Though Ty Morland thought he was popular, the truth was it was his willingness to be incredibly stupid was his main appeal to his ‘friends’ – and that his father was an addict so Ty had access to an array of highs. After he and his crew had been kicked out of the store, they had gone down the side alley two stores down of the shop and ingested Ty’s latest offering: horse tranquilizers. As the five of the teenagers waited for the effects of the drugs to take hold, Ty laughed off the woman in the store as getting off lucky; she didn’t know how bad-assed he was. The four others gave snorted laughs.
“You bad ass? The only way a pussy like you could be bad assed is if you forgot to wipe,” one said through a sneer.
“Hey, I do all sorts of crazy shit,” Ty said in his defense, listing off all the stunts he had done. The others mocked him more for his descriptions, insisting that being a poor man’s “Jackass” wasn’t being bad assed, it was just being a goof. If he was so bad ass, how come the only way he got laid was if the chick was so fucked up she couldn’t move? Being a bad ass was hurting someone else, not himself by doing stupid shit. Ty’s face went red.
“Fuck you all,” he cried, extending both hands out with his middle finger out, “Fuck you.” He turned and stomped out of the alley, wanting to get as far away from those assholes before the tears he felt welling would make an appearance on the outside of his face. He turned around at the alley entrance, and just as the first wave of euphoria hit him, slurred out, “I’ll show you bad ass!” His friends laughed and walked out of the alley in the opposite direction, one mocking Ty’s statement by repeating it in a high pitched voice.
Ty stood there looking at the deserted alley, his head light while the lump in his throat bobbed like a pine cone at the edge of a pond being lapped against the edge as the waves were slowly dissolving into the dirt and grass. Ty would have probably stood there until the horse tranquilizer’s effects had worn off if there hadn’t been a familiar voice to break him from the beguiling accusations of being a pseudo-bad ass his friends had made.
“Let’s go home, Tacky,” the woman from the store’s voice said. Ty spun his head around, his body beginning to feel the sluggishness of the drugs, almost shuffling sideways onto the street in an effort to keep straight with his eyes. That bitch, Ty thought. Ty followed the woman and the dog, keeping a distance of a half a block between them. He watched them go around the front of an apartment complex to the back and observed the woman pulling out the screen door putting a key into the third unit’s over glass door. He watched her and the dog enter. He smiled when he noticed that she hadn’t closed the glass door and hadn’t fully closed the screen door.
Ty focused all of his attention, probably for the first time in his seventeen years, on what he was doing. It was frustrating him, it was not as if he hadn’t set his camera phone to video a hundred times before, filming stupid puissant stunts like jumping of the roof of the school or over back flipping over five people, but the drugs flowing through his system were taking their toll. Once he had succeeded in setting the phone, he set the phone on the closest post of the fence that surrounded the back of the apartment complex. Ty took four steps back.
“So listen up, mother fucks, you wanna see bad ass, I’ll show you bad ass,” he hissed at the phone.
Ty walked back, picked the phone up and held it in front of him as he walked towards the slightly ajar screen door of Nikki Colter’s apartment. At the screen door, Ty hesitated for the briefest of moments, what would be a ‘bigger’ video – beating the fuck out of the woman as she pleaded for mercy or ripping her clothes off and forcing her to suck him while looked down on her with a smile? He decided blood was better than a cum shot; besides, he didn’t want to get a rep for digging fat chicks. He didn’t like the look of the living room; too dark, a single lamp that wasn’t turned on was the sole light source for the room which had a torn couch, a torn matching chair with a cheap looking wood coffee table in front on one side while against the other wall was a 27 inch television and stereo system with two wicker shelving units that held movies and CD’s. The light coming from the other room though was bright, much better lighting for the show. He slid the door open and stepped in.
He could hear the woman in the next room off to the left of the living room humming to herself as pots banged around, she must be getting ready to cook; Ty smiled as his mind thought how apropos that she would be in the kitchen as he was pretty well cooked. He stood still for a moment staring straight down the hallway to ensure that there wasn’t anyone else in the apartment before he took a deep breath and walked briskly to the kitchen. The woman’s back was to him when he entered medium sized room that had a standalone counter in the center of it along with the counter space that formed an “L” with the refrigerator capping one end while the stove the other; the woman was standing in front of the L’s bend, washing vegetables in the single sink. Ty put the phone down, lens facing the woman.
“So what’s for supper, honey?” he hissed.
Nikki jumped and turned her face ashen. Ty smiled; what a perfect shot!
At the sight of the teenager, Nikki went through a range of emotions quickly; surprise, confusion and anger.
“Who are you? What are you doing here? Get the fuck out of here!” she demanded, her back becoming soaked as the water from the tap hit the edge of the pot she had been slicing carrots into. She could feel her legs becoming weak but she forced herself to walk forward, waving her arms, “Get out of here before I call the cops!”
Ty didn’t move, just continued to smile. He still just smiled when the woman gave him a rough push as if the spurn him to leave – which wasn’t going to happen, the fun was just about to begin. He could see the anger in her eyes turn to fear. They stood there staring at each other, one second passing to the next. Ty’s excitement was cresting; the combination of the drugs and hurting this bitch was pushing his heart beat into overdrive. Nikki ended the silence.
“Get the fuck out of here I said!” She ordered.
Ty’s arm shot out, his hand grabbing a fistful of hair on top of Nikki’s head. He brought his arm and the woman back, releasing his grip to send the woman’s face to meet the corner of the dividing wall violently. Her head bounced back with a crack, blood careening from her nose. She fell to the floor with a satisfying thud. Ty turned the camera phone around.
The woman was struggling to get up, rolling over and getting on her hands and knees. Ty casually walked the three steps and brought his knee into the side of her head, sending her body to move sideways into the living room. She didn’t fall back to the ground, to Ty’s disappointment. Nikki managed to keep some of her balance and started to crawl towards the screen door.
Ty couldn’t have that; she was getting out of camera range! He reached Nikki just as she had gotten her hands on the coffee table, pulling herself up. He brought his foot up and drove it between her shoulder blades. The faux wood coffee table broke under the combined weight of Nikki and the force of Ty’s leg. Nikki let out a series of yelps as the sharp pieces of the table stuck into her arms and forehead. By the time her body and the table underneath settled on the floor, she was unconscious. Ty gave the still woman a kick in the shin; there was a moan but she did not get up. He didn’t want to drag her back to the kitchen, he was strong but he didn’t want to waste dragging the heavier woman that could be used better, such as punching. Ty walked back into the kitchen to retrieve his phone; it was time for a scene change. He didn’t notice the set of eyes watching him that had come from the bedroom down the hallway at the sound of the coffee table breaking.
Ty was mad as he stood at the middle counter island in front where his phone was positioned. This was the perfect setting, there was ample light from the umbrella shaped florescent light directly above, the free wall on the other side of the dividing wall which had a microwave on a cart and an oak hutch had endless possibilities to add suspense to his piece, but the fucking woman didn’t cooperate. Ty was taken out his moping by a sharp sting on the back of his right leg just above the ankle. He looked down and laughed! The dog! He had forgotten about the dog! Well, Ty thought, maybe he could get some more footage from the kitchen yet.
Ty brought his foot forward, the dog with a firm grip on his pants, slid along with it almost until Ty’s leg was even with his crotch but then let go. Ty smiled as the dog did a lazy arc and banged into the glass window of the stove, plopping down on its side. Ty was overjoyed that the dog had spunk, it got up immediately and went after his leg again. Hoping to get a better shot for the camera, he shot his foot forward with as much force as he could to bring it to bear on the dog’s chest.
As reward for his effort, Ty threw himself off balance and he fell to the floor, his head striking the countertop on the way down. Thick wet warmth oozed from the back of his head, wetting his hair as he tried to get his eyes from rolling around wildly in their sockets. Ty’s interest in Nikki disappeared, he no longer cared if he was a bad-assed mother fucker; he just wanted to go home. Just relax, he told himself, the room will stop spinning pretty soon, then just get up and walk out the screen door. He closed his eyes in hopes that with nothing to try to focus on his eyes would stop trying to determine which of the multiple images he saw the true one was.
Ty let out a large forced expulsion of air as Tacky, having recovered from Ty’s assault, pounced onto his chest, his snout millimetres from Ty’s nose, the sides curled up in a growl that exposed Tacky’s two rows of teeth. Once Ty opened his eyes, they quickly latched onto the nearest object and steadied themselves to it: Tacky’s deep brown eyes. Ty brought his right hand up with the intention to bash that fucking mutt’s brain case right into the floor.
Nikki managed to pull herself off the smashed coffee table and propped herself up against the corner of the wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. Her head hurt, her eye sight was partially blurred by the shards of the table’s wood veneer that stuck to her forehead, the blood from the large gash acting like glue. The strength in her neck gave out and her tilted until her chin almost touched her shoulder. She saw Tacky on the man’s chest, growling, she saw the man’s hand, curled tightly into a fist coming towards Tacky’s head. She was about to scream at the man to stop but her throat clammed up at what she heard. Of all the unexpected sounds, this one sliced Nikki to the bones: it was if a thousand voices were chanting as one while a herd of elephants stampeded in a field of bubble wrap – and it was coming from Tacky.
Ty’s hand stopped just before it was about to make its assuredly fatal blow to the dog; something wasn’t right, and he had to figure what was wrong before he continued. The boy’s and the dog’s eyes were locked on the other. Ty realized that something had changed; weren’t the mutt’s eyes brown just a second ago? What was that sound?
As Tacky’s growl intensified, the brownness of his eyes faded to a dull matte silver, with swirls of quick silver hued tendrils spiraling outward from the very center of his pupils. The angry froth that had amassed along his snout had stopped its bubbling, sounding as if it were crackling like an eaves trough icicle on a warm winter’s day.
Ty’s mind raced at the visual information that it was being sent, being further confused by the new sensory information coming in from his skin that stretched from the tip of his nose to his lips: cold. Through the drug induced haze, Ty was sure that the last time a dog breathed on him, even though it was in fun, it was a hot, vile smelling breeze that assailed his nostrils. This dog’s breath was like that first intake of air when you step out of the house after a fierce snow storm had raged over night, covering the aromas and stench of civility for something far more ancient, in a cleansing sort of way. It was to be Ty Morland’s last thought.