Time to Kill
And who’s the little girl?
Never mind the girl…
For the next hour and some change, Jim Hubert lays on the old white loveseat in his living room with his pants around his ankles and his smart phone gripped tightly in one hand. This hand switches off with the other every so often, and before the session is over the phone is covered with smears and stains, similar to the old loveseat itself except the smears and stains aren’t terribly visible on the old loveseat because the old loveseat is white.
Oh yeah, tolerates is most definitely the word to use for Mister Officer Jim Hubert.
When the time to do so comes, Jim pulls up his blue denim pants, pulls his blue police slacks over them, and heads out the door.
Without washing his hands.
He grips the steering wheel of Vern VanDunk’s police cruiser tightly with both of those very unwashed hands, making sure to sweep his palms over every square inch of the surface of the wheel, and the radio, and the seats, and the dashboard, and the gearstick, and the emergency break, and just about everything else he can possibly get his hands on. By the time he pulls up to Chief Maxwell’s house, the entire car smells of the lotion Jim keeps on the coffee table by his loveseat, and on the nightstand next to his bed, and in the bathroom. There’s even a bottle in the kitchen for the times when Jim is feeling exotic, but it’s beginning to hurt to describe what goes on behind Jim Hubert’s closed doors so we’re going to let him get out of the cruiser in privacy and pick back up when he’s inside Maxwell’s house.
Jim turns the knob, unlocking the bedroom door and opening it at the same time, and steps into the room. The bed is empty, devoid of a certain form which should by all rights be beneath the blankets. A rock hits the bottom of Jim’s stomach – what if she escaped? What if the dirty little niggerbitch weaseled her way out of Chief’s house and they can’t lynch her tonight? ‘How is Rock going to come and wipe out all the filthy and impure Earthen folk if the Fellers can’t complete their divine mission and fell Rock tonight?!’
“Calm down,” Jim Hubert growls to himself, placing his hands on his sides. “She can’t have gotten out, the windows are all closed… but of course they are. If she’s smart enough to escape,” he says, his tone of voice rising slowly like he was building towards emphasizing a point as he crosses the room and goes to the big window, “then she’s smart enough to close the window behind her! ”
But the window is locked. She couldn’t have locked it from the outside, that’d be impossible. The window isn’t Chief Maxwell’s bedroom do–
Jim vaults himself over the bed, taking great care not to touch the blankets with his vile, unwashed hands, and lunges towards the front door. Good, it’s still closed, the car is still in the driveway, she didn’t steal Vern’s wheels.
“So she’s still in the house,” Jim growls, knuckling his chin. “Good. Good.”
Jim goes back to the bedroom and closes and locks the door. He then proceeds into the kitchen so he can look through Chief Maxwell’s refrigerator, and then he looks through all his cabinets.
“I should’a drank that coffee, all that exercise has me parched,” he says, referring to the time he spent at his house. “No, find the n–… do what you came here for, Jim.”
Jim begins his search in the living room and stops almost immediately. Hanging there on the wall where a flatscreen television should, by all rights, be hanging is a large, framed portrait of Chief Maxwell. There’s also a child in the picture, a bright young boy with straw blonde hair and green eyes which mesmerize even though they were made with a paintbrush, perhaps because they were made with a paintbrush. There’s also a bitch, the bitch, the one who stole Chief’s heart, the one who came into his life, swallowed everything of his that she could, and walked right the fuck out, who gave him a child and then took him right back.
“Fuck you, Jezebel,” Jim Hubert barks, then huacs a glob of mucus into his mouth and spits it onto the glass, covering her face. The saliva-riddled glob of green snot begins to drip slowly down the portrait, leaving a trail of slime behind it. It looks thick, the loogie does, the kind of loogie that Jim wouldn’t mind mixing with lotion to create a fluid which he assumes is quite close in viscosity and texture to the fluid that a bitch’d squirt when he was fuckin’ ‘er. Assumes, that is, because Officer Jim Hubert has never fucked a bitch, and entirely of his own accord. He once got a handjob from Vern VanDunk’s sister back in high school – lubricated by lotion mixed with a thick loogie – but outside of that little foray Jim Hubert is clean and pristine. There ain’t a woman alive in the world good enough to hop on Jim Hubert’s dick, just like his Daddy Jim told him, and that’s just how the loogie drips.
Jezebel isn’t the name of Daniel Maxwell’s ex-wife. Jim doesn’t know the name of Daniel Maxwell’s ex-wife, for this is only the second time Jim has ever been inside of Chief Maxwell’s house. No, Jezebel is the name of Jim Hubert’s mother, a prostitute who his Daddy Jim Hubert gruesomely murdered and did away with shortly after Jim the younger was born. But anywho…
When the crimson fades from his vision and the heat begins to flow out of Jim’s body, he gets up off the floor and looks around the room. “Right, the ni–… the Earthen child. I got’a make sure she ain’t escape. Got’a try to be respectful, too. For Chief. Not for the ni–… do it for Chief.”
Jim searches through the den, the bathroom, then the kitchen again, looks around the backyard, spends a solid few minutes staring in sheer awe at the circular patch of scorched grass where The Tome of Rock first made itself present so Chief Maxwell could find it.
“We ought to give Chief Maxwell a special title,” Jim postulates, staring at the circle of blackened crabgrass, “since he’s the one who found our cult’s special textbook. Something important-soundin’, something grand, like… Grand Wi–… no. Grand Martian.” Jim looks up at the sky. “Yeah, Grand Martian is perfect. We’re saving our little town from invaders, we’re fightin’ fire with fire. They’re poisoning our town, and we’re go’n’a poison them with Rock, turn ‘em all back into dirt… that’s how it’ll work, I think,” still addressing the sky. “Rock’ll come down and send out his holy vibrations, and all the Earthen folk will just poof, turn into dirt and dust and fall to the ground in piles, wherever they are. And good riddance with ‘em.”
Yeah, that sounds about right to Jim Hubert’s mind. That sounds just about perfect, in fact… he isn’t quite sure, though. Chief Maxwell was a little vague the other night about how exactly Rock is going to kill the minorities and make Wuester all white again, or maybe Jim just wasn’t paying very close attention during parts of that meeting. Oh well, too late to go back now… but there is another way to know.
“He’s got’a have it here,” Hubert whispers as he trots back inside, closing the slider behind him. “He wouldn’t take somethin’ like that with him, what if he got killed in the line of duty? What if one of the Earthens stole his gun, shot him in the face, stole his car, opened the glovebox in search of more guns and maybe even some drugs too and saw The Tome of Rock just sittin’ there out in the open? What if they read it?” Jim sat down on the couch as this little fantasy played out in his head. “Why, they would find a way to fell Rock themselves, I bet. They would use Rock’s power against us pure children of the stars, they would find a way. Those dirty ni–… Earthen folk, they always find a way, don’t they? I think so.” Jim gets up and starts towards Maxwell’s bedroom. “Yes, I certainly think so. Chief wouldn’t keep The Tome in his cruiser, he would keep it somewhere safe. Maybe even in the same place he was keeping our little sacrifice.”
Jim Hubert throws the bedroom door open. The knob connects with the wall and leaves a golf-ball-sized dent.
“I know it’s in here,” he mumbles to himself, licking his lips. “Where are you, my pretty? Where are you?! ”
A small shriek mouses from beneath the bed. Jim, halfway delirious from the overload of dopamine in his brain enhancing the inflated feeling of being one of the chosen ones, thinks The Tome made the noise, and so he dives to his knees and lifts up the draping comforter and meets the wide frightened eyes of the little girl the Fellers are going to sacrifice to Rock tonight. There she is, lying flat on the floor like a discarded doll looking absolutely terrified, the whites of her eyes bloodshot red as though she’d been crying, her breathing loud and irregular. Oddly enough – and Jim can’t even hope to explain this one to himself, let alone understand it – Jim Hubert is at a loss for words.
Finally the silence breaks when the little Earthen girl screams at the top of her lungs and crawls backwards so fast she seems to be pushing the floor away from her.
“Hold on, no, wait!” Jim exclaims, beginning to crawl under the bed himself. He then thinks better of it and scoots back out. The girl’s out, she’s running around the bed towards the do– ‘The door!’ Jim didn’t close the door! Jim springs to his feet and quite literally dives across the bedroom, landing hard on the floor but slapping the door closed in the process. The girl skids to a stop and backs up slowly as Jim stands up and covers the door with his body.
“You’re still here,” Jim Hubert says breathily as the wind slowly creeps back into his chest. “I thought you escaped.”
The girl looks at him mistrustfully, and Jim assumes this is because he’s wearing his police uniform.
“What, don’t like me ‘cause I’m a cop?” He then sniffs, loud and swift. “Typical.”
“You killed my parents,” the girl says, her voice heavy and almost wet like she was about to cry again. “I saw you, you pulled a gun out and you killed them!”
“I had no choice!” Jim screams, throwing his hands out in front of him. “All the other Fellers were there with me! What, was I supposed to let down my Grand Martian? My entire town?! You would have done the same thing if you were in my position!”
“Not-uh!” the little girl yells back, then bursts into a bawling heap of weeps and sobs. Jim Hubert has never been more paralyzed than he is in this moment. “You killed them! I’ll never have another Mommy or Daddy again because you killed them! ”
‘You got that right, kid,’ Jim thinks, picturing how good it’s going to feel to have this burden dusted off his shoulders tonight. But he can’t tell the little girl that, she’s already just about hysterical. Poor thing. ‘Y’know, she wouldn’t look half bad if she weren’t so miserable. She’d be a cute kid.’ Not cute in the way Jim thinks the ladies he watches on his laptop are cute – and thank Rock for that – but cute in an innocent way. ‘But how can I make her stop crying?’
“Hey,” Jim says, taking a step towards the weeping sacrifice child. The weeping sacrifice child takes three steps backwards, hugging herself tightly. “Hey, c’m’on now. It’s okay, little girl. I’m not go’n’a hurt ya.”
“What, are you just go’n’a give me candy? Ask me to get into your van and help you find a lost puppy?”
Jim almost falls over at that, good Rock. “No, I–… no, nothing like that. Listen… it’s go’n’a be okay.”
“You killed my parents!”
‘How can I forget when you keep fuckin’ reminding me, kid?!’ Jim thinks, then says, “Yeah, I know, but… but that don’t mean everything’s not go’n’a be okay.”
The girl slowly stops crying, but that look of blatant mistrust doesn’t leave her eyes. Jim doesn’t suppose it would, given the circumstances. “What do you mean?”
“Well,” Jim says, hiding his hands deep down in his pockets, “we only need you for tonight, y’know? After that, well… who knows what’ll happen? Y’understan’?”
Suddenly Jim Hubert is very tired. Exhausted, even. Exhausted and exasperated. Exhausperated.
“What are you men going to do to me?” asks the little girl with the deep dark eyes.
“That ain’t my job to explain, little girl. You’ll have to ask Grand Martian. Listen,” Jim says, backing up slowly, “I need to get out of here. I uh… I have some things I need to take care of at home. You just stay put.”
“I need to pee.”
Jim Hubert’s entire being begins to tremble. “Go in the fuckin’ closet then, or better yet, use the Chief’s master bathroom. It’s that door over there.”
The little girl looks readily over to where the creepy policeman is pointing his finger, but only sees a wall. She turns around just in time to see the door slam and hear the little click of the lock being set.
She climbs up on the bed and plops down, folding her legs beneath her. She’s not going to pee in the closet, then she’d have to smell it and that would be disgusting. She’ll just have to hold it, the little girl guesses.
And so she holds it as the seconds turn to minutes to unforgiving empty hours.
Hello Commons, this has been the fourth subchapter of the third chapter of Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox, a novel about a man who likes to eavesdrop on his neighbors.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is the second book in the W-2222 series, a series of books which take place in Universe W-2222.
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