Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Money pt. 8

It feels like a cliché to say that all things I saw were a blur, but they really were. The drugs kept their hold on me even past the point when a burlap sack was pulled over my head to hide the Bosses location. They kept fogging my brain as two guys dragged me out of the car, across a lawn and up some stairs (I witnessed all this as I stared at my feet and tried to will my drool to stop dribbling down my chin). I didn't even fill the drop when they shoved me into the room and my face hit the floor first. The nice thing about that was the little collision with the floor sent me into darkness. When my mind refocused I was tied to a chair while a pretty blond applied some salve to my face. She was humming and I wanted to look up at her but the drugs seemed to still have a hold on me because I could not lift my head. Even more worrisome was that I seemed to still be drooling. How come I never look good around the ladies?

"Ray...." The girl with the long blond hair had a light lilting voice. "I am going to leave you now. Your drug should be wearing off in a few hours and we will be back then. I hope you can resolve this issue Ray, I'd hate for you to continue to get hurt."

I felt confused. It seemed incongruous that such a sweet voiced female would be on the side of evil. I watched her legs move towards and out the door. She was followed by two stocky looking males. I had not even realized we weren't alone. I felt my mind wander and I was soon dozing again.

I awoke some time later to a groggy ache that covered my entire body and a slight burning on my face. I was no longer tied to the chair but was lying on the ground. I noticed in front of me was a sink and a set of new clothes. I pushed myself up and felt muscles call out in protest. I then proceeded to the sink one shuffle step at a time. The sight that greeted me in the mirror was just a shade under grizzly. I had what looked like carpet burn on the left side of my face. There was a shiny substance covering it and I remembered the blond applying the salve. I took off my shirt and washed my body using a washcloth I found at the sink. I continued to move down until I was completely disrobed and stopped once I was as clean as a sink bath can make you. I looked at the mirror again and realized I needed to wash my face. I was reluctant because I would have to wash the salve off and the dried blood and I knew that would not feel good. I briefly wondered about the wisdom in wiping off the salve but then I looked over at my clothes and noticed a jar of salve sitting on a pair of clean underwear. I started with my hair and then moved to my face. I winced and stifled shouts (a man doesn't scream) as I washed the sensitive side of my face. I reapplied the salve and then got dressed. I looked in the mirror and noticed I looked a little better a lot of the face trauma had been dried up blood but I still had a decent amount of rug burn across my face. I hit a button on the wall that had a sign above it saying to call when I was awake and clean. Within moments two burly mountains came into the room and grunted at me to move.

I was brought into a room that looked like a conference room but nicer. It had nice leather bound cushy seats and a table made of a dark wood. I kept thinking of it as "rich mahogany" and I allowed myself a smile. I found some water on the table and I poured it into a glass and drank it down greedily. I was guzzling my third cup when the 2 mountains came back in and were followed by two beautiful blonds. There was no doubt in my mind that they were twins. With the exception of the eyes (one had green and the other had blue) and choice in clothes, they were identical. The same long flowing hair, the same height, the same easy smile that made me feel at ease even though my heart was racing. I set my glass down but not on the table and it hit my foot. I stifled the scre...shout that had nearly escaped my lips. I bent over to pick up the glass and then I put it on the table (I watched the glass this time). I then looked over at the door expecting more people to come in. I quickly realized that no one else was coming and I turned toward the mesmerizing twins again. One was smirking and the other was frowning. The frowning girl spoke first.

"No one else is coming. We are the people you owe money to."

"You're Oompa Loompa's bosses?" My choice of name seemed to further define each of the twins as I watched their expressions diverge. The smirk turned into a genuine smile and the frown became highlighted by fiery, angry eyes. The mirthful one spoke next.

"Yes Jimmy works for us. I find it strange that you would make fun of his coloring in a situation like this though. It hardly seems like a good idea."

"I am notorious for not thinking about things for long before I say them. It is always getting me into trouble."

"Seems this time it wasn't just your mouth that got you into trouble." The tone matched her fiery eyes. "I don't feel like we need to have this getting to know you chatter Emily."

"Hush Ava! Don't be rude. I doubt that hurrying will do much for us. I don't think Ray has our money anymore and I figure I want to know how he used it."

"Damn it Em! Who freaking cares?!" She punctuated the last shouted question by chucking a water glass at me. I managed to move but doubted from that throw that she had really wanted to hit me. I got the feeling she was pretty good with her aim.

"Ava! Leave!" Emily was pointing at the door. "You are much too keyed up to participate in this discussion. I don't want you hurting our guest!"

To my surprise Ava did as she was told. She shot me an angry glance as she did but the door closed as she exited and I was left with Emily. Oh... and the two mountain men.

"So you two are the infamous bosses?"

"Infamous? Hardly. I think the only way you know of us is if you are dumb enough not to pay back your loan on time. Most people are not dumb enough that their late payment ever leads them to a personal meeting with us. This is a first. We always get our money back. Then there is you..." Her face smiled and she still evoked images of angels in my head but I realized she was not necessarily the nice one. So tell me your story Ray. After that, Ava and I will decide what to do about you."

My mouth went dry and my words failed me. I sat there looking at her and tried to figure out where to begin.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Money (pt. 7)

It was kind of amazing when I got to the car that I had avoided getting hit again because I was still giggling and the van man looked mad. I felt like explaining that it wasn't his ridiculous lisp that I was laughing at but that I was laughing at congratulating myself on not laughing at his completely unbelievable lisp. It occured to me that the explanation might make him angrier. When he pushed me into the car I stopped giggling. I realized that I was in an entirely different car then the one I had previously seen him in. He joined me in the car and we left the volcano behind and my manic giggling had stayed behind with it. I was almost sure the kid in the stroller we passed had possession of it as he giggled at his father's funny faces. I felt like I could no longer move my body let alone giggle nonstop.

"I thon't afpprethathe you lathing ath me! I hath owal sutherthy thith morning! Ith noth my faulth." Inside I laughed but on the outside I couldn't even blink. "Tho to avoith unnethathy anger I thoughth I thood thrug you while I ethplainth." Luckily for me as he started talking his speech either got better or my brain had learned to understand mush mouth.

"The name is Charlie. I know it sounds like a typical thuggish name but I am actually in school to be a doctor. I want to help people most of the time when I'm not doing things for the boss. Most of the time the people I come across deserve to be roughed up a little. Most of the time these people are the scum of the earth. The leaches of our society. I know it sounds like I don't actually want to help people but when I put on those scrubs my brain shifts gears. I finally have a reason to care! It might simply be vanity, the whole not wanting to fail thing, but it feels nice to care. I don't really give a damn what you did that got you in this situation. I was asked to bring you to the boss and that is what I am doing. You seem like a different sort then who usually gets dragged to the boss but what do I know. So, loser, what is your story?"

I managed to blink but I couldn't even turn from the window. He turned my face towards him.

"Damn it! I must of given you too much. I read that whole book and passed those damn test and still managed not to give the right dose! Oh well. Where was I..... oh yeah. I am becoming a doctor to help people. I.... well I'm just a good person. I deserve to get a lot of money for it. Of course a lot of the real money is now in the past. A lot of doctors, that specialize in crazy procedures, barely make six figures! Damn government needs to stay out of health care. My mom told me I should be a lawyer but, even though I love her, she was a raving moron. Lawyers are scum! I mean who wants to be a lawyer?"

My silence on the topic made him frown so he went back to talking. He seemed to really have expected an answer. Maybe my paralysis had made me miss a chance to really bond with my kidnapper.

"You see I knew the boss through his kid and I used to always be a round eating his food...."

I went on mental auto-pilot and blissfully thought about nothing as he spoke. I was granted sweet relief when a bump in the road made me slump over and when he pushed me back to a sitting position my face was turned towards the window again. The scenery and his soothing drone felt almost reassuring, all the alarming thoughts I could sense were inside me seemed to have been paralyzed by the drug too. All I knew for those 3 hours was bliss.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Money (pt. 6)

I was on the freeway heading South again. I watched as signs foretold of an impending turn off for Mt. St Helens. A place where a mountain's dramatic and earth shattering event changed everything around it. I felt like killing Shawn had been my personal Mt. St. Helens. I felt a sudden irritation at my own thoughts for feeling guilty for ending the life of such a scumbag. Unfortunately I could not stop feeling regret and remorse for my actions no matter how justified they seemed to me at the time and even now. I was fighting for my life and like any other cornered animal I attacked, caused damage and ran away. Life is like that sometimes, you are forced to make a decision and then live with regret. Of course this was a bit more complicated then any decision I had faced before. The St. Helens turn off told me it was the next right and I found myself steering the motorcycle toward the off ramp. I drove through a town that I was not entirely sure I had caught the name of, despite the turn off signs and the town welcome sign, and kept driving. Finally I parked at The Johnson Ridge Observatory paid my... actually Shawn's 8 bucks..... and headed into learn.

After seeing the videos and reading things I was ready to stretch my legs and I headed up a mainly treeless hill to get some better views of the still smoking volcano. The devastation of that blast was still present as you looked at hills covered in trees and then you looked were you stood and at the volcano and saw very little plant life. I stood there thinking about what it might be like to have been swept up in that destructive wave and that moment of reverie was costly. I felt the jab in my back before I realized I was not surrounded by friendly looking tourists. It was that man I had seen as I left Shawn's place. The man who was in that van, the one I hoped I would never see again.

He didn't talk at all just used whatever was jabbed into my back to guide me further along the path. I tried to stay stoic and quiet too but my brain went into autopilot and I started voicing every idea I had about the volcano as we walked. I talked about everything I had learned at the visitor's center. I told him about the survivors and what I thought that must have been like to survive. I kept talking and asking questions he did not attempt to answer. It was inane chatter and I was not sure I would ever stop. That was until I said "I don't have the money. I keep telling you jackals that but you think torture and fear inspiring tactics will cause me to crap out a golden egg. It won't happen. If your bosses want the money they will have to wait like sane people. I have some money in my pocket I could offer as a first payment...." I kind of peetered out at this point, the words had dried up.

It was at this point that my captor decided I needed to face plant and he shot his foot out and gave me a quick shove to prevent me from correcting the fall. I hit hard and knew I was going to bruise. For some odd reason my reaction was to laugh. It was at this point that I was introduced to another foot. I hated my inappropriate urge to laugh in terrible circumstances. I sat there not crying out and no longer laughing as I caught my breath. He dragged me back up to a standing position  and started guiding me with his gun again. I was a little bit slower now and he finally began to talk " I thon't care tho mush. Money ith your ithue with the botheth! Now walk!" I suppressed my giggle and then silently congratulated myself.

The self congratulations made me giggle....