And The Rain Tastes Like BloodMature

John kept staring at the still form of his buddy Mark, making sure that deranged fuck stayed right where he lay -- in a puddle of his own blood and teeth.  His buddy, with whom John had shared some incredible fucking nights inebriated and/or high in pursuit of the choicest tail anywhere around the finer points of East London, the man who nearly single-handedly had made John a half a fortune dealing narcotics to the elitist One Per Cent, the man who had opened John's eyes to the wonderful world that existed just beneath the real world, the seedy underworld of violence and chemically-induced adrenaline rushes juxtaposed with the mainstream.  The man who routinely made John giddy.

The man who had just strangled and savagely brutalized him.

The myriad chemicals coursing through his bloodstream proved to be a powerful mind-altering concoction, and it took massive effort on John's part just to focus on the blood falling from his mouth and on to the ground below.  And though it was only a few moments, to him it felt like an eternity; suddenly he was Prometheus, for centuries awaiting completion of his penance.  Yellow lightning snapped from his eyes and his breathing was shallow and fast, but at least the heavy sheen of sweat protected him from the rain.

He watched from some distance as drops of blood splattered all over Mark's jacketed shoulder.  Where the hell was that blood coming from?  Jesus Christ!  He tried hard to focus.

He eventually became aware of the huddled lump on the wet ground which was Tania.  She appeared not to be moving but John couldn't tell because his vision was undulating to a rhythm of its own and it really gave him an enormous fucking headache.  He crawled to her and rolled her over.  She was crying, so she wasn't dead -- although with the night John was having...

He searched through her pockets but his hands were filled with helium and he was unsure of exactly what he touched.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Looking for one of those little folding mirrors that girls always have."

"You mean a compact."

"Whatever.  You got one?"

Still sniffling, Tania found her handbag, which she had dropped at some point during the melee.  She opened it and pulled out a shiny little plastic disc, which John immediately snatched and popped open.  The mirror was cracked, but it clearly showed the hideous damage inflicted upon his mouth.  It was difficult to see properly what with the copious amounts of blood covering his entire lower face, plus the lack of light in that alleyway, but it appeared to him that his lips were gone.  Not hanging or mangled, but gone.  Missing.  Fucking chewed off.

John screamed and threw the compact against the nearest wall, where it exploded into a hundred tiny bits, and got to his feet.  He took a couple of shuffling steps to Mark's prone body and pulled back his right leg as if he were about to take a corner kick and drove his boot into Mark's flank, then into his stomach, "Sonofabitch!  You sonofabitch!"

He kicked Mark until his leg was too tired to swing and, out of breath and bleeding, looked at Tania, "We gotta get to a hospital or something."

The End

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