* This is a fictionalized account of some shit that actually happened. All the names, locations, etc. have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. – JG *
-Jason. Wake up.-
I sit up, still dreaming, my wife asleep at my side. They are arrayed at the foot of our bed, the women sitting, the men standing behind them. They are five in number, a little family – although I remember later that only three of them are actually related. The last – that other teenage boy, the Suicide – is a little older than the Son but, admittedly, it is hard to determine his age because half of his face is gone and his jaw hangs awkwardly from the right side, the intact side. The shotgun took care of the rest. It appears that there may be another two or three figures standing behind him but the outlines are vague, ghostly.
-Jason. Wake up.-
Oddly enough, I am more irritated than scared, which is strange considering how much anxiety fills my waking life. I must still be asleep.
-What. What do you want.-
Rand, the Suicide, leans in. –It’s time to talk about me, to talk about us.- He gestures to the shadows that lurk in the darkness behind him.
I exhale roughly. –Why, Rand. What is there to tell. You four all killed yourselves. I don’t know what I can write about that.-
Rand is taken aback. –Well, you can tell about why we did it, how it related to Snakeland. You know, how you did with the others.- When Rand moves his head the loose jaw sways slowly back and forth over the mass of old black blood coagulated over the remains of the left side of his face.
-Rand, I’m not sure any of it did relate to Snakeland. Maybe my initial theory was wrong. Maybe all of you just killed yourselves because that’s what teenagers do, what they’ve always done.-
-Yeah, but all four of us, in that short time period. And all the murders too. It doesn’t add up.-
I whistle through my teeth. –I’m sorry, man. I don’t know, it’s just...it’s getting kind of depressing or something. All this death. I just don’t know...I don’t know if I’ve got it in me.-
Rand is getting pissed, in the way only a 14-year-old boy can. –That’s bullshit. You better have it in you or you’re not gonna be getting much sleep for awhile. We’re dead, goddamnit, and we need somebody to speak for us. And that somebody is you. So get speaking.- The loose jaw flaps wildly as Rand gets more and more agitated.
-Okay, buddy, okay. I’ll tell the story.-
-And tell it good. None of this half-assed, don’t know if I’ve got it in me shit.-
I chuckle. –Okay, Rand, okay. I will.-