Category Archives: sickunderpressure


The taste of some type of fake leather seems to do the trick in shutting me up, especially when it’s forced onto my face like an octopus’ sucker. The thought grosses me out when I look into the guy’s eyes. There’s something wrong with him. The black ski mask doesn’t help me think otherwise.

“What the hell?” Ed starts to raise his voice when he comes back inside to investigate this very questionable situation.

The guy motions for Ed to stop but still keeps one hand over me. “Shh…” he says.

“Larry?” Ed speaks a little more calm. And then outside a hesitant thunder of boots come rolling by the door.

We hold our breath. I do mostly because he allows me so little room to force my breath through. Through my nostrils is where I’ll get most of my air, pushing in and out the smell of wet wood.

I can’t move my head. I can’t see Brynn. I can’t hear her. Why would there be something wrong with her why is she quiet? What is going on? Am I… Am I…

And then very slowly, he releases his grip from my face. Rebooting my oxygen, every breath makes my chest heave heavily as I try to catch up to what’s happening. I look around everywhere but at this stranger. Brynn is pale but respectfully stays quiet keeping her mouth shut with her own hands.

Until, “Oh my god get this guy out of here!”

“Shut, up!” Ed shouts, breaking his own rules I can see he realizes. He’s already pulling the leech off me and directs me to keep my mouth closed and don’t answer that door if anyone knocks. “same goes to you Brynn sit on the couch, Larry you go into my room actually girls go sit outside on the balcony.”

We all do exactly what he says as he’s saying it so in a matter of seconds the living room is deserted.

“What the fuck was that?” Brynn asks as she paces back and forth the closet sized balcony. I can’t sit either but lean on the poled barrier looking out. She picks up the only cigarette on the ledge and she takes a drag to sit down on. Through a breath of smoke she asks “we can’t get in trouble can we?”

“I think, first, it’ll be best that we try and not get anyone in trouble.” She takes another drag.

Everything seems to have appeared at once. Far away there are ambulance sirens. Over by the student deli is a police car with silent flashing lights. I’m sure that’s got something to do with this “Larry, is that what he called him?” But I hope those ambulance sirens aren’t because of him. I don’t know if I can fully commit to the morality of covering that up. How badly could the person be hurt? Brynn doesn’t seem to make any distinction between the faraway sirens and the silent cop car so I keep this frightful thought to myself.

I look back through the glass doors into the empty living room in time to see it quickly become occupied by Ed who looks like he knows something. He looks at the door and then at us. And then I hear Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

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‘Hey girl, see that thang, see that thang I’m gonna make you sing, All Night!’

I can’t help it, when ass is on the line you evolve.

Brynn is off her ass and I’m right there on it with the music. A smooth creepy groove. An escaping fume of her pubic sweat gives my body an awful little twitch but my every sense craves it. Embrace the cringe.

She takes a step away from Ed, teasing in her dance. He steps into her as she in sync steps back until he’s danced her onto the counter separating the room from the kitchen. She’s trapped. She smiles. Before he could initiate she lunges at his lips for her own good hard kiss. After a moment she breaks and peaks her head to the side at Cathleen standing by the balcony door, “Oh Cat can I have one,” and she slips from the inescapable trap. “I left mine in my room.” Brynn catches a camel cigarette, menthol, and lights up by the open door letting the smoke catch on the passing winds outside.

Lesbians. I just want to fuck already just to get it over with. But I give in to the fact that I can’t win right now. She’s in teasing mode.

“Here give me one and let’s just sit outside on the balcony.” I motion for a cigarette from Cathleen but she starts messing with her phone. She’s ignoring me or just didn’t hear so I snatch the cigarette from her lips to take as my own, breaking her from her disillusionment.”

“What the fuck Ed”

*** *** ***

The spiral stairway is partially cemented closed. Leaving large openings like windows to mark each floor and a view of Pinsky Court.

Take every second step instead of every one or third so you can keep the quick, choppy speed but the advantage of a decent stride.

I pass the third floor door when the fresh cop starts his ascent. I’m faster than these guys. They realize escape is possible.

*** *** ***

It’s been a minute or two since that call with Larry. I thought maybe we could see him come into the dorm grounds from here. Cathleen lights up and sits in one of our camping chairs.

The “Original” Church of God sits almost directly in front of my balcony view off campus. It’s ridiculous, don’t ask me why. A row of houses head down to the street corner at the student deli. And beyond this row is our beloved city barely awake. Sitting beneath a twilight not yet ready for sleep.

“Let’s just stay here tonight.” Brynn suggests.

“Why not.” I say.

“I mean let’s not go to the Void and just drink here.”

“Who said we were going to the Void?”

“Nobody now,” she smiles, “besides, when our friends get here we’ll have some real fun right!”

Girls, they’ll make dry babies with you one second and then insinuate fuckin around with the fresh meat coming in, it’s the only truth in beauty about them.

*** *** ***

Once through the fourth floor entrance there’s a two second stretch of hallway before a right down an open door-ed hallway heading for 4E but not before I knock down this fat ass obstacle with G-Unit jeans into the wall and out of my way. I can hear the cops deep in the stairwell when the door slams shut and I hit the turn. 4A, 4B, 4C,

*** *** ***

“Uh, yeah, I’m not sure how long we’ll even stay here.’ Cathleen sets her cigarette on the concrete ledge by our feet and heads inside, still rubbing her phone, “Mad dog in the fridge?”

“Mad Dog in the fridge,” I say with no allegiance to a specific tone.

“I’ll get the glasses,” and Brynn goes back into the living area. Their cigarettes on the ledge. I can hear from inside Cathleen say something about church when a loud crash busts my door open and the cause body slams into what sounds like my fridge. When I turn around I see an invisible force slam my door shut and then Cathleen, “aaaAAAHHH!”

*** *** ***

4D, and I thrust myself into 4E immediately meeting a sturdy, yellowing refrigerator tossing me to the floor quick enough for me to taste the door bouncing back. Some girl in the kitchen starts screaming just as I kick the door closed. Shaking myself from her hypnotizing yell I shoot to my feet and corner her against the counter top with my hand over her mouth muffling the scream until she stops. Squeezing her face in my hand tight so she knows I fucking mean it. Her eyes peek out over my fingers and lock onto mine, terrified.


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It takes five seconds for an ambulance to pass by intensely against their direction and its sirens to reach a more comforting distance. Up the hill the road plateaus becoming Vine street and the cops aren’t visible anymore. A hard sprint is an understatement in the speed he needs to pick up to get down the three blocks to Houston street where he can turn and disappear. The sting of sweat in his eyes makes him go faster. It’s a long stretch until that beautiful green sign comes into view. And then a cop cruiser comes strolling around the corner.

I slow my speed to a walk and snatch the mask from my face. Squeezing it in my fist. Fuck. The cruiser passes by me but I don’t make eye contact. I don’t even look. It doesn’t exist. I speed walk forward. Straight, casual. And then you hear the power steering.

You turn around and palm your face with your free hand to see that they’re no more than ten yards away and that the street’s too narrow for them to make a full turn. Squeeze the mask harder. The cop in the car looks at you and speaks into his talkie. Just keep walking backwards. Away.

My breath is heavy against my palm. The cop keeps talking. Looking at me. Looking at him through my spread fingers. Keep moving away.

The cop turns his head in time to see cop number two hit the plateau and I sprint back into beat with my previous pace around the corner up Houston street. Out of sight by the time I can barely hear the guy get our of his car and yell something like ‘stop,’ or ‘don’t!’

Up Houston makes a steady rise in slope going against the one way. Houses and a Church of God is on the right and on the left is one dormitory after the next. Johnson, Holden, and then after McClain is a gap before an entrance that leads to the open door-ed Pinsky dormitory stairwell.

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“Eddie are you home?” His voice what shaky and breathy.

“Yeah pal, what are you doing?”

“Unlock your door I’ll be there in a minute…” Sirens blast in the background. And click…

Oh you dick I hope you’re not doing what I think you’re doing.

Ed goes into the kitchenette and cracks the door open. He grabs the bottle of Mad Dog and gets back to the girls waiting for the news.

“Good news, looks like our friend is only a couple minutes away so how about we drink to that eh girls, we’ll make this guy catch up.” This minute of excitement was just the spark needed to get their juices flowing. Though they would have liked any announcement if it were followed by the call for consumption of more alcohol.

“Oh and Arny too!” Brynn tells us and then starts telling me about this guy she’s been friends with all through high school was coming through town back to Atlanta and made a stop to see her. Apparently he showed up at her dorm building, called her, and she gave him directions to my place. “He’ll be here soon.”


Cathleen taps her now full glass on the coffee table and bounces it back to her mouth where she gulps down half.

“Gaddamn girl,” Brynn says as Cathleen lowers her glass. They both smile at each other and then Brynn taps her glass and follows suit as Cathleen cheers her on with laughter. There’s a little bit of tear coating Brynn’s eyelashes as she set her glass down letting out a couple small coughs.

“To Larry…” I tap my glass and chug half, “Mmhow about, some” I hurry over to Sam’s too old stereo and flip on the radio. Some bullshit rap pop girl singing bullshit, ‘Give me five seconds Imma bout to make a deposit, Damn yous a dirty boy you need to step out that closet,’ “music; egh what the fuck is this?”

“Yeah! Keep it there!” Brynn doesn’t hesitate to start weaving her body side to side. “Missy Yolanda; I’ve got the back seat drive baby back seat drive baby, you’ve got that front seat stride hunny that front meat ride.”

I look at her, and then at Cathleen bobbing her head.

“jesus christ,’ I quietly laugh to myself and bottoms up the rest of my drink.

“Aye! To music! Brynn makes her drink disappear.

“To, taste!” Cathleen pours the last half of the red grape wine down her throat.

I hope to hell she was talking about the Mad Dog.

‘Gimme five seconds gimme gimme five seconds…’

*** *** ***

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You only get an instant of a second to react when you get smashed off your feet and onto the ground which provides a second second of opportunity to wriggle from what grasp has you. As the cop lands on top the best thing to do is push his lock down and away as you force your hips against his grip and torque your body to turn over.

I want to give a quick kick to keep him down but it won’t give me any long term advantage, if anything it’ll slow me down. Distance and invisibility is what I need.

The sound of fresh Fila’s thuds the air anyway and not far behind the struggle is cop number one’s twin catching up ready to pump Larry full of fifty-kays but they’re already gone. Each sprinting with only several yards between the other. “Police! Stop!” Cop number one’s breathing begins to deepen, shorten and thicken.

I feel fine. Minus the strawberries the sidewalk gave me across my side and what tastes like a busted lip and bit tongue. It tastes purple. And then it dissipates. The physical pain is of the past and for the future as the mind is strained into the chemical focus that makes escape possible. With the taste of purple, get the cop to believe escape is possible, and you’ve won.

Larry throws his mask back on and hurries his pace. Turning onto an uphill Sixth street he can see he’s getting distance. Cop number two looks up as Larry looks back and there’s eye contact. When the cops finally reach the hill cop number two takes the lead and pushes the hill with evil force.

Near the top I scoop my phone from my pocket. Four missed calls. It’s hard to read but I just need to make a call. Twelve missed texts. Christ, twelve? What the hell that could mean I’m not so sure but this is no time to find out. I just need to make a call. And fuck this hill.

*** *** ***

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