Thursday, April 21, 2011

RETURN TO SNAKELAND - Thirty-Fourth Fragment

* 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 older woman, the Mother, sits to my right, covered in blood from what appear to be innumerable stab wounds. Underneath the blood her dress is plain, her face even plainer. The older man, the Father, and a young teenage boy stand together behind her, the older man’s hand placed awkwardly on his Son’s shoulder. The boy, kind of punk-rock, kind of skater-ish, is also bleeding but less so than his Mother. Fewer stab wounds are visible. The Father appears nearly untouched but for the blood seeping forward into the front of his work shirt – all of his stab wounds were in his back.

Marge Janks seems upset. -Well, I guess I didn’t need to be so worried. You hardly talked about us at all.-

I’m amazed. –I thought that’s what you wanted.-

-Well, I thought at least you’d spend as much time on us as...her.- She gestures towards Katie Hoehner, who shrugs.

-I didn’t have as much to speculate on. The facts of the case are pretty straightforward, the only real mysteries are how Snakeland fit in, the influence that it could’ve had on Jeremy. Unfortunately, he’s never talked about that at all.-

Mark Janks says –It seems like you wrote about listening to rock songs and girls and stuff that happened in the 1980s much more than you wrote about us.-

My turn to shrug. –A lot of what this whole thing is about is listening to rock songs and girls and stuff that happened in the 1980s. It’s just sorting through the ghosts of all that different stuff in addition you guys.-

John Janks appears to choose his words very carefully. –I don’t think that’s why we’re here, though.-

Now I’m becoming irritated. –Why are you here, exactly. If I had a better idea of that maybe what I’m writing would end up being more satisfying to you, or to anyone who reads it.-

John purses his lips. –I’m not really sure. Or I’d tell you, honestly.-

I guess I believe him.