Beverly Hills Cop 4…and Bryce
After the pharmacy Buck and me had mostly both decided to leave the machine alone for a while. It was nearly a couple days past now and my eyes were only just starting to return to some kind of normal colour. Thank Christ whatever that fucking machine had done to me was wearing off .
We hadn’t talked about it, but I think we both grasped that this thing was way beyond our current level of understanding, we’d need to do a lot more work on paper before trying anything like that again. Even the base coordinates to the places we’d safely skipped to and from now retained a certain amount of foreboding. I’d gotten off lucky with bloodshot eyes and having to deal with looking like some sort of demon hipster for a week, but what if it had been something worse like my hands, or, god forbid, my cock! I know it doesn’t get much use, but one day, one day I’d really like to put some miles on the little guy.
There was also that whole business with Nina seeing me that I conveniently hadn’t mentioned to Buck. That woman’s not one who takes being humiliated lightly and I was whole heartedly shocked she hadn’t paid me a visit yet. I just told myself that was a bridge to cross when I arrived at it and went on subscribing to the whole ‘no news is good news’ philosophy.
Why the fuck didn’t we rob a pharmacy in another city?! So fucking stupid!
Thanks to the plethora of pills I’d acquired during the whole debacle I managed to will the thoughts of teleportation to a dark room in the back of my mind and boarded the doors shut with as many intoxicants as I could find. Business as usual!
Buck on the other hand; who doesn’t share my love of the emotionless drug induced abyss that many like us choose to call home, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He had been certain of those coordinates.
Buck’s the frowniest of Frown Lords on the best of days, sometimes a total Fun Sponge, even The King of Carrot Town! He’s guilty of being a lot of things, but rarely was Buck ever guilty of being wrong. Even after losing the coin toss and having to work on sending us to my preferred location (He wanted to rob the local guitar center), he worked tirelessly crunching numbers to make sure nothing would go wrong, and it still went wrong. He took it personally and continued working on the math. I ignored it, as long as the machine stayed packed up in the closet no one was getting hurt. As far as me and my drugs were concerned, we’d waged war with the futuristic concept of teleportation and although we hadn’t necessarily won, we’d come out relatively unscathed. That was enough for me.
It must’ve been Thursday, or Tuesday…definitely one of the T days, when I was brutally dragged from my peaceful abyss by Buck aggressively kicking the side of the couch I’d adopted as my regular sleeping quarters. I sprung awake, feigning attentiveness.
“Whaa,tunn, gobey wa…?” I mumbled gibberish while visibly confident I was making perfect sense.
“You gotta call Bryce, I need drugs” Buck snapped at me.
Realizing I was still unable to make actual words come out I simply gestured with my arm towards the coffee table and scrunched my eyes up at Buck hoping to communicate the annoyed sentiment of “You woke me up for this? There’s fucking drugs everywhere” . You could barely put a drink down there were so many pill bottles.
“Yeah, Dave – Your drugs. I need uppers to stay awake man, I nearly got this thing figured out. I’m exhausted and I need to fucking focus!” he said with a kind of manic, strung out contempt as he moved around front of the coffee table picking up a bottle.
“Benzo’s…” he threw it at me.
“Pain killers…” he threw that one too while I made a pathetic attempt to shield myself.
“What the fuck is this…?” he read the label of another bottle “…dip…hphe…hydo…”
“Diphenhydramine.” I interrupted, peeking out from behind my forearms.
“Is it gonna keep me up?” he asked.
I shook my head no.
“THEN IT’S NO FUCKING GOOD TO ME!” he pitched the bottle square at my head and hit me right between the eyes.
“AAOW!” I exclaimed.
“Call. Bryce.” Buck said firmly.
I nodded and pulled out my phone. Buck wasn’t wrong; I hadn’t exactly gone shopping for anyone but myself at that pharmacy.
Bryce was a Barback at Tack Liquors, a bar I occasionally worked at when they absolutely had no other person to call in and cover a shift. He wasn’t a drug dealer per se; he was just a party machine always ready to get fucked up at a moments notice. He was super friendly with everyone and always had his pockets full of weird designer drugs and things you couldn’t get from the usual scumbags me and buck would cop shit from. Not only did he always have cocaine that was so good it might as well have been scraped right off of Pablo Escobar’s desk, but he also had a closet full of IV saline bags that he’d hook us up to if we ever had a hangover that Pedialite or more booze couldn’t quite overcome. He was a great guy to know, but you really needed to be in for the long haul if you were gonna call Bryce.
I inhaled deeply , took all of this into account, exhaled, and dialed the phone.
“Hey man, what’s up? Yeah? Tight…tight…you should come over to Bucks and mine. You gotta check out our…” I wasn’t sure what to say to ensure his arrival so I just said the first thing to come into my head “…come check out our…our teleporter?” I definitely phrased it as a question.
Buck glared at me mouthing the words WHAT THE FUCK. I just shrugged my shoulders mouthing I DON’T KNOW back at him as apologetically as possible.
I pulled the phone away from my ear as the sound of Bryce’s voice grew out of the phones tiny speaker “BUUUUUUUDDDDDYYYYYYY!” it sounded like I had a Pauly Shore soundboard running at full volume through my phone. Both of us winced.
Bryce frantically vomited audio of what I can only assume to be a sentence then hung up before I could even say goodbye, 15 minutes later he was sitting in our living room crushing up Adderal under a $100 bill with the TV remote.
Bryce had clearly already been indulging this evening and was talking a mile a minute, faster than either of us follow. We just sort of looked at each other maybe waiting to add something to the conversation but Bryce just talked and talked, switching between subjects the way a teenager would flip between radio stations on a boring road trip. I popped a Xanax and tossed the bottle to Buck.
I was walking to the kitchen to make myself a drink when Bryce paused and drew breath before jumping to his feet and snatching a DVD from one of the end tables.
“Buddy, Buddy, Budddyyyyy! Where. The fuck. Did you guys get this?!” he exclaimed, holding up a BlueRay copy of Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop IV, a movie that to my knowledge didn’t actually exist. “It’s gotta be fake? Riiight? “
I turned around looking at Buck curiously
“Yeahhh Buck, where did we get that? That not actually being a real thing or anything”
Buck was a pretty matter of fact when it came to being questioned. He never usually had anything to hide, but he danced around my question like Floyd Mayweather.
This was the kind of curio that would appear in our home after one of my benders and I’d just shrug off as being an amusing symptom of my delinquency. This wasn’t the kind of thing that makes its way onto the coffee table at the hands of Buck. He’s not incredibly artsy either, so I knew he Wouldn’t have mocked it up for a goof. I was getting suspicious and pushing for answers.
“Look, I knew you’d get all fucking over dramatic about the whole thing” he said “I knew you’d make a big deal and, Dave it’s just way over the top. So I just went ahead without you”
“What are you saying Buck?” my brain was reallllllllly struggling to keep up “wait…” there it goes “… YOU USED THE TELEPORTER!!” I stamped my foot on the ground spilling some of my drink “We said we weren’t going to use it until we knew what the fuck we were doing! And how does that have anything to do with Eddie fucking Murphy!?”
“Everything you turd!” Buck retorted “It works Dave! It fucking works, and it’s not just North Korea or South America, this thing can go, I dunno how to put it…beyond that.”
As we lay into each other over deception vs progress we all but forgot that Bryce was standing there staring at us while we divulged secret after secret in the form of petty argument. He looked down at Beverly Hills Cop IV then back up at us. “wait, wait, wait…” we stopped yelling at each other and looked at him “…you guys actually have a teleporter?” we both looked at each other, then back at Bryce.
“look man, it’s complicated…” Buck said dismissively.
“yeah, it might even be dangerous” I added.
“Shut up Dave, you’re being a pussy!” Buck quipped at me.
“Don’t use pussy as a pejorative Buck!” I snapped back at him. Luckily Bryce interrupted Buck before he could escalate our squabbling any further.
“Buddy, no. Fucking. Way. You gotta let me try it” he looked back and fourth at both of us while we stood in silence until Buck finally said “…ok, lets do it!”
“Buck, no!” I protested, “This is human testing man. Remember that summer I was vegan? I still believe all that shit man. You don’t test weird shit on animals or humans! It’s like…” I struggled through my cloudy mind to come up with a viable argument “…turtles Buck! This is why we cut plastic rings on six packs! Turtles…”
“Nothing you just said makes any sense man. Less sense than usual actually. Are you sure you’re ok?” He gave me a look of genuine concern, I guess I might’ve been more than a little out of it “…look, he wants to. Let him,” Buck blew me off as he went to the cupboard to pull out all the wires and boxes that made up the machine while Bryce bounced up and down like a kid waiting in line to see Santa.
Buck didn’t really know Bryce that well. It was one of those “that’s your friend” kind of situations. I knew Buck, and I could tell that he saw Bryce’s excitement and willful participation as an excuse to test out the machine on someone other than himself. Let me be clear though. Neither of us were actually that concerned for his safety. We’re not the nice st of people. I just didn’t think any of this could happen…
Sorry I got ahead of myself
I threw my arms up “Fine Bryce, your funeral man, don’t complain to me when you come back missing…” The pile of powder Bryce had made on the table distracted me and i snorted a line quickly before quietly finishing “…all your drugs”. I exhaled in a haze and sunk into the couch, pouting as I examined the back cover of Beverly Hills Cop IV while Buck went about explaining the machine to Bryce.
It credited the entire leading cast of the original 2 movies as appearing and even touted Oscar nods for Best Action and Best Comedy. What the fuck was this thing? I popped in the disk expecting to, on the better end of my assumptions, get Rick Rolled (a harmless internet game where you trick people into listening to the Rick Astley classic “Never Gonna Give”), and at the other end of my assumptions hung flash backs to Mr Hands and Two Girls/One Cup. I shuddered and prayed silently for the former.
The movie opened with that familiar old “Axel F” theme that’s synonymous with the franchise. Eddie Murphy’s name flashed on the screen and then there he was, the real Eddie Murphy as fast talking Detroit detective Axel Foley.
Judge Reinhold was right there with him looking decidedly less like Billy Rosewood than Eddie Looked like Axel. I guess time can’t be kind to all of us.
“What the fuck is this?” Just kept repeating in my head over and over. I pulled out my phone and tapped the title of the film into the search bar. All that came back were rumors of a film in pre production hell, one that would, at best, maybe get turned into a straight to DVD release of a film bearing the name of the franchise, but none of the talent.
Behind me Buck was Duct taping a cellphone to Bryce’s chest with the camera facing forward. It was dialed into a video call showing on a tablet that was propped up on the kitchen table. “I’m just sending you to Symphony Park. You know that little playing field near the outlets. Then I’m bringing you back” I heard buck say “I just have to put in your height and weight here…”
“this is fucking stupid and I want to make it known that I’m whole heartedly against it” I called blindly into the kitchen.
“Buddy! It’s gonna be fine” Bryce giggled back at me before excitedly asking “Buck, can you send me to Burning Man?”
“No Bryce.” That discussion was over.
As buck clicked away at they keypad I became more and more concerned with the existence of this movie. I was as happy as the next guy to finally see some big movie studio deal a deathblow to one of histories last credible action trilogies, but this shouldn’t exist. I started really trying to focus; the pills were making my thoughts fuzzy. It was getting harder and harder to keep things in order.
“If this doesn’t exist…” I thought. “…Then where did buck to get it”. I was making progress on turning the feeling in the pit of my stomach into cognitive thought.
“…But it does exist. It’s right here” nearly there. Nearly… “And Buck went, beyond that…HOLY SHIT!”
To this Day the above reigns as the hardest game of putting 2 and 2 together I’ve ever played.
I leapt to my feet and tried to tell buck to stop but it was too late. POP! Bryce was gone.
I dove across the room to look at the screen on the tablet. All I could see was the clouds. He had to be lying on his back; not every landing was entirely smooth.
“Bryce!?” I yelled at the screen “can you hear me? Are you ok?” there was no response.
“BRYCE!” Buck barked at the screen but still nothing.
We both waited. I was holding my breath until…
“heh heh heh budddyyyyy! I’m good!”
My whole insides dropped with relief, but I was still terrified. In the opening credits of the movie I’d put together what buck had meant. This wasn’t just a machine that could send you anywhere on earth, this machine could send us much further than that…where movie studios apparently have enough Fuck-You money to keep churning out bombs like the garbage fire of a movie was playing on the television.
I know I’d only just gotten through the opening sequence here, but I’ve gone back and watched it since all this happened. It’s fucking atrocious. Apparently it’s from a world with much lower standards. Oscar nod for Best comedy? What the fuck was it up against? Home Alone 6: Marv’s Revenge? Gimme a break.
“Byrce, man, tell me what you see” I said,
“He see’s symphony park, Dave. Look, there’s the colour wall. There’s the highway…”
“Guy’s, why’s it so dark? I thought they’d have the lights on at night?” Bryce’s voice crackled through the speakers.
He was starting to move about. As the camera wobbled from side to side I caught glimpses of the buildings around the park, they were all dark. Their windows were boarded up or were just left smashed in. it was definitely Symphony Park, just not like I’d ever seen it.
“Buck, I don’t like this, bring him back.” I said
“Relax, it’s Halloween, that’s all decoration, you barely even saw…” Bryce cut him off.
“Guys. Hey guys, there’s someone here. I, I think it’s a little kid” the signal was getting weak. We could hear Bryce’s voice but it was marred in static.
The camera swung to the left, it flickered intermittently, but we could definitely make out a shape. Buck leaned in close to the screen then looked back at me.
“He’s right! There’s a kid there,” he said.
“Let me fucking see!” I pushed Buck out of the way to get a better look at the screen and he was right. About 20 feet in front of Bryce stood a little boy. He was about 3 and a half feet tall. His head hung low obscuring his face showing us only his short white-blonde hair. He wore red sweat pants and an oversized blue sweatshirt with arms that hung lower than his hands. He was swaying from side to side, slowly shuffling his way towards Bryce.
“It’s ok buddy, come’ere” I could see Bryce’s hand motioning for the boy to come closer “…he looks scared you guys. I’m not gonna hurt ya buddy. Come’ere”
I leaned in even closer looking at the kid. Was that even a kid? It had the shape of one, but those weren’t the movements of a person. Were they? All of his clothes looked stained and muddy. I thought that maybe he was one of the tunnel people who live in the sewers under Las Vegas. The smell would give it away.
“Bryce? Can you smell him?” I asked, genuinely thinking I was asking a valid question, but clearly I’d given the wheel to the pills for a brief moment.
“Jesus man, we’ve talked about this…” Buck was swatting me away from the screen “…first you think, then you speak. It’s not that fucking hard.” He turned his attention to the static on the tablet screen.
“Bryce? If you can hear me, I’m gonna bring you back. Ok?”
We sat waiting for some sort of confirmation that he’d heard us when the picture clicked back in and…the kid, the kid was down on all fours. He’d assumed a sort of defensive tackle position.
“Buddy I don’t like this, bring me back” Bryce said.
He started backing up, away from the boy when like a rocket it lunged forward, galloping on all fours towards Bryce.
“BRINGHIMBACKBRINGHIMBACKBRINGHIMBACK!” I shrieked at Buck as he fumbled clumsily with the controller, so startled he couldn’t make his thumbs press right button until…
POP! Bryce burst back into the kitchen with a flurry of limbs and screams knocking both me and Buck to the floor in the confusion. Most of the landings are smooth. You’ll wind up a couple inches of the ground, I’ve landed on my ass a couple times, but this was explosive. Bryce and the kid flew across the room smashing into the kitchen cabinets.
The little snot was perched on Bryce’s chest thrashing its arms and gnawing at Bryce’s throat.
We looked on in petrified awe as Bryce thrashed around on his back trying to push it off of his chest. There was a thick black ooze pouring out of the kid all over Him. There was screaming. A lot of loud loud screaming.
I ran in to pull him off of Bryce but the second my hands touched it I was swatted away and sent flying through the air back into the dining room.
Buck tried to help and met the same fate. Both of us had taken hard hits, way to hard to have been hit by a mere child.
It was very quickly made clear to us when we looked back over at it that it was not just s mere child, it have never been a child.
Both his arms were waving as though they had no bones. Impossible elbows bent backwards while they stretched and recoiled.
It was then i notice that the liquid wasn’t pouring at all, it was crawling. It was alive, moving with purpose, and that purpose at present was apparently killing my drug dealer…sorry ,“party facilitator”.
Looking down at Bryce I saw that the kids entire lower half had become a gelatinous blob that was now surrounding most of Bryce’s torso.
The part of the kid that was a mouth fell slack and melted as it made a sounded like someone had shot pressurized air through 500 rain sticks all at once or grabbed entirely too many rattlesnakes all at once.
“Oh fuck this.” Buck said to no one in particular as he dragged himself off the floor and into the darkness of his room, seconds later he reemerged toting a double barrel shotgun pointed straight at the insect. Pretty badass, right?
Buck and me, as two very stoned men in their early 30’s in possession of a Teleporter had grown quite fond of home security. I’d spent a lot of the past few months crafting melee weapons and scattering them around the house. Buck on the other hand went full on Rambo and bought a giant shotgun. I’d nearly pissed myself laughing when he brought the thing home. It was nearly as big as him! Despite all my paranoia of someone coming to aggressively retain possession of the machine, I was pretty fucking certain Buck would never have to use that big fuck-off shot gun. I reminded myself to start taking my paranoia more seriously.
Buck marched to the center of the kitchen and bellowed “HEY FUCKER!” at the creature but it payed no attention and continued mutilating Bryce.
He took aim and with one more split second before pulling the trigger, Buck stepped in the pooling blood that neither of us had noticed covering our kitchen floor. A dark river of red was pouring out of Bryce. Poor Bryce. He just wanted to party. Now he was a wriggling mess of leaking body parts under some kind of possibly inter dimensional!blob monster.
Buck’s legs went out from under him and he flew into the air before crashing down on his back. The butt of the shotgun hit the tile and inadvertently went off in a deafening explosion. It blew a hole in the ceiling above buck painting him in white dust. Buck winced and heaved trying to get breath back into his lungs. Those things were really not meant for inside use.
I couldn’t hear anything but the ringing in my ears from the shotgun blast. The creature was reducing Bryce to liquid, as the seconds went by less and less of him became recognizable as human.
With one last wet crunch whatever was left of Bryce Popped like a meat balloon sending a crimson mist of blood across my face before it sprung up, in a motion that completely defied the physics of what one might assume a life form such as this would be capable of. You know…if you’ve ever seen something like this(I’ve attached contact info, because if you have, me and buck need to talk to you). It attached itself to one of the upper cabinets then launched it’s self through the window and out into the desert night.
What was left of Bryce bore no resemblance to the kid I knew. It was just some skin with no head. Like someone had cut him in half then hollowed him out. I think his spleen or kidney was left, I’m not sure. I don’t know much about the internal organs of a human. I don’t even know why I’d try to speculate?
The ringing started to dissipate and I went over to tend to Buck. Slip-sliding in the blood trying to get to him. I tried to take the shotgun but couldn’t get a grip on it. Everything was slick with blood. Buck just stared me dead in the eyes with a look I’d never seen before. I imagine I had the same look on my own face. It was pure, unbridled fear.
“Buck! Buck!” I yelled but everything was a mess of echos “we need to get the fuck out of here man.”
To be continued…