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Games People Play

By: Jerale Clebourne

                It wasn’t a game that most people would play.  It would be considered childish and something left to much younger years; college at the least.  The rules were simple enough:  I scare you, you scare me; and it round robins from there.  And if I don’t scare you, then it’s still my turn until I do. 

            Andrew and Kelly had been playing since their junior year in college.  After the first two semesters of playing, the rules were changed to encompass more territory for them to play with.  It wasn’t just enough to scare anymore.  Now, it was anything that one could do to, for lack of a better word, “prank” the other.  Kelly was always on the losing end.  He would go weeks before actually being able to outdo, Andrew, or catch him off guard.  Many times, Andrew would fake being got, just so he could implement his own prank.  Of course, being a popular guy, and coming from a wealthy family didn’t hurt.  Often, he was able to convince others to help him out, or to give him access to places and things to make his plans practically foolproof. 

            During a drinking binge, Andrew slipped Kelly a pill that turned his urine bright red for two days.  It took all his willpower to suppress a laugh, or even a smirk every time Kelly came out of the bathroom; his face completely drained of blood, as if it had all drained out into the toilet.  Andrew always made sure to ask him what was wrong.  Kelly would mumble something with his head hung down, and disappear off into his room.  His relief at hearing the phrase “It’s your turn,” quickly turned to anger. 

His own pranks were never that ingenious or involved.  They were always generic attempts that relied too much on exact timing and required far too much setup on his behalf.  His greatest prank to date was when he put an entire container of debilitating gel in Andrew’s bodywash and shampoo.  Andrew had recently learned about Alopecia in his medical studies.  He freaked when all the hair on his body began to fall out.  He was completely hairless, from top to bottom.  He was known around campus as “lab rat” for over a month. 

Even that was nothing compared to Andrew’s “Blair Witch Prank.”  He convinced Kelly to watch the movie one night and then go camping the next.  Kelly fell asleep during the 2 hour car ride to the mountain campgrounds.  He never even bothered to ask why they were already in the woods when he woke up.  For two days, the two wandered through the woods, unable to find their way back to the parking lot.  No matter where they went, the compass always said north was in a different direction.  In the end, Kelly was completely outdone when he found out the truth.  Andrew had gotten the drama class to create a believable forest atop the rotating stage in the main auditorium.  The floor was set to move at 1 rpm, keeping them walking in circles as they “followed” the compass.  Subtle marks on the trees let Andrew know when they were getting too close to the edge and to turn them back around.  Students came and visited during breaks and off times to watch the rotating forest and listen to them wander about. 

Andrew was interning at Saint Matthew’s Blessed Hospital.  The long hours kept him busy, but never too busy to get back at Kelly, whenever it was his turn.  If anything, it gave him access to more tools for their game.  Medical knowledge was an unfair advantage in their game.  Just recently, Andrew had made Kelly start to doubt his sexuality.  For over a week he had been putting saltpeter in his food.  He then started to question him about his lack of a girlfriend and why he hung around so many guys.  He even went as far as to ask why he always watched the male bodybuilding competitions on TV.  That following weekend, Andrew took him to a strip club for a guys night out.  Andrew’s treat.  The look on Kelly’s face was priceless, as Andrew paid for lapdance after lapdance, knowing they had no effect on him.  He even gave one of the girls a little extra, to pretend to be insulted by his lack of erection and call him gay.  Andrew played it up for the rest of the week, and as a true show of “friendship” accompanied him to an all male revue.  Before going to the club, he slipped Kelly a Viagra.  They weren’t there for more than thirty minutes before Kelly ran for the door, trying desperately to cover up the bulge in his pants. 

            Andrew had wanted to carry the prank on for a few more days, but the look of terror and confusion on Kelly’s face made him say those three sweet words that filled Kelly with both relief and anger. 

It was the “Blair Witch Prank” that haunted him, and was still on his mind years later.  All he could think about was how perfect it was, and ask himself, “Why didn’t he know?”    More importantly, how could he possibly top it?  He had to do something.  Anything to put him on top. 

There had to be something he could do.  Something that would change his losing streak.  Kelly had already decided to get him while he was in the shower.  He knew that most people felt safe and secure in the bathroom.  That was why the shower scene in Psycho was so startling, it took away people’s security.  They no longer felt comfortable, or safe.  That’s where he had to strike. 

            The question was, what to do?  Between the two of them, they had exhausted all the simple and practical pranks within the first two months.  Kelly knew he had to do something spectacular.  Grandiose. 

            When the idea did come, it was like a bolt of lighting that woke him from a dead sleep.  Kelly sat up in bed and grabbed a pen off the nightstand.  He scrambled to find a piece of paper before the idea left him.  He settled on a Penthouse magazine he had used to go to sleep.  He worked quickly, trying to get it all down on paper before it was gone.  He wrote his plan in miniature blurbs, amateurishly tattooed on the breasts, thighs, and asses of the women in the magazine; the only blank areas to write. 

            Kelly could barely contain himself, as his hand moved feverously across the glossy pages.  Before he knew it, he was done.  He looked over at the clock.  4:42 am.  Andrew was asleep.  He’d be awake in a few hours.  Plenty of time to put his plan in motion.  Kelly hopped out of bed and threw on a shirt.  He had to wear a shirt, and not just boxers, in case Candace had spent the night.  Kelly thought she was hot, but a bitch.  Even still, he often thought about what it would be like if she were with him and not Andrew. 

            Kelly moved quietly down the hall to the bathroom they shared.  His plan would only work as long as Andrew didn’t think that he had been in there.  But he’d know when it was all done.  A little soap on the mirror would tell him everything. 

            Kelly was done before he knew it, and retreated to his room to wait.  He still had a little over an hour to wait before his trap was sprung.  He laid down in the bed, but knew that he wouldn’t be able to sleep.  He rolled over on his side and watched the clock.  The digital diamonds mocked his anticipation with its silence and lethargic movement. 

            “It won’t be long now.” Kelly thought to himself. 

            Kelly’s hands were still sweaty, and his skin tingly when the door to Andrew’s bedroom creaked open.  He waited in his room, listening intently for the sound of sheer terror to come from the bathroom.  The anticipation was almost more than he could bear.  He felt just like he did as a kid playing hide and seek, and finding the perfect hiding spot.  The excitement of it made his body nervous and jittery.  Suddenly he felt like he had to pee, and time felt as if it were moving backwards.  He wasn’t disappointed. 

            An ear piercing scream came from the bathroom, followed by the squeak of wet porcelain and a heavy yielding thud.  Kelly burst from his room and shot off towards the bathroom, almost knocking Andrew over in the process.  Andrew?!

            “What the hell are you doing out here?” Kelley screamed at him.  His fist balled in anger.

            “What the hell was that noise?”  The look of concern on Andrew’s face took all the anger out of Kelly. 

            “I thought you were in the bathroom.”

            “No.  I let Candace go ahead of me.  She has to be at work by nine.  I don’t have to be in until…”  Andrew pushed Kelly out of the way and darted for the bathroom.  “Candy!  Baby, are you okay?” 

            Andrew hit the door hard before turning the handle, too scared and worried to put his actions in proper order.  He turned the handle, and the door swung wide against the full weight of his body.  Candace was laying before him, half in, half out of the tub.  Water from the shower splashed on her body and trailed down the slope of her form to make a puddle on the floor.  Her left leg was tangled in the shower curtain and suspended in the air.  Her eyes looked directly into Andrew’s.  Cold, lifeless, and empty, begging for the soul that used to reside within. 

            Andrew crouched down beside her and lifted her head from the floor, cradling it to his chest.

            “Candy.  Oh my dear God, Candy.  What happened?”  He turned and glared at Kelly who stood dumbfounded in the doorway.  “What. Did. You. Do?” 

            “I…  She wasn’t supposed to be-  I thought it was you.”  Kelley turned and saw the words, “It’s your turn” laughing at him in the steamed up mirror. 

            “No.  No.  No.”  Andrew continued to hold her and cry. 

            “I’ll- I’ll go call the police.”  Kelly turned to leave. 

            “Yeah-  No!”  The word seemed to blast from his mouth.  Kelly stopped. 

            “No.  We can’t call the police.  They’ll think I killed her.” 

            “It’s okay.  It was an accident.  And, it was all my fault.”  Kelly knew what he was saying, and exactly what would happen to him.  He had watched enough television to know that he would still be guilty of reckless endangerment, and possibly homicide.  Once again, he started for the phone. 

            “No.  They’ll blame me.  They’ll think that I killed her.  Candy and I had a big fight at dinner last night.  They even asked us to leave the restaurant.  We walked around and talked, and made up afterwards, but they didn’t see that.” 

            “It was just a fight.  It happens.”

            “It wasn’t just a fight.  I got real mad, and knocked everything off the table.  I saw the hostess on the phone.  I think they called the cops.  They’ll never believe this was an accident.  Even if you tell them your side of the story, they’ll just think we were in on it together.” 

            Kelly walked in to the bathroom, taking his first steps inside since he had laid the deathly prank.  Andrew clothes were soaked from the water racing down Candy’s body.  Kelly reached inside and turned off the shower.  Kelly looked down at Candy’s naked body.  She was beautiful.  He had always wondered what she looked like naked.  He could see that she had a nice body through the clothes she wore, but he never knew just how lovely she looked till now.  He had always admired the exotic beauty of her face, but now he could see her stunningly sexy body.  Her legs were long and well shaped, with lean thighs, and delicate, yet toned calves.  They glistened under the light sheen of water.  She had nice softly rounded hips that led ever so gently to her supple waist.  Her stomach was smooth and flat, with just a faint hint of tight and toned abs that were only noticeable when she moved a certain way.  Her breasts were round and full and fit her body just right.  She was perfect.  At that moment, Kelly wished more than anything that Andrew had hooked him up with her sister.  At three years young, Melissa looked almost identical to her older sister.  Andrew told him that he had seen her in a see-through nightie one time, and that the similarity was unreal. 

            Kelly couldn’t take his eyes off of her.  He could feel his pants getting tight, and the saliva in his mouth increasing.  He could barely find the words to speak.

            “Basement.”  He cleared his throat.  “Let’s take her to the basement.”  Andrew looked up at him.  “Just until we decide what to do.  We can’t leave her here.” 

Andrew nodded. 

            “You grab her arms.” Directed Kelly.  “I’ll get her feet.” 

            Kelly untangled Candace’s leg from the shower curtain and cradled it under his arm.  He bent down into the tub and grabbed her other leg.  As he leaned forward, his eyes strolled along her silky legs and up to her crotch.  He couldn’t help but stare deep into her sexuality.  She was trimmed, with a bikini wax.  A light mound of hair covered her inner self.  He stared at her soft wet downy fur.  It was like he had always imagined all those nights when she and Andrew were having sex.  Kelly would put his ear to the adjoining wall to Andrew’s bedroom and pleasure himself while listening to her sounds of pleasure.  His lips suddenly felt dry, and he had to lick them. 

            He suddenly remembered Andrew was still there with him and turned to look at his friend.  Andrew was oblivious.  He was still looking into her face, while holding tightly onto her limp body. 

            Kelly lifted her from the tub.  He turned his body to such an angle that it folded Candace nearly in half; positioning himself against the back wall. 

            “You lead.”  Kelly said nervously.  “You know what a hard time I have walking backwards.”

            Andrew didn’t argue.  He was like a robot, doing whatever Kelly said.  The two hoisted her body and began carrying her down the hall.  Andrew led, constantly turning his head to see behind him.  Kelly held a leg under each arm, softly gripping the calf.  He looked up at his distraught and distracted friend, then back down at her.   He spread her legs further apart, giving him a better look at her womanly beauty, when he felt it.

            Her leg twitched!  In fear, he lost his grip and almost dropped her.  Andrew looked at him. 

            “You okay?” 

            “Y-Yeah.  I just lost my grip.  Her legs are really wet.” 

            Andrew went back to his assigned duty, being careful to avoid hitting the table in the hall. 

            Kelly gripped her legs a little tighter and pulled them open wider.  He watched and waited to see if she would move again.  She did.  This time he saw the muscles in her stomach jump, as if she had a small hiccup. 

            “You tricky little bitch!”  Kelly thought to himself.  “You’re alive.”  Kelly looked up at Andrew.  “Damn you, Andy.  You always have to out do me.  Not this time.  This time I’m gonna call your bluff.  You’ll give in before I will.

            Andrew stopped at the basement door and lifted Candace’s body.  He held her torso against his chest long enough to open the basement door and turn on the light.  His arm held her right at the sternum, sliding up under her breasts, forcing them up and out.  They seemed to be offering themselves to Kelly.  Again he had to lick his dry lips. 

            Andrew moved his hand back to under Candace’s arms and lifted.  The two men carried her down into the basement.  They moved adjacent to the workbench and stopped. 

            “We’ll lift on the count of three.  One.  Two.  Three.”  The two lifted Candace and laid her body atop the table.  Her arm dropped off the sides of the table when Andrew let go.  Her careful grabbed each one and placed it at her side.  

            Kelly made it a point to leave her legs spread, placing each heel at a table corner.  He ran his hand nonchalantly up her leg and let it rest on her upper thigh, as he walked along the length of the table towards Andrew.  He took his other hand and pinched Andrew’s shirt between his thumb and forefinger. 

            “You’re soaking wet.  Why don’t you go upstairs and change clothes.  I’ll stay here and try to think of what to do next.” 

            Andrew nodded.  He climbed the stairs with all the speed and exuberance of the living dead.  Kelly called after him when he’d reached the top.  Andrew stopped, but didn’t turn around.  Not that it mattered.  He hadn’t noticed Kelly’s hand on Candace’s thigh, it went without saying that he more than likely wouldn’t have noticed that it had slid down between her thighs. 

            “Put some towels down in the bathroom.  And try and mop up the water in the hall, too.”  Andrew’s head dropped in acknowledgement.  “And, don’t forget to shut the door.  Just in case someone drops by.”  Andrew took the final step and closed the basement door behind him.  Kelly stared at the door for what seemed like years to him; his heart racing.  He listened to see if Andrew was coming right back.  Nothing. 

            Kelly turned his attention to Candace.  He gripped her inner thigh and slid his hand along the upper part of her body.  Her eyes were closed now.  He knew that she wouldn’t be able to keep them open like that forever.  He knew that if he asked Andrew he knew he would simply say that he closed them.  No.  He wouldn’t let them off so easily.  Kelly placed his other hand on her body, and ran his fingertips across her breasts and nipples.  Her skin was warm.  Cooling now, naked in the cold basement, but far to warm for a corpse.  He gave her nipple a little tweak with his fingers.  There was no response. 

            “You’re good.  I’ll give you credit.  I never would have thought you’d be willing to go this far just to help Andy prank me.”  Kelly pinched her nipple harder this time, giving it a twist as he did so.  “I’ll make you crack, or wish that you’d never gone through with this to begin with.” 

            Kelly gave both of her breasts a squeeze, then leaned forward and swiped the nipples with his tongue.  Candace remained perfectly still.  Kelly laughed. 

            “You have no idea how much fun this is for me.”  He started running his fingers down the center of her chest, slowly taking them down south.  His eyes were focused on her face.  He was waiting for the muscles in her face to tense up as she clenched her jaw and tightened her already closed eyes.  He moved even slower once he reached her navel.  He started walking his fingers down across her lower abdomen and down to her pubic mound. 

            He slid his finger along her outer lips.  She was wet.  He didn’t know if it was from the shower, or the fun he was having with her body.  He didn’t give it much thought, as he really didn’t care.  Her face and body remained still, frozen. 

            “Bravo, Andy.  Let me guess, you gave her a little something you picked up from the hospital.  One of those drugs that simulate death, slowing the heart rate and breathing.  You think you’re so fuckin’ clever, don’t you?  Well, the jokes on you.

            Kelly parted her lips and slid two fingers inside her.  He couldn’t help but let out a sigh.  It was like all of his fantasies had come true.  His entire body trembled as he proceeded to move his finger in and out of her.  He felt his erection push hard against the front of his pants, then began to twitch over and over. 

            The floor above him creaked, and Kelly knew that Andrew was on his way back down.  He withdrew his fingers and gave them a quick lick, before wiping them on his shirt. 

            The basement door opened, and Andrew slinked down the steps, closing the door behind him. 

            “I cleaned everything up upstairs.”  Andrew ran his fingers through Candace’s hair.  Tears began to form in his eyes. 

            “What are we going to do, Kel?” 

            “I’ve been thinking.  There’s only one thing we can do.  If we can’t go to the cops, then we have to get rid of the body.  We’re gonna hafta dump her body somewhere where she won’t be found for a while; if ever.” 

            “Maybe we should call the police.  Maybe you’re right.  They might believe it was an accident.”  Andrew said between sobs. 

            “You’d like that, I bet.  Get me to cave in.  Let’s see, you’ll make the call and two of your buddies from the hospital will show up dressed like cops.  Not this time.” 

            “It won’t work.  You said it yourself.  All those people in the restaurant saw you guys arguing.  ‘If you even did argue.‘  And, what about now?  What do you think the cops will think when they found out we brought the body down to the basement?” 

            “Let’s just put her back in the bathroom.” 

            “Dammit, Andy!  It’s too late.  Even if we put her back, it won’t be the same.  They’ll still know she was moved.  We’ve got to get her body out of this house!  And we have to do it now!”  Kelly raised his voice in an attempt to frighten Andrew.  He withdrew from Kelly, but didn’t retreat. 

            Kelly looked around the room for something he could use to scare Andrew even more.  Something that would make him cave in.  He saw what he needed hanging on the wall with the tools. 

            “I need your help.” 

            Andrew cautiously approached Kelly as he moved over to the pegboard hanging on the wall.  Kelly grabbed a pair of pruning shears from off one of the metal arms, and turned back to face Andrew.

            “What the hell are you doing?” cried Andrew.  Kelly almost burst out laughing, as he watched what little blood that remained drain out of Andrew’s face. 

            “We can’t take her out like this.  It’s too conspicuous.  We’re going to have to cut her up.” 

            “We can’t do that.”

            “We don’t have a choice.  We might be able to get her out of the house without getting caught, but do you know hard it is to dump a whole body without being seen?  No.  Trust me, this is the best way to do it.”  Kelly snipped the shears twice.  “We’ll be able to dump the body parts all over the city.  Hell, we could even take a trip, and dump them all over the state.” 

            “I can’t do this.”  Andrew started to shake all over.  He wrapped his arms around himself to try and get control. 

            “Of course you can’t.  We’ll start slow.

            Kelly grabbed her hand and put her pinky finger between the blades of the shears.  He looked over at Andrew, waiting for him to call it all off.

            “Any time, pal.  I’m waiting on you.

            Kelly waited on Andrew to say something. 

            “I’m gonna do it, asshole.  You’re the one she’s gonna be pissed at, not me.

            Nothing. 

            “Okay.

            Kelly gave the handles a squeeze and the finger fell to the table.  He looked over at Andrew again, and waited for him to say something. 

            “No, you’re right.  A pinky’s no big deal.  You’re a doctor.  You know how easy it would be to put one back on.

            Kelly never took his eyes off Andrew as he maneuvered Candace’s hand in his own, until he had her ring finger under the chopping block. 

            “How about two?  Are you ready to give up, yet?

            Nothing. 

            “Give up!

            Snip!

            “Give up!

            Snip!

            “Give up!

            Snip!

            “Give up!

            Snip!

            Kelly stopped and looked up at Andrew.  He saw his friend’s eyes roll back in head and his body go limp.  Andrew stumbled backwards and crashed into the wall.  Kelly stood his ground.  Andrew rubbed the knot that started to form on the back of his head, and braced himself against the wall. 

            “Nice try, buddy.  My turn.”  Kelly put down the shears, and wiped his bloody hands on his pants.

            “Since you’re there, will you hand me the saw.”  Andrew’s eyes grew wide.  “The shears are too small for the arms and legs.” 

            Andrew didn’t move.  He was frozen against the tool wall, staring blankly at Kelly.  Kelly flashed his eyes and smiled. 

            “I’ll get it.”  He walked over to the pegboard wall again and pulled down the old hand saw.  Its slightly rusted teeth made it seem perfectly at home in the damp poorly lit basement.  He walked back over to Candace’s body.  He grabbed her digit-less arm by the wrist and lifted it off the table.  He put the saw’s teeth against the fold of her arm and looked over at Andrew. 

            “We’ll need a bag to put these in.”  And with that, Kelly started to cut.  He raked the saw back and forth across the soft flesh.  The old saw slung droplets of blood forward and back, as it whistled its grizzly off-beat tune. 

            “Just admit that you’ve lost, and we can end this now.

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            “Just admit it!

            Saw!

            Kelly had no idea what he had been doing.  He just stared at Andrew, lost in his insanity.  Andrew, was hunched over, raking his throat raw with dry heaves.  Everything that was on his stomach had come up many gags before, and was now all over the tool wall and floor.  Andrew tried to compose himself, but was unable to when he looked down and saw his former stomach contents mix with the pool of blood from Candace’s body.  He fell backwards, sliding down the wall to the floor.  He didn’t even try to lean over; he just dry heaved into his lap.

            Kelly looked down at the disassembled body that was once Candace.  Now it was a masterpiece of his design.  He had completely cut her body into neat, easily portable sections.  He had even split the torso into quarters.  And, despite all of this, Andrew refused to admit defeat. 

            “You always have to win, don’t you?  Even now, you refuse to quit.  Asshole!  You think I don’t know.”  Kelly stared down at his helpless friend.  Hate had replaced his heart, and any feelings of endearment he had for his one time friend. 

            “I figure it out before I got down the saw.”  Kelly walked over to Andrew and lorded above the cowering shell of a man.  “That wasn’t really Candace on the table.  You did a good job of making it look like her, but I saw through it.  You simply made up one of the bodies from the morgue.  Let me guess, a Jane Doe that was set for medical research at the college?  But you just couldn’t let me win could you?” 

            Kelly’s arm seemed to move on its own, as it reached out and grabbed the hammer from the wall.  The handle was slick with partially digested pieces of bagel and stomach acid.  Nothing else on Kelly’s body moved but his arm.  The possessed appendage raised itself into the air and dropped with all the speed and force it had.  The hammer struck Andrew across the crown of his head.  A glancing blow that cracked the skull and removed a quarter sized piece of flesh. 

            Kelly dropped the hammer at his feet, and stepped over the fallen body of his nemesis.  He went to the cramped area under the stairs and grabbed the gas can.  It was only a quarter full, but that was enough.  He started dousing the basement with gas, making sure to get the steps as he walked up them backwards.  He opened the oven door and splashed some inside, before closing the door and turning the knob to broil.  He did the same with the microwave, and pushed the preset button for whole chicken.  He could feel the can getting low, and poured a good bit on the living room walls and the emptied the rest on the sofa. 

            Kelly toss the empty gas can across the room and snatched a lighter off the coffee table.  He set the sofa ablaze, and casually walked out the front door.  He walked out onto the lawn and turned back towards the house.  He took a seat on the warm afternoon grass and waited.

            Soon he could see the flickering orange of flames licking at the curtains.  He could scarcely hear the explosion of the microwave for the pounding in his ears.  He knew he had won now.  The minute Andrew came running out the house, it would all be over.  That would be an admission in and of itself.  All he had to do was wait. 

            Kelly sat, refusing to move as the house burned to the ground.  He forced the firemen to work around him, as they tried to contain the blaze and keep it from spreading to the other houses in the area.  His answers to the police were candid and to the point as they asked him how the fire started, and if there was anyone still inside. 

            Yes, he answered.  My friend, Andrew, and the dismembered body of a girl he was pretending to be his girlfriend. 

            He didn’t put up any sort of fight or struggle as they handcuffed him and lead him to the police car.  Kelly looked at the officer escorting him.  He smiled and spoke only three words. 

            “It’s his turn.” 

Eight months later

            Kelly walked the pale green and teal blue halls of the institute.  His good behavior the past months had earned him TV time, and just recently the privilege to wear his own clothes.  He kept rubbing his hands along the front of the denim jeans.  They felt so good on his skin, after many months of scratchy white polyester blend.  He had wanted to wear his Jack Nicholson Shining t-shirt, but it wasn’t allowed on the premises, and had to be sent back home to his parents, along with the other articles they felt weren’t constructive to the environment.  He settled instead, on an old one with a large picture of a chess pawn on the front. 

            He still hated the cold stark place, but had grown comfortable within its walls.  He had even grown used to the smell of antiseptic, and the heavy smell of Lysol that failed in its attempt to mask the stench of stale urine.  The doctor was impressed with the progress he had made in such a short time.  He explained that years of his and Andrew’s “abusive game,” coupled with him always being the underdog, cause his mind to snap.  Losing the chance to finally come out on top was too much for him. 

            Kelly had even come to terms with the fact that he had killed his best friend and his girlfriend.  The doctor explained that with time, and continued progress, he just might be ready for the outside world again.  Kelly requested that the doctor send progress reports, along with letters of apology that he had written to Andrew and Candace’s family. 

            Kelly shuffled down the hall to the rec room.  He passed the nurse’s station as he went, and waved at Norman; one of the orderlies.  Norman was leaning on the counter flirting with nurse Beverly.  Kelly like Beverly.  She was nice to him, and always gave him a full cup of juice to take his pills with. 

            Norman looked up at Kelly, and turned his attention back to Beverly, completely ignoring him.   Kelly could hear him bragging about his brute force tactics in subduing one of the other “house members.”  That’s what the doctors liked for them to be called, and refer to each other by.  It was more “pc” than inmates.  Norman went on about how he was able to control Jason , and take him to the “fun park” with just a twist of his wrist.  The fun park was his special name for the padded cells. 

            Kelly hated Norman, and did just about anything he could to avoid him or being in his way.  He pretended to be nice in an attempt to get on his good side. 

            “I don’t understand.”  Beverly’s voice was like fresh honey.  “Jason’s normally so docile during TV time.  He just sits there and watches his game shows.” 

            “I don’t know.  I don’t get friendly with the apple-heads like you do.  He was screaming something about some show he was watching.”  Norman continued trying to impress her with his rough and tough demeanor. 

            “Oh yeah.  There was some new game show that started this week.  It was replacing one of his regulars.” 

            “That must have been it.  He was yelling about it being a repeat.  It was kinda funny.”  Norman chuckled.  “You should heard him squealing in that squeaky little voice of his.  ‘They already showed this one’.”  Norman mocked Jason’s high pitched voice.  ” ‘They showed it yesterday and the day before.  It’s not right.  They keep showing the same episode.’ ” 

            Beverly listened and smiled politely, but she didn’t like Norman any more than the house members. 

            Kelly continued his slow saunter to the rec room.  Mandy and George were already in there, trying to watch television through the chicken wire mesh that covered the screen.  Mandy sat in her special chair in the corner of the room.  She had a “problem” with personal space, and could not have anyone within two feet of her.  It was eight feet, when she was first brought in ten years ago.  She was also “making progress.” 

            Kelly took a seat on the old worn couch next to George.  He made himself comfortable and looked up at the television.  The game show was just coming back from commercial. 

            Suddenly, Kelly’s heart skipped a beat, and his blood ran cold.  There on the screen was Andrew.  Andrew, his dead friend.  The one he killed by bashing him in the head, and burning him alive.  Andrew was on television hosting the game show.  And then there was the contestant to his right.  Candace. 

            Visions flooded Kelly’s mind.  He could clearly see himself using the old saw to cut her body apart.  But, there she was, alive.  Alive and standing right next to Andrew.  Kelly blinked repeatedly and rubbed his eyes.  He rose from the sofa and walked over to the TV, craning his neck back to see. 

            It couldn’t be them, but it looked so much like them. 

            “And we’re back.  I’m your host Andrew Shay.  Let’s re-introduce our guests.  To my right is the lovely Candace.” 

            Kelly couldn’t believe it.  Even their names were the same.  Kelly wasn’t even aware of the yelling coming from behind him as he blocked George and Mandy’s view.  He was glued to the images on the screen.  He didn’t even hear the loud stomps of Norman’s feet, heavy in the hall. 

            “And to my left- Returning champion, Kelly.  Okay.  Now that we’re officially back from commercial.”  The Andrew host looked directly into the camera. 

            “Kelly.  It’s your turn.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Very nice! There is a new master of modern writing and his name is Jerale Clebourne!

    Comment by Matthew J. — August 20, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

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