Bad Seed – Short Story

Dim light was gliding softly through the window pane from the back porch light; spotlighting the specs of dust, busy shuffling, and joining together to do their mighty dance. The whole spectacle was marvellous when you took a moment to stare but I am also gloriously high. I couldn’t tell you the time, but I can tell it’s early morning, maybe four or five. I mumble to myself, “How’d I get home?” while observing an attractive, naked guy spread eagle on my bed, with his hipster beard and all; a recurrence, my sexual escapades are usually a bi-product of a whisky and drug fuelled night at the bar. True to form I shrug it off and move myself into the loft next to my bedroom. This isn’t actually my house. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to squat here for awhile; long enough where it’s started to feel like home. It’s a lonely and small rickety farm house, all barn-board and craftsman. Creeks and shadows make it dark and eerie, which compliment the furnishings in all their retired, found on the side of the road glory. There is a stark kitchenette downstairs, the fridge makes this radiating incessant buzz that instantly pisses me off. The living room consists of a couch, a chair and a table, there is no TV or phone. The house and its land is totally disconnected from the suburban city sprawl, even though only a fifteen minute drive away on a side road. Upstairs is just as lonely: a bedroom, a bathroom, a loft area with another couch, and a mini fridge that I had won at karaoke when I was in University. This is the kind of house begging for love, it could be marvelous and beautiful in the right hands.

My ears pick up the rather aggressive snore coming from the bedroom, I peer from the couch in the loft and flip my eyes over while rolling up a twenty, tapping the end on the table till it’s stiff. I begin to salivate as I anticipate the familiar taste drip down the back of my throat, numbing my tongue…numbing everything. Aleister Crowley would say “Happiness lies within oneself, and the way to dig it out is cocaine.” So, I kept trying. I take a swig of an old beer left out from the morning, I spotted perched on the table and decide to savour it. I have always loved the stillness of night, as it casually slides into morning; a thought that reminds me of the uncomfortability I suffer while in silence. In search of a buffer, I begin to eye the radio as I finish rolling up a joint. Slouching backwards I shrug my feet up on the table, and spill what’s left of the old, warm flat brew. I find myself cloaked in total disappointment of my fumble, but regardless that doesn’t stop me from climbing out of my seat, sparking the joint, and dragging my feet to mini fridge. I am almost all out but there is one beer left, I anxiously snatch it up and decide to let it flood my mouth, as not to waste another drop. The radio is cutting in and out with static, and as I work to find a station I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, “not half bad,” I smirk, only having my panties on. All black lace boy-cuts. If you could see me staring in the mirror, you’d notice my vanity; I don’t stand in front of mirror in distaste and evaluate myself, I soak my reflection in, a beautiful mess, long dark hair and curvy. My stomach is tight, and my stature is short, with these starry dough eyes set into a husky blue…pouty lips. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, seriously, the look of innocence. Hard to believe well into my thirties I still pass for a naive young girl, traits that all work to my benefit when your a black sheep like me; if it wasn’t petty theft and cons, it was growing weed, the lifestyle of a bad seed.

The radio finally finds it’s tune and decides to land on a Johnny Cash track, When the man comes around. I’ve always been a fan of Cash, he was dirty and gritty, I’ve kept a fondness for him since I was a just a girl; At folsom Prison is, and always will be a treasured favourite. I catch something in the reflection of the mirror from the front window, illuminating through the canopy of the evergreens and birch trees. I am instantly, irrevocably sober. Shit. It’s the fucking cops. I mean it has to be, I don’t see cherry lights or hear the sirens but surely with all the bright lights racing toward me, it has to be. Unless it’s aliens, but I feel like aliens would use more tact. I stand for a moment, stunned, before shaking myself into an awkward dance; racing as quietly as possible back into the bedroom to slip on my jeans and tank top, thankful they were not spaced out among the tattered bed linen. I look back to find the lights have gained momentum, and are coming up the road. Fuck. I bolt to the back window and brace myself knowing that I can’t hesitate, I have to jump, I have to run. I soar, spread flat through the air, and in the seconds before impact I feel a true taste of freedom; my eyes are closed, as I hold my breath prepared for the impact, crashing into the back lawn. I am instantly winded, landing on my side in a failed attempt to roll out of the fall, but it’s not like i’m a fucking stunt man, I’d be foolish to think I could land on my feet. I feel a burning on my side and my breathing is hitched, my pants are half off, and I scramble to get up and button my jeans. I hear footsteps nearing the back of the house, coming in a frenzy and loud thunder like quakes coming from the front. They are breaking down the fucking door! The old house has come alive all at once, I smile widely for a fleeting moment as I picture poor college guys face being woken by a swat team. I hold in a hardy laugh, before focusing on making my way to duck under the brush some hundred yards away.

Tucked into the skirt of the woods I watch them; now winded, my breathe is producing a burning wheeze with every exaggerated exhale. The house is still alive with noise, yelling and feet stomping, through the window I can see they’ve entered my bedroom, savagely pulling college guy from my bed. I scour the yard and count six men, all armed, pacing and tracking the perimeter tactfully in lines. The relief on my face must be humorous, as I take comfort knowing that while I have to run, I won’t have to move to fast. It appears the pigs didn’t bring the canines and while running in itself is a wretched journey, running away from humans is much easier than running from a pack of dogs. I’ve never been much for dogs if i’m being honest. Not only am I terribly irresponsible, christ, I can barely look after myself, but dogs in all their portrayals of heroism and loyalty always give their owners away in the moments of war. When all is stirred and turbulent they sniff out the ones they value, they give them away. I don’t need that kind of affection, and I don’t value that sort of love. The second you care about someone else, and are willing to risk your neck, you’re absolutely fucked. It’s an every man for himself kind of world and I don’t burden myself with that kind of baggage. My feet hurt, sticks are penetrating my polished soles, I instantly cannot forgive myself for at least not taking the time to grab some shoes, surely there was. It’s March, the ground has begun to thaw, leaving shatters of ice crystals spread throughout its canopy. The six idiots pacing the lawn are awaiting orders and have reached stalemate as the house is searched. I begin to move further into the brush of the woods, not turning my back and moving slow, hoping the sticks between my feet do not snap and give me away. Then as all hope was gained, it is ripped away from the shallows of my sunken soul. I hear them, the dogs, as they run, faster, pulling their puppeteers into the back lawn.

So, I run. Creating waves of motion ringing out and echoing into the ears of the enemy. I stay vigilant and run through a web of trunks and brush with the advantage of knowing this land. The pay off is that after sometime of circling the perimeter of the property the enemy has pulled back, to regroup and regain force. Knowing I must leave and push forward I begin to pass through the back pasture of the farm to the side of me. It’s a tiresome adventure into dawn and as the sunrise approaches I have resigned to the fact of finding hiding, as I am not yet far enough away. The roar of the early commuters on the interstate grow close and as my brain scrambles to hatch a plan I stop, bracing my hands onto my thighs. I pull up my sweat soaked tank and assess the damage to my side; my tissue is inflamed and throbbing, morphing into a large canvas of purple and blue. My feet are bloodied and the skin is torn away from my escape. Fuck I’m in bad shape, with my adrenalin stabilizing and my high wearing off I am becoming defeated, deflating into a puddle of mudd. I’m cold, there has been a mist building in the air for sometime now and a dense fog has rolled in. I hunch over, hidden in the skirt of trees next to the interstate and begin to gather my thoughts “What the fuck am I doing?” I know can’t hitch looking like I do. I slide down the tree i’m leaning against, taking solace in feeling of the skin on my back scrape against the bark. It feels so good. Hours pass as I watch the sun search for a spot in the sky, my tears have slowed, falling down my shallow face; the numbness in my fingertips have started to burn, I’m so cold. I decide to go back home, I sob until it turns to panic, the kind of cry that exhausts your soul, leaving you open and vulnerable.

When I arrive back in the perimeter of the yard the house looks still. There’s a moment, as the sun reaches its highest point that I submit, flattened on the ground. “Just let me go,” I whisper, sure this was it, they’d find me dead, half frozen, one with the earth. But the universe laughs at me, taunting me with passing consciousness, and enough strength to crawl. The agony of crawling on my hands and knees towards the back door of the house is met with relief, it appears there’s nobody there. “Odd,” is all that manages to escape my mouth as I make my way inside. The buzz from the fridge causes a glare to escape my face and I notice a note left on the door. “That was fun! Must have missed you – Chad” Now totally miffed I check the front door- it’s still there, just as it always was. “What the fuck! Did I dream this?” I make my way upstairs, and find the radio is on, as I pass the mirror i’m taken back; I look terrible, like death is my shadow, ready to pull it’s cloak over my face and end me. “I must have tripped out bad, or maybe had some sort of episode.” I think to myself, as I slouch my body onto the couch in the loft, and tap a rolled twenty on the table till it’s tight.

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