Note: Sorry for the delay! I'm posting this scene out in three posts, because lumping it together in one post makes it read heavy. It's an important scene, promise--- I spent New Years editing it! This is part 1/3.
The house was dark inside and out, and its floor was pool of dismantled furniture. Papers fluttered through the air, in and out of the moonlight, raining down on him as he opened the door. Although it was dark, he could make Carly’s silhouette out against the sparse natural light, hacking away at the couch with a steak knife. The moonlight shadowed his face and body, and like the night he was silent, save for the the ragged breath which occasionally escaped his lungs.
Gentry flipped on the lights.
His dark eyes drifted over the torn books strewn across the floor, and he barely spent one minute in the doorway before he started to kick the pages out of the way. Crinkling paper was particularily loud in the dusky quiet, loud and efficient, as he stalked down the hall. Crunching over broken furniture and fizzling remains of the telephone, stepping into the shattered pieces of the urn. What was in his way was soon kicked out of sight, forming a neat carpet path while the TV buzzed on like a malevolent fly.
Carly stopped stabbing the couch, and leered over at him. He threw the butcher knife at the wall, from where it rebounded to the floor with a heavy clang; then stood up with his wobbly legs on the cushions with yellowed stuffing in his clenched white fists. He threw it in the air and yelled at the top of his lungs,
“Four walls make a tomb!”
The bathroom door clicked shut.
Carly took the lamp and smashed it into the wall, again and again until it flickered off, sparks lighting the air from the exposed wires. The overhead light was still on though, shining down on him like a cold sun. But he was tired now, so he exhaled deeply and sunk into the folds of the leather sofa, groaning as steam began to creep out from underneath the bathroom door.
“For Christ’s sake.”
He stormed out of his seat and threw open the door, his eyes meeting Gentry’s complacent stare, and then drifting to the gnarled red hands. Bruised and disfigured, turned leathery by constant heat, cracked with sores and wrapped around by river-like scar tissue. Those hands bothered him; they did not break.
“Ever draw blood?”
The faucet squeaked off and Gentry brushed past him. He quietly sat down in front of the TV, shoving the beer cans off the table. The television blared on with some hunting show. It flickered across the screen in its color-saturated glory: some guy with a thick gray-brown handlebar mustache was a holding some kind of bird, pinning its wings together with one gloved hand while steadying its head with the other. Every now and then it would jerk wildly, before reverting to rigid stillness, while the guy continuously jibbered on to the camera about how to cook it.
“I don’t like hunting shows.” Carly confided, awkwardly. “The hunter is always an idiot, yet he always wins. Who watches this stuff? You ever wonder that?”
Gentry shrugged emptily, then slouched back in his seat to watch the screen. In the corner of his eyes, Carly’s old swim team trophy glistened on the mantle. It wasn’t from Nationals, though. The school kept those. This one was probably from another match, and it was beautiful. Mounted on that white limestone, hard and resilient. Amidst the dirt, the little gold men stood tall— Gentry wanted to put it in his mouth and suck on it, feel his teeth scrape against the gold-painted metal. Take it and put it in something, didn’t matter who; shove it into anyone and just thrust away. Up. Up. Up—
“Aren’t you going to ask me why I destroyed everything?” said Carly, temporarily blocking the view.
“Why?” Gentry droned out, absent-mindedly picking at some new scab. Pulling away layer after layer, trying to see how much his skin could take. There was no other reason he did it. There was no release in it.
“Same reason you do.”