Fiction — May 5, 2014 12:55 — 1 Comment

The Marauders (part 2 of 3) – David Armand

(This is the second installment of this story, for part 1 click here, for part 3 here)

They drove on down the gravelroad and out past the wooded hillcountry where a deep gorge hid like a deep knifewound in the earth and Darryl turned his truck onto Highway 25 and headed into Franklinton where Rachel lived in a rundown and decrepit trailerpark with her foster parents.

Darryl drove down the rutted ill-lit lane until they came to Rachel’s trailer: the porchlight was on and cast a dim yellow light swarmed with bugs onto the grassless earth.

I’ll go get her, Billy said. The stuff’s locked in that storage shed back there.

Okay. Just hurry up.

Billy climbed out of the truck and snuck around to the back of the trailer and to the window where Rachel’s room was. Her light was on still. Billy climbed on top of the air conditioning unit and tapped on the window. Inside he could see Rachel’s silhouette moving behind the blinds and then two of the blindslats spread open and Rachel looked out. She opened the window.

Hey, she said.


What are you doin here?

I need to get that stuff out your dad’s shed.

What stuff?

Them tools and shit we stole the other night.


The guy that owns them wants them back.

How the hell you know that? Rachel said.

He caught me and Darryl tryin to break in tonight.

Why the hell did yall go back?

We were goin to steal that washer and dryer.


I know.

So he lives there?

I dont know, Billy said. But he’s there right now and he seen my face good too.

All right, Rachel said. I have to get dressed.

She slid the window closed and Billy climbed off of the air conditioning unit and skulked back around to his brother’s truck.

In a few minutes Rachel came out of the trailer and down the cinderblock steps and over to Darryl’s truck.

Hey, she said.

Hey, Darryl said. Did we wake you up?

No, said Rachel. I was just watchin TV.

Well we need to get in that shed.

Rachel handed him the key.

We done took some money too, she said. But that’s spent already.

Let’s just hope he dont ask about that, Darryl said.


After they loaded everything into the back of Darryl’s truck Rachel slid into the cab and sat between Darryl and Billy and then Darryl eased the truck out of the trailerpark and when he turned onto the highway he flicked on the headlights and then they headed back over to Euwell’s house.

You want we should all get out? Darryl said to Billy after he had pulled the truck next to the trailerhouse and killed the lights and they sat idling near the pilings in the weeded lot.

Yeah it’ll go faster that way, Billy said.

So Darryl killed the engine and all three of them slid out of the cab and went around to the back of the truck and started grabbing Euwell’s stuff: the rusted toolbox, the light sconces, the radio. They brought it up the steps and set everything down on the porch. At first the man did not come out of the house but then as Billy was walking down the stairs he could hear the front door creaking open behind him and so he turned around.

That was quick, Euwell said from where he was standing in the threshold now: a gaunt silhouette framed by the gloaming moonlight that was leaking around him and now into his otherwise lightless house.

We just didnt want to be beholden to you no longer than we had to, said Billy.

So that’s everything? Euwell said.

Yessir, Billy said.


Billy turned to walk down the stairs now. His brother and Rachel were already standing in front of the truck and they were looking up at Billy and Euwell on the porch.

Say, is that your girlfriend down there? Euwell said.

Billy stopped. He turned around and looked back up at Euwell.

Yessir, he said.

Then Euwell walked on over to the porchrail and leaned over it and looked down at Rachel and Darryl. Then he reached into the back of his pants and pulled from the waist a long metal flashlight and he aimed it down and clicked the beam of light on so that it stretched over Rachel and Darryl: he held the light on Rachel’s face now who stood as if transfixed almost twenty feet below where Euwell was standing.

Billy was still standing in the middle of the stairway.

Then Euwell said: You done took my money too. I’m goin to need that back as well.

What? Rachel said squinting up through the shaft of light that was leaning over her.

Thirty dollars. I seen you and that other girl take it.

I dont know what you’re talkin about, Rachel said.

Dont you lie to me.

I aint never been here in my life.

Come up here, Euwell said. Then he moved the light over Darryl and then to Billy who was still standing in the middle of the staircase. No one moved. Then Euwell turned the light back onto Rachel and told her again to come up. Now through the glare she could see Euwell was also holding a gun.

Oh my god, she said.

So she walked up the stairs right past Billy and Euwell kept the light on her the whole time and Rachel could see the gun pointed at her too.

You’re pretty, Euwell said. Rachel now stood directly in front of him on the porch.

I’d hate to mess up that face of yours for not givin me my money back, he said.

What makes you think I took your money?

Cause I seen yall.


I was in there watchin yall the whole time, Euwell said. He looked at Rachel and then she knew he had seen her and Billy too and what they had done.

Oh my god, she said again.

Now do you have that money or not?

Rachel didnt say anything.

That’s what I figured, Euwell said. He was smiling now. Then he said: Get your ass in that house.

For a second everyone started to move but they had all barely flinched before Euwell had the gunbarrel against Rachel’s forehead and the light beam simultaneously drowning her face and then he was guiding her slowly into the house.

Yall move or try anything at all I’ll kill her, he said.

Then he went over the threshold behind Rachel as she walked into the dark and still humid house.

Now get back in that room, Euwell told her as he semaphored with his flashlight and his gun across the darkened walls toward the room where she had lain with Billy on the old mattress.

Rachel walked into the room sobbing now.

Now yall get on out of here, Euwell said to the two boys who were still standing in the yard. He waved the gun at them until they both climbed slowly into the truck with their heads bowed down low. Darryl started the engine. He turned on the headlights but still he did not move the truck.

Go ahead, Euwell yelled down at him now. He pulled back the hammer on his gun.

Darryl backed up the truck out of the driveway and turned slowly down the gravelroad. You could hear the rocks crunching mournfully under the tires as he pulled away.


Euwell went back inside the house and he closed the door behind him. He had to push the door hard with his boot from the inside to account for the split doorframe that Billy had broken with the crowbar. Then he slid a table which was littered with trash and newspapers from where it stood in the middle of the room and he pushed it against the door.

He could hear the girl sobbing now in the room and he walked in holding the gun and the flashlight before him. The girl was standing among the clutter beside the mattress in the dark and she was holding her face in her hands. Euwell played the lightbeam over her and her skin appeared nacreous in the false light and in the scant light coming in through the window now.

Take off them clothes and climb yourself on that mattress.

Rachel didnt move.

Come on. Just like you done the other night with that boy. I seen yall.

Rachel started to pull up her shirt but then she stopped.

Please, she said.

Then she heard Euwell pull back the hammer on the gun he was pointing at her. She pulled off her shirt.

What’s your name, Euwell said.



Rachel, the girl whispered, barely audible.

Good. Now keep goin.

Which she did, slowly removing the rest of her clothes save her underwear and then sitting on the mattress and squinting into Euwell’s bright beam of light now. She couldnt see him behind the glare and she could feel her heart throbbing in the trembling cage of her chest and then the man was coming around the mattress and leaning over her and then he turned out the flashlight and cast the room in near darkness: the only light leaking in through the cracked window now but still she could not see.

Please, she said again.

Then the man had both her wrists in one of his large warm hands and she could feel his breath on her and she could smell him too and then he let go her wrists and held his hand over her mouth and now she could feel the gunbarrel against her temple.

Keep quiet, the man was saying between his heavy breathing. Just you keep quiet now.


David Armand was born and raised in Louisiana. He has worked as a drywall hanger, a draftsman, and as a press operator in a flag printing factory. He now teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press. In 2010, he won the George Garrett Fiction Prize for his first novel, The Pugilist's Wife, which was published by Texas Review Press. His second novel, Harlow, is also published by Texas Review Press. David lives with his wife and two children and is at work on his third novel.

One Comment

  1. Dixon Hearne says:

    And now I can’t wait to see find out what happens in the concluding scenes — how the story works its way toward an ending.

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The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney