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Episodes of violence, p.1

Episodes of Violence, page 1


Episodes of Violence

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Episodes of Violence

  Episodes of Violence

  David Bernstein

  Sinister Grin Press


  Austin, Texas

  Table of Contents

  Episodes of Violence

  Copyright Page


  Part I

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Part II

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Part III

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Part IV

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  About the Author

  Sinister Grin Press

  Austin, TX

  July 2017

  “Episodes of Violence” © 2017 David Bernstein

  This is a work of Fiction. All characters depicted in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in whole or in part without the publisher’s written consent, except for the purposes of review.

  Cover Art by Zach McCain

  Book Design by Travis Tarpley


  I would like to give a super, special THANKS to that crazy mofo, Shane McKenzie, for initially welcoming me to the SGP family those few years ago. You might say I hit the Jackpot!

  I'd also like to thank Matt Worthington, Tristan Thorne, Travis Tarpley for having extreme patience with me as I kept going past my deadline with this novel. As always, working with you guys has been fantastic. I'd like to also send a big thanks out to Tod Clark for his insight and suggestions—they were great and I believe helped make the book that much better. And finally, but never leastily (Yeah, it's a word now) I'd like to thank Sandy Shelonchik who again has been my rock.

  Part I

  Path of Destruction

  Chapter One

  The barn-shaped mailbox exploded as the baseball bat smashed through it. Various-sized jagged pieces of red plastic scattered into the air, a few pinging off the hockey mask Sage was wearing.

  “That’s a fucking ten,” she yelled as refreshing summer wind roughly caressed her body while she hung halfway out of the Camry’s window.

  Looking out through the rear window, Bobby said, “That’s an eight.”

  Sage slid back inside the vehicle and plopped down onto the passenger seat, the bat between her knees. “Fuck off. That was a ten. Nine at the worst.”

  “You left a quarter of the mailbox.”

  “Bullshit,” Sage said and pulled up the hockey mask so it rested on top of her head. She then grabbed her can of beer from the cup holder, popped the top and sent a spritz of foam onto the dash and a dribble onto her perky chest. Without wasting a second, the can was at her lips, her throat muscles working feverishly as she guzzled. A few moments later, she let loose a loud burp and then tossed the empty can out the window, pulled the mask back down and climbed back outside, taking the bat with her.

  The rush of night air threatened to steal her weapon. She held it firmly. Her purple-colored hair was yanked back, the strands whipping about like tentacles. Exhilaration filled her and the only other time she felt as good was when Daemon was making her come. The Camry's four-cylinder engine whined as her lover stomped the gas pedal.

  “Come on, babe,” Daemon said from the driver’s seat.

  The car moved closer to the side of the backwoods road as another mailbox approached. Sage felt the vehicle slow, and knew her boyfriend was trying to give her a better shot at blasting her next target. Fuck. She loved him more than he could know. Would drink his piss and chew his shit if it meant saving him from death. But they were playing a game. Everyone was out for themselves. She didn’t want favoritism just because she sucked his cock and fucked him. “Don’t you dare slow down, assface,” she yelled, and a second later felt the wind pick up. She could play with the males just fine.

  With the bat in hand, her muscles straining a bit against the wind, she was in her stance. The next mailbox was a replica barn with white trim and a white X across the front door. How fucking cute, she thought, salivating at not only destroying it, but thinking about how upset the stupid owner would be when he saw it.

  It was a big sucker too. She’d need to hit it square and well, or a lot of it would remain on the pole. Points would be lost and she’d have to hear Bobby’s mouth—not that they kept a true log like some damn bowling league. The points were just mailbox to mailbox.

  Her grip tightened as she choked up on the bat. With a grunting effort, she swung. The baseball-hitting tool collided into the side of the mailbox. The wooden container burst apart as if made of bamboo, the material much more delicate than Sage had anticipated.

  Glancing back as the car sped away, she saw that she’d gotten it all. There was nothing left standing but the metal pole. She pumped her fist into the air before slipping back into the car.

  “No fucking doubt about that one,” she said and pulled off the mask.

  “Yeah, yeah,” Bobby said, matter-of-factly.

  “Hand the lady a cold one man,” Daemon said. “That was some shot.”

  Bobby reached into the ice-filled cooler that was on the floor behind the driver’s seat, withdrew a can of beer and handed it to a grinning Sage. She opened it and clanked beers with Daemon.

  It was stupid to drink and drive, especially while performing an illegal activity such as mailbox baseball. But for the most part, there was no arguing and winning with Daemon. The young man did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it.

  Daemon finished his beer in a few gulps and tossed the empty can out the window. It was his second since they had started the game, but his sixth within the last two hours. Bobby couldn’t help but keep a record of such things.

  “Damn, I feel good,” Daemon said and howled out the window.

  “C’mon, Sage,” Bobby said. “You’ve got one more turn, then I’m up. We already passed two mailboxes while you idiots celebrated. We haven’t been on this road in a few weeks and won’t be able to come back for a while. So let’s take advantage and get as many as we can.”

  Sage laughed and told him to fuck himself.

  “You really are the queen of fuck, you know that?” Bobby said.

  “Fuck yeah I do,” Sage said, pulled the hockey mask down and climbed out the window.

  Another mailbox was coming into view. It was a boring-looking piece of square ugliness, a simple gray in color. Sage preferred smashing pretty ones, ones that homeowners thought would look so damn cute in front of their house as they held hands and walked down the aisle of the store where they purchased it. Even better were the mailboxes people constructed themselves. They put all that hard work into it only to see it destroyed.

  Sage didn't fully understand why she loved hurting other people. Some individuals enjoyed golf or movies or collecti
ng things. She liked to ruin stuff and watch people’s happiness dwindle. There was nothing anyone could do about it either except to gather up the broken pieces, throw them in the trash and put up another mailbox and hope the hooligans wouldn’t return.

  But she and her friends did come back. They’d been doing so in irregular fashion so as not to set a pattern and to give false hope that the vandals had moved on—that it had been a one-time thing. They were a reckless bunch and quite daring with what they did—mailbox baseball, flattening police cars’ tires and shoplifting everything from car parts to beer despite not needing to do so on account of Bobby’s wealth. They were smart with how they went about it. Bobby was a brainiac, and Sage, for as much as she teased him, liked Bobby most of the time. He was the little brother, despite his being a foot and a half taller than her, she never had.

  It had only been three weeks since the last time they’d played the game on Hickamore Street. But the group was feeling good from all the weed and booze they'd ingested and really wanted to bash the wealthier homes’ mailboxes. The rich folk had the best ones.

  Within striking distance, Sage swung the bat. The mailbox gave, bending inward, but didn’t break. The bat seemed to stick to it and was ripped from her grasp, her wrists painfully bending backward. “Fuck,” she cried out as the bat tumbled along the side of the road, the mailbox unharmed.

  The container was made of rubber. Soft, pliable rubber.

  Headlights came to life in the house’s driveway and a black SUV tore down it and onto the road, the tires screeching. The truck’s engine sounded mean, and Sage imagined a pissed off dude behind the wheel with his foot pinning the gas pedal to the floor. The driver quickly caught up to them. Blinded by the bright lights both above and below the grill, Sage slipped back inside the car.

  “We’ve got a problem,” she said.

  “You don’t say,” Bobby said, staring out the back window.

  “What the hell happened back there?” Daemon asked and hit the black button under the steering wheel column that caused the 007-like contraption that Bobby made to go into effect, dropping the stolen Pennsylvania license plates over the registered New York ones.

  “Fucking rubber mailbox,” Sage said. “And if that wasn’t bad enough, we got a Waiter.”

  “Man, I hate Waiters,” Daemon said, and slammed the steering wheel with his fist.

  “Yeah, it’s like they have no lives,” Sage said. “Wasting all their time waiting around for us to come back so they can catch us. And for what, ruining a fifty-dollar piece of trash?”

  “Well, this motherfucker was waiting and I’m sure he’s pissed,” Bobby said. “And most of the mailboxes on this road are in the hundreds of dollars. He’s probably been sitting in his driveway every night for three weeks, salivating like a rabid dog.”

  “Good,” Daemon said. “Glad we could give the fucker something to do and make him waste his time.”

  “Won’t be wasting his time if he catches us,” Bobby said.

  Despite the glaring beams of the SUV, Daemon looked at the rearview mirror and caught Bobby’s stare, freezing him.

  “He ain’t catching nothing but the shit we give him,” Daemon said. “You hear?”

  “Yeah, this ain’t our first rodeo,” Sage said. “Sometimes I think you’re a big pussy, Bobby.”

  “I am what I eat,” Bobby said.

  Besides the gadget license plate that Bobby installed in the event of being chased, the vehicle was always spray-painted with Plasti Dip, a rubberized coating that was easily removable. Anyone looking for a certain color Toyota Camry with Pennsylvania license plates would never find it. After a night of mailbox baseball, the car was stripped of its coating and put back to its original faded Evergreen color.

  The car looked average—which was perfect—with a few scratches and minor dents, but the engine was kept up well by Daemon who worked as a mechanic. The car could move when it needed to.

  But the vehicle chasing them was a V-8 monster, its engine heard over all else. It could easily stay with them and run them off the road should the driver be as unstable as the trio in the Camry. And if the SUV’s driver had called the cops, that meant more trouble.

  But the delinquents had prepared for such contingencies.

  “Bobby,” Daemon said as the SUV came within an inch of the bumper, I think it’s time you do your thing.”

  Bobby turned around and yanked down the other half of the back seat, headrest and all. With a clear passageway into the trunk, he crawled inside and hit the light switch that he’d installed. The small compartment lit up, giving him a clear view of the mostly empty space, which included shooter's headphones, a box of ammo and the 12-gauge shotgun that rested in a black leather bag.

  Unzipping the bag, he took hold of the weapon and loaded it with buckshot. The car swerved and he dropped the last shell. As it attempted to roll away, he reached out and snatched it up before quickly depositing it into the gun. He didn’t think he’d need all the shells, never had, but it was always good to be thorough. Once the shooting started, anything could happen.

  Bobby put on the sound-dampening headphones, turned the trunk light off, then crawled to the back of the trunk and slid open the gun-slit he’d made. Bright light poured in, making it difficult to see anything. Squinting, he cocked the gun and poked the barrel through the slit and did his best to aim for the pursuing vehicle’s front tire.

  He pulled the trigger.

  The 12-gauge rammed into his shoulder, the sound dull to his ears thanks to the headphones. His muscles and bones absorbed the kick, his body conditioned to shooting powerful firearms. The SUV’s right headlight was blown out. The vehicle swerved, the tires screeching.

  With the remaining headlight no longer directly on him, Bobby was able to see the truck’s front tire. It was huge and inviting. He angled the gun and fired. The heavily treaded tire burst as the buckshot tore through it. The truck tipped forward and to the side. Sparks flew as the chrome bumper scraped along the pavement. The 4x4’s back end lifted off the ground as the truck went into a tumble. Glass shattered and metal crunched, bits of car flinging everywhere until it met a thick oak where it stopped cold.

  Bobby kept an eye on the wreckage until the road dipped and he lost sight of it. Dropping the shotgun, he tore off the headphones and scurried into the back seat. “Did you guys see that?”

  “Holy shit, yeah,” Daemon said and punched the roof.

  “That was badass,” Sage said and held up her hand for Bobby to high-five it.

  Bobby was a little numb, his feelings about what just happened not at the forefront of his mind. Wanting to go with the situation, he moved to high-five Sage when she pulled her hand away and said, “Sucker.”

  He’d fired on vehicles before. Two in fact. The first Waiter that had chased them had backed off after he fired a warning shot. The second car hadn’t taken the hint so he’d been forced to shoot at it, putting a hole in its grill. He had always supposed someone could wind up getting hurt, with the probability increasing every time they went out, but never focused on it for too long.

  Seeing his friends celebrate with cheers and hand claps made him feel like he was missing out on something great. He wanted to be happy too. There was nothing to stop him. It wasn’t like he knew the driver or was going to get caught—he’d made sure of that by hooking up the license plate gadget and the gun slit for the sole purpose of getting away clean.

  His thoughtfulness and planning had paid off. He smiled at the thought. At his work proving itself. He was like a villain in a movie. A supervillain. Suddenly, he grew warm inside and joined in the celebration by grabbing a beer and saying. “Fuck yeah that was awesome.” This brought being bad to a whole new level.

  Sage was all over Daemon, her tongue sliding up the side of his neck, her hand on his crotch. “I’m so fucking hot right now.”

  “Calm down, babe,” Daemon said. “I’ll take care of you later. We got company.”

  “Let him watch,”
she said. “I don’t care.” She glanced at Bobby and laughed, then sat back in her seat. She held out her hand again toward Bobby, indicating for him to slap it. When he didn’t move, she said, “Seriously, man. That was some badass shooting, Bobby.” She kept her hand out and motioned with it for him to high-five her. “C’mon, man, give me some sweetness.”

  Not wanting to miss her hand, he shot it out as fast as possible and practically punched her palm.

  “I wasn’t going to pull it away, assfucker.”

  “Just making sure.”

  “Hand me another beer, bartender,” she said.

  Bobby plucked one from the cooler, the ice still intact, and handed it to her.

  “What am I, fucking invisible?” Daemon asked.

  “Yeah, bartender,” Sage said. “Hand the man a brewsky.”

  When I’m up to bat, you’ll be the beer-bitch—remember that,” Bobby said, and tossed her a beer that she popped open and handed to Daemon.

  “Stop the car,” Sage yelled.

  Daemon kept driving.

  “I said stop the fucking car.”

  “No you didn’t,” Bobby said. “You said stop the car. Not stop the fucking car.”

  “Eat me.”

  “What’s the problem, babe?” Daemon asked and caressed Sage’s cheek.

  “I want to go back and take pictures,” she said, lips pursed, arms crossed over her chest.

  “I kind of want to too,” Bobby said, feeling his stomach drop. He wasn’t sure if it was morbid or just to see the result of his actions. Not seeing what he’d caused was like only reading half the story. He had to know how it turned out despite it being a terrible idea.

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