K Ryer Breese

Future Imperfect

Copyright © 2011 by K. Ryer Breese

For Russell Hoban


Countless thanks to my agent, Jessica Regel, for her insight and enthusiasm, guidance and grace; an endless supply of gratitude to John Schoenfelder, a genius master of storytelling, and Russell Ackerman, a diviner in his own right; heapings of appreciation to Brendan Deneen for his superhuman editorial skills; and boundless love to Jess, EE, Mo, and Hedge, P-Dogg (Mutants!), Saba and Savta, and Grandpa and Grandma.


Jimi Ministry didn’t have this many tattoos two weeks ago.

The ones on his wrists, it’s obvious that they’re pretty fresh.

Maybe it’s the fact that they’re still bright red, spanked raw and swollen, but looking at them I see my family. My distant family.

On his left wrist I think I see my great-grandmother Ethyl on my mother’s side. And I’ve only ever seen her in pictures.

On the right wrist, that’s got to be my dad’s favorite uncle, the one who died in Korea. Was his name Benson?

It could be the fact that it’s night and Jimi’s underwater, but the images on his flesh are blurry. Like they’re dancing just under the surface of the lake. And his knuckles have gone cold white from grabbing on to my arms so tight.

This is because I’m holding him down.

This is because I’m drowning him.

Jimi’s face, it looks almost serene.

It’s not like in the movies where people thrash around, kick the water into a froth, and their faces get all distorted with fear. No, Jimi’s practically calm and all this is happening very slowly. The night above us is cool and bursting with stars. On the beach behind me there’s only the tiny lapping of waves. Like many dogs drinking water.

With my hands around Jimi’s neck, squeezing the air out of him, I can’t help but get nostalgic. The rage in me has reached such a fevered pitch my hair’s on end. If you took my temperature right now I’m sure it’d look fatal.

But Jimi’s finally under control.

He’s fading so fast.

The love of my life, she’s back there in the night. She’s waiting, anxious.

Probably gripping the straps of her purse as tightly as I’ve got Jimi’s throat.

On Jimi’s thumb knuckle on his right hand there’s a tattoo of a turtle. Most turtles look the same unless they’re exotic. You know, like some Amazonian turtle. But this one, I’m pretty sure it’s the same box turtle I had in fifth grade. His name was Metatron, after the archangel in the Hebrew scripture. My mom found him on one of her dashes through Pueblo. I’d know his shell pattern anywhere.

Right now is right now.

Every half-second clicks into place as deafening as thunder.

Right now is all that matters

And right now, Jimi’s underwater and his face is relaxing into darkness.

The fury in me is so ferocious that I’m likely to split in half.

This is what the Metal Sisters assured me. What Grandpa Razor was so confident about. All the experts, all the professionals I’ve talked to, this is exactly why they told me they didn’t know. This was inevitable.

Call it fate.

Call it destiny.

Whatever you call it, it’s murder.



Mr. von Ravengate

Raven’s Magikal Gifts, Aurora Mall

Aurora, CO

Thanks for the letter, Heinz.

Off the bat, I should mention I’m not religious. My mom’s super into Jesus, but that really hasn’t rubbed off on me. Not to say I’d dig Satanism either. Sorry, but that’d kill my mom. Stroke for sure. Good to know you find it meaningful though, and, hey, I am intrigued about the whole Atlantis psychic thing. But not so much the goat with a thousand eyes business.

Anyway, to answer a few of your questions:

1. No. I’ve never seen any strange vistas that resemble Yes album covers. I’ve never seen a Yes album cover. I just see the future and it looks pretty much like now.

2. No. No demons. Or Daemons. Or whatever.

3. Sure, there are Rules. Two major ones, really. Seeing the future’s the easy part; the hard part’s what comes after. It’s breaking the Rules that’s tough. These Rules, they’re mine. Didn’t take long for me to figure them out either.

Rule No. 1. The future can’t be changed once it’s been seen.

See, it’s not like on television or in the movies. It’s not racing against the clock to make sure that x (the car, the tree, the cat, the ax, the bus, the moon) doesn’t fall on y (the girl, the baby, the cat, the house, the church, the school). There’s no shouting into the phone trying to convince the police of something. What I see, it always happens. Always.

Rule No. 2. If you ignore Rule No. 1 and try to change the future, you’ll end up only making a mess of things.

Вы читаете Future Imperfect
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату