FREE FICTION: “The Overrated Pro” by Lawrence Dagstine

Welcome to my first installment of what will be a continuous monthly to bimonthly project.  Free Fiction Stories.  Approaching all genres, and sometimes even serialized (the serials will most likely be novelette or novella lengthed works).  For February and March we have a brand new Extreme Horror piece — put the kiddies to bed — about a writer.  A good chilling tale about a writer quickly brings to mind the work of Mr. King and Mr. Ketchum.  One such tale that comes to mind right away is Secret Window (the movie version starred Johnny Depp).  Sometimes a good story is too good to pass up, such as is the case with Secret Window.  The picture below, which I got off the Web and am a die-hard fan of (I’m a die-hard fan of all pictures on my site, from Doctor Who to Action Figures to Whatever), I think compliments this piece well.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  But it does beg to ask the question: How far would you go to become a writer?

How far would you go to become a writer?

Free Fiction Series Take 1

 

THE OVERRATED PRO

by

Lawrence Dagstine

The package fluttered as if it might fall, but it didn’t.  Carnesto preferred to take a cigarette out of the pack himself.  Despite the tremors, his fingers had facility, and he reached into the pack for a smoke.  The paper fluttered and sounded, but out came the cigarette, and it orbited to his lips.  He lit up by himself, too.  He even had this way of making cool artsy smoke rings.  The single and simple act assumed the proportion of a wannabe performance, which all watched as he sat in the back of the truck stop diner working heavily on his laptop. “Thanks, Colbert,” he said. “I promise I’ll leave you a tip next time.” He got a refill on his coffee.

“When are you writing this next bestseller?”

“As soon as one of these organizations actually recognize me,” he said.

Colbert nodded. “I guess that means never.”

“How’s your cat?”

“Dead.”

Another one.”

“It’s okay.  I’ll just go down to the Humane Society and pick me up a healthier critter.  Anyway, good luck with your manuscript.”

There was something about people on computers in diners or Starbucks or sidewalk cafes.  All were the next big thing, the next blockbuster screenwriter, the next professional anthologist, and, for the deluded, sometimes even Pulitzer Prize winner.  They always looked cool sitting there with their Compaqs and Toshibas and Hewlett-Packards.  At the end of their days they went home and popped an extra Zoloft or two, stared at themselves in their medicine cabinets, and often died of something like pancreatic cancer and very much penniless.  As a balding, middle-aged man living between Middletown USA and the UK, however, he still didn’t get it yet.  It was sort of like the meaning of life, only staring you cold right in the face.  Being a writing celebrity was the most transient fame in the world, but it was magnificent while it lasted.  Who could resist wanting to know what it was like to become as inflated as a zeppelin, even if rather hollow? Still, ego or no ego, magnificent while it lasted.

A man on the keyboard, if he had inspiration, could have more immediate impact in a couple of hours than a genre historian with a lifetime of books and no national or international exposure.  For, at the end of the day, genre is what he wrote and absolutely creamed on himself just at the thought of it.

Clicking sounds from the keys, then long emailed queries.

A curious kind of aberrant, macroscopic reputation attainable because of the nature of the exposure, and the redundancy of the work routine combined.  Much of his life revolved around two credits, and much to his pub mate editors’ likings.  An amateur might write down a few interesting metaphors or pen just as decent a story—a beginning, a middle, and an end—publish a few in some low circulation or obscure quarterlies; it might a few years later change a portion of the face of the globe, and such a figure might or might not get to be known even inside the publishing community.  Impact and creativity was fantastic.  But the genre writer was straight on your eyes, because it was a form of fantasy, page by page, as while he repeated the lines written by another; if you watched television or went to the movies, plots came free and life was a contrived and clichéd vessel.  He and the non-reading public became well acquainted, because, quite frankly, Carnesto never really wrote anything of worth.  He was beat as a child if he got less than a B, sometimes his father would hit the bottle and then creep into his room in the middle of the night and display his inebriation.  Carnesto even had a lax imagination at times to show for it.  A character like himself writing fiction was like a dead fourth brain inside the human skull.  Internet crazies with drug addictions thought he was super-important, and he might think so too.  That spelled out Web Idol.  But there was a difference between the web idol and the literary idol.  For real writers the grandeur of self-satisfaction spelled New Heroes, New Days, New Minds, New Attitudes, New Influences.  For Carnesto it often meant just another day glaring at that screen in the back of that smoky truck stop diner, full of resentment and false pride.

He’d even met an amateur one day, typing crazily and happily a few booths away.  He went over to him and said, “Are you a writer by any chance?” and he saw next to the computer a stack of black and white magazines. “You know if you are, you really shouldn’t prostitute yourself to such small publications like this.”

They talked a bit and it just so happened that this other typist was also into genre.  When he’d heard that, Carnesto felt embarrassed asking the amateur for advice; he even glanced over his shoulder to make sure Colbert and the diner regulars weren’t watching. “But these periodicals you’re in are mere fanzines,” he said. “Why do it for so little money?”

“Oh, you must be from the Old School,” the amateur writer said. “Because you only live once, and there are many other rewards and remunerations from this kind of writing.”

“No! I—I don’t understand it!” He actually clenched his hands into fists and grinded his teeth. “I—I don’t compute!”

“Well, of course you don’t.  I noticed you over there, just spacing out at your screen.  I didn’t want to say anything but it was just an observation.”

“What observation? What are you talking about?” Carnesto looked slightly heated.

“You know, progress.”

“Dear sir, I’ll have you know that I AM A PRO.” It almost sounded like he was doing a Colin Baker schtick. “I’ve appeared in these two publications and I was paid such and such a sum!”

“But look at the dungeon you’ve put yourself in.  There’s no key to the door, no crawlspace, no way to get out.  You get no satisfaction from it.  It’s sad.”

“How can I get no satisfaction when the credits exist?”

“But you obsess over something you’ll still never be.”

“Are you trying to say I’m pathetic?”

“When I look from afar, yeah, I guess.” Then the amateur went on to say how many professional writers hate their lifestyles, their jobs, their families and their miserable existences.  How it’s not as easy as it looks. “You see, I exist outside the bubble.  You are trapped inside the bubble, where there are all sorts of stigmas and silly rules.  Outside the bubble, there’s relaxation, lack of worry, so much space and area to explore.  I live life to the fullest, you obviously don’t.  Inside the bubble, you’re confined and injected with this malcontent.  Even now, instead of focusing, you probably watch other writers making it one step ahead of you and feel like a prisoner in your own skin.”

“But I have two pro credits! I have two pro credits! Two pro credits!”

“That still does not make you a professional.”

“Yes it does! Two pro credits make me a somebody!”

The amateur looked back at Carnesto’s laptop and said, “Then if you’re a somebody, why are you dilly-dallying with me at my table when you should be over there writing your third professional credit?”

Then he explained to Carnesto that: Nothing x Nothing = Nothing.

But Carnesto wouldn’t have it, no matter how much the amateur tried to break things down to him.  He stormed off insisting that he was right and the amateur was wrong.  He stormed off insisting that he was this famous thing, trained by long forgotten grandmasters and alcoholic slush pile editors.  The more Carnesto saw the cobwebs under his arms and suspected his own imposture, the exaggeration of his value, that his sublime vogue was just a façade for the crazies, the more he began to drink, cheat on the missus, and dissipated.  He almost felt like lashing out his own failures in life on somebody who wouldn’t suspect, somebody he wished to be. 

A few weeks later, in decline, reading from time to time of his own professional wane or passing, experiencing the oh-he’s-washed-up coldness of the public and the literary critics, and now, having lost his mind, having lost prestige or real value, he decided to choose his victim carefully and make that individual feel the same way.  He wanted to make somebody feel just as inwardly collapsed.  Emotionally, physically, professionally, deflated beyond recovery.

This would be his release.  He would call himself “The Winner” at times.

But there was nothing to be won.

During these days, when he went on the Internet actively seeking people he hated or wished to be, or just couldn’t stand being happy because his own life lacked joy, his wife walked about with a deep inner upset.  Carnesto, still not recuperated from his own lack of success, didn’t have the energy or desire to make love to her.  They were often quiet at the dinner table, too.

“When are you going to get off that fucking Internet! I didn’t marry a robot.  You’ve become this—this computer junkie.  I needed you yesterday!”

There Carnesto sat at his computer, in a slumped position, head straight forward and practically paying her no mind.

“Did you hear what I said? I needed you!”

“Why? Because your friend Janet’s brother is in the hospital on a respirator?”

“That poor devil was in a terrible accident.  He might not make it through another night.”

“So let them pull the plug.  It’s not as if she cared about him anyway.  They had their differences.  If I’m a computer junkie, so’s she.  Tell me, how many hours does she spend on the Web? If you ask me, she’ll probably be relieved once her parents fly back and they take the fellow off life support.  Oh, and don’t ask me to come to the funeral.”

“Carnesto, what’s wrong with you?” his wife pleaded. “You were never like this!”

“I’m busy! Working!”

“On a fucking messageboard? Who are you talking to anyway?”

“This is strictly business.  Now please get the fuck out of here.”

His wife came over and threw down some drug paraphernalia.  His eyes glanced it briefly as he typed away. “And where did you get this?”

“I don’t know where you got that, but it’s definitely not mine.”

“Smoking drugs with that crack whore.  I spotted you with her the other day, chatting about.  She’s the big druggie and floozy of the neighborhood.”

“You know her?” Carnesto asked.

“Who doesn’t! What are you doing with that meth head?”

“We… We get along together.  We understand each other.” There was a brief silence. “Oh, you wouldn’t understand.  You’re not a writer, you’re not a professional.  How could you understand?”

“Carnesto, I know full well what you do.  You’re slacking off.  You’re not the man I once knew.  You talk of writing yet you haven’t written or edited a single draft in three months.”

He quickly changed the subject, talking about her inconsistencies: her manners, her mind, her language. 

“Shit,” she screamed at him, “you’re always trying to make an idiot out of me!”

“I fear it’s a lost cause,” he said to her, then swiveled around in his chair back to his computer. “Just like this poor chap…”

“I’m not a lost cause! I’m your wife!”

“Says you.  I’m giving you a difficult assignment.  Change yourself a little,”—but this had only been an excuse to get rid of her and focus on his new computer mate—“make yourself into something fine.  Learn how to cook or something.”

“I like the time I’m having with you now! If I didn’t care about you, if I didn’t care about our marriage, I wouldn’t be here begging with you, would I?”

The logic made him laugh.

Christ, she said to herself, he hasn’t fucked me in a month.  I ought to go down to the pub or get a piece somewhere else.

He sensed her thought, but he was still heavily focused on something else.

“Look, darling, I’ll be with you in a few days.  Now don’t get impatient.  This Web business will all be over soon.”

“If that crackhead came along here, you’d be able to put out,” she complained.  As she headed for the office door, she added, “And make sure you don’t do anything with her here!”

A little celibacy will be good for her, he thought to himself, grinning wickedly.  It’ll drive her wild, and besides, I’ll get what I started online finished.  They said I wasn’t a pro, I gave them helpful advice, but they just tossed me away.  Well no more!

As time went on, his dilapidation showed.  He didn’t shave, didn’t shower.  He didn’t even brush his teeth.  Lack of hygiene.  But he couldn’t and wouldn’t let it be a singular ruin, as he was bent on taking someone else down with him.  This was his therapy, because they all said and felt he wasn’t good enough.  He was bent on destroying this other person who was almost a perfect identical image to him…

…only happy with life.

He went to messageboards, review sites, emailed friends of his—if one didn’t know any better, they’d think he was a full-time stalker—wherever this individual had been last, he would be there to spy and bait.  Sometimes he even forced sleep deprivation upon himself and Googled the individual’s name as much as one hundred times in a single day.  All the while muttering to himself, “I’m a professional! I’m a professional! I’m a professional!” At other times, he would say, “Fucking amateur! Fucking amateur! Fucking amateur!” He had become so obsessed with this other person’s writing career, that not only had he almost permanently forgotten his own, but he started checking his victim’s work for logistical and grammatical errors that either did not exist or just wasn’t to his liking.

Sometimes he thought of his ex-wife—by now, she had dumped him and not only was his computer on constantly, but he always carried a whiskey bottle and a loaded revolver by his side—and his marriage to her had been his foundation to begin with, and she was the only woman he had ever loved. “I will not pose any longer as a married woman nor tell myself any longer that this is a marriage,” she had said.

The words stayed on with him, fatally, robbing him of much.  So along with the victim on his computer console, his life had spiraled downward and proceeded from one self-robbery to another, depriving him of the people and dreams he once had, though without doubt, by the nature of his current self, he had earned his defeats.  And his only friends? Well, they were crazies. 

The court awarded his ex custody of their little girl, and he must pay alimony until she remarried.  But she hadn’t done that, and the cost of maintaining her lifestyle, and the costs of his daughter, had been a drain. 

About three, four times a year he saw them.  He was entitled visitation rights with his child, but his computer life always cut in, and there were times where he didn’t pursue the privileges.  Besides, it was always unpleasant to see his wife for a few minutes or hours, only to realize he could never have her around permanently.

There came a point where his daughter had reached the age of twelve, and here he was, still latched on to his computer and his writer victim, who had started moving on to other things.  The girl had lost her childhood charm and matured into a shapely, thinned-down girl.  She had her father’s haunting features and the same bone structure as he.  Carnesto was pleased with her beauty, and he complimented his wife. “You’ve done a fine job with the girl.” He held his daughter’s hands and stared at her.

His daughter said, “I think you’re so wonderful, Daddy.  Everybody does.”

“It’s your mom who’s wonderful.  Surely you must know what everybody else knows, that I’m a big international bum.”

“It’s not true, Daddy; you’re simply fabulous.  I see all your literary works in a pile over there.”

He laughed. “I may let you head up the Carnesto Johanna Fan Society.”

“You’re so outrageous, Daddy, so simply outrageous.”

His now-ex came along. “Honey, be careful.  You might fall afoul of someone like your father and get your life garbled before it begins.”

“Is your life so garbled?” Carnesto asked.

“I’m trying to spare her some of the things we’ve been through ourselves.  Like computer privileges?”

“Don’t spare her any of that, and don’t do me any favors.”

When his ex left the room he looked over his daughter.  She had leaping, anxious eyes, and she was crowding her father, wanting his attentions, even his arms around her. “Glad to see your mother letting you sleep over finally.” He looked around at the small flat. “It’s not much.  At least, not like on my old teacher pay.  Not like we used to have.” He grabbed hold of her and gave her an earthy kiss.  He held her tightly and his hands, from a lifetime of typing and not touching, found its way over her developing breasts.  His face flushed.  What the hell was going on?

He felt rocked.  He pulled himself away from her.  He had a frenetic look on his face, which his daughter studied but couldn’t understand.  With my own daughter, he told himself, staring at her loving face, her body full of trust and affection. What am I thinking? He wondered whether other fathers had incestuous surges toward their beautiful daughters.  He paced up and down cursing his passions. 

After his ex left and said she’d return on Sunday, he couldn’t get his daughter out of his mind, or quite out of his blood.  He started looking for the revolver.  You bastard, he said to himself, wanting to jazz his own child.  He looked at the messageboard on the computer and thought he saw a familiar name sign in. “It’s your fault, you fucking amateur!”

“Daddy, are you okay?”

The gun was nowhere to be found.  It had to be there.  Maybe in a drawer, maybe underneath the bathroom sink.  The incident preyed on him; it was a new experience, unlike writing fiction, and the thought shocked him.  He had a second moment’s agony.  How many crazies had such thoughts about their daughters, he wondered.  He knew a lot of crazies, but why did the notion persist with him? There she was, in his imagining, all fresh and full of young blood, a handsome smile on her face all the while, a touch of cherry blossom softness in her cheeks, eyes wide and curious.  He looked down and saw a bulge in his pants; he was rock-hard.  Maybe, he said to himself, it’s a case of me wanting to screw myself.  She looks like me.  Goddamit, I better stay far away.

Then, as his daughter was changing in the bathroom, getting ready to go to sleep, he found the gun sticking out from one of the higher shelves of his bookcase.  That one particular shelf had been lined with all the anthologies ever created, all the books ever produced, all the periodicals of the writer he had been victimizing all these years, and he realized, “Holy shit! I’m your number one fan.”

Glancing quickly over his shoulder, he saw flashing.  When he turned around to face the computer he saw action on the screen.  The numbers on the board lit up, and the writer, who he had lashed out his own misgivings and failings on for all those years had scored a book deal. “Oh no.  Oh no, you don’t! You fucking amateur! I’ll prove you don’t deserve this!” He started tearing his hair out and walking in circles.  Then he grabbed the computer and tried to log in and type right away, but he’d forgotten the password amongst the confusion with his daughter. “No you don’t! Stay at the bottom of the ladder, you fucking slime ball!” The gun was looped around a finger as he wrote.

“Daddy?”

“Not now.”

“Daddy, what’s wrong?”

“I said not now!”

“Daddy, please!”

“What don’t you under—”

He swiveled around in his chair and let go of the trigger.  A bullet entered the center of his daughter’s chest, ricocheted off her shoulder and lung, and exited through her back.  Carnesto fell to his knees.  The twelve-year-old girl’s mouth dropped in awe.  She was wearing one of those long pink and white Hello Kitty sleep shirts.  It began to soak red.  The floor soon matched in color. 

A few seconds later she collapsed at the side of the bed.

Carnesto rushed to her side, but she wasn’t breathing.  Sitting at the edge of the bed, he cradled her in her arms, weeping like a baby. “I’m sorry, child… I didn’t mean to, I swear…” Teary-eyed, he faced the computer and it said that the new book being released by the same author he had victimized from all those years, was a story that, deep down, most hardworking authors working the trenches for many years would be able to associate with.  But that was if Carnesto had the desire to live and add it to his collection.   

The title, according to the online publicist, was “The Winner”.

Carnesto Johanna had three simple words for that publicist and the author as he put the revolver up to his own head. “I’m a pro…”

The End

Lawrence Dagstine: “The Scarecrows are Coming…”

A chilling tale by Lawrence R. Dagstine

The Scarecrows are Coming!!

The Scarecrows are Coming!!

The Scarecrows are Coming!!

 

Available in 2010 for iPad * iPhone * iPod Touch

Amazon Kindle * PDF Download * Mobipocket

Coming Soon to eBooks & Kindle!!

 

Added: The following picture above was obtained on MySpace. 

Added: If you’re interested in this artist’s work, please visit his site and consider purchasing something: http://www.eeriepa.com/home/

POLLUTO #4: Limited Edition, Big Names… (Reminder Post!)

Miss the debut back in early January? Well, here’s a second opportunity to pick up one of these LIMITED EDITION issues of POLLUTO #4, featuring yours truly, and some of the finest short fiction authors in all the UK.  It’s a themed journal, published quarterly by DOG HORN PUBLISHING (www.doghornpublishing.com).  Edited by Adam Lowe.  Creative Director is Michael Dark.

Winter 2009 theme: QUEER & LOATHING IN WONDERLAND

LIMITED EDITION – VERY FEW IN NUMBER

BOUND TO BE A COLLECTOR’S ITEM

POLLUTO: THE ANTI-POP CULTURE JOURNAL

SUBSCRIBE HERE: http://www.polluto.com/subscribe

Polluto #4

Polluto #4

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

‘Alice in the Palace’ by Dave Migman
‘Parasol Clerks’ by Rhys Hughes
‘Jeanne’ by Steve Redwood
‘Mouse Diary’ by Daniel Wilson
‘Queer & Loathing on the Yellow Brick Road’ by Deb Hoag
‘A Shade of Yellow’ by Alex MacFarlane
‘Beta Child, Gamma Child’ by Malon Edwards
‘Paint the Town’ by Anne Pinckard
‘Sweet Adult Cell’ by Ray Succre
‘Beauty and the Beast’ by Micci Oaten
‘Heart of Cement’ by Lawrence Dagstine
‘The Bears in the Wood’ by Jim Steel
‘The Androidgenous Zone’ by Andrew Hook & Allen Ashley
‘Velcro Hurt’ by Ernesto Sarezale
‘The Day Hermeneutics Died’ by David McLean
‘Willow Within’ by D. W. Green
‘A Long Hard Look’ by Rhian Waller
‘On Biting Roy’ by Janis Butler Holm
‘Live Without a Net’ by RC Edrington
‘Mona and the Machine’ by Matthew Longo
‘Backseat Ballet’ by Mark Howard Jones
‘Voom and Bloom’ by Frank Burton
‘Alice in Agony Pink’ by Michelle Mead
‘ADD’ by Chris Patton
‘Shedding’ by Rhian Waller

Purchase Here: http://www.polluto.com/purchase.html

Previous Issues have featured such names as: Jeff VanderMeer, Michael Moorcock, Rhys Hughes, Steve Redwood, and MORE! This is a Limited Edition magazine.  500 copies of the paperback, 100 numbered hardback!  Once it sells out, you won’t be able to get it again. 

Other New Entries: “Magazines”

Polluto: The Anti-Pop Culture Journal, Issue #4…

This is a fine-looking import, that’s all I have to say.  A Spectrum Fantastic Arts award-winning, Anti-Pop, culture-clashing literary magazine which kicks you in the balls at light speed.  This magazine breaks the rules, and then some.  The quality of material is remarkable.  It’s a themed journal, and the running theme for Issue #4 is: QUEER & LOATHING IN WONDERLAND.  Edited by Adam Lowe, and distributed by Dog Horn Publishing (www.doghornpublishing.com).  Creative Director is Michael Dark.

LIMITED EDITION – VERY FEW IN NUMBER

POLLUTO: THE ANTI-POP CULTURE JOURNAL

 -Issue #4, Winter 2009-

Polluto #4

Polluto #4

SUBSCRIBE HERE: http://www.polluto.com/subscribe

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

‘Alice in the Palace’ by Dave Migman
‘Parasol Clerks’ by Rhys Hughes
‘Jeanne’ by Steve Redwood
‘Mouse Diary’ by Daniel Wilson
‘Queer & Loathing on the Yellow Brick Road’ by Deb Hoag
‘A Shade of Yellow’ by Alex MacFarlane
‘Beta Child, Gamma Child’ by Malon Edwards
‘Paint the Town’ by Anne Pinckard
‘Sweet Adult Cell’ by Ray Succre
‘Beauty and the Beast’ by Micci Oaten
‘Heart of Cement’ by Lawrence Dagstine
‘The Bears in the Wood’ by Jim Steel
‘The Androidgenous Zone’ by Andrew Hook & Allen Ashley
‘Velcro Hurt’ by Ernesto Sarezale
‘The Day Hermeneutics Died’ by David McLean
‘Willow Within’ by D. W. Green
‘A Long Hard Look’ by Rhian Waller
‘On Biting Roy’ by Janis Butler Holm
‘Live Without a Net’ by RC Edrington
‘Mona and the Machine’ by Matthew Longo
‘Backseat Ballet’ by Mark Howard Jones
‘Voom and Bloom’ by Frank Burton
‘Alice in Agony Pink’ by Michelle Mead
‘ADD’ by Chris Patton
‘Shedding’ by Rhian Waller

Plus art from: Elaine Borthwick, Ignacio Candel, Luke Drozd, Kurt Huggins & Zelda Devon, Dave Migman, Flavia Testa-Lytle

Purchase direct from: http://www.polluto.com/purchase.html

Previous Issues have featured such names as: Jeff VanderMeer, Michael Moorcock, Rhys Hughes, Steve Redwood, and MORE! This is a Limited Edition magazine.  500 copies of the paperback, 100 numbered hardback!  Once it sells out, you won’t be able to get it again.  My short story could best be described as “extreme”, and matches the theme of the issue.  Hurry and get your copy today.  There’s a lot of fine authors here.

The Anti-Pop Culture Journal

Polluto: The Anti-Pop Culture Journal

 LIMITED EDITION – ORDER NOW

BOUND TO BE A COLLECTIBLE!

ORDER HERE: www.polluto.com

Other New Entries: “Magazines”

Lawrence Dagstine: Hardcore Halloween Story Bash…

HARDCORE HALLOWEEN Story Bash…

HORROR STORY: “Victimizer”

by Lawrence R. Dagstine

Suggested Rating: 18 and Older, for sexual & extreme content.

[“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones” ]

                                                                       -Stephen King

“VICTIMIZER” by Lawrence R. Dagstine

 

If someone were to ask me if my life has changed dramatically, I’d have to say that it has in only one way, and it came years after my victims requested it.  If they were to ask me what I do for a living, I’d tell them that my job entailed a certain obsession of mine, and I treat my work with great enthusiasm, immersing myself in it.

Who am I? Well, I could be any one of millions of people with occupations just like you, living in any small town or city around the country.  I could be the janitor in your child’s elementary school, the guy who drives the ice cream truck at your neighborhood playground, the man behind the counter at your local video store, or the 7-11 clerk who works the Slurpee machine.  I could even be a police officer retiring soon with a nice pension.  I might have a family that I come home to and love just as much as you—we’re all animals or creatures with carnal desires when you look at the big picture—which kind of makes us no different.  And, walking down any ordinary street, I could be brushing up against your sleeve at this very moment. 

I’m the kind of guy who talks your daughter into taking off her clothes for me before her sweet sixteen and spreads her wide open, just so she’ll be ripe and experienced for her real boyfriend.  I’m the kind of stain on humanity that tells little boys to bend over for me, or push women into dark alleys or doorways late at night.  If society only knew how much I enjoy what I do, they’d throw the book at me.

I’m a swarthy male with a strong, tall, virile frame that causes adult heads to turn and children’s faces to smile whenever I walk by, which makes my work all the easier.  A healthy, muscular body that is the envy of all the male eyes that stare at it just as much as the female ones, and a pinpoint of forbidden desire and mystery to those who welcome it.  During the night, however, I prowl the streets and nightclubs, looking for someone to break up the monotony of wanting something I cannot have.  And if I don’t look for it in the club scene by night, then I hunt for it in the schoolyards by day.

I remember that cool spring evening a few months ago, thinking I might just yet find it.  But all I found were lonely people searching for the same thing, and me, I’m rather picky.  There had been plenty of overtures for sex from both males and females, but I had concluded that I was more or less impotent for the evening.  I was positive that any sexual contact after Rebecca would be anti-climactic, so I almost ignored all attempts to catch a new victim’s attention.

Ah yes, thirteen-year-old Rebecca Wenderschmidt.  The little after-school Lolita with the perfect puberescent tits and ass.  She rocked my world, and always for a piece of candy; talk about innocence lost.  The only time I had really lived was when I was fucking her.  And that had been more than once and only for hours.  Hours out of years of not living, and yet those minutes far outweighed the years before her.  They were far heavier, far greater.  More seductive.  And I still had trouble shaking her from my head. 

Rebecca had never been in complete command of my brain until I killed her and chopped her up into little pieces.  I drove out to the wilderness and dumped her body parts in the swamp.  I had to.  She said she was going to tell her mother in detail about all the things we had done together.  Soon afterwards, I started thinking about her all the time, and whenever I saw other girls her age, suddenly her ghost was there.  That perfect image, grinning back at me.

Rebecca had been a study of passion every time I got a hotel room with her: wide-eyed and openmouthed, her young lips searching for mine, her tongue acting as if it had a mind of its own.  She tickled and licked me in all the spots I knew were arousal zones, and a few others a girl her age should not have known about until she finally touched and found them out.

She always insisted on undressing me, tugging at my clothes with a fury until she managed the T-shirt off my back.  But no apologies ever came and instead, she wrapped her skinny arms around my chest and explored my muscles with her lips and tongue, biting me around the nipples and neck as we toppled backwards on the bed. 

Always holding on to me with one arm, she slipped the other between our bodies and undid my belt and pants so she could push her small hand all the way in; sometimes I thought she was more of a predator than me.  Her fingers tickled my throbbing penis and gently caressed it with the touch of talented experience—that was the part that got me.  Gently, tenderly, yet sensually, they ran up and down my shaft, causing it to bulge against my clothes.  Bulge and throb until it was about to burst through them.  Then she’d let go and ease off me, and I’d tear at her Catholic school outfit while I slipped out of my pants and boxers. 

I really thought things would never be the same after Rebecca, until I spotted the woman in the trendy restaurant.  She wasn’t thirteen, or eighteen, or even twenty-one.  Perhaps thirty-five, but she looked like the kind of female I could connect with.  Small, tanned, and almost frail looking.  With finely-honed muscle power hidden in her long legs and slender but shapely body, she stimulated urges in me.  Urges that I assumed had died in that swamp with Rebecca.  Desires that had been ripped apart and burned in a turpentine-filled garage.  It wasn’t that she resembled Rebecca, though she did, but what turned me on was the vengeful “fuck me hard” look that glittered out of her dark eyes.  Rebecca had had that same appealing radiance.  That “I’m ready for what you are” type of attitude.  So I moved in.

Later, back at the hotel I had used for the hundreds just like her, she told me her name was Sally, and that she was a nymphomaniac. “Sally,” I said, playing with the name softly between my lips. “I like that.  I like that you’re a sex addict, too.” Smiling back at me, her long legs curled seductively as she wiggled to get comfortable on the bed.  She had been an enjoyable partner during dinner, a perfect drinking buddy afterwards and now, staring at her, I admitted I liked the way she coiled on the bed, making her slim but supple body fit the contours of the mattress and pillows. 

I liked the way her medium breasts hung and wriggled when she laughed, and I loved the way she undressed me with her eyes as if I was her victim.  The same, dark eyes that were now glued on me as I dropped ice cubes into a glass and washed them down with scotch.  Swirling the cubes in the glass, I felt her eyes slowly creep up and down my body, exploring the muscles and bulges just as Rebecca had.  Her eyes had a way of caressing a man’s frame, lighting the fire that burned until it was extinguished by an orgasm. 

Without looking back, I switched off the light.  Streaks of soft moonlight played in her hair and around the curves of her body so that even the shadows seemed to beckon me, call me to the bed.  Begging for satisfaction as well as demanding the right to give satisfaction. 

Unbuckling my belt with one hand, I watched as she placed her empty glass on the nightstand and settled back against the pillows.  I wondered when I had last seen such perfect tits.  There were so many victims, it was hard to tell between pairs.  But Sally, no.  Hers were soft and alluring, not too spongy for her age.  They hung like half-inflated balloons.  Large but not so big that they swayed back and forth like pendulous parodies.  Full, lush breasts that were white, matching her white buttocks, and presenting a stark contrast to the rest of her tanned body.  Then I remembered.  Rebecca had had breasts like that.  Proportioned for her body and age.  The image of Rebecca settled in my stomach like cold fire again, and I tried to shake the memory with several quick swallows of alcohol that burned my throat and watered my eyes, as I finally stepped out of my pants and shorts.

By the time I wriggled next to Sally, Rebecca was in possession of my every thought.  The woman wrapped her arms around me, pressing her wet, warm lips against mine; it was Rebecca who I was embracing and kissing.  It was Rebecca’s tits I fondled.  And it was Rebecca whom I was soon going to melt into as I shared a few moments of my existence.  Shared them with a ghost.

When it came to my prey, I was never much of a kisser.  I always tried to avoid a victim’s lips, so it was awkward trying to kiss her back.  However, I surrendered to the images of Rebecca flitting in and out of my mind.  She wouldn’t stay dead and the vibrant, moaning woman became that little girl to me all over again.  She offered me everything I had eliminated a few months before.

My tongue found hers and my fingertips glided over her body, pinching and tickling at the right spots until she groaned deeply in her throat and frantically searched for my cock.  Finding it, she wriggled out of my grasp and slid down so her lips could explore my bulging shaft.  Flicking the head back and forth, she murmured something incoherent.  She stopped licking to suck all of it into her throat; even the way she blew me was reminiscent of Rebecca. 

As my penis slid between those lush lips, I couldn’t hold back a single moan of pleasure.  Squirming and twisting the woman, I moved her around so I could match her sucking and begin playing with her clitoris between my tongue.  She quivered several times and raked her nails over my backside.  She sucked me in deeper and deeper until I thought there was no end to the depth of her mouth.  Several more eternities of oral stimulation continued with each groaning in the moonlight.

Then, as if on cue, I stopped.  I swung her around to kiss her face and lips, squeezing her so hard that her breath rasped out in tiny but happy jerks.  As I squeezed, she worked her hand in between them.  When her fingertips touched my penis again, she grabbed it and slowly jerked it back and forth, signaling me to back away slightly.  Enough so she could guide me in.

Grabbing her shoulders, I buried my face in the soft hollow of her neck and began pumping furiously.  She kept in tune and timed her movements to mine.  When she caught onto the rhythm, we moved in perfect unison and became one entity.  One being intent on experiencing the too-short shimmer of the orgasm.  The shimmer that began suddenly at the base of our spines. 

Moving her on her back, I felt her legs tighten around my waist; the strength of the woman was amazing.  Her scissors grip actually hurt, but again, it was an exquisite pain that just made me want more.  And I got more as I pumped harder.  Harder.  And harder.  Until I was ramming into Sally as viciously as I could. 

Her nails and teeth dug into me in a number of places too numerous to count and too pleasurable to care; she kept struggling for more sites to leave her mark as the ultimate pain hit us both at the same time.  The ultimate pain of being on the edge of cumming.  On the rim but not yet there.  Though it was only a few seconds until we exploded through both of our bodies, it seemed like hours as we pulled and pumped, tugged and kissed, moaned and squirmed. 

Finally, we were swallowed by the pleasure of our mutual climax.  We both drifted off in a dreamy, blissful release—floating, until we settled back to our slice of earth and time, relaxing and tasting the sweet sweat of our ecstasies speckling both our bodies.  Me and Rebecca’s old proxy.

We remained locked together, listening to each other’s hearts pounding away.  I became scared that my heavy bulk might be too much for her slightly built frame.  I reluctantly broke free.  She sighed when I pulled out.  Still half-hard, I whispered, “That was fantastic.  Again.”

Chuckling, I tried to penetrate her a second time; my half-erect penis slid in without any trouble.  As soon as our pubic areas intermingled, she began gyrating in a slow circle, working her hips in perfect timing.  She nipped at my neck and stimulated me all over again.  My once-quelled emotions were soon back to full erection, pumping back with violent rammings of my own.  This time the climax took longer but it was as sweet and soothing as the first one.  Still, it was exciting enough where I’d lost control of my biting, stopping only when she yelped in pain.

I began to act more sadistic towards her, giving her a slap here and a smack there, and she seemed to enjoy it.  Just like Rebecca used to.  However, the only difference was Sally seemed uncomfortable with me inside her while doing it.  When I pulled out she didn’t object.

Standing, I was pleased to see her legs quivering.  I went to the room’s wobbly-legged servicing table.  She skipped into the bathroom while I made more drinks.  When she came out, she looked as refreshed as when I had first spotted her in the restaurant.  Cool, placid, pleased with herself and aflame with the desire to try anything.

She took the drink I offered and put it down, then curled up next to me on the bed, like Rebecca used to, making me decide that I’d never be able to get enough of her supple body moving effortlessly into any position she wanted.  Never.  She took two cigarettes out of her purse on the nightstand and, lighting both, placed one between my lips.  I took a deep drag and, removing it, let the smoke dribble out of my mouth while I stroked her shoulder with my lips.  Her long, auburn hair tickled the back of my neck.

“She must have been one hell of a girl,” she finally said in a hushed voice.

“Huh?” I almost choked on my saliva.

“The girl you just made love to.”

“You mean fucked.”

“No, I mean loved.”

I frowned as if I didn’t know what she was talking about, but she just laughed at my efforts, the moonlight making her features even more fragile, but also questionable.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said. “I’m with you.”

“Don’t play stupid,” she laughed. “I’ve been around long enough to know when a man is screwing me or some other girl.  I can feel that connection, and I know when things are off.  Either a younger lady from his past or one he hasn’t found yet.  There’s a subtle difference but most experienced women can tell.”

Her pert features grew more serious as she added, “I figure you don’t just dream about that certain someone and so you went out and found that love, like some predator.  And then you fucked up.  You let your obsessions get in the way, and you lost her.”

I sipped my scotch nervously and said, “Look, I had a wonderful time.  But I’m sorry, I have no idea—”

“Shh.  Don’t apologize,” she interrupted, hushing me with a delicate finger placed against my lips. “Don’t ever be sorry you found what most people frantically search for all their lives, and don’t ever make excuses.  No matter what kind of girl she was, or how old she was, be grateful you had some playtime with her.  Even if it was only one time, that’s one time more than the majority of the human race has to offer.”

Stunned by her empathy, and the way she read me and knew me so well, I stared at her and she smiled back.  For a quick moment it crossed my mind that she might have been a cop, or she might have known what I did in my off time.  My sickness, my fetish; call it what you will.  She might have very well known I had spent the last twenty years raping, sodomizing, molesting, and victimizing my own fears away on countless others.  Then again, she could have been just like me.  Only more striking, more ambiguous. 

Looking away from her, I said, “Yeah, well, when I picked you up, I wasn’t looking for a lifetime partner.  Just an evening of fun and pleasure.  Just something to control these urges.”

“When you picked me up?” she asked. “I thought I had picked you up.” She shook her head and laughed. “Good old male chauvinistic bullshit at work again.  No man picks up a woman unless she wants him to.  And I wanted you to.”

“That’s hilarious!” Then I chuckled and asked, “Even if it was to be a substitute for a shadow from my past?”

For some reason that seemed to hurt her and, at the time, I wanted to reach out and snatch back my feeble attempt to be amusing—like I said, at the time—but her words had already registered in her mind and I was helpless to do anything about them, as a pained expression flitted across her face.  The hurt look soon faded and was replaced with the glint of enjoying each other’s company.  Not minding having to take it as it came.  She kissed my shoulder in the moonlight and began massaging my testicles while we both agreed silently to forget everything. 

“Tell me about her,” she finally said.

“Why?”

“Just curious,” she remarked casually, that hurt skidding in and out of her eyes in a blink again.  However, the tone was slightly more inquisitive. 

At first, I did not want to tell her about Rebecca.  I had wanted to keep my statutory love and what it had meant to me inside my head, and selfishly hoard it from the world.  Even from one other person.  Even if she was dead and I couldn’t get over the fact that I was the one who killed her. 

I found myself babbling; I also found myself unusually drowsy. “Her name was Rebecca Wenderschmidt,” I began and she giggled.

“Really?” She began to tighten her hold around my nuts.

“Really,” I insisted, not really irked at her laughing at Rebecca’s name. “She was a…” I stopped and stared at Sally for a brief moment before I continued, “I could explain her to you, I guess, but unless you’re the kind of person I am and really felt it for yourself, you wouldn’t understand why it hurts so much.”

That sad look blinked alive again, and I realized what I was seeing in her expression.  She wasn’t angry or jealous.  She was empathic because she, too, had been envisioning an image of someone close to her.  Someone she had loved.  Someone she had lost. 

“She’s dead, isn’t she?” she asked suddenly.

“What?”

“What I mean is—” She began again. “Well, it’s just that you don’t impress me as the type of man who would let a girl you loved so much walk away from you.  And you’re too habitual to waste that kind of love.  So, she has to be dead.”

But her last remark didn’t ring true to me, and I began seeing through her little act with great suspicion. “You’re in a questionable mood,” I said.

“Is she dead?” she asked again, squeezing my balls harder.

“Why is that so important?” I knew the answer but refused to tell her.

“I want to know.  Is my daughter dead?”

Staring at her half-visible form in the soft moonlight, my mouth dropped in complete awe. “You mean, you’re…you’re…”

“Rebecca’s mother? Yeah, I’m Sally Wenderschmidt.  And I’ve been looking for my little girl for an awfully long time.  My baby still hasn’t come home.”

My eyes suddenly closed and I fell backwards off the bed.  I hit the hotel room floor with a great thud, as the strange drowsiness from moments earlier took full control of my body. “Wh… What did you do to me?” I muttered incoherently. 

I couldn’t get up for the life of me.  My vision was blurry, and I could only see a shapely female silhouette, slowly rising from the bed to put on her bra and panties. 

“I drugged your glass when we first checked in,” Sally said.

“What the fuck! You drugged me?” I heard her going into her purse.

“Yeah, I drugged you.  I picked you up, I screwed you, and now I’m going to find out the truth.  Only the truth will set you free.”

“But how? How did you know all those moves in bed? How did you relate to me so well?”

“Because my daughter told me about you.  She told me what you did to her.  She told me what you liked having done to you.  And she told me what kind of a sick monster you really are.” Sally laughed as she came around the bed and knelt over me with a sharp glimmering object. “Just another sexual deviant who can’t get enough.  So easy to victimize others, but oh so scared when they find themselves on the receiving end.”

“Please, don’t kill me,” I pleaded.

“I’m not going to kill you.  I just want to know… Is my daughter dead?”

Before I could answer her, the swirling blackness from whatever she had drugged me with had taken over.  But then she probably already knew the answer.

After that, the next time I awoke the sun was shining down upon me through rectangular slits in the room’s windows, and I was wearily tossing on the floor.  I sucked in a double lungful of air and found myself alone, staring up at the ceiling.  The blank, empty, white ceiling that resembled my life and that symbolized my existence pre-Rebecca and now post-Sally.

Like I said, the only time I had really lived was when I was fucking the woman’s daughter.  And that had been more than once and only for hours.  Hours out of years of not living, and yet those minutes far outweighed the years before her.  They were far heavier, far greater.  More seductive.  And to this very day, I still have trouble shaking both of them from my head. 

I got up and walked over to the mirror and blinked tears out of my eyes and wondered why I was so emotional.  That night, with Sally, I didn’t want to think of Rebecca or any of my past victims.  Not once.  I was hoping the scar tissue would heal the wound her death had left upon me, and the wound her mother had left.

So if somebody were to ask me if my life has changed dramatically, I would have to say it has in only one way.  Then I’d pull down my pants and tell them to look at where my privates used to be, and I’d say that they disappeared because one of my victim’s parents requested it…

 

The End 

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