I started this story a few nights ago; I’m not yet sure if it’s going to be just a short story (with a few more installments after this) or if it’ll grow into something more. As it currently stands, the story keeps twisting and turning in my mind – I think it’s going to end up being really interesting and unexpected, but we’ll see.
Anyways, here is the first chapter of Bang, Bang. Now You’re Dead. Hope you enjoy =)
P.S. Photo courtesy of Cinema is Dope. It’s an old Dorothy Lamour movie poster; she’s one of my favorite old Hollywood stars =)
Bang, Bang. Now, You’re Dead.
It may have taken Marian a while to figure everything out, to plot her revenge and watch it unfold with cold, unblinking eyes and the slightest play of a smile around her lips, but every second of the wait had proved worthwhile. Sitting back in the creaking wooden chair, she tried to feign the shock and horror that sprung up so naturally on her classmates’ faces; the entire room watched silent and in awe as the officers dragged Jamie through the doors saying things like charges and murder. As the last vestige of Jamie’s tear-stricken face disappeared behind the closing metal door, Marian let out a breath she had been holding for the better part of two years. She cast her eyes to the linoleum floor and began counting the checkered tiles beneath her dirty boots: seventeen blue, sixteen and a half white. Half because one tile had chipped away and now only the grey mortar that formerly anchored it was visible. All around her Marian heard the whispers begin:
Jamie? A murderer?
I saw him with her that night, but he told the police he’d never been there.
I can’t believe this!
Do you really think he did it?
I heard his dad hits him and his mom, you think he just snapped?
Ohmigod, this is crazy!
The words floated all around her, but Marian kept her eyes on the floor, determined not to become engaged. Silence had kept her safe these past few years and silence would keep her safe now.
“Class. Class!” Mrs. Tutweiler yelled from the front of the room, the pitch of her voice combined with the nervous tapping of her feet betrayed her own confusion, “I know that this…well, this is a shock, but the only thing we can do now is get back to work.”
When the bell rang twenty minutes later, it was like the halls had caught on fire – news of Jamie’s arrest reached every ear, every phone, every person in that building within minutes. The pastel walls buzzed with a million takes on the same story:
Yeah, I heard he killed her. Strangled her, the cops said.
Someone told me she was raped too.
I don’t think he did it. It’s Jamie, c’mon.
That perverted son of a bitch, I heard it was some kind of devil ritual gone wrong.
I can’t believe it, he seemed so nice.
Marian made her way through the crowded hallways, past the gaggle of cheerleaders, past the teachers conversing in hushed tones and finally out the door. She kept her head down the entire time; if she’d learned anything in the past two years it was that anonymity brought about a kind of freedom you could never have in the “it crowd.”
Slowly, she made her way across the school yard and got into her car. Before she could close the driver’s side door, Ryan was there, crouched down and in her face.
“What did you do, Marian?” he asked, obsidian eyes closely scrutinizing her features.
She blinked rapidly, ran a dainty pink tongue across drying lips.
“Nothing,” Marian bat her lashes at Mitchelin High’s star quarterback, and feigned innocence as best she could.
She thought she saw a small smile dance around his full bottom lip. She knew that he knew she was lying; they’d known each other for too long and too well for her to fool him.
“Marian,” he whispered, dragging out her name with his lilting Southern drawl. “I can’t protect you forever. If anyone finds out –“
“They won’t!” she practically shouted at him, “He deserved it, you know he did.”
And then, much softer, “He’s a monster.”
In the distance, someone shouted Ryan’s name. He turned his head slightly, gave a quick nod and swung his dark eyes back to her brown ones. For just a minute, he stared at her – took in her mocha-dipped skin, curly black hair and big doe eyes. He sighed, eased himself out of his crouch and gently closed her car door.
She took off instantly. Ryan watched her drive away before pivoting on his right foot and heading towards the group of football players gathered on the other side of the parking lot.