Violent Mind Candy

Null & Boyd Noir #2

by Gary S. Kadet

The heroes are Null, a man with neither feelings nor humanity, a near automaton of vengeance, and Boyd, a woman who has lost everything in her life that meant anything to her, ruled by guilt and a sense of duty at war with her compassion.

Criminal psychopath Dr. Benway, who saved Null’s sanity with an illegal, experimental therapy, has invented a new designer street drug delivered by a stick of gum. His plan is to distribute the gum, known as “the Chaw”, to Boston and Cambridge clubs for free to create demand. But when the Ecstasy-like sensual pleasure wears off, the after-effect is a murderous, violent rage.

Micmac Indian high-rise construction “edge walker” and mob enforcer Filmore Lakeworry, known as “Lumpy” for his short, thick stature, forces a partnership with Benway at gunpoint. Null and Boyd set out to stop them, but Null changes his mind as the Chaw restores to him some of his lost humanity and Boyd can’t charge Benway because his specially concocted drug isn’t illegal.

Null falls into a short-lived, drug-driven romance with Boyd, ending with him tearing up the streets with extreme violence that ultimately installs him as the “Meth King” of Boston.




It's the same in Boston as in any other city—

The screaming.

It happens in a single second—a debauched moment in time—a secret, jagged opening, a sickening fissure in the continuum of the usual.

Always discreet, this time under cover of a sopping rain.

Now, the rain in Boston is in fact unlike the rain of any other city; thick, heavy, stupid globs coming at you in fits and starts like the clabber of a mad dog shaking its head. Icy, yet greasy to the touch. A Boston rain seems to know in some dumb way just how and when to piss you off the most. It's like it knows precise and predetermined ways to get to you.

Open your umbrella and find it chewed and ruined almost instantly by the brutish wind. Try to turn back and find yourself slammed instead into a salvo of droplets like slops tossed in your face. Duck for cover, it stops before you get there.

Proceed and get drenched.

This rain, it knows how to push you around. It knows how to bully you while you're busy trying to find a way out of it.

This rain—interrupted by a grim, gray nothing—was what each year passed for spring in Boston. It would go on for days and days with the languid force of a complaint that took on a stunted life of its own whose mind and personality made you simply want to kill it.

It hung on in its feculent decay with absolutely no regard for you—like some rich, ancient, stingy relative hanging around waiting to die only to deny you whatever legacy had once been dangled before you.

That was the essence of Boston.

No other city had a rain like it. No other city deserved it.

The debauched moment in time, however—now that was something exactly the same in Boston as it was in New York or LA.

Even in such a pinched and middling cloister as Boston, the debauched moment in time was always a known yet hidden thing; an abominable tick in the shadows covered up by the soft and wooly lie of the expected. Acceptably finessed and, therefore, neatly ignored.

It was a moment that came lightning fast in bedrooms and offices, dormitories and backrooms—bang! It was over. Sly like quicksilver in the alleys between the cracks in the cobblestones of the cramped downtown, shunted by brickwork and silicate pavement where only specialized eyes could see.

Opportunistic eyes, viral, microscopic.

Those attuned to sickness boiled in depravity knew it for what it was immediately: The moment that writhes up from under consciousness as if a crawler from below a flagstone, but comes down hard, nevertheless. Hard and final. It comes on strong, heavy, relentless, only to at last peter out to weakness, like the misdirected sloppy punch of a drunk thrown at no one in particular in a dive bar—

Or like a woman screaming her lungs out in an alley in the rain.

And it was a woman, wasn't it?

It had to be—that screaming.

Could anyone else shriek and plead and scream in such a way?

Sure. That was it.

A normal urban tragedy: Heel broken, smoke-stemmed legs in dark stockings splayed down to the pavement, the heaving weeping with shock and discomfort; the abrupt heart-breakup.

The drama.

A young thing, beautiful and frail in mascara ruined by the rain, pretty in hot pink chemically tortured hair, alabaster cheeks, lips pouted out and perennially tumescent for sex. But chaste, always chaste unless in trade for those moments of glamour that come even to a prim city like Boston.

Wet breasts in a scoop-necked PVC, shoulder less bodysuit, shining too fully round to be ignored in oblique streetlight.

Certain eyes cannot help but see. Viral eyes.

Off Sleeper Street past six where the avaricious dreamers trundle down Congress, gloating, plotting, but as always worrying, so that the debauched moment in time slips by almost unnoticed. Braving the annoying rain locked in the rhythm of the plan.

Then comes some normal guy, blissfully late from the office cubicle, relieved by time and deadline of the screaming kids, the hectoring wife, the computer up and running and waiting at home with Quicken's household accounting spreadsheet—the nightly fiscal video game of “black hole.”

Business types seeing her, adjusting their collars, their hats and their vision not to see her. Noses in the air with grasping complacency, Boston style (—forever a town like an arrogant French waiter, either licking someone's coveted boots or kicking someone perceived to be a bit beneath in the ass with a borrowed pair of the same).

Comes the normal guy, bruised ass and all—what could he do but be buffeted along by these currents while acting as if it were his chosen destiny?

When in Boston, you behave as if you don't really have to be there, like a Kennedy, Cabot, Lowell, Tufts even a Bush (hell, if you can't have Harvard, take a New England coastline fiefdom instead), even though you were just stuck. Your best hope was to either steer clear of these dynastic family machines or in some way scrape up the chance to grovel at their feet and service them.

A city of toadies and toads refreshed by an influx of over-privileged children of national and international grandees—the fallow of the typical malefactors of greed, celebrity, and influence who dot the four-color landscape and fire the hearts of the mob competing only with “reality” TV.


Boston was in many ways a two-sided kiddieland. On one side, fresh young faces looking for fast times to kill time while being groomed for happy prefab life-slots, and on the other side, older, more life-battered predators on the make and jones-ing a mile a minute for that special young, fresh face.

Youth was never just wasted on the young in Boston.

So, comes the normal guy, happy for any opportunity at all.

Happy to get anything at all, happy to get lucky.

Anything to forestall the nightly cozy work-a-daddy death/resurrection scenario.

Like some young thing crying in the rain, for example.

What's wrong, honey? What's wrong?

Rain beat down and stuck, like it was rolling off a body.

He knelt, gave her his coat, lifted her up from under sleek, fleshy arms bared by the bodysuit beneath an inadequate red pleather jacket, so very smooth-shaven and fragrant. Warm and yearning; sticky to the touch.

She was chewing gum amid her bawling, snapping it and smacking her lips, chewing thickly. A little lost lamb lolling its cud.

He held her close to him and she yielded gratefully as he inhaled the sweat-enhanced pheromone scent of youth's perfume.

She wept hard now into his shoulder almost joyously, clinging to him, clutching him, arms and legs still pudgy with child-flesh seeking his warmth and—so it seemed—his rising manhood.

He drew her into the shadows, as in this embrace they were no longer erased within the vision of the Boston passersby but examined lewdly and then hurried past. His clumsy hands explored her as she clung more tightly to him, settling into the warmth and comfort of his closeness, burying her head by his shoulder and neck. His hands probed beneath the body suit as his wrecked umbrella and battered attaché case fell away like a dull husk in the slapping rain and now he was as soaked to the skin as she.

The young thing chewed gum sloppily against the flesh of his neck, sobbing piteously.

It didn't really matter.

Instead of going home, he found he was home.

And it had been far too long since he had been here.

He wondered why he ever had left at all.

They waltzed together in a tender embrace further back into the shadows at an angle away from the street corner.

He would do her right there, right then, like he was eighteen again and life was a mysterious gamble he could win with luck and cunning. Fuck the rain. Fuck the work-a-drone drudges trundling by, bullied by the fucking rain and trying to ignore them.

But first he had to calm the weeping.

In his staid, mid-thirties mindset, you just didn't do a weeping a girl right there in the narrow, flooded alley.

No, you comforted her first; coaxed and then refocused the need upon you.

That's what you did.

Come here, honey. Let me make it better. Get you warm.

Get me hot you mean?

Oh, yeah, honey. That's what I mean.

The rain, with added electrical flashes, was unforgiving, and her candy-flavored embrace was just the opposite. Quick and eager fingers found his groin and clasped it firmly, knowingly, with correct pressure. His fingers probed her with inexpert directness.

The rain was giving them and everyone else a beating.

There was a big push to make time.

Together against warehouse brick and hard by stolid dumpsters, they seemed to be rutting and bucking. They rumbled with the thunder and were crepuscular with lightning. Now they were skewed amorphous shapes hardly seen at all by the hurried prim business walkers lunging toward the commute home that was itself barely more desirable than the storm.

He looked up, transfixed, renewed, defined by rainwater like a dreamy icing.

Her clothes were laid open in the half-light, split and unzipped; her pink, firm belly and gentle curves of chest and thigh were defined by wet, shining flashes of light; her eyes dewy with emotion and the intensity of meaning in the moment.

A special moment in time.

He drew her up to him as they threatened to fall comically into a dark puddle.

She breathed candied fragrance into his face, her arms clasping him to her with fierce need.

His hands were on her ass, cupping each cheek and pushing her up into him.

This was the moment to which he really belonged; he knew then, this nameless normal guy, this moment and no other.

He couldn't have been more right.

This was the moment that owned him.

The climax came and went, as did the commuters.

A detail cop shone a flashlight on them and barked something at them in Dorchester-ese, a gargled, guttural sneer. The beating rain was like a shield. The cop waved his arm, drawled something vulgar and indistinct.

A kick in the ass from the unforgiving wind was all he needed to move on.

It was after the climax that the crying came again, and the guy knew, as he affected a standard comforting embrace, that this was now the bad moment that had to follow. He was expert in this from years of marriage bed theatrics and knew just what to do; whispering things, adjusting his drenched clothes and groping for his attaché case. She wept into him, hysterical now, despite the satiation and apparent reaching soulfulness of the moment.

His moment.

The moment he thought that had come for him, which in fact did not come at all—until now.

The weeping became a screaming louder than the thunder, which seemed to stop time.

High-pitched, mindless beyond desperate, keening like a suicidal/homicidal woman.

The cop fought his way back toward the alley off Sleeper and was promptly knocked off his feet into an inky ocean of rain by a pink-haired lithe-limbed club girl squealing half naked in intermittent flashes of light. The remains of her clothes were mostly trailing behind her.

The detail cop could have sworn after she knocked him down that she was skipping happily—merrily was a word that came to mind like out of a fairy story—across the bridge just past the Boston Tea Party boat on Congress over by the restored depression-era Milk Bottle concession stand at the Children's Museum toward the business district. Her pink flesh was made to glow somehow breathtakingly under coarse streetlight in the rain.

She was fucking skipping!

When the officer got there, he had to radio in several times as the storm really fucked up communications—the electrical disturbance of ions in the air.

Finally, at dispatch, he put in a request for the pizza wagon out of Boston City and a crime scene detail to come meet him on Sleeper as some poor fucker just got his throat ripped out by a crack-crazed prostitute.

There was no more screaming.

But in the distance, he could have sworn that he heard something that crackled behind the thunder.


Like that of a small child.

"Violent Mind Candy" by Gary S. Kadet



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