TO START THE CYCLE :
It’s only a siren’s song baby
Hey there Mr. Cthulhu
Got some toxic truth?
Squid Kings and Greek Fires
THE DORLEY CYCLE
Previously in Dorley: Jackson made an effort to get back in the game and found an unlike ally in the face of Eli who admitted to have witnessed the monsters; Paulie then took the POV lead for an insight in the duel between humans and ancient critters and his position in it all.
Soon enough I caught up with Jackson, letting him see me jus’ there for a brief, puttin’ the fear of whatever he feared in him. Then I scuttled and followed without being seen, knowin’ my back alleys and my anti-tourist roads. Jackson held the boy close to him, like a daddy mad at his kid for runnin’ at the coast when the flag is up and red. Jackson went back to the rental, throwing glances left and right, lookin’ no doubt for me. He went in. After a while I did too.
It was quiet inside, the kinda cool quiet you get in the middle of the night. Old walls made no voices audible and all I could hear was my breathing and the heaviness of my footsteps coming down on old wood. His scent though, Jackson’s, lingered in the air and it smelled now jus’ like Guy had said it did when he had tasted him- foul, comin’ from a belly full of sea; a breath carryin’ salt. To Guy he smelled familiar, to me he smelled like a dyin’ animal, shedding its skin to appear new. Fuck that crap. He was scared shitless now that he knew what were really the stakes.
A key turned in some lock and golly me; the landlord, Arnold, was pushing his nose in the chain restrained hole of his door.
“Heya, Paulie, I hoped I’d catch you around. This fella you brought in, he hasn’t signed a thing and I was wondering if you knew something about that.”
His slender figure slipped out of what seemed to be that gap in his door and he stood there pinching a loose button on his shirt. He was a nervous guy, one I always assumed jerked off on child porn then regretted it in the mirror. I picked my words carefully around him. A man barely livin’ outside his room is no man I trust.
“I’ll remind him, don’t worry. I’ll slip the filled in form under your door if you want to, it’s fine by me.”
I took a step up. He did the same, fingers drumming on the handrail.
“Thing is, I haven’t even seen him, and he is renting one of my rooms. Seems, ya know, unfair.”
I used some simple talk.
“I’ve been thinkin’ about that too Arnie.”, I said, “ I’ll tell him to stop by, knock and give you a nod, is that allright with ya?”
He licked his lips, moistening the dryness. He kept drumming.
“I was wondering, actually, with all the police around and about if he’s an okay fella”, he added.
Then all of a sudden he squeezed past me, climbing stairs to the second floor where Jackson was, mumbling all the while.
“Maybe I should go check on him, say hello. He’s in here now, isn’t he? I heard some knocking and stomping earlier.”
I grabbed him below the elbow and dragged his body back the two steps, till he was back standing next to me in the tight space of the staircase.
“I’ll see he comes to you”, I repeated, glaring for the imply, thinkin’ he better let it go. My mouth was full of spit. I needed a smoke. He had gone silent, buyin’ time, I guess, with my fingers dug into his flesh.
“I don’t know about that”, he finally said.
I shook my head and swiftly span him pinning his body to the wall, my hand hard on his mouth. I took him down, kicked his door in and pushed him after it. He stumbled in and I picked up a lamp from the small table, slammin’ it against his head. He fell in my arms and I put him to lie on the carpet, adding a little of my spray to keep him there longer. Then I listened for any movement outside, shit, fuck and more fuck on my lips for the racket I had just caused.
When I heard none I took the steps, quietly as I could, coming closer to the sobs of somebody and the hushing of another. I crouched beside the door where my shadow couldn’t be seen and listened, now making out full words.
“Will you help me, Eli?”
A pause. I leaned in.
“Yeah, yeah I will. Tell me what to do.”
That was the boy I reckoned, crying his tears of fears, ha-ha, to the really frightened one.
“I need gasoline. Can you help with that?”
“Some folks keep bottles stored in the shacks down at the docks. Plenty actually.”
“Can you get some of those?”
“Yeah. But why do you need it?”
“We need it, Eli, to burn the nest, the one in the trailer park. No one else will get hurt, just them. You got me on this Eli, don’t you?”
“Good man. You kept your daddy’s boat?”
“Yes. She’s in order, runnin’ and ready.”
There was another pause. I heard a chair slidin’ across the floorboards and then the slow pace of a man plotting giving them the hard time. Jackson did the walk, he sure did. Then he spoke again, his voice, just like when he had spoken to me about bullets and winning.
“We go now, load it up with as many bottles as we can and drive the boat below the pier. No one will see us hidden there. We can take my car from there and go to the trailer park.”
I moved back. His car was totaled, thrown over the side of the road. Jackson was playin’ the kid, but why I couldn’t yet tell. A fire I could see though, a blazin’ disaster.
“We’ll do this together, blast the fuckers up.”, I heard him say, walking down the stairs. And the kid asking oh so innocent like:
“And no one else will get hurt, right?”
“Not a soul, I promise. Let’s go.”
Not a soul, sure.
I heard him unlock upstairs and pushed open the back door.