Friday, August 31, 2012

The Pallbearer: Honeymoon Blues Part 3


I have always been accused as having a lack of proper respect for the important things in life. I think that got started the first time I put my gum in the collection plate. Nobody seemed very amused. I figured Jesus could use some gum. Must suck being stuck on that cross all the time. Y’know, the way I figured it, if his death was stopping us from being in hell, he must be there too. And you know, that only pissed off the priest all the more.

That was fine too though. I quite liked the idea that I wasn’t well liked. Never really felt like polishing the holy pole myself.

But here, here, I think they’d all have to shut their fucking mouths.

I took a step forward with one pair of feet as I stood still with the others. Two eyes watched Cassie. The other two watched Grendel and his nice new arm. My heart felt Cassie’s hand squeezing it as her face creased in pain like mine should be.

This was the kind of moment you bothered to be quiet for. A moment of faith. A moment of love. A moment of blood.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Grendel took the first swing. That was to be expected. I wasn’t going to. Today, he wanted me dead. I just wanted to enjoy my honeymoon.

Cassie’s eyes were cracking into pieces, tears dripping out of them. I breathed slowly, my Neil eyes never leaving hers.

“Squeeze, if you want.”

She whimpered softly, her hand trembling. It was trembling a lot like Grendel’s was trembling right now as I caught his brand new arm by the wrist and squeezed. Whatever new alloy they were using sucked. It crumpled like a cheap pop can in my hand. I had half a mind to ask him if I could drop it off somewhere for a deposit refund.

“Neil, I don’t want to hurt you. But they’re in my head. I can feel them digging around in my skull, pressing the buttons, splicing the wires.”

“Just do what you want to do Cassie. Like I said, if it’ll make you feel better, go ahead and squeeze.”

“You’ll die.”

I smiled and shrugged. Grendel was swinging with his other arm now. I caught that one too. It was more satisfying to crush the wrist on that one. The feeling of bones snapping and sliding against each other. The soft velvet river of blood dribbling down your arm as shards of white burst free from the skin.

He may have been screaming. If he was, it was unimportant. Cassie was screaming too. It was all resounding in her head only, but I could see into those eyes and see the words flinging themselves about.


“Neil, I just…”

“Cassandra. Cassandra Emily Anderson.”

Her eyes widened a bit at that and she nodded slowly.

“You do what you need to do Cassie. I trust in my wife.”

Grendel was kneeing my Brute in what ought to be its stomach. I wasn’t flinching. I was squeezing as he screamed.

“I… I refuse… I refuse to be used anymore.”

I nodded and smiled.

“Go on honey.”

“I refuse to let West Worthington take any more of me. I refuse to let West Worthington control my life. I refuse to run.”

The grip on my heart fell away and my smile bloomed into something that consumed my entire face. I headbutted Grendel with my Brute’s head and his nasty green nose became a broken nasty green nose with a river of crimson pouring down his face.

“Do you hear that Grendel?”

“Nothing too terribly important Neil. Just someone switching sides again.”

“Just like you when you fought your own troops?”

“Just saving my own skin.”

“Bullshit. They’re in your head too. You’re just too much of a coward to do anything about it.”

“Fuck you Neil. I had a good thing going. I was Chief of Security on The Black Dragon Express. Nothing could get in my way. Then you had to butt in. And for what? Another bit of West Worthington’s property? I’ve been in this to save my ass from the get go. I’m just another trooper they pulled from a vat. I was nothing. West Worthington made me something. You think I’m going to throw that all away for a psychopath’s delusion of grandeur?”

“Yeah, I think you were ready. But I think something different now.”

“What’s that?”

“I think when you wake up, you need to get the fuck out of my district and go grow some balls. That is, after you find someone to fix your wrists.”

I drove my Brute’s head into his nose one more time and I heard bone on bone grinding again. Grendel fell, his eyes dulling.

“With that new trick of yours, do you think you could tie off the major arteries I severed? I may not like the bastard but he’s not going to snip the wires unless I do this.”

“I can do it. But are you sure its wise to keep him alive?”

“He still couldn’t touch me Cass. At this point, I just feel bad for the twit.”

Cassie nodded and began to move her fingers in pinching motions. Her eyes closed as she concentrated. I tiptoed up behind her and wrapped my arms around her waist, leaning down to bite her softly on the neck. I felt her shiver and I held her just like that until she was done.

And then?

We started walking again. After about an hour, we stopped for two. Why? Because it was about damn time we got to enjoy the perks of being married.

And besides, beating someone’s ass always put us in the mood.

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