This Week’s Short Story: “The Horrors”

With less than a day to spare!  If you like this story, be sure to pick up the e-book anthology another of my short stories is presented in (only $1.03!).

    Once upon a night, a party of five breathes easy outside with a hookah.  The scenery of choice is a patio under a cloudy sky.  Some phase of moon shows its face sometimes.  Maybe it’s shy.  The owner of the laquered-oak patio, and its one-story bungalow, belongs to a member of the party: Selene.  She’s the one in the tattered dress of Victorian vermillion with the candle-white hair, badly held in a bun with smile-infested chopsticks.  Because its her house, fuck shoes.  She tokes from the tulle-wrapped hose slithering from the Gigeresque hookah (tulle courtesy of her frayed eveningwear).  Under the pied umbrella of red and black, she adjusts her back on her human lean-to.  Also known as William.

How does a William become back support?  When Selene got up to light the firepit across the lawn for the soon-to-be-introduced friend, William stole her spot.  “No seat-backs,” said he.  As the night’s party CD (“Selene’s Hookah Hoe-Down”) started its fifth revolution, White Stripe’s “Rag and Bone” faded in and Selene gave William an ultimatum.  Thus, he became a back cozy.  But what exactly is he doing?  Lying on his back, he props his white, raver-panted legs up into a peak and she reclines on the side.  Sometimes his black loafers slide on the laquer and he wonders if he should joke about her weight.  Seeing that her elbow makes a dotted line to his zipper, he keeps mum.  Besides, he shouldn’t push his luck.  Lying the way he is, and with his purple-glossed head dangling off the patio, makes it cumbersome to get a taste of the mimosa-and-honey tobacco.  Which is why she hands him, and occasionally throws him, a hose.  But not hers.  Tulle hates Hawaiian shirts, even if they’re black with luau skulls.  When he’s not getting bruises, he stares at the firepit currently with company.

As Louis stands between the makeshift firepit of mesh-crowned tire and the aluminum garage, he sips strawberry daiquiri from his well-used cup.  Although he’s never tried it, he knows that smoking isn’t for him.  A similar feeling rises in a woman of the sapphic persuasion if you showed her a cock.  He’ll move back to the party proper eventually.  In the mean time, he wonders why William thinks it’s cool to wear thermals under a Hawaiian shirt.  Then he assumes William’s thinking the same thing about him since, y’know, fire and sheepskin bomber jackets sound horrible together.  Especially since it’s black and black absorbs heat.  At least it’s not fur… the celsius atrocity would’ve been too much.  William’s probably thinking that he’s trying to tempt fate, wearing flame-red clothes.  And black boots.  At least he’s bald.  Louis’ rendition of William’s speculation is getting the better of him, so he goes back to his drink.  Then King Russell burps.

Selene being meanish to William is because of the chap sitting directly across from her, on her fun-fun Tudor pillow.  You see, Russell was the first person to arrive… but that’s not really important.  What is important is that the Gigeresque hookah and tasty tobacco belong to him and as such, he could make demands of his host.  Like taking her rather large-and-pretty sitting pillow and claiming it for his leather pants.  There aren’t many people who could pull off wearing pants of black leather with a white t-shirt and black crocs… well, he can’t really pull it off.  What he can do, and does (with flying colors), is living with a strong case of shit-absencia.  Randomness flutters through the night’s conversations, prodded and guided by him, when suddenly, sex comes up and the second wind howls with kink.

“Guys.  Guys.  Chick.  I shrapnel’d a broad last night.”  Russell lets the smoke billow as his boast lands on confused ears.  “Umm, Russell,” Selene starts.  “The fuck does that mean?”  Gogol Bordello’s “Wonderlust King” parties on.  “So you know that stripclub I work in, right?”  The Slip.  He drives strippers.  “That one broad who’s been giving me the eye–”  A voice from the fire asks, “‘The eye’?”  “Come-hither, not stink.  Anywho, her name’s ‘Lucy’, her paycheck name’s ‘The Blood Countess’, and she’s a bit of a waif.  That part’s important, kids.  So.”  William asks for the hose.  “Lucy’s been firing pheromones at me for the past three weeks.  Been working there for two years but hey, a gimme’s a gimme.
“Last night, I picked her up from her place and I saw her in the back seat, smiling her twiggy smile.  Then licking her lips.”
“Did she have a tongue ring?”
“Lookit who decides to come back from her pee break.  Just in time for ol’ Russell’s bedtime story.”

Walking down the rock path with the well-loved bottle of spirits: the fifth Beatle, Nyssa.  Walking down with red flats, klik-klak-klik-klak.  Filling out low-rise black pants and a red vinyl garter belt that Russell happily notices from 30 feet away.  She air-toasts her daiquiri brother-in-arms with hands covered in corset-style black armwarmers.  She shakes her head at William’s shirt for the nth time, while admiring her new black Bettie Page babydoll about the same amount.  Her pixie coal hair avoids being tangled by her silver loop earrings as she sits next to Selene.  The chopsticks can’t say the same.  No one bleeds so everything’s copacabana.

“Yeah, yeah.  Did she?”
“A gentleman never tells.”  The fire laughs and Selene almost chokes on her tulle.  “ANYWAY.  Lucy’s onstage and–”  “Who’s Lucy,” asks Nyssa.  Selene helps her out: “The Blood Countess at–.”  “This is about her?!  Ha!”
“Hey!  My story?  So her music comes on, yeah?  MSI’s ‘Straight to Video’ is guiding her size-two ass my way.  I’m thinking, yeah, that I’m gonna have to add another notch to my bedpost soon.”  “Don’t you mean belt,” asks the guy in the unloved shirt.  “No, I mean bedpost.  Say something clever again and I’m cutting you off.
“As the driver, one of my random perks is that I have to pick up the dancers’ clothes and money off the stage once she’s done.  So I do my duty and find a note in her bra.  The Post-it had a little body glitter on it so it was hard to read.”  He takes a hit of mimosa delight.  “But I knew what it meant.  Work lets out and I take her back to her place and–”  Nyssa scoffs.  “Something funny?”  “Yeah… I mean, it’s you but it’s not you.  I was at Slip earlier and I know where this is going.  Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dare rob anyone of this.”
“So we get back to her place and we start rocking fucking worlds, y’know.  Just rocking and fucking.  Actually, she was doing most of the fucking, up top with A-cups flapping and swishing.”  William sits up.  “Boobs swish?”  Selene puts his head back down.  “She vajazzled, too.  So she’s riding on top and I wanted to rock her fucking guts–”  The fire interjects, “Fucking guts as in ‘awesome guts’ or a new term for panty hamster?”  “So I flip the twig around for a little woof-woof action–”  Nyssa laughs in her bottle.  “–and I must’ve gave it to her too hard or something–”  Nyssa rolls away laughing.  “–because I broke her pelvis.”
Stunned silence.
“Calcium deficiency’s a bitch.”

Seperated only by a chain link fence, the house behind Russell lets loose a tiny dog.  It runs back and forth along the fence and, with no reason or rhyme, finds a spot to pee.  “That sounds like a good idea, bitch,” says Russell, followed by a quick stand and dash to the red maple tree located…  If you hovered over Selene’s backyard, you’d see that the patio is more or less in the center.  The bathroom tree with white string lights would be in the lower right corner.  If you hovered over Selene’s backyard, you wouldn’t be able to see her reaction to Russell’s bladder, due to the umbrella.  However, we’re earthbound so we can see every bit of redness on her face.  Russell can’t, so if murder was on her mind, he would be the most surprised if she followed through.  Alas, she likes the idea of living a shank-free life so she simply reclaims her pillow.  Her disposition immediately changes to a more joy-joy shade.  Even gives it a victory bounce, much to William’s delight as he gets a jiggly eyeful while sitting up for good.
It’s the little things.

Russell, admitting defeat, washes his hands with the garden hose, then qickly realizes the futility of trying to dry hands on leather pants.  He takes a wicker chair off the patio and finds a spot on the lawn close to his Gigeresque hookah.  He tokes broodingly as Selene gives him the biggest fuck-you smile in the tri-county area, then sways from side to side on her fun-fun Tudor pillow.
It’s the little things.

“You got a story, Selene,” asks William.  A buzzed Nyssa replies, “EVERYone’s got a story, Skullmaster.  Rawr.  So let’s hear yours, Mary Shelley.”  The first trumpet bits of No Doubt’s “Blue in the Face” toot their way into the party.  “You’ve got a huge mountain to climb, fucker here starting everything off by BREAKING A VAG.  She’s gonna walk like Tommy Pickles for days!  No, I’m not drunk.”  Selene coughs, and is cut off from saying anything by the sudden yapping of the dog.  The Bemused Five wait, and wait, and wait, and wait.  And wait.  The dog seems to have declared war on humanity and is rallying its brethren and sistren for the first volley.  Fed up with Paul Revere’s pooch, Russell takes a rather large toke, but doesn’t exhale.  Instead, and almost dies doing this, he runs over to the canine siren and releases hookah smog directly into its face.
It’s never heard from again.
As Russell reclaims his wicker throne, Selene stares at the shy moon.  Unconsciously, her hands go to a piece of her dress.  She plays with it, then shreds away a sliver.  As she fashions a sort of choker out of the orphaned tulle, she finally mumbles something.  “I… maybe accidentally squirted a guy’s eye.”  Nyssa’s eye spasms mournfully.  The fire groans, “That sounds miserable.”
“It wasn’t my fault!”  Russell glares, “Do you know you can squirt?”  “It’s not every time!  Just most… of… the…  It wasn’t my fault!”  “Who was guy-cum-pirate,” William asks as he takes a puff.  Nyssa pats his back for the double-pun.  “Sang-hyun.”  “You ruined that poor guy’s life,” declares William.  “He could see!  Eventually.  It’s like beer in your eye.”  Nyssa suddenly remembers the time she gargled beer.  Never again.  “He and I were talking online and we decided to finally meet somewhere.
“We went to a forest preserve because I wanted to take pics for a rotted wooden fence.”  “Wait,” Nyssa interrupts, “you went to a secluded getaway your first time meeting a guy online?  You’re lucky he wasn’t running on rapelight-savings time.”  Louis sips his drink with a slightly clenched hand.  “Hey, not everyone makes bad people-decisions.  No offence, William.”  “Que sera, sera.”
“While we were there, I decided that I wanted to make-out, so we did.”  She inhales a bit of mimosa and honey, which turns out to be the last bit of mimosa and honey.  “Reload.”  Russell pats his pockets, then says, “All I have is guava.”  “Guava-up, then,” declares Nyssa.  Russell stares and says, “You don’t smoke.”  “I’m trying to stop distractions and learn more about pink fire hydrant.”  He nods in approval and reloads his Gigeresque hookah.
“We start getting into it and he reaches for my girly bits, but I warn him that he might be running red lights.  He checks his fingers, sees the all-clear, and goes down on me.  Then I came in his eye.”  As Russell finishes up, he asks, “Wait, just like that?  What’re you, a hair-trigger?”  Selene plays with her choker.  “You’re a fucking hair-trigger!  What, do you cum when you pee, too?”  “Not all the…”  She snatches her hose and inhales her way into a coughing fit, managing to get the odd “FUCK!!” in.

As Metallica’s “The Thing That Should Not Be” strums into existence again, William stands up.  “I’m not gonna wait for my turn to come up so I’ll just have at it now and tell you why I broke up with Ivy.”  “Sit down, dude,” Nyssa says as she tugs his pants.  She then takes a swig and the reality hits her: “YOU BROKE UP WITH IVY?!  FINALLY?!”  “That bitch was inSANE,” Selene exclaims.  “Yeah, yeah, hard times, yeah.  Do you wanna hear the story or not?”  Everyone listens with rapt attention as he sits down and exhales.
“We were arguing in the kitchen over something that wasn’t my fault and she got SO angry that she took out a knife.”  The fire bellows, “Again?”  “I calmed her down and things settle back into our sense of normalcy, then things get…  She starts cutting off her clothes.”  “Oh, Goodwill must’ve been so disappointed.  But seriously, you’re awesome, Goodwill,” Russell proclaims, then gets a high-five from Selene.  “We start doing the angry make-up fuck on the floor in her favorite lioness pose.  Complete with kegels.”  William hesitates to taste the guava.
“I switch to missionary and she’s flexing and it’s fun and she’s flexing… then… sweat makes hands slippery and one of mine landed on what was left of her thong and… I slipped and… I snapped.”  The fire inquires, “…snapped what?”  He then notices his cup’s empty and starts walking to Nyssa for a refill.  “WHY’D YOU LET HER SNAP YOUR DICK,” shouts an offended Russell.  “It gets worse.”  Louis is pulled down next to Nyssa as she hands him the bottle.  “Stay a while.”  “WHY.  DID YOU LET HER.  SNAP.  YOUR DICK?!”
“I didn’t let her, it wasn’t an accident.  I’ll give her that much: it was an accident.  Not what happened next, though.  Next was pure intention from that fucking loon.  Firstly, she still wanted to fuck.”  Selene recoils in disgust.  “Yeah.  Then we start yelling about why she hasn’t called the doctor or taken me to a hospital.  I guess that was the last indignity.  How dare I ask her to take care of me in my time of need, right?  She gets pissed, runs off and takes my cell phone, gets dressed, and goes to her fucking friend’s house she finally admitted she was cheating on me with.  Said she was gonna go finish the job with a real man.”  He tokes.  “I had to drive myself to the hospital.  When I was conscious enough in a bed there, I got her arrested.”  Everyone applauds…  “She’ll be there for a few months.”  …and all eyes turn to Nyssa and Louis.  She looks at him and is greeted with a morose look, then accepts her position.

Nyssa looks around as if she’s scanning a massive computer screen only she can see.  Nodding, she closes her eyes and Madonna’s “Skin” rejoins the fray.  “I was at Sing-Sing-Sing and–”  “The swingers bar?  You should bring your ol’ pal Russell someday.”  “–sat at the bar with a Pisco Sour.  If you’re gonna go, Russell, let people find you.  If you around acting like a little dog… well, remember what you did a few minutes ago.  Anywho, a couple finds me.  Bela and Maila.  It was their first time to a swingers bar, but they’ve been meaning to go to one for a while.  He said that it’d be fun and she–”  “It’s always the guys.”  “Not really, Selene.  You’d be surprised at how many XXs wanna be ravaged by many hands.  Really surprised.
“We go to a hotel.  I forgot which one, but it was swank.  They wanted a gilded first time, I guess.  We’re in the room and there’s a familiar nervousness and excitement between ’em.  I told Bela to order up some champagne (I think it was Asti Spumante or Tattinger) and I started talking to Maila.  It wasn’t her idea and I knew those kinds need the most help.  We talked about her day and the sorta bullshit you talk about to take your mind off of life.  She starts loosening up and our drink arrives.  As we lift our spirits to the night, Maila takes my hand and lightly squeezes it as she sips.  The subtlety of women.
“It took some doing but we all found our way into each other’s laps.  A while later, I’m eating her out and she’s loving it and he’s knocking at my back door.  Then he starts getting rough.  I usually like rough, but there’s rough and then there’s rough.  He was the latter.  And getting rougher.  I finally had to stop everything and ask him what the fuck.  He didn’t say anything but I knew the look on his face.  The this-was-a-mistake-why-is-she-moaning-more-than-when-she’s-with-me look.
“I was too busy with making Maila comfortable when we got there that I forgot to make sure a threesome’s what Bela really wanted.  I knew what was coming next, so I got my shit and left.  As the elevator door closed, I could still hear their relationship falling apart.”

Sharing the bottle with Nyssa and rubbing his shaved head, Louis accepted that he was the closer.  A droning is followed by Nine Inch Nails’ “Beside You in Time”.
“I was at a party a few weeks ago and everyone decided to play TFU.  I was doing well, but we know how hard the fall can be for smart folk.”  For the unitiated, TFU is short for “The Fuckitty Uppitty”.  The tools are people, trivia cards, booze, and shot glasses.  The rules are as such: for every right question, a shot glass is placed in front of the person; for every wrong question, the person has to take all the shots in front of them.  It’s not so much a game as it is a way to punish the clever.
“Someone stumped me and I, the fool, chose to slam all 17 shots of rum at once.  I or my head said that I had to lie down so I went to a bedroom to make the caliope stop.  I’m really proud that I didn’t throw up.  I face-planted into… someone’s bed and lied there for a while.  Being really drunk and really awake is a horrible thing.
“After a while, the door opened and someone stood in the opening.  I mumbled something about it being too bright as I try to look at them, and the body with a girlish giggle closed it.  I felt her sit on the bed and her hand on my leg.  Then she turned me over and started taking off my clothes.
“I was too drunk to get away but I at least managed to say ‘stop’.  I know I did.  I had to.  She kept going and said something like, ‘Playing hard to get?  That’s cute.’  Even though I didn’t want to and was practically screaming at myself not to, I got hard as she got on top of me and…”  He stares at the firepit for a few seconds.
“I must’ve cried before I passed out because when I woke up, my face felt like it was covered in dried tears.  I looked to my left and…”  He looks at William, then down.  “…and I saw Ivy.  She woke up and I told her I was getting her arrested.  She looked at me blank-faced and told me that if the cops showed up, she’d say I raped her.”  Nyssa rubs his back and they share a drink from the bottle.
“I put my clothes on and went home.  Then I took a shower.  Didn’t bother to take anything off.  When the hot water ran out, I cut all my hair off and burned it in my fireplace.  Then the clothes I wore.”  He looks at Nyssa, then back at the firepit.  “I went to the doctor later that day and found out I had AIDS.”  Nyssa stares at their shared bottle.
“Just kidding.”


4 Responses to “This Week’s Short Story: “The Horrors””

  1. Nice!!
    Wish I had something smarter to say but at the moment I don’t

  2. alicebrook1502 Says:

    Hey, there, you got nominated for a Liebster, just because I like your stories 🙂

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