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#a90 :: Pull tab

May 13, 2008

ENLARGE“Hold him, order Teck, approved I wanna piss on him.”

Boomer loomed over the prostrate sophomore and began unbuckling his pants.

Kyle looked up – as much as Teck’s kung-fu grip on his neck would allow, at least – sighed, and resumed staring inches away at the defocused glitter of burst Lowenbrau bottles and Molson caps in which he knelt.

He really needed to figure this out.

Stoned, Boomer was harmless. Just another burly, ugly, dumb asshole dropout loser from Hull, who bailed out of junior year and found work sheetrocking crackerbox condos for Beacon Hill yuppies to feed his beer and pot habit …

High on schnapps, coke and PCP that Teck had scored outside some Combat Zone strip club, though, Boomer was burly, ugly, dumb and vicious – a completely unhinged grab bag filled to brimming with all the flavors of fuck-you. Surrounded by dumb asshole dropout losers as he was at the moment, Boomer was fate itself in thrashed motorcycle boots, a 240-pound golem wired for violence.

You never knew what you’d get if you said the wrong thing to Boomer. You’d only realize it was too late.

Kyle spent a few seconds reliving the last stupid thing he’d probably ever say in his life at this rate, and mentally rewriting it – on the off chance he’d survive this and find the opportunity to say it better next time.

What he should have said was “Fuckin Carlton Fisk was a genius, man.”

What he actually said was “Turn that gruesome shit off and get some real music why dontcha.”

Hooting taunts echoed off the concrete now, raw and hollow, barely cutting through the warbly racket of AC/DC fleeing the thrashed portable 8-track in the corner. Someone pushed the plunger on its top and it shifted to an even more-distorted track.

“Gruesome enough for you, you little fuckin pussy punk rocker?” Boomer was now bellowing in his ear. “Gruesome enough, Mister fuckin Sex Pistols faggot???”

Last winter, the graffiti-washed old gun emplacement in this shithole beach town had seemed the perfect escape for Kyle. Mom and Jim – or Jed or Joe, or whoever it was this week – couldn’t drink and puke and fuck next door and snort crank and keep him up all night. These walls were miles from home and two feet thick.

He could hole up in the emplacement’s old powder magazine, set a little driftwood fire by the seized, foot-thick hatch and draw for hours in his sketchbook by the beam of the little Ray-o-Vac flashlight cuddled between his jaw and shoulder.

He could smoke a little weed and stare out at the dark Atlantic, listening to the ceaseless, soughing breakers, and maybe come up with a new superhero design or a story to send to Icon.

And he could ignore – for a little while – how fucked his life was, how fucked the school and this town and the entire state of Massachusetts were. Shit – how fucked was this country? Jimmy Carter’s boring old vice president and some crazy Queens congresswoman were the best the Democrats could put up against that fucking Nazi Reagan?

Fucked, ruined and doomed, all of it.

“Hang on, Boomer sniggered and snorted. “Time to refuel my sex pistol.” Teck and the others guffawed, Laughter slammed back and forth between the concrete buttresses, the echoes almost smothering the din of bad heavy metal from the tape player.

Boomer one-handed the pull tab on a Bud tallboy, geysering beer down on Kyle’s head. He flicked the aluminum key off his gypsum-cracked index finger with expert grace.

He chugged the beer and crushed the can on his forehead, drawing a little blood. “Are you ready, faggot? Here it comes.”

Boomer’s filthy jeans smacked the floor with all the combined weight of his Buck knife, wallet chain, bronze Aerosmith belt buckle and the $10 in loose change he always seemed to carry around.

Kyle tensed, then exhaled. He knew now what to do. He knew exactly what to say. And he smiled.

“Boomer?” he said as clearly as he could with his chin jammed into his chest. “Boomer, I know what you need.”

“Shut the fuck up, ya fuckin pussy, I’m gonna piss on ya, I’m not gonna let you suck my dick, ya fuckin homo.”

“No, wait, Teck, let me up. I know exactly what you guys need.”

Some glance must have passed between Teck and Boomer – a shrug, a nod, a jerk of the chin – because in the next second, Boomer had staggered over to the Piss Room instead and Teck loosened his grip.

Kyle struggled to his feet, glass crunching under his Docs.

The hollow sound of urination echoed out of the one room in the fort that everyone used as a toilet.

“What is it, faggot?,” said Boomer, staring intently at the stack of tattered porn magazines that stood in the corner in lieu of toilet paper. “Aaaggh, I feel like I’m gonna explode if I don’t get this piss out of me. What is it, ya fuckin faggot?”

“Well, I found a new room here in the Fort. A secret room, down by the cliff.”

“Bullshit.”

“No, I did – it’s over by the cliff, where Fallon’s car went off the edge last year.”

Boomer zipped up and lumbered over to the gunport and – miraculously, like a flock following the lead goose in a migrating V – the other three flanked him, trying to peer over his shoulder.

And Kyle bolted.

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Facsimile, Found Object, Jetsam, Microfiction, Part, weapon | Comments (0)

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