Fan Fiction by VTW
|Todd Manning gazed out at the ocean and wondered for the umpteenth time
how his life could've turned to shit so quickly. He walked along the deserted
beach on a chilly Northern California morning, and ruminated about the total
shambles that his life was in. He'd bought a house right on the water in
Sausalito, and had been living there for a couple of months. It was February,
and the climate matched his mood perfectly. The San Francisco fog was hugging
the coast like a shroud. It was misty and damp, cold and dismal. He doubted
the sun would come out at all today.
He picked up a small stone and hurled it angrily at the water. It landed with a soft plop and disappeared into the sea. "Dammit," he said, shaking his head in disgust.
He couldn't even skip a stone right. But then again, if they were to hand out awards for the most pathetic loser on earth, he'd win hands down. No doubt about it.
He remembered everything like it happened yesterday. God, had two months passed already? He felt the hurt, confusion and anger squeeze in his chest until he couldn't breath. Why did he always push away the people he loved most?
They'd done nothing but love him. And how the hell did he repay them? By dumping on them any chance he could get, that's how. His whole life was a lie, and it cost him everything and everybody that he held dear to him. But most especially his daughter Starr. He squeezed his eyes shut. He missed his little girl so badly, that it was an ache in his heart. He felt as though a part of him was missing. His soul was dead and he couldn't fill the emptiness that was always inside him.
Blair, the hateful witch that she was, had denied him access to his child. He clenched his jaw. Like Starr would have a chance in life with her as a mother. He was bound and determined to get his daughter back. Even if it killed him, he'd make sure his child would live with him. Far, far away from Llanview and the people in it. That town held nothing but bad memories for him. Just like Chicago.
He slowly made his way back to his house and entered through the kitchen door. The silence was so loud that he almost turned and fled the room. He dropped his keys on the counter and noticed a plate on the table. It had a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich on it. Right next to it was a glass of chocolate milk. His heart began to pound so rapidly that he could barely stand. It was happening again. He didn't remember eating anything this morning. And it sure as hell wouldn't be peanut butter and jelly. Gnawing on his lip he grabbed the plate and glass and threw them into the sink.
What the hell was happening to him? You know Todd. You've always known. Haven't you? We're all here with you. And we're not going anywhere.
"Shut the hell up!" He screamed. He clasped his hands to his ears. You can't shut us up Todd. Not any more.
Breathing harshly, he tried to get himself under control. He stalked to his bedroom and yanked open his closet door. He rifled through the hangers with trembling hands. "Jesus," he whispered, stumbling back. There they were, beautiful Armani suits and silk shirts. Rows of expensive handmade shoes. He couldn't remember buying them at all. Hell, he didn't even like them. They were too flamboyant for his taste.
Running his hands through his long hair he stared at the ebony-colored leather jacket hanging next to the suits. It was as out of place as a black rose in a wedding bouquet. Faded 501's reposed along side black T-shirts. A pair of well-worn Doc Martins sat neatly on the floor. Waiting, it seemed, for him. He slammed the door shut and turned to the mirror above his dresser. He stared at his reflection. "Who are you?" He asked.
We are you Todd. Don't you get that yet? You will always be your father's son. Always. Unloved and alone. You deserve no better.
"No!" He shouted. "Starr loves me! Vicki loves me!" He punched the glass as hard as he could, shattering the mirror.
Maybe, maybe not. You're a rapist Todd. Both of your fathers were rapists. IT'S WHO YOU ARE. It's ALL you'll ever be.
"You go to hell," he snarled. "You go to straight to hell!"
We're already there. Right along with YOU.
Todd spun around and ran out of the house. He ran along the beach as if the devil himself was chasing him. Winded, he hunched over and fell to his knees, hanging his head between them. He gulped in the salty sea air, like drowning man. He laughed bitterly. That's exactly what he was doing. Drowning. And there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it.
He hauled himself to his feet and walked towards a diner that he frequented. It was small, but the food was good and the people were laid back and friendly. Not that he engaged in any conversation. He enjoyed hearing other people laugh and talk with each other. It warmed his heart.
The tiny bell jingled as he walked in. He slumped down in the burgundy leather booth and picked up a menu. He wasn't really hungry. But what the hell else was he gonna do? He had no life. All he was doing was surviving.
"Hi Thomas, are you ready to order?"
Todd glanced up and smiled slightly at Clarice Anderson. He wondered why such a beautiful girl was wasting her time waiting tables. Her long, black hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail. She had brown doe's eyes that were kind and gentle. The deep kind you could fall a thousand feet into. He wouldn't tell her who he really was, of course. Thomas Lord was the name he went by now. If she knew, she'd run screaming and never again smile at him with her whole heart and soul.
Bullshit. Lying is second nature to you. You will always be Todd Manning. You can't escape it. No matter how hard you try.
"Hey Clarice, I think I'll just have a cup of coffee." He was fiddling nervously with the menu.
Clarice looked down at Thomas Lord with compassion. He always looked so sad. His eyes were flat and lifeless. She wondered what made them that way. He rarely smiled, but he was always kind to her, if not a little reserved.
"Are you okay? She asked softly.
"Yeah, I'm just ."
A man seated in the next booth rudely interrupted by banging his fist on the formica tabletop. "Hey! How about a little service sweetheart? That is, if you're done socializing."
Todd turned around and narrowed his eyes. He was about to unload on this asshole, but Clarice put a hand on his arm.
"It's all right Thomas," she whispered. She licked her lips nervously. "I really need this job." She smiled briefly at him and took the other man's order. He was a burly truck driver with the name Roy stitched on his too tight polyester shirt. Sweat rings the size of dinner plates were underneath his armpits even though it was fifty degrees out.
Todd sat fuming, as he listened to the guy treat one of the most decent people he'd ever met, like crap. He was disrespectful and insulting. Todd gripped the sides of the table until his knuckles turned white.
Go ahead, do it. You know you want to. You're dying to.
The lunch crowd soon filled the restaurant and he didn't have a chance to speak with Clarice again. Roy stood up and sauntered out of the diner. His fat gut hung over his belt obscenely. He of course, left no tip. Todd threw down twenty dollars and quickly left after him.
Clarice saw Thomas leave and sighed softly. He was always the bright spot in her day. Her heart leapt in her chest every time she saw him. She longed to touch his beautiful face. She wanted to erase the sadness in his eyes forever. "Clarice! Table four is ready. Snap out of it and take their order!"
She was jolted back to reality. "What? Oh, I'm sorry Dan. I guess I was a thousand miles away." She smiled apologetically at the owner and went back to work.
Pete waited in the alley until Roy passed by him. He grabbed him by the collar and slammed him into the brick wall. "Remember me?' Pete asked. His voice, a threatening whisper.
Roy's ruddy face turned beet-red. "Hey, screw you buddy! Get the hell off me!" He tried to push his way free.
In a flash Pete flipped open a pearl-handled switchblade and held it to the man's throat. "If I ever see you in that diner again I swear to God I'll cut you."
Roy's upper lip began to sweat. "You don't got the balls," he sneered.
Pete pulled his lips back in a wide toothy grin. It was frightening. "Oh yeah? You think so, huh?" He flicked the tip of the knife and nicked the man's Adam's apple. A tiny drop of scarlet blood beaded on the blade.
"Jesus!" Roy screeched, jerking his head back. He broke loose from Pete's grip and stumbled back, almost losing his footing. "You're a friggin' nut." He quickly walked away and jumped into his truck. He gunned the engine and shot out of the parking lot like a bat out of hell.
The minutes ticked by and Todd looked down at his hand with a frown. In it was a lethal looking switchblade. "What the hell," he muttered. He quickly snapped it shut and stuffed it in his pocket. He glanced at his watch. Shit. He'd lost twenty minutes. He looked around wildly and walked quickly down the pier and onto the beach.
He wasn't aware that someone was watching him very closely, and had been for a long, long, time. To see Todd in such obvious torment flowed sweetly through the person's blood like fine wine. The game was just beginning. The person smiled and started off in the direction of Todd's house.
Todd wearily flopped down on the chaise lounge. He was sitting outside on his deck that faced the ocean. He couldn't remember the last time he'd slept a full night. Usually it was a couple of hours at a time until the nightmares woke him up. He'd wake drenched in sweat and shaking as if he had palsy.
The nightmares were getting worse. And so were the voices in his head. He could not escape them. He laid back and closed his eyes. All of a sudden he felt a presence. It was like a dark shadow crossing over a grave.
He sat up abruptly. Goose bumps broke out on his arms. He quickly scanned the lonely beach. It was deserted. There wasn't anyone there. His breath barely escaped his lungs. He felt someone's eyes on him. A sense of dread flooded through his body. Who ever it was, he could feel the malevolence. It was dark and sinister.
He was up on his feet in an instant. He thought he could see somebody, but it was too far away for him to be sure. He vaulted over the deck and took off at a dead run. The icy air sliced through him like a knife. He legs were pumping furiously. He could just make out the shape of the person. As he got closer and saw who it was, he stopped abruptly. It was as if he were a marionette, and a giant pair of scissors had cut the strings that were holding him up.
He dropped to his knees as utter disbelief reverberated through his body like a shock wave. He was frozen where he knelt. Unable to move or even speak. He shook his head in mute denial.
"Hello Todd." The venom and malice was a living thing in the other man's eyes. It was palatable. He glared at Todd with contempt. He'd waited years for this moment and now that it was here, he wanted to savor it. He had all the power, as he always did. He had him right where he wanted him. On his knees.
Todd's eyes were dilated in fear. "Father?"
|To be continued|
Peace and love,
Email The Author
Back to Remember Roger Howarth