In BURNT on December 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm


The kid’s passion never abates.  I struggle to detach.

His tools of torture so far have included a knife, a ragged rope, a tree sapling.  Also, a hot metal rod, a hot fork – he uses the wood stove to heat them up.

He talks while he works on me, and he talks fast.  The topics roll this way and that, mostly personal experiences, a lot of anger.  At some point, it all rolls around to his sister at which point the pain increases.  After two days, I’ve got the order of the ensuing monologue down.  Descriptions of her beauty, of her innocence.  There’s a story from their youth which usually involves a family pet but sometimes is about their summer trips to the Maine coast.  Then comes the corruption by guys like me.  This is an especially painful hour.  The pain drops for a bit as he loses himself in the narrative of his search.  Lots of aimless wandering, he was fresh out of the corps, he didn’t know where to look — he paints his reaction to specific scenes of depravity that he witnessed with the hippies and diggers.  His point is to illustrate how naive he was.  How ill-prepared he was.  It justifies his decision to hook up with Walker.  It underlines how far he’s come.

It has taken days to decipher his relationship to Walker.  My guess is that he’s a cult-deprogrammer of some sort.  The kid calls him a detective and a savior.  He finds the lost children of the wealthy and removes them from the happenings and the counter-culture.  He sticks them in a hotel room somewhere and starves them and yells at them for a couple weeks and delivers them to their parents, and dubs them “cured”.  But first he has to find them.  That’s where the kid comes in.

Now the bragging.  How he follows the hippies.  How he’s figured them out.  This is a light interlude, but I know the big pain is coming.  That’s when he finds his sister.  She’s dead.  She’s in a meadow with her throat slit and beat to hell.  I did it.  I’m a sick bastard.  I’m going to pay.

This is where I black out.  When I come to, he’s weeping and muttering about the Blue Light.

The Story So Far

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