Preppy the life amp deat.., p.4
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       Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One, p.4
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         Part #5 of King series by T. M. Frazier

  aren’t going to be offered an all expense paid trip to rehab either.”

  “Tell me,” she begged, perking up and sitting straighter. She grabbed my arm and squeezed. “Please, just tell me the fucking truth.”

  If anything, I’ve always been “overly honest” so the truth wasn’t a problem for me. It poured easily from my lips and Dre listened intently as I told her, “I’m going to slit their throats, take my motherfucking plants back, call for someone to clean up the bodies so I don’t get my khakis dirty, and probably come back up here and smoke a joint afterward. Maybe snort some blow if I feel like a party. Haven’t really decided yet, depends on my mood.”

  Dre didn’t respond right away. She seemed lost in thought, staring over the railing as she mindlessly reached up to her neck, pushing back her hair and exposing a fresh bruise/welt combo in the shape of a large hand print. She ran her fingertips over it and her eyes welled up with tears.

  I’d only followed her from Mirna’s because she was a lot slower than those other two cunt-buckets, and I’d thought she’d eventually lead me back to them.

  What I hadn’t realized was that she wasn’t just running from me.

  She was running from them, too.

  “I don’t want the H,” she said, shocking the ever-loving-shit out of me.

  “You’re not a very good junkie,” I pointed out.

  “I’m not a junkie. I’m a junkie at the end of her rope, which until this very moment, I didn’t know were two different things, but they are a lot different.”

  “Yeah, I kind of noticed that while you were circling the drain up there,” I said, again pointing to the ledge. She didn’t look, instead she closed her eyes tightly and wrapped her arms around her stomach, like she couldn’t stand to relive what she’d almost done.

  “And it’s not that I don’t want it because I DO WANT it. I want it so bad I can taste it, literally, because when you shoot up it leaves a taste in your mouth and I just…” she said, reaching up to touch her lips. “But…”


  “But what’s crazy is that I DON’T want it even more,” she exhaled a shaky breath. “I’ll deal with my shit, but I was being honest when I said I wanted something else from you. Two things, actually.”

  “You’re not exactly in a position to be making demands,” I reminded her, although both me and my curious cock were very intrigued by what this tiny little person could possibly want from me.

  “No, I’m not,” she said, her voice filled with something that sounded a lot like new found determination. She looked up, and when her eyes locked on mine I swear it was like I could see her balls growing bigger with every word out of her mouth. “But I’ll take my chances because life isn’t always sunshine and whiskey.”

  “Nope, more like dark storms and moonshine,” I offered, laughing at my own joke. “But if you’re going to ask me to toss you off the tower, the answer is no, and not because I’m morally against it. I’m not actually morally against anything but having morals, I just don’t want you haunting one of my most favorite places. However, I hear the Causeway is excellent. Has mostly five stars on Yelp for best places in Logan’s Beach to end it all. Tell me what you want little junkie.”

  She looked up at me, obviously not as amused by my hilarity as I was. “Just need you to tell me where the fuck Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum went and anything within reason is yours,” I pushed.

  “And you’re going to kill them.” It wasn’t a question.

  “Yes. I’m gonna make ’em Tweedle-Dead.”

  * * *


  “Dad?” I asked in a whisper. Surprisingly, when I told Preppy I wanted to use his phone, he’d handed it over without hesitation. His only stipulation was that I make the call on speakerphone so he could make sure I wasn’t calling Conner or Eric to warn them off. It was impossible even if I wanted to do it, considering neither of them had cell phones.

  “Andrea? Is that you? What time is it?” my dad asked, clearing his throat. I didn’t answer, and not just because it didn’t matter but because I had no idea. All I knew was that it was really late.

  I just hoped it wasn’t TOO late.

  “Daddy, I’m coming home.”

  “Andrea,” he said, followed by a sigh of frustration. “Do you still have the ticket I sent you?”

  “Shit,” I said as panic washed over me. My ticket was in my bra, which was now somewhere below the water tower. “I don’t…” I started, when my dad interrupted.

  “I’m not sending you another one, Andrea. This is your last chance. I love you, but you need help and I can get you help, but you have to be on that bus.”

  I’d find that ticket if it was the last fucking thing I’d ever do. “I will be. I promise. I’m coming home. For real this time.”

  “No more lies.”

  “No more lies,” I choked out.

  “Andrea, one more thing,” he warned. “If I go to the bus station to pick you up and you’re not there, then this is done. Over. No more excuses. I’m too tired for any more excuses. No more calls. No more chances. If you’re not on that bus, then this isn’t your home anymore, and I’m not your family.” The threat was a well deserved one. The result of a classic case of the-girl-who-cried-heroin, one too many times.

  “I promise. I’ll be there,” I agreed. I looked over at Preppy, who held his hand out for the phone, an unreadable expression on his face. “I gotta go. I love you. I’ll see you soon.”

  “So, that was one request. What’s next?” Preppy asked, taking the phone, shoving it into his pocket. He flashed me a smile that told me he was up to something. It was all too easy. One minute, he wanted to kill me and the next, he wanted to help me? Maybe he had no intentions of letting me go.

  It didn’t matter. I meant what I’d told my dad. I was going to be on that bus this time. No matter what.

  Even if it meant I had to kill the man who’d saved my life.



  Dre’s demands were not at all what I’d thought they’d be. She didn’t even ask for money, and I was so sure she would that I’d have bet my left nut on it. First, she wanted to use my phone to call her dad, which I handed her without hesitation, as a sign of trust.

  “I need you to keep one of them alive. Conner,” she said, looking to her hands and fidgeting with her fingers.

  “Why?” I asked, irritated by her request. “He your boyfriend or something.”

  “No,” was all she said.

  “Well, he had to do something to earn that kind of loyalty.”

  “He didn’t. But I did. I owe him,” she said.

  I didn’t push her for more because it didn’t matter. I helped her down from the tower, found her clothes, shoes, and retrieved her bus ticket from a tree. I even gave her a ride to the bus station to boot because I’m a chivalrous motherfucker.

  Even if it was all bullshit.

  The only place I was planning on letting her go to, was to lead me back to the other two douchebags. Asking for me to spare Conners life showed me that she had some sort of loyalty toward him, so when she said that they were probably heading to Coral Pines to meet with their dealer, it wasn’t exactly like I was going to take her word for it. She could’ve been sending me right into a trap.

  The second we pulled up to the station, Dre opened the door before it was even in park. “Hey!” I said, thinking she was about to jump out and make a run for it, when she leaned over and puked onto the pavement.

  H withdrawals are no joke.

  When she was done heaving she sat up slowly, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. She got out, and I leaned over the seats to shut the door behind her. She turned around to me and flashed me a sad smile as she stood there clutching her only possession, her bus ticket, to her chest like it was a precious newborn baby.

  “Is your dad a good guy?” I suddenly asked, surprising even myself. “A good dad? Like does he spend time with you and take you places? He put fo
od on the table and send you to school?”

  She nodded. “Yeah.”

  “There are a lot of people out there whose dad’s don’t do any of that, or wouldn’t give a shit about getting their junkie daughter home, so when you get there, try and go easy on the guy,” I said, as if I really believed she was going home and not heading back to the male drugged-out-version of the Olsen Twins.

  Maybe I did believe it. There was only one way to find out.

  She smoothed her hair out of her eyes. “Maybe you’re Dr. Phil after all,” she said, before disappearing under the shadows of the awning, heading toward the empty bus benches.

  If she felt as bad as she looked, and she really was getting on that bus, then it was going to be one fuck-of-a-long bus ride to wherever it was she was going.

  “Not fucking likely,” I muttered as I pulled back onto the road, and as soon as I cleared the next block, I turned down the dirt road that used to act as the service entrance to the old motel. I parked in the back of the bus station which wasn’t really a station at all, just a small brick building with a flat roof and a ticket window facing the street with a few scattered benches. The light overhead where Dre was sitting was flickering on and off, casting the grassy area in spastic shadows.

  Shit, maybe she really was getting on that bus. And for a second, I was happy that the kid was going to be reunited with her father. I wasn’t messing around when I told her that most people didn’t have dad’s that cared enough to give her an ultimatum like he did. I was about to pull back out when I saw the headlights of a bus pulling into the station. I’d just decided that I was going to wait for her to get on the bus before I headed to Coral Pines, when suddenly her feet stopped tapping and retracted back into the shadows.

  Not like she stood up, not like she pulled them back.

  Like she was being dragged.

  I pulled my gun from my boot and got out of the car, shuffling to the side of the building, my eyes adjusting to focus in the dark, until I spotted Dre across the lot.

  She was being dragged all right. By her hair, through the parking lot, toward the old motel where the neon sign was blinking between VACANCY and NO VACANCY. The man dragging her was almost as thin as she was, but you didn’t have to be big to overpower someone as small as Dre. One of the motion lights clicked on and gave me a better view of Dre, whose black eyes were open, but glazed over and unfocused, she was foaming out of the side of her mouth.

  “You shouldn’t have left,” the man muttered, pulling Dre up and over a parking curb, her legs scraping against the ground as he huffed and grunted through his exertion. “You think you can just leave me? You owe me Dre. Remember that. You can’t just go home,” he said, to a semi-conscious Dre who looked a million miles away. “If I can’t go home, then you can’t go home. I’m sorry, I…I’m sorry I did that to you,” he said more quietly. “But I just gave you some of my new stash, so you should forgive me. It’s good shit, the best, and I saved it just for you.”

  I crouched and ran through the shadows from the back of the bus station to the overhang of the motel. As much as I wanted to blow the motherfucker away just for dragging her, I had to wait, each second was like a decade with my hand already twitching against the trigger.

  “I’m here, Dre. Conner is going to take good care of you like this from now on. I promise. You’ll see. You just can’t try and leave again because we are having such a great time and you’ll ruin everything!” he yelled. “But that’s what you do! You ruin things!”

  This was Conner? The one she’d wanted me to keep alive?

  He took a deep breath, fixing the awkward smile back onto his face. He wiped his forehead with the back of his ratty sleeve before hauling Dre up from underneath her arms, his hands against her tits so he could lift her awkwardly up over the curb. He opened the door of one of the rooms. “I mean, I’m so sorry, Dre.” Conner sniffled. “I mean, I think even though you were mad, that you really did like what we did to you. I think they were good screams. When Eric get’s back…” Conner’s voice faded abruptly as he kicked the door shut. The 9 marking the room number fell off one of its nails, becoming a swaying 6 before clambering to the sidewalk.

  Maybe it was his words. Maybe it was the way he treated her, like he owned her. Maybe it was that this was the guy she’d wanted me to save, but all I knew was that I was going in.

  Fake promises be damned.

  What happened next played out like a violent video game, a halo of blur around the edges of my vision as I advanced on the motel room. The gun in my outstretched hands in front of me as I kicked open the door. Conner was crouched low on the floor over Dre, who was lying on her stomach, face down on the faded blue shag carpet. Her shorts down over her naked ass while the dirtbag fisted his little pecker in his hand. The slam of the door against the wall had Conner looking up with surprise, his reaction delayed by whatever shit was running through his veins. “Who the fuck are you? Get the fuck out…” he said, before zoning in on my gun. “What are you gonna…?” Conner started to ask, his face paling and his bloodshot eyes widening. “Wait, I know who you are…”

  “Good, introductions can be so boring and all,” I said. “You know,” I scratched my head with the barrel of my gun, “junkies like you give drugs a bad name. You’re the very reason some of my favorite party enhancers will never be available and marked down at a discount on the shelves of my local neighborhood Wal-Mart at good-ole-American, made-in-China prices.” I aimed my gun at his chest. “Move away from her or I will end you right fucking here.” Conner stood up with his shoulders hunched forward, his softening little pecker hanging out of his zipper as he raised his hands and did as I commanded, stepping back from Dre. I spotted the open bathroom door. “Back, through there. Stand in the shower.”

  “Please. Please don’t shoot me,” he begged as he shuffled backward. I spared a glance at Dre, kneeling down I made sure she was breathing. She was. I flipped her onto her back and turned her head to the side so she wouldn’t choke on her own vomit if she started puking again. I followed Conner into the tiny bathroom where he tripped over the rim of the tub, landing on his ass in the shower, pulling down the beige plastic curtain over the top of him. “I’ll do anything. Anything,” he said, glancing at my crotch.

  “Dude, have some fucking self respect,” I said. “Unless that’s your thing. You a gay man, Conner?”

  He shook his head, his lower lip trembled.

  “Listen, I respect anyone’s choice to fuck the way they want to fuck and fuck who they want to fuck, but since you’re telling me that you’re a straight dude, then you’ve seriously just sank to the very last rung on the junkie ladder my friend, which in case you haven’t guessed it, is offering to suck another dudes cock.”

  “I’ve just…I’ve got a problem,” he said, his feet dangling over the edge of the tub.

  “Yeah, you fucking do.” Noticing a fingerprint on my gun, I huffed some air onto it and buffed it off on the rolled up cuff of my shirt.

  “I just need help. I promise, I’m really not a bad guy…” he stammered.

  I rolled my eyes. “Conner, stop your babbling. I believe you, buddy,” I said, using my most reassuring voice. I crouched down so our eyes were level. Instant relief filled Conners eyes.

  “You…you do? You believe me?” His hope at getting out of that bathroom alive was downright fucking tangible.

  I nodded. “Absolutely, I do.” I leaned over and pinched his cheek hard. He flinched but smiled awkwardly. “I think you’re just a confused kid who made some big BIG mistakes.” I turned my gun so it wasn’t facing him. Conner’s eyes nervously followed my every move. I stood up and leaned my hip against the sink, crossing my legs at the ankles. I turned the faucet on and let it run for a second or two before turning it off again. Wiping the grunge off the mirror with my closed fist, I gave my reflection a once over and straightened my bow tie.

  “Thank you! Thank you!” Conner stammered, attempting to sit up in the tub. “I’m really
a good person. This junk’s got me all fucked up. Makes me do stupid shit. Man, I’m so glad you’re not gonna shoot me in the fucking head.”

  “Don’t be silly, Conner. I don’t shoot people in the head. You know how much blood and gunk gets sprayed around when you go all gangsta willy-nilly and start shooting people in the head? Let me ask you something, Conner, you ever see a watermelon explode?”

  “Uh, what I meant was. I mean. Just thank you for not killing me.”

  “When did I say I wasn’t going to kill you?” I straightened my posture, turned back to Conner, and raised my gun, aiming it straight at his chest. I watched the confusion pass through his eyes, followed by realization, and then fear.

  “W…wa…wait!” Conner studdered. The sound of water bouncing off plastic caught my attention as he pissed himself on the fallen shower curtain.

  “I really fucking hate it when that happens,” I muttered, the scent of urine immediately unbearably strong in the tiny room and made my eyes water.

  “No, please no!” he cried, holding out his hands in front of his face, even after I told him I wasn’t going to shoot him in the head. It was almost like the fucker didn’t trust me. “You said… you believed me. That…that you didn’t think I was a bad guy!”

  I let out a long breathy sigh, which turned into a yawn. Not because I was tired, but because Conner and the whole will-I-or-won’t-I-kill-him situation was growing boring as fuck. “I don’t think you’re a bad guy at all.” I cocked my gun. “But, unfortunately for you…” I squeezed the trigger three times, sending pops of bright red splattering across the dull beige shower tile. “I am.”

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