Todd (17)

Contributor: William Clifford

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Paul Ford and I broke into his sister’s house to steal some drugs. She was old now, like 22 or something, and lived with a big guy who worked at Home Depot, but he was never home. Paul’s sister Pauline saw us the second we smashed in the window with a brick, and promptly stuck a kitchen fork into Paul’s arm. I was already drunk from some wine we got from Jim The Perv outside the 24-hour place, so I got extra spooked that Pauline might call my mom.
“I’ll kill you, Paul!”
“I’ll kill you first, Pauline. I’ll fucking kill you!”
“Go for it, faggot!”
Paul did go for it -- yanked the fork from his arm and lunged at his sister. She started laughing and then fell to the ground, the threadless green carpet, probably high, calling him names, and then Paul straddled her and jabbed the fork into his sister’s eye. Blood went onto the ceiling and across my face and I swallowed some. I started crying and gagging; I ran upstairs where I found some hash and a gun. I smoked and got very high very fast, numb hands. I grabbed a pillow and started spitting blood and vomit, not sure where Paul had gone or what had happened to his sister, though I guessed she was dead.
Afterward, sitting and smoking on an unmade bed in a pink room, I noticed a lizard, or an iguana, or one of those things people keep, in its aquarium; I think his name was Todd; I think that's what Paul's sister told me once when we were little. I guess they can live a long time.
Todd arched up like he needed something. I wanted to help, but I wasn’t sure how, so instead I put the gun in my mouth and looked at Todd with this real intense look, like maybe he could help me instead of me helping him, but it seemed like he had gone back to sleep, or whatever lizards do when they just sit there and seem serene and keep growing old, and for a minute, for a little minute, this made me happy.

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