INTRODUCTION:

This was also meant to be a creative writing blog as well as a rant blog. Something to keep my mind working as I sit in my room, smoking (inhaling?) through cartridge after cartridge of my e-cigarette and waiting for any muscles I forgot I had to atrophy into a consistency similar to that of pudding.

This is the first of hopefully multiple attempts. This is all free association/stream of consciousness stuff. I’m making it up as I go, and I will probably use several cliché techniques that will make any decent writer cringe. Thankfully, I’m not a decent writer so I can claim ignorance to this. Though I should probably not use clichés. They get me into trouble at IFSS.

Herein lies the unfortunate pairing of Les and Russ. Naturally, they’re housemates (back to the well I go) and this is their story.

PROLOGUE

“Hey Les”

“Les!”

I wave my hand dismissively and go back to reading my book, only to have a box of matches thrown at my head.

“Oi, bookworm!”

I look over with an exasperated huff. My flatmate Russ, someone who could easily be mistaken for the bastard child of Charles Manson and Jabba the Hutt, had his balls out. He was pointing them at me like a lumpy, hairy satellite dish.

“Do these look like brains to you?”

“Put them away Russ.” I say, with a roll of the eyes. I’d like to say this particularly inimate moment between me, Russ and Russ’ balls was a new page in our household. But seriously, he gets them out as if he was constantly in a mexican shoot-out… You know, if he could shoot bullets from his hairy sack.

I go back to my book. Two chapters away from finishing as I hurriedly read through the lengthy prose, fearing that the epic battle in the novel against the big strong hero and the fire-breathing dragon was going to be overshadowed by the battle between the book and Russ’s short attention span. Not that it was always bad, mind. Russ had moved in three months ago answering my ad on Gumtree. He kept to himself until his credit card maxed out and he couldn’t get on World of Warcraft. Nowadays he just lives on the couch playing video games, smoking pot and scaring off any potential dates I bring home (though to his credit, he has assisted in dodging a few bullets here and there. Like the chick who was looking for a sperm-donor with benefits. So much so that I found several holes poked in my stash of condoms).

“Whatcha reading?” Russ asked.

“Dungeon Slayer: The Reckoning”, I replied.

“No boobs, then?”

“None that you can see.”

Russ thought on that for a moment, mindlessly grabbing a packet of nearby Doritos. He then stood up and headed to the kitchen.

“You know Les, just once I’d like to see a novel with pictures, you know?” Russ said

“I think they’re called ‘comics’, Russ.” I replied. Another chapter and I could pretend to actually pay attention to his pot-addled ranting.

“No, I mean like, novels. With words and shit. But with pic-”

Russ’ words were cut off by the breaking of glass and his heavy body crashing to the floor. I jumped up ninja-style and ran into the kitchen

“What the fuck was that?!” I shouted.

I looked down. Russ was squirting a hefty amount of blood from his shoulder. Doritos and breakfast cereal coated the floor.

“T-The window!” Russ helplessly pointed.

I looked over. A bullet hole. Almost as if it was out of an action film. The surrounding glass forming a spider-web-like pattern. On the nearby rooftop, a man in black holding an impressive looking rifle ducked out of sight.

“What the fuck?” I asked. “What the fuck is going on Russ?”

“If I tell you they’ll shoot me again.” Russ replied. Two more bullets shot through the glass, narrowly avoiding me. I duck down out of sight next to Russ’ massive gut.

“You’re already fucking bleeding, you idiot. What the fuck is happening?”

“If I…I–” Russ stammered

“Fucking tell me! It’s not every-fucking-day we get shot at in our kitchen!”

“Y-you know those payments I owed?”

“I’m not going to like this, an I?”

“I-I ended up taking out a loan,”

“With who? The fucking Mafia?”

“W-Worse” Russ said, looking helplessly apologetic.

“Who?” I asked, just as two more bullets shot into the house, straight through the fishtank. Alas poor Frenchie, we knew him well. I grabbed a teatowel off of the stove handle and made a makeshift tourniquiet, hoping it’ll keep Russ going long enough to get him help, or at least to tell me who the hell he borrowed money from.

“A-A..” Russ stammered again.

“A-what, Russ?”

“A-Armadyne.” Russ finally got out.

Shit.

Russ worked at Armadyne up until two weeks ago. he was the shitkicker of their Research and Development department. Armadyne -in a nutshell was part-weapons manufacturer and part-mercenaries. Rumour has it if you knew who to talk to, you could hire them out for a hefty fee.

“It was a plan Shaun from Payroll let me in on. Access the accounts of the company, take a hundred bucks a month from each of the fat cats in Head Office, don’t leave a paper trail.” Russ said.

“Yeah, I read on the internet about a similar plan ages ago.”

“Oh yeah?”

“It didn’t work.”

“So now you tell me.”

“Hey, it wasn’t my plan to steal from the big company with hired guns.”.

BANG!

Russ and I both look up.

BANG! BANG!

It was the front door. Dunno about you guys, but front doors don’t usually make that kind of noise in our neighbourhood.

“We know you’re in there Davis! Open up!” Yelled a demanding voice from the other side of the door

“Fuck your mother!” Russ yelled back. Clearly when they were handing out survival instincts, Russ was taking a shit.

“We aren’t fooling around, Davis! We’re going to bust this fucking door down!”

“Look, we can sort this out peacefully alright? No bullets, no broken doors!” I yelled back.

“Too late for that. Your fat fucking friend messed with the wrong company!”

Well, no harm in trying.

A loud bang and cracking sound and the door busted open. Four guys in SWAT-like uniforms stormed the apartment, pointing their guns at us. One guy at the back was holding a leash. On the other end was… Wait a minute.

An attack panda?

“Heh.. it’s all cuddly and about to eat our faces.” Clearly, Russ chose his last words well.

Gunshots rang throughout the apartment, as if in slow motion. Pretty sure I saw some fucking doves fly from the balcony.

And then I saw a white light. In the light I could just make out the figure of a girl. Probably no older than nineteen. She walked up and kneeled down next to me.

“30812. Remember that number” she whispered in my ear.

“W-wait!” I said, confused. The girl turned around and looked at me quizzically.

“Am I dead?”

She smiled and put a finger to her lips.

“Shhhh.”

Then she exploded into a ball of fire.

I woke up with a jump. The book I was reading hit the floor with a solid thud. I looked around -being slightly disoriented from my subconscious trying to shoot me in the face. I deducted that the gunfire and explosions was probably from Russ playing Halo next to me, his nuts thankfully within the confines of his shorts.

But who was that girl? I thought. Cortana’s kinda hot and all, but I think I’m a little old to be having dreams about video game characters.

“You alright bro?” Russ asked, possibly more engrossed in shooting Covenant than whatever the hell I was doing.

“Yeah, yeah. Had a bad dream.” I replied.

“What about?”

I recounted the events of the dream. The raid on the apartment, the attack panda, the sniper on the roof. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a black crow on the top of the building that the sniper was on. I quickly dismissed the thought of the crow having a gun. Maybe if there were three of them they could fluke a bullet through the window, crafty fuckers they are. Is that why they call a group of them a “murder”? Is there a crow hit-squad out there taking pot-shots on fat stoners who owe them money?

“Oh shit…” Russ said as I finished the story.

“What? Please don’t tell me you actually worked for a company named Armadyne.”

“No, dickwrinkle. It’s half-ten. You know what this means?”

“What?”

“Upchuck’s finishes the breakfast menu in an hour.”

With that, Russ jumps up with a start and heads toward the hallway.

“Oh yeah, Les?”

I looked over. Russ dropped his shorts to his knees in quick succession and pointed his balls at me.

“Do these look like brains to you?”

…Goddamnit Russ.

I chucked my book back on the table and reached for a nearby coat.

 

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