The Nod: chapter six. “On Returning”


“Why did you come back to me? When your brother stabbed you. Why me?”

“I don’t know.”

Soft light, heavy shadow.

“We hadn’t seen you since the wedding.”

“It was a good wedding. You looked pretty.”

“We thought you were back.”

Fingers trace the scar along the ribcage.

“I thought I was going to die.”

“They said you were close.”

“That’s the answer. That’s why. I thought I was going to die.”

*

“Wake him up.”

The pants are wet. Legs almost useless.

Blood spreading, quickly. No bandages. Not even a thought.

“Come on. Come back to us. We’re not finished here.”

The face gets slapped.

Harder.

Harder.

The rush of cold water.

Eyes open.

“The money.”

“I don’t…”

“The money. Then all of this will be over.”

“He took it. He set us up and he took it.”

“Your brother is dead. We found him. There was no money.”

“Then someone else took it.”

“I’m going to enjoy hurting you again.”

*

When every dream is a nightmare, one is afraid to return to sleep. Caffeine. Cocaine.

Anything to fight it.

Late nights of doing whatever it takes.

Sometimes the eyes win and they close, slowly. Like spies slipping across borders. Unnoticed.

The heart slows down and the body relaxes and betrays you.

Then the nightmares begin.

First, always first, the teeth go. A fist knocks them out.

You wake up, panicked, heart bursting.

Then, after a few hours, you start to relax again.

You return.

A fall to the ground and a tooth breaks.

But your body doesn’t wake up.

Kicks to the sides and back and stomach. You’re trying to hide your face.

Memories of mistakes return.

Memories of violence return.

The floor is hard, sticky. It smells of alcohol and you feel your face being pressed down.

They’re going through your pockets. Taking everything you have.

Leaving you bruised. Curled up. Ashamed.

You wake up and your body hurts from the memory. You feel for bruises but find nothing.

A hand reaches out from the covers and you flinch.

The past returns.

*

“We know the two of you had the money.”

“That’s how we found you the first time.”

“Did she take it?”

“Is that why you don’t know where it is?”

“Did she ditch you?”

“Did she leave you for your brother again?”

“Did they both use you?”

“Must have been a sight. The three of you.”

“A man. His brother. His brothers ex wife robbing a bank.

“And you in a fucking bunny mask.”

“You should have just left them for good.”

“Lot of good it did returning, eh?”

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About litbandit

El Bandito Bibliotequa...or something.
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