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This submission contains violence and strong language. Be forewarned that I have given this submission a personal rating of [R].

“Jesus, Rick! What the fuck did you do?”

“Calm down, Alex, you’ll draw attention.”

Alex stood spread out against the wall in shock and terror, as if trying to blend into it. They were both dazed by the reality of what had just happened.
“Shit man! Look what you did!” yelled Alex in a panic.
“Calm the fuck down, Alex! You’re drawing attention,” Rick snapped back at him.

“Me? I’m not the one who’s drawing attention to us.”

“Would you just chill already?”

“Okay… okay… I’m… I’m fine,” Alex said after taking a few breaths, “What the hell did you do that for?”

“It was an accident, man, you saw it yerself.”

“You told me we’d just have a normal talk with him. Get him to turn himself in.”

“Yeah, a friendly talk, that was the plan.”

“How friendly could you have possibly seemed with a thirty-eight against his fucking head?”

“It was an accident, alright? He knew it was on and he backed right into it. It was his own goddamn fault!”

“What were you thinking putting a gun in his face? We were just gonna talk!”

Rick stood in the middle of the garage, scratching the top of his head with the barrel of the revolver and smirking sarcastically.

“Well, he ain’t talkin much now,” Rick said, with a chuckle.

“Oh, you’re just fucking hilarious, aren’t you, psycho?” Alex said, glaring at Rick, “You probably get off on this shit, don’t you?”

“Hey!” Rick belted at Alex, “Just because that son of a bitch deserved to die doesn’t mean that I just enjoy killing people!”

“Whatever,” Alex responded calmly, “lets go.”

The two walked out the door of the garage and got into Alex’s Oldsmobile. Alex put the key into the ignition and started the car. As quickly as he could, he put the car into drive and sped off.

“What’s Jenny gonna think about this, Rick?” Alex asked.

“How about you don’t talk about my sister?” Rick snapped back.

“Well we need to talk about this. This isn’t just some casual thing that we did on a Saturday night. Somebody just died.”

“We’ll talk about this in the morning, Alex,” Rick said as they arrived at his house, “Come back in the morning and we’ll talk to her.”

That morning, Alex had gone over to Jenny and Rick’s house to see Jenny, Alex’s girlfriend. Rick was at work when Alex arrived. Almost immediately after he had arrived at her house, Alex sensed that something was bothering Jenny. He didn’t say anything until he noticed at breakfast that she wasn’t listening to a word he was saying. He knew that she had been at a party the night before and assumed that she had gotten into a confrontation with a friend.

“Is something wrong?” Alex asked, but she just shrugged.

“Why?” Jenny asked him back.

The conversation wasn’t going anywhere and Alex knew that when Jenny and her friends had trouble it always sorted itself out with time. Alex didn’t intend to pry, but he was concerned. It wasn’t until one of Jenny’s girlfriends called that Alex was able to get a few bits of information.

Alex learned that Carl, an ex-boyfriend of Jenny’s, had been at the party. Alex didn’t know Carl personally, but he had heard plenty of stories and knew that Jenny had been doing what she could to avoid him. From what Alex had heard, Carl was a heavy drinker who would completely lose control after the first few drinks. Alex feared the worst and approached Jenny again.

“Look,” Alex said to her calmly, “I know that Carl was there. I know that you aren’t telling me something.”

“Forget about it,” Jenny responded.

“Look, just tell me what happened. Get it off your chest.”

“Just forget it.”

“What did he do?”

Jenny finally broke to tears. She buried her head in Alex’s chest, tearful and shaking. Alex held her silently for several moments until finally she spoke, in a rather calmed voice.

“I told him I’m with you,” she said in almost a whisper, “He said he didn’t care… I told him to stop and he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t stop and I kept telling him, I just kept telling him and I told him ‘no’ and…”

It suddenly hit Alex like a Louisville Slugger across the face. He knew what had happened, but he didn’t want to believe it, yet still he knew it. He was so shocked that he nearly forgot to breathe again and found himself having to sit down. He was wide-eyed and had too many thoughts rushing through his head to sort them all out.

Once both of them had regained their composure, Jenny and Alex began talking about it. Jenny defended Carl saying that he was drunk. Alex, however, was in favor of going to the police. Though Jenny wanted him to forget about it, Alex wanted to turn Carl in to the police. After awhile Alex agreed to go talk to Carl to get him to turn himself in.

Carl had left the party in a hurry the night before, and in doing so nearly ripped the muffler off his car going over a curb. Alex found out that Carl had taken his car to the garage of a man who was in an auto club with Carl. Alex called him and found out that Carl had left his car there and would be coming to work on it in the evening.

Before Alex could go over to the garage, Rick got home from work. Alex tried to get out the door, but Jenny insisted that her brother be involved. After dancing around it for a while, they finally told Rick what had happened.

“That bastard,” Rick said, trying to keep his rage under control, “I’ll kill that asshole.”

“No Rick,” Alex said, “I’m going over and convincing him to turn himself in.”

“I’m going with you,” Rick demanded.

“No way. You need to stay here and calm down first.”

“I don’t need to take orders from you. I’m perfectly calm. I’m getting my jacket and coming with you.”

Rick walked out of the room. As soon as he was out of earshot, Jenny grabbed Alex by the arm.

“You don’t let anything happen to my brother,” she demanded, “Understand?”

“Yeah,” Alex replied, shocked by her lack of concern for him.

Rick walked back into the room and gave Alex a nod to signify that he was ready. They walked out the door and Alex got into his car on the driver’s side. The garage was only seven blocks away. The car ride would be short, but Alex wanted to make everything clear to Rick.

“Don’t do anything crazy,” Alex said assertively, “Okay?”

“Yeah, man,” Rick said, “We’re just gonna talk to him. A nice, friendly conversation.”

“Good,” said Alex, relieved to hear Rick in a sound state of mind.

When they got to the garage, Rick got out of the car and immediately headed for the door. Alex turned off the car, took the key out, and ran in after Rick. Rick walked in before Alex to find Carl already working on his car. He had taken off the muffler and tailpipe was doing some welding on them.

“Hey asshole!” Rick said, tactlessly.

“Dude,” said Alex, running in front of Rick and putting his hand on his shoulder to hold him back, “Friendly conversation.”

Carl put the torch down, took off his mask and turned around. He took a few steps toward Rick. He was sober by now and he knew why Rick was there. Carl tried to be friendly and unthreatening.

“I’m sorry, Rick,” Carl said, “I really am.”

“Good,” Alex said, taking a step back from Rick.

“Sorry?” Rick exclaimed, pulling a revolver out of his jacket and pointing it at Carl, “I oughtta blow you away!”

“Whoa!” Carl yelled, taking a few steps back. A big mistake.

Carl backed up into his torch, setting it off. He gave a short yelp of pain at first, and then long shrieks of terror. As the fire engulfed his whole body, Carl spun around, flailing about like a wounded bird. By the time he threw himself to the ground and put the fire out, it was too late.

The next morning, Alex left his apartment and went to go see Jenny. When he arrived at her house, there were several police cars in front of the house. He parked his car and walked up to the front door. Before he could even knock, Rick opened the door. Two police officers were standing beside him.

“Is this him?” one of the officers asked.

“Yeah,” Rick said, “He left last night screaming in a fit of rage saying he was gonna kill him.”

“What?” Alex said, confused, as the police put handcuffs on him, “Did you tell Jenny what happened last night, Rick?”

“What are you talking about, Alex?” said Jenny, walking up to them, “Rick was with me all night.”


The following comments are for "The Madcap Associate"
by shortlivedglory

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