“It’s t-too, heavy!” I gasped as I struggled to pull the weight, my spine threatening to snap. My fingers were cramping from holding the garbage bag that kept slipping from my grasp. I’ve put so much effort into moving it and it’s only been ten minutes.
“Just go, Chad! Get rid of it, I have other things to take care of!” Kyle had shouted to me. His shadowy figure was the last that I saw of him outside by the dump. It was eleven in the evening when he called me to go with him. It was only the dim lights of the poles that illuminated his profile as he sprinted back to his pick-up truck. I didn’t notice the authority and desperation in his voice until now.
I stopped for a moment and held my forearm against my mouth to keep myself from gagging from the stench. The smell was so strong I almost tasted it; it was enough to send my throat into a seizure. For a moment I couldn’t help but think of basketball practice and my pre-algebra test the next day and how much I still needed to study, but this was obviously a more urgent matter. It was only through thinking about what would happen to me if I didn’t complete this task that kept me from making a run for it, right at that moment. That, and knowing in the back of my head that I would never abandon a commitment from him.
My brain was still jammed. I tried hard to put together the fragments from the events that had just occurred. It can’t have gone wrong, I thought, panic coursing through every nerve. Kyle said everything would go as planned.
“I just want to scare him, give that fucker something to cry about,” he had told me after coming home from school earlier today.
From the beginning of the ninth grade Mr. Daniels seemed to be possessed with the deepest contempt for him. It was something neither he nor I understood, because Kyle isn’t even that bad of a person. He isn’t stupid, he just isn’t the kind of gifted other kids are. Being reserved and having a love of mischief doesn’t make you a criminal. He only got pissed at people who provoked him, the ones that deserved it. Getting called stupid and a slacker so many times while you’re just a kid trying to find himself affects you in ways no one else can see. It penetrates you, rings inside your skull. Kyle got sick of it, and I don’t blame him. Old guy didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut, so Kyle decided he would finally do it for him. He had showed me the firecrackers he was going to use for his prank. It was supposed to be funny.
But this wasn’t what I had in mind when I told my best friend I would help him through anything. This time I knew something was seriously wrong though, because even though I offer, Kyle rarely asks for help at all.
I was a few feet away from the disposal site when I heard a tear. I let go of the garbage bag as its contents spilled onto the ground. A bloodcurdling scream escaped me, and my eyes widened in terror as several limbs thudded next to my feet. Two forearms. A foot. But something was wrong. There was something off about the slenderness of the limbs and the small size of the foot. I took a tentative step forward and peered underneath where the black plastic was obscuring the tufts of grey hair from a head, and the shock hit me. It was not Mr. Daniels. It was his wife.
If I thought I had a chance of getting out of this then, no way in hell can I get out of this now. Even if I have no clue about anything that’s going on, it doesn’t matter. Because I know Kyle, I could’ve put a stop to this. And because I know Kyle, I am just as guilty. What the hell did my brother do?
Fic Collage is a collection featuring scraps of undeveloped scenes, chapters, or short stories.