Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Luminous (part 10)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

“Hi there Nathaniel,” said the receptionist.
“Hey Doris,” he waved. “Say, why did that girl just burst out of here crying?”
Doris shook her head. “Another denial,” she murmured. “…and this one didn’t even know she was pregnant.”
Nathaniel’s eyes lit up. “Damn,” He bolted out the door and ran after Rhyana. By the time he caught up with her, she was coming out of an abortion clinic. “Oh God, oh God… please, no.” Nathaniel fell to his knees and burst into tears.

* * *

Knock knock knock.
No one answered.
Knock knock knock.
Nothing.
With deft skills he never knew he had, Marcus quickly picked the lock. It was quiet in the apartment. Everything looked as though it were quickly being packed. As he walked through the apartment, he found tapes with Rhyana’s name on them and dates, dates going back several years. He found Nathaniel in the living room, sitting on a recliner.

“She killed our baby.” He was crying.
“Let me tell you a few things before I leave here tonight. Luminous is the real deal. You don’t need to dilute it, somehow it remaps the brain according to the recipients desires. Had you not been blinded by my sister’s autistic genius, you would have seen that… and your baby, well I got a call two calls from my sister before she turned up dead. The first was her asking me for help. The second was how happy she was that you two were going to be parents. When I arrived here, all I heard was how much you loved children and how you wanted to marry my sister… you live a modest life, almost poor by standards. I never suspected you.”
“She was going to keep the baby?”
“Yes,” said Marcus, as he pulled out his gun. “She was going to keep the baby.” Then he pulled the trigger.

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Luminous (part 9)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

Knock knock knock.
“It be one tardee in de aufta noon, maun. What de hell are ya doing knookn at me dahr like de devil gon getcha? Hold-aun, maun.”
“Jerrick Norrece?”
“Wats eet to ya maun?”
Marcus shoved his fist into Jerricks nose, as he busted his way into the apartment.
“I want to know only one thing.”
“You outa ya damn mind, you don go hitten a Rastafarian bredrin while he be bakin on the ganja. I tink you don broke me knows?”
“Who gives you Luminous?”
“I don be breakn me vow of silence. Aint no way to run a business man.”
“My sister is dead after taking your squibs. Someone is going to die, I suppose you will have to do.” Marcus pulls out a gun.
“Okay, okay maun. Taint nobody don died on me squibs buy yo sistah man. But taint no fault of me own. Da maun don told me to give her special squibs, said it’s pure and uncut, said she getting what she deserves, and that be da best!”
“What? So, my sister was taking pure Luminous? Damn, no wonder the dogs at Tant Mieux Corporation couldn’t crack the puzzle; they were ripping apart at an already distorted product programmed to self destruct. They never had a chance.” He was quiet for a moment. “This is what I think happened here. Whoever is supplying Luminous is using Epiphany to dilute Luminous and then adding their own destruct code. I mean, it would be impossible for a street vender to get a genius donor, especially since two doses of the virus will turn the donors brain to mush. So the person who is supplying you with Luminous has to be someone who has access to Epiphany. That same person will have to be paranoid enough not to trust anyone with the secret and that means that person is the same person who is or was close enough to my sister to know her secrets.”
“Oh maun, yu are way beyond out dayere, you touchin da clouds!”
“Fuck, only one person fits all that criteria…”

* * *

She held the child in her arms, rocking to and fro, and tears rolling down her cheeks like rivers of hot blood. Her head rises… she is blinded by her tears, but she remembers. Remembers being conflicted, tormented twisted. She was not ready for this. She remembered it all like it was happening all over again.

Rhyana sat. Waiting. Staring at the pictures on the walls, reading some of the medical cartoons.
There came a knock at the door. “Can I come in?” Came a woman’s voice.
“Yeah, it’s cool,” said Rhyana.
The doctor opened the door, came inside and sat down.
“How are you feeling today?” asked the doctor.
“Okay, I guess…”
“Well, Rhyana… can I call you Rhyana?”
“Um, sure… my friends call me Rhy…”
“Ree? That’s very cute. Well Ree… as you know, in order to begin the procedure you requested, certain criteria need to be met. Your health and safety is as much a priority to us as is your state of being. That is why we had you come in for a pre-screening.”
“I know…”
“Well, Rhy… your white blood cell level is quite high, signifying Leukocytosis, and you have an iron deficiency…”
Rhyana began to cry.
“We can help you with your iron deficiency with vitamin supplements, but there is no way you will be able to get on the program you requested for the next two years. I’m sorry Rhy.”
Rhyana began to shake her head. “I don’t understand… why do I have to wait two years! Why can’t I do it NOW!!!”
“Rhy… calm down. You mean, you don’t know?” The doctor leaned forward, putting her hand on Rhyana’s knee.
Rhyana shook her head. “Know? Know what?”
“I’m sorry to have to tell you like this, but Ree, you are pregnant.”
Her face turned a whiter shade of pale. Her eyes became muddied puddles. Her nostrils flared, and then she ran. She ran without knowing where she was going, without knowing what she was thinking, until she was there. Standing at the abortion clinic. She took out her cell phone and called her brother. He did not answer, the answering machine picked up. “Marcus, Marcus, please help me,” That was all she said, and then she hung up. She walked inside the clinic.
“Are you alright?” someone said.
“I’m pregnant and I’m autistic, I don’t want my baby to be like me.”
“Your baby may not be like you, but if he/ or she is like you, would that be so bad? You seem like a wonderful person, who cares a lot about her life, and to be here now crying because you are scared your baby might be like you, well that does not sound like someone who needs to have an abortion. My niece was forced by three young men, now she is in there doing what she feels she has to, she doesn’t want to be haunted by the memory of those moments, but you dear, you are different, I can feel it.”
Rhy felt an arm go around her, and suddenly she was hugging an elderly woman, wise for her years. She gave a crooked smile. “Maybe you are right; I should at least give my baby the same chances I have.”
“That’s right, now run along now. Get home to your friends and family, everything will be alright.”
“Thank you, thank you so much.”
“My pleasure missy, no git.”
Rhy turned and ran out the door. “I can not take Epiphany, but I can find Luminous, and I will give my child the same chances I have. We will be smart together!”

* * *

Luminous (part 8)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

The pieces were slowly coming together. But he still had no idea who the mystery e-mailer was. He was sure that Russell had barked up that tree and came up short, so he was going to have to find another way to flush out the culprit. He would have to climb through the gutters and rise to the top of the food chain. He needed a Luminous dealer.

* * *

Edward Christopher Moebius was not a very complicated man, although he fashioned himself out to be deep and meaningful, he was actually quite shallow and demeaning. He could be found quite regularly at the local coffee grind, mulling over asinine scribbles he called poetry. It was in such a grind that Marcus found Edward.
“Writing anything profound… Eddy?” asked Marcus.
Ed looked up, gave a half smile. “Everything I write is profound.”
“Mind if I sit?”
“From what I hear, you don’t mind at all…”
“Words getting around about me, is it?”
“Word is you acting like a dick,”
“I’m just trying to save my sister, Eddy.”
“From where I sit, your sister don’t need saving.”
“My point exactly, Eddy. You see her as she is now, depressed and suicidal.”
“No, I see her as already dead.”
“Her memory needs saving, Eddy. I wasn’t there for her in life, but I sure as hell will not let her memory be tarnished.”
Eddy shakes his head, and then nods. “You know, that’s damn near Shakespearian in attitude. I like it. What can I do to help?”
“I need a supplier.”
“Huh? You want to get high? I don’t do drugs, you barking up the wrong tree.”
“I need to know how Rhy got hooked up with Luminous, I need to find who she bought it from.”
“Ah, I see… well word is you already took a hit, why don’t you talk to whoever sold you your squib?”
“Not an option. I found this SQUIB, hidden in Rhy’s hope book.”
“Ah, yeah… I remember that thing, a fake book filled with her hopes and dreams. What else you find in there, pictures of me?”
“Nah, it was empty except for two other squibs of Luminous a pink baby’s bib and a list of names; Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Archimedes, Isaac Newton, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo Da Vinci, Blaise Pascal, Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, Aleksandr Pushkin, Ivan Pavlov…”
“Woe, ho hoooo… how the hell you remember all that?”
“I remember everything now,”
“But didn’t you say you took one of your sisters’ squibs? Why the hell would you all of a sudden be a dick? Wouldn’t you have had to take a squib with a dick’s memory?”
“You know, you are absolutely correct. Apparently Luminous does not require a donor in order to effectuate the desired outcome, all you need is the desire and the drug makes that desire a reality. My God, Edward… do you know what this means?”
“Um no… not really.”
“Who is the local supplier around here?”
“What makes you think I know?”
“Come on now,”
“Alright, alright… he’s a Jamaican dude, his names Jerrick Norrece. Used to pass the ganja back in the day, but he cut himself off from the motherland and started his own little Jamaica selling squibs of Luminous.”
“Where can I find him?”
“44th and 3rd off Century, he is usually throwing some kind of party all de time maun.” Ed begins to giggle.
“Leave the comedy to the professionals.”

* * *

Luminous (part 7)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

Marcus rummaged over what he had learned. It still didn’t make any sense, but he could see why someone would want his sister dead. For all intent and purpose, she could prove in a court of law that she created Epiphany. He could see how corporate hounds would want to silence her up, but then… wouldn’t they have done so by now? From his perspective, it appeared as though someone not very versed in the corporate world took his sisters idea and tried to sell it and got duped instead, losing out on a marketable idea like that must have really hurt. The corporation, not knowing the creative process behind the breakthrough could not duplicate anything beyond what the person had given them, but they had enough to corner the market. It didn’t take a leap of faith to see that someone went to his sister to refine Epiphany, and then came out with their own version and labeled it Luminous. That brilliance in itself proved the corporation did not create Epiphany, and demand for Luminous increased, forcing the corporation to make Epiphany available to the public. Someone who wanted to keep his sister a secret may have killed her to keep her away from the corporate dogs. The question was, who. Since his sister was not shy about rambling on and on with whatever was on her mind, it would be easy for anyone to bug and or record her musings. That person should have bursts of unexplained income. But not one of her friends had any swells of wealth. He was at a loss. He needed more to go on. He needed to speak with the CEO of the Tant Mieux Corporation, the dogs behind Epiphany.

* * *

“I’m here to see Russell Theodore Phillips,” Marcus spoke those words with such authority that the receptionist felt compelled to page the CEO billionaire.
“Um, Mr. Phillips, a Mr. Marcus Gillian is here to see you.”
A long pause.
“Send him in.” Mr. Phillips finally spoke.
“Mr. Gillian, Mr. Phillips will see you now.” She buzzed him in.
Marcus strode through the door like he belonged in the corporate world.

* * *

“Mr. Gillian, to what do I owe the occasion?” Russell Phillips was a well dressed man, whom liked his world as well dressed as himself. Everything had it’s place. Marcus Gillian was a man who was out of place, and Russell felt determined to put him there.

“I’m going to cut to the chase, as I do not want to waste your time and I am sure you do not want your time wasted.” Said Marcus.
Russell nodded. “Have a seat,” he pointed towards a chair.
“No thank you, I do not plan on being very long.”
“Who are you, Mr. Gillian?”
“Suffice to say that I have an agenda. I know you did not create nor facilitate the creation of Epiphany; my sister Rhyana is responsible for that. What I want to know is, are you responsible for her death.”
“My, you are direct. So what is it you want, reparations of some sort?”
“Justice, Mr. Phillips. My sister was not the type of person to kill herself.”
“I see.”
Silence.
Russell rises from his seat and crosses over to bar and pours himself a drink.
“Scotch, Mr. Gillian?”
“Just answer the question, Russell.”
Russell sighs, and then takes a long swig. “I can read a man, or woman like a book. I can tell that you will be a thorn in my side and cost my company a very substantial amount of money. So, let me assure you, that neither I nor anyone working for my company is responsible for your sisters… let’s say, unfortunate turn of events.”
“Well, I see you at least acknowledge that it was her who created Epiphany. What do you plan to do about that?”
“I suspected, but as your sister has no academic priors, and she has been classified with a learning disorder and antisocial skills, it was ruled as improbable by my scientific team. They viewed her as having fanciful desires and manifesting them coincidentally with other events. Now, Mr. Gillian, what do you suggest?” He takes another swig.
“I suggest you give her credit, let it be known that she was neither slow nor an idiot. Let her shine as a beacon, and let her death have meaning.”
“Is that all?”
“That’s all I want for my sister from you, yes.”
“I can do that, but you have to do something for me.”
Marcus squints his eyes, crosses his arms over his chest.
“As you well know, your sisters ideas are at least 30 years ahead of our scientific community, and 20 years ahead of my personal research team. We are playing catch up with Luminous. We can not break down the process, outside of it’s environment, the bonds break down and everything begins to feed on itself. It’s like a suicide code was written into the RNA. Without her process, her notes, her hypothesis her theories, other people like her will never get a chance to have normal lives, and the risks those who take it will remain high. Not to mention the fact that the percentage of retention is 75% more probable in those who take Luminous than Epiphany. When we received the first glimpse of Epiphany several years ago, we thought it was ludicrous, as Doctor Ephram Cohen’s original intent was to create artificial intelligence. We had no idea of the implications until we got the sample code through an anonymous email and a demand for 10 million dollars if we wanted the rest. Naturally since we already had enough information to create our own version, we ignored the demand and went ahead with our research. It is a dog eat dog world out there, and the pups shouldn’t play in the pen if they don’t want to get eaten.”
“I will see what I can do.”
“You do that.”
“I’ll be in touch.”
“See that you do.”
Marcus nodded. “I’ll let myself out.”
“You need anything, let me know.”
As soon as he was gone, Russell pulled out his cell phone, dialed a few numbers. “Gustav,”
“Ja?”
“We have a little problem…”

* * *

Luminous (part 6)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

Marcus sat in his car. Something was not right. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he knew his sister did not kill herself. She was just not the type; she was not hardwired that way. There was an outside factor that he just couldn’t quite see, and it bugged the shit out of him. He reviewed the evidence he had compiled.

His sister was twenty-four when she met Nathaniel Pearce.
Nathaniel was twenty-one at the time.
They met in a local bar, the very same bar he was in the first night he had tasted Luminous.
His sister had three friends.
Edward Christopher Moebius: a twenty-seven year old writer of poetry, very little published and living off his mother still.
Alyssa Von Harrington: she was a career waitress, sharp as a tack, but not much in personality. She prided herself in the fact that she needed no one to survive. She was twenty-five, a bit young to be so bitter.
Rebecca Anne Moran: or Becky, as she likes to be called. She was Rhyana’s best friend. She is twenty-seven, the same age as his sister. Becky and Rhyana were inseparable, until Nathaniel came into the picture. Slowly over their three year relationship, Nathaniel had pushed Becky into the shadows. It was very hard for Becky, as she suffered from a bad case of Co-dependency. She has never recovered from the separation.

All of them had a motive to hate Nathaniel, but none of them had any reason to want Rhyana dead. So what was he missing? He would have to revisit each of them. The answer was buried inside them, and he had to dig it out.

* * *

Becky placed a bouquet of flowers at Rhyana’s gravestone. Her tears smudged her black mascara. “I was here for you Rhy, why did you leave me? I don’t understand? We were… we are best friends. We grew up together, why did you leave me?” She sniffled.

“Hey Becky,”
Becky slowly turned around. Her eyes lit up when she saw who it was. “Marcus!” She ran and through her arms around him.
“Hey, hey… easy now”, said Marcus, as he reluctantly comforted her.
“Marcus, the last three years have been horrible. I have been so lonely. Me you and Rhy were always together, you know. Then you left, and it was bad for Rhy and I for a while, but we had each other…until Nate came along.”
“I’m sorry, Becky… we were young, we can not choose our parents…”
“I know.” She pulled herself away from him.
“Becky, can you tell me anything about Rhy, anything at all that would have brought her to this situation?”
Becky shook her head. “She wasn’t the type, you know. She loved life; all she ever wanted was to be smart, like you and Nate. When Luminous first hit the market three years ago, it was all she ever talked about, how it would open up her mind. She loved to talk about brains, you know.” She let out a nervous laugh.
“Yeah, I know. She was so obsessed with being smart that she really didn’t realize she was smart.” said Marcus.
“Yeah, I think that’s what attracted Nate to her. He’s a genius and all, but when it came to brain’s Rhyana was like a super-computer, you know. She could tell you anything and everything about the brain and thought process’ and synapses and she was like, well you know I think better at how to create Luminous than the scientists who invented it.”
Marcus’ eyes lit up. “Really, why do you think that?”
“Ah, well… when they were, um theorizing about Luminous and that one scientist guy, ah what’s his name… um, yeah Ephram Cohen wrote a paper about it. It wasn’t called Luminous back then, because Luminous is the street name for it now. It was called ah I can’t remember but he was the leading scientist guy when it came to virology. He said something about comparison of the genetic changes during adaptation of different PERVs on human cells. I remembered that part cause I thought perv was short for perverted… he he he. Anyway, he theorized that by introducing a mutated virus into the spinal fluid, the virus would take on a symbiotic state and mimic it’s host while feeding on it’s brain cells.”
“That does not sound very appealing, why would this interest my sister.”
“Well, dummy if you let me finish… what interested your sister was the fact that this type of mimicry could theoretically be transmuted, you know shared.”
“Wait a second… so the original intent of Ephram Cohen was NOT to create Luminous?”
“No. Your sister took his idea and introduced the idea of a transgenic bacterium that do something uh what did she say, oh yeah a transference of syndesis by pairing of two homologous chromosomes which occurs during meiosis to create a chromosomal crossover. She started rambling on about synaptonemal complexes and how the virus and the bacteria together could make her smart. Everyone heard her; it was all she talked about for years. Then, suddenly her ideas were made real three years ago. Oh yeah, now I remember, they called it Epiphany, but only the rich could take it, and it had a very high mortality rate. Ah, and there was no guarantee of what would be copied and transferred, or what the recipient would remember and retain after the transference. But the great thing about that was, donors got ten thousand dollars for one month… but you had to have some kind of smarts that they felt would qualify for duplication, and you could only donate once in your lifetime, otherwise some type of cerebral decomposing occurs. I think they said it liquefies your grey matter. They called it Epiphany. Wasn’t very practical, but everyone saw the potential. Hey, you know it’s like your sister could see the future.”
“More like someone stole her ideas. Three years ago, huh… isn’t that about the time Nathaniel came along?”
“You know, you’re right. You think he stole her ideas? Cause, everyone says he’s a genius, but… well to me he seems like a street punk.”
Marcus sighed. “If he stole her ideas, then someone stole her ideas from him. He is not exactly swimming in wealth.”
“Yeah, that’s what we all thought too.”
“We all,” Marcus turned up an eye at Becky.
“Yeah, Me, Ed and Alyssa… well it’s not like we don’t, um didn’t want Rhy happy, but we really questioned how someone like him would appear out of nowhere and then push us all away. Your sister was pretty much isolated by Nate. For the last year, she only had him in her life.”
“…and that is about the time the street version of Epiphany started circulating, right?”
“Yeah, Luminous… after Luminous had hit the streets for a few months; Epiphany was suddenly made available for the public and the death ratio was cut in half. I hear it’s still not as good as Luminous, cause not everyone retains the smarts they get from Epiphany, but there is no doubt that they learned a few tricks from studying Luminous.”
“You know, you must have heard her repeat this stuff a million times, didn’t it drive you crazy?”
“Not really, it kind of helped me during science and biology class in school. I don’t think I would have graduated if it weren’t for your sister rambling on about everything. She has never been wrong about that kind of stuff, you know.”
“Yeah,” Marcus gave Becky a hug. “Thanks Becky, you’ve been a great help. If you think of anything else, let me know.” He turned and walked away.
“Don’t be a stranger, Marcus.” She waved.

* * *

Luminous (part 5)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

Nathaniel plopped himself onto his chair and stared off into space. What was it exactly that attracted him to her? She was a regular at the Bier Stube for years, everyone knew she was mentally challenged, but she didn’t look retarded. Being a genius himself, he knew what it meant to be isolated from society based on intellect, or perhaps because she was his mental polar opposite. Something about her fascinated him, and he could look past her disabilities. He remembered watching her from afar…

She was lonely. Every relationship she had ever been in had ended in disaster. She no longer had faith in love. Jack Daniels was her husband now, and she turned him up every night. He was true to her longing, but before the bliss of forgetfulness, he would leave her weak and vulnerable. She would lay and cry for hours.

Tonight was no different. She sat at the bar; drinking Jack on the rocks, it was only her third, nowhere near her tolerance level. Right now she was still filled with anger. She watched as the local meat hunters seduced the prettier, smarter girls. At times she was wanted to be like them, falling for the tall, dark and handsome types. She sneered; those men were the bottom feeders, after only one thing. Now she was a bitter, hateful. Her brother had taught her to say no, to defend herself. But she still longed to be like every other woman. Instead she was cursed with Asperger’s Syndrome a mild form of autism. You couldn’t tell just by looking at her that she was developmentally disabled, but once the conversations started, it would become quite obvious. She was obsessed with something she felt she could never have; intelligence.

“I think you’ve had enough,” The voice was a sweet tenor to her left. It startled her, because she hadn’t noticed anyone there.

“I think I am a better judge of that than you,” she said, as she turned to face the voice. He was a younger man, dark brown hair, clear blue eyes and fair skin. He wore a green polo shirt, and tan slacks. Not typical of the men that frequented this particular bar.

“Maybe,” he smiled at her. “But I would like you to judge me for who I am, not for what your alcohol impaired attitude might guess at.”

She shook her head, something about him seemed familiar, and it made her at ease. She smiled back. “Okay,” she nodded. “Okay, names Rhyana, and you are?” She reached out her hand to shake his.

He mirrored her movements. “Nathaniel,” he said. “Nathaniel Pearce”.

“Pleased to meet you, Nathaniel,” she sported a crooked smile.

“Like-wise,” he said.

It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. On this day, her life began again.

* * *

Luminous (part 4)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

Nathaniel was not in a good mood. Last night was the very last time he would spend with the woman of his heart. He loved her so much, but she was just so immature. They had argued all night, she wanted to get the procedure done, but he was against it.
“It’s not natural!” proclaimed Nathaniel. “Hard work and perseverance is far more rewarding than mental plastic surgery!”
“I’m not a genius like you! I don’t have a photographic memory; I can’t process information and come up with new concepts in seconds! I’m slow Nathaniel, don’t you get it! I am tired of people looking at me and laughing!”
“No one is laughing at you Rhy!” Nathaniel tried to sooth her.
“Yes, yes they are. I can here them when they think I’m too far away. I can see them snickering before I get too close. I can feel the contempt of everyone around me!” Rhyana began to cry.
“And you think getting this procedure done will make everything all right? Rhy, it’s not that simple.”
“Yes it is Nate!” She gave him an evil glare.
“Nate… you only use my name like that when you are really upset.”
“I’m getting this procedure… with or without you!”
“I guess it’s going to be without me.” Nathaniel turned to walk away.
“Fine,” She said as she followed him to the door and slammed it shut behind him. “I never needed you anyway!” she said, as she slid down against the door, crying.

* * *

Nathaniel was still angry about the whole argument they had last night. He was sure she wouldn’t go through with it… yet as he walked towards his job, he saw her running out; tears blinding her as she burst past him without even noticing. He couldn’t help but smile. Something was wrong with her, enough to make them turn her away from the procedure. That was enough for him. She would come back to him, and he would be there waiting.
Nathaniel entered the doors of his workplace, 100 times happier than the moment before.

* * *

Knock knock knock; the rap of his knuckles seemed insistent.
“Yeah, yeah… don’t drag your knuckles raw,”
Something inside Marcus made him twinge, he squinted his eyes in response. “Genius, huh… sounds more like a street punk.” mumbled Marcus under his breath.

The door opened.
“Ah, it’s you. Lost or something? Your sister’s apartment is a few blocks down.”
“Can I come in?” asked Marcus, as he walked in regardless of Nathaniel’s answer.
“Well actually I’m kind of in a hurry…” he begins, “fuck, don’t mind me, my apartment is your apartment…”
“So you were seeing my sister?”
Nathaniel shrugs.
“Why would a genius such as yourself want to shack up with someone so obviously beneath you?”
“It’s not like that,” he shakes his head. “She said you were a hard ass, man you got something up you bung, cause you are just plain rude.”
“You know, for a genius, you talk real dumb.”
“Sounds like a pot calling the kettle black…”
Without warning Marcus grabs Nathaniel by his shirt and slams him against the front door. “Despite what you may have heard about me, I assure you I’m a thousand times worse. Something happened to my sister, and it wasn’t suicide. If you know something, I advise you to tell me now, because I promise you, I will not have any mercy later.”
A moment of silence.
“Let…me…go.” He was unusually calm for a man being threatened.
Marcus backed away from him and brushed the wrinkles off of Nathaniel’s clothes.
“So, anything come to you?”
“You are quite the charmer, but no…nothing. Sorry.” Nathaniel opens his door.
Marcus glares at Nathaniel for a moment, smiles and then leaves.
Nathaniel slams the door behind him.

* * *