Daniel ignored him, addressing the girls. “I brought peanut butter and bread. Much healthier for you than halvah.”
The rumblings of the first evening prayers sounded across the courtyard – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare – causing Martin to spin towards the Institute. “Oh my, they’re finished with their supper. That means it’s time for me to head off to work.”
“Are you coming back?” Daniel asked.
“I thought you didn’t live here any more, mate. I thought Marcia got tired of waiting for you to fuck her and kicked you out on your arse.”
The girls gasped. Don’t respond. He’s just trying to bait you.
“You’re such a funny old sod. This isn’t the bloody desert. You’re not the friggin’ savior and I’m not the devil. Although I do appreciate the honor of your, shall we say, compliment.”
“Are you coming back tonight?”
“I don’t think so, Danny Boy. Not because of you but it’s rather crowded with all of us sharing only one loo. I think I’ll crash somewhere else. Perhaps St. Mark’s – I hear they have a tasty breakfast,” he paused, then froze Daniel’s heart with a laugh like fingernails on chalkboard. “Look at Daniel’s face, girls! Hahaha! Oh the humanity – the Demon Martin sodomizing the blessed Virgin as stained glass depictions of the saints melt all around her. Candles emitting icy darkness in the void left by the absence of God – hahahaha! And in the quiet morning, the faithful arriving to find their beloved priests hanging by their wankers in the blood-red chapel.”
“Enough, old man? I’d say you started it. Why don’t you pull out your crucifix and order me vanquished to Hell? Oh, that’s right. You’ve had a crisis of faith.” He waited for Daniel to say something then threw his hands into the air. “Well, I couldn’t care less although it’s been – what do you Yanks say? – a gas! Cheerio!”
With that Martin slipped through the door and down the staircase. Daniel stepped over to the window but saw nothing in the courtyard but shadows. He unscrewed the cheap bottle of wine he’d brought and took a swig.
Marcia emerged from the bathroom smelling of lavender “I’ve been thinking” she said to the girls, “we should call your parents. I bet they’re worried sick about you.”
“Oh yeah,” Daniel said. “Tell them their daughters are hunky dory. They just spent the night with the Devil.”
“Shit, Daniel! No wonder the girls look so freaked.”
“He killed someone.”
“How do you know that?”
“I just do.”
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. He’s not coming back. Girls, eat something and then we’ll call your folks.”
Daniel hadn’t slept the night before. His sole window at the Y was cracked and provided little protection from the rain or the wails of the city, the walls so paper thin he could hear a fellow transient snoring in the next room. Two years he’d spent in New York City practically homeless figuring it would free him. But it hadn’t. And so the wine quickly gained on him until a dizziness – borne of eating little and guzzling cheap wine – soon overwhelmed him. In the distance he could hear the girls on the phone. Yes, we’re Ok. Yes we’re going to Uncle George’s. Further and further away they slipped down the rabbit’s hole until he passed out and dreamt of the Red Queen.
What do you think Readers? Is Martin gone for good?