Saturday, 27 November 2010
LONELY HEARTS by AJ Humpage
She added one last entry to her diary, closed it and flicked the light off. She left the house and wandered into the dark, humid air.
She had weathered an eight-year storm; lost on a cold, grey ocean of unlimited depth, and for a long time the bilious undercurrents had swept her further from reality. Her life had been all but a slate coloured mist, except for the needle like pain of a moment in the past that periodically brought her to. This static encrusted memory kept her going because she knew she would find him again, however long it took.
She remembered his face; deep frown lines peppered with beads of sweat, the hint of whiskers poking through sun kissed skin. She remembered his scent, the mix of musky perspiration and beer and traces of Armani. She remembered the heady mix of desire and alcohol, the way he deftly lowered her defences when she least expected, as neatly as unzipping a dress.
The art of betrayal had ingrained in her memory, never to leave.
She remembered his stale breath against her face, his saliva like slime, left on her skin from a tongue hewn from granite, trailing like a snail from mouth to vagina. And his eyes, as distant as a blown star, never burned with depth or feeling. They were dark, indistinct and somewhere behind the burnished facade, a demon huddled, waiting to pounce.
He was a shark in the depths, picking off his victims, tasting them and then spitting them out.
She remembered his touch, rough like sand across her skin. He left marks across her flesh, deeper ones in her mind. Reddened welts peppered her arms and legs. Worst of all, he had sliced her with the penknife - leaving trails of blood soaking the bed sheets - while eking out a name in broken flesh: slut. She haemorrhaged crimson clots as soon as he forced a path inside her, so violent that he split her open, while hot streams oozed from nose and mouth, the softness of skin no match for his fists.
He had snatched the thin thread of trust that she had forged during their date, ripped it from her in that moment of frenzy. She had been looking for Mr. Right.
But she couldn’t fight him, couldn’t kick, nor would she dare to scream; she could barely raise a whisper. Instead, she had to listen to the screams in her head while the fear sat crushing her chest like churlish demon.
He worked in a hospital. A doctor. The drug he’d used was Benzodiazepine. It had clouded her motor functions, impeded thought and she was unable to stop him. Electrical pulses imploded, and muscles spasmed and at first she didn’t feel the pain, but as the drug gradually dissipated through her veins and began to wane, hours into her ordeal, the fire in her groin became intense, like a container full of nails had exploded in her womb.
Long after he had spilled his seed and was gone, the pain in her abdomen remained for days, a grotesque reminder of her naivety.
The darkness enveloped her. She shook the memory from her mind and looked up at the face in the distance, bathed in ochre from the street light. His was a familiar square face, suffused by the swirling night which protected him.
Clicking of heels over cobbles signalled primitive urges. Red lips, plump and waiting for a kiss, moved in perceived slow motion until her face found the light.
“I’m Jen.” A lie. “You must be Morgan.”
Morgan Smith looked at her from beneath lowered eyelids, as though gauging her. He cast a probing shadow across her pale face. The subtle inflection in his expression belied his true nature.
“I have a lovely bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape waiting at home,” Jen whispered, moving. “Shall we?”
His voice was soft, rounded. “You’re much smaller than your picture. I thought you would be taller.”
She looked up. Subtle flecks in her pale green eyes bristled beneath the dull glare of the street light. “Everyone says that.” Her attention dropped to his left hand as he moved. The gold wedding band glinted. Her eyes narrowed.
He saw her expression, slipped his hand in his pocket. “I...I’m separated.”
She smiled to ease his tenuous expression. “Don’t worry, I meant what I said in my advert. No strings attached. You probably have a lovely family at home, but we’re both looking for fun, right?”
The advert in the lonely hearts column of the local newspaper, the no strings fun of two consenting adults, had caught his interest, because she matched his criteria perfectly.
His eyes darkened. “Right.”
She walked along the cobbles, her footsteps echoing through the alley. “My place isn’t far.”
He followed, soft even steps mingling with hers.
Ten minutes later, she opened the front door and stepped into the dark umbra clouding the hallway. She stopped momentarily, talked to a shadow in the murk, then walked towards a door at the far end.
Morgan closed the door with his foot. Immediately the shadow rose from the floor, growled, startled him. Morgan stiffened against the door, unable to see the threat.
She flicked the light on. “Oh, don’t mind Jason. He’s just wary around strangers, that’s all.” She slipped into the kitchen.
Morgan gazed at the sleek black Doberman. The dog stared back at him, very still, upright, ears to attention like sharpened spears. Lips curled in a silent scowl.
Morgan slid along the wall, slowly eased past the dog and entered the kitchen.
Jen had already popped the wine. She handed him a full glass, then grabbed hers, gazed up at him, her green eyes glowing with a strange, eerie candescence. She sipped the ruby coloured liquid, licked her lips.
He watched, fascinated, took a gulp from his own glass.
She reached up and touched his face, saw how his eyes became like polished steel. She sipped her drink. “Drink up, it’s a good way of banishing those inhibitions.”
He grinned, knocked back the glass. She poured him another.
She was silent as she took his hand and led him upstairs. She pushed open bedroom door, allowed the feminine scents within to tantalise him, draw him in.
A cool pewter glow from a full moon framed her silhouette as she stood by the window. The darkness crowded them, pressed against their piqued skin. She undid the coat and slipped it off.
Morgan could see her shape against the moon glow pressing against the window. He set the wine glass down and quickly unbuckled his belt and unzipped his trousers. He pulled off his shirt, threw it across the room.
She moved forward, her milky shadow grazed by the light. She settled on the bed. She reached up and pulled him down on the bed beside her; lay close enough to feel the warmth of his body, the pulse of his quickening heartbeat under his skin.
His scent tickled her nose. Armani and raw musk. Her memory fizzled.
She felt his hand sweep up her leg and hip, then up across her back, but the sensation was cold, insipid. Hot breath clouded her face as he tried to find her lips, but she had her head turned towards the pale light, her eyes focused on the moon through the half-closed curtains. The cold man in the moon seemed fearful.
She let him paw her. Her memories pushed through the dust clouds in her mind; the same touch and sensations that she could never forget. Her body seemed to his touch and after a long while of play she moved so that she sat astride him, rubbed her hands down his chest and groin. She could just make out the slight smile on his face as he settled back against the pillows.
She gripped him, thumb rubbing his against glans. From the greyness, she heard him moan. It was a subtle sound, almost lost in the darkness, but in her mind, it sounded more like a foul sounding whine of a dark, bestial creature.
She eased forward as though to tease, but she reached under the mattress with her right hand while she continued to rub him with her left. Her fingertips touched the blade beneath the mattress, found the handle. Fingers tightened.
He moaned again, throbbing against her palm.
She tucked the knife tight against her wrist and straightened. She glared at him through the gloom, recalled her memory of him. His face hadn’t changed. His eyes were still dark and barren like a lifeless moon, still the same glacial expression devoid of depth or emotion. Still the same stench poured from his skin.
Her insides juddered as she remembered him. Everything about him.
She curled her fingers around his penis, thumb and forefinger squeezing gently. She tucked her feet beneath her thighs, knees resting in the folds of his inner thighs.
She eased the knife from the protective veil of the darkness, lifted his member and without hesitation or sound or a stuttered heartbeat, she sliced into the base, pushed the knife deep into the flesh, felt blood squirt across her hand.
Morgan screamed as the pain shot into his system, although it sounded more like an intake of breath meeting a cough, and for a second or two he gurgled on his own saliva. He tried to sit up, found that he couldn’t. Arms seemed strangely unwieldy, muscles unable to comply with synaptic charges.
“What the f--”
“Flunitrazepam,” she said, cold, sawing through him, the blade easily carving through his tightened skin. “Rohyphnol to you and me. And you know all about that, don’t you, Morgan? Being a doctor.”
Tears spilled from his eyes and mixed with saliva bubbling from his mouth. He knew exactly what it meant. He had limited control of motor functions because the drug inside him was working to numb his muscles. He realised then how much she must have put in his glass of wine. “Bitttchh...what the hell...”
Even through the maw, she could see his distorted face, his neck swollen with pain, veins throbbing and crawling beneath his skin like scurrying roaches. Thin threads bulged in his face, looked as though they would burst any moment.
“No! God dammit...”
Something warm splattered and dribbled down her stomach. The slimy, seamy feel of warm blood dripped between her legs. She heard his guts quiver.
He whined, body stuttering.
She tore the last remaining sinew from him and his member detached. An oily film of blood covered her hands. “Look Morgan, bits of you. This is what hurt me. This is the weapon you used against me.”
He was breathing shallow, hard, the creeping numbness in his body making him cold. He stared at her through his pain. “You crazy bitch! What the hell are you talking about?”
“Eight years ago. You answered my ad in the lonely hearts column of the newspaper. You lived in North London then. Single white female seeks fun with single male, 25 - 40. But it wasn’t any fun for me, was it? See, I thought it was the alcohol that made me senseless and numb, but you drugged me. Is that what you did to all your blind dates, Morgan? Drugged them and raped them?” She waved his severed penis at him. “Not anymore.”
“I’ll kill you for this you crazy slut,” he rasped, his senses beginning to fog. His eyes shuttered.
“Eight years. That’s how long it’s taken to trawl the lonely hearts columns of all the newspapers, week in, week out to finally trap you.” She rose from the bed, grabbed her coat and slipped into her heels before opening the door. “You might want to get to a hospital soon, Morgan, before you bleed out. Think of your poor wife. What on earth will you say to the police?” She squeezed the severed penis in a symbolic fit of anger, dug her nails into it, felt how warm it was. “Oh, one last thing...my name is Melanie, not Jen.”
It took all of his strength to fight the numbing sensation of the drug to clamp his hand over the gaping hole where his cock had been.
He screamed, but it was pathetic and somehow lost in the darkness that poisoned the room.
Melanie Clark, early twenties, brunette hair, mesmerising green eyes. Tiny little thing. Now he remembered. Christ did he remember.
Melanie wandered downstairs, watched by the dog sitting in the middle of the hallways. She deposited the bloody knife in the sink and washed her hands. She stared at the lump of flesh on the kitchen counter, felt a cold satisfaction trickle into her stomach. She picked it up by the fleshiest part, walked down the hallway.
She smiled at the dog. “Hungry, baby?”
The dog sat up, barked.
From upstairs, she heard Morgan wail.
Long glistening strands of saliva dripped from the dog’s mouth, splattered against the tiled floor.
She threw the bloody piece of muscle to the dog. “Enjoy, baby. Eat it all up.”
The dog snatched it up, chewed eagerly through the flesh and fat tissue. The deep, satisfying sound of mastication echoed around the hallway and drifted up the stairs like a sinister trail of vapour.
Morgan could barely move. He heard the dog chomping, felt the bedclothes growing damp around his backside, the awful sensation of blood rushing from the gaping hole in his groin filling him with abject terror and he screamed again.
Melanie smiled to herself, watched as the dog licked up the remaining blood. She slipped her coat on, grabbed the dog’s lead and hooked it into his collar. She picked up her keys and opened the door.
She glanced down at the dog as the darkness pressed against them. “Let’s go work you up a big appetite...”
A J Humpage has been writing thriller & horror stories for over 20 years, with stories published in anthologies like 6 Sentences & Static Movement, Pill Hill Press. She also writes articles & dispenses writing advice at http://allwritefictionadvice.blogspot.com. She has completed her first novel & some of her stories & poetry can be found at http://ajhumpage.blogspot.com.