Emptiness… Infinite darkness… Coldness…. Intense white light… Blinding Pain… Warmth… Pain subsiding. I come to in an enclosed space, confused, without knowledge of where I am. Disoriented… More discombobulated… Not seeing anything… Can’t open my eyelids… Can’t figure out why. They are stuck shut like something is holding them together. Desperate to see I try to touch my face and find I have little room to manoeuvre. Finally I manage to get my right hand moving and get it up to my eyes… They are stitched shut… Eyelids sown together. Panic ensues… Trouble breathing… Heart pounding. I think I have lungs I feel them rise and fall rapidly. I think I have a heart… I feel it beating. Rising and Falling… Beating… Rising and Falling… Beating… Not part of me… Not from within… Where could my lungs and heart be? I silently asked myself as I tried to reckon with the fact that I could not see. Do I even have eyes? Are they there to roll in disgust with my current situation?
I’m reminded of an old song…. Jeepers Creepers where’d you get those peepers, where’d you get those eyes? I try laughing and can’t get a sound out… I try to scream as panic overwhelms my common sense…. Nothing again. Quickly I shoot my right hand to my mouth… More stitches. I try to move my tongue… I can feel it move but it’s disembodied like it’s not there. I concentrate on it… Try to move it… There… Found it! Gross… I taste formaldehyde and have the overwhelming urge to vomit but of course I probably have no stomach… HaHaHa… Funny! You stupid nitwit… I’ll get you for this! I think as I faintly remember signing an organ donor card while being drunk… It’s not funny I think as I recall my nephew insisting that I share myself with science. That bastard wasn’t alone… There were others… I remember now. It had just been Christmas… I was at a party with my nephew and his friends… They looked nervous. It was Nineteen Ninety Nine… The Millennium was upon us in two more days.
I thought about it closely… Half the usual crowd… Most of my family wasn’t there… My mom’s family was missing… My dad’s family was missing. Seemed strange that my brother and his son were there and they insisted on paying for the booze… All of it… Every last drop. They, for some reason, had been extra special nice to me that Christmas… They said they had wanted to make up for all the crummy things they had done to me throughout my life… All of it… All of it… All of it. Now that I think of it, not one of my friends had shown up… None of them. Everyone of them had made up excuses I thought sounded hollow… Flimsy… Sham-like… Hoax-like. I thought they had diddled me… Then I recall thinking it was because they didn’t like my brother… He had been mean to them as well. In fact one of them, Ray, had told me to my face that my brother was a jackass and stupid enough to go. I wrote it off and obviously didn’t get the meaning till now. He had tried to warn me… He couldn’t warn me openly or it would have put his family at risk.
I wonder if I have a brain… Of course I do just not in my cranium. I recall others warning me in a similar manner… Subtly telling me to avoid them… Not have a party or at least to not invite them. Jamie told me I should have a party with my friends alone… The old crowd. He said we could get Jennifer to show us how to shoplift… That would be fun… Yes it would be… better then free booze. His brother was going to come but I don’t recall him showing up… He called after the party started and said he had a toothache. I told him free booze would cure that… It would dull the pain… You know take two and I’ll call you in the morning. He let it slip that he might not have any teeth left if he showed up… Maybe not even a heart. I blindly asked him if he had broken up with his girlfriend and he said he would rather stay at home, so I told him to suit himself and avoid the thrill.
My nephew’s friend had arranged the catering. Technically it was his boyfriend… At least I suspected he was gay… You know the whole hiding his sexuality and avoiding the truth routine. He once told my family he was bisexual… I believed him, but he later recanted and said he was just going through an identity crisis. They had decided to get Chinese food from my favorite place Good Earth on Portage Avenue. They had all my favorites… Every last one of them: Good Earth Special Chow Mein, Deluxe Chop Suey, Dry Breaded Veal, Dry Breaded Pork, Beef & Black Bean & Garlic, Kung Pao Chicken, Szechuan Chicken, Dry Breaded Shrimp, Shrimp with Mixed Veggies, Diced Shrimp with Almond and Veggies, Honey Chicken Fingers, Cantonese Foo Yong, Moo Shi Pork, Soft Ginger Beef, Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken, Vegetarian Deluxe Fried Rice, Assorted Mixed Vegetables, Chicken Fried Rice, Chicken Balls with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Lemon Chicken, and Deluxe Won Ton Soup.
I recall the meal was excellent and all the guests kept insisting that I eat and eat and eat like it was my last meal. My brother and the others ate lightly I recalled, but they kept going back for more until it was almost all gone. The whole time my nephew filled my glass with different mixed drinks insisting that I try a bunch of his friend’s favourites. I thought the names were interesting and they tasted good. Drinks like Flaming Hand Jobs, Blow Jobs, Unoriginal Sin, Potion D’Amour, Old Glory, Vibrant Sunrise, Watermelon Sparkler, and something called a Berry Sip were the features. They practically drowned me in alcohol since they arrived and it was starting to drag me down. I was getting sleepy, but there was no where to go. I became really groggy after the sixth drink and couldn’t stop feeling as if something was wrong… I was woozy… I felt an upset stomach coming on and excused myself.
I last remember going to the bathroom… To what… I’m still too fuzzy… I’m drunk I thought… I’m tipsy. I can’t be though… I only had six drinks in four hours and they were only single shot drinks. I remember hugging the toilet… Hanging my head in shame… had I vomited? I can’t recall… Then blackness and I woke up here… Wherever here is. I still don’t know where I am… What am I doing I thought… Did I die? I got stitches in my fucking eyes and mouth… Who did that to me? Why? Was I tortured? Did I suffer? I panicked again and started pounding on the sides of whatever contained me… The sides of what? Where the fuck am I? Why am I here? I recall a trunk… The dark and the cold… Ah ha… I came to in a trunk. The vehicle was moving… Fast… Like on a highway. Thump… Thump… Thump… Thump. I know that sound… Tires… Spinning… Tires going over expansion joints.
Where? My knowledge of Winnipeg was pretty good… Maybe Disraeli Bridge… No… No.. Too fast. Unless they were speeding.. Besides I don’t feel like I’m going up and down… No change in elevation… I should feel two rises… Thump… Thump… Thump. Nope… Not Disraeli… Thump… Thump… Thump. Then another blackout… Damn… I lost myself again. I’m in a trunk… I feel familiarity… I know the vehicle… Somehow it’s comfortable to me… What did I see? Nothing I thought… Common think… Concentrate… Slow down for a minute… Concentrate… Think… Thump… Thump… Thump… Where are there expansion joints? I could smell cinnamon buns suddenly… cinnamon.. My cinnamon buns. What did it mean? I remember cinnamon buns being special… Very special… Suddenly I knew… I was on Lagimodiere Boulevard.
What was I doing there? How did I get in a trunk… Where was I now? I’m not still in the trunk… I feel smooth… Velvet and silk… Damn it! Where the fuck am I? If only I could think clearly… Not panic… Not have racing thoughts… Not be confused. I was in a trunk… On Lagimodiere… The car feels familiar… Yes that’s it… A car… Obviously stupid, your in a trunk. My car! Eureka! I was in the trunk of my car on Lagimodiere. Where was I going? Who was driving… Concentrate… Think… Kinda tough without a brain… Oh no it isn’t… I can still think… I breath without lungs and have a pulse without a heart… I can think. There… Voices… Concentrate… Concentrate… Ah ha! My nephew and his boyfriend fighting… Yelling in fact. Yelling above loud music.. Music… Can’t make it out… Concentrate… Listen! AC/DC… Highway to Hell.
I suddenly became disembodied and saw the whole thing as clear as if I was a crow flying above them. They were approaching the bridge, Lagimodiere Overpass, and were speeding… They were going pretty fast.. Maybe one hundred twenty… Maybe faster. As they climbed the rise of the bridge my nephew’s partner noticed a cop parked behind the barrier facing the southbound lane that they were travelling on and screamed.
“Slow down… That’s a cop you just blew by.”
“Fuck the Police, I’m unstoppable now!” screamed my nephew.
The music was cranked… Yeah… My car… My fucking Audi was my hearse… Those bastards! The song was pumping through the premium sound system… My nephew Brandon screaming out the words: Hey Mamma… Look at me… I’m on my way to the promised land… I’m on the highway to Hell… Highway to Hell.. Mmm… Don’t stop me… Hey, Hey, Ooh. Visions came with every screamed line from the song… Amber his mother… Myself in a tarp in my own trunk… A glimpse of Lagimodiere… A cop with lights flashing coming up quickly behind my nephew… Blackness… Then gunshots… An injured cop… Laughter and more screaming.
“Shut the fuck up! I told her not to stop me! I’ll shoot you.. You stupid fag! Just stop crying! Stop crying and blubbering!” screamed my nephew.
“At least get back in the car and let’s get outta here! I didn’t sign up for this! I didn’t know you’d kill a cop… Are you crazy??? They’ll find us now!!! They’ll find your uncle and we’ll go to jail!” screamed Steve.
“Fine! Your stupid if you think we’ll get caught… We’re living large! We’re kings! He’s already dead and that bitch didn’t get it.” screamed Brandon as he got back in the car and slammed the door shut behind him.
As he squealed out from the side of the road, the cop barely alive grabbed her microphone on her shoulder and managed three clicks… She was weakened from blood loss, but the shot was not critical. On the third attempt she mustered the strength and spoke, “10-78… I’ve been shot… 10-78.” then she lost consciousness at the side of the road in a pool of her blood. I came back to the present… Still in what I had guessed was a coffin. I was stuck here not sure what was next… I had been out for a long time… Too long to have simply died or I would have woken up long ago. I must have been drugged. The food… No they ate too… The booze… The fucking fruity drinks… Yeah the fruity drinks were used… They drugged me with what? What would have knocked me out for so long? Ketamine! Yeah… The fruity flavour covered the taste… That bitter taste… They must have given me a good dose… An overdose and killed me… Too strong to quickly come around… And now my eyes are sown shut and so is my mouth.
My nose was still working as there was the smell of cinnamon buns again… Fresh and gooey… Fresh from the oven… Just baked.. but why? Where from? Who? Damn it… I’m stuck in a coffin… I can’t see… I can smell cinnamon buns… Must be nice… Whoever was having a treat… I’m dead and people are having cinnamon buns! I would have been frothing at the mouth… I would have yelled… I shook anyways… Without a heart… I tried screaming… I screamed in my head… F-U-C-K Y-O-U A-N-D Y-O-U-R F-U-C-K-I-N-G C-I-N-N-A-M-O-N B-U-N-S!
I heard a tiny scared voice: I’m sorry, I was mad and wanted you to know I cleaned up your mess!
Angelica? Where are you?
Back at the ranch.
No stupid, at the penthouse.
I’m not well… I’m scared to tell you… You’ll panic.
Sure… I seen the cops in a vision… Are you in jail?
I wish it was that simple… I died… And I got cut up… I mean my eyes are sown shut… My mouth is sown shut and I’m missing body parts… HAHAHAHAHA.
Yeah… funny… You’re an asshole!
No… it’s not that… I have no brain and I still have telepathy.
Yeah and I just had five dog children… Spit them out like your old cat did… All over your bed.
You have to believe me!!! I’m in a coffin somewhere… I need help.
Really? You must be stoned to come up with a story…
Then I heard a glass pan hit the floor and smash… Good.. I managed to appear again… Like I am… She saw. She’ll believe me and I’ll get found… I’ll be okay… It’ll be alright.
Nothing. I tried to see. Nothing but blackness… I tried again… And again… And again. Finally I got the strength to see. Damn! She passed out, the oven door was ajar, and there was sticky gooey cinnamon bun bits all over the floor… I hope she didn’t hurt herself… I shouldn’t have shown her myself… I should have just shut up but I need help. Fuck! I’ll never get out of this thing… Never get free… What was I thinking? How can she help me anyways… I don’t know where I am… I just know I was at some point on Lagimodiere Boulevard and a cop was shot. I heard doors open… Squeaking… Metal rasping on metal…. Then nothing… Nothing at all. Suddenly WOOSH!
Uh oh… What was that… Can’t be… Nope… Not gonna like this… I know your alive again… HEHEHE.. You’re still stupid enough to struggle but it’s too late.. Burn, Bitch, Burn!
You sick fucker! Let me go… I won’t tell… I promise!
Sure… I’m the king remember? You’re the stupid asshole who ruined it for me… You wouldn’t do what I wanted… You just had to stay alive then too… You dead now though… I’m gonna make sure of it… You’re gonna burn to death now.
Don’t you get it? I can’t burn… I’m flameproof now too.
Yeah sure, and I can tell your worried… Stay dead like my dad wanted! Just say dead! Don’t you get it? I’m in charge here.. Not you! I’ll decide what happens from now on… I’ll decide what happens!!!
Let me out of this casket!
Sure… I’d rather scrape up your ashes and scatter them around.
Suddenly the casket started moving as if it was on a conveyor belt. Inch by inch… Bit by bit… Little by little. Surly it was going into the incinerator… Ah… The woosh I heard… Oh fuck… It’s gonna get hot soon. As quickly as the casket started to move it jarred to a stop and the doors were heard again… Squeak…. Then a slam! They were shut.
Dad? Are you okay? I just called the police… they say they are looking for you… You shot a cop.
Shut up you stupid cunt it’s too late for your dad!
What? Who the hell are you?
Angelica it’s Brandon… He’s gone mad!
Yeah you stupid bitch! I’m gonna burn your father alive… At least I think he’s alive again. I cut him real bad! I cut out his eyes, his lungs, his heart, his tongue, his brain, his testicles, and his liver. Me and my friends want his strengths!
Sure… I don’t believe you… You’re all drunk and making shit up… Where are you anyways? Is he with you?
You don’t get it! I killed him!!! The stupid pig fucker of a man! The fucking want to be retard! He’ll die and stay dead if he knows what’s good for his family!
Brandon? Dad, I hear someone… Not sure who though, it’s coming from you… Like it used to.. Like when you were crazy… You know the voices we blamed you for.
Bitch! Stay out of this… I hated you all along.. All hoity-toity!!! You’ve got it all and you think your the best! Your daddy’s goona cook! HAHAHAHAHA… Like a pig over a spit! Mmmmm Barbecue Piggy.
Brandon are you with my dad?
What do you think? If you don’t shut up in his head and break your connection I’ll come for you next!
Angelica’s voice grew dimmer, but was still there: Dad, this isn’t funny! The cops say you shot a cop.
Speaking in the recesses of my own mind, I tried to get her attention: I was in the trunk… Brandon and his friends drugged me with the booze they gave me. I blacked out in the bathroom and woke up in the trunk. I heard gunshots… I don’t know where I am.
What should I tell the cops? They are on their way over here.
Tell them to test the booze! Or the glasses… They were drinking too… I doubt they put it in the bottles.
Shit! I just threw the cups in the dishwasher and turned it on.
Quick, shut it off! It’s the only way to prove I was drugged.
Angelica ran to the kitchen and found that the dishwasher was not on… The button had stuck like it had many times before. Good, she thought, that takes care of that. Slowly she was starting to believe her father as she could see a casket in flames. I’ve got to help him… But where is he?
Dad, the glasses are fine… The stupid button stuck. Where are you?
I don’t know… I’m in an incinerator… I had visions that I was on Lagimoriere… Maybe they brought me to the family’s funeral home.
Yeah, could be… I can’t leave though… The police are on the way. Who shot the cop?
Brandon did… He threatened to shoot his boyfriend too.. Steve was crying.
What? I thought they were just friends?
Yeah, and I’m a honky-tonk hero!
Okay, that set aside will you be okay for the time being?
I’m fireproof… The idiot didn’t believe me… I’ll wait for the casket to burn around me… Then I’ll get out of here. I have no eyes… I cannot see… I have not got my specs with me!
You’re already in enough trouble!
Yeah. What are you gonna tell the cops? You can’t tell them the truth.
I’ll tell them you were kidnapped and your nephew stole the car… He’s the one who shot the cop.
Flames had already started to lick at the lacquered wood casket and things were getting hot. My temperature was on the rise and I was feeling the heat so to speak. Can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen, I thought as I laughed in my head. I could feel what was left of my blood boil… It started to hurt. The water in my legs was boiling as well and was causing swelling. Next my arms started to hurt… I could feel the pain… Uh Oh… I’m fireproof, I thought, not boil proof! I began to black out again… Darkness replacing the light. Slowly I gave in thinking I’d wake again in a short while to get out of this nightmare… This deathtrap of hell… This shithole I’d found myself stuck in. Then I gave in and passed out.