"Not to fuck with me or the people I care about."
Devlin appears smug about the whole thing. She walks about school with her head held high. She speaks about the incident as if it was unprovoked, like she can’t possibly understand why someone would attack her. No one but Devlin’s stupid friends buy it for a second; no one believes that she didn’t give Amber a reason. Everyone knows what Amber has been through and they know that Devlin has been asking for it since elementary school.
Thursday, I am standing out front of the school smoking a cigarette when Devlin arrives. She walks up with her friends talking about her horrifying ordeal. She spots me, lifting her chin slightly. I just glance at her bruises and take a drag from my cigarette.
“Still think she’s harmless?” she asks.
I smile and push away from the wall before I lean in close to her make up covered face.
“Yup,” I take another drag and blow it in her face as I continue. “You got what you deserved, Devlin. Maybe you’ll think about it before you torture another victim.”
Then I flick my cigarette at her and walk away with a smart ass smirk.
“Dick,” Devlin calls after me.
Instead of turning around I just flip her off and continue walking towards the glass front doors of the high school.
On Friday I ditch school. I’m pretty sure my mom knew I was going to. I’m glad she didn’t try and stop me. I miss Amber; I want to be with her. I want to see her. I want to hold and explain that things will be okay. I hate not knowing how she is. I hate having her this far away from me. I am hurt and angry and school isn’t helping. There are just too many people asking too many questions.
Belleville is right outside of Newark. Acting out of anger I drive my care into the dirtiest, shittiest, most dangerous part of Newark. I park my car directly in front of a dingy looking butcher shop. For a few moments I sit in the car worrying if it will still be here when I come back out. Eventually I remember something Amber told me; if you want your car to be there when you return remove the distributor cap. I smile, glad that girl knows about cars. Getting out of the car I remove the cap and pocket it before closing the hood.
“Now that’s just insulting,” the man sitting out front of the shop says. He is old and smoking something that looks like a cigarette but the scent that reaches my nose proves otherwise.
I just smile remembering last summer when Amber and I would sit on my roof and get high. I miss those times; we always had the best conversations. Now I’m almost scared to do anything that could endanger her life. If I get high then I won’t be there to protect her. Besides, drugs are stupid. Back in the summer between sophomore and junior hear both Amber and I where stupid. We've grown up so much since then.
“Don’t take it to heart,” I tell him. “I don’t have any cab money.”
Then I head inside the shop.
The butcher looks like he might specialize in more than just the slaughtering of animals. He’s probably slaughtered a few humans in his day as well. He is big and hairy and greasy. Personally I wouldn’t eat a damn thing from his shop, then again I’m a vegetarian…I wouldn’t eat from any butcher shop. I’m not here for food though.
He looks me up and down as I stand there awkwardly. The gold chain around his neck is thick and nearly invisible under folds of skin and hair. He can probably tell I am up to no good.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in school, boy?” he asks.
I shrug, “Supposed to.”
“What can I do for you?”
“I’m looking for something specific. Something you may or may not have.”
“What are you looking for?”
“Blood and lots of it,” I answer with a sly smile.
His thick caterpillar eyebrows rise, “What you need blood for?”
“Have you ever seen the movie Carrie?”
He gives me a big grin, showing off yellowing teeth along with a few silver ones, “I reckon I might have seen it once or twice.”
“Revenge,” I explain.
The butcher nods slowly, stroking his chin, “What makes you think I carry that kind of stuff?”
“It’s more of a matter of convenience. You see I don’t want it to fall back on me. I want to go to a place where, if someone comes asking questions, no one will have any proof that it was me.”
He nods and leans on the counter, “Alright kid, if you’re going to do some nasty shit, you gotta tell me what you’re up to. I don’t want any cops in here askin’ questions, you understand? If you’re gonna hurt someone you can walk right out the door.”
I shake my head, “Not one is going to get hurt.”
“It’s a girl, isn’t it?”
I sigh, “Yeah.”
“What’d she do to you? Love you and leave you?”
I shake my head, “She hurt someone I love and it’s about time she paid for it.”
“What are you going to do with the blood?”
“I’m going to fill her car with it.”
He smiles deviously, “I like this plan, kid. Just promise me that no one’s going to get hurt and we’ve got a deal.”
“No one will be hurt.”
He offers me his beefy hand and I shake it, wiping my hand off on my pants when he’s not looking.
“How much you need?”
I fish around in my pocket, eventually pulling out a wad of cash, placing it on the counter, “However much this will get me.”
He counts up the money and nods, “I’ll see what I can do.”
The butcher steps into the back room, leaving me to stand with my hands shoved in my back pockets. I look around at the dirt stained tile floor and the rows of discolored meat. I wonder if people actually buy stuff from this guy. My guess is no, and that he sells drugs or has some sort of mob connection. Then again, what do I know?
He comes back out and hands over a brown paper bag. I peek inside at the plastic containers. They are just like the kind they keep blood in at the hospital.
“This is animal blood, right?” I question just to make sure.
He grins at me, “Cows.”
“Good. Hey, why do you have cow’s blood just lying around?”
“A lot of people come in for blood for movie and theater props. I keep it on hand for such situations. It’s a little slushy because it’s been in the freezer. Give it a few hours to heat up and it’ll be nice and smooth.”
I nod, “You’re not going to narc me off to the police if she tells on me?”
He shakes his head, letting out a booming laugh, “So long as no one gets hurt my mouth will stay shut.”
“Pleasure doing business with you,” I say with a slight nod of my head.
“The pleasure is mine. I’ll be looking forward to the story in the paper.”
I laugh, thank him once more then step outside. My car is right where I left it. I place the bag of blood in the passenger seat before replacing the distributor cap.
The old man is still out front, smiling at me, “I probably shouldn’t tell you this but some boys came by a few minutes ago and tried to take your car.”
I close the lid, “You’re serious?”
“Boy, that’s insulting.”
I just laugh and wave before getting in my car and heading back home.
I spend the rest of the night in my bedroom. Mom comes up to check on me once or twice but I ignore her. It’s better if she doesn’t know what I’m planning; she’d just try and stop me.
Once she is finally in bed I creep out of my room and down the stairs, making sure to skip the ones that creak. Lately she hasn’t been setting the alarms because Amber isn’t home. I still think it’s stupid she got them. If I want to see Amber I’ll find a way to get to her, no stupid alarms are going to stop me.
I slip out of the house and climb into my car. Luckily my muffler had been fixed last weekend and my car is no longer noisy.
I park a few cars down from Devlin’s house. Her car is a little green VW bug that her parents got her for her birthday. I locate it easily due to the fact it’s the only non-shitty car parked outside. Luckily it is a Friday night so most kids are out partying and most parents are asleep. The street is fairly quiet and dark.
I pull on a pair of latex gloves and run my hands under the bumper until I come across the little magnet box she keeps a spare key in. Devlin is famous for locking herself out of her own car.
I get the key and open the car’s back door. It doesn’t have an alarm system which I am thankful for. I pull the turkey baster out of the brown bag and pop open the lid of the first container of blood. It smells absolutely disgusting.
My plan is to cover every square inch of the inside of Devlin’s car in blood. My hope is to simply freak her out. I am pretty damn positive she’ll know it’s me and that she’ll call the police. I’m hoping they won’t have enough evidence. Besides it’s only cow’s blood and besides having a large cleaning bill no harm will really be done.
I fill the turkey baster and aim for the back window. Then I squeeze and blood sprays out. I smile, a bubbly feeling rising within me. Frank Iero is getting his revenge.
The next day is a Saturday so I sleep in. I am awoken by the sound of someone banging on the front door. It’s about ten thirty.
“Frank!” my mom calls up the stairs.
I know it’s the cops. I pull my pillow over my face and sigh. What I did last night was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. Why did I ever decide it was a good idea to douse the entire inside of Devlin’s car with blood? Knowing her she probably thinks I want to kill her.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” I grumble.
“Frank, are you awake?”
“I’m coming!” I shout back as I climb out of bed. I pull on a pair of jeans before heading downstairs to meet my mom.
I was right…there are two police in the living room, sitting on our couch like they belong there.
“What’s going on?” I ask my mom innocently.
“We have a few questions for you regarding Devlin McCormick,” one cop says.
“What’s wrong with Devlin?”
“Someone doused the inside of her car in blood last night.”
My eyebrows rise, “In blood?”
“We think its animal blood, but we aren’t entirely sure.”
“So what does this have to do with me?”
“She swears you did it.”
“What reason would I have to cover her car in blood?”
“She said you two had some problems, something about you dating last summer and jealousy issues. She also said you threatened her the other day.”
“Threatened her with what?”
“That’s what we’re here to find out.”
I sigh, “Why is Devlin always blaming everything on me? Christ. Okay, here’s what happened. Devlin and I dated last summer. I broke up with her. Me. I did the breaking up. So why would I go after her or be jealous? Goddamn she’s done nothing but torture me since I broke up with her.”
“Torture you how?”
“Snide comments and blaming everything on me; someone let off a stink bomb in one of her friend’s lockers about three weeks ago and they immediately pointed the blame on me. I don’t even know the stupid friend.”
“She said it had something to do with the girl that attacked her.”
I’m starting to get angry, “Amber gets the worst of it. Amber has been my best friend since we were little kids. Devlin is jealous that I spend more time with Amber than her. Amber’s going through a lot right now and Devlin is continuously pushing her buttons. So on Monday she just snapped.”
“She said that this was an act of revenge.”
“Revenge for what? She didn’t do anything to me.”
“Revenge for this Amber girl” the cop says.
“I don’t need to get revenge for Amber. She did it for herself.”
“Where were you last night?”
My mom clears her throat, “Um, excuse me? I can attest for him. He was home all night. I have alarms on all the doors and windows.”
The cop looks at her, “Is there a reason you keep alarms on all your doors and windows?”
“I live in Belleville and I have a teenage son. Need I say more?”
“Is your son prone to sneaking out?”
“The alarms were to prevent that.”
“Do you set them every night?”
“Once again, I live in Belleville,” my mother says in a ‘this should be obvious’ tone.
“How loud are the alarms?”
“One goes off and all of them follow suit. It’s enough to wake up the whole street.”
He looks us over for a moment, probably not believing us one bit but having no further evidence he can't say anything about it. Finally both cops just nod and the shorter of the two flips his notebook shut, “We’ll be in touch.”
Then they both leave. Mom locks the door before turning around to face me.
“What did you do?” she asks.
“It was cow’s blood. It’s harmless,” I tell her.
Mom pinches the bridge of her nose, “Frank Anthony Iero, what in God’s name were you thinking?”
I just shrug, “I was thinking…well I wasn’t really thinking. I was angry because I can’t see Amber until Thanksgiving because Devlin treated her. She needs to get what’s coming for her.”
“That’s not for you to decide, Frank. Christ, you could have been in some serious trouble for that.”
I grin, “Yeah. By the way, thanks for covering for me.”
“You better be kissing my butt. I will never cover for you again. If you do one more stupid thing I’m telling the police everything.”
I shrug again, “Fine by me. I’m pretty sure Devlin got the point.”
“Not to fuck with me or the people I care about.”
Mom sighs but lets it go.
Note: Beyond excitied for you guys to read this chapter. I wrote it while listening to Teenagers by MCR on repeat. Haha. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)