"Good Morning, my liiife," Richard said into his pillow. One eye poked out from over the cushion and watched the sun rays twirl through the bobbing tree branches, just outside his window. It was a small window, rectangular, and up in the corner of the wall. Like a groundhog to his shadow, Richard would watch out for the Sun. Rain and mirky weather weather were a go, but too brightly lit a day sent him back into his hole.
"And good night," It was already 2pm, but Richard dozed off until 5, worsening his scruffy chin. But there was no rush to shave, which was good. Richard hated shaving.
The lifestyle of a sloth is annointed only on the worthy; Richard, arguably, had nothing to add or say or create. Even if, instead of a sister, he was raised up with reality, the man was a bore, and borish. He was a bossy child, coupled with awneryness. His parents always asked the parents of other children not to discipline him while visiting them, so was never given the good licking most got when they learned words like pussy, and began sharing them. He was their little garbage disposal, and not much else.
And now, he has a home, a twenty two year old with a dream of becoming a hip-hop star. That's what he tells his friends and family, and that's what he tells himself, though never a rhyme was left his throat intentionally. Currently, he waits on his Father to contact a studio producer and a writer by means of sleep, driving to fast food, and wasting away in front of his computer screen.
We all know fear, and understand at least some part of it's great power, both destructive and productively, but Richard was never introduced to her. The eyes of desperation stared into Richard since his life began, but he was never the sort to look back, or even notice their presence. Richard's path had been very well padded, and stood on solid ground.
He lived in a bachelor's pad; On his parent's property, yes, but in their home, no. They owned a ranch, a DisneyLand of produce, growing acres of avacado and apple, cherry and blood orange. Men with little english in toe stalked the grounds, dropping the fruit into burlap sacks to be sold at the Mexican shops in town and farmer's markets the county over. Richard knew not their names, but shared a wave and a nod when they caught his eye, even when behind stunner shades. To reach his parent's stuffy plantation home (built sometimes in the 1800s, though a pool and satellite have been added since then) he would take one of the golf carts, weave through the trees, and reach the garage in at least ten minutes. Richard's home was much more quaint; it was a two story home built for a small family, but it was all but Richard who lived there. Saturday night cravings would howl out for a woman, and in that case, Richard could play husband and wife for a night, but most of the time, the man slept alone.
Richard did not know it, but he had only until around midnight before he was no longer a member of the untarnished and safe. As it just so happened there was another Richard in town who came from a very different upbringing. It was more of an up-flinging; he was one of the kids who never had a home, just his two feet, and a spiral of changing environments. One day his Father was lost in the tornado, when Richard was around five, and at around eight, his Mother left, too. He wandered around their new appartment, searching for his Mother, calling her by her first name. But there was no where for her to be hiding, their appartment was barren, besides the matrice they had slept on the night prior.
Now, at age 27, Richard lived in the rolling orchards of Palm-Tree. There was no better place to travel as a bum. The view was beautiful, the food was fresh and plentiful, and finding a place for his pop-tent was easy enough. He had been traversing the land for months, playing in circles, but rarely running into the same plantation twice, or the same person, for that matter. He made friends with any workers who he strolled past, able to joke around and complain about the lack of women in spanish, before they both got worried someone might see them, and Richard was off.
Sleepy, wealthy Richard turned over in bed and slapped himself in the face with his own spit. He jumped up, wipping it off, leaving trails between it and his finger tips. Getting back to sleep would require outside help, at this point. He got up, clamped into his kitchen and popped a few sleeping pills. The video selection was thin, but tiresome, just what Richard needed. He danced his finger's along the VHS tapes, until pulling out one from his youth. The Matrix, first time in theaters it was a blast, but everytime after, was the quickest working sleep medicine. He popped it in, laid back in bed (after slipping his pillow of course) and drifting back into a dream through the out cries of Neo. That was around mid-day.
The Sun had gone down hours ago, and travelling, rugged, orphan Richard was getting cold, and hungry. He hadn't exhausted his taste for fruits and vegetables, but during this season, he had little variety, and a full three days of avacado and oranges was starting to wear on him. "What'd I do for a bag of doritos..." he said, directly at the crunchy leaves he'd been hearing for weeks. "What if all of you were ruffles, the ground, just made of ruffles...No offense, Mr.Earth, but I'm starting to miss processed fats a little,"
He came upon a house. It had no lights on, or sound, and no car parked out front, and it looked as though it only had one, maybe two bathrooms. This, Richard was sure, was not where the ranch owners lived. He'd seen this before, in fact; A guest house on the property, for when family or friends come to stay, or when they need a place to escape from the kids for a night.
"Bye Junior! We're going out to the movies tonight!"
The last two times they had been trailers, and inside was food. He had considered taking the silverware, but it wasn't his style. He only wanted to treat himself to an oven ready pizza that was already a year expired, and that wasn't too much to ask, was it? He walked right up to the front door and tried the knob. Locked. That was new. Richard creeped around the potentional snack house. He stroked his beard, running the question of how in his head.
The windows were locked, too, and there was no key in sight. All was lost, until he was Richard's little window, open, and taking in the breeze. It was a squeeze, for sure, but in the last few weeks travelling Richard had thinned out good. There was a garage adjacent to the guest house. He flipped the switch next to the door, enlightening a single light bulb dangling over the musky yard equiptment. He wadded past the boxes of shit and picked up the ladder from the opposite wall and hauled back outside.
He had seen a golf cart inside the garage, plugged in, and charging. It made Richard nervous, but he shook it off. It was hardly incrimidating.
The ladder was slowly leaned against the house and ended just right under the window. Richard climbed up next to it and stuck his head in. The room was dark, the TV was off, and there was no sound to be heard of. There was no one home.
He wasn't quite sure how to make his way in. Going head first seemed stupid, after watching Winnie the Pooh enough times, and so did going in backwards. Most of the time, when getting through cracks in the gate or holes in walls, he went in leg first, and slipped in sideways, like a playing card underneath a door. And that was how he'd do it now.
Richard was dreaming of someone sweet. Her red lips were pressing against his chest, her tongue just poking out from between them. He called out, and she returned the favor.
"Oh, Oh, Oh Rich-BONK,"
He looked down. The woman's face had been replaced with a rusty bucket, scraping against his chest, slamming itside into his navel.
He awoke in a cough. He sat up, hacking something out, and it seemed he had alarmed someone.
There, to his left, was a leg. Hanging from his wall like a trophy, it's shoe untied and nearly falling off, it's angles caked with dried mood, and pant leg tearing at the seems, the leg had made Richard scream.
Richard, from the outside, was now cursing and trying to pull himself back out. It didn't matter, he may as well have been half in now. He had made the commitment, and pulling out and balancing back on his ladder was not an option, not less he was alright with falling from a story up, and seeing what happens. He wasn't.
Richard screamed, and screamed, tangling himself up in more blanket. The screaming hit his dense walls, making no echo. Richard, from outside, knew he was in deep shit. He'd be going to jail if he was ever caught. Rape charges more than serious, and breaking into a woman's bedroom was rape enough.
"OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD," Richard made his way out of the paniced labyrinth of his bed, and sprang for the kitchen, slamming the bedroom door behind him. He caught a glimpse of the intruder, and both his legs, and ass, were now inside his home. "FUCK YOU MOM I TOLD YOU I NEEDED A GUN!"
Richard lowered himself down on the bed and bounced off, his hand slam-dunking onto the door knob. He was about to open the door, and run, which he knew was the best decision...but he smelled something in this room. His finger's twitched, and then let hold of the the door knob. He came to the bed and checked the droors for food, but there was nothing. He opened all the doors on the TV stand, but there was nothing either. His legs jerked as if doing the peepee dance, and his mind running as if on Jeopardy. His body fell to the ground and checked under the bed. There they were. A plate of mostly uneaten nachos, with only a few ants to speak of. He rammed them into his pockets, and took off.
A butcher's knife shined back into Richard's face after opening the door. It shook and shivered, but it was still there.
"Whoa man," Richard said. "Listen, I'm sorry, I'm not here to hurt you,"
"No!" Richard cried back. "You're gonna kill me!"
"Nah-ah, I don't even have anything to do it, I got no equiptment. I got a butter knife in my backpack outside, and thats just for splitting oranges,"
"Nah, but you can find some of that on the McArley property, you know, they got all the animals and such,"
"WHAT, WHAT THE FUCK?" Tears broke out in Richard's eyes. He wheeled back and swung down. Richard, fell back, the brazen metal just slipping over his nose. He flipped around and scrambled underneath Richard's legs, again, just missing the blade tear him a new one.
He got to his feet and made a few stumbled steps towards freedom, but Richard, in nothing but his plaid boxer briefs, tackled his foe to the ground. He laid ontop of Richard's stomach and raised his weapon, water now streaming from his tightened face.
"Listen man, I had NO IDEA ANYONE WAS HOME! I have no MONEY, and and I was just LOOKING FOR SOME FOOD!"
Richard may as well have been speaking Chinese. Not a single word processed for wealthy Richard, who only thought of two options, die, or kill. He was afraid, and in shock.
"I just wanted some food, man, I just wanted to eat...I was also tired of blood oranges,"
"FUCK YOU!" He swung down on Richard, who caught Richard's fist with both of his, making sure he couldn't chop, or drop, the blade.
"JUST LISTEN TO ME FOR ONE SECOND, BUDDY. THIS-IS-A-DREAM, OKAY? JUST LET ME GO, AND YOU'LL WAKE UP! HAHA! ALRIGHT? YOU'LL BE FREE AS A BIRD, IF YOU CAN JUST GET YOURSELF TOGETHERRRG," He struggled against Richard's push, and was losing.
"HAAARGH," The blade inched it's way towards Richard's eye, preparing to diesect. They both knew that once it made contact, anywhere, the game was lost. His blood would spill out, and in the pain, he'd lose his strength, and recieve the fullness of the weapon. Their voices grunted out together, both faces turned red, and teeth clenched painfully together.
The butcher knife came closer, and closer, until Richard pulled it towards him, as fast as possible. He yanked it down, and diverted it's course, pulling it into the carpet. One hand stayed there, and the other knocked into Richard's cheek. He wheeled back, holding the soar spot. Richard bent back his legs, and kicked the poor, confused sleeper off his stomach and into the hall. Now Richard, dirty, unshaven, orphan Richard held the butcher knife, and wealthy, clean, parentally sheltered Richard pissed in his pants.
"Please...Don't hurt me,"
"You just stay right the hell there, buddy,"
Richard stepped over Richard, and headed into the living room and out the front door...Or atleast, he should have.
His stomach growled one last time, reminding him of why he came here in the first place. The kitchen was plentiful with snacks and breaded orderves. He lined his pockets, the ones in his pants, his jacket, and inside jacket with them. Boxes of cheetos, goldfish, and yes, doritos. And through it all, he hadn't heard Richard behind him lift one of the pans off it's hanger and creep behind his attacker.
Richard whipped around, a smirk on his face, acknowledging the crazy, but complete night he's had. The pan slammed into the side of his face, causing his entire body to spin around. He caught himself on the sink, hoisting his body up.
"Wait.." He said, before it slammed down again. He was knocked, like a gopher in one of those mallet arcade games he used to play by the pier. His legs gave out, and he slumped down onto the ground, the pain still growing in size, with each heart beat more intense. He retained the ability to scream.
"STOP, PLEASE, STOP,"
Richard did stop. He took a breath, shaking his head; His eyes were like that of a rabies stricken animal, rolling and wild, but also knowledgeable of the madness that had taken him.
"You don't have to do this," Richard weezed. "You can hear me out...My name is Richard Milton, and I just wanted some food," His neck felt weak, and his head fell onto his shoulder, a bit of blood drippling from his mouth.
"...You're name is Richard?" Lying on his back, half-out from the whapping he just recieved, Richard could see everything his attacker had been feeling in the last five minutes; the sleepy shock of being called out of bed, the fear of death and betrayal of safety, and a lot of anger that's probably making him want to cry more than anything.
"Yes, Richard Milton. I don't have an I.D on me, I'm without a home to my name," His mind shuttered with pain and fear, but his voice was steady. "If you want anymore information, it's siimply not there to give,"
"My name's Richard," Richard said, his hand turning a slight red from holding the pan so tight, and so far above his head.
"Oh yeah? Okay, nice to meet you Richard. You can hear me, right? You can understand what I'm saying Richard? You with me?"
"Yeah," Bleeding, consciousness losing Richard swallowed his fast acting saliva, and then coughed it back up.
"Richard, I was just stopping by to get something to eat. You hear me? Never meant to do any harm to nobody. Okay?"
Richard said nothing. His face drooped, and lifted, his mind coming out of a fog, and maybe that was worse.
"I'm not going to hurt you, Richard. RICHARD," He barked. Piss-spot, stupified Richard nodded, bringing down the pan, slowly. "I'm going to le-," But he couldn't finish. Richard held his stomach and rolled over. There was a sharp pain in his stomach, and it swam up into his head and began poking around.
"Ambulance," Is what he said. "Richard get me an ambulance,"
The naked Richard did just that, and quickly. He even impressed himself by knowing his own address. Your mind's flash light shines bright on faded memories when your pissing yourself out of fear; Yeah, Richard really wouldn't have thought so either.
Richard waved goodbye to his new aquiantance, the red lights flashing his eyes, his skin prickling at the wind kicking up his bathrobe. RIchard was wheeled into the ambulance, one eye open, squinting at the bright, glowing whiteness, following a pencil back and forth just fine. Richard watched them drive off, dust billowing up behind him, sticks snapping in their wake, walked back to his bed and didn't sleep for twenty nine hours.
When the story got out a few weeks later, someone made a joke in Flautina California about the two men involved being a "couple of dicks,"
Publication Date: 02-01-2011
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