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  • Bleed Red Part 1: Knuckles White
    Kaydi Chou
    3 Jul 2004

    I sat in my car, watching the rain slide down the windshield in rivulets, melting together and flowing together. The little droplets thudded gently in time with the blaring rhythms coming out of the back of the speakers. I had pulled over to the side of the road and was watching the other cars race past me. Where were they going? Why were they in such a rush? I pushed my glasses farther up my nose bridge and sighed. Then I slumped further down in the driver's seat.

    It was raining too hard, and my old car's windshield wipers were too weak to wipe away the innumerable drops. Pulling out the car's cigarette lighter, I set it to the cigarette's tip and drew in deep, breathing in toxic smoke. How did I get here? Route 66, right outside the border of the state?

    I took in a few more draws, letting the pungent smoke from the cigarette fill the car. The gray wisps drifted around, like fingers clambering for something to hold on to. As one heavy guitar rift after another sounded, shaking the car, I rolled down the window and stuck my head outside. The rain was falling quickly and soon covered my face, washing out the hair spray that had held my hair so straight. "Straight up I'm a girl, you jerk," I thought, looking at the oncoming cars. There was no rational reason for the thought- I had left rationality dead on a doorstep a while back, and it certainly would have no influence on me now.

    The other cars' headlights were on, and I wondered why. It's not like it would make things any easier to see. With another heavy sigh, I flicked the cigarette butt out the window and watched it drown in the pouring rain. It was almost time now. I rolled up the window and sat back into the car seat, running a scarred hand across the worn velour.

    Taking another deep breath of smoke, I pulled on my pants so they'd be a little bit farther down my legs. I looked at my khaki Champion sneakers on my feet, laying almost lifeless by the break and accelerator. I shook my legs, just to make sure I was still alive. The hour was approaching.

    I pulled my hooded sweatshirt closer around me, crossing my arms. The car cigarette lighter was hot, and I pulled it out and held it close to me, letting the warmth radiate on my face. It was a nice and simple action- pulling out a cigarette lighter and letting it's burning warmth soothe my icy skin. I felt myself give a little smile. The minute was approaching.

    Quietly, I put the lighter back into its place. Making sure everything in the car was in order, I sat up straight and faced forward. I glanced over at the digital clock display. Eleven fifty-nine- almost time.

    I don't know why I did it. I wasn't supposed to. His instructions were clear that I was supposed to sit and appear as normal as possible. That would have meant facing forward and not looking back. But I couldn't do it. Maybe I was just too curious, but you know what they say- curiosity killed the cat.

    I saw it coming. There was the big mack truck driving and roaring toward me. A slow rock song came on- the kind you spend the night making out to and wake up the next morning to find all of your money gone and your favorite jacket stolen too. The lights from the truck were strong- I remember their glare blinding me. I remember everything slowly becoming silent- the music fading away from my ears. The truck approached. It hit with my rear bumber. The purring front of the truck approached me, and I felt my car compacting. The metal dug into me. I heard my legs crack, as if from somewhere far away. My head was flung back onto the dashboard and the impact shook my bones, though I could only see the blood splatter across the driverside window. My blood. Then, though I couldn't feel it, I could see my vision change as my head slowly slid across the dashboard and hung limply across my chest. I could see the drops of blood falling onto my favorite jeans. They spread like little drops of crimson paint. It was my favorite pair of jeans.


    It all started a long time ago, way before I could drive. I was a freshman in high school- green and immature. Everyone always says they aren't immature when they're at that age- but they are. They always are. Usually the ones who deny it the strongest are the least mature- it's to be expected.

    I was one of the ones who said I was very mature. I thought I was amazing. Smart, clever, a good friend- it was all stupid. I wanted more than anything to be the beautiful socialite- the butterfly that everyone else always wanted to be. But at that goal, I was failing miserably. Now, thinking back, I'm so glad I was.

    Do you know what I'm talking about when you live with a song to your day? Well, that's how I was. Everyday there was a different theme song and everyday I lived by it.

    If I was feeling hopeful, Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles would continually run through my cerebral pulses. If I was angry, some hardcore punk song or another would be my motivation to kick my locker and bang my fists against the giant stone block walls. Eventually, my music-induced lifestyle would have a firmer hold on me. Screw punctutation I would think Songs dont have punctuation Why should I use punctuation better yet why capitalize letters did anyone really care in the end not like we would be alive long enough to really care anyway oh yeah that little line was from a song and that song flowed continuously like a river of wine from which i was the biggest lush

    And that's how I met Timmy. He was the beginning of me and the end. Oh, he was so beautiful. Every materialistic beautiful aspect you could ask for. It was like he had been made for me- for the world. I can remember the day we first met. It's kind of ironic and I hate to sound cliche, but that day was really the beginning of the end. Too bad there's never an end to the beginning.

    I was walking in school, lavendar shirt cut a little too low and jeans that were so tight that if I bent over, I probably would have split them. I had a knack for wearing things that would get every boy masturbating in the guy's bathroom after homeroom. I have no shame. I admit it. Things that happen in past do happen in the past and trust me- no boy would ever maturbate after seeing me now.

    The lavendar shirt I wore was see through and my large breasts were enclosed in a black bra. Your underwear's only black when you want someone to see it. Ever heard that one before?

    My jeweled pink thong was hanging out of my jeans. I'm surprised none of the teachers said anything. Then again, I was notorious for dressing like a whore. So, dressed like a whore and smelling like one boy or another that day, I walked down the B-Hall. My stilleto black heels clacked on the linoleum floor with that professional sound- the sound that made you turn your head that day and look me up and down- and you saw that black bra and that black thong. Don't deny it. Everyone always stares at something they want or something they want to be.

    So then, gliding down the hall and feeling my black hair tickle my skin, I saw Timmy. Like I said, he was beautiful- tight white shirt and loose jeans. But the way he wore those things- it was so classy. Not at all lower-middle-class. But don't get me wrong- he was no pretty boy. What he was was beautiful- nice body with bulging arms and rippling back muscles. Totally cut. Totally ripped. The kind of guy that stars in those Housewife Porn novels.

    As he passed me, he held out his arm and ran it along my stomach. There was a smell on him- the smell of women but also of something else. I could be lame and say something like danger, but it wasn't. I still don't know what it was, but that smell had me so hooked that for a second I couldn't breathe. Things swam a bit in black. No guy had ever made me almost stop breathing like that- especially not from just a brief touch.

    I walked to first period that day, a little part of me missing with Tim. Boys in class stared and I knew by the end of that period, several would want to visit the restroom and have a little private time with themselves and their little men. But that didn't really matter to me anymore- that smell on Timmy- that's what matter. That's what I wanted it. I wanted it on me and all over me.

    First period passed by so fast, I didn't even know what the class did. I blinked alone- I swear- and the period was over. I stood up quickly and walked out into the hall. My body was grabbed several times, but that didn't bother me. All I needed was to find Timmy.

    Some of you may not understand this sudden obsession- this need for something that you know isn't good for you. But, if you've never done drugs- this was a lot like doing drugs. This was drugs. You start off doing men just a little- every once in a while. You get that occasional mind-blowing orgasm, and everything is great. But then- you want it more often. You want different types. So, if you're really gutsy, you go out and get it. You alter your lifestyle so you can get it. But then- the unattainable- the ultimate high comes along. You get one taste, one whiff of that drug, and you are hooked. You need it, and you want it. And you will do what it takes to get it. That guy. That drug.

    But Timmy found me. He was waiting there. I was drawn to him and before I knew what was happening, I was falling into his arms. I could feel his body against me- hard and cold, cut like a rock and as shocking as ice.

    Something in me panicked- some part of me far far in the back of my mind. Something was wrong, but I ignored that. Panicky feelings came upon me all the time, but I wasn't going to let it stop me from getting what I wanted. I felt his hands circling me, touching me. I felt them along my back- my whole back all the way down to my legs. I felt him- his whole back too. I felt his lips on my neck- cold, unforgiving. They barely touched my skin, but I already wanted to rip off all his clothes and do him right there.

    I won't tell you the whispered words that were exchanged. They're not important. Words are rarely important. The ones that we muttered to each other under our breath were stupid; I wonder now how I could have ever fallen for a boy who could use such crude and coarse language. I suppose I found it enchanting.

    We were soon in the girl's bathroom doing our business. And by doing our business, I mean trying to get close to screwing each other. Him sitting on the toilet and me sitting on him, I let him get all over me like I had wanted at the beginning of first period. But, there was a catch.

    And I don't mean Catch- 22.

    I mean that usually, when this happens, you get very hot. I felt cold- all over cold, worse than ice. And that's when the first turning point happened.

    He was kissing my breasts, each kiss leaving a searing pain that made my insides shudder and my back arch. I was getting dizzy in the head when, without warning, he grabbed my hair and pulled back- hard. Hot pain shot from the roots of my millions of hairs to my two blue eyes in the form of a billion uncountable tears. I gasped for breath, chest heaving. With his free hand, he traced the curve of my body- that part right between my breasts.

    "Do you want it?" he whispered, voice soft but searing. I saw flashes of red and black- I didn't know what to do. All I knew was that it hurt- his tugging on my hair- but still, a part of me followed where his finger was tracing as he drew it down my navel.

    "Want what? Let go of me," I replied through gritted teeth. This wasn't going well for me anymore. I kept thinking that I could be seriously hurt. That no one wants to do a girl who's battered and bruised- no one except sick men who can't get any other girls.

    "Power, riches," he whispered, letting go of my hair. I fell forward to his shoulder, breathing fast. Why wasn't I running away? I didn't know. For some reason, I was still sitting there on top of him, my face on his cold shoulder, his icy breath and lips by my ear, cooling the side of my neck.

    "What are you talking about?" I breathed, and he took his hands, wrapped them around me, and pulled me closer to him. For a moment, I wondered if power and riches were names he called his penis. After all, everyone has their own kinky quirks. I could have laughed at this point, but the moment wasn't a time for laughing. It should have been a time for me to punch him in the nuts and then run away, though I didn't do this either.

    "Tell me, do you want them?" he asked again. I felt something squirm, and in a rush of lust, I said yes. I closed my eyes, giving up and deciding to let him do what he wanted with me. Then, after nothing happened, I opened my eyes again. I did not see a human body. I was no longer sitting on a human body.

    There were green writhing snakes with black eyes. They gleamed in the dim bathroom light and I could feel them moving beneath me. They were circling me, surrounding me, falling onto the bathroom floor with smacks and landing with little splashes in the toilet bowl. But all still retained the shape and form of Timmy, defying the LAW of gravity. I screamed and that was the release. The formation of them as a body disappeared and they all became subject to Law again- they fell apart. I screamed more.

    Some slithered on my legs, and I stood up on the toilet seat and began to shake them off, kicking and screaming. What was happening to me? Was I going insane?

    I screamed and screamed- letting my voice go even when it became raw. People eventually burst into the bathroom, which they had claimed was locked when they first tried opening it. I don't doubt that now, but I did at the time. When they arrived, it was like they couldn't see the snakes. The snakes were still everywhere though, and they were still the same poisonous green with beady black eyes that were always watching me. I remember screaming over and over that they were there, but the people who had rushed in must have thought I was on some hallucinogen. Some people the snakes shied away from completely, but others the snakes were drawn to and these people- these people had no idea. I still screamed and cowered away from any human touch. It seemed the toilet that I was standing on was my only safe spot. Eventually they had to call security to restrain me.

    When security got there, I was still screaming about the snakes. Undoubtedly, everyone probably thought that I was crazy. I started crying then, and I knew my mascara was running. Finally, one security guard stepped forward and slammed his fist against the side of the metal stall. A metallic boom resounded throughout the tiled bathroom- the hollow boom reverberating down the line of other empty stalls.

    With that simple boom, all the snakes were gone.

    I crumpled back down onto the toilet seat, still crying.

    "What's wrong?" the fat security guard as me, voice gruff and thick. His unkempt and scruffy moustache was trimmed in an upside-down V- a perpetual frown. I breathed in shallowly and couldn't answer. I just grabbed for the guy and shakily stood up, using his arm for support. He was taken aback, but I didn't care. I was crying and brushing strands of hair away from my face, confused and dizzy. I felt like I had just gone crazy, but now, I was back. Shakily, I leaned against the side of the stall and took several deep breaths. I wiped my eyes, seeing the black streaks of eyeliner and mascara melt together. Then, with my eyes still locked upon my hand, I saw the black lines melt into a small dot upon my hand, about the size of a small mole. Then, they shot out from that center point to form just one simple word in a curvy script. My handwriting. "Power."

    My breath caught and I fell to the floor, as if with my last breath I had breathed out all the energy in me. I crumpled down into a small heap and cried. The security guards were waving students back to class, and I knew they'd probably try to get me on a drug charge or something- after all, normal people don't just scream about snakes util their throats are raw. Still, most people aren't hysterical one moment and then a sobbing pile of nothing the next. Speaking of being a sobbing pile of nothing, I had no idea why I was crying. I just felt hopeless.

    "Look, kid. Get back to class. We'll call you at the end of the day to get drug tested."

    With that, the security guards left. I sat on the tiled bathroom floor, not crying so much now but fingering the edges of every small piece of porcelain. The floor was dirty with black smudges everywhere, and everything glowed with a peculiar sort of green. Images flashed in my mind as I sat there, slowly crying less and less. Tim. Snakes. Golden eyes. Black.

    I eventually stopped crying and decided to go to class. The halls were empty, and the clacking of my stilletos echoed in a lonely way. I almost heard the clacking echo speaking to me. "Pow-er. Rich-es. Pow-er. Rich-es. Whore." And then, I was suddenly aware of how scantily I was dressed. Instead of heading to my class, I walked into the locker rooms, which were nearby. The girls' locker room was empty and smelled of toilet water, trash, cheap body spray, and sweat. I stood in front of the mirror, gently putting a hand to my face. How soft I looked. I pinched my flesh. I could be molded. I wasn't firm. I lifted up the midsection of my shirt, looking at the small indentations on my stomach. Muscle beneath the skin. I pinched my skin. How soft I was.

    The low-cut lavender shirt, the tight jeans, the thong hanging out of my pants- yeah, it was all to get attention drawn to my soft parts. But it's funny how sometimes you realize something in that all-of-a-sudden way. You don't understand what everyone's talking about, but then you get a different view, and you see it. I was dressed like a whore. Was I a whore? I frowned. Yes.

    Whore. Slut. Prostitute. Call girl. Trick. Dirty. Unclean. With a determined nod, I put my hands to my back, trying to find the clasp that held my shirt so tight around my breasts. I had gym clothes stashed in my bag, and while my tanktop was skimpy, it was better than a see-through shirt. At least, now it was. Looking in the mirror and trying to undo the clasp, I noticed a small face peering from behind a row of lockers.

    I turned to look behind me. There was nothing. Turning back to the mirror again, there was a figure again. It was Tim, only as a little boy. Timmy was definitely a more fitting name for a little boy than a sex god. But Timmy as a little boy didn't make any sense. I really was going insane.

    "What'd you do to me?" I asked, taking off the shirt. The boy eyed me unnaturally, eyes following the same curves his hands had traced just a little while ago.

    "I didn't do anything. You've done it all by yourself," he smiled. I looked into his face and caught his gaze. Gold eyes. An unforgettable gold- the kind of gold you see when a beautiful blonde falls asleep in the sunlight, and the light catches their hair just right as to make it seem a lustrious gold. I did my fair share of blondes to know the color well enough.

    "Like the color? People die for this you know. They spend all their lives trying to get it. They bleach until their hair falls out, working and working and working. They poison themselves. As if it'd ever get them the real thing," he giggled. A little boy. How did he do it?

    I walked to my bag and put on the tank. When I looked to him to reply, he was gone. Maybe I really was on drugs and just didn't know it. Maybe there was never a Timmy- maybe it was all a dream. After all, power and riches? Could you be any more clich?

    Trying to shove the thoughts out of my head, I left the lockeroom and headed to class. I got there, time passed, and the teacher droned on and on for what seemed like forever. And then, the period ended. And I went to my next class. And I did it again. Sat down. Droned on and on. And again. Sat down. Droned on and on. And again. Sat down. Droned on and on. And again. Some days just don't end.

    And that's the weird thing. Mine didn't. I was sitting in ninth period by the time I realized what was happening. How could I have been out of it for so long? I looked at the kids around me. Blank eyes- all of them. It was like nothing was going on in their heads. Boldly, I shot my hand up to ask my teacher what was going on. He turned to look at me.

    His eyes were the color of a blonde's hair caught and poisoned in the sun.

    He didn't reply and turned right back to droning. Something was terribly wrong. So I sat there, tapping my foot. Waiting for the period to end. Ninth period. There were only six in a day so this one had to end some time.

    But the bell never rang. I was sitting there, waiting for it. But it never did. Finally, I just couldn't take it. There are 70 minutes a period. But the period had lasted for over two hours. So, I stood up. The teacher did not saying anything. So, I just left.

    From the class room, I started walking, slamming my feet into the linoleum. I was enraged with Tim. All of this was his fault- everything was always his fault. I had only known him for a day, and I already knew that everything was always his fault. As I stormed and slammed, I could feel something growing within me. It was like a giant cotton ball, soaking up the my juices, and I felt like I was drying out, becoming heavy- in a figurative sense that is. I was just so angry and filled with that heavy and full sense of fury. It became so drying and heavy that I had to stop walking. I took several deep breaths and realized I had traveled in circles. I could see my teacher through a whole in the door, droning on and on. As I watched him, I felt my breath calm. My heart rate slowed. I was still heavy. Then the teacher snapped his head, suddenly staring at me with his souless gold eyes. Timmy at 57.

    I tried to break into a run, but I couldn't even walk very fast. I was almost just snailing along. It wasn't willful snailing though. I felt like someone was grabbing me from behind and holding me- not letting me break free. I began to try running again. I could hear my heels clacking on the linoleum with speed as my feet moved. But I wasn't moving myself. I felt my breath getting shorter. I was still drying- the cotton ball was still there. I was still heavy. At last, I lunged.

    I was still stuck. It was a bit awkward, just BEING there in midair. But I was. I had to take more deep breaths now since I felt like my airway constricting. It was getting harder to breath and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't move. I was barely breathing. I became frustrated- flushed, angry, confused. Dizzy. I screamed and stamped my heels solidly onto the ground.

    My scream turned into a shriek- a high and piercing scream that rang throughout the whole school in every hall in every classroom in every ear- the fire alarm. And as I stomped and my ankles went out, the lockers all flew open and closed. I fell to the floor and then, I knew I was free.

    Students flowed out of the classrooms into the hall, and I knew that I had to find Tim. He was the key in all of this. I pulled myself up and ran my eyes across every person in the hall, trying to catch a glimpse of him, but with all the people in the hall, it seemed hopeless. Trying to get a new perspective, I walked to the end of the hall and looked to the left. To the right. I slid myself into a corner and watched as people passed by. And then- I saw him. Tim. At the end of the hall from where I had just come.

    "What have you done to me?"

    "Nothing. You've done it all by yourself."

    I could hear those words repeat themselves over and over in my head, as if my brain was on electronic repeat. I hadn't done anything. Timmy had done everything. He would change me back to the way I was or at least tell me what he had done to me. If he wouldn't, I would kill him. Just a day of this was driving me mad, and I knew I'd rather die without him than live in insanity with him alive.

    I began to run, pushing other kids out of the way. I would reach Tim and catch him- nothing could stop me. Nothing would stand in my way. They'd have to die first before I'd let my freedom and my life get away so easily.

    After pushing several people out of my way, I reached Timmy. I stood just a foot away from him, glaring at his face and into his eyes. How could someone so beautiful do something so strange and awful to me? To make me feel as if I were on drugs? As if he had cut up my insides and was peeling off my skin?

    "What did you do to me?" I asked him, teeth gritted. I felt my hands clench, the nails digging into my palm flesh. Knuckles turning white.

    "Nothing. You've done-"

    "Bullshit!" I slammed my hand into the wall next to his head. I could see every one of his perfect teeth I was so close to him now. I could see his graceful nose. His strong chin. His arching neck. His soft and curved lips. My body ached by just looking at those lips.

    "Do I have you?" he asked me. I looked at those lips- soft and tender, a pale pink. I wanted to touch them. I wanted them to touch me. I wanted to kiss them. I wanted them to kiss me. Lust. I put my finger to those lips, tracing the outline.

    "What have you done to me?" I asked him, voice soft. I wanted to cry. I would never be my own person again.

    "Nothing," he whispered, "You've done it all by yourself."

    And then, he was gone. I was standing with my back against the wall, staring down the hallway I had run through earlier- the one I had run down to each him. A dozen or so bodies lay across the floor, blood stained and insides spilling out. Flesh lay in pieces everywhere, like garish decorating strips, and that life-giving essence, that red liquidy juicy goo called blood, was everywhere. People covered in bloodspray stared at me. I looked at myself.

    I was bathed in blood.

    I looked at my hands. In them were clenched two long and silver butcher knives. So Sick. So Clich? So Knuckles white.