Terrence Carabobo took in the bizarre confrontation, his pulse racing; his stomach in turmoil. The boy from the wretched slums of Caracas had been shaped by some horrendous things over his life – this was among the worst and he was certain that he would not easily forget this encounter.
On his left was the sickly visage of a woman who had plainly wasted her life in the pursuit of the promise of happiness broken time and time again by alcohol. Her hair was thin and plainly in danger of thinning further. Her face was contorted into a painful grimace which was as close as she could come to a smile. Jagged teeth poked through her gaping mouth, each one a different mess of brown and grey. A smear of makeup disguised her true horror by painting the exaggerated picture of a different nightmare. Her tattered clothes hung all wrong around her misshapen frame and hinted at years of simultaneous disuse and misuse. The hint of an unidentifiable stench completed the picture. Truly, she was an abomination – to think that she was Terrence’s great hope for all his grand dreams was sickening.
Opposite the deranged harpy was a man who had wasted his life. His features were distorted with shock but despite his brief efforts at animation, there was no avoiding his weak chin, exaggerated forehead; cracked and neglected skin stretched over pounds of fat and gristle arranged into an unnaturally pathetic face. His bloated limbs spoke of weakness. The posture of a sponge did little to detract from the vast and contemptuous bulk he presented despite his subconscious undoubtedly doing its best to squeeze him into a smaller space. Terrence doubted that this man had achieved anything with his life. If the woman facing him had pursued a fleeting liquid dream over her disappointing years, this man had chosen the numbing existence of a drunk because he was simply too dull to realise there was anything else. He looked like a coward and hardly the inspiration that he had threatened to be but for the fateful error committed by his atrophied brain.
The thought of the two sub-humans engaging in any kind of physical contact, the possibility of which the cruel parody of a woman seemed frighteningly insistent upon, sent a shudder through Terrence. He thought of the crude makeshift home under the Autopista Francisco Fajardo in the shadow of the Ministerio de Educacion Superior – an organisation sorely disinterested in Terrence as a youth, nor any of his fellow street urchins. His mind reeled as he drew the connection between the display of human repulsiveness which was before him and the nightmare stored deep in the recesses of his memory which had set him on this most unexpected road. The monotonously terrifying path between his home and the dark apartment high about Avenue Este 14 where he was summoned all too often. He remembered the blackened windows. The cloying smell of unwashed and sick flesh. The clutter of inactivity. A reclusive monster who was his family’s only hope of a better life. The same man who had defiled him. The cruel march home where his family’s knowing and furtive glances along with their lack of intervention drained him of the will to live. He had killed that man and he had changed as a result – it was the qualities he had shown in that terrifying metamorphosis which had lead him to where he was that day. Without that torture, he would have still been lingering in that slum waiting to die.
The male wretch opened his mouth and brought Terrence back to reality.
“Faaarrrken hell, there’s no way a slut like you would ever be my fucking queen, you slut.”
Terrence’s had never hated humanity quite as much as he did at that moment.