GIVE ME SOMETHING TO BREAK
This is familiar: Paxton Ray is walking around backstage, scowling, looking for someone. Who? Well, it’d be nice if we had a well placed backstage worker for Paxton to–oh, there he is!
Remember Doug? You don’t? Well, he’s the guy who used to have a shock collar on hand before Lindsay Troy told him not to. She let him keep his job, which is good because Paxton and Doug are t for tight. Paxton walks over and gives Doug a fist bump.
Paxton Ray: Hey Doug.
Doug: Sup Gator.
Paxton Ray: Have ya seen Rich Patterson around?
Doug closes his eyes and holds one finger in the air. He licks his other finger, which he also holds in the air. Then his initial finger starts to drift about fifty degrees to the left.
Doug: He’s that way.
Paxton Ray: Damn, how do ya do that?
Doug: Ran into him earlier.
Paxton Ray: Oh.
Paxton shakes his head, then claps Doug on the shoulder.
Paxton Ray: Thanks bud.
Paxton walks by Doug and, wouldn’t you know it, a few feet away he finds Rich Patterson. Patterson, having clearly been within earshot of this conversation, stops the stretching routine he was running through, and stands up straight as Paxton approaches.
Rich Patterson: Paxton, what can I do for you?
Paxton Ray: Not sure if ya caught my lil’ interview last week, but I delivered a message t’ya. Basically said that if ya don’t want to be on the bad side of the guy ya talked a lotta shit ‘bout, ya might wanna apologize.
Paxton is currently standing what one would call a safe distance from Rich. Of course, that can change with a long stride or two. And after that sentence, Paxton takes one of those long strides to cut the distance short.
Paxton Ray: So. Got anythin’ t’say?
Rich Patterson: I saw your interview.
Patterson seems comfortable at current distance from Paxton.
Rich Patterson: Say we have three doors. Behind one is a Paxton Ray who, against the proof of all recorded footage and human memory, is a good man, and behind the other two are Paxton Rays much like . . . well, you. I select a door. You open another door to reveal Paxton Ray, the savage, the butcher. Now, you ask me if I want to switch doors. And probability says switching doors is the right call; I’d have better odds of winning the car — or seeing Good Guy Paxton Ray, in this case — if I do. You following me?
Paxton Ray says nothing.
Rich Patterson: What probability doesn’t account for is the nature of the so-called prize. Any door I choose to open will show me the same savage, the same monster, the same insincere asshole you already showed me by opening your door. That’s all there is to you. So I don’t care what side of you I’m on — they’re all bad.
Rich Patterson: Have yourself an evening, Paxton.
He side-steps Ray and heads down the hall toward Argyle. Paxton watches him go, the lips of the Bayou Butcher peeling back to show yellow, clenched teeth. After a moment, Doug walks up with a backpack on.
Doug: You good?
Paxton Ray: Depends. Ya got anythin’ I can break?
Doug looks around for a moment, then sets his backpack on a nearby chair and unzips it. He produces a glass vase.
Paxton Ray: Why ya got that?
Doug: I’m handy.
Paxton nods, then grabs the vase and hurls it against the wall, causing glass to shatter everywhere. Paxton looks back to where Rich exited.
Paxton Ray: Some way, some how, I’m gonna show that asshole exactly who I am.
We go elsewhere.