My head hurt and I could not remember why. Then the lead pipe clattered down on the cement. Oh yeah.
I felt hands on my wrists. A voice floated around me. I tried to move, but my body was not responding.
“Can’t kill him in the chair, dummy. Blood all over. Get him on the ground. Bash his head in.” The voice seemed distracted, talking to itself or the space around it. Not to me, anyway.
My arms and legs were free, the bindings untied. A gruff hand pulled me forward and I crumpled to a heap on the floor helpless. The lead pipe was picked up again.
The librarian, in the garage, with the pipe. How often should one person be able to boil their situation down to a Cluedo solution?
Popping, like popcorn. Was someone making popcorn outside? Was my death worthy of an audience? Seemed unimpressive to me. Laying on a floor while a psycho beat me to death with a piece of metal. What kind of nut would pay to see that?
I could feel my arms again. They stopped being heavy. My head split open and I tried to scream but no sound left my mouth. Just a breath, a long tired breath. A horror sigh.
The door opened and closed. The air filled with the popping, mixed with booms. I opened my eyes and found myself alone. The light was enough to force my brain into full retreat if she had not spoken.
“Evan,” Cassidy said, “Get up. Get up, goddammit.”
Cassidy and Natalie were still tied up. Still hanging and alive. I was free. I was hurt. I wanted to stop. I wanted popcorn. The fog wrapped around my body and I struggled against it, pulled on arm close to me.
“Wait,” she said, “Someone’s coming.”
My body went slack once given the opportunity to give up. But I felt myself coil. The fog was retreating and as much as my brain hurt, I wanted to live. If the lead pipe came back through that door, it would find me ready. Ready while lying prone on the floor.
The door banged open.
“They’re coming, Billy, close the door- Oh my god.”
The room seemed to hold its breath. Facts were flooding my brain. Sheila had just walked in with her son, Billy, and found me lying on the ground and her other son Babe also lying on the ground. Babe was not breathing. I was, but not for much longer.
Sheila screamed. The anguished cry echoed off the walls and I felt her mass fall beside me and onto the body of her eldest.
“Mama, don’t worry. I’ll kill this bastard,” Billy said, and if felt him stand over me.
“No,” she said, “Load him up in the truck. We’ll make him watch.”
Billy’s hands closed around my arm and pulled. I gripped his arm and let my weight go, pulling him down. I grabbed his throat and squeezed. I could feel my throat burning as I screamed and climbed on top of him, pushing all my weight onto his throat. From across the room I could here Cassidy cheering me on.
“MR. BANNED,” Sheila McCraw roared, “GET OFF MY SON.”
A shot rang out in the small room and Cassidy stopped cheering.