Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Notes from the Underdog-- Syme Caldwell.

  1. Font Size
    #1
    HB Forum Owner greedy fly's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 27th, 2002
    Posts
    241
    Credits
    0
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Post

    He sat next to a dented parking meter on the curb. Across the street was a boarded up adult video store, and behind him, a dashed line of pubs. He mapped out Taco Bell wrapping over his thighs, and picked away at the freckles of shredded cheese, flicking it sidelong into a gutter. Right when he clamped down on his first bite of the lukewarm bean burrito, he saw a familiar face jaywalking towards him.

    Normally, Syme didn?t mind being rude, but there was something about the way Warren Corgan innocently churned the Nikon that dangled around his neck in his hands and had his black eyes cocked obliviously at the corded power lines. So he decided to stay planted where he was.

    ?Hello.?

    ?Hey,? he replied, his mouth full, eyes squinting up at him.

    ?Aren?t you really um, into animal rights stuff??

    This piqued his interest; he actually corrected his dented posture for a moment in curiosity. ?Yeah, why??

    Warren hitched his camera up to his left eye and took a picture over Syme?s shoulder.

    ?What? It?s an ugly brick bar. I don?t see the aesthetic in it, man. I mean, shouldn?t you be out taking pictures of abandoned buildings or something??

    The photographer blissfully ignored him ? or maybe he didn?t hear him at all ? and let his chin fall to leer down at him. ?Well, I?ve heard of this dog-fighting thing. I?m going to go take pictures of it. You can come if you want.?

    Balling up the printed paper, Syme arrowed upright. He was a scarecrow, mild breezes were threats to his brittle bones and effeminate muscle tone.

    ?Yeah,? he replied, smoothing his hands on the back of his jeans. He thought he could handle it.

    It was a long walk, the skyline degraded into nothing but a military of pigeon-winged rooftops. For the most part, they stayed stifled in a comfortable silence. Warren ducked into a corner bar with Syme lagging behind.

    There was nothing genuine about it. It was infested with every mundane ingredient that made up a dive-bar; a pool table, neon lights, two locals milking their frothy beer.

    ?Excuse me,? Warren warmed up to the bartender. ?Where is the dog-fighting??

    The trucker cap next to him choked on his beer, and the bartender?s hollow eyes shot wide. ?Shh, Christ. In the back. It?s in the back. They?re not taking bets, anymore.?

    They threaded through the greasy kitchen, the lights were blinking whitewhitewhite, and reminiscent of a hospital. Warren popped out of the back door into a tight cobblestone alleyway.

    Naturally, the two lone white boys were out of their element. That was, until a gangly man with gray splattered across his beer tread over to Syme, and engulfed him in a short-lived hug, and spanned his hand on his frail lower back to introduce him. All that he could do was stare with an unhinged jaw at the two rottweilers straining on their leashes, salivating and brutal.

    ?How you doin?? I didn?t know you were into this shit, ain?t taking no more bets, but. Heyhey, Ben. Ben. This is my little Australian nigga, you believe he is just fucking, like, banging out South Philly and making Jerome look like a fool??

    Meanwhile, Warren was preoccupied offering the organizer a fistful of money, gunning off surly nods at the instructions: shoot only from the waist down, no faces.

    The banter receded, and all the men and troubled youth began to cram around in a vicious circle. Their money was sweating holes into their hands, their heartbeats rattling in greed-panic mode. A lot of men dropped to their haunches excitedly, or kept their hands braced on their knee. It was like a filthy, secondhand boxing match?save for the fact that it wasn?t staged and someone(thing) was going to die.

    When the squatting men relieved the leashes, the rabid dogs lunged at each other, and both tangoed to tear out the throat. As a humane person, Syme naturally felt sick, but he also felt rage hammering down his chest like a panic attack. He pinballed glances around at all the men howling, he felt his eyes widen with horror, and he watched everyone eat it up.

    Warren was maneuvering deftly around the circle, ducking away from chaotic fists to capture good shots.

    Time was bent for Syme. It felt like it lasted at least fifteen minutes, but in reality, the dog was down in a matter of seconds. It collapsed on its side, the blood camouflaging with its dark fur, gushing from a crescent-shaped slit in its throat. It was breathing frantically, all the froth that had collected into the corner of its mouth threading into a ball of saliva.

    Then his new acquaintance, Ben shot him at point-blank range. No one seemed to notice; they were all too busy flagging each other down, collecting money, shrieking with lunacy, waiting for the next batch.

    Warren shuffled over to him, slicking the black bootlaces of hair from his sweat-sheened brow. ?It?s?hey---? His palms both shot up like a hostage negotiator. ?No, you don?t want to??

    Syme had always kept a stout butterfly knife in his pocket in case of emergencies. After all, he pushed to scum more rotten than he.

    They were eye-to-eye when Syme sidled up to Ben?s chest, their heartbeats strapped together for an intimate moment. He fisted the knife, and impaled his stomach, he could actually feel the punctured organs stirring when he drug it at a horizon like a Japanese samurai committing seppuku.

    Instead of waiting around to see if his intestines poured out like ferocious tapeworms on the pavement, Syme wheeled on his heel and he booked down the alleyway as fast as he could. As he ripped around one blind corner and flew across a busy street, he might have had one apologetic thought dedicated to Warren because he had brought him along.

    His gray t-shirt was matted down with a Rorschach-blot of sweat by the time he clawed open the graffiti-markered phone booth. He was trembling while he pawed at the phone, and thumbed in quarters. It wasn?t the law he was worried about, it was the fact that he knew that if he took two steps backwards he was going to get shot.

    He seemed maniacally aware of the blood stamped all over his hands and the front of his shirt. It made the phone slippery.

    Through a wild grin, he waited for him to answer.

    ?Hello??

    ?Dad??

    ?Syme. Jesus Christ. You have your Mum worried sick, do you ever think to call? It?s been years, it?s been fucking year??

    ?Dad, not right now,? he heaved breathlessly, prodding a one-minute sign at an impatient prostitute pacing the width of the booth like a caged lion. ?Listen---ONE FUCKING MINUTE,? he seethed. ?I need money. I need to get out of here right now, I need you to wire me money. Western Union or some shit, I?m in trouble.?

    ?What kind of trouble, Syme? It?s not anything serious is it? Drugs? Are you on drugs? Tell me what?s going on.?

    She kept battering the window, belting out a hectic blend of English and Spanish.

    ?ONE FUCKING?? He left the phone unguarded for a second, and left it dangling. He kicked open the booth and began pelting her violently with change. She was running away, still waving her finger at him, and screaming.
    ?GET. GET, HOOR.?

    And it was his luck that a cop car came caterpillar-crawling down the narrow street, and only summoned its sirens when she frantically waved them down.

    ?This motherfucker over here, he was throwin? shit at me, offica. He has blood all over his hands, I don?t know what he been doin?.?

    Syme hung up abruptly on his father, and nailed his chin to his chest. But he knew he couldn?t be discreet. As soon as he tried to swing out of the phone booth, he had two police officers jogging up behind him.

    But even as they smoothed his blond skull into the backseat of the car, he didn?t regret it.


    <center>danieljohns 1</center>

    <font color="#f22735" size="1">[ July 30, 2007 07:29 PM: Message edited by: methadrone ]</font>

  2. Font Size
    #2
    HB Forum Owner greedy fly's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 27th, 2002
    Posts
    241
    Credits
    0
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Post

    The bite-sized Asian street florist was sparkling in delight when he bought a bundle of individual sunflowers from her. He set down the street, his eyes crinkled ecstatically in the corner. Today, he was going to confess that he loved her. He had so much confidence swollen in his chest that he didn't even bother checking his reflection in the gaping window panes of stores. He clutched the half-dozen sunflowers like a bouqet in his fists, and threaded over to his car.

    The moment he began to shove away the flowers in the passenger's seat he felt eyes nailed to his back. He shifted his messenger bag back to his ass, and wheeled around.

    "Syme?" Quinn Rosalin picked at her pillowed bottom lip, cradling the jaunty hook of her elbow in one hand, chainsmoking with the other. He had failed to notice that it was the tattoo shop that she worked at -- his old world was nothing but blurry jigsaws now. He hadn't even noticed the familiarity of the neighborhood.

    "Hey, Quinnie." For the first time in her life, she saw his mouth wreck into a genuine smile.

    "Wow, you have really pretty teeth." Throwing down her cigarette, she catapulted across the sidewalk and threw herself in his arms, climbing him like a jungle gym. He cupped a hand under her slight rear, and kept her stable. "Wow! Oh my God! You look so good!! You smell good, oh my God, you have guns!"

    She bombarded him with twiggy fingers, smearing over his facial hair, squeezing his biceps. "What was jail like?! We were so scared, oh my God. We thought you were gonna become someone's bitch the very first day. But Sol said that you were doing alright--ohmyGod I haven't talked to him since like three months after you went to jail!"

    "No .. I didn't get ass raped, nothing big. I ah---" He tried to set her down, but her arms worked a bowtie around the nape of his neck. In a brief glance, he swept over her forearms. They were still riddled with scabby needle holes. Some things never changed. He remembered what it was like fucking her years ago. It must've been what fucking a corpse was like; clammy, motionless, numb. He'd never understand why psychos dug up dead bodies.

    "So what have you been up to?" She finally climbed down. "I mean, how long have you been out? Who are those flowers for? Who's the lucky lady? Christ, man," she was still preoccupied with his tattoo-swarmed arms. She even smoothed away his sagging rasta hat to clear a stare over the shortened tufts of lion-blond hair. "You look so different."

    He exploded into another high-watt smile, timidly prodding a shoulder. "I don't know."

    "Syme, tell me!" She punched him in the arm just to see if she could break his glow. He didn't hit her back. Instead, he just rubbed away at the sore spot as though she had infected him.

    "Alice."

    Quinn rocked back several feet in disbelief. "You mean like, AliceAlice? Jude's Alice? Alice-with-the-kids?"

    "Yeah.. she ain't Jude's Alice, anymore."

    "I know, but fuck, Syme. You hate kids."

    "I don't know---I really love her, Quinn."

    "Wait, so have you two been like, dating?"

    "No, I haven't seen her in a few years," he stated point-blank, gauging her reaction. The only expression she wore however, was a bold exclamation point of skepticism.

    "When did this even happen?"

    "I saw her first. That's what I'm going to tell her. The same day Jude saw her, I saw her, at that show with her old band. Every time I was with you guys I just wanted to jump on her, but I was too messed up."

    "Jude'll would've killed you."

    "Fuck Jude, man." He had a sudden flashback of sitting on a lone armchair, flexing his jaw, staring out the balcony window while Solomon poured himself over Alice. She had been wracked with sobs, trying to recover from the trauma of a break up. But Syme never did anything about it. He just sat there like he always did, listened, witnessed, schemed and knocked back another beer.

    When Syme peeled slowly from his parallel parking job, Quinn waved goodbye from the parlor window. There were a few words tangled and crazy-glued to her tongue. "But, she's married now, man."

  3. Font Size
    #3
    HB Forum Owner greedy fly's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 27th, 2002
    Posts
    241
    Credits
    0
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Post

    <center>danieljohns2</center>

    For some reason he had expected her to become matronly over the two years he was locked up. She had visited him twice and looked like a supermodel both times. All the other inmates envied him: he told them all she was his girlfriend. But when she swung open the front door to her town house, she was a no imitation gemstone: she was the real thing.

    There was something intoxicating about the way her pale face never caught any shadows, her angel-white lipstick, her starlet-red lips. It was a Tuesday, and she looked like a European Saturday night.

    "Syme?" She gasped, her hand fanning over her mole-speckled clavicles. "Are those for me?"

    "Yeah," he beamed up at her, teetering on one foot to another on her front steps.

    "I didn't even know you were out, yet. I thought it would be another six months at least. And your face! Oh! You look so healthy! You look so good! Do you want to come in?!"

    "No, that's alright," but he did hand over the sunny chokehold of flowers. She scampered around to set them on her stairwell. "I wanted to know if I could take you and the girls to the beach."

    "They're over Jude's for the weekend." Suddenly, she was startled: ohno, did he like her? Ohnononono. Alice was terrible at rejecting people. "I--um, wow. I don't know what to say. I'll go, I just have to um, put on some sandals superquick."

    She swept away, her red polka dot sundress sloshing like a sweet curtain at her calves. He tilted his chin up to the overcast skyline, and smiled right into the face of God.

    The car ride was bubbling with banter. She was shocked to hear him talk so much. Instead of brooding, he was full of life, he used his hands excitedly to illustrate his stories. It was also hard for her to stomach that they'd be retreating to the old Jersey beach that they always used to flee to on the weekends. Solomon and Kate would be wrestling in the dirt, Jude would be rattling away on his cell phone, and Syme would sit shirtless and rail-scrawny in front of the water, separate from the rest, constructing crooked sand castles. He had never really spoken to her for all those years. She knew him as a loner, and a dealer with a razor tongue. If anyone wanted a car-wreck for self-esteem all they had to do was confront him.

    But that little boy was gone now and had evolved into a charming young man with color in his skin and rich dimples in his cheeks. She could not stop complimenting him, and he loved it.

    An hour later, they spilled out of his car. They trickled down a steep sand dune, and he escorted her by her dainty hand. She wasn't sure what it was, but she could hear her pulse drumming in her ears. It may have been that he was a gentleman. It may have been the fact that he was suddenly so attractive. He could've brought any girl down to her knees, why was he seeking her out so ravenously?

    "Why did you do it?" The pins in her platinum curls were coming undone, they were ribboning with the thick breeze. They sat front and center on the sand, as though the ocean were a giant movie screen. Their toes worked nervously into the cool grains.

    "I was upset. I thought I could handle it. The guy, he shot that dog, and I lost it. I don't even remember doing it. I just remember that I never felt so satisfied with hurting another person. It was sick, sadistic."

    There was a long spell of silence. She remembered how disgusted he was at Thanksgiving dinner when they carved the turkey. But she really couldn't envisage him trying to kill someone over a dead animal. "I don't think you were wrong. I just think you, I dunno, always had less value on human life."

    "Yeah..." He didn't agree with her at all, but he kept it to himself. He opted to change subjects, and it wasn't at all a swift transaction. "Alice, you know. I've been in love with you all my life."

    "Syme, you haven't known me all your life."

    "I mean, you know. Ever since I met you."

    "That's silly. You barely even spoke to me, and when you did, it was to yell! We just had mutual friends, I don't.."

    She didn't know how it happened, but she was on her back. Mark's face spiraled away like a balloon. All she knew was that Syme's fingers were knit in her underwear, and scooping them down her legs and losing them in the sand. His mouth was wet and warm between her legs. And her feet were scrunching over his shoulderblades.

    "I'm married," but he didn't hear her, because her honestly was lost in the cage of her throat.

    She barely even noticed that their clothes were on and that he was levying her thigh high. She barely noticed how sweetly he stared up at the sky while he fixed his hands on her hips and choked on tremulous sighs. She barely noticed how violently and ecstatically she worked him. There was something animalistic inside of her, and she'd been waiting her whole life to find it.

    When it was over, he fawned over her for at least a half an hour. He wouldn't let her dress, he wouldn't release his hands from her hair. She knew he wasn't lying when he admitted to loving her.

    But the car ride back was plagued with a barbed wired tension.

    "Syme, I'm sorry. I don't know what just happened. Mark and I, we've been together for a year now, and.. I love him a lot. I feel terrible.."

    He wanted to tell her to quit fucking crying, he wanted to backhand her sweet cheek and leave her like roadkill on the side of the road. Instead, he kept his jaw tense, and stared vacantly straight forward, flexing his hands around the steering wheel.

    Her seizuring sobs had diminished completely by the time they arrived in front of her house. She sat there in a freeze frame, bitter, with eyeliner rinsed over her cheeks. He leaned over her to jog her door handle and push it open. It took her a minute to get the hint, but when she did, she fled.

    She scurried blindly to her front porch, and ripped through her purse for her keys. He manually worked down his window just enough to bellow back at her. "Alice, I saw you first. I did. Jude just walked faster because I was high. You're the reason I'm clean. I hope this Mark guy ain't nothing like him."

    He burned rubber and left her there stranded there; sick, doubling over, and clawing at her belly.

    <font color="#f22735" size="1">[ July 30, 2007 11:52 PM: Message edited by: methadrone ]</font>

  4. Font Size
    #4
    HB Forum Owner greedy fly's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 27th, 2002
    Posts
    241
    Credits
    0
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Post

    He couldn't help but to snicker at his reflection in the mirror. Graveyard dirt smeared his hollowed-out cheeks like Rorschach blots, there was curious lipstick tiretracks rough on his throat. He peeled away his hoodie, and grappled the towel rack to step out of his jeans and boxer-briefs. The shower started with a rusty screech, flooding the tight bathroom with an onslaught of steam.

    Stepping under the current, he used a bland bar of soap to cleanse. His cologne was that of the earth; dead leaves, mud, and the afterthought of girl. He was startled by the gridlines of claw marks at his pelvis. It took a dot of generic shampoo (one that boasted an "ocean breeze" scent) to sud up his short-cropped hair. He lolled his head back and felt his skin reddening under the water.

    "Wish it had been Paiva," he muttered.

  5. Font Size
    #5
    Inactive Member Pinnacle's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 26th, 2009
    Posts
    4
    Credits
    0
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Notes from the Underdog-- Syme Caldwell.

    An hour later, they spilled out of his car. They trickled down a steep sand dune, and he escorted her by her dainty hand. She wasn't sure what it was, but she could hear her pulse drumming in her ears. It may have been that he was a gentleman. It may have been the fact that he was suddenly so attractive. He could've brought any girl down to her knees, why was he seeking her out so ravenously?

    "Why did you do it?" The pins in her platinum curls were coming undone, they were ribboning with the thick breeze. They sat front and center on the sand, as though the ocean were a giant movie screen. Their toes worked nervously into the cool grains.

    "I was upset. I thought I could handle it. The guy, he shot that dog, and I lost it. I don't even remember doing it. I just remember that I never felt so satisfied with hurting another person. It was sick, sadistic."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.