Victim’s Advocate: Draft One

 

I had some time on my day off to write up the first draft of a story I’ve been wanting to work on. This draft has a ton more than I would normally put in a first draft because I had more down time than usual. I figure it’s a good example, though, and should be a pretty fun read in it’s current state. Since I’ve been posting about writing, I’ll use this as an example in how I work on my stories. Enjoy!

Victim’s Advocate:

Phil knew his client had arrived when he heard sniffing and angry mumbling from the offices around him. This particular client was a mutant. Not only a mutant, but a victim of an atrocious crime. The poor guy was beat, tied up, and forced to watch his family burned. After all that, he really wasn’t asking for much. A few months rent and memorial service expenses was all he applied for. Phil tried to convince him to take more when they spoke over the phone, but the man, Mr. Ito, hung up on him. As he walked down the hallway, Phil’s sense of smell went haywire. Mr. Ito walked into his office and sat like he’d been there a thousand times. He probably knew where I would be and what I’d be doing before his first sip of tea this morning, Phil thought.

“I did.” said the mutant.

“Excuse me?”

“I knew where you’d be. I didn’t know what you’d look like, or your voice, but I knew where I needed to go.” Ito explained.

“OK, well, then you know how this is going to end, then? Can we skip it all?” Phil asked sarcastically.

“No. I know places, not events. That’s my thing. I know places.”

Phil stared at the man for a few seconds. The man crossed his legs, folded his hands, and stared right back. Mr. Ito didn’t need to blink, so in the amount of time Phil spent staring Ito probably got done twice as much actual looking. The mutant did carry a handkerchief, though, to wipe his eyes when the mucus blurred his vision or started to get crusty. Even if Ito did blink, his bloodshot yellow eyes could see right through his eyelids. Ito’s skin was mostly transparent. It looked like plastic wrap. His arms and faced pulsated with mucus being pumped around green veins running beneath them. The skin pumped up in sets of three, unlike the way human hearts beat in sets of two. Phil thought the mucus was probably his blood, but he didn’t know anything about mutant anatomy. Who could? They were all so different. Phil noticed Ito’s teeth were extremely short. They looked like black lined, yellow fragments that barely stuck out of his gums. Then something clicked.

“Wait a minute,” Phil stopped “You asshole. You can read my mind.”

“Yes.”

“You ought to tell people, instead of waiting for them to pick it up. So you know I’m wonderin’ about you. You know I’m sad for you. Most of all, you know I’m gonna modify this report after you leave to grant you counseling sessions and lost wages.”

“Yes. I also know you are going to cancel with your friends tonight so you can get drunk alone. I don’t hear thought. I learned to read the places inside you. The places inside a person tell a lot.”

“Holy Shit!” Exclaimed Phil. “Let’s do this outside so my boss doesn’t hear your bullshit if he walks by. I’m not allowed to close my door and who knows what the hell you’re going to say.”

“Yes.” the mutant agreed.

As they were getting up to leave, Ito grabbed one of the cheap promotional pens from Phil’s desk. His fingers were stubby, maybe half the size of a humans. His fingernails were the same sharp black and yellow as his stubby teeth. They were just as short, barely covering pinkish holes at the ends of each finger that seeped the oily mucus. Phil felt bad for him. Whatever Ito’s job was, it must be tough with a leaking face and hands that need constant attention. As they walked down the hall and out of the office towards the elevator, they both heard a couple different people thanking a couple different gods that the stench would be leaving, too. At the bottom of the elevator, Mr. Ito started leading their walk. Phil walked a half a foot behind him to make sure he didn’t make a wrong turn or bump into the mutant’s wet skin. They exited the building and turned left down an alley. Most of the Phil’s coworkers avoided that alley because most of the cars parked down it were burgled. Mary Rose’s son was mugged in the alley after leaving a visit to the office less than a week ago. The lot of them wondered why the state’s only victims advocate office would be located where it was so unsafe. They didn’t need any more trauma. The workers didn’t need their cars broken into or family members attacked.

Ito stopped walking and took a seat on a trash can to the right about half way down the alley. He had to hop up a bit to sit on the can and Phil noticed his short legs. He thought it was kind of funny because Mr. Ito wasn’t particularly short. Phil couldn’t smell the man any more now that their meeting was taking place between a few dumpsters. He was made a confusing kind of happy about that.

The actual meeting was quick. Nothing was said other than what had to be, then the forms were signed and emailed off for processing. Phil did what he said he would, adding in compensation for lost wages and counseling. At the end, Mr. Ito slumped over. Phil thought he was having a stroke at first, but quickly realized the man was crying. He didn’t cry like humans cried. Mucus didn’t pour out of his face like Phil expected it to, either. His tears came from the opposite sides of his eyes. Ito stopped crying after half a minute and sat up. He began staring at Phil again.

“Look, I haven’t lost anyone in the way you have, but I know it’s rough. I’ll help in whatever way I can. Honestly, your case is one of the worse ones. We’re not a gossiping crowd and everyone in the office is talking about your poor family.”

This seemed to anger Mr. Ito. His eyes got smaller. One of his fists clenched a bit. He started to speak, but before he could push the air out of his mutated lungs he got a call. He tapped his watch and put a finger up to his ear piece. The sounds he made while talking to whoever it was on the other end of the call were hard for Phil to make out. He didn’t want to eaves drop, but it was a curious language. Not only were the words strange, the elements of them were beyond human. It was something he hadn’t been exposed to before. Phil wanted to listen to it for a few minutes at least, but the call was extremely brief.

“That was the funeral home. I need to fill out paperwork for the memorial service. Good bye.”

“I’ll drive you.” Phil offered.

“I know.” the mutant accepted.

Soon they were in a blue government SUV, driving down the interstate towards the international district where Mr. Ito lived and the memorial service would be held. It wasn’t far from the center of the city, but it was a very different place. Most of the residents were Japanese. It was well known that the Yakuza had a tight grip on the market in the area. Phil knew he didn’t have to be afraid, but he didn’t stop wondering why Mr. Ito’s family was attacked. It could have been random, but the police hadn’t arrested all of the suspects. The one man they had arrested hadn’t said much. Phil wasn’t able to complete his thought process, though. Mr. Ito jumped out of his seat and scrambled into the back of the van.

“What’s going on?”

“Shut up.” ordered Mr. Ito.

The pickup truck in front of them slammed on it’s brakes. Phil swerved to the car pool lane at their left to avoid it, but another pickup truck was in the lane ahead of them that was stopped. Phil swerved back into the lane the first truck was in and crashed into both pickups. The last thing he clearly saw was Mr. Ito bolting out of the van through the windshield. After that things got blurry. Phil turn stretched his neck to both sides, squinting a few times. He couldn’t see what was going on with all of the dirt and dust in the air. Mutants that looked like Mr. Ito got out of the driver’s side of both trucks. The one who got out of the truck on the left walked up to Phil’s broken out window and raised a gun to Phil’s head. Phil noticed a sleeve of glowing cyan tattoos covering the mutant’s arm. The mutant said something in the language Ito spoke on the phone, then shot Phil in the ribs. The shot made it difficult for Phil to breathe. His torso started twitching. He felt warm and thought it would be nice if he would die quickly. The mutant with the glowing arms shot him in the head, killing him.

Mr. Ito walked out from behind a concrete wall at the road’s median. He patted the gunman’s back and muttered something a human wouldn’t have understood. The other driver came walked around the van to Phil’s body and stuck his head in the window. He began biting pieces off of the body with his stubby little black and yellow teeth.

Ito ducked under the yellow crime scene tape as he enetered his dark red ground floor apartment that night. He sat at the end of his charred couch leaning forward. His knees were spread apart and his short, thick fingers holding up the weight of his upper body. The mutant began vomiting up large amount of greenish slush between his feet. When the pool of goo reached a certain size, Ito scooted down and began vomiting in a new spot, creating a new pool. He looked back at the first puddle, which had grown in to a small mountain of mucus. When there were three piles at the foot of the couch, he laid against the wall across it, exhausted. The small piles of mucus grew larger and took on a fetal shape. Mr. Ito’s vision dimmed and he passed out because of the exertion. When he woke up, his his two daughters sat calmly on the couch, above where the puddles of vomit had been. His wife stuck her head out of the kitchen. She was already preparing dinner. His two daughters got up when he rose from the corner and joined him at the dinner table. Mr. Ito smiled widely, showing off his small teeth. He was glad that horrible human was finally dead. He was glad his wife was back in the kitchen, where she belonged, making Chankonabe.

Author: A. M. Langston

Poet and Novelist

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