I went to high school with Sandra Perlmann. She was one of those people who had it all. She was hot, popular, and managed to get good enough grades, but she was a total bitch.
One time at a party, there was this girl who was there through a friend of a friend or something like that. She wasn’t the type to be there at all. I’m sure she had debated about whether or not to come right up until the last moment, finally just deciding to go just to see what it was like.
For some reason, Sandra picked her out as the target of her latest pointless cruelty.
“Oh my God,” she shouted after engaging the girl in conversation for about a minute, “You’re a drug addict?”
First of all, this was obviously untrue. Second of all, it was a completely random thing to say, and third of all nobody even cared. Hell, quite a few people at the party were easily on their way to drug addiction themselves. We went to a pretty rich school, it wasn’t uncommon for people to do blow at parties.
But none of that mattered to the poor girl, of course. She had come hoping to just blend in and try to have a good time, but instead Sandra had picked her out and shamed her in front of everyone. She ran out of the party crying.
I didn’t say anything, of course. I never did. I was good-looking enough and had decent enough social skills that I was never a target. Why rock the boat?
Since graduation, Sandra has moved to New York, become the editor of a fashion magazine, and gotten engaged to a successful lawyer.
One day I was sitting in a bar after work. A group of three very loud women were in the corner, apparently celebrating the fact that one of them had gotten pregnant. Although, of course, it the other two were doing most the celebrating. The proud mother-to-be just sat quietly, smiling, drinking a coke. Suddenly, she lurched out of her chair, her face a mask of panic. She tried to open her mouth to speak, but it was stuck shut.
“Oh my God!” one of the other women shouted, “Someone put rubber cement in her drink!”
Something snapped inside me. I don’t know if I was drunk off of the half a beer I’d had, or if I’d just had a really bad day at work. All I knew was, I was sick of assholes. I’d been sitting quietly for too long, letting them get away with their bullshit, but I wasn’t going to let them get away with it this time.
“Who the hell did that?” I shouted.
An old man sitting next to me pointed towards the door. I caught a glimpse of a very large man walking out with a woman on his arm.
“Why didn’t you do anything?” I growled at him.
He just glared at me.
Tossing some money on the counter, ran towards the door and stepped outside. “Hey!” I called after the hulking mass, “You’re an asshole.”
He stopped, turned around and looked at me. “What’d you say to me?”
My body immediately told me to run, I’d just made a terrible mistake.
“You the one put rubber cement in that pregnant woman’s drink? You’re an asshole.”
He slowly walked up to me and stood just inches away. We’d have been face-to-face if he wasn’t two inches taller than me. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my mouth was dry but my skin was wetter than it’d ever been. I knew what I was doing was stupid, but I was fed up. I wasn’t going to run, I wasn’t going to let them win this time.
“I’m not gonna hit you,” I said, “I weigh a hundred and forty pounds. But go ahead and hit me if it’ll make you feel better.”
I was on the ground with the first punch.
I stood back up and grinned. That’s about all I remember until the emergency room.
Two days later I walked into work, my face a mass of swollen bruises and my teeth loose.
My boss took one look at me and asked, “What the hell happened to you?”
“Some guy put rubber cement in a pregnant lady’s drink. I called him an asshole, he did this to me.”
“Jesus Christ,” he said, shaking his head, “I expected better of you. Go home, take some time off.”
“I didn’t hit him,” I said, “I’m not stupid.”
“Go home,” he said, still shaking his head.
“I didn’t hit him,” I repeated. “I’m not violent. I’ve never even been in a fight before.”
“Go home,” he said.
I turned around and headed out the door.
Did he think I was less of a man for not fighting back? Did he even believe me? I didn’t know. Was he going to fire me? I didn’t know that, either, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. They say the meek will inherit the Earth, but it seems to me like God’s helping out the assholes.
This story is not appropriate for children because of the massive amounts of gratuitous hot nasty narcissism contained within. If you’re under 18 please leave this page and go poop in your diaper.
Kanye West ran his fingers across Kanye West’s chin, feeling his rough but perfect stubble. Hundreds of nubile servant girls waited outside in the hallways of Kanye’s palace, but to Kanye, Kanye was the only the person that mattered.
He bashfully reached out his fingers, brushing them softly against the downy feathers of Kanye’s wings. Kanye shuddered at the ecstasy imparted by the touch. It was forbidden for anyone to touch the wings of an angel such as he, and now he understood why. Overcome by pleasure, however, he didn’t care.
“I’m gonna fuck you like a pharaoh,” he breathed, “I’m gonna put your pussy in a sarcophagus.”
Kanye West was the voice of this generation, and that voice was sweet as honey to Kanye West’s ears. He reached down and unbuckled Kanye’s belt. As he slid Kanye’s pants down his legs, his eyes widened and he gasped in shock.
“No one man should have all that POW-ah,” he swore softly to himself.
Kanye took his hand and stared deeply into his eyes.
“Tonight,” he said, “I’ma let you finish.”
We were on our way to see someone Todd called the Eyeball Kid. I don’t know how he found these people. While most of us were cowering in fear at the nightmare we’d seen the world become, Todd seemed to thrive on it. It’s like Freak had only confirmed what he already knew about the world, and now he’d thrown himself full-heartedly into the weirdness.
We pulled up to an apartment complex. A pretty shitty one, too. Todd led me to room 27 and knocked on the door, which opened immediately, still on the chain.
“Who is it?” a voice called out.
“It’s me, Todd,” he said, smiling.
The door shut, then reopened, revealing a haggard-looking young woman, early twenties at most. Her sunken, tired eyes told me that she, too, was a Freak user. She glanced at me suspiciously.
“It’s alright,” Todd said. He pulled a bottle of pills out of his pocket and handed them to her.
“He’s in the den,” she said, wearily, stepping back into the shadows to let us pass.
“What was that?” I hissed at Todd. “Did you just give her Freak?”
“No,” he said, “There’s no way she’ll ever take Freak again after what happened to her kid. They’re sleeping pills. She has a hard time sleeping, understandably.”
“What happened to her…” I began, then stopped, gasping. We’d entered the den. Sitting at the table was a young boy, about 6 years old. What shocked me was his eyes. They were too big for his face, bulging out so far his eyelids couldn’t even completely shut around them when he blinked.
“Hey Teddy,” Todd said, pulling a piece of paper and a box of crayons from his pocket. “It’s me, Todd. You remember me, right? Want to draw a picture for me?”
The kid nodded, grasping blindly in the air in front of him until Todd put the crayons and paper into his hands.
“Don’t worry,” Todd said, stepping back and standing next to me, “They’re fake eyes.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“His mom used Freak when she was pregnant. He was born without eyes. Just empty sockets.”
“And you wouldn’t believe how expensive kid-sized glass eyes are,” Todd said, shaking his head, “You have to get ’em custom made.”
“Why are we here, Todd?” I asked.
“Turns out Freak’s got some literary sensibilities,” he grinned bitterly. “It took the kid’s eyes, but he can see the future. And if you bring him a piece of paper and some crayons he’ll draw it for you.”
“Todd,” I said, “If he was born without eyes, how does he know what a nod means?”
“I try not to think about it,” he said.
By now, the kid had finished drawing. He waved the paper in the air to get our attention. Todd stepped forward to take it.
“Thanks, Teddy,” he said. “You can keep the crayons.”
The kid smiled at him, showing a full mouth of very sharp teeth.
Todd stepped back and glanced at the picture. I craned my neck to see, but he held it away from me.
“Come on,” he said, “What if I’m having sex in it or something?”
It would have had to have been some really messed up sex, though, because as he looked over the picture, all the color drained from Todd’s face. Wordlessly, he passed it to me, and I could immediately see why.
A clatter in the doorway behind me. I freeze, holding the orange juice in my mouth. Now that I have time to really examine the taste, there are subtle hints of the dish soap used to clean the glass.
I slowly turn my head almost all the way around, scanning the room. Nothing. My free hand reaches down my side and slides my pistol out of its holster. My eyes dart around the room as I hear another clatter.
A grey blur darts across the room. I spin, splashing orange juice on my face, and futilely empty a magazine across the floor, always half a second behind the speeding goddamn rodent.
“Jesus Christ!” Todd shouts, walking in from the other room holding his ears, “I was sleeping you asshole!”
“Sorry,” I say, relaxing and replacing the pistol, “I thought I saw a mouse.”
“Well did you get the bastard?” he yawns, scratching at his eyes.
“No,” I sigh, shaking my head.
“Of course not,” he groans, “Well who gives a rat’s ass? We’ll be out of here in two days anyway.”
I gasp. “You think they’re rats?”
“All I want out of life,” she said, “is to kick the world’s ass.”
I watched her out of the corner of my eye. Her bright pink hair stuck out at angles that shouldn’t even be possible. Every word that she said was one of the most unexpected and obscene things I could imagine. She was the most amazing person I’d ever met.
When we got to her door, she turned and kissed me full on the mouth. I was so surprised, I didn’t even think to shut my eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, laughing, “Never kissed a girl before?” Without waiting for an answer, she turned and skipped up the stairs, still laughing.
Her parents hated me. When she brought me home to meet them, her mother cried as her father screamed. They called me names, blamed me for “corrupting” their daughter.
“But she corrupted me,” is what I wanted to say. But of course I didn’t.
“Don’t worry,” she told me that night after she’d snuck out of the house, “I wouldn’t like you if they didn’t hate you.” We’d just made love for the first time.
We were in the park. I had packed a picnic basket and a bottle of wine. She laughed and called me a walking cliché, but I could tell that she enjoyed it.
After we ate, she lit up a joint. “You want a hit?” she asked.
“No thanks,” I said, “I don’t really…”
“Come on,” she laughed, holding it up to my lips, “Live a little.”
What the hell, I thought, and took a drag.
“How will I know when it hits me?” I asked, five minutes later after I’d stopped coughing.
“You’ll know,” she laughed.
My gaze wandered over to the tree we were sitting under. I was suddenly struck with awe at the intricate pattern of bark covering the trunk. No artist could paint something so detailed, and yet here it had occurred entirely by random chance. Not only that, but no other tree in the history of the world would ever have the exact same pattern of bark. I rolled over and stared up at the leafy canopy. I was astonished at the number of leaves — they seemed uncountable. I turned to look at her, and was overwhelmed with the deepest feelings of positivity, thankfulness to the universe just for the fact that she existed.
“Your eyes are as red as the devil’s dick!” she laughed, “You’re high as hell!”
I laughed too. Why shouldn’t we laugh? We were still young enough that life was funny.
We moved up north and got married. A few years later, I brought up having kids.
“No fucking way am I gonna get pregnant!” she said, “I’m not going through nine whole months of that shit, forget it. Unless you’re volunteering?”
I wasn’t, of course. We adopted. A girl from China. When she turned 17, she ran away and joined the army. We got a letter a few months later saying she’d been killed.
We never talked about it, but we both knew we blamed ourselves. And, to some degree, each other.
She moved out one day. She said it wasn’t my fault. She felt like she’d turned into her mother and couldn’t live with herself that way. I told people she’d run away with some young actor, but as far as I know she never saw anyone else. I know I never did.
I sat by her bed in the hospital. She’d been unresponsive ever since the stroke, but I was there every day. It’s not like I had much else to do these days.
She opened her eyes and looked at me. “Hey there,” she said, a pained smile crossing her lips.
“Shhh,” I said, taking hold of her hand, “Don’t strain yourself.”
She seemed as though she didn’t hear me. “It was a good run, wasn’t it?” she said, squeezing my hand.
“It was,” I said.
“We sure kicked the world’s ass,” she said.
“We sure did,” I said. “We sure did.”
“Got any spare change?” asked the Bum as the Truck Driver pushed passed him into the bar.
“The usual?” asked the Bartender as he entered.
“What else?” grunted the Truck Driver, sliding onto the stool. “I don’t know why you work in this dump,” he said, shaking his head.
“We all have to pay the rent somehow,” shrugged the Bartender, mixing up the drink.
“Tell me about it,” sighed the Truck Driver, “But you could do so much more! You’re the Wise Old Man for God’s sake! Couldn’t you have been a professor or a therapist or something?”
“I was self-taught,” sighed the Bartender, “No degree, no fancy title. But hey, you’re not exactly the Playboy Millionaire either!”
“Maybe not,” admitted the Truck Driver, “The Fool got there first, somehow.”
“I heard it was the Trickster,” said the Bartender. “He decided to become a Con Man, then he and the Fool worked together, did some embezzling and fraud, made millions. Of course, then he got arrested and the Fool got to keep all the money. Been living it up ever since, doesn’t give two shits about anything.”
“Hell, man,” laughed the Truck Driver, “why couldn’t that have been us? Ah well, at least I’m still doing what I was meant to. Driving a truck is sort of like being a Wanderer. I get to travel a lot, anyway.”
“Things sure have changed,” sighed the Bartender. “Have you seen the Mother and the Child recently? Now that’s sad.”
The Truck Driver nodded. Back when humanity was young, the Child was all sweetness and light, instead of the snotty little shit he was today. One could almost forgive the Mother for turning from the strong, supportive parent she once was to the henpecking, controlling woman she had become.
“What we need is a Hero to come along and set things right,” the Truck Driver sighed.
The Bartender smiled wistfully. “Every day I wish it more and more. It’s such a shame he was killed back in World War II.”
OK, so, there were these three guys, see? Two twins and their younger brother.
So, the twins. Identical twins, and I mean completely identical. Only way to tell ’em apart was to get way up close, ’cause you see, each of ’em had only one good eye. The other one was glass. Funny thing was, one was missing his right eye and the other his left. A little too coincidental if you ask me, but anyway say you manage to get close enough to their faces, you could know who was who.
‘Course, they never let anyone get that close to ’em. And anyone who did ain’t fit to talk about it.
Creepy bastards, too. You know how some twins got that “sixth sense” about each other, can tell what the other’s thinking or doing at the time, right? These guys had it like no other. Sometimes it seemed like they were the same guy just in two different bodies, y’know? One of ’em would be off doing something and the other would know everything before he even heard about it. Nobody knew their real names. They both went by “Jack.” To confuse people, I guess, but it’s not like it mattered since you couldn’t tell ’em apart anyway. And of course people called ’em the One-Eyed Jacks.
You see where this is going, eh? Yeah. If they’re the One-Eyed Jacks, that made their brother the Suicide King.
Alright, you gotta understand, this guy, even though he was the younger brother, he was big. The Jacks were scrawny types, they were the schemers and talkers of the operation. The King was the muscle. And he was an animal. He fought like he wasn’t afraid of dying, and I guess he wasn’t ’cause a lot of the time the fights would end with him shooting himself in the head.
Yeah. “A lot of the time.” He did this more than once. What, you think people called him the Suicide King ’cause it was cute? Yeah, after he shoots himself in the head he just lies there ’til things settle down and then he just gets up and walks out at his leisure. I don’t even wanna know how he discovered that particular talent.
Nah, it’s all true. How the hell could I make this shit up? Remember that rash of robberies all across the country few years back, three-man teams, two of ’em always got away but the third always ended up taking his own life? Sure, they said it was “copycat crimes” but who the hell would want to copy that?
You’re laughing. You don’t believe me. Well, maybe so. Hell, I never met these guys myself, could be all a ghost story far as I know. But let me tell you, I don’t hang around with no twins no more.