Ronnie walked in with yellow Tulips and a smile. He sat down on a chair next to my bed. ‘They said you were sleeping. I said I wanted to see you anyways and I promised not to wake you up so they let me in. But you were already awake, now weren’t you?’
‘Kind of,’ I said.
‘How are you?’
‘Was I dead?’
‘That’s funny. They said you were actually. But only for like, three-and-a-half minutes, I think. How did you know that?’
‘Because I saw it.’
‘Don’t talk like that Sam. You’re alive now. Don’t talk like that.’
‘But I’ve seen it.’
‘But you’re alive.’
‘Yet, I saw. Where’s my dad Ronnie?’
‘He’s in intensive. They keep him in a coma. I’m sure he’ll make it.’
’How sure? I feel especially fucked up about it because just before the crash he told me he was gay and I just need to know so you have to tell me exactly how sure you are, you understand Ronnie?′
‘Don’t say that!’
‘Because it’s stupid. Where’s mom?’
‘Don’t worry about her. You’ll see her soon.’
‘Where is she Ronnie?’
‘Just... you just need to rest OK.’
‘Tell me where she is or I’ll scream.’
‘She’s in a clinic.’
‘What kind of clinic?’
‘You know... the nut-house. She had... what did they say? A trauma induced psychosis I believe. She keeps saying that creep...’
‘You call him a creep one more time and I never want to see you again, you hear me Ronnie?’
‘That boy you were with... that... Vincent... anyways, she says he had something to do with it. That he did it. And she says all this weird stuff about vampires and I don’t know Sam... I saw her in the clinic and she was in pretty bad shape. But they found some medication that really seems to work and I think you’ll be able to see her soon.’
‘Alright Ronnie. Do you have any cigarettes?’
‘You shouldn’t smoke Sam. Especially not now.’
‘Don’t tell me what I should do Ron. I was dead, remember?’
’That’s why maybe I should tell you what to do. So, it wouldn’t happen again.′
‘Get the fuck out of here Ronnie and if you tell anyone about my dad, I’ll cut your dick and balls off and choke you with them while I cut your eyeballs out and shove them up your ass you understand?’
‘You’re just upset Sam, you don’t know what you’re saying.’
‘Get the fuck out of here Ronnie just means you get the fuck out! SO THAT’S ALL YOU DO!’
A nurse came in. She took Ronnie by the shoulder and let him out of the room. He didn’t say anything but when he looked over his shoulder, he gave me the meanest look. I decided that I never wanted to see him again, even if he can drive me places in his stupid truck.
I looked at myself. My leg was in a casket, and it was being held upwards. There was nobody else in the hospital room. Just one empty bed next to me. There was a television, hanging on the ceiling and I found the remote on the little white table next to my bed. I also saw a button with a bell on it. There was a tube going into my arm, that was attached to a bag of blood. I turned on MTV and Catfish was on. I watched it all day. I didn’t think about anything. I hated everything. My leg itched as fuck and I bet I looked like absolute shit. And I hated Vincent for not showing up. Ronnie showed up. And he did send flowers so it wasn’t like he didn’t know about it. I wished he would be there. I wanted to ask him so much. I looked at the little note again, and again, and again. I read it over a hundred times in between the Catfish parts. I loved his handwriting. Nurses came in and asked me how I was doing. A doctor also came in to tell me that I fractured my scull and that I broke some bones. He told me it would take six weeks before I would be able to walk again. Then a nurse came in with a package. It was a brown box.
‘It’s from Vincent Offenbach,’ she said.
‘I know that Vincent. Can you give it to me?’
‘If there’s any food or drink in there, don’t eat it before you talked to the doctor OK?’
‘OK, thank you.’ and then
She left me with the box. I opened the package.
There was a note, above some newspapers. It said:
What I am is what I am Sam. There is something in the big red book that I give you that will explain my kind. What I am, you will find in there. You have time to read it now, I know.
Also, a little surprise for you. I have the same one. Look under contacts and check out the music on there. I’ll come and visit soon enough but I’m at the airport now and I’m off to New York and then I have to go to Europe.
I was at your house just a day after you had the accident, and when I found out through your mom, I was very upset. But I had to leave. Call me AFTER you finish the book. We have to talk after you did that.
Underneath the note and some newspapers, was the biggest, reddest book I had ever seen. It was called Beelzebub’s stories to his grandson by a man called Gurdjieff. I looked under the book. There was a little box, black, with a golden bow around it. Inside was a brand new I-phone X with brand new I-phone earphones. I looked under contacts and I found Vincent’s number. I wanted to call him. But he said to call me after I finished the book. So, I didn’t. I looked at the music and there were all the Motörhead albums, Mozart’s discography and the song Everytime, by Britney Britney. I put on Motörhead’s Under Cover album full volume and opened the book. The paper was very thin, and the letters were very small. It started like this: ´´Under all the convictions that have shaped themselves in my ‘complete presentiment’ in the course of my responsible life is only one irrefutable, namely that all people – whatever the level of development of their capability for understanding may be or what the forms of appearance of the factors are who make their individual ideals of all sorts of natures come to be – feel always and everywhere on earth a pressing urge to say out loud, or at least in their thoughts, everytime when they are about to do something new, a for everybody understandable calling to speak, of which the words have been different at other times, but now sounds like; ″In the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost, amen.″´´
‘Wow!’ I said to myself, ‘That’s pretty fucking difficult stuff!’ And I kept on reading. I read every evening. I didn’t understand much of it, only that there was a devil on a spaceship that told stories to his grandson. Every sentence was like that first sentence. All sorts of stuff happened to Beelzebub on earth. He told a lot of stories to his grandson, that was always asking him questions. There were all sorts of space things going on too. Cosmic relationships and politics and god knows what. There were also all sorts of weird words that didn’t seem to exist anywhere on the internet.
After a week of reading that book five hours a day, I wasn’t even half way and a man moved next to me in the room; an old man who wanted to watch the Discovery Channel. I told the nurse it was hard for me to rest with the television, that it gave me a headache. They wanted to give the old man headphones but he believed that the electricity in them would make his ear infection come back and he said lung-cancer was bad enough by itself. So, he just watched the screen without sound and I read the book. Sometimes, he gave me angry and horny looks. He was very ugly. His face was hanging from his skin as though it could fall off any minute.
‘Are you ready to try again with the television Samantha?’ he would ask sometimes and sometimes I said yes. Then, when he put it on, in five seconds I would say that I got a headache.
‘What are you reading there anyways?’ he said the first time I told him to turn the sound of the television off.
‘Something very old,’ I said.
‘It’s from the twenties.’
‘And that doesn’t give you a headache?’
‘No,’ I said and I kept on reading. I felt it when the old man was looking at me. He started breathing heavily whenever a nurse was doing something to me. Ronnie kept on coming but none of my other friends showed up and when I’d ask Ronnie about them, he always said that they would sure come in the near future. I didn’t give much of a fuck because I hate my friends. He talked to me about school. He brought me schoolbooks. He wanted to help me study for school. I declined the offer. I told him about the book and he shook his head.
‘That’s not important Sam. That’s just fairy tales.’
‘What do you know about it?’
‘It’s stupid Sam. You have to keep up with school.’
‘I want to learn something Ron. I don’t have time for school.’
He brought me chocolate sometimes, because I asked for that. I could eat chocolate. Not too much. So, he didn’t bring me much. It was still nice though. He couldn’t help it. He couldn’t help being a total fucking douche. I thought about Vincent, and how bad I wanted to call him, and I kept reading, not understanding anything that was in that book and I hoped that he didn’t expect me to understand. The book was un-understandable. I loved reading it though. It was something else, something different from anything I’d ever read before.
The second week I could move around in a wheelchair. There was a call from my mom when that happened. She told me all sorts of frantic nonsense. That they were poisoning her with the pills and keeping dad away from her. They decided that it was best for me not to speak to her. My grandparents came visit me. They had to fly all the way from Southern-California. I hadn’t seen them in two years. I was glad they left when they did because they were very boring people but I was also glad that they came. I started listening to Mozart. I started liking Mozart. I couldn’t believe it. And sometimes, I listened to that Britney Spears song out of irony because I was sure back then that it was put there out of irony. Where was Vincent in Europe? And why could I only speak to him after I finished that book? Why would it matter? I got the book off the table right away when my grandparents left.
‘I know you, you bitch,’ the man said, who’s name I found out was Timmy Blinder, ‘You don’t get no headaches from that television at all do you? You just wanna read that god damn book of yours now don’t ya? You think you is better that me cuz you read them books don’t ya?’
‘Are you planning to die anytime soon you worthless old fart?’
‘Fuck you, you fucking bitch! Imma watch this with sound on. I ain’t gonna die listening to some stupid bitch.’
Ronnie came in. ‘Hey,’ he said, and he gave me a Milka bar. ‘I’m a little late but I think I still have like, a half-an-hour of visiting time.’
‘Thanks Ron,’ I said, while the TV was screaming commercials to us.
‘Can you turn that down mister?’ Ronnie asked.
‘No,’ Timmy said.
‘I told him it gives me headaches but he does it anyways. And he calls me a stupid bitch, which is also not helping.’
‘Fuck you bitch! You ain’t getting no headaches or nothing! You just wanna read that book of yours is all!’
‘Don’t talk to her like that!’
‘What you gonna do about it boy?’
‘I’m... I have a black belt in Karate.’
‘I have lung-cancer!’
‘Yeah but like... I’ll kick your ass when you’re better!’
’I ain’t getting better boy. I’m getting dead!′
‘Na you ain’t. I’d kick your ass if I weren’t so you better ain’t sorry.’
‘I have a black belt in Karate.’
‘I have a black belt in fucking your mom!’
‘I have a black belt in fucking your dad!’
‘I bet you do you little faggot!’
‘Fuck you, you fucking... fuck-shit!’
‘You calling me fuck-shit boy?’
‘Yes! You’re just... fuck-shit.’
‘God damn this fucking crap! I ain’t taking this shit from a little fucking fairy boy! Imma kill you boy!’ he said as he got the tube out of his arm and started to get up. ‘You little fairy boy! You gonna die!’ The wires that were connected to his chest started to pop off.
‘Sir, you really shouldn’t...’ Ronnie said.
‘Now I’m sir all the sudden eh?! I thought I was fuck-shit! I thought you said I was fuck-shit! Now you gonna die boy!’ he got his feet on the ground. He got up and very slowly, he started walking towards Ronnie. Ronnie walked backwards until he stood against the wall.
‘Stay back sir!’
The man propelled himself forwards slowly. The look that was on his face was priceless. He looked like he was jumping in a WW1 trench with a bayonet. And he punched Ronnie hard on the nose. Ronnie didn’t expect it. I heard the nose bone break. He was holding his nose with two hands and made a very loud ´´MMMM´´ sound. ‘You gonna die boy!’ Timmy said and hit Ronnie over the head with a glass vase full of flowers. I decided that I had to do something. I got the casket loose from the ropes that were holding it up and put that leg on the ground. It hurt like shit. I stepped towards Timmy’s bed, grabbed the blood-bag that was attached to his arm before he pulled himself loose from it and I threw it at him. The bag burst on impact. There was blood everywhere. I thought it would stop him but he kept on hitting Ronnie. Ronnie tried to block the punches but they seemed to come from everywhere. I threw more stuff. I threw the remote. It hit the back of Timmy’s head. He turned around. ‘You fucking bitch! You gonna die too!’ and as he said that and started approaching me, he slipped over the blood and smacked down on the floor. A nurse rushed in.
‘What in the name of! What in the name of GOD is going on in here!’ she yelled.
‘He went crazy! He tried to kill us!’ I said.
Ronnie was holding his ribs now. He looked at the nurse. More people came into the room. They put me back on the bed and wheeled me out of the room. Then they washed the blood off me and did all sorts of checks. They put me in a new bed in a new room that was all mine. Nice.
Two cops came into the room a little later. Cops in suits. One had a pen and a notebook. He looked at his colleague. ‘Hi Samantha, I’m Steve and that’s Dave. We’re Colorado state police. Some really bad things happened back there, now didn’t they? How are you doing?’
‘Did he die? Are you investigating a homicide?’
‘Not yet. But we may be in a short while. They say that mister Blinder hasn’t much change. We need to hear what you saw while the image is still fresh in your head. You understand?’
‘I understand. I read a shit load of detectives. I want to make a written statement.’
’Don’t you think it’s better to just tell it straight to us?
‘That’s none of your business.’
‘It is our business.’
‘Well, it’s also my right not to speak to you so written statement or nothing.’
‘Dave, will you get her a pen and paper?’ Steve said and Dave went out of the room without a word.
‘So, you read a lot of detectives huh? You wanna be a detective?’
‘No, I wanna write detectives.’
‘It’s really nothing like in the movies you know.’
‘That’s why I like the books.’
‘I’ve never read one.’
’Just read Any Novel.′
‘Any novel? Their all detectives?’
’No, Any Novel, by Ross McDonald. It’s awesome.′
‘Alright,’ Steve said and Dave came in with a pen and paper. ’There you go, but I still think it’s better that you just tell it straight to us,´ he said as he was handing it to me.
‘Can I have some privacy while I write this down please?’ I said and the cops went out of the room.
It started with mister Blinder calling me a ″stupid bitch″ and accusing me falsely of lying about the television causing me headaches. I asked him when he was going to die finally, then he insulted me further and turned the TV on loudly.
My friend Ronnie Chickerfly came in shortly after this indecent, asking mister Blinder politely to turn the television down, that resulted in a heated argument with insults from both sides. Mister Blinder threatened to kill Chickerfly, who implored him not to get out of bed. Mister Blinder did so anyways, stepped towards Chickerfly and punched him on the nose, after which he hit him over the head with a glass vase with flowers and punched him further. I assumed my friend did not much defend himself out of ethical principles regarding his martial arts training so I decided to step in, which was hard because my leg is broken. I did manage with difficulty to get out of bed and reached Blinder’s blood bag. I threw that at Blinder, in an attempt to stop him. It did not work so I threw more things. I threw a Twix-bar, a Mars-bar, a pack of gum and a remote at Blinder. The remote hit the back of his head. He turned around and threatened to kill me. He slipped as he moved towards me, threatening me still. The last thing he said was ″You stupid bitch! You gonna die too!‘’ before he fell.
Samantha Breadmaker, May 17, 2018
I read it over and said ‘Ready!’ Dave and Steve walked in. Steve read it. He started laughing. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said.
‘Don’t be,’ I said, ‘It’s really funny.’
‘It’s not supposed to be funny.’
‘That makes it even funnier.’
‘Let me read that,’ Steve said and Dave handed it to him. Dave and me looked at each other. I saw Steve laugh about it too but he could hide it better than Dave.
‘OK, can you sign it?’
‘I don’t have an autograph.’
‘You’re sixteen. You should have an autograph at that age.’
‘Can I practice one first?’
‘We don’t have time for that. Just make something up.’
‘OK,’ I said and I drew a cross on the paper.
‘That’s not an autograph,’ Dave said.
‘Why not?’ I asked.
‘Because everyone can draw that.’
‘OK,’ I said and I scribbled all sorts of things around the cross. Mostly circular lines. I liked it. It looked pretty. After five seconds of doing that, I said; ‘How about now?’
‘I guess it’ll have to do,’ Steve said. ‘And by the way, you are prepared to read this statement in court, right?’
‘No. My leg is broken and I have some brain damage. In a few weeks maybe.’
‘OK then. Here’s my cart. You call me when you know anything more. When some detail comes back in your memory, anything about mister Blinder that you might remember. It could all be helpful.’
‘Alright,’ I said. I like detectives. I think detectives are cool.
‘It’ll take a few weeks before this goes to court anyways.’
‘How’s Ronnie by the way?’
‘He’s alright. He broke his nose and has a broken rib. He says he wants to press charges.’
‘Pressing charges against a terminal lung-cancer patient seems a little stupid,’ I said.
‘Maybe so,’ Dave said.
‘What kind of martial arts training did he have anyways?’
‘He says he’s a black belt in Karate.’
‘I thought you had to be eighteen for that.’
‘It’s what he says.’
‘So, he’s got a black belt in Karate and he gets his ass kicked by a terminal lung-cancer patient?’
‘I guess he did.’
‘Well, you’ll hear from us shortly. We thank you for your compliance Samantha. And if you need some sort of help with what you saw...’
‘No thanks. But if you could tell the nurse to bring me my book and my phone, I’d appreciate it. It’s big and it’s red and it’s by Gurdjieff.’
‘How do you spell that?’ Dave asked.
‘Who cares?’ I said.
‘Alright. I’ll tell her. Bye Samantha.’
‘Bye,’ I said and then Steve said bye and then I was left alone again.
I thought about nothing and how nothing was also something. Then a nurse came in with my book under her arm and my phone. I counted the pages that were left. I counted thirty. I wanted to read the last page first. I found an envelope taped to back of the cover there. ‘Hello bookworm,’ the envelope said. I opened it. In the envelope was a handwritten letter from Vincent. The handwriting was very small. This is what it said:
Cool book huh? Has nothing to do with me whatsoever but I said that you would find something in the book about my kind and this letter is in the book, right? So, I didn’t lie.
I think you presume I’m a vampire now, and this is not the case. We are a line of Kings from the past. Early bronze age alchemy had succeeded in finding a method to turn gold into iron, then iron into gold and a way to extend the lifespan and the strength by seven.
But you have to drink human blood. A liter a day or so, for someone of your weight. Once you’re turned, you’d have venom in your blood you see. And the venom gets in your DNA. It comes originally from the Beelzebat, a very strange breed of bat that only exist in captivity. It was always captive. The creature was brought up from hell it was told. I don’t know. And this genetic alteration causes re-tractive fangs to grow in your mouth to spread the venom.
Now you wanna get turned, don’t you? If only it were that simple. You see, the Bronze Kings are smart. We know that if everybody would know how to turn metal into gold, that it would be pointless, just as, if there are too many ″vampires″ in relation to ″humans″, they would starve. There are only 72 Bronze Kings in the world and when one dies, with every other death, (you may also have a child that carries the venom, which you only get with another carrier) the counsel gives a license to turn.
Now someone just died ten years ago and there is place for a turn, but it’s not my turn to turn, and you’ll be dead when it is if you don’t turn fast. I’m forty, forty-one this March, and the one who’s turn it is now is Kharkanov Karnakle. He’s 534 years old. He hasn’t made a decision yet. They say he’s too old to understand the modern world and so he’s also too old to understand what would make the best modern Bronze King. This happens a lot and they usually let their spouse pick for them. So, he lets his son, Ghargatron, who is only 187 decide. He is pretty crazy, and there were a lot of Kings that brought bloodcows to him that they were in love with or they just liked to see as Kings (one guy brought Michael Jackson) but Ghargatron refused every single one. He still has three years before his dad’s turn will pass. We could try.
Anyways, there were some progressions in an experiment that could prove very advantageous to my kind and I needed to do some business that takes extreme focus. I couldn’t have you calling me when I did that (I think the difficult part will be over by the time you read this) because it would be too distracting. I know you feel like shit because you’re in the hospital and your mom’s probably in the madhouse by now but you have to understand the importance of my work.
And you must also be wondering what I do as a student in your school, right? Well, I saw Twilight and I just wondered how that would work out in real life. My cousin wanted to see it. I saw it with her and I just said to myself: ‘Why don’t I show that idiot how picking up blood-cow chicks at a blood-cow school is done while I live close to a little town in the wilderness anyways,’ and I did. Sorry for the blood-cow thing by the way, it’s just what we call you.
Much love from Vincent and I hope that you will recover quickly. Hope your dad makes it too. We will always make it together. And if we can’t make it, we take it and if we can’t take it, we break it.
You ever had a cinnamon-bun? I’m having my first cinnamon-bun here at Denver airport and it’s fucking delicious. Bye now.
‘Motherfucker,’ I said. I folded the letter and put it back in the envelope. A nurse came in to see me.
‘Are you alright Sam? What you just been through... Are you alright?’
‘Alright,’ I said.
‘Are you alright?’
‘Alright... alright... alright...’
And the nurse asked me again. And I said, ‘I’m alright,’ and then she said ‘OK,’ and I told her I wanted to be alone for a while. She left me alone. I closed my eyes and I thought: ‘Fuck me. Why does he have to be forty?’