The fire didn’t cover my tracks as well as I thought it would. The problem wasn’t the police, their investigation ended when the fire brigade report confirmed the cause as accidental. The bodies were confirmed as three known drug users and teenage delinquents. So the investigation ended there.
Melissa’s family was a different matter. They were well known throughout the area, and where people wouldn’t talk to the police, they would talk to the Jacobs, if they knew what was good for them. She was one of many cousins in the family, but that didn’t matter. Harm against one was a slight against all. The word on the street was that I had killed her and that was enough.
The first I learned of this was my door being booted in. I had laid low for a while, keeping myself to myself while the police interest died down. The group had kept away, but I had seen a few people to keep my personal stash stocked up. I had stopped taking acid, it just wasn’t the same on my own. I tripped alone a couple of times, but it was too easy to get lost in myself. I delved deeper and deeper until there was no me, just the barest of impulses. I would come to, hours later and not know where the time had disappeared to. I became afraid of the thing that took these pieces away from me.
I does seem a little ridiculous looking back, but I think I did believe that something was fracturing my psyche and stealing bits for itself.
So I stuck to the smoke and just a little coke now and again, but only if I needed to perk myself up a bit. I had just smoked myself into a mellow state and just staring at the TV when the door crashed in. There standing before me was three generations of the family and they looked pissed. I jumped up as they entered, I glimpsed into their minds and all I could see was the murder they had planned.
Being stoned my reflexes weren’t what they should be, I threw the first punch, but the girl’s brother caught the wild swing and returned one of his own. It clipped my jaw and I fell back. Before I could get back to my feet the other two men grabbed me. The brother kept coming and punched me in the stomach. I doubled over but was pulled back up again, desperately gasping for breath. I reached out with my mind, but the pain disturbed my concentration.
Another blow and he stepped back, pulling a knife from his jacket. He told me why I was about to die. I had killed his sister and now it was my turn.
That was his mistake.
In that short time I had caught my breath and now summoned my will and unleashed it upon him. I drove into his mind and blinded him. In response he lunged forwards and slashed wildly with the blade. I twisted his spatial perception so he swung high, I ducked and the knife cut across the faces of the men holding me. Both cried out and released me.
The brother swung again, again missing me and injuring his compatriots. I kicked him savagely in the knee cap, hearing it crack as he fell. I snatched up the fallen knife and turned to the other two. I leapt forwards stabbing the older one in the stomach, he moaned and fell taking the knife with him.
The other seemed more interested in his own wounds than me, so I just fled. Outside in a parked car another man watched me leave. He started to get out of car, I ran straight to him and struck him in the face as he climbed out. I did it again and a third time battering him to the ground. I kicked him in the head to keep him down and climbed in the car.
I had never learned how to drive and it seemed so simple on TV. I stalled the car just a few yards down the road. I got out and ran. I ran to the only place I could think of who could help me. I ran to Psycho Steve.
No-one called him Psycho Steve to his face, not more than once anyway. I didn’t know him well, we were nodding acquaintances at best, but no-one messed with him, not even the Jacobs family.
He didn’t seem surprised to see me, although he never seemed surprised by anything. From his reputation you would have expected to see a huge beast of a man. The reality was that he was a small man, quiet, but capable of incredible ultra-violence at the blink of an eye. He let me in while asking whether I know that the whole fucking town was looking for me?
I did now, but what I didn’t know yet was what I was going to do about it. I had few choices, the first stay and battle it out. Even Psycho Steve thought that was a bad idea. They’ll keep coming he told me, especially now more of them had been hurt. I could hand myself into the police, but Steve would gut me himself if I did that and I wouldn’t be safe there anyway. They’d lock me up, but in prison I’d be easier to find than I was now.
Hiding in the town wasn’t an option, they’d find me sooner or later, so that left running. I would have to leave town. Just get yourself far away and fucking disappear was Steve’s advice. And good advice it was too. I’d be safe there for the night and I could crash on the couch and rest up. He rolled a fat one and we chilled for a while.
The next day Steve took me to the train station, he didn’t want to know where I was going, but he repeated his advice to make it far away. I decided to head north and paid for my ticket, the platform was open and exposed, I decided to wait out of view in the station bar.
That was my mistake.
The train was due in an hour or so, but as usual the timetable couldn’t be relied upon. I sat in a corner, out of view and looking back it’s obvious that I should have kept a watchful eye on the barman. I didn’t, so I didn’t know that he had recognized me and had telephoned one of the Jacobs family that he was friendly with.
Half an hour later, the station announcer had just informed everyone that the train would be delayed by fifteen minutes. Annoying, but no big deal. The door to the bar opened and a gang of the Jacobs and their cronies walked in. The barman made himself scarce and there was no-one else in the bar. I looked up, there were a lot of them, too many. This was not going to end well.
My only advantage was they were in no hurry. There was nowhere for me to run and they had me outnumbered. They saw me as easy prey.
That was their mistake.
I pushed the table in front of me, it wasn’t much of a barrier but it would slow them down a little. I flung the half empty glass at the leader and unleashed the fury from my mind. I took the mind of one and crushed it with my will. He collapsed screaming, his friends stumbling over his twitching form.
I picked up the stool I had been sitting on and threw that too as I torpedoed into the mind of another. I shredded his conscious mind and he started laughing. He giggled hysterically and started to just spin slowly on the spot.
The others slowed their approach as they started to realise that something was not right. Another started to scream as the flames that only he could see started to consume his flesh. He dashed to the fire extinguisher by the door and squirted the foam over himself before passing out.
I stared the leader in the eye and forced my way into his mind. He resisted at first, his face spotted with juice and blood from the thrown glass. As his defences crumbled, he stopped and the others stopped too.
A hush descended on the bar. I felt surprisingly weary, Sudden use of my will had drained me more than I would like, I wouldn’t be able to maintain this assault for much longer. I needed to end this now.
In a cold voice I told them if they didn’t back off I would kill them one by one. I let my mind carry my voice as well, so they didn’t just hear my promise of death, they felt it.
These were men not easily scared and a few made a move. I did warn you, I said. Again I reinforced the message with a feeling of dread that sank into every one of them.. At the same time I forced my will hard into the mind of the leader, delving deep and cutting away the life and sensibility from within. He moaned and collapsed, he began to tremble and contort. Blood oozed from his nostrils.
The others started to back away, one tried to help their leader. I commanded them to leave him. He was mine.
With that incredible bluff I had escaped and the relief almost overwhelmed me. I had to get out and now, before the police arrived and before they returned. This time they would come with a gun and just shoot me dead without warning. I wasn’t willing to bet that my mind was quicker than a bullet.
Leaving the station I climbed into the nearest taxi and started my journey north. I would hide myself away, never to be found.