Author’s Note: I’d like to thank the many people who’ve commented both privately and publicly- ALL of the statements have been supportive and inspiring. Now a word to the wise: this particular chapter doesn’t have any actual sex scenes in it, but it opens the doors for something entirely new to happen. So those of you who simply enjoy a story for the sake of a story, I hope this one will keep you coming back for more. And for those of you who eagerly anticipate some erotica, I promise that the next chapter will please you in spades.
Weeks had gone by after that incident with Kelly and I still hadn’t repeated the experience I had with her while I was Between. I just couldn’t seem to catch her in a position that would allow for easy entry without having to damn near jump through hoops. And then there was the guilt of it all. She is my daughter and I do love her very much. What I did was, no matter how I slice it, wrong. I wouldn’t have done that kind of thing in Normal Time to her and doing it while I was Between felt just as wrong. Thrilling, yes, but still wrong. It was like I was living two separate lives. In Normal Time, I was a kind, generous, loving father and husband who went to work like any normal guy would. But there was my Between self, the version of me who was able to do anything I wanted at any given moment. And don’t think that, just because I didn’t repeat my experience with Kelly that I didn’t go Between again. I most certainly did, and often. At least twice a day. Sometimes it would be just for a few moments, to satisfy a curiosity of mine and other times it was for hours on end, just to learn what I could about the people around me. Primarily, I found myself fascinated with my co-workers and neighbors and the things they did when they thought no one else was looking.
For instance, I learned that Frank DiCappo, who ran the advertising department at the radio station I worked at, liked to go to the bathroom every day at two o’clock. I could practically set my clock by it and it wasn’t a big secret amongst the rest of the staff. We all knew that, when the clock struck 2, Frank would disappear into the Men’s room for anywhere between ten and twenty minutes. Always the same stall, too. But none of us could ever figure out exactly what it was he did in there every day. Some of us speculated that he had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was just taking a bathroom break longer than most. Others thought that perhaps he was a cocaine addict who got his fix in the bathroom stalls. But none of us ever had the courage (or lack of decorum) to pointedly ask him and, frankly, we all rather enjoyed the mystery of it- it gave us something to talk about during our slow times in the office. But one day I just got fed up with the not-knowing and, about five minutes after he’d gone into the Men’s room, I went Between to go and investigate. Come to find out that he masturbated to porn videos on his iPod. The truth was, to be honest, far more mundane and considerably more pathetic than our idle imaginings. I didn’t have the heart to tell anyone else what I’d learned mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to explain my method of discovering the truth but also because I really didn’t want to spoil it for everyone else. Besides, some secrets are best kept in the dark, y’know?
But then there was Francine Cower, the hot trophy wife who lived two houses down from us. For years Sarah and I wondered what that woman did in her house all day, every day while her husband Joe was out at work or playing golf. We’d been inside the house once or twice just to be neighborly, but nothing there ever seemed out of sorts. Actually, the Cowers seemed to have quite a nice and well-kept abode. It wasn’t gradiose or anything- pretty normal, really. But there was a very noticeable diffidence and affability between Francine and Joe, like they were feeding off of each other in something like love, but less so. Sarah and I figured that she was involved in some long-term but very discrete love affair, despite us never seeing any strange men hanging about the Cower residence. All we ever saw was Francine and her sister-in-law Delilah over there while Joe was out, not including the postman who was in his sixties, not at all attractive and never went inside their house. But on a sojourn to the Land in Between, I found out that Francine was indeed having an affair- with Delilah, of all people. Apparently Delilah and Francine carried quite a torch for each other and had kept up their affair for years without anyone suspecting. And it helped that Joe Cower was fully aware of the lesbian love-affair. In fact, he was more than just aware of it, he was involved in it, too. While in Between one boring Wednesday when I had gotten home from work early, I snuck into their house and discovered Francine and Delilah frozen in the 69 position on the living room floor. I hid myself in the hallway, just out of sight from the living room, and listened in on their torid sex illegal bahis for several long minutes. Those two women, it seems, like to talk during sex. A lot. And the most exciting topic of their sexual conversations center almost exclusively on what Joe will do to either of them when he gets home. Will he force his wife to suck his cum from his sister’s just-sodomized asshole or will he indulge in a double-header blowjob from both ladies while he tells them what sluts they are? Ah, yes. The Cowers are an amazing couple indeed and, clearly, there is more to them than meets the eye. Sadly, as juicy as the truth about what those two ladies do in the privacy of their own home is, I can’t ever tell a soul about it. At least, not without giving away how I knew.
So many people in this world carry so many dirty little secrets. The guy sitting in the car next to you might have a dead body in the trunk. The woman behind you in the theater might be hiding there to avoid her abusive husband. The boy playing on the swings in the park may have just shop-lifted a small bag of candy from the local convenience store. Or the young teenaged girl next door might be six months pregnant. You never really do know what’s going on around you because, frankly, hardly anyone ever puts their dirty laundry out on the street for all to gaze upon. But I’m learning. I’m learning all that I can, taking what I can and going into places where angels fear to tread. And I’m loving it.
It’s not all about my own selfish desires, though. I do perform the occasional act of grace and kindness when I go Between. Once I stopped a child from getting hit by car whose driver wasn’t paying attention. Another time I deflated the tires and removed the spark plug cables of a burglar’s getaway car and called the cops. Yet another time I managed to save the life of a telephone repair man who had accidentally fallen from a telephone pole by cushioning his fall with a shitload of pillows- almost as soon as he was safely down, I went Between and removed the pillows then reinserted myself into Normal Time to watch him literally get down on his knees and thank God for breaking his fall (I feel that this gift, for whatever reason, was bestowed upon me by God, so I believe that the guy was thanking the proper entity, even though I was the one who had physically intervened). I won’t say that I’ve been Superman or anything, but I’ve definitely tried to use my gift for good, as a sort of balance to my selfish uses for it. And when I did those deeds, I didn’t do them with any sense of premeditation, like looking for people to rescue or save, but saw the need for my services and did what was necessary when I was able. I know what you’re thinking, though: why didn’t I just spend my entire day helping people out? The answer is simple and perhaps difficult to accept: sometimes people need their pain. I can’t be everywhere at once and really don’t want to be. If I tried, I’d never get anything in my own life done and I’d end up resenting Humanity in general. Then there’s the fact that someone out there would notice that all these crimes were being stopped mysteriously and they would start to figure out how… and possibly discover my secret or get me arrested for vigilantism. I am, by and large, a relatively good guy, but I’m no superhero and have no desire or intention to be.
That said, there was a pivotal and extraordinary incident, like my first experience with Kelly, that will stay with me until the day I die. A week before Kelly was to start her senior year in high school, Sarah and I decided to treat our daughter to a night out on the town. It was basically a date with the parents which included dinner and a movie. The dinner was good and the movie was entertaining, but both were merely incidental to the night’s big events. On the way home we stopped at a convenience store to get some gas and cold drinks. We’ve done this a thousand times before, with each trip being as uneventful as ever, until this night. My two ladies went into the station to get their drinks while they waited for me to pump the gas, which was our normal routine. A few minutes later I joined them inside. Sarah was looking at some sodas and Kelly was eyeballing the energy drinks (always the athlete, looking for the next trend in “pick-me-up” drinks). I walked up to my wife and planted a loving kiss on her cheek as I pulled open a cooler door, reaching my hand inside to withdraw a bottle of Coke.
Suddenly three masked men rushed into the store, all holding guns and wearing black, and started to shout at everyone. From their accents I could tell that they were hispanic. One man, the tallest of the three, approached the clerk, pointed his gun in the poor boy’s face and demanded that he be given the money inside the register. The boy immediately popped the drawer open and started tossing money into a plastic bag. One of the other gunmen, though, wasn’t apparently content with having just the money- he felt like striking illegal bahis siteleri some fear into the hearts of innocent people, starting with my daughter Kelly. He stomped towards her intently, his eyes set dead on her, and said, “You! You wanna live? Show me your tits!” Just like that. This asshole could get on the ‘net any day of the week and see some young woman’s breasts or even go to a strip club, but here he was, demanding to see my daughter’s charms. Intellectually I knew that his true intent was to feed off of her fear, but the irrationality of the demand completely baffled me. That is not to say, however, that it didn’t enrage me.
Before I could intervene, though, my wife was quick to speak out. “Don’t you fucking DARE!” Sarah growled at the gunman. “That’s my daughter!” Sarah, blind with outrage and anger, began to walk towards the gunman, unarmed and not exactly well-prepared to fight him even if he didn’t have a gun.
The startled man looked at my wife, I started to reach out to stop her and, without hesitation, he shot her where she stood. In a split-second my wife took a staggered step backwards and then crumpled to the floor, a hole in her upper chest, just below her shoulder, and already bleeding profusely. I barely even heard the gunshot as I watched my wife just fall to the ground like a puppet whose strings had been cut. Without a second thought I was on the floor next to her and my daughter was right beside me in a flash. I took my wife’s hand in my own as Kelly started sobbing. Sarah, completely dazed and in shock, just looked around at the two of us, unable to speak, and promptly passed out.
Kelly looked up at the bastard who shot my wife and snarled, “You fucking animal!”
The gunman, completely unfazed, pointed the gun at Kelly and sneered, “You wanna follow Mommy’s example? Maybe die right here with her?”
The third gunman, who stood sentry by the front doors, shouted, “Hey! We ain’t got time for that kind of shit, man! Just shoot the bitch and let’s get the fuck out!”
As the man who shot my wife started to argue with his companion, extolling the virtues of my daughter’s breasts and how truly criminal it would be to destroy them, I grabbed Kelly’s arm to get her attention. She looked at me, her eyes large and full of a thousand different emotions. “Whatever you do,” I told her quietly and calmly, “don’t leave her side.” Her expression filled with more fear, thinking that I was about to try and take on the gunman by myself and perhaps get shot just like her mother, her mouth opened to protest. I shook my head once and quickly as I released my grip on her arm. “No. Just watch them. You’ll see.”
And then I went Between. The world went completely still and silent. I looked down, gratified to see that my wife’s bleeding was stopped entirely, her being my primary concern. But now that I knew she was not going to get any worse while I was Between, I turned my attention to these monsters who’d decided that crime might pay them well enough to make this worth their effort. Oh, what a lesson they were about to learn!
I walked up to the bastard who had shot my wife and yanked the gun from his hand. It came out easily, leaving his hand in the same position it was in, as though he were holding an invisible gun. Then I proceeded to beat the ever-lovin’ shit out of him, while he was still frozen and while I was safe from consequence. I hit him hard in the stomach, which didn’t cause him to move but I knew it would cause him pain in Normal Time. Then I stood in front of him and kicked him squarely in the groin. That done, I then kicked directly at his knee with enough force to actually move it, completely obliterating the knee cap with the heel of my hiking boot. It was grotesquely weird to see him standing, frozen in time, with one knee bent backwards and no pain registering on his face, but I was sufficiently satisfied that I had caused him untold agony with those ruthless strikes.
But I didn’t stop there. Oh, no. I did the exact same thing to his two friends, all of them terribly abused and broken and disarmed by the time I was done with them. I went back to the bathroom, holding all their guns, and reinserted myself back into Normal Time for a flash of a second. In that second I heard the first utterings of their agonized screams, which were cut short as I went back into my Between state. Now, however, I had their guns with me, on my person. While I was beating these robbers a few minutes before, I had an epiphany- if my iPod could work for me when I took it with me on my Between journeys, why wouldn’t the guns work, too? I left the bathroom and saw that the robbers were already on the floor, sheer agony coupled with surprise etched on their faces. A glance at my daughter showed surprise, too, but I figure that was because, from her perspective, I had suddenly disappeared before her very eyes. I went outside, aimed one of the guns into the air and fired off a round to canlı bahis siteleri see if it would actually work. The loud bang of the weapon surprised me a little, but left me feeling very satisfied and powerful. These men would not harm anyone ever again, I had decided that with absolute certainty.
I went back into the store and stood over the fallen figure of the man who shot my wife. His mouth was stretched wide in a heartfelt scream of pain and he was almost balled up in a fetal position if not for the leg I had broken. I kneeled down next to him, grabbed his shoulder and flipped between Time for a fraction of a second. This was another experiment I had meant to try but never got around to: if I could take objects like my iPod with me, could I take people, too? The world fell silent with the exception of this one, miserable asshole’s screaming voice. One more mystery solved. He was so wrapped up in his own agony that he failed to notice the true terror that was about to befall him.
I stood up and aimed the gun directly at his head and said, “Hey.” No response from him except more screaming, so I shouted. “Hey!” This time he looked up at me as he held his broken knee, completely confused and terrified. “You shot my wife, you motherfucker. Whether she dies or not, your intention was clear: you meant to kill her. And, for that, you’re about to die. Any last words?”
“Fuck you, man! The bitch shouldn’t-“
I didn’t wait to hear the rest of what he had to say. At that point, I doubt he would’ve said anything meaningful anyway. I pulled the trigger and put him out of everyone’s misery. Blam! Gone, just like that. The back of his head exploded like a melon, blood and gray matter going everywhere, and then he was completely lifeless. Inwardly I was surprised at how detached and methodical my actions were, how easily I took to the task of exterminating these evil fuckers. I honestly and truly did not feel anything but grim satisfaction in the knowledge that they would never strike fear or terror into anyone’s heart ever again. Whether they were otherwise good men or not didn’t even seem to matter to me- their actions had spoken for them and that was all I needed to know. With that, I looked up and approached his accomplice, the one who’d encouraged him to kill my daughter. Pretty much the same story, dead before he knew what had hit him. The third gunman, the one whose job it was to get the money, actually apologized and begged for his life. I told him that I appreciated his apology. Then I shot him, too. No sense in letting him live. You run with animals, you are an animal. Therefore, you should be put down like an animal. End of story.
And in these precious seconds I used to destroy these three men who’d interjected themselves into my family’s life with terror and suffering, I had learned a few very important facts. First, I could take machinery (firearms do qualify as machines) with me and they would work as long as I was holding them when I went Between. Second, I could take people (who experience complex chemical reactions) with me. Third, and this is definitely interesting, if I left something behind when I went Between and reinserted myself back into Normal Time, that item, no matter what it may be, is gone forever, locked between one second and the next. The bodies of the three gunmen, when I went back to Normal Time, were completely gone. Their blood was not even on the floor. Totally and completely erased from the time-stream, lost to The Past and never to be found. That third lesson made it very clear to me just how careful I would have to be in the future. If I put something down or lost something and then went back to Normal Time, I’d never be able to get it back.
And I did return to Normal Time, but not before wiping down the guns I’d taken from the robbers (to remove my fingerprints) and placing them in the vehicle I assumed was theirs (a glossy green sedan which was still running, as evinced by the fact that it was the only car in the parking lot which had the headlights on). I went back to Kelly’s side, where she was still kneeling by her mother, grabbed her arm again, and flipped Time once more, this time taking my daughter with me to see the world Between.
Kelly immediately went into hysterics when she saw me. As though she’d been bitten by a snake, she scooted back on her haunches, her eyes wild and fearful, as she took in the scene around us. I stayed there, next to my bloodied wife’s frozen body, and held out my hand, palm up. “Kelly,” I said calmly, “relax. It’s me.”
“D-Dad? What the fuck… Dad?” Kelly said breathlessly as she stared at me in abject terror. “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!”
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and answered. “Honey, I won’t lie to you. I killed them. All three of them. They’re gone and they won’t hurt anyone ever again.”
She pointed an accusatory finger at me. “I- I saw them,” she said cautiously. “You… I saw you disappear and then you reappeared for a flash in front of each of them and then… then you… you took them.” I didn’t deny it and remained silent for a moment to let her collect her thoughts as she tried to figure it out. “Where… where did they…? What’d you do?”