Elizabeth Bedlam

Tina & the Rasp

Tina hated the way she looked. It was always getting her in trouble. Her wide blue eyes. Bouncy flaxen hair. That perky, sharp nose. Those cupid bow lips, pink and ripe as a virgin cunt. She looked down, her chest was too big for her tiny frame. Her narrow hips. That thigh gap a man could easily slip his hand through and slide his fingers up into her….she scowled, thinking about it. 

“It’s over,” She told herself. On the side of the sink sat the steel foot rasp her mother used to remove the calluses from her feet. Tina exhaled, feeling she had to choose now, before they took away her choices. Before someone else made them for her. “Fucking do it, Tina,” She said to her reflection. 

Tina reached down for the instrument, but she didn’t take her eyes from the mirror. She wanted to remember how she looked before, so if any self doubt crept in later, she could assure herself she made the right choice. She’d remember before, she’d be thankful for after. Her fingers wrapped around the cold black plastic grip. It was lighter than she expected. A long rectangle board of raised stainless steel pyramids in the center. She’d watched her mother in the living room, filing away at the soles of her feet. Shredded dead skin peppering the floor, reminded Tina of grated parmesan falling over ziti. Sometimes Medusa would wander into the room and lick up the salty flakes from the carpet. 

“Oh, damn it! Tina, grab your dog! And you let that thing kiss your face? Ha-ha.” Her mother said, a cigarette clasped between her tight lips. Tina could still hear the dragging of steel biting skin. Back and forth for the entirety of the evening news. “Tina, vacuum this up, will ya? I need to go soak my feet. Thanks, baby.” She’d pat Tina’s shoulder as she passed. 

Her mother was working tonight. She wouldn’t be home till late. Tina didn’t have to rush, but she hadn’t been able to think of anything else since the idea came to her. It had occupied her mind for close to a month. What if she did it? What would happen? How would her friends react? Society in general? 

Tina remembered Rob’s weight on top of her, and her stomach muscles tightened. She’d thought about this ever since him. She wondered what he’d think about her after tonight. Maybe he’d finally stop bragging to his friends. Maybe they’d all stop smirking when she walked past, knowing what he’d done to her. And her not doing a damn thing but laying there and taking it.  

Whatever the reaction from Rob or whoever, it would be better than the one she got now. She was only seventeen and already she wanted to be old and fat. Being thin and beautiful was a curse. A joke. A gift she was ready to grind off and hand back in pieces.

“Fuck you, God. Take it back!” Tina said. She pulled the rasp across her one cheek, then the other. She examined the ragged red lines. Soon blood found its way through. It beaded and ran down in a slow, even fashion. 

The more Tina scraped, the easier the file glided over her skin. Her forehead, down the bridge of her nose. It hurt, she wouldn’t pretend it didn’t. But it was a pain steeped in pure satisfaction. 

“These. You’re nothing but trouble.” Tina mumbled, looking down at her chest. She pulled her shirt up and held it under her chin. Pulling her bra aside, she filed down her nipple. Soft, rosy skin opened easily and wept crimson after only a few drags of the rasp. She dropped her shirt and watched heavy red blooms form over each tit.

When the handle became slick, Tina dropped the file into the sink. Her vision was mottled. She felt her high wearing down. She turned to make her way to her room, but crumbled onto the cold tile floor. It felt good against the heat of her face. For a moment, she wished she’d filed her cunt as well. She began shaking, her body throbbing. She didn’t think she had the strength or the will to get herself up off the floor. 

Blood beaded on her eyelashes. Tina blinked and looked out the door into the hallway. She could see the light changing on the walls as the sun set. Medusa wandered in. Her evening walk was late. When Tina failed to stir, the dog began lapping up the cooling blood, the curled strips of skin that littered the floor like rain and fallen leaves. Tina listened to the sound of the dog’s wet tongue running over tiles, just beside the nub that was her ear. Medusa laid down next to the girl, content to wait. 

Soon it became dark. Tina fell asleep and for the first time in her life she liked the way she looked.

Judge Santiago Burdon

The Sinaloa Squeeze

“Are they shooting at us?” asks Johnny, behind the wheel.

“Of course they are!” I shout back at him. “How do you think the back window just shattered? Did you think it was them projecting bad vibrations our way? Damnit Rico, now what did you do?”

It had all been going so well. I knew it was too good to be true. We’d been contracted by El Jefe (The Boss) to collect the money owed to him by various traficantes. Drive around Sinaloa picking up debts and deliver the money back to him. That simple, nothing complicated or dangerous about it.

The easiest job ever, and Johnny throws dynamite into a fire.

Another bullet ricochets off our truck as we fly down the road, our pursuers close behind.

“Johnny, tell me what happened back there at the bar. You’re supposed to be watching my back, pinche guey! You hit on some cabrón’s girl again? Lose at pool and not pay the guy?”

“Desculpe me carnal (forgive me friend), they were trying to cheat me…”

“Ya, just like the time in Medellín, when you lost at poker and I wound up paying those fucking chulos for you. They were going to cut off your huevos and let you bleed to death, and all for a measly $75, you cheap bastard!”

Johnny’s voice quavers as he tries to speak, his eyes staying focused on the road.

“Digame que hiciste?” (Tell me what you did) I ask.

“Santi, please…”

Bullets whiz past us, one of them taking out my side mirror in the process.

“Shut the fuck up, Johnny! After all the years we’ve been together, you’re gonna lie to me? Mentrioso pedazo de mierda envuelo en piel!” (Liar, piece of shit wrapped in skin) How much do you owe those chulos? And tell me the truth, don’t make this any worse! Digame cuanto naco? (Tell me how much hillbilly)”

“I only lose two times! Then he say, give my money, cause all Colombianos are cheaters.”

“How much? I don’t need to hear your cuenta de hada.” (fairytale)

 “I think $100…”

“Okay, we turn around and go back. You’re going to pay those Mexicans what you owe them.”

“But Santi, I don’t have $100 to pay them.”

“Then how much do you have?”

“I only have like $60 on me…”

“What the hell, Rico! You’re betting with money you don’t have, and you’re betting on pool? This is long overdue, but let me tell you the ugly truth: you suck at pool. My dead grandmother could beat you with one arm and she went blind at fifty. That’s how terrible you are at playing pool!”

“Santi, it wasn’t my…”

“I’ll lend you $50 to pay those chulos. I just hope the owner didn’t call El Jefe and tell him what happened. The Cartel kills people for less than this.”

“And another thing you should might want to know, I didn’t pay for the beer or chicharrones either…”

“What the fuck were you thinking? You obviously weren’t thinking at all. Johnny, one of these days, you are going get me killed. I swear to something, I don’t know what, but I will come back and KILL YOU TWICE to make sure you never enter that Heaven you imagine exists! Now, turn around and head back before these Mexicans kill us.”

I look back to assess the damage to our truck, and that’s when I see them right behind us.

“Shit!”

Their truck rams ours, hard, from behind. Johnny swerves as we’re both tossed around the cab.

“Rico, we have to shake them!”

He slams on the brakes, cutting the wheel as he floors the gas and slams it into first. Somehow he manages to execute a perfect one-eighty turn, leaving those Mexicans in the dust.

“Maybe we should stop here and pay them,” Johnny suggests, “Then we no have to drive all the way back.”

“Ya sure, stop in the middle of nowhere and negotiate with some Sinaloa gangsters. Perfect, no witnesses, no protection. You with your antique .38 and me with my Glock that doesn’t even have a full clip. Might as well just ask them to kill us and steal El Jefe’s cash! Doesn’t matter we’d be dead, Jefe would find our bodies just to kill us both all over again. Now get back to the bar and step on it!”

We’ve still got a few kilometers left to go, and already the Mexicans are back on our tail. At least they’ve stopped shooting for now.

“I feel like there’s something you’re not telling me, Rico. Otherwise you’d never suggest such a dangerous meeting with these guys out in the middle of the desert. What aren’t you telling me, you crazy Columbian pendejo! I can’t get us out of this if I don’t know what we’re up against. Spit it out already!”

“I think maybe I hit a guy with poolstick in the head. He no get up, then I run when I see you outside. Everyone start yelling and coming after me.”

“Johnny, I didn’t see anyone chasing you!”

“Because I put broke stick in doors to stop them.”

“You think you may have hit someone, you don’t know? No, no, no, of course not! Rico, which muchacho did you hit? It wasn’t the guy in the black shirt and white cowboy hat, was it? Tell me it wasn’t him. Was his name Rafael?”

“I think maybe someone call him Rafa. Yes, he have white hat. You know who is him?”

“Johnny, that’s Miguel’s, the owner’s son. Dios mio, we’re in deep shit now, pinche guey! Floor it already and quit looking behind us. Rico, you’re paying to fix the glass and any bullet holes as well!”

“You don’t have insurance for truck when you rent it?”

“What insurance, cabrón? This isn’t a rental! This is Sebastian’s truck and he’s going to be pissed when he sees this.”

Meanwhile, the Mexicans have closed the distance between us, pulling up along the driver’s side. The guy in the passenger seat points an AK-47 out the window, screaming at us to pull over.

Johnny looks over at me, showing no fear in his eyes. We’d both prepared for this day since the very first run we’d ever done together. Even with a machine gun pointed at us, I can tell he’s about to do something drastic.

“Rico, don’t do it!”

Just as he’s about to swerve and try running them off the road, the truck falls back and resumes following us once again. 

“Johnny, we have to clear this up. If El Jefe gets wind of what went on here, it’ll be a bad, bad thing for both of us. I’ll do the talking and I won’t let anything happen to you. Tu eres mi carnal. (You’re my best friend) You trust me, don’t you?”

“Si, I trust you always, but I don’t trust these pendajos…”

Finally we make it back to the bar. Two police cars are parked out front. Now, you might imagine they’ve come to settle our little disturbance, but keep in mind that this is Mexico. The police enforce their own laws, protecting their interests and the interests of anyone willing to pay for their services. Most all of them are on someone’s payroll, usually whoever controls that area of the Cartel’s operations.

“Relax, Johnny, everything is going to be fine. There’s no reason to be nervous. Just whatever you do, don’t look as though you’re afraid.” 

I do my best to reassure him, even though I have no idea how I’m going to handle the situation myself.

Miguel is out front, talking with the cops. I direct Johnny to park nearby. The truck that had been following us pulls around the back of the place, most likely to hide their weapons from the authorities.

I instruct Johnny to stay in the truck and wait until I call for him. As I turn to pat him on the shoulder, I see his gun on the seat between his legs.

“Johnny, either put that away or shoot yourself with it right now. Do not under any circumstances start shooting! Do you understand me?”

He nods reluctantly, but as usual I’m not banking on his compliance.

I exit the truck and start walking toward the officers. The guys who had been following us appear at the bar’s entrance, glaring in our direction.

“Buenas officers,” I say, “me gustaría una oportunidad para explicar.” (I’d like a chance to explain)

“You have a lot of explaining to do, Santiago,” the first cop says, turning to me with a grin. “You forgot to pay your tab and you left before you could buy me lunch. I’m glad you come back. Now you can buy lunch for both me and Enrique.”

It just so happens to be Officer Ceasar Fonseca from La Tuna, El Jefe’s hometown, and a cousin of his as well. The other cop I also recognize, Enrique Gallardo from Guadalajara, whom I’d met on several occasions out on El Jefe’s ranch.

“What a pleasure to see you both again,” I say. “I’d be honored if you would join me for lunch. I’ll buy, of course.”

“Claro, Santiago,” Enrique says. “Gracias.”

“Miguel,” I say, turning to the bar’s owner. “I am so sorry about your son. I guess my friend and Rafael didn’t quite get along. I would appreciate a chance to make it up to him.”

“Who?” he asks, “that lazy bastard who hangs around all day drinking my beer and fucking the waitresses? He’s my girlfriend’s son, not mine. I don’t care what happens to him, but you will have to pay your friend’s tab.”

I peel him off a C-note and shake his hand. Everything settled.

“Hey Johnny,” I yell back to the truck. “Let’s have lunch!”

He flashes me a smile so wide, I’m not sure it will fit through the door.

Jonathan Woods

A Woman I’d Been Seeing

Helena, a woman I’ve been seeing off and on and who works over at the National Enquirer, texted me a picture of Jeff Bezos’s junk. You know, the one that’s been getting all the media attention. 

How had she come by it? Was it just floating around the office for all and sundry to consult? Like the Oracle of Delphi? Or did she have a special inside connection to the top brass among whom iPhone snaps of famous dicks suitable for blackmail would have limited circulation? 

When the image arrived in my inbox, I glanced at it. Read Helena’s comment: “This is it! J.B.’s junk. Totally awesome, yes!?”

It looked pretty nebbish to me.

But the full frontal issue for me was its provenance. Was it really his? Or a clever forgery?

I mean, the junk in the .jpg from Helena wasn’t tattooed with the name Bezos or even his initials. And no chain of custody had been established, like the cops are required to have for admissible evidence. (I’m a big Law & Order fan.) 

All I had was Helena’s word for its authenticity and she definitely didn’t score 100% on the truth-o-meter. More like 67%.

There was the time when she said she had a stomach bug and needed to stay home close to the ceramic bus. That night I spotted her in Veselka’s with some guy in a suit. They were eating stuffed cabbage and laughing at 1:00 a.m. I didn’t call her for a week. Then there was the weekend she went to Cleveland because her mother was ill. It was February. Nobody goes to Cleveland in February. I later found out she went to Miami (probably with the same guy). I discovered the airline ticket stub in her apartment—interleaved as a bookmark in Portnoy’s Complaint.

That Helena said it was Jeff’s junk meant diddly-squat. It could have been anybody’s.

Then it occurred to me: How many peckers had Helena been involved with in her 28 years? Five? Fifteen? A hundred? It’s a subject we never discussed. And, frankly, I didn’t want to discuss it now. What if she turned out to be the female equivalent of Georges Simenon? 

Jealousy swept over me like a riptide, carrying me out to deep waters. I was sure the .jpg prick belonged to the guy in the suit.

As it was mid-November and sleeting, I put on my tweed overcoat, my gray Bogart-style Borsalino and a scarf. In my pocket rested the snub-nosed .38 my roommate had asked me to keep while he went to prison for armed robbery. 

I took a cab to 2nd Avenue. 

It was my lucky night. There he was, the suit guy, sitting at a table in Veselka’s. But not with Helena. A skinny blonde faced him—scoop-neck T-shirt, no bra. She looked cold. They were both eating borscht with sour cream and drinking beer.

I took a seat at the counter, ordered a decaf tea and waited.

Soon enough he went to the men’s room. I decided not to approach the blonde and show her the pic. “Is this his?” It would have been too weird. Instead I followed him. 

He was standing at the urinal, junk in hand, mind somewhere. I stepped up behind him, jammed the snub nose of the .38 into his ear. He blanched. 

“Show me your pecker,” I said.

The one in the .jpg Helena sent? It wasn’t his.

I clubbed him on the side of the head anyway. He slumped floorward. I fled.

Later that night the truth hit me. 

Helena was sleeping with J.B.! What a shag hag (!), as my Brit friends would say. 

I read in the Times he was coming to NYC about the new Amazon HQ. According to the paparazzi and glam gossip sites, he always stayed at the St. Regis. 

Then Amazon dumped its New York plans. But that didn’t mean J.B. wouldn’t come to NYC. To catch a Broadway show. Mayhap to boink Helena!

* * *

Every day, like Elisha Cook, Jr. in The Maltese Falcon, I sit in the lobby of the St. Regis, hidden behind my copy of the Daily News, the .38 in my pocket, waiting.

But my patience is wearing thin. If he doesn’t show soon, more than likely I’ll have to shoot Helena instead.

Joe Surkiewicz

Rocky Raccoon

Melvin steered down the aisle between the barbecue grills, folding lawn chairs and stacks of white Styrofoam coolers, leaning precariously to counterbalance the raccoon clinging to his side. 

It was one of those big drug stores with ready-made furniture, groceries and a seasonal section in the center overflowing with lawn and patio items.

Melvin was undersized for ten years old. He was also barefoot, with his tattered jeans rolled up around his ankles. His T-shirt was ripped and faded, shades of Huck Finn.

“Look at that kid,” said a man to his wife. They were inspecting a stainless steel, four-burner liquid propane grill. “Goddamn, he’s got a raccoon.”

The raccoon, nearly a third Melvin’s size, stretched out, nose extended, eager for a handout.

Melvin stopped to inspect a display of outdoor fire pits. A crowd gathered.

“Is he tame?”

“Sort of.”

“Does he bite?”

“Just don’t get between him and a morsel.”

“What’s his name?”

“Rocky.”

The front cashier, a plump middle-aged woman who had stepped away from the front register to see what all the commotion was about, said, “It’s got a mask just like a bandit.”

The front door opened, ding-a-ling, and Lizzie walked in, fourteen going on twenty, only it didn’t show because of her loose dungarees and oversized Baltimore Colts football jersey emblazoned with “19,” her hair tied back with a red bandana.

Ka-ching and she emptied the front register of all its bills and three rolls of quarters. She slipped into the storeroom behind the front counter where the lady employees put their purses.

“What’s he eat?”

“Anything. Everything. But he’s partial to grapes and frogs.”

That got a laugh.

“Where’d you get him?”

“In the woods.”

A man with a tie and a pocket protector filled with pens squatted next to Melvin. “Son, can I help you find something?”

“A quart of Pennzoil 5W-30.”

“We carry Quaker State.”

Melvin said, “Daddy told me to accept no substitute.” 

“Try Cook’s Hardware on Main,” the man said.

Back at the trailer, Lizzie spread the take on the fold-down dining table—$371 in cash, a prescription container half-filled with Quaaludes, a baggie of weed, and seven cartons of Marlboros.

“We ought to do a supermarket next,” Melvin said.

Lizzie said, “Naw, they’d throw you straight out. They only allow seeing-eye dogs. And sure as shit someone would call social services.”

The next day was a mixed bag. Melvin was tossed out of ValuCity by a gray-haired lady manager screaming about vermin and health regulations. They had better luck at the auto supply store, but the take was less than a hundred dollars.

Lizzie decided to give Rocky a rest the following day and boost over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics. 

Melvin took the lunch his sister had made for him—a baloney-on-white-bread sandwich with lots of yellow mustard, a twin-pack of Twinkies, and a can of warm Coke—and tried his luck fishing in the stream behind the trailer.

He got back around four with three perch and a good-sized catfish. The trailer was a mess—all tore up, upholstery ripped to shreds, gnawed paper on the floor, shit everywhere. 

No Rocky.

Lizzie stood at the stove, frying up dinner.

“That raccoon went ape shit while we was gone,” she said, her back to Melvin. “Here’s your food.”

She slammed the plates on the table. “He tore up my clothes and shit on my underwear,” Lizzie said. “And he got into the ‘Ludes.”

Melvin poked at his plate with a fork. “Chicken again?”

“We need a new raccoon.”

Ben Newell

Sick Joke

Corn or peanuts, he mused. 

Perry had told the joke both ways.  Audience response had been the same for each version.  Laughter, lots of laughter.  And that was all that mattered.  Laughter was everything.  Hell, it was the only thing.  

As a standup comic, Perry lived for it.  Of course he wasn’t a professional.  Not yet, anyway.  But it would happen.  

Perry was a crowd favorite on the open mic circuit.  It was just a matter of time before he was discovered.  He was that good, a legitimate talent.    

“Peanuts,” he muttered to himself.  “She looks like a peanuts kind of gal.” 

Perry bolstered himself with a hefty swig of scotch and went in for the kill.  The smoking hot redhead sat at the end of the bar.  He had to have her.  She’d be the perfect ending to a stellar night, the luscious cherry on his sundae.  Two hours ago, in this very bar, Perry had performed the best set of his life.  His timing had been perfect.  The crowd had been hysterical, inflating Perry’s ego to gargantuan proportions; add four drinks to the mix and he felt downright omnipotent.  

Perry claimed the stool beside her.  The redhead looked at him and smiled.  Perry leaned in close.  Do it, he thought.  Knock her dead . . .   

“Baby,” he said, “you’re so hot I would eat the peanuts from your shit.” 

She didn’t laugh.  Perry sat there with bated breath.  Seconds of silence seemed like minutes.  Finally the redhead responded.  She placed her hand on his thigh and gave it a tantalizing squeeze.  Then she pressed her lips to his ear.  

“Your place,” she whispered, “or mine . . .” 

***

Perry took a piss, washed his hands, and splashed cool water on his face.  Her name was Emma and she was a slob.  Wet towels on the bathroom floor, an overflowing wastebasket beside the toilet, a sink which looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months.  

He hoped Emma’s housekeeping habits were no indication of her performance in the sack.  If so, he was in for a lackluster experience.  

“Cut it out, Perry.”  He regarded his reflection in the medicine chest mirror.  “Think positive, man.  You’re riding a hot streak.  Tonight’s your night . . .”

He straightened his hair, winked at himself, and opened the door.  

The stench punched him in the face.  Her bedroom smelled like shit, literally.  

“What the hell—”

“I hope you’re hungry.” 

Perry looked at the center of her unmade bed.  She had taken a dump in a cereal bowl, a shockingly massive dump for such a slender young woman.  

“Dig in.”  

Perry was speechless. 

“Go ahead,” Emma said.  “Eat.” 

“Look, baby, I’m not into that sort of thing.  Perry doesn’t get off on poop.  Sorry, but you can count me out . . .”

He started to leave.  Emma reached into her nightstand drawer and produced a handgun.  “You’re not going anywhere.” 

Perry froze.  

“I’m not fucking around,” she said. 

The color drained from his face.  His balls shriveled.  This was no elaborate prank.  Emma was truly deranged.  The bitch was bat shit crazy.

She cocked the hammer. 

***

Perry held the first morsel between his thumb and forefinger; he gagged, eyeing it with much disgust.  

“I can’t eat these.” 

“Why?”

“You shat pine nuts,” he said, “not peanuts.  I’m allergic to pine nuts.  These damned things will kill me.” 

“So will these bullets,” Emma said.  “Now eat.” 

Perry consumed every last one.  Emma drove him to the hospital, left his ass at the emergency room door, then sped home.  Perry pulled through.  He told the young doctor that a waiter fucked up his order.  The truth was far too humiliating.  

And he never used that pickup line again.

Judge Santiago Burdon

Venus Envy

When I lived in New Orleans a long while ago, my dame de mois at the time, Simone, gave me a Ledbury dress shirt for my birthday. It was magenta with the inside collar and cuffs in a subtle eggshell hue. I was excited to try it on and model it for her.

The process of opening a new dress shirt is tedious. I have always been curious as to why they use so many straight pins in new shirts. I began pulling out the pins and putting them in a nearby empty beer can.

“Wait, don’t throw them away!” she screamed. “Give them to me, I save straight pins!”

“Why the hell would you want to save all these pins?” I inquired.

“I use them on my voodoo dolls,” she said, smiling in a scary sort of way.

“What the hell are you talking about? Are you telling me you’re a witch?”

“I don’t particularly care for ‘witch’. I’d prefer the term ‘wiccan’, as this would describe me much better. ‘Witch’ has had many connotations popularized by books, movies, and music. Most often we are portrayed as evil or wicked in some way, which is usually not the case.”

“So you practice magic, like casting spells and mixing up potions and stuff like that?”

“Well, yes, but it isn’t sinister like you’re making it sound. Are you familiar with the Wicca religion and its practices?”

“Somewhat, but I’m not as knowledgeable as I’d like to be.”

“We aren’t evil or Satan worshipers. I’m a good witch, not a bad witch, celebrating nature as well as the moon and planets.”

“I appreciate your attempt to comfort me, but the good witch / bad witch reference doesn’t really help. It only reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. That damn movie caused me a great amount of anguish as a child, I’ll have you know. Witches, those damn flying monkeys and all those dwarfs, midgets or little people, whatever is the politically correct name for them, they all really freaked me out. My mother made us watch it every Thanksgiving back home in Chicago, and that song “Over the Rainbow” still sends me into panics whenever I hear it being sung by Judy Temple.”

“No Santi, it’s Judy Garland who sang it, not Shirley Temple. You mixed them together.”

“See what I mean? A perfect example of how even just talking about it causes me distress.”

It was the first and only time I wore that shirt.

I don’t believe in witchcraft, God, ghosts, angels, astrology, ESP, tarot, numerology, palmistry or mediums, werewolves, vampires or any of that pseudo-science garbage. I haven’t made a decision on whether or not Bigfoot exists, however. If so, he is the hide-and-seek champion of the world. Still, I experienced some things in my time with Simone, for which I have no logical explanation.

I’d met her at a gathering to celebrate the movie premiere for Interview With The Vampire. I was excited at the opportunity to meet the famous novelist, Anne Rice. She even autographed my copy of the book, which of course I lost long ago. I’d been invited to the gala event by Richard DuBois, a an college roommate from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, who was now a Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University. It was the perfect subject for him to be teaching, the reason being he was always so full of bullshit. And that’s exactly what I consider most philosophy to be.

I got drawn into a conversation with a group of people discussing vampires and other supernatural beings when the subject of witches and Marie Laveau, the most famous witch of New Orleans came up. New Orleans is known for its large population of practicing witches, with witchcraft as a registered religion in Louisiana.

I mentioned Nietzsche’s book, Beyond Good and Evil, and his quote in reference to witches: “Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was nonexistent. It is thus with all guilt.”

No sooner had I finished speaking, there she stood before me, as if materializing from the shadow of a nearby magnolia tree. She was an absolute vision of beauty in the moonlight, with facial features that were hauntingly familiar. She reminded me of someone I’d once knew, but I couldn’t recall who or from where.

“Good evening,” I said, introducing myself. “Have we met before? You look strikingly familiar to me.”

“Hello Santiago. I’m Simonetta, Simone for short. I don’t believe we’ve met but it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“I apologize for being so forward, and this isn’t a pickup line, but I have a strong feeling as though we already know each other, and if we don’t, we should should do something to remedy that.”

“I hope it’s not a pickup line,” she laughed, “because it isn’t very clever and lacks originality. But I do enjoy making new friends.”

“Wonderful,” I said. “I don’t bite, well, not immediately anyway.”

We strolled about the garden in the moonlight, immersed in intimate conversation which felt strangely comfortable even though we had just met. Simone knew things about me I had rarely shared with anyone. I found the insightful knowledge she revealed about me astounding. My turbulent childhood, my failed marriage and incredible children, my work and the dangers involved. She even knew I was a musician and that I played both guitar and piano. It had felt as though she was reading my soul.

When we finally returned to the reception hall, we discovered most of the other guests had already left. Apparently our little stroll had consumed close to two full hours. Seeing as how there wasn’t anyone else left to mingle with, we took a moment to admire a few of the paintings which hung throughout the hall before parting company for the evening.

“Do you enjoy art, Santiago?” she asked.

“Yes, with a passion. I’ve gone to a many gallery openings and visited art museums in quite a few different countries. The Louvre in Paris, The National Gallery in London, and of course the Art Institute in Chicago, but my all-time favorite would have to be the Uffizi in Florence. Hey, wait a sec,” I continued, “I think I’ve finally got it! I know why you seem so familiar to me. Do you know anything about the artist Botticelli?”

“As a matter of fact, I know that he painted the “Birth of Venus” and he was Italian.”

“You’re exactly correct. Did you know he used the same model for most of his paintings? “The Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus” are among his most popular works of art. They both hang in the Uffizi, actually. And do you know what is incredibly strange? The model he used in both of those paintings was named Simonetta as well. It’s as though you were her twin. You’re absolutely a work of art, a true angel without wings.”

“Now that’s a great pickup line. You’re getting much better.”

“If I may ask, just exactly how old are you?”

“Sometimes I feel like I’m older than time itself…”

Simone possessed a celestial, angelic air about her, drawing me to her as though I were bewitched. There was a power in her eyes, and when I gazed into them, it was as though she had cast a spell over me. I’d drift off to a place where the night comes to rest and the stars go down to dream.

I should’ve had some idea of her association with witchcraft by then already, now that I think about it. There’d been numerous clues I just hadn’t picked up on at the time.

She’d been born on the Spring Equinox, celebrating both her birthday and the change of season. The practice of worshipping the cycles of the moon, the change of seasons, and basically all of nature is an important part of Wicca.

We visited Audubon Park together often, where I’d been impressed by her knowledge of all the plants. She knew the Latin name for every tree and flower. She had a large herb garden in her yard and worked part time at a local herb shop. She knew the healing power of each and every herb as well as what malady it cured. She prescribed licorice root for my asthma and heartburn, but I’m not sure if it actually helped, because I am a horrible patient. Never obeying orders, I’d usually opt for scotch, marijuana, or cocaine as my medicine, in addition to other recreational drugs as well.

Still, we did enjoy a wonderful relationship in general. The sex alone was fantastic, like a mystical experience, our souls wrapped together as one at many times.

There was this one time we’d attended a “handfast ceremony” with some of the people in her coven, which actually turned out to be a wedding ceremony. Not thinking much of it, I expressed my surprise to her later, but I seemed to have offended her in some way.

“Santi,” she said, “I thought you were aware of and accepted my practice and beliefs. You were always so willing to participate in celebrations and ceremonies, I just assumed you knew what was going on. You never questioned or commented and didn’t raise any objections. This doesn’t cause you to rethink us being together, does it?”

“Hang on,” I replied. “The reason why I never questioned anything was quite possibly because I didn’t want to know. I just felt like we were always having such a good time, sharing these experiences together. You just always seemed so happy, and so I went along with it.”

“Do you still love me?” she suddenly demanded to know. “Do you?”

To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t quite remember whether I’d ever actually said that I loved her before. Damn, I sure hoped we hadn’t exchanged the dreaded L word already… Everything always seems to deteriorate in a relationship after that.

“Simone,” I said, “you are everything and more than I ever experienced in a lover, and I have never felt the way I do about you with anyone else in my entire life. Often have I wondered if I were under some spell, or the influence of a potion of some kind. But the truth is, what I’m really trying to say, is that I just don’t believe in witchcraft.”

Things were never quite the same between us after that.

A month later, I received a call from my old business partner in Costa Rica, offering me an enormous sum of cash for assisting in a small drug smuggling expedition. It seemed like a bad idea, so naturally I accepted his invitation. Just one last job, I always told myself.

I decided to move from New Orleans to Costa Rica in a week’s time, and told Simone of my plans.

“A week!” she cried with excitement. “I’m not sure I can be ready in that short amount of time… There’s a lot I’ll need to take care of first.”

“It’s okay,” I said somewhat sheepishly. “I wasn’t planning on taking you with me.”

The look on her face told me everything I needed to know about her assumptions to the contrary.

“Santi, you insensitive bastard!”

She stomped out of my apartment, slamming the door behind her before opening and slamming it again.

“Fuck you, Santiago! FUCK YOU SO HARD. I hope you get Dengue or Malaria or some shit!”

Of course, my main reason for not taking her with me was simply the danger involved. If I were to get killed or busted, it would have been a tragic episode for her, after all. And maybe I didn’t love her, perhaps I never had, but I felt a great deal for her just the same.

Five years prior, I’d gotten busted in Colombia and served almost three years in prison as a result. I’d been in a relationship with another wonderful woman at the time, who’d said she would wait for me. But I wouldn’t have burdened anyone with that back then, and I certainly wouldn’t do it now.

I’d tried to explain to Simone why our relationship should be temporarily put on hold, but I was never even given the chance. She’d stopped taking my calls after the night we’d fought. And ever since then, I’ve always regretted my decision to leave my witchy Venus behind. It was clear I had broken her heart.

Anyway, I did wind up contracting Dengue about eight months later, spending a week in the hospital as a result. Now and then, I still feel sharp stabbing pains, especially in my groin area. Even a doctor’s exam couldn’t determine what was causing them, but I had my own suspicions as to their source.

Only trouble was, like I said, I just don’t believe in witchcraft.

Elizabeth Bedlam

BackGash!

Bebe Blood was one of the most unwashed and offensive women anyone had ever met. Yet she was insanely popular, respected, and feared throughout the local underground music scene. Often she was hailed as a genius of performance art by reviewers and journalists of all backgrounds. Her critics knew better than to say anything to the contrary. 

She sang for the hardcore band BackGash! and was as violent as any male in the scene. Maybe that was what she was railing against. No one was really sure what her message was as she never gave a straight answer.

“Are you a feminist?” Asked one music journalist from a cable network. 

“Fuck no. Fuck that! What’s that, really?” Bebe Blood laughed. “Feminists believe in equality among the sexes. If anything women should get more than men for all the shit we’ve had to put up with since the dawn of goddamn time! We’re God and the Devil all wrapped up in a uterus. Men should fucking worship any cunt they come across. They should be fucking grateful we give them time of day!” She’d bark, taking a hit from her cigarette. “We don’t fucking need them. They’re lucky we keep them around. Assholes.” Then Bebe would just get up and walk away leaving Anne, the bass player, struggling to clarify any further questions. 

All this attitude and Bebe was a completely unattractive young woman, by society’s standards anyway. No one outside the scene got it. She had burns and scars from fights in the clubs and self-mutilation. Amateur tattoos scrawled across her body. She was short and weighed maybe ninety-pounds. She had no tits and no ass and was barely female except for her cunt. 

She used to have long unkempt black hair until a journalist made the mistake of calling her sexy. “How sexy am I now, dickface?” She laughed as she forced her drummer, Dawn, to shave her head in the alley behind a club in Detroit. If left to her own devices she’d shave her head with a razor blade and be a bloody mess when it was all over. 

Bebe wrote all the music and lyrics for BackGash! Journalists always wanted to talk to her about it, which she hated. “Figure out the meaning for yourselves, sheep. BAAA! BAAA!” 

“But Bebe what about your fans? They want to know. Don’t you owe it to them?” 

“I don’t owe shit to anyone. I want people to think for themselves, not follow what I have to say. Why are you even talking to me? Who cares? I’m no one!”

“What about the song Shit Day? Is that about having a bad day? Many people can relate to that.” The journalist would wait as Bebe took a drink of whiskey and leaned back in her chair. 

“What did I just fucking say? This interview is over!” She’d rip off the mike and trash the set before storming out. 

This left the journalist with an awkward smile, “and our next video is from…”

Bebe would go for weeks without showering, and the van would smell like sex and violence by the time the tour was over with. The rest of her bandmates would beg her to please change her clothes, to which she’d respond by stripping off everything and running down the street nude. 

Bebe had a long record of arrests and assaults. Everything from lewd public acts, larceny, to straight out manslaughter. Of course, she was so tiny and female, no judge took these charges seriously. She spent a couple of months inside after she stabbed a guy on video. 

Bebe was in front of a crowd ranting about the government, sex slaves, and suicide when a guy screamed, “I love you!” Bebe narrowed her eyes and tossed her notebook aside. 

“Come up here and say that. I dare you, cocksucker.” She growled. The man, if he had known better, would have just left. Instead, he was young and stupid with safety pins in his expensive leather jacket. “Pretender!” Bebe screamed and jumped on his back, bashing his head into a wall. 

He tried to fight back but was taken by surprise. When he finally ripped Bebe off, she pulled out a Stanley knife and jabbed him in the guts. The crowd watched with a mixed reaction of horror and fascination as this tiny woman took on a two-hundred-pound man. The man still writes Bebe fan mail. “Thanks for the scar! Your Follower, a true believer, Mark.”

All this before she was eighteen. By the time Bebe Blood was of age, all men in the hardcore scene were terrified of her. No one would tour with her band because she got into too many fights, and the cops were always called to shut everything down. 

Bebe was arrested one night in a club just outside Tucson for animal mutilation. Someone had brought a turkey to a show. Bebe kicked it back into the audience, who promptly ripped it apart. “You fucking animals!” She screamed holding up the mangled remains that had made it back up on stage. That became their best selling shirt, a silhouette of her strangling a turkey head, screaming, “Fucking animals!” Animal mutation increased in the area tenfold after that. Bebe was added to the blacklist of every animal rights organization. 

“No. I never killed no fucking birds,” Bebe spat when asked about it. 

“But you were arrested.” 

“What the hell does that mean? Pigs will arrest you for anything. Women used to get arrested for wearing a bathing suit. You can get arrested for being the wrong color in the wrong fucking neighborhood. What do you think about that? Arrested don’t mean shit! Fuck America!” 

White nationalists loved her, despite her violent opposition to them.  “Are you a nazi?” One reporter asked. Bebe threatened him and his mother before attempting to light their van on fire. 

Bebe was half Roma and half Native American so she had cause to hate every white man with every fiber of her being. Truthfully she just hated people in general, she didn’t believe in discriminating. 

Bebe had a personal style going on called “trash can” where she wore whatever was handed to her or she found on the street. This included oversized clothing, children’s clothing, rags, homemade attire, antique moth-eaten dresses, used lingerie, plastic wrappers, the list went on. If it had cum or old food on it all the better. If it had been worn by a corpse, better still. 

While there was a very strict straight-edge scene going on, Bebe railed against that too. She drank anything, even if it was laced with drugs. She snorted, smoked, drank, or shot any chemical substance within reach. It was impossible for her to become a junkie addict as she was just too defiant and mean. “Bebe I need a hit,” a concubine follower said to her once. She kicked the shit out of him and sent him packing. 

“Weak!” She screamed at him on his way out the door. Bebe didn’t have time to mess around; she had a message of anarchy and anger to release upon the world. All she cared about was writing and working, upsetting the mainstream, fucking up the system, fighting.

 When it was over she’d kill herself by jumping into a pool of wet cement. Of course, she wouldn’t tell anyone where or when or if this would happen, so she’d be forever entombed in a foundation, unbeknownst to the tenants of the building. It was her ultimate fuck you to the rich elite who bought up her old neighborhood downtown and turned it from businesses and working-class families, into overpriced condos and strangers. 

As the city became expensive and conformist Bebe had to get out of there. Everywhere she turned a coffee shop-bookstore combo was opening.  Record stores and underground shit hole clubs were closing. “Am I in fucking hell?” She shook her head, confused by the human race in general. 

Bebe found a plot of land about two hours outside the city. It was cheap as it was across the river from an old TNT factory and powerplant. The land was toxic, and no one cared if she lived there. 

Soon all of her followers were squatting, setting up shantytowns, tents, or make-shift shelters constructed from branches and trash. Bebe took up residence in an underground crumbling bunker where they used to store explosives. A few of the crates were still there, sweating. As long as no one touched them it was fine. Bebe wasn’t worried about it. If she had to go out like that at least it would be spontaneous and exciting. Not to mention the joy her followers would feel collecting her body parts and downing whiskey at her funeral. 

One thing that really set Bebe Blood apart from all the other women and girls in the scene was the fact that she’d fuck anything. Yet no one considered or even dared mutter the word slut. No, Bebe Blood had concubines, slaves, worthless maggots. She’d kick them in the face and they’d thank her and kiss her boot, begging for more. 

Bebe didn’t give a shit about anyone. She’d fuck some pretty boy metal head and then move on to an old man with one leg and a bright green beard. Whoever and whatever struck her fancy Bebe got. No matter the age, sex, race, religion, or species. That’s how amazing she was. She just had that star quality no man or woman could refuse. 

According to legend both of Bebe’s parents were dead from a murder-suicide pact that went down when Bebe was thirteen. She saw the whole thing and invited her then forty-year-old boyfriend over afterward. It was a week before she even bothered to call the police and report their deaths. This was debunked several times by her older sister, Willow, the guitarist, who confirmed their mother and father were still alive and living in a trailer park thirty minutes outside Ann Arbor. 

“Bebe tell us where did you come up with such a provocative name as BackGash!?” 

Bebe would shrug, popping an angry looking pimple on the crest of her tit, “Is it provocative?” Journalists were always thrown when Bebe answered a question with a question. 

“Some would say yes.”

“Well, they’re all fucking morons. Aren’t they? It’s all bullshit! ” 

“Are you saying your band is bullshit?”

Bebe would sigh, heavy and loud as if she found the world painful, and everyone was too stupid to get it. “I find you bullshit! This interview is bullshit! BackGash! is the only one out there telling the truth, living the life! And you know what? Society is scared!”

The journalist would shift uncomfortably in the chair, nervous about where the interview was headed. “Scared of what?” They’d ask reluctantly, knowing they shouldn’t be provoking her. 

“You’re a fucking woman you should know! They’re scared of females speaking out, doing whatever the hell we want when we want. Flashing our cunts! Fucking whatever we want and liking it! Taking back the power that was stripped from us centuries ago thanks to the fucking false church of organized bullshit! Am I a bad girl because I enjoy sex and snorting drugs on a Saturday morning? Huh? Tell me that!” Bebe would be by this point leaning forward in her chair, inches from the journalist’s face, challenging her, daring her to ask a follow-up question. 

“Well, thank you, Bebe Blood of BackGash! They’ll be playing at The Shelter tomorrow night.” The journalist would break out in a cold sweat just happy it was over with.

 After Bebe was escorted off the premises by security, her sister would usually come in and give the real interview. “So Willow from BackGash! Tell us where does the name come from? Some might find it quite provocative.” 

Willow would look bored, she was too fucking cool for this shit. She just wanted to play her guitar and watch Faces of Death in her living room. She didn’t want to be a rock star, but Bebe kept firing all the other guitarists, screaming they weren’t dedicated to The Life. Plus her parents forced her to go on the road and keep an eye on her little sister. She was going to be a goddam concert pianist and study at Juilliard, and now this was her life. If the band ever actually became famous she’d kill herself. 

“Some people don’t have enough to do. The name is meant to provoke people to thought, why is a woman’s sex or butthole so offensive? They are just anatomy. Every person has sex organs and everyone shits. Some people like having sex where they shit. Deal with it.” Willow drank from her coffee. If Bebe knew she was drinking a five-dollar cup of coffee she’d fire her on the spot. Interviews in locked rooms were pretty much the only time she could get away with it. It was her one request before she would do an interview.

“If you hate doing interviews so much just let me fucking handle it! Turn them down. They don’t need to talk to both of us. They’re just greedy bitches.” Bebe didn’t get why Willow would grant interviews and insist on being questioned alone. 

“If you mention this cup of coffee so help me god you will be a smear on the sidewalk, do you understand?” She’d threaten the journalist, the radio host, whoever she was talking to. 

Backgash! had just finished recording their new album, Whore’s In Culture, a few weeks ago, and were getting ready to head back out on the road. Willow and their manager, Rod, had finally gotten everything arranged. They would be doing ten dates throughout the UK. At least half would probably be canceled they figured, so five dates, respectively. 

Willow had the job of telling Bebe. Bebe hated the UK. The UK crowds hated Americans. Bebe couldn’t get an ice tea for the life of her. “Can’t you put ice in it?” She’d frown. 

“Well, I guess, but it won’t taste very good.” The waitress would laugh. After that Bebe would simply drink warm piss beer for the rest of the tour. All the squats seemed to have holes in the roof and no one knew how to drive. 

“What’s with these fucking narrow roads? Don’t pull over. Just ram them, they’ll move!” Bebe would yell grabbing for the wheel. She was too aggressive and loud for the UK. 

“Bebe?” Willow called into the damp bunker. She walked in and found Bebe pinning dried butterflies to the wall. She was wearing welding goggles and a pair of shorts, nothing else. “Bebe put on some fucking clothes. I need to talk to you about the tour.” 

Bebe eyed her, “Isn’t that why we pay Rod? Why is he making you do his job?” 

“Because he doesn’t like talking to you. Last time you sprayed him in the face with hairspray.” Bebe sighed, pussy. “So we’re going to the UK, we’re playing ten dates.” 

“The UK? Why the fuck are we going there? I want to go to Albania. We never go there.” 

“We found the only band willing to play with us, but they aren’t allowed to leave the country because of some legal shit. We have to go there.” 

Bebe didn’t respond so Willow continued. “The good news is we got that opening band you wanted.” 

Bebe clapped, “Yes!” Bebe had been wanting to tour with Anti-Me/Anti-You for a year. The band consisted of a fifteen-year-old kid in a wheelchair named Robby, and his hippie father who played acoustic guitar. Robbie’s father would wheel him on stage where Robby would scream and rant while his father played acoustic versions of old songs from the ’60s and ’70s. Bebe’s favorite was Robby shouting about rounding up xenophobes and putting them in a camp, while his father strummed These Boots are Made for Walkin’. “Fucking genius.” Bebe really admired him. 

“Who’s the other band?” Bebe asked, knowing she wasn’t going to like the answer. 

“Nipple Rot.” 

“Damn it!” Nipple Rot was a UK band that had never toured outside of the UK due to outstanding legal warrants. They were as loud and angry as BackGash! “I hate their music. They’re such fucking tourists!” 

“Well, they are the only band willing to headline with us. They have a large following, maybe we’ll at least break even this time.” 

“What are you talking about? You’re not charging for these shows are you?” 

Willow sighed, she knew how much Bebe detested money. “We have no choice, the clubs all charge for tickets. They give us a small cut. It’s just how things work. We have to eat.” 

Bebe shook her head, she felt like such a sellout. “That’s bullshit. We’re not going until it’s free and every lowlife can attend.” 

“The tickets are cheap, Bebe. Only between eight and ten dollars. It’s going to be fine. No one will think you’re a sellout. Or that success has gone to your head. Or think you’re a fucking rock star. No one will think that when they see you.” Willow eyed her sister who looked sick. 

“What’s next, huh? Should I put on some make-up and smile pretty for the cameras? I can’t fucking believe you and Rod would go behind my back-” 

“Bebe, chill the fuck out. We’re charging, it’s cheap. We’re barely making anything. When this is over we’ll still be fucking broke. I’ll be living in my trailer and you’ll be in this shit hole. Dawn will be living with her parents and Anne will still be in the shed.” 

Bebe loved her sister so much. She always knew exactly what to say. “Do you mean it, Will?” 

“Yes. Now before we go you need to buy some new shoes. They won’t let you in a building or on an airplane without shoes.” 

“My sandals are fine. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Bebe snapped. Her sister was always nagging her about things like shoes and clothes, showers, and whatever. 

“Those aren’t sandals Bebe, those are cardboard with tape wrapped around them. You need real shoes.” Bebe would fight with anyone, but she knew better than to mess with Willow. She’d never win. Bebe relented and agreed to go to the Good Will to find boots. 

Willow was relieved Bebe was able to find a cracked pair of purple children’s rain boots for their tour in the UK. It was better than nothing. 

June in the UK was expected to be cool and rainy as usual. But when the band got there all they kept hearing about how hot it had been. Bebe was pissed they were landing at Gatwick and weren’t even going to be playing in London. “That’s where it’s all happening. Fuck these villages!” She screamed at the woman checking her passport. 

The band ushered her quickly onto a train. Eddie, the singer from Nipple Rot, picked the girls and Rod up from the train station in his mother’s rusty van. They had a network of places they could crash for free, including Eddie’s mom’s basement. “My mom makes great pancakes.” He told them as they piled in. It was hot and sunny and the van smelled like damp carpeting and cigarettes. Bebe felt at home right away despite being in a country she despised. 

“Give me all your cash and I can score us some drugs,” Eddie told Bebe as he drove through the winding streets. 

“Sure take it.” Bebe emptied her pockets and threw her cash at Eddie. 

“Bebe, what the fuck are you doing? We need that for food.” Willow scolded her, picking up the wadded money, and shoving it in her purse. “We don’t need any drugs, thanks anyway, Eddie.” Willow glared at him. Eddie winked, he planned on getting both the sisters in bed before the end of the tour. Willow was fucking hot, and Bebe was insane, he could only imagine the sex. Though he still couldn’t figure out how they were actually sisters. 

Eddie invited the band out for beers at the pub down the hill. “The guys are just practicing for tomorrow night. Come check us out.” He told them, putting his hand around Bebe. 

“I fucking hate your band. Why would I want to see you twice?” 

“Beers on me.” 

Bebe was there. “Let’s fucking go.” It didn’t matter that everyone was jet-lagged and sweaty from the trip. “Don’t be fucking pussies.” 

“I need a shower, Bebe.” Anne groaned flopping onto a sofa in the corner of the basement. 

“Maybe I need a goddamn new bass player that isn’t a whiny bitch.” Bebe glared at her and Anne got up. She was tired, she obviously forgot who she was talking to.  

“Chill Bebe, we’re friends, okay? I’ll go. Just calm down.” 

Bebe laughed, “Ha! I can count on one hand how many friends I have!” and she held up a fist. Anne got up and followed the rest of the band back up the stairs and out the door. She really had to get a different gig after this, if Bebe didn’t kill her first. 

Eddie lit a cigarette for Bebe and ordered pints for the table. All the guys were eager to meet the infamous Bebe Blood. She was smaller than they expected. Meaner than they could have imagined. And any normal woman in ripped terry cloth shorts, a stained tank top, and children’s rain boots would have been ignored, but Bebe made it look hot. 

“Bebe this is our drummer, Jon X. Bass player Theo Dive. And guitarist and founding member of Nipple Rot, Al Bastard.” 

Bebe knew she was supposed to be impressed but they just looked like a bunch of old men playing dress-up. They had to be at least thirty-five, pushing forty. Their days were numbered. However, that didn’t mean she wasn’t planning on sleeping with one or all of them by the time the tour was finished. 

They looked like the atypical hardcore male, not that much different from a skinhead. Pimpled, combat boots, shaved head, dead stupid expression. Intellectually Bebe knew they had nothing to offer, but she liked Al Bastard’s face. 

Unlike the rest of his pretty band, Al had been in a knife fight at an early age. He had a thick scar on the side of his face and had lost his right eye. Still, Bebe waved them off, she doubted they lived The Life all day every day. She saw how cushy Eddie’s mother’s house was with running water and carpeting in the bathroom. 

Bebe shrugged when Al brought her a pint. “Did you put drugs in it?” She asked him. 

“No, but you’re being such a cunt I could spit in it. How would you like that?” He grunted and sat down. He wasn’t in the mood to practice, he knew all the songs well enough, he wrote the damn things. It wasn’t his fault the guys in his band were all amateurs. 

“Spit in it. I dare you.” Bebe glared at him, pushing the pint across the table.

“Bebe, just drink your damn beer,” Willow told her, getting up to go order some food. She didn’t need a fight before the tour even started. 

Al Bastard spat into the cup and sat back in his chair. He could see what everyone was talking about, for once the rumors were true. He normally had a hard time with women, in that he couldn’t stand them unless he was fucking them. 

Bebe downed the entire pint and smashed the glass against the wall. “Fucking delicious. More!” She ordered. The band never did practice as Bebe and Al spent the rest of the night putting shit in each other’s beer, daring one another to drink. Spit, snot, dirt from the floor, blood, hair. Neither would be outdone by the other. Al was so turned on, but also shocked when he realized he might actually respect this woman. She lived The Life. She wasn’t just some fucking Yankee skank. 

“What else you got?” Bebe fell out of her chair and onto the floor. The rest of the band had gone back to Eddie’s to sleep. It was just Bebe, Jon X, and Al Bastard. When the pub closed, Al carried Bebe out of there and back to his flat above another tavern for some heroin. 

“You do shoot this shit? Or are you too scared little girl?” Al laughed, slapping Bebe on the ass, watching as Jon broke out a spoon and lighter. 

“Give me fucking double. Whatever you do I’ll take twice as much. I barely even fucking feel it! English drugs are shit!” Bebe slurred before passing out face first on the rug. Damn, this woman was driving Al crazy. She was so hardcore. 

Al shot up and took Bebe to bed leaving Jon to watch from the corner. “Hey, Al, what about me?” He asked. 

“She’s fucking mine. Piss off!” Al screamed, dumping Bebe on the mattress. 

Bebe moaned and rolled over, kicking off her rain boots. Her feet were sweaty and smelled. Al could only imagine what the rest of her looked like. “You want this, baby? Or are you too much of a wimp?” Bebe opened her legs and offered her cunt to Al. Was she on heroin? Bebe didn’t know, she was too drunk. 

Al liked what he saw: a filthy hairy woman. Her tattoos were shoddy and misspelled, even worse than his. He admired the burns on her nipples as he peeled her stained top off. “What are you doing?” Bebe asked sitting up. “Take off your own fucking clothes. I got this.” Bebe hated being treated like a child. She pushed down her shorts and threw them in Al’s face. 

He caught them and smelled. Mm-mm she wasn’t wearing underwear either. She was definitely his kind of woman. It was harder than one would think to find a truly unwashed, savage female. Even the one’s who came to the shows weren’t really that hardcore. He tried to rape one once and she just cried and laid there. He was so disappointed she hadn’t even bothered to fight back he just got up and left, bored. He bet if he tried to rape Bebe she’d smash his face in with a brick, then rape him. 

Al was partially right. “Go down or I’ll bite your dick off,” she moaned, half-asleep, arms flung over her head. Al had no idea what he would find down there, but couldn’t wait to find out. 

“Are you Italian, baby? Because you are hairy.”

“You got a problem with that, scar face? Do it! Or come over here so I can rip out your other fucking eye.” 

Al laughed, she was so fucking cool. Of course, he was going to do it. Only for Bebe.  

When it was all over, Bebe immediately flipped over onto her stomach. “Put it in!” She pulled her knees to her chest and stuck her ass in the air. She turned around and glared at him, “I know it’s pretty, but I don’t got all night. I’m fucking tired as shit. Now get on with it!” Al didn’t need to be told twice. 

He spat on his hand and rubbed down his cock. “Do you want me to get a rubber?” He asked, knowing a woman like Bebe should never be in the same vicinity as a child of any age, let alone have one of her own. 

“I can’t get pregnant, my uterus is fucking stone. Do you need my life story or what, asshole?” Al didn’t need anything else. He shrugged and shoved in. He could only imagine what deep inside of her looked like. He half expected teeth or jagged shards of glass. But she was smooth and warm like any other woman. 

Al went to work. Despite the heroin and the beer he was vigorous and attentive to his new lady’s needs. He wanted to be the best lay she ever had because he knew he was going to want more. He already knew no other woman could top Bebe. “How’s that baby, you like that? Mm-mm. You won’t walk for a week!” he grunted. 

Al was shocked when Bebe began to cackle. “Really that’s the best you fucking got? Amateur! What do you think we’re making fucking porn here? Stop fucking talking or I’m out of here!” Al didn’t say another word for five minutes.

Afterward he pulled out and flopped beside her. Bebe pushed herself up and pulled on her shorts. “Why don’t you stay? I’ve got some more drugs if you want. It’s late.” 

“You talk too fucking much. I didn’t even know who you were fucking, me or that loser in the corner.” Both stopped and stared and Jon X who had finished jerking off long ago and was passed out in his own filth. 

Al had had enough. He’d given her everything he had — beer, drugs, filthy sex, and still, she seemed to want more. “Go to fucking sleep, Bebe. I’m not taking you all the way back to Eddie’s. And I might want to fuck in the morning. Get your fucking ass over here. I’m not putting up with this shit for the whole tour.” He climbed across the bed and grabbed her around the waist. 

Bebe threw an elbow and landed it right in his white filmy eye. “Fucking, ouch! Bebe! Shit!” 

“Fine, I’ll stay.” Bebe laid back down and passed out. Her head was killing her. Al never felt so lucky. This was going to be the best tour, ever. 

The next night Bebe was backstage pulling on a pair of fishnet pantyhose and nothing else. Her unkempt pubic hair exposed for all to see. “Bebe you can’t go on stage like that, they’ll arrest you again,” Willow said, putting an X of black tape over each of her sister’s mangled nipples. 

“Let them try!” Bebe barked. “I’m a fucking American!”  

“Yeah, yeah. You need to cover your cooch or we’ll get deported. The tour will be over.” Willow told her and went out back to smoke. This job was killing her. 

“Here baby take these, I don’t need ‘em,” Al Bastard stripped off a leopard print thong from under his Kilt and tossed them at her. 

“Perfect.” Bebe pulled on the underwear over her fishnets. 

It was hard to say if the show was a success or a complete disaster. It probably depended on who you asked. Robby and his dad were a huge hit and probably made more money than BackGash! and Nipple Rot combined. They left and went back to their hotel before the rioting broke out. 

Skinheads showed up halfway through Bebe’s set and began shouting fascist propaganda over the music. She jumped onto the back of one trying to strangle him with the mic cord. “Why don’t you shut the fuck up?” She screamed as he twisted around and rammed her into a wall. His friends tried to help him but the other audience members jumped them. When Al Bastard saw someone was trying to mess with his woman, he went and smashed a beer bottle into the skinhead’s face. 

Everyone piled out into the street after that. Small fires were lit, blood was spilled, and the police were brought in to break everything up. “Let’s get the fuck out here,” Al pulled on Bebe’s arm. He couldn’t afford another arrest on top of the six he had already acquired that month. 

“Fuck the pigs! I’ll fight ‘em! If they want to arrest me for fighting fascists? Do it!” Bebe screamed into the night. Al threw her over his shoulder and both bands took off down the alleyway laughing at the chaos that was going down behind them. Al was right, best tour ever, and they hadn’t even left town yet. 

“What the hell is that sound?” Bebe groaned, when she was woken up in the early morning hours by screaming seagulls out by the beach. 

“Just birds, baby,” Al mumbled into the back of her head. 

“Fucking shoot them! Jesus Christ, how do you live here?” Al sighed and got up, pulling his kilt on and nothing else. He had a revolver around there somewhere. 

“Where are you going? I might want a screw after my coffee.” 

“You wanted me to go shoot at those gulls. Want to come?” Bebe was never one to pass on an opportunity to play with firearms. She was American after all. Turns out having one eye can give a person terrible depth perception, so Bebe ended up doing most of the shooting. She landed two birds that nosedived into the channel’s murky waters. 

“Yeah! That’s my girl! Fuck, Bebe, awesome!” 

“I’m not your fucking girl. Say that again and I’ll stick this gun up your ass. Got it?” 

Al laughed. Everyone talked about how ragged, scary, and hardcore Bebe Blood was. How amazing her music was. What a visionary she was. However, they had failed to mention how hilarious she was as well. He never laughed so hard with a woman before. He wrestled the gun from her hand. She nearly pushed him off the jagged shore into the water. 

“Come here, woman.” He shoved his tongue down her mouth.

“Not now, I want coffee.” Bebe shoved him aside. He took her hand and guided her off the slippery rocks back onto the beach. For once Bebe let someone help her.  

From then on Bebe and Al were inseparable. They did all their interviews for the tour together. This was a relief to Willow, who just let them have at it. She was preoccupied with writing depressing journal entries and crying into her pillow every night. 

Bebe had carved the word Bastard across her chest with a razor blade at their last show. Not one to be topped, Al, having never been more in love, tattooed Blood across his forehead. When they weren’t screaming and ranting at the press they were running around shooting guns, throwing firecrackers at each other, and fighting. “Bebe, pull it together!” Willow told her while putting balm on her burn marks. 

“I’m in love, Will. Like really in love.” Bebe sighed. Willow was scared if this was Bebe’s idea of love. Bebe was covered in bruises from violent fighting that often led to very loud violent sex in the back of the van. Neither cared if anyone was listening or if there were others in the van. Bebe would lift up her tattered skirt and just start riding Al. He would slap her and tell her to stop being such a bitch. 

“Jesus, both of you guys, I’m right here!” Anne would wail turning her face away from them and trying hard to focus out the window. 

Willow and Rod were about right in their predictions, four of the ten shows were canceled before the band had even arrived in town. The tour left riots and flames in their wake, much to the delight of Bebe and Al who were usually the ones to start them. 

By the time the tour was winding down, funds were low, and the only one pulling in any cash was Anti-Me/Anti-You. Robby and his dad had been offered a handful of spoken word gigs across Europe. 

As Bebe and Al’s love and intensity for each other grew so did their drug usage. No one wanted to give them money, but everyone wanted to do drugs with Al Bastard and Bebe Blood. If they weren’t drunk or high they were about to be. Bebe’s songwriting began to slack off. “Bebe we need to talk. We’re going home next week and you need to stop all this nonsense. No more heroin! No more coke!” Willow punched her in the tit. 

“Jesus, fuck me, Will. Why’d you do that?” Bebe grabbed her tit and glared at her sister. 

“This shit with Al is over. He can’t leave the country and you’re not staying here. I’m taking you home. Look at yourself! Christ! You’re covered in cum and you smell like an opium den! This isn’t love, Bebe!” 

Bebe shoved her sister across the room, “What do you know about it? Al loves me! He’s a real fucking person! You’re not taking me anywhere!” Bebe shoved Anne aside and bolted from the dressing room. She had to get out of there. Her sister was talking madness. 

Bebe burst on stage and unplugged Al’s guitar. “Fuck this! We have to go!” She screamed, throwing his guitar into the audience. The crowd went wild and began tearing the place up. 

“What the hell is going on?” Eddie cursed, watching the scene unfold. It was the coolest thing he’d ever witnessed. The smash dance club was trashed, windows were broken, the building burnt to the ground by morning.

Al put his arm around Bebe’s shoulders and the two walked out of the chaos together, police bashing skulls in behind them. “Where will we go?” She asked, knowing Al couldn’t leave the UK. 

“We can stay with my mum, she’s cool.” Bebe loved Al. He had a plan for everything. 

After a month at Al’s mother’s flat, Bebe was ready to get out of there. She wanted to go live in Budapest, but Al couldn’t leave the country. “They’re all communists over there. Trust me we’re better off at my mum’s.” He’d slur before passing out. This twisted Bebe up inside. She hated junkies but loved Al. She hated living in this shit hole with Al’s perky mother who kept knitting sweaters for her. 

Willow kept writing Bebe letters urging her to come home. Bebe tore them up and wouldn’t consider it. Al needed her here. He was high more often than not. Of course, so was Bebe, but she was stronger and continued to write and work while Al fucked around in the kitchen. Bebe felt torn, Al Bastard, the only person who truly understood her. But he was fucking up her message of anarchy and disorder by sleeping all day every day. 

Bebe was feeling she wanted to go back on the road. She needed to get back to America. “What did you fucking say?” Al yelled when she told him she planned on leaving. “I fucking love you. Crazy bitch! Why? I gave everything to you!” He collapsed onto the sofa and began to weep. 

Bebe never felt more turned off. She hated it when people cried. “I can’t live like this. Your mother is driving me fucking crazy! She washed all my clothes! She’s constantly making the bed and flushing the toilet. This isn’t The Life! It’s a lie! A fucking lie, damn you!” If Bebe had hair she’d be ripping it out. 

Al had drifted off in a heroin daze and Bebe fled from the flat before his mother got home. She’d been making microwave lasagna for a month and Bebe was going to be sick if she had to smell that processed food again. Bebe Blood was used to eating things right out of the ground — roots, bugs, whatever she could steal from a field. 

Bebe loved Al, but Al was a junkie. Bebe was fucking out of there. She had shit to do. Bebe fled down the street in a neon green and pink flowered house dress she’d stolen from the trash next door. She couldn’t look back, it hurt too much. She’d always love the Scot, but he was weak. Bebe wouldn’t put up with it from anyone else. Why should she bring herself down just for him? It wasn’t her fault he became addicted after trying to outdo her. 

“I told you, you have to take charge. Tell your fucking body what to do. Fuck these drugs they’re nothing!” Bebe yelled in triumph as Al fell off asleep, high on whatever was in that bag they’d scored in the alley. 

Bebe took the first flight out of the UK. It landed in New York, which she hated. Bebe couldn’t wait to get back to Detroit where everyone was interesting. Willow informed her they’d just closed all the insane asylums in the area so the people were just wandering the streets. 

Right away Bebe hired an accordion player and a man named Justin who claimed to be a reincarnation of a famous Russian composer. “We need them!” Bebe insisted. Willow shrugged, she was just happy to have Bebe home. 

A month later Bebe heard Al Bastard had overdosed on heroin after a show. He was found in his underwear. BEBE was scrawled across the wall in his blood. She was heartbroken. “Al, why? Why did you have to be so goddamn weak?” She wept for the first and last time in her life. 

Bebe moved back to her parent’s trailer and never wrote another song again. “What happened to Bebe?” People asked, as rumors amidst the underground crowd circled. 

“Bebe, people are really worried. They want to know what happened to you.” Willow told her at Christmas. 

“Tell them to fuck off!” She screamed. Since moving back home Bebe had begun teaching vocal lessons to young children. She painted pictures of Al, never married or fucked again. In her free time she wrote angry letters to the editor of local newspapers under the name Marta Rutt.

 The scene as a result died. Remnants of bands morphing into pop-punk trios, of which Bebe never forgave herself for. She never should have fallen in love.

Matthew Borczon

He Read Hemingway in Reform School

He was forced to read Hemingway back when he was in reform school. It was a short story about a waiter who dreamed of being a bull fighter and when one of his co workers tied two knives onto the legs of a chair he tried to fight it like it was a bull. He is eventually stabbed deep by the knives and the story ends with this waiter, a kid really trying to die bravely like a real bull fighter. Duane is thinking about this story now instead of thinking about the two shots he had left. There were at least three cops out behind the two police cars that had forced him off the road and on to the ground behind his car.

He is thinking about this story instead of thinking about the dish washer he shot through the head back at the diner he robbed. He hadn’t intended to shoot anyone, just snatch and grab some wallets and watches. Why the dish washer decided to be a hero is the answer to a question he took to his grave.

He is thinking about this story instead of questioning himself harder. Two years ago after his first ride down state he had decided that he was never going back to prison. Being small, young and white he was vulnerable and as easy mark. He doesn’t want to wonder if being a punk again is really a fate worse than death.

He is thinking about this story instead of thinking about Elizabeth, she would be waiting for him back at the motel outside of Waco Texas. She is nineteen and a red head. The day he met her he thought the universe had finally thrown him a bone.

Duane hears the sirens in the distance as he ducks farther behind his car. Gunshots are tearing into metal and flattening his tires. He is thinking about this story instead of listening to the cops as they shout for him to throw his gun down. He is thinking about how much it doesn’t matter that he didn’t plan to shoot the waiter, or didn’t plan to shoot at cops. He knows he can’t go back to jail. He hopes Elizabeth will be alright. He is thinking about that story, how sometimes a bad end is a part of the job. You know it when you take it even though you never think it will be you it ends badly for. He is thinking about this now, and he hopes he will die bravely, like a real bull fighter.

Elizabeth Bedlam

Simon/Simone

Simon and Simone had to take turns in the mirror. It was only wide enough for one and half of them. Simone took the longest, painting her face, drawing on eyebrows that otherwise wouldn’t exist. “What do you think, brother?” She’d ask, her eyes unmoving from the reflection. “Do you think I look old?” 

Simon would sigh, Simone asked these questions nearly every morning. “We’re the same age, sister.” 

Simone would pout and finally glance to her right, “but you look old. Your hair is thinning, see right there.” She’d attempt to reach over and point out a spot, always in a different place, but Simon would jerk his head away. 

“No, no, you’re not old. You’re beautiful Sim, you know that.” 

“I love it when you call me that.” Simone would lean over and kiss her brother on the cheek, before shuffling three steps to the side, letting him have the mirror to shave. There was no way she’d let him have a beard. It would scratch her when they kissed, while they slept. 

After the bathroom, the two would turn sideways to fit out the door, walk down the wide short hallway, and then turn again to go into their small bedroom. They had their clothing made special, a blue suit coat and a blue dress. A black button-down shirt, and a black silk blouse with lace. All patched together, just as they were.

 The two never looked at themselves below the shoulders if they could help it. The place where their bodies smeared into each other. A full breast, a flat nipple. A small cock and a puckered cunt. No one had ever derived pleasure from the twins, except the twins themselves. 

Lying in the dark, side by side, Simon would feel, hear, Simone’s breath quicken in their chest, as she massaged her clit. Soon she was begging him to put his hand into her cunt. “Please, just touch me. We’ll do you after, like always. Please, brother,” she’d moan in desperation. Both would feel a spark igniting deep within their shared pelvis. Simone glanced over, seeing her brother stroking his own flame. “No, me first, please, Simon!” She gasped, the urge to be penetrated as she orgasmed was overwhelming. 

Simon sighed, as always ignoring his own pleasure to assist his sister. He leaned his hand over and thrust three fingers hard and fast into Simon’s moist cunt. She went rigid, and rubbed faster, gasping, moaning, a bitch in heat. “There, there…” she trailed off, falling down the other side of orgasm, finally relaxing. She turned her head to her brother, her breath still rattling through their shared chest cavity. “Now you go, love.” 

His fingers lubricated with Simone’s white mucus, her wet gash, Simon pulled on his knots and strings. Simone kissed his tense neck beside her. “Yes, brother, like that.” She said, the words hot and wet in his ear. At the end Simon grunted, leaking white lust on his hand. “There, brother, there…” Simone whispered. Simon, knowing what she wanted, gave her his hand. She sucked on his soiled, salty fingers, crusted with her sap and his. They tasted the same, different meals made from the same scrambled ingredients. 

When they had finished, both looked up at a splinter in the ceiling. “Good sister.” 

“Good brother.” Then silence as they dropped off to sleep. They knew they would always lay beside one another, even in death. Their insides so entangled, so as never to be undone by surgeon blade or God himself. 

After dressing, the twins sat on the bench in their kitchen. Next Thursday would be their fortieth birthday. They saved their pennies all year to buy a gift for the other. Whatever the other wanted. 

Together, sitting side by side, the twins browsed through a cheap glossy booklet. “They’re getting younger and younger every year.” Simone clicked her tongue. “She looks like she could still be in high school.” 

“Maybe we’re just getting older, sister.” Simon said, his voice flat. Simone shrugged, and the two continued to shop. Simon picked a redhead, tall and thin. “She’s probably not natural, but I don’t mind so much anymore.”

Simone shrugged, looking over at her brother’s selection. “She looks real enough to me. Just check her cunt.” 

“She probably shaves. All the girls do these days.” 

Simone giggled into her coffee cup, “Then check her asshole, Ha-ha.” 

Simon grinned at this. “You are wickedly filthy sister. You get worse by the year.” The two sat in quietly, waiting for Simone to pick out her gift. 

“Her. She looks fine enough.” Simone circled the profile of a pale brunette with black hollow eyes, wrapped in the lust of buckles and leather. 

Simon nodded his head, “She looks like she’d give a good tongue lashing alright. Think she’s pierced?” 

“I don’t think that’s a trend anymore.” Simone said without emotion.  

Simon shook his head, “I just can’t keep up with these things,” he muttered. In his youth, girls were clean. Then a few years older they became gradually infected with more tattoos, more metal in their faces. But that seemed to be winding down as plastic surgery took hold. Pumped up tits and sucked in hips seemed to be the thing now. Simon didn’t care, as long as they kept their cunts open and wet, that’s all he needed. Simone always had higher standards, but she was a woman, Simon expected as much. Her prostitute always cost more than his. But it was their birthday, so he didn’t complain. 

The two girls, Lennon the redhead, and Cori the brunette, giggled in the elevator up to the third floor of the shabby apartment complex. They hugged their nondescript coats around their frames. Only their heavy make-up and higher than average heels hinted at their profession. In the long, silent hallway they turned a corner and stopped at the door in the middle of the wall, 36C. 

Lennon and Cori had never been here before, but Misty had. She remembered 36C. She told them what to expect inside. Not just a brother, not just a sister, but a distorted mesh of flesh and bone. Three legs and forth curled down the middle, a misshapen serpent. The apartment, and a sickening smell of turpentine and butterscotch. 

“Do you want to do it?” Lennon asked. At least she was getting the brother. She felt worse for Cori. Cori sighed and pressed the buzzer. The women waited in silence, hoping Misty had been lying. They heard a chain slide across inside, then the door open before them. A dim triangle of yellow light stretching out into the hall. 

“Welcome ladies.” Cori and Lennon stepped inside. They tried to look anywhere but at the twins. The brother, red and beaming. The sister with a sour look on her face. Both had the same black beads for eyes, resembling more fish than humans. Faces round and pale.

Simone’s eyes moving up and down Cori. “Take those coats off,” she said. The prostitutes looked at each other, then back the twins, slid their coats off. Simone took them in her sweaty hand. The pair shuffled over to hang the coats on the back of a chair. 

“Cake?” Asked Simon. He picked up a fork, pushing a spongy hunk into his gaping mouth. A smudge of brown frosting littered with yellow crumb sat at the corner of his lips unnoticed. He smiled. 

“No, thanks.” The two women echoed each other. 

“Of course they don’t want cake, brother. They’re paid professionals on the clock. They’re here to fuck, not eat.” 

Simon dropped his fork onto the plate. “My sister is right, as always. Apologies, ladies. Shall we go into the bedroom?” The pair limped just slightly down the hall. Their feet heavy on the thick green carpet. They turned sideways and entered, standing in front of the bed. 

Simone was already unbuttoning her trousers, struggling to push her side of the pants down. “Come on, brother, we don’t have all night. I’m sure these girls have other appointments.” 

“Oh right, right. I was just so transfixed by their radiant beauty.” The prostitutes were good at forcing smiles, but found at the moment it was harder than usual. “Maybe you can give us some help?” Simon asked, eager to the feel a hand that wasn’t his own or his sister’s. 

Cori had been working longer. She took the lead and stepped forward, helping slip Simone’s pants over her narrow ass. Lennon moved forward, doing the same. Neither woman wanted to look at the leg. But there it was glaring up at them, twisted around a middle of a well formed third leg. A misshapen toe with a cracked yellow nail wiggled, making Lennon turn away and gather herself. “Something the matter?” Simon asked from above her. 

“No, no, just fine. Can we turn off the lights?” She asked. 

“No, I like to watch,” Simone snapped. Now undressed from the waist down, the twins sat on the bed. The old metal frame cracked as they wiggled and laid back, each spreading open a leg to expose their underdeveloped sex. “Just lick, none of that fancy stuff.” Simone told her hooker. 

“Same for me, darling. Well, maybe a little sucking as well, Ha-ha.” Simon laughed at his own joke. Lennon swallowed, kneeling between his legs. On the other side, Cori did the same. 

“We don’t have all night.” Simone grunted, lifting her head to watch the pale brunette come closer to the angry mouth of her gash. “We paid for an hour. That’s ten minutes wasted while you look at my cunt. I wait all year for this. Your ad said you do women, so are you going to look at it or eat it?” 

Cori put her nose into the sour, musty hole between Simone’s legs. “That’s it, lovely little thing, that’s it….” Simone gasped. The sound of the prostitute’s tongue lapping against the folded skin of Simone’s sloppy cunt made Simon grow harder still. 

Lennon didn’t have to be asked. She watched the man’s undersized sex inflate, a slight bend to the left, among a sparse nest of wiry hair. If she thought about it, she’d gag. The smell of sweet sweat inflamed her nostrils as she moved closer. She pinched the cock between two fingers to hold it in place, more a slippery noodle than an iron rod. “Yes, put it in, please. Use your tongue, lots of warm wet tongue.” Simon gasped, leaning his head back and sighing. He waited all year to feel a woman’s mouth engulf his cock. He wanted to revel in it. 

Beside him, he heard Simone’s pleasure ragged and quick on her lips. Inside their chest he felt her heart beating as rapidly as his, their lungs in sync. The room hushed but for the wet licks and sucks of the whores devouring their sex, the moans of the twins. “I’m close, brother, I’m close.” Simone gasped. 

“Me too, sister.” He reached across their wide chest and grasped for her hand. Simone interlaced her fingers with his. 

“The leg, please…. kiss the toes,” Simone told her prostitute. 

Cori stopped and looked up, “What?” She asked, realizing now there was something worse than the pucker old cunt she’d been eating. 

“You deaf girl? The leg. Right there.” Cori looked over to see the elongated toe, the small webbed ones glued down to the skin, as if melted by summer heat. They wiggled at her, and she fell back. “Lick it, now….” Simone’s voice ached for the finish. 

“You too, honey. Touch it, run your… tongue down it.” Simon fought to get the words out. His cock fell from the hooker’s mouth. He was on edge. “Now.” His word carried heavy urgency. 

Lennon nodded at Cori. Both women moved to either side of the gnarled limb. Lush lips running over skin, sucking, taking the salty brine taste of the underdeveloped biology. “The toes!” Simone wailed again, feeling herself at the top of orgasm, ready to plummet down the other side, harsh and fast. 

Simon turned his head to Simone, “Sister,” his words hot and damp in her ear, “happy birthday.”  

Simone wailed, feeling the brunette whore plunge her tongue between the stubs of toes and splintered nails. “Brother… oh.” As Simone exhaled her pleasure, Simon felt his dribble from between his legs, smearing in Lennon’s fox pelt locks that brushed against his skin. 

“Happy birthday,” Simone finally managed to gasp. She turned her face to her brother’s, kissing his mouth with a quick flick of her tongue. He tasted like chocolate frosting. 

Ve Wardh

Shitting Bricks

Keith had been shitting bricks since he was 15. He’d left school and under the guidance of his father, had started the daily grind on the building sites. It’s what he was destined to do. Every man on his father’s side dating back six generations had been a labourer, and Keith was no different whether he shat bricks or not. And he did.

His first brick passed on his first day at his first site. He was helping his father unload the van when he was suddenly doubled over in pain, an anguished scream disrupting the monotonous drone of the cement mixer. His father rushed to his side, both out of concern and embarrassment at his son causing such a scene. As pain rippled through his abdomen, Keith felt a heavy drop in his pelvis accompanied by a scraping as though his innards were being slowly shredded. He fell to the ground, his skin breaking out in a cold sweat, his face flushing red.

His father bundled him up in the van and made a beeline to the hospital while Keith wailed and thrashed in the seat beside him. Blood vessels burst in Keith’s eyes and the air squeezed from his lungs as the heavy deposit in his abdomen shifted and forced its way downwards. His father swerved the van, gasping as he noticed a rapidly growing red stain blooming from his son’s crotch and soaking into the van’s interior, staining the seat a deep maroon. He narrowly avoiding ramming another car as Keith gestured to his father to pull over, arms flailing wildly.

The minute the van stopped, Keith opened the door and let himself fall to the ground. His father watched on in horror as he staggered, hunched over, to the side of the road while simultaneously tugging down his trousers. He crouched, shaking hands grasping a garden fence to steady himself. They both ignored the curtains twitching in their peripherals. With a final agonised scream to the heavens, a solid mass appeared under Keith’s exposed ass, hitting the path with a solid thunk. The boy dissolved into tears as a series of airy farts escaped his bleeding ass, his sobs broken with gasps of relief. His father stared at the mass under his son, willing his eyes to be deceiving him but no, he’d been a builder for 30 years now and knew his way around a brick more than most. The brick was fully formed and presumably fully functional, the only imperfection being a slight chip on the corner from the impact and being sodden and slick with his son’s ass blood.

Noticing the growing crowd gathering in the street, Keith’s father yanked the boy up and ushered him, still sobbing, back into the van before speeding away. When they’d disappeared, the odd brave onlooker walked up to examine the brick yet when hit by the smell recoiled quickly back into their homes. There it stayed, untouched.

Twenty years had passed since then, and now shitting bricks during the workday was part of Keith’s life. His asshole had become so ravaged by the bricks it was as smooth as a fish’s underbelly and the bricks just slipped right out. He had however, become increasingly malnourished over time. The constant brick shitting had ripped his intestines to pieces, leaving him resembling nothing more than a leathery skeleton in a hardhat on his good days. Digestion was a reasonable sacrifice in exchange for producing ass bricks in Keith’s eyes though. He’d built many a proud house using his ass bricks intermingled with the regular ones and his clients were none the wiser. He had, in his older age, come to appreciate his brick shitting a great deal more than he thought he ever would. Every time he’d feel the familiar drop in his stomach, he’d drop trou, and after a brief strain and a grunt would produce what each time seemed to be the most perfect and functional brick which he’d lovingly place alongside its brothers and sisters ready for construction. With ass bricks, it was always a job well done.