A New Madman, A New Me

It is now October 10th, 1973. Karl Shoemaker and the Madmen are all as close as can be, and everything is going well in the non-normal world. That is, until a random kid from Ireland shows up like a leprechaun magically appearing at the end of the rainbow. But it seems he's lost his pot of gold. Maybe Karl can help him find it.

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1. Feeling Great! Maybe not

A/N To all who are reading this, I am not the original author, obviously, so the the style and some of the content will probably be different. And I definitely won't swear as much. So, enjoy! PS. There are a few spoilers in here for those who haven't read the book.

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When I woke up this morning, I was feeling great. For the past month, things had been going swell. Well, as swell as could be with a mother that got piss drunk every other night.

But. That was an improvement. Ever since Gratz had opened that account with me in Vinville, I didn't have to worry about coming home to one of my stashes being empty, or finding a bunch of new jewelry and cat food around the house and mom handing me another IOU that would never get paid off. 

My money was growing instead of shrinking, and since mom could access it, she was being forced to greatly modify her drinking habits. Which meant  coming home 3 days a week to find a sober mom, a clean kitchen, and 40 cats all well fed. And with the knowledge that there's was no way mom coukd keep drinking even this much without my money, I let a huge grin spread across my face.

I was feeling great.

Browning had no jobs for me today, and there were no gardening jobs, so for the first time in a long time, I woke up at 7:15. My good mood was kept throughout all my morning routines, I sang in the shower and brushed my teeth with a grin. I even pet some of the cats on my way to the kitchen after dressing up, which was so rare a swear I saw some of them flinch.

I was getting more used to the kitchen being clean, so when I saw the counter covered in empty beer bottles, my good mood slumped the tiniest bit. But, there was no way I was going to let one of mom's drinking sprees ruin my mood, so I kept a smile on my face as I scooped up all the bottles and put them in a box to return to the store later.

My bowl of captain crunch tasted just as good, and when I found mom drooling in her hair on the couch, I set an asprin and a glass of water on the coffee table and walked out the door with a skip in my step.

I was feeling great.

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I walked to school like always, but got there 10 minutes earlier than usual because of the skip in my step. Everyone looked the same as usual, no major drama seeming to have gone down. 

I ran up the front steps two at a time and made my way to my locker. Usually I would be dreading Gratz's class, but after he helped me out with my money problems, I could see that he wasn't such a bad guy after all. I just hoped that he would act the same way in class that he had with me that day.

Probably not

After grabbing all the stuff I needed, which was basically nothing, I headed over to Gratz's class. I noticed I hadn't seen any of the Madmen yet, but I knew for a fact that Paul, Danny, Darla, and Marti never came this early, so the only person I could really look for was Cheryl. 

I was still lost in thought when I heard a voice call my name from further down the hall. I looked and saw that it was Darla who was making her way toward me. Well. I guess I can take Darla off this list of late comers. 

Today she was wearing a neon purple shirt cut low to show of her breasts, although they were big enough that even it she was wearing a turtle neck you'd get a boner. Now she was probably giving all the guys (and stray lesbians) chronic nosebleeds. Even I had to admit that my crotch area probably looked like Mt. Everest. 

But all this excitement didn't stop worry spreading through me as Darla crept closer and closer. Ever since she had assaulted my lips last month and technically asked to date me, I had started realizing that I didn't really want to get into a relationship with her. I never actually gave her an answer so I was hoping she might back off, but every morning she would find me and latch on like a leech, slowly sucking everything out of me. 

Well, except for the guilt. That was slowly eating me alive. It always seemed like when madmen were involved with each other, the end results were a hundred times worse. Everyone seemed to be so much more judging in the Madman Underground. Which was ironic because we were always judged for being in the group in the first place.

Every time someone in the group did something to or with another madman, it was an endless sling of insults. Like when me and Marti ended up sleeping in bed together naked (we didn't do anything, we just didn't have any pajamas) I was suddenly the one to blame. It's not my fault 'the whole school thinks she's easy and she's a slut'. That doesn't mean you have to constantly call me an idiot and a jerk for trying to 'tap that' 'what were you thinking Karl, you just ruined her life'. 

Well if an idiot is the kind of person who listens for hours to a friend in need, gives them food, let's them stay in their hotel room and the same bed, naked, and doesn't use it as an opportunity to rape them, Then let's their boyfriend punch then in the face for a huge misunderstanding, then I will gladly tattoo 'I'm a big fat idiot' on my forehead, and bear it for all to see.

I'm getting all worked up, but anyway, you get the point. And I know that friends joke around a lot like, 'you're such an idiot' or 'wow what a jerk'. Although those are some of the meaner ones, they say it jokingly. But the madman say it accusingly, with straight faces, completely serious. And that hurts.

And I could just see that as soon as I turned Darla down, they would be in me full throttle. I'm a sensitive boy. My mother might be sweet and kind once in awhile, but I don't receive half the loving hugs and compliments that a 'normal boy' would get. So these insults do not help.

My inner monologue was once again interrupted by Darla as she rocketed into me, sending me straight into a wall. My left shoulder screamed in pain and I bit my lip to keep the string of curses from escaping. 

I don't think the Madmen would appreciate that.

"Karl! I missed you so much! I've been so bored this weekend. Work was a drag and I had no one to hang out with! So I came a bit earlier today so I could spend more time with you! Well, I didn't know if you were going to be early or not but just in case!" Darla made sure to practically scream all her sentences in my ear. Did I mention she had also basically become a walking megaphone? It's not like I wasn't glad that she was happy, but the fact that she was happy because she was in a 'relationship' with me, who now realizes he doesn't feel the same way, was a huge bummer.

But did I have the balls to tell her that? No, I was too much of a wuss (under complimented guy) to accept a few (few hundred) insults (cannon balls) for a friend (a dillusional, sex crazed, willing-to-kill-a-cat-to-have-a-good-story friend). So yeah. I was an idiot (don't forget the meaning!)

"It's nice to see you too Darla." I chocked out. My shoulder seriously felt like it was broken. "Actually Karl, there's something really important I want to talk to you about" I looked at Darla with a new born fear. There was no way this could be good. "I think that this thing we have together is amazing and I want to take the next step. So....will you be my boyfriend?"

I literally felt the blood drain face as her words sank in. Boyfriend? No.

I was not feeling good.

 

A/N Feedback greatly appreciated.  Hope you enjoyed the first chapter!

 

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