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"No way, I ain't gonna do it."
"It's awful. That's why!"
"No it's not. It's fucking hilarious!"
"Hilarious? It's mean."
"And it's fucking hilarious!"
"If it was you, would it be hilarious?"
"If I was boner-biter, I'd be asking for it. But I'm not a turd-burglar, so I ain't."
"So why me, though? Why not someone else?"
"Because he likes you. He'll trust you. You can get him there and shit."
"That's why I won't do it. We was friends before..."
"Yeah, exactly. You ain't his friend now, right?"
A sigh filled the silence.
"Oh my God! You still are! You one too?"
"Then do it! Do it or everyone'll think you are."
Another sigh, louder, a bit of anger.
"Do it or be his boyfriend forever and everyone'll know it."
"Butts ain't got nothin' to do with it. 'Cept he likes butts! Ha-ha-ha-ha!"
"Come on. All you gotta do is get him there. We'll take care of everything else. Okay?"
A third sigh, resigned.
"Fine. But I don't wanna know anything. I'll just get him there."
* * *
It stirred. The day was come. It was time.
* * *
The last bell rang, and a throng of students filled the halls, laughing, yelling, running. Lockers banged and doors slammed.
"Hey, Mike! Wait up!"
One of the shorter students ran, waving his arm nearly over his head. Short, sandy-blond hair, tousled and messy, crowned his head. Deep brown eyes stood out in his red face. His heavy lips smiled as he caught up to the slightly taller boy with black, short, neat hair, black eyes, and all black clothing. The two boys walked quickly toward the far doors.
"Ready for the party tonight? Heard there's gonna be something special at midnight!"
"Yeah, heard that. Probably Terry's sister flashing her tits after she's all drunk and shit."
They laughed as they exited the building together, two among the crowd.
"I'm bringing my camera, in case!"
They laughed more and began running toward the line of busses.
"You bring your camera, It'll be as close as you ever get to real tits!"
"Like you ever got any? You dress like a vampire and don't talk to anybody. How're you gonna get laid?"
"Chicks dig the dark, mysterious type."
"Then why do you have to squeeze it off yourself?"
"Because no chick can handle this dick and still walk! It scares them!"
The two sat together, laughing.
"Shut up, Anderson! My little sister can handle your little dick!"
A third boy joined them, sitting in the seat in front of them.
"You little sister does handle my dick!"
The third boy reached over the seatback for the taller boy in black. He wasn't fast enough, as the boy called Anderson dodged his hand and slapped it away.
"What? You don't know about me and Liz? She gives great head!"
"She's ten, you perv!"
"Hey guys! Forget that shit, think about Tammy's tits out at the party tonight!"
"Terry's sis ain't gonna flash 'em tonight, Brady."
The third boy, all blond hair and teeth, a typical pretty-boy, sat back down with a disgusted groan.
"Even if she did, everybody's already seen 'em a hundred times."
"Dont' mean I don't wanna see 'em a hundred and one times!"
After a few moments, the boy in black nudged the sandy-blond haired boy and nodded toward the front of the bus. A red-headed boy climbed aboard and sat in the first empty bench seat alone.
The sandy-haired boy sighed resignedly and hesitantly stood. He walked to the front of the bus and sat down next to the boy with the red hair and glasses.
"Hey, Carl. Wanted to ask if you're coming to Terry's party tonight."
"You. Gonna be a blast. Beer, some smoke, ex, and some acid-punch, too. You can't miss it."
"Yes. Come on."
"I'd be the freak at the show, right?"
"No. Why'd you say that?"
The red-head turned a sneer onto the other.
"If you'd get over it, so would everybody else, Carl."
"Never happen. Leave me alone."
The red-head turned his face to the window. The other sighed and stood, returned to the other two boys.
"He's not coming."
"You gotta get him to come!" Anderson pleaded. "It won't be worth it without him there."
"So you go get him to come, then!"
The third boy stood with a sigh and walked slowly toward the red-head. He sat down next to him and waited until he finally turned from the window with a rude, "What?"
"You gotta come tonight. It won't be the same without you there."
"I'm not going. Fucking forget it."
The red-head turned his face back to the window.
"Why not? That's in the past. If you'd forget it, so would everybody else."
"I won't forget it. You shouldn't, either."
The boy sighed and returned to his two friends with a shrug.
"Guess there won't be any entertainment tonight, unless Tammy gets drunk enough to table dance again."
The red-head heard them and grimaced.
* * *
"No! You can't put the scar next to the open wound, dumb-ass. Put it over on the other cheek so it has something on it. Geeze."
"I like having one side all messed up and the other all normal. That way the chicks can still tell how hot I am."
"Oh, God. Fine."
"No wonder you don't get any action, Kurt."
"Terrence, you act like you get pussy all the time. One time, and she was trashed, don't mean you're a stud."
"One time? Where were you last weekend? I got Sally on Friday night and Karen on Saturday. And Cassandra Sunday during the game. Man, she can suck a dick!"
"You so lie!"
Terrence grinned, then flipped open his phone, pushed a few buttons, and handed it to Kurt. Carl's eyes widened further with each photo.
"Holy... shit... damn...no way...oh, shit, that's hot...cripes...oh, no way!"
"That the rear entry?"
Kurt nodded vigorously. Terrence laughed.
"She never noticed you was taking these?"
"Nope. Cass, either."
Kurt rushed through the rest of the images until he came to a different set.
"Oh, my, God. She...wow!"
Terrence snapped the phone from Carl's hands.
"That's enough, judging by what's goin' on."
Terrence nodded toward Carl's bulged boxers. Kurt grinned in embarrassment and adjusted himself shyly.
"I got laid. And sucked off. I hardly care if you get a stiffy, I just don't want your splooge all over my phone."
"So since when are you a sex stud?"
"Since ever. You just never noticed. Too busy with your gay buddy."
"I didn't know, okay?"
"How could you not know?"
"Did you? Anyone?"
"Yeah, but we didn't spend all that time with him as his buddy and shit."
"So. He never said anything. I didn't know."
"So, you never, you know, like, tried anything with him?"
Kurt gasped in shock.
"Okay. If you say so."
"I do, and I didn't. I didn't know until everyone else. Okay?'
"So, did you guys talk after that? You know, about anything?"
"Yeah. I mean, I didn't stop talking to him all the way. It's not like, I hate him now, or something."
"Man! That gives me the willies! Just thinking about the times you slept over, and he was probably pullin' his pud right there in the room with you, thinking about doing it to you and shit."
Kurt wore an expression that Terrence knew not to ignore.
"Fine. And I got to give you some props for still talking to him and shit. You got balls of brass, dude."
"We were friends a long time. Since grade school. He's an alright guy."
"He's a fag."
Kurt used the expression again.
"Fine. So how about it. Gonna be able to get him there tonight?"
"Doubt it. But I'll try."
"Cool. So, how's this look?"
"Better. But you really need to cover up the zit on your chin. Use one of the pieces that looks like a piece of loose skin."
* * *
"Heya, Carl. Wanted to try to get you to come join us tonight."
"Dude, not everybody cares, you know. If you'd come act normal, maybe you'd get over it."
"You know what I mean! Come be... just one of the guys again. Most of us don't really care."
"Some. Some are assholes. Not everybody. And I'd really like it if you came and had some fun."
Carl heard the click.
The dial tone proved that Kurt had hung up the phone.
"Kurt, man, I miss you."
After a few moments, Carl dialed another number.
"Yeah, man, he ain't coming."
"Well, shit. You tried, man. You can call him again later. Oh, no, wait! How about I drop you off at his place about six? You can talk to him, maybe talk him into it."
"Okay. Worth a try. How long until you get back here?"
"Gimme a few minutes. Sandy's gonna give me a blow-job, then I'll head over there."
"She is not!"
"Yes I am."
"Oh my God!"
"What? How can I resist? He's so cute!"
"Terrence, you suck."
"No, I do!"
"Why? You wanna blow me?"
"What? No! God, you're sick!"
"No, not sick, hard. And she's gettin' started, so unless you wanna listen in, I better hang...oooh, ahhh, awwww!"
"Oh, shit! Yes. That's awesome! Yeah, Sandy, babe, you got talent! Ahhh, just like that! Faster! Oh, fuck! Oh, shit! Oh, oh, oh-my-God! Oh, oh, awwwwwww! Oh, yes! Swallow it! Oh-my-God! Yes! Whoo! Oh, fuck! Stop! Damn! That was awesome!"
A message window popped up on Carl's phone telling him that he had an incoming image. The call with Terrence ended, so Kurt opened the message. It was a picture of Sandy with a cock in her mouth.
He almost tore open his jeans and pushed them and his boxers to his ankles. Staring at the picture on his phone, he jacked off quickly, almost violently, spraying cum across the floor in front of himself.
"Shit! So hot!"
He closed the image and cleaned up. He had several minutes before Terrence could get there, so he called Carl again.
"I'm not going," Carl said instead of a greeting.
"What if I said I won't go if you don't?"
After several seconds of silence, Carl sighed.
"So, what if I won't go unless you go?"
"Then you won't be going."
"Hung up on me again? Well, fuck."
* * *
"Okay, you got half an hour. I'll be back and we go to the party, Carl or no Carl. But you gotta get him to come. You have to. Got me?"
Kurt closed the door of the car and headed up the sidewalk. After he knocked, the door was opened by a red-headed boy of about eleven or twelve dressed mostly in worn, torn clothing.
"Good zombie make-up again, Kurt. But what do you want?"
"Here to talk to your bro."
"Don't think he wants to talk to you."
"Yeah, well, he can tell me that himself. Outta the way, shrimp-o."
Kurt easily pushed the boy aside and walked through the doorway.
"You mess with him and I'll cut your balls off."
"I'm so scared."
The boy pulled a small knife from his pocket and unfolded it.
"I'm serious. I'll make you a woman and shove it up your asshole."
Kurt laughed. He sat down on the couch and patted the seat next to him.
"Come on, you can hold your big, bad blade on me."
The boy sat, but not close. He kept the small knife pointed threateningly at Kurt.
"Look, fuzz-nuts, you know me, man. How long I been your bro's friend?"
The boy shrugged.
"You don't know because the best part of you was a stain on your folks' bed when your bro and me were first friends. Okay? So, you even think I'm gonna be an ass to your bro, you're wrong. Okay?"
The knife was folded and put away.
"Okay. But if he says anything about you being an ass to him, and I'll cut 'em off."
Kurt laughed again.
"You're a great bro, man. I wish I had one like you."
The boy grinned. Kurt grabbed him and held him upside down. He let his slim body slide downward through his arms and then grabbed his thin legs. Then he shook him violently by his ankles.
"Not until you apologize for pulling a knife on me."
"I'm sorry!" the boy repeated several times, laughing.
Kurt lowered him gently until his head rested on the carpet, then he released his ankles. The boy rolled and got to his feet expertly, the many previous such moves over the years providing much practice.
"So how come you ain't been over for so long? Not since... you know."
"He said I shouldn't come over anymore."
"What a putz."
"I know, right?"
"So, you here to make him act right?"
"Good. I'll help. Can I go?"
Carl's laugh answered the question.
"Yeah, whatever. But I'll help."
"Cool. Let's get started."
They walked down the hallway and stopped in front of the only closed door. Kurt rested his hand on Scott's shoulder. They shared a grin and a deep breath. The small boy knocked.
"What, you little shit."
"You got company."
"Tell 'em to fuck off."
"You ain't even asked who it is."
"I don't fucking care. Tell 'em to fuck off!"
"I tried, but he bent me over the sofa and made me his bitch. Now I gotta do whatever he tells me."
Kurt had to hold his hand over his mouth.
"That, is so, not funny."
"Tell me about it. No vas, no fingers first, no warning, nothing. Now I walk funny."
Kurt began to turn red with the effort not to laugh.
"Scott! I'm gonna tear both your legs off and beat you to death with one of 'em if you don't shut up and go away!"
"Just shove the other one up my ass so he can't sodomize me after I'm dead. Promise?"
"Oh my God! You are the most irritating son of a-"
The door swung quickly open and Carl stopped his sentence cold.
"Carl. Sorry about the bro's virginity, but I had to get past him. Besides, I think he really liked it."
"Don't flatter yourself. And if you don't at least listen to your best friend I'll make you fucking miserable every second of every day. Got me, bro?"
Carl was obviously angry, but he didn't argue. He stepped back and made room for Kurt to enter his room.
"You listen at the door, and I'll make good on my promise about your legs."
"I don't wanna listen. I just want you to stop acting like an ass and listen to Kurt. I'm gonna go get ready. Can you help with the make-up?"
"Sure, as soon as I get your bro straightened out."
"Ha, that'll be a trick! Good luck!"
Carl closed the door then locked it. Kurt sat down on the bed, like he normally would, trying to act as normal as possible, though it had been so long since he had been in his best friend's room.
"So, here to try to talk me into the party?"
"Yup. Not done tryin' yet."
"Might as well be. I ain't goin'."
Carl sat down at the desk and stared at his former friend. His red hair hadn't been combed in some time, and it had become a tangled mess. His pale face seemed drawn and narrow, and his eyes had dark rings around them. At one time Carl wouldn't have been caught dead in crumpled or wrinkled clothes, but the ones he wore now looked as if he had slept in them for at least a couple of nights.
"Man, Carl, you really look like shit."
"Thanks. Takes a lot of work to look this way."
The room was silent for a few moments, both boys awkward and uneasy.
"I ain't goin'."
"What if I said I would go as a girl, and with you."
"Fuck you! Get out!"
"No. You wanna be the chick then?"
"What if I go as your gimp?"
"Get the fuck out!"
"Naked, with a ball-gag, and on a chain?"
Carl tried not to smile, but he was failing.
"I can be on all fours, and you can ride me in like a horse."
"Just let me wear my boxers. It's cold, and I don't want the chicks to laugh."
Kurt snickered and fought it down immediately.
"My sis has that riding crop."
"You can wear her riding boots. And nothing else. We can borrow spurs."
Carl's grin was widening and his voice softer.
"Come with me."
Carl sighed profoundly and shook his head.
"Most nobody cares. It's nothing anymore. Not like it's the eighties or something. So you're gay. Big deal."
Kurt sighed this time, and finally looked up.
"It is. It's..."
Carl sighed again.
"It's no biggie. Man, anybody buggin' you about it? No. You're the only one making a big deal out of it."
"I'm a faggot!"
Kurt threw a text book across the room and then kicked his desk.
"Don't you get it! I'm a homo!"
"You're my bud. Man, we been friends since first grade."
"And I'm a queer!"
"And I'm your friend."
Carl's face was red, his expression so pained and hurt that Carl blinked back his own pained expression.
"Because. Because you held my hand when I was, when, dad died. Because you never left me alone and wouldn't let me get all crazy over it."
Kurt looked away.
"Because you went with me to his funeral. Because you made me see it wasn't the end of the whole world."
Carl stood and walked to stand behind Kurt. He put his hand on his shoulder.
"Because you were there when I got hit by that car, and probably saved my life. And because you was there in the hospital everyday. And because it was you who got Kevin Candless to stop picking on me in fourth grade. And because it was you who went with me to have Skip put down. It was you who made the bad jokes and cheered me up when I needed it. Every time I needed it."
Carl went down to one knee, bringing his face to the same level as Carl's. He turned the chair, bringing Kurt around to face him.
"Because you're fun. And you're smart. And you're cool. And, because you're my best friend. And, because, I miss you."
Kurt sighed shakily, inhaled just as shakily, then sniffed several times. He choked, then whimpered, then covered his face with his hands.
Carl heard the sobs, and felt the shaking in Carl's shoulders.
"Because you're my best friend. And I can't act like we ain't friends anymore."
"Why do you want to be made fun of with me!"
"I just told you why. And who makes fun of you?"
"I heard you guys on the bus today. After you and Terrence talked to me. I heard you guys laughing at me."
"Not! We was laughing because we said the only entertainment would be if Tammy got so drunk she table danced and striped again if you wouldn't come to the party."
Kurt looked up. It hurt Carl to see the pain in his friend's face.
"Yes. If you don't come, there won't be any music. So it'll be the radio, is all. And the only fun thing to do will be to get his sis drunk and hope she strips off again this year."
Kurt snickered softly.
"We wasn't laughing at you. We never do. Or did."
"You can really be seen with me?"
Carl nodded and grinned.
"Sure. You're my best bud. Everybody knows. I've already gone through all the questions about if I knew and shit. That's over. I've told everybody I didn't know until they did, and I told them I don't care. And I said I'd still be your friend, but you don't let me talk to you anymore."
"I just couldn't stand it if you got shit over me. It's be so unfair and so wrong, and I'd feel so bad. It's just better if you stay away from me."
"No, it'd be better if you got over it, and came back and acted like the guy I known since first grade. I miss him, man."
Kurt grinned for the first time.
"Miss you, too."
"Then get off your ass, stop pouting, and come have some fun again. Please?"
Kurt sighed, sniffled, and wiped at his eyes.
"Come on, ya fag. Stop crying and get ready. We got a party to go to."
"I don't have the make-up and stuff. I won't have a costume or anything. I'll be the only one."
"You can say you're dressed up as a hetero."
They both laughed.
"Your bro's got some make-up. Let's go see what he's got. And we can work on his."
"Maybe he's got something to make you look decent. Cover up your horrible acne. Your zits are getting really bad. And one's bleeding all over your shirt."
* * *
When the car pulled up in front of the house, two zombies walked out and got in.
"So, you back? 'Bout time."
"The make-up looks good. You got your axe?'
"I broke it."
"Have to use Mike's then."
"Fine, I guess."
"Good job, Kurt. I didn't think you'd get him to come."
"Wasn't easy. He thought we was laughing at him on the bus today."
"What? The joke about Tam dancing?"
"Geeze. We wouldn't make fun of ya, Carl. Especially not Kurt. Hell, he's already got a few bumps and bruises over defending you, ya know."
Kurt tried to deflect the topic, but it didn't work.
"He got the crap kicked out of him when he jumped Brian Correl for saying you was a fag and should have the crap kicked outta you."
"Last week. You didn't hear?"
"See, you gotta stop hiding and shit. You missed out on the fight of the year gossip. Man, Kurt was doing okay until-"
Carl's tone didn't leave any room for argument.
Kurt shrugged at Carl, who grinned.
"Now maybe Kurt won't be in such a pissy mood all the time. He was a right downer."
"Ter, shut the fuck up already, before you say something that makes me turn that make-up into reality."
"Ah, still pissy, then. Must be something else buggin' ya, too. Must be lack of sex. You virgins are so moody."
"Like you're not."
"Oh, Carl missed out, didn't he?"
"Now, Carl, he has to get up to speed."
Terrence held up his phone, pressed a few buttons, and passed it to Carl.
"Keep going. You'll like eleven."
"Oh my God!"
Terrence laughed, which spread to Kurt, then finally to Carl.
* * *
As the three zombies walked into the house, an unnoticed guest tensed. It sensed the game. No one there could sense the silent, invisible presence among them. It took someone attuned, someone aware, someone sober. And it didn't want to be sensed, not yet. It waited. It was it's night, and it knew that it's opportunity was nearing.
* * *
As the three zombies walked into the house, a small round of cheers rose up.
"The band is here!"
They were shown to the garage where the instruments were set up, and given beer and joints.
"The ex will be in the red punch, the cid in the blue. Got it? And no mixing. One or the other. No freak outs! You get a band, red or blue, and you use it for your drink and give it up then so you don't go getting a bunch of hits and puking and freaking out. And not until after midnight for you band guys. Got it?"
The host, Steve Barren, nodded at their nods and left with his girl on his arm. Their matching caveman costumes were not only skimpy and revealing, they left almost nothing covered.
"Man, that is one world-class a-"
Terrence turned back to the two other members of the band.
"Okay. Just, I guess..."
"Just don't change how you act, man. Please. I don't care how much you say about the chicks. Okay? Don't let everything be different. Okay?"
"Okay, Carl. Just gonna be, kinda..."
"Jesus Christ. Forget it already. She's got a great ass. There, I said it. Now can we get ready?"
"You got it, Kurt. Carl, can you find Mike and see if his axe is in his car?"
Terrence waited until Carl was out of hearing range.
"Dude, I don't believe it. How'd you get him to come?"
"I told him, he had to. That if he didn't, he'd regret it. And, blah, blah, blah. I guess he wanted to come."
"Awesome. Mike's gonna be so glad."
"Nothing. Let's get ready."
* * *
The unseen guest readied, anticipating.
* * *
"Thank you! We're having a great time! How about you?"
The crowd yelled back.
"Awesome! We're taking a quick break, then we'll be back for a few minutes, and at midnight, we have a big surprise for you! Don't miss it!"
Terrence put his guitar down and stepped off the crate and into the arms of Kara Williams.
"So, we got a few minutes. Let's head out to the car."
"Ter! You're terrible!"
Kara sloshed her drink and hiccupped.
"No, baby, I'm great. Lemme show ya!"
They walked off at a quick pace, Kara nearly falling every third step or so.
"Christ. You'd think he was God's gift to chicks all of a sudden."
"No shit, right?"
"When did this start?"
"Pretty much right after you..."
"You can say it. Everyone here knows."
"I'd rather not."
"Fine. Right after I got caught sucking dick in the bathroom."
They sat on the chest freezer, far enough from the rest of the partygoers that they couldn't be overheard.
Carl looked at his friend, forcing him to meet his eyes in return.
"Why'd I suck Tom Shankmen's dick in the bathroom at school?"
Carl nodded, still forcing his friend to maintain eye contact.
"He asked me to."
"What? He just, asked you to? So you did?"
Kurt nodded and finally broke eye contact, looking down at the floor.
"We did before."
"Yes. A few times. We just got caught that time, is all."
"So, you guys..."
"No. We ain't no kind of boyfriends or shit. We just, both..."
"He is, too?"
"Don't think so. He just, lets me."
"Hell no. He won't even look at me. Except the one time after. Then he made damned sure everyone knew he was on ex and everything else, was why he let me. And to say he never did before that. That it was just that one time."
"I mean, how long did you guys, you know..."
"I know. It was just, funny. And by the way, he's not as long as you'd think when he gets hard."
"Dude, I don't wanna know!"
Kurt laughed. Carl laughed, glad to see his friend doing so.
"A couple of weeks. A few times a week. He, uh, was passed out at David Gillison's party. I found him in the bathroom in the basement. I, uh, well, he woke up while I was, sorta..."
"I get it. So he kinda made you, after that."
"Kinda. He said he'd tell, but I didn't think he would. And, I wanted to do it anyway."
"Such an ass."
"Not really. He could'a told. Or something. But he didn't. If we hadn't got caught, we'd..."
"Yeah, still be?"
"We did it again, a couple of days later."
"Yeah. He said, he said one more time, for the hell of it. He came over late one night."
"You think he's..."
"Nah. He's not gay. He just likes head. And, I give great head."
Carl laughed nervously.
They were both quiet for a while. No one came to join them, and no one brought any of the joints over to share with the two of them. They both noticed, and they shared that information with each other through one single glance at each other.
"You're gonna end up the freak, too. No one's gonna want to talk to you. I knew I shouldn't of come. Now you're gonna be called my boyfriend and shit, and you're gonna be sorry."
"I don't care what I get called. You've been my friend for ages. Let 'em all think whatever they want to. And say whatever they wanna. Fuck 'em."
Kurt sighed deeply, staring at Carl as his side.
"Being such a great friend."
"Oh, God. Where's the hokey after school special music?"
Kurt laughed, like Carl remembered. Carl grinned widely and nodded.
"Kurt, you're welcome. And anytime. Just don't get like that again. Okay? We're friends. Been forever. Wanna be, forever. Okay?'
"Now where's the hokey music?"
They laughed together, like they used to, for the first time in weeks.
* * *
The silent presence retreated from the two alone. For a moment it was sure of where to hide, and where to wait for the fun to begin. But then the two had become repellent to it, forcing it away. In frustration, in prowled the rest of the partygoers, searching.
* * *
"Thanks again! Nothing like a good crowd to play for!"
The crowd cheered and clapped.
"I have a special Halloween surprise for everybody tonight. Our host has set things up and we're ready for a real show! Midnight on Halloween!"
Terrence struck the hard opening chords and Kurt and Carl joined in. They had practiced the song for weeks before Kurt had been discovered and then retreated to his self-imposed isolation. Thankfully he had little to do, and his part was simple. The song roared out over the crowd, and they exploded with energy and excitement. The song was melodic, pounding, powerful, hypnotic.
Terrence had found the sheet music months ago, and at first thought it was a horrible arrangement. It sounded like demons screaming as he tried to play it alone. But, after that first time through, he was hooked. He played it for the other members of the band, and they loved it. But things got weird, and strange, and the band was broken up by the events around Kurt.
But now Kurt was smiling and laughing again, glad he had come. He loved being on the stage, and playing. He was in his element, where he felt like he belonged. He was where he wanted to be.
Carl glanced at him and smiled. Carl was nearly as happy as Kurt as they played. He, too, loved the stage, and playing, and the excitement and energy of a rowdy crowd enjoying what he enjoyed doing.
Terrence seemed overjoyed, and with a huge flourish, drew the attention of the crowd to the large video screen. It was in front of the band, so he, Carl, and Kurt couldn't see what was playing, but he knew. He knew when the video changed, and the fuzzier, darker images played instead.
The crowd reacted energetically, laughing and pointing at the screen at first, then at Kurt. The song came to its powerful, pounding end. The crowd applauded, but the laughter was louder.
Out of curiosity, both Carl and Kurt took several steps forward to see what was playing on the screens that was so funny.
Carl froze. He couldn't believe his eyes. It wasn't possible.
Kurt froze, then dropped to his knees.
Terrence laughed riotously, joined by someone dressed all in black and wearing a Death Face mask. He pulled the mask off as Terrence put his arm over his shoulder. Mike, all in black, as usual. His evil grin seemed to belong perfectly on him at that moment. He threw his arm around Terrence and the two of them were joined on the stage by someone in another Death Face mask and black robes. Tom Shankmen removed the mask to thunderous applause.
Carl looked to Kurt.
"Kurt! You can't think I knew! You can't!"
"Then why'd you get me to come?"
"Not for this!"
Kurt tore the guitar off.
* * *
The Hollow One pounced.
* * *
Kurt was suddenly chilled viciously. Then he shook with the intense desire to rend them all limb from limb. He hated the four boys on the stage more than he thought he could ever hate anyone, and wanted nothing more than to feel their warm flesh being rent asunder by his own hands, their warm blood running over his own skin.
"Kurt! You know not for this! Never!"
Carl grabbed Kurt's arm. He felt a chill, and anger rose up in him like he had never experienced before. He wanted to kill. He wanted to tear skin from sinew, flesh from bone, and he knew who he wanted to do it to. He turned to the stage.
Tom, Terrence, and Mike were still taking bows as the images of Kurt sucking a dick continued to play on the screen.
"How'd you do it?"
"I didn't wanna, but Mike talked me into letting Kurt blow me one more time, and filming it with my phone. And I gotta admit, he sucks one mean dick!"
"You're idea, Mike?"
"Yup! I thought you'd be pissed. Or I would'a got you in on it too."
"Yeah, I told him you were still really friendly with the faggot. I thought you'd get pissed and shit."
In a voice that no one recognized, deep and guttural, Kurt told Carl to leave.
There were rules, and it had to obey them.
Carl seemed to hesitate, and with a scream that chilled everyone there, he turned and ran through the crowd. The laughter continued. When Kurt walked toward the three still laughing and bowing, he laughed. His laughter chilled everyone there even further and deeper than Carl's had. The laughter stopped suddenly.
There were those there that night that still swear that Kurt laughed the entire time. Even over the screams of the fleeing party guests, they swore they could hear Kurt laughing. Even over the screams of the three boys on the stage, they still swear that they could hear Kurt laughing.
Steve, the host, had tried to save them, but he was too late. His dad's forty-five stopped Kurt, though. He was released from police custody the next morning. He hasn't spoken since.
Nearly the entire school turned out for the three funerals.
Kurt was buried secretly, in a private location. His family knows who puts the sole flower on the grave from time to time.
Carl was found curled into the fetal position in Kurt's bedroom. He doesn't talk. He's left alone, and he prefers it that way. He's afraid. What found him that night, now knows him. And it knows how to find him again.
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