MANTULA Part Twenty-Nine: The Death of ManQuail Part Two


I hauled Glenn back to my crappy little apartment with two of my legs clenched gently around his limp neck. He didn’t struggle, come to life and flap around, or otherwise express any indignation at being pulled through the dirt. I couldn’t leave him there on the side of the road next to a trash can. He’d probably get munched up by a wild animal or found in the morning and chucked in the trash. I couldn’t let that happen. So I brought him back home with one thought circulating like hot lava in my head. Mooney, that nasty prick, would pay.

Who knows how long it took me to get him there under the cover of darkness. I don’t remember much of it, but I know I set him on the couch and rested his head on one of the pillows I liked to lay my human head on, back before all this nastiness happened to me. Not just to me, I told myself, but to a lot of people who didn’t deserve to have this curse thrust into their miserable lives. Some of us, like Glenn, were better off because of it perhaps. He’d been cured of his meth addiction for a time. But look at him now.

I got on the computer and starting looking for Mooney. I found he’d emailed Glenn to let him know he’d stuck his order in a crevice by the ice cream shop, the usual drop spot, and to let him know he got it. He also said he’d expect payment within the week – a favor for an old friend. It didn’t take me long to find his address online. He didn’t bother to hide it. One look at his Facebook and I had it memorized. Next I mapped the best route there. Within twenty minutes of returning with ManQuail I was off, alone and determined, to see my friend’s dealer. My tarantula body didn’t tire like my human body did, though I confess I wasn’t altogether there mentally. After visiting Diana’s house and learning the story of her witchy grandmother, then finding out ManQuail had already started the curse “decontamination” project, which brought his addiction crawling back to him like a slutty relationship begging forgiveness; it had been a long day.

Kip Mooney would probably be asleep when I got there. At least that’s what I figured. He lived in an apartment complex about ten blocks from my own. Using side streets and the cover of what was by now late at night (I had no idea of the time), I made it there in about 20 minutes. He lived in an apartment at the back of the complex, on the ground level, with a small enclosed area next to his front door – sort of a patio area where a washer and dryer could also be found tucked against the far wall. The place looked dark, though a number of nearby apartments were still lit, shining a pale lemon glow on the sliding door that opened to Kip’s patio. I scrambled up and over the stucco wall and heard music coming from inside, followed by light female laughter. It seemed Mooney was still up. And he had company no less. Letting my boiling anger lead me, I crept toward the sliding door and pulled it aside, just a smidge, not enough to be noticed, but enough for me to get in. “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle” belted from his iPod speakers. I might have appreciated his affection for Nirvana had he been any other man. But this was the dick who nearly raped Diana Sturgis and doped out my dead best friend. I knew what my son would want me to do, what he’d want Mantula to do, and I wasted no time in doing it.

I smirked. “Here I come, Dope-man.”

There were two girls in the dark apartment when I entered. Both were dark-skinned, black-haired Latinas; their prettiness obscured by black eyeliner and red lipstick. They were topless, stuffing wads of bills into the elastic bands of their hot pink panties. Behind them stood Kip Mooney, also shirtless, and buttoning up his Levis. Sweat covered his thin upper torso. His face, on the other hand, looked scoured and handsome – the perfect lumbersexual asshat. He slid his black eyeglasses onto his face, patted each of the girls on their young, bubbly asses, then saw me.

A wad of cash rained to the carpet from his hands. His mouth opened in shock. “God, it’s you. The tarantula!”

Doug gets his revenge on Kip Mooney.

I ran for him, letting red rage blind me. I know the girls screamed hysterically. I know Nirvana continued to lament Seattle’s death by popularity. Otherwise, I saw only a flurry of hairy legs, all eight, rain hurt on that punk. I only had to point them in the right direction and they took it from there. Blood sprayed the air. Mooney cried out numerous times. He might have landed a blow on me, but I barely noticed. Practicing with the wife beater downstairs made kicking this guy’s ass a cakewalk. He had the looks, but no fighting style. At some point during the melee, I bounced off a wall, careened into the little prick drug dealer and knocked him into a cupboard. Little baggies of meth spilled everywhere around him. Stumbling, swinging his arms blindly, Mooney stepped all over them. I doubt he even noticed. The women beat a path out the front door, yelling in Spanish like crazy, and I figured it was time to get out of there before I killed the guy. He deserved no less, but I wasn’t sure I was prepared to live with it. I know my son wouldn’t approve.

I dashed out the way I came in, Nirvana still blaring behind me, and disappeared into the dark night. A few minutes later I heard sirens. I waited in the bushes for a while until I saw two squad cars pull up to the complex, splashing blue and red lights over the outside walls of the apartments. I wondered what the police would make of all the meth in Mooney’s pad.

The rage began to dissipate as I made my way back home. I wasn’t sure what to do with Glenn’s body. Should I bury him? Should I find a way to take him back home to his parents’ place in Camp Verde? ManQuail would probably like that. He felt bad about what he’d done to them. I figured I could get him there, maybe bury him on the property, without them even knowing about it. As it turned out, I wouldn’t have to figure out how to get to Camp Verde.

Something happened while I was away. The door to my apartment was open. All the lights were on and I could see movement inside. Cautiously, I made my way up the stairs and peeked around the corner. There were two people inside my crappy little apartment, one a teenage girl by the looks of it, and the other an older man with round spectacles, quite old-fashioned, perched on the bridge of his nose. The girl carried the body of ManQuail in her arms. The man watched her, a concerned look on his face, and that’s when I recognized him. He knew I was there too. He pivoted around the girl and looked right at me, his face a grim mask of annoyance.

“I see you’ve finally decided to grace us with your presence,” said Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

Published by patrickwhitehurst

Patrick Whitehurst is a fiction and non-fiction author who's written for a number of northern Arizona newspapers over the years, covering everything from the death of the nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshots to Barack Obama's visit to Grand Canyon. In his spare time he enjoys painting, blogging, the open water, and reading everything he can get his hands on. Whitehurst is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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