Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights

How It All Got Started 031: Carson
Free serial fiction from author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick.


[post_list_box series=92]

Friday, June 22, 1984

Brad found Carson in the back yard. “Dude, you’re Carson?”

“Yeah. Brad, right..?”

“Yeah. Come right now.” He held a hand in front of Carson’s buddy from junior high school. “Just you.”

Brad turned and took long, urgent strides back toward the house. Carson followed. Something about the guy’s tone set off primate alarms. Something was way wrong.

Brad opened Preston’s mom’s bedroom door and jerked his head toward the room. Carson wordlessly slipped past him. Brad closed the door, staying in the hall.

Standing guard?

Carson saw Preston, saw Crystal… and then saw Lina.

He was at the door, and then he was on his knees next to the bed and at her side. No time, no distance, no steps between. Crystal made room.


Crystal’s voice was hard. “I think she was drugged. And would have been raped.”

Car looked at Crystal. She looked back at him. He nodded to her, a wordless thanks.

“Was it…”


Carson closed his eyes and swallowed. For a moment, he wanted to cry. That quickly passed into wanting to kill.

That was something new, something he’d never felt before, never understood, never really thought of as more than a movie cliché.

But there it was: Carson wanted to see Eric Finn dead, and he wanted to be the one to kill him. He wanted to take Eric Finn’s breath, stop his heart, and he wanted to do it with his bare hands.

It was too intense to last.

All that really mattered was that Lina was, if not okay, at least spared from what could have been.

He sighed heavily.

“I gotta get her out of here.”

Crystal nodded sharply and stood up. “Party’s over,” she said to Preston. “Get everybody out.”

Carson heard the door open and close. He kept his eyes on Lina.

“My parents are out of town,” he said. “I’ll take her back to my place. Make sure she’s… make sure she sleeps it off.”

Crystal didn’t answer right away. She saw the love and worry and good solid concern on Carson’s face, and bit her lip.

They weren’t all Eric Finn. They weren’t all her God-damn dad.

They weren’t all Preston.

“She’ll be all right,” she said.




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