The little girl was up way over her bedtime and she knew she wasn't allowed to be watching a video like this on her Daddy's brand new television, smearing her grubby candy smeared hands on the brand new couch. The thrill of doing all this however, was enough to make her four year old head spin like the brand new washing machine. The clock hands ticked over to nine thirty as the people on screen spewed out profanities, huge bulbous breasts and nipples pointy enough to poke an eye out pushed into the camera. She tugged a strand of brown hair between her fingers. Maybe when she was older, she'd have pretty blonde hair and big boobies as well.
Tracey had found this tape in the glovebox of the car belonging to the babysitter's boyfriend. Said babysitter was supposed to be looking after her right now, but had driven off with said boyfriend about an hour ago. Tracy couldn't complain. She got a funny movie with swearing naked people out of it. Although she was very confused why a boy would put his thingy in a girl's thingy. She put it down to weird grown up stuff, like waxing your upper lip or playing drinking games even when it made you sick in the morning.
Suddenly, there came an angry screech of an engine outside in the street and her heart jumped in her chest. Jumping from the couch, she ran over to the window to see what it was, her pink Princess nightie flapping around her knees. Out in the nice suburban street, a truck mounted the curb, knocked over the neighbor's trashcans and thundered up the driveway, before stopping in the middle of the lawn. She jumped up and down with excitement as the familiar figure got out of the driver's seat.
"Uncle Trevor, Uncle Trevor!" she shrieked, racing for the front door. She couldn't reach the doorknob and was left jumping for it uselessly before it crashed open, knocking her in the head. She thumped to the ground, Uncle Trevor peering down at her as he made his way inside, tracking mud across the floor.
"No," she complained loudly back. "Ow!"
"Jus' walk it off, you'll be fine," he said, before peering interestedly into the living-room. "The fuck you watching?"
Getting to her feet and wiping her snotty nose on the back of her hand, she piped up; "a bad naked sweary movie that the babysitter's boyfriend had in the glovebox and they didn't know I got it, but I did!"
Uncle Trevor looked at it for all of five seconds, before shaking his head.
"You've got terrible taste in movies kid," he said and Tracey pouted.
"No seriously, this guy's a complete fuckin' asshole. He's treatin' that girl like shit," he said, walking over to grab the remote. He waved it at her as he said; "these fuckers slappin' girls around ain't cool, alright? You remember that when you get older..."
She nodded although she couldn't really make sense of what he was saying. She watched as he pressed eject, walking over to pocket it.
"Where's Michael?" he asked her, making his way out towards the kitchen across the hall, the little girl running after him.
"Out on romantical dinner with Mommy and then there gonna see a romantical movie and why did you take the naked sweary movie for, that's stealing and can I have beer too?"
"Oi, I'm not stealin' it, I'm confiscatin' it," he told her as he went into the fridge and grabbed a few bottles. "And you can only have one if you can open it yourself. That's the rules..."
Tracy stamped her foot on the ground in frustration.
"Those are bad rules!"
"I know squirt," he said, ruffling her hair and cracking his beer open with his teeth. "The world's a cruel place."
"Can I have coke then? I can open coke..." she asked, quickly getting over her little upset.
"What coke do you have in mind?"
"The fridge coke, stupid head!"
He clutched at his chest dramatically like she'd stabbed him and she giggled.
"Oh you cut me deep sweetheart, you cut me deep..." he said before passing her an entire two-liter bottle of eCola. She stumbled under the weight of it, before placing it carefully on the ground and unscrewing the lid. This is why Uncle Trevor was the best grown-up she knew.
"So why the hell are you here by yourself, huh?" he asked her as he leaned on the kitchen sink and she spilled drink all down herself as she took a huge gulp from the bottle.
"Jimmy's at a sleepover and I'm with the babysitter but the babysitter went away and now she's gone, but that's good cause I don't like her," she explained, accidentally dropping the bottle and spreading a huge puddle of fizzy soda all over the floor. "Oops."
"Don't worry about it," he told her, taking a swig from his beer. "A little mess never did anyone any harm. Perfectly natural."
"Yeah!" she chirped back, trying to pick it up again and failing miserably. Losing interest, she left it. "Daddy always gets the worst babysitters ever!"
"Yeah, he sucks like that doesn't he?"
She grinned up at him.
"Yeah! He sucks balls!" she crowed, remembering one of the phrases from the movie. Uncle Trevor snorted loudly, nearly choking on a mouthful of beer.
"I know squirt. He's not half bad at it too, I'll give him that."
She giggled again, although she still didn't know exactly what he was talking about.
"This babysitter is really bad, the worst one ever!" she said, looking up at him with big earnest eyes, sidestepping the spreading puddle flowing across the floor. "She doesn't read me stories or turn the night-light on, or check for the burnt knife man under the bed or in the bath and it's her stupid fault I saw that movie anyway, her boyfriend came over and watched it with her and they let me see it too! And her boyfriend's weird! I don't like him, he looks at me funny and they smoke things that make them go really crazy and sometimes she drinks Daddy's beer and falls down on the floor but Daddy always thinks you took it and he goes, 'for beep's sake, Trevor took the beer again, I'll beeping kill him...'"
"The fuck you mean, he looks at you funny?" he cut through her in a sharp voice, going strangely still, clutching his half-empty bottle tight enough to make his knuckles shine white through his tattooed skin.
"I dunno but one time when the babysitter had fallen on the ground and was asleeping, he was angry coz he was like 'you beeping beep, I didn't come over here for you to beeping pass out, who am I supposed to beep now,' then he looked at me funny and I ran away and hid in the closet and he was looking for me yelling 'come out, come out wherever you are, I'm gonna beep you cutie, I'm gonna beep you!' but he didn't find me. Then the babysitter woke up and they went away..."
Looking up in mid-babble, her little face creased up with confusion. Uncle Trevor had a funny look on his face, gritting his teeth and breathing heavily like a bull seeing red. She recognised the look – it was the one she'd see right before her Mommy would take her and Jimmy and drive them off somewhere, not coming back for hours.
"Uncle Trevor?" she asked in a tiny voice. He didn't answer, seemingly lost in his thoughts but he clenched the bottle so hard in his fist, it cracked, smashing to the floor. Tracey just stared at him.
"Motherfucker," he hissed at no-one in particular, not even noticing his bleeding hand. "...gonna staple his fuckin' balls to the fuckin' floor, rip his fuckin' face off, gonna fuck him to death, wring his piece of shit neck..."
Tracey had never seen him like this and she felt the first threads of fear start to coil uneasily in the pit of her stomach. She let a little whimper and it seemed to break the man out of his trance. He looked over at her and then at the pile of glass at his feet, wiping his bloody hand on his jeans.
Sidestepping the glass, he squatted down at the little girl's eye-level.
"Did he hurt you?" he said gruffly, foul breath washing over her and she shook her head, watery-eyed. "I swear to God, If he laid one fuckin' filthy hand on you..."
She sniveled and his hard look softened a bit.
"Why you cryin,' squirt?"
"You b-broke the bottle and now your h-hand's bleeding!" she bleated back and he shook it uncaringly.
"Ah, I can deal with it," he said, getting to his feet again. "Now c'mon. We're goin' on an adventure."
"Like in Robin Hood with the bad lion and the foxes?" she asked wiping her eyes, excitement quickly overcoming the past upset.
"Yeah sure, I've got the fucking tights and everything."
She followed him outside into the cold night, bare feet squelching on the mud tracks his truck had left through the lawn. Her little arms were too short to reach the door, so he picked her up and plonked her down on the dirty vinyl seat. Before getting behind the wheel, he went over and got something from the back of the truck.
"Whaddya think? Baseball bat?" he put up a scuffed wooden one with one hand, walking back into view; "Or crow bar?" he put up an oily stick of metal with the other.
The little girl considered this carefully.
"Baseball bat!" she said, pointing at it. He grinned, showing off every last one of his teeth.
"Good choice," he said, throwing the crow bar into the back again. "You'll go far kid..."
He got into his seat, the baseball bat across his lap, starting up the engine. Driving out onto the road, he reached over to switch on the radio. She covered up her ears when loud angry music flooded her ears.
"Ow! Can we have another?"
"Aw jus' for you sweetheart, I will," he grunted back, switching it around as they turned the corner. The sounds of the announcer crackled out from the old speakers; "...and now a blast from the past...sit back and relax to these 80s classics with Non Stop Pop FM, driving you home..."
Tracey bobbed up and down in her seat, grinning from ear to ear as the radio blasted out Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Uncle Trevor nodded his head along appreciatively as they made their way down the suburban streets, swerving dangerously around the road, ignoring all street signs and going way over the speed limit.
"Wait, where does this fucker live?" he said suddenly when they hit the musical interlude, glancing over at her.
"Who?" she asked innocently. For all she knew they were going dancing in the woods with animals in medieval clothes. He gestured around vaguely.
"Oh," she said, wondering why they were going to visit her for. "She lives in a house with weeds in the garden and newspaper for curtains right in front of the...uh...elemetree school...I forgot the name...but I can direct the way cause Jimmy goes there..."
The man wrenched the steering wheel so hard in his hands, he nearly hit a street lamp.
"You gotta be fuckin' kiddn' me!" he banged his fist down and his raised voice made her cower in the seat. "That piece of shit livin' next to school kids?"
He pressed down on the accelerator, picking up speed.
"Oh, this is gonna be good," he growled, his face breaking into a feral grin. "Gonna savor his screams like fine fuckin' wine, sweetheart, the finest in the fuckin' world. Maybe bite his dick off while I'm at it..."
She stared at him, fingers stuck in her mouth. He noticed the sudden silence and glanced over at her, reaching over to ruffle her hair.
"Don't worry squirt," he said soothingly. "We'll go for ice-cream after."
The little girl brightened up immediately.
"Can I get double scoop, please, please, please?" she begged, bouncing up and down.
"Don't push your luck" he replied with a smirk.
With the promise of delicious ice-cream flavors clouding her mind, they quickly arrived at their destination without her even noticing. Uncle Trevor pulled up at the sidewalk next to the ugly house with it's weedy garden, neatly avoiding smashing into a nearby street sign.
"Alright..." he said, turning to her. "You just stay here kid, I'll be back before you can say strawberry ice-cream..."
"Strawberry ice-cream!" she said immediately and he smirked again, reaching over to turn the music up extra loud.
"Not that fast, smart-ass..."
He got out, the loud music of Walking On Sunshine blaring through the truck and out into the street, making her ears sting. Uncle Trevor walked unflinchingly over towards the front door that was hanging half open, baseball bat over his shoulder, disappearing inside. The music was so loud, she couldn't hear much else and she turned to look at the playground behind the schoolyard fence. She wished she was on playing on it right now. It looked awesome.
There was a faint crack and screams from somewhere inside the house, the sounds mixing up like a melody with the bubbly 80s music. She tried to make out what they were saying, but could only make out one voice;
"I'm gonna fuck you cutie, I'm gonna fuck you cutie...!"
What ice-cream should she get? Strawberry was her favorite, because it was pink. And honeycomb, she really liked honeycomb especially when it had chocolate sprinkles on top. Or what about strawberry ice-cream with rainbow sprinkles? That sounded like the best thing ever.
She yawned, rubbing her eyes – she'd never been up this late before. The song played on and on and she noticed the cracking noises seemed to have faded, replaced with the fainter noises of what sounded like a garden tap running. Pushing her head into the seat, she yawned again. The urge to drop of to sleep was onnly bettered by the stronger urge to keep awake for her treat on the way home. No way was Uncle Trevor picking the flavor out for her.
As the song came to an end and the radio announcer appeared again, the man came sauntering around the side of the house, muddying the ground beneath him with red-tinted water that ran down in rivulets from his face and shirt. She thought his baseball bat seemed to be soaked with something, but he hid it quickly behind his legs like he didn't want her to see.
Throwing it into the back of the truck, his boots clumped across the tarmac as he walked over and climbed in behind the wheel. She blinked up sleepily at him and he grinned.
"You 'bout to drop off on me, eh?"
She shook her head, pushing the heel of her palm into her eye. Sleep beckoned out for her, drawing her into it's welcoming arms.
"I'm...cold..." she was interrupted by another massive yawn, head lolling against the back of the seat. She felt a big smelly jacket being thrown over her and she burrowed down into the warmth.
"This jacket...stinks..." she said as the world become darker around her, the sounds of the talking radio growing fainter and fainter. "And I want...rainbow sprinkles...please..."
The man started the engine as she nodded happily off into a slumber.
Sunlight shone through her pink and purple sparkly curtains and she opened her eyes blearily, sitting up in her bed. She heard the faint noises of her parents snapping at each other down the hall. Getting up, her hair sticking up in a mess around her head, she went wandering into the kitchen. Perched on the bench was her ice-cream and she clambered up onto a stool to reach it. There was a note she couldn't quite make out, but she recognized it as Uncle Trevor's writing. Maybe she'd get her Daddy to read it for her.
She listened to her parents fight in the lounge-room as she happily dug into her frozen treat.
"...how am I supposed to know if he did it? I know it's annoying finding another one, who has to fucking pay for them huh?"
Her brother's voice joined in the din;
"Why does Tracey get ice-cream Mom, it's not fair!"
The little girl tried to down the rest of it as fast as possible but her mother was already walking into the kitchen, Jimmy complaining loudly behind her. She let out an identical howl as her half-melted delight was taken off her, picking up the note at the same time.
"Ice-cream's not a breakfast food, honey you know that," she told her sternly as she put it away into the freezer. "You can have it for dessert..."
The woman's face wrinkled up as she read the note out under her breath; "anyone eat the kid's ice-cream, I'll pull their fucking stomach out of their asshole and make them eat that too. Hugs and kisses, T."
"What about me Mom, why don't I get any, I want some...!" Jimmy stamped his foot on the ground, making high-pitched whining noises. Tracey joined in, face crumpling in tears, collapsing headfirst into the counter and banging her little fists against the marble.
"Oh for God's sake..." the woman snapped, pinching the bridge of her nose and crumpling the note in her fist. "Jimmy, I'll get you ice-cream if you stop crying and Tracey you'll only get yours if you stop too."
The two fell into obedient silence as their father wandered in and took the stool next to his daughter. The scrunched up note was thrown at him, hitting him in the eye. He unfolded the paper and glanced over it, quickly trying to disguise his burst of laughter as a cough.
"Tracey..." her mother said, shooting her husband a sharp look. "Did Uncle Trevor take you out on a trip last night?"
She looked at her, all big eyes and innocence.
The woman squinted back at her.
"Are you sure?"
Tracey tried to look as non-guilty as possible.
Her mother stared a little longer, before turning away, seemingly buying the story.
"Coffee Michael?" she said in a voice stiffer then usual as she started busying away with their brand new coffee maker. The man rubbed at his tired face in response.
"That'd be great..."
"Can I have coffee too?" Tracey piped up immediately. Her father looked at her with a fond smile.
"I've told you, angel...coffee's a grown-up drink."
The little girl pouted hard, crossing her arms over her chest.
"You suck balls Daddy!" she said and her mother dropped her coffee cup as the man's eyes went round as saucers, Jimmy bursting into shocked giggles.
"Tracey...!" he stumbled over his words and the little girl was surprised to see a dull flush rising from his neck and over his face, burning his ears bright red. "Who...who...told you...did...did Trevor tell you that?"
The little girl looked from him to her mother, whose shoulders were shaking with silent mirth.
"Uh..." she blinked up at him like a stunned goldfish. "Don't worry, he said you were really good at it though!"
She jumped as her mother let forth a huge snort, clapping a hand over her mouth. Her father seemed to shine an even darker scarlet, before he turned away from her, his lips pressing down into one thin line.
"I will kill that man, I swear to fucking God..." he said, shaking his head as his wife clutched at the sink for support, dissolving into a fresh wave of hysterical laughter.