Herbert’s Balls

Herbert’s Balls,
By,
William Morgan

“Herbert, it’s not Friday, so, why are you showing me your block an’ tackle?” asked Madge Shrive, Herbert’s wife. More like twig an’ thistle, she mused.

Herbert, wearing nothing but his tatty blue striped pajama top, his hair in such disarray as to defy physics, looking concerned, befuddled, and, embarrassed all at the same time, said,

“Well, look at ’em,Madge,don’t they look funny to you?”

And, that is why we do it in the dark, my love.

She loved her husband. She really did. But, the chance Herbert would be mistaken for Richard Burton ( her favorite actor), would be the same chance of her fucking Richard Burton. She remembered a time when she’d gotten photos developed at that new one hour place downtown. Herbert was just sick at the sight of himself. He was all upset at how he looked. Frail, timid, skinny, his brown, gray hair all over the place, unmanageable, catastrophic really, eyebrows thicker than a forest, a hit-me chin, he just went on, and on about it.

Madge remembered saying, “but, I love you.” She didn’t protest his self description, didn’t tell him that the photo wasn’t that bad, didn’t lie to him. He was a mess of a man, but, she loved him. Deeply. 20 years they’ve been married. June 11th 1955. Childless. Her only regret. Adoption was out. They both wanted their own child. But, either his sperm was as empty as Edward Heath’s words, or, her ovaries had a closed sign when Herbert’s swimmers knocked. They didn’t check. Neither wanted to be at fault.

Not that she was Elizabeth Taylor. More like Else Garnett from Till Death Us Do Part. When asked to describe herself in a telephone interview for a job in a launderette, she said “misshapen’.” Pear shaped was how some people put it. But, pears do have some sort of symmetry, her shape was more abstract. As if Picasso created her when he was suffering delirium . Sure she’s got more than a few pounds than all the other women she’s been around, and sure she has that thing under her chin that looks like a zit had erupted from a tarantula. A wart ? A mole? Witches mark? Who knows, who cares? It doesn’t hurt, and Herbert, when he gets cuddly, likes to rub the top of his head on it. Maybe for good luck. Maybe for who cares? What she has, and what most women want, is a good, solid marriage. Herbert’s always dependable, especially on Friday nights. Even when he’s out with the lads, he’s still dependable on Friday nights. Could be as sloshed as a Russian in a vodka factory. Didn’t matter. Herbert and his twig and thistle always rose to the occasion.

Speaking of twig and thistle-

She stared at her husbands scrotum, and said,”Well, if you mean that they are tiny, ineffectual, and probably share one sperm between them, then, yes, they look funny to me.”

“Oh, very droll, Madge, very droll. Very cutting edge, I must say. What I’m speaking about is that they look, well, strange. They feel strange an’ all. ‘ere, ‘ave a closer look.”

“If this is your way of getting me finally on my knees-”

“Madge! I’m serious! For pity’s sake-”

“Oh, alright.”

She got on her knees, held his balls in her left hand, twisted them this way, and that. “Have you checked for lumps, dear? Wait… I need my glasses ”

“Madge!”

“Honest.You’re right, Herbert. I think I see something.”

Madge left the bedroom,went downstairs to the living room,and picked up her glasses by the TV stand. There was something, she thought. In the bedroom she held Herbert’s balls in her hand, looking at his scrotum from all angles again. hmmming and hawing.

“Herbert, maybe it’s my imagination, but, I swear I see a face imprinted on your ball-sack. When’s the last time you went out with the lads?”

“Haven’t been out with them for a couple of weeks now. Stevie fell, remember? Broke his arm. And Jim, well, Jim’s not allowed out. Not after that incident with the barmaid and a packet of crisps. Molly’s angrier than a slug in a salt mine, she is. And Bob, he’s got himself a girl, see. She’s all that matters. The hell with his friends. A face you say? A face? Who’s face?” Oh my God, please don’t let it be Arthur Scargill. I’ll kill myself.

“Yes, looks like a face alright. Who it belongs to I haven’t quite been able to make out. It’s quite fascinating, really. Doesn’t look tattooed. If it is, though, it’s a damn fine job. The more I look at it, the more it comes into focus. I need to see it better, though. I’m going to have to shave your balls, darling”

“Shave my-now, wait a minute, Madge-”

“Oh,come on now. It’s not like you go to a gym, or shower with other people. Only we will know. We’ll use my razor. It’s gentler.”

She frowned.

“What’s the matter, Madge?” asked Herbert, fearfully.

“Strange,Herbert. I’ve been holding your balls in my hands for about ten minutes-”

“You’ve been holding them longer that that, love. Bloody years, in fact.”

“Holding them for ten minutes, or, so, and you’ve had no reaction. None. Not a stir from His Lordship. Quite dead, in fact.”

“Well, you’re not holding ’em with affection, now are you? You’re holding them clinically, so to speak. Like a doctor-or something.”

“Hmmm, maybe so, dear, maybe so. Still, it’s quite discomfiting. Have I lost my touch, so to speak? Don’t you love me anymore, Herbert?”

His face went pale. “Madge! How could you even- I- well- really! Of course I love you!”

“Settle down, darling. I’m only joshing. Now come into the bathroom, and…, you know what? It might be better to pluck the hairs out, rather than shave. I’ll get the tweezers.”

Herbert sputtered “Madge!”

“Just joshing. Just joshing.” Madge laughed. He sighed. Just a bloody joke to her, he thought. My balls do feel weird, strange, it’s as if they were-what? Alive? Sentient? Herbert giggled. Thinking nads? Guys are always telling me my brains are in my arse, maybe they’re just off a little bit. He laughed, then frowned. She said they were dead, but, Herbert felt power in his balls. Throbbing, pulsating, and it seemed to be growing with each passing minute. He had to admit, he was scared. Not bloody funny at all, Madge. No, not bloody funny at all.

2.

After foaming his balls with shaving cream, and, delicately shaving, she rinsed them off, and frowned again. “Sweetheart? It might be my imagination, but, I do believe that your balls have gotten bigger.” Of course, it couldn’t possibly be right, she thought. Just isn’t possible. Still, they do look larger.

Herbert, always thinking the worse, always seeing the glass half empty, shuddered, and his eyes widened. “Oh my God, Madge, elephantiasis! Oh, no, no, no! Not that! Haven’t you ever seen those documentaries on the BBC? Those men from India practically sitting on these giant boulders that are actually their balls? How could I live with that? I’d never be able to go out. If I did go out, I’d need a shopping cart to carry my balls. And, where would I buy my pants? Who makes pants for men with this affliction? Big Balls R Us? And if I ever get in a fight, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? Kick me in the nads, that’s what! And you know I like to go swimming at the YMCA’s pool. I jump in there, and I’m liable to start a tsunami, and empty the damn thing! Oh, God, Madge. Oh, God, I’m doomed, doomed, Doomed!”

Madge looked at her husband with marvelous disdain. “Darling, please, has there ever been a case of elephantiasis here in England? Ever? No, dear, there hasn’t. And, in those dreadful documentaries that you watch, did any of those men have a face tattooed on their balls? Hmmm? Thought not. No, my sweet, this is something altogether different. I don’t know what it is, but, let me tell you, the face is coming clearer. I can almost make it out.”

“Who is it? It’s not that bastard Scargill is it? My luck, it’ll be worse. It’ll be Enoch bloody Powell.”

She stared at the face for a while, blocking out her husbands sputtering, and whining. Let me concentrate, she thought. It’s getting clearer. But, she didn’t say a word. She knew after 20 years of marriage to let Herbert blow off steam, or else he would go on, and on about it all night. And, she did need to sleep since she had a doctor’s appointment in the morning.

Not a face exactly. Doesn’t look human, to tell the truth. Definitely not Enoch, or, Arthur. Inwardly she laughed. Oh, Herbert, that’s why I love you. Let’s see, just what is it? Looks like an octopus, but, then again, it doesn’t. Hard to describe, really. Those may be tentacles. Is that wings behind it? Otherworldly. Yes, that’s the word I’m looking for. Otherworldly. Monstrous. Now she was getting scared, because it seemed as if it had moved.

“Herbert, darling, I think we’ll have to go to the fhtagn- the fhtagn- oh for heaven’s sake- the fhtagn!”

“Are you alright, Madge? What’s that you’re saying? Sounded like you’re making weird farting noises. What’s a f-f-f-say that again, love, I can’t seem to pronounce it.”

“R’lyeh , R’lyeh , oh, what’s going on? Oh, Herbert I’m scared. I’m scared! I’m Cth-”

The creature moved again, looked at Madge. She gasped as it seemed to look right through to her soul, and it grew, along with Herbert’s balls. She scrambled back away from it as far as she could, hitting her back against the toilet, and Herbert was yelling fearfully “Madge, Madge what is it? What is it? Madge!”

Then she let out a soul shattering scream, slumped to the floor. Her eyes rolled back, her legs trembled, and she began to speak in a strange language that wasn’t created for human throats.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn,” she chanted, her voice deep, guttural, contemptuous.

And Herbert’s balls grew, and grew, and he wailed, and screamed in terror as Madge chanted, and then something emerged into our world. Something cold, indifferent.

Then the world grew dark, cold, and lifeless, and the stars blinked out one, by, one as the universe made way for the Great Old Ones….

And Still I Ramble

As I was driving to work, dreading it, all I could think of was “I walk.” That kept pestering me all day, and on the way home, relieved, this story popped in my head.

I walk, and the more I walk, the more that I am at ease, and the more at ease I am, the less inclined I am to kill someone. It’s not like I want to kill someone you understand, it’s more of a building up of pressure, pressure that I can’t valve off, pressure that builds, and builds, to a point where I am either going to kill myself, or kill someone other than me. I get it, you’re saying, well, wouldn’t it be better to kill yourself? Save the suffering of others? True. That lady I strangled last month would be still with her family, right? Still working 3-11 at the hospital, cleaning asses for a taxed heavy, light wage, and her face, stomach, and back would still be taking punches from her alco boyfriend, and her purse would be still empty from her son, Brian’s pilfering cos he really needs his weed, i-phone apps, and PS4 games, and she’d still be listening to her mother’s snide comments about her white trash living, her smoking, her choice of cock, her parenting, her looks, and she’d still be envious of her sister who married a man whose vision for casinos on the docks by the lake brought in millions, a man who loves, and is gentle, and kind, who’s idea of violence is a surreptitious pat on the behind. She’d have killed herself eventually. I just brought the date forward.

And the twelve year old I stabbed? On the news it was stated she was found in a field raped and stabbed. I’m like, huh? Raped? Now, wait a minute, I’m a killer, not a pervert. I was so enraged I almost turned myself in. Turns out daddy had been raping her since she was eight, and he’d just assaulted her before she walked off to school, which is why she was running late, and ran straight into my path. Thinking back on it, did I see a hint of relief on her face? She didn’t put up much of a fight, as I recall. I did that little girl a favor by taking her life.

The boy I shot? Bullied mercilessly at school cos of the way he looks. He reminded me of Glen/Glenda from that Chucky movie I watched a while ago. It was late at night. I was waiting for my wife to show up. She was out on one of her benders with “the girls.” Simmered at the thought that hers was the only vagina there. Imagination going haywire. Images of her on her back, on her knees, on top with someone other than me. I’d gone to the laundry hamper, picked out a pair of her Hanes, sniffed them, dried my eyes with them as I watched a possessed doll tear some poor actress to pieces. I think that’s where the idea of murder began. Yeah, it’s Chucky’s fault. That’ll be my defense. A fucking doll.

I’m still walking, still content. I will have to stop sometime, though. I can’t walk forever. I have a job, I have bills to pay, alimony. I get to see the kids this weekend. More social on their phones. Talking, conversation, is anathema to them. I hardly remember what they look like because their faces are constantly looking down, their chubby fingers a flurry, texting. The only time I get to see their faces is when they’re doing selfies. They send me the pictures to my phone, which I hardy use. Truth be told, they are a sullen lot of antisocial beings, obsessed with Apps, Facebook, and YouTube. The older one, Jacob, who is 10, got burns on his arms from trying a challenge on YouTube. I remember my Mother asking me would I put my hand in a fire if my friend told me to? Nowadays, that’s a yes, and it doesn’t have to be a friend, just some anon on the internet. Did my sperm help create this moron? The other boy, Ted, is eight, I think he’s retarded. He’s dumber than dumb. I’ve tried to get him to count beyond ten, but all I get is blank stares. I sometimes wish my sperm had been blank. I blame my ex, Barb. She’s too busy dolling herself up for some young muscle than actually parent. If it looks like a whore, acts like a whore, smells like a whore…oh, you bitch, how many men, huh? How many? 12 years of marriage down the drain and all because you like the cock way too much…, shit…, walk it off, walk it off, keep walking.

Look at the clear blue sky, not a cloud in sight, enjoy the beauty of the fall leaves, the bright reds, umber,orange, listen to the birds chirping, and warbling, yes, nice, relaxing, keep walking. There’s a house at the end of the street, recently painted a lovely light blue, complementing the sky. A woman lives there. She’s beautiful. Always outside working on her little garden. Wears light blouses, and tight shorts. I fear for her, for it seems like she lives alone. I want to stop and tell her to wear something less provocative, that there are monsters around, but, all I ever do is smile, and wave. She waves back, she has a nice smile. I fear for her, but I keep walking. I turn right, walk toward town.
My ex wears provocative clothing all the time. Clothes a woman of her age shouldn’t even wear. Tight tops, no bra, jeans that adhere to her skin, or short skirts that ride up her thighs, barely hiding lace thong. Sometimes she goes commando and you see her well fucked pussy.Why doesn’t she work the streets? She’d make good money. Then, I wouldn’t have to scrimp and save to pay her alimony. She wants it increased. Bitch wants more of my hard earned money. I work 12 hours a day, sometimes I have to pull a double just to get by. I window shop, then get myself more depressed looking at stuff I’ll never be able to buy. My computer still has Win XP for Chrissake, and this bitch, this whore wants more?

Yeah, I hear you, I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I kill the bitch?

Because I love her. Okay? I love her. Fucked up, I know. Tell it to myself everyday. Even through all the betrayals, and really turbulent arguments, I’m talking fights where no object in the house was safe. I’ve never counted how many clocks, mementos, dishes, cups, glasses were obliterated in the years we were together, but I’ll bet if the dollars were calculated, we are talking serious money. The fights were legendary in the neighborhood we lived in. Cops at the house all the time. Knew us by name, probably rolled their eyes when they were dispatched. Bet they have a drinking game based on us.

Is there such a thing as love? It’s not just lust, obsession, fear of being alone, dying alone? Is there true love? True love shouldn’t involve violence, should it? True love’s like Heaven, right? Everything perfect? I’ve never seen that. Never. Only in movies. Fuck, even then, the couple argued.

I love her.

Dammit.

I’ve been with other women after the divorce, but, they don’t have what she has. She’s passionate, hot blooded, deadly. In bed, she’s a fucking rabid wildcat. A tornado of wanton lust. Her vagina a wet, dripping altar where men are sacrificed to the Goddess of Unrepentant sex.

I was born into a Catholic family. My grandparents imported Guilt and Damnation from Ireland. Shame and Sin were the norm in our family. The nether regions stayed nether. Unspoken, invisible. Is that why I married her? Betraying my upbringing? A big fuck you to my parents? Is it a cliche if it’s true? I was so ashamed when I first placed my hand on her breast, and I had a raging hard on. I still don’t like it when a woman holds my cock, though I fantasize about it when I masturbate. Only I can hold my cock right. Conflicted, confused, thrilled. A fucked up concoction of feelings, and fears sure fucked me up. Deep down, I knew why she strayed. I’m pretty damn boring in bed. Oh, I wanted to release the savage fucker in me. I wanted to be wild, and damned for all time. But, I was so repressed, sex was difficult. I’m feeling some guilt now, for fuck’s sake. God, I was, no, am pathetic, useless, cockless. I mean I did spurt two retards, didn’t I? Two fuck ups, just like Daddy.

Take a deep breath, keep on walking, at ease, at ease, think of the beautiful things, like when Jacob was born, before you knew he was a moron, when you had dreams of him going to college, becoming a quarterback, getting picked by the Cleveland Browns as a first pick in the NFL draft, leading them to a their first Superbowl, with numerous Superbowl’s to come, being inducted into the Hall Of Fame, making shit loads of money. Yeah, right, instead, I get a fucktard who burns his arms, and who has an average C is school, who doesn’t give a shit about anything except how to beat Dark Souls 3, and whose idea of sport is playing Madden…stop…remember the good times…the zoo, his crazy laughter as he pointed at the chimps having a poop throwing party…, yeah, that was…, but, then, at home after, the little bastard started his own poop throwing party, shit all over the walls, us, him. Never believed in corporal punishment, not after what I went through growing up, but, I just wanted to beat the shit out of him, although he did a pre-emptive strike. She thought it was hilarious, that’s because she didn’t help clean all that shit up. Lazy cunt. Adulterous cunt. So many cocks, so little time, is that it? Bottomless well unable to fill with cum? I hate you, I love you, oh Christ why must I be this way? Why? Why God? Why did you make me this way? Why? What did I do to deserve this? Keep walking, asshole, keep walking.

No. No more walking.

I stop, turn around.

Feel for the knife in my pocket.

Walk back.

I told you I fear for her.

Cassie Frugelli Wants To Go Far, Far Away

Cassie Frugelli Wants To Go Far, Far Away
by,
William Morgan

The fine hairs on her arms seemed sentient for they hated, and punished her. They felt like white hot needles stabbed viciously into deep tissue. The sweat poured out of her, a torrent of foul smelling contempt. In her mind her body was attempting to dehydrate her. Her stomach gurgled with rage, and spasmed wave, after wave of nausea. She felt hot, cold, hot, cold, body temperature going haywire. Out of control. The sickness made her kneel, made her bow to the god of the away powder. If it didn’t get worship, it punished severely.

If she didn’t get a hit soon…

She remembered the party all those years ago. Well, some of it. She had gotten pretty drunk. Tina, who had just turned eighteen and now was eligible to die in a land she didn’t give a shit about, invited just about all of Lorain county. So many people. All young. All full of energy. All not expecting to die anytime soon. Many drinking their livers into submission. Some snorting coke, some smoking crack, some injecting the far away powder.

Tina’s boyfriend, one of three actually, Brian was his name, she couldn’t remember his last name, all she could remember was that he was a leather boy. A metal head. Banging his head, mainlining to Iron Maiden. Glazed eyes, slack mouth, drool. Far away somewhere. Far away with not a care in the world. Want a try? asked Tina. C’mon, Cassie, try it. See where it takes you.

Back then she was Cassie Frugelli, 17, a fresh faced, gullible, beguiled, drunk girl with an unbroken hymen. If she wasn’t so drunk…, so pliable…, so fucking stupid. When Brian came back from heavy metal heaven, him, Tina, and, Cassie had sneaked off to the attic, the only place where there were no other bodies. Tina, damn her, had found the vein while Brian, damn him, had gotten the far away powder, spoon, and lighter ready. Tina gently held Cassie’s head in her lap and caressed Cassies’s long brunette hair. Cassie distinctly remembered Tina smelt of blood. Tina cooed, and whispered sweet lies in her ear as Brian injected liquid nirvana.

That feeling! That indescribable feeling was something she had never experienced before, or since. The high was so euphoric, so godly for she had left her earthly body, traveled the universe, alone, but, not lonely, floating in between the stars, flying through deep, deep space, impenetrable blackness, the vastness, the nothingness, a vision to behold, a wonder, she sees 5 lanes, roads of the future, her futures, all possible, the universe letting her decide, choose her life ahead and it was all hers, all Cassie’s, her body alive, alive, alive, aware of every inch, every molecule, every atom, her skin tight, pores open wide, black sludge oozing, cleansing, releasing every toxic thought, poisonous dream, noxious nightmare, her organs working in perfect synchronicity, her sex afire, dripping, swollen, wanting release, her mind filling with all the data of the world, the galaxy, the universe, open to a whirlwind of all the true meanings of life, knowing the reason she was here in the universe, she spreads her arms, tries to hug the world, love the world, love everyone, I love you, love you, I love you all, look at the universe, see how perfect, how mathematical, how-, then she was harshly brought back to reality, and found herself laying on her back, the musty mattress spotted with blood, her hymen no longer unbroken, and through dull eyes sees Brian wiping his cock on her panties, smiling, Scorpions’ Another Piece Of Meat playing in the background.

Now, 20 years later, she still thinks back to that first high, that amazing vision, tasting the universe, experiencing all of creation. When she told Tina, and Brian, (after screaming, and running to the bathroom to cry, and lament, and rage, and finally to clean), of her experience, Brian had laughed, looked puzzled. Wasn’t LSD, darlin’. Don’t know what happened to you. Maybe a little crazy? She crazy, Tina? Loopey? Get dropped on your head?

Tina had tried, unsuccessfully, to wrap her arms around Cassie. Sorry, Cass, I’m on my period. Otherwise. Y’know.

Like she was excusing rape. Like it was okay. She was just a back up fuck thing. No worries. The horror of the realization that Tina was a monster, scared Cassie even more than the defilement by Brian. Tina wasn’t even embarrassed, or felt any shame. She thought Brian did nothing wrong. It enraged Cassie enough to slap Tina hard. Tina stepped back, shocked. Brian pushed Cassie back. What the hell, cunt? Cassie kicked him as hard as she could between his legs, smiling as he doubled over, his eyes crossed, his face a comical farce of pursed lips, blown out cheeks, knotted eyebrows. Brian groaned, then yelled as she kicked him in the face. Bitch! Here came Tina, claws out, lips curled. Fucking bitch! Cassie stood her ground, waited until Tina got close enough, then, with her own claws, she made trenches, and grooves, scratching deep, scarring, blood pooling, Tina screeching, Cassie laughing, Brian sobbing. She left, making sure she grabbed Brian’s far away powder, and kit, then walked home. Sad, angry, ashamed. When she got home, she showered, scrubbed, cried, scrubbed, raged, scrubbed, until the water became too cold to bear, until she had the cleanest vagina in the world. Violated, yet spotless.

The withdrawal was something horrifying. Fire, Ice, Pain, Misery. She thought she was going to die. Wanted to die. The far away soothed, comforted, relaxed. She always had a thrill of anticipation before she plunged in the far away, hoping for a repeat of the the first one. It never came. She wondered if it was a mixture of the alcohol, and drug, but she could never remember what she drank. There was so much beer, and hard liquor at the party. She remembered vodka, rum, Bud, Miller, Jack, moonshine, even. She tried drinking before injecting, various mixtures of beer, and liquor, but, there were so many combinations, so many variables, it just made her more miserable after, made the pain more intense, the depression darker. She tried, and tried, but, she never had the vision again. Just a high, just a normal fucking high. She did go somewhere, but, it was like going on vacation to Gettysburg, or Niagara Falls. Everyone did that. It was nothing special. Bland, vanilla, been there, done that. Still, she needed the far away. The punishment was too much to bear without it. Life was nothing without it. She would do things for it. Degrade herself. Whore herself. Steal. Rape Peter to pay Paul. Her body was a temple for the far away. Those movies. They are out there. She thinks of them a lot. Has any of her family seen them? Her Mother, Brothers, Billy, and Jim? She thanks God every night that her Father died before she ran out of money, out of hope, out of far away. That’s one burden she doesn’t have to carry.

Now here she was, with another creep, damning herself to go far away.

Cassie watched the creep. Studied him. His excitement unnerved her. His anticipation shocked her. He smelt of garlic, rosemary, and fear. His tall, thin frame shook, his gray eyes were shining, the lips wet from constant licking. He looked so ordinary, so human. He could be a neighbor, a co-worker, a fast food manager.

“Money up front, alright?”

He took out his wallet. It looked ordinary, as well. Not made of human skin. He took out a wad of notes.

“A thousand? Yes? That’s what we agreed on.” He didn’t look her in the eyes.

His profile stated he lived in California. That’s a long way to travel to Ohio. Then again, it was the internet. A liar’s domain. Full of small, weak men typing their impotent rage in ALL CAPS.

She counted slowly, making sure it all was there, and none of it was funny. Plus she was putting off what was agreed on.

Was there another way?

She wished. She prayed every night. Got on her knees, implored, begged, beseeched God for help, for assistance.

Assistance. Ha! What a joke! Couldn’t get that from welfare. Basically told her to go fuck herself. Her family had disowned her. Her husband had divorced her. Didn’t they realize that she needed the money? Couldn’t they show a little compassion? She hated stealing from them. Hated it. But, she had no choice.

No choice. Well, there was one, but that involved a lot of pain, and sickness, and strength. She knew she was weak, hell, she was born weak. Weak of mind, of self, of spirit. No. There was no choice.

She sighed.

“Ready?”

The man hesitated for a sec, then undid his belt, unbuttoned his pants, dropped them to his black, shiny shoes, took them off. Next came his underwear. He kept his shirt and tie on.

His penis was rock hard, the glans glistening.

“I’m ready.”

“I can see that.” A lame joke got a lame smile.

“Over here.” She walked him to the corner of the bedroom.

Oh, God, oh, God, where are you?

Eyes brimming with tears, hands shaking with shame, she reached down into the second hand blue crib, and undid her little boys diaper, exposed him, avoiding his year old baby blues, trying to block out his laughter. He wasn’t wet.

“No touching,” she said, firmly.

“No, no, I won’t. I swear.”

“Because if you do…” Showed him the baseball bat.

His hands came up. “Swear to Christ. I won’t, I won’t.”

She stepped back.

“Get it over with.”

The man looked into the crib, and began to stroke himself.

When he was finished, he asked if he could use the bathroom to clean himself up. He apologized for the carpet. His face was red. From the act, or shame, she couldn’t tell.

He stopped at the door, kept his back to her, said, “you could make more if you-”

“No. Never. Understand?”

He nodded, went into the bathroom. Shut the door. She heard the water running.

She quickly fixed her boy’s diaper. Wiped her tears off his little face. So sorry. So sorry. So sorry.

She looked at the money. Imagined the escape, the bliss. Need to get to Nick’s, get some bliss, some far away. Far, far away powder. How much can I buy with this? How much will I need? How pure? Far away and lax do not mix. Shitting the dream is not what I want. I want my universe, I want that vision. It was so pure. One more time, then I’ll quit. Swear. On my father’s-no-don’t-don’t-

She wondered fleetingly whether she even had a soul anymore.

The man came out of the bathroom, nodded, put on his underwear, pants, coat, and hat. “I have friends. Lots of friends. We could set up a timetable of sorts. On your time, of course. Lots of money to be made. I could help weed out the, ah, more aggressive types. No fee, maybe a discount. You have my private number. I suggest you get a landline. I can help you secure it. You won’t want for anything. Until he gets too old, of course. Just let me know.”

She couldn’t speak, because she knew she’d just scream. She nodded instead.

“Goodbye, then.”

She waved, then he left.

Then she looked down at her little boy again and questioned if she ever loved him at all for there was a tiny voice speaking behind her collapsed soul, a voice that desired, demanded the far, far away powder, uncut, pure, euphoric, a voice horrific in it’s insistence, chilling in it’s influence, frightening for she was listening, that chanted over, and over, and over. Never say never.

Flayed

Hungry Horace ate Keyhole Kate’s face, with a side of roast potatoes, wonderful Yorkshire pud, and a heaping helping of Rodger’s blood sausage. Rodger was behind Horace, tied to a chair, eyes glazed as blood oozed from the slit in his neck ( Dodge outta that one, boy! Har Har!)

Elsewhere, Peter Piper checked the handcuffs, rope, and chloroform, and then began to play his pipes in front of a Beyoncé poster, Sid’s face was purple, tongue black, eyes almost popping from their sockets, because he forgot the rudimentary procedure when feeding his snake, Faceache was a shoo-in to win Britain’s Got Talent, and he was getting emails from numerous horror movie makers like Dario Argento, and John Carpenter, Oddball was forced to make money by advertising himself as the Ultimate Dildo, Little Mo was tasting cock for the first time, Desert Island Dick finally saw a ship passing by and swam out to meet it, only to be disemboweled and devoured by Hook-Jaw, Judge Dredd blew Bully Beef away for obvious reasons, Chips, despondent, hanged himself from a lamppost on the corner of Bash Street, Ginger stole Vals Vanishing Cream and watched Beryl taking a bath, the knife in his hand sharp and gleaming, Shiner lay crumpled in a heap by a gutter, pulverized by Pansy Potter after making comments about her sexual orientation, and Billy Whizz proved once and for all on YouTube that he was faster than The Flash.

All this happened because some kids were exploring and came upon the flayed skin of a god, and one of them decided to don it.

The Dog And The Baby Die

The Dog And The Baby Die,
by,
William Morgan

The dog mauled the baby, tore her to pieces. I shot the dog.
Then I shot my wife for buying the wolf in poodle clothing.
Then I drove out to Pet Heaven, and shot the owner for selling the dog to my wife.
On the way home, I stopped off at my in-laws and shot them both for creating my wife.
Then I stopped at work and shot a couple of assholes, and bitches. Figured I’ve gone this far, may as well go all the way.
I went to the mall to get a hand rolled pretzel, and shot the driver of a Corvette for taking up two parking spaces.
I got my pretzel, then shot a mall cop for not doing his job. Allowing all those asshole teenagers to make so much noise was annoying.
I stopped at a Bass Pro to buy more ammo. I shot the sales clerk for forgetting my discount.
My hand hurt from all that shooting. I shot the person closest to me to alleviate the pain.
I get home, shoot the dog again. Make some coffee, wait for the police.
I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.

Carjack

Carjack,
by,
William Morgan

1.

     The night enveloped him, hid him in the shadows, but it did not mask his nerves. Rick Bollard’s adrenaline was flowing like a flash flood. His right hand holding the .38 was trembling slightly, and he realized he was gripping the gun too tightly. He blew out a long breath, willed himself to relax. His small frame suffered tiny shock waves and his scarred face felt hot. His dull grey eyes watered.
     Relax. Won’t be long now. Someone’s sure t-
     His eyes widened as a silver BMW slowly pulled into the Moregas gas station. They blinked with disbelief when the car parked by the side of the entrance where the light was almost non existent, and the fake cameras saw nothing. He was a little unnerved when the driver got out of the car. The man was tall, dressed in a tux with a purple cumber-bun. His dark hair was cut short, military style. He walked with confidence. Assured. The blonde in the passenger seat was dressed to the nines as well.
    Shit, thought Rick, military?
    Better abort, a little voice told him. Wait for a vic a hell of a lot easier.
    No, he scolded, anniversary’s coming up. Got to get a nice present for Vera. After that thing with Belinda, I gots to buy her some real jewelry, not that cubic zirconia shit. That BMW will do nicely. Big Joe’ll shit bricks when he sees me driving that in to the chop shop.
    Your funeral, said the little voice.
                                                                                 2
    

 

    Rick saw the man come out the entrance, slap the pack of cigarettes on the palm of his hand, open the pack, shake one out, light it, take a long, deep puff, and exhale with pleasure. The man then walked to the car, and Rick came out of the deep, deep shadows, everything on high alert, his awareness on 10. He pointed the gun at the man, said, ” give me the keys man. I don’t wanna shoot, but I will if I have to.” He cursed himself for sounding so small.
     “Shit,” said the man with a southern drawl that seemed to ooze molasses. Rick watched as the man’s eyes looked around. They were calm. The man smiled.
     He reached out the keys to Rick. “Y’all want the car? You got it. Don’t need no trouble. All I need is a hot bath, and a bed.”
     Rick didn’t hear no tremor in the man’s voice. Man wasn’t acting as if someone was carjacking him. Run, you idiot,said his tiny little voice. NO.
     “I’m takin’ the car. The woman stays in the car. For my safety. Don’t need you callin’ the police as soon as I leave. Just a little bit of insurance, understand?” She looked like she had a nice rack, and Rick was partial to nice racks.
     The man stiffened, seemed to grow taller. His face seemed to shift in the darkness.
     “Y’r gonna rape my wife?
     “Naw, man, what the fuck, like I said, insurance. I’ll drop her off at a Mickey D’s, or Burger King, an she’ll call ya.” Of course he was lying. Vera’s keeping her legs clamped after Rick’s cock went roaming, and this adrenaline had his cock rock hard.
     The man sighed, took a hit of his cigarette. “It’s dark back he-a, but I can still see the tent. You get the car. Get a lot for it. If I-” and then he flicked the cigarette in Rick’s face.
     The man was fast. Rick instinctively brought his arm up to protect his eyes, and suddenly the man was right in front of him, and he felt a great pain between his legs. Like someone poured lava on his balls. Rick lost his breath, his lungs useless, bags of nothing. His head felt very heavy, a terrible weight on his shoulders, so he bent over to ease the pressure, then everything went black.
                                                                              

                                                                                 3

 

    Gwendolyn Majors picked at her nails, sat fuming in the car. She stared out the car window seeing nothing but red.
     Her husband of five years, Raymond Majors, sighed as he drove.
     “What is it, honey?” His voice no longer had the southern drawl, more Midwestern.
     Gwen shrugged, continued to pick off the purple nail polish. She turned to Ray, her green eyes ablaze.
     “I could have handled him. Little guy like that? Shit.”
     Ray looked to heaven. He was tired. He hated weddings, his own being the exception. Listening to people lie about how the couple were the most wonderful people in the whole wide world. Doesn’t the bride look so beautiful? And the groom! How handsome! Ray saw a fat cow, and a brain-dead hick. Lots of pimples. Hair cut by his mother, whose eyesight must be almost non existent. His wisp of mustache laughable. His smile forced, his eyes screaming for help. He sure drank himself under the table. Made sure he was well sloshed before his honeymoon started, hoping his inebriation will take a few pounds off his new bride. Laying on top of her must be like exercising with one of those medicine balls.
     “Hell, I know that. Dumb-ass could’ve been taken by a child. You see how he held the gun? Christ, I wanted to laugh.” Ray shook his head at the sheer ineptness.
     “Then why’d you take him? Why not let me? I’ll tell you why. It’s because your a man, and the man-“
     Ray rolls his eyes. “Are you gonna start with the again? Really? I did what I did because the moment arrived, because the opening was there. That’s all.”
     “You did it to save the damsel in distress. Man has to protect the little woman from the little horny fish.”
     “Honey, that’s not-“
     “Gonna rape my wife? I heard you, I fuckin’ heard you. You were protecting me. Shit, I almost imagined the white hat on your ten gallon head. Man strong. Woman weak. It makes me so angry! I could have taken him.”
     “Okay, okay, you win, I did it to protect you, to save you, I untied you from the tracks just in the nick of time. Penelope Pitstop lives to see another day. We’re gonna drive off into the sunset, and you’re gonna blow me for saving your life.”
     Her green eyes lost a bit of fire, and she tried to dampen a grin, her ruby red lips making all kind of shapes, and lines.
     “Asshole.”
     Ray looks at Gwen, winks.
     “Naw, asshole’s in the back seat, sleeping.”
     Gwen turns and looks at the would be carjacker laying curled up in the back seat looking like a child taking a nap during a long arduous journey to some place they didn’t want to go.
     I’d have taken him. Easily.

 

                                                                                    4

 

 

     Ray drove, glancing at Gwen, that red sequined dress accentuating her body perfectly.
    We gotta get another car, he thought, and a change of clothes. That dress is too distracting and I need no distractions when the work begins. Damn, she’s beautiful. Does Walmart sell burlap sacks? First things first, though
     Take care of this asshole. Show him the way of the world. Show him the truth.That the weak do not fuck with the strong.
     “Need another car. This one’s a bit too conspicuous. So’s your dress. Your tits are gonna spill out if I hit a pot hole.”
     “Then avoid all the pot holes, darlin’.” Gwen shakes with laughter, her milky white breasts wobbling in time.
Ray grins, begins to nod his head to the generic Rock on the radio.
     Thump! Thump! Thump! Frightened muffled yell.
     “Ah, fuck. He’s awake already?” Gwen says angrily. “Your losin’ your touch, Ray.”
     “Wanted to knock him out, not kill him, love.”
     Thump! Thump! Thump!
     “Fuck it, he’s gonna wake the asshole. Pull over, I’ll take care of him.”
     “Now, Gwen, babe, no-“
     “I’ll be gentle, promise. There’s a field on the right. Pull in there.”
     Ray looked around, using all the mirrors. Not much traffic this time of night. Pulled into the field, muddy from last nights rain.
     Christ, he thought, that’s all we need, to get stuck. He parked by an untended hedge, hoping that it’ll keep them out of sight, got out of the car, walked around to the passenger side, opened the door for Gwen.
     “Why, thank you kind sir.”
     “Hurry up,” said Ray, as he popped the trunk.
     Gwen stared into the quite roomy trunk and smirked at the man trussed, and gagged. His eyes were pleading, scared. The stench made Gwen flinch back. “Jesus!”
     Ray shook his head. Best man at the wedding was a shitter. Looked real mean when he was drinking with the boys. Had that laugh that wasn’t a laugh, but a tough man’s titter. Fucker thought he was tough. His bowels said different.
     Gwen was furious. She slapped the man. Slapped him again.
     “Dirty fucker!”
     Scratched her nails across his face. Muffled screams again.
     “Shut up! Shut up you little shit. Keep fucking quiet, or I’m gonna take my nail file to your balls.” The man tried to curl up. Muffled sobs. Then Gwen began stroking his hair, and in a soothing voice said, “listen, we’ll be asking you a few questions in an hour or two. I’m sure you know which ones. Uh-uh, no, don’t shake your head, won’t do you no good lyin’. Mr B won’t like you lyin’. Now, be quiet, okay? You wake the guy up in the backseat? Well, the pain will be fierce, I promise you. No more thumping, and we’ll go easy on you. But, while you’re waiting for us, think hard on your answers to our questions. We’re the best. The best, understand? We’ll know. Now be a good boy…,” She grabs his hair, pulls his head up close to her face, whispers, “shut the fuck up.” Slams the trunk. Gets back in the car. “There’s a Walmart a couple of miles ahead. I’ll buy us some regular clothes. Mr B says there’s a place not too far from here that has shitty cameras, but plenty of cars to choose from. Some kind of trance club. Let’s get assholes lesson over with.”
     Ray smiles in anticipation. Drives with glee.
     The weak do not fuck with the strong.

 

                                                                             5.

 

 

    Some cars are so old, so beat up, the owner doesn’t give two fucks about it getting stolen. They never lock the doors, some will even keep the keys in the ignition, walk away with a slight hope someone will steal it. Give them an excuse to upgrade from a shit car to a crap car.
     The car Ray picked was an old Chevy Monte Carlo. Looked green in the back of the parking lot, but the darkness probably hid it’s true color. The car looked as if it was in a demolition derby. There were so many dents, and dings, lots of rust, not one window was free of cracks. Someone had written in black marker on the passenger door “Wash Me,” then crossed it out, and beneath it said “Kill me.”
     Doors were unlocked, keys were in the ignition, and a 12 pack of Bud Lite sat behind the driver’s seat, along with a plethora of empty bags of Cheetos, and Lay’s salt and vinegar potato chips.
     “Bud Lite. Jesus.” said Ray, disgusted as he opened the door for Gwen.
     “Don’t drink it, then.” said Gwen, glancing at the asshole curled up in the back seat as he snored. Little guy, but heavy to carry.
     Ray got in on the driver’s side, turned the ignition, and, miraculously, the car started. There was a few burps, and farts, and wheezes from the engine at first, but she gave a loud cough, then roared.
     He turned to Gwen, smiled, “lady luck’s still with us. Speaking of lady, you look like Taylor Swift, only with bigger tits.Nothin’ gets my motor runnin’ like Walmart clothing.”
     She blew him a raspberry, sticking her tongue out at an obscene length.
     “Well, you look like Kayne, only whiter.”
     “Touche, my love. Now, where’s this asshole live?”
     Gwen looked at the driver’s license, wondering at the hilarity of working the BMV and taking the photo at the worst possible second. Rick Bollard looked like he just got out of bed and was about to be arrested. “Depforth Street, Off 38th, about three miles.”
     “Okay, you direct, and I’ll obey. That’s a first, right, hon?”
     “Fuck you.” laughed Gwen.
     Rick continued to snore.

 

                                                                                       6.

 

 

    “This it? Christ, looks like he lives carjack to carjack.”
     Gwen, and Ray stared at the run down house, with it’s barely painted siding, weed filled postage stamp lawn, and at the small rotted wood shed.
     “Yeah, look at all the houses on this street. Foreclosure heaven. Fuckin’ sad.” said Gwen, as she reached over for a Bud Lite, popped it open, and poured over the asshole.
     Rick was all spastic as he blubbered, and sputtered, his hands rubbing his face, arms spasming, legs kicking. “Whu-whu-what the fuck!”
     “Hello, asshole,” said ray.
     “Hello asshole,”said Gwen.
     Rick stopped moving. Only his eyes moved. They blinked. Blinked again. And again. Then it dawned on him.
“Oh, no, no, please, please. I didn’t-I swear I wasn’t-oh shit, please…, please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me!”
     “Aw, shut the fuck up, asshole. We’re not gonna kill you. We’re gonna teach you.”
     Rick was confused. “What? I-what? I-I don’t unnerstand? Teach me? Teach me what?”
     “Not to fuck with the strong.” said Ray, grinning. “Get out of the car, asshole.” He pointed the .38 at Rick’s face. “Only gonna say it once, though.”
     Rick put his hands up, Gwen told him to put them down, just get out of the car. Like, now, asshole.
     Ray tracked Rick with the gun as he got out, then Gwen got out, he then handed her the gun as he got out. “Nice place you got here. Do all the work yourself? I’ve tried and failed so many times at growing so many weeds. You’ve certainly got the thumb, man.”
     Rick was openly crying. “Please don’t hurt me. Please.”
     “Shit, we ain’t gonna hurtcha, asshole. That’d be like when your daddy beats ya for being out late, or sticking the centerfold pages of Big Mama Jugs together with your preschool juice. You wouldn’t learn a lesson. You’d just sneak out when he’s asleep, and shoot your watery jizz over your copy of Spiderman, instead. The pain goes away, the lesson fades, and you go back to your old ways. We are better teachers. You will learn. You will never forget. Now, get in the house.” Ray’s voice was ice cold, robotic, devoid of emotion. It terrified Rick.
     “No-please-listen, I’ve learned. Honest! I swear I won’t, I won’t ever-ever-I-oww!”
     Gwen slapped him hard in the face.
    “In the house, asshole.”
     Rick sobbed, and blubbered, nodded as he rubbed his cheek, now blazing with fire.
     He turned toward the house, felt for his keys in his pocket, had a microsecond thought about running, or screaming, even of turning and attacking. But, that thought turned his bowels to water, so he walked a dead man’s walk to his house.
     “What are you going to do?” He whispered.
     “Whatever the fuck I want.” answered Ray.

 

                                                                                       7.

 

 

     “Christ, you sure were rough with his old lady.” Said Gwen as they drove back toward the Trance club parking lot.
     “Well, she married the asshole, didn’t she?” Ray thought back to the punches, and kicks, the swollen face, broken mouth, smashed nose. Maybe he did get a little rough. Maybe.
     “And you sure enjoyed asshole’s daughter.” Gwen glared at Ray.
     “Hey, that was business, not personal. I think she was a virgin, you know.”
     “Can anyone living on that street even spell virgin? Bet they use auto-correct on their phones a lot. Text their friends so and so’s a virgil. I saw your cumface, sweetheart. You sure were enjoying doing your business.”
     “And you’ll see it again tonight when we get back to the motel. Hell, honey, I wasn’t enjoying it. I was only teaching asshole a lesson that rape is wrong-“
     “So says the rapist. Like the pot calling the kettle black.” Gwen rolled her baby blues.
     “Hey, listen. That little cocksucker is never ever going to lay his hands on another woman ever again. He was going to rape you. Now, hold your tongue. He was. His cock couldn’t hide in the darkness. He didn’t know what he was going to get himself into, pardon the pun. All he saw was a ditzy looking blonde bombshell in the car. Oh, stop the pouting. He thought you were going to be easy. He’s probably done it before. Got away with it. Thought that little gun gave him power. Little fuck. He ain’t never gonna do that again. He learned a hard lesson, love”
     Gwen could still smell the fear, taste the salty tears in the air, hear the thud of fist on flesh. She still has the image of Rick tied to the bedposts, crying, shouting through the gag of his daughter’s unwashed underwear, made to watch as his wife, and daughter are brutalized in front of him by Ray. The anguish, terror, hate, rage unfold in seconds. She saw the alarm on Ricks face when Ray tells his wife, Doris? Dolly? Whatever her name was, Ray telling her why she was being sodomized. And the abhorrence, the pure un-distilled repugnance she showed as stared at Rick, nearly made Gwen flinch back in revulsion. The woman’s face was unrecognizable. Just a special effect in a horror movie. Her eyes swollen shut, her cheeks abnormally sunken, her nose concealed behind coagulated black blood, her mouth shattered, lips plumped by fist, not Botox. Ray had punched her in the kidney’s, the back of her head, twisted the skin on the back of her arms, slapped her ass until it was bright red, squeezed her right breast until she screamed loud enough to wake the neighborhood, and bit her nipples until they bled. She suffered. She hated. But, not Ray. No. She never took her eyes off Rick. Her hate was palpable, it fogged the air around them. If looks could kill. Then, when Ray was done, she had to suffer again as she was made to watch her 16 year old daughter, Mary? Maisie? Matilda? Began with an M, she was sure of that, she had to watch her being violated. Ray was more gentle, and deep down, Gwen resented it. She wasn’t giving him any tonight. Not for a while. Not until the simmering anger went away. She wasn’t even sure if it even would go away. She’d have to take it day by day. Like a fucking alco.
     She wondered who would free themselves first, the husband, or wife. She knew it wouldn’t be the daughter, Marta? Martha? Gwen had been a wee bit aggressive when trussing her up. She had tightened the cable ties to the point of stopping blood flow to her hands. Hoping the little cunt will lose them. If wifey gets free first, will Rick survive? Which would win her over, her wrath, or her love for her daughter? If Rick gets free, will he run as far away as he can before he calls the police? Which would win over, his fear from a wife full of rage, or the love for his daughter? Interesting scenarios. She ran all of them through her mind, to help take away the thoughts of losing her love for Ray. She didn’t hate him, but she was starting to dislike him. She imagined tightening a cable tie on Ray’s cock. He sure enjoyed that tight pussy a bit too much.
     Ugh! Stop with the jealousy!
     They arrived at the trance club, could hear the booming drone of industrial noise, and yells of patrons. Ecstasy, pile driving music, and sweaty millennials make for quite a night.
     The BMW was still parked on the edge of the field way in the back of the parking lot. Above the booming noise, and screams of drugged out humans, Ray, and Gwen could hear the all too familiar Thump! Thump! Thump!
     “For Christ’s sake!” said an exasperated Gwen.
     Ray laughed. “Who listens to a woman?”
     Enraged, Gwen ran to the trunk, and began slamming her fist down on it. “Shut up! Shut up! I’m telling you, cocksucker, right now! I’m not in a good mood, so you better stop-!”
     “Babe. Honey. A few of the entranced have left their lair.”
     Gwen turned, and saw five young men staring. They were dressed in washed out tees, and bleached jeans, ragged, with torn holes near the knees, and crotches. Probably paid a hefty price for them.
     One of the boys, who looked so young, she wondered if he even had pubic hair yet, laughed shrilly, like a girl on helium. “Look, guys, lady’s so fucked up, she’s yelling at her car. Betcha she popped down one of Bernie’s concoctions. Hey! Lady! That’s a car! A car!”
     Gwen gave him the finger, hoping they’ll come over, hoping she’ll get a chance to spill some blood.
     All the unbearded just laughed, gave her the finger back, then piled into a Ford Tempo. Sped slowly into the night.
     Ray, and Gwen got back into the BMW. Ray started the car, said,
     “To the barn?”
     Gwen rummaged in her sparkly purple purse, brought out her nail file. Her eyes glittered.
     “Oh, yeah, darlin’. Now it’s my turn to play.”
     They drove off, within the speed limit, this time ignoring the continuous Thump! Thump! Thump!

 

 

 

David Is The Best/Worst Friend In The Whole Wide World

1

This is David. My invisible friend. He’s been my friend for like forever. He always looks out for me. He always protects me. He makes me stronger. He once held his arm over a lit candle, the flame inches from his pearly white skin, for 2 minutes, 32 seconds. I couldn’t even make it to 30 seconds. It hurt. And the smell of singed hair made my eyes water. Running the burn under a tap relieved the pain but as soon as I pulled my arm away, the pain came back. My arm was under the running water for a long, long time. I remember Mommy yelling at me. And Daddy scolding me, screaming about the water bill. David just glared at Mommy and Daddy, gave them both the evil eye. They didn’t survive long after that. David’s evil eye was really effective.

You can’t see him. He is quite possibly the most beautiful man in the whole wide world. Not that he looks like a model, or movie star, nothing like that. He’s flawless. He doesn’t have any spots, or wrinkles, or pockmarks, crinkles, his skin is really smooth, and velvety to touch. He is hairless. I know that because he is naked. He isn’t embarrassed, though sometimes I am, especially when I have someone over for dinner. Definitely makes me uncomfortable when I have a lady over. What can I do, though? He’s my friend. The greatest friend anyone can ever have. I can’t tell him to leave. He doesn’t bother anyone. unless they bother me. Then he gives them the evil eye. Then I’ll know I’ll never see them again. Works out quite well. Plus he doesn’t eat, or fart, or snore, or tell bad jokes, or laugh inappropriately. He’s perfect.

2

He tells me things about my neighbors. He knows a lot about them. For instance he told me the story of Mrs Hickson.

Mrs Hickson is a wonderful old lady who lives two doors down from me. Always pleasant, always courteous. She asked me once if I knew anything about drains since hers was clogged and was making an awful mess. David told me to say yes, and she invited me into her home. I had to take my shoes off at the door before I entered. She had a polished wood box just for shoes. It looked as if she just bought it straight out of the store. This way, she said, and please mind the clutter, this drain has gotten me all flustered. I searched around for something out of place, and all I could see was a couple of used tissues laying on her coffee table. I figured it must be bad since the mess had made her cry. She walked me through her living room which looked like one of those showrooms you see at home and garden shows. Pristine, dust free. Immaculate. I imagined this is what a house would look like in Heaven. Everything looked new, spotless. The couch was covered in plastic, as were the two high back recliners sitting in front of the fireplace. The mantle has many photos of Mrs Hickson with a man who I assumed was Mr Hickson. David told me he died two years ago from an aneurysm. They were childless. The largest photo was framed in gold. It was old. Black and white. Blurry. There was a huge man holding a little girl high upon his shoulders. The little girl was laughing, and the man had the biggest smile. Her father, David told me. Do you mind? asked Mrs Hickson. she held a pair of gloves in her already gloved hand. They were the type you see in hospitals. I must have looked perplexed because she said do you mind putting them on? its just that I have just scrubbed and waxed the banister and, well, do you mind? No, no, not at all Mrs Hickson. Glad to. Thank you she said, rather relieved.

We walked up the stairs, the thick white, and I mean white, carpet making our climbing quiet. Well, that and the fact that I was walking in my stocking feet. I didn’t hear a creak though. Not a sound. It was kind of eerie. We got to the bathroom. It gleamed. The bathtub was a thing to behold. The jolly green giant could fit in there. Here it is, said Mrs Hickson, pointing at the sink, a look of horror on her face. A couple of spots of black sludge lay around the drain of the sink. Can you do anything about that, she asked with a tremor in her voice. David told me to say yes, of course. You got any tools? David told me how to fix her drain, and I did everything precisely as he said. As soon as I was done, Mrs Hickson was already garbed up to attack the stain without prejudice. She had her rubber gloves, her spray bottles, her scrub pads, cloths, apron, mask. She looked as if she were about to go to war. Thank you she said, tears in her eyes. She fumbled about in her apron pocket, took out a fifty, tried to give it to me. No, no, no I said, I couldn’t, really, Mrs Hickson, it was an easy job. A plumber would have cost me a lot more, she said. Please, take it. She was quite firm, so I relented. As David and I left, my worn shoes looking filthy, unworthy, Mrs Hickson, broom in hand, methodically brushed away my footsteps.

OCD? I asked David. Yeah, he said. She was born in a small coal mining town in Kentucky, he told me, her father was a great big man with a hearty laugh, and a big heart. Dorthy Fitzburgh loved her daddy. He was the gentleness of souls. And he doted on Dot. She was his favorite of the six children he had with Francis, his wife. After a day in the mine, he would come home, try to shower and scrub away all the dust and grime off his skin. Then he would sit in his favorite chair, pop open a Schlitz, and take it all in in one big gulp. He’d sigh, burp, then open his arms, and Dot would jump up from wherever she was sitting and leap into his arms. They were strong, and protective, safe. How’s my girl bin t’day? He’d ask. And she’s tell him all about school, and what her brothers got up to, and all about the games she played with her friends, but he’d never get to hear all of it because he’d fall asleep, tired, exhausted after being in the mine all day. One night, when she was 7, David told me this in a stage whisper, she had gotten up to go to the outhouse to pee, and found her father sitting in his recliner, sobbing. She ran to him, forgetting all about her bladder, and kneeled next to him, trying hard to keep the tears springing up, and asked him what was wrong. He looked up with such despair. Oh, Dot, he said, oh my sweet little girl. Ahm feelin’ down, is all. Ah see this tiny little house, with it’s cracked windows, and stained ceilings, and lousy plumbing, rotting wood an ah just cannot stand it anymore. Ah wish ah could give y’all a better place to live, a better life, an education. Your’n Mama works hard trying to make this place look livable, and then ah come in all dusty and dirty messin’ it all up. And ah don’t make enough money to make things better. Ah work hard, Dot, but my paycheck don’t reflect that at all. It makes me ashamed, ah feel less of a man. Dot stood up, put her arms around her daddy’s neck and told him you are the greatest Daddy in the whole wide world. I don’t care about cracks and rot and damp. Who cares about all that when they’ve got nothin’ but love surrounding them. I love you, Daddy. I will always love you. Everyone loves you. He lifted Dot, hugged her and sobbed even harder. You, he said are the greatest daughter not in the whole wide world, but in the universe. The greatest ever. And ah am so blessed to have you as ma child. God has given me a gift that ah can never repay. I love you, Dot. always remember that. You are so special. He sat her on his lap, wiped his eyes. She could see that the tears had cleaned some of the grime off his face. It looked like a map showing rivers, and creeks. She stared at his face for a long time. Listen, he said, a catch in his throat. Listen, tell ya what. Help your Mama clean this place. She needs a lot of help getting all the dust out. Your brothers ain’t got a lick of sense when it comes to being clean, so that has to be your job. Keep it as clean as humanly possible. It’ll help me when ah come home full of coal dust. It’ll ease my sadness. ah’ll figure out somethin’ for the comin’ summer. Hook up a shower outside, get a laundry basket to put ma dirty clothes in. You just make sure Daddy has clean clothes. Can’t do it now, not with winter comin’, but when it starts warmin’ up. That way your Mama won’t be huffin’ and puffin’ and grumblin’ about all the dirt ah’m draggin’ into the house.

He smiled, but it was a sad smile. Whaddya say, Dot? She hugged him again. Smelt the sadness and despair. Promised, before God, that she would do it. Daddy? Yes, my baby girl? She kissed on the cheek. I gots to go. I have to pee. He laughed, kissed the top of her head. Well, go on. Watch out fer critters,tho’. Them skunks are around. Either that, or Mr Scrooge farted. Daddy! Playfully punched him in the arm, then ran, ran fast out the door. Mr Scrooge was the owner of the coal mines. a miserable human being married to a miserable wife, producing an even more miserable son.

On her eight birthday her father went deep down into the mine, and never came out. They never did find his body. The jolly green giant was gone and it tore his whole family apart. Dot especially. She vowed to get out of that town no matter what. And she did just that on her 16th birthday. Just up and went. Hitchhiked to Ohio, got a job in a grocery store, saved up money for a place to rent, and then she met Daryl Hickson. He was a regular customer at the IGA, and he always made sure he got in line when Dot was at the cash register. After a while he asked her out. To his surprise, and Dots, she said yes. They dated for a year, then one day he proposed. They were married for 49 years. She always remembered her Daddy, and she always made sure the house was clean for when Daryl got home from working at the steel mill. She scrubbed, and washed, and mopped, and polished, and it took her a whole day to get things right. After making love she would strip the bed, put new crisp clean sheets on. She did this three times one night. Made Daryl roar with laughter. Smacked her on her rump when she was changing the sheets. Oh, no, I’m going to have to change them again. And she’d turn around, hold him and kiss him.

That’s why she is the way she is, David said. And I felt sad for her, but happy too. For she did get out of that miserable little town

3

I do have a friend you can see. His name is Jeff. We’ve been friends for like since we were 7 years old. Jeff isn’t pretty. More rough. Face is pockmarked, nose is out of shape, chin is pointed, and he has a slight squint. Put him next to David and it’s like yin and yang. Complete opposites. Jeff doesn’t have an invisible friend and he sometimes make fun of me for having one. David will get angry and attempt the evil eye, but I tell David to stop because I don’t want Jeff to come to any harm. I mean everyone needs a visible friend. I tell David at night when we are alone that I need a visible friend otherwise I’d be alone. You have me, he’d say, you’ll always have me. I say hey, I know, but, no-one can see you and its not like I can go out for a bite to eat and have a conversation with you. It would look like I’m crazy or something. David relents, says he understands. Look, hey, look at me, I say, look, I’m 30 now. When I was a kid invisible friends were OK. Mommy and Daddy would play along pretending they can see you. Drink their invisible tea, eat their invisible cake. Daddy would fall down clutching his chest pretend to be dead from an invisible arrow. Those times were good until you gave them the evil eye.

They were just being parents, David. They were doing their job. Maybe if they’d had another child, maybe then they would have eased up. But, they couldn’t. I was always at the fertility clinic seems like for forever. And always, always, Mommy would come out of the doctors office crying and Daddy would have his arm around her shoulder, handing her tissues, trying to console her. We’ll keep trying, he’d say. we’ll keep trying. Didn’t help her. I’d hear them talking in their bedroom, whispering fiercely, trying not to raise their voices, arguing whose fault it was, she telling him her eggs were fine, him telling her had an overabundance of sperm. Both saying they should have a houseful of kids by now. I remember Daddy saying that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe Hugo, meaning me, was all they were supposed to have. They just didn’t know that you had something to do with their barrenness after I was born. You didn’t want me to have a brother or sister after I was born, after you came into my life. You were the first thing I remember, you were, not Mommy or Daddy. Their faces came after. That’s why they thought something was wrong with me when I was a baby. Thought I was autistic, or something. They told me, laughed about it actually, that it seemed I wasn’t there. That my personality was blank. That I never cried for food, or to be changed, or to be hugged and loved. That I never smiled or laughed. It scared them. I was taken to a lot of specialists and they couldn’t figure it out. Did all kind of tests and stuff. They even discussed about putting me away.  Then bam! One day I became a human being, not a blank state. That’s when you came along. Helped me through the process of having a sense of identity. They were so happy, so relieved.

 

I wonder how different my life would have turned out if I had a sibling. Would you have disappeared from my life? Would a brother or sister upset the apple cart? I ponder that just before I go to sleep. Not that I want you to go away or anything, I mean don’t take it personally. It’s just that, well, it’s just that you are always around. You are always by my side, an invisible shadow. It suffocates me sometimes. Especially around women. If you’d just go to another room while I’m trying to talk. If you’d just stop staring at the women as I attempt to put my arms around them. They can’t see you, but somehow, they sure can sense you. Stiffens them up, makes them very uncomfortable, which is why they don’t stay long, why they make excuses to leave, why I spend my nights alone. Oh, leave off, you know what I mean. I want a relationship. With a woman. Just a kiss. One kiss. That’s all. But no, I don’t even get that. You interfere. You screw everything up. You’re supposed to be my friend, so act like one. Leave me alone for a while. Let me see what that’s like. Let me be myself. Okay? Please?

4

Damn. That didn’t work out at all. I couldn’t move, couldn’t talk. I just sat there, saying nothing, doing nothing, just stared at the TV. Jenny put her arms around me. I didn’t react. She even put her lips on mine. Jesus, she screamed as she slammed the front door, it was like kissing a doll. I was a blank slate again. I was nothing. I didn’t exist. A flesh puppet without a master. I am not myself, am I? I am nothing without you. Truly nothing. I came around when you walked into the room. Do you know how frightened I was right then? To realize that I have no power of my own? That I am utterly powerless without you?

5

Jeff just showed up. It’s unnerving for he always calls ahead. Hey, Hugo, how’s things? He asks looking around the cluttered room, at last nights uneaten dinner for two, two nights of dirty dishes fighting for room in the sink, the stacks of broken pencils piled into a precarious pyramid on the coffee table. I really don’t remember doing that. I didn’t even know I had that many pencils in the house. Where is he? He asks. Beside me, I say. Oh, hey Dave how’s it hangin’? On my left, I explain. Oh, Dave, my man, what’s cookin’ bro? David hates being called Dave. And hates the way Jeff speaks to him. His eyes are getting dark. Why are you rubbing your chest? I ask Jeff. Oh, just some heartburn. Should’na had that Pepsi on the way here. Pop always gives me the burns. I turn to David. Don’t, I say forcefully. Yeah, Dave, don’t. It’s not me, Hugo. He really does have heartburn. I blush with embarrassment. Why are you here,Jeff? Need ya to come with me. It’s important. Where to? It’s a surprise, Hugo. Just for you. Davey boy ain’t invited. Don’t! I yell. Yeah, don’t! yells Jeff. What happened, he get up out of the wrong side of the bed this mornin’? You grumpy, Davey? I bow my head, shake it, please Jeff, I’m tired, too tired for surprises. Jeff comes right up to me, stands with his hands on his hips, then pushes the air to the left of me. David had already moved away. Jenny called me. Told me this godawful tale about you just sitting there like you were in a coma or something. She said you were a nice guy, but too weird for her. And Jenny’s been with some weirdo’s Hugo. For you to spook her like that? Jesus, that must’ve been one strange date. So, what happened? Huh? You want to tell me? I’m your best friend, remember? We’ve been friends for years, Hugo. Davster get all jealous? Freak out? Interfere? You can tell me all about it while we walk to my car. Dick, I mean Dave can do some housecleaning while we’re away. Is he able to do stuff like that? Can he enter the physical world, the real world? Can ya, Davey boy? There’s so much venom in Jeff’s voice. So much hate. He’s the one that’s jealous, says David. Wants you all to himself. But, tell me, who saved you from those boys who wanted to rob and beat you? Who took care of that horrible English teacher and his threat to give you an f? Who showed you the diseases that Harriet carried before you plucked up the courage to ask out on a date? Who took care of the mechanic that tried to rip you off? Jeff? No, Hugo, it was me. I will always look after you because I’m always with you. Jeff comes over when he damn well feels like it. And it’s been a while since he last came over. It’s been getting longer and longer. His wife thinks you’re weird, his kids think you’re weird, his other friends think you’re weird. He laughs when they make a joke about you. They tell sordid tales about us. Quite graphic, very detailed. Oh, if you ever heard them, you would explode, Hugo. Would you like that? Shall i tell one-no! I scream loudly. Shut up! Tears drip on the stained carpet and I absurdly think thank God Mrs Hickson can’t see that. She’d have a stroke. Jeff grabs my arm, tries to pull me up. C’mon, Hugo, we’re going. Let’s go. David whispers in my ear. He’s taking you to a shrink. He think your head needs examined. A shrink? A shrink? I ask incredulously. Jeff’s eyes widen and I see the truth. You think I’m mad? You think I’m insane? Is that it? No-now wait a minute, here, wait, Hugo, calm down, calm down, okay? I don’t know how- Jeff clutches his chest, falls back, crashing onto the coffee table, pieces of pencil flying everywhere. Jeff! Jeff! I get up, rush over to him, scared, unsure of what to do. His eyes are wide, and his face is turning blue. He coughs up bloody phlegm. CPR! CPR you fool! or call 911! Do something! Where’s my cell phone? Oh, hell, where did I put it? Compressions, never mind, do compressions! How many, oh, how many? I place my hands on his chest, his face is now almost black, like a miners. In my peripheral vision I notice David moving away from me. David! David! Please, help me! Talk me through this! I need to save him! David turns to me, smiles, walks into the bedroom, shuts the door. I turn my head toward Jeff, and become nothing. I watch the light go out of his eyes. I watch my visible friend die. My only friend die. The screaming in my head becomes louder, and louder, and louder, and invisible tears roll down my cheeks as I hear laughter coming from behind the bedroom door.

Assassin

Assassin,
by,
William Morgan

” I had my gun,see? As soon as I held that .38 special in my hands, I felt powerful. I felt like a man. I was gonna be all like Micheal Corleone in that restaurant. So, yeah, I went over to Bernies. He owed me money. A lot of money, but, I only wanted a little, not it all, just enough to get by. So, yeah, I went over there.’cept Bernie was dead. And, they just didn’t kill him, they fuckin’ destroyed him. There was hardly anything left of him. He was torn apart. They left his face intact, I guess so’s he could be recognized. But, the rest of him? Well, you saw him. Who could do that to another human being? I stared at him a long time, tryin to comprehend what I was looking at. It was horrendous, but, it was difficult to look away. Morbid curiosity, I expect.
And, yeah, ya got me. After the shock, I decided to look around some, see if I could find some money. I didn’t have a dime to my name, man. I needed to eat, y’know? So, I look all over the house. In the livin’ room, bedroom, bathroom, in his couch, in his cupboards, closets, fridge freezer, under carpets, under the mattress, pots, pans, every fuckin’ where. Then I step on this floorboard in the spare bedroom. It’s loose, and I’m like, oh, yes! So, I lift up the floorboard, and I find a strong box. I take it out, and, lets be honest, I was scared shitless. What if the killers come back? What if they were looking for the box I had in my hands? Every noise made me jump. I was like shittin’ bricks. So, I’m thinkin’, ok, get the fuck out. Take the box, go home, break it open.
And that’s what I did. Got a hammer and bashed the fuck out of that lock until it finally broke. I was sweatin’. Not used to workin’. I was pissed when I opened the box, cos there wasn’t any money in it, only videotapes. They were labelled alphabetically. Annabelle, Beth, Cassandra, Cathy, Christ he had about 40 tapes in there. So, I’m thinkin’, well, he’s been makin’ some home movies, maybe I can sell em, get a little bit. So, I pop the one labelled Cassandra in the VCR and play it. I wanted to see how good a quality the movie was.
Do you know what it’s like not to sleep? To be scared of closing your eyes because you know for a fact you’re gonna have a soul burning, horrifying, nightmare? That you’re gonna see Bernie, all ripped and torn, with his guts trailing on his bedroom floor, with his limbs moving unnaturally cos they’re hanging by tendons, his neck in a strange angle, grinning lasciviously as it climbs upon a 14 year old girl?
I never knew, never even suspected Bernie was a kiddie fucker. He just didn’t look the type. Bernie looked normal, y’know? I’m still tryin to process it, and I’ll never be able to understand. All those tapes, all those poor children. Jesus, and I can’t sleep, I can’t sleep. And, I’m tired, so fuckin tired, so scared of what lies behind my eyes when I close them.
But, I think I know what happened to Bernie. Revenge, that’s what that was. Fuckin ball to the wall, no holds barred vengengance. That’s why the face was left intact. Because his name had to get in the paper. A definite identity.
He was slaughtered, Detective Monahan, assassinated.”

Live! Live!

Why haven’t I run?
Why?
Why do i want to live?
Self preservation, survival, it’s strong, powerful, it takes over your mind. It takes over everything.
The things he’s made me do-and all because of that gun at my head. All because I don’t want to die.
And, I should die. I should. I run through all the things that makes me want to live longer. My girlfriend, Tina, who I was going to ask for her hand in marriage not three weeks ago, my Mother, Father, Brother, friends, co-workers.
All bullshit.
Tina will dump me in a heartbeat when she finds out that I’ve become a monster, my parents will probably disown me, my brother will just stop speaking to me, and my friends and co-workers will look at me with horror, and fear. I’ve crossed that line. I’ve become the boogieman, the thing under the bed, in the closet, stalking the neighborhood for a victim in my quest to quench my lust for blood.
I’ll be a pariah.
And, when I do die, as we all do, will God take that gun at my head into consideration?
“Yes, Patrick, I know your life was on the line. I know you didn’t enjoy the things he made you do, so you’re going to purgatory for a while to think upon what you did, and ask forgiveness, contemplate your actions.” Or will He say ” You are my child, and I am very disappointed in you. I would have taken care of you, but you had no faith. You should have taken the bullet. To Hell with you.”
I should run, take the bullet, end it all. Be a man, a human being, but, I can’t, so help me God, I can’t, I can’t. I want to live another day, another hour, another second.
And the child kneeling in front of me, crying for his Mommy, will not change that fact.

Darkness Envelopes Me

Impenetrable blackness envelopes me
My sight is pure, yet I cannot see
My heart is shadowed
My soul painted black
Immersed in darkness
Light I do lack
Depression commands me
Rage consumes me
Anger rules me
I am not in control
Like the song
The epileptic sings
Ah! Light!Come find me!
I eagerly await thy embrace!
I am lost!
I am lost!
Here in the darkness
Here in my living Hell
Here in my home
Where art thou Light?
Where art thou Love?
Where art thou Happiness?
Why hast thou forsaken me?
Find me fast
Find me Quick
Before the blood
Begins to shed

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