Matthew Licht

A Hard Case (Part 5)

Someone scratched a match and lit a cigarette.

“May I help you, sir?” The big man didn’t seem helpful.

“My cat ran away,” I said.

“That’s too bad. But there aren’t any cats around here.”

Another gooey moan slid out of the lit window above.

“Funny,” I said. “Sounds just like her.”

“You said cat. That’s pussy.”

“Never heard of Women’s Lib around here, huh.”

“That’s the professional term for female performers, in our business. Like they say ‘talent’ in the other, fabulous Hollywood. Now kindly get lost, before I call security.”

“Just a moment. Is this Project X?”

“Ex-actly.”

“You produce adult entertainment.”

“We do.”

“Is it true your main client is the United States’ government?”

“That, I can neither confirm nor deny.”

“Wait, did I say I was looking for a cat? I meant, I’m looking for a job.”

He puffed deeply. “Let’s see what you got.”

He shook his head when I pulled my jacket aside to show the butt of my .38. “We already have a night watchman, somewhere. But we’re always interested in new, uh, talent.”

“Oh,” I said. “You mean, right out here in the alley?”

“You wanna turn pro? Then you’d better be ready to go at the drop of a hat.”

He wasn’t wearing a hat, even though the North Hollywood night was unseasonably cool.

“Tell me what honesty means, to you,” he said.

“An honest person, like a heartfelt statement, is open and unadorned.”

“All right. Come on in for a screen test.”

He ground out his cigarette in the beaten earth of the alley.

Stage jitters set in, then faded. The set-up at Project X was Spartan, but in an unexpected way. We went down a neon-lit hallway lined on one side with shelves of books and LP records. The walls on the other side were covered with black-and-white photographs of writers, painters, composers. Thomas Mann was prominent, in a gold frame. He looked delighted.

The producer, if that’s who the man was, opened a door and we entered a spacious, dimly lit room.

Doris Frawley was in there. She was nude, sprawled on a battered leather armchair under a brass lamp, immersed in reading The Magic Mountain.

“A far more violent novel than most people imagine,” the producer said. “And more erotic than most readers care to remember.”

DD 5 girl

A Hard Case (Part 1)

A Hard Case (Part 2)

A Hard Case (Part 3)

A Hard Case (Part 4)

 

Judge Santiago Burdon

Luck of the I Wish

Our small plane is being tossed around by the wind’s unforgiving fury, hard rains viciously pummeling the old Beechcraft Bonanza. We’re like a wet paper bag in a tornado, completely at the mercy of the chaotic, raging force all around us.

Our pilot, Salinas, also known as Demonio Mosca (demon fly), appears wholly unaffected by  the storm. The deluge pelts the windshield while its single wiper sways lazily from left to right, doing nothing to improve visibility. Guess it really doesn’t matter, as there is nothing to see plush darkness (plus the occasional flash of lightning) anyway. Salinas can only see half of what’s going on to be begin with, being blind in one eye as he is.

Meanwhile, Johnny Rico is screaming from in back, cursing the incessant violent rocking of the plane. Apparently, it’s causing him to spill his can of beer. We’re on course to imminent disaster, a flight plan straight to Hell, and he’s worried about a fucking beer… incredible.

“Drink the damn beer and grab me one too!” I yell back at him. “Break open one of those kilos and give me a blast. I’m not going to Hell sober!”

***

The weather had been gorgeous before we’d left La Hormiga in Putumayo Province earlier that morning. There wasn’t a cloud in the deep blue Colombian sky.

Before that, we’d spent two days trudging through the jungle to purchase 60 kilos of pure, uncut cocaine, straight from the processing plant. We got it at a discounted price, buying  direct from the producers, cutting out various middle men in the process. The cost was $900 a kilo ($55,000 total), which would gross us around $1,350,000 in the States. It was agreed that this would be split between us and our investors, the cut depending on the percentage of cash invested and consideration for risks involved. As for myself, I’d be expecting extra compensation for my role in the operation.

Of course, none of this was taking into account the various expenses we’d had to pay in order to finance this expedition. For example, plane fare, lodging, meals, etc. Then, the lackeys to mule the cocaine out of the jungle and onto the plane. A plane costing us $1,500 plus tip for a one-eyed pilot in a V-Tailed Beechcraft Bonanza with barely an upload of 1,200 lbs. The boat to Mexico and payments to sapos (snitches) to keep their mouths shut, paying others to give out misinformation to the authorities as well. Plus, there’d been bribes and payoffs and other costs on top of everything else, all of this adding up to one costly venture.

With any luck, it would all pay off, and we’d return to the States as rich men.

Of course, this is all depended on whether we weren’t killed in a plane crash or shot down by the FARC guerrillas we’d neglected to pay for safe travel. There was also the Colombian military that hopefully hadn’t been tipped off by some informant. And let us not forget the possibility of the cartels discovering we’d cut them out of the deal, buying directly from the source instead, as this would surely prove deadly for all involved.

Everything will be fine if we’re fortunate enough to make it out of Colombian airspace alive. The possibility of peril begins anew once we hit the ground in Panama.

***

Lightning flashes and thunder booms all around us while the engine on this deathtrap wails in desperation, fighting against the storm’s persistent gales. Meanwhile, Salinas goes on singing along with Los Tigres Del Norte with hardly a care in the world, oblivious to the obvious danger.

It is then that Johnny lurches up behind me and drops a golfball-sized rock of cocaine into my hand, popping open a bottle of beer for me as well.

“Is there anything else I can get for you, El Rey (King)?” he asks. “Maybe a cigarette or parachute?”

“You think this is hilarious, don’t you?” I yell over the distressed engine and crashing thunder. “You never take anything seriously!”

“You are serious enough for both of us,” Johnny says. “Always worrying for problems that have not yet even happened. You make these bad ideas in your own head!”

“Listen hermano,” he continues, “we have been carnales for many years. Together we have been robbed, beaten, shot, stabbed, arrested, put in prison and left without a single peso to our names. We survived two whole days in the ocean when our boat sank. You remember that? You know why the sharks no chew you up? Because you are a sour taste, more bitter than limones. Always looking at the bad side of life.”

I shoot him a warning glare, but he just keeps on preaching on.

“Besides,” he says, “you are too mean to die! And I am not quite ready yet myself. You cannot die, Santi. Porque El Dios (God) think maybe you no can be trusted, and El Diablo (the Devil) tiene miedo (is afraid) you take over. You have nowhere to run hermano! So tranquillo, forget all your worries for now. The sun, it shines somewhere.”

Before I can offer my rebuttal to his little pep talk, we are swallowed up in an abyss of darkness even blacker than the one we’d just been flying through. The Beechcraft Bonanza groans with the sounds of our imminent death. In its seemingly final act of resistance, the plane exerts its last ounce of strength against the storm.

***

It is then that we burst through a thick wall of clouds and into the brightest, bluest sky we have ever seen.

At the sight of this, Johnny just shrugs his shoulders, smiles and begins to laugh, applauding the miraculous event.

“Que Rico!” I scream.

“Time is our friend and we have more money than God, carnale,” Johnny says. “Call it luck of the I wish.”

“Irish,” I attempt to correct him. “It’s luck of the Irish.”

“I thought you were Italian-Mexican. You are Irish too?”

“Ya Johnny, I’m a little bit of everything.”

“That’s true,” he agrees. “Some pinche grunon pendejo (fucking grumpy asshole) I think you have in you as well.”

Acting as if we hadn’t almost just been killed, Salinas casually announces that we still have close to an hour or so until we land at Isla del Rey (King’s Island), off the Pacific coast of Panama.

“That’s your island, si?” Johnny says, pointing at me.

“Okay, just stop with it already.”

***

There should be a truck waiting for us to unload the cache and transport us to the boat we are taking to Mexico. It’s close to two days there but better than flying because we aren’t on anyone’s radar. Just a fishing boat drifting on the waves, in search of its next big catch.

I hand over the rock of cocaine to Salinas and he immediately crushes it in his hand. Then, with one quick motion, he lifts his palm to his nose and inhales with the force of a Hoover vacuum. I give him the beer as well, seeing as how he deserved a small reward for getting us safely through the storm. Even Dorothy herself would’ve pissed her drawers making it through that one.

With the coast all but clear, I resort back to my usual rule of no drugs, alcohol, or shenanigans while on the job. Johnny is familiar with my modus operandi, chugging his beer behind me in an act of defiance.

He gives me a relaxed salute and a thumbs up. I can only offer a weak smile in return, lacking the enthusiasm to debate his earlier remarks at this moment. Best to just let him  believe his comments were a valid description of my character. I’ve gotta let him win every once in a while.

There are times when I want to terminate our friendship, end things and go it all alone. Although, I’d most likely wind up missing his dumb ass, along with his hysterical laughter. I’d probably worry about his welfare constantly, wondering who was looking out for him. There always seems to be some type of imminent catastrophe hanging over our heads whenever we undertake an operation like this as partners. Events of cataclysmic proportion materialize from somewhere beyond my ability to offer a rationial explanation.

In most cases it happens by no fault of our own actions, but either way, somehow we always manage to make it through in the end.

There is one thing that I’m absolutely convinced of concerning Johnny Rico: he would defend me to his death if the situation called for it. He would take a bullet for me, and I would do the same for him. Trust is a rare commodity in this business. There’d been times in my past I was the only friend I had, and I wasn’t so sure he was one I could trust. But, somehow I’d come to trust Johnny of all people with my very own life.

Perhaps he really was my good-luck charm after all.

Talk about smooth sailing from here on out. Long, thin wisps of cirrus scratch the sky like angels keying the paint job on God’s celestial Buick.

Meanwhile, Salinas has begun to sweat profusely, his eyes owl-sized, his mouth bone dry from all the coke he’d just inhaled.

“Dame un otra cerveca patron!” (Give me another beer boss) he demands.

Johnny responds immediately, grabbing two from the cooler and popping off the caps with his teeth. I’m uncomfortable with them both slamming beers in cockpit, but it was my fuck up giving Salinas the coke and a beer in the first place.

Johnny just stares at me, contemplating my reaction to their antics. He’s expecting me to voice my objections, but I remain quiet without expressing these concerns.

At long last, I am finally able to relax. A couple of hours to go before we reach Panama.

Incidentally, there’s a new President who has seized power in Panama recently, Manuel Noriega. It’s rumored that he’s partial to those of us who dabble in the import/export game. We’ll soon find out for ourselves.

Judge Santiago Burdon

Father Guy

On a run from Tucson to Portland with 300 kilos (660 pounds) of marijuana loaded into a Dodge minivan. My running partner Becky is riding shotgun, acting as navigator, lookout, and all-around pessimist. She checks the map every ten minutes, informing me of upcoming cities and alternative routes that I never bother to consider. I’ve driven this run five, maybe six times in the past, always with successful results. My route is plotted out and investigated days before I ever turn the key in the vehicle’s ignition.

“…I think that’s a cop ahead of us…”

“…There might be a cop car behind us….”

“…That looks like a cop parked on the shoulder up ahead…”

Her refrain continues like a broken record for the entire duration of our trip. I’ve long-since given up on requesting that she stop with the minute-by-minute commentary, as this only incites her anger and makes for an even less pleasant journey. Her assessment of law enforcement being in close proximity has only been correct on two occasions out of fifty or so possible sightings. As a result, I have developed a mental cut-off switch to silence her endless prattle.

Besides, we’re not getting busted on this run. How can I be so sure? Because even if we do get pulled over, I’m wearing the perfect disguise — Priest’s vestments, white collar and everything, a look I’d salvaged from last Halloween. However, unlike some cheap costume, it is totally authentic. I’d acquired it from the Catholic Church in Nogales, helping clean out the basement for bingo space.

“Looks like we’re getting low on gas,” Becky announces, interrupting my musings. “And I’ll need to pee soon,” she informs me.

“Okay Beck,” I tell her. “Pick an exit coming up.”

“Santi, Santi!” she squeals, looking at her map. “Listen to this. Coming up in about fifteen miles, there’s a town called ‘Weed’. Really, Weed, California! How funny is that? Let’s stop there, please. I’ll watch the highway signs as we get close.”

“Sounds great Beck, just let me know.”

As mentioned, I’d traveled this route a few times before, so I was aware of the oddly named town already. In that moment, however, I thought it best to stay quiet and let Becky think she’d found the location herself.

Let me assure you, Weed is an actual town in California, not some fictional place made up for the sake of this story. It exists near Interstate 5, north of Sacramento, with a sensational view of Mount Shasta.

Soon after exiting the highway, we locate a gas station with the word ‘Weed’ painted in large letters on its side. I pull up to the gas pumps and Becky hops out of the van, making a bee-line for the bathrooms.

After I’ve finished refueling, I pay for the gas and grab a few items for the road. The station attendant has long hair, a tie-dyed shirt, and sunglasses looking as though he had escaped from a Rainbow Gathering. I approach the counter and he greets me with a smile.

“So, like, welcome man,” he says. “Everything cool?”

“Certainly my good man,” I reply.

“So you, like, a Priest or something?”

“Yes, like a Priest or something.”

“That’s cool. That’s cool. Do ya need help finding something?”

Suddenly, Becky pokes her head in the door.

“Hey Father,” she says, “grab me a Coke and some Doritos, please.”

“So that’s it, then?” the attendant asks. “Two cokes, peanuts, and fifteen dollars gas.”

“Ya know what,” I tell him, “give me a pack of Marlboro Lights as well, will you please?”

“So, that woman there your wife?”

“No my good man, she is an administrator for the church. Priests aren’t allowed to take wives; it’s in our vows.”

“But it’s okay to smoke?” he asks. “Isn’t that, like, against the Bible man?”

“Can’t say I follow all the rules,” I reply. “I am only human after all. Your body is a temple, but it’s your temple, and sometimes, well…”

Damn, I make a pretty good priest if I do say so myself. Quite possibly I missed my true calling in life.

“So, Father man, no souvenirs of our famous little town?”

“No souvenirs, thanks. But tell me, why is your town so famous?”

I’m feeling playful and enjoy the banter. Becky at times wears me out, going on and on with her worrying, complaints, and things beyond anyone’s control.

“This town is famous because of its name… Weed. Do ya get it? Weed, man.”

“Sure I do. Like dandelion. Seems to me they could have named the town Dandelion, which is a much more delightful name, don’t you think?”

“No no no, like weeeeedddd. Ya get it? Weeeeedddd, like marijuana.”

“Are you trying to tell me you sell marijuana here? That’s illegal, young man. If you get caught quite possibly you could go to prison. Not a wise decision. Especially selling from this gas station.”

“That’s not what I mean!” he cries, his voice going up by an octave or two. “I’m not selling weed HERE! I’m just trying to tell ya the name of our town, Weed, is another word for marijuana.”

“Like a code word someone looking to purchase marijuana would use? Sorry, I understand now, but I do not wish to buy any.”

I am thoroughly enjoying myself, although my once mellow station attendant is presently coming undone. He smacks the counter with the palms of his hands before running them through his hair, gasping sharply in frustration.

“I’m NOT selling marijuana, do ya get it, Father guy? Don’t start telling people I’m selling weed here, please?”

“Of course not,” I reassure him. “I am a priest, not a policeman. It is not my place to judge you and I won’t inform the authorities of your activities. You have my word.”

He gives me my change and quickly bags my items, shoving them across the counter at me in contempt.

“You know,” I tell him as I turn to leave, “there are treatment centers for drug abusers and addicts like you. You might want to look into that as an option. I sincerely hope you consider my suggestion. May God be with you my son.”

He can only stare in disbelief as I exit the gas station.

“Father guy, you got all wrong!” he hollers after me. “I’m a USER, not an abuser!”

I try my best to keep a straight face as I return to Becky, who’s been waiting impatiently in the minivan.

“What the hell were you doing in there?” she demands to know. “Listening to that guy’s life story? Come on, move it! Let’s get back on the road.”

I buckle myself in as she continues.

“AND you forgot my damn Doritos!” she whines, whacking me in the shoulder. “You know I don’t like peanuts! You know what, Santi? You’re a real piece of work.”

Ah, back to being a bitch-magnet for Becky. Her words fill the space between my ears, threatening to burst my brain. I’m long overdue to explode back at her with my own pent-up rage, but for now I’m just Father guy, hitting the highway and heading north from “Ya know man, like, Weeeeedddd California.”

Matthew Licht

quilted nude dd4

A Hard Case (Part 4)

North Hollywood’s a sleepy town, especially at night.

All the gates were closed, the shutters drawn. No sign of life at any of the major adult studios, where on-camera love was a day job.

The head honchos at those porn factories were interchangeable oily, overweight men. I’d rousted all of them on various occasions when I was still with the Sheriffs Dept. They ratted each other out like clockwork when pre-production dope deals went sour, or if a stacked or well-hung corpse turned up somewhere.

There was another adult film presence in North Hollywood however, a phantom outfit known only as Project X. Their main client was rumored to be the United States’ government.

The location of Project X’s headquarters was a mystery in itself.

The car’s hood ornament, a blindfolded woman in a windswept toga, rolled down the boulevards, avenues and alleys. North Hollywood memories flooded in through the speckled windshield. There was the high school, the public library, the swimming pool where girls once wore their first bikinis and boys first learned what a broken heart feels like. The drive-in hamburger restaurant where the waitresses hopped cars on roller skates. The drive-in movie theater where Senior Class President Jane Waddell said she was…

The green sign at the intersection of Xavier Ave and Exacerbation Blvd flashed in the headlights and rang a spooky bell. A red moon hung low in the sky and leered at the lifeless world below. A black X hand-painted on a busted plywood door leant against a low wall seemed to mark the spot.

Project X, if that’s what the building was, didn’t look like a movie lot. Anyone who drove by would’ve mistaken the place for a bush league chemical plant or a futuristic bakery. Everything was neat and white. On the outside, at least.

There was no barbed wire, no guard towers, no sentries posted. I parked and slithered back through the shadows to investigate.

There was a dumpster in the alley. Even if a garbage-dive in the dark didn’t yield Doris Frawley’s exsanguinated corpse, there might be factory reject DVDs or leftover raw footage. Jane Waddell might’ve turned into one of those North Hollywood housewives who earned extra housekeeping money with their clothes off, in conjunction with strange men, under hot lights.

A light burned on the second floor of the two-storey building, invisible from the street. The lit window was closed, but a muffled scream came through, followed by moans. The voice, though deep, was unmistakably a woman’s.

A Hard Case (Part 1)

A Hard Case (Part 2)

A Hard Case (Part 3)

Anthony Dirk Ray

The King

Upon the bed listening to Coltrane, drunk and bored. This had been a common occurrence for a while now since she’d left.

The old lady had been gone for about two months. She had taken everything but the records, record player, and my nuts. The nuts, she tried to take, but had too many of her own to carry. The bottle seemed empty enough to me to want to take a walk to the local bar.

I stood as best as I could, wobbly, but determined. I’ll find me a new bitch, I thought, as I struggled to make said thought. Who would be the lucky one to take me home and feel my semi-hard six inches. I looked in the mirror and saw a king, but in actuality I was nothing more than an ugly, fat, drunk, loser. Who would be so lucky?

Then it dawned on me. That bitch didn’t take my gun. I should just end it now. What is life, but a waiting room for the afterlife? And if it wasn’t, who would know any different? I approached the dresser, pulled the second drawer, and grabbed the revolver.

I sat on the edge of the bed, holding the cold steel in my hand, as it rested on my leg. I stared down at the inanimate object and blurry thoughts raced through my mind. This mechanism has been used to start and finish wars, protect, rob, rape, murder, and maim. Would this particular device be my problem solver, or was this just a cowardly cop out?

I slowly lifted the small, but heavy piece, placing its barrel against my temple. I had heard in the past of some not dying from the temple shot, so I moved the barrel under my chin. This was it, I thought, as my finger stiffened on the trigger. It was an easier feeling that I would have imagined it being. The hammer, as well as this world, began to slowly move away from me.

And then, just as I’d reached about six of the total eight pounds of pressure needed to pull the trigger, ‘Moments Notice’ ended, and the record player needle moved toward the center hole.

Goddamn, my stylus will be ruined, I thought. I retracted my tension on the trigger, threw the gun on the bed, and ran toward the player. I killed the power and placed the tonearm back in its cradle. I gave a slight chuckle under my breath and thought, I need a drink. I emptied the last few drops from the bottle beside the bed, put on some clothes that were laying around, and headed out into the night.

As I walked, I swayed from one side of the sidewalk to the other. It was a cold, crisp night, and there was a slight breeze. I looked around at the trees blowing in the wind, the cars passing, the few people out and about, and I thought, I could make it one more night.

It was a fairly long walk to the bar. I had never been there, but had driven past it numerous times. I just figured it was a little too country for my liking, plus booze was cheaper and more plentiful when you got it from a liquor store.

I finally arrived at the entrance. It was a simple, square building, no windows, with only a glowing red neon sign that touted bar. As I entered, all eyes turned to see the next lonely soul at the depressing watering hole. My thoughts of this establishment being too country for me was proven ten fold. Old country music played and smoke filled the unventilated room. At least old country music was better than this new form of bastardized country, mixing elements of pop, hip hop and rock, I thought. Old country music reminded me of my youth, as my grandparents listened to it, plus, it was easy to drink to.

There were only a few people in there. An older couple sat at a table in the corner, kissing and rubbing one another. Two old drunks sat at the bar, slouched, and disconnected. The unneeded barmaid sat at one table smoking cigarettes, and fiddling on her phone, while a gray haired man tended the bar, and watched a boxing match with the sound turned down. Then I noticed something I found completely out of place.

A gorgeous, dark-haired, middle aged woman sat at the end of the bar sipping a martini. I was shocked to see such an attractive woman in there, and even more so, that martinis were served. She had on a green dress that clung to her body, leaving very little to the imagination. The dress rode up as she crossed her legs, unveiling smooth, white, succulent extremities. The front of her dress protruded out from the large breasts just under the shear material. It was dark, but not dark enough to notice the absence of a bra.

I took one of the many empty spots at the bar between the old drunks and the beautiful woman. The barkeep turned from the television and asked, “Whattaya have?”

“Whiskey with a splash of water,” I responded, as I continued to survey my surroundings.

From my angle I could see everyone in the bar. The older couple in the corner were really getting at it now. It appeared the man had his hand running up her leg and under her skirt. She was giggling and squirming with a hold on his stick.

The barmaid, still smoking, got up, walked behind the bar, and fixed herself a whiskey sour.

“Good choice,” I said, and smiled.

She gave me a look of repulsion, shook her head, and returned to her seat. She appeared to be in her mid-forties, hard lines from a hard life. Her body showed signs of wear and abuse, although her ass had held up nice, as the cut-off jean shorts highlighted her posterior.

In the mirror behind the bar, the two old drunks slogging away at their beers, and the barkeep, now back to the match. Green dress was the one I really had an eye on though. I nipped at my rotgut and kept giving smiles and eyes to the goddess in green. She nodded, smiled, and held up her drink.

I held my drink up as well, but it was to tell the barkeep that I had drained it, and I was in dire need of his professional services. He seemed agitated, but obliged my request. He slid the glass of brown death in front of me and returned to seemingly hold up the bar.

The older couple couldn’t stand it any longer, and stood up to leave before they started fucking in front of us all. The man had a hard on, and the woman’s skirt was so high, you got a tiny peek of her cunt before she pulled it down. Green dress and I both noticed this and smiled at one another.

I noticed her drink was getting low so I told the barkeep, “Hey. One for the pretty lady.”

She raised her glass at me once more and smiled. She crossed her legs and I got a real good view of creamy, thick, delicious thigh meat. Blood started flowing down to, and through my little neglected friend. It had been what seemed like a year since I had been with a woman sexually. Toward the end of my last relationship, I just had no drive, no interest, and the feelings were obviously mutual.

About that time, one of the drunks leaned way over and said, “Kid, don’t mess with her. She’s an alien.” I laughed, but his face remained stone-like.

“I hear you old man,” I responded.

“Look kid, I’m not bullshitting you. She’s a goddamn alien,” said the old drunk once more.

“You’re fucking drunk or crazy, or both,” I said.

I looked at green dress, looked down at her thighs, her legs, her tits, her hair, turned back towards the old drunk and said, “Leave me the fuck alone old man.”

I motioned for the barkeep for another drink for me and green dress. I told him, “Send them over there.” I pointed toward green dress, got off my stool, and walked toward her.

“May I sit with you?” I asked. She nodded in acceptance. I pulled the stool out to sit down and was finally able to get a close up of that body. It was better than I had originally thought. Those legs were spectacular, with the green dress riding high up on her thighs. Her tits were big, but absolutely perfect. They looked firm, with nipples that stared back at me, as I at them. She had a slight pudge, a pooch of a gut, which I absolutely adored, and found extremely sexy.

“Getting a good look?” she asked.

“Fuck yes, I am,” I acknowledged.

Fuck yes I was.

We both laughed a bit and started in on our new drinks. She asked a lot of questions about me, about my past, about my thoughts of my future. The drink was in me so I was honest. I told her of my unlucky streak with women, with jobs, with cops, with everything really. I told her of constant ridicule by women, by bosses, by cops, by everyone really. I spoke of both of my parents dying young and how that had made me lose faith in this fucked up world all together. She was a great listener, as she only until now had been asking questions.

Finally, I snapped out of what seemed to be a hypnotized state, and said, “Shit. Enough about me. Why are you in this place?”

She grinned and said, “I’m having some drinks.”

I shook my head, grinned, and said, “No, really though. Why are you in this small town, in this shitty bar? It just don’t add up.”

It didn’t add up. I’d never seen anyone so stunning in this entire region, most less this small town.

“I am just traveling through,” she said.

“Alone?” I asked.

“For now. I am actually looking for someone.”

“Well, I hope you find them,” I said, as I took a long pull from my whiskey. “Shit, what’s your name?” I asked.

“Barbara.” she said, as a smile overtook her face. “Excuse me, I have to go to the ladies room.”

“Of course,” I said. She got up from her stool and I finally got a chance to see that green dress hug the shape of a perfect round ass as she walked away from me. The old drunk looked at me with abhorrence and shook his head. I smiled and gave him a wink.

Barbara was gone for what seemed like an eternity. I finished my drink and thought she had left, but realized there are no windows in this place. Did she slip by me and out the door, I thought? No. It couldn’t be. This was a relatively small place, so there was no chance of that.

Just then, Barbara returned, looking sexier than ever to me. The dress seemed shorter than before, her legs, tits, ass, and pooch all seemed sexier. Aw shit, I was just drunk, I thought. I was glad to see her return though. This was the best thing to happen to me in years, maybe ever. This seemed way too good to be true. How can an ugly, out of work, fat, drunk like me, pull some hot piece of ass like this, I thought?

Oh well, I wasn’t looking in any horse’s mouth that had a gift for me. Hell, I was due, I thought. I knew someday something good had to happen for me. It was just a matter of percentage and chance I always said. I tried to stay positive, but sometimes that was just impossible.

Then Barbara grabbed my hand, put it on her upper thigh, and placed her hand firmly between my thigh and cock. She leaned in for a kiss and I also leaned into it. Our lips met, and fireworks went off in my mind as her tongue explored my mouth. She tasted sweeter than any cake, candy, or pie I had remembered, with a mix of salty brine and gin.

“Let’s get out of here,” she said.

“I have a place not far from here,” I said.

Barbara paid both of our tabs, and we walked out into the cold night.

“I walked here,” I said, with slight embarrassment.

“That’s okay, we’ll walk back then,” she said.

On the walk, we couldn’t keep our hands off one another. I felt as if I was in a dream. This is too good to be true, I thought to myself. But it was happening so I was going with it.

We finally reached my place and I was shaking with anticipation trying to get the key in the hole. As soon as we entered the house, we were like caged animals getting out of cages for the first time. It was carnal. It was freeing. It was pure unadulterated lust. I took hold of the bottom of her green dress and with one motion pulled it up over her head, exposing the most gorgeous body in the universe. Her body was more exceptional naked than clothed, even though the dress hugged every curve.

I had finally reached my nirvana. Things were looking up. Moments ago, I was milliseconds from death at my own hand, and now was about to penetrate the goddess of my dreams. Life works in mysterious ways, I thought, as I tongued her mouth and grabbed handfuls of ripe tit meat and voluptuous ass. She was the best kisser I had ever experienced. Her tongue seemed to do magic in my mouth. Her body was warm, soft, and moved in rhythmic pulses that made me hard as a rock.

The moment was perfect.

Barbara didn’t seem to mind the fat, hairy gut that I had been working on for years with bad eating and good drinking. She continued to explore my mouth with her tongue and my body with her hands. At times, it seemed as if she had more than one tongue and more than two hands. She pulled from my mouth and began kissing down my chest, down my stomach, through all the hair, until she reached my hard, throbbing, neglected cock. She sucked. Oh my fucking god did she suck. At times it seemed as if my ass, balls, and cock were getting appropriate attention.

I did not question such good feelings. I mean, I had been drinking all night, so my concept of reality must be skewed, right? I laid across the bed feeling feelings that I had never felt in the past.

“Holy shit!” I gasped. “How are you doing that?”

She said nothing in response, but the bliss of inherent multiple tongues continued. The oral pleasure of heaven ceased; and while I was disappointed for a brief second, the disappointed soon subsided. She climbed atop and straddled my cock for a mesmerizing ride. Her cunt, wet as the Gulf of Mexico, slid down upon my awaiting, throbbing member.

“Oh shit!”

I let out in a lustful groan. How can she be so wet, feel so good, and be into me, I thought? That thought didn’t last long as I began stroking. I gripped her ass cheeks, put a tit in my mouth, and pounded the sexy specimen. It felt as if I was a god for the moment. All the years of ridicule and rejection have led me to this, I thought, as I lay pipe like a king.

She moaned like a creature from another world and released fluid on me that I had never experienced. Everything was wet. Sounds of sloshing and moans of lust overtook my senses. I could not take it any longer, as I exploded in her like a volcano waiting to erupt after years of dormancy.

“Fuck!” I yelled, as if my cock was on fire. It felt as if I released gallons of cum deep inside her. Barbara kept riding, taking every drop of my offering to her.

“Shit,” I said, as I laid there, sweaty, and drained. “How was it for you?”

“It was perfect.” she said, rolling from me to lay in coital bliss. “I couldn’t have asked for better.”

“Now you have to come with me,” she said.

“Give me a minute, I can’t go again yet. I need time to rest and reload,” I said.

“No, not cum, as in ejaculate, come as in, go with me,” she said.

“I’m tired babygirl, can’t we just sleep here?” I exhausted.

“You aren’t seeming to understand. I have traveled many light years to get to you. Many years of exploring, investigating, and research have led me to you. You have to come back with me,” she said.

“Where are you from, California?” I asked, half joking, but half fucking freaking out.

“No. I am from the Kapsatian galaxy and I was sent here to find a human king,” she said.

I laughed with hesitation and disbelief, and said, “Quit fucking with me. Either, you are fucking with me, or you are out of your mind bat shit crazy.”

She gave me a look from her, not of this world, deepest of the sea-like blue eyes, that told me that she was neither fucking with me, nor bat shit crazy. At that moment I knew that old drunk fucker was telling the truth. I was scared, uneasy, and I didn’t know what to do or say.

All I could muster up was, “So what does all this mean?”

She looked at me as if she was in love and said, “It means that you are now free. It means that you are now our king. We have been watching you for some time now. Who do you think stopped you from pulling that trigger earlier?”

Now on a scale of creepiness, I was at a ten. I started shaking, convulsing, and I think I almost had a heart attack. This shit just does not happen. I now knew that this bitch was a fucking alien. There was no way for her to have known that. I heard that she said king, but all I envisioned was being some intergalactic slave that was probed and raped via the anus on an hourly basis.

“I feel that you are scared. I sense that,” she said. “But there is nothing to worry about.”

“Okay, so now what?” I asked.

“Well, now we go home, have a huge welcoming ceremony, and begin your reign,” she said.

“Reign?” I asked with confusion.

She touched my cock, smiled, and said, “Yes, reign. As in king. Haven’t you heard what I’ve been saying. You will be our king. You are the chosen one.”

“So what does king entail?” I asked. Not sure what I was about to hear, but knowing at this point I didn’t have a fucking choice.

“Being king entails whatever you want. Your only duty as king is to give us offspring like you just did with me.”

I knew she was on the level now but something inside me was still ambivalent. I guess that I was just a human and expected the worst case scenario at all times.

“Come, it’s time,” she said.

A warmth overtook me as I lay naked and sweaty in my bed. Without warning, a light engulfed me and I experienced a tremendous burning from within. It felt as if I was being ripped apart at my core. There was no sound, just heat and pressure. It seemed to last about a full minute.

Then the burning ceased and I was in a hazy void. My hearing started to come back. I heard rumbles of cheering. All female voices.

The haze lifted and thousands of naked aliens were cheering my arrival. All of the aliens were absolutely beautiful. Some blonde, some brunette, some redhead, all curvaceous and oozing sensuality. I had a feeling of home, of belonging.

Barbara was at my side and numerous well built, naked aliens greeted her by kneeling and bowing.

“This is our king,” she said to the masses. A roar of feminine fertility could be heard for miles. It was a deafening sound, but I could somehow feel the admiration and subservient nature of the masses.

One by one, each came to greet me as I sat on a throne of some rare, precious space metal. I could not pick a favorite because all were sexy and perfect to my human mind. I sat there being adored and thought, I knew something good was in store for me, but I would have never guessed to this extent.

The greetings and ceremony seemed to last for a day as I met my followers and heard stories of their patience in waiting for me. I was tired, needed some sleep, and time to take all of this in.

Barbara sensed this and said, “Come, I’ll show you our quarters. You need your rest. You will soon have a lot of work to do.”

We rode odd creatures much like horses on Earth, although they appeared nothing of the sort, to a huge mansion atop a hill.

It was spectacular and elegant. I’ve never encountered anything so opulent or breathtaking on earth, in person, or on television. I was in complete disbelief and awe. A large drawbridge opened and we entered into the main hall. It was stunning and prodigious. I actually had a tear run down my cheek as I tried to take it all in. Metals, gems, and stones that I never knew existed were the building blocks of everything around me.

Barbara took me to our bedroom, and said, “Get some rest, but if you need anything, just ring the bell.”

The bed was smoother and softer than any I could have ever dreamt in my head. I wondered what this material was. I had a lot to get used to in my new surroundings and my new home.

I rang the bell.

A gorgeous, blonde alien with an hourglass shape and spectacular breasts bowed and asked, “What do you need, Your Majesty?”

“I need a fucking drink…”

Judge Santiago Burdon

Dark Cloud In A Silver Lining

The weekend, especially Friday night, I revere as a weekly religious event. Worshiping at the local taverns with an ass-kicking band playing rock n roll hymns and a cold libation to toast to whatever the hell I want.

I’m not the type to drink myself into a stupor. Getting drunk is a waste of an evening as well as the next morning nursing a hangover. I prefer to get dimly lit, just enough to engage in social interaction without displaying tendencies of an asshole. Scotch is my social lubricant with a few lines of cocaine; they always serve as a perfect duo.

It was an hour before my date was picking me up. Yes she was picking me up and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some women find it rather sexy. There had been a couple of incidents that had caused my driver’s license to be suspended, so she’s kindly volunteered to be my chauffeur for the evening. Besides, it’s a pleasure to be driven around without the fear of being pulled over for once.

I decided to hit the shower while my clothes were in the dryer. I had been neglecting my manscaping for quite some time, and with Bethany a sure thing, it was time to take action. Far from a professional at this activity, I decide to proceed.

My tools consist of a large pair of scissors and a Bic triple-edge razor.

There was a time when the more hair a man had on his legs, chest, and around the one-eyed monster, this was considered a sign of masculinity. Nowadays, many of these “men” shaved themselves smooth, with some even choosing the painful method of hot waxing.

The water pressure is blasting from the shower head with such force it actually stings. I am cutting the longer hair around my pubic area with scissors to shorten it, prepping to finish off with the razor.

I rest my foot upon the rim of the tub, providing a better view of my groin area. The conditioner in my hair begins running down, coating my body with its slickness. As I  attempt to snip a patch of hair from my right testicle, my foot suddenly slips, causing me to tumble into the tub.

Instantly I notice a large ribbon of blood streaming out from underneath me. Even as I sprawl across the bottom of the tub, I’m  still holding the scissors in hand.

I don’t believe I’ve stabbed myself as I search my body for wounds. Slowly crawling to my feet, it is then that I notice the stream of blood trickling down my right leg.

Taking a closer look, I finally discover my self-inflicted wound and what appears to be a large macadamia nut hanging from my scrotum.

“Son of a bitch!” I scream. “I cut my balls off!”

I quickly tuck the round white gonad back into its sack, pinching it closed in an effort to stop the bleeding. Should I go to the hospital emergency room? The pain increases and the bleeding continues.

Damn, if I go to the ER, it’ll sure be embarrassing to explain how this happened… Sweet Jesus, what am I  going to tell Bethany?

And then, as if right on cue, the door bell rings. Surely it’s Bethany, arriving early as she always does.

“Hey Beth, come on in, the door is unlocked,” I call out to her. “I’m in my bedroom in back. Please hurry!”

“What’s going on baby? Where is all the blood coming from?” she asks. “Did you get shot, Santi?”

“I can only wish I had been shot… I’d gladly face that type of injury rather than this!”

“Tell me what happened? I can’t help if I don’t know what’s wrong.”

“I cut my ballsack while shaving in the shower. My foot slipped and the scissors snipped right through. I saw my gonad hanging out, Beth.”

She moves in closer to get a better view. I lift the towel to show her, noticing the bleeding still hasn’t stopped.

“Oh Santi, you poor thing! I think you should go to the emergency room.”

She tries to keep a serious face, but the humorous implication of the incident wins out and she begins laughing, apologizing between chuckles.

“Ha ha,” I say, “absolutely hilarious, I’m sure…”

“Come on, let’s get you dressed and we’ll get you to the ER. Sound good babe?”

“Let’s go.”

A woman in control of a situation that demands immediate attention is a real turn on. Bethany is a take-charge kind of girl. Besides being an incredibly gorgeous woman, she’s intelligent as well as responsible.

Why I’m not completely taken by her loveliness is beyond me. Then again, maybe I am in love with her and it’s the reason I don’t commit to a relationship. It would end with me ruining her innocent nature and destroying her already fragile belief in love. It is better we are an occasional couple. I adore her too much to cause her emotional distress that would most likely manifest into her hating me eventually.

Women I’ve been associated with are drawn to me for only one reason, I’m a novelty. A novelty similar to those sold at your local joke store. You’re familiar with what I’m referring to: Black gum, sneeze powder, Chinese finger cuffs, the hand buzzer and the famous fart pillow. Like the fart pillow’s humor quickly fades, the novelty in my personality becomes a mundane routine no longer entertaining. Eventually this leads to a complete state of disbelief with her questioning how she ended up with a man like me.

Meanwhile, Bethany is speeding like a possessed NASCAR driver, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights and beeping her horn in short rapid bursts. I’m terrified, but impressed with this talent she has kept hidden from me all this time.

“Take it easy there, Earnhardt,” I tell her, wincing with pain. “It’s not worth getting in an accident baby!”

Now if I were driving, I would have been pulled over for speeding, or not using my turn signal. She, on the other hand, has somehow managed to avoid the police, and the other motorists on the road even courteously let her cut them off from lane to lane.

We arrive with a screeching halt as Bethany slams on the breaks, coming to a stop just outside the ER entrance. She turns to me, smiles, then giggles like a schoolgirl.

Our exhibition draws the attention of the attendants inside and they respond by rushing out to the car. In the hopes of getting faster treatment, I act as though my injury is much more serious than it actually is. I groan like I’ve been gravely injured as they drag me from the passenger’s seat.

A male attendant brings a wheelchair, then he and another lift me into it. My jeans are soaked through with blood at the crotch. I’m dripping red droplets on the pristine white tile floor as I’m wheeled to the nurse at the triage desk.

“What do we have here dear?” she asks. “How long have you been bleeding like this? What happened?”

“I accidentally cut my scrotum and now my gonad is hanging out…” I mumble in reply.

“Speak up hon, I can’t hear what your saying. You cut your stomach? Is that what you said?”

“No no no, I cut my scrotum,” I repeat, a little louder this time as I lean in closer.

And then, my secret revealed, the nurse repeats exactly what I’d just told her in a loud, boisterous voice for all within earshot to hear.

“Did you say you cut your scrotum and your gonads?! How in the Lord’s name did you manage to do that?!”

Just as I expected, laughter erupts from those seated in the waiting area. Patients, attendants, and nurses alike erupt into barely contained hysterics at my expense.

“Darling, do you want to explain the circumstances surrounding your injury?”

“No, not here I don’t!”

“Okay then, let’s get you to an examination room and evaluate the laceration and you can explain to the doctor. Would that be better?”

Bethany is standing behind me, rubbing my shoulders reassuringly as she offers up her own take on my near castration.

“He’s a bit embarrassed about the accident and would rather not share it with everyone, if you know what I mean? It’s something that I think most folks wouldn’t understand.”

Suddenly she starts laughing as well, which sets off a chain reaction of others laughing along with her.

“Thanks for your moral support, Beth,” I whisper to her as we’re led into the room. “You sure helped keep me from being humiliated back there.”

“Sorry Santi, but you’ll find the humor in this someday and laugh your ass off, too. Oh baby did I hurt your feelings? You’ll forgive me later when I get you home.”

“Is this your wife, Mr. Santiago?” a nurse asks.

“No! And with the black marks she’s accumulating, there’s little to no chance she will be in the future!”

“Were you going to propose to me tonight Santi?” she squeals excitedly. “Were you?”

“Only family allowed in examination rooms, I’m afraid.”

“But I request her presence,” I grudgingly admit. “I prefer she stays. I need the company.”

“Alright,” the nurse sighs, “I guess we can make an exception…”

It is then that the doctor arrives, prepared to assess the damage.

“Okay, let me have a look at this laceration,” he says as he snaps on gloves. “I’m Doctor Sullivan. You want to explain how this happened?”

“Not really,” I tell him truthfully. “Let’s just say scissors should never come in close proximity to one’s genitalia.”

“Amen!” he says. “Doing some manscaping, were ya? In the future, you might want to look into using an electric razor instead. Somewhat less dangerous.”

“Yes baby,” Bethany says, “that way we won’t have to spend our Friday night in the ER. What if we decide to have children and you end up with a home-done vasectomy? I wanna have babies honey.”

“Are you for real?” I shoot back at her. “What in the hell are you even talking about? How could you take care of a baby? Your houseplants died, your cat went missing, your goldfish went belly up, and now you want a baby?”

“Okay,” Doctor Sullivan says, “we’ll get some stitches in there and get you and the Mrs. on your way. I’ll get you good and numbed up to dull the pain. I’ll write you a prescription for some Vicodin. Luckily, you didn’t cause any major damage to the family jewels, so I think you two should be able to have a houseful of ankle biters.”

He exits the room and I hear laughter echoing throughout the hallway outside. I’m sure they’re not laughing with me, but at me, because I have still yet to find any humor in this situation.

I turn back to Bethany and she’s crying.

“What the hell is wrong with you? Feeling guilty about your earlier antics?”

“You’re a real son of a bitch, you know that? What an insensitive thing to say… Bad enough telling me I wouldn’t be a good mother, but you said it in front of the doctor and everything! Where are your manners?”

“My mother is a wonderful woman, so don’t refer to her as a bitch. There is no reason to bring her into this twisted event. Also I’m truly sorry for making such an insensitive remark. Undeservingly, I directed  my frustration at you. Please forgive me…”

She walks over and kisses me softly on the head. The kind of kiss that reaches deep down and touches your soul. She then slaps my face playfully and smiles.

“You’ll make a wonderful mother, without a doubt.”

Finally, I get my stitches along with my Vicodin, and we start the drive back home.

“Hey Bethany, I’m feeling much better now,” I tell her along the way. “Let’s make a quick pit stop at the house so I can change my clothes, and I’ll take you out for a superb dinner. Then, after, we’ll grab a couple of cocktails and see some live music. I owe it to you baby, you deserve a decent night out. What do you say?”

“That would be nice honeybun, but can I pick the restaurant? And we’re not going to the Saxon Pub to see all your old girlfriends. Is that okay?”

After dinner, we wind up at the Continental Club in SoCo Austin, a decision of hers I am pleased with. I must confess, however, part of my passive disposition is due to the Vicodin I’d popped earlier, washed down with the bottle of  Merlot we’d shared at dinner.

Bethany has adopted a warm glow about her with an affectionate display of touching, kissing, and holding hands. She took a Vicodin as well, drank her fair share of wine, and we’d sparked a joint before dinner and finished it on the way to the club.

The place is jammed with University of Texas students yelling and acting out with immature obviousness.

Just the way I like it. Everyone enjoying themselves, the music screaming with the incentive to dance or just tap your foot. A close acquaintance of mine, Rusty Weir, is playing accompanied by Sean Shark Waterson on harmonica.

I’ve started walking with a slight limp due to my accident, which I have finally begun to view humorously now that I’m high.

“Baby, I’ve gotta pee,” Bethany says. “See if you can find us a table? I hope the line for the bathroom isn’t too long…”

She kisses me on the cheek and gives me a pat on my ass before walking off. I respond with a smile and give a thumbs up to acknowledge her request.

As I search for a table, there at the end of the bar I notice an old flame, one that still flickered in my memory. ‘Ravishing Rachael’ is the flower you so want to pick and make your own, but her beauty comes with some thorns.

She walks up to me with the confidence of the jaguar she is, puts her arms around me, and acts as though she is going to kiss my lips before pulling away. She giggles and twirls a strand of her long, curly black mane, biting her lower lip.

“Santiago,” she says, “where the hell have you been keeping yourself? Mexico, Guatemala, Jail? I’ve missed you. You never call and you change your number every other week. Why don’t answer your email?”

Now, Rachael is the most enthusiastic person to party with I have ever known. Also, she is a goddess in bed with an intimate way about her and an anything-goes attitude. She’s also bisexual, and whenever we’d go out together, she would just point at another woman in the bar. She’d then ask if I approved and recruit her to participate in a threesome. I’d  never heard her sales pitch myself, but there were only three occasions in my memory where it ever failed.

“It’s nice to see you, Rachael. I’ve been busy with this and that. Is your number the same? Are you still living in the apartment off of McNeal? I promise to give you a call. I’m with someone tonight, and I’m quite certain she’s not a three-on-the-mattress type.”

“So you’re dumping me already? Damn, hello and goodbye all in one breath. And why are you walking with a limp? Too much working out in bed?”

“No, I nearly cut my balls off while manscaping with some scissors earlier. Had to get stitches and everything. I just got out of the ER a couple of hours ago.”

Of course, she immediately begins laughing.

“Oh my God, that is definitely something that could only happen to you, Santi. Another  crazy experience to add to your list. Let me see! I wanna see…”

“What? I’m not dropping my pants right here in front of the whole bar.”

I could have just responded with a “no”, but no, I just had to go and encourage her curiosity.

“Come on, we’ll go into a stall in the restroom. Please, Santi, let me see! I wanna see your stitches. What a great pickup line! Wanna see my stitches, baby?”

“Okay, but let’s make it quick. Bethany, my companion, will be back soon.”

“You can’t do it, can you? You’re just unable to call her your date? Still hung up on the whole commitment thing, huh?”

The bathroom was relatively vacant with just a few guys draining their snakes. An empty stall was available and we quickly ducked in. Rachael shut the door behind us and locked it.

“Hey man, this is the men’s room,” someone comments. “Girls aren’t suppose to be in here, it’s against the law.”

“Are you for real, Mr. Bathroom Policeman?” I comment back. “I need her to assist me in changing my ostomy Bag. Does that fucking satisfy your curiosity?”

Stepping up on top of the toilet seat, I undo my pants and Rachael fishes out my balls, which are still wrapped in gauze.

“Baby take it easy, don’t pull so hard! Can you see now? Move the bandage to the side…”

“Ouch! Santi, that must’ve hurt and scared the hell out of you.”

A strong pounding on the stall door startles me.

“Open this door immediately. “

Racheal quickly complies and the door swings open, revealing me standing on top of the toilet my pants around my ankles and Rachael’s mouth at my crotch level.

“We don’t approve of this type of shit going on in here,” the bouncer informs us. “This is a goddamn public restroom, and we can’t allow this kind of thing to be happening. Understand?”

He was a large fellow, fitting the common description of one in his line of work. Crew cut, musclebound, his blazer testing the strength of its buttons. Sweat droplets on his upper lip and brow. His shoes are unpolished and he has a baby face he’ll most likely never outgrow.

“Please, Sir,” I try to explain while pulling up my pants, “this is not as it appears!”

“Get down from there before you get hurt. You’re both going to have to leave.”

“You can’t throw us out without at least hearing me out! I had an operation earlier today, and all she was doing was assisting me with my bandages. I swear that’s the God’s honest truth! It wasn’t what you think, so how about a pass? Whadaya say, big guy?”

“I understand, bud, but you brought her in here and that’s a definite No-No. I’ve gotta go by the rules. I’m sorry. Come on, let’s move it.”

Meanwhile, the crowd in the bathroom has grown into a small mob of people with curious looks on their faces. Some expressing comments, some laughing.

“I guess that guy was getting a blowjob in the bathroom stall…” I heard someone say.

“He was snorting coke with that babe in here…” said another.

We’re escorted out by two bouncer bookends acting as though we’d committed a felony.

“Can I at least inform my female friend,” I plead, “so she won’t think I abandoned  her, please?”

“Never a boring moment when I’m with you, Santi,” Rachael jokes.

“I have to find Bethany… I’m not going to have her think I deserted her.”

They lead Rachael to her table to retrieve her purse and jacket. She turns and blows me a kiss. I scan the crowd searching for Bethany, but it’s dark and difficult to identify her.

“Bethany! Bethany!” I scream over the noise of the crowd. “I have to go! Come outside, Bethany!”

“I’m right behind you, Santi!”

I hear her voice singing in my ear from over my shoulder. I turn around to begin my opening statement, immediately laying out my defense. As I start to speak she raises her hand, signaling me to stop. She turns and I follow her out.

We reach the exit, but before we can leave, the crowd starts applauding and cheering. I go to wave at my newfound fanbase but Bethany swiftly grabs my arm, holding it down.

“Don’t you dare!” she snaps.

“Oh, don’t be upset,” I tell her. “You’ll find the humor in this someday and laugh your own ass off!”

Sweet revenge.

“I hardly think so!” she fires back. “We’ll discuss this back at home. You have an enormous amount of ass kissing to do. You know what you are, Santi? You’re a disaster looking for a place to happen.”

“Personally, I prefer ‘the company that misery enjoys’. Or ‘the black cloud in every silver  lining’. My mother’s favorite.”

“Those too!” she spits in fury, seconding the motion.

The drive home is draped in silence, punctuated only by accusatory daggers from Bethany’s angry eyes.

The whole while, I’m thinking how lucky I am to still have both my testicles.

Matthew Licht

dd3 girl2

A Hard Case (Part 3)

I hadn’t been exactly straight with the client. I had a hunch where his wife was. There aren’t too many places a busty woman with no head for figures and less than a thousand bucks in her purse can go.

So I drove over the hill for a slog through Topless Los Angeles.

Doris Frawley could get bar patrons to order cases of champagne with a whisper in the ear. I showed her picture to managers, bouncers, and sweaty women on their breaks. “Hell, she’d put most of us out of a job,” one of the topless ladies said.

Nobody on Western Avenue had seen Doris Frawley.

Sunset Strip looks like a glittering step up, but it’s only further West, with parking lots for customers. And the dancers go all the way.

They serve ginger ale at places like the Tits Mahal. Nude women and alcohol don’t mix, in that part of the world. Doris Frawley was another blank in Nude Los Angeles.

High-dollar soda-pops turned to gold when I headed back to the Valley. Some former Sheriffs Dept colleagues had set up a roadblock on Cahuenga Pass and were administering the Breathalyzer. Sheriff Johnson Brown leant his beer gut against my car door.

“Hot damn. Ned Sloane, the lawman who thought he could go it alone. Check the car. Check the clothes. You were doing better when you wore a badge. And now: have you been drinking, sir?”

“Not me. I’m working undercover. Wave me through.”

“What kinda case you on? Lost pet?”

“A woman ran away from her husband.”

“What’s she look like?”

“Blonde, big in the chest.”

“Like, how big?”

Brown whistled when he saw the picture. Sheriffs Dimshaw, Pettet and Cluskey shambled over.

“I’m gonna turn in my badge and gun tomorrow,” Cluskey said.

“Take it easy,” Brown said. “Sloane was spotted in several titty bars earlier this evening. He’s unemployed, got nowhere else to go. Soon as this sobriety check bullshit’s over, I’m gonna investigate whether he exposed himself to any strippers, or behaved otherwise indecently.”

He waved me through with an obscene hand signal.

A gesture in a rearview mirror sparked intuition. Doris Frawley had hardcore appeal. That sort of talent leads to X-rated movies, which mean big bucks to those who produce them. Adult entertainment comes from North Hollywood, these days.

I was headed there anyhow.

Home.

 

DD3 girl

A Hard Case (Part 1)

A Hard Case (Part 2)

 

Rev. Jonah Howell

Thicc-Timely Meditations

At first I’d intended to write a poem about the State of Things.
I’d even begun to write said poem, rhyming my way
through a French-pressed pot of lapsang souchong when,
just as I’d pulled my foreskin back over my penis after
a nicely hydrated, nearly clear piss, one of our dear boys in blue
bolts in the bathroom, badge brandished,
says, “Oy, some blokes got a patent on ‘the State of Things.’
Best bugger off back home, or I’ll rock you, sock you, an’ Novichok you!”
At this, he spit and shook his fist and hissed a bit, and I said,
“Righto, coppo,” and put up my dangling dick and split.
And so I pressed the State of Things from my mind and went for a walk.

Upon first entering a town sometimes I think time runs straight there, like there’s a person down that road now there’s not, but no: Time sits on its unmovable thicc ass wherever you look, and it remains sitting wherever you have looked until once you’ve given a town the whole once-over, the full walk-around, then not just time but Time’s thicc ass is simultaneously touching all of it but hasn’t moved: This is the greatest problem geometricians have ever thunk up. Pascal himself said the “most fearful sphere” is the one whose “center is all places and whose circumference is nowhere.”

The only solution to said problem is that time gets thiccer at exactly the pace that you walk. Said thiccening of immobile, immovable time is called, the apparent interconnectivity of the town. Each person creates just such a thiccening as they walk the town, and the whole mass of those independent thiccenings we may call the composite thiccness of time, or the social interconnectivity of the town.

This framework can explain most everything about small towns. For example, why does everyone in Buttfuck-Egypt, Tennessee know everything about everyone else? Because Buttfuck-Egypt, Tennessee is tiny, and so everybody that lives there has seen every corner of it: Time there is therefore triple-c thiccc. This also explains why the South is famous for its slowness: The stereotypical South is a small town, and time in this small town is thiccc, and so it’s tough to march through it so quickly as one might in a thin-timed city. Southerners move with plenty force. They’re just moving through temporal molasses.

Now I’ve walked through Wagonnville many a time, so as I sauntered out the loo, leaving my blue-suit badgy boy behind to poop another party, I walked very

slowly

because I saw a great multitude of things. For context, know that this loo out of which I just stepped is the westmost point of Wagonnville, the Gog to which the Wagonnville Mall is Magog. Beyond these two points in either direction time becomes thin, stringy, like undercooked asparagus or bad knitting or a hairball pulled from the drain in a retirement home’s shower, coated in denture-cleaner and useless cum: Any of these three comparisons could be the correct one, and so one does not go there, beyond Gog and/or Magog, because one is never sure what one will find.

I began from the loo which is called the Mountain Gog and as I walked I saw a multitude of things. The first thing I saw was a tree that had more flowers on it than it had had the previous day, and regardless I still knew it immediately as the “tree with very few flowers,” and I likely always will.

The second thing I saw was a friend. I saw her just as she was to walk into her house. She had stopped on her front porch step to swallow a pill. When I waved to her the movement startled her and she fell against the door but put her hands behind her back as if she had just done something wrong and said, “You surprised me! I was just taking a vitamin and am now going to meditate in nature.” And she walked into her house, and a light came on, and I walked very close to her window because I thought something was the matter with my friend and I stood just beside the window so that I could see her but she was unlikely to see me and I watched to see what was the matter. She looked at her cell phone for a while, and I became bored but still couldn’t tell what was the matter with her, and so I continued watching her. One of her neighbors came by and yelled at me for standing under the window but I softly shushed them and told them I was only watching to see what was the matter with my friend, and the neighbor began to call the police, and so I ran. I looked back as I ran and saw that my friend had smushed her face into her cell phone screen until it had cracked, and she had kept smushing it and some of the glass shards turned back toward her though she was pushing them with her face and they cut her on her cheeks and especially in her eyes and on her lips, and they stuck in her face so that when she stopped pushing the phone was stuck to her face and covered her eyes, but in any case they must have been so thoroughly stuck with glass shards that she wouldn’t have been able to see anything even if the phone hadn’t covered her eyes. She swallowed another vitamin and was very tough and didn’t cry even though glass shards had filled her face and eyes, though I don’t know if she could cry anymore with the phone’s glass sticking in her eyes. Then I had to stop looking back because I had come to an intersection and had to cross the street.

The third thing I saw was a large leaf. Beside it sat a crying toddler. Cute kid, but her parents looked dead-ass tired, and so they smushed phone screens into the toddler’s face until her eyes were so grievously gashed she could no longer see. Then she was so shook that she stopped crying.

And I saw an old hobo get tazed because a group of high schoolers walked by him, and one of them took a hit from a huge vape, and he guffawed, “Looks like you’re suckin’ on a dick!” and old hoboes should not speak of sex organs, lest some more genteel personage be forced to think that the old hobo has sex organs or could even have sex himself, because nobody wants to have sex with old hoboes, therefore for him to have sex he would clearly have to rape someone, and so if he makes a joke about sex organs he makes people think about rape and that’s not OK so he got tazed.

Then another high schooler shot that group of high schoolers right in the vape and a police officer shot the high schooler that shot the other high schoolers and then the police officer shot someone else because their kombucha looked like a gun. This happened a few hundred more times, then I saw a small bird. It hopped on all the people that had been shot by schoolchildren and the police and it looked inside the holes the bullets had left in them and cocked its head sideways like this and it looked up at me and said, “If you fuckers actually cared about national security you’d start dropping bombs on goth kids and pigs instead of ragheads.” And then it hopped on some more kids’ corpses and then it ate a small worm.

Eventually all these bodies will generate maggots, more birds will come to eat the maggots, and the street will be covered with birds, all of them taunting the passersby with their horrendously tone-deaf military advice.

But until then the street still bustles, corpses warming in the sun, creating but small ripples in the thicc ass of time as the burnt-plastic of crack smoke wafts in from alleyways, parking decks, the sticky spots behind dumpsters where all the drugs in the world combine to form an obscene type of silly putty, obscene because it sticks to shoes and blackly calloused toes and tells you who’s been puffin’ good-good, it’s that guy, his glazed red eyes peeled back, surprised, because his special silly putty will only slurp the bad words from the newspaper, the fuck shit cunt and nothing else, and so he peels the paper and putty from his shoe and pastes them over a poster by the pop-shop, casual incognito, hiding behind a pack of 20-somethings all disinterestedly snapping pictures of a yoga poster because “We should totally go, like it’s so good for you,” and as she shakes her head for emphasis the elephant charm on her Buddha necklace makes soft tinkling sounds against the hamza charm behind it: You can hear the pan-spiritualism, the sound of all the wisdom of all prior cultures coalescing into one soaring wisdom, enlightenment in a thousand yellow Etsy envelopes, and if you get all the charms then download our app we’ll toss in a free week-long meditation retreat so you can tell the people at your eco-internship you’re not all show.

And then a high-school-age policeman–the most deadly species ever discovered, even more deadly than a tiny rattlesnake–shot them too and he walked away and

the little birds all shook their heads and tweeted and ate the worms that ate the clovers that ate the grout between the sidewalk sections that Jack built as people walked and cracked their knuckles and chewed their fingernails and pulled the strings on their hoodies and fiddled with the hems of their shirts and chewed the insides of their lips and finally put their hands in their pockets and watched whether they stepped on the groutless sidewalk cracks, because their mothers have all started a new fad diet to keep up their back health and they don’t want to sabotage such desperate efforts.

The birds, though, take no fad diets. They simply eat some worms and their backs are healthy. And if the Lord does so much for the birds of the air, yea even for the beasts of the field, how much more for you, his chosen species?

But then, looking out at this street covered in childrens’ corpses and snickering birds and crack and obscene silly putty and cracking knuckles can I believe that we’re God’s favorite?

Fuckin’ roflcoptr. We’re not even our favorite.

Judge Santiago Burdon

Do The Time Standing On My Head

The best part about hearing a police siren when you are in jail is that you know they aren’t after you. Of course, then you must deal with the fact that you are already incarcerated.

Los Robles prison near Punteranes, Costa Rica. I’ve resided in gray bar hotels in a few states back in the U.S. and enjoyed the hospitality of jails and prisons in more countries than I’d care to admit. Taking all into consideration, this place was better than most foreign prisons. And much better than San Sebastian, near San Jose.

So fucking hot here, though. My body melts into the plastic-covered, three-inch mattress beneath me. Sweat pools in the indentations left by my arms, legs, head and ass.

The chant, “Offi agua Offi” (water, Officer), is constant and relentless. The guards turn on the water in the cells twice a day without warning, blasting it from a pipe in the wall with force. Each time it flows, there’s a mad dash to collect belongings from the floor, and we all scurry for plastic jugs and empty bottles to fill. The spewing spigot also serves as our shower. And I have been caught more than once, all soaped up when the water was shut off. Then I am forced to use my drinking water to rinse. The others laugh and comment with words devoid of encouragement. They call me Carapicha, Naco, and Gringo Tonto.

I’m sharing the confines of this luxurious twelve-by-twelve cell with five other guests. Three Ticos, one Nicaraguan (or Nicas, as the Costa Ricans refer to them with contempt), and a Honduran who is biggest man I’ve ever met. I call him Lenny, after Steinbeck’s character from “Of Mice and Men”.

Screaming and hollering suddenly fills the place, echoing loudly from the ceilings and the walls. A fight has started, just another exhibition for your daily entertainment. This time, from what I can see, it appears to be some M13 Salvadoran boys mixing it up with Los Negroes de Limon. There’s only two guards on duty for eighty to one hundred inmates, and they don’t seem to be in any hurry to end the violence.

It’s nearing lunchtime and I’m fucking hungry. I’d traded my breakfast for an opportunity to pull outside work detail. Now lunch will be delayed, or most likely never served, due to the disturbance. So, while I have still yet to murder anyone in here, this has now become a distinct possibility in my future.

In contrast to how us men are treated by the carceral system, Costa Rica has very strict laws concerning the treatment of women. You can book an all expenses paid vacation to one of their seven luxurious prisons just by hollering at a woman in public. If you publicly humiliate her by calling her a whore, slut, or bitch, or any derogatory expression, you get added time. Now strike or hit a Tica, you just got yourself a mandatory ninety days.

In my case, Veronica had gotten upset that I was displaying (what she felt to be) more affection to the other woman involved in our threesome. In the middle of our fucking, she attempted to stab me with a knife, which I luckily deflected without much harm. After I’d wrestled away her weapon, she continued with a screaming tirade and blows to my head and chest. Kimberly finally assisted in subduing her. I was enraged but thwarted my anger from reacting with physical retaliation.

Kimberly quickly gets dressed and makes a rapid exit, holding her shoes in one hand and $75 in the other.

“Nos vamos mi amor,” she says on her way out.

“Amor! You are her amor!” Vanessa screamed. “How many other times have you fucked her? You carapicha! I saw how you were fucking her. You didn’t want anything to do with me!”

There’s just no defense I was able present, true or embellished, that would have aided in my exoneration in that moment.

Meanwhile, the cut on my arm is bleeding worse than I thought, and I’d begun to bleed from where she’d beaten me in the head as well. She comes at me again with her fists, but I stave her off with my right arm, knocking her back in defense.

“You hit me. Tu me golpeas! Quieres una guerra (You want a war?) Okay, mi amor!”

I wanted no part of a war or battle or even a mild skirmish with her. I knew any confrontation would be one I was unable to win.

“Mi corazon. Listen, please, I’m sorry if you…”

I attempt to explain. Instead I hear her voice in the kitchen.

“Hello, give me the police!” she cries into the phone. “Hurry, my husband is beating me and won’t let me leave the house!”

She returns with the most evil grin I’ve ever observed and displays her middle finger as a victory salute. Within fifteen minutes, the Costa Rica Fuerza Publica arrive like hounds searching for a fox. I am in the bathroom attending my wounds when they encounter me. Without questions or explanation they take me into custody, placing me in “esposas”, the Spanish word for handcuffs, which ironically translates to “wives” in English.

Understand, I am a guest in this garden of wonderment they call a country, which I have learned to identify as actually a disguise for it’s true identity, a jungle of indifference. I have no legal rights, and I am not allowed a hearing with a judge while she swears out her “denuncia” complaint. Her explanation is only version that is ever presented.

I am first shipped off to the hospital, which is actually a circus of disaster manned by clowns posing as doctors. I wait for triage while bleeding out what I imagine is my entire body’s blood supply, still in esposas. I’m without explanation for this phenomenon, but it is a common practice in every country in Central and South America I’ve ever visited or lived in, that the residents have no sense of urgency or any ability to address a situation with immediacy. There’s words in Spanish pertaining to exigency, “apurate” or “rapido”, but they’re seldom expressed and rarely heard. After an hour and a half, a doctor finally tends to my wounds.

I receive four stiches in my arm and seven in my head. Total of eleven, a number that’s only advantageous in craps or blackjack. It supposedly represents a spiritual visitor.

My shirt, back, and face are drenched in blood by this point, but no attempt is made to clean away the crimson plasma that has oozed from my lacerations. I am herded off in a police paddy wagon for a four-hour excursion to my new home here in Los Robles.

Day three has come and gone without my mandatory hearing. The prosecuting attorney asks if I would like a representative from the United States Embassy. I answer, “For what purpose?”

When I was arrested once before, for shooting an invader in my own home with a crossbow, I waited four whole days for my embassy liaison to arrive.

“Hope you can afford a good attorney…”

That was the extent of my assistance from the U.S. Embassy here. That stuff you see in movies, where the embassy liaison shakes every tree and searches under every rock for a resolution to your incarceration, is just total bullshit. After all, it is only in a movie.

The prison rumble diminishes as 40 to 50 police in riot gear enter the fray with shields, helmets, and fucking gas. I make a dash for my towel, which I douse with water and tie tightly over my head and face. Lenny notices my defensive measure to lessen the impact of the gas and does the same. I lay back as I hear cell doors being slammed and the screams of those being beaten by the officers with their clubs and batons.

“I wonder what we would have had for lunch?” I muse aloud to Lenny.

He doesn’t miss a beat in responding. “Dry chicken, overcooked rice, and stale bread with warm Kool-Aid.”

“Sounds delicious!” I say.

“I know, yo se,” Lenny agrees.

We both burst into a laughing jag as the chaos continues around us.

Earl Javorsky

TulipsDeluxe

It looked like a flower, but its petals felt like skin and were warm to the touch. Kevin Peterson stood in the corner of his father’s bedroom and, with his thumb and index finger, gently stroked the downy green stalk. The flower had a strange shape that he couldn’t quite identify, something like a pair of lips oriented vertically, slightly parted, as if breathing, or ready to speak. The lips were pink and pouty, the outer petals more delicate and pale.

Congratulations on your purchase of TulipsDeluxe™ Model VI (v3N031206)! This genetically enhanced botanical creation is guaranteed to provide beauty and pleasure. Pheromones and other personal aspects of your loved one are represented in this unique creation by means of state-of-the-art gene-splicing techniques. Proper feeding and care of your TD-6 must be scrupulously maintained. Please refer to the next section.

Wayne Peterson, CEO of QNET Enterprises, enters his bedroom and locks the door behind him. He pours a glass of scotch and downs it in a single swallow, but his hands still tremble slightly, his forehead is damp, and beads of perspiration have gathered on his upper lip. He stands by his flower, bending to admire the slender neck, the beauty of the pistil with its voluptuous, fleshy stigma. The tank is itself a work of art, sturdy plex with a polished maple veneer, filled with porous urethane beads and a constantly circulating nutrient flow. Wayne vacillates for a moment—should he stand, or sit on the edge of the bed? He chooses to stand. As he unbuckles his belt, the flower begins to stir, the slightly parted lips widening now, thickening as if engorged. Wayne drops his trousers and shorts. The flower rises and undulates like a cobra and then strikes home, suddenly large enough to accommodate all of him, his shaft buried as the plant begins to ripple in a steady peristaltic motion.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! It is imperative that all instructions are followed without deviation!

The next day, after school, Kevin returned to his father’s bedroom to look at the plant. It drew him to it in a way he couldn’t understand, as though it were calling him, and he had been thinking about it since he woke that morning. He had seen this kind of flower before; his friend Eric’s father had one in his office at their home. Kevin and Eric had wondered what it was, since Eric’s dad didn’t care much about plants. That flower didn’t have any effect on Kevin at all. Eric’s mother had also died—though not in an accident like Kevin’s mom—and the flower showed up about two months later. It was Eric who noticed the interesting serrated shape of the leaves and decided that they might be worth smoking. The boys were thirteen now and had been blasting reefer for almost a year.

Kevin pinched a single leaf and stuffed it into the little pipe he kept stashed in a flashlight that he had rigged to work on one battery. He sat down in his dad’s chair and fired up the pipe. He sucked in as the leaf ignited. The smoke was smooth and tasted sweet and familiar. He swayed slightly to the left, then overcorrected to the right until he was leaning at an uncomfortable angle in the chair, staring at the flower. He thought of sitting back up, or leaning on the armrest, but he couldn’t connect to the action. It wasn’t important now, anyway, because he couldn’t see. A blackness enveloped him, deeper than blindness could ever be, his head roaring with sounds he couldn’t decipher, and his penis felt like it was ready to burst through his pants; it was taking over all other sensation, it was all there was and all that mattered. Now the blackness had brilliant points of violet, like dark stars in an alien universe, and the points began to arrange themselves into a form. Kevin recognized the contour of the flower, and he understood its shape. He tried to bring his hand to his zipper, but couldn’t bring the command forth with sufficient strength, and now the roaring in his ears began to differentiate into a moaning sound—his own voice, he realized, though he was powerless to stop it—and a woman speaking. First he could only make out his name, “Kevin . . .” and then, “No, Kevin, Oh, no, no . . .” It was his mother’s voice, and he saw her now, sitting on the polished wood edge of the planter.

“Sit up, for God’s sake.”

“I can’t.”

“Fine, don’t then.” She was naked, her breasts hanging powerfully, her lips bigger than he remembered, and her hair cut short like when he was little. “Do you want to help me?”

No, he didn’t want to help her, she was dead, killed in a car wreck that his father had miraculously walked away from, and Kevin had finally accepted that she was gone, but he couldn’t shake his head, and he couldn’t deny his mother, and his voice said, “Sure, how?” And she told him. When she was through, the blackness returned, and Kevin felt fingers deftly unbuttoning his pants, pulling down the zipper, reaching through his shorts; he felt an exquisite softness and warmth, his back arched as he thrust forward and exploded in a wet streaming rush, and then he collapsed into the comfort of his father’s leather chair.

WARNING! Feed only with AminoTD™ nutrient solution. Do not place tank near open aquarium or terrarium. Do not leave solid foods within vicinity of your TD-6. This finely tuned creation is extremely sensitive to non-prescribed organics. Your warranty will be void if feeding instructions are violated.

Kevin spent the next weeks following his mother’s instructions. Every day when he got home from school he fed the plant. When the nutrient solution was gone, he raided the refrigerator. The flower would appear to be normal in size, but each day he had to scoop more of the plastic beads out of the tank, and each day when he placed food on the smooth wood ledge of the tank the flower would rear up and inflate alarmingly and then swoop down upon its meal. Baloney, butter, ice cream, steak: these were his instructions, instructions given to him each afternoon as he sat paralyzed in his father’s chair. And then he would be rewarded for being such a good boy. On the eighth day he was told to be a hunter.

“A hunter? What does that mean?”

“You know what it means. Get me something alive.”

“That’s gross, Mom.” Calling her Mom was even grosser, but she seemed to require it. Of course, he was not about to deny her. He spent his allowance, then stole money from his dad, and bought mice, then rats, then a fat guinea pig at the pet store. A damaged pigeon, the neighbor’s yapping terrier, and, finally, a cat with four kittens that had been offered for free (to a good home) in front of the corner market.

On Friday, at the end of a bad week at the office, Wayne Peterson storms into his bedroom, locks the door, and pulls the cork from a bottle of Remy Martin. He drinks from the bottle as he undresses, then sits on the side of his bed, facing the plant, and says,

“Honey! I’m home!”

The plant begins its slinky dance—it seems bigger than usual, but Wayne doesn’t care—and snakes up and toward Wayne, suddenly enlarging and towering over him. When it strikes, it engulfs him like a boa constrictor swallowing a rabbit; by the time he screams he is already inside and suffocating.

Kevin’s father had been missing for two days. Kevin hadn’t visited his dad’s bedroom during that time; his mom had told him his work was done after he had brought her the cat family, which was just as well because he was sure he couldn’t bring another living thing into that room. Nor were curiosity, desire, or loneliness enough to overcome the revulsion he felt. But on the third day he heard his name being called from the bedroom: “Kevin . . . Kevin dear . . .” This after a morning of thumping and clattering noises emanating from beyond the closed door, which now opened even before Kevin touched the knob.

Inside, standing at the end of the bed, was his mother, far from the nutrient tank. She was wearing his father’s striped terry cloth bathrobe, and though her hands looked right coming out of the sleeves, when Kevin looked down to where feet should be all he saw were two undifferentiated root-like masses.

“Mom!”

“I’m leaving now.” She pointed back to the tank. “I left you a little sister.”

Kevin looked at the tank. The plastic beads had been replaced, and there, small and frail, was a new green shoot and a flower.

He stared hungrily at the serrated leaves on his sister’s slender stalk.