A Hint of Vintage
by Lyrechs Eseer
The last time I saw Marnie alive we were in Miami Florida. To start at the beginning would be to start at the end…
The breeze off the Atlantic was challenging enough to bring only the most experienced of the surfers to top the crests. That didn’t stop all from trying.
Marnie & I were sipping Bloody Mary’s at the Beach House Cafe’. The Gulls were loud, they let us know they were there, hovering on the arms of the wind, waiting on an errant fish or a crumb. The sun rose crisp & clean that morning. A sharp blue nearly cloudless sky. Just another day in our seasonal paradise, If ya will.
We spoke of our youth, the way we raised ourselves up in the midst of the trials & tirades of an abusive alcoholic father & an absentee drugged out mother.
Our brother Chadwick Baxter, better known as Buck, was older by 6 years. He was the product of one of Mothers many “Love affairs.” We didn’t share the same father actually we shared nothing at tall. Buck was an evil bad boy who grew to be a bad bad evil man. There was never a time I didn’t feel fear around him. Always an uncomfortable sense of displacement, a need to be far away from him. His stare would penetrate deep into your very soul. Thick with a meanness, a little boy should never have known.
Marnie & I realized at a really young age that if we wanted to survive childhood with Chadwick B. Baxter we would have to play his sick sad games.
I was eight & Marnie was seven the first time we saw him kill. There were eight sweet newborn puppies in a box in the garage behind the grade school. Buck gathered these sweet squirming hairless pups into a burlap bag, took them down to ol Gator creek and drowned them. One at a time, breaking legs or necks first whatever struck his fancy. He took them back to the box in the garage. I’ll never forget the cry of anguish, the howl of loneliness that came out of that building after he unleashed the momma dog & sent her on in. Heart-wrenching…soul bruising, If ya will. This brother of ours seemed so ragged & diseased.
The following year, in the spring, as I remember, Buck, as we called him, took Marnie and I to the clubhouse he & some of the neighborhood boys had built in the swell amongst the mangroves, If ya will. This was a surprise as we were never allowed near the place before. We were soon to learn just how sick & twisted our dear big bro could be. There honestly seemed to be no limit, no boundaries to his methodical evilness.
Buck had gathered up a couple of the older dudes he knew, then offered Marnie and I up to them as a way in which to sexually pleasure themselves. This being a polite way of saying they raped us repeatedly, over & over again. We were made to do the most disgusting acts to each other as well as to them. Left bloody, raw & bewildered we had nowhere to turn but to each other. Ours became a relationship where we shared our tears & our fears, but more, we became lovers. Yes, my first love was my beautiful sister Marnie. My only love is still my sister…
As we grew through our teenage years we were inseparable. Not ever having known a minute of peace or happiness except with each other. Always on the defense or offense, If ya will. Two sisters couldn’t have been any closer.
Buck was caught with a young neighbor girl on his 25th birthday. He was sent to the penitentiary for three years.
What bliss not to have to deal with his sick, cruel, menacing maliciousness. Our mother, whom we never saw anyway still just drifted in and out of our lives, from crack house to crack house. She only showed up when she needed food or money. She never stayed but a minute. Long enough to do dad and be gone.
Marnie managed to graduate high school, while I worked at the local WalMart, we hit the beach every day, drove dads old pickup around town. We painted it pink then put “Flower Power,” peace signs, and love stickers all over it. Carefree, happy and together our lives seemed stable for the first time ever.
I was never into sports but Marnie could shoot a mean basket or whack a softball out of the park. She ran like a colt, she swam like a swan, gliding perfectly through the water. I held my breath at the beauty she had grown to be. Knowing we shared a love together only she or I could see. Dad died on Valentine’s day that year. I know we should have felt sorrow or gloom. But we rejoiced together over our new found freedom. One we’d never had, not since the womb!!
The first thing we did was to repaint the house, the insurance money wasn’t much. So we made the most of what we had. Our lives took on the feeling of salad days. Freedom to move about as we pleased. Never to answer to anyone ever again! We knew the feelings we had for each other were strong, in some faiths and beliefs maybe even wrong. But, to us, we were working on conquering the world!!
I came home from work that Saturday, later in the day after having left Marnie at the Beach House Cafe with a second Bloody Mary. Only to find the house empty no sign of my Marnie anywhere. I was stricken with a cold hard feeling of loss. I didn’t know why? Call it a premonition if you will. Where was she? What was I missing? Had I forgotten a plan we had made? Looking at the calendar in the kitchen I saw the Big Red X she had marked — This was the day that Buck was to be released from prison. How could I forget? How had I forgotten?
I’ll never forget that day. That was the last time I saw Marnie alive…
Now; would he come for me?
7 Years Later…