Robb T. White

Glory Hole Gourmands

Dragomir Ratko was probably the biggest unindicted war criminal from the Bosnian civil war of the nineties. His atrocities and personalized cruelty to prisoners were legendary, yet somehow the Hague’s criminal courts investigators were unable to put together a case against him as they were against that notorious baby-faced henchman of President Slobodan Miloŝević, known as “Arkan”; yet many who had fought in Arkan’s notorious “Tigers” militia reported Arkan was extremely impressed by his soldier and that, everyone agreed, took some doing for a man whose militia had slaughtered, raped, and looted throughout Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo.

One grainy video has survived; it shows a warehouse in a village somewhere in the Balkans. A group of militia soldiers with the “Tiger” shoulder patch are standing in a circle shouting and drinking. The camera lens moves between two men to zoom on two nude men on the cement floor. They are bound together in an obscene 69 position. It is clear the men are being encouraged to bite each other’s genitalia with their teeth. Booted kicks in their backs and gun barrels thrust against their heads make the shouted command clear. The action suddenly commences when one prisoner strains to bite at the flopping member of the man he is tied to. That bitten man’s mouth opens in what looks like an operatic, pear-shaped scream of pain. He retaliates. It is the other man’s turn to howl as his own penis is clamped in the teeth of the biter. As the victim jerks it free, a bloody flap of skin from his uncircumcised penis is caught in the biter’s teeth. Soon they are snapping like ferocious dogs at each other’s testicles and their faces are bloodied by the savagery of their ripping teeth. It is not known who the men are or what happened to them. It’s probable they were both dumped alive into the same shallow grave, still bound, and buried alive. A bullet to the head would have been too much mercy for these killers.

Ratko made his way across Europe and somehow entered the United States. As he had no record, he could get false papers through a network of Bulgarian criminals in Paris and immigrated to the United States. The clannish Russian mobs who run “Little Odessa,” or Brighton Beach, when it still belonged to Brooklyn, told him to move on and so he did.

Ratko had one other skill besides a sociopathic lust for murder: he was a fantastic cook. He started as a fry cook off Times Square and worked his way up over a decade until he made sous-chef for one of best restaurants on Riverside Drive. Known as Chef Thierry, he was famous for his creative sauces.

But Dragomir Ratko never lost his appetite for sadism. As he moved up the social scale and prospered financially and socially, he made contacts with a variety of people of influence in Manhattan.

One of his customers was a young independent filmmaker, Roger DuPré, who had won some award at the Tribeca a few years ago and was billed by critics as an “intellectual Quentin Tarantino.” He had heard rumors from some junior traders talking about him as Drago sat at the bar after his shift.  This filmmaker wore vintage eyeglasses like John Lennon and cultivated a popular, rough-edged image down to his ginger beard stubble. He was the scion of one of the Big Six publishing houses and had a sideline interest in making artsy films that the effete arthouse intelligentsia chatted over in their social media interactions and bloggings. They used phrases like “Euro-hip, anarchic insouciance,” and “bare-knuckled bravura” to one-up their esteem and prove how unshockable they were until a film critic for the Village Voice pointed out that DuPré’s films were barely a notch above the Tijuana blue films of the 1950’s—an actress on her knees wringing every last drop of sperm from a flaccid cockhead.

It took Drago three months to make the right approach, but he used his culinary skill to make the introduction easier. The filmmaker was flattered that the chef had made a special dish in his honor. The waiter asked Ratko to step into the dining room to meet the illustrious filmmaker, who had requested it. Drago knew the right approach as the filmmaker was surrounded by his usual crowd of millennial admirers, including the two anorectic women intellectuals flanking him at table. Ratko found the film on the internet from some art-house website and watched it; it was all gibberish in big English words concerning an artistic filmmaker trying nobly to keep his art untarnished by commercialism. Drago found it so numbing he had to down half a bottle of his favorite cognac to get through it. Typically boring, self-absorbed American shitheadedness, he thought. Those limp-wristed fawners wouldn’t know what to make of his films like the anal rape of Muslim virgins, who were sent back to their villages to be murdered in “honor” killings or shunned for life as filthy women? In the vicious world of the Bosnian Tigers, there were strong men and weak men, nothing else.

After the introductions, Drago mentioned a scene from that film, gushed over its “brooding atmosphere,” a phrase he had stolen from a different film critique.

Over the next few weeks, Drago cultivated that relationship until the filmmaker agreed to allow him to visit the set of his next film. Drago knew the luster of his Tribeca film was long faded and the filmmaker was supported by his family’s fortune.

Drago laid on the European mannerisms and thickened his accent for the stupid American females who comprised part of Roger’s circle.

That afternoon he was in the flat and inside the wet cunt of one named Liisa, while her girlfriend sucked his bag from behind. When he climaxed, he had them both in front of him on their knees so he could spurt jissom on their faces.

Ten days from that apartment rendezvous, he met Liisa again, alone, at his place. They dispensed with the wine and artsy-fartsy talk. He lowered his head to her cunt and began to nibble her clit. She lay back, exhausted and moaned for him to stop until she could get her breath.

“Now,” Drago said. “Tell me about Hummingbird.”

Hummingbird was Drago’s name for the director.

“He can’t fuck like you.”

“Never mind that,” Drago said. “What kinds of films does he make besides those shitty art films?”

By the time he had winkled out the warehouse where Hummingbird made his porn films, he threw her out of his place with a glassine bag of heroin. He wanted to do a quick recon despite the late hour.

The four-eyed director was a fraud. He made real porno films for a distributor. Not that he needed to but he apparently liked the cachet it gave him with the bohemian crowd. Liisa said she’d gone with him a few times to watch. Roger used actors hired through a sex-workers network, stoked the males with Viagra to keep them erect and the women coke to keep them compliant throughout the filming. Even here, he was a pretentious fraud. He had to pay his camera team union wages but everyone else was paid off the books.

“Here’s something else you don’t know about our rich-boy Hummingbird,” she said and splayed her legs so he could get the full benefit of her shaved snatch. “He’s always high when he makes these films. Meth, not just coke. He likes to have sex with the fluffers after filming.”

“What is a fluffer?”

“She’s there to keep the males hard for when they’re off camera.”

Six more weeks passed while Ratko worked as patiently as a trapdoor spider. First, he embarked on a campaign to make himself indispensable to Roger not only in the restaurant but on his free days when he and Roger went clubbing to the trendier Manhattan night spots. Ratko had used drugs throughout the long Sarajevo campaign, a six-year siege from ’92 to ’96. Amphetamines from Turkey, like the Captagon used by Daash soldiers in battlefields today, helped him fight off the cold winter nights and the hunger. He was thirty pounds lighter back then.

Dupré was a heroin user on occasion. Ratko obtained fentanyl-laced heroin with its kick and stronger addictive grip on the nervous system. Soon, he had Roger calling him at his apartment and then at work to get it. Always Ratko obliged and refused to take any money for it. He let Roger believe he was using it recreationally and suffered no side effects from it “other than a little sleeplessness.” The truth was that Drago Ratko had never needed more than four hours of sleep even as a child. He wasn’t wired like the average person; he could sleep and wake up at will.

The first time Roger brought him to one of his sleazy films was supposed to be a treat for Drago, and he remembered to act the part of a grateful and astonished acolyte to the great filmmaker at work. In fact, he’d filmed “breaking houses” in Bosnia and sent the films on to Arkan for his viewing pleasure. Before Arkan was shot in the eye from a machine pistol by an assassin working for the police, he was celebrating with his bodyguards at the Intercontinental Hotel in Belgrade; he had risen to become the biggest crime boss in the Balkans and Ratko had hoped to link his fate to the great Željko Ražnatović after the war.

Those who knew Roger Dupré from his days in Soho and the Village were astonished at the changes when they saw him. Thinner, eyes glazed, he mumbled, his head jerking up and down like a bobblehead doll.

Drago finally had keys to Roger’s warehouse, access to the camera equipment stored there, and was on a first-name basis with his crew, all of whom were by now sick of his dope-fueled behavior and tantrums on set. Drago decided to speed up the timetable of Roger’s demise; he felt he was ready to commence the final phase of his plan by then.

Roger’s funeral was a bizarre affair. A mix of fashionistas, highbrows, gay food-and-art critics, intellectuals alongside a ragtag bunch of druggies, rave, and nightclub hedonists—all of them cheek-by-jowl with Roger’s very snobby family and relatives at graveside in an upscale Connecticut cemetery. Ratko listened to the tripe of a minister waxing eloquent. Drago, however, played his part stoically and shook both parents’ hands and even patted the sobbing mother’s shoulder.

Good riddance to that pretentious fool, he thought. First, Drago had to find his customers and at ten thousand dollars a plate, that was going to take some time and some careful investigative work.

He started with street prostitutes and huffers willing to suck strange cock through a glory hole. Ratko recruited off the seedier side streets and bars in the Bowery. He dropped several hundred in casual encounters with single men drinking late in bars and street hustlers. One girl, whose nostril cavities were flecked with silver Day-Glo, turned out to have an extraordinary appetite for dick. Ratko made her clean up and fix her hair; once he showed her the money and gave her the instructions, she was a dynamo in action She took every cock instantly no matter the size, shape, or color—hard, semi-hard, or flaccid—and using her mouth with the skill of a concert flautist brought ten cocks to climax in forty-seven minutes. Ratko timed her.

In a week, he had the booth sound-proofed and designed to be worked with a simple pulley-lever system. The interior of the booth was all black with a single plastic chair in the center and a metal container, painted black, the size of a bread box in one corner. An infrared camera filmed the action. Three rectangular holes were cut out for the men to use; the fourth was basically a peephole for Ratko to observe and pull the lever at the right time.

The night-vision camcorder did the filming from an upper corner. The more expensive camera sat on its stabilizer a dozen feet from the glory hole. He had his monitor rigged to the CCTV lens. No one else was permitted on set. Ratko had made that clear to each one.

Ratko selected his first three men—single, loners, all heavy drinkers; they were told to come to the address at precise times an hour apart.

Liisa’s gag reflex tripped practicing on a banana. A ropy string of saliva drooled down her front over her breasts.

“Use your throat muscles more,” he said.

“I’m trying, Drago, I’m trying! Please don’t be mad. I’m hurting. I need some more,” she begged.

The first male arrived promptly and knocked the correct signal on the folding doors. Drago gave him a fifty-dollar bill and led him to the filming area which took advantage of the sloping floor drains.

His hired huffer girl appeared at his side. Once she did her job, she was told to exit and return at the next appointed time.

When the huffer pulled his droopy, uncircumcised cock free from his pants, he seemed startled.

“Come on, man,” Ratko chided, “you know what you’re here for.”

She gave the man’s cockhead a little kiss before getting up to leave. Ratko handed her a twenty and pointed to the exit. He gave the man a gentle shove in the direction of the boxlike booth and said, “Go inside. She’s in there waiting.”

The man, with his prick in front of him bobbing about, headed toward the glory hole where Liisa waved her hand through.

Ratko activated both cameras.

When Liisa felt the throbbing meat in her mouth about to spew, she was to withdraw, maintain a grip on the glans and pull toward her. The climaxing male would have no time to react.

The blades of large butcher’s knives were welded to the bottom edge of a piece of scrap metal from a junkyard in Queens weighing as much as a manhole cover. It would drop from its position fourteen inches above the aperture by means of a window-sash alignment with bars of pig iron to ensure the home-made guillotine fell with maximum force.

Ratko heard the big man slam his body to the booth wall as if he were trying to flatten himself to it. His scream was a yodel of oh-oh-oh’s. The sound of the blade slamming into its grooved slot at the bottom told Drago it worked to perfection.

The big man’s scream of pain and surprise was no yodel this time but a lung-filling bellow of pain and shock. He had both hands over his crotch while blood streamed between his fingers. He looked comical to Ratko who watched the man stumble backwards, his pants around his ankles, bent over to see the damage. The red hole where his penis had been spouted blood in a fountain. In contrast, the man’s face was leeched of all blood. He swayed, then toppled forward, a tree falling in the forest making no sound. Ratko had used corkboard for sound-proofing in this windowless room as well.

First, Ratko had to make sure everything inside was correct. Liisa, high on heroin before she entered, sat on her chair in the center of the darkened room like a naughty child in time out.

“Did I do OK, Drago?”

“Where the fuck is it?”

“I put it in the box of dry ice like you told me,” Liisa said.

“Stay there,” Ratko said. “I’ll check.”

He stepped over to it and saw it inside, wrapped in thick cellophane, and nestled between the chunks of dry ice.

“Did you drop it? Don’t lie to me. It’s on film,” Ratko growled at her.

“I’m sorry. It was so slippery,” Liisa said. “Look at my hands—all bloody. It kept slipping through my fingers. I tried—”

“Shut up!” Drago ordered her.

Ratko could imagine the stoned bitch trying to grasp it on the cement floor like some fishwife trying to pull an eel from a barrel.

“Clean up,” he ordered her. “The next one’s due”—he checked his watch—“in fifty minutes.”

“You promised me,” she whined.

That didn’t give Ratko much time, either. He had to disassemble the wall and get guillotine back in its position, saw through strap muscles and bone, which always looks easy in horror films, but takes skill and practice. That, too, was one of his specialties. The Mexican cartel sicoros could teach him nothing about beheading a dead body. He attached chains to the remainder of the corpse and dragged it off to the far end of the warehouse where he covered it with garbage bags. Disposal would come later. That, too, was arranged.

The big man’s neck was a red geyser by the time he finished. He had just eighteen minutes to hose down the floors and blast all the red water and debris into the corner scupper holes. The coppery scent of blood still lingered in the steamy air created by the high-pressure hose, but he had aerosol deodorizers for that.

The huffer was right on time. He told her where to stand.

Huffers, fluffers—American slang was like baby-talk, like their text-English. The language of imbeciles who never saw violence and think a cracked fingernail is a tragedy.

Number Two was about twenty-five, muscular, and tattooed. He seemed confident, even a touch arrogant. Ratko decided to let him play alpha male for the time being. He gave him two twenties and a ten, which the man tucked into his jeans without looking at the bills.

“Where’s it at, man?”

Drago pointed to the girl, and he said, “What’s she for?”

“She’ll get you hard first,” he told him. “I have pills if you want.”

“Fuck that shit, man.”

“OK, my friend,” Drago said. “See the hand waving at you? That’s where you go.”

The man unzipped himself and pulled his cock free from his Levi’s just before inserting it. Drago shrugged and paid off the huffer.

“You know when to return, right?”

“Two-fifty-five,” Drago corrected. “Be on time.”

Drago slowly moved to his position to watch and wait.

Liisa’s dope fix was interfering with her suck job inside. This could be trouble. The man’s well-endowed member kept slipping from between her lips. She seemed to have a hard time getting her hands around it to put it back in her mouth. The man’s gyrating hips from his side weren’t helping. He was trying to mouth-fuck her.

Ratko felt behind him in his belt for the Glock he kept there.

Ratko heard him protesting loudly: “Come on, bitch! Suck it! Gobble that cock!”

Liisa was half-gagging on the size, unable to get into a rhythm.

“Ow, you cunt! Watch the teeth! Watch the teeth!”

Ratko decided he’d have to make the call instead of wait for her. Just then, the man withdrew his erection from her. Ratko tensed, prepared to move fast, his gun already out.

Then the man reached through the hole and grabbed Liisa’s head by the hair and pulled her face into the hole.

“You’re going to suck this cock right, you fucking bitch, or I’ll shove it down your goddamn throat—”

Ratko had heard enough. He pulled the lever. The blade dropped with a rattling sound.

The man stepped back just as his predecessor had. “What the fuck,” he said. He said it two more times, calmly, not shouting.

“Where’s—where’s my dick. . .”

He was in a daze, barely able to comprehend what had just occurred.

Liisa’s fist thrust through the hole wagging his flopping penis.

“You. . . bitch. . . I’m. . . kill you—”

He sounded drunk. He staggered up to the hole. Unlike the first man, a single stream of bright blood spurted free. Liisa pulled her hand holding the detached cock back inside.

Christ, Drago thought, I could be making a stupid comedy here.

He stepped around the corner and shot the upright man in the face. He fell backward without taking a step as if he had stepped through a trap door. He lay on the cement, his legs, with his pants down to his knees, trying to curl up into his belly.

“You give me a lot of trouble, you asshole!” Ratko hissed down at him. He put two more bullets into his head that blew tiny puffs of his hair. The man stopped squirming.

Drago checked the monitor. Liisa’s expression was blank. She was back on automatic motor, swaying on her stool in a dope-fiend nod. The floor was dotted with smears and red comet tails of blood.

Drago worked fast and hard. The place was an abattoir. He was lathered in sweat by time he finished cleaning the room and washing the blood down the scuppers. He parked the tow motor, the floor steaming with water droplets and the air redolent of a slightly sweet smell penetrating the lavender scent of the deodorizer spray, when the huffer arrived, her own eyes glazed from a recent fix, utterly oblivious of the fact she was standing in an abattoir, not a film set, while she waited for the third payout of the day. Ratko broke her neck while she counted her bills.

The third male was the youngest of the three. Ratko chose him because he was a loner like the others and was a steady drinker of bourbon on the rocks. Ratko’s approach to him had been different from the others, less coarse, more of an opportunity to make a few bucks and get his rocks off while doing it. “That is,” Ratko added nonchalantly while sipping his own whisky sour, “if you’re not too busy that day.”

Three was the charm. Liisa performed to perfection. She yanked his hardon just as a strand of silver pre-cum oozed from the man’s boner, an unusually long, thin penis that Liisa managed to take all the way down for once. To Ratko looking at the monitor, it looked like a goose trying to swallow a turkey baster.

His head was a little harder to remove as the field dressing kit he used was bought at a Walmart on Long Island instead of one of the pricey Manhattan sporting goods stores.

Ratko was exhausted but happy. Everything had gone as planned.

Now he had to get ready for the second part, which would be suited for his other skill set.

Meal the next night was by personal invitation from Ratko only. No gilt-edged invitations: just a time, a location, and money up front. The guests were hand-picked from his roster of customers known for their wealth and very unusual culinary tastes.

Each of the three braised penises was served on wedges of crisp lettuce with a garnish of cranberries and sprigs of thyme. The sauce—Ratko’s specialty—was simple: oil and butter with a heavy whipping cream simmered for two minutes exactly. Moroccan spices and sweet dates added to the color and texture of the presentation. The guests knew they were being filmed (each was to receive a copy for a memento) and so they wore masks. A white linen sheet covered them during the meal for extra protection against any grease spatter much as diners of that bunting bird, the ortolan—those true gourmands—know to take the entire sautéed bird in their mouths, chew, and spit out the bird’s feet and bill onto the plate. It makes, they say, a most satisfying noise and conclusion to a wonderful dining experience.

After the coffee and pastries, Ratko shook the two men’s hands and lightly brushed the back of the woman’s hand with his lips, a continental gentleman, no less. Ratko walked them to the door. He knew they’d tell their select friends about this unique dining experience, and he’d have no end of diners begging him to take their money.

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