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I snap awake. My head darts around, taking in the cool darkness of night. I only dozed off for a minute.
I'm sitting on the back porch waiting for Kyle. I feel like I am forgetting something extremely important, but it's probably just sleep deprivation. It's around 3AM. Last time I checked my watch, it was about a quarter 'til. I just heard it beep since then, so it has to be after 3 now. I've chain smoked the fuck out of some Marlboros, and I'm really getting impatient. I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone. I'm going to call Kyle, since he was supposed to be here at 2:30, and the prick is making me wait. The phone is off. I hit the button and it vibrates back to life. It lights up and the battery icon shows empty. It doesn't even have time to make noise and flash its helpful little message about the low battery before it goes dark again. Of course.
So I just stash it back in my hoodie pocket. Damn it. I light up another Marlboro.
I hear a branch snap in the woods. A brief surge of adrenaline rushes up in me, before I realize it's Kyle's stoner ass finally showing up. In the darkness, his face seems pale. It's surrounded by blackness melting into the woods and the night around him. As he approaches, I begin to make out his black skully, his shoulder-length hair, and his black trenchcoat. Fucker thinks he's a vampire. He's all into anime and goth shit. Fucking stoner dork. But he's my best friend. I'd choke a bitch for him if I had to.
Kyle walks up to the steps and said, "Hey."
"Hey," I reply. I vault forward into a standing position then hike down the steps. He's already turning away, expecting me to follow him.
"Hey, can I bum a smoke?" he asks. Fucking freeloader.
"Sure," I reply. I pull one out and hand it to him as I catch up and begin walking beside him. He takes it and lights it.
"Thanks," he says.
"So, what's the big surprise? Why do we have to hike through the woods at three in the morning?"
He laughs that stupid, brainless stoner laugh. "We're gonna watch the sunrise."
"Fucking seriously?" I ask. "That's like three hours from now."
"Not this sunrise," he says. I can hear him smile when he says it.
"Seriously Kyle, what is this about?"
"I'm tellin' you, we're gonna watch the sunrise!"
"Whatever. You're not trying to punk me or some shit, right?"
"Brian, I promise you: you're gonna love this."
We walk along the path through the forest for a bit.
"Oh, by the way, I heard there's a psycho murderer loose from the mental hospital tonight."
"Right. If you're trolling me, I'm going back home. I don't have time for-"
That's when I'm grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground.
My assailant screeches in a high voice and is on top of me immediately.
I hate to admit it, but I am actually scared for about half a second.
"GLOMP!" the bitch screams.
I hear Kyle snickering that stupid stoner laugh again. His sister, Jessica, has me pinned to the dirt with her considerable weight. Her long hair dangles in my face.
Remember how I said I'd choke a bitch for Kyle? When I say that, I always have Jess in mind. I hate her laugh. I hate her musk of clove cigarettes and patchouli oil. She laughs a slightly higher, female version of Kyle's stoner laugh.
I don't know if she has any idea that she has actually rattled me. In the dark, I'm sure it's hard to tell, so I play it off like I'm made of stone.
"Hi Jess," I intone emotionlessly.
"Hi Brian!" she giggles. She's had a crush on me since she was twelve. We fucked once when she was fifteen. I was very desperate. Oh god, how I wish I could take that one back.
She's not really fat and, to be honest, her body isn't all that bad. But she's an Amazon. She's a few years younger than us but she's already nearly six feet tall. She is truly big-boned. Definitely not skinny, but not really fat either. Great tits. Big round ass. Not bad-looking for a goth chick. But just who she is and the way she acts is a deal-breaker.
"Can you please get off me now?" I ask with feigned politeness.
"Only if you say the magic word!" she commands.
"I just did. I said, 'please' already."
"Jess," Kyle says authoritatively. "C'mon." I can't see her expression in the dark, but I already know what it is: that stupid little pout, those sad puppydog eyes. On any other bitch it would be effective. On Jessica's face, it's just pathetic and annoying.
Without another word, she stands up and removes her weight from me. She offers her hand to help me up. I pretend not to see it and stand up on my own. Soon, all three of us are walking down the path, the light of the stars and sliver of moon barely guiding our way.
It isn't long before she lights up one of those Djarums. I normally don't mind the smell. But when Jessica smokes them, I hate it. We walk until we get to the trash pile clearing. Somebody dumped an old fridge and some tires there years ago. Since then, people just dump stuff there every now and again: an old chair, a bag of garbage, deer guts and bones, whatever. People eventually stopped complaining to the cops about it. The local fuzz have bigger fish to fry like the meth labs that keep popping up anyway. Nowadays, the trash pile is a local landmark.
Kyle sits down just outside the stink radius of the pile.
"Hey, can I have another smoke?"
"Sure," I reply. I hand him another Marlboro.
"Can I have one too?" Jessica asks as sweetly as her whiny voice allows.
"This is my last one," I tell her.
"We can share it," she replies helpfully.
"That's okay," I lie, as I hand it over.
"You can have one of my Da-jarums."
Every time she pronounces it that way, it grates on me to no end.
"Don't worry about," I said.
We all sit down. I watch the siblings smoke my last two cigarettes and try to ignore the stench of garbage and patchouli, which just barely masks the stink of weed that comes off the two of them. I begin to hear a deep rumbling from somewhere in the woods, and the side of the trash pile begins to glow.
I turn to see two headlights, which are the source of that rumbling. It's Greg in his big ass Ford truck. I'd know the sound of that big rig anywhere.
He's a redneck, but he is more bearable than Kyle and Jess.
The truck pulled up to the pile and stopped. The engine continues to rumble, and the driver's side door opens.
"Who's ready to see the sunrise?!" Greg shouts.
"Woohoo!" Kyle replied.
Jessica just gazes stoically at the truck.
"Whassup Brian?" Greg shouts.
"Nothin'. What the fuck is the sunrise?"
"Kyle! You didn't tell him what the sunrise is?"
"Dude!" Kyle exclaims. "You know you can't just tell someone about the sunrise!" He turns back to me. "I'm telling you man, you won't be disappointed."
"Whatever." I'm already feeling very tired and just want to get this bullshit over with, whatever it is.
Greg's girlfriend Tammi is in the truck. Kyle squeezes into the cab, moving Tammi closer to Greg, which is fine with them. Guess who's left to ride in the back.
The truck circles around the trash pile, then trundles back out along the fire trail through which it entered. In the cold metal bed, Jessica and I sit facing each other, but avoiding each other's gaze. From the soft glow of the instrument panel, I can just barely see more detail of her face than the naked night would have allowed. That is, when I look over at her.
Occasionally, I catch her gazing at me, then looking quickly away hoping I hadn't noticed.
The truck rolls and bumps along the dirt path. I occasionally hear Greg and Kyle laughing about something up front, which makes me feel even more isolated back here with the goth whore.
"Hey Brian," Jess asks meekly.
"I'm all out of cigarettes, remember?" I snipe.
She looks hurt. I've never seen her look so genuinely hurt by my words before. But it only lasts for a split second. And it's not like I care anyway.
"That's not what I was gonna say," she replies. If she had mumbled any more quietly, I wouldn't have heard her over the sound of the truck and the trail.
"What?" I ask, trying not to sound too mean, and not so sure I'm succeeding.
"I wanted to talk."
I wait. She looks away and takes a breath, then sighs.
"So? Talk," I offer.
"Remember at JD's party...?"
Wow. I am so not prepared for this. Why now, of all times, is she going to bring that up? It had been an unspoken rule, agreed upon since the night it happened, that we would never speak of what we did. We were both drunk, and it meant nothing.
"What about it?" I ask, the fringes of nervousness beginning to creep into my heart.
Kyle and Greg cackle and bullshit in the front, oblivious to the heavy shit about to crush me here in the bed of the truck.
"You know, I never told you about what happened."
"You don't need to. I was there. Can we just drop it?" The last thing I want is for her to start spilling her putrid guts about how she loves me, and wants us to be together, and all that horrible emotionally blackmailing bullshit that her kind always does after a cheap fuck. It was years ago! Why can't she let it go?
"No," she says, looking more sullen than I have ever seen her. She's usually terrible at the goth affect. This night, she has it down.
"You don't know everything," she continues.
My mind goes to the worst possible place. For the first time since she tried to punk me, I'm really scared.
"I was pregnant."
My brain locks up and repeats those words. Especially the last two.
"Really?" I croak around the lump in my throat.
"Yeah. I made it to three months, but I miscarried." She just says it flatly, matter-of-fact. Her attention seems focused on the truck bed.
I just stare at her staring at the bed. My mind races at mach five, full of nothing yet driven all the same. I feel like I'm floating, and it takes me a minute to realize the truck is no longer moving, the motor is no longer running, and the doors are being slammed.
Greg and Tammi stand there with their arms around each other, staring at us. I turn back to look at Kyle. He's also staring. I brace for some kind of accusation.
"You guys alright?" Greg asks.
I look back and forth, from Greg and Tammi to Kyle, and back again.
"Yeah, we're fine!" Jessica answers, all smiles and sunshine.
Sunshine. I realize it's much brighter than it had been. I instinctively look to the east, expecting the coming daylight glow in its usual place. Instead, it's a bit to the left. The sun is rising in the north.
I close my eyes and feel that eternal spin in my head that usually comes from a wicked Jaeger-fueled bender. I open my eyes again to see that Jessica has already jumped out of the back of the truck and is standing beside her brother. They gaze at the northern sun.
No more than half an hour has passed since Kyle had sauntered up to my back porch. I check my watch to confirm it. It's 3:27AM. To say that I am disoriented is an understatement. I climb out of the back of the truck and fall to my knees.
"Hey Brian, don't miss this!" Kyle says. Jess stands next to him, now ignoring me. The glow in the north grows brighter. I stood, my knees shaking from the shock of the news, the just plain wrongness of the sun rising in the north so ridiculously early in the morning.
"Here comes the sun, doodoo-doodoo," Kyle sings, then laughs. They all laugh. I walk toward them, then fell to the ground again. My head is pounding. I could have been a dad, and it was already over, three years ago, and I never even knew until this morning. Is it really morning?
I see the first lance of light pierce the horizon and Greg whispers, "It's so beautiful."
Tammi, who had not said a word the whole way suddenly begins moaning. Her moan turns into a wail and she falls to her knees and vomits.
"It's so fucking beautiful!" Greg screams.
Kyle turns to Jessica and hugs her tightly.
I fall back down, unable to make my legs or hands work. My head feels like it's splitting open. I crane my neck to look up and see Kyle and Jessica French kissing. He begins groping her breast with one hand as he drags his fingers through her hair with the other.
The northern sun is already cresting the horizon, shining its hideous brilliance upon us.
"It's gorgeous, isn't it?!" Greg shouts, tearing his shirt open. "WOOOOO!" he yells. Tammi continues to vomit until she just heaves dryly. The siblings continue their obscene, incestuous display.
"IT'S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL!" Greg belts out, his voice echoing through the forest. Tammi is now lying on the ground silently, blood gushing from her mouth. Kyle's fingers dig into Jessica's breast, while he begins ripping chunks of her hair from her scalp. I roll over onto my back, wishing for a quick death to save me from the pain in my head.
Still oblivious to Tammi's condition, Greg runs back to his truck and rummages around. I can't see what he grabs, but once I hear the gunshots, I know he's got his revolver. "WOOOHOOOOO!!" he screams, as he fires five shots into the air. The sixth shot sounds strangely muffled. A split second later I hear him hit the ground. From my supine vantage point, I can now see his body from under the truck. His head is missing a substantial chunk. Blood and brain are everywhere.
Something hits me. Jeans. Jessica's jeans. I turn my agony-riddled head back to see her on the hood of the truck. Kyle is fucking her furiously. He's biting her lips as he kisses her violently, blood oozing from both of their mouths. For a split second, she opens her eyes and looks at me. She appears to be pleading with me, begging me to save her from her rapacious brother.
And I care.
I actually want to help Jessica. I want to get up and rip her brother from her, pound him into a bloody pulp until he's no longer a threat, and then hold her tightly as she cries into my shoulder. But the northern sun is already blinding in its brilliance, its heat baking everything and everyone here, and I can't move. I'm as helpless as a baby as I watch Kyle pump the last few orgasmic times into his sister, then grab her face and slam the back of her head into the hood of the truck repeatedly.
Her unconscious form slides, pantsless from the truck. Kyle hikes up his pants, his cock still wet from rutting, and just a little bloody. He then sneers at me and begins walking toward me. I see that vicious black combat boot draw back for the kick. All I can do is turn my head away, then I feel the pain explode in the back of my skull as his foot connects.
My head is already in enough agony, but he boots me again and again, his kicks driving me further and further from consciousness until I snap awake. My head darts around, taking in the cool darkness of night. I only dozed off for a minute.
I'm sitting on the back porch waiting for Kyle. I feel like I am forgetting something extremely important, but it's probably just sleep deprivation.