“Will you fuck’n stop that, its driv’n me up the wall”!
“No, fuck you!” Aww man they could go on with this forever, Chimera just shook her head and dived under the hood of the car again. Popping of the filter and checking how clean it was, was simple. What difficult was talking to the client about what was wrong with the vehicle. She nudged Luis, a Mexican immigrant that worked in the shop with her, out of the way and went back to checking the engine for other problems.
“You’s got to do this Chimera.” Luis picked up where he left off. He was intent on making her angry today. Just like any other day really. But today he just got on her nerves so fast. Grabbing a wrench she hunched over the engine and began on one of the clamps for the hoses. Chimera didn’t want to acknowledge him. To do that would admit that she had a fear, and God Damn It, that would be the day.
“Geesses Christ, Luis. Let it Go!” Chimera almost shouted. Never ever would she go back to school. She had had enough of that when she was in there. Then she barked out a screech as the wrench slipped and whammed against her other hand that was supporting the hose while she worked. Chimera dropped the wrench and clamped her hand on the spot as she saw that blood began pumping.
“Give me the fucken cloth Luis, I got a soaker, fuck fuck fuck, damn it faster, fucker”! She bellowed as the pain, the blood oozing between her fingers and dropping down onto the engine. Luis appeared at her shoulder and smacked a towel down on top of her two hands and began wrapping them up. As if doing an out of body, she realised that at least he had brought the towel from the bathroom instead of ones that were lying around the bay. Got to give him credit for that, she thought.
Hissing through her teeth, she swung around and headed for the bathroom. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Luis reach for his phone and she turned back, took one hand off and wrapped the other better then smacked the phone out of his hands.
“No way am I going to the hospital”! Chimera blurted, Luis looked at her in surprise.
“You’s need help Chimera, that cut, she is bad”! Luis grabbed her hand and put pressure on it to help slow the bleeding. Chimera yanked herself away and continued on into the bathroom, jerking the First Aide kit down and taking out what she needed. Turning on the faucet, she cleaned the wound, barked at Luis to thread a needle; he looked at her confused and then did as he was told. Then taking the needle from him, she painstakingly began sticking the wound herself. Gritting her teeth against each stab, but within seconds she was done and only a trickle of blood oozed from the site.
“Shit Chimera, where’d you’s learns that?” Luis asked. Jaw dropped and awe radiating from his posture.
“Where else dickwad, been living on the streets long enough to do anything in an emergency, that where.” Chimera bluntly stated. God would this guy just give up with the questions. Let her alone already. She grabbed up the disinfectant and dumped it onto the wound, “shit, shit, shit, God damn mother-fucker,” she ranted through her teeth as the liquid did its job. Quickly she slapped a gauze pad onto the site and bit off strips of tape to make sure it didn’t move. Grabbing up a surgical glove she snapped it over her hand. Turned and push Luis out of the way, going back to what she had had been doing. At the car she shoved her hand into another work glove and got back to work.
“You’s not going to get that checked?” Luis asked. Stunned that this little chica didn’t want help. He backed away as Chimera stomped over to the parts board and selected some equipment then back over to the car, yanking them out of the packaging and shoving them into the engine compartment.
Chimera let the work take over, ignoring Luis. Doing this type of thing since she was 11, she could go into automation and think. Which she did as she almost went bottoms up into the interior of the engine section. Her thoughts went over recent events. Hell no, she couldn’t go to the hospital. The cut was on her right side. That was her brother’s side and if the powers that be in this town ever found out that that side of her body was another blood type, she would be screwed. They would poke and prod her for weeks. Chimera didn’t want to go through that again. No one should ever have to go through that. She remembered the time when she was 14 and trying to do the “normal” thing at school, just another reason why she avoided that place.
Memories flashed and she was back in that damn hall. Remembering the exact moment with Helena Martinze had come up to her and suggested that they go someplace quite. For a moment she was confused until Helena had touched her privates, that she realized exactly where Helena was going. Quickly as she could she stepped away and ran down the hall. The laughter that Helena had done still rang in her head. Then the constant slurs and remarks that followed for days after had her going back to her foster parents and asking why? They just smacked her and told her to get a grip. Monsters like her were only fit to do chores.
Days after that Chimera had had an idea. She spoke to one of her few “friends”, for lack of a better word, and had taken all of her hard won money and gone to a local tattoo parlor. There with the help of the lights, the artist was able to tattoo all of her markings. It had taken days, but he was good. They were perfect and no one would have to put any lights on her again. To her they were beautiful. The tats were the only things that she had ever been able to give to herself and they were perfect. Each looked like freckles that had collected together to form her spots. Chimera was especially proud that they made such a wonderful design near the base. Not the usual arrow, but a swirl that looked like a rose from far away. Plus just to make things interesting she had had the markings colored. Each one was half red and blue, showing that she was never complete, and yet she was whole. A ying-yang of color, which she always kept, covered since this was hers and hers alone. She would never share this; she would never share her body. Repeated rapes by people she was suppose to trust, had made that a difficult proposition anyway Chimera would never have a comfortable relationship with either of the sexes. Her foster parents just confirmed this over the years.
Well into the afternoon she and Luis worked on the car, it was an old clunker but the owner was a good sort, brought it in like clockwork for its tune ups and never argued about what work was done. For the hundredth time Luis sucked on his teeth and stood back as if to survey a wonderful work of art. Chimera gritted her own teeth, but kept her words to herself. It was bad enough that she had to work with him, usually Ted, the owner let her do her own thing, but he wanted her to “break” Luis in. Break him in all right, she’d break him in two in a minute if he didn’t stop that teeth sucking, it was driving her nuts.
“Chica, I think this car needs to go to the garbage, she is dead.” He whined. Chimera just shook her head and climbed back under the hood to find out why this baby wasn’t purring by now. She checked all the clamps, went over the wires and even repositioned the spark plugs to make sure, then went over the battery connections just in case.
“Hit it again, Luis,” she shouted so that he was sure to hear before he climbed into the car to turn her over. Muttering to himself about stupid gringos and their ways, he worked the key and cranked it again. Without any more adieu, wonders of wonders the car purred a sweet roar.
Chimera grinned and went to sit back, her gloved hand swung forward and repositioned some of the wiring and the engine smoothed out the sound. She gapped, her stomach rolled and she gulped back the bile that surged upward. It was moments like this she hated. This was just a small reminder that she was never alone, even in her own body. Angered she flicked the offending hand with her left and watched as it began to tremble slightly. Chimera then took control of the extremity again and she sighed with relief. For her, it was just another day, like any other. If anyone else saw, she knew there would be a whole whack of questions.
As this was the last assignment for the both of them, Chimera grumbled to Luis that it was time to pack up, “and make sure ALL of the tools get wiped down this time!” She spoke with as much authority she could. Last time she told Luis, he had just collected them and shoved them into the toolbox, wanting to go home as fast as possible. She watched as he picked each one up and wiped it down, and then placed it back where he had found it. Good thing she had labeled each one so that it would be an idiot not to know where they belonged, she congratulated herself. Walking into the office, Chimera grabbed up the duty sheet and annotated what had been done, marked down each item used and how many hours for the job. Rechecked the numbers and calculated the cost. Then put it down on Ted’s desk grabbed up the keys and locked them on her way out. Luis grinned. She knew he was about to talk about the weekend, but she was beat. Everyday she was there before anyone, and every day she left after everyone. It was just her way. Snapping off the interior lights she pushed Luis out the door and locked up. She quickly sounded a cheery “Night” before heading off to the bus stop. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Luis shake his head and leave as well. At the stop she hunkered down on the public bench expecting a long wait and as usual, she was right. Almost an hour later the bus pulls up and she hopped on, made her way to the middle of the bus and once more tried to make herself as small as possible. Minutes later she was off relieved that no one sat beside her and jogged down the block, over two and then up the steps of a run down apartment building. Snagging her keys out of her back pocket she opened the front door and began her long walk up four flights of stairs to her little apartment. She smelled the stink of beer, cigarettes, stale meals and sweat. Coughing a little, Chimera quickly lets herself in and slammed the door shut, flicked the three locks shut, turned relieved with her back against the door. She made it through another day without anything happening. Yeah! Another one for the good guys, she congratulated herself.
Flinging off her jacket she plopped down onto the sofa and breathed deep. Within minutes she’s napping, worn out from the constant demands that she made on herself on a daily basis. But it’s not a restful sleep. Images flash and then play out one at a time, creating a landscape of surreal to her. Caught up in the dream, she murmurs and tosses herself about. But it won’t let her go. Disjointed scenarios creep in, each one she played out until she wants to scream but she can’t, locked in this dream that seems to have no end. During all this time, Chimera felt as if she’s had been followed. Other times she’s not alone, another entity walked with her.