Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Killing Spring, Part 5

Startled awake by the Iron Maiden ringtone of his cell, both Gene and Stinky shot to their feet. Stinky scampered into the kitchen; Gene blinked the blur from his eyes as he fished the phone from his pocket and flipped it open...

“Mom! Put down the glass, leave Dad and get off that plane!”

“Gene?” The confused voice wasn’t Mom, though it sounded distinctly familiar. “What the heck are you talking about?”

As the sleepy fogged cleared, he realized...


Pulling the phone away from his ear, his worst suspicions were confirmed. There was her cell number and picture on the tiny screen, her face smiling seductively.

The grandfather clock clanged, the echoes of its chime bouncing off the floor and walls.


The clock chimed a second time.

So much time wasted!

Still, there might be some stragglers. It was pretty cold and wet for a spring morning.

“Gene? You there? What’s going on?”

He took a second to shake the cobwebs of sleep from his head. “Nothing. Sorry, bubblehead.”

Rachel’s voice caught in her throat. “Bubblehead? What’s that supposed to mean?”

Now fully awake, Gene was sharp and quick. While silently cursing Dad, he chimed, “Bubbles are shiny, bright and you.”

And if you swallow this bull, you are a bubble head, just like Dad said.

“Well, that’s sweet, I guess. Though coming up with nicknames isn’t exactly your specialty.”

Yep. Bubblehead. God, I hate it when Dad’s right.

“Hey, babe. Parents gone yet?” Rachel’s voice was coy and teasing, which normally drove him crazy, as it must have her previous boyfriends, including Clay Walker, his ex-best friend and captain of the football team. They quit being friends roughly around the time Rachel decided to, in Gene’s humble opinion, trade-up.

For once, he was at a loss for words. Pacing the dining room, he slapped his forehead at his own stupidity, forgetting he fleetingly mentioned Mom and Dad would be out of town. He should have known Rachel would be all over that.

Control began to ebb away again.

“Um...yeah,” he croaked, then mentally kicked himself for not thinking to simply lie..

“Cool,” she cooed. “Hey, look, I know it’s early, but I told Taylor and Monica your house was free this week, and wouldn’t it be cool if-”

Aw, crap, here it comes. Why didn’t I see this coming?

“-a bunch of us got together and partied at your place tonight?”

Sweat beaded on his forehead. “, about that-”

“Maybe you could come get me now, so we could have some alone time.”

She was practically purring like Stinky always did. Gene suddenly grew angry, not at Rachel for automatically assuming he’d be tempted by such a cloying, manipulative tone, but for the fact he was tempted. Rachel was one of the hottest girls in school, even if she did often dump guys like Clay Walker, and various other members of the football team, simply because her attention span was roughly that of the average goldfish. Gene knew he’d be the next to be tossed onto the growing pile of guys whose lives she ruined, but that didn’t change the fact that, for now, she was his, and having Rachel Perry was like taking home a championship trophy.

But now? During my time? The killing time? Rachel, that’s just not fair.

“Gene?” She insisted at his silence, impatience oozing from the phone with each passing second her didn’t reply. Gene felt pretty certain that, if he didn’t come up with a Rachel-friendly response in the next few seconds, she’d move on. Maybe to Ashton Nicholls, the corner back on the team and a year younger, who made no bones in the locker room what he’d do if he had a prize like Rachel.

Is this the crap Clay went through with her before she dumped him because he wasn’t paying enough attention to her?

A brief second of empathy went out to his ex-best friend, who failed to hang onto Rachel like someone trying to tackle a greased pig at a state fair. A great friendship ruined, just because some high school tart wagged her tail in another direction.

Oh God, but what a tail.

Gene fumbled for words, but despite opening his mouth, none spilled out.

What to do?

I should be killing right now, alone with my weapons of grisly death, and I’m wasting my time dealing with this petty crap. It’s been a whole year since my last killing. How much longer do I have to wait?

“Well, the thing is...”

On the other hand, this is Rachel Perry on the Rachel Perry, the girl who every guy dreams about when their Dad’s girly magazines no longer do the trick; the girl I destroyed a ten-year friendship for. The girl who chose me, Gene Dacron, as her current boy-toy. How many guys in school can boast that distinction? And, after all, this is just the first day of Spring Break. Couldn’t I just put off the killing for one day? For Rachel? Besides, swapping spit on Mom and Dad’s living room couch sounds pretty good right now.

Apparently, Rachel didn’t care about Gene’s internal turmoil, nor his hesitation in responding to her suggestions.

“Look, Gene,” The seduction left her voice. “Your parents are gone. My parents are at work and I’m home alone, yet you ain’t comin’ to get me. If you’ve really got to think about this, then maybe-”

“No, no, no!” He did his best to keep from sounding like he was groveling, which made him suddenly resent the girl he tried so hard to catch. Gene resisted the urge to hang up on her right then and there. “That ain’t it. I gotta do some errands for my folks first, and I won’t be home ‘till this afternoon.”

A lengthy pause over the phone. Gene didn’t know whether to be relieved or disturbed. If Rachel broke it off now - and why am I leaving everything up to her? - it would free him to commence with the killing right away, with no further interruptions. On the other hand, if she bought his ruse, and was willing to wait a few hours, he could have the best of both and death.

He could practically hear the rusty gears in Rachel’s head churning, not that she was hard to figure out; her talent for manipulating shameless boys - which Gene didn’t want to admit he was one of - had little to do with her intellect.

“Fine,” she finally declared. “Do your errands. But call me when you’re done. I’ve got a lot of friends waiting to know what our plans are tonight.”

She didn’t bother to say goodbye as she hung up.

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