“What should we do with him now?”
The question lingered around Oliver, ringing in his ears, haunting him in a way he’d days ago thought never possible. But isn’t that the way of life? When we’re comfortable nothing can hurt us… especially not a question. What should we do with him now? Hanging in the air, overhead, a sword still swinging, ready to deliver its verdict.
What should they do… Christ, what hadn’t they done? Oliver was drenched in sweat and salted tears, his legs warm from a bladder he’d long lost control over.
Tears. But a memory now, he could cry no longer. They’d taken his eyes, spooned them out one at a time – POP, POP – with a melon bowler.
Sweat. From the screaming, yet another distant memory. They’d clamped his tongue between burning tongs and – SNIP – off it had come.
And now? They were draining him. Of the goooodd ol’ stuff. He was pure, not like the junkie gutter rats of the city. He was pure. The purest of sinners.
“Well, what’s left?”
Oliver could remember their faces, he might not be able to see them now, but the look of the young man and that woman old enough to be his mother would forever remain a stain on his mind’s eye.
She had the look of management, almost secretarial, but she was far from anyone’s PA. Pencil skirt, hair tied back, and that mole atop her lip that Oliver simply couldn’t look away from. Don’t stare! It’s rude don’t ya know.
A shark. Oliver thought. That was his first impression of the woman. A predator.
He was younger. Too young for the likes of her… a cougar… say meow. He wore his hair in a bun, tucked his shades into a shirt with the top four buttons left loose. To show off that fucking necklace. Beaded or were they teeth? The sort of necklace Oliver associated with the free spirit fucks that surfed all day and drank all night. The sort of young lad to keep a comb in one pocket and a flick knife in the other. Reckless.
But it wasn’t the young man that had been reckless… not at all. It was Oliver. Wrong place, wrong time! He cried out. That’s a-rate bull and you know it! The self righteous little shit of a voice he called a conscience screamed back.
Oliver had been exactly where he’d intended to be, to do exactly what he’d intended to do. He’d sealed his own fate. Wrong place, wrong…
“What about the ears?” that was the young man.
Oliver writhed helplessly, garbled screams coming up like water in his throat.
“Too crunchy,” Oliver could feel the woman lean in, her breath tickling the hairs on his neck, he tried to pull away, “besides, I’d rather he could hear us.” she drew in a deep breath, running her tongue along Oliver’s collar, her voice shook when she spoke, “Can’t you smell it? His fear. It’s pitiful.”
She was smiling, Oliver may not have had eyes, but he saw that right as day.
Earlier that night a man with both his eyes and a happily wagging tongue best put it to good use was checking into the After All Motel, down town of Old Chicago. He’d drive there in the companies car, he’d dressed up in the companies suit. He looked the part, navy three piece climbing out of a flashy, soft top Jaguar. And swagger.
“Booking?” he remembered the desk clerk all to well. Absolute jobs worth. A leather bag of an old man, an alligator with dull dentures SNOP SNOP. The alligator tapped the sign hanging askew behind the desk. It read;
NO BOOKING. NO STAYING.
The alligator sighed, flicking his teeth out the top of his gums and swallowing them back up. SNOP. “We don’t take credit cards, just cash.” he was eyeing the three piece, his gaze often slipping to the Jagu in the parking lot. “Don’t trust credit no more…”
“I have cash, and I have a booking.” he barely spat the words out between the alligator trying to SNOP his way back into the conversation. NO BOOKING. NO STAYING. NO CREDIT.
The alligator frowned, “Reference?” he tapped the sign again, Christ there was more red tape!
NO BOOKING. NO STAYING.
NO REFERENCE. NO BOOKING.
AND NO! CREDIT.
The three piece started fumbling about in his pockets. “It’s here somewhere.” he was searching for the now crumpled slip – a lottery ticket, a losing lottery ticket – upon which he’d written that infernal reference.
The old leather-bag-alligator tapped rhythmically against the sign, SNOP SNOPPING away. He was about to ask the suit to leave, and head back into the staff quarters wher he’d been so happily snoozing when…
“Ah ha! There you have it.” the suit presented his crumpled losing ticket.
“Name?” the alligator asked, far from defeated. His old eyes were already scanning the list of names strapped to the weathered clipboard, making sure the suit couldn’t peek, couldn’t cheat. “If the name don’t match…”
The alligator sighed, now truly defeated. He snatched the lottery ticket, stowing it in his pocket. Won’t do you no good, pal. And reluctantly handed over the keys for Room Thirty Three.
“Well, what about his fingers?” the young man took Oliver’s hand, stroking it gently as he ran his lips over each shaking digit, mouth smacking at the taste of salted sweat.
“No meat on the fingers.” the woman snapped snopped, “No need for us to pick at the fat of a steak. There’s plenty prime beef to be had.” she prodded Oliver’s stomach, her own fingers tracing the curve of his bones, “Ribs!” she said excitedly. She pulled the skin tight, gripping one rib between two fingers, “Plenty of meat there.”
“And plenty of the goooodd stuff too.” the young man added.
She slapped him away, “We eat them dry, no sauce. The rest we drain. Don’t spoil desert. The goooodd stuff can wait.”
There was a moment of relief when the woman’s hand loosened from Oliver’s ribs. He gave a muffled, sensual moan. Let me die, by all the Gods let me die.
Then SNAP. SNOP. SNAPPITY SNOP. Cold, sharp metal plunged through his sides, closing round the jagged bone of his rib cage, tearing the pointed protectors out from within him one by one. Blood poured with each puncture, but still Oliver couldn’t scream, couldn’t cry. There were buckets and sheets surrounding his feet, catching the blood, collecting it up. But worse than the pain was the noise, the noise of juicy, smacking lips, chomping away at the bit. My bit. My fucking ribs. Call him a pig for they were feasting on his bacon. And still he wouldn’t die. A slaughter house that preserved it’s residents, keeping the meat fresh and the gooodd stuff coming.
The After All Motel. Room Thirty Three. Oliver was undressing, folding his suit neatly in the wardrobe. Steam flowed freely from the bathroom, the shower ringing with its rain. A not-so tuneful voice was singing. What was the tune? Something by ACDC. You’ve got it? No, the lyrics were already fading in his mind.
He threw himself onto the bed, and flicked through the Motel’s colour TV. Would you believe it, colour, on TV! He was searching for the paid channels, the channels only mummies and daddies were allowed to watch. Mostly late at night when little Olivia was fast asleep and mummy was soaking up the bubbles in the bath. Shit, don’t think about them. Oliver cast his gaze at the bathroom door. Think about that. He picked his poison, he kept the volume low. Just a quick one-two to get me in the mood. He slipped his hand under the waistband of those god awful white briefs.
It’s animal. Livin’ in the human zoo. Animal.
Then the song was gone again. Shit, what did they want? Daddy won’t be reading you a bedtime story, not tonight. He’s got to work late again.
You’ve got it. Animal.
Sorry Olivia… please don’t cry.
Every last drop.
What the fuck is wrong with you! Oliver closed his eyes. Cast aside thoughts of family. Let the chorus of the Motel TV’s pay per view ring in his ears. That’s it, come on now…
“I’m nearly ready.”
That was all he needed, a little incentive. She was coming. Cumming. Coming soon. No more family, just the Motel and Grace. Gods love Grace…
Then they came. It started with a knocking. Quiet. Polite. “I hate to disturb you, but this is something of an emergency.” again the knocking, “Mr Little, can I come in?”
“Mr Little? Please, it’s about your wife.”
Shit. Shit! “One minute.” he crept to the Motel bathroom, and quietly yelled through the door, “Grace, stay put. I’ve just got to deal with something.”
You’ve got it.
Knocking. “Mr Little, it really is important. I must ask you to open this door.”
“Coming, one minute, I’m coming.” not cumming.
He threw the Motel dressing gown around himself, a little chub poking up from down under. When he pressed his eye to the door he saw a shark… his first thought of the woman. There was someone else out there too, but he couldn’t see them him, not yet.
The woman looked back through the peep hole, as if she could see Oliver observing her, and knocked again. “Mr Little?”
The quick turn of a lock and unclasping of a chain would change his life. What life, that’s long gone now.
The shark burst in, shouldering Mr Little out the way the moment the door came ajar. She took him by the throat and threw him onto the bed.
“What the fuck are you doing?” he yelled, trying to push her off. But Gods was she strong.
The young man burst in after her, toothpick in mouth. He swept his hands through his hair and eyed the bathroom door.
“Who the hell are you?” Oliver demanded, clawing to be free of the woman.
“Best you don’t ask questions, sweetheart.” she slapped tape over his mouth and smiled, kissing him on the forehead, leaving a bright pink lip print upon his skin.
The seconds that passed there after felt like an age, to see the young man drag Grace screaming from the shower, struggling to try and help the poor girl, watching as the young man… as he… whilst he…
Gods love Grace.
Oliver was glad that they’d killed her. Put a dog out of its suffering, would ya! The poor mutt deserves to die. Not just for what they did to him after, but for what she’d had to live through. What the young man had…
If you want blood. You’ve got it.
A simple lyric. ACDC. The song came flooding back to him.
He was wide awake the entire time this savage pair plucked ribs from within him and feasted.
Blood in the streets.
He could feel himself slowly giving in to the sweet release of death, he could feel the crimson rivers pouring freely from him.
Blood on the rocks.
How he’d hoped for silence as he passed, but instead he got desert.
Blood in the gutter.
The animal like lapping of a tongue in a bowl – the goooodd stuff – drinking up every last drop.
Copyright © K R Perry 2019