Back to The Beginning: Every Beauty is a Tragedy Waiting to Happen
Back to Part 7B: Infinite Beauty Amidst a Relentless Violence

Part 8B of the Tragic Beauty Anthology
One of Three Possible Part Eights

Police lights and sirens getting brighter and louder on the road behind us. The sound of Don screaming as Candy slammed her truck into a turn it could not possibly make and coming out of it on two wheels. These were the things that made me realize that this was no normal night in the college experience. There was no bargain here. The night would devour me and I would march into the dawn looking more like a hundred and sixty pounds of hamburger than the boy I used to be.

"Don't worry, you guys.
Jayne and I have been through a lot worse."

There was a pack of dogs on the road ahead, no doubt the feral dogs that the old woman, Candy and Jayne's mother, had been using in her aging experiments. They stood four to a line and snarled at us. We could not help but notice they were very attractive dogs, perhaps proving that the age reversing experiments were successful.

"What do we do, they're not moving?
They look pissed, but they are nice looking dogs, I'll say that."

Violence was all around us. Four men took places alongside the dogs and pointed large, ancient looking shotguns at us. Many of the men had bad dental work, but that did not seem to deter them from their ability to hoist a gun up to their shoulder and prepare to fire. They looked like they had just walked off the set as extras in Deliverance. As the first shot was fired, all my concerns about the possibility of gingivitis getting the better of them melted away. I was now much more concerned about my life. We lost a headlight, the radiator had a hole blown through it and the windshield was shattered.

"Maybe we should give up?"

Candy selected that particular moment to slam on the brakes and tell us to get out of the truck. She stared at us in a dazed state of confusion, then shoved us towards the door with gun shots still ringing through the air and angry shouts rising from our gingivitis infected assailants. The sound of sirens approaching did not deter them. They saw us as ducks in a shooting gallery.

"Gonna get me one a dem 'lil faggots before this night be through?"

We fell into the street and Candy drove off. Her escape did not last long, as the beautiful feral dogs latched onto her tire and sank their teeth into it. Then a small, inconspicuous space man opened her driver's side door and pulled her out of the truck. While Don and I watched, the inconspicuous space man made passionate love to her and then removed her head with razor sharp wire. Raising Candy's head over his own, the small space man yelped in a child-like voice to the men with the hygiene deficit.

"Leave no evidence.
Remove with extreme prejudice."

Somehow I had managed to pick up the half empty and crushed pack of Virginia Slims that Kettles Johnson had been enjoying before his death. I began thinking about all the people who wanted everyone to quit smoking because a relative had died of a smoking related illness. I wondered what people at school would rally against after the news of tonight's murder and mayhem hit the papers. Would they blame strip clubs? Would they blame unwed mothers? Would they blame guns? Kettles had been shot, Jerry had been stabbed, Candy was beheaded with razor wire... perhaps television violence would be the scapegoat. It sure wasn't going to be the cigarettes. At least not at this point, so I slid one out of the pack and fired it up. I had never smoked in my life before, but now I would never quit. What pure joy that cigarette brought to my lusty lungs.

"Do you have any idea what is happening?"

It was about time someone stopped asking that question. I no longer cared. The boys without toothbrushes were standing their ground and not firing at all. They smiled, all gaptoothed and sexy-like, and kept pointing their guns at us. The small inconspicuous space man was plucking the eyebrows of the Candy head. He was smiling as well. The police seemed to be getting closer, and we hoped they would help, but when they finally did arrive they pulled out stadium seating from a nearby shed and sat down on it. They even began grilling hot dogs and telling us to be patient, "soon everything will be revealed."

Spot lights were flipped on and Jayne Hunter stepped into the middle of the street. She looked at the little space man holding her sister's head and smiled. Then she walked over to me, kissed me on the mouth, and thanked me with a very warm embrace. Her ever deepening eyes looked into mine and she smiled. I was speechless.

"Who else do we have to get rid of?
My mother's experiments must not be interferred with."

Jayne picked Don's Hartford Whalers cap up off the ground and slipped in on her head. She nodded at the shotgun wielding men and they opened fire, cutting down Don in a blaze of fire and blood.

"Please, don't kill me."

Jayne immediately told me I was too good to beg. She took an envelope containing a nice looking stack of twenty dollar bills and tossed it to me.

The seven foot tall bearded gentleman who wore a black cloak and combat boots, last seen riding up and down the elevator at the dorms, came out of the shadows. He was smoking a short little cigar like Clint Eastwood and staring at the ground. As he approached me, Jayne stepped back and away. There was some kind of explosive mix of respect and fear that she felt for this man. I just felt fear. He kind of looked like Mick Fleetwood, yet far more unstable.

"Do you believe in anything, little man?
Jayne's mother could make us all happy.
We'll never have to worry about anything again.
Can you imagine going to high school with over eighty years of life experience?
Imagine having your way with first time teenage girls.

The thought was intriguing, even though I somehow saw it as being shallow. We weren't really talking about beauty any longer, or were we? It seemed as if we were talking about infinite youth. Was beauty tied into youth that strongly? There were those who aged gracefully, and those whose inner beauty managed to shake down the foundations of common misconceptions about beauty. There were young people who were not beautiful at all. These toothless Huns were certainly not beautiful and I doubted any of them were more than thirty years of age. Perhaps youth was wasted on the young, and maybe beauty was wasted on the ignorant, but then again, the ignorant did not really understand beauty. So much pain was involved in this quest for beauty, and I now understood that they were targeting the wrong term. They were missing the point. I felt brilliant in my limited deductive reasoning.

"Kiss or kill? In or out?"

I lit another of Kettles Johnson's Virginia Slims and asked if I could have a few moments to think about it. The tall bearded elevator man told me I had all the time in the world.

Thus ends Part 8B of the Tragic Beauty Anthology
To Part 9B: All Beauty Must Die

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