Tales of Finnagus Boggs—Confessions of a Marid Djinn

Tales of Finnagus Boggs,

Confessions of a Marid Djinn,

Billy & Tyron

by J. Cafesin

Entropy Press, LLC

First edition, February 2014

Second edition, February 2021

Tales of Finnagus Boggs, Confessions of a Marid Djinn—Billy & Tyron is a work of fiction. All of the names, characters, places, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Tales of Finnagus Boggs, Confessions of a Marid Djinn—Billy & Tyron

Copyright ©2021 J. Cafesin

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher. Information regarding permission, write to:

Entropy Publications, LLC, San Francisco, CA

query@entropypublishing.com

ASIN: B0044XUUJK (Entropy Press)

1. Fantasy—Young Adult (YA) Fiction 2. Short Story Collection— New Adult (NA) Fiction

3. Dystopian— Fables 4. Fairy Tales— Science Fiction 5. Time Travel— Short Fiction

Book Cover: TargetMediaDesign

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Finnegus Boggs is the first fairytale in the short story collection,

Fractured Fairy Tales of the Twilight Zone, Volume One

Tales of Finnegus Boggs—Confessions of a Marid, Djinn

Billy & Tyron

It was Billy’s idea to rip off the liquor store. He heard brotherabe on his cell say the place was ripe.

Bounce was good— take Fruitvale or Foothill outta there. Heart of the hood, where this kinda crap happens all the time. And Lucky Liquors is run by this old chink. Gook’s at the mart from opening til closing cuz he too damn cheap to hire help from the Projects. Serves him right getting tagged every couple of months.

Slide convincing Ty to do the deed. Bluds since Sunshine Daycare, they bled enough and shredded enough to earn respect as the cracka/nigga posse not to jack. No fools in their faces since 5th grade, or on their streets edging the rim of the Hood. Only their jank address and the popo’s keeping em down.

Lunchroom Thursday, Billy goes on spouting about taking what they deserve for being dissed since they was kids. From jacking construction sites at seven, to ripping music, movies and apps off the net and selling it on Craigslist at eleven, Tyron is always angling for money. To Ty, it buys respect. To Billy— freedom. He be flipping off his hammered old man and dick-head brother on the way outta town, and his mom too, if she’d stuck around.

“One strike gets us a sled and elevates us the rest a high school, blud. Then we outta here, down to Hollywood, man, do some rappin, some actin, be whoever we wanta be, Ty. And even if we get caught, but we won’t, the most we’d get is maybe a short stint in juvie since we ain’t got no rap sheets. And if we don’t get caught, and we won’t, I heard Chris say the gets around five large.”

Tyron stares at Audrey, the hoodrat who brought him out, across the lunchroom, now slumming with the cracka slanger, Baker. “Five grand would get us some respectable treads,” Ty says. “We be legally stylin by the weekend if we did the deed this week.” And Ty’s sly, white-tooth grin spreads like a crack in a cave against his dark skin. “Late afternoon, tomorra,” Tyron says. “Before the chink stashes his cash from the day in a safe or at the bank. Hoodies and caps, keep our mugs down, away from cameras, and we golden.”

“We ain’t gonna just glide in there and ask for cash, blud. And copin a gun’s gonna take time, and it ain’t gonna be cheap,” Billy feels a need to reality check him.

“We don’t need no gun. Never liked em anyway. I’ll thinka somethin.”

No shit Tyron hated guns. Took his old man out in a drive-by in their driveway when he was nine and his dad’s brains landed all over him.

They’re rifling through Tyron’s shared closet for old baseball caps after track Thursday afternoon. Action figures missing body parts, busted Transformers, remoteless remote control cars once Ty’s, now part of his four younger half-brothers and sisters collection. Most of the toys were used when he got em, but now they’re all trashed, except for the hard plastic stuff, like shields and swords, and his old toy gun, the black and silver Beretta M92 pistol he got for his tenth birthday from Uncle Mike, a replica of the ones in the The Matrix. Tyron holds it with both hands, points it out in front of him towards Billy still ripping through the pile of junk.

Billy looks over at Tyron and his freckled face goes white. “What the fu—.” Then he grins, his blue eyes laughing. “Dope, hom. I remember that, when you brung it to school and guard dog Jackson almost shot yo ass.”

“Guess it’s real enough,” Ty says checking out his old toy. “And this way we in control, get we want and no one dies. Now all we need is caps and we tight on gear, but we gonna need treads to haul ass outta there. Stupid runnin round the Hood— ever— but retarded after popo’s get called out on the hit.”

Billy’s bushy brows bunch, then his eyes light up like a bulb in his head turned on. “I’m for liberatin my brother’s Charger from the Costco parkin lot. Jack it right after he starts his shift.”

“And how we gonna cop his keys, homs?” Ty asks.

“Chris made an extra set of keys after that time he shredded me for losin his.”

“Even though ya didn’t, and he found em in the fuckin couch cushions after crackin yo ribs for losin em.”

Billy can’t help grinning. “Asshole laid out $150 for a new set he didn’t need…which he keeps in his box of stash under his bed.”

Tyron nods, but Billy sees his eyes glazing, his minds churnin. Ty’s brain is always working.

“I gotta hold the gun, since it’s mine, well, was. And I’m way more harsh than yo cracka mic mug.” Ty’s plan—he points the toy gun at the chink, covers most of it with his monster paws so it looks real, then shouts for the paper. Billy snags it and they haul ass. “And with a bogus gun no one gets drilled. And that keeps us in juvie if we get nailed.”

“But we won’t get nailed if we do this right, Ty. Then we be stylin, right on outta here.”

After track next day, Billy and Tyron walk the mile and a half to the Costco. Parking lot is crawling with Kardashian’s swarming into Oakland since the tech invasion. Chris’ Charger is parked at the far right side of the lot, bordered by trees lining the canal between Oakland and Alameda. The boys cut through the grove to either side of the car, get in casually, and drive away.

They share a J on the way to Lucky Liquors, listening to Live105 to chill. Billy parks across the street from the gook mart. Storefront windows is stacked with boxes, bottles of booze, cases of water and soda right up to the glass door with iron bars. White bird crap spots a blue cloth awning that runs along the top of the old brick building and shades the sidewalk below.

They wait for the rush hoping to drown out their day and the night ahead. Sun’s setting when Billy finally swings the Dodge round and parks in front of the liquor store. They put on tattered Oakland A’s caps, pull down the rim to their brows, then hoods over their heads to the brim of the caps. Tyron grips the toy gun inside the long pocket of his hoodie and holds it pressed to his stomach as he follows Billy’s lead out the car and into Lucky Liquors.

Billy goes to the cold cases in the back and pulls a six pack of Bud. Tyron grabs a bag of pretzels and Lays and brings them to the register as Billy comes up behind him.

Chink stands behind the counter, seen only through the small space not packed with crap for sale. He don’t look at Tyron as he scans the bags. The slant deserves to be messed with. Payback for the neighborhood he’s pretending don’t exist while they make him rich.

He pulls the toy gun from his hoodie. “Gimmy every fuckin bill in the register. NOW!” Tyron demands as he points the gun at the Chinaman who just stands there. “I said now, foinky!” Ty’s rushing, feels like a speed buzz. Scared, but something else, too…Smart. Powerful. Heart pounds hard, but beats steady, filling his chest like music does.

The chink finally looks up at him, speckled gray eyes wide. Then he looks at Billy.

“Ya heard da man.” Billy’s voice is deeper, angrier than Tyron’s. “Give em the cash now or my blud here splatters your brains all over your booze.” He eyes a golden bottle of Jack Daniels on one of the shelves along the wall behind the chink, and goes to get it.

“Sup, hom?” Tyron gets tense, with Billy not following the plan.

“I’m elevatin us above the crap we been drinkin.” Billy rounds the counter to get the whiskey behind the old man.

There’s a loud bang! Tyron’s stomach is suddenly burning, like he’s been stabbed, some unseen force slamming him backwards into the stack of plastic bottles of soda behind him. Then he’s on the floor, and tries scrambling to his feet but the pain is so blinding, ripping through his guts, his chest. And there’s blood everywhere, on his hands, his gray hoodie…

…Billy’s yelling in his face but it’s hard to hear, to breathe. The chink’s still behind the counter. He’s pointing a silver gun at them, a six shooter like in old movies, and screaming about something, but Tyron can’t hear what with the burning in his guts. Then Billy has the toy Beretta, holds it by the barrel waving it around, his voice suddenly blasting.

“—it’s fake! It’s fuckin plastic!” Billy yells at the chink, then throws the toy gun at the old foinky, but Tyron can’t see if he nailed him.

Then Billy’s pulling on him to get up, helps him to his feet but he can’t feel them and his legs fold. Billy practically drags him outta the liquor store to the Charger, opens the back door and drops Tyron on the back seat, stuffs his legs in and slams the door, then gets behind the wheel and hauls ass outta there.

“How bad you hit, Ty?” Billy glances back at Tyron, then watches him in the rear view as he moves with the traffic on Fruitvale, hoping to blend. “Talk to me, blud.”

Tyron slumps in the middle of the back seat, hands numbing now, watching tagged houses of west Oakland pass in slow motion. “He shot me. Why’d he do that?” He looks down at his hoddie soaking with blood. “Oh God, I’m bleedin bad.” Tyron curls on his side. He holds his stomach with both hands trying to hold in his blood. “I’m gonna fuckin bleed to death. I don’t wanna die, man. I’m only 17. I don’t wanna fuckin die.”

“You ain’t gonna die, Ty.” Billy’s blowing smoke up Ty’s ass. Even in the rear view he can see blood all over the beige bench seat. Chris is gonna split his skull open this time. “I’ll take you to the 12th Street Clinic—”

“NO! They have to report gun shots. I can’t get 5-0’d. It’d kill my mama.” Tyron starts crying then. He can’t help it. “God, it hurts. My stomach’s on fire, man.” He groans, curled on the back seat shivering. “I’m cold…I’m scared, Billy. Whata we gonna do?”

Billy cruises at the speed limit, but his mind is racing. He continues across the short bridge onto Alameda Island, where chedda and green rules. He and Ty used to bike to Crown beach all the time when they was kids just to screw with the natives and popos, since they don’t take kindly to Oakland teens invading their slice of paradise.

“Oh Christ, I’m bleedin all over the place. I’m gonna be sick. I swear to God I’m gonna puke.” Tyron’s talking to himself, but it’s making Billy crazy. “It fuckin hurts, man. You gotta help me, Billy.”

“What the fuck do you want me to do, Ty? You don’t wanna go to 12th Street then you gotta tell me what to do, man.” Billy yells into the rear view mirror.

“I don’t know. I don’t fuckin know!” Tyron manages to yell back.

Fast to slow motion as Billy cruises at 25mph along tree-lined streets, passing big green lawns of luxury cribs. Even the apartments are nicer than anything in or even near their hood just over the little bridge. He drives toward the beach, as if moving to the past, wishing like hell he could go back there, to when they was kids, or at least to before they came up with this fool plan.

Billy notices the stop sign when he’s less than two feet from it and slams on his brakes. Tyron moans as the Charger lurches forward and halts a few feet over the crosswalk. No other cars at the intersection. No curtains or shades move in the windows of the houses on three of the four corners, and no one is outside the big white buildings across the street on the right.

“Yo, Ty! Ya with me, blud?” Billy moves slowly through the intersection, trying to see Tyron in his rear view, but it’s almost dark out and dim inside the car. “Ty!” No response. “Tyron! Talk to me, man!” Still no response. “Fuck!” He pulls the Dodge to the curb alongside the parking lot in back of the white buildings, kills the engine and turns around.

Tyron’s usual dark chocolate skin looks almost… milky, the red surrounding his black eyes sinking them even more. A strobe of headlights and Billy spins back forward. He slides low as a white Beemer pulls out of the gated lot then passes by the Charger. Only then does Billy see the ‘Doctors Only’ sign on the parking lot entrance, and realizes where he is.

Deserve it or not, Jesus must be watching out for them. And down or not, if Ty’s hit bad enough, Billy’s taking him inside the hospital he’s just parked on the side of.

Billy turns back round, leans towards Ty between the two front seats. Blood’s all over the bench seat Ty’s curled up on, and Billy thinks he might hurl but swallows it back. He moves Tyron’s bloody hands from his stomach, then lifts his blood soaked hoodie real slow to see the damage. Tyron gasps, opens his eyes halfway, like he’s toasted, and moans.

“Sorry. Gotta check it out, Ty.” Billy’s never seen a bullet wound before, except in video games and movies. Looks pretty much like that—a sea of bright red surrounding a dark hole oozing thick red juice.

“It’s fuckin freezin.” Tyron mumbles then sorta laughs. “It’s true, just like on TV, when someone is dyin, ya get cold…” He drifts, thinking on what he’s just said.

“Ya ain’t dyin,” Billy deems, but compulsively shivers because he don’t believe it.

Ty seems like a little kid, curled up and holding his guts in like he is. Blood’s dripping off the bench onto the floor now. And it’s all over the back of the bench too. Billy was sure he’d only heard one shot. He pulls Ty’s hoodie up along his side carefully to check out his back. Tyron sucks in hard, like he’s hitting a bong, then groans loud.

“Sorry. Gotta see your back, hom. Lean towards me.”

Tyron does, but he practically screams as he rolls towards Billy.

Billy spots a hole oozing blood in Ty’s lower back, just inches from his spine, and he’s suddenly sure the grace of God is watching out for them. “The bullet went straight through, blud! You’re golden, Ty. Gotta guardian angel lookin out for ya, man. Now all we gotta do is get you stitched up and you’ll be smack, hom.” And Billy’s convinced it is now God’s will that Ty won’t die.

“I’m fadin, man. I think I’m dyin, Billy.” Tyron is crying again, his tears making long dark streaks across his face. He looks like a scared little kid after getting called out.

Billy takes off his hoodie and folds it up. “Press this gainst ya, man, and hold it there,” and he pushes his hoodie into Tyron’s bloody hands and presses them against his friend’s stomach. Tyron moans, and curls tighter, but keeps hold of Billy’s hoodie.

“Keep pressure on it! Slow the bleedin, man.” Billy turns back forward, shivers in his thin black t-shirt as he pops the glove box hoping to find some herb to calm their nerves. No Js, or even loose bud, but nestled among crumpled receipts and manuals is a small gray P99. His brother has crossed the line from dealer to thug, and a stupid one at that. If Chris gets tagged with a 9mm-semi, he’ll blow his parole and be facing hard time.

“If I die… ya gotta make some shit up to my mama… how I saved somebody… or some bullshit that’d make her proud,” Tyron says between deep quivering breaths. “Ya hear me, blud?”

“Bullet went straight through, hom. You ain’t gonna die, Ty! Just gotta get yo sorry ass sown back up.” Billy’s fingers are sticky with blood. He looks around, taxing his brain for a way to get help without getting them both snagged.

The hospital lot is packed with cars, but Billy don’t see no eyes. Then a cracka— no, darker, maybe a raghead—comes strutting through the glass doors at the back of hospital and crosses the lot towards their Charger parked curbside. His doctor coat flares with the wind. He looks tall, at least as tall as Billy. And he’s thin, dressed in all black under his white coat. He moves smooth, almost like he’s gliding. Getting closer Billy can see the doc is a slumdog. Dark, wavy hair that’s all there. And this dude is pumped, especially at his age. Billy’s sure he’s too young to be talking to himself, then he notices the blue light blinking in the dude’s ear from his wireless earbud.

Fifty feet away, now forty, the doc is coming towards the last row of cars parked in the lot. Billy can tell he’s headed for the black Ferrari just the other side of the four foot high, ivy-covered fence separating the lot from the sidewalk, and their Charger parked on the street. He crouches low, hoping he’s invisible beyond the fence, in the dark, and to pedigree like a doctor.

“—don’t care what the market price is, Marty.” Doc’s voice is deep, and as smooth as his groove, and gets louder the closer he gets. “The gold has been among my assets for generations. It’s only a trifle of my holdings, and I don’t need the capital.” He switches a small, bulging black bag from one hand to the other, then reaches in his pants pocket. Doc’s probably got all Ty needs in that black bag of his.

It’d take that sand monkey like ten fucking minutes to sew up Ty’s two small holes, then Billy’d let him go, even drop him back by to his car for the owe. No reports. No one gets snagged. No one dies. All good. Like none of this ever happened. Billy looks back at Tyron. He’s out, eyes closed but surrounded by dark like hollow black holes. Makes Billy shiver, like a ghost passing through him.

Ferrari alarm chirps. “I get it. I do. But I’ll ride it out, Marty. Don’t worry. I have the time.”

Now or never. Billy pops the glove, grabs the gun, gets out of the Dodge and shuts the door quietly. He’ll jack the slumdog before he makes the gate.

And the sand monkey opens the Ferrari’s door and gets in.

Nowhere to pocket the gun, and his jeans hanging too loose to hold it in his waistband, Billy grips the gun tightly as he moves around the back of the Charger, then onto the curb and across the sidewalk in a few quick steps. His heart hammers in his chest and ears. He tries pretending he’s a shooter in Halo but it ain’t really working to trip him from the reality slam. MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! is yelling in his head. He’s waiting to hear the Ferrari ignite, and rushing to get in front of it before it leaves the lot. But that fine machine just sits there, silent.

Slide jumping the fence—way easier than the hurdles in track. He lands silent as a puma behind the Ferrari, then moves to the driver’s door, yanks it open and points the gun at the doc he saw get behind the wheel a minute ago.

“Freeze mothefucka—” Billy growls into the milky void inside.

Glowing smoke swirls in greenish mist, then suddenly gathers like a coiling snake and rushes towards him. And as it surfaces Billy see a face, the face of the Indian doctor, and then the doc’s sitting behind the wheel of his Ferrari, the blue light from his cell earpiece mixing with his door light making him look blue/green, almost like water.

The doctor looks at him casually, and laughs, bringing Billy back from one fucked up flashback. “Get out!” he grips the gun with both hands now and points it at the doc’s head. “Get your black bag and get out.”

“Bizarre as it seems, I believe I’m being car-jacked, Marty.” He talks to his earpiece but stares up at Billy, beyond the gun two feet from his face, looking right into Billy’s eyes. “No. No,” he chuckles. “I’m fine. It’s just a kid, no more than a teen.”

“Lose it or I blow it off.” Billy points the gun at the slumdog’s ear.

“Marty, I’ll have to get back to you.” He smiles, indulgent like as he takes the wireless from his ear, closes it in his weirdly long fingers then like a magician opens his hand at Billy and the earpiece is gone.

Billy almost shoots the prick, except the safety is still on. “Get out! Get the fuck out of the car.” Prickling rush when the doc just sits there, like Billy’s some sorta joke or something. He pushes the safety forward so the gun can fire. “I said get your black bag and get out. Don’t make me pop ya.”

Doc grabs his black bag sitting on the passenger seat and gets out. Billy keeps the gun on him as he backs up, suddenly filled with a massive dose of chill since there’s no way in hell Billy could’ve forced this jacked dude out of his car.

“I’ve had many strange experiences in all my years, to be sure. But I don’t believe I have ever been carjacked. Isn’t that remarkable?” Doc stands by his open door, towering over the low Ferrari, eye-to-eye with Billy, not three feet between them. “If it’s my car you desire, I’m afraid it only responds to my commands. I’ve had it customized to my—”

“I don’t want yo flash treads. Ya think I’m a moron? It’s a goddamn billboard screamin, Look at me!” Billy shoves the doc forward. “I need some doctorin. Move!

“Where are we going?” the sand monkey asks, like he’s excited or something being shoved along by Billy.

“Black Dodge on the street.” Billy resets the safety, holds the gun at his side but keeps his finger on the trigger, and his thumb on the safety. They come round the fence at the lot’s entrance and onto the sidewalk. He shoves the gun harder in between the doc’s shoulder blades pushing him towards the Charger, which looks empty parked at the curb.

“Get in. Do it now!” Billy commands as he opens the passenger door, glancing at Ty, curled like a suckling baby on the bloody back seat, dead maybe. And with this thought comes a choking, suffocating weight, as if Billy’s being buried alive.

Doc eyes Ty laying in the back as he gets in the Charger without Billy needing to convince him. Again he’s flooded with that sense of relief, knowing he couldn’t have made the doc get in if the dude resisted. He sits all chill, even laces his big fingers together, puts his hands in his lap and looks up at Billy, like they was buds or something. No fear that Billy can see, or even sense. He slams the door in the slumdog’s face, but keeps the gun pointed at his head as he walks around the front of the Dodge, gets behind the wheel, and locks them all in.

“What would you like from me?” He looks at Billy, stares, like into him, stopping Billy cold. His black eyes seem to change then, to deep, emerald green, and they practically twinkle, like he’s laughing again, except he’s not. “I would say: ‘Your wish is my command,’ but that is so cliché, don’t you think?” His deep voice practically echos, the vibration in Billy’s chest jarring. He points the gun less than a foot from the doctor’s head, but doesn’t release the safety.

“Shut the fuck up. I’ll do the talkin.” Billy’s sure Doc’s playing him a fool, acting like they is all down. Billy don’t care. “You fix my friend, sew him up, and you outta here, back at your car like yous never here.”

Tyron moans, and both of them turn to see him opens his eyes, but they only open halfway, like he’s seriously baked. “He took a bullet. It went straight through. Sew him up, front and back, and you gone. Ya got my word.” Billy manages to keep the gun on the Doc as he starts the car and puts it in gear with his left hand then pulls from the curb real slow, heading for the beach, where it’s quiet, and empty at night.

“I’m Finnegus Boggs. Dr. Boggs, if you’d like. I also go by Doc Finny, but mostly to children, which you clearly are not.”

“Don’t give a shit. We get to the beach and you’re gonna fix up my blud here.” Billy drives past the apartments and the bay suddenly spreads out in front fo him. “When ya get Ty right, we say ga-night.” He turns onto Shoreline Drive, cruises slowly along the beach front for a space between the Beemers and monster SUVs. The Bay’s a deep violet void, but the hills across the water, the Bay bridge and the city beyond it all twinkle.

“Ah. Hunza,” Doc says, all over the top, like he’s seeing Oz or something. “San Francisco is a sparkling jewel, is she not?” He looks at Billy like he’s waiting for an answer. “Well, it’s important to acknowledge beauty, even in troubling times. Especially in them, don’t you agree?” He stares at Billy, waits.

“I ain’t squawkin wit ya, man.” Billy pulls the Dodge to the curb in front of the Seaview Apartments. “I nabbed ya to sew up my man here, so shut the fuck up and get back there and fix him up.”

“How droll. Don’t be a stereotype, son. It’s deathly dull.” Doc sighs heavily, like he’s a father calling out his kid. “Let’s have a look at your friend then, shall we?”

And suddenly Billy’s outside, sitting cross-legged on Crown Beach under a blanket of stars brighter than he’s ever seen. Like in a dream. Tyron lays in front of him on sparkling golden sand, except not on the sand, but floating just above it, his eyes closed, his hands holding onto Billy’s blood-soaked hoodie. Billy scrambles to his feet, tripping in the warm glittering sand as he moves toward the empty Charger parked across the street, then wheels back round to Tyron, and the sand monkey’s in front of him blocking his way.

His gun is gone, so with closed fists Billy shoves Boggs’ hard in the chest. He glides backwards like he’s on ice, but doesn’t fall. “What is this? What the hell’s goin on?!” Billy shoves him again, only this time it feels like he’s slamming a wall, his knuckles burn, like he’s shredding skin, and Boggs doesn’t move at all. “Who are you? What the hell are you?” He practically whispers, afraid of the answer. “Some kinda magician or somin…?”

“Not a magician. A typical guess, that, or some sort of god, but that’s neither here nor there.” Boggs’ smiles slow and wide, like that cat in Alice In Wonderland. “ I am a Marid, a djinn, a genie, as you may refer to me, though I find that expression rather vulgar, don’t you?” His black eyes sparkle, for real. Light twinkles from them, like coming from inside of him.

Ty starts to rise slowly. He groans, then opens his eyes halfway, totally blank he’s floating four feet off the ground now. Boggs moves to his side and shines a pen light into his eye. He stares up at Boggs, then grabs the collar of the Doc’s white lab coat with his bloody hand. “You’re real.” Ty mumbles, gripping the clean white collar. “Billy always said you was fake, that there ain’t nothin gonna save us, but you’s real.” He stares into the Doc’s eyes sure he’s seeing the angel Gabriel, and even with his blurry vision he’s equally sure the spirit is glowing. He lets go of the Doc’s coat, blinks out some tears and sighs gratefully. “Am I dead?”

“Not yet,” Doc says kind of gentle, like the way he puts his fingers on Ty’s neck.

“You ain’t dead, blud. I’m here.” Billy moves to Ty’s side opposite the Doc. He grabs Ty’s bloody hand and holds it in both of his, right then getting what Ty meant when he said he was cold. His hand is freezing, his grip so weak Billy can barely feel him squeezing. “I got this doc here, man, and he’s gonna fix ya right up. We ain’t gonna let ya die, Ty.” Billy looks at Boggs, pleading, still unsure if he’s dreaming. It all seems so real, except Boggs’ white coat is lit up against the black Bay and makes it look like he’s kind of glowing.

“Don’t tell my mama how I died, blud,” Ty begs, gazing up at Billy now. “Tell her I took a bullet tryin to stop it. Make me a hero, Billy. Please man…” Tears are streaking his face again.

“You ain’t gonna die, man. Ya hear me, Ty?!” Billy glares at Boggs’. “Tell em he ain’t gonna die.”

“I will not.” Boggs looks at Billy, shakes his head slowly. “I do not lie. I could, of course, like most do. It took me many millennia to learn that lying about facts to spare feelings ultimate serves no one.”

Then Ty’s grip goes slack in Billy’s hand and his eyes roll back in his head.

“Where’s your black bag? Where the fuck is it?!” Billy’s all up in Boggs’ face, yelling over Tyron. “Ya need to sew him back up and stop the bleedin!” He lays Ty’s hand back on his bloody hoodie. It stays there, like his elbows are on the ground instead of floating feet above it, but blood drips from Ty’s back and hits Billy’s left Converse before he backs up. “Where’s your black bag, Slumdog? Ya need to sew him up before he bleeds out, man. You need to stop the bleedin—” Billy stifles a sob with short breaths, afraid the sand monkey sees how scared he is.

Boggs looks Billy straight in the eyes, but his eyes ain’t sparking now. “No. I don’t.”

A jumbo jet taking off from Oakland airport rumbles the earth and makes the golden sand shimmer as it flies over the black Bay.

Boggs looks down at Tyron, puts his hand on top of Ty’s hand, still holding Billy’s bloody hoodie. “Your friend has lost a lot of blood. Even if he gets sewn up there is only a marginal chance this boy will survive without an infusion of hypertonic saline along with a viscosity enhancer like Hextend or—”

“Talk fuckin English.” Billy starts shaking, hoping this wacked out asshole don’t see.

“Well, I am, of course. You’re inability to understand me is perhaps your own ignorance.” Doc looks at Billy like he’s waiting on directions.

“Then we go back to the hospital, and ya get him the medicine—”

Doc shakes his head. “Too late for that.” He brings his hand to Ty’s neck and presses two fingers into the side of Tyron’s throat. “His heart rate has accelerated.” Boggs closes his eyes, like he’s trying to feel inside Ty. “Pressures dropping. Vessels are starting to clamp down to try and maintain perfusion.” He sighs real deep, like he cares. “He may have three minutes, maybe five, before he has a heart attack, or strokes out, or if he’s lucky goes into an irreversible coma.”

Billy feels hot tears running down his cheeks. And dissing himself for being a pussy ain’t stopping em. “You tellin me Tyron’s gonna die? Right here? Right now?” He feels dizzy, like the ground ain’t under him anymore.

“It’s not possible to predict the future with consistent accuracy, regardless of the recent claims by the data science community.” Boggs’ smiles but just for a sec. “The future is dynamic, ever changing, and solely your making. Whatever hand you’ve been dealt, your choices chart your course, your journey through life, which is why one can only move backwards on any given time line—“

“Shut the fuck up, slumdog!” Billy stands a few feet from floating Ty, eye-to-eye with Boggs. “What yo rappin ’bout, dickhead? Take ya a fuckin second to pop us back to the hospital, fix up my man, and be done.” He wipes his tears away with the end of his t-shirt as they fall, but he can’t stop them. “Why ya talkin at all, Doc? If he’s dyin, why ain’t ya tryin to save him? You a goddamn doctor, ain’t ya? Ya took a oath on a fuckin bible to cure people, didn’t ya?”

“I’m not a priest. And I’ve learned there is no such thing as holy men. You are all born solipsists, and most of you never seem to grow out of it. Too bad too—“

Shut up!” Billy barely stops himself from clocking the sonofabitch in his snug face, but that won’t help Ty none. “Ty dies. You die,” he growls, glaring at Boggs. “Fuckin get us to a hospital like ya got us on this beach, or I make it my mission to come for yo fam if his mama has to bury him.”

The ground vibrates but there ain’t no planes that Billy can see. The gold sand starts rising in sparking flashes of light. He feels his body hair rise off his skin. Not exactly sparks, more like pops of golden light, like glitter is swirling around their ankles now, and way beyond them, as far as down the beach Billy can see.

“As…unique as this experience is, being diverted from a rather dull evening by, well,” and Boggs waves his hand in the air as if swatting a fly, “you, I imagine if I were mortal it would not be. Either way, it’s unwise to push me too far.” Boggs turns away, moves a couple of steps from Ty and stares out at the Bay.

Billy’s coming unhinged, can’t think, can’t stop shaking, fighting himself not to move on this asshole the longer he just stands there letting Ty bleed out. “I don’t care what ya are, or if this is even real, but if this is, and you’s some kinda angel, like Ty says, or devil, which it’d be more my luck, then,” and he stops cuz he’s shedding in front of this sand monkey now. “Take me…” Billy stifles another sob. “No one gives a shit about me anyway.” He wipes his dripping nose with the bottom of his t-shirt again. “Ty’s got a mama who loves him, and brothers and sisters too. You fix him up, and take me instead if ya need someone dead. Please, I’m beggin ya, man, take me.”

He turns and faces Billy again, standing a few feet from floating Tyron. He’s smiling, not like that grinning cat, but halfway, like suddenly he gives a shit. His black eyes go soft, like warm, welcoming black holes sucking him in, freezing him in place.

Golden glittering light swirls and pops round them rising in slow motion, up past where Ty lay floating, almost to Bogg’s and Billy’s chests now. It’s fucking awesome, like nothing he’s ever seen, not YouTube, not gaming, not anywhere.

“This likely will not save your friend,” Boggs says as the glittering light continues to rise around them. “And if he dies, his timeline is effectively over. Complete.” Glitter starts spinning all around them. “Tryon Lewis Johnson’s life will have ended, and can not be resurrected.” Flashes and pops of glittering light sparkles around them faster and forms a circular vortex of sparking gold. The vortex brightens as its speed increases, lighting up the three of them, the golden sand, the beach beyond and out over the Bay, making the black water shimmer with gold, brighter and brighter…

Then everything goes white…

Half way through. Read the rest here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S74SNU0/

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Finnegus Boggs is the first fairytale in the

Fractured Fairy Tales of the Twilight Zone, Volume 1

Collection

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About the Author

Writing fiction is intoxicating,” says author J. Cafesin. “Fully engaging. Hot. Sexual. Physical. Mental. Spatial. Virtually touching real as I enter the scene. And I’m a million miles from solitude.

J. Cafesin is a novelist of taut, edgy, modern fiction, filled with complex, compelling characters so real they’ll linger long after the read. Her debut novel, Reverb, has been called “Riveting; Compelling; An original and unique read,” by recent reviewers.

Other works include her fantasy YA/NA short story collections, Fractured Fairy Tales of the Twilight Zone: 5 Stars. Great read for young adults, and even some not-so-young adults.” Her second novel, Disconnected, called “unabashedly unafraid, completely honest writing,” released July 2016.

The Power Trip (the first in this upcoming YA/NA three-book series) unveils the misanthropic adventures of the four Stanford students, who implement an online game in which players manipulate each other using predictive modeling. Due to release summer 2022.

Her essays and articles are featured regularly in national publications. Many of the essays from her ongoing blog have been translated into multiple languages and distributed globally.

J. Cafesin lives on the eastern slope of the redwood laden Oakland Hills with her husband/best friend, two gorgeous, talented, spectacular kids, and a bratty, but cute Shepherd pound hound. Find her on Twitter.