“...and blood will run through the streets of Rome today.”
~ John Darnielle
I tossed back my blood-slick hair and stumbled out past the old ramshackle outpost/outhouse that served as a storage base for my friend Randall’s eclectic collection of drugs. I was naked under the setting Georgian sun and baked on some homemade substance Randall assured me was “just acid boy”.
I ran in a blur of skin, barefoot over dead leaves and packed earth, across the clearing and under the overpass to reach The Arcade. My childhood surged like bile from the pit of my stomach and gave me some strange sort of emotional heartburn.
The Arcade was a filthy place of electronic ghosts, dusty and radiant all at once. The concession/ticket stand had been turned into a crash zone where Billy and Sally (at least that’s what I thought the newswoman said the names were) lay naked in a tangle of limbs. I thought about waking em’ up, see if either of them wanted a good ride. The mood I was in right then I would have stuck my dick in a crawfish hole.
I distracted my lust with the light of a nearby SEGA "MERCs” Machine. Little blue man shooting little blue bullets. Bloodless kills.
I vomited across the control board of this rare and relatively pristine piece of gaming equipment, a sour liquid the grey color of a pregnant sky. I figured the machine could take it.
“Rich, what the hell are you doing?” It was Randall.
I turned back, vomit still dripping from my jowls. I didn’t want to say anything.
I looked down to see Billy and Sally flayed at my feet, both partly cannibalized.
That wasn’t vomit dripping from my jowls.
Randal had given me a shot of Lorazepam in the neck to calm me down (he was always handy with stuff like that) and I slept soundly under the arcade lights to wake in the morning with a dry mouth.
“I don’t remember killing them.” My first words of the day.
Randall was still there, “I know.”
Dusty daylight choked the unnatural luminance of the Arcade. I could see the bodies and closed my eyes.
“Why did I... do that.”
“That wasn’t just acid boy.”
“What the fuck was it?”
“I don’t really know… you want some more?”
I lit a cigarette, and laced with blood and being the first smoke of the day, it tasted delicious. I felt good for the first time in a few years. After the smoke, we both walked back to Randall's mother's house to get high.
Billy twitched sporadically in the dirt behind us.
The Arcade was still glowing.