Marcello’s Revenge – Chapter 8 – Julie and the Alligator Man – Part II

Here is the second part of Marcello’s Revenge Chapter 8. I began it with the last line of my previous post for reference. Other installments can be found:

HERE

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“Well,” Francine said turning to Julie, “will you tell us what happened? You don’t know who it was that murdered Matt, do you?”

“No,” Julie replied looking down into her empty coffee cup.

“Perhaps Julie would like to have a little time, love.”

“Yes, you are quite correct, Robin. I am sorry Julie. That was terribly rude of me. It was such a terrible event, and I was just so excited for any news. I hope you don’t mind.”

“No, I don’t mind. It’s ok. It might even be nice to talk about it to someone, and I don’t know who else I would be able to tell. I don’t know who the murderer was. There were four men, but only one did it. The rest just stood around. All of them in long black robes, like the kind you see kids wear at graduation. And they all had animal masks on.”

“Animal masks?” Francine asked.

“Yes, plastic animal masks. There was a lion, a bird, a pig and an alligator. And they also had hoods on so that their hair was covered. All I could make out were their shoes. And one of them had a gold watch.”

“Why did you go down to the basement? Did they bring you down there?” I asked.

“No. Matt said he had to meet someone down there.”

“Do you know who?”

“Only that it was supposed to be a guy named John. I thought it was his supply guy or something.”

“How do you know his name is John?”

“Because that is the name Matt used when we got to the room. We came in and there were three guys…”

“I thought you said there were four?” Francine said.

“I did. Hold on a minute. So we came in and there were these three guys. One of them stood near the door and closed it after we were in. He was wearing the bird mask. Then Matt said ‘What the fuck is this shit, John? Who are these guys?’ Kind of laughing, but I could tell he was a little nervous. The guy in the lion mask said ‘Shut up and get over here.’ You could tell he was trying to disguise his voice. Making it all gravely and rough. Matt walked over, confident, like nothing was really wrong. He went right up to the lion man and said ‘Who the fuck are you? Where is John?’ Then the lion man drew a gun from his robes and pointed it at Matt. ‘Shut the hell up, and stand right there.’ Matt backed up against the pool table. ‘You girl, come over here and stand here next him,’ the lion man said to me. And I did. Then the door to the bathroom opened and out walked the fourth masked man. He had the alligator mask. All he said was ‘Turn around’. And we did.” She stopped. “I’m sorry, but could I have another one of those?” she asked, and after I passed the pack to her, she took a smoke out and drew a deep breath before lighting it. Fresh smoke curled and twisted in front of her face.

“And then,” she continued “Matt said ‘What is…’ and that is all he could get out. The alligator man hit him…right here,” she pointed to the back of her head. “All he let out was a soft sigh, like he was lifting something too heavy, and then he slammed down on the pool table and rolled over. His eyes swirled and he looked up to me and then the light that was above the table. I could feel the golf club lift again, poised to strike, and I thought it would hit me, but when the next blow fell it was right on Matt‘s face… and then the next… and the next… I was shocked and scared, and just stood there watching as his face was smashed. I couldn’t look away. It was horrible. Goringly wonderful, and for some reason I felt giddy, and even had to suppress a laugh. Blood sprayed everywhere, all over the table, over me and the alligator man. It was exhilarating. Violent and beautiful.

“I know it was wrong to feel that way,” she said as tears swelled and her voice choked up a bit. “But I couldn’t help myself. I was transfixed. I couldn’t move, or yell out, or anything. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the drugs, or I was so scared I lost my mind. I expected them to kill me next, and almost welcomed it, picturing myself faceless and laying on top of Matt. Then the lion mask guy said ‘What do we do with the girl?’ and alligator man said ‘She is going to be our anchor. Girl, go sit against the wall over there.’ He did not disguise his voice. Like he wasn’t concerned or anything. It was silky and smooth. Mesmerizing. And I did what he said. I went over to the wall and sat down, staring at poor Matt while I walked there. All of his blood pouring out of his head. I sat down, and the alligator man gave me the golf club. I looked at his eyes. They were green like the color of his mask. He told me to look at his watch, concentrate on the time, and touched my forehead and muttered something I could not understand, and the whole room went dark.’

“What time was it?” I asked.

“Ten thirty-three. And maybe it was not exactly dark. More like a curtain was drawn between me and the rest of the room. I could see them move, sort of, if they were near enough to me, and in my line of sight. And I could hear them, but it was all muffled and distant. It felt like I couldn’t breath, or blink, or anything. Like I was trapped, and everything felt stuffy and stale. Like being in a closed room without air conditioning on a hot day.

“I remember that there was someone near me, kneeling and doing something on the wall. It was the man with the bird mask. And I heard some of the things they said. Like ‘Move him up here like this,’ or ‘Can we cover his face?’ and ‘Here, put this pillow on it,‘ but mostly it was just garbled sounds, or words that I didn’t understand. Then suddenly there was a glowing red light, and all four of them were standing in front of me. I don’t know how long they were there. Standing and saying weird things. The alligator man reached out and grabbed something. It was a ball, and even in the darkness it was easy to see. A bright ball of light, around the size of a bowling ball, but maybe a little smaller. There was something peaceful and sad about the light. They draped it with some cloth or something, and then, all of a sudden, they were gone. The red glow was still there, but they were no longer around. I’m not sure if they left and I just missed it, or if they vanished. But it was just afterwards that the door opened and you came in. You came near me and then the darkness was gone. I could breath again. I wanted to cry, but forgot how to. I forgot so many things just then. But not Matt’s face. And how it made me feel.

“After that, you pretty much know what happens. I can remember leaving the house, waiting outside, and then you coming out and taking me down to the lake. It was cold in the water, and we knelt down, but after that I cannot remember anything. Leaving the lake, or how we got to the car, or coming here, or going to sleep.”

“Who brought you to the party?” I asked.

“Matt. He asked me, calling me up at Advent and asking if I wanted to go. He had been out of rehab for a few days at that point. Since I had been stuck at the shelter pretty much since I checked in, it sounded like a nice escape for a couple of hours.”

“And the shelter allowed you to go?”

“Yes. It’s not like it’s jail or something. You can come and go as you like, but they warn against leaving before you are ready. The director I told said it would be okay, though. She even encouraged it. Saying how great it would be for me to get out and socialize, and what a respectable family the Periwinkles are.”

“Did you know any of the other guests at the party?”

“No. But I didn’t really get to meet anyone.”

“And no one, other than us, the murderers, and the shelter knew you were there.”

“Right. I mean, it is possible someone else knew. Matt could have told someone he was bringing me. But he sure didn’t take me around to meet anyone when we were there, and pretty much kept me away from everyone else. I didn’t even meet his parents. He was acting strange, though, the whole time. But he was high.”

“Was he?”

“Yes. After I got in the car he did some coke, and asked if I wanted some.”

“Did you?”

“No. I didn’t want to do any drugs. At least not then. When we got to his house, we went up to his room and just hung out there for an hour or so, since the party hadn’t started yet. He was fuming about his parents and the party. He was really upset about it. I don’t really know why, he just ranted on and on about how dumb it was, and a waste of time. It made me wonder why he brought me if he hated it so much. When the party started, we slipped out. He avoided the crowd and the guests and took me down to the lake. We found a secluded place in a group of trees and he started to smoke out. He asked if I wanted some, and I said sure. I didn’t want to do coke, like he was doing earlier, or anything like that, but I was bored and thought smoking some pot might be cool. I think he must have laced it, though, because it was weird. I mean, it was not like any pot I ever did. It was a lot more intense, and I felt like I didn’t have any care in the world. And I was a lot more susceptible and agreeable to things. Yet my feelings became numb. I even pinched myself to see if I could feel it. Really hard on my thigh. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t feel a thing.

“So when he started to kiss me, on the neck, it just felt slimy and wet. And although it was creepy and weird, I let him. I just sat there as his mouth moved to mine, and he kissed me, with his hands fondling my breasts. He unzipped his pants and had me play with him. And then he was on top of me. I didn’t really want to, but I didn’t really not want to. I just sort of let it happen. Like I was throughout the whole night. Just let things happen. I had no power to stop any of it or change it. His breath was heavy on me, and he had a musky, sweaty smell. And then it was over.

“I wasn’t feeling good after that, and wanted to go lay down. He said that I could go to his room, and he would come up soon. He was a little too messed up to go right then. So I left, and went to lay down.”

“You weren’t too messed up?” Francine asked.

“Oh no, I was, and I got a lost and wandered through the crowds. I was paranoid, and felt like everyone was watching me. Like they knew I was high and what Matt and I did. But I didn’t really want to stay at the lake. I made it to his room, and really wanted a glass of water, but I was afraid to get one. He came up after a little bit. He started to take off his clothes and told me to get undressed. And so we did it again. Afterwards we just laid there, and I watched the light of the sun slowly move across his ceiling. I asked him if he put anything in the pot. He just laughed. I asked him what it was. But he just laughed again and said not to worry. ‘You had a good time, right? You deserve a good time tonight.’ I wasn’t sure what to say. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. But I just said, yeah, it was fun. We stayed there for I don’t know how long. Not really talking. Then he said that we had to get dressed, he had to meet someone. After that, we went down to the basement where the masked guys were.”

“So he raped you, then?” Francine asked her.

“I don’t know. I‘m not sure I would go that far. I didn‘t really try to stop him.”

“He drugged you up and then took advantage of you. As I see it, that is rape.”

“Maybe.”

“And you do not want to go back to the shelter,” I asked.

“No.”

“And you want to go to California. Do you have any money?”

“No, I don’t. I don’t know if I want to go to California. It was just a thought. I only know don’t want to go back to Advent. I’m afraid. Not necessarily of Advent, but… I don’t know why, but something feels wrong about going back there.”

“Oh you should stay here, with us. What do you say Robin? We are all caught up in this mess, right. I mean at least until she can get on her feet, and we find out what to do next, we might as well stick together. You can stay in the guest room.”

“I wouldn’t want to impose.”

“I don’t mind,” I said, “ and it may be the safest course we have right now. At least until things work themselves out a little more. You would have to stay low, though, for a little bit. There is something going on. I feel that you, and us too for that matter, are in danger. Do you have anything at the shelter that needs to be picked up?”

“Nope. Just some clothes, but nothing I mind leaving behind.”

“Do you think the shelter may be suspicious? They knew you went to the party, and might try to track you down. Or tell the police.”

“Well, they can tell them, and try to find me, but they won’t get far. I have been using a fake name since I got here. My name is really Emma. Emma Rodriguez.”

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