((Still NYC Luke. He was in a fight and got kicked out of a place he was living in and ended up in a homeless shelter for the night to sleep it off. Contains NSFW violence.))
"That poor, poor dear."
"Give him another blanket, he looks cold."
"How old do you think he is?"
"Can't be more then fourteen. Maybe fifteen."
I’ve been fighting with my body for the past ten minutes to open my eyes, to wake up, to figure out where I am. I want to tell the two old women speaking over me that I’m almost seventeen now, but as the blanket is carefully tucked under my chin, the only thing I can do is gurgle something. I want it to be a ‘fuck you’ but if they heard it at all, the idiots would probably assume I meant ‘thank you.’
“You should call child services.”
“Tomorrow, Beatrice. Let the boy sleep.”
It’s dark when my eyes finally open. I can hear someone crying in the corner, the grunt of someone else doing fuck knows what a few feet away. There are florescent lights in the hallway across from the large room I’m in, illuminating a giant crucifix on the wall. Jesus’ face is demonic, my eyes fixate on it as I push off the scratchy cover and sit up slowly. “What the fuck are you looking at?” I grunt under my breath and get to my feet.
My face hurts. My nose is probably broken. My right eye is swollen shut. I’m a hot mess, lost, but not alone. Unfortunately. This is a homeless shelter. There are rows and rows of cots in this room. It smells like filth and there’s nothing here worth stealing other than a heavy blanket, an empty stainless steel coffee dispenser, or someone else’s shoes. I am well aware of what has happened to me and of who brought me here.
Two days of hunting Jack yielded less than two minutes of being with him before my God
decided to raise his hand and smite me down. As I sway, unsteady on my feet, I am grateful that I feel nothing. Nothing at all. Luke…Luke…when will you learn that there’s no one in this world that you can trust?
The voice is my mother’s. What a fucking cruel trick of my psyche. I’d laugh if it didn’t hurt to move the corners of my lips. Shoes still on my feet, jacket around me, I weave through the field of broken men to the exit of the building. No one stops me. No one would dare.
Less than an hour later, the sun beginning to touch the sky, a woman with hot breath and smeared makeup calls to me from an alley. I’m not sure where I am, I’ve just been wandering, dried blood under my nose. I guess I must look desperate for her to part her coat at me and half the drunken world behind me. Maybe she’s the desperate one, needing money for a fix. “Got money, sweetheart?” I was right on the second guess. I smirk, prepared to keep going when something tugs between my legs. So. I just nod. And follow her into an alley littered with broken beer bottles the fresh scent of cold piss. She can’t be more than eighteen. Nineteen. God, she’s worse of a mess than I am. I let her hands move to my coat and then to my belt. “Ten bucks for you, honey. I’ll make you feel warm.”
“No,” I sigh. She looks up at me and opens her mouth to ask if I’m fucking with her, probably to tell me to take out my wallet so she can see if I can pay. “I’m going to make you feel warm.”
She giggles, stupid cow. Then she dies. She dies slowly. I make her blood boil and her marrow roast. I melt away her vocal cords and the muscles in her neck until she flops like a fish out of water. I can hear her skin pop as it bursts open under her jacket. Her eyes rupture just after, paste and blood like the ‘tears’ on a Blessed Virgin Mary statue in Mexico coating her face. She gurgles up a final prayer and I finally feel whole. This stupid whore, the little addict that would have sucked my dick for ten dollars to buy her next fix, has shown me the true and terrible beauty this world offers. Jack is not God.
He’s not the devil either. He’s an imposter. A nobody. The twisted face of Jesus on the crucifix that greeted me in that shelter is just a hunk of useless plastic. I slip my hand into my jeans to complete what must be done, kneeling beside the twisted, cooked remains of the girl that did more for me than anyone else ever has. Do you what to know who’s God? I’m
My heart is still pounding when I hail a cab, fingers trembling and sticky as I pull the twenties out of my wallet in the warm back seat. He cabbie takes one glance at me in the rearview and turns, eyes wide. Like he really cares. “Shit man, you look—“
“Like shit, yeah.” I give the driver the address to Jack’s Penthouse, amused to see that the video screen in the back of the cab is starting to slowly melt. “Hurry, all right?” It’s more for my benefit than his. I don’t fucking need a car crash right now due to accidently melting the break or fuel lines in this cab. “If you get me there in ten minutes I’ll give you a hundred bucks.” We make it in twelve, but I’m generous and drop the bills into the guy’s front seat through the window before I scoot out of the back. I’ve melted the leather I was sitting on too. He’s not going to be happy when he finds it in the morning. I doubt my tip’s gonna cover the cost in fixing it. Sucks to be him.
In the lobby of the building, the plants meant to decorate the elevator area wilt and die as I wait patiently for the arrival of the lift’s cab to ferry me up to the top floor. The condo is empty when I step out of the elevator so I linger as I walk through the penthouse. I don’t need to direct my heat, my ability, at anything in particular. The microwaves have a life of their own and I don’t try to control them. Why should I? This is what I am. What I’m meant to be.
I let myself ruin Jack’s things until I find my way to the bathroom, turn on the cold spray, and curl up fully clothed in the bottom of his shower.
His shampoo bottles melt. The expensive bath oils high up on the shelves above me run down the walls from split plastic containers and ruin my clothes. I leave them behind before I even turn off the water and step out of the stall. I drip dry across his expensive wooden floors and then dress in the remaining clothes he had his people buy for me while I was living here. It seems like an eternity ago.
Going home is not a fucking option right now. I can’t see Kitty and Jeremy like this. I can’t see Liz either; she’s a stupid cunt who doesn’t know her ass from her nose. Gabriel is dead to me, gone without a word. And that leaves one person. Just one. One who probably never thought she’d never see me again.