*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
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
"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
"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?"xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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.
"So," she said, taking both of Drake's hands. "Where can we go around here
"My Apartment is right over there..." Shut up!
"Really?" Her eyes lit up like he had just told her that tomorrow was
"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
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?"
"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."
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.
"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?"
"My neck is stiff."
"Sorry to hear it. That's what happens when you fall asleep on a stranger's
"Did we have sex?"
"I don't know... I had four of five beers..."
"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
"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.
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,
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.
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
"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
"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 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? 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
"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!"
"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.
"Drake, I need a place to stay."xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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.
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