The Fall of Max Abbas


He only remembered leaving the party and getting into his car. It went black after that. He didn't know what had happened. Max Abbas was now in the middle of a cornfield. His head was throbbing. He raised a hand and touched the back of his head. He felt wetness there and pulled his hand away to discover his fingers full of blood.

"What the hell?" he wondered aloud.

"Oh, sorry about that, Max. I had to hit you over the head with a lead pipe."

A figure came into view, and Max's eyes widened. It was Josh Kuiken, his best friend.

"Did you bring me here?" Max asked.

"Yes, I did."

"Why? Is this a joke?"

"Of course not. You broke my heart, you bastard."

"What are you talking about?" Max let out a nervous laugh.

"Don't act like you don't know."

"But I don't know."

"Come on, get in the car. We're going for a ride. Sit up front."

"What if I don't want to?"

"Then, I guess I'll have to kill you right here and now," Josh said as he pulled a 9mm handgun from his jeans.

"Okay, okay, I'll go."

Josh helped Max to his feet and wiped the dirt off his cut little tush with the hand not holding the gun. Max started to object and Josh raised the gun, reminding him who was in charge.

"How I crave you every time I'm near you," Josh whispered into Max's ear as he led him to the car.

"What are you going to do to me?"

"Bitch, I'ma kill you. I ain't done. This ain't the chorus. I ain't even drug you into the woods yet to paint the forest."

"What do you mean, this ain't the chorus?"

"It's from an Eminem song. Just shut up, I gotta think. Here, put this blindfold on. You can't see where we're going."

When Josh finally removed the blindfold, they were in the woods. Max was barely standing on his tiptoes. His shirt had been torn off and his wrists were bound together above his head. He looked up to see the rope that held his wrists was tied around a thick tree branch above. Josh was standing only a couple feet away.

"My pain is caused by my pleasure," he said, looking into Max's eyes. "My soulmate lives in your body. I can't get you out of my head."

"I'm yours. I'll do anything you want," Max whined.

"Now you tell me you like it. You tell me you want it. You're mine and you don't need another one. Come on and tell me you like it. Tell me you want it."

"Yes, I like it. I want it. Just please don't kill me," Max said in a panicky, pleading voice.

"Fuck that shit! I don't believe you. Look at what you've done to me. You've become my enemy."

"I thought we were friends."

"We were, but if I can't have you, no one can," Josh yelled, wagging the gun at Max.

"You think you're a little closer to changing me?" Max said, a broad smile spreading across his face. "You're never gonna win me over. You're wasting your time."

Josh didn't seem to notice. He'd gone off to his own little world.

"I will devour you," he said, seeming to stare right through Max. "Take all the pain away. I cannot keep my hand from reaching out so that I can empower you for all eternity. It seems to ease my mind to know that you brought meaning to my life."

"Oh, my god. You really have gone insane, haven't you?"

Josh didn't answer. He came back to reality and rushed up to Max's face.

"I hate you! I hate you! I swear to god I hate you!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. His voice lowered a bit. "Oh, my god, I love you!"

"You really are sick. You need some help."

"You're going to help me, Max," Josh said.

He threw the gun to the ground and replaced it with a pocket knife. There was now fear in Max's eyes as he realized for the first time that he was going to die.

"What are you going to do with that?"

"You'll see," Josh replied as he reached up to Max's face with the knife.

He pushed the tip of the sharp blade into the flesh just below Max's hairline and began slicing toward the side of his head. Max let out a blood-curdling scream as blood started to run down his forehead and into his eyes.

"What are you doing?!" Max screamed to Josh.

"Just like cutting a warm knife through butter," was all Josh said.

He was now headed toward Max's left ear. He sliced down and under the chin and back up past the right ear until he came to where he had started.

"Perfect," he said to himself as he put the bloody pocket knife away.

He reached up to Max's hairline with both hands and put his fingers underneath the warm flesh. He began to pull gently. Max screamed even louder as his skin separated from the muscle. Josh continued to pull until he had completed peeled Max's face off. He turned it around and placed it over his own face as if it were a Halloween mask. The blood acted as glue and it stayed in place.

"How the fuck could you do this to me? How the fuck could you do this to me?" Max screamed as he stared at his own face on Josh's body.

"You did it. It's your fault," Josh said through Max's lips. "Oh, my god, I'm cracking up. Get a grip, Josh. Max? Hey, Max!"

Max's chin fell silently to his chest and he knew no more.