Note #1: This hypnofetish story features not-terribly-explicit sexual activity, much of it interracial. It also contain examples of fictional characters doing illegal, immoral and/or impossible things to other fictional characters. If you are under the age of consent in your community, are disturbed by such concepts, or want hard-core ‘Tab A into Slot B’ sex in your pornography, then for goshsakes stop reading now!
Permission granted to re-post for free to any electronic medium, as long as no one's being charged to view it, and this disclaimer and e-mail address (email@example.com) are not removed. It would also be nice if you told me you were posting it.
Copyright Voyer, 2000.
Note #2: This story is set in the same universe at ‘Shades of Night Are Falling,’ ‘Cut Off,’ et al, and you should really read them first. It also has instances of both maledom and femdom MC.
For George Hamilton, because of his unparalleled contribution to the Night Life.
Phil stood in the shadows, and the handle of the knife was slick with his sweat.
He had bought the thing off one of the venders who worked a beat up and down the sidewalks of the Way, constantly pushing or peddling or riding their dinky little carts along in the shadows of the double row of tall white and blue-gray office buildings which loomed overhead. Going to work even as early as he did, Phil had seen the seller lots of times while he rode the tram; strangely, she mostly sold fancy wrought-iron birdcages, and she seemed to do a steady business.
But she also sold knives. He had only slowly caught onto this fact, since to start with he only saw her a few seconds each day from his seat as he wooshed by. The first time that he saw someone buying a knife from her, he had thought that she was being mugged: the customer was waving the blade between them as if he was going to stab her with it. But she was back apparently unharmed and unscarred the next day, and a while later Phil realized that the guy must have been merely testing the weapon’s heft and balance, for he saw another customer doing essentially the same thing. The first had been a large nasty-looking brother, dressed in an freaky collection of gray patches. This second was a seriously snooty white woman, black-haired and tall and wearing a truckin’ business suit and skirt. The brother had been flipping around a piece of metal which you could have just about used to gut a damn grizzly bear in hand-to-hand combat, while the woman was clinically tilting a stiletto back and forth in her hand, her red nails very glossy in the early morning sunlight. Phil couldn’t decide if he was relieved or disturbed, but eventually let the matter go and tipped his Sirens cap lower over his face. After all, up on the fifteenth floor of the AW Building, his usual mop and bucket and industrial-strength vacuum cleaner were waiting for him, along with Enrique, Bill and the bloated white sack of guts that was Ackerly, the chief janitor.
Then a few weeks slipped by and he suddenly found that he was in serious need of a knife.
He had met her in the club.
The club. It was called Below Decks, and it had been set up inside the rusted-out hull of some big-ass old ship, which had been towed as far as possible up from the harbor, past Mayor’s Island, and then permanently lashed to the seedier bank of the river (the south bank, at that point in the river’s wanderings...) in the shadow of a bunch of old clapped-out warehouses. The club’s metal catwalk interior sprawled over several levels, filled with dozens of stairways and nooks and crannies, all pulsing with thumping music and multicolored lights. In some of the lower places, water had leaked in somewhere from the river, forming oily pools with lit candles bobbing in them, and rising and falling a little with the tides. Phil had always been vaguely aware that the club took up less than half of the bulk of the ship, and he once took a second to break off from the partying to examine the heavy sheet of metal which had been welded across one of the openings to the rest of the hull. (Or so he guessed; with all the twistings and turnings, it was damn hard to say if it wasn’t actually just cutting him off from some other room of the club...) It seemed ordinary enough, but then he touched it and it seemed to faintly throb with a beat that was different than the club’s music, but also the same somehow, something deeper, further down inside the ship somewhere, done with large hammers and metal gongs... It abruptly reminded him of sounds that used to come from that house over on Banyon Street, near where he had grown up, the house where the witch-woman lived...
His stomach churned and he turned away, seeking more comprehensible riddles, women who wore slinky dresses and weren't witches...
Another night, another weekend. He had been dancing with a fox named Rhonda, but then she had been spun away into crush of the crowd, as sometimes happened, and he started circulating again with only a bit of regret.
“Hey there, handsome.”
He turned in surprise. She had appeared out of seemingly nowhere and was a fairly small woman with long straight shiny hair. She wore a slinky red dress. She was dark, except for her teeth, which were very white. “You wanna have a little fun?”
She was already pulling him out onto the nearest sliver of dance floor, not waiting for his reply, knowing his reply and relishing it. As they danced, close and hot, he stared at her, not in lust, not exactly, but more in puzzlement. Even though he now vaguely remembered seeing her around before, if someone were to come up, spin him away as Rhonda had been spun, and ask him what his dance-partner actually looked like, he wouldn’t be able to say, not even if she was black or white or whatever. He looked in her eyes and tried to pick out their color. She flashed another smile. Tolerant on the surface, but with something else roiling thick and bottomless underneath.
“S-stop what?” Her hands were busy. The heat was rising, bending the air around them into strange obscene shapes.
“Stop thinking. Thinking just gets in the way.” She breathed on him, and her breath was hot and spicy and made the world go all fuzzy. His knees went all wobbly, and she propped him up without seeming effort.
“Who... who are you?”
“Everyone knows me. I’m Vixen.” Another breath, thick and cloying, making him gag and almost black out. “Now for the last time, stop thinking.” She growled this and her eyes flashed black and deep.
He stopped thinking.
He came back to himself sitting at a round table with wobbly legs and a scattering of spilled drinks on it. Darkness behind him, walls. Flashing lights and people milling about in front. He couldn’t remember where he was, who he was. He rubbed his face and then his close buzz of hair with both of his hands and slowly it came back, like a jigsaw puzzle being slapped back into place a piece at a time. Phil. Below Decks. Dancing with Vixen.
Vixen. The name seemed to echo inside his head as he thought it, filling the space entirely. His stomach roiled, along with other parts of his anatomy. Where was she? Why weren’t they still dancing? They were supposed to be dancing. He needed to be with her, to hear her voice and her laugh, feel her burning touch against his skin. He needed it.
He tried to get to his feet and his legs wouldn’t work. Somehow he finally got himself untangled from the chair and staggered back forth into the din.
But something was wrong. He couldn’t talk, couldn’t get the air out of his lungs to make the words. The crowd spun slowly around him, tilting side to side and then settling back almost on the level. Everything smelled like Vixen, everything sounded like her and looked like her, but she wasn’t there, she was gone and he needed her. They needed to be dancing.
He bumped into someone, and they turned in annoyance. Just a phantom, though. Useless. Vixen but not Vixen, dressed in red. He blundered on through the crowd, watching her bodies swirl and squirm. Someone grabbed his arm at one point, and he heard a half-familiar sound (a voice, he used to call ‘em voices...) that almost touched him, but it wasn’t Vixen and the fog came back in and twirled her (Rhonda?) away, for good this time.
Hours passed. Days. Lifetimes come and gone. Up and down the staircases. Faces, countless faces babbling nonsense sounds but no Vixen. No dancing. He weeped and raged.
Then he bumped into one last person and something changed. It wasn’t Vixen, but...
“What’s your problem there, pal?” The voice was... well, it was a voice, to begin with. It was also somehow simultaneously cheerful, annoyed and mildly curious. He scrounged up the only word in his vocabulary as it rattled around in the bottom of his brain, and he gamely deployed it.
“Ahh...” A sound of enlightenment. Something slapped his face, hard but glancing, a hand, and the fog cleared a little. Just enough. When he focused again, he was looking up at a man, a blindingly white guy in a black leather jacket trimmed with metal and precious jewels, standing about ten feet tall and grinning with fifty thousand teeth. His enormous eyes burned like vast black suns. “Vixen isn’t here, my friend. She’s done for the night. So why don’t you go home, too?”
Slowly the words gained meaning.
“Thaat’s right.” Gloved hands turned him and gave him a push, to a general round of laughter.
“Go home.” He was standing outside the club. “Go home.”
He went home, after having the brainstorm of looking up his address on his ID card, sounding out the words, one letter at a time. Home.
It was better in the morning, Vixenday morning, but only by comparison. He could focus a little, so he lay in bed all day and watched the TV and actually understood what the little Vixens displayed there were saying and doing. Weather and tarot readings and bank holdups and golf. They kept putting on red dresses and dancing far too close to him and breathing him down into blackness, but that was something that he felt that he could deal with. Finally he slurred down into sleep again and dreamed about her, snuffled her hair, breathed her scent, for long black hours.
By Monday morning, he was functioning enough to clean himself up, get dressed, scarf down a breakfast of Vixen Flakes and make it to work on time, barely. As he did so, he watched Vixen drive the tram and advertise toothpaste from the billboards and commute to work and push her carts endlessly up and down the Way. She was also waiting for him up on the fifteenth floor, but she was fat and white and she yelled at him just like Ackerly. He somehow kept from sniggering at the imitation, at least to her face, and he spent the day pushing his vacuum very carefully up and down the long carpeted halls of Vixen and Co., dodging Vixens as she went by in her suits and ties, talking fast and ernestly on her cellphones. He cleaned her bathroom and emptied her garbage cans, endless shreds of red dress spilling into the company’s private incinerator tube. Strangely, she also wore a worksuit like his and helped him with these things...
He wore his sunglasses all day, so that redness wouldn't blind him.
Tuesday, as he munched dry toast and drank milk that teetered on the edge of spoiling, Vixen was on TV again, but now she was co-hosting with Biff Anderson, the morning guy on Channel 4. He wondered what had happened to Cindee whatserface, who had always made the Biffman there look like frigging Einstein.Vixen probably killed her and ate her. The bitch is like that. And she won’t dance with me anymore.
Ackerly was back on the job at Laird and Co. after his day of slacking off, which made Phil sort of sad. At least Vixen still occasionally walked the halls with the male members of the company, wearing one-piece red business suits. There were papers and apple cores mixed in with the dress scraps.
Wednesday morning he woke up and realized in a general sort of way what she had done to him. He was fully back inside his head, and so was she; he didn’t see her outside it all day. But he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Not really. Not for a minute. And she still wasn’t dancing with him. When he got to work, he just looked at Ackerly. Just looked at him from under his eyebrows and the bill of his cap, and the bag of lard shut up and made himself scarce. Enrique and Bill seemed to avoid him as well, for some reason.
Thursday, Phil woke up and found he could think about something besides Vixen.
He started thinking about knives.
He went at his lunch half-hour, marching almost defiantly up the Way with his hands stuck deep in the pockets of his grungy overalls. Suddenly as he walked he was focused again, aware, as if his decision had swept away the last of the red-clad cobwebs that filled his mind. He looked around himself. It was another lousy day in a city somewhat famous for them, pissing splatters of rain. Nevertheless, the vendors were out in force, going by in a steady stream. It slowly dawned on Phil that he had never really looked at them before, never realized just how damn weird they all were. They all went in the same direction, and he walked against the flow, scoping out their wares. Cooking pans. Cheap sunglasses. An entire cart full of nothing but those metronome things. Another with nothing but stuffed toys, mostly snakes with red and yellow marbles for eyes. One selling cheap-ass, no doubt pirated, computer disks and CDs; the black names 42/42, ZORK IV and MASTER PC jumped out of the jumble as it went past him. The vendors were as strange as the stuff they sold; the gray-haired white guy with the computer cart, for example, wore a tweed suit that while about a thousand years old was actually almost sorta with it, topped off with a checkered flat cap that perched jauntily on his head. The woman with the snakes was dark-skinned but not a sister, India or Iran or one of those, and wore a getup that wouldn’t have been out of place in one of those old Sinbad movies that Phil and his brothers used to watch late at night on their crappy old black & white TV after their folks were asleep. With the metronomes, there were two sellers; the cart was pulled by a stupid-looking red-haired bull who wore an awful lot of leather-and-metal straps, while the actual sales went down via by a bony twitchy woman who was connected to the cart by a long cheap-looking chain which was hooked to a rusty metal collar she wore around her neck.
Then there was the knife-seller. Finally he saw her approaching. Seeing him, she immediately stepped out of the procession, pushing her cart to a stop.
“What can I do for you today, sir?” Her voice, while genuinely polite matched her appearance by being both gravely and twangy. She was one of those white people who had spent so much time out somewhere under a hot sun that she was thoroughly brown and cracked. Under a brimmed yellow rainhat, she wore her gray hair pulled back in a long ponytail, and she was... not fat... big-boned. That was the word. Not quite as tall as the metronome-cart puller, but almost a match in other respects. And not that ugly, really, all things considered, even to Phil, who found most white women to be seriously lacking. A corner of his mind admitted that she was also sort of scary.
He shuffled his feet, then spoke, keeping his hands in his pockets.
“I been seeing that you sell stuff besides those cages.”
She nodded as if it was no more than she expected, and casually flipped up a hinged wooden panel on the side of her cart, exposing a long shallow hole.
The weapons were sheltered in rows, resting on velvet-lined pegs. They ranged from stuff like the grizzly-sticker all the way down to those things that doctors use to cut people open. Scalpels. He’d had vague dreams of being a doctor when he was a kid, but people living in the Miller Hills area of the city didn’t generally become doctors. Not real doctors with white coats and a matching white skin. Still, the thought of buying a scalpel felt good for a moment. Then he pushed it away. It was good, but it wasn’t right.
“I’m... not sure what I want.”
“What do you need it for?”
“Sex?” She said the word like she was discussing the weather.
His eyes narrowed for a moment. Finally...
The word clicked in his mind, filling a hole.
“Yeah. That’s the one. Revenge.”
She nodded again, satisfied this time, popped one of the knives from its holder and wordlessly handed it to him. The whole thing was about seven inches long, with a jagged cutting edge. The handle was made of some kind of bone, and carved with odd twisting shapes, all interlinked. It was a nasty knife, a knife for cutting, and it fit well in his hand. He tested it against the air.
A knife for revenge. He smiled, his eyes glittering behind his sunglasses.
“I’ll take it. How much?”
She told him. It cleaned him out totally, but it was worth it. It was right, and he strutted back to work, feeling ten feet tall, with eyes like black suns. As long as the knife was in his pocket, he could stay totally focused, do his job. Ackerly displayed unexpected survival skills by staying totally out of sight, while Enrique kept shooting him nervous glances and keeping as far away as their jobs allowed.
Friday night, and straight back to the club, not even bothering to go home and change. The usual crowd was there, doing the usual things. He stalked through the shadows, very cool, very calm.
Except for his hand, which was very sweaty as it gripped the knife.
For a moment his path was disrupted by the sudden sight of a familiar figure: a man in a black leather jacket dancing with about four women at once, all clustered around him. Phil paused, feeling a deep surge of sparkling friendship, awe even. He started to go over and thank Johnny for what the man had done for him last weekend, but then he realized that Johnny already knew how he felt, and that he (Johnny) was sorta busy right at the moment and didn’t want to be disturbed. But maybe someday he would ask an equally big favor of Phil in return, and that was OK. That was cool. Phil could only shake his head as he turned away and walked on further into the club.
“What a guy...”
He circulated and he circulated. He could walk the stairs all night, if he had to.
And then he saw her, and everything else dropped away, even Johnny. She was dancing with a bulky flat-topped brother in a tight red T-shirt which matched her dress, although it didn’t sparkle. Several other similar specimens lounged around her in a protective circle. They didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. Phil stood under one of the large metal struts which still held the hull together, and watched the two dancers. For a very long time he watched them, holding his knife and thinking slashing red thoughts. One by one he cut through the things that were attached to his brain.
The last thread holding him back snapped. He started forward.
He took a single step, and a hand fell onto his shoulder, a grip like iron. He jerked with a strangled cry and spun around. The threads came twisting back.
It was another white dude wearing sunglasses. Not Johnny; he was still in sight a level or two up, dancing now with just one partner, some half-dressed Asian bitch. Or maybe he was just cutting to the chase and doing the deed with her while their clothes were still on. It was hard to tell in the flashing lights.
The shoulder-grabber was a little taller and quite a bit more muscular than Johnny. (...Although not nearly as slick or handsome...) His black leather jacket was more like a trench coat, and was entirely free of metal trim. While clean-shaven, he gave off a definite sense of hairiness, the sort of dude who goes through a three or four razors in a week. He spoke.
“Don’t do it.”
Phil stared for an eternity, finally somehow coming up with a reply.
“Don’t do what?”
“What you are about to do.” The man was Phil’s mirror, or at least the Phil of a moment ago, very cool, very unemotional. Phil became aware that there were two other people observing the whole situation, one standing on either side of the man like a set of bookends. Two more b... women, one colored like the snake-lady back on the Way, one blonde, sporting oddly matching fizzy haircuts. They wore short black leather coats which were snug around their waists. Beneath that, four bare legs, very bitchin’, and four high black boots, very shiny. They had the dude’s same calm iciness stamped across their faces. They stood absolutely still, the lights flickering in the glass of their shades.
They scared Phil, even worse than the knife-seller. But not as bad as... as...
“I don’t... don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.”
“Leave. Go home. Better yet, leave town. Unlike some, you still can.”
“Are you threatenin’ me man?” Phil tried to make it sound tough, but it came out more like a reedy whine.
“No, sport. I’m not threatening you.” A pause, and the corner of the man’s mouth may have twitched up just a bit. “Would it help you to leave if I did?”
Again Phil stared. Finally, he opened his mouth, not at all sure what was going to come out.
“But... but she deserves it.” The venom ran deep and corrosive.
A vastly indifferent shrug.
“Maybe. Maybe not. But it doesn’t really matter. Because you’re doing what she wants you to do.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“She wants you to go over there with whatever it is you have there in your pocket. She wants you to pull it out and start waving it in her face. Because then she’ll snap those nasty little fingers of hers and her friends there will cheerfully drag you outside and do very unpleasant things to you. At great length. With your own tool, probably. When they are done, they will throw what is left of you in the water and she will go on dancing and having fun and doing whatever she did to you to other men.” A pause. “Actually, no. If you are lucky, that is what will happen. If she’s really in the mood to party, well... Either way, after tonight she won’t ever even think about you again.”
“So what... what can I do to her?” For some reason, the thought that the dude might be mistaken or crazy, like so many white people were, never occurred to Phil.
“Nothing. The only revenge you can get, however slight it might be, is to just walk away and never come here again. Well...” Another slight smile. “Maybe go find some nice girl somewhere, and make her happy. Get married. Improve yourself. Go buy a condo in the suburbs or something. But just go. Go now.”
As if asleep, Phil turned and stared yet again at Vixen, still feeling the knife in his hand, feeling the nasty shapes carved into the handle throb eagerly, even angrily, against his callused skin. She danced and laughed, dancing as the Asian girl had, pressed up against Johnny. Only Vixen was pressed up against the man in the red T-shirt.
And it wasn’t the same at all. Two puppeteers and two puppets, but the puppet strings flowed in opposite directions.
She looked over at Phil, directly at him, still dancing, and she smiled. Her teeth glittered, bits of diamonds. Fangs. And her eyes... Her eyes were far worse.
hey there handsome
For a moment, Phillip Joseph Washington saw what Vixen really looked like.
He turned, spun really, and started stumbling up the stairs for the exit, trying not to throw up. A voice. Not her voice, thank god, but the dude.
He spun back, still hunched over. He spoke through gritted teeth, not looking in a certain direction.
“What? What do you want now, man?”
The man studied him thoughtfully, looked up at the ceiling as if testing the breeze, then nodded to himself, once, and held up his hand, palm up, his fingers curled slightly. One of the creepy silent women slapped something in that hand, as smooth as a nurse in operating room, and the man held it out to Phil, handle-first.
It was a gun, black and bulky, a well-crafted revolver of a make and model that Phil didn’t recognize.
“You’re going to need this. Take it.”
“I’m not gonna kill her! Or myself!”
A flash of annoyance.
“Of course not. But since you’re going home for the night... right now... you’re going to need it nonetheless. Whatever it is you’ve got in your pocket there isn’t going to cut it. So to speak.”
Phil twitched, then let go of the knife, reached out and snatched the gun out of the other man’s hand. It fit in his own hand much better than the knife, slick and excitingly cool and easily soaking up all his sweat. Phil swallowed hard, then turned for a final time and again stumbled from the club, unseeing.
Past the bored lounging bouncer, down the artificially rattling gangplank, back to dry land, or at least the wood of the pier. After a moment, Phil swayed to a halt under one of the moth-infested streetlights, sagging against the poster-covered wooden pole and trying to collect his thoughts, watching his breath mist out in front of him. Absently switching the gun to his other hand, he pulled the knife out of his pocket and he stared at it for a long moment, twisting it so that it glinted in the light. The gorge rose in his stomach again, and he viciously flung the blade from himself, into the sea of darkness beyond his little island of light. It clattered loudly against something and came to rest. He switched the gun back, and re-settled the collar of his coveralls against the sharp evening chill. Gradually he became aware that there was a steady stream of people trickling past him and the light, also leaving the club. Some were laughing and chattering as usual, but a distinct minority looked nervous, continually glancing back over their shoulders at the bulk of the ship as they hurried away. Stepping away from the light, he looked up at the ship himself. His eyes adjusted a little. Nothing unusual. The set of searchlights on the roof/deck/whatever still stabbed into the sky and the thump of the music was still faintly audible. But...
Phil became very nervous. He walked away, almost running, again hunched over as if warding off a blow.
High whispy clouds began to scuttle their way over the moon.
The streets rapidly became empty, his footfalls the only sound apart from the very distant sounds of traffic. It was a long way to the nearest tram station, and they didn’t run much this late at night...
He almost screamed, spinning around and barely keeping his feet. If it had been Vixen’s voice, he didn’t know what he would have done. Probably had a heart attack
But it wasn’t Vixen. It was nothing like her rich throaty purr. This voice was cool and chill and sweet. She came wafting out of an alleyway between two of the warehouses, tall and pale and very, very thin. Her collection of long white rags floated around her in a ghostly swirl, mixing with her equally long white hair.
“Hey, handsome. Would you like to have a little fun?”
“No.” The word didn’t come, his tongue had swelled up.
She smiled, and came further into the light, such as it was. She was carrying something in one hand, a pale globe maybe the size of a basketball which glowed sickly white like an enormous dying firefly. Or maybe was it floating over her curled hand...
His lifted his eyes to her face. Above her high sharp cheekbones, she had no pupils; her enormous eyes were white and pure and dazzling. She continued, whispering through snowy teeth and lips touched perhaps with just the memories of roses...
“We’ll have ever so much fun. I’ll take you home with me. I have toys...”
She already had him backed up against the rough brick wall, reaching out with her free claw, her bone-thin arm far too long. The nails are pointed and streaked with black wet dirt.
He never really remembered the gun. It just came swiveling up, the barrel quivering madly. He squealed the words around his useless tongue.
She smiled. It was even worse than the thing Vixen had made out of her exposed teeth, because far, far at the back of it, there was something smothered and hopeless. Somewhere, a lost woman was desperately sorry for what was about to happen, knowing exactly the terror that he was feeling.
He pulled the trigger and wet his coveralls.
The explosion was enormous. It ripped a massive smoking hole through the thing’s face, but there was no blood, no gore. It blew apart like mist, reformed. Even so, the impact forced her back a step or two, and a distinct look of featureless surprise flickered across her face. Then the smile was back, and she held up the globe. It began to glow brighter and brighter, fat slugs of light worming their way up towards the surface from the core, reaching out for him with toothy maws...
This time he did scream, and felt another spray of urine in his coveralls. Even as his body did these things, his finger pulled the trigger again. Ever after, he was not entirely sure if shooting the globe was his idea, or if the gun pointed itself.
Either way, it worked. The globe exploded, not in a spray of mist, but messily, thickly. Spatters and ribbons of pale greenish ichor blew forth in a massive uniform spray, coating everything. The wall of the warehouse. The street. Phil. Somewhere close by, something stopped laughing with a sharp click and there was a very long moment of shocked stillness filled only with the echoing of the shot. The white thing slowly swiveled her head so she was staring wide-eyed (even wider than before, as if that was even possible...) at the remains of the object which now lay, definitely lay, in her hand. It was rapidly decomposing, oozing through her long fingers. Phil stood frozen, only the gun waving even more violently than before, his breaths coming like hiccups.
Slowly, painfully slowly, the woman fell to her knees. She was beginning to mist, fade around the edges, more and more rapidly. Unraveling. She looked up at him, and for a moment, there were black pupils in her eyes. She brushed a gentle hand of benediction across the knee of his doubly-befouled uniform.Thank you...
And she was gone, blown away on a passing breeze. Her garments swirled aimlessly about him for a moment before disintegrating as well. The globe festered at his feet.
Phil clicked on the gun’s safety, put the weapon in his pocket and walked to the tram station, very slowly, not using his knees.
It was of course Kristal’s idea that they go to the rally. She had always been more into such things than him; he had commented on more than one occasion that he didn’t think there was really much more to modern politics beyond ‘one from column A or one from column B’.
But it was lovely late-summer day, and he admitted he wanted to get out and enjoy the sunshine. So he finally capitulated with his usual gentle smile and laugh and they went.
They drove her car down to the shopping mall where the rally was being held. Actually, she drove, as was usually the case when they went anywhere together. He had gotten his license with her help even while they were still just dating, but he had once admitted that, having lived so long in the city with its tram system before meeting her out here in the wilds of suburbia, he had never really become a driving enthusiast. And she liked driving him.
She liked doing all sorts of things for him. That was of course the point of being married, yes, but somehow, there was something more. He was still young and healthy, Doctor Hitchens had assured her, but even since they had first met in that community college class, there were times when he would suddenly look so drawn and thin, and she just wanted to take him in her arms and comfort him. Often she did. The days when he had to drive into the city for meetings at his company’s head office or whatever were especially bad.
And they never ever went into the city at night, not even to see a movie at the Panopticon or attend a Sirens night game, the latter being something she had dearly loved to do with her father as a child.
But there was something more to being nice to him, more than just being his wife. It got all hazy and deliciously fuzzy around the edges, but it had started that day she came across that cardboard box with some of his old possessions in it, stuffed in the very back of the duplex’s hall closet. It had been her day off, and she had decided to do a little cleaning. He had come home... she didn’t know how many hours later... and found her kneeling in front of the box, still staring down at what she had found. He had been angry like she’d never seen before. But then...
Everything just went hazy, but it was good kind of hazy, like sniffing laughing gas at the dentist and floating weightless on endlessly pink clouds. Yes, there had been something in the box, something wonderfully slick and black and he had calmed down and even given her permission to touch it, and then they had...
It didn’t matter. All that mattered was he kept something very special in that box along with his old music magazines and toy cars, and on equally special occasions, their first anniversary, her birthday, he had taken it out and held it up and let it shimmer in her eyes.
Just thinking about it made her want to simultaneously cross her legs and spread them, even as she drove.
She shook it off as they pulled into the vast mall parking lot. There was a surprisingly large crowd pouring in from all directions; Karnin’s campaign was really starting to pick up steam, and the latest polls showed him almost pulling even with that pompous windbag Maxell, despite the latter’s hefty campaign fund, accumulated from his years at the lobbyists’ trough. Kristal had put up a Karnin campaign sign in their half of the yard and would have volunteered with the campaign herself, but she knew Phillip wouldn’t have approved. He certainly wouldn’t have stopped her or anything, but maybe he wouldn’t hold up the thing, the thing in the box and
let her watch it shimmer slickly in the moonlight... wouldn’t let her kneel before him and
slowly wrap her lips around the icy-cold black shaft and
suck and suck and suck while he spoke in a different voice a grating Miller Hills voice, the one he had worked so hard to get rid of
saying terrible vicious red-hot sexy things and
looming up as a hulkish thug not slender like normal and
slowly clicking the cylinder on the gun and
slowly clicking the tumblers in her brain and
she sucked and she sucked and
she waited for him to
pull the trigger and
smear her useless blonde brains all over the walls of their bedroom and
then he would go out on the town and
get hisself a new skinny-assed blonde bitch
maybe even one of her co-workers at the insurance office, Lucinda maybe and
have her clean up the mess,
pick up Kristal’s bloody fragments one by one with her teeth and
make her love it, like Kristal was loving it and
he finally cocked the gorgeous black gun, slowly, teasingly and
he triggered her
She had to bite her lip to focus. It wasn’t usually this bad. Usually she couldn’t even think about it at all when it wasn’t actually in the process of happening. Maybe they could just hang around long enough to hear Karnin’s speech, and then go back to the duplex. She’d have to do something extra-special nice for him to make up for all this...
As it happened, they had arrived just in time. They were at the back of the milling crowd as some pudgy guy in a bad toupee and a gaudy checkered suit finished up his preliminary remarks and gave the usual introduction:
“And now, our next state senator from the 23rd district, Dennis Karnin!”
The crowd hit its mark like pros and cheered and waved their signs, and a tall distinguished man popped out onto the flag-festooned outdoor stage, waving. He was followed by a woman in a simple but tasteful print dress; Kristal immediately recognized his wife Valerie from the campaign literature. Karnin stepped up to the microphone and raised his hands for silence, still smiling. Something suddenly prompted Kristal to look over at Phillip. He was staring at the stage as if he had been poleaxed, not at the man at the microphone, but at the woman who stood to one side. He mouthed a word that she couldn’t quite make out.
She looked back at the stage, at the woman. She stood with her hands demurely crossed in front of her, and gazed at her waving husband with shiny-eyed adoration, the standard posture of a thousand political wives. But there was something more...
Kristal Washington had a sudden sharp vision.
Again she turned to Phillip. He was still staring at the stage, but with a new expression on his face. Almost smiling. What had he just seen?
“Can we go home now, please?” She detested the way her voice suddenly sounded, reedy and desperate. He looked over at her, his eyebrows raised.
“Of course, baby. If you want.”
“I’m sorry I made you came.”
He laughed, quite cheerfully, and slipped a gentle black arm around her as they started back towards the car. She nestled against him gratefully.
“No, actually, I’m glad we came.”
“You are?” She stared up with wide blue eyes.
“Yes. I learned that I’m definitely going to be voting for Karnin...”
He got the thing out of the box that night, and it was the best and the worst ever. He blew her brains out not once, not twice, but three times.
She woke up later, and lay next to him in bed for a very long time. Staring at the ceiling. After she was sure that he was asleep, she slipped out of bed, going outside in her beloved old bathrobe and her bare feet. She stalked through the chilly grass, calmly ripped up the Karnin sign from the yard and ceremoniously burned it on their new barbecue. The flames danced in her eyes, shimmering, shimmering...
Then she went back inside, and was happy.
To be continued?
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