Losing It, Part 1


The man in the baseball cap stands silently in the shadow cast by the parking lot lights. Flexing his leather gloved hands, he watches the last remaining light in the building blink out. Minutes later, Samuel Parker emerges talking loudly on his cell phone. Walking toward the only car left in the lot, Parker appears briefly in each disc of light and disappears seconds later.

As Parker approaches his car and hangs up his phone, the man in the baseball cap overtakes him. Two ferocious jabs to Parker’s side snaps a rib and buckles him over. Moaning and howling in pain, Parker gasps for air. The man in the baseball cap slams him against the car. Parker starts to yell, but a quick knee to his gut turns the yells into fitful wheezes. The man grabs Parker and slams his face against the hood of the car once, twice, three times, then leaves him lying on the ground, moaning and holding his face, blood pouring from his nose.

The man paces, his face red and contorted, his teeth grinding, then looks down at Parker. Parker’s eyes open wide as the man sends a swift kick into Parker’s chin, smashing his teeth, then two more to his gut. Parker maneuvers himself to his knees and pulls himself up to stand leaning over the railing overlooking the channel. Streams of blood cover his battered face, one eye bloody and swollen shut, the other nearly so.

The man in the baseball cap grabs Parker by the hair and pulls him close, breathing hard into his ear. Parker begins to sob. His body rocks, as he stammers, “No. No. No. Please, no!” The man in the baseball cap sends a ferocious right into Parker’s temple. Parker goes limp and falls over the edge of the railing, landing with a splash below. The man in the baseball cap steps up to the edge and looks down, watching the body sink into the depths.

When the body sinks out of sight, the man in the baseball cap staggers backward into Parker’s car. He slumps to the ground, his hands clutching at his head, and sobs in great heaving gasps.