Eternal Knight: Seizures
Urban Fantasy, Action Adventure, Magic, Comedy,
Okay, creepy old guy alert. I strike his wrist with the palm of my free hand and yank the other free from his grip.
“You’re kind of strange. You know that right?” I ask him.
“Heed my words lad. Prepare yourself.” He tells me straight faced.
“Okay, well yeah, I’ll do that.” I point at the door leading out of the break room. “But, I, uh, I’m gonna do it out there. Away from you.”
With that I open the door and leave as quickly and as manly as didn’t make me look like I was running out there like a girl. My heart didn’t stop pounding until I had unlocked the driver’s side door of my ’86 Cutlass P.O.S. and had my butt firmly planted in the seat with the door shut. I put the keys in the ignition, start the car, and try to put that crazy old bastard as far behind me as possible.
The power steering whines as I make a right out of the parking lot. The street lights wink in and out of my windshield marking the distance between me and him.
I’d like to say I felt better, but the old guy really freaked me out.
Nothing like a little self medication to cure what ails you. I fish the flask out of my pocket and twist the top off with my free hand while I drive with the other. Sure, that kind of maneuver took a lot of practice to pull off. Lucky for me I’ve led a life full of reasons to facilitate such practicing of those opportunities.
After getting the lid free I take a long, disgustingly amazing, swig out of it, closing my eyes to truly enjoy, and savor the flavor and burn. Problem with driving with your eyes closed is the loss of your sense of direction and my P.O.S. sort of pulls to the right. Needless to say there was honking involved which snapped my eyes open just in time for me to swerve back into my lane and miss a Toyota full size truck.
Thinking I’d just dodged a bullet I take a victory swig, only to have it interrupted by the blue and red disco lights of a city cop pulling me over. Figuring that today’s events had been eventful, and shitty enough, I decide to forgo the high speed chase and pull into an empty parking lot.
Lucky him, right?
It takes a minute for him to get out and make his way to my car. Probably calling it in. “Yes, dispatch we have a loser in a rust bucket all over the road.” I say mockingly.
“Roger that coppie guy make sure you make his life miserable.”
“Roger that dispatch.”
When the cop finally gets to my door I don’t even turn to look out at him. I can play power games too.
“License and registration, please.” Officer numb nuts demands of me.
“What seems to be the problem?” I ask unsuccessfully containing a laugh at his expense.
“License” He repeats firmly “and registration, Sir.”
I laugh again. When stuff slides downhill like it does in my life this little episode was just another day in the life of Max Powers.
“Oh, oh right, sorry about that Mister Officer. I didn’t hear ya the first time.” I lie to him.
The officer bends down and shines his flashlight into my car. “Sir, have you been drinking tonight?” He asks me.
“Nope.” I tell him fishing the registration out of my glove box. “I am, however, on some liquid medication that smells incredibly like bourbon.” I say handing him my license and the registration out the window. “I think I left my Doctors note in my other pants though. Could you just let me off with a warning?”
There was a pause and strangely the officer didn’t take my information.
“Max?” The officer asks.
Ah, shit. I knew that voice.
“Dez?” I ask.
“Damnit Max, are you out of your mind?” Dez asks me with a hint of anger in his voice.
Fair question. I’d have to say pretty damned close, actually. That wasn’t his business though. “No. Why?”
“You were almost involved in a head on collision. You reek like a brewery, and you’ve been laughing and disrespecting me since I pulled you over. That’s why.”
Smell like a brewery? That’s distillery to you pal.
“Really? I got nothing but love for you Dez.” I tell him and believe it or not it was true.
He paces and shakes his fist at his side. “Get out of the car Max.”
“Am I under arrest?” I ask him.
“Not yet, but I can’t let you drive like this, man. Now get out before I have to do something I’m trying to avoid.” He tells me. This time there was definitely anger.
I weigh my options. Finally I relent. Better to trust Dez than get arrested and lose my job.
I open the door and step out into the night. I stand still for a minute waiting to see if he’d get his cuffs out or not. He doesn’t.
“Get in the car foo’” Dez tells me letting a little of that ghetto out in himself.
Dez was a good 6’3” and skinny as tomato stake. Don’t’ let that fool you though, his body was made of muscles built from tension springs that could lash out with a speed and power that would have you waking up trying to remember if you saw him move or not. He grew up poor in a place where a person of color wasn’t always treated nicely. That’s what drove him to be a cop. He wasn’t going to let assholes like the ones that messed with him and his family mess with anyone else.
He points to the car and I start walking. He opens the back doors and waits for me to get inside.
I cock my head sideways and look over at him. “I can’t ride in the front?”
“You’re already drunk and acting like a damned fool Max, now get in there before I change my mind.” He tells me.
Fair enough. I guess, so I get in the car.
Dez shuts the door behind me then climbs in the front. “You’re really lucky we’re friends, Max.” Dez tells me picking up his radio and cueing his mic.
“Dispatch this is car thirty-two.”
“Go ahead thirty-two.” They respond.
“Suspect was emotionally distraught over family death. Issued a warning and asked her not to get back on the road until she was in control of herself.” Dez lies.
There was a pause. For a minute I didn’t think they’d buy it.
“Roger that thirty-two. Good man.”
“Thank you, thirty-two out.” Dez replies.
I can hear Dez mumble under his breath. I managed to make out “stupid white boy” and “if we hadn’t been brothers.” I felt bad. He’d always been good to me when I’d still been a detective. We’d spent a lot of time together, on and off the clock.
Dez turns his red and blues off and turns on his turn signal on as he turns right out of the parking lot towards my apartment. There’s silence inside the squad car and since my buzz was wearing off I didn’t have anything funny to say.
Dez, on the other hand, wasn’t hindered by a similar short coming and broke the silence first. “What happened Max? How did you from working as Police Detective to drunk idiot behind the wheel?”
I just sit behind the metal screen that separates us and tug at my sleeves. I’d never told him why I left. I hadn’t even said good-bye or called.
He waits for an answer, drumming impatiently on the steering wheel while he does. “I heard rumors man. I heard you developed some kind of seizures and they deemed you unfit for duty.”
I remembered. They sat me down after my second episode. The one where I let a suspect get away. It had been a drug dealer that I’d tracked back to his house. I surprised him there and he ran. I pursued him through the streets, into an alley, almost catching him. Then the seizure struck me, followed by one of those damned visions. Two days later that same drug dealer shot and kill one of our own. I was blamed for letting him get away. They pinned his murder on me.
I wasn’t arrest or tried, but the brass felt I was as guilty as I had pulled the trigger for not disclosing my condition to them.
I didn’t even know I had a condition.
“Is it true?” Dez says snapping me out of my day dream. “That you have seizures Max?” He asks me.
I didn’t want to tell him. It shamed me to admit I couldn’t always control myself. That I was some sort of cripple. I didn’t want his pity.
Like it or not though Dez has done me a solid tonight one of many too numerous to count and I felt like I owed him something.
“Yeah. It’s true.” I tell him looking into the floorboard.
Dez’s reply leaps out of his throat like a clap of thunder. “And your prideful ass just decided I wasn’t friend enough to know? Like this was the first secret I’d ever carried for your bull headed ass?”
I just sat there. It’s not like I could deny his anger. I’d have been mad, too, if he’d done it to me. Didn’t change anything though. Didn’t make it any less painful.
“Did I do something to make you think I wasn’t worth trustin’?” Dez ask.
“It wasn’t about trust.” I tell him.
“What then? Pride?”
“A little bit yeah.” I answer.
“What else then?” Dez demanded.
“They blamed me for Billy’s death Dez! I had a seizure and lost the guy who shot him. I thought you might blame me too.”
Dez was silent. Stunned silent as thought he was processing what I’d just told him for the first time.
Finally, he spoke in almost a whisper “I didn’t know. They never told us anything about it.”
I was completely caught off guard. “Nothing? They didn’t tell you guys why they fired me, without benefits?”
He shook his head and looked at me in the mirror.
“All they told us was that they had just cause and left it at that.”
I couldn’t believe it. They hung me out to dry and made me seem dirty. All those years of service and they completely disowned me over one of these damned seizures.
My anger must have been written all over my face, because Dez felt the need to try and make me feel better.
“It’s not your fault, man, you’ve got to know that.”
Of course it was my fault. It was my body wasn’t it? I’m supposed to have control of it, wasn’t I? If I was stronger. If I’d have paid more attention. Then maybe Billy would still be alive. I’d still have my job and Steph… Damnit all!
Dez pulls into my complex and parks in an empty spot. He opens my door and helps me out of the car. He steadies me then aims me at my apartment door.
“C’mon man, lets get you inside.” He tells me.
I don’t argue. At this point he knew just about everything so he might as well get the last of it. He helps me up the stairs by following behind me and making sure I didn’t tumble down them. We walk down the landing until we get to my door. I fumble for my keys, trying to stall more than anything else, before finally unlocking my door and going inside.
The place was trashed. Dirty laundry and half eaten junk food packages littered the furniture and floor. Dez lets out a whistle as he surveys the damage.
“Damn, son, you need me to fill out a report on a B and E?” He asks me.
Ah, humor, now he finds it.
“No.” I tell him. “I think if someone had broken in, it would look better than it does.”
“Steph lets you keep this place this dirty?” He asks.
I don’t answer him. I move one of my hoodies and a Ho-Ho wrapper so that he can sit down if he wants.
Then I head into the kitchen.
“Okay” he says with a quizzical look on his face. “You guys fighting or something?”
I wondered to myself if Dez thought the word personal in personal life meant ask a whole bunch of damned questions I didn’t want to answer. But, like I’d said he’d gotten most of the story so he might as well get it all.
“She left me.” I tell him.
“She left you?” He asks surpised. “Five years and she just left you?”
“Six, actually.” I correct him. “My seizures got worse and she couldn’t handle it.”
I take a bottle out of the cabinet and start pouring it into a medium sized fast food cup. What? It saves on dishes.
Dez lets out another whistle. I couldn’t decide if he was referring to Steph or the fast food cup. I decided not to speculate and just started drinking.
“You gonna be all right?” He asks.
I nod. “Yup. Pretty sure I can’t get a DUI on my couch.” I tell him walking back into the living room and cleaning off the couch.
“Yeah, that’s what I meant.” Dez says under his breath following me back into the living room and sitting on the recliner I had cleaned off for him earlier.
I kill the rest of the glass after I finished cleaning off the couch. It didn’t take long for the new bourbon to find the old and they worked together to help me forget.
“Max, why didn’t you just call me?” Dez asks. “Why do this all alone?”
I shrug and lay down feeling the alcohol doing it’s job and making reality disappear. “Just figured you were another casualty in the shit storm that hit my life.”
Dez just shakes his head. “No buddy, I’m not. I’m pissed you didn’t trust me, but I’m still your friend.”
“Right. No.” I tell him indifferent.
My eyes were getting heavy.
“Do you think she’d have stayed if I was normal?” I ask him.
If he answered I didn’t hear him. My world was swallowed in darkness and I was enjoying the sweet sounds of nothingness.