MJ Banks - Night Terrors 13 - Melencolia I
Terrible are the silent woes that digress upon missing will, nascent intransigence avowed by veritable outsized transgressions to keep his sanity in pools of torture, superlative mania bedecked by magnanimous enshrinement of the human condition, at next we fade in and out through the thoughts of John Mark.
“I’ve tried to wake up…grotesque fucks they slaughter the trust…of our side in the same…I have no tale to tell and no heart to swell…can it be done? Can whom the cover to kill my pain? I will not…awaken until the burning the outside…are you sure. Near 6 hours here, the outside will storms consume the sun death and woe…trying to survive…yes that it and I shall not give it to myself…should I call…should I stop to ask…are you ok?”
The end of the day school bell rings as his answer, breaking his busy concentration and he is on his way out the class, dressed with black mortician clothes, his headphones in his ears immediately, his books forced to the ground before he can leave the room. His soul caves in; as he gathers his leaflets and ledgers his mind races passed the stop at his locker and flies somewhere beyond walls, his thoughts remanded by the natural teacher condolence and academic quip. No rush in gesture tall in pose and less than manic mental prose, a silence from liberty and redeeming music at blast, he would walk home without rush, his memories of home cannot penetrate the walls of the house he lives. His path is solitary and lone as he travels along the edge of the state forest toward his nostalgic neighborhood.
Comfort with the torrid sun in his eyes through the shadows, the wind of the woods is warm the leaves are vibrant and verdant. His ramshackle house is the first on the end of the last block carved into the forestry, the previous post of every drifter and truant slacker in days past it now was the dulling and fading, lifeless and peeling place of his rest.
An honest Monday with calm attitude the first sight of his father, an old millworker passed-out drunk and slouching in a low chair across the room from a faded television casting snow-laden radiation onto the dusty floor with a repetitive narrative, the walls decorated by relic pictures and posters of another forgotten youth. The plaques and picture frames are the deadly sharpened razors of grasping poison ivy as he slips through the treacherous reaches of condemnation trapped by obscurity. Atop the abstract stairs in disrepair through the fading hall a quick turn and he is in the narrower hall before his room, he slides the simple lock that is too tall and to noisy for his little brother to reach. The door opens and his arm reaches upward to catch the burglar bat before it swings into his face, behind him, the door closes and he throws the locks on a door manually fitted with an extra layer of boarding, the sound of a heavy vault thrown shut. His head rests on the door.
“This crowded world is full of sin…I am the angel in drowning death…the shadows cannot find me…his monsters are all sleep.”
Long ago, he barred the window from the inside, the escape hatch is in the wall and guardedly secret, for an intruder may not venture. One wall is covered books full; the other is the closet, mostly old posters and poetic portraits around the doorframe. He does not sit, standing in silence his heart begins to race in fear of the sound, he wants to rest but hears the steps of his widowed stepfather come to the second floor.
”I got a call from your fucking teacher; she said we should have a talk…why don’t you come outside!”
From within the room he moves to the bookcase and clears the third shelf, a shoestring attached to a hidden latch when pulled opens a hidden closet and an arsenal of artillery, the armament of a modern militant. A green box when opened reveals an ordered set of pistols with a few missing hidden in the forest. He takes the one on the left and checks to see if it is loaded. His stepfather begins pounding and not knocking, then hammering and not asking, then slamming and not relenting. His aim is deadlocked on the door; when the door bursts open, he shoots only one shot into the stepfather’s chest, spinning him to the ground. He points the gun at his victim and stands over him, not a cry, not a tear. He opens the hidden closet wide and stares at the plentifully collected guns.
“I can kill the monsters as they sleep…I will send them from this world to the next…”
He dresses in earth tones of green and black assimilating militia fashion, he collects the proper amount of weapons that will allow him assault and stealth, he packs without doubt putting not one weapon into storage after grasped in his hands, he is prepared and assured. The long jacket good on many nights and changing seasons enfolds him, he swiftly leaves his home, there is not can change his reason. He is out to kill the demons of his heart and soul. Through the late afternoon, through the dark forest, across no path passing familiar landmark of his many midnight forest travels directly for town.
Moderate in size and seizure he stands in wait, among the shadows denouncing faith and swarming freedom, the demons scream to him with all their strength urging him to pursue vindication. He cannot hear them, only their discordant melody in the back of his mind. Through his binoculars he stares at the so-called popular kids remembering their mindless hate indulged and cursed upon him many times in the past, a rage triggered by his own recognition of the frequency brings him to his knees as if in a trifling prayer of destruction.
His eyes open and he stands and focuses, he stares at the fog from his breath, sadness unique to he allows him to see inside the mist. Through the steam of his breath his attention breaks soon drawn by every foe, enemy, and traitor, he has ever known enjoying life yet luring him toward the gathering. Behind the trees, he checks his weapon and stalks their irreverent celebration, but they are lucky witnesses just as he to a new event and troubling disastrous distraction.
In close proximity to them an ATV hurriedly drives to the front doors of the bank neighboring the cafe, by architecture the Jericho Bank stands lone but his classmates are next door of the strip mall. As it slides to a halt leaving scorn rubber on the ground half a dozen men more than six exit the vehicle, automatic rifles drawn and not shy, they fire at the group of people as he had intended. In aversion mix of apprehension, he stops and watches them, some in proper mask, and others with torn rags across their face. He this time slowly walks across the street, his new direction though is toward the bank.
“…All that money…if they survive…kill them all!”
It is no longer than his thoughts the silence from within becomes the thoughts of red anarchy. The sounds from the bank sound like ‘The Guns of Navarone’, white flashes and crashes of glass echo from within the walls of Jericho Bank. The front door opens and the remaining spectators abroad scatter to where they can, the first to exit a guard of all people, but he does not survive the shot that follows to his death. The shadow demons are ecstatic, appeased with fervor and blissful feckless dementia and weeping tears of joy. With enough time to doubt them, they exit victorious plunderers, half as many as had entered, each survivor bloodied or bleeding shot or seeping, toward their vehicle they hurry with large bundles in open bags. John opens suppressive rounds upon them pinning them back, his clip empties causing him to change ammunition clip without hesitation as if breathing, their returned fire is misdirected and frantic.
He is such the soldier of fortune he uses their vehicle for defilade as they flee, the air is setting stride for him the fearless path of a soldier. Flanking the truck he approaches a wounded robber, with a lynch-wire he nooses one of them already bleeding-out, his rifle raised he fires again, feeling invincible he rests rifle and draws pistol, standing and picking target, shots fired in disregard strike the innocent carelessly. His money is escaping him, carried by three men to a car where they break the window and hotwire the ignition. Easy prey for novice apprentices, with one of their guns taken from the clutched hands of a dead man he shoots the driver once, clipping him in the shoulder then killing with a second shot, further shots drop the third evacuee. The second criminal in the passenger seat slides to the helm, pushing the dead ally while attempting to stay below the line of fire.
The bank robber scoots unbeknownst toward John, he shakes and whips stare around the scene to look for police presence to save his life, much to the thief’s regret there are none.
John: “Don’t fucking move you piece of shit!”
Joshua: “Don’t shoot!”
John: “You tried to shoot me fuck-face!”
Joshua: “No way, bullshit, oh man, don’t shoot me…!”
John: “Slowly, drop your gun out the window!”
Joshua: “OK, just don’t shoot!”
John: “Slide over, push the seat down and lay on the glass and watch behind us…If you so much as fucking move, I will unload on your sorry ass and dump you roadside!”
The he closes the driver door with the rifle across his lap, the trigger in his left hand toward the ribs of the robber. He drives away as fast as he can, tearing through the town, short over corners through street sign and through traffic lights, to his house closely just around a few blocks where his stepfather lie dying or dead upstairs. He crashes the car over the mailbox and into the porch.
John: “Get out of the car with your hands in the air!”
Joshua: “What the fuck are you doing kid?”
John reaches into the backseat and takes several stacks of money from the bag thrice, stuffing them into his overcoat.
John: “Go in the house and up the stairs!”
Joshua finds the stepfather dead and bled out.
John: “Turn around demon.”
Joshua: “Listen kid, I don’t know what you want, but I don’t want any part of it, just let me go into those woods and you can keep the money!”
John shoots Joshua in the chest, walks to him lying on the ground, shoots him again, then another bullet into the old stepfather for good measure, and tosses the gun to the ground.
John enters his small bedroom and stashes the money and weapons, then kicks him in the head to be certain he is dead. He washes his hands in the blood of the fallen, picks the gun up and walks outside with it through the front door. Once outside he tosses the empty pistol on the lawn and sits on the stoop. The wailing sirens of the rushing police cars tearing around the corner scream from the end of the street, rushing to the scene of the crime
The neighborhood has been vigilant with their intrigue and much of the town is nearby in one way or another, a man with dark shades watches as the sun sets at the far end of the forest. The news crews and distorter reporters have begun flocking to the scene and the man just watches John’s interview by officers at the back of an EMS vehicle.
Detective: “And that’s all you remember?”
John: “What’s to forget?”
Detective: “So why do you think he came here?”
John: “I don’t know…why did he rob a bank and kill his friends?”
As soon as John sees the mysterious watcher, the man with the sunglasses leaning against the same style ATV as the thieves had used for their crime approaches the detective, without exchanging words the detective leaves.
Agent: “So…are you all right?”
John: “Who were they?”
Agent: “Some loose ends we didn’t tie…pretty impressive what you did.”
John: “Yeah, I did my civic duty.”
Agent: “So you’re all alone, what are you going to do now?”
John: “…I didn’t even think about it, I’m sure I’ll think of something…”
Agent: “I think it’s time you get with the program.”
The agent hands him a plastic business card and leaves alongside the emergency vehicle immediately out of sight into the shadows.