Let the Good Times Roll
“Holy shit look at these faggots all sitting around doing nothing,” a once familiar voice shouts from across the bar. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I say under my breath. My friends Sam and Brian can’t believe it either. We smile and give him a proper hello once he finally makes his way over to us. One that doesn’t involve hate speech or unrequested insults. He stands there in front of us. Staring us down. Taking us in, I guess? “Thought you weren’t ever coming back here?” I ask after having enough of the silence. It is obvious that I am going to have to lead this train wreck from here on in. Of course the one voted most likely to lead nothing has to take charge. “Didn’t think I would ever come back to this shit show or see you sad fucks, but here I am,” he smiles like any one of us really care. Does he not really feel the awkwardness of it all right now? I look at my other two friends. Been friends for as long as I can remember. Too long for them to not see that I’m signaling them to say anything. Instead they each take another sip from their beers. “Why?” I blurt out. “If you don’t mind me asking,” I interject quickly. He doesn’t miss a beat. “Came to see what you guys were up to. Came to see what’s been happening since I left,” he looks around The Room in disgust. In all fairness we all look at The Room like that. I mean the damn bar is called The Room. But it is The Room how dare he look in disgust at our bar. “You really came all the way out here to see us?” Brain finally questions. About fucking time, Jesus. “Well I mean I wasn’t setting out to come back here. I was driving through on my way to Pittsburgh and I thought what the hell one night in this shit hole won’t kill me,” he jokes. There is no main road from here to Pittsburgh I want to question, but it’s not like not questioning his lie is going to kill me. I take a drink from my beer. “Shit man, wasn’t even thinking. Do you want a drink?” I ask him. “Yeah, I’d love one,” he stares at me. Why the fuck did I open my mouth? Brian still seems very confused by the whole Pittsburgh exchange, which is fair considering he has been drinking since noon. I order him a beer. The same as the rest of us. “How did you find us?” Sam asks. Even with my back turned to them, to him I can already see his dumb fucking face spilling out all the words. Five minutes and it is already high school all over again. No one missed this asshole for even a second. “This crap shoot of a town only has one bar. Wasn’t too hard to locate the three biggest losers around,” he answers. Sam and Brian give a half assed laugh. The bartender hands me his beer and gives me a look that says I’ve heard every word he has said about my place and I don’t like it. I try to give him a look that reciprocates his displeasure. I turn and hand him the drink. “Took long enough,” the arrogant fuck says. One night, a few hours tops, and then we should never have to see him again.
He takes a drink from his beer. The first of many. “So what have you fucks been up too?” You all marry the town sluts and pop out a few worthless people yet?” He half jokes and half means. “You haven’t changed much over the years,” I say before finishing my beer. “What has it been? Something like eight years?” I ask before ordering another one. “I think so. Something like that,” Brain says. “None of us are married or have children,” Sam adds. Stressing children. “We’ve all been just working or going to school. Robert just got back from Harvard yesterday. It’s crazy really that you just showed up today because we are actually here to celebrate his return,” Sam continues. I nod my head. “No fucking shit? You went to Harvard? And to think I thought your dumb country ass was still digging holes for the dead,” he says. Thanks, it was a lot of work,” I say. “What did you go for?” He questions as though I am lying. “Pathology, but majored mostly in the forensic side of it. Got a job here in town. Coroner’s assistant. Nothing too exciting,” I say. “Nothing too exciting?” Brain shouts drunkenly. “Now we can hide the bodies,” he whispers jokingly. I give off a smile, “Totally.” This sets off another awkward silence amongst us. It was already a little weird and then he showed up. Again I have to take the lead. “What have you been up to Nick? You were always the one who was going to get out of this town and do something with yourself.” I ask with little actual intention of listening. Scanning the bar it seems rather empty for a Friday night. He doesn’t answer right away. We all haven’t been up to much, but his inability to brag about himself right now seems odd. “You know this and that. Nothing like Harvard or anything like that. But who wants to talk about the past? We are living now,” he finally says before taking another drink. “Well why were you heading to Pittsburgh?” Brain asks barely able to lift his head up off the bar. He should be almost done by this point. It is interesting how much like our parents we try to not be. Seems almost as if we are trying to outrun a shadow only to embrace it. “Remember that time you fell out of that tree and broke your arm?” Nick deflects at me.
“Yeah, I do. I didn’t fall though. You pushed me for being scared,” I say rubbing the scars along my right arm. “Had to learn to write left handed for months,” I say in aggravation. “That’s not how I remember it. I thought you were writing left handed because you wanted to try something new,” he tries to play off. “Yeah, because I wanted to be made fun of for writing like a “retard” or so our classmates used to tease me,” I reflect. “I remember that,” Sam adds. “They picked on you pretty bad for that. Didn’t you break it again after that fight with? What was his name? Steven or Scott or something,” Brain chimes in out of nowhere. “Mike, fat mike they used to call him,” I say. “He beat the fuck out of you. What happened to that obese mother fucker?” Nick asks. “He killed himself not long after you left. Shot gun blast to the face. He didn’t die right away, but in the end he passed. My dad said it was gruesome. Said even though he was dying he kept trying to say something. Some people believe it wasn’t a suicide,” Sam says in solace. “You look empty Nick,” I say as I pass him another beer. He catches it as it slides across the bar top. I raise my drink and pretend to take another drink. “It is sad really all the stuff the people here have gone through. The hard times and the good. Life here is always filled with so much tragedy,” I say. We all take another drink in silence. “Remember Becky?” I ask the group. “Oh I remember Becky,” Brain says a little too loudly. “Wasn’t she that big chested whore that was a grade or two above us?” Nick asks. “I remember Becky,” Sam says staring at his bottle, “That’s when the murders started.”
“Murders?” Nick asks in genuine shocked. “Probably a year after you left. People around town started to disappear. It was one of the reasons I got the fuck out of here,” I say. “I don’t ever remember hearing anything about any murders,” Nick says in confusion. “I suppose you won’t. There aren’t many people here in town willing to talk about them,” Sam says. “You really disconnected when you left for the city Nick,” I add. “I guess I really did. So what happened to Becky?” Nick asks. Sam looks over to me and then to Brain. I’m not volunteering to lead this one I think. “It was pretty messed up,” Sam begins. “She was never one to date anyone good for her and she had a reputation of dating more than one man at a time,” Sam continues. “Because she was a whore. Don’t waste time telling me what I already know,” Nick interrupts. “Right,” Sam says rolling his eyes and taking a drink. “Any way one night Becky doesn’t come home. Her parents don’t think much about. She goes out a lot, she is an adult, and what are you going to do? Typical missing person story. After about three days though they began to get very worried. No word and no sightings. Would scare anyone in this town. So they go to the police and they set out looking for her. It took a few days, but eventually they found her. Dead in the woods. Deep in the woods not too far from the state park on some private land. I guess she used to go out there to get busy,” Sam takes a long breath and an even longer drink. “That’s it?” Nick asks. “They just found her in the woods dead?” Nick takes another drink. “Of course that wasn’t it. At the time though they just thought it was a lover’s fight gone wrong. A fucked up one, but an isolated incident. My dad was the medical examiner for that case too. Told me they found her dead from a shot gun wound,” Sam says. “Just like Mike and no one thought that might be connected?” Nick interrupts. “This is the sticks Nick. We don’t get a whole lot of murders and let’s not forget the fact that we all have shotguns. Hell I’m driving my dad’s truck and there are two in there right now,” I say. “Not to mention she didn’t die from a shotgun blast to the head like Mike,” Brain again says out of nowhere. “No, someone had taken the barrel of the shotgun and stuck it right up her. Right up her vagina and pulled the trigger,” Sam says in near silence. “Finally found a load she couldn’t handle,” Nick says off handed. I try not to laugh as I pretend to take another drink.
The night goes on. Drink after drink. Nick gets drunker and so does Sam. We talk for hours creating an alibi. People in this town don’t ask too many questions I think. Sam calls in a ride for him and Brain. I offer Nick a ride home. Where ever that might be. “How are you still sober?” He asks me in a drunken slur. “College taught me more than just what was in the books,” I play off. Loading Nick in my truck took more care than I was willing to give. Nearly crushed his arm when I slammed the door shut. The weather turned cold at some point. The seasons are changing I think as I look at his car sitting there in the parking lot. “Freezing balls here asshole turn on the god damn heater,” He shouts from within the truck. I open the driver’s door and climb in, “It takes a second to warm up.” He tries to talk to me in small talk but most of it comes out in inaudible slurs. “Your parents still live up on Oak Street?” I ask knowing his answer doesn’t matter. His distorted speech starts again and then stops. I look to see if he is sleeping. Wide awake he appears to have something on his mind and is trying really hard to say whatever it might be. We pass street light after street light until there aren’t anymore. The road turns dark. Flashes of trees from the head lights. “Robert can I ask you something?” He finally says clear as day. ‘Of course,” I say curious. “In high school didn’t you try to date Becky?” he poses the question as though he knows it is fact and yet very confused at the same time. “As a matter of fact I did,” I say as a matter of fact. We pass more and more trees until I start to slow down not too far outside of the state park. Pulling into an odd clear space between the trees. A trail I found so many years ago. I wanted nothing more than to get away. Same as every kid I assume, but time has a way of drawing you home. Even wasted Nick begins to question what is happening. “I’d love to say that our story ended there. Becky and I. Well to be completely honest I’m a little more than proud our story didn’t end there. See part of that story you heard tonight was true. A lover’s fight gone horribly wrong, but one would have to say that we were lovers to really claim such a thing. I didn’t love Becky. I resent her for what she did. For what they all did really. Everyone who has ever scorned me,” I pause. “I think here is a good place to drop me off,” Nick fights to get out of his mouth. Pulling the handle of the door over and over to no avail. “Yeah, that is broken. Maybe I should have mentioned that. My father has been busy you know. Getting older and what not. And no good friend just leaves someone lost in the woods so unfortunately for you here is not a good place to stop. But I know a really good place. Trust me,” I smile. We keep driving through the woods slowly as I try to remember the exact path. “Where was I? Yes, Becky the big titted whore. She broke my god damn heart. Almost like how you broke my arm. She pushed me beyond my limits. I will admit that I had every intention of killing her that night. Shotgun blast right to the head just like Mike, but then things got weird,” I say. I turn my head to look into Nick’s scared eyes, “Things always get weird. Nothing goes as it was planned.” I turn my head back to the makeshift road.
“It wasn’t my plan to kill you tonight. That was a serendipitous occurrence. To be completely honest, and I feel that we can be after all these years. I planned to start my return off with Brian. Then you appeared. It almost makes me believe there is a God up there looking out for me. Then again if they were so concerned with me to take the time. I think they wouldn’t have let you and all those assholes walk all over me. It always seems though that things get weird whenever it is time so, I am always torn. Becky is a prime example. I didn’t want to shove a shotgun barrel up her cunt. It was supposed to be so much simpler than that. But being the whore that she was. It didn’t take much for her to slip off those clothes. Took even less effort to take my cock out. Apparently all it took for her was the right location.” I bring the truck to a stop in the middle of the woods. “I can’t move,” Nick says to me. “The sedative I gave you seems to have that effect. But enough about you,” I say reaching behind the seat of the truck to grab the shotgun. “No, Becky liked dick. She liked it a lot. Lost my virginity and then some that night. Which was kind of a problem. That much evidence just sitting up in there. What was I supposed to do? Blow her fucking head off and let her leak all the evidence all over the place? I might not be the brightest person, but I’m not stupid. Do you know what she said as I slid the barrel into her pussy?” His mouth moves, but no words come out. “I learned way too much in college to not explain,” I joke. “As I slid the barrel deep into her pussy Becky couldn’t help but get turned on. She said to me with her eyes closed, “How can you still be so fucking hard? Fuck me again with that rock hard cock.” So I did. Pulled that trigger and watched her die. Her tits all covered in blood and bouncing. The smell of her flesh cooking against the sides of the barrel. Left nothing but a bloody hole in the center of her mass. If I had to say so myself. She never looked better. Fought every urge to pull that barrel out and fuck her one last time. Could you imagine? My dick pumping away at her and coming out the other side. The juxtaposition of such a thing? If I had one regret in life. That would have to be it.”
I get out and pull the release handle on the driver’s side door and hop out of the truck. Nick sits there paralyzed as I walk around to his side of the vehicle. Body pressed against the door. He falls hard onto the hard ground as I open the door. I hear something crack against the ground. “Opps,” I say before laughing. “I’m sure your head is ringing from that fall, but even in all of that you have to remember like I do. What you said to me that day you pushed me out of the tree. Opps. Opps? You were supposed to be my fucking friend you worthless piece of shit,” I scream into the night. The words echo, but there is no one besides us around to hear them. “I remember so much about our childhood Nick. You really shouldn’t have come home. But I’m so glad that you did. Saved me the hassle of finding your good for nothing ass later.” I grab him by the back of the shirt and drag his ass to the front of the truck the head lights lighting our way. Dropping him with another thud on the ground. I begin to strip him naked. “I just want you to know I won’t enjoy this part of it, but we have to make it look like it should. The dumbass police need to know who this kill belongs too. Same as before. They need to know. The people of this town need to know that I have returned. They need to know that things have started once again,” I say into his ear. He still can’t talk which disappoints me, but his tears are more than enough to make up for it. His tears shine in the light from the headlights. Slow streams of moving water. Life is like that. A slow constant stream of moving water. Sometimes there are rough waters, sometimes the stream moves quicker than you’d like, and sometimes it almost appears as though the stream has stopped forever. But we all know the stream must keep going as long as it exists. I shove the cold hard barrel of the shotgun up his ass. “However this part I will always enjoy,” I say into his ear. Gripping his bare shoulder as I thrust the barrel deep inside him. “Opps, hope I didn’t tear anything too vital,” I laugh. He tries to scream but the pain is so horrendous he can’t seem to make any noise. I pull the trigger of the shotgun filling the cold dead silence of the night with a shattering boom. A crater blows out the back of Nick like one bad shit gone wrong. Images of Becky dance within my skull. Not nearly as beautiful, but enough to satisfy the demon in me. What’s left of Nick burns and sizzles on the barrel of the gun as I pull it out.
“Took you long enough,” Sam’s voice comes from behind me. “Sorry, if this is one kill that I felt the need to enjoy,” I say to him. He throws me a towel and I wipe the blood from my face. “We are going to have to find a different place for Brain,” he informs me. “No one is going to look for him out here,” I tell him as I kick the body next to me. “No, no one is going to look for some asshole that doesn’t live here anymore that is true, but we can’t just drag another victim into this mess,” He says. “No one’s going to be looking for his asshole anymore because it literally doesn’t exist. Oh wait, I think I see a little left on the barrel,” I joke. “Shut the fuck up and listen,” Sam says sternly to me. “Do you want to fuck this up? All this work? All this time?” He shouts at me. A rage builds up in me, “No.” We stare each other down and I think of all the ways I could end him here and now the shotgun still very much in my hand. “Know your place,” he finally says to me. “We are partners in this not enemies. Let’s not fuck this up after all this time,” he says to me in a calm voice. I can still feel the adrenaline and blood pounding against my skull, but I know that he is right. I need to calm down. It is the murder effect. He is not my enemy they are. Each and every one of them that ever laughed at me, tortured me, or held me down. Those that held us down. Sam is my friend I think to myself. Sam has always been my friend I repeat to myself. I take a deep breath to calm down and exhale loudly to break the tension between us. “So what do we do next then?”