By Jenny K Brennan
Part 2 of 3
Includes violence and a shitload of bad words. Be warned.
She leaned forward and met the hateful glare without blinking, spoke in a velvety smooth parody of concerned curiosity: “Did you like it?”
The hand came from nowhere and hit Denny in the chest, shoving her back, staggering. Kris shoved again before Denny could even raise her hands and she was forced back further. When Denny glanced around, knowing the platform edge was near but not where, Kris lunged and snaked a hand around Denny’s neck, grabbed a handful of hair and ripped it to the side, twisting her head. She pressed her lips to Denny’s ear and said in a singsong snarl, Liar liar, pants on fire.”
Denny cursed herself and tried to take hold of the hand pulling her forward. The back of her neck burned in pain as hairs came loose. She twisted her body to ease the pull, but she was powerless to do anything but follow. Kris had a good grip and wouldn’t release it, just kept pulling her along, grunting. Denny went where the steel grip led her, gasping for air, clawing at the hand around her hair, staring with unseeing watery eyes at tiles, shuffling feet, and finally a cement wall and the bottom of a filthy steel door.
They had rounded the corner of the utility building and stood between it and the stairs to the world several meters away. Two sets of tracks flanked them with deadly functionality.
Useless things flickered in Denny’s mind, a thousand flashes of faded imagery reborn in Technicolor abstraction, innumerable memories, in a useless search for an end to this. All in an instant everything came to her. Everything was clear now in the midst of pain in the moment that was now. Before could never come again, shouldn’t come again. It was too late. She didn’t understand how it could have taken so long. Everything past suddenly flowed forth, a torrent of what had been and what must be converged in a hard icy knot of understanding. The time for flight was over. So was the hiding.
Kris shoved her, pulled up on the hair she wouldn’t let go of and pressed her sister’s face against the door, caught the flailing arm and pulled it up behind her back.
Denny gasped but choked the cry of pain, she wouldn’t scream, she wouldn’t give her the satisfaction… Kris breathed hot gusts of old pub fair and stale tobacco across Denny’s face, the suffocating smell of marijuana and beer made her gag, revolted despite the pain lancing up her arm.
“Think. You’re. Fucking. Clever?” The beer stench spoke into her ear, one hot breath for each word.
Denny tried to collect her thoughts and grind them into something that could help her. She cursed, silently, as there was no room in her chest for speech. Groaning, she forced herself to stay still; she had put herself there; she would have to get herself out. She clawed uselessly at the hand holding her hair but she was pinned.
Denny was fit but Kris was obsessive, possessed by the power trip of control and the endless need to make someone hurt hurt bad.
Kris suddenly pulled Denny back, jerked her sideways, and pushed. Denny didn’t see the concrete wall rush at her before it hit. The thick layer of paint covering the rough surface did little to protect her. If anything, the uneven application of paint made an excellent scrubber. It shredded the skin on her brow, peeled strips of it away as her face slid sideways. Kris jerked her back, let go of Denny’s arm, and put both hands on the head she wanted to crush, the wall flaunted Denny with a brand new shiny red stain just before it hit again. Kris pushed, grinding her sister into the blood smeared cement using her body to hold her in place. Denny’s arms were free but for how long? She clawed at the hands tangled in her hair with her free one, but there was no time. Kris pulled, jerked her out of balance again and shoved.
She wouldn’t stop. would never stop.
Denny couldn’t see through the blood running into one eye, the flashes of sickly light, and the pain that suddenly registered in her head and shoulder.
She took a small step back, away from the wall, while letting her head stay still in Kris’s grip. She let her knees fold beneath her. She bent her head forward, ignoring the pain in the back of her neck. Kris played along nicely; she followed the sudden movement with a move of her own, reaching the conclusion Denny wanted her to.
“The fuck you do!” Kris screamed in disappointed rage. She let go of the hair and reached to pull the faltering body up. She wouldn’t get away that easy, the bitch, the fucking bitch. She had it coming. This was it.
She grabbed the back of Denny’s sweater with both hands and straightened up, caught for just a moment by the sight of blood, her blood.
One moment was all Denny needed and she pushed herself up as hard as she could, threw her head back toward the growling, panting thing behind her. So fitting, the image that came to mind in that instant: Snarling and foaming, like a bitch with rabies. Time seemed stuck in that moment of explosive movement. She had her; she should learn to shut up. The back of Denny’s skull met Kris’s face with a sickening crunch. Pain shot through her head but it was nothing; the satisfying howl of surprise and pain was all that mattered, and Denny was part of the game now. Distant voices from excited but passive spectators broke through the sudden not quite silence.
Kris’s grip fell away and Denny didn’t know what to do. She hadn’t been thinking, just acted. She nearly smiled at the sudden pleasure of payback but reality snapped back; it wasn’t over yet. She turned and the world tilted, wavered, and resisted being focused before grudgingly deciding to make sense once more. Her head throbbed, legs felt weak, blood flowed into her eye. She rubbed it clean with a sleeve but didn’t touch the rest of her face. The world tilted and she fought the fog. Was she okay? She felt strange. As if her brain figured out something wasn’t right. La dee da., she told herself, don’t fucking fail. Think! She stared at a hunched over and dizzyingly duplicated Kris who had both hands on her face while pushing and pulling air through blood and wreckage.
Kris opened her eyes and stared at her, vibrating and shimmering in Denny’s vision.
She closed one eye. Better. But hell, it’s not fucking funny. She shook her head and almost gagged at the feel of warm trickling down her face and a suffocating coppery smell. She didn’t have time for this. Kris slowly uncoiled, taking her hands away from her face. Her eyes didn’t leave Denny’s. For the first time, since she had been dragged off the bench, Denny was afraid. She pushed at it and made it feel more like anger, something she could use. If she knew how.
Kris couldn’t quite grasp the new twist of things; un-fucking-believable!? Hurt her? Nobody did that to Kris, nobody! Kris watched Denny reel backwards, off balance, and she started to take her hands off her face. The pain was nothing. The bitch would pay for every drop of blood. Every single drop, every single lie, every accusation, every insult. She would pay. She started to straighten. The bitch had no more fight in her. She could tell. She was a chicken. A snotty little preppy slut. She wouldn’t.
Denny threw her body forward. Kris would be fast, but Denny was faster, was on Kris again, caught her in the chest with both palms and landed with all her weight on top, tried to dig a knee in to her stomach, but as it slid away from its suddenly moving target and cracked down on the tile, Kris’s elbow came up and slammed into her face. She rolled away and into airless ringing pain. She lay on her side, heard Kris scramble to her feet cursing under her breath, wondering what was broken in her face, it felt so wrong, like something had moved. A splash on a tile caught her limited awareness and she focused on the red splatter while waiting for the pain to dull, but it didn’t. Waited for the kick she knew would come, but it didn’t. So much blood everywhere— smeared, streaked, —already mixing with dirt, and seeping into humanity-stained grout between tiles; splattered on the shoe that stepped through the mess and stopped before her. She looked up, passed the green with many pockets, the hands opening and closing— so like hers, so different.
All was still. Denny finally looked at the face. What she saw scared her more than the threat of violence had. Emotional void; There was nothing in those eyes, no sign of pain, just cold resolve. Their eyes locked. Denny blinked to clear her eye from blood. All the red.
Maintaining her stare, Kris adjusted her shirt, pulled the sticky fabric away from the skin and held it there for a moment before letting it fall back into place. She grimaced.
Then she dived for Denny. Before the other woman could move, Kris dropped down on top an threw one leg over, straddling the thrashing body before it could roll away, pushed Denny’s shoulders down. She drew back and slapped her, hitting at the waving arms that tried to find something to grab. Kris groped at Denny’s throat, found what she wanted and ripped it loose.
Denny stopped moving and stared at the small pendant and broken chain hanging from Kris’s hand. Kris sneered at her. As if commanded by the dis-coloured links moving back and forth, as from a hypnotist’s gruesome pendant, Denny made to take it back from her sister. She always did that. Kris always took things and broke them. Kris pulled it away, collected the chain in her palm, and slammed it against Denny’s mouth, pushing and grinding the chain down between her lips, trying to force it into her mouth. Denny turned her head from side to side and grabbed Kris’s wrist, but Kris had all the advantages and used her hand as a vice. A hard thumb pressing against something already broken forced Denny’s mouth open.
“Eat your shit!” Kris singsonged, absorbed by the sight of Denny who gagged as the chain slipped down her throat. “Eat up and I’ll feed you more.”, she sang again as she leaned back to watch.
Denny coughed, swallowed convulsively, and resisted wretching. Gasping in pain and cold nausea, she attached her teary glare to Kris. The black cap was gone but absurdly, the IPod still hung at her waist, illuminating its array of endless options . The ear buds were gone. She caught a moving hand and she knew what Kris was after, and what it meant, before the words came to her. Kris started to grin as she opened the flap on her side pocket. “Don’t…” Denny groaned and jerked violently and groped for Kris who leaned back further, grinning wider. The movement exposed her belly; pale and hard, centered by a bellybutton drilled and hung with a puter-black ring. Denny tried to sit up and push, but had no strenghth and Kris started laughing, swatting away her feeble attempts. . Denny’s vision edged with darkness and she shook her head, igniting pain that cleared it for a second. Kris dug her hand into the side pocket, Denny groped and clawed, Kris pulled the gun out, Denny clawed and caught the puter ring and pushed a finger through it. Kris fumbled for a second before the safety clicked off and started turning the gun, Denny bent her finger around the ring, made a fist, and pulled.
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