Nathan’s pissed off status changed to a low rumbling growl as he stood up.
“You fuckwit, I pissed myself…”
“Yeah, well I about shit myself from you fucking punching me. What the fuck dude? What’s into you?” I asked lamely knowing that he was more pissed about pissing his pants than anything else. He was like 10 or 11 years old when he stopped pissing his bed at night. I can’t say much, but I do say a lot sometimes, because I didn’t stop until I was like 9 years old.
He reached for my hand. I took it. Between the two of us I was about half way up when he wriggled free thus dropping me with my full body weight on the ground on my butt.
That broke him apart… he thought that was pretty damn funny. I acted all tough guy and shit… before it was all done and said we were on the ground wrestling for supremacy and all that shit. Of course, being the oldest I won, but not by much. The kid was definitely getting strong – that was for sure.
He took hold of my wrist and headed us down toward the lake… he was noticeably limping. I asked, “Why are you limping?”
“As if you fucking care.” Nathan hissed angrily.
There is one thing about me and Nathan and those circumstances. He listens best by being pinned to the floor or ground, either or both is just fine so without hesitation I took him down and put my body across his chest until he cried “Enough, you fucker. God, why can’t you just talk me like a regular guy?”
“Do you know any regular guys around here?”
“That’s beside the point.”
“No that’s the point squirt. Come on stand up. What’s up little brother?” I said then put my arm around his shoulders and held him into my side. Actually, the truth be known, that is exactly how we talk best.
“Joey, he’s fucking crazy. I mean he’s fucking crazy. He pulled a knife on me and Skeeter tonight. We were just hanging out on my bed playing some fucking Battle Ship game that Skeeter likes… I like playing with him… whatever… he’s cool. Anyway, Christopher destroyed the board then he got all pissed and shit because I threatened him with extinction… anyway he hung me up those hooks in my closet by my belt loop. I got loose but I tore my pants off doing it. He then started in on the faggot shit…”
“Is Ma okay?” I asked seriously.
“Yeah… he hit her though when Ma came up to see what was going on… I don’t think he meant to hit her because he apologized.”
“So why are you limping? Did you fall off the wall?”
“Yeah… then he called me a faggot because I had gotten hard and shit from hanging upside down. He accused me and Skeeter of fucking.”
“Okay, well some shit went down today. He and I are going to have a talk about what’s going on. He’s kin Nathan. You know how we are about family.”
“I know. It’s just hard bro. Joey?”
“Promise me you won’t get like that, okay? Promise me.”
“I promise. I’m not like Christopher. I never have been. I tell ya that there is something seriously wrong in his head, little brother.”
“I told Skeeter to get out of there. Christopher let him go but then he started shoving me into walls and shit telling me that because Skeeter and I were fucking then we were nothing more than the spawn of the Devil recreated. That church is fucking him up, Joey.”
“Yeah, well, we need to go home and get this worked out. He’s our bro.” I said kindly.
Nathan retorted, “He’s not acting like one.”
Just then Buzz came running toward us. Nathan and I’d made our way to the lake shore. Buzz screamed, “COPS!”
I said to Nathan, “Go. Get out of here. I’ll be home later. Go. Don’t look back.”
Nathan took off into the brush and I made my way to the manhole cover. Quiet Jim was manning the lid and let me in and then slammed down the door.
Thankfully our ‘meeting place’ is but a storm sewer system and not a typical sewer system that carries shit, trash, and dead bodies occasionally.
When we got down there Buzz lit up a cigarette lighter. I grabbed a cigarette from a package deep within my pants pocket and used the flame to light it. I took a drag then Buzz got into my face and asked, “Where the fuck have you been? We’ve been trying to find you.”
“I already told you that I hung out at Wayne’s. I got there this morning … and well here I am.”
“So when did you start hanging out with that faggot… you know that he’s got an ass whooping coming, right?”
“He’s changed. He’s okay. Besides his momma’s got some good shit. His mom and mine are good friends… ever since… you know. Just let him be. He ain’t causing us no troubles now.”
“What’s with you, Joey? He deserted. We did 6 months in the kiddy tank…”
“His momma gave him reasons to quit our life, okay? He’s not a momma’s snot nosed kid, he’s going to be something some day.”
“He’ll drop you like a fly, you’ll fall, he’ll stand back laughing, I promise you. You guys aren’t doing anything, right Joey, right Joey?”
“Yeah, we did some really good shit today. His momma gets the best.” I snickered trying to diffuse the situation.
It worked, Buzz chuckled, “Just don’t get all funny and shit on us… You know what happens to faggots…”
“Yeah, no prob. Make ‘em squeal and beg for mercy.” I said and then a cold shiver ran up and down my spine at recalling how we used to bust gay people or suspected homosexuals, some as young as 12. I had been right there with my friends and threw several hard punches on them myself. I shivered again, violently.
Buzz looked at me questioningly but changed to disdain when I started chuckling at the thought of what Millie had said about Wayne and I squealing. It just struck me funny, Buzz said, “What the fuck are you laughing at?”
“Ha ha, dude, I’m still high.”
“Did you bring ME any of that shit? … I could use some of it about now joker boy.”
I reached into my pocket, retrieved another cigarette and handed it to him after I lit it with the cherry from mine. He groused a bit but accepted the token of our friendship.
Quiet Jim, another hooker, asked, “So what happened to Lou? He was okay.”
“His name, I learned tonight on the news, was Daniel Louis Wainwright. They didn’t give any particulars only that they had a suspect they were running down.” I offered.
Buzz said, “Mr. Joey dumb-ass here left his phone on the dresser so they’re looking for him no doubt. Right Joey?”
“Yeah, whatever… I’ll hang low…”
Quiet Jim said, “Okay you guys. Bottom line is that Lou’s dead. Lou was a good guy. I liked him so much that I let him do me. Big dick but he knew how to use it.” He then looked to me, “No. I liked him too but not that… ha, I’m glad I didn’t knowing you were there.”
So much for trying to be funny in a not-so-funny situation. I looked at Buzz. He was contemplating, perhaps even recalling his younger days. I know he had done the guy in his younger days, before getting heavy into dealing. He also got a hoe to hang onto his dick… I think they actually loved each other… and then she was gone. No word. Nothing came down the chain. She was just gone, disappeared… after she did… well, after she left it was the first time I’d ever seen Buzz verge on shedding any tears. She meant a lot to him.
Buzz regarded me for a second, “Christopher did him. You have a sweet Ma, Joey. Your brother Nathan… well, he’s good people. Neither of them deserves Christopher’s shit…”
“He pulled a blade on me. He’d done me had I not had my piece… you know how he is with… them.”
“No shit. That’s a problem… with him hitting your Ma… that’s a serious problem… with him hitting on Nathan… he’d better watch his ass…” Quiet Jim said.
“I guess he roughed Skeeter up some too. Guys, he’s my blood but he’s doing bad shit. I’m going to try to talk some sense with him. Here’s the deal… give me tonight. I’ll talk to him. I’ll find him if I have to. If after tonight… then, shit, fuck, he’s open game. Just man up, okay?”
‘You know he’s going to get hurt.” Buzz said to me, his eyes boring holes through mine.
STOMP. STOMP. STOMP. <On the manhole cover>.
I looked up then to Buzz then back up.
Quiet Jim walked past me heading to the ladder but Buzz stopped him dead in his tracks with his arm, “Wait…”
<30 second pause>
The code. Serious code. Emanuel’s code.
Buzz allowed Emanuel to ascend the stairs where he opened the manhole cover. Emanuel stuck his head down the opening, “Skeeter’s hurt!”
“How bad?” I yelled up.
Buzz passed by me with lightening speed, was up the steps in nothing flat, with me on his tennis shoes.
When I arrived, “Where is he? How bad? Who?”
“Christopher. By the lake. He was bladed in the thigh. Hurry.” Emanuel said then I tripped over my own fucking feet sending me end over end. He grabbed my jacket and helped me up. No worse for the wear.
There was a cruiser setting in the parking lot. Its parking lights were on. I seriously debated… I very seriously debated…
Meanwhile Quiet Jim and Buzz were headed into the bushes. I tore out and passed by them. I then stumbled over Nathan’s leg and went flying again. “Shit!” But I didn’t fly end over end instead I landed at Skeeter’s head, no more than 6 inches away. I felt around and felt who I assumed to be Skeeter lying on the ground. I traced his face, “We’re here buddy. We’re gonna take care of ya. Now where are you hurt?”
“My upper leg. It hurts. I’m sorry… I tried…”
“Shush little man. Did Christopher do this to you?” I asked very quietly.
“Yeah… I’m sorry Joey. I should have done something…”
“Shush little man. Let’s just get you fixed up. Okay, I’m going go feeling around on your leg. I gotta find out what’s wrong with ya first. Okay?”
I made a quick survey by running my hands down his neck, chest, belly and through his south of the border area, both front and back. When I got to the level of his crotch the boy’s pants were wet. I smelled my hands because the moisture didn’t feel like water. Blood. Lots of blood.
“Let’s get his pants off. Hang in there Skeeter.”
Four pairs of hands quickly had his jeans and underwear down and off. I felt blood spurting. Nathan said, “I’m reaching in your pocket… lighter.”
“Okay, thanks. Skeeter stay with us… this is going to hurt.” I said.
Buzz, Quiet Jim, Nathan and Emanuel all lit Bic lighters and shined them on Skeeter’s lower section.
He had a 9 inch knife wound that ran from just to the right of his testicle down into his mid thigh. It was deep. A small artery was squirting blood straight up. I stuck my hand down into his leg, grabbed it and clamped my fingers down. Skeeter was doing none too good up topside but Nathan was reassuring and doing everything that he could do to calm the boy.
“I need some shirts. Hurry. Call a fucking ambulance… this is a bad cut. Put you coats over him to keep him as warm as possible. You doing okay Skeeter?” I said calmly.
“It hurts, Joey.”
Buzz’s shirt was the largest of all of us so I ripped some of it into strips and the rest I pushed down inside the cut. I used the strips to fashion a tourniquet. I checked and double checked its placement and then tied them tight.
The bleeding stopped.
With that done I went back to Skeeter’s face and said, “I got the blood stopped but you need to go to the hospital. The cut’s just too deep to heal up on its own.”
Buzz said, “Skeeter, if you go down then we all go down. It’s that simple. Nathan go get the cops… they’ll be faster…”
“NO! No cops. No hospital. I’ll get up, help me.” Skeeter said loudly.
“Skeeter, you can’t do that. The tourniquet will fall off then you’ll die. We’ll go down rather than you dying. And that’s that. Nathan… go.”
Skeeter grabbed hold of Nathan’s arm and put it into a vice grip. He whispered in a hissing tone of voice, “NO COPS. NO HOSPITAL. NO NOTHING. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?”
“Would you guys step aside? I want to talk to Skeeter alone. Please.” I said.
The guys were no more than 6 feet away. I said into Skeeter’s ear while wrapping my arms around his chest, “Skeeter, you’re going to die. I can’t let you do that. I’ll tell you what… I’ll have the guys take off and then I’ll go get the cop sitting in the parking lot. That way they’re fine. That way I know you’re taken care of. I can’t just leave you here. Please Skeeter.”
Skeeter took hold of my hair and pulled my ear onto his mouth. He said, “Joey, the cops are trying to get me for my dad’s death. I can’t go down. Please. I won’t last 5 minutes in juvenile. Please Joey, no cops, no hospitals, no ambulances.”
Buzz walked over and said, “Joey, I called Vito. He’s on his way.”
“Kewl. I didn’t know he was out.” To Skeeter I said, “Vito’s okay people. He’s safe.” To Buzz I asked, “How long?”
“He lives just up the hill a couple of blocks. Skeeter he’s okay, trust me.” Buzz said.
I said, “Have him meet us at the top of this hill. We’ll carry him up. No cops.”
Skeeter said, “Stay with me Joey. Don’t let me die alone.”
“You ain’t going to die and I’m not going to leave your side… how’s that for deal?” I said seriously.
“Okay, deal. Joey… don’t hate me…”
Before I could say anything his lips touched mine. It was quick but it was powerful. “I don’t hate you.” I said after our lips released… then I touched him with mine… just briefly. “You’re going to be okay… just hang in there… I’m right here.”
Buzz at 6’ 2” and 185 pounds easily picked Skeeter up and cradled him to his chest. Skeeter said, “My ass is hanging out.”
“So?” Quiet Jim said giggling.
“Your ass is the least of our worries. There he is… that’s his car.” Buzz said.
Vito got out of his car and met us halfway. He quickly turned around and opened the back door of his vehicle, an old clunker.
Vito’s a good guy. He’s 17, almost 18, built like a brick shithouse – and – he is –thankfully- on our side. He’s done a lot of heavy batting for us, got us out of more than one scrape, is a very likable guy, and is openly gay. Buzz does not have a problem with us, none of us do.
Within 5 minutes we were at his house. Buzz carried Skeeter in and continued to hold him until Vito could figure out where to lay him down. We decided the kitchen table was the best place since it had good lighting and a flat place for Skeeter to lie on.
Vito tore through the house and gathered up a bunch of pillows and sheets to put on the table so it would be soft and comfortable.
Buzz laid him down with care and tenderness.
We then got busy.
“Vito, do you have needles and thread? I need a lot of it. Cold water – a pan full. T-towels. You of all people have a Bunsen burner, right?”
“Oh honey, this bitch has 4 of them.” Vito drawled in his favorite swaggiring manner. In case you haven’t figured out – Vito is a queen extraordinaire, and campy as hell. But he’s a good guy… and he produces some hella shit.
I went to the kitchen counter, retrieved clean kitchen towels, a large mixing bowl, and other various and sundry items, things that I thought would be needed to get Skeeter stabilized.
“You’re going to be okay, Skeeter.” Vito said softly, assuredly.
I cautiously and very slowly removed the tourniquet expecting blood to spurt again just any second. It didn’t spurt at all. There was nothing more than some oozing from the cut muscle. The wound was clean, and it was not a jagged cut instead it was straight.
By then towels and bowl of cold water was ready. I wet a kitchen towel, squeezed most of the water out then applied it into the cut.
Skeeter screamed in agony.
“Okay, that ain’t gonna work. He’ll die from shock.” I said thinking quickly about what we could use to numb the wound.
While thinking I looked at Buzz. He was taking a long pull on a bottle of Bacardi rum. I said, “Give that to me… I’ve got an idea.”
Without hesitation Buzz handed it over. I took a long swig. Buzz looked at me kind of pissed like but he relaxed when I said, “Gotta calm my nerves. I’ve got a plan.”
Thirty minutes later Skeeter could have cared less what we did to him. He was very happily – drunk off his ass.
Vito produced a spool of black nylon thread. But how the fuck do you sterilize it? Then an idea popped into my head. “Get me a small bowl.”
Rum has many purposes. Alcohol, right?
Meanwhile Vito had all four Bunsen burners lit. He put them around Skeeter to keep him extra warm because he’d lost some blood.
The next two hours were extremely tense. Skeeter more or less slept through the entire ordeal of receiving 75 stitches using sewing thread and needles but it looked pretty good and the bleeding had stopped. During that time we sent Vito to the all night pharmacy to get all sorts of bandage supplies which I applied after the sewing was finished.
Then with all the care and love that we could muster we took Skeeter to the bathtub and sponge bathed the dried and caked on blood from his body.
One thing I noticed when I was washing his back was that his anus appeared to be very swollen. I looked to Buzz. Vito confirmed it, “He’s been raped. Move aside.”
Vito reached into the medicine cabinet, retrieved some personal lube, smeared his fingers with it then inserted the index one into Skeeter’s anus. It returned blood, not very much, but it was proof positive that he’d been assaulted.
My blood boiled red hot molten lava.
“Skeeter wake up!” I said loudly. He barely stirred. “SKEETER WAKE UP!” I commanded.
He moved around purposefully and opened his eyes. “You’ve been raped. Did Christopher do this to you?”
Tears immediately sprung from his eyes. He said over and over and over again, “I’m sorry… I didn’t mean…”
“Did Christopher do this to you?”
“Yeah… it wasn’t supposed to happen. When I fought him he cut me.”
Buzz said, “That’s it. Joey, he’s your brother. Just say the word though and he’ll wish he’d never been born.”
Skeeter passed out again. But he started oozing dark stuff. Vito quickly took hold of the boy and sat him on the toilet and very gently pushed on his stomach.
With much love and tenderness Vito and I cleaned him up again.
We then carried him to one of Vito’s spare bedrooms and laid him out and covered him up so that he would be warm and toasty.
Vito said after we got Skeeter all comfortable and stuff, “You guys just stay here with me tonight. You’ll be safe. And besides that, Skeeter will be of absolutely no help; he’ll be dead weight.”
Everybody nodded their agreements, except for me, “I have business to take care of. This is family. This is a matter of blood.”
Nathan, with tears in his eyes, tears that were freely flowing down his cheeks and onto his shirt said, “I’m going with you Joey.”
“No you’re not. This is something I have to take care of. You stay here with Skeeter. He needs you, okay?”
Nathan regarded me carefully and then nodded reluctantly.
Vito stepped up and whispered in my ear, “I’ll go with you, Joey. Blood is blood, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do a little convincing, then you decide what you need to do next.”
Christopher was too much for me to take on alone. He may be too much for both Vito and I, together, to take on, but we would damn sure try. I nodded expectantly, “Darkness is on our side. I’m going to call Ma to see if he’s home.”
“Ma, this is Joey.”
“Where are you boys? It’s the middle of the night. You should be in bed.”
“Mom, we’re safe right now. Is Christopher home?”
“Hold on let me go check.”
“Mom, don’t wake him. I just want to know if he’s home.”
“Okay, hold on.”
“She’s checking.” I said to everyone. Everybody had their eyes glued on the telephone as if it carried some magical and mystical power.
Little did they know that it indeed carried value.
“He’s in bed. He told me to fuck off. Joey, he’s crazy. Something’s gotta be done.”
“Mom, you go to bed, lock your door. Do not come out for any reason. Turn the phone on in your bedroom… I’ll call later.”
“What are you going to do?” Mom asked worriedly.
“Me and some of my friends are going to pay Christopher a very special visit. I’m going to try to talk some sense into him.” I said assuredly.
“Don’t you hurt him. He’s your brother.” Mom said sternly.
“He’ll live mom. Don’t worry so much. We’re going to talk to him on his level. The rest is up to him. Do as I said. We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
Mom started crying.
Mom rarely cries. I hate hearing her cry.
I handed the phone to Nathan. I then checked on Skeeter. His pulse was strong, regular and slower than it had been – which was a good thing. I made sure his bandages were dry. They were. I leaned down and brotherly like kissed his lips.
“I’ll stay with them. Take however long you need to. My busy schedule permits me to watch over a kid at just about any time. Joey, leave some for me okay?” Buzz said and then reached into the small of his back and provided to me my Reinforcer, should everything go to shit.
“I love ya mom.” Nathan said then hung the phone on its cradle.
Nathan stood, pulled me into a hug and said, “Do what you have to do. You’re my big brother and that’s all that counts. I love you. Be careful.” When we parted he kissed my lips. When he parted I kissed his.
I put the piece in my right front pants pocket after making sure the safety was on… I didn’t want to blow off my balls and penis, or my leg.
Quiet Jim was cleaning the bathroom. He exited when I sat down on the toilet to take care of some nervous energy emanating from my bowels. For a brief moment I thought about the idiot I worked for and how I’d filled his neck with gunk and chocolate cream but decided I would not ever stoop to that level for my brother, dickhead or not. I thought about it though.
Vito and I decided to walk to my place. Quietly, we stole through the night not saying too much of anything to each other. The closer we got the madder I got though.
“Slow down Joey. Relax. You’ve got to be calm otherwise you’re going to get hurt. He is much bigger than you. Truth be known, he could probably take both of us down, so speed has to be on our friend.”
As we passed by the park, on its periphery, I noted three police cruisers sitting in the parking lot. The dicks were sitting in them apparently not even paying attention to what was going on around them. They were like that. In any event, we passed them uneventfully making it home quickly.
Ma was sitting on the steps leading up to or down from our apartment on the second floor. Her eyes confirmed that she’d been crying, and she was very, very upset. I introduced her to Vito.
We both helped mom up the remaining stairs. Vito entered first in case Christopher was downstairs or in the bathroom upstairs. He returned about 5 minutes later and said that Christopher was in bed reading, that he was undressed as if he were getting ready to turn in – just like that – not caring one fuck about what he’d done that night.
I took mom to her bedroom urged her to relax. “I’m going to lock your door in case things get out of control.” I knew that would not be comforting to her but she needed to know or be reminded of the fact that Christopher was fucking crazed. I did tell her that he seriously injured one of our close friends.
I kissed her cheek, stole out of her room after locking the door behind me. Nobody had a key to the bedroom. She’d accidentally locked herself out a couple of times which required a locksmith. We were going to put a non-locking door knob on the door but never got around to it. Procrastination pays off sometimes.
Vito was waiting in the dark living room so that he had a bull’s eye view of the bedrooms upstairs. I pulled out my piece and took the safety off and cocked it in case things went crazy and out of control with Christopher.
I whispered to Vito as we approached the stairway up, “Let me go in first. He’s my bro and I’d like to at least try to talk to him.”
“No, let me go in first. If he goes after you, at least I would be in there first to slow him down.”
“He’s got a knife, a big fucking knife.” I said then pointed to the Reinforcer.
Vito nodded his approval.
I took my shoes off. Vito followed my lead. Stealthily, we walked up the stairway. I looked toward Nathan’s room and mine. The lights were off in both those rooms. I looked to Vito and then took several steps toward Christopher’s room. His bedside lamp was on, and he was indeed reading with the stereo at about 3 or so. I motioned for Vito to step beside me and then we made our entry.
Christopher looked up. A shocked expression passed across his face when I pointed my Reinforcer toward him. Vito walked around to the other side of the bed and turned off the stereo.
I said, “Bro, we need to talk.”
He replied, “There’s nothing to talk about. Get the fuck out of here. That thing <pointing to my gun> does not scare me. God’s going to get you. You’ll be in hell for all of eternity.”
“That might be true but God doesn’t like people who rape and cut up kids. I’m sure that God has much more wrath to give out to people like you… I’ll take my chances bro. Don’t you worry none. Here’s the deal.”
“Did you or did you not rape and cut Skeeter?”
“Bro, I’m giving you the opportunity to redeem yourself. Yes or no will suffice.”
Christopher picked up his book. Vito thought he was going for the knife which he would later tell me that he saw from his vantage point. Anyway, Vito landed in the middle of Christopher and began pummeling my brother’s face, chest and head – without mercy. Quick, deliberate jabs were all he did.
Meanwhile I laid the Reinforcer on the dresser and tied Christopher’s legs to the bedposts with Bungee Cords. While Christopher was busy warding off, or attempting to ward off Vito’s fingers to his eyes I tied first one arm then the other to their respective bedposts.
Christopher was wild with rage. He was out of control. Vito picked up the knife and held it at the ready. I motioned for him to put it down and out of Christopher’s possible reach.
I got a perverse sense of enjoyment and entitlement at seeing my crazy brother neutralized in such a way that he could harm nobody for any reason.
I said to Vito, “There’s only one way to know for sure.”
Christopher had become exhausted and lay prostrate on the bed with all four limbs tied securely. I reached toward his midsection and lowered the front of his underwear to expose his genitalia for inspection.
He’s uncircumcised. He looked clean. I took hole of it and softly twisted it side to side and up and down so that I could see its entire circumference. He was clean. I lifted his balls… they were clean as was his perineum.
On the off chance… there was one place where I hadn’t yet checked. That is such a very personal space… but… my mind immediately recalled seeing Skeeter’s cut and his bruised and battered anal orifice so the thought of invading Christopher’s most private place went out the window. I looked to Vito who was standing at the ready. I then peeled Christopher’s skin back and was immediately met with a foul smelling fecal stained glans. The stench was unbelievable. The evidence – irrefutable.
Very calmly, very deliberately, very calculating I said to my brother who was looking down at his member with rapt interest, “Explain this.”
When he didn’t reply with my request I got up and off the bed, retrieved the Reinforcer, got back on the bed and laid the weapon against his penis and repeated my request, “Explain to me why your penis is filled with shit.”
When he didn’t answer again I held up his penis and placed the gun barrel against the shaft about midway between the root and the head. I put my finger on the trigger and said one last time, “Explain. Vito move in case this thing goes off… it has a hair trigger sometimes.”
Vito said, “I have a better idea.” I looked to him… he was smiling then he flicked open his switchblade knife.
“Now you’re talking. Christopher, see Vito’s knife. I’m going slice your penis from the root to the top unless you start talking to me. You see we have some things to work out.”
I waited 5 minutes for my brother Christopher to speak. I laid down on the floor the Reinforcer. Vito handed to me the knife with the blade open. I checked its sharpness by applying it to Christopher’s leg and shaved off a swatch of hair. Perfect. Surgical steel perfect.
“I love you bro. I miss dad and Jerrod just as much as you do. They didn’t deserve to die. I grief for them every night. But… I’m not out killing men for sport. I do not rape and mutilate little boys who have done nothing to you. We’re all trying to make it. We do it in our own ways but in the end we come home and go to sleep at night. Ma’s really trying to make things okay for us… really she is. I do what I have to do so that you have somewhere to sleep at night. I’ve really tried to be a good big brother to you. I’m not going to let you down. Now, you have one last chance to talk to me. Say it now or you’ll not have another opportunity.”
“The Lord sayeth you will perish for all eternity into the gates of hell. The Bible sayeth that a man who lyeth with another man shall rot in hell for all eternity. I am a sinner but I layeth not with another man.”
“Christopher, that’s not exactly what we’re talking about here.” I said then put the knife to his pubes and began shaving the hair with precision. I then held them up for my brother to see. I allowed them to casually drop to his face. Vito blew them aside. Vito was also smiling. I was dead serious.
“Atone for your sins oh wicked spawn of the devil.” Christopher shouted.
I shaved the other side then lifted his balls to a side and trimmed the hair from them too. Vito picked up the hairballs and placed them into Christopher’s mouth.
“Jesus Christ is my savior. He shall save me from harm. To hell with you spawn of Satan! Recoil oh Serpent of Satan!”
I looked at Vito. He nodded. I closed the knife, handed it to him and then got my Reinforcer, uncocked it, put the safety on, put it inside the waistband of my underwear, and then reached down to my brother and kissed his cheek and said, “I love you my brother. I always will.”
With that said I nodded to Vito then made my exit and shut the door behind me but did not lock it.
I went downstairs, knocked on mom’s door. She let me in after I identified myself. I took hold of her hand and led her outside to sit on the steps with me. I buried my face into her bosom and let myself cry as we heard Christopher’s screams of agony.
And then they stopped yet his screams did then and still do ring in my ears.
Mom held me in her arms as I cried like a baby, racking sobs, painful sobs… sobs that would never entirely go away.
Not more than 10 minutes passed after the screams stopped Vito exited our home, walked by, patted my shoulder and squeezed it softly then he headed off into the night.
“Oh my babies.” Mom said violently shuddering each and every word.
When our emotions were halfway under control we walked into the house went up the stairs to Christopher’s room. Mom went in first. She gasped. I walked in and was shocked at the damage done.
No… He wasn’t dead but that was the day he wished he’d never been born. Other than for many bruises, abrasions to various points on his body, too many to mention, and bleeding around the restraints he looked okay he looked okay. The exception being that across his chest and between his nipples was a ‘tattoo’, a botched one at that, marked S.A.T.A.N.
“Don’t forget this Christopher because there is more where it came from. I no longer know you, I no longer understand you. You are nothing to me. You have 24 hours to be out of this house. Mom I want you to see this…”
I led mom to the bed. She looked down in horror at the inscription on the man’s chest she no longer knew. When she absorbed the enormity I reached down and showered Christopher’s penis and the stains of fecal matter still matted between the glans and skin.
She looked at me horrified. “Who did he do that to?”
“Skeeter. He also cut Skeeter’s thigh almost down to the bone with a sharp knife. He’s at Vito’s house being taken care of by those who love him. I’m going back there and will spend the night with him. I owe it to him.”
Just then Christopher began uncontrollably pissing himself. Mom, enraged got up, ran down the stairs and returned not two minutes later with a ball of yarn. By then Christopher’s water was spurting every once in a while. What happened next should have shocked me but at the same time didn’t.
Mom began tightly wrapping strings of yard around the corona of Christopher’s penis and then knotted it very tightly. She said into my ear, “I will release his bonds in the morning. Go be with Skeeter. Bring him her tomorrow. I shall mother him and bring him back to health.”
“Okay mom. I love you. I’m sorry this had to happen.”
“I am not sorry. I love you my son. Things must change around here. I am your mother. I will not see you rot in hell. Go be with your beloved brothers.” Mom said then kissed my lips and sent me on my way.
I felt different. My mother had never really told me anything like that ever before. All of a sudden a warmth overspread my body… like I was being washed clean, or something.
Buzz was sitting up sleeping on the floor next to Skeeter. Quiet Jim was lying next to Skeeter on top of the covers.
Both awoke when I entered the room. Vito arrived at about the same time. He said, “Skeeter’s resting comfortably. The last I checked his bandages were dry. I’ve cleaned up my kitchen but if you need anything it is on the kitchen counter.
“Have you given him anything for the pain?” I asked softly.
“I gave him some Tylenol about an hour ago.”
“Thanks Vito. I owe you big time.”
“No, you don’t owe me anything.”
“Okay, thanks. I’m going to crawl into bed with him. That way if he needs anything I’ll be right there for him.”
Vito nodded. Buzz and Quiet Jim got up and motioned for me to join them. They then left the room leaving me and Skeeter alone for a moment.
I sat down on the bed and said, “I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere till I return in no more than 5 minutes.”
Sleepily he said, “Okay.” He pouted his lips. I leaned in and accepted his kiss. His lips tasted like old stale Rum. I kissed them again then got out and met the guys in the kitchen.
Vito produced a big fat doobie, lit up and passed it around, offering me the first toke. I took a double drag.
Buzz asked, “Did you…?”
“No. I couldn’t do it. But he’s dead in my mind. He’s open game.”
Emanuel and I walked into Skeeter’s room. He was sitting up, making ready to get out of bed. I said to Emanuel, “We’ll be right back. Go ahead and get in bed. There’s room for the three of us.”
Emanuel started taking his shirt off when Skeeter and I made our way to the bathroom. Skeeter needed to sit again so I held him in my arms as he hurt so bad doing that which comes naturally, that which we take for granted. With tears in his eyes he said, “Joey, I never fucked my momma.”
I nodded knowingly. He saw in my eyes that I knew exactly what he was talking about. I kissed his cheek and held his hand as he finished finishing his job. With care and precision I cleaned his very swollen bottom and then put in some cream that Vito had supplied. “That feels better. Thanks. Joey?”
“Yeah, that’s my name.”
“Joey, I know I’m not supposed to say this but we’re alone… right?”
“I just wanted to tell you that I love you. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Well Skeeter… if the truth were known then it would be that I love you too. Are you all done now?”
“Yeah. Thanks for not hating me.”
Buzz and Quiet Jim were in the guest room where Emanuel, Skeeter and I would be sleeping. They just dropped in to say goodbye but that they would be close by all the same then they left.
When we lifted the covers Emanuel was naked, and asleep.
After getting Skeeter comfortably in bed I took off my shirt and dropped it to the floor. I then got into bed.
“Why are you wearing your pants?” Skeeter asked curiously, innocently.
“I always do.” I replied easily… because I always did.
“That’s just dumb. Take your pants off they’re too rough on my sore leg. Besides we’re naked.”
“Okay. Don’t tell anybody okay?”
“Okay. No problem. It’s just us here now.”
I took my jeans off and tossed them to the floor, taking care that my piece was safely tucked away under the bed but within reach if it were needed.
“Satisfied?” I asked Skeeter.
“Damn. Okay. Okay.”
“Do you remember what I told you?”
“Yeah. Me too.”
“Good night Joey. I feel safe now.”