ONE LAST HURRAH! – A Masque of Infamy Excerpt


That night, after we gave the social workers the stack of Polaroids, which was all the proof they needed to put the old man and Rick in jail, we sat around the house, twiddling our thumbs. Without a single distraction to take our minds off the uncertain future, we could only worry about what would happen next.

“You know what would be really cool right now?” I pondered aloud. “Some Super Mario Brothers.”

“Yeah.” Joey sighed. “Too bad it’s locked up.”

“I mean, if we’re gonna take off anyway,” I said thoughtfully. “I don’t see why we couldn’t have a little fun before we go.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Follow me.” I walked to the bedroom he shared with Rick and pointed at the footlocker where Rick had stored the VCR, the cable boxes, the phone and the Nintendo along with his BB guns and knives. “I wonder what it would take to bust that lock?”

We contemplated the silver braided Master.

“Pick it?” Joey suggested.

“What do I look like, a fucking locksmith? Nah, there’s only one way into that footlocker.”

“Smash it?”

“Now you’re thinking, Johnny! Get the hammer!”

It only took one blow, but I gave the lock another for good measure. We hooked up the Nintendo and put a six-pack of Dr. Pepper in the freezer to get cold fast. We each ripped open our own bags of Doritos and shared a box of Russell Stover.

Once the sugar rush took hold, we grabbed Rick’s BB guns and started taking pot shots at the crap on his dresser. I made a bull’s-eye on the wall and we took turns practicing our aim until we ran out of BBs. Then we switched to the knives. After the bedroom walls were full of holes, we moved on to the rest of the house.

I stood at one end of the hallway and tried to see if I could hit the kitchen wall. I missed, but took out a lamp. Joey was a better shot. On his first throw, the blade pierced a cupboard door.

We howled with delight at the destruction. For hours, we went from one room to the next, leaving our mark. We emptied the kitchen cabinets onto the floor and smashed Rick’s Nintendo into tiny fragments of plastic, wires and shards of motherboard.

I took out Rick’s Polaroid, the very camera he’d used to document his perverted crimes, and snapped some shots of us in the midst of the rubble.

It was a beautiful mess.

As we surveyed our handy work, we laughed until our sides hurt. I got a magic marker and scrawled “FEEL THE WRATH OF THE INNOCENTS!” in giant letters on the living room wall. I knew that would fuck with their heads.

Big time.

— from A Masque of Infamy

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