Knock, Knock

Pay is drinking alone in his room as he does every night. Sitting on a nylon chair, he drains beer after beer down his bottomless hole. The TV the only light in the room and bright orange explosions of napalm, oxygen and trees make shadows flicker and dance across the walls.

Finishing the last beer, he looks around the room as if he doesn’t recognize it before standing up and walking out the door. The night air clear and thin, the parking lot is a glittering sea of moonlight. He breathes out and watches his breath hang in the air before finally disappearing.

A door is open down the hallway. A thin beam of light cuts the concrete floor and he can hear music and laughter. He walks towards the light, thinking of beer, and pushes into the smoke and noise filled room. Voices mingle with each other and come to him muffled. Nobody has talked to him and he stands in a corner, sucking on a bottle of beer with the fervor of a newborn at the teat, looking around.

He sees a pizza on a table next to a couch. He walks to the table and notices a new girl sitting on the couch next to it. He’s excited by the possibilities and looks down on her, becomes aware of music, and starts to try dancing. The new girl laughs and he smiles at her. “You dance just like a white boy,” she says, loudly, and everyone turns to watch the joke.

The room swims around him as laughter fills his ears. Swaying back and forth, he picks up a piece of pizza from the table, looks around at the bloated faces, looks back down at the new girl, who’s still laughing, tears coming from her eyes now, streaming down her cheeks, and slaps her face with it. “Fuck you, bitch,” he screams, already running from the room.

He’s fucked. Back in his room, Pay locks the door, turns off all the lights, grabs his bowie knife, and crouches in the corner next to his bed to wait for what comes next, knowing that something must come next. After some time, there’s a knock on the door.

“Pay, open up,” a voice he doesn’t recognize at first says. He can hear the crackling radio outside the door, the screaming sirens approaching from all sides.

“Fuck you,” he answers.

There’s jiggling at the door. The scraping sound of a key being inserted and the clicking sound of that key being turned. The door swings slowly open and Pay can see Henry silhouetted against the moon filled night. Henry looks into the room with a flashlight and then walks in and turns on the lights.

“Hey, Pay,” Henry says, soothingly, when he sees Pay’s head poking above the bed. “Come on out and talk with us. What happened here tonight?”

Pay stands up now, the knife shines under the light in his right hand. “Shoot me,” Pay sneers.

Henry looks at him, then the ground. “I’m not going to shoot you Pay, come on…”

“Fucking pussy.”

Henry shakes his head. “Pay,” he starts to say, but Pay lunges at him, knife slashing at the air and Henry falls back towards the door, pulling the pistol from his holster and flipping off the safety.

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