"She calls me Hellspawn on her bad days."
Routine, the alarm clock going off at seven. Breakfast before grabbing a quick shower, mostly bacon and eggs because he liked that. And because he couldn’t cook that well, bacon and eggs being one of the few suppers he could prepaid without setting off the fire alarm. It had happened. Eggs, three minutes, bacon a little shorter, he didn’t like it when it got to crusty. The best breakfast was made during suck my kiss, basically everything from Blood sex sugar magik did well. Shower took only a few minutes, he wasn’t much of a singer underneath the hot water. And his bathroom was claustrophobically small, his whole apartment was relatively small and stuffed. But his bathroom was the worst and the hottest so he rather spent as last time as possible in there.
At seven twenty he would go out jogging, to wake up and clear his head. Running helped, running worked, as long as his Ipod worked. Music being his vocal support as he ran through the streets, across the park and back. Back to his street, which was East avenue apartments C 310. It wasn’t hard to remember that because blood sex sugar magik got listed at 310 on the Rolling Stone Magazine of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, which was a big deal.
After running he took another quick shower to cool down and change into a grey pair of jumpers. Belt, keys, keychain, cigarettes and his buss pas. Don’t forget your buss pas. He didn’t need to take his wallet or food for lunch because he could scoop right along. He was happy about that because he was pretty crappy with doing groceries, he used to try and keep to a list. Nowadays someone else would do it for him, mostly Lacey when he was doing the ‘big groceries’ for work. She was a lot better with lists, she had more patience and made those tiny lists without losing them. And she kinda gave him the feeling like he was helping her out too, instead of being a 180 pounds toddler tottering along. He always helped her carry the heavy bags or packages, do the heavy lifting. That’s what colleagues do they help each other out.
Key, keychain, cigarettes and his buss pas. Don’t forget your buss pas.
“-And this is our staff room, don’t be overwhelmed by the luxury of a coffee machine and a dishwasher…what’s broken last time I checked.” Gerard his social worker waved with his hands, making a weird hand movement. “Let’s get you introduced to the staff, since you’re going to be working here for zero bucks for a while.”
Frank was not amused and wasn’t afraid to show his feeling. By now he’d had about three hours of sleep, which he’d taken during class and lunch. Some asshole thought it would be fun to stick some gum in his hair and he barely got that out. Before that he went through a long episode of Frank the awful foster fuck, which hopefully wouldn’t have a sequel because Frank wasn’t sure he was man enough to apologize that sincere ever again. Karen the foster mom had been mad, at herself for some reason and that only made it worse. Phil the foster dad had only looked at him with dirty face and of course Chrissy-boy had to stand first row to see him beg for another change. Gerard however had been a perfect mediator, preaching how Frank would behave from now on. How Frank would work extra hours at Hope House, which would keep him off the street and do some good.
Nobody asked silly little Frank if he wanted to do some good. Nobody asked Frank if he wouldn’t rather spend his free time between school and ‘home’ on the streets. Nobody asked Frank anything, ever.
So Frank really had a shitty morning, even shittier night and he had no idea what bomb of shit-load lay in his afternoon future. By now he’d been given a little tour through the place called Hope House.
Which seemed to be held apart by colorful drawings from kids and leaflets about homework can be fun. Angry? Count to ten! Plaster was coming off the walls, along with brightly colored paint. They’d walked along a few empty classrooms because the kids where playing on the playground. By now he’d seen the computer room, the music room, a small gym at the back and was about to be introduced to the people he’d be forced to work with.
The staff room was stocked and crowdie, where there was room for about four people to functionally sit but five adults and a herd of little kids where chattering in front of a microwave. A young lady was filling in some forms while keeping an eye on the kids, “don’t touch the buttons Hurley, popcorn will done when you don’t hear anymore pops.”
“Frank!” Someone shouted loud, which made Frank jump a feet in the air. “I’m Brian,” the shouter introduced himself. “I keep this place running,” the guy bragged, as if there was anything to brag about. Frank snored soft, looking at the guy with a tight polite smile.
“I assume Gerard showed you around?” Brian continued, tapping him on the shoulder and pushing him through the litter of kids, towards the other members of the staff. Gerard sighed from behind and followed silently.
“This is Lacey, but call her Moos. She’s in charge of…the kids that shouldn’t be hanging around in here.” Brian grumbled and gestured to the young lady sitting on the counter, lowering down her forms so they could shake hands.
“Brian don’t be such douche, this is just payback because you don’t give me a microwave.” She retorted, then eyed at Frank. “Hi Frank, nice meeting you –Hurley I’m not going to ask you one more time!” She snapped at a little chubby kid with dark curly hair.
Brian rolled his eyes and pushed Frank along. “This is Ray, he’s the music teacher for our after school program.” A tall guy with a frizzy fro nodded at him while strumming a guitar. “That’s Bob, he’s doing sports and anger management.” A guy with piercing blue eyes and blond hair shook his hand.
“And… where the heck is Adam?” Brian asked, scratching the back of his head.
“It’s four o’clock, he’s taking a smoke dear.” Moos chanted. “You should really get to know your staff better Brian.”
“Owh shut it, you’re just pissed I ain’t buying you any fancy kitchen tools.” Brian retorted.
“Yes, a microwave and a mini fridge are a lot to ask for when it’s ninety degree outside.” Moos hummed back.
“I told you about the budget cut and –Hurley if you touch that button on more time you’re going to sweep the entire playground!” Brian snapped and the little kid quickly lowered his hand all busted.
“…Okay…” Slowly Gerard got back in the picture. “If you guys think you’re done bitch-…” he eyed at the kids that stared at him, “-nagging, I meant nagging, I’ll show Frank the rest.”
Before he knew it Frank was back on the hallway and followed Gerard who couldn’t keep his mouth shut about the amazing work Hope House did. It felt like he got sucked into a fucking cult of color, kids and plastering paint.
“There is a little bench at the back, you smoke right?” Gerard asked when they were outside on a little playground. About a dozen kids ran around, playing soccer, hanging in a climbing frame or running around like kids should do.
Frank nodded, watching two girls bickering about whose turn it was to sit on the swing. “Yeah.”
“If you wanna smoke, you have to do that in the back and if possible don’t so it with all the kids around. Bad influence and all.” The guy made some arm movements again and shrugged, unconsciously running his hand over his pocket and Frank knew, chain smoker.
“Okay, so errr…” Gerard said as they walked back into the building and opened a door, the smell of freshly baked cake welcomed them. And a big giant mess. The room was split into four parts, a kitchen area with a sink, an oven and a gas-cooker. The lemon colored cabins where covered with stains of pink frosting, eggshells and flour. Across the kitchen area stood a round table with ten chairs around it, all in a different color. Some plastered with Disney stickers, one had a pink boa wrapped around the armrests and feet. Another was spray painted black with silver stars and moons. In the third corner was lay a big plastic hopscotch mat with Winnie The Pooh characters. Two giant closets where stuffed with board games, puzzles, pottery material, colored paper and paint. Not an inch of the shelves weren’t used and next to the closets was another tower of boxes reaching Frank’s shoulders. In the last corner was just enough room for a tiny desk and a computer from the stone age.
While Frank had been gazing at the enormous mess and the way not one wall matched any of the other walls qua color (seriously it looked like a clown ate a fucking rainbow-bar, couldn’t hold it down and puked all over the place) Gerard got a mop, a bucket and some cloths.
“You’re first job will be to clean this place up, as you can see Moose isn’t a kitchen princess and neither are the kids. And between you and me, I can’t remember the last time she actually cleaned this place up herself so… Good luck with it Frank.” Gerard said and pushed the cleaning equipment in his hands. Then he left before Frank had any time to response.
“This is just great…” Frank grumbled to himself, walked in, slipped over a broken egg. To prevent himself from going facedown he let go of the bucket and the mob, turning the whole floor into a swimming pool. A dirty sticky swimming pool of clown puke.
Getting back on his feet, feeling how his knees where soaked he sighed long and deep. “Just great.”
He’d done a shitload of paperwork, finally had some time to clean up his desk and finished his assignments for school. Because, let’s face it, just because he changed his life full circle he still was a horrible student. Some things simply don’t change and him doing all his homework nearly a day too late was fact. After that he blew off some steam at the wooden bench at the back, smoking a Marlboro red as his life depended on it. By the time he was done chattering with Brian about schedules and timetables he scampered back into Hope House wondering what his ‘client’ had been doing the entire time.
Prepared for the worst he stepped into Moos’ classroom and had to brace himself. “Owh shit…!”
The room was spotless. And not just that it was clean and organized which was world shocking because Moos was an angel with the kids, but also Captain Chaos.
Frank who was sweeping the floor nearly jumped a feet into the air when he became aware of Gerard’s presence. He fiddled with the broom, uncomfortable and a little shy.
“So, is it okay? Am I done?”
“Okay?!” Gerard laughed and scratched the back of his head. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place, so clean. Fuck and I thought you’d be sitting here like a first class ass without lifting a finger.”
“You told me to clean this shit up, so I did, it works that way.” Frank stated, emptying a bucket of soapy water in the sink. “You say jump I ask how high, sire.”
Gerard chose to ignore the venom dripping off. “That’s the way to go soldier, fuck I can’t believe you got all the frost off! If I had the money I’d hire you to do my folk’s entire house.”
“You still live with your parents?”
“Yeah, yeah long story. To short it out, ain’t got the money and didn’t have the brain to get me a place on my own.” Gerard shushed before giving Frank more ammo. “Wanna have a smoke, my treat for this time.” He noticed Frank’s surprised gaze. “Hey if you wanna fuck up your lungs the same way I do I’m not going to be a hypocrite, let’s go.”
Lighting his cigarette he put his heel against the fence and leaned back, the wire making a ringing noise. He was happy, all happy joy just because his kid cleaned up some mess. One day he was going to be a hypersensitive father, probably patrolling around his son or daughter until Uni.
While he was having a gospel happy day owh happy day moment Frank had finally managed to light his own cigarette and sat hunched forward on the bench, with his knees crossed and a very clear I won’t talk to you first and don’t think I’ll say more than two words bearing all over him.
Until another miracle happened, Frank looked up right across the playfield, brows furrowed suspiciously. “Who’s that guy?”
Looking straight into the sun he had to blink and pierce his eyes, it took him a moment to recognize the silhouette. “Owh that’s Adam, our janitor.”
“Looks more like a first class sex offender.” Frank muttered and bang, just like that his first case went homicidal and killed all the members of his gospel choir.
If he hadn’t witness Frank’s reaction from the last time he tapped his hand he would have slapped him on the back of his head. Maybe he wouldn’t turn out us a perfect dad, probably become manic depressed and all the way back to Xanax.
“Stupid motherfucker.” He cursed and Frank’s head snapped 180 degree, eyes all big and dear struck in headlight saying: are you talking to me?!
“Yes Bambi I’m talking to you, ever hear of manners? Sometimes it’s better to keep that mouth of yours shut or look a little bit further then what meets the eye.” His cheeks blushed, he blamed it on ‘anger’ while he knew it was because he was being a hypocrite, this time for real. First time he saw Adam the guy gave him the creeps and he honestly didn’t get why Brian hired him.
“Yo Adam!” He shouted at the guy carrying around a garage bag. “Join for a smoke!” From the corners of his eyes he saw Frank winch and smirked, kid better got over it sooner than later.
He watched how Frank tried to inconspicuously stare up to the six foot something brood build man who rubbed the palm of his hand over his shave scalp. Adam always got a little shy around strangers.
“Adam, this is Frank. He’s forced to work here for a while. Frank this is Adam.” He introduced the two when neither showed any sign of doing so. Frank raised his hand hesitating, like the person in front of him would get a complete identity crisis and suddenly pull out a chainsaw and…
Gerard blinked, realizing he watched too many cheap horror movies and watched both shake hands staring at each other like two aliens.
“I left my package inside.” Adam apologized and sat down next to Frank making the wood creak and Frank winch away as unnoticeable as he could. It was pretty entertaining to watch.
“No problem.” Gerard said and groaned when he spotted only three cigarettes left. Who am I the fucking Cigarette fairy? He giggled, his brother would’ve given such shitty comment back to that.
“Thanks.” Adam replied when taking the cigarette and lighting it. “CUNTFACE.”
Gerard nearly choked on the smoke when Frank shot up into the air. Adam looked slightly miserable and apologetic.
“Amen to that.” He joked and exhaled for the last time. “C’mon Frank smoke the fucker, we still got a lot of stuff to do.”
It was half passed six when Gerard cursed at his truck. “C’mon damn it, start!” Twisting the keys again and kicking the accelerator he heard the familiar sounds of the engine starting up. “That’s it babes, don’t let me down this time.” He felt one set of eyes stare at him, which he ignored because in his books it was perfectly normal to talk to your car, truck.
“I’ll drive you back to your home and sprinkle all kind of compliments over your foster folks, you’ve earned that today Frank.” He said, keeping one eye on the road and fiddling with the switches of his radio. Grunting pleased when Kiss came by he nested himself comfortably in his seat. “Got to treasure the oldies huh?” Ignoring the lack of response he continued. “What’s your favorite type ‘o music Frank?”
A shrug. “I don’t listen much to music.”
End of conversation?
‘Do I really have to drag every single bit of word out of this kid?!’ Gerard rolled his eyes. “C’mon Frank everyone listens to much, maybe not much but when they do they listen to music…”
A glaring fine, but a sigh as well. Good they were making progress. “I like Limp Bizkit.”
“Well that’s… something.” ‘Not something where I can work with but at least he talked’. “Why do you like Limp Bizkit?”
“Because the singer is an asshole, but at least not full of crap. And once there was a guy in a foster family who was alright, he gave me the album Chocolate starfish and hotdog flavored water.”Next shrug. “Guy was cool.”
While Gerard was bruising up his brains to think of something smooth and perfectly professional to talk about next Frank bit his thumbnail, muscles tense from head to toe. “I don’t like my foster home.”
Gerard’s fingers tightened around the wheel and he lowered the volume and kept his eyes on the road, this time not just for safety reasons. “How come?”
A spiteful chuckle. “Too religion, praying and all that crap. They’re ganna drag me into church this Sunday.” He ruffled angrily through his hair. “She made me cut my hair and got me new stuff, well I ain’t liking it. This isn’t me, I’m not a holey fucking moley Saint like their adopted son. And I don’t want to go to church!”
To be honest, Frank sounded like a spoiled little brat. At least that was Gerard’s humble opinion. The teen got a new home, new clothes and a new start, now how bad could that honestly be?
“Will it kill you to go to church? I mean honestly Frank the people you’re living with are pretty good people.”
“You don’t get it.” Frank stated accusingly. “Just never mind, I’ll just suck it up for two more extra years and then tell you all to fuck yourself when I take the first train out of this shithole.”
‘How many more times do I let that little prick insult me before I actually slam his face into the dashboard?’ On the other side, if Brian could be calm and fucking Zen when some psycho mom spilled her guts, so he should be able to stay tactful too.
“Why don’t you want to go to church?”
For at least two more radio songs it stayed quiet, Gerard didn’t really mind and hummed along with the songs not really expecting any more conversation out of the mouth of his client. Until he drove into Frank’s street, that got him edgy.
“Fine, my mom thinks I’m…” He paused and hesitated to open the door and just walk away when Gerard pulled over on the sideway. “My mom is insane okay? She thinks I’m possessed by the devil or something, got me a little nickname too. She calls me Hellspawn on her bad days. My bedroom was plastered with crosses and fucking Maria statues, ‘to cast the demon out’,” Frank said with a strange feminine voice. “I don’t wanna go to church, with some prick telling me I’ll go to hell. Mom promised me that already.”
A shiver ran down his spin and he was glad he wasn’t driving high speed on the highway. Shit, and all he could do was stare.
Frank took the silence as goodbye and opened the door of the truck. His feet dangled already out when Gerard finally managed to unfreeze. Not thinking his actions through he turned and grabbed Frank’s shoulder to swing him back into the car.
For a moment he was sure Frank was going to punch him in the face, like an animal cornered he would do anything to get out of the car. But Gerard kept him firmly placed in his seat without using a lot pressure.
“How about this, you help me out at Hope House on Sunday too. See it as… errr an extra punishment for your crime. You’ll do charity work, I can drop an even bigger compliment bomb about you at your foster folks and you don’t have to suck up in church.”
Frank only stared at him, eyes searing his face for clues, possible hints and maybe fake promises. His muscles relaxed underneath Gerard’s touch but his gaze stayed scarp and on edge.
“Deal,” his client said before pulling loose and jumping out of the truck.
Kick me like a stray, I’ve been a monster with the lack of updates. It’s just I have a new job, about 4 other stories I write on and little of a social life. Plus it took me a while to find the drive to start with this new chapter. Because to me it’s a lot of filler and bla bla with characters and information I HAVE TO drabble down before the real show can start. I sound like a freaking circus…
Please share all your thoughts feelings venom and love with me. I’m a review addict, a whore for it. It’s my drive and it’s just very good for my ego!
PS: Big thanks to TakeThisToMyGrave for your last reply, it gave me to drive to drabble the ending down