A BAG FULL OF GOD
Fiction by Jeremy Void
Andy, what a meathead, said he could cook the cocaine into crack. No problem. He said he could, but he cooked the crap out of it and now we’re left with this minuscule bag of powder and Andy gets none. Sara, she’s screaming her face off at Andy, calling him shit-for-brains. David, he’s pacing the room, talking to himself, like he’s the only one here. He’s really worried. What’re we gonna do? I hear him say over and over again.
Kristina is saying the same, though not to herself, but to me, sitting on the couch beside me, pestering me and yelling and saying why don’t I fuckin listen to her. I hear her, I do, but I don’t care.
I stand up and reach in my pocket and pull out my cellphone and make a call. I can barely hear the ringing over the ruckus Sara’s making. I look over at her and shush her with my finger.
Don’t you shush me! she yells and storms around the counter and out of the kitchen and waves a bony finger at my face.
I grab her finger and twist it in my hand, and she cringes just as someone says, Hello?
Tony, I say into the phone, holding tight to Sara’s finger. A forty bag.
He says okay, and Sara and I are now in the truck riding to Tony’s place.
My teeth grind. Crackling.
Sara doesn’t speak. The radio plays quietly, and I think it’s the Circle Jerks.
We’re almost there, she’s thinking. Yay, we’re almost there. She looks at me and smiles and it looks grotesque the color of her teeth, so green and gross and capped with mold and scum. She looks away and jerks the wheel to the side and the truck dodges a parked car and we glide up an incline and slow to a shuddering stop in three parking spots in the lot outside of Tony’s place.
She honks the horn, and my stomach churns with the annoying sound.
She honks it again, and I can tell she’s not too happy with the noise, either, but still she honks one more time and the door opens up and a beam of light shines through and crafts a fabulous glowing rectangle that stands out against the darkness and in the bright doorway a dark figure materializes, just a silhouette, and starts down the steps. He has a skip in his step, and a glide to his stride, and his face comes into focus, it’s Tony’s face, and his knuckles come down on the driver’s side window, with a clunk-clunk-clunk.
Sara rolls down her window, passes him the cash, and he chucks a bag of fine, white powder in through the window and it lands on my lap. I hold it up and the light from the door makes the bag sparkle and little glittery beads flicker and I feel like I’m holding a bag full of God himself.
As Tony walks away, Sara stomps on the gas and the truck tears out of the lot in a surge of glory. The excitement makes me horny.
Sara looks at me and smiles again, and this time I see past the horrific grin and she looks so beautiful now, my stunningly hot girlfriend.
I stare out the window and watch the apartment buildings shoot past in a yellowish red blur of light, and watch through the front windshield the traffic lights changing from green to orange to red and then cast a green glow on the windshield as we float beneath.
I can’t wait, I say to Sara, who turns the wheel smoothly to the left, and the truck bounces and lands softly and we go up and over a small hill and then stop.
My gaze circles the lot in which we’ve stopped, and in front of the truck is the back wall of a McDonald’s, just a wall made of bricks with a dumpster to the right. I watch customers appear from the side and enter their cars and drive away. Their head and taillights carve smudged lines into the night.
I then hear a shrill tapping, and my eyes find the source: a mirror laid flat in between our seats, with cocaine piled in the center and a razor blade slicing through the chunks and softening the powder. My heart picks up its pace when I see this. It starts jackhammering in my chest, and in my arms and legs I feel the force of my blood pumping and flowing faster, my pulse pounding harder, the blood speeding through my veins with sharp perseverance. Sara cuts the coke with perfect adherence. She looks like a pro as she slides her ATM card along the mirror and carves out four tasty lines. I touch the tip of my tongue to the tip of my pointer and press my pointer finger to the end of a line, really rub it in, but only the end, coating my finger with that delicious white powder. I rub it along my gum and my gum starts to feel tingly and soon goes numb and I smile watching Sara do the same, slathering her gum with cocaine.
I crane my neck and look out the rear window, and into an empty spot across the lot rolls a police cruiser and its headlights bounce off the fence and then shut off. Darkness eats the cruiser and I can only see a silhouette of the cop exit the car and he starts straight for us.
5-O! I shout.
What? Sara cranes her neck and says, Shit.
She slams her hand on the mirror’s edge and the flat piece of glass jumps and flips over and the cocaine scatters like dust.
I look over there, and the cop’s almost here, so Sara dumps the bag out of her slightly open window and rolls it all the way up and wraps her arms around me and rams her lips into mine and stuffs her tongue inside my mouth. It feels its way down my throat and swirls and weaves and wrestles with my own tongue, dancing with it now, and it feels so good the way it swirls around and caresses my tongue.
My dick fills with blood, and I feel it hardening in my pants as she moves her hands up and down my back, and then come the clunks and she stops and turns and the cop is out there staring at us.
The window eases down inch by inch and the cop looks in very sternly at us, and when I maneuver my gaze back to the rear window I spot another cop on his way over, and the one who stands outside the window has a nametag with the insignia KANE. He crouches down and then rises and his stern features sharpen.
What’s this? he says, and brings a small plastic bag into view.
Uh…. Sara fumbles with her words, unsure of what to say or if she should even say anything at all, so I chime in with, That’s not ours.
The cop shakes his head and the second cop joins him and Kane says, Get out of the truck.
Sir, it’s not ours, I repeat, regretting that we’d wasted the blow, for the second time tonight, because if he lets us go, we’re out of dough and can’t exactly get more, not until the morning. Really, sir, we’ve just come to make out.
Get out, the second cop says, smiling.
Something about his snide smile doesn’t sit right in my gut, but still I do as I’m told and the cops shove the both of us against the side of the truck, read us our rights, bind us in cuffs, and shove us away toward the cruiser and push down on our heads as we duck under the roof and settle in the backseat. Sara sits to the left of me.
The cruiser rolls backwards and does a one-point maneuver that brings the front end forward and then we all are off, out of the lot, and in the front the two cops talk and laugh and joke and laugh and the numbness in my gums fades and becomes itchy and I scratch it with my tongue as stores whiz by and the sirens come on and we soar under a traffic light, with an array of red and blue lights flashing all around, and then the sirens go off but the cruiser keeps forward and the cops in the front talk and laugh and joke and laugh and their voices irritate me in a way I can’t articulate, just a nuisance of noise that nags at my brain and my eardrums thunder in pain.
My teeth grind. Crackling.
I watch the gas station attendant feed gas into a blue Subaru and then see the lights in a Starbucks shut off all of a sudden and watch a hooker stand on the corner and she walks down a side street when she obviously sees us and the cops I can tell saw her too because in the front they crack jokes about this derelict woman, and about what she is, and this makes me mad as she probably needs the cash, maybe to feed her two crying babies she’s got at home, but then she shouldn’t have had the babies in the first place but at the same time I feel guilty for thinking so negatively about her and I wonder what her name is and I know I’ll never know and then the cruiser stops.
I shift my gaze nervously and to our sides, out the windows, are boarded-up buildings, and through the front windshield I see a dead end, blocked off by a short fence and beyond it are woods and what the fuck!
This can’t be good.
I, for the first time this whole ride, look at Sara and her jaw is moving, I know this from the way her bone pokes through her cheek and then her cheek deflates and she does it again, and I look in the front, but… where’d they go?
I hear a click which steals my focus to the door and it opens on my side and on Sara’s side and the second cop is standing right outside, still smiling like a madman.
I look over at Sara and past her is Kane and he says to her, Get out.
Sara’s jaw moves faster and I hear the sound of her teeth grinding, or maybe that’s mine, I don’t know.
Get out, the second cop says to me, and, unlike Sara, I obey right away, nervously though, and over my shoulder Kane drags her out by her hair and then she’s gone.
My line of sight bypasses the roof and I don’t even see her across the cruiser, and that’s when it comes—the BANG!, my head clanging into the steel fender, and then the WHOMP!, my neck snapping and my head smacking the concrete, a CRUNCH!, a boot barreling into my ribs, and I fold, try to fend off the next shot with my hands, but in my ring finger I feel a stabbing throb when the boot cuts through and connects with my gut.
Tears roll down my face and feel like ice.
The cop reaches down, lifts me up, shoves me against the cruiser, and drives his bony knee into my stomach, and I fold and he throws me down and my body dives headlong and the top of my dome whacks the ground and my lights go out.
When my lights come back on, my sight wavering, with blurry lines of static jumping and weaving and fading in and out of focus, the world turning upside-down and coming back around and flattening—when I come to and the world stops moving, I realize I’m sitting up against the cruiser, my butt on the ground, blood distorting my vision so everything is tainted with a crimson shade, and I feel a thin line of fluid drip past my nose, and the two cops, I see now, are smoking cigarettes and talking in muffled voices I can’t make out.
I look around for Sara but don’t see her anywhere. They could have killed her, I wonder, but then she comes into view when I peer underneath the cruiser, and she looks dead, lying dull on the ground, and I have to do something now.
The cops aren’t paying much attention to me, maybe they assume I’m out for the count, but they’re wrong because I surge up to my feet and tear the gun from Kane’s holster with amazing speed and agility and this heroic act grabs their attention and directs it toward me.
Don’t move! I shout, clumsily holding and waving the gun in both hands, and they take a step back and then another and a third.
I said don’t move!
The second cop reaches for his holster and I take aim and fire and try to hit him in the leg, but instead the bullet hits the ground and dings and bounces and goes somewhere else. I look that way, then through my peripheral vision I see him reach for his gun again and I take aim again and hold the pistol firm.
Their hands drift up cautiously.
We can talk this through, says Kane.
I shake my head no.
Put the gun down, the second cop says, demonstrating what he means by pushing down with his hands, as though pushing down the trunk of a car.
I step forward and stab the air with the gun. Keep your hands up!
We can work something out.
Just put it down.
It’s okay, you’ll see, just put it down and we’ll figure this out.
No, I bark. Gimme the keys!
Kane reaches for the set dangling from his belt loop and I get nervous and fire at his leg again but miss again and the bullet sails off into the distance.
His hands fly up fast.
Now the keys, I say. Toss em to me.
I wave my fingers in a beckoning motion, indicating to hand them over, and I hear a grunt and turn and the cops advance and I turn and they step back.
I said don’t move!
Kane flings me the keys and I reach out to catch them but they bounce off my hand and I accidentally squeeze off another shot, this one high, and when I look up, blood is squirting out of where the second cop’s ear should be. Fuck me! I pick up the keys and jump in the cruiser, behind the wheel, and the cruiser goes forward and almost crashes into the fence … but I catch it before it connects, shift it into reverse, ride the gas as the cruiser backs out, shift into drive, floor it, and the cruiser roars as I sail away.
But I forgot Sara.
I look out the rearview mirror and lights appear everywhere, red and blue splashes sprinkling the darkness, and I realize I can’t turn back now.
I speed down a few blocks and take a few turns and end up back where it all started, outside Kristina’s apartment, where Andy fucked up big, and the lights are still on and I wonder what they’re doing up there.
As I climb the tall stairway to Kristina’s pad on the second-to-last floor and as my lungs start to burn and my heavy breathing gets raspier with each breath and each floor I pass, the smell of crack, which is sweet like black licorice but tinted with something bitter, grows inside my nose, and I know exactly what they’re doing, and when I open the door I see Kristina lying on the floor and Andy lying on the couch and gray, transparent rings rising from Kristina’s mouth as Andy holds a metal one-hitter to his lips and holds a lighter in front of the small bowl and he roasts the rock inside and envy comes at me like a five-ton bus and knocks me back a few feet, when I notice they’re missing their TV.
At that I smile.
When I go over to them and sit down on the floor with my back to the couch, sighing with great relief, Kristina rolls onto her stomach and a pipe drops from above to in front of me, and I take that as my cue to hold the flame a little bit away from the rock and it sizzles and melts as I pull the toxic smoke in and down my throat and I hold the smoke in as long as I can and, when I can’t take the pressure building up in my lungs any longer, let go of the smoke and it pours out like water gushing through a hole in a dam—an overload of pleasure, a release of pressure, my eyes widening, my lips drying, my body rising—and I’m flying now, hovering above the couch and holding out my hand, where the pipe sits on my palm undisturbed.
Seconds go by, and then maybe a whole minute before Andy lifts the pipe from my palm and drops it saying, Fuck, it’s hot.
It is? I say, dumbfounded.
Kristina rolls onto her back and kicks her legs in a spasm of insane laughter.
Suddenly the door swings open and smacks the wall with an earsplitting crack that grabs my focus, Sara standing in its wake, and I remember then that I left her back there and I kinda care but think of it as only a minor mishap and she’s filthy, dirt-ridden, with thick red goo matting her hair, and blood flowing from her nose, and a swollen bottom lip, and a black ring circling her right eye.
She limps over to us, sits down beside me, and says, You won’t believe what happened.
Kristina stops laughing and looks gravely at her friend.
Andy exhales a stream of vapor and hands Sara the pipe and she takes a hit, sitting there beside me, and then she proceeds.
Well, you see. The cops picked up me and him—pointing at me—and brought us to a backstreet, and this one cop named Kane pulled me outta the cruiser and booted me in the head. Everything after that point seems unclear till I heard the roar of tires grinding the ground and I angled my head and saw the cruiser pull away.
We were safe, I thought. I thought we were safe. I called out his name—gesturing at me again, with her head—but he didn’t respond. It kinda reminded me of the time when I’d got picked up for disorderly conduct outside the shopping mall and I called you—referring to me—and you never came to pay my bail, cuz you were drunk and didn’t feel like it was a good idea to drive drunk to a police station and walk inside, remember that?
I nod at her.
You’re such a fuckin asshole, y’know that?
I smirk and a chuckle slips out.
I spent my entire fuckin weekend there all cuz you had to save your face. You fuckin prick!
Her hand flies back and comes crashing forward and I move my head out from its warpath, and it sails by in a flash.
Chill out! Kristina says.
Yeah, calm down, says Andy, passing her the pipe.
She takes a good-sized hit and gives the pipe to Andy, who replenishes the bowl with another rock.
So what happened next? Andy say.
What do you mean? She says it so seriously, not a hint of humor on her screwed-up face.
You came to, Kristina reminds her. You know, after the cop kicked you in the head?
Oh yeah … wait, no … no, yeah yeah … no, wait, hold on a sec. I needa think. The room’s spinning and I can’t focus with all this fuckin noise. Everybody shut up for a sec and lemme fuckin think.
We all stare at her quietly—expectantly.
Okay, she starts up again. So I came to and I heard screaming going on—the crack sizzling as Kristina takes a hit—and when I looked to the side I saw the one cop swatting at his ears as though swatting at a swarm of flies, and the other one was calling for backup. They didn’t much care for me.
She stops talking and Andy takes the pipe and pulls and passes it to me and I pass it to Sara and she passes it to Kristina and it’s not until Andy takes it back that she proceeds with the story.
So I pushed myself up and kinda stumbled away and when I got to the street I stuck out my thumb and the first car to come pulled to a stop at my feet, and I got in.
It was a college kid kinda guy and he expected me to do him favors, which I wouldn’t do, and so he told me to get out of the car, but instead I slapped him hard in the face and shoved him out while the car kept going and I stayed in and slid behind the wheel and all round me there were flashing red-and-blue lights. I thought maybe there was a fire going on somewhere. I turned the car and went in the way of the lights, and soaring past in the opposite lane was a line of cop cruisers, so I did another U-turn, cutting across the median, cuz I had a burning desire to see that fire, and then I…. She coughs, and the raspy sound comes out all nasty.
It’s then when, suddenly, the shame for leaving her behind starts racking my brain, and I can feel beads of sweat starting to bubble on my face. I wipe away the sweat on my forehead with my shirt sleeve, and look to Andy, whose worried expression tells me we’re out of crack, and the fact that his teeth grind gives me the frights, and Sara, she’s still telling the story, but Kristina, I can tell, is not paying any attention, and the story Sara’s telling starts to waver, starts to make no sense, the little events seeming more humdrum with each minute.
Sara’s head weaves, searching for something, as I stand up and start scanning the floor. Maybe someone dropped a piece. It’s possible, it’s happened before. Andy is rummaging through the couch and Kristina is counting her cash—she counts it again and again, double-checking her math. The walls are closing in around me, and I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do.
I reach in my pocket and pull out my cellphone and make a call. The crude ringing sounds like a razor lodged in my brain.
Tony, I say into the phone, the commotion quieting, all eyes on me….