Red party dress melted to his body, flames from a Molotov I had thrown into his car clinging like a coat while he stumbled through stopped traffic. Heading toward the man-made lake in Marcs Park, still in heels, but he would never make it.
When was the last time you talked to Martin Price?
Girl, you didn’t hear about it, I’m guessing.
Guessing not, do tell. Mind if I grab a Diet?
Sure thing, though a regular wouldn’t kill you.
Thanks boo, I’ll keep that in mind. Didn’t you and Martin, I don’t know…
Have a thing? Is that what you were going to say?
Yeah, that, I guess. I prefer to give you the opportunity to phrase it however it was.
Yeah that I guess. I mean if you count receiving anywhere from five and eight blackout hand-jobs during our spring-break-shit-show a thing.
I guess not. So that’s why he doesn’t talk to you?
You really didn’t hear the story.
Friday, day before we left, he disappeared with what we all told him explicitly was not only a Dominican male prostitute but also a pre-teen Dominican non-male prostitute. He didn’t listen, disappeared, we left without him.
I know, our group was huge, like thirty some people, I was the only one that was a close friend of Martin’s, the only one that knew him at all really, someone else had the tickets. What am I doing? It’s no excuse. He came back two weeks later and looked like a pinata, even then, from all of the swelling. He’s missing a thumb.
Wow. Just. Wow. So I guess that’s why? I’m so sorry I brought it up.
Yeah, that I guess.
“Yo, Pete, you hear what they’re doing for the next hockey game? They tell me they’re bringing Burt Sheppard out onto the ice. Yeah, that Burt Sheppard. Don’t tell me how they’re going to, I don’t know, I mean, don’t ask me how, since he’s been dead since before the millennium became a pre-teen. But anyways, they’re having a tribute to him for taking the boys to the Frozen Four those five of seven years we had him. Great years. Those seven. They’re bringing him out onto the ice during the second intermission and are giving him an open net shot. Can you believe it, how awesome is that?”
Rain pattered on a soaked roof the color of burnt sienna. The man creeping across the shingles stepped with great care, avoiding a fall into the sentry-filled garden belo- I hit the Delete button until that all had disappeared from the document.
Scrolling through his Contacts list, he selected the names of the women for whom it truly applied. He tried to phrase it properly. A message that read something like, “Had I been given a chance then, today you would be the one that got away.”
I would see the high schooler from time to time too. After the fact. The one who had believed the town was possessed by an evil spirit and went on a quest to not only free us all from its grasp but also save his aunt from slipping into insanity.