by Fox Spender
Due to a questionable persona C. Jay Randel is forced to be cloned.
|It was another day in a stupid class I hated. I just couldn’t comprehend it. Unless I had dreams of being an engineer I would have no use for algebra. It was a complete waste of time for someone whose only dream was to write articles for the local music magazine. Especially since it focused on good old-fashioned punk rock.
That being the case I decided to fall asleep in my math class. And whenever I sleep I have dreams. I dreamt of being at a live show for the Adicts. And boy was I on cloud 9. The raw energy of Monkey jumping around the stage just like a rock ‘n’ roll harlequin with the guitars blasting my ears! What could be better than that?
Unless of course, the Ramones were to reunite.
However my dream was rudely interrupted when the teacher slammed one of those textbooks that are as heavy as a brick on my desk yelling at me to wake up. I jumped up like Freddy Kruger was haunting my dreams.
“Get your head out of the clouds, Boy!” she screamed in my ear. “You have more potential than that, Godammit! I ain’t gonna slave away just because you’re lazy.”
“It’s not that I’m lazy Ms. Craven,” I explained to that mousy old lady. “It’s just that I suffer from a not-so-rare disease.”
She looked at me like I was sniffing glue. But apparently for the sake of argument she decided to humor me. “And what exactly would that disease be, C. Jay?”
Ms. Craven. What a batty old lady. She kind of reminded me of Thelma Harper from Mama’s Family. She had the exact same mannerisms even with the chin sticking out when she didn’t approve of something. Ms. Craven’s temper was no different. Hell, Ms. Craven could even teach Vicki Lawrence a thing or two.
“I suffer from apathy,” I retorted. I wasn’t in the best of moods and I will admit that that’s totally my fault. But that was the truth. I just didn’t care.
“Well,” she remarked. “What the hell makes you any different than anybody else in this godforsaken country?”
“I’m not complaining to President Clinton here,” I said. “So to answer your question. What makes me different is that two separate individuals are having a conversation in the very unique city of Huntington Beach.”
“Boy, am I getting tired of your smart ass remarks! Always coming in here like you own the place,” she sneered. “You sure are few cents short of a dollar.”
“Wanna bet?” I teased slapping a Lincoln on my desk. “Five whole bucks.”
As the rest of the class cheered at such a brave and blunt wise guy stunt Ms. Craven was having a fit to be tied. “Good gravy Marie! What did I ever do to deserve to be thrown such an unappreciative head case in my class!”
“Well if you were to lighten up then maybe we wouldn’t be dishing you out such a hard time!” I finally snapped. I couldn’t take this anymore! I was not a head case! And I’m still not. “And for the record I don’t appreciate being called a head case. It puts me in a position to assume that you think I’m going to turn out to be the next Jack the Ripper!”
Upon hearing how it made me feel she totally turned face. She was about to sympathize with me. I knew she had a heart… Somewhere… Well, I assumed that since she was human she did. And apparently my assumption was correct.
“Good lord,” she said. “I would not dare assume that any of my students would become a blood thirsty serial killer.”
My heart was lifted up and I heard the chorus of angels singing hallelujah ringing in my head. She did indeed have a heart. What a wonderful day for that algebra class. The students breathed a sigh of relief as they found out about Ms. Craven’s heart. “Thank you, Ms. Craven. I really appreciate that.”
“I only meant to imply that you would end up like one of those lazy drunks who slap around their wives,” she explained to me.
I stood corrected. She had no heart whatsoever. Now you have to understand that when I’m down and feeling a little more nihilistic than usual I tend to exaggerate my feelings and my words. This was definitely one of those times. I stood up and I looked her straight in the eye. “I could just kill you,” I said to her.
“Well,” she remarked with a condescending grin on her face. “It looks like I was dead wrong about you, C. Jay. It looks like you will grow up to some raving lunatic.”
“Oh shut up,” I retorted.
That was my last retort. For that was the worst part of what seemed like every day. It had way too much of a sting. All she had to do was point to the door as she headed for the classroom phone. I knew exactly what it meant. Another visit to the principal’s office.
Mr. Kent was not the most relatable person to someone of my youthful high school age. He may have been younger than Ms. Craven, but she was merely one of those individuals who wouldn’t do anything if you didn’t start something. While Mr. Kent just seemed like he forgot all about the difficulties of a being a teenager. He most likely grew up way too fast. That’s what Ledd Zeppelin would do to you.
As I walked to his office I could’ve sworn that I heard a funeral march following my footsteps. The walk over there seemed longer than usual. Was I really becoming a psychopath like in one of those slasher flicks or did I just have a big mouth?
As I was wondering about these worries in my head I finally was able to sit down in the lobby of Mr. Kent’s office. Now I really got to thinking. What if my parents think I’m crazy? How will that affect me while I’m at home? Especially on a Saturday while all three of us are there all day?
After what seemed like hours of anxiety and tense waiting Mr. Kent finally called me into his office. He was a stuffy middle-aged man with a flat top cut and coke bottle glasses. He always looked more vicious than a king cobra. Even Sgt. Slaughter would have been careful to keep this guy calm.
“Mr. Randel? This is the second time you’ve been sent to my office this week,” he said. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
I wanted to correct him in a mannerly way. After all, the last time that week Ms. Craven sent me over here to drop off a note for him. Could it have been a saucy love note? But that’s beside the point. Anyway, I was just too damn scared to correct him. I had no desire to open Pandora’s box.
“Before we continue I would like to know if I may what Ms. Craven has already told you,” I asked. He may be a wild bull but he does like to hear both sides of the story. I was pretty sure I could have him fill me in on just so I wouldn’t babble on like a raving lunatic. I was already scared enough that I was going to have to be thrown in a padded cell. That being the case I wanted to present myself as sane as I possibly could. Even though that’s damn near impossible.
“She said that you said that you said you were going to murder her,” he explained with great fury in his eyes. I thought the principal from the Breakfast Club was bad.
At least I know that I’m no Bender. I confessed! “Yeah, that about sums it up,” I said. “Well, sort of. I’m not all crazy you know.”
“Could have fooled me,” he smirked. Not the best thing to say. But for the moment I thought it was best that I play along with old Flat Top here. Everybody in the school called him that due to his choice in hairstyle. He was actually pretty cool about it.
“What I said was that I could kill her,” I explained. “Not that I was premeditating her bloody demise. If I were to kill her I would plead manslaughter when I would be up there before the judge.”
“Well,” he started out… The start was quick but the continuation seemed like an eternity of anxious waiting hoping that he would have just a hint of mercy on me. “What you said right now seemed to be more along the lines of what you would say but I still think you’re psycho.”
Upon that last moment of his line hitting my eardrums I realized that I was in no way avoiding a doom worse than death. Most likely getting grounded for a month. Oh well. At least my loving parents would never try to get rid of me. They love too much. Well, at least I thought they did…
As it turns out I was dead wrong! Almost literally. Mr. Kent immediately picked up the phone. Is my doom really that close? It’s only 1997. The pangs if waiting to get a walloping from my father were nearly unbearable.
Finally somebody picked up on the other line. “Yes. Uh… Mrs. Randel? This is Principal Kent from Drexel High,” he explained. There was a pause. “Well, C. Jay had threatened to kill Ms. Craven… that’s right. His math teacher… Well I think you should come to the school immediately. Thank you.” He hung up the phone.
“That was your mother,” Mr. Kent told me. Why is it that adults have such a knack for stating the obvious.
“Really?” I smirked. “I could have sworn you were ordering me a Greek pizza from Round Table. But then again when you said ‘Mrs. Randel’ I should have known.”
“Randel? You are getting on my last nerves!?” he practically screamed at me.
“How many last nerves do you have anyway?” I asked in wonder. It’s amazing that he can have all of these last nerves because all he’s ever done was suspend me for the rest of the day. Never even a full day. Damn.
“That’s it,” he said with red-hot fury in his eyes. “You are going home for the rest of the day!”
“See? That’s what I mean,” I explained to him. “If I am such a no-good juvenile delinquent why are you giving it to me so easy? I mean just for the rest of the day? I only have one more class.”
“Okay,” he smiled. “I can live with that you raving lunatic. Now wait in the waiting room and try not to make any trouble.”
Question. Why is it always the head cases that think the normal ones are the homicidal maniacs? I’m guessing that Jeffrey Dahmer thought all of his victims were psychopaths.
But alas, it did not matter. I willingly obeyed as if I were a lamb headed to the slaughter of sacrifice. But luckily I sneaked a book into my leather jacket. It was the ultimate teen novel… A Clockwork Orange. To see the blatant disregards for social norms to the point of ultra-violence and rape made me feel a lot better about myself. For I merely question those norms. Hehehehe.
Finally my mother walked into the waiting room. She seemed like she was scared of me. Did she think I would end up like Hannibal Lecter as well? Who cares? She never cared about her children anyway. At least not in a very open nurturing way. I smiled at her apologetically. She just gave me one of her looks of disgust.
Geez. I know I’m not that bad. Finally Kent called us into his office. I was extremely surprised to see a very sadistic smile on the old kook’s face. I wasn’t feeling very well at that moment.
“Please,” he asked. “Have a seat Mrs. Randel.” She smiled ever so politely at him. What is the old man thinking?
“Why thank you,” my mother replied as she sat down to face him.
I was getting scared. This is worse than watching a stupid Will Farrell film. He is such an idiot.
“It has come to my attention rather swiftly that Drexel High School might not be the best place for C. Jay to continue his education,” explained the principal sounding as sweet as he possibly could.
“Where would you suggest he continues his education?” my mom asked as sweetly as she could. Were they flirting? This was the first time I was actually in the room with both of them when they were discussing your favorite anti-conformist.
“I was thinking that the best place for him would be the mental institution,” he said with a devious smile.
“Both his father and I have always said that he was crazy,” she replied with one of those matter-of—fact tones. “We’re guessing it’s some kind of paranormal seed.” No. It wasn’t flirting. It was an evil plot to give me shock treatment and warm me up in a strait jacket.
“I suggest you take C. Jay to your family psychiatrist right away,” he explained to her. “Right away in fact. Maybe he can go tomorrow.”
“That’s a wonderful idea,” she said. “Thank you.”
That was the point where I knew everything was going to change. I will never be able to look at my parents the same way.
The drive back home was miserable. I’m usually able to open up to my mother extremely well. Even when we have disagreements we always end on a happy note. This time I couldn’t even get a single word out of my mouth unless she asked a question. And all she asked was if I needed to go anywhere. She had barely heard my mumbled no.
Those are some of the worse times in anybody’s life. To be right in front of a person you loved dearly and you can hardly get a word out of your mouth. The awkward feeling is like a knife stabbing at your soul.
Lying in my room all night wasn’t much different. My mother just left me the hell alone and I couldn’t muster enough courage to utter a single word to her. When my pop came home he just waved his hand at me. I waved back. And I stayed in my room all night watching old horror movies and drawing classic monsters. Gee, what fun…
Things were going to change dramatically. My mother’s words kept ringing in my head. Both his father and I have always said that he was crazy… We’re guessing it’s some kind of paranormal seed.
Have her and my father had conversations like that about me? Are they scared of me? Do they think I’ll end up in a padded cell? If they haven’t then why would she feed Kent all of that crap on me?
With all of those thoughts in my head I looked around my room. I had all of those posters on my wall. A big fat Misfits flag was hung right over my bed. And to either side of that flag are posters of Michael Myers and Norman Bates. Along with all of these anti-establishment and punk rock posters which filled a majority of my walls were the occasional horror scene I had drawn. It wasn’t that bad. I was just having fun with movies.
And then it hit me. I finally saw what they saw. I had finally noticed how bloody my room looked with all of the fake splatter. I’ve been doing that ever since junior high. I never thought that those damn splatters would really bother anybody. Even my parents added fake blood all over the windows on Halloween. But that’s beside the point…
Halloween is the one time of the year when you can get away with macabre sight gags. Nobody was paying attention to the gruesome nature because they were doing the same thing. But mother had always said that there was a time to be that morbid. That the time for that was ONLY on Halloween. Nobody wants to see blood on Thanksgiving.
Then I became highly disappointed at the psychological stupidity of my parents. They had always told me of how they were real rebels listening to KISS and AC/DC. And yet those same rebels can’t understand that I merely like horror movies? Are they smoking pot?
I looked at my clock. Ten past midnight. Might as well get ready for bed. And so I did and I fell asleep to some X Files reruns.
The next morning my mom woke me up at about nine or so. She still sounded pretty disappointed at me. Well, let me tell you. She was not nearly as disappointed in me as I was in her.
I changed into some faded blue jeans that were a little snug. But they were so cool especially with the rips at the knees. With a studded belt, jolly roger t-shirt and a classic biker leather jacket with quarter inch spikes on the flaps I was as comfortable as I possibly could be. Mom saw the outfit and she rolled her eyes. I smiled pleased with my ability to annoy that old bat.
I got a bowl of cereal as my mom sat down with her cup of coffee to fill me in on how our day was going to go. “Your father and I have decided to call Dr. Christie,” she explained. “He said that you should come in right away. So right after breakfast I’m going to take you to him.”
“Is he even qualified to diagnose me?” I asked defiantly. “I mean he’s not exactly a shrink.”
“We want to take a more extreme measure, C. Jay,” she explained it to me.
“Like what?” I asked with the fear of God put inside of me. “I don’t wanna go to the slammer for saying the wrong thing. That’s way too harsh!”
“It won’t be that bad,” she explained. “You won’t go to jail. I promise.” There was something off in her tone as she said that. It was almost hesitant. I was getting antsy. Do my parents even love me anymore? Do they even want me around? “But,” she continued, “He knows just what you need.”
“And what pray tell do I need?” I snapped. “A good old-fashioned beating? Being taken away to some foster home?”
That’s when she snapped. She got her coffee mug. It was still pretty full it seemed and she just threw it against the wall. Red-hot fury was in her eyes. It was something that I have never seen. I was scared.
“I’m sick and tired of you defying me and your father!” she screamed in my face. “We give you everything you want! We even let you have all of that god damned fake blood crap all over your room! And you just throw it in our faces, you psychopathic teenage hoodlum!”
She did think I was crazy. I should have known. The only time she wanted to get serious when I talked to her was when the conversation revolved around her shit! Hell, she never even flinched when I flunked a class. She never paid attention to me.
“Well,” I said. “Would you feel better if I just left and ran away? You wouldn’t have to deal with me. Hell, you’ll even lose a mouth to feed!” I retorted strongly with an intent to hurt just so my mother could feel some guilt and redeem herself. Couldn’t do anything drastic without being sure.
“Oh,” she said with a sadistic smile. “Don’t you worry about that. You’ll be out of our life real soon.”
The shock was huge. The pain was nearly unbearable. This wasn’t a case of being put under the knife emotionally. That would mean whatever my parents said or did was out of love. It would be emotional surgery. This was pure hate and disgust with their own child.
From that moment I had gained a sympathy for psychopathy. Driven to madness by society. It’s a disease that those poor people cannot help. Ed Gein, Ted Bundy! They were never in control of their actions.
But my parents? They very much are aware of what they’re doing. Of what they ended up doing to me. Abandoning one’s own child is up there with Hitler murdering God’s chosen people. My parents are pure evil.
But I needed to be sure about my father as well. I couldn’t go blaming him if I wasn’t sure if he was an accomplice. So I asked. “Did Dad agree to go along with your evil plan?”
“You must have been watching one of your damn horror movies when I told him,” she explained with a sick smile on her face. “He was laughing like some maniac on speed.”
I couldn’t finish up my cereal. “I’ll be down quick,” I said. Out of some morbid curiosity I wanted to know exactly what those monsters were planning. They always thought I had that evil seed.
I went upstairs and finished getting ready. Then I went to my bed and I took off my leather jacket. I looked around on my desk (on which I had a really cool Frankenstein figure) and I found some whiteout. I smiled for I was doing this purely to piss off people. I took that leather jacket and on the left sleeve right under a skull and crossbones I did I painted “Sex Pistols” with the white out.
Now, I do like the Sex Pistols. They definitely played some fun music. And Johnny Rotten is definitely a very important part of punk. But I wasn’t a huge fan of them like I was of the Adicts, the Ramones, and the Queers.
I knew when my mother would see that phrase on my jacket she would slap me stupid. And that was definitely what I had intended.
Before I go on, I must explain something. Some people may see a confliction of personality traits with my Mom. She didn’t really care what music I listened to. She didn’t care at all what I did if I wasn’t caught or if it was something that made me look like your average teenage boy. But she sure caused hell, fire and brimstone if I did anything that made me look like what she thought of as an embarrassment. And mentioning a certain part of male anatomy would definitely make her feel embarrassed.
And so I walked down the stairs with one of my sadistic smiles. She was waiting for me tapping her watch like she had other real important things to do today. In reality all she had planned was going out to lunch with her mother who she hated almost as much as she did me.
I flashed my new bit of fashion statement right at her. “Like the new design I added?” asked I with a taunting tone. “I’ve written it especially for you.”
And she did something that I’m still shocked about. She always played mother dearest with me. But she had never up until that point played a cold insensitive witch. My own mother flipped me the bird and she had meant it. I couldn’t wait to run away anymore.
“Let’s just go,” I said. “I won’t say a single word.” I got my disc-man and blasted some Social Distortion as we got inside the car and drove off.
What was going on inside me? Usually I would have felt guilt like crazy. It would usually eat at my soul little by little until I apologize. I couldn’t understand it then. But now I know exactly what it was, apathy. And I just drowned myself in it as we drove. It was a true bittersweet feeling. Mostly because I didn’t understand it.
About halfway to our destination my mother tapped my shoulder. I took off my earphones and turned to hear what she had to say but not without throwing her a death glare. “Dr. Christie is meeting us at the hospital,” she said. “So is your father.”
“Whatever,” I said with a true attitude that she had never seen from me. I may have questioned their authority but I never did it just to do it. And boy, acting rude sure felt therapeutic.
And she just ignored it like she was suffering from my apathy. I was never what they wanted me to be. I was finally going crazy. Of course crazy is just a colorful way to say I was no longer in the business of caring what they thought anymore.
We finally made it to the hospital. It was a strange part I had never been in before. It was bare. There was hardly a soul after my mom went to talk to the receptionist who had let us in rather quickly. My mother was excited as they exchanged words. Something was wrong. Dead wrong.
She had told her to walk all the way down that empty hall and it was definitely one long hall. It reminded me of Resident Evil. It was unnerving to say the least.
Finally at the very end of the hall there was a bare door. It had no number on it. Just a single word painted on it – “Experimental”. I knew this wasn’t going to end in a very pretty manner as I walked in practically to my doom as a Randel. As I did, I saw my father chatting with Dr. Christie.
My parents literally looked like Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore while Dr. Christie looked like Ed Asner. I had always thought that was a weird combination.
Anyway, Dr. Edward Christie was the family doctor. All of my cousins had been to him since they were born. But I never liked him. He always treated the kids like some test subject. It scared me as a little tyke and just pissed me off as I had
My mother walked straight up to my dad and Dr. Christie, and the first thing out of her mouth was a polite yet brief greeting to the two of them to which they quickly replied. Then what she asked was a very straightforward question. “How much does it cost?”
“It’ll be about two grand,” the doctor said as he smiled with dollar signs in his eyes.
“That certainly isn’t cheap,” she remarked. “But he’ll be what we’ve always wanted him to be?”
“We’ll just need one sample from him and we can make adjustments as we see fit,” Dad explained to my mother. His smile was even more evil than my mother’s. I was now frightened beyond belief. I had a feeling I knew what they were going to do and it was worse than death.
Out of nowhere a couple of male nurses who seemed more like body builders came stomping into the room like Goliath must have done to scare all of the Israelites way back when. They dragged me away like I was a second-hand ragdoll.
Boy, did I struggle to get free. I fought and I kicked like mule from Hell. It was no use. I was headed to the worst kind of place a teenager could ever be put in. I knew that all kindness in the world was gone. I would only be familiar with disregard and abandonment.
The nurses taunted me and jeered me. “Your days with your family are over, psycho!” they laughed. “They don’t want anything to do with a moral threat like yourself!”
“Dr. Christie spent hours last night trying to figure out which DNA would make you function correctly!” laughed my pop as he waved good-bye. That is when I first learned of true blue hate. “He finally did so, you rotten excuse for a son of mine!”
The few things of hope that I held onto (humor, tenderness, and guilt) were being flushed down the toilet like a lump of turd. And everybody I knew was enjoying every twisted moment of it. I truly became one of the doomed.
Those evil nurses attempted to tie me down to an operating table with leather restraints. I was really putting up one hell of a fight. They had to man handle me and slam me down a couple of times just to show me that that they meant business.
“What are you gonna do to me?” I asked stuttering with fear. I couldn’t even talk properly. It was like I was in one of those horror movies I loved so. I guess that just made me sick of horror movies for a while.
“We’re gonna clone you,” said one of the beefy nurses with those murderous Joker smiles. “So now your mother and father can pick the you they want instead of having an embarrassment like you for a son,” the other smirked gleefully. How could I ever keep my sanity in this nightmare?
“No!” I screamed! “Don’t clone me! Please! I’ll run away and never bother you again! Please! Don’t clone me!” Those changes were coming fast. And I was scared.
One of the nurses backhanded me like I was a blow up punching bag clown. He was getting pissed that was being as difficult as I was. But what else what YOU do if life (as you know it) was going up in smoke due to pure evil? Anybody in their right mind would put up a fight.
“Shut up!” he shouted.
“Why should I?” I retorted with just as loud of a scream.
That’s when the three masterminds reared their heads with a sickening pleasure that I have never seen from any of those evil people. “Because,” my mother said with a twisted giddiness, “we aren’t going to stop for anything. Yes, we are that tired of you.”
“In the name of what? Your reputations?” I scoffed. “How pathetic you guys are! You’ve always been feeding me lines like you love me or you discipline me for my own good? Maybe some other poor loser’s parents actually do love their rebellious son and discipline him because he needs it. But what’s wrong with questioning you?”
“Nothing,” my father said. “It’s just annoying when your kid looks like a bum. It’s annoying when your kid questions your every move like a snotty little spy.”
“Just because I’m not what you hoped I’d be?” I taunted. “You guys are just as evil as Hitler! You are pure evil! I hope you all burn in Hell!”
“To each his own” my father sighed. He snapped his fingers and the two nurses on steroids came and had to use brute force to hold me down.
I still don’t see how this is any different morally from the Ludovico technique used in A Clockwork Orange. It was wrong and they knew it deep down in bottom of their hearts. The problem was that they just didn’t give a rat’s ass.
Finally one of the nurses got an oxygen mask and shoved it in my face. This was it. “Breathe in deep,” he shouted as I struggled rather unsuccessfully to get free. The other nurse pressed a button on a computer and the oxygen mask filled up some kind of sedative. I saw my parents smile at me with evil smiles and I was headed into a drug-induced slumber.
They finally finished the procedure and I was just conscience enough to hear my parents talking to Dr. Christie. I guess you could say that I was in that place between asleep and awake. I heard them talking about deciding which clone of yours truly that they’d prefer to keep… But I was so out of it that I may have been dreaming that part.
When I really came to I noticed all of this white around me. I was completely disorientated. I was on this soft cushiony floor. Finally I became real curious about where I was. I got up and I looked around. The walls were padded with the same type of cushiony material as the floor. And that’s when it hit me.
I was in a padded cell just the way my parents always wanted. At least I was never put in a strait jacket. And to this day nobody believes a word of my story. Even my own parents deny it. They claim that the clone they love so dearly is my twin brother. They say they would never do such an awful deed to their own son. Well, all I know is that they are evil people.
Why won’t somebody believe me?