This story is by Jamer Spear and was part of our 2018 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Eh, can you turn this mess off.” Said Enya gesturing his callused hand at the T.V. The T.V blared screams and destruction. The bartender slapped the T.V. and the T.V went off.
Enya shook his head but couldn’t hide his smile. The sounds of screaming children and a black and red monster stuck in his mind.
He his neck prickled. His glanced up.
Quizzical brown eyes eyed his cup.
Enya smiled “sober.” He said, “been sober for ninety-nine days and two hours.” He finished with a wry smile on his face and brought the cup to his lips. “But who is counting anyways.” He said and downed the glass.
The mop haired lad shook his head. “Bartender get that get poor man another orange juice on the rocks” he said and double tapped the wooden counter “and get me a vodka on the rocks.”
Enya frowned at the lad and grabbed his fresh cup of orange juice.
The lad lifted his cup. “To you sir. Misery loves company, but today you drink alone,” he said and downed the glass.
Enya’s baritone laugh filled the bar. Hiding smiles, they drank in silence.
In time Enya left. The midnight chill tore through him, but did nothing to free his mind from the screaming children on the news. He smiled again joy like fire tickling his insides. he walked home breathing in and out…slow.
He stared at his paint peeling yellowed door and froze. that door was ajar. His fingers went numb. Quite as a snake he entered the door.
Past the room in the darkness sat a shrouded form that seem to glow in the darkness. He sighed.
“Debbie, you know doors were meant to keep people out,” he said and flicked the light switch. Her green dress, silkily black hair, and raven black eyes glinted like stars.
“People?” she asked, sounding hurt. “Surely not the love of your life?”
He glared her down. “Ex-love.” He said and turned but not before drinking in her beauty like a dying dog. He lapped it up: her toned figure, wide inviting hips, her scent intoxicating, her presence exhilarating. He unclenched his fist and took two deep halting breaths.
“Dr. Journey?” she asked in his ear.
He jumped. She had crept close and she smelled so good…
“New scent” he asked. The smell of grapefruit and tangerines enchanting his nose.
“It is if you want it to be,” she whispered in his ear. He felt her warmth spreading on his back.
technically they were still married…
He turned and peeled her of him, slow like a band aid. He already had too much temptation today, the news, the screaming kids. His shoulders slumped.
Her smile was warm and sincere, but her eyes were filled with hurt and longing.
“No.’ he said.
Her smile faded like a winter’s breeze in summer.
“I miss you,” she said.
“No,” he said pointing in her pretty face. “You miss the chaos.”
Her eyes caressed his hands and her eyes wandered the floor.
He found himself willing himself towards her. His hands remember how she felt.
“No!” he stopped himself. A chained bull in a room of red.
He massaged his temples. “you should go” he said.
Her beautiful dark eyes shone with tears. She looked up to the ceiling. “I miss you” she whispered.
A tree in a storm he held…barely.
“I am here now” he said.
Knowing glowed in her eyes and her eyebrows narrowed. “All of you.” she commanded.
He looked at the ground arms folded. He knew better than to speak. There was no winning with this woman. She was wordsmith.
Sniffling filled the room. He watched her rolled her shoulders back, wipe her eyes and leave the room like a queen. He watched go, her hips swaying, light thrown from the green dress, liquid temptation.
He looked at his bed and at his phone. Maybe he should call Dr. Journey.
Enya breathe turned to mist in the air. Forehead creased he gave Dr. Journey a once over. A tooth pick of man with glasses and spiky black hair, wearing a skin tight grey suit.
He shook his head. he turned towards the scribbling doctor.
“wife…bar…kids…green” Dr. Journey mumbled
Enya’s skin prickled.
The Doctor continued to mumble on. “have you felt any other temptation recently?” he asked. Enya looked up.
“there was the crime scene on my street. So much blood” he said smile on his face his eyes gleaming.
“mmhmmm” nodded the Doctor. “I’ve been thinking. What if we free you.” The doctor said reaching his hand into his coat.
Enya snarled calloused fist clenched.
The doctor froze and held up his hands. Two blue pills in one hand. Enya relaxed his fist.
“hair of the dog that bit you.” He said. The doctor nodded. “but this time you will control it.”
Palms sweaty Enya looked at the pill and thought about a monster red and black, and a green dress, and blood filled streets. He stepped towards the man. His soul was alive with desire. A burning sun consuming him. Enough was never enough.
“You better pray that kills me or I’m going to become a monster again” Enya said, laughed and guzzled the pills.
“That is what we are aiming for” said Doctor.
Forehead creased Enya looked at his blue stained hand. “why do I take pills again?” he asked.
“Your mother and father.” whispered Dr. Journey.
“Aw.” Said Enya looking at his hands remember thick calloused hands grabbing his legs, and dragging him from under his bed, the burning smell of alcohol and the screaming and crying that only fueled his dad as he beat him broken. His father died years later but he never cried for the man. His mother followed next her twisted body cold and still like a statue. White suds on her lips. He never cried for her. He never learned how.
Head tilted back he looked at the night sky
“the hair of the dog that bit me,” he said till the heat filled every pour and he fell to his knees coughing up blood.
He looked at his hands covered in red licking flames and palms darker than the night. His fingers wavered. He frowned, something was new, something was different, something was wrong.
Enya glanced around the clearing only seeing abandoned chairs, weeds poking out of concrete and the doctor…glowing blue?
“Mom” Enya whispered blood on his lips.
“Let it go,” said the doctor.
Enya clenched his fist. He felt like how he did every time his father hit his screaming mother, weak.
He unclenched his fist and breathed in slow. Remembering the lessons, he had with the doctor whose booming voice was light in the darkness.
Ann the orphanage nurse looked at him disgust in her eyes. “The ironic part is that you get to be like the woman that made you” said “A piss poor mom, too in love with pills to love her own son.”
Enya’s eyes welled with tears. He felt so hot. The fire was eating him. It was too much for him, the beatings the burning white hate of his mother, and then the bullies…god the orphanage, …
He held his hand in front his face. his flames were turning black. It was too much to take.
A voice broke through.
“boy clean this room for I beat you” said his grandma her accent strong. He had snarled at her and she tapped him. “you think I’m afraid of you?” she asked and stared him down. Wide eyed he cooled off. “Good now clean this room and don’t…” she said her eyes stern.
He smiled, as he remembered.
His flames flashing white.
“Don’t let one mistake ruin a beautiful thing” he said finishing his grandma’s words and pushing himself to his feet
He thought of all the beautiful things he had. His sexy strong intelligent wife, and the only mother he knew, grandma. Grandma who baked like no other and had a heavy hand that was calloused with love.
The doctor frowned.
Enya stood up. Fire leaked white off his skin, red and black lines woven over his body. He looked like a piece of art. He was beautiful.
“Monster?” Doctor asked.
“No…Villain” said Enya looking at his hands.
He shook his head “Hero” he said and he turned to leave.
“where are you going?” the doctor asked.
“To the only other woman who loved me for me,” said Enya.
He turned towards the doctor.
“I am sorry…and thank you.” He said.
The misty-eyed doctor smiled and said. “we can’t let one mistake ruin a very good thing.”
He watched his wife’s killer go.
“well I guess that makes me a hero too,” he said small smile. Patted his chest and took the long walk home.