February 1999
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*Warning: This story contains violence and some graphic scenes. If you do not like to read things of that nature, please refain from reading this story. Please don't mail the Shrub with complaints. You were warned.*


The Thin Line- Part 2


by Jessica Brandt

If you missed Part 1 and would like to read it, please email Jessica for a copy.

"So do you go to school here?" Drake asked the dark-haired girl.
"No, but my friends do," she yelled, waving her arm across a group of people on the dance floor. "I'm just visiting. How about you?" She sipped her drink and batted her eyelashes, looking particularly interested in what Drake had to offer.
"Ah...no. I was gonna, but I put it off to work instead." By this time, Drake wasn't too interested anymore. She apparently had friends, friends that would miss her if she left.
"Hey, wanna go somewhere where we can talk? Where it's not so loud..." She suddenly sprung up.
"What about your friends?" Drake didn't really want to carry this on much longer.
"They won't notice I'm gone."
Or maybe he did.
On the way out, Drake noticed that two policemen had entered the bar. Great, she's sixteen. Fake ID. But he let her drag him out the door anyway.

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"I want you to draw me a picture of what you saw that day," the doctor asked of the boy. He knew what "day" she was talking about. That's all they ever talked about. "You can use any of these markers, or crayons, or paints. Do you want me to leave you alone?"
He shook his head "yes" and the doctor got up and silently walked away. The boy picked up one of the markers and began to draw.
The boy knew what to draw, and he was quite good at it. He had done it before. He drew a picture, with a bright sun in one corner, and the figure of his mother standing on the lawn outside their house. He put a tree on the other side of his mother's figure, just like before. Above it all, in the sky, he wrote in purple "I Love You Mommy! Love Richie"
He then took the red marker, and began lightly adding dots to the whole scene. Red dots, small red dots that became bigger and bigger, his little hand striking the page quicker with every mark. The marker raised over his head, he stopped breathing. Up and down it went, the tip collapsing into the body of the marker, but the boy not noticing.
In rushed the doctor, she grabbed the marker from his little trembling fist. He let her have it easily, and sank back into her lap, breathing hard, eyes wide.

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"So," she said, taking both of Drake's hands. "Where can we go around here that's quiet?"
"My Apartment is right over there..." Shut up!
"Really?" Her eyes lit up like he had just told her that tomorrow was Christmas.
"Yeah, but it's messy." Lie.
"Come on, show me." She pulled him towards the building that he had indicated was his.
Take her home, make her think you're weird, get rid of her. Get rid of her.
Drake opened the door. The apartment was spotless, as usual.
"Oh, you're such a liar!" she giggled as she let go of Drake and bounced over to the sofa. "This place is spotless!"
"Well, okay," Drake agreed. "But it's a little dusty." Truth.
"Come on, sit down," she patted the sofa next to her. Drake complied.
"You know, I don't even know your name," he had wanted to bring this up before, but after a few beers he was feeling a bit mellow and was slow to think of the important stuff.
"Colleen. And what's yours?"
"Drake. Drake Foster." Lie?
"Cool! That's a cool name!" Colleen exclaimed, once again enraptured by Drake's every word. She sprung up from the couch and began nosing around Drake's living room.
"Cute pumpkin. Is that a dragon?"
"Yes."
"Cool! Movies! Let's see what you've got." She ran her finger over the spines of his tapes. "You've got a lot of classics...cool! Casablanca! How romantic, let's watch this."
"Well,," No.
Colleen popped the tape into the VCR and hopped back over to the sofa. She snuggled up close to Drake and rested her head on his arm.
He was frozen. What the fuck is happening here? What am I doing? What is SHE doing? Drake sat, mildly interested in the movie, but his mind was racing. Midway through the film, he realized Colleen had been asleep on his arm for quite some time. He gave her a nudge, she didn't respond.
"Hey baby, get up. Get out of here." She stirred a bit. Drake was dead tired by this time, so he slipped out from under her and let her head plop down on the sofa cushion.
"I'm going to bed," he announced. She kept sleeping.

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"Thud" The blade split the melon in two. Colleen woke with a start. She looked around sleepily and smiled at Drake.
"What are you doing?"
"Cutting up a fucking melon, to EAT before I go to WORK," he stated.
"How long was I sleeping?"
"All night."
"My neck is stiff."
"Sorry to hear it. That's what happens when you fall asleep on a stranger's sofa."
"Did we have sex?"
"What?!" What?!
"I don't know... I had four of five beers..."
"No."
"Are you gay?"
"What the fuck is with all the questions? And NO, I'm not gay."
"I was just trying to make conversation."
"Well I don't have time for conversation, I have to go to work. So get up, you're leaving too."
"Oh all right..." she huffed. Drake put on his hat and escorted her to the door.
"Can I call you sometime?" she asked.
"No," Drake snapped as he kept on walking out the door of his apartment building and to his truck.
"Where do you work?" she called after him.
"The moon," he yelled.

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The simple fact that Colleen had friends was enough of a "turnoff" for Drake; that and the fact that he guessed she was under 18, which is bad news in any situation for a guy his age.
No, the girl he was going to kill had to be a complete loner, someone who would not make him meet her friends. His plan, after careful consideration, was to take the girl to California or someplace far like that, take her into the woods, and do his thing - the stabbing. Just stab the fuck out of her, seventeen times. Then bag the body and dump it off. Go get some dinner. Go home. Make a vacation out of it.
He had considered going to jail. In fact, he had planned on making a messy job of his dad - killing him alive and all, and he know there'd be a big ruckus, and he'd be caught. Drake didn't mind the thought of going to jail for killing that sonofabitch. There was nothing else for him to live for, really.
But the murder of his new victim - his dad's stand-in, if you will - could conceivably be gotten away with. He just had to be careful. He'd seen enough murder mystery and read enough to know, sort of, what to do.
Whatever. Fuck it all.

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She was knocking on his door as he came up the stairs to his apartment.
"Drake!" Colleen squealed. "I'm so glad you're home!"
Drake sighed. What is up with this chick? "Well listen, baby, you gotta stop..."
"Did I leave my purse here last night? I can't remember where I last had it. I hope I didn't leave it at the bar."
Fine, look for it then get out. "I don't know, let's look." Drake unlocked the door and the two of them went in. Colleen peeked around in the kitchen and living room. Drake flopped on the sofa and turned on the television.
"Aren't you gonna help me look?"
"Uh...oh, well I don't know where you could have left it. I mean, this place is so small..." Colleen nosed around the sofa, then sat herself next to Drake.
"What's wrong? You seem...out there."
"Huh? Oh, hard day at work. Lots on my mind."
"What went wrong?"
Why do you care? "Nothing, just stuff. Hard work I do."
"What?"
"What what?"
"What do you do?"
"Oh. A lumber yard. I work at a lumber yard, carry shit around all day." Colleen jumped up and started towards the fridge.
"You want a beer?" she called back to Drake.
"Uh, yeah. Yeah, there's some in there." Strange. She returned with two bottles.
"Mind if I have one?"
"Uh, sure. Hey, how old are you?"
"Twenty."
Twenty? She looked small and pale. Almost sick. Her cheekbones stuck out and she wore a lot of makeup. Her clothes were a little ragged, and looked worn. In fact, they may have been the same clothes from the night before.
"You're twenty? God, you don't look twenty. How come you wanted to lave the bar last night when those cops came in?"
Colleen shrugged as she took a swig of beer. "Old habit, I suppose. Hey, I'm a really great masseuse, want me to rub your back? I mean, if you carry lumber around all day, it's gotta be sore..."
I can't believe this. "Yeah, sure. You're right." Drake grabbed a pillow from the sofa and lay down on the floor.
"Take off your shirt, it'll work better." Colleen pulled Drake's sweaty shirt over his head. She gasped at the sight of his back, the grand tattoo. "Oh my GOD, that is so cool!"
"Thanks."
"It must have hurt like hell. Where does the tail go?" Drake rolled over and showed her his belly. "Wow, it's like the dragon is hugging you, or protecting you or something."
"Yeah. I designed it myself. My name means 'dragon' in Latin."
"For real? God, it's so cool. Know what? It's really turning me on. Well, that and the fact that I'm straddling a totally hot guy with no shirt on." Drake smirked. "Want to have sex?"
Yes. No. What the hell? "No. I mean, I don't have any..." Colleen reached into her pocket and pulled out a condom. She leaned down and kissed Drake as she put it into his hand.
It was just sex. Pure fucking, in the sense that only Drake's body was present. His mind was in its constant state of thinking about stabbing - how he wouldn't get a chance to get anything tonight. He was relaxed to know she was twenty. He wanted to know when she was leaving, but nonetheless, it felt good to him to feel like a man again.

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"Drake, I need a place to stay."
His mind drifted back into the present situation. A girl. In my apartment. Playing with my hair. Naked. "What? What about your friends that go to school here?"
"No. I have to tell you the truth. I don't have any friends here. I don't have anywhere to stay 'cause I ran away from home. I'm from Indiana and Milwaukee is as far as I got before I ran out of bus fare."
No way. Drake's ears perked up, his eyes widened.
"So now I'm at the youth hostel but I can't stay there 'cause someone might find out who I am."
"Is that why you took off when you saw those cops at the bar?" Colleen nodded. Her lips pursed as if she were about to cry. "I don't know, I mean, this place is so small...and what if someone comes looking for you? I don't need no bullshit."
"No. No one will look HERE. No one would have a clue that I'm HERE. And I can do stuff, like cook and shit. I'll only be around for a little while. Think of me as your maid."
This obviously was a good thing. The same God that had taken Drake's mother and let his father die quietly was now paying him in the form of a live-in maid and sex kitten, plus a sacrifice to boot!
There was stuff he couldn't do with her around, of course. He had to do his melon-killings elsewhere. There was always hunting, though, and alley cats and other weird crap that he did. Then again, wasn't this what he'd been waiting for? I suppose...it's worth the sacrifice.
"Yeah, okay. For a little while, not too long."
Colleen squealed and kissed him. She jumped up, got dressed, and flipped on the TV.
"Don't worry, it won't be long," she sighed.

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He had gotten kind of used to having Colleen around, and the idea that she was the right person for his plan made him pretty happy. Drake was usually in a mellow sort of mood, but during the three weeks from the time that he got the letter from the prison to the time Colleen told him who she really was, Drake was a ball of stress. His whole life he had spent making this plan for his father, and his life became hollow and meaningless until Colleen came around. To give him satisfaction for the plan, that is.
"Hey baby, I'm home." Drake walked in and dropped the case of beer onto the table. No response. He walked back towards the bathroom and called for her again. "Colleen, baby, I brought some brew." He found her, hunched over the toilet, head resting on the open lid.
"Goddamn, what's wrong with you?" He reached out and pulled her hair away from her face. "You been drinkin' already?" Drake usually kept the fridge stocked with beer and Colleen just stayed home all day.
She gagged and looked at him. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy. Her lips were dry, and her skin was as white as the tile in the tub. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I'm done now. I think I'm gonna go lie down."
"Well take a bucket, will ya?"
"Yeah," she reached under the sink and grabbed the empty garbage can, and then took off to Drake's bedroom to lie down.
"You sober up, eh? Then come and watch me drink." He sighed and took a dirty towel to wipe up the mess around the toilet. He noticed that the dark towel he picked up had a little blood crusted on it. He panicked a second, wondering if it were blood from the dead cat he stabbed the other night. She won't know.
When he was done, he peeked his head into the bedroom. Colleen was curled up in a fetal position and her clammy skin was glistening in the late afternoon sun streaming in through the blinds. Her body looked limp and she was breathing hard. Stupid chick.
Drake went to the freezer and pulled out a frosted mug. He poured himself a beer and then shuffled to the couch. He ordered a pizza, then nursed the beer for a while as he watched TV.

Continued next month in The Shrubbery

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