Saturday, August 26, 2006

Babbling Broken

“You killed Michelle to kill your future? You are insane Charlie.”
“Of course he is insane, he has spent the entire night talking to himself.”
“Yea, and the funny part is we are telling him stuff he didn’t know!”


They have been telling him things he did not know all night, but they have also shown themselves to be tricksters as well. He remembered the lighter tricked they pulled on him before and suddenly became convinced he had not killed anyone. Michelle never existed and Dana was his wife. He was locked out because she went to work while he was out and didn’t know he forgot his key. There is neither a dead body behind that door nor is there a dead wife named Michelle. Screw his mind.

Charlie decided he needed to head to the diner to prove to himself that Dana was alive and his wife. There was no other choice that he could see. His mind tried to talk him out of it by saying things like “that is the first place the cops are going to go”, but he did not listen. He had to settle this once and for all. He was tired of being boarder-line insane. He either wanted to know he was normal or prove he had lost it long ago, but the wonderment had to end.

It took him ten minutes to get to the diner from her apartment. When he walked in he thought it was closed for a second. There was no one there. He saw Tina and the cook who never told anyone his name, but no Dana. He went outside to make sure he was at the right place, but the sign clearly said “Sam’s Coffeehouse Diner”. He looked at the sign in the door and it clearly said “Open”. He looked back inside and saw no customers. He checked his watch and it was 12:45, on a Thursday.

“It’s a trap Charlie, RUN!”

Charlie listened to his mind and turned around and ran for his life. Something was certainly not right about that scene. Dana should have been there and wasn’t. Customer should have been there and weren’t. That had “set up” written all over it. He did kill Dana that means. And he was married to a dead woman named Michelle. He was a disgraced fireman who lost his job because he chose to stay with his mistress instead of answering a call. He was a disgraced fireman because three people died that night because they were a man down. He was a disgraced fireman for covering the books and getting someone else initially fired. The press was going to love this one more than they did his dismissal.

He could see the headlines as he ran flashing in his mind. “Fireman of Love Kills Again!”, “Active Killer This Time: Lover Fireman Moves Up”, “Charlie the Cheating Fire Fighter Kills Wife then Lover”. This was not going to be pretty. He had one option left to him and that was to go home, where ever that was.

He took out his wallet and checked his driver’s license and saw a mid-town address, along with several credit cards and a picture of a woman he assumed had to be Michelle. The photo was about five years old and faded just a bit, but she was radiant even in the tiny 5x9 form. He felt flush. He felt those chills. He remembered falling in love with her and why he still did. He remembered their first kiss, their first time together, the day she said “yes” to his proposal.

He also remembered her accusations of him cheating on her, even before he was. He remembered her never understanding his job as a fireman and that he had to be away from home. He remembered her becoming so obsessed with him having the affair he was not yet having that she slept with Kevin and let him find them together. He cannot remember his reaction. He cannot remember why they stayed together for three years after that, but he did remember he called her “Dana” that last night at home on purpose.

“Go see the body Charlie. Go see your work. Go say ‘good-bye’ one last time.”

Charlie turned the corner to see a detective standing at the end of the block. It was only a silhouette, but no one other than a cop dressed like that. Charlie could make out the trench coat, the smoke rising from the cigarette past the fedora. This was obviously more serious than he had originally thought.

“Do you think they found her yet? Better get there quick Charlie.”


1 comment:

Serena Joy said...

Cool! You've plugged the holes and answered some of the questions running through my disjointed mind. Now I have a better understanding of who's who and who did what to whom.