Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Thirty-Two part two

The Cold Inside
Chapter Thirty-Two
part two

Tuesday January 17 1995

“Where is Greg?” Yusuf wondered as they stood outside the front entrance watching the cold rain fall.

Tristam itched self-consciously at his scalp. “I'm not sure we're going to see much of Greg for a while.”

“He's pissed isn't he?” Rich asked.

Tristam frowned at the students filing through the main entrance, “We should have known he wouldn't approve of us not turning the other cheek.”

Warren snorted, “Fuck him.”

“Hey asshole-” Rich said, “-remember what that kid went through OK?” 

“Everyone…” Yusuf said, “…Neutral corners please.”

“Morning kids.” Jason the janitor slash groundskeeper approached them with a friendly smile and a container of rock salt.

The four returned his greeting with varying amounts of enthusiasm.

“Why aren't you waiting inside,” Jason asked, “where it’s warm?”

Warren grinned, “Tradition.”
Tristam said coolly, “And we're waiting for someone.”
“Ah yes.” Jason’s dark eyes flashed, “There was a fifth one of you wasn't there?”

Warren nodded, “Yes.”

“Is he all right? Not sick is he?”

Yusuf said, “We hope he's not sick.”
Warren laughed, “Maybe he's just sick of our company.”
Jason said, “Well, back to work,” hefted his bag of rock salt and walked away.
The four of them watched him go. “Why do you keep doing that?” Tristam itched again with both hands.
“Doing what?” Warren said.

“Talking to that nutcase, encouraging him.”

“He seems nice enough.”

Rich shook his head, “You do realize they say that on the news after every serial killer is captured.”

“Funny how they say the same thing about you.” Warren said.

Yusuf looked once more down the walkway, “I don't think Greg is going to stop by, that is if he is here at all.”

Tristam said, “I'm not waiting for Greg.”

“Then who are you-”

Linda and Yvvone ran out of the rain to the main entrance, both girls had drawn confused expressions.


Both girls skidded to a stop, when they saw who was shouting at them their familiar sneers settled into place. Yvvone said, “What do you want dogboy?”

Yusuf, Rich and Warren looked at each other in confusion. Tristam's grin deepened, “Where's Brie?”

Linda said, “What?”

“Is she having a bad hair day?”

Yvvone snarled, “How - What are you talking about?”

“And how about you Linda?” Tristam asked, “Still bringing a change of clothes into the bathroom just in case?”

“Tristam?” Rich asked, “What are you doing?” 

Linda was blushing and speechless. Yvvone kept talking, “This is none of your business.”

“And when does your boyfriend get out of the hospital? I hear Fred might get a room with Kenny at the nut house. They think he tried to commit suicide.”

“That was an accident you little creep!” Yvvone spat.

“Keep telling yourself that.” Tristam stepped closer, “Tell me Yvvone, you're not worried it was the sight of that ugly tattoo that drove him to it are you?”

“What? How-”

“You know, the one near your pussy.”

Linda cringed away, Yvvone was turning colors, “I don't-”

“I mean it’s a really crappy job.” Tristam continued, “No one can tell if it’s a butterfly or a strawberry.”

“You shit. Who told you?”

“I'm sure everyone talks about it, just not to your face. That's how things work around here right Linda?”

“You.” Linda said, “How are you doing this?”

“Doing what?” Tristam shrugged.

The one-minute warning bell sounded. The little knot of students broke up; Yusuf, Rich and Warren heading one way, Yvvone and Linda the other. Tristam waited behind, watching them go.

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