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Six Minutes 53 Seconds

by M Phoenix



I resisted but I couldn't get this idea out of my head. I blame Faith and insomnia. I've never tried writing Faith first person before, and I don't know if I managed to pull it off, but it was certainly an experience. The song quoted is 'Closer' by Nine Inch Nails. Many thanks to YesPlease for her beta wisdom, it is much appreciated.
Summary: Ever wonder what Faith did on Prom night?

Print Version: Adobe Reader PDF


12:54 am.

I like you. I mean, I feel like we have this connection. And I know that sounds like some cheesy pickup line -- which I don't need to pull, 'cause you're already in my bed -- but it's true, I can talk to you. You kinda remind me of someone I used to know; only not. I don't even know why I'm telling you all this 'cause none of it really matters.

Half my high school class are dead now; I heard the stories before I left Southie. Car accidents, suicides, drive-bys, OD's, vampires -- yeah, they exist, no I'm not crazy -- just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't give a shit about any of them. Which is cool 'cause they're all taking the big dirt nap while I, the girl voted most likely to be found nekkid in a dumpster with her throat cut, am still alive. They never realized how tough I am. No one can take me. Funny huh? Funny ironic, or funny sad, I dunno.


The Fish Tank is pretty deserted, which is normal for this time of night. Some Hell's Angels in the corner round the pool table, laughing loud and puppy-punching each other in the kidneys -- they have potential to be a good time; a couple of sailors slumped at the bar; a hooker -- low rent Madonna wannabe -- looking for trade; and me, looking to forget. I saunter up to the bar, give Bernice my very best shit-eatin' grin, and order a double shot of J.D. That ought to help.

Three more J.D.'s and I'm still cold, the burn of the alcohol and anger is the only heat in me.


12:55 am.

It's a game of chance, life and death. Santa lied, being naughty or nice has nothing to do with whether a kid gets the monster sack full of presents or the little black lump of coal. Everybody lies. The president who can't keep his pants zipped; the priest, well, same problem; my dad...hmm, I can see a recurring theme here.

Sometimes I lie, but I'm not lying to you. You're a real good listener, and that's important.

Anyway, this one night, I must have been around fourteen, the wildest thunderstorm I've ever seen blew in to town; it was like the end of the world. I went nuts for it. I ran out and shimmied up the highest building in the whole neighbourhood, stood up on top of it holding this old fire poker up to the sky, stood there like the fucking Statue of Liberty, and waited for the lightening to strike. Light me up and take me out - 'thank you and goodnight.' Kinda lame, I know. All that happened was I got soaked and frozen. No blaze of glory for me, it passed me by. Next day I hear this guy on the next block got hit while he was sitting on the john. Freak accident. Funny huh?


Someone puts the jukebox on; Nine Inch Nails pounding through the room until it's shaking, or maybe I'm shaking and the room is still. I'm up and dancing. I'm the only one but that's just fine, I can give these losers the kind of show they'd usually have to pay for. All of them watching as I move. My brain's shutting down as I let the beat into me.

You can have my isolation, you can have the hate that it brings.
My hands rake through my hair as I whirl round.
You can have my absence of faith, you can have my everything.

Sweat feels like tiny pinpricks all over my skin. I close my eyes, and run my hands down my gyrating body, touching my throat, my breasts, running down my stomach like they got a will of their own, on down to my leather pants, smooth down between my thighs -- I'm lost now, gone, I may as well be alone -- I can feel my head thrown back like I'm in some cheap porno, a fantasy of myself. I raise my arms back up slow, dancing myself into the darkness, the crazy snaking into my mind, flashing on and off like a neon sign. I welcome it. Hell yeah, I'll take that ride.

Help me tear down my reason, help me it's your sex I can smell.
Help me, you make me perfect, help me become somebody else.


12:57 am.

So many ways to die. It's so fucking easy to die by accident -- the banana skin effect -- so hard when you want to. I figured at least if you kill yourself you got a chance of being in control for once, a big 'fuck you' to the random. A choice how you wanna go out. Doesn't always work too well though.

Way back, I'd been awake for two weeks straight, like speeding, only without the speed. I got so desperate I swallowed half a drug store of pills, crawled into an abandoned building on Fifth to let them do their work, not expecting to ever crawl out. I woke up forty-eight hours later feeling like a bear had shit in my skull. No one had even noticed I'd gone. Sometimes, though, I wonder if I'm still there and the last few years were just a bizarre, drugged-up dream I'm having before I kick it. Maybe none of this is real, so it doesn't much matter what I've done; what I do.

Christ, it's so pathetic; I never told anyone that, until now.

But that's not as bad as this one guy, Mick Mahoney. He heard that if you covered yourself in paint, your skin couldn't breathe so you died. He took a bath in emulsion. Didn't kill him, but he lost all his body hair when the ER docs stripped the paint off. What a retard. Funny huh?


That time of night; the bar is starting to fill. I down another shot and grimace, I had to move on to the really cheap stuff -- tastes like meths -- 'cause I'm nearly out of cash and not half way drunk enough yet. I can still think. Thinking bad.

I push and grope my way back onto the dance floor. One of the sailors rubs himself up against me, grabs my ass, with a look on his face like he's doing me a favour. He stinks of the docks, and motor oil. I could rip his arm off with a quick twist and beat him to death with it; it's a tempting thought, but I'm supposed to be keeping a low profile until the big day, and anyhow, they'd kick me out of here and I don't wanna go home alone.

He leans down and shouts into my ear, above the music, "Steve. I'm Steve."

"Yeah. Goodie for you."

And then I see her, and for a moment I can't breathe.


12:58 am.

You're beautiful. Did anyone ever tell you? They should have; it might have made a difference.

Yeah, I'll just let that ring. It's probably the Boss calling to see if I'm tucked up safe in bed with a glass of warm milk. He can be such a stiff sometimes, but it's good y'know, to have someone who cares, someone who'll miss you when you're gone. How weird is it I had to go over to the dark side of the force to get it. I guess white never really suited me much anyway. I don't believe in fate, destiny, all that crap -- as the great philosopher said, shit happens, then you die -- but if I did, I'd say it felt like fate. Funny huh?


It isn't actually her of course, just a girl who looks a little like her, or like she would look if she'd spent the last year living in a trailer and free-basing crack. I'm sitting in a corner, nursing my final drink and pretending I'm not hiding; but seeing her there, for that split second before I realised it couldn't be her, because she'll be at the Prom with her loser Scooby-friends, and Dead Boy, has ripped me up inside. There's an ache in my throat like all the pain I ever felt is lodged there and I can't get it out. The bitch is gonna get what's coming to her; I've got a plan that'll ma...

Oh shit, that girl is coming over, why is she coming over?

There's something about her eyes, sad, gentle, and the way her mouth quirks up at one corner, that makes me keep staring, wanting to taste her; I lick my lips, and turn on the flirt, it's involuntary, it's what I do.

We're getting closer, closer. She runs her fingertips down the side of my face, and it's like she's made a decision, she moves in and brushes her lips against mine, just the whisper of a kiss, but I'm burning up. I wonder if she's ugly on the inside, black and rotting like me, decide I don't really care...except that I do.

She tells me she's fresh into town from the East Coast, Philly I think, but that bit gets drowned out by a sudden roar from the bikers. Running from something, I can tell. She doesn't know anyone here, thought I looked lonely; figured that was something we had in common. Yeah, us and every other fucker in this place; but she chose me.

She chose me.


12:59 am.

I'm not much with the book learnin', but I know about death, it's my job. If I was pretentious enough I'd say it was an art form. Either way I'm a walking fucking encyclopaedia of fun facts, like for the average human it takes approximately seven minutes of total oxygen deprivation for the brain to die. Drowning, smothering, decapitation, strangulation -- all good.

Guh. Sorry. Do you ever get that feeling like you can't breathe? A world full of air, but you just can't get it into your lungs and...God...your skin feels so perfect, soft under my hands, but I can't see you anymore, my eyes are flooded and I can't see. I wasn't going to cry. This isn't like me. It shouldn't be happening.

You're lucky you got me, 'cause I know it's better when it's real slow, and right before you black out you get this blissed-out high, like the mother of all happies; it only lasts a few seconds, but it feels like hours. Sometimes I wish I could stay there. Quiet. Free. Nothing. Never come back. I gave you a one way ticket. There are no safe words here. You looked like you wanted it; you didn't struggle much, just a little spasm arching up against my body, your hands raking across my arms and breasts, and through my hair, before you closed your eyes and went limp. Pulse pounding in your neck; slowing...slowing...stopping. The aching rush as I came, shuddering, slick, gasping and suddenly helpless, my body clenched around yours. I'm still hanging on 'cause I want to be sure, and also 'cause I can't remember how to move.

I want you to know I'm glad we talked, 'cause even though you didn't say a word I feel like you understood. I like you; I'd like to say I'll remember you, light a candle for you, say a prayer, but I won't; I will forget, I have to. Maybe I should have given you a choice; but I guess in this case the random fucking with you was me. I'm the random, who knew? Not that funny.

1:01 am.

The sheets feel damp. I'm cold again.

My hands have cramped up. I straighten my back, flex my fingers then reach out and stroke your honey-blond hair; notice the roots are starting to show. I was gonna say something but I've blanked out, I've got no thoughts left.I slide off of your empty body and out of bed, walk across the clothes we left scattered on the floor, making for the safety of the bathroom. I hear words, but it doesn't really sound like my voice automatically saying, "Whatever. You've been great. I gotta take a shower."


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