Chapter 18: Thirteen Years Later

Episode 18: Thirteen Years Later

The Terminator was playing on television.

Are you telling me this thing is from the future?”

One possible future, I guess… I don’t know. I don’t know-”

Anna turned the television off, having lifted the remote control from the edge of the couch without Kadence even seeing it.

Hey, I was watching that!” she cried at her mother.

I thought you had plans tonight?” Anna asked her. Kadence glances at the old-fashioned clock hanging on the wall over the kitchen entrance on her right.

Oh, shit, I gotta run.”

Anna just shook her head, then turned The Terminator back on for her own benefit, but with a drastically decreased volume. She followed Kadence who had bolted into the kitchen.

You meeting with Suzy tonight?” she asked, watching as Kadence took a bite of her peach over the kitchen sink, letting the juice dribble down the drain. “Hey,” she switched gears, “why don’t you get a plate for that?”

It’s okay, I’m cool. As long as I don’t spill it on my shirt.”

Yeah? Well you got it all over your face,” Anna retorted.

Oops.” Kadence grabbed the tea towel from the oven handle where it was hanging and wiped the juice from her mouth.

Oh my God, Kadence, not on my good towel. I just got those!”

Kadence rolled her eyes. “I thought you got it from Wal*Mart.”

So?” Anna asked.

So, it’s a new towel. That doesn’t make it a good towel.” she finished her peach and tossed the stone in the trash under the sink.

Anna smiled, knowing Kadence was somehow right in her own logic. “That pit can be composted, you know.”

It’ll compost in the landfill, too, won’t it?”

Anna wasn’t actually sure. “I hope that’s not all you’re having for dinner.”

We’ll grab something else when we’re out.” Kadence almost made it out of the kitchen that time but Anna wasn’t quite finished.

You seeing Suzy tonight?”

She rolled her eyes again. “Mom, Suzy’s a geek.”

You said she was nice.”

Well, she is, but… Shit, mom-”

Don’t say shit.”

Damn it mom, she’s such a fucking nerd.”

Where did she get that fucking mouth? “Suzy’s nice to you,” Anna said.

Maybe she’s a lesbian?”

Anna had to stifle her laughter. “She’s a nice girl. It’s good to be friends with nice people. Suzy made you that scarf for your birthday by hand, you know?”

Yeah, I know,” Kadence said, feeling a little guilty now.

So what’s the problem? You don’t call her anymore. She’s too nerdy for you now?”

I guess.”

Well, you like old movies, right?”

Yeah…?” Kadence wasn’t exactly sure where this was going now, mom had taken her off the usual path.

So, haven’t you seen Carrie?”

Yeah, I saw it.”

Remember what happens when you’re not nice to the nerdy outcasts, sweetheart.”

Now Kadence laughed, but that didn’t stop her from rolling her eyes again. “Oh, please, mom. Be serious.”

I was being serious.”

Yeah, I know, that’s what troubles me.”

Smartass.”

I’ll see you later, Kadence said, and gave Anna a hug and kissed her on the cheek before jetting to the front door. “And I’ll call Suzy tomorrow!” she called from the foyer. “Promise!”

Okay,” Anna called back, but the slamming door cut her off.

Love you…

THIRTEEN YEARS EARLIER

Kodek burst into the private ceramic-tile-and-stainless-steel corpse examining room of Larry the Brain with a black Hefty garbage bag dragging behind him, and he covered in blood, looking like some Satanic gangster-Santa with a sack full of-

Is that what I think it is?” Brain demanded, pointing a finger (and a horrified face) at the dragging sack.

Yeah,” Kodek affirmed.

Steam was practically spewing out of Brain’s ears. What a fucking idiot. “Do you know what it is you’re dragging across the tiles behind you?

In fact, It was leaving a thick, smelly trail behind the dragging bag as well. Like some Lovecraftian slug.

Of course I do,” Kodek said, “I’m the one who had to put in in the bag after Vicki shot the fucking cooler.

What?” Brain was really starting to lose it, now. “What the fuck was Vicki the Vig doing shooting my organ transport cooler?”

Well, it wasn’t exactly like that,” Kodek said. The look it Brain’s bulging eyes told him that he’d better tell Brain exactly what it was like before Brain really blew a fucking gasket. He went on…

As soon as Kodek and Ernie got back to the Soho flat in London, Vicki the Vig was waiting at the door with a .357 Magnum. Now, while most cinema fans would recognize that weapon as the one belonging to the famous Dirty Harry, one would have to appreciate the comical value of seeing a five-foot-two skinny blonde dressed in a tube-top and a pair of white cotton panties, barefoot with red-painted toe nails waiting for them to show up in her hallway with her dainty hand extending the magnum, a gun with enough brute force to make a hole in a bloke the size of a fist. They never showed those fucking wounds in the Dirty Harry flicks. Goddamn seventies…

So she was meaning to shoot you?” Brain clarified.

Well, ultimately me, but she shot at Ernie first. Ernie lifted the cooler to protect his face and, wham!

And why did he do that?” Brain asked.

Reflex, I guess.”

Yes,’ Brain agreed, and now he was pacing around, staring at the ground and stroking his chin with his index finger. You could practically hear the gears turning inside his skull.

You know,” Kodek continued, “I had it figured that you’d told Vicki the Vig to hit us when we got back to her pad.”

The cooler exploded in front of Ernie’s face, but that didn’t do shit to deflect the bullet from the .357 Magnum. It went right through Ernie’s brain, too, and then right through the apartment door and out into the hallway beyond. In that instant, Kodek leaped a swiped the gun our of Vicki’s grip, crashing her to the floor, landing on top of her, and he didn’t waste any time.

Kodek was shocked to find an image of the night he’d fucked her flash through his mind. Then he remembered – he hadn’t really fucked her. She’d most definitely been fucking him-

No, I never told her to do that,” Brain said, but he was still a few miles away, pacing, looking at the tiles on the floor. “How’s the thing?”

The thing in the bag?” Kodek asked. He let it drop to the floor, finally, and he realized he must’ve been standing there looking like an idiot with the leaking Hefty bag hanging out of his left hand. “See for yourself.” The sound of the splat was not lost on him when he’d let go of the bag, either.

He pulled the trigger and Vicki’s brains splattered the entire length of the hall. He wasn’t half-pretty any longer, because she really didn’t have a face anymore.

Yeah, splat.

She must’ve still been pissed at you about that wrench thing,” Brain said, and Kodek silently agreed. Vanity. It was a funny thing.

Brain went to the bag and opened it. And then his eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas.

We good?” Kodek asked.

You packed it in ice!”

Sure, of course,” Kodek said.

And there was no problems on the plane?”

Your private jet?” No, there was plenty more ice there. And they had a few sinks.In the kitchen. And the toilet. I took care of it as best I could.”

Good job.”

One thing I wanted to ask you about that plane, though, Larry…”

Yes, it’s fine. We’re good. All very good.” He rolled the top of the bag back up and hurried to his cabinet of medical instruments. As he stepped around the black bag, his shoe took a slip through the trail of stinking slime, but Brain barely missed a step, he kept going for the cabinet.

Did Vicki at least take care of you before her unfortunate end?” Brain asked.

Kodek stepped over, and gingerly around, the splatter of flesh, bone and grey matter up the length of the hallway. There was a table in the kitchen. On the table, there was a very small amount of cocaine, some chips from a casino that was located god-knew-where, because Kodek surely didn’t recognize the name of it… and stacks of twenty- and hundred-pound sterling notes. He took all of the stacks with him before going to the kitchen sink and rummaging for something he could scoop the contents of the shattered organ-transport-cooler into. He grabbed the dustpan, too-

No,” he said, “Vicki never got around to that, I guess.”

Right, okay,” Brain didn’t argue, he went further along the medical cabinet and went to the wall of corpse-drawers. Two from the top and one from the left, one of the corpse-drawers was fitted with a combination lock. Brain whirled the lock-dial six times, and the pulled open the cadaver drawer.

If Kodek thought the stacks on Vicki’s kitchen table had been something… well, that was nothing!

After Larry the Brain had paid Kodek off, Kodek exited the building with fanciful thoughts running through his mind, which he realized was pretty fucking exhausted now. OF course, after all that illegal organ transporting and murder-in-self-defense and all that traveling back and forth-

He stepped out into the street and the cool air slapped him across the face. “Damn it,” Kodek grumbled when he realized he’d completely forgotten to ask Brain about how that airplane had-

A glimpse to his left caught his attention, and he turned in time to see a girl in a yellow uniform (Waitress uniform?) enter the building, apparently unannounced. She must live here, Kodek figured, and a deep sensation of deja-vu chilled him right down the spine.

Thoroughly distracted from his original train of though now, Kodek shoved his hands in his pockets and walked briskly through the night.

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