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Trip on This: Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

They have it—the evidence needed to nail the mayor.  Sam Davies—the fucking hypocrite and so much more.  First, there’s Blanche’s final note written a few days before she died.  She finally uses his name instead of calling him ‘sweetie’, which, of course is not proof in and of itself.  She writes how if they have this letter, then she really is dead, and her lover, Davies, is the instigator behind it.  She implores the reader to ‘do the right thing’ and make sure that he’s stopped.  It seems that Blanche had an attack of conscience as she prepared to meet her maker.  The last sentences are smudged, most likely by her tears.

 

He is a monster.  I didnt want to believe it, but now I finally do. 

 

Trip and Mowgli fortify themselves before viewing the DVDs.  They know that this is the end of the line, which means that whatever they are about to see will most likely be even worse than the photos.  The sleeves are labeled ‘Wild Nights’ and are dated, ranging over the past five years.  Chances are she stole a selection of DVDs which—hopefully—indict everyone involved.  Trip and Mowgli sit and stare at the discs dumped on Trip’s bed for perhaps five minutes or longer.  Neither wants to actually play one of the damn things, but they know they are only prolonging the inevitable.  They pop the first one in and prepare to be disgusted.  Initially, it appears as a scene from some frat party with a shot of ‘the boys’ getting ready to go out on the town.  O’Reilly and Peters are starring in this one.

The DVD is more of the same depicted in the photos but worse because now there’s movement and sound.  Even though they keep the volume on low, the screams and cries fill their ears until Mowgli reflexively covers his.  He is squeamish and can’t watch some of the gorier torture, but Trip forces herself to watch every minute of the two-hour DVD, her eyes wide open.  She doesn’t flinch at the graphic images and piteous sounds, but there’s a tightness around her lips that hadn’t been there before.  After it is finished, she pops the next one in before Mowgli can protest or ask to take a break.  She wants to get the viewing done as soon as possible and even if Mowgli bails on her, she’s determined to watch every single damn DVD to see exactly what they’re up against.  She has to sit on her hands from time to time so as to not turn off the disc or at least pause it, but she makes it through the second one.  By this time, Mowgli has turn green and is only watching sporadically.

“Break time,” Mowgli says firmly as soon as disc number two, starring the editor-in-chief of the Chron and the chief of police, is over.

“One more,” Trip replies just as firmly, popping DVD number three into the machine.

“Gotcha,” Mowgli says softly as the mayor’s familiar and photogenic face fills the screen.  “It’s show time.”

After watching the third disc is finished, they do not speak.  Without a doubt, Sam Davies is the vilest man on earth, and he needs to be exterminated like the pestilence he is.  In this DVD, he does things to the eight-year old girl that no one should ever have to experience, and it seems more like a blessing than anything else when he finally kills her by strangling her with his own hands.  Yes, kills her.  Not accidentally, either, in the midst of passion, but coldly, once he has finished his fun with her body.  It is clear that she is not there voluntarily, nor does he handle her with any care.  Only after he kills her does he tenderly stroke her skin, as if to say good-bye.  There is a wrinkle in the middle of the DVD which indicates he’s watched it several times as a DVD is harder to make skip than a video—he is an even sicker man than O’Reilly.

Still not saying a word, Trip ejects the DVD and hurls it across the room.  Fortunately for both of them, the DVD doesn’t shatter.  Trip and Mowgli stare at each other, their faces bleak.  Both of them are children of the streets and have seen the horrible things that humans do to each other, but after viewing that DVD, they don’t consider Sam Davies to be a part of the same species as themselves.  He obviously doesn’t hold himself to the same standards as mere mortals as evidence by the damning disc.  Trip and Mowgli both acknowledge that they are willing to sacrifice everyone else—in other words, allow them to escape—if it means nailing Davies.  They don’t need to discuss it; they can tell by looking into each other’s eyes that it is so.  Ideally, they would love to nail every single one of the bastards pictured, but Davies is the one they’re focused on.

Still not talking, they speed through the other discs in order to determine that hizzoner is featured on more than the one—he is.  Though none of the other footage is as vivid nor as damning as the one of him committing murder.  After discovering that yes, indeed, the mayor is prominently featured on the other discs, Trip puts all the DVDs—save number three—into Mowgli’s bag.  The special disc resides in lone splendor in Trip’s bag.  Now, they have to decide what they’re going to do with the DVDs.  They talk about it, but neither has any concrete ideas.  They are demoralized by what they’ve immersed themselves in.  Mowgli rises abruptly and goes into the bathroom.  Soon, the sounds of the shower running are heard.  Trip stares out the window, though it’s too dark to see anything.  She waits patiently for Mowgli to scrub the slime off his skin which seems to take an inordinate amount of time.  Then again, he still has the sling which might be the problem.  When he returns, he still has an expression of disgust on his face.

“We have to put the DVDs somewhere for safekeeping,” Mowgli finally says.  “And the last packet of pictures.”

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