Twisted Fiction Press

Spike & Mike

by on Sep.09, 2009, under comics, Flash

Spike’s my older brother. He’s a wild one, is Spike. Spike’s the one takes things too far. I’m the one with the ideas, and he takes them to where they don’t need to go. I don’t remember dad, and mum was a right-off, so we brung ourselves up in the room above the panel-beaters, him being older and stronger and me being the sensible one, the one with the ideas. Like getting around on matching Ninjas—lock up your grannies, folks, Spike and Mike are in town! Mine was blue and his was green and he loved that ride, sometimes more than me, and I wondered about that, because after all it was my idea to get the contract work in the city that bought us those bikes in the first place.

Living on that Point all our lives, everyone knowing everyone, and cut off from the world and Spike being the way he was, I had to get away by myself sometimes, just go and sit on a rock down on the shore. Spike’d be off somewhere else, bored with my ideas in the end. It was my idea to tie and rope off a pine branch and then swing off it, over the rocks and into the deep water down by the refinery. Or to try and swim all the way across the channel without the sharks or the currents getting you first. Well that was my idea, but I never done it, and Spike did it more times than I lost count, me waiting out in the tinny with a case of beer for when he was done and I’d pull him up and his arms were slippery, his ink glinting in the sun, and the sharks stayed well away, knowing that Spike kept a bowie knife down the leg of his shorts, and a sawn-off in the esky and he’d expect me to go after that shark and its extended family any of them go near him and I would too. Anyway, the sharks are probably just one of those legends they made up to make the place seem more exciting than it is, but the bay does get pretty deep out there in the middle where Spike told me to dump the chains, slick with blood and matter caught in the links. So I did, and then rowed back and then I tied the tinny back up to the old fig tree when I was done. It would have been good to just sit out there a while on the black water in the tinny and I’d done that plenty of times at night, but this time, I rowed back in because the ferries run late, and there’d be fishing boats and that coming back in, and we didn’t need any more witnesses than the possums and bats and that, Spike having taken things way too far, further than what they paid us to do—but that’s just Spike.

After I dumped the chains, I washed the blood off my hands in the water which was like tar because there was no moon, no stars, just a web of greasy cloud over the black sky, and I had to make sure all the blood was gone, so I washed off by the lights reflecting off the water. Then I rowed in and decided to just sit a while on the rock, say good-bye, and watch the night turn to day over the water one last time. The black rock would be haloed in pink on a sunny dawn, I’d watched it plenty of times, but the cloud cover told me there’d be no sun that day and there wasn’t. So I waited for the bay to turn from black to bleached white, the sky hanging low and grey, and I looked down for signs of blood in the water but all I saw was cold steel bay and the boats on their moorings and the gulls on the rigging waiting, just waiting. I listened for Spike, hoping he’d decide to come down and that it could be like it was before, just two wild kids raising hell in a quiet town, but I knew after what we’d done—even though it was what we was born to do—that those days were over. And he didn’t come down because he had more blood on him than me, not just on his hands, because he was always taking things too far, and he had to find a place to ditch his jeans, and they were new, and his leather jacket too, and there was blood and muck all over the tires of his bike, which was gone by the time I caught up with him, because by then he’d dumped both bikes, mine too, and we were hitching north, and I kept the memory of the sheet-metal bay with me, the bay like a steel trap all my life on that faraway tangled piece of shore, and beneath the steel, out where it gets deep enough for the sharks, those chains sinking slowly into the soft black mud.

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