Club Dead

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Wraithe Can Be Scared

“I’m coming apart.”

“Tell me.”

“I had made my plan to escape.”

“And it was foiled. Sorry. It was a good plan.”

“A disaster. Do you know what’s it like to be nearly raped in your school and then have to walk by the budding rapist, just to get to math? School policy. Wraithe can’t be expelled until convicted.”

“Mine’s a variety on that theme.”

“You’re what?”

“Escape.”

“Oh, you and your suicide stuff?”

“What is your protest?”

“Protest?”

“Against me.”

“Lay off Stark.”

“How did you know that my mom changes my sheets?”

“Are you spoiling for a fight? I hope not. My eyes are still purple. And my nose is crooked! God, I’m going to grow up a freak! But if you want.”

“What is it with you and pugilism?”

“I hate your words.”

Brink and I admired her computer images.

“There’s nowhere you could post that. Incendiary.”

“Who’d want it?”

“It’s good.”

“Who are you to judge?”

We grew quiet.

“What do you like about it?”

“You’re so pissed off, but you make it seem temporary.”

“My hope.”

We looked at the screen.

“Mr. Jones does some visual stuff in his class. You could use it there.”

“Not for a grade. Besides. He’d knock the edge right off it.”

“What do you think of the new guy?”

“Screen?”

“You know him?”

“He stuffs dead things.”

“Stuff me.”

“You’d be funny Stark if you weren’t such a downer.”

“Kettle calling the pot black.”

“I’m sick of your erudition.”

“You do know words!”

“You’re a show off.”

“It’s my pedigree.”

“Again with the words. You are so fatiguing.”

We looked.

“What kind of kid will your mom accept?”

“Any kid.”

“You like Carrie, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“She’s mine.”

“How do you know I want her that way?”

“Holding hands at the séance…”

“Controlling fear.”

“Carrie is fearless.”

“I was afraid.”

“You are indeed a wuss but you are not afraid.”

“You compliment and threaten in one breath.”

“Just go back to your Frank.”

“He made things too easy.”

“And Carrie won’t?”

“I’m not after Carrie. I like to be in her proximity. She’s strong.”

“I’m strong.”

“Are you flirting with me?”

“In your dreams.”

“You’re strong. But you’re under attack. You can’t help me.”

“Wraithe’s back at school. I can’t go to my locker.”

“What about your fifty feet?”

“Blok can’t insure that. He simply told Wraithe to stay away from me. He’s already set the terms. I’m doomed.”

“I can give you the money. Make him go away.”

“He couldn’t care less about the money. He wants me. Find me in some place. I don’t frighten easily, but I’m telling you I don’t sleep at night.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Events are unfolding. I can’t do much. He told me to meet him at Screen’s memorial, down at an old shack. Sounds like murder.”

“Will you go?”

“No choice.”

“Is that Wraithe?”

We looked at the screen.

“Inspired by him.”

“That’s scary.”

“Welcome to my world. Did Carrie touch you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t play coy with me Stark. See anything interesting?”

“I’m not sure I want to talk about this.”

“So she did touch you. Your tits?”

“No.” She had, a little.

“Right, if I know Carrie – and I do. Well, I learned from that touch. I hope you do too. I can live with that.”

Brink added thorns budding from Wraithe’s head.

“Do you know Wraithe is superstitious?”

“How do you know?”

“We’re in Hanslem’s class, reading MacBeth, we’re on the witch scene, Wraithe’s asking all of these questions. “Can they really tell the future, you, know, if someone’s going down?”What is this fair is foul, foul is fair stuff?”,Do you think that could happen?” Hanslem tells Wraithe it’s part metaphor, part plot device. Wraithe freaks. Swears about metaphors, plot and evil things in the world. Runs out of class.”

“Interesting.”

“Same thing with Poe. He had a very hard time with Usher and his dead sister. He can be scared.”

“What are you thinking?”

“I don’t know. How about this…”

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