“So, Bernard,” began Justin the counsellor. “I thought after your reaction to the last group session it might be better for a little one-on-one.”
A violent attack on his counsellor as he poured through his problems? Not exactly, dear readers. Buddy Owen was dealing with his sobriety, just not in a particularly mature way. Justin had a fading handprint on his face to attest to that.
“I got a little into the session. You did say to let it all out. I was psyched, brah.”
“I must say, you are looking much better,” the counsellor went on.
“Five days sober,” Buddy groaned. It would have been much longer if it hadn’t been for the stash Copper had found at the bottom of his pocket where a bag must have burst open.
“You seem a little anxious without your fraternity brothers,” the counsellor pointed out.
Buddy sighed. He hadn’t thought about it but now that it was pointed out he would rather have had his bros with him.
“You ever been in a frat, brah?” he asked Justin.
“No,” the counsellor admitted. “I don’t think the life would be much for me.”
“You might think it’s all about pussy and coke but it’s more than that. It’s about knowing your bros got your back. It’s about being brothers for life.”
Justin anticipated Buddy leaping onto his feet and yelling Kappa So so he calmed him.
“Tell me a bit about your relationship with Dale Cooper and Chad Perry.”
Buddy scowled. “We’re not fags, brah.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Justin said, almost forgetting the kind of mindset he was dealing with. “All I meant was you are close. That kind of co-dependence is common with addiction. Addressing that can go a long way to getting to the route of your problem.”
Buddy’s expression softened.
“We got each other’s backs, no matter what shit we have to deal with.”
The resident hesitated.
“Go on,” Justin urged. “You needn’t worry about me. I’ve seen it all. Young men like yourself with an overbearing father, the expectations on you. It’s a lot of pressure to deal with. Tell me, how do you get along with your mother?”
“Don’t be talking about my mama!” Buddy warned.
‘An over-indulging mother,’ thought Justin. ‘Of course.’
Addressing his problems was never going to be easy for Buddy Owen, for he had many. Facing it sober was going to make it even more difficult. He wanted to be a better man but there was always something pulling him back. Why did Kim have to show him that crime scene photo?
“Sarah, her name was,” Kim had screamed.
Buddy didn’t want to know her name. Why did Kev have to be such a fucking scumbag? If he hadn’t tried to stiff on his coke bill, none of it would have happened.
‘The girl first,’ was the instruction. An Owen never misses.
Maybe it was the sobriety giving him nightmares but he couldn’t shake the image of Cooper and Chad being gunned down.
“Why does that frighten you?” Justin asked.
“I couldn’t cope without them,” Buddy admitted.
Resident 3717: Chad Perry
It was smiles all round for the Perry family as son Chad met them in the rec room of Harbour House. Dad, Austin, and mum, Amy, joined him at the table. It was the first time the parents had chance to meet wih the boys since they spent most of their time away from rehab on community service.
“It’s great to see you guys,” he beamed.
“Not a bad place,” Ozzy observed as he looked around himself. “It’s so fucking clean.”
Amy nodded in agreement.
“You’ll never guess where we took grandma,” she said.
Chad gave it some thought. “You guys went to the canyons without me?” he asked.
“We sure did,” Amy replied. “They were something else, weren’t they Ozzy?”
Visiting Canyon State had been a trip the Perry’s had been hoping for for a long time.
“You could’ve been with us if you hadn’t gotten yourself into trouble, mate,” Ozzy stated. “You’ve gotta stop putting that shit up your nose.”
Chad lowered his head. It was true.
Amy beamed. “Grandma got you something.”
She reached into the bag she had left at her feet and drew out a t-shirt. On the chest read:
I WENT TO CANYON STATE AND SAW THE WORLD’S LARGEST CRACK.
Chad laughed heartily. Grandma had a great sense of humour and she knew Chad would get a kick out of it. Amy threw it to him. He pulled it on over the shirt he was already wearing.
“We’ll go back if you keep your nose clean,” Austin offered.
“I’m sorry guys,” said Chad. “I really let the family down. I should have been at Canyon State.”
Amy hushed him. “We all make mistakes.” She put her hand to her mouth and whispered, “I’m pretty shit faced right now.”
When the time came to leave, the parents hugged their son. Amy squeezed him tightly. Austin held him the longest.
“Be cool lil mate,” he said. “Take care of yourself. I need you out there helping me. Snowflake is a bugger to keep and we need all hands on deck.”
“You’re putting me on Snowflake? No way!” Chad cheered excitedly. “You’re not shitting me are you? Mum? Did you know about this? I bet you did.”
“I did,” Amy guffawed. “You’ll do great with him. We were going to surprise you but dad can’t keep his big bazoo shut.”
Austin chuckled. “I couldn’t help it. Snowflake needs a Perry to look after him and the other enclosures.”
“What’s in the other enclosures?” Chad asked.
“Snowflake’s dinner,” Austin replied.
Some people have the best of intentions but to raise a child it takes a parent not a friend. Being too much of a friend can lead to a lack of discipline, leading to addiction.
Resident 2904: Dale Cooper
Cooper had been sat across from his mother, Chastity, for ten minutes. They had barely shared a word except for her to say, “You break my heart,” the A of which sounded heavy.
‘At least it was just her,’ Coops thought to himself. But unfortunately, it wasn’t. Arriving ten minutes late and making a scene as usual was Marshall.
“Look at the state of you,” was his welcome to his son.
There was a bad report from the counsellor it seemed. Justin must have blabbed about catching the bros trying to snort the inside of Dale’s pocket.
Chastity turned on her ex-husband.
“Don’t go yelling at him, you shit. Coming in here like you give a damn. Can’t even turn up on time for your own boy.” She pronounced it ‘boya’. “But you’ll always be on time for your whores.”
“Fuck you,” Marshall spat back. “You’re the one supposed to be looking after him and look how he’s turning out.” He started to clap his hands. The snap catching the attention of the rest of the rec room. “Well done!” he said sardonically. “Well fucking done. You’re doing a fine job.”
“Maybe if his father was in his life he’d have someone to look up to. The only time you want anything to do with him is when you need photo ops. Oh yeah what a great father you are! You cheap bastard. You ain’t ever paid for a day in his life.”
“Is that right?” Marshall argued back. “Then what was the three mil for?”
Chastity turned to someone at the neighbouring table, now regretting they had looked up.
“He’s asking why he had to pay for his own son.” The stranger tried to look away. They didn’t really want to be involved in the argument. “The only reason I got that was because it was a court order.”
Dale took a deep breath as though he was going to say something but when both parents turned to him and scowled his eyes widened and he decided to say nothing.
“Fat lot of good my three mil did anyway. Sent him to the best school in the country and the brat still acts like he should be on the spectrum.”
“Mr big shot!” Chastity laughed, involving the neighbouring table again. “You think you’re a fucking genius. You don’t know shit. The only reason he’s in this mess is because of you and your fucking problem. There I said it!”
Marshall glared. “I don’t have a fucking problem.”
“Where do you think he sees it? I gave up powda’ years ago. You can’t go anywhere without it. This is your fault.”
“You can’t look after your own son and I got a problem?” Marshall barked, throwing his chair back. “I don’t need your shit.”
“Tell it to my law’ya!” was Chastity’s reply.
As he stormed out, Marshall yelled at a nurse. “That woman needs locked up,” he said, pointing to his ex-wife.
Dale still said nothing as his mother went onto a call to her lawyer to see what wiggle room she might have getting one of the mad dogs from him.
Addiction can be a cry for help. When the people tasked in your life with guiding you won’t listen to word you say and your life is a constant argument, the drugs make a perfect numbing agent.
Resident 3520: Bernard Owen
Upon arrival of The Cappy at Harbour House, Buddy wondered what his father would make of the place.
“It seems a very efficient facility,” Chick commented as he gauged his surroundings. “It seems to be doing you some good too. You look well, boy.”
“How are you doing Buddy boy?” asked Ida Mae.
“I’m fine, mama,” was Buddy’s reply. He flexed his arms. “Been working out. Hitting the pool. Got myself a new chick.”
“Awww,” Ida gasped. “What happened to Julia?”
“Things with Julia weren’t going to work out. It was tough but I let her down gently.”
Ida pouted. “Was she disappointed?”
“She was screaming. She was begging me to come visit the farm but I was like, babe, we had it good but sometimes even the best parties get busted. I was all philosophical and shit.”
Chuckling, Ida Mae remarked, “You should be writing poetry.”
The Cappy was watching his son with one eyebrow raised.
“Julia Harvester?” he asked. “You’re saying Julia Harvester was begging you not to leave her?”
“She was all crying and shit,” Buddy went on, either ignoring his father’s scepticism or not registering it. “I said, ‘Sorry babe, but that’s life.’”
“I hope you weren’t too harsh with her,” said Ida Mae with genuine concern. “It’s not going to be like Nola Wong all over again.”
“Julia Harvester?” Chick asked a second time.
Buddy felt the urge to move on. “Besides, the new chick I got is ten times better than Julia.”
As he took a sip of the water that had been provided for him Chick assumed Buddy had decided to pursue one of the other residents. It was probably one of the biggest coke whores in Coldford knowing Buddy.
“Agent Lydia Lowe.”
The Cappy almost spat the water everywhere as the shock of the statement caught in his throat.
“You mean the girl hired to cross to the Great States and drag your ass back here?”
“Chick,” Ida scorned. “Our baby is in love.”
“Sure am, mama. I really want to bone her,” Buddy stated. “We went through a lot.”
Chick shook his head. “But Buddy, she’s a…”
“A chink, I know. But so was Nola Wong.”
The Cappy rolled his eyes. “I was going to say a woman of the law. You know what son? You say this woman is the one that got you in the pool and keeping you sober?”
“Yeah,” Buddy said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. “I really want to bone her.”
Ida Mae and Chick shared a look.
“If you would like some fatherly advice,” The Cappy offered. “Resist all your natural urges with this one,” he said.
As they were leaving, Chick said to Buddy, “You and I have had our problems but I’m proud of the progress you’re making. When you get out of here you and I are going to spend some time. In the meantime, keep it up. Keep out of trouble and if you really like that girl, we’ll have her by the estate. We’ll get you sorted proper.”
It was a very promising proposition indeed for Buddy Owen. All he had to do was escape Harbour House without getting into trouble. Easy for some. Almost impossible for Buddy.
Addiction can come from a need to ease the pressure on your shoulders. It’s easier to dull the ache of expectation with pharmaceuticals. Recovery only comes when the addict is prepared face those expectations.
Buddy surfaced with a gasp of breath.
“Time?” he asked.
Lydia, who was watching over him as he swam lengths of the Harbour House pool, checked the stopwatch.
“Two minutes,” she said.
“Damn,” Buddy groaned. The best time in his peak was one minute thirty. He had brought it down from four minutes since he started so there was huge progress.
He peeled off the swim cap and goggles and threw them onto the edge.
“You’re doing good,” Lydia agreed. “That’s a huge improvement.”
“I feel good,” Buddy cheered. “Feel fucking good.”
As the words echoed back to him he realised the only time he uttered that sentiment was usually when he was high.
“Come in and join me. Water’s good,” he said suggestively
Lydia laughed and shook her head. “I don’t think so.”
Remembering his father’s words, he tried to resist all the natural bro-ness. Lydia was a dynamite chick and needed the old charm.
“Do you know why I like swimming so much?” he asked.
Lydia narrowed her gaze.
“When I was in Luen, or was it Subala? No, it was Luen. I always got to the pool when it was that time of night when the sun gave the sky the right glow. The sky was all nice and pink and everything was quiet. Every time I swim I think of that. It’s all romantic and shit.”
Lydia started to laugh heartily. “I really thought you were going to say because it gets you wet.”
Buddy roared with laughter.
“Ahh!” he cried. “You filthy bitch.”
He threw himself back into the water starting into a backstroke.
‘Damn,’ he thought to himself. ‘This water’s so fucking cold. I hope she doesn’t notice.’
“Here puss. Here puss, puss,” Elizabeth Beckingridge wandered onto the lawns in search of a wayward feline.
A Law Maker approached her.
“Miss Beckingridge,” he warned. “You really should be back inside.”
“Oh, do shut up. I’m allowed to wander my own gardens, right?”
For most people that would have been true but given the sheer size of Beckingridge Manor, the lawns fell out with the distance allowed by the Law Maker sanctions.
“Here puss!” she called again. “Here puss, puss.”
The Law Maker knew he was going to regret it, but he said, “Miss, please go back inside.”
“I’ve lost my cat,” she said. “She’s not an outdoors cat. She must have gotten out and it’s freezing.”
The Law Maker relented. “What colour is she?”
Elizabeth answered, “Mostly black, with some white patterns. She answers to the name Winkle. Susie Winkle is her full name.”
The Law Maker turned. He leaned over and looked under some bushes.
“Here puss,” he called. “Tsk, tsk.”
Another Law Maker arrived on scene. He called to his colleague. “What you doing, Vic?”
Vic stood up. “Have you seen a cat? Black with white patches? Answers to the name … What was the name again?”
“Winkle,” Elizabeth answered.
“Answers to the name Winkle.”
“No,” Vic’s fellow Law Maker replied. “Have you checked round the garages?”
“If any of you have knocked her down…” Elizabeth warned, but before she could make her threat George came running across the lawns towards the house.
“Here kitty, kitty, kitty!” he laughed hysterically.
“I swear George, if you have tried to piss on her again I’m going to throttle you,” Elizabeth screamed, chasing after her nephew.
“The Chapter House sure looks a little worse for wear,” Commented Ozzy Perry as he and Marshall Cooper crossed the lawns to the Coldford home of Kappa So.
“It’s the fucking pits,” Marshall spat. “What the fuck have the boys been doing with this place? No wonder Chick has been going insane.”
“They were attacked,” Ozzy reasoned. “The boys had it tough.”
“Tough? Shiiiit. If it were in our day Reginald Penn would be on his knees sucking our dicks. Who’ve they put in charge now whilst the three geniuses are in rehab?”
Ozzy laughed. “George Beckingridge. He’s got big bucks from what I hear.”
An introduction to George Beckingridge was made when the boy answered the door to them.
“Kappa So!” he cheered.
The elders would have admired his commitment to their frat house but what caught Ozzy’s attention first was the fact he was stood in his underwear. That was an unfair comment to make on the Beckingridge boy. He was at least wearing his Kappa So blazer.
The inside of the Chapter House was surprisingly orderly under George’s watch.
“You’re the big guns then?” George grinned. “I want to show you something.”
He pulled a bag from behind the sofa and when he laid it on the floor at their feet it started to wriggle. Marshall and Ozzy took a step back. From the bag slipped a black and white cat. George gripped it by the scruff of its neck and raised it to face him. The feline screamed a meow but George continued to look into its bright, green eyes.
“Here kitty, kitty,” he said softly. “Who’s a good kitty,” he cooed. “You are!”
“What’s the deal with the cat, mate?” Oz finally had to ask.
George looked to the elder with admiration. “You talk funny,” he said.
Austin turned to Marshall. Neither of them was a native to Coldford but it seemed the Southern Hemisphere buzz amused the boy.
A call came in and George laid the phone on the coffee table. He answered the video and it was his aunt who was speaking.
“What do you want George?” she asked having just received a message for her to be in touch.
George lifted Susie Winkle, for it was the cat Elizabeth had been searching for. He sat her on his lap, stroking her so heavily the animal started to object. Marshall pulled Ozzy out of the frame.
“Found Susie Winkle,” he beamed.
Elizabeth became concerned.
“You let her go,” she barked.
George giggled that rotten little giggle.
“What you doing there, mate?” Ozzy asked but Marshall hushed him. He was quite keen on seeing what was about to escalate.
Susie Winkle tried to cross the table towards her mistress, curious of the screen, but George heaved her back by the tail. He pushed her belly down onto the table.
“That compass you broke wasn’t a toy,” he warned in an attempt to sound like a scorning grown up. “Captain Henry Owen, my brother, used that compass to steer his ship. He always relied on it to return him to Coldford again.”
Elizabeth was no longer listening to her nephew. She was too busy watching her cat.
“You broke it,” George snarled. “You broke it so now I break something of yours.”
This had been how Alice Beckingridge, George’s mother, had dealt with his behaviour as a child. It didn’t do much good. All it really resulted in were a lot of broken toys.
That was when he pulled a hammer from underneath the table. He grabbed Winkle by the neck.
“No!” a collective scream was given.
The first hit stunned the cat.
“You don’t break things that don’t belong to you!” George screamed, eerily echoing Alice Beckingridge’s words.
The second blow was heavier and smashed the cat’s skull.
WHACK. WHACK. WHACK!
The last hits were beating on a dead body. The small, feline skull now only a soup, which George dipped his fingers in.
“Kappa So!” he screamed and the call was ended.
The two elders stood watching him in disbelief. George was catching his breath. He looked to them for approval.
“I think you took pounding pussy way too literally, lil bro, ” said Marshall.
Ozzy punched Marshall’s arm playfully.
“If I was in trouble with the animal rights people before, they’re gonna have a field day with this. Crikey! Look at this mess.”
George sat back in the sofa. “Can I feed her to Snowflake?”
“Tell me he’s talking about the cat,” Ozzy put to Marshall.
Marshall laughed. “I honestly don’t know.”
“Chick knew this boy was a nut. He could have warned us, the bastard!” Ozzy commented in jest.
I had a little trouble readjusting back at home so I was glad of a visit from Lydia.
“How are you coping?” she asked.
“Better than expected,” I returned and it was the truth – although it didn’t sit well with me that Tabitha knew where I lived.
Lydia had gone to the club to check up on Tawny. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect and of course Tabitha wasn’t exactly thrilled to see her.
“Ye caused a lot of trouble, missy,” Tawny had said to her. “I don’t think I really want anymore.”
Tabitha was stood behind her aunt, scowling quite severely in a childish sort of way.
“The trouble was already there,” Lydia explained. “If anything, I stopped it getting worse.”
Tawny would hear none of that though. As far as she was concerned her little Trouble was not the culprit. She was friendly enough towards Lydia though, which was more than could be said for Tabitha.
“Do what you need to do to help Sarah,” said the Baroness. “I’m never going to stop you with that. But honey, if I find out you’re trying to slip in here again you’re out on your arse.”
The Baroness was a bold woman. Her niece was even bolder. Walking back into The Knock Knock Club was no easy task for Lydia but when she demonstrated her commitment to helping, Tawny gave her more space. Tabitha on the other hand, was watching her every move.
Our conversation turned to Elizabeth Beckingridge and her continued house arrest.
“I can’t imagine what living in that house would be like right now,” I commented. “I don’t envy the Law Makers trying to keep her in.”
“I like her,” Lydia stated. “I think she’s nice.”
That was an easy assessment from Elizabeth’s pride and joy.
That was when Lydia received contact from an excited Kim.
“We did it!” she cheered. “I’m down at a drug bust in the Shanties and one of them spilled everything. He says he was the one who told Buddy where to find Kev Marsh. We’ve got a witness! We’ve got a God damned verifiable witness! It won’t hold him for long but we can bring him in. I’m heading up to the Chapter House now. We’re going to bring him in and I couldn’t be prouder of you, pet.”
“I’m on my way,” Lydia said.
I lifted my phone. There was no way I was missing this.
The Kappa So bros gathered around to hear stories from brother George. Chad in particular, was engrossed.
“Tell us again about the time you caught your teacher doing it.”
George leaned in. He was quite a gifted storyteller. “It was at the Browning House. I could hear the shower running.”
Cooper had already began sniggering in anticipation. It was a story he had heard hundreds of times but he never seemed to tire of it.
“So I climb the stairs … I opened the door … I pulled back the curtain …”
Pause for effect.
“And he was shagging her!”
“Ahhh!” the bros returned excitedly.
“What did you do?” asked Buddy in elation.
“I stabbed her!”
“Ahhh!” the bros were now rolling with laughter.
“You little cock blocker,” Buddy guffawed, wiping a tear away from his eye.
Who needed powder when you had your bros and the Chapter House? This new man thing was going to see him alright. It was a fine sentiment but when someone lived their life the way that Buddy Owen did, it was always going to catch up with him. The agents and I arrived on site. I knew the Daily would unleash hell on me for this but I clicked record.
“Lydia?” it was she who Buddy noticed first.
Kim was wasting no time. She didn’t even afford me the chance to set my angle right.
“Bernard Owen? I’m arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Sarah and Kev Marsh.”
High as a kite, Buddy could still remember the instructions.
“Take them both out. Make sure you get the girl first.”
Buddy tried to protest but it was George who kicked up the most fuss.
“You can’t take Buddy,” he cried. Kim shoved him back. “You can’t take Buddy!” he screamed.
Kim stopped. She pulled Buddy’s arms behind his back. “Back away,” she warned George.
George grinned. “You can’t take Buddy. I did it. I shot them. I put bullets right in their heads.”
Kim scowled in warning. “Back off.”
“There was a bottle there, right?” George said. “Strawberry? I love strawberry. You can ask my aunt. She’ll tell you. It’s my spit on it.”
Here he stuck his tongue out.
Lydia looked to Buddy but the chapter leader was flabbergasted. He prayed his expressions gave nothing away.
“I killed them. I killed them!” George was chanting.
It was far from what she wanted to hear but Lydia said to Kim, “If he’s confessing we have to take him in.”
“Mother fucker!” Kim screamed, throwing Buddy and almost landing him on the ground.
“Police brutality!” he chided.
Kim ignored him as he took George into her grasp instead.
“You know what you got there, George? You got the biggest set of God balls I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Kappa So!” they all cheered.
George was thrilled by this. He was grinning ear to ear. When I covered the story of his mother, Alice, years ago I saw a photograph of George. I remember thinking to myself at the time, ‘I wonder what will become of that little boy,’ and there it was.
“I also killed my teacher, Miss Matheson.”
The bros gasped.
“And my dog.”
“The boy’s crazy. You crazy, brah!”
George heard it as praise and he couldn’t imagine a higher honour.
Kim pushed George to the car.
She was sure to catch his head. Once inside, George pressed his face against the window. Still laughing, Buddy turned to see Lydia was watching him. His expression fell away.
“Kappa So!” George kept yelling from the back of the car, taking the fall for his brother.
“Elizabeth, honey, you are not making this easy on yourself,” said Tawny as she watched the Beckingridge dragon stomp around the lounge of her manor prison.
Elizabeth was still outraged at the possibility that the charges against George wouldn’t hold. The agents had a difficult decision to make over releasing George in order to catch the real culprit. His aunt was relaying her frustrations on a video call to Harbour House where Tawny and David Finn were present.
“Come now. You heard it all from Vincent. You know better than anyone that George should be locked up.”
Agent Kim had confined herself to what the other agents called her wreck room. It was a place set aside with old computers and other assorted items she could trash and relieve her temper on. She emerged from the room, sweaty and still a little seething by the looks of things. David Finn watched nervously as she took a seat at the table with him and Tawny.
“You can’t let him go,” Elizabeth insisted. “He’s a criminal and needs to be caged. Did you see what he did to poor Winkle? The boy has been cutting heads off of animals ever since he was little. If that isn’t a sure sign of a psychopath then I don’t know what is.”
“Yes, but, Elizabeth, if he’s not-” Agent Kim started to say.
Elizabeth cut in. “I don’t care if he’s not responsible for this particular crime. I stand by my word that he needs to be locked up.”
Agent Kim scowled. “Whatever crimes George has committed he will be put away for. But I made a promise to that little girl’s mother. I swore I would bring Sarah’s killer to justice and that is not George. I need you to help me. If you can assist in proving George wasn’t responsible for Sarah’s murder I will make sure he is put away for his real crimes.”
Kim watched David’s reaction. He was withdrawing into himself.
Elizabeth gave it some thought. “As if he could be a sharp shooter anyway. The boy can’t even piss into the toilet bowl without spraying it all over the walls.”
David shook his head and rubbed his temples. “I don’t think that is what the agent is looking for,” he said.
Elizabeth was hearing none of it. “If you can bring him in on charges regardless then I’m holding you to that Kim. I told Ernest on his fifth birthday he needed a cage when he was running around trying to stick pins in butterflies.”
“I need to know the truth. If there is anything that can prove George wasn’t responsible for Sarah’s death then I can bring her real killer in.”
Elizabeth folded her arms.
“As if he could have killed that little girl. He wouldn’t know how to load a gun let alone fire one. Besides, how could he have even been there when he was boffing Vincent at the time?” she huffed.
David’s eyes widened. “Elizabeth, stop talking.”
Kim focused on the artist. “Can you verify his whereabouts at the time of the murder?”
“Agent,” David replied. “I made a promise…”
Kim growled. She was very serious and it was not at all advisable to challenge her.
“Can you verify the whereabouts of George Beckingridge at the time of Sarah’s murder?”
Elizabeth looked to David completely misinterpreting the situation.
“Of course you can,” she said. “He was coming to Harbour House for a conjugal.” “Elizabeth, now might be a good time to shut yer gob,” said Tawny when she could see David was starting to writhe under the pressure.
“David,” Kim warned. “If you can verify that Vincent was with George at the time of the murder you will confirm that right now.”
“No,” David insisted.
Elizabeth frowned. “Oh please. There are videos and everything. Do you think he hasn’t already shown them to his frat brothers?”
“Elizabeth, honey,” Tawny cried. “Please, stop talking!”
Kim had locked her eyes on the artist. Tawny dropped her hand onto his shoulder.
“If you know he wasn’t there you will make a statement.”
David was visibly shaking but he maintained his stance.
“No agent,” he said. “I made a promise.”
Kim leapt to her feet, upturning the table. Both David and Tawny shrieked as she grabbed David by the neck and pulled him away. The chairs toppled. Tawny was moved back. David cried out in pain and anguish, his arms and legs lashing. When Agent Kim was on a mission there was nothing that was going to stop her. Tawny chased after them, trying to help the artist who now being dragged into Kim’s wreck room.
“Leave him alone!” Tawny was calling.
“Aaaah!” David shrieked.
She had snatched him by the hair and threw him bodily into the room.
“Lydia!” Tawny tried to call help from Agent Lowe.
Lydia did makes steps to intervene but Kim had wedged a chair under the door handle. All they could do was batter on the door and beg her to stop.
“Agent…” David tried to plead.
Kim had snatched up a phone book and clobbered him to the ground. She pressed her foot down heavily on his chest.
“Was Vincent with George at the time of Sarah’s murder?”
David wheezed, “I can’t.”
“I don’t give a fuck what he was doing. Was he with him at the time of the murder? A little girl was killed and her killer is walking free. If you can help me put him away you are going to tell me everything I need to know.”
“There’s nothing to tell,” the artist groaned.
Tawny’s eyes widened as Kim pulled David up and pushed him into a chair.
“She’s going to kill him,” shrieked the Baroness.
Agent Kim ignored the pleas of those outside. She took a lamp and pulled the wire from it. The electric current sparked.
“Was George Beckingridge with Vincent?” she asked.
David hesitated. That was a mistake. Kim stuffed the wires into his trousers and shocked them against his testicles, causing him to yelp in pain.
Tawny appealed, battering her fists on the door, “Leave him alone!”
“Alright, alright. George couldn’t have shot that little girl because at the time he was shagging Vincent,” David sobbed.
Kim dropped the cable.
“Where is the video?” asked she.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “I honestly don’t know.”
It seemed that whilst resident of Harbour House, Winslow had granted George access to his music teacher – for a nominal fee, you understand. Overjoyed at this, George wished to document their intimacy. Already accused of taking advantage of his pupil, Vincent was distraught at being placed in such a predicament. He had struggled badly with his issues but the one thing he had to hold on to was he never took advantage of his pupil. That claim was stolen from him. Who would ever believe that now? Winslow assisted in stripping him of his dignity, figuratively and literally.
When he admitted it to Tawny and David, they had promised it would go no further. Trying to protect their friend’s memory, it wasn’t an easy admission to make. Volts of electricity to the genitals seemed to help.
Somewhere a video would show an excited George almost drooling in anticipation, swing his camera round to watch his hesitant teacher unbutton his shirt.
“Like a common whore. I guess that makes me your pimp,” Winslow had commented at the time. “Not to worry though. Your client paid top dollar.”
He knew Vincent would rather die than admit to relations with George.
“Please don’t make this about Vincent,” David said, a little shaken. “He hated that time of his life and that’s not him. That’s not what he should be remembered for.”
Kim sighed. “I just want the truth,” she said. “I’ll make sure it goes no further than it needs to.”
David – beaten, shirt torn – was rested back in the rec room to recover.
“Are you okay?” Tawny comforted him. She wiped the blood from his face and handed him an ice pack which he sat on his groin.
He could only nod.
A silence fell between them. Tawny couldn’t let it fall for long.
“Are you sure you’re okay? I told you that agent was scary. I heard she pile drove a guy in a bar once.”
Still a little dazed, David tried to gather his strength.
“I’m still buzzing, man,” he said.
“She zapped yer nuts, honey,” Tawny stated.
David sighed. “I know.”
Tawny gave a laugh. “Ugh, you enjoyed it, didn’t you? You artists are all weird.”
David smiled, Tawny’s cheer helping him feel a little better.
Elizabeth, who was still on the video call, remarked, “That might have been something I said.” Her admittance actually showed some personal growth.
“It was most definitely something you said,” Tawny retorted.
Elizabeth shrugged. “I honestly thought it was common knowledge.”
“It is now,” said David.
“Well if you had just admitted to it in the first place we wouldn’t have had to see that entire ugly scene,” was Elizabeth’s reasoning.
Tawny patted David’s hand. “Elizabeth, honey,” she said. “Yer still talking.”
“He’s a God damned hero, brah,” Buddy wept on Coops’ shoulder. “An honest to God hero. You don’t think you’ll ever see shit like that in your lifetime but there it was. God balls!” He stretched his hands out to emphasise just how big those God balls were.
Cooper was nodding. It was true. It was very true.
Chad was rubbing Buddy’s back.
“That crazy little son a bitch gone told the agents it was him. He’s going away, brah. He’s going away for a long time and what does he do? He yells Kappa So! I ain’t ever seen commitment like that. That boy needs a plaque or something. He needs a big old painting right there on the wall so all future bros can see what God balls really look like. He went above and beyond. He gave me a real chance to be a new man. Every time I’m boning Lydia I’m going to be thinking, George.”
Here Cooper stopped nodding.
“That’s gay, brah,” he stated.
Buddy shook it off. “It’s not faggoty if it’s God balls. Ya’ll should be thinking of George when you’re boning a chick. It’s through his incredible sacrifice that we live to bone another day. The only way any of us get to give true God balls is if we think of George. I’m sure as hell giving Lydia those God balls.”
“Still a little gay, brah,” Cooper returned with a raised eyebrow.
“Hey,” Chad interrupted. “If he wants to think of another bro whilst pounding pussy that’s his choice.”
“Thanks Chad,” Buddy agreed.
“Got your back, brah.”
“Murder One. Multiple counts. Spared from Article 22 pending psychological evaluation. Sentence: Life in servitude to The Boss.”
George Beckingridge didn’t seem at all bothered by this revelation. He was most likely the richest boy in the Shady City and there he was, content to be inmate 2006 of Coldford Correctional.
“I heard you have a beast here,” George grinned.
“We’ve got a lot of beasts here, buddy,” Remar replied.
“I mean a real beast,” George went on. “The beast of the Boss.”
Remar had heard that term used. They really did a number on that guy. He got it worse than former screws. Even kiddy fiddlers had it easier. But…
“Yeah, we got the beast,” he admitted.
George was breathing heavily through his nose. That was how excited he was. He patted his hands on his thighs.
“I want him,” he said. “I want the beast.”
“You’re going to your cell and you’re going to keep your mouth shut 2006,” Remar warned.
George scowled. “I want it. I want the beast.”
When Remar glared at him George lowered his gaze.
“I’ll pay,” he said a little more softly. “That’s how it’s done, isn’t it? I’ll pay you whatever you want.”
Remar thought about it. What did it really matter? The beast was the lowest of the low anyway. He was barely a human life form. There was one thing The Boss’ great collective could agree on and that was they didn’t like the beast.
“I’ll pay,” George grinned. “To whatever cause you want.”
Remar wasn’t going to argue. Who the fuck really cared about the beast anyway?
“Fine,” Remar agreed. “I’ll move him in with you.”
Patting his thigh nervously George asked, “Can I have a leash for him?”
Remar frowned again. This was a stark reminder he was dealing with a psychopath. Seeing the warden’s hesitation George gave in to despair.
“I’ll walk him. I’ll look after him. Pleeeaaaaaase!”
“Fuck it,” he said. “Why not?”
Goerge beamed, almost drooling.
Inmate 2011: Jake Fullerton, head of the Fullerton construction company was lying on his bed in the 10×10 enclosure and all because of aggravated assault. Two years in servitude. His cell mate Matty Lane was at the desk writing a letter. You could pass word onto the outside world but there was no guarantee of a reply. Such was the way of The Boss. All one could do was submit to their slavery and hope the great mistress of Bournton saw fit to let you go eventually.
They both heard a stirring from the main gangway. There was a lot of shouting. That was nothing now. If anyone had something to shout about it was the slaves of The Boss.
Jake looked across to Matty who was shaking his head. He was trying to ignore it and continue with a letter to his son.
Jake climbed out of the bunk. Surely there wasn’t going to be another riot.
The commotion grew louder and louder. Men were screaming, whooping, cheering.
‘What the fuck is going on?’ Jake thought to himself. He approached the bars and gazed out. The motion sensor low lighting of the gangway sparked on towards them.
“Kappa So! Kappa So! Kappa So!”
The chant rang out. Jake would normally have just chalked it up to frat boy bullshit but this was different. This wasn’t the usual privileged white boy chant. This was a declaration.
“Kappa So! Kappa So! Kappa So!”
“Those frat bro muppets are starting shit again,” Jake commented to Matty.
Matty shook his head but he kept his focus on his letter. They were so used to the bros of Kappa So causing a fuss. It wasn’t dulling down though. They were really excited about something.
“Kappa So! Kappa So! Kappa So!”
What they didn’t see, walking along the gangway, grinning like a Cheshire cat, was George Beckingridge. His imprisoned bros met him with joy and elation as word of his heroism on behalf of the Chapter House spread. George had a leash in hand and that leather strap was tied to the neck of a creature that became less human by the day. Unable to walk properly, he shuffled along as his master tugged his neck. His arms and hands were permanently disfigured. His face had all but been burned off with acid. Winslow – former Doctor Winslow if you please – now the Beast of the Boss. Vincent Baines had once told the eminent doctor that throughout his whole life everyone had seen George as a puppet that could dance for billions but it was impossible for anyone to keep ahold of those strings.
“Kappa So!” George yelled to his brothers.
“Kappa So!” they returned.
The beast gargled.
“No!” George snapped, kicking him.
He would have sent him falling to the ground if it weren’t for the pull on his leash.
“Bad!” he yelled as he slapped the beast’s nose. Both with a lifetime of servitude ahead of them, they were now in servitude to The Boss.
They are no longer free men. They are no longer considered with any kind of humanity. They are in servitude to THE BOSS