Murphy Doyle Meh

By: Murphy Doyle Maher

Date: 16th Sep 2021

While the Fight tower was state of the art, many of the inhabitants of it were not. You could lead a horse to water, yes, but you could also give people the fastest internet possible and theyíd still find a way to mess it up. Case in point; Vhodka Black and Murphy Doyle Maher. Two of the best friends that anyone could ever have, had been taking turns taking care of a small digital animal called a ZeoPet. Not a neopet, as those were far too boring for their liking. Zeopets on the other hand let you take care of mythical creatures, and not just feed them apples, but insulant humans you would gather in fun little mini games. They had been the lucky parents to a baby Kraken that they had agreed to name Kwispy. Unfortunately for them, the website stopped working, and after trying everything they could (turning it off and on, turning it off for longer, laying the tower down on itís side so it could work better, and blowing into itís USB ports, they finally had to call Fight IT, who sent a very bland smelling person up to fix the problem after about 10 minutes. Despite working in IT, a department literally known for itís lack of deodorant and the knowledge of its existence, Zurich was a very bland smelling man. Not of sweat nor stale clothing, but also not of any perfumatory scent one can imagine. His scent was the anti-scent. But for what he lacked in odiferousness he more than made up for it with being the very definition of a beautiful man. Doing his job, he looked over both shoulders and found Vhodka and Murphy standing over him, looking at his every keystroke and mouse move. Zurich turns to find Vhodka and even closer now, and his comfort level drops, as if someone offered him a cold beer, or a food that used any sort of spice whatsoever.

Zurich Drangi
The problem isnít with your computer. Itís with the website.

Vhodka Black
…but it lives in there?

Zurich Drangi
No, not quite. The site needs to be migrated.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Ah, okay..

Vhodka Black
Yes..migration.

Zurich turned back around to the computer, and Murphy pulled out his phone, and typed away at it frantically as Vhodka looked over his shoulder. They both read the article that had been brought up and nodded at each other.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Is it true that these sites tend to migrate by instinct?

Vhodka Black
Also does this happen…annually?

Zurich Drangi
Wrong type of migration. Just means it has to be moved to a bigger server, one that can handle the amount of visits the site gets. Until they do that, this game isnít going to work.

Vhodka Black
…Iím calling Vin.

Several floors down, in an office he can barely stand up in, Vincent sits behind a desk looking through file after file of available HR employees that are interested in the position heís interested in getting out of. Picking up his cellphone, he smiles but also rubs the bridge of his nose as the stress of his day clusters and serves him with a tension headache.

Vhodka Black
Hey, Sweetums.

Vincent Black
Fuck, Iím so stressed out. When I get home, I think Iíll throw you over the couch an-

Murphy Doyle Maher
Sweetums, Murphy is here, too.

Vincent Black
Of course you are.

Vhodka Black
Listen, Murphy and me broke a zeopets website we use to play with our Kraken pet and now it has a migraine..Can you buy it for us so we can make it relocate to florida?

Vincent Black
Wait. We have an actual dog and an actual cat, why are you playing with fake pets?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Because when youíre not here the cats a bastard and the dogs always scared.

Vincent Black
…the dog is scared?

Vhodka Black
Because the cats a bastard! Come on, youíre super rich! Just buy it and we can go back to feeding it.

Vincent Black
Fran, you have access to the same bank account I do. Just call the business manager’s number and heíll get it for you.

Zurich Drangi
I can help with that, actually.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Of course you can, youíre a literal angel come to earth.

Vhodka Black
If the sound of godís voice was made person it would be you.

Vincent Black
Ok, Iíve got to get back to work so I can stop doing this work. I love you. Both. All.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Aw he loves us!

Vhodka Black
Me most, obviously.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Obviously.

Hours and the sale of one website later, Vhodka and Murphy had found that their Zeopet grew up in the hours between their being on, and now was no longer interested in playing. They could pet it, and fed it, but the mini-games were over. And thatís when the idea struck.

Murphy Doyle Maher
…i bet if we turned this into a wrestling tíing we could make crazy money.

Vhodka Black
Explain.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Instead of little creatures, we could do wrestlers. Like you could adopt Dickie, and Shawn, and the like, feed them special items..

Vhodka Black
WAIT. I have an idea.

Murphy Doyle Maher
…is it wh-

Vhodka Black
IT IS exactly what you just said, but in my voice.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Fine, You pitch it to Vin..

Vhodka Black
I will pitch it to Vin…

Murphy Doyle Maher
..Vin pitches it to X..

Vhodka Black
Further pitching..

Murphy Doyle Maher
Profit!

Vhodka Black
Forget Profit, I get to make Sarah eat a pixelated dicks!! DIXELATED!

Murphy Doyle Maher
…you know, Ďen I was a lad, didnít have a lot of friends. New kid, foreign. Tendency to bash a face at the slightest, not the most popular. Then, I met Kal. And he pulled me out of all Ďat. Gave me a home. Made me family. But…well, is nice to have friends again.

Vhodka Black
awwwwww…Youíre not getting credit for this.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Canít blame me for trying.

It was hours later, the three amigos had finished their dinner, and Murphy had retired to his room in order to avoid interrupting any of the Ďstress reliefí activities Vin had planned. The room was as self contained as it could get. Itís own bathroom and shower, a small fridge for snacks and a good sized tv. Sometimes it even had the dog, if the cat had cornered it in this part of the house. Something about that cat made Murphy uneasy. It was almost as if it was taken over by something. Something angry. Like a Stephen king novel, or a Ďkarení when the idea of minding their own business was suggested. Laying on the bed, Murphy listened to Goodfellas, which he had put on halfway through, and thumbed through tiktoks on his phone. He had downloaded it as a goof but now might as well have been addicted. Of course, lately itís been a lot of big breasted women, as the algorithm picked up on the videos heíd stop on. Being single wasnít the worst thing in the world. But being lonely was. Thankfully this was one of those nights where the dog wanted to be kept safe, and was currently laying next to him on the bed, fast asleep. But it didnít last long, as a powerful knock shook the room almost. He called out for whoever it was to come in, and Vincent Black appeared. Shirtless but with his shoulder sling still on, and bandage on his shoulder visible, he sat down on the bed, and prepared himself for the conversation he wasnít ready to have. Vincent took a very deep breath and began to speak, but his words abandoned their post just as he opened his mouth, and found there wasnít much else he could say but the most blunt thing possible. Which yes, was how he Ďrolled,í but Murphy was in a sensitive place. And Vin needed to be respectful of that. But before he could, almost as if he sensed it coming, Murphy did what Murphy does, and deflected.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Howís the arm?

Vincent Black
Itís ok, A little cramped from fin-Öyou mean the injured arm. Itís ok. Listen. You need to get-

Murphy Doyle Maher
Vin, I know, Iíve got to get my own place. Iíd stay in the queens suite but I lent it to Asher.

Vincent Black
What? No you donít! We love having you here! The kids love you, Vhodka loves you. Youíre fine.

Murphy Doyle Maher
So then what do I have to get?

Vincent Black
Laid. Youíve got to get laid. Youíve been single for a long time now. Longer than you realized, right? You have to start moving on.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Iíll have yeh know I am on the verge of starting a brand new business with a partner that isnít your wife. Itís somethiní else completely.

Vincent Black
Youíre on the very of becoming a pastor. Youíre a celebrity. Of sorts. Go out. Meet people. Be charming. But living in our spare room with the dog isnít any life for a guy like you. Why am I the one telling you this?

Murphy Doyle Maher
First of all, this dog is amaziní. So jot that right down.

Vincent Black
Thank Chatman. But get your ass out there.

Vincent stood up, still flexing his hand to work out the cramp he and Vhodka had worked in. As he opened the door, he turnbed back in head alone, and looked at Murphy, who was holding an expression like he was holding in a fart. If Vin wasnít so good at reading people, thatís what he would excuse it as. But Murphy was easy to read, like a kids coloring book. He was on the verge of something, and Vin could double his income by betting it wasnt anything positive.

Vincent Black
ÖKal has called a meeting for tomorrow. You included. Be ready by 7.

The second Vin left the room, Murphy cursed beneath his breath. The fact of the matter was, in all honesty, he was not lonely enough to be motivated to find someone new. It had less than nothing to do with his feelings for Sarah, or how they may or may not be just as strong as ever. It was about the effort required. Learning someone new, talking about who they are, or what food they like. What if they’re vegan? Murphy shut off the tv, put down his phone and snuggled up to the boy dog named TIna, and closed his eyes for the night. Tomorrow would come far faster than he wanted It to, and it would be as rife with drama and stress in ways even his imagination could not stop. The Next Day

The meeting room at Parts unknown, also referred to as the circled square, was decorated with fruit, booze, cold cut platters, and dessert items in every corner of the room. Standing over the coffee table, Jackson Wolf watched as the espresso machine took its time to produce his tiny cup of java. Adding a shot of sambuca to it, along with a lemon rind. He takes his cup and saucer and places it on his chair. Itís a high back leather chair with a neck massager built into it. He leans back and looks at the round table with 5 more chairs, all empty. Soon this quiet room will turn into an almost warzone-like environment with screaming, yelling, lies, and finger pointing, as well as the high chance that one of these chairs, if not most of these chairs, would end up embedded in a wall or bounced off someoneís head. It wasnít always like this. It used to be civilized.

Theyíd meet once a month to discuss the Collective. The mutual fund they all dipped into for new business loans. Each member had access and as long as they made more money in a year than they removed, no questions would be asked. Sure, status updates were expected and receipts and such were required, but it wasnít until you failed to return the investment that you were questioned. And it was rare that it ever happened. Each member had their strong suits as far as it was concerned. Vin gave without taking, Kal took and gave equally, Sarah was by far the most lucrative of the group, and Xavier and Jack each were careful about what they drew from the collective for, careful not to invest in the wrong thing and have to dip into their own pockets. Though Jackís investment was more stocks and bonds, Xavier believed in people, and had helped start several businesses of others financially just out of faith in their ability. Theyíd cheer each other on, take pieces of the others’ investments so they didnít have to worry about paying back the sum and ruin the streak theyíd had at remaining in the black. It usually devolved into a drunken hang out that lasted for hours until the respective significant others of the core came to fetch them. Of course that was then. Back when Kal and Ang werenít fighting over Angís mother coming to live with them. When Vin and Candace werenít separate entities, and when Xavier was just a lush in brightly colored suits and not the hard ass heíd become. And Sarah. Sarah who had always been the glue of the family, and was now more of a kernel from popcorn stuck in the teeth of the family, rubbing parts of it raw until the blood surfaced. This meeting was going to be nothing like it was, but something to be remembered for sure. The first of them to arrive was Kal. Dressed in his fancy clothes, which consist of a random band t-shirt sans sleeves, and a pair of tight and faded black jeans, sans knees, and leather boots sans laces. He drops a small box of pastries onto the already packed table, and grabs a chocolate covered pretzel before hugging his brother. They spend the quiet moments that are all too rare for these things discussing their kids, and what their holiday plans look like. Just as they begin to tackle the subject of family plans, the door to the room opens and in walks Xavier Black. His hair loose and unstyled, his attire more of pajamas, and his attitude not at all welcoming. He hugs Jack, taps Kal on the shoulder, and pours himself two Gin and Tonics before sitting down. Squeezing the lemon in both, he slides the drink to his left to the chair to his left, and sips on the remaining one before him. No sooner than he pulls the cup away from his mouth after his first sip, Vincent Black enters. His arm in a sling that keeps it snug to his chest, he only nods at the elder members of the family, and sits down next to his twin brother. Picking up the drink, he takes a swig and thanks his brother silently, moving to whisper other things instead. Neither Jack nor Kal have the chance to speak before Sarah enters, in a black and red flowered dress. She ignores the snacks, ignores the younger twins, and kisses her older brothers hello. As she sits, she looks at Vinís arm, and produces a very fake frowny face, followed by a sinister smile. Xavier and Vin continue to whisper, not at all concerned with Sarahís particular bullshit.

Sarah Wolf
Alright, letís get this over with. She took a deep drag off of her vape machine and exhaled. The room instantly smelt like Cherries and Vanilla.

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
Canít. Still waiting for one more.Kal didnít look at her. She knew why, and mostly, she didnít care.

Sarah Wolf
Who? Weíre all he-

A familiar voice whistles a familiar tune as it enters, and all turn to see Murphy Doyle Maher walking confidently into the room, his hair pulled into a man bun with a smirl slid across his face. Sarah looks at Kal and Jack with steam practically emerging from her ears. Murphy greets Kal and Kal alone, and sits down next to him, turning his shoulder away from Sarah.

Sarah Wolf
So are all of the people I fucked welcome at these meetings now or just the most recent?

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
Of all the people you fucked, this is the only mother fucker whoíd be here regardless.

Vincent Black
If all the people I fucked came, it would be two.

Xavier Black
I donít like this game.

Sarah Wolf
Hey, we should assign chairs based on penis size. Murph can borrow one from the kids.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Letís assign room size by yeh vagina and have this at the dump in staten island.

Vincent Black
They cleaned up the dump. I mean itís still huge but it doesnít smell bad anymore.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Unlike certain vaginas currently present.

Jackson Wolf
Alright, Alright, before this devolves into the madness we all see coming, let me get to the point. Iíve been contacted by the state of New York to work in the Attorney General’s office. The idea is that I get back into law and when the time for election comes up, I run and hopefully win.

In the family of many names, there is a constant joke that each person is the reason that the others can never run for office. Vincent with his violent history, Kal with his prison record, Xavier with his less than conventional tastes, and of course, newly added to that list is Sarahís inability to not torture people for entertainment. The very idea that Jack would even attempt to run for office, let alone one of this type of standing, was laughable. In fact, it was hysterical to everyone in the room, save for Vincent and Murphy.

Jackson Wolf
Vin, Murphy, Thank you for not laughing.

Vincent Black
I want to. But it hurts.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Iím still trying teh figure out why teh fook Ďm here?

Jackson Wolf
Weíll get to that. As you all know, this type of office comes with benefits for us all. It puts respect back on our name, as well as moves us up a bracket in certain social circles which offers us all a chance at a new level of success. No matter how distasteful our business interests may be. But two things need to happen, and both of them are favors that I asked you here to request.

Xavier Black
You need money.

Jackson Wolf
Yes. I want to dip into the collective to pay for my election campaign. These things can be expensive and I donít want to be beholden to anyone but the people in this room. If we all agree I could save myself having to make campaign compromises and just run on what I believe.

Xavier Black
Jax, we wouldnít have most of what we have if not for you. Iím for it.

Sarah Wolf
Of course you are, you want the AG in your widdle back pawket. Fucking sickening. But, I also agree.

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
I vote yes, but fuck, only because Iíll probably be the reason you fucking lose.

Vincent Black
Iím very rich, so I can fund you directly. And as the only person in this room with Diplomatic Immunity, I wonít ask for anything out of it.

Jackson Wolf
You are precisely the type of person I want to avoid being linked to, but thank you anyway.

Vincent Black
Thatís fair. Yeah.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Alright, if thatís all, can I go na?

Jackson Wolf
No. I need something else. Something from all of you. I need you to tidy up.

Murphy Doyle Maher
…this rooms fookin spotless, mate? Whatídya on about?

Jackson Wolf
Not the room. Your lives. Everyone at this table has things in their past. Things theyíve done. I need to either know about them so I can prepare for them, or you need to remove them altogether. I know this is asking a lot, but you must know itís better for this family if there is someone in the right spot making the right calls. So I also need you to not actively make any new ones.

Xavier Black
I have a few, but nothing I canít make go away.

Vincent Black
Diplomatic Immunity. But, Iíll make sure itís all tidy.

Sarah Wolf
Jack, I love you. And Iím not doing that. I cover my ass as best I can, and if that helps you, great. I wonít put extra effort into not being who I want to be, though. Iím sorry.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Bullshit yeh greasy hag. Yeh ainít never been sorry in yeh life.

Sarah Wolf
You got me confused with someone who wonít jump this table and fuck your face up, pussy.

Vincent Black
You have me confused with someone who wonít chokeslam you through a fucking window.

Sarah Wolf
Oh noooo. X, heís being mean. Want to kill him even if I ask you not to??

Sarah having had enough of the bullshit, stood up and threw her hands up in the air. The rest of the room went about the conversation they were meant to be having. Kal assured Jack that heíd do his best, Vin did the same and Murphy decided to just eat his feelings and ignore everyone else. But Xavier, who had just lost a child in his wifes womb, was officially done with Sarahís shit. He stood up and ran out of the room, with Kal and Vin following close behind. Murphy held up a brownie and offered it to Jack, who politely declined. Outside, Xavier caught up to Sarah and grabbed her elbow, spinning her around. Her hand flexed into a claw and she slashed at his face and missing by the most narrow of margins.

Xavier Black
HOLD THE FUCK ON!

Sarah Wolf
DONíT YOU TOUCH ME!

Xavier Black
You think I killed him?

Sarah Wolf
No, I think he shot himself in the head, pulled the dirt on top of him, and you were the sweet little innocent angel.

Xavier Black
Asshole. I saw what you did to him. I saw what you did.

Xavier had found the man who had hurt her. He was riding with a gang of white trash meth head bikers, who were using him for his tattoo skills. Xavier tried to buy him, tried to reason with the leader, but they werenít about to let their artist go down like that. But Xavier being Xavier he compromised to an end result he could appreciate. Offering the head biker, a man by the name of Spatz, a Knucklehead engine that was exactly like his fathers. He agreed to let Xavier fight the man hand to hand. No knives, no weapons, just fists. Fight was over once the guy hit the ground. But when the man took his shirt off, Xavier was presented with his sisters handiwork. All over his chest, shoulders, stomach, and back, someone had carved ĎSarahí into his flesh with what seemed to be a broken shard of glass. Xavier became very aware that the reason Sarah had told him not to go after him, was because she had already set him up to never forget her just like he had made it so she would never forget him. But Xavier broke both of the manís thumbs, and made it impossible for him to tattoo anyone, an act not at all appreciated by the bikers. But a deal was a deal. And Xavier walked away leaving the rest of his wants unfulfilled.

Xavier Black
You really think I didnít get it? That I saw what I saw, and it went over my head? I left him alive because suddenly it made sense. Now if you want to be mad at me for seeing who you really are, then you go ahead. Do it. Be mad at me but do so for a real fucking reason and not some imagined slight.

Sarah Wolf
You gave me your word.

Xavier Black
The shit youíve pulled, you want to complain about going back on words? After what you did to Vin?

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
That was fucking in the ring.

Vincent Black
No. Not the arm. She sent this to my daughter.

Vincent holds up his phone, and shows Kal a photo. Itís a box wrapped in butcher paper, with a dollface mask outside of it, and a jar with the remains of an aborted baby inside. A note dangles from the top of the jar that reads ĎDear Ripley; This is how Daddy wanted you.í Kalís entire face goes pale, and he looks at Sarah for the first time in a long time in a real way. Gone is the innocence he once knew. In its place is that of something twisted, and broken.

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
Is that fucking true?

Sarah Wolf
Yeah, he wanted her aborted. She should know, no?.

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
…NO..you know thatís not what the fuck Iím asking. Did you fucking send that?

Sarah Wolf
Stop, she didnít even see it. The lesbo got it.

Xavier Black
…youíre going to pay for that. Iím going to make sure of it. Iíve tried to be a benevolent owner. But you…you…

Sarah Wolf
YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU ALL STARTED THIS!! I asked you to stay out of my business, but nooo. I asked you to leave me out of yours, BUT NOOOOO. Everything Iíve been through, all of it, has been directly caused by the three of you. BUT IíM THE BAD FUCKING PERSON!? FOR WHAT? Iíll tell you. No. Iíll show you instead.

Sarah turns and walks away, as Xavier stares a hole into the back of her head. Without looking down or away, he pulls his cellphone to his ear and asks Siri to dial ĎWishlist Lesí before walking away and leaving Vin and Kal outside the building. Kal turns to Vin, and looks like he wants to say something, but doesnít. Vin ducks back inside, as Murphy comes out, prepared to leave, but stopped by Kal. He hands him a piece of paper, and from the transparency caused by the light, we can see it is a list of names, one of which has a red check mark. We can not read the names though, because fucking mystery.

MDM
…seriously?

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
Itís not every day you fucking ask me for something, I figured Iíd put my fucking heart into it.

MDM
Fuckiní fantastic. Good on yeh.

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
Fuck it, can I be serious with you for a sec?

MDM
Dunno, can yeh?

Kal Wolf (Fagan)
This…this isnít your fault. I know how you work, you fucking internalize. Almost as bad as Vin. And you fucking use humor to get over it. But fuck me, I gotta ask. You ok?

MDM
He could tell him that he was the furthest thing from it. That every day since all of this began has been the worst day of his life. And considering how bad his life has been, and how much of it Kal has witnessed, heíd understand the severity of it. Going to jail, getting stuck in jail for longer than was required because of his own issues, getting out, finding a daughter, finally getting the love you always dreamed of, and then…this? He could tell him all of that.

He could tell him how his career had taken a sharp dive, and now thanks to a promise he made to a child, he was going to see it through until it was non-existent, because what she wanted was worth more to him than anything he could get for himself.

He could tell him that his soul was crushed, his heart was broken, and his spirit deceased. But he couldnít bring himself to speak it, He was getting enough pity. He was alone in his misery and he preferred to be left that way. Yeah, Iím good as gold. Promise. he lied. And for a refreshing change of pace, it wasnít to himself.