Saturday 13 November 2010
DADDY'S GIRL by Richard Godwin
When they’d skinned them they stood knee deep in the Pool and admired the sunset through the open door. A cloud of black birds wheeled in the bloodshot sky. It was silent outside, as if something was sated. Johnny and Mary had been carrying out their routine for years before it happened.
Clarksville was just a small rural town at the edge of nowhere. Maize fields burned in the summer sun and the rich colours of the crops sometimes attracted weekenders to stop and have a drink. These were mostly young couples or retired husbands and wives who wanted a taste of the countryside. They would slow and admire the view, park, then amble down Main Street, such as it was, since it comprised only a few shops.
The Lantern was the only pub there and they would enter its darkened salon and order a pint of beer. Harry always served them, watched them sit and sip then got on the phone to Johnny.
One June evening in the surrounding countryside a blonde woman and her boyfriend got out of a black Porsche. He opened the hood and inspected the steaming engine. Then he kicked the front tyre. He was tall and well-muscled. He had a scar that ran the length of his chin and strutted when he walked. He wore a T-shirt and jeans.
The woman was tanned and attractive. She wore a tank top that pushed up her breasts and tight denim shorts and when she bent down her roots showed.
‘It’s a new 911, I don’t get it,’ he said.
‘Come on Brad, let’s go get something to eat and we can call a garage.’
‘Eat where Jane?’
‘Down there,’ she said, pointing.
Just beyond the field they were standing in, through the trees, she could see the lights coming on in Clarksville.
‘Pretty isn’t it?’ she said.
‘I could do with a beer.’
They walked down to Main Street under a skyline that was awash with red and entered The Lantern.
‘What can I get you?’ Harry said.
Brad looked round at the empty bar.
‘Couple of beers.’
‘You folks lost?’
‘How d’you guess?’ Brad said, yawning.
‘Lot of folks get lost here. But don’t worry, we’ll fix you up, we always take care of our visitors.’
They sat down and Brad said, ‘Jane let’s get out of this place.’
‘Why? They got rooms here, we could stay the night, get the car fixed and leave tomorrow.’
‘Cause these fuckin hick towns give me the creeps.’ Jane put her foot between his legs and looked at him over the table.
‘We ain’t never fucked in the countryside before.’
‘You gonna get dirty?’
‘You want me to be your whore?’
Brad got up and walked over to the bar where Harry was talking on the phone.
‘Got a couple of good ones for ya, real prime cuts Johnny’, he said. He put the phone down and turned and looked at Brad. ‘Yes?’
‘See you got rooms here old timer.’
‘We do Sir.’
‘Can we have one?
‘Oh and I heard you ordering some food, you got any of those steaks left?’
Harry’s eyes twinkled as he said ‘Oh yes, Sir, we never run out of produce.’
‘Then we’ll have two and can you call a garage?’
‘That’s right, very good.’
‘I’ll take care of it.’
‘Used to be a mechanic before I retired, still fix all the cars round here.’
‘All of them? I didn’t see no cars.’
‘That’s because no one drives any more.’
‘An why the fuck is that?’
‘Most of the folk round here are old, cept for Johnny and Mary.’
‘Is that right? Well, must be one hell of a life for them, living in a nursing home.’
‘That’s not the way I would describe it.’
‘Can you handle a Porsche?’
‘I can handle anything.’
He tossed Harry the keys. ‘First field.’
‘I know where it is, Sir.’
‘Oh, we’ll have em rare.’
‘That’s how I like them myself.’
Brad went and sat back down. ‘Guy’s fuckin crazy.’
‘Says only old folk live here.’
When they finished eating their plates were awash with blood. Brad sat back and belched and picked a filament of meat from his teeth while Jane licked the meat from the T-bone.
‘You’s got a great tongue on you baby,’ Brad said.
‘You ain’t seen all it can do.’
‘Less than an hour ago we break down, now I’m gonna fuck your ass off in Hicksville, fancy a walk?’
Harry lurked behind a pillar listening as they left.
Outside the street was bright in the moonlight. They walked the length of Main Street.
‘We got a tobacconist, a pub, a weird shop selling stuffed animals and a food store that looks like it ain’t been painted in years’, Brad said. ‘If all these old folk live here, where’s the pharmacist?’
‘I think it’s cute,’ Jane said.
‘Cute? It’s fuckin sick.’
‘Let’s go to bed.’
‘I dunno. I want to get my car fixed and leave.’
‘Let’s leave in the morning.’ She pushed her hand down his jeans and laughed.
Beyond the field where Brad left his car two men got out of a black Mercedes. They wore immaculate suits and dark glasses. The taller one was swarthy and looked like a boxer. The other man was wiry and moved quickly. They walked through two fields to the abandoned Porsche.
The smaller man took off his glasses. ‘He’s gone down there,’ he said, pointing at Clarksville.
‘Then we go down and get him Bobby.’
‘Did he think he was gonna get away with this?’
‘He ain’t Joey, he ain’t gonna get away with nothing, by the time we’re finished with him he’ll wish he’d stayed there and taken the heat.’
He made a call. ‘We found them. They’re in a town. I don’t know what it’s called. She’s with him. I can go and do him now.... You serious?... Alive?’ He shut his phone.
‘He wants him alive.’
Harry was waiting for them. He locked the door behind them as they entered and said, ‘Vera’s making your room up.’
‘Hey I wanted to pick your best one,’ Brad said.
‘We only have one room Sir.’
‘How do you survive?’
‘We have our ways.’
He showed them upstairs to the black corridor that was lit by a single bare bulb that swung from a cord through which filaments of electrical wire were visible.
Brad looked up as the light hissed overhead.
A woman was leaving the room with a mop. She was small and hunch-backed and barely looked at them as she said ‘Clean enough’ and walked away.
Inside the room they found a double bed with a deep brown stain on it, peeling wallpaper with faded images of a hunting scene.
‘This sucks’, Brad said.
‘Let’s stay a night and leave first thing.’
He studied the wallpaper. Men with bloody hands pursued something through a field.
‘What are they hunting?’ Brad said.
‘Whatever it is, it’s wearing a coat,’ Jane said.
‘I don’t know nothing bout hunting, all I know is this is some weird place.’
‘My dad hunts.’
‘Your dad hunts men.’
‘He shoots deer.’
‘He only started doing that to look respectable. He’s a gangster.’ Jane started to unzip Brad’s jeans.
‘I’m so into you baby.’
‘Yeah, well your dad ain’t.’
‘I’ll work him round, he’ll get used to you.’
‘What about that money?’
‘I’ll tell him I spent it.’ She began to strip and Brad turned out the light. She got on top of him and began making so much noise that they didn’t hear the door open.
Johnny walked in followed by Mary.
Jane smelled Johnny just before he grabbed her.
She thought there was a sewage problem in the room as he laid his callused hand on her back and said, ‘nice piece of bitch.’
Brad struck out and punched Jane in the jaw, knocking her out as Mary grabbed his prick and yanked him off the bed.
He reached out an arm and put on the lamp.
‘What the fuck are you?’ he said.
He was staring up at a man with a snout and two protruding fangs. He was dressed in dungarees which had brown stains all over them. His hands were covered in hair and he had no eyelashes.
‘I’m Johnny,’ he said. ‘This here’s Mary an you better show her respect or she’ll bite you.’
‘I’ll bite your dick,’ she said.
She seemed to be wearing a blonde wig but her skin was like leather and she stood sideways because one of her legs was shorter than the other. Brad couldn’t take his eyes off her arms, which were as thick and muscular as an ape’s.
Jane stirred on the bed, looked round and screamed.
At the door Harry and Vera stood watching.
Johnny looked at Mary and said, ‘Me first.’
Mary held Brad down as Johnny flipped Jane over.
‘This one’s got a great ass,’ he said, ‘slides in easy.’
Mary squeezed Brad’s balls so hard he started choking. Then she sat on his face and said, ‘I’m gonna eat your dick in a hot dog, boy.’
‘Hot dog, that’s a good un Mary, you always was clever with the jokes,’ Johnny said. He was laughing as he pulled out of Jane. He sniffed his finger. ‘Bitch is as clean as a whistle.’
‘No shit?’ Mary said. ‘Let’s take em to the Pool.’
She knocked Brad out with one punch and then reached for Jane.
Harry locked up after Johnny and Mary carried them outside and dragged them naked down Main Street, past the shop selling stuffed animals and into a field. At the end they stopped at an old barn and unlocked the door.
It was cavernous inside and when the light went on it illuminated a pool full of some thick fluid. Saws and cutting tools of various descriptions lined the walls hanging in neat rows from long nails. They were covered in red and dark stains.
‘OK, we do him first’, Johnny said.
‘I want to bleed that boy’, Mary said.
‘Chisel n hammer?’
‘Machete n saw.’
By the open barn door some unknown beast hissed as they reached down the tools and Johnny stuck on the radio. Killing Me Softly was playing and Mary stroked her wig.
‘Johnny, it’s my favourite song.’
‘You sure does like a threnody Mary.’
‘Oh Johnny you have a way with words.’
‘And you have a way with dicks.’
She fetched a large machete from the wall and a small hand saw and reached down into Brad’s crotch. She lifted his penis and placed the sharp edge of the saw against his skin as Jane came to and screamed.
‘What are you doing?’ she said.
‘We’re making a feast for the folk of Clarksville,’ Mary said.
Johnny walked over and ran his hand over her.
‘I fucked better n you,’ he said. ‘I fucked all sorts. Nice women from all over the world, you could say I’m something of a Casanova.’
‘Let me go you pervert.’
‘We’s gonna cut you open and feed you to our old folk,’ Mary said.
‘You’re fucking crazy. I’ll pay you, my father’s rich. He could keep this town going for years.’
‘Daddy’s girl,’ Mary said. She put her hand over Jane’s mouth.
Brad was trying to stand up and Johnny walked over and began hitting him.
‘Now you listen up. We kill our visitors cause we need the food. We don’t need no outside help, we eat you and our folk live forever and everyone’s happy, you even get fucked by me before you die, ain’t that a thing?’
Brad kicked him and got up. He was standing close to the Pool and as Johnny reached for him Brad slipped and fell in. He tried to climb out but his hands kept slipping on the edge. ‘What the fuck is this?’ he said.
‘Sewage,’ Johhny said. ‘Full of body parts we don’t use. Our diet’s good, that’s why we live forever, my mamma’s a hundred an eighty.’
‘Does she look like a fuckin pig too?’ Brad said.
‘Now there’s no call for that, no call at all,’ Johnny said.
He shook his head and walked over to the wall and began pulling tools down.
‘You shouldn’t have said that,’ Mary said.
‘Why? What’s he gonna do?’
‘He’s gonna eat you alive. We usually kill you first and take a bit, pass the rest round. Johnny’s gonna start you kicking n you’ll be kicking when you go, then we’ll serve you up for the others.’
Just then Jane smelt smoke and turned to the barn door. Joey stood there smoking with Bobby.
Johnny ran at them.
Joey hit him hard in the head and Johnny fell over.
‘What the fuck is this? A zoo?’ Bobby said. ‘You is the ugliest bitch I ever seen.’
‘They’re ours,’ Mary said.
‘No fuckin way.’
‘Look at this one,’ Joey said.
Johnny was getting up from the floor and Bobby looked at him.
‘Who did your momma fuck boy, the local pig?’
Mary tried to head butt Joey but he threw her hard against the wall and she stood there panting.
Over at the other end of the barn Brad climbed out of the pool and lay there covered in shit.
He retched and pulled himself to his feet. ‘I never thought I’d say this, but am I glad to see you boys.’
‘Got our money?’ Joey said.
‘No. I’ll pay him back.’
‘He ain’t happy, ain’t happy at all. Let’s shoot these fuckin animals.’
They started to open fire but Johnny and Mary moved like lightning and leapt through the window at the back. The glass was thin and shattered easily and as Bobby and Joey raced after them they saw them disappear into the field outside.
‘Let’s get out of here,’ Bobby said.
Brad found a hose and washed himself down.
‘Our clothes,’ he said.
‘Screw your clothes,’ Bobby said. ‘There are a couple of blankets in the car.’ He looked at Jane. ‘I seen it all now.’
‘I’ll make it up to him,’ she said.
They walked to the field where the Mercedes was parked.
Bobby threw them a blanket each.
‘You ain’t clever Brad,’ he said. ‘Pulling a racket like that.’
‘You take his money and his daughter. An you ain’t even nobody.’
‘You guys saved my life.’
‘Don’t mention it, we was just following orders. I don’t know what the old man’s got planned for you, but you might wish you’d stayed in Clarksville.’
‘I doubt it, at least whatever he’ll do is human.’
‘You ain’t seen him when he’s angry,’ Bobby said.
They got in the back and Joey drove away.
When they hit the highway Jane turned to Brad and said, ‘My daddy loves me, he’ll do anything for me.’
‘I sure am glad of that baby.’
Richard Godwin writes dark crime fiction, and he lets it slip the net like wash into horror.
His work has appeared in many publications, places like A Twist Of Noir and Pulp Metal Magazine, as well as in two anthologies. His story 'Pike N Flytrap' is in this Fall's issue of Needle Magazine. His play ‘The Cure-All’ has been produced on the London stage. All his stories and poetry can be found at his blog here: http://www.richardgodwin.net/
His first crime novel ‘Apostle Rising’ is about to be published and will be released for sale onto the market on March 10th 2011. Use the link to watch a video ad of it.