*Disclaimer this content is intended for mature audiences, but we’re on the internet so do what you please
Preface: This story is based on the original plot of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, “The Two Travellers” with a modern twist in setting and time.
Facing the Road
Written by Harrison Seward
Part I: The Heist
*4:13 p.m. Friday, April 27, 2007 Golden Fleece Bank, Outskirts of Olympia, Washington, USA.
GLACK! GLACK!–a pure jolt of adrenaline mixed with the aroma of heated force momentarily consumed my thoughts; as the body of the veteran bank manager exploded onto the shabby surroundings the job truly started. “Listen up motherfuckers!!!”, violently exclaimed the man, wearing a clown mask. Followed by a ferocious roar, “Everyone needs to hit the deck. I don’t want a single fucking person to move, talk, or try anything foolish. If you want to try and pretend to be a hero then I won’t hesitate to drop bomb in your head,” GLACK–another round soars out of the heater.
The Bank itself shuttered, while the whimpering mice remained choked by fear, anger wreaked from the stronger willed. I watched on guard perched near the front entrance, instrument in hand, as my partner continued to gain temporary absolute authority. I feel above all else like fortune was headed my way, but when I look around at the lame decor of this small town bank and then view into the eyes of the defenseless people below me I feel a slight hinge in my gut.
Look at them…scrutinizing me. Pouring their hatred into my soul. Hoping my heart will crumble into ashes. These piss ants infuriate me because they have no idea what my struggle is like. Well fuck them I hold the power now, and they can’t deny that truth.
And then there was her. A mature redhead, clothed in an exquisite black silken dress that barely reached her knee caps, paired with those same unique, glossy eyes as that clownish delinquent of mine. Immediately when I stepped foot into this building, before this mess took off, I could feel her imposing presence drenched with a ghastly aura, and I witnessed a barrage of illicit nuances surface from the woman. She really get’s my heart going.
She’s been provokingly reclusive positioned in the opposite corner of the manager’s disheveled carcass. Her stare is the sharpest out of all of the cowardly cattle. Induced with the lustful drive of furious confusion, I decide to trot over towards this oppositioner. I would love to see her tremble and beg me for her life. Slowly but surely I cascaded over to the other area inhabited by the dress, and suddenly felt the bostrius hate radiating from inside the shrew’s heart.
I adjust myself so that I tower over the fallen victim, but she remained as a marble statue and rifled a deathly, stare of emptiness. Applying a touch of charisma I question the lady, “What’s your name princess?”, nice and slow. I peered heavily into those glassy eyes of hers waiting for a response, but I ended up frozen in time for an eternity unable to break free from the intoxicating spell of illusion. Unexpectedly the woman began to crinkle and pinch her lips like she was having trouble speaking. Then she motioned cleverly with her head. Something that I interpreted as a signal to come closer to hear whatever message she was formulating.
Hero, the name of my partner, was still retrieving the cash hidden behind the teller station so he couldn’t see that I was barely keeping crowd control. How could I when this gorgeous mystery, sat here beneath me, is offering a secret clue? I took a risk and crouched into a lower squatting position. At eye level her glance could crush me if it were any other day, but today I’m in control. Curiously, I softly admit, “What is it girl?”. I anxiously leaned in a few inches. The red woman uttered nothing more than a grumbled “hmmh”, and without warning a high-speed slosh-glob of saliva and nasal gunk became my face-paint. The fucking audacity!!!. My cool barely stayed chilled. If the others see me blow up things could end badly for us. But once I stood up my mind flipped.
Proving my might required that I make an example out of anyone, so overtly sound I yell, “You made a goddamn mistake!” The edge of composure is far past me, and so now I must simply unleash my wrath upon this disobedient challenger. I use every ounce of strength I have to muster an attack beginning with my left hand snatching up a clump of beautiful maroon hair. I have her easily within my grasp…all I have to do now is finish. Naturally I had my right fist cocked. One breath…two breaths…and inhale, and just like that the tornado had touched down. I struck her pretty face with hellish intent. Her hate was now my hate. Cramming as much fury as I can into each full power blast. Each clobbering swing caused a shift in her face’s original form. My numb knuckles met and remet all parts of her face, leaving bloodied reminisce on my bare skin, and from this only warmth waded in my soul. There was no pain nor sound coming into my mind. Until finally my moment of esacty was penetrated by a blistering shriek cooed from a young patron located near my assault. The emotional war within myself had ceased as reality reclaimed its position in my central thought. This allowed me to release the death-lock grip I had on the lifeless woman’s scalp.
Only after I had finished the insane barrage did I notice that the former formidable lady laid twitching and covered in a gemming ruby dressing of both my and her liquid vitality. My lungs were burning voraciously, and the sounds of the bank were returning to normal. I am powerful indeed, a pitiful short-lived dream that was sliced even further when I zoomed in on the bloody mess. This chick is unbelievable. Her eyes seemed to be the only functional ability left undamaged. Beaten nearly to death and she was still able to impale me with vision. No more of this bullshit.
I whip my icy piece out right to her fucking dome, but her optical treasures only cut me deeper. This halted me dead in my wake, and there was nothing I could do to stop her.
For some reason those venomous, turquoise eyes of hers…frighten me. There was no way that I could do her in…something was hindering my force.
“Yo Sandman what the hell are you doing over there? Trying to seal the deal with that broad?” echoed sarcastically from the clown man who remained behind the bank desk.
I was so caught off guard by her emotions that I forgot where I was. “Don’t worry about me. I was just making sure our guest was comfortable,” spoken in true slimeball fashion.
“Well, focus the fuck up and get ready to bounce ‘cause I’ve collected most of the bills,” chattered the villain. My soul is truly on fire, and wearing this perverted skull mask I can’t help but to wonder how would it feel to be somewhere else…or even someone else? Whether it be a quiet place with mellow fields of flowers or a new era in which I can live life. Streaming beads of tainted sweat bring my consciousness back to reality, the stench filled one that’s run by monsters, and half-rescued by frauds. Luckily I’m no fake, which means the homunculi within my spirit is nothing but a creature of monstrosity.
“Sandman it’s time!! Let’s fucking roll!!,” announced the masked robber. With this, a dirty wave of relief cooled my chest as future hopes of chaotic freedom flooded my person, but it was not without the unconscious designed feeling of inevitable grief.
Part II: The Conference
*11:47 a.m. Friday, April 27, 2007 Rainy Leaves Tea House, Anderson Island, Washington, U.S.A.
“Here is your green tea sir,” pronounced the young-faced, drowsy-looking waitress, “And a black tea with ginseng extract for the man in the suede boots.”
“Thanks darling,” I responded after feeling delighted by her kindness.
“If there is anything else y’all need, let me know,” she added.
“O-” Trying to speak before being interrupted by the kid.
“No worries. We should be fine,” answered Hero.
Promptly the server vanished to her quarters leaving the rookie and I to chat freely. One last survey to double check the security of the restaurant, and then I raise the idea, “Are we clear on the plan kid?” He mindfully recoiled with a zestful grin all the while stirring a few cubes of sugar inside his tea. Casually he awoke from his trance and inquired, “Were you saying something?”.
“You need to get your damn head straight before the job. I don’t want any fuck-ups happening.” Sternly I affirmed.
“Calm down geezer. I was only thinking about what I’m gonna do with all that do’h,” Hero chattered nonsensically.
This kid is an frickin’ idiot. “Stop it with that ‘geezer’ shit!” I upheaved and then inhaled deeply, “…Do you…know what to do?” I could see his smile diffuse poorly on the corners of his smart mouth after my outburst, but what’s more concerning was the split-second antique glisten that twinkled devilishly in his smoky hazel iris.
“Of course I know the plan. We met only a few weeks ago, but you shouldn’t have to worry. Everything is prepared thoroughly and trust that I’ll get the job done…no matter the cost”, Hero boldly claimed.
“A: Don’t ever tell me not to worry, that’s the type of fuckery that gets people killed. B: It’s times like these where experience topples over beginner’s luck, so make sure that you do as I tell you and not as you’d like”, I commanded him.
Another emotionless pause. “Whatever man”, Snarkily he rebutted.
“Watch your tone”, I scolded gritting my teeth.
By the looks of it, Hero seemed to have had enough of my pre-robbery pestering. He tried his best to cover his true expressions and then began to nonchalantly hustle out from the booth after leaving some change near the half-empty tea cup. Before he made the escape out of the tea house I made sure to catch his bicep with my right palm, and look him straight into those vivid shining lenses to announce, “Make sure to meet me at the ferry port by 1:45. Also we’ll be fine rookie, if you just know your fuckin’ role”.
Silence loudly clanged from Hero’s person as a repercussive action. That was met with a jerking rotation of the shoulder freeing his arm from my grasp. Again, in a flash, he blitzed me with those astral blessed eyes only to suppress my bite and absolutely nullify my bark. With nothing else to be said Hero finally got his wish, and exited this horrid tea shop plastered with its tacky lime green painted walls crossed with dark streaks of emerald.
How is it that I got paired with such a rebel? He is much more ambitious than I had previously summarized. He seemed nothing more than a immature nobody, a fuckin’ barker, but this common fare-faced child with his freckles and orange, shaggy mop that reaches to the shoulders is clearly a front for something else. Those infamous eyeballs placed in his skull are the only astounding things of interest, and he’s young so there are times where he accidentally reveals his true intentions. This had led me to believe that there is a greater beast within him than myself.
It was there in that plastic shop that I contemplated the possibilities of that boy, not long before the question of “what I shall do with the money?” floated across my mind. Holy Greed consumed my spirit. Eroded any suspicion of selflessness, and brought forth a concoction of diabolical proportions. I hadn’t fully constructed a step-by-step plan on achieving my actual goal because my time was running short, but I knew the most important factor lied within that boy.
Part III: The Decision
*4:23 p.m. Friday, April 27, 2007 Outskirts of Olympia, Washington, USA.
For seven minutes the void of noise festered inside this “borrowed” chipping metallic red 2002 Chevrolet Camaro. My heart was pounding as the previous memories of the last few moments of my life repeated themselves over and over in my head. I was unable to successfully refocus my mind, yet I knew that I had to make my move soon. I was driving towards no destination in particular, but as long as it was away from the joint we just cased I’d be fine. Hero hadn’t said a word since we’ve been in the car which made me uncomfortable. I couldn’t help but feel like the kid knew something was up. The couple times that I quickly looked over at him only churned the unpredictable violent haze of pursuit within my spirit. I had to break the silence. Try to throw him off the scent.
“Hey uh…good job back there,” I opened with, “you handled the situation well”.
“Thanks old m-. Umm I mean Garf,” Hero finished. He caught me completely off guard with that statement. How in the fuck does this guy know my real name?
I attempt to recoil with a fake smile, but that’s one more strike against him. “Of course. I was pretty nerved earlier this morning so don’t take what I said too seriously”.
“Understandable. We were both in the same boat.” Maturely responded the kid, “By the way where are we headed right now?”
Fuck, he finally asked. “I was just evacuating us from the heat of the bank so I haven’t been going anywhere specific. But I’m almost certain that there is map in the back of my seat. Help me out and grab it,” I mention to him.
“I got you,” Hero said as he unbuckled his seatbelt. I watched closely as he stretched into the back of the vehicle, and then suddenly, before recovering the road map, he opened his mouth with “Yo…Sandy I gotta ask. What’s the deal with destroying that broad earlier?”
A panicked flood of disgusting recollections of recent times infiltrated my current state of mind: disarray. Holy shit. The sharpness piercing my stomach relentlessly reminded me of true sin. “Did you find the map yet?” I covered weakly.
“Yeah,” he answered while returning to his original position. Again the kid reattacks with “So are you gonna answer the question or what?” He solemnly sat in the passenger’s spot waiting for me to comment, but unsettled emotions shone darkness from the beacon of reason inside my brain. “Don’t worry about it,” I mutter.
“C’mon man. It just doesn’t seem to make any sense. It’s not like she did anything and you didn’t even finish her off. I realize you were nervous, but I feel like that was overkill,” preached the youngin. This nonsense must end. Hero’s pestering only asserted grief.
And out of the blue I noticed a key to my success. Hero hadn’t buckled back up yet. “You know something Hero. That woman reminded me of a person I once knew,” I devilishly revealed.
“I see,” Hero echoed. Shortly after a vicious air of presumption caked the entirety of the rundown Camaro he finally triggered me, “Don’t do anything you’ll regret Sandman,” A daring statement met with explicit eyes.
“I told you kid…don’t worry about me,” One final challenge spoke before I blasted my foot through the brake pedal causing the whip to skid, melt, and come to a complete stop in under four seconds. As the smell of charred rubber and smoke settled the revelation of what I just done began to solidify. Even with my buckle on I sustained minor injuries to my neck and hip joints. But my naive “friend” wasn’t so lucky. Hero’s cranium spider-webbed the windshield after he rocketing from the leather seat. His face was bloodied by gashes and shards shards. While blood covered those brown eyes. It was almost funny to see how still his body was compared to just a few seconds ago.
I thought about what I should do with the body and decided that it would be best to leave it somewhere in the forest. I probably carried his young frame for at least an hour walking straight into the deepening thicket of the multitude of tree types and low growing foliage. Until I stumbled upon the most divine sequoia laced with an unmatched velvet stained bark. The entire thing reached so high and was covered in such lively leaves that it was impossible to view its peak or even take in the sunlight from within a ten foot radius of the base of the tree.
I graciously gave the corpse to the giant plant, placing the boy in an upright sitting position against the trunk, in hopes that Hero might be able to find peace from this natural burial site. The last act of kindness I did unto him was delivering a small portion of the money, we captured, to his pocket. Maybe he’ll need it in the afterlife.
Before turning away and never looking back I shared my final respects to Hero, “Thanks for the help kid”. Oddly and unbeknownst to myself, a bitter sweet tasting feeling of continuation breached my heart. A feeling that I layered with grief and joy. This would be the last time I step foot in this state, and no one will know that I even existed.
Part IV: The Return
*10:57 p.m. Saturday, October 30, 2010 Seaside, California, U.S.A.
Another day spent wasted on the beach deserves another night rewarded with a plethora of mind-bending herbs and liver-eroding nectars. My voice of reasoning enjoyed the bountifulness of the grateful
numbing agents. Alas, I still feel the scalding and unyielding pincers of remorse. Divine sorrow…give me a way out.
Pure intoxication in my grasp whilst digesting manic pills in my system I lay sprawled out on this exquisite king size mattress covered in sheets of 100% Egyptian cotton that glimmered a decadent, royal violet against the broad grace of the waning moon’s light. I can’t see anything that reminds me of hope.
Only now, years later, do I truly pity the evil that I spawned forth into Gaia. Maybe there will come a day where I can escape this tainted existence. The spiral into Greed’s mind made me weak, but I must accept this as Truth.
Throughout my days I had accomplished a reckless tour in nihilism, yet there were miniature, undetectable shockwaves of depression that abraded my soul every single moment I stopped acting with selfish desire. It is ever so clear with my ripe age as I am able to calmly, transparently, and objectively view my previous sins. I entered a life that had only one exit: Hades. Then again maybe I’m just too fucked to even realize what’s happening to me anymore.
Without the desire to continue to barraide myself with deafening whispers of death I ceased all brain activity so that I could enjoy the familiar retreat of dreamland. Strangely enough this was no ordinary dream. Lucidity was by my side and control was in my head. I was fully immersed in this world, and completely fascinated with the ever-changing environment. “I” as a single entity, composed of colorful vibrating energy, floated unthoughtfully in this realm of warm consciousness surrounded by living colours matching emeralds and the deep sea blended with Dionysian purple. I finally felt away from the pain I had caused. Away from the distress I placed upon my own self.
But God ultimately appeared to awake me from my loving dream, and the divine took on the form of retribution drenched in vengance. A thunderbolt of excruciating torment erupted, not once but twice, from my lower half. Automatically my body attempted to issue a cursing bellow, but a rough, fleshy apparatus muzzled my mouth. Slightly inhibiting my breath. That is when reason seeped from my groggy spirit. I’ve been invaded.
Reality forcefully retrieved its position back in my central focus. As my eyes and ears began to recover their appropriate ability. It was then that I could barely make out an eerily sounding voice hidden amongst the darkness of the night. Perhaps it’s a ghost. “…-ey…hey…Yo!”, the faceless shadow’s voice still couldn’t successfully register. “Somebo-…-ab that bo-…-ter”, another fragmented phrase slipped from my comprehension. Within the few seconds of the previous statement I immediately knew what that person had said. A waterfall of enduring hydros flowed like lava unto my torso with droplets managing to randomly scald my face. It completely ruined the epidermis and inner-layers of my largest organ. Those precious sheets of mine were physically bonded to my chest. If only I could yell then maybe I would be able to relieve some of this pain.
By this point I had fully awoken from my blissful dream into a bone-shattering nightmare. “Will someone find the fuckin’ lights in this room?” inquired the shadow to his other cohorts. Then a direct question was addressed towards me, “Garfield have you finally come to?” he asked in a deranged yet sincere tone. Sweet Mother Mary…this can’t be.
Gradually I mumbled, “I-…is that you He-” Without warning a blitzkrieg of lighting resonated throughout the entire chamber. This caused blindness to shade my vision. As my pupils quickly readjusted themselves the faceless invader became one-hundred percent recognizable. Animosity raged with disbelief in my eyes.
“How!?” I blurted out. And in return I received an enthusiastic bitch-slap forcing blood to rush to my cheek and caused my left eye to swell.
“Shut the FUCK up now!!” , snarled the bright-eyed beast, “I was just making sure that you were with us before the reunion actually began”.
This menical motherfucker. Only after he announced that he just started did I noticed the other three enemies, clothed in all black from head-to-toe, that joined Hero. But it didn’t matter I was already done for. My body had been destroyed: compound fractures in both my shins, upper torso disgustingly boiled by that purifying caldron, and more than anything else I was far past my prime. This was something they all knew, so by formulating these thoughts nothing was left of my will of strength. Mechanized defense systems in myself only allowed for high emotion to activate.
“Hm, why do you look so surprised?” Hero sarcastically beckoned. Fearing any further punishment I kept my mouth shut and responded as best as I could with my face. “Ahh I see. Well, either by the Grace of God or dumb luck I was saved. I bet you didn’t plan on your stupid fuckin’ plan to fail like this, did ya?”, he explained.
I shut my lids praying that this was all an illusion. Another mistake…That maniac clocked the right side of my face with a steel grade cylinder. A gushing feeling of liquid poured out of my facial tissue. Hero followed up his strike with an abrasive,“WAKE the FUCK up! This is really happening you slimy dirtbag. I’ll let you know when you can sleep.”
Each agonizing moment I remained imprisoned by these hellish hounds felt as if all my true pain, the scars I bear on my spirit, were being washed from my vital essence. Yet, the terrestrial torture only increased in insanity. “Storch, Stinger would ya hurry up and pull this piece of shit off his bed.” commanded the Zombie boy.
Each monster snatched up one of my wrist and yanked me off to the right causing my body to splatter on to the tasteful wooden floor. I was then violently maneuvered to my charming chair skinned with the finest quality of kind-hearted velvet and embedded with cushions soft as cotton clouds. “Guys let’s move” He reannounced. That’s when the third lackie decided to reach into the dark duffle bag, that was slung over his shoulder, and remove the industrial strength duct tape. My immense pain only grew from this sight.
Quick as a lit wick my sensitive inflamed torso was boa-constricted to the beautiful seat I had purchased. There I remained at the will of a ghost, and nothing was my only option. “Mannn, what a pitiful sight. Not too long ago you used to have spunk ya’ know, heheh” he snickered. I couldn’t bear his demonic attitude any longer, so futilely sorrow filled droplets from my tears ducts struggled to embarrassingly roll down my bruised cheeks. Uncontrollably, the fear within my heart caused me to beg “PLEASE…ahhhh. Hero have mercy on this old fool haa. I never forgot about what I did to you…and that undeserving woman” A furious bombardment of heavy fist, from the dufflebag holding cohort, rained onto my face drastically worsening the condition of my state of wavering consciousness.
“Now now hold on, Sachsen I know he struck a cord, but he doesn’t even realize the gravity of this return” commented the orange-haired Zombie. The gravity?
“I think the time is now.” his response was followed by a request “Let me show him sir.”
“Fine bring out the picture. Garf you’re gonna love this.” Hero’s smug speech was sedimented with the darkest coating of cynicism imaginable. And out of the back pocket of the dufflebag-man was an unknown polaroid which was handed off to the leader of this crime. I have a disturbing feeling about what I’m gonna see.
Hero promptly showcased the film directly in front of my field of vision, but all I saw was a battered woman comatosed on a hospital bed. “Wh- what? Who is this?” Quizzically I wondered.
“You fuckin’ shithead” the kid frustrated, “…it’s only be three years you monster, and yet you can’t even bring yourself to remember. This is most unsatisfying, but nevertheless I made a promise to a friend I met in that forest you left me to die in.” A frightening aura raised from his voice.
“A promise?” I inquired.
“God damn you’re just full of fuckin’ questions today. Let me put it simply ‘You have no more time left in this world’, got it?” He retorted. A solid moment of understanding exploded in my cranium as Hero shouted another command, “Stinger, blind this motherfucker.” Oh fuck no.
“Hehe my pleasure,” ringed the raspy sounding henchman. In no time at all the strange individual locked up a mess of my hair within his hand and began to carve out the beloved, precious gems of sight. “AHHHHH!!!!! STOP!!! OH GOD HELP ME NOW!!” I shrieked with every ounce of breath I had left.
“Don’t be a baby I’m almost done” the gruesome beast claimed. This body of mine, post-surgery, was absolutely mutilated beyond repair. “Uhhh…uh…uhh…ahh…prfff…hah kaa- kiee…meh,” gurgled jumbles of language attempted to escape my mouth, but failed because of overwhelming shock resounding in my fragmented self.
“Holy shit that’s savage, yet so clean. You made two perfect holes where his eyes used to be,” barked, what sounded like, the Ghost boy.
“Why thank you. It’s something I’ve been waiting on trying,” Stinger, graciously accepted.
“Well worth the wait. Hand me that jack-hawk blade by the way,” Hero concluded.
It was only then that I could start to understand why this was all happening. The thick smell of dried metallic blood pervaded the air while, in a strange sense, the roaming warmness of relief again revealed its presence behind me. “Before you finally go night-night I wanna know if you have any last words?” he directed towards me. Sadly or maybe just honestly, a fitting phrase came barreling out of my half-dead consciousness. meekly I admitted the undeniable Truth that I fought with my entire life, “I was too weak to make it in this world.”
“Hm. Another unexpected response, but it is what it is. Hopefully you’ll become stronger in the next life. Do me one last favor Garf. Say ‘ah’.” He heroically spoke.
Blind and weak I lastly conceded with an “AhhhhAHH-…AH-…AH- ahh.” The sharpness of the knife acted as a purifying catalyst for the exorcism of my torn spirit as it reached up and past the roof of my mouth into the center-base of my brain.
The pain of this terrestrial world was away, the demolition of my body and repayment of my actions were away, and I was freed from the shackles of Greed. Nothing dissipated into a divine, luminescent warmth as this new plain of existence drew nearer to my soul. And now I am away. Forever, never to return again.