Sunday, 14 August 2011

-August- Listen.

I love you all to death.

Words can't describe what I would do for you - what I have done for you. You're my family and I would go to the ends of the Earth and back to make sure you all came home safe every night.

But sometimes?

Sometimes you all just piss me right the fuck off.


I promised myself I wouldn't post while I was angry.


For reasons I'll go into later because they're not nearly as momentously important as what's going on right now, I've basically said 'screw the world' and holed up in my bedroom for days on end.

I see none of you have bothered to make anything more complex than frozen dinners since I was gone.

I swear, I leave you alone for a couple days and it's pure pandemonium. Who will wash our laundry? Cook our food? How in God's name do we get blood out of the carpet?!

Baking soda. BAKING SODA.

Ha. Hahaha. Gotta stay calm. You've been livid for long enough August, haven't you?


No! No I have not!

Because when I come downstairs because somebody is making a racket and I look and everything is covered in blood (and when I say everything I mean everything; the floors were slick and the door was covered and the walls were splattered with it and the carpet was soaked and that's not easy to wash, you know!) and I look and I see Doc passed out on the kitchen table, and when I go to make sure she's okay I slip on some of the blood and Sam screams like there's no tomorrow and she emerges from the basement, teary-eyed and shaking, looking like she's just seen a crime scene before running off to God knows where, and I can only stand in awe as I see the trail of blood that Doc left behind as she stumbled into the kitchen, probably thinking it was her basement judging by the blood on the cabinets and the plates and the cutlery - Jesus Rollerblading Christ, Doc, did you think they were your equipment? - and of course she's still bleeding. From her shoulder by the looks of it, and she's passed out and pale as a sheet and her breathing is so shallow I don't know if she's even alive so of course my first thought is to try and establish if the good old doctor still has a pulse.

"Hey. Hey, Doc?" I touch her (unwounded) shoulder lightly. I'm hoping my voice is calm and soft but I'm beginning to freak out at this point, so it's probably high and shaky. "You alright?"

No answer.

"D - Doc?" I nudge her lightly. Her skin is still warm. That's a good sign, right?

"Doc, please." I try again. If I wasn't panicking before I certainly was now.

She groans.

Oh thank God.

"You going to be okay, Doc?"

She mutters something incomprehensible in response. If she's lucid enough to do that, then she wasn't in danger of dying.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

Everybody on the team is trained in basic first aid, and there are kits in the kitchen and every bathroom. I took one of said kits and busied myself patching her up, at least until...

"Spencer! Get the fuck in here! This isn't like the last..."

... No.

No no no no no you have got to be kidding me.

"Todd?!" I call back, unable to hide how utterly afraid I am at this point.

Doc's arm is only half bandaged, but the blood seems to have stopped flowing. It would just have to hold because that voice filtering down from somewhere above me (his bedroom... ?) is Todd and he sounds like he's in very, very bad shape.

I run as fast as my legs will carry me, hitting a bloody spot on the floor and sliding into the railing with a thud.

And of course now I'm panicking even worse because the last what? Why is he calling for Spencer and not Doc? What's happened to Doc why did Sam scream and where are Steele and Amanda in all of this?!

I'm hearing more noises as I move further up the stairs. Todd is coughing and laughing and sobbing all at once and he's speaking, though I only catch the bits he shouts and the next part goes something like this, harsh and grizzled and completely insane:


A coughing fit takes him over again and between the hacking and what I swear is him puking his guts out I can hear fits of mad laughter. That voice isn't Todd at all.

No. No. Nonononononono. No no Todd you're going to be okay and this is going to be okay and...


It's high and shrill and echoes heavily; choked by sobs and interrupted again and again by Todd coughing out his lungs and that laugh and all I can think is Spencer, Spencer, Spencer why why why does everything keep coming back to you?

I'm tired of covering it up.

So I burst into the bathroom in a fit of pure, unadulterated terror - terror for me, terror for Todd, terror for Doc and Sam and Steele and everything is falling apart again Jesus Rollerblading Christ.

And I realize I'm maybe the only one who's got a grasp of themselves.

I realize I probably shouldn't waste that.

Todd is bound with black wires and thrown rather unceremoniously in the tub. There's blood and black gunk everywhere and the bathroom stinks and he looks at me, grinning. It's all teeth, and none of it reaches his eyes.

"Oh, and so the pretty boy returns. Where's your fucking boss, you little shit? Too scared to face me?"

... Evidently, I'm not talking to Todd. He laughs and laughs and laughs and spits at me and it's black and sticky and smells like gin and a tire fire.

My brow twitches.

"Mr. August! Mr. August! I'm so glad you're here! Could you please untie me?"

Back to that shrill, childish voice. Whatever Steele dealt with hasn't subsided and now I've got two personalities screaming at me and I don't know where Todd is in this whole mess.

"August, it's about fucking time! Why am I tied up? Where the fuck is Spencer? WHERE IS THE FUCKER I'M GOING TO RIP OUT HIS INTESTINES AND WEAR THEM AS A - NO, NO! LEAVE SPENCER ALONE!"

Oh god no.

There's a needle with tranq sitting in the sink. Amanda and/or Steele had left it there with obvious intent, though at that time I hadn't figure out where either of them were. It wouldn't be until I looked at the blog (because god knows we're all horrible for blogging in the middle crises instead of. You know. Doing anything about them.) and noticed what Steele and Sam posted than I decided enough is enough and marched right to the basement to rip both Spencer and Steele a new one.

But at that moment I'm busy emptying another needle of horse tranquilizer into Todd. (Sybil? Grov? All three?)

For a couple seconds I almost felt relieved. Tragedy averted. Everything had been under control (for the most part) and I could go back to check on Doc again, this time careful to not slip on the blood for what would be the third time that night. (This night?)

Of course it's not allowed to stay that way, right?

Of course not. It's always something with us.

So now Doc is bandaged and even has some colour back in her. She's not conscious - at least, I don't think she is - but she's going to live. I know that for certain. Sam is... somewhere and I tell myself I'm going to go find her in a second, god knows where Amanda is, but if she was in trouble she'd let us know and Todd/Sybil/Grov was safely tied up. Spencer was...

Where was Spencer? And where was Steele?

... Well, the blog was usually good for these things.

And then of course Steele, the arrogant bastard that he is, puts up his little post and goes to have 'words' with Spencer.

There are no words in this house. Very few things are resolved with words in this house.

No, no, no, no, no. Spencer has his secrets. Steele has his secrets. Todd has secrets Doc has secrets everybody has secrets in what I so shakily call our 'family.'

It's at that point I'm shaking and my nails are digging so deep into palms I think they're bleeding because Steele what do you think you're doing?! You're dealing with things you don't understand - that I don't understand, that the boss keeps from us for a reason, you idiot, don't go doing something we're all going to regret later!

But it's never that easy. Christ, it's not allowed to be that easy. Convincing Steele to get off his high horse (even if he's completely right but we have to respect each other's privacy, morals be damned.) is impossible and Spencer is unhinged enough to do something seriously horrible to any of us under the right circumstance and that is not what we need and Steele you are not going to do anything to ruin this.

"...lem talking to me right now, monologuing like a bad comic villain about your own corruption...Maybe you WANT us to be surprised, you WANT us to be run down by the wheels you set in motion..."


... Oh, no.

Oh no. Spencer I told you to lock the door I told you to lock the door I told you to lock the door!

Of course. Of course that was what Sam was screaming about and I don't blame her one bit. Spence you idiot I know it gets bad but of all the times to forget to turn a key!

"...were your troops, you wouldn't have let us go into these situations completely blind..."

You can hear the anger seething in Steele, and Spencer completely out of his mind.

"Does this look like a gummie worm to you?"

Steel cutting flesh. He's probably got himself pinned open the idiot and he left the door wide open. Spencer, what did you expect to happen?!

When I step into the doorway, Spencer is the only one who seems to notice me. Steele is too busy fuming silently, glaring daggers at the man with his abdomen pinned open next to a bucket filled to the brim with what looks to be black slugs; writhing and crawling over one another to try and escape.

"Oh, hello August. nice to see you back in the land of the living."

One of the worms falls over the brim and lands on the floor, only to be crushed beneath Steele's foot.

"August, I'm seeing where everyone's loyalty lies. And Spence's is clearly not with us anymore."

I just glare at him, blood pressure rising with the heat on my face.

Calm, August, calm...

"You don't know what you're dealing with here, Steele. There's a lot more going on than you think."

And Steele?

Steele laughs.

"Who the fuck do you think you are? His fucking body guard?"

"Steele, you don't understand." My voice is shaking, but I don't know if it's out of fear or rage or both or... "This isn't what it looks like."

"Get upstairs, please? This isn't - Spence isn't anything like what you're thinking of. You're wrong." I say please, but judging by Steele's reaction it must have sounded more like 'die slowly.'

"Your blind loyalty isn't admirable, kid; it's stupid. And it's going to get you killed some day, or worse, judging by Spence's little game of Operation."

Steele, I'm sick of you at this point. Get off your high horse and get upstairs.

But I don't say that, do I?

"Steele, get upstairs. Now." It's finally begun to bleed through my tone to the point where I can feel it; the seething anger because he doesn't know what's going on and I don't know what's going on and everything's going downhill again and I know this won't be the last of it, but I'm shaking and fuming and if he pushes me anymore I'm -

"Piss off."



... Heh.


I take two steps towards Steele.

Look him dead in the eyes.

And backhand him so hard he sees stars.

And what does he do?

He turns around and puts his gun right between my eyes.

"Right back at you, girly."

My only response is three simple words.

"I dare you."

Time stands still. We're both just staring and I'm fuming and glaring at him, taunting him, daring him to pull that trigger and end it right there. Everything seems caught in that one moment, and I don't know how long we're standing there before...

Steele pulls the trigger.

I don't blink.


No bullets.

He smirks. The gun is returned to its regular place and Steele makes for the door.

He says nothing else. It's just Spencer and I left in the basement, and he's still merrily picking away at those things in his chest. What can I do but walk up to him and inspect the damage?

The eyes that meet mine are old and tired. His gray streak is sticking to his forehead with sweat, which is as pale as the rest of him.

I sigh.

"... I thought I told you to lock the door."

He's sweating heavily. His voice is strained.

"I did. Or rather, thought I did. you know how bad I get sometimes when I'm like that."

I do. I do all too well.

"Go, kid. You've got shit to do. Patch up our little broken family, yeah?"

I laugh. I actually laugh. A feeble little huff of laughter that's more exhausted than anything, but it's still a laugh.

"I don't really have any choice, boss. You're out of commission for a while."

I look into his exposed insides, swallowing the bile back down.

It never gets any less disgusting, does it?

"You got them all. Sew yourself up and I'll come check on you later, okay? Doc is... isn't doing to well."

I can hear my voice crack.

Hold on for just a bit longer, August.

It's Cam's voice.

"Go." Spencer sounds almost... proud. There's a small, strained smile on his face.

Who am I to question him?

I leave him to do... whatever it is he does. When I emerge into the kitchen, Doc is snoring softly. Upstairs Todd seems to have settled down, but Steele is off in the garage and I can hear him doing something, probably getting his rage out.

I don't blame him.

I realize I still don't know where Amanda is, and Sam is probably off hiding somewhere. Amanda can take care of herself; she seems to be doing pretty well considering what she found in the basement. Sam... Sam may be another story.

Everybody takes finding out about the boss'... condition differently. And Sam...


A mother's job is never done, is it?

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to go look through every closet in the house in search of a tiny female courier.

Good luck, everybody.

And good night.


  1. Excuse my language (not that most people really care these days), but damn. Y'all take care and hold as tight as you can, given the circumstances. I'm not sure what else to say but that I'm likely going to be worrying about y'all.

    Take care, and good luck, guys.

  2. It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.

  3. Holy fucking shit, August, I realise I can't sleep and find this...

    I'm glad you guys have even some semblance of "alright" currently. It won't stop me worrying about you guys though.

    Good luck and try not to die.


  4. @Lissie and Lucas
    Thank you; both of you. It means a lot more than you can imagine.
    Things have settled down a bit from last night and I even managed to get a few hours in, but the house is stil mess. Guess that means I've still got work to do, huh?

    You both stay safe, to. And as for trying to stay alive? That's all we can do sometimes.

    I'm not sure if your comment is in reference to Steele or myself, but I can assure you I have a far better grasp on the boss situation. You'd be surprised at how much people will tell you if you ask.

  5. Sorry for disappearing, August. Fuck, I was looking for Sam. Heard her scream and knew she needed help.

    Seems our nice little family is falling the fuck apart

  6. I know. I saw you with her in her room and thought you had it covered.

    And as for falling apart? Come on, Amanda. Have a little faith in us. We've been through worse; it's going to take more than some quarreling to break our family apart.

    You say it like I wouldn't do anything to make sure that doesn't happen.

  7. Yikes! Stay strong man, don't you guys fall apart like everyone else lately.

  8. Fuck, August, good for you. And...thank you.
    For taking care of Spence. And everyone else, I suppose.

  9. Hmm what a sweet boy.

    All sorts of twists have happened. I hope that you manage to take care of yourself in all of the rush.

    Stay strong~

  10. In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is more useful to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically.
    There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps.

  11. Raven has a good point there, I mean, very few people have just gone in and dissected this whole mess piece by piece. I'd actually love to talk to you if there was a way to do it.