THE DORLEY CYCLE
Hangovers are a God-given gift opposed to the pain surging through my head now.
The spot on the back of my head where the gun handle had landed was bulged and it hurt like a bitch when I touched it. I sat myself up blinking in the dark, trying to make out shapes. When I finally did, I was looking at a dozen dent mobile homes. I was obviously outside of Dorley. Most of them looked abandoned, windows smashed and detached doors slamming, abiding the wind till they can. It looked like a damn overgrown with thin grass graveyard for shitty, rotten toilets, because that’s how the air smelled.
Last I checked I was in Chief Frank Wayman’s house with my gun at him and his ominous words against me.
I rubbed my forehead. Then there were gunshots. And Paulie..
Stumbling back to my feet I looked around for the guy.
I walked calling for him, receiving no answer, just the quiet being as quiet as possible.
A loud thump came from inside one of the mobile homes. I stopped, my eyes searching for a moving figure.
“Is someone there?”
I climbed in peering into the dark. It stank of piss here too, but there wasn’t anyone in. I circled the tight space kicking cups and rusty forks. Then I heard a gurgling sort of noise behind me. I stared at the window, half expecting for a wild animal to jump in and attack me, but when nothing happened I went over and took to look outside myself. Two eyes were staring at me from below and when the crouched figure stood up I fell hard on my back with a scream on my lips.
I ran back outside cursing under my breath for the lack of my gun.
There was a man facing me on the other side of the mobile home. He had his hand pushed inside his mouth, but then he pulled it out and the noise that was rumbling deep in his throat like a growl was slurped even deeper, settling in his belly. I took a step back. The man walked towards me and I could see behind him more shadows joining.
“Who the fuck are you?”
They were two other men and one woman, wearing worn out shirts and short jeans, and she a dress that weren’t fitting her no more. They were just watching me now, scared and amused at the same time. Tilting their heads and drooling yellow spits from their loose mouths on their already stained clothes, they reminded me of Paulie, but a broken, abused Paulie.
The four of them simultaneously coughed out a word through missing teeth and it sounded to me like “andros.”
“All four of you are called like that huh?”
The woman grabbed the length of her dress and lifted it up to show me her naked bruised body and swollen belly. I would have thought she was pregnant if the walls of her stomach weren’t probed by something desperately trying to force its way out. She moaned, with pain or pleasure, I didn’t know.
“Get away from him you retards. Leave the man alone! Git, I said.”
Paulie moved passed me, a cigarette between his full lips. The four of them scattered like dogs.
He took me by the shoulder and led me away, down a steeper hill to a dirt road where my car was parked with the trunk opened.
His jacket was covered in blood.
“Paulie, why is there blood on you?”
“I a, had to dispose of the body you know.”
“You killed the chief of police.” I looked at the wet stain in my trunk still mingled with red where it couldn’t wash.
“That I did. “
“You were getting yourself in serious trouble. I knew you’d go look for him as soon as I told you, just as I knew he’d be telling you bullcrap jus to mess with your head so he can put you back in that mental hospital. I saved you.”
I looked at him remembering what chief Wayman had said about all of Dorley talking about my return.
“That you did.”
He started the car.
“We’re 3 miles outside of Dorley. The trailer park was a rental camping site once. Safest place I know to bury a body.”
“And what about those people?”
“Ah, local folks, but deranged, you saw. Not much I know about them except they’ve been living here since forever.”
“Think me mad, but there was something off about them. Like they weren’t all human.“
“Must be from the blow to the head. Sorry about that one. You’ll get a good rest now.”
In the blackness behind my eyelids I looked into the bottomless hole again. I saw a truth that had evaded me.
“Wayman mentioned about some arrival around 86’, linked to the murder of Anne Henderson.”
I buckled my belt.
“He told me that I was being watched. He warned me something was coming to get me too. I wonder whether it already hasn’t.”
I reached out.
He took his eyes off the road just in time to see me grab the wheel. The car went off road and the wheels bounced giving the car a brief flight before it crashed, landing sideways.
I brushed a trail of blood from my forehead and unbuckled. I kicked the door open and climbed out of the car.
Paulie was laying 6 feet away, face into the gravel.
“You shouldn’t’ have lied to me.”
I turned him over. His face was sliced and covered with blood.
I raised my fist and brought it down on his face, feeling glass cut into my knuckles.
“This ends today. You tell me whoever is behind it all or I will end you right here.”
He grabbed me by the jacket.
“You don’t understand.”
“Fuckin’ explain then.”
His deep greens swam with tears.
“I’ll take you.”