24 Chapter Twenty Four /Target Practice

The radio had grown unlistenable because of static so Jay shuffled through the old black CD case to find some driving music to fit the situation. He didn’t really feel ultra-violent and Satanic anymore and he didn’t really want to put in any of the CDs that he still called Beth’s CDs in (even though he had re bought all of them at least twice since her death) so he settled on an old favorite from The Misfits, called Legacy of Brutality, an album that had a very tough name but was in Jays opinion a very melodic album. He took another big sip from the cup, focused hard on the road and turned the music up just loud enough to drown the screaming voice in his head.

Somewhere outside of Henryetta, Oklahoma he pulled off of I-40 West and took the exit past the only standing gas station which looked like it was closed and traveled down an old two lane road about a mile when he saw what looked like what he needed. He turned off of the main road and followed the entrance into what looked like one of one million subdivisions that had been started and then abandoned across America. The first 3 houses were finished and he could see other houses scattered through the haunted neighborhood but there was no life here. Only the dead blood stained dreams of American capitalism remained. He drove through the entire development just to make sure it was completely empty and then found a house that would be perfect towards the back. The house was at least 90% complete but had no drive way or garage door. He parked outside on the street in front of where the driveway should have been and turned the car off, pulled out the Glock and the little silver pistol that he had commandeered from the Drug dealer along with the box with the 2 magazines and extra bullets and then he went to the trunk opened the old black backpack and pulled out a very large black permanent marker. He made his way inside the house; it was perfect for what he was thinking. There was no carpet or tile only bare particle board for floors and not only was it large enough that you couldn’t tell if someone was hiding in but it also had a unfinished basement that could serve as a reason for him to get in some flash light practice. It wasn’t night yet but it was very close and with no power the inside of the house was a little darker than Jay had planned for so he went back out to the black backpack and retrieved his large black Maglite. He then made his way through the house Maglite in one hand, permanent marker in other. He stopped in each main room and in the bathroom and he drew one big round smiley face on the wall at about the height of the head of an average man. He then went into the basement and drew an entire body on one of the dark cinderblock walls of an unfinished room all the way in a back corner.

Once more he walked back to the old Volvo and opened the trunk, pulled out the almost empty bottle of vodka and took a large pull from it, his head almost instantly shooting forward and vomit screaming through his throat like burning horrible acid. He stood up straight making a strange low growling sound and then took another big swig from the bottle which was then followed by another burning heave. He repeated this twice more until he finally took a big gulp of the vodka and it stayed down. This was a weird ritual that he had done before the first few times that he had performed in front of people, but by the 4th show his nerves were calm and he was a little tired of singing through a throat that felt like it had been scratched by glass so he had retired the ritual. But right now it was exactly what he had needed. He walked back in the house and placed the empty vodka bottle on the unfinished bar and then pulled the Glock out and made his way up the stairs. He kicked the first door open and fired missing the smiley face by about two feet. This was nowhere as easy as they made it look in the movies. He turned and kicked open the second door and shot about a foot under the smiley face, he smiled and then took aim and shot the smiley face on the chin. He followed by kicking in the bathroom door and shooting three times into the shower stall and then made his way down the stairs; first shooting at the bottle on the bar and successfully knocking three large holes in the counter top before knocking the top of the bottle off. Then walking right up to the wall in the living room he fired two directly into the head of the smiley face he had drawn with a fine gentleman’s mustache on it. Then gripping the Maglite tightly he opened the basement door and proceeded down the stairs into the dark. The silence was deafening, he could hear the blood in his head circulating as he made his way down the stairs made of only 2x4s. This was just practice but it was practice for the real thing. He aimed the flashlight around the stairs and towards the body he had drawn on the wall but it was not there. He turned again aiming the flashlight at another back wall, nothing. “What the fuck?” he called out and then swung around one last time and saw the evil smiling face atop the cartoon body he had drawn on the wall. He was angry now, angry at himself. This was not a game, he would be dead if he wasn’t fast and wasn’t paying close attention. He emptied the remaining bullets in the clip and then pulled the silver pistol out of his front pocket and fired it once into the head of the evil smiley faced bastard.

Back in the Volvo he sat in the front seat feeling his skin itch all over from anxiety. He was crazy with thought; his mind was racing and he couldn’t catch it. He needed to count the money, he had no idea how much more he needed and how the hell he was going to get it. But he couldn’t do that right now. He put the car in drive and pulled through the neighborhood and then back down the two lane road until he was back on I-40 West.

 

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