Tuesday, 12 March 2013

“You’re an Evil Man John Dobbs”

John Dobbs hated going to the laundromat, but then again John Dobbs hated most people and things.  He hated his ex girlfriend for throwing him out for his supposed “rape” of her 14 year old Sister. The little bitch had been flirting with him non- stop, so when he finally responded then she said he had forced himself on her. His ex had said the only reason she didn’t press charges was because she didn’t want her Sister to have to go through that. Whatever, they both could go to hell.  He hated his manager Mr. Able at his part time job at the Chicken Delight. Able was always on his ass about coming in late, and having the smell of alcohol on his breath. When his shift ended last night, Able told John that he was on his final warning. Good, John thought. Able could stick his minimum wage job up his ass. Ever since his ex Rachel had kicked John out of her Manhattan apartment, John had been living in a roach and rat infested apartment building in the South Bronx. It was full of Hispanics and Blacks always playing their music non- stop or beating up their wives or girlfriends. John hated living there, but the rent was dirt cheap. His next door neighbour said she knew he had kicked her little “Parker” down the stairs. The dog had died a day later of internal bleeding. Oh well, the bitch should have kept it inside and from barking all day and night.  But of all of the shit in his life, John hated the Laundromat the most.
The Sit and Spin Laundromat had been at the corner of 53rd and Euclid for 30 years, and John didn’t think that anything had been done to the place since it was first built. It remained dirty and always smelled like mould, with the paint peeling from the walls, and cobwebs covering the rusted pipes along the ceiling. He was surprised he didn’t catch something from just walking into the place.  The washers and dryers were old and dilapidated, and there were always some out of order. The fat and lazy attendant Rosie was usually asleep in the office, snoring loudly, mouth gaped wide open with droll running down her three chins. When John had to wake her up to get change, he felt like putting his fist down her ugly throat. He would do his laundry somewhere else but his car had been broke down for the last six months, and the Sit and Spin was only a few blocks from his apartment building.  Today when he got to the laundromat, it was more crowed then usual.  It was full of Hispanic women with their bratty kids running around, because the women were too busy talking and laughing, and not paying attention to their kids. John had to wait for a half hour for a free washer, and because it was too cold to stand outside, he was stuck inside with the bitches. The more he sat the angrier he got. They didn’t have a care in the world, taking their sweet time, while their dirty and smelly brats ran around like little monsters. But why should the women care? They were in his country illegally, collecting welfare, and always the first line for a free handout. John imagined coming into the laundromat like in the movies, dressed in a long black leather coat, hair slicked back, wearing sunglasses and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Armed with an AK- 47 he would shoot the whole place up. Eat your heart out Arnold.
His daydream was interrupted by a little boy slipping on the floor and falling into John’s lap. The boy had been running around the Laundromat for the last ten minutes. Without giving it much thought, John pushed the little boy away so hard that the boy fell backwards and hit his head on a leg of a folding table. Everything in the Laundromat stopped, all the women looking to see what had happened. One of them must have seen John push the little boy because her voice grew angry sounding and she was pointing to John while she talked to another woman, who apparently was the boy’s Mother. She came over to the boy, and bent down, picking him up and looking him over while saying something to John in Spanish. He knew she was cursing at him but he didn’t really care. While the boy was wailing like he was dying, John could see that the boy wasn’t seriously hurt. There wasn’t any cuts or blood. “Fuck this” John thought, and said angrily to the woman that she should be watching her kid more. He got his clothes and banged out the door, the boy’s Mother still yelling at him. As soon as he got out the door, heading back to his apartment, he heard a woman’s voice behind him say
“You’re an evil man John Dobbs. “
When John turned around, he saw a very old woman standing in front of the laundromat. She was wearing what looked like a bunch or rags, and even though it was winter, she wore no shoes. She had long stringy grey hair, and her face was covered in lines and wrinkles, but her eyes were very bright and very blue. John walked over to her.
“Who the hell are you and how do you know my name? “He asked her.
In a deep voice with a foreign accent she said, “I am the collector of dead souls. I take the souls of those without hope and redemption, and very soon I’ll be coming for yours John Dobbs.”
Then the old woman smiled showing him a mouth of blackened stumps. John looked at the woman startled. It felt like the blood had left his body, and there was a ringing in his ears. He went to grab her arm, and all of a sudden there was a commotion down the street. A young boy was running out of store, with a man chasing him yelling “Stop, come back here thief!” John turned back towards the woman again, but she was gone. He looked up and down the sidewalk, and even in the window of the laundromat , but she was nowhere in sight. As the boy ran past him, he turned and looked at John. The boy’s eyes were completely black. He smiled with a mouthful of fangs, and said to him. “See you in hell soon mister.” John blinked a few times and shook his head. “What’s wrong with me.” he thought. He hadn’t smoked any crack or took any acid for awhile.  “It’s probably just this lousy city and all the stupid fucking people in it. It’s making me crazy.” He said under his breath, as he picked up his clothes and made his way back to his apartment. As soon as he could, he was going to get the hell out of here.
Everything was normal for about a week, and then John started seeing the old woman everywhere. He would be on the bus looking out the window, and he would see her standing on a corner, smiling at him as he rode by. Other time he would be standing at the counter of the Stop and Save  and he would look up at the mirror and see the old woman standing behind him, but when he turned around she wasn’t there. When he walked down the street, there would be someone coming towards him, and as they passed, he would hear her voice laugh and say “Soon John Dobbs.” He kept dismissing it as his mind playing tricks, until the night he was getting his dick sucked by a crack whore in the hallway of his apartment building. He was enjoying it until he looked down and the saw the face of the old woman looking up at him. She opened her mouth wide, and then suddenly hundreds of insects came pouring out of her mouth. Roaches, centipedes, spiders, and beetles were crawling out and crawling all over him. John screamed and pushed the old woman back, frantically brushing the bugs off, when he heard the prostitute’s voice.
“What the hell is wrong with you,” she screamed at him, getting up off the floor, and stomping down the stairs. “You need some serious help asshole.”
John thought he was going to pass out. He sat down on the floor, closed his eyes and tried to get his breath. He could feel his heart beating wildly in his chest. He didn’t know what the fuck was going on. All he knew was that in two days when he got paid, he was buying a bus ticket and heading upstate to his Sister Carol’s place. But first he needed to go the laundromat
The next morning, when John go to the laundromat there was only a couple of women there.
 When he went to the back to get change, Rosie was nowhere in sight. So John just helped himself to some quarters  she always kept on the desk. Seeing that Rosie wasn’t there or no one was watching him, he stuck some bills in the pockets of his jeans. As John started putting his clothes in the washer, he felt like he was being watched. But the two women that had been there were now gone. He was completely alone. Rosie must have gone out for lunch, although it was strange that she would leave the office unlocked. John started his laundry.
All of sudden, John heard the old woman laughing; looking around he didn’t see her. The laughing was getting louder, and it sounded like it was coming from everywhere in the room at once. John put his hands over his ears and screamed “Leave me alone you crazy bitch!” It suddenly stopped. He had enough, clothes or not, he was getting the hell out of here. He ran over to the door, but it wouldn’t open. “What the hell” He said pushing and pulling the door handle. He checked the back of the store, but there wasn’t another way out. John ran back up to the front of the store and saw people walking up and down the sidewalk so John started banging on the window.
“Hey hey”! He screamed, but no one paid him any attention. It was like they didn’t seem him, like he wasn’t even there.   The overhead florescent lights began to flicker and make popping noises. The air became so thick and dense that John couldn’t breathe. All of a sudden every single washer and dryer started up. They were shaking and making god- awful noises that sounded like people screaming in high pitched voices. “Please” he tried screaming over the top of the noise. “Let me go!”
All the machines stopped as suddenly as they had started, and then the lights went out.
It was completely dark, like being in a basement with no windows or a cave with no light. It was pitch black, even outside. John could feel he wasn’t alone anymore though. There was this sickening smell filling the room, like dead bodies that had been rotting in the August heat all day. Then the growling started. John slide to the floor and began to whimper.

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