*from the upcoming book, Stories from the Slaughterhouse, coming soon to digital and paperback*
The thunk of the gun on the table in front of me holds such a finality that I am stunned into stammering. Had I truly come to a point in my life where all my troubles could be bought away by the uttering of a name and the pulling of a trigger? Apparently so – I had to consider my situation carefully and had relatively no time to do it. “That’s the deal, sweetheart. One name, and one bullet.” The man behind the weapon wears a smile that seems more predatory than genuine. It’s odd how predatory fits best with those pointed teeth of his. The smile is not reassuring in the least.
“It all sounds a little too good to be true, and you forgot about the lifetime of guilt and nightmares,” I snark back, more out of fear than anything else. A big hand lands like a wet blanket on the butt of the gun and I realise that I was lashing out at the one person who was willing to give me what I needed. No one ever said that I was smart.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Wolf. I suppose that I’m nervous. This is a big decision to make, you know?” The hand vanishes as quickly as it came and I inwardly sigh relief. “So who is it? I need the name before I turn you loose. It’s one of the rules.” Who, indeed? There really were so many I could choose from, but whose death would everyone’s world best benefit from? “You already know, don’t you?” I shake my head, because I did and I didn’t want to admit it. I’m a horrible person. A monster.
A monster, but I don’t mean to be, and I try so hard not to be. “Yeah. I know who, and you won’t be needing that gun, either, thank you. I could use a priest and maybe a team of exorcists though, if you know of any.” A bullet will do no good and so the gun is useless, unless I want to blow my own brains out my ear with it. If he takes it with him, It’s sure to happen to him; I am not ready to die, yet, and I’m positive that he isn’t either. It’ll happen, though. It has before.
I am unwell, or so they say and I would normally agree but my point of view has changed drastically. There are some things that one simply cannot unsee or pretend they are untrue Last summer, while I was in a bad way, I voluntarily did a short stint in the local mental hospital. What my family called a sanity sabbatical. I met someone there, a strange and wonderful man who shared so many of the same things in common that for the first time in my life, I began to be happy right where I was.
His name was Piotr and he made me feel like a normal woman, someone with worth, worth the time and I fell in love, hard. From the moment I saw him, he became hypnotic and all-encompassing. Our romance grew in the shadows and in empty doorways, finally resulting in the consummation of our love late on the 13th of June. We found each other in the darkness of the abadoned north wing and on a bed he had thoughtfully set up for our first romantic endeavour he took the only thing I had to give.
There was something – a presence – about him that made me drool with desire every time he came near. The intoxicating scent of the one I adored was more delicious than anything else and my head was full of him when he peeled my clothing off and spread my legs. He kissed me, there, then, and I shivered when his tongue began tracing its pattern; up and down and round and round. My slit was wet but I wanted him in my mouth first and then between my legs, but he refused one and laid me back onto the thin mattress.
I could feel the hot throbbing head of his sex against my virgin opening, and it probed deeper as his tongue did my mouth. There was so much pleasure that I forgot about the pain and spread my legs wide, begging him to pierce my maidenhead and then fuck me til I screamed. No greater pleasure experienced in one’s life than that first time and so it remains the greatest pleasure of my years. The stars in my eyes masked the truth in reality and though he was everything, I had forgotten about the chains of responsibility that come with rapture.
Weeks later, I learned that I was to be a mother, on the very day that I was to be released from my sanctuary, torn away from Piotr and dumped back into hell. I had written him a note after repeated failed attempts to pull him into a private corner to tell him the news. The nurses thwarted me at every step, and I finally resorted to paper and pen; my love left bleeding on paper and handed to a trusted friend to deliver after my departure.
My room remained the same as it had when I was a child, thus relegating me to the child they saw me as. I hated it, chafed at the social collar that I was forced to wear. The only saving grace is that when Poitr was finally free, it would l be easy for me to slip out of the window and into his arms. For a time, it was easy, for maybe a month or so after I received word that he gained employment and was living in a rooming house nearby. The first time, we planned to meet at the gazebo at the local park. It was our first public meeting, and I was a nervous wreck, with my hand caressing the slight bump of my belly as though I would a talisman.
Poitr appeared on the path leading up to the partial secluded building, his eyes on the ground until he reached the stairs; then, nothing existed for a while but our bodies and hearts meeting and beating together. The sound of his knees hitting the wood and the feeling of his soft lips on the slight bump of my belly was more erotic than I ever imagined. The sensation of the hardest part of him resting against my ready slit and then sliding forward was delicious and I arched my back with a groan. I remember that, but the rest is lost in a haze of my own making. It’s for me.
We met that way as often as time would allow, with me climbing from the bedroom window and shimmying down the drainpipe to walk half a mile to the gazebo. It was perfect until I was unable to see my toes, and then we knew we needed to find another way. Piotr proposed on a Friday, in our gazebo. It was raining and the world was draped in mist from the river. The baby kicked hard when he kissed my inner thigh and produced a beautiful small diamond. Of course I said yes and we lay together on a blanket he had brought with him, his hand on my belly and his lips on my ear, telling me about how it would be when we were married and our little one was here. He made it sound so plausible.
“Is it safe? Nadia? Is it – if we -” He was so nervous and I nodded against his neck, nipping my teeth along his collarbone when he growled. “Easy, Poitr, you must go easy,” I gasped when he shoved me onto my back and flipped my skirt up over my hips. I hadn’t worn panties, as he’d requested and his fingers were stroking my already ready slit in a rougher manner than I’d experienced before. “Poitr,” I whined, trying to push his hand away but he chuckled and slipped three of his thick fingers firmly inside my tunnel, wiggling them in a manner that made me squirm in pleasure and discomfort. Baby was active and seemed to be struggling inside of my belly.
An enormous agony tore through my back and up my spine when my juices drenched his still thrusting fingers, easing with the first shriek from Piotr and the frantic wriggling of his hand deep inside of my body. The world stopped, and for a while, so did I, lost in a fog of numbness and the shrieks of the man I loved.
When the mists had cleared, Piotr was gone; his eyes had flies in them and his hand was gnawed away, through to the stub of white gleaming in the red. My belly was empty, and felt empty too, until I felt the warmth of two tiny hands st my breast and the sharp nip of pointed teeth. I was a mother. My son’s first meal had been his father.
That was six months ago Piotr was found shortly after our son wax born by an off duty officer on his morning run. There were no suspects and the papers said it was an isolated animal attack He’s an animal alright, of a sort, my fallen angel who sleeps now in his toddler bed nearest the window. He will wake later so that he can sit up and admire the moon. He’s grown fast, feeding while I sleep and crawling beside me warm and content as the sun rises each morning, waking me the same way he did the day he was born His teeth are sharper.
I miss Piotr, dreadfully. Our child looks so much like him that it makes me ill. I can’t look at him anymore, especially not now He is rapidly losing his grip on what little humanity he’d been born with. I knew that it would happen anyway but I’m frightened by how soon it has occurred.
What brings me here, at this point in my life? Two nights ago I found a man in my house. I just stood in the doorway stunned at seeing a nude stranger it my bed, and the sweet face of my should be infant boy buried hairline deep in his guts and grunting like a boar. The man was still shrieking in agony when I crept away from the open bedroom door and drove away. I haven’t been back.
“Hey beautiful, what’s the word? Going to give me that name?” I really detest this asshole, but he is exactly what I need to get the job done. Raising my eyes to his, I smile and push a folded scrap of paper towards him, and brush the cool metal of the gun in the process. “Gideon. There is the address. I’ll wait for the call.” Mr. Wolf scanned the information I’d carefully printed on it and refolded the paper, placing it in his left breast pocket.
“Okay Ms. C. Give me 24 hours and I’ll have good news for you.” He traipsed away without a care, and never glanced back once. I’ve been waiting for that call, the text, something with the proof of death to secure my freedom for almost 48 hours That is a full day longer than the amount of time that he committed to, but I am loathe to leave yet. This is my child, after all, my son that I’m awaiting word from after all. I afraid that things went terribly wrong.