“Bobby, Bobby, wake up. It’s time for breakfast. Wake up Gary and come into the kitchen.” whispered Mary.
Bobby flinched at the words being whispered in his ear, still on guard, he guessed, for anything. He still felt really uneasy but didn’t know why as everything seemed to fall into place with Gary last night so the unease was a little disconcerting.
Bobby went into the kitchen by himself and ate bacon and eggs with the girls, as Gary refused to rise, the throbbing pain returning with a vengeful force since the pain-relieving effect of the pot had disappeared. The wound looked worse today, all red and swollen and still bleeding by the looks of the throw pillow. Bobby lied and told Gary the wound looked better just so that Gary would keep his word and move out to Spahn’s today once he was able to move.
Gary had lost allot of blood, more than even he realised and the infection that was definitely present in the cut was sending poison through his system that had given him a fever and was making him really ill. He drifted back to sleep after refusing Bobby’s breakfast invitation, his body too weak to sustain consciousness now.
After breakfast, Bob was still dog-tired too and decided to go upstairs and get a few more winks while Gary continued to sleep on the living room couch. Neither rose again until the day had long since passed.
Gary woke up before Bobby this time and when he opened his eyes, he saw Sadie and Mary going through his things, papers strewn on the floor from open cabinets and drawers.
“What the Hell is going on here? What are you two looking for? Put that box down and close those drawers; you have no right to be going through my stuff! In fact, why don’t the two of you just get the Hell out of here completely. I’ve had about as much shit as I can take for one weekend!” yelled Gary to the girls.
Hearing the yelling coming from downstairs, Bobby woke up with a start and flew down the stairs to see what was happening. Gary rose from the couch and staggered right up to Bobby, yelling obscenities and effectively reneging on everything they had agreed to last night. Ignoring the fact that the girls were creepy crawling on Gary for no reason, Bob decided he had had enough of Gary’s mood swings and enough of these last few days of stress.
He didn’t respond to Gary’s ranting and raving and he ignored Gary’s renewed threat to go to the hospital and call the cops. Instead, Bobby pushed Gary back down on the couch and went into the kitchen and placed a call to Spahn’s, exasperated but unsure of what to do next. The call was short and anything but sweet. Charlie said he didn’t want to have anything to do with this and barked out the last of his words,
“You know what to do”.
Bobby knew what he meant but he was looking for any other meaning as he slowly hung up the phone and headed back to the living room, just in time to see Gary grabbing his jacket and the keys to the van, determined now to leave at any cost.
Bobby ran to the door in time to stop Gary. The two struggled, one trying to leave and the other trying to block the entrance. Bobby managed to get his right hand free long enough to reach for his belt and open the black suede sheath that was attached. He quickly grabbed the Buck knife Charlie had given him when he joined the Family and without warning,
Bobby stuck Gary with the Buck, twice, in the middle of his chest. Blood spurted out almost immediately and with his eyes now bulging in their sockets, Gary dropped the keys and his jacket and grabbed at his chest instead. Bobby must have hit one of Gary’s lungs, as he was gasping for air as he tried valiantly to make it to the phone to call for help, blood oozing down through his fingers as he grabbed at his chest. Mary screamed and Sadie looked on, wide-eyed at the grizzly sight, and they watched as Gary crumpled to the floor, just outside the kitchen entrance.
Bobby walked over to Gary, hauled him off the floor and dumped him into the arm-chair, heaving him into place like the heavy sack of potatoes he was. Bobby then leaned down and whispered in his good ear, “Gary, you know what? You got no reason to be on earth any more. You’re a pig and society don’t need you, so this is the best way for you to go, and you should thank me for putting you out of your misery.”
Gary’s pupils were completely dilated and bulging, staring at no fixed point, his breathing was spasmodic and laboured and it was doubtful that he had heard what Bobby had said. Yet, despite the wounds and despite the trauma, Gary was still alive and that had to be dealt with in Bobby’s mind.
“Sadie, get me a goddamned pillow, now!” screamed Bobby. And Sadie grabbed the first one she saw, that olive-drab throw pillow Gary had rested his head on the last two nights and was about to hand it to Bobby when he yelled, “No, you do it. I’ll hold him.” And on his barking order, Sadie laid the pillow over Gary’s tortured face and pushed down for all she was worth.
With one last heroic effort to remain alive, Gary thrashed side to side and tried to grab at the pillow, his arms finally falling to either side of the chair. One final gasp and a kind of gurgling noise left Gary’s body, his fight for life lost, now pain-free in death, at age 34. They left him where he died, slumped in his favourite armchair, never even bothering to close his eyelids.
Bobby and Sadie both fell down to the floor on their knees, their pulse racing as they gazed into one another’s eyes. Mary slid down the living room door-frame, staring at nothing, almost catatonic from the shock.
“There was no way ‘round this. He was going to the cops this time, for sure. I had no choice. He gave me no choice. We had everything figured out between us last night and then you two go pull a stunt, going through his shit to set him off again, only this time for real. I had to stop him. He had to die.” whispered Bobby.
“I know, Bobby, I’m so sorry. We were just creepy-crawling the place for his plane ticket to pawn. We never thought he’d hear us. We thought you’d be down first or we’d be done before you guys woke up. I’m so sorry, Bobby, really.” Sadie feebly whispered back.
After what seemed like forever, the two - Bobby and Sadie - high on adrenaline and last night’s pot and low on sleep, started to giggle and then to laugh, first a little, then allot, then really, really loud. Startled by what she was hearing, Mary came to and slowly turned her head toward the two laughing hyenas, who were kneeling on either side of Gary, who remained slumped in that armchair. And, as if on cue, Mary joined in the morbid jubilation, not knowing why she was laughing or what was funny, the shock still protecting her from the reality of the moment.
After the laughter subsided, the trio just stared at the ravaged corpse, not knowing what to do or not to do, next. After minutes had passed, the clock on the bookcase chimed ten times, letting everyone in the room, but Gary, know it was ten at night.
As if a light went on in his brain after hearing the ten bells, Bobby finally sat up and said, “Charlie is always saying how we got to blame Blackie for all of society’s woes. Why don’t we blame this on the Panthers? This might get the cops off our scent and get the Panthers off Charlie’s back too.”
“Yeah, Bobby, but how?” implored Sadie.
“Sadie, you and Mary go ‘round the place, make the beds, get rid of the pot and the beer cans and the extra dishes and wipe everything down that we’ve touched and I’ll take care of the Panther angle.” said Bobby.
And, like the well-behaved female robots they were, trained to take orders from men, the girls scampered off to do what was expected of them. Bobby gingerly dipped his right hand into the pool of blood congealing on Gary’s chest and walked over to the nearest wall and wrote,
Once his artwork was done, Bobby stepped back to assess the authenticity of the statement, satisfied in his own feeble mind that the ruse would stick.(Ran out of room for the “AL”, huh Bobby, or did you fail all your spelling tests back in Santa Barbara as a kid???)
The girls had finished up too and all three were more than eager to split now that the sun had gone and the night offered them cover for their escape. No one looked at Gary’s body when they left nor did they bother to think of what might happen if it was left to the heat and the flies. Bobby just locked and closed the front door behind them and as the trio jogged down the stairs, instinctively they looked to see if anyone was coming up the drive. No one was.
Bobby hot-wired both the VW microbus and the Fiat station wagon and they drove the pair back to Spahn ranch where Charlie was anxiously awaiting their return. It had been a few days of Hell but you wouldn’t know it.
Bobby couldn’t wait to brag to Charlie, Clem and Bruce who were just hanging out on the boardwalk. Mary skipped into the kitchen, seemingly unaffected or still in shock from the night’s events, whispering unmentionables to Brenda, Sandy and Gypsy. And Sadie wandered into the gun room, all a-glow with her glassy-eyed stare, asking Danny if she could be in charge of the knife sharpening from now on.
Darkness had overtaken Spahn Ranch now, as it did at this hour every night, but tonight it came with the stench of death, a wholly new, vile and evil wind which would ultimately wash over the entire Family, a wicked smell that would grow as the calendar marched on….