You Fall for a Girl Sometimes
By Patrick M. Tracy
Nerf Kaspersky stepped off his skateboard and watched it roll down Ingram’s Hill. The ‘board skipped and jumped on the rough pavement, but it didn’t leave the road and disappear into the roadside meadow until the very bottom.
“How does it feel?” Verlinda asked. Her hands were soft, and he could feel her nails against his neck. She touched him like that—no one else had ever put their hand across his neck. It made the nerves burn beneath the skin and he shivered. This close, she smelled like apricots. There was something else, but he couldn’t put his finger on that deeper, more mysterious scent.
“It hurts. I loved that ‘board.” Nerf looked into her eyes, and she held his gaze so that he couldn’t look at the spot where the skateboard had gone.
“You won’t need it anymore, Gerald.” Verlinda was the only one who ever called him by his given name. It always made something contract in his belly. Maybe that was what kept him with her, even when she put him to tests like this. There were a lot of reasons.
“What now?” He had deeper questions, more important ones, but he couldn’t seem to express them. It made him so frustrated, this muteness, this aching to say things he couldn’t. Listening to Shadows Fall or Mastodon would make him feel better, but his IPod was broken. Maybe he should have shown it to Verlinda. She’d have made him throw it away. It would have bought him a pass to another of her tests. He knotted his fists. “Fuck,” he whispered. If he’d been smart, he could have kept his ‘board.
“Come on, Gerald. Don’t get tense. It’s time for something bigger, now. Something you’ll like.” She took his hand and led him partway down the hill, then onto a little trail he hadn’t seen before.
Nerf looked at the overhanging foliage and edged closer to Verlinda. He’d become used to her holding his hand. She was almost eighteen, and even a weird girl of eighteen was something exciting for a fourteen year old punk like him. She was nice looking, too. Since she’d been around, Nerf had been working on some kind of world record for beating off. He wanted to kiss her, to touch her, but was too chickenshit to try it.
After a few minutes of walking through the scrub, the edge of some big, brick building came into view.
“I didn’t know anything was back here,” Nerf said.
“It’s been abandoned for a long time. I think it was a tool and die factory, way back in the day. Cool, huh?” Verlinda smiled at him. “Come on.”
She pulled Nerf into the ramshackle old building. Its walls, heavy brick, were still intact, but most of the roof had fallen in. It had a weird smell to it, like something gone rotten a long time ago. This was the sort of place his mother always told him to avoid.
“That’s the place where young jerks go to smoke pot and have sex,” his mom had always told him. Shit, he hoped so. Both those things were on his top one hundred things to do before he died.
Verlinda led him back into the structure until they got to the edge of a deep, square well. Maybe there’d been stairs there once, but not now. Just deep blackness and a nasty smell. Nerf could almost hear something moving down there.
She turned him around, putting her hands on his shoulders. He was aware of the brink of the well behind him, just a foot or so. He lost track of that, though, when she put her lips softly against his.
“I always liked you, Gerald. You’re a sweet kid.”
All the blood rushed to his face. He put his fingertips against where she’d kissed him. That’s when she pushed. Something big caught him before he landed. He never had time to scream.
Note: Oops! Went over on this one. Bad me. (PMT)