The Search for Macko: Chapter 2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 11, 2016

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Submitted: August 11, 2016

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Chapter 2

4:28 PM, Friday. Hal wakes. The shadows in sharp contrast on the wall told him the time, while the smoke unfurling from the lit cigarette told him how long he had been asleep. Hal hated sleep. Charlie couldn’t come for you while you were awake. “At least not anymore” Hal said out loud to the empty room. A dim studio apartment, with smoke yellow walls and the only thing keeping down the stench from the unwashed dishes in the kitchen was the overpowering smell of the empty vodka bottles strewn about the room. Once Hal opened a bottle, there was no need to close it. Everyone had their reasons for their vices. The way he figured it, Hal’s vices had a reason for him.

His shift began later that night. All of the same, time didn’t have a lot of meaning for him. Time between drinks was an important distinction, but more or less fueled by tepid rage and Heaven Hill, Hal didn’t much care for the time or place of his current state.

Hal had one cell phone, given to him by a mysterious benefactor who had reached out a week previously. Hal didn’t call out from it, indeed had no one to call out to, but it did ring – once. Driving his ’96 Chevy Blazer with upholstery peeling from the ceiling and his trusty Iron Butterfly cassettes, is when he heard the ringtone. Hal froze, he knew instantly. Turning down Doug Ingle’s heavy vocals cauterized the flash wound the ringtone had left.

He un-flipped the phone and put it to his unscarred ear.

Have they arrived?”

I can’t be sure”

You know what’s at stake”

I do”

The line went dead. Hal was shaking so bad the wheel was jumping. Time for a drink to calm the nerves, the only thing around here higher than the speed limit was the proof on his bottle. He thought back to their first, and only, meeting. When the shadowy figure stepped into his life, it had changed everything.

He had said “I know you Hal”

“I don’t know what the fuck you think you know, but it isn’t me. Now get outta here” Hal snapped.

“But I do, your late wife Cathy left you one son, Max. And Ma-“

He was interrupted by Hal’s lunge for him, but the shadowy figured was prepared. With the un-mistakable whir and click of a revolver, Hal saw the glint of the barrel poke out of the shadows, himself now interrupted.

“I thought that would grab your attention, now as I was saying, Max is currently in my custody, and if you’d like that to change, you will do what I say.” threatened the stranger.

If Hal was seeing red, the only thing that was stronger was the image of his son. Despite his rage he still had to save Max. He didn’t have an option. Not since the ‘accident’ had a human life been directly in his hands, but this time it was Max. He let the tension leave his body.

“Good, I thought you’d be reasonable. Now this is very simple Hal, you do what I say and I release Max.” whispered the stranger in the shadows.

“But why me?” Hal asked, knowing how corny it sounded, but also not caring.

“I told you Hal, I know you, and your penchant for cruelty. You’re perfect for the role you’ve been given. Trust me” the stranger exclaimed. And with that he disappeared, leaving the broken man in even more pieces.

Snapping back to reality, he was pulling up outside the Embassy Suites he was assigned to secure. Trudging wearily to the lobby, his mind was between the stranger, the war and the plans he had for the bottle of Heaven Hill in his back pocket. When he crossed the Perfume Room into the lobby, Sal was already yelling.

“Hal, where the fuck have you been, we need you to get to 212 pronto! Something’s going on, but everyone else is too scared to go within 3 rooms of it!”

“Shut up you Italian fuck, I’m going” Hal yelled back. Heading through the lobby and to the elevator Hal was already on edge and didn’t need Sal’s bullshit tonight either. Taking a long swig from the Heaven Hill bottle that lasted the entire one floor elevator ride, Hal had decided he would make quick work of the shitheads in 212.

He first heard it as soon as the elevator doors opened – war drums. Hal hadn’t heard them in a long time. Must be coming from 212 he thought as he squared his jaw and headed that direction. Every step he took the drums would get louder, and he didn’t even notice the various forest animals following him. Right behind him the paint was melting off the walls while the vines in the planters were twisting into Twizzlers. Meanwhile, every step was becoming a struggle as each pound of the war drum was threatening to blow Hal off his feet. “What in the hell are these degenerates doing?” Hal wondered, still not realizing the ridiculous scenario he was in. Finally, right outside the door, where the sound had reached a deafening blast of wartime insanity, Hal saw it all. The forest creatures had turned to sick creatures of twisted reality, the Twizzlers turned to chains and it was his own blood running down the walls.

“Hell of a time for an acid flashback” Hal thought, before his existential hell imploded upon him.

 

 


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