a fairly simple accomplishment because there had been an agreement that there would be no weapons. It didn't matter anyway because the brawl stopped there and they dispersed. The other gang had two people to carry so their progress was slow, but they were allowed to go.

Thomas walked towards Jack's house knowing that he had made a mistake because the other guys would all be carrying knives the next time. They had, after all, been the ones to bring the pipe. His mom was waiting for him when they got to the house and he was brought home for the coming week.





Chapter 3

Fast Acting


Thomas and Jack walked through the halls together. It was Thursday and they were anxious at the prospect of the weekend that was quickly arriving. They also had with them Larry, but he was never involved with the decision making. He was a kid with no personality; he was simply an exaggerated form of the person he hung out with.

They walked through the halls and opened Thomas's locker. It was a disaster with food and clothing everywhere, but that was the way it was kept on purpose. There was a certain method to this utter madness, but no one understood except these two boys, and that's the way they wanted to keep it.

Thomas reached into the red and green gym bag that appeared to be in the middle of this random mess. He pulled out a doubled Ziploc bag full of ground up green leaves. He was in the process of handing it to Jack when Mr. Dalton walked by.

'What are you boys doing?' Even though neither of the two boys had actually gotten in trouble in the past year and therefore had never had to deal with Mr. Dalton, the question was very much an accusation and an assumption.

'Nothing sir,' both boys were in charge of making decisions within their small group, but when it came to speaking to any authority figures, it became Thomas's job. 'I was just showing him my mom's cookies; didn't she make some for the staff as well?'

'Show me.' It was classic. There was no way to prevent the vice principal from trying to get you in trouble. Once he had his sights on you, he was going to get you in trouble no matter what.

Thomas flipped his hand over and showed the bag containing the three peanut butter cookies that had been packed into his lunch that morning. 'Okay.' The vice walked away without another word, he was upset at the prospect of losing the ability to punish a student.

'Where is it?' Jack and Larry were as perplexed with the fact that the drugs had seemingly disappeared as Mr. Dalton was. Thomas pulled the bag from his pocket and stuffed it in Jack's.

'If we ever get caught,' he said, 'my dad is literally going to kill me, and I don't think that that's an exaggeration.' They walked away, leaving the locker as it was, but a little less dangerous to them.





Chapter 4

The Midnight Life


Football season was over and had ended in a crushing two to six win-loss ration. Thomas was still happy, though. He would be able to go to Jack's house for the entire weekend.

Right after school on the Friday after their first fight they got on the number seven bus and began the journey to the other world, the one in which inhibitions didn't exist. They were both losers at school, but maybe they could be something else if people hadn't known them for two years already.

When they got off they had to move quickly. It was already four-forty-five and they had to be at Alex's house by five. They shed their masks and costumes they had to wear to be socially acceptable. They changed their hair and put on caps that made them look like different people from who they had to be for the days they were at school

They headed out the door and down the street to where they were expected. This would be the first time that they had been to one of the parties that were supposed to be quite something. They were hoping that they would be able to experience something new and maybe find some new business opportunities.

They got there at five after and there was a kick in the shins waiting for the first one of them to walk into the door. This happened to be Thomas and he retaliated with a fist for his attacker. It was a strange way of greeting each other, but they liked it and used it.

They were given their instructions. Apparently there was some kind of initiation required before being allowed to participate in the gang's parties. The first part of it involved holding up the Chinese depanneur beside the Eko station.

Thomas and Jack headed out with their guns at the ready. It would be fairly simple, they thought, he was an illegal immigrant and therefore would never involve the police with what went on in his store. That was the reason he was used for the initiation.

When they got there they pulled their bandanas in front of their faces and put on their glasses. They walked in with their guns up. 'Money in the bag!' Thomas spoke without using too many words because this man had only an extremely basic understanding of English and he was speaking fast.

The man opened his cash register and put all of the money he had into the sack held out by Jack. It didn't take too long since his store didn't make much money.

The two boys ran off down the street, taking all the side roads to avoid people's wandering eyes.

* * *


The second part of the initiation was even more violent and several times more dangerous. They had to find a member of Jean's gang and beat him senseless.

This required a lot more than it sounded like. They had a very specific definition of 'senseless.' He had to be bloodied up, unconscious, and unable to partake in any gang-related activities for at least a month. The last rule was that he couldn't die.

They found the perfect kid outside the H & H pizza. His name was Shaun and he was a small kid from secondary one who was generally used as the easy target. The brought him behind the parlour and began to kick him.

When he was finally on the ground Thomas pulled out his small pocket knife and opened the blade. He stabbed it into the back of Shaun's knee and twisted. He had no idea just how much blood would come out and he had the wipe his hand on the kid's shirt.

* * *


The final part of the initiation was the car. They didn't have to steal a car, but they had to damage it at least to the point where the man couldn't drive it any more.

Jack was finally the one to come up with an idea as to how they could do something. He said that there was a flare gun in his neighbours shed and that he was on vacation for another week.

They snuck into his backyard with a crowbar they had borrowed from one of Jack's friends. They walked up to the shed and tore down one of the doors. It would have taken too long to get the lock off so they decided to go for the door instead.

When they got in Thomas grabbed the flare gun and one flare and they left. They walked to the apartment buildings that were close by and walked into the parking lot. Standing fifty yards away Thomas loaded the gun. He took careful aim and fired at the back of the car. The explosion was spectacular and so was the fire, the owner of that car wasn't going to drive it any time soon.

* * *


When the boys finally got to the party it was ten o'clock and it had been going for a solid hour. The walked in and made themselves right at home with the beer they had just gotten themselves.

They had four each before they even tried anything. One guy that they didn't know offered them some small black pills. He told them that it would wake them up. They were both sleep-deprived and desperately needed something to pep them up. They took the pills and found themselves in another state.

It was as if they had just gotten a good night's sleep, but it happened in thirty seconds. They had all the energy that they had deprived themselves of for the weeks since school had started and they loved it.

They had infinite reserves of energy and they weren't getting any lower. They felt like they could do anything they wanted, but they couldn't decide what to do.

It was midnight before they crashed from all the alcohol and the pills they were taking every half hour. They wouldn't wake up until Sunday, but that was okay, because they had experienced the midnight life.





Chapter 5

Sunday


When they woke up on Sunday it was already one o'clock in the afternoon. It was a P.E.D day the next day so they could also stay up late that night. They decided to go for a walk.

While they were walking they discussed what had happened the night before. Neither had actually felt a rush before. There were always the simple types, like Thomas when he attacked someone in football, but there were none like the one they had experienced the night before.

They walked with increased velocity every time they spoke of an exceptionally good part of the previous evening. They were both trying to talk over each other and no message was being communicated until Jack noticed something wrong with Thomas. 'Hey, Tom? What's that?' He gestured towards a mark on Thomas's left forearm.

'What's what?' Thomas looked down at his arm to see what was wrong. There was a miniscule red letter M that had been carved into the skin. 'I guess I got it last night, but I didn't do it.' Jack looked down at his arm and noticed that he also had one.

'Must be the final part of the initiation,' he said. 'Come on; let's go get something to eat.' The boys walked down Pere-Lelievre to the left of where Jack's street connected to it. They walked until they got to a Casse-Croute.

'Est-ce que je peux avoir quatre frites larges s'il-vous-plait?' The man took the boys' order and looked at his cash machine and told them the price.

'Ca va 'tre dix-huit dollars et quarante-huit sous.' Thomas reached into his pocket and realised that the only thing he had was a fifty dollar bill. He handed it to the cashier. 'On ne prend pas des billets de cinquante.'

'C'est correcte. Garder la monnaie.' It seemed like a lot of money to give away, but with the three hundred dollars he had earned from the cocaine, and the fifty from the marijuana, he had a lot to spare. The man accepted.

When the fries were ready the boys headed back to Jack's house. This time they had prepared themselves before smoking up, and they wouldn't be rummaging through the cupboards afterward.

* * *


When the night finally came it was time for the boys to don their alternate personalities and go make some money. They headed for yet another meeting in the church parking lot.

At the end of the night they had sold to five different people for a total of three thousand dollars, but half of that had to go to pay for the drugs they had just sold, and the other half for the drugs consumed the night before.

On their way back the boys decided to have a little fun with some of the people in the neighbourhood. They walked up to a house that seemed fairly full and knocked on the door. A man came to answer and they ran inside.

There were at least forty people packed inside of the small bungalow and the boys were quickly lost in the crowd. By the time they were done running around, there was glass all over the floor and over half of the people had left.

That was the type of fun that they would make customary on their weekend escapades throughout the neighbourhood, and nobody would suspect little innocent Jack to be behind any of it.









Chapter 6

First Girls


It was January before there were any major changes in the lives of the two boys. They had been selling and making money for a long time and had, with the expenses of their crazy lifestyles managed to make two thousand dollars each.

It would be three days before they had to go back to school and they needed to blow off a lot of steam, so they went to another one of the parties they had discovered in November.

It was rumoured in the neighbourhood that one of the guys had managed to find someone to get LSD. Everyone knew what it was, but only a relative few of them had actually ever tried it.

When eight o'clock rolled around it was time to head over. They dressed appropriately and left. When they arrived they showed their scars at the door. They had discovered that these would be used to show that they had already been initiated.

They walked into the living room where yellow pills were being handed out. These, Thomas knew from having seen someone take some before, were the LSD tablets that had been spoken of. They sat down and took theirs.

Every counted to three and popped the pills in their mouths. When they swallowed they were all looking at each other as if they had expected something else. Only Alex looked satisfied, and Thomas thought this was strange.

When the effects finally hit it was instantaneous. Thomas fell to the floor because he lost his footing. He looked up and saw a person standing over him. Maybe it was Jack, maybe it was Alex. He didn't know because he was seeing both boys at once.

He sat up and looked over at the television. It was always there for him he decided. It was always there for him, but it made him sad because he though of all the hours he had wasted in front of it. He wanted to cry but couldn't because of his hand.

His hand had begun to stretch and to skew itself. He didn't understand it, but he felt as though a great truth about life had finally been revealed to him.

Lights were flashing and thing were moving and Thomas loved it all. He couldn't see people because they were melting, but something touched him and he turned around and bit it. He felt a pain, but it was from a distance. He was feeling it through someone else and he didn't know why.

* * *


When Thomas woke up the next day he was in a ball on the kitchen floor. He had had a horrible nightmare. There had been things moving around him, but they were all black shapes that couldn't be touched. Someone spoke to him, but it was the whispers of demons. He heard a sound and he turned with a start. It was Jack trying to get him off the floor.

* * *


While the two were walking Thomas got an idea that he himself didn't like, but that he knew was going to up their reputation, and their cash flow. 'We should get kids hooked on this.'

'What!?' That was the first thing that Jack had actually been shocked by in his life. He had always known his partner to be at least a little bit reasonable at all times, and this defied all forms of reasonability.

'If we get kids hooked they won't know where else to go and they'll need to buy from us, it's foolproof.'

'I don't like the idea.' Jack stopped walking and just looked at Thomas. He saw something in those eyes, something that had never been there before. He saw the desire for something, but no compassion and no care. He saw for the first time what their lifestyle was doing, but he chose to ignore it. 'Let's go for it.'

* * *


The next P.E.D day they headed to the nearby elementary school. It had a playground that was open on both sides, so it was easy to call one kid over with nobody noticing anything unusual. Thomas spoke to her and offered her a mint. It had been coated with liquefied LSD, and he knew that she was going to trip in her classroom, but that she wouldn't have the control and willpower to stop using it afterward.

'Let's hope she likes it, and that she doesn't die.' Jack was looking at the ground. He had never wanted to actually give it to a child, but Thomas had convinced him that since the girl that they were targeting was about twelve, it was okay.

'If she dies they'll trace it back to Alex, there are no worries for us.' Thomas was speaking to Jack, though his mind was somewhere else. He had had a fight with his mother during the week. He had many of those since he started the year, but this one was different. This time he had hit her. In all the fights they had had before that he would never have dreamed that he was able to do that, but he was.

'You'll have nothing on your conscience?'

'I don't really know her.' They walked away. Jack was thoroughly ashamed of what he had just been involved in, Thomas was glad that he had taken a step forward and wasn't just doing what someone else told him to. He knew that they would be back here the week after, and that there would be a small group of children who all wanted candy. When they had all had candies they would be charged for them, and that was where the plan began.





Chapter 7

Alternate Methods


The plan worked beautifully and Thomas had to skip school the Friday after to give more kids candy. The Friday after that he skipped again, except this time he was meeting the kids for a different reason. 'I told you I can't get you any more candies until I get some money.'

'Please, we'll do anything.' The little girl they had originally given the candy to was looking at him with her large brown eyes. It was then that Thomas finally saw how beautiful she actually was. She had a gorgeous face with high cheekbones and a small button nose. Her curves were beginning to come in despite her age and her breasts had begun to develop.

'I don't have any more money and the guy I get them from said he wouldn't give me any for free.' His act sounded convincing even to him. He had become a better liar since this all started as well. 'Either you guys come back tomorrow with money, or there is no deal and no more candy.

The group that had gathered in front of him dispersed into a bunch of children with disappointed faces. Thomas was satisfied because he knew that most of them would steal the money from their parents that night and give it to him the next day. He called back the little girl he liked.

'What's your name?' There was real compassion in his voice and it softened her up. He had plans for her that most girls wouldn't dream of until they were well into their teen years.

'Lydia.' There were tears in her eyes and it actually looked like she was in pain. She was definitely hooked, and that pleased the boy in front of her.

'Look, Lydia, there are always'alternate methods of payment.' When he said this her eyes lit up and she looked as if she had finally seen a light that had been gone for centuries.

'You mean it?' It was with this small sentence that Thomas felt a small pang of guilt. It was an unpleasant feeling in his gut that felt like he had just been caught fordoing something and was going to be punished greatly, but it passed quickly.

'Yes.' He pulled out a pen from his pocket and began to write on Lydia's arm. 'Go to this address at seven o'clock tonight and we'll see if we can arrange for you to get some more candy.'

'Okay.' Her eyes were as big as saucers and her mouth opened into the biggest smile anyone had ever seen. She ran off with her pig tails bouncing behind her and Thomas looked to right below her lower back. He nodded himself and walked towards Alex's house.

* * *


When Thomas got to Alex's house at seven fifteen he saw that Lydia was already there. He handed her a bag of clothes that he had gone to buy for her. While she was naked on the sidewalk she was looked over carefully and the plan was confirmed.

Having finished changing, Lydia and Thomas walked to the closed door of the house. He knocked twice and Alex opened the door. He allowed them to enter and they all sat on his couch.

'Alex,' Thomas always opened the conversations. Even though he was fourteen and Alex was seventeen, and he had only been in this business for four and a half months, he was always in charge. 'I have a little girl here who really needs some more of those candies. She has come to give you a good time in exchange for those candies.'

'I can see where you're going with this.' The dealer was definitely intrigued with this prospect. He had slept with many prostitutes before, but all of them had been at least fifteen, this was different. 'Go into the bedroom.' The order was directed at the little girl who had begun to blush when she was being discussed, but who was now running hurriedly down the hall in her three-inch heels.

'Okay, here's the deal.' Thomas was speaking in a hushed voice to prevent any unwanted ears from hearing things that could potentially damage his reputation. 'The pills are fifteen dollars each, she costs forty. You give the remaining twenty-five to me, and a pill to her, got it?'

'I like it. Deal.' He grabbed his wallet from inside his jeans pocket and pulled out the money. He walked down the hall and closed the bedroom door behind him.

Thomas sat outside the door to make sure there weren't any problems. If nothing happened, he wouldn't want to hear about it as a surprise the next day. He waited for forty-five minutes, but when he heard Lydia begin to scream, he knew that his work was done.



Chapter 8

Jamie


Saturday was a wasted day because all Thomas and Jack did was site around smoking weed. They went through all of the food that was still edible, and even some that wasn't. Jack had started to eat the plastic fruit that normally sat on the tables but found it too hard to chew.

They watched the movie Hot Fuzz and thought that it was the most hilarious thing in the world. Then they watched the movie The Incredible Hulk and thought that it was the most hilarious thing in the world.

This pattern continued until the phone rang. Jack answered it because he was the one that obviously had the most self-control at that time. He walked through the grey haze to the phone and picked it up. He pressed the talk button and a sound was produced. Thomas giggled at that. 'Hello,' said Jack.

'Jack, it's Alex.' Jack giggled at this, but it was only slight. 'You're smoking again aren't you?'

'Hee hee. You don't know me. You can't see me.' Jack was speaking in a baby voice that Thomas found ridiculous. They both laughed until their lungs hurt.

'Jack, I'm having another arty tonight, are you in?' His voice was serious and very annoyed. He had only spoken with one person who was this high before, and that had resulted in the other person being knocked unconscious. It was a good thing that this was a distance conversation. 'Whatever. You're so baked you probably won't even remember. I'll come to get you at eight.' He hung up the phone without another word.

* * *


When the boys arrived at the party they had had time to come down from their high a bit. Their pupils were still the size of pennies, but they were able to communicate in a semi-intelligent manner.

They grabbed a couple drinks and walked up to two of the girls in the room who liked like they wanted to ride every guy in the place. They introduced themselves and the girls were already partially interested.

Drugs were exchanged between the two groups and within fifteen minutes they were all high as kites. Thomas took a hit of LSD and was going through a wild jungle of people who were trees and of carpets that were lakes. One of the girls pulled him for a dance and he was spinning.

Suddenly he was in space and the world was below him. He could see it even though it was hundreds of miles away. He could even see the house and see himself, and then he turned around. He looked at the blackness of space and flew away into blackness.

* * *


The next morning when Thomas awoke it was in a bed, which was better than the last time when he had woken up on the kitchen floor. He felt something warm beside him and looked over. It was one of the girls from the night before, but she was naked, and, Thomas realised, so was he.

'Bon matin,' she woke up and began to shift around in the bed. 'A-tu aime hier soir?' Her voice was rough from the fatigue and she sounded like a fifty year old pack-a-day smoker.

'Hier soir?' Thomas was really confused. It seemed to him that he had gotten laid at some point the night before, but he couldn't remember a thing. 'Je m'en rappelle pas.'

The girl looked thoroughly insulted. 'J'etais si pire que ca?' She pouted and sat up with her arms crossed across her breasts. Thomas couldn't help looking at these.

'Non. Non. Je m'en rappelle vraiment pas. Je pense que j'ai pris une pilule de trop.' He got up and found his pants and shirt. He put them on and turned around, she was still naked. 'C'est quoi ton nom?'

'Jamie.'

'Ben. Salut.' Thomas left without another word feeling like the biggest ass in the world, but he had woken up in a bed with a girl he didn't know, and without even a condom around. He didn't want to think of what could happen if he got an STD.





Chapter 9

The Brawl


The gang was getting restless when the meeting started at Alex's house. They had been robbed of forty-five thousand dollars by Jean and his guys, and they wanted their money back. Many of them were planning dreadful thing that they would all be forced to live with.

'Jack, I'm gonna go speak, okay?' There was that thing in Thomas's eye again, only it was more intense this time. This time it didn't just show a lack of feelings and empathy, but a desire for violence, there was bloodlust there, and it was frightening. Thomas stood up and shouted. 'Eh! Il y a seulement une chose a faire. Je vas parle a Jean. Je vas lui dire qu'on va se battre pour l'argent. Si on gagne on va l'avoir. C'est l'argent ill'gal quand m'me. On peut pas aller voir les policiers et on ne peut pas les tuer.'

This little speech made everybody quiet, but then caused a major commotion. Everybody wanted to know exactly what the terms were going to be and when this would take place. Everybody wanted to be involved more than they were going to be allowed to be.

* * *


The conversation with Jean took place at Jean's house. This was to prevent any unwanted knowledge to get spread around. Everybody already knew where Jean lived, but Jean didn't need to know where Jack lived.

It started off slowly, but the voices quickly picked up and got louder and faster until it was an all out screaming match that neither wanted to lose. At a certain point they both knew that they had to come to an agreement. Finally it was Jean that stopped the yelling. He stood up and told the others that he would agree to their rumble, on the condition that if he win they get away from the apartment blocks and the power lines.

'Okay,' said Thomas. 'If you win we will get out, but bring the money to the rumble because I don't want to have to and get it when we're done.

'Fine. Graveyard at ten next Saturday.'

'Deal.' The two boys left at least somewhat satisfied. They knew that there was a high probability that weapons would come into play again, but this time they had no idea what the other side would bring, and that frightened them.

* * *


The cemetery was the cimitiere Notre-Dame-De-Belmont. It was in Sillery which was quite a while away from any of their homes. They did this for their bigger fights to prevent being spotted by people who knew them.

The graveyard was massive with different areas all having different layouts as far as graves went. When Thomas got there he was late. The rest of the gang had been there digging bunkers for two hours already. It was eight o'clock and they had somehow managed to dig through five feet of snow and six feet of frozen ground since six. There was a small pile of bones on the snow. 'What the hell is this?'

Jack answered, 'We found them in the ground and figured we could use them as weapons. We didn't know there were going to be graves at this part, look at the snow.' It was true that the five hundred centimetre year that they had had didn't really leave many defined shapes in the graveyard and it was hard to distinguish where people would be buried.

'Where's Jean? You'd think that he'd be the one here digging bunkers and robbing graves.'

'I know. It's not like him to show up to a major brawl late. Something's up.' Right then a Pepsi bottle came hurtling through the air towards them. 'Cover!' yelled Jack, and they all jumped in one of the three bunkers. The bottle burst a few feet away and some of the chemicals hit their skin. 'Told you.'

Everyone jumped out of the bunkers and charged. None had their knives or chains out, but everyone had brought at least one of them. Thomas crept up behind one kid and hit him on the back of the head with a skull that he had picked up. The kid fell unconscious in the snow and Thomas flipped him over on his back so that he wouldn't get frostbite.

One kid charged him and he was struck a vicious blow on the face that left him spitting blood. He turned around and gave that kid a piece of mind through his fist. The kid fell on his back and Thomas spat blood onto his face. 'Tiens esti.'

The next kid that he faced was Jean. Jean was a lot bigger than him, but normally he wasn't scared. The situation here was different. Now he was facing him and both had the intention of doing lasting damage to the other. Jean struck him and the face and there was definite crack. His nose began to bleed and he knew it was broken.

He threw his fist in Jeans stomach at the same time and he hit him in the groin with his knee. The massive teen fell to his knees and was told something fairly direct. 'When all of this is over,' said Thomas, 'I am going to kill you. I am going to kill you and bury you in a shallow grave three feet deep in the woods.' He pulled out his knife and stuck it in his enemy's shoulder.

When he did this something changed in him. He felt ecstatic. He felt like he did on a good adrenaline rush. There was no shaking the feeling that what he had just done was good. It was good and he needed more. He needed to hurt more people. He charged another kid with his knife and the entire brawl dissolved into a bloody mess.

* * *


In the end, both groups were lucky enough not to have any bodies to count. Nobody had died but so many had been injured bloodily that they were impossible to count.

The snow, pearly white before, was now a crimson blanket. It was now a torn up battlefield where young men went to fight a war. Jean's group had used the most weapons due to their bottle bomb at the beginning and was therefore declared to have lost the brawl. Otherwise there would have been no winner and they would have had to have another go at it in a week, and nobody was in shape for that.

The money exchanged hands and was counted. It was all there so both groups dispersed and people headed to their respective homes. All except Thomas, he waited around.





Chapter 10

Manhunt


There are many ways to frighten people. One of them is to hurt those who are close to them. It adds emphasis if it is done in a safe place. Thomas followed these principles very carefully as he climbed through the window of Shaun's bedroom.

He fell silently to the floor and pulled the knife from his back pocket. He pressed it to Shaun's left arm and slashed the wrist. The blood began to spray and he stabbed him in the stomach. The rush began and Thomas knew how dangerous it was. He stabbed once more and left, running through the house instead of going out the front door.

* * *


Sunday rolled around and Thomas was no more rested than he had been in Shaun's room the previous night. He had stayed up thinking for the whole night and had come to one conclusion: Jean had gotten off too easily for what he had done. They needed to find a way to punish him further, and Thomas had a plan.

The plan was simple, it was a manhunt. He would chase down and attack every member of Jean's gang in order to tell him who was the boss. It wasn't a plan that was guaranteed to work, but it was a plan.

* * *


Thomas walked up behind Vince, one of the eighteen year olds that usually hung around with Jean all the time. He held the pipe high and hit the guy over the head. When he was unconscious Thomas pulled his knife out and carved a giant M into the guy's back so that all may know who did this.

* * *


The same treatment that had been given to Vince was given to three other guys. Thomas didn't have time to do that for the whole day, he had a meeting with Lydia at three.










Chapter 11

Third Time's The Charm


Lydia had been seeing various men since the meeting with Alex had taken place. She was working hard at paying for the LSD she was buying. She had also recently picked up cocaine, which wasn't helping her need for money.

Every time she went out she brought him back forty dollars, but he charged her forty-two per hit. That way she was always in debt and couldn't afford to stop.

Thomas had been to one other party that finished in sex with a different girl. He had enjoyed it certainly a lot more than the first time that he still couldn't remember, and that he never would.

He was meeting with Lydia and a few of her friends that thought it might be nice to get into the same kind of thing that she was doing. They had no idea that they wouldn't be able to get out of it.

When the girls arrived at Alex's house Thomas was already waiting for them outside. He invited them in and they spoke over drinks. He told them what would be going on if they still wanted to do this, and they all accepted.

One of the girls asked for a hit and, when asked if she had money said no. Her and Thomas proceeded to the bedroom. She was only twelve, and he was fourteen, but it was the greatest feeling either of them would get for the rest of their lives. Her because she was working hard for something, and him because of how great she felt.

When the afternoon was over there were our girls high on the floor of Alex's house, and Thomas had to go. Thankfully Alex arrived then. Thomas left and said only parting words, 'A gift.' Alex looked into the living room and liked what he saw.





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