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The axe drops and finds its resting place around the flesh of my shoulder blade, sending a sickening spray of crimson to the drapes around me and sending me groundward once again. ‘This is now beginning to take the piss a little’ is the fleeting thought as I accept yet more punishment and slump to my knees. I don’t have time to ascertain the face of my antagonist as the swirling shadows put paid to any enlightenment shed. Instead I cower, awaiting any subsequent blows and the swift demise which appears on the cards.
I stand outside Room number 9 and hesitate. Why…? Why have I stopped now, at just the moment when I could burst in and interrupt the decidedly murderous going-ons..?
Fuck it. He’s not dead. Keeper is not dead, not yet. I step away from the door, closer to Room number 8, and light a cigarette. What the fuck am I supposed to do…? I have reasoned there are no other guests at this motel. The manager is passed out, or perhaps he’s finally given up the ghost on that last greasy dinner and ‘checked out.’ There are no other inhabitants to contend with.
Gripping the cigarette between my lips, I sprint, my signature bells muted by the howling wind which has begun a late-night symphony, winding through the industrial wasteland …quickly, back to the little monster that transported me here, the scarcely recognizable contraption that might have once been a sleek, sexy crotch rocket. In its later years, having suffered many an abusive ride, playing one too many pranks and escaping with barely enough rubber on the tires, it now looks strangely at home in this abandoned part of town.
Rummaging through the saddlebag, I push away other items to pull the gun from the holster attached on the inside. This little demon, my Walther pistol, is the least favorite of my belongings. I fucking hate guns. Just because James Bond used one similar to the one I’m now tucking into my pocket doesn’t mean I love the idea of leaving someone shot up. Fuck all that. All I have is this little semi-automatic conversationalist and my dagger so I have to make due, suck it up, and get back to it. Right. As Keeper says, game face on.
My entire life flashes before me in a kaleidoscope of remembrance which harks back to altogether happier times. Gone is the agonizing pain for a moment and, in its place, are fond recollections of all manner of ridiculous exploits. I find my selective thought process all a little bizarre. Here I am gushing like a menstrual sperm whale, life ebbing away rapidly and yet my mind plays host to one thought alone from my colorful past. That typewriter from Sesame Street, Guy I believe his name was, you know the one which trundled on screen reciting “noonie noonie noo” to himself before spelling out his word of the day. Fuck it, who wants to die with pride anyway?
Is that the culmination of my entire memory vault? If so then maybe I deserve what’s coming to me. I obviously haven’t led a very full existence, too much time watching Grover and chums when I should have been masturbating in a gym sock like other boys my age. Maybe a little chicken choke would have supplied me with the dexterity to dodge the flailing ax handle. Regardless, I’m actually growing fairly used to the punishment now. My spine is agape, offering an alternative route for any surplus heading its way and busted wide open with flapping disdain. That whole portion of me is numb now, nerve tissues having taken hefty degrees of damage from the regular poundings supplemented. Thanks a whole heap whoever. You’ve really taken a lumpy stool in my daily Cheerios.
There it is, in front of me again: Room 9 — I resist the urge to glance around; this is beginning to feel like something out of either a very bad (or an incredibly good) movie and you know the fucking key grip is lurking around somewhere because he’s the new guy and sooner or later he’ll get yelled at, right? Fuck.
Carefully, quietly, before I can think up 9 reasons to hesitate, I grip the door handle, sliding the tiny magic sword into the keyhole and coaxing what has to be the shittiest lock ever invented into the unlocked position. I turn the handle, and push the door open.
Why didn’t I think twice before shacking up in this cesspit. Hindsight is a rather marvelous thing granted…but it’s bugger all help with a hatchet looming overhead, having already acquired a taste for your flesh and looking to snack on your cranium next. I click my heels together like Dorothy and disparagingly there is nothing. Turns out the Tin Man is at a Kraftwerk reunion in Berlin…funny, I could have sworn he was into Metal. Apparently those few precious moments before the ax drops should be spent trying to tickle oneself with Oz references. It’s not working.
The door opens silently. There is only the bathroom light, dimly bathing the rest of the motel room in a sickish cast.
The smell. FUCKING hell, the smell..?! It smells like sexual carnage and complete chaos. Yes, chaos has a smell: a bit like brimstone mixed with shit, with a bloody metallic after-effect. What has happened? The room is in shambles, lamp overturned, chairs knocked over. Huddled on the other end of the room, the bed obscuring most of my view, is…who..?
It is Keeper. His lanky frame is tucked close, and I can see he is curled up in a not-quite sitting position, his back resting against the bed, his head lolled to one side and back slightly. I can hear his labored breathing and resist the urge to rush in. Only fools rush in.
I take stock of the room, more carefully this time, and tune in to the sounds around me. Slipping all the way in and closing the door very quietly behind me, I survey every inch of the room, and listen more intently for any sounds coming from the only hidden spot: the bathroom. There are no other sounds, no other breathing, other than that of Keeper. My own breathing has slowed considerably and I make no sound at all.
I know what is going to transpire. At the final point before I receive my ultimate punishing a shot will fire. Like all good 80’s cop thrillers, it’ll all come good in the nick of time. The camera will sweep to reveal the cavalry brandishing their shooters and they will tie things up nicely with a well-placed quip or three. If that’s the plan then they’re certainly leaving it late to bust out the rescue. I screw up my peepers and intake a gulp of air, fully prepped to meet the maker. Still my mind chugs on relentlessly. ‘I wonder if he will find me pleasing…maybe he hates me. He’s gonna get his holy hands around my throat cylinder and wring my shitty little neck then fart on my taste buds. I let out a vague shudder and then it happens.
There is no presence here, no dark force, nothing. The air offers no currents, other than those struggling from the mouth and nose of one very weak Keeper.
I step closer to him and blink in the dim light. Glancing at the bed, there are obvious signs of either a struggle or massive amounts of copious sex, and I don’t bother attempting a guess at the dark red stain smeared over the bed sheets. Not now, no time. I round the corner of the bed and stare into the terrifyingly blank eyes of my friend, the one who called out to me, summoned me here….something is wrong with Keeper. No, don’t throw out a protest, we all suspect something is “wrong” with Keeper, but this is much more serious!
Not the eleventh hour shot from the dark, no Cagney nor Lacey. Just that blade once more as it embeds itself into the fleshy spot on the back of my noggin. I feel the implosion of bone as it settles into my skull, causing me to wretch instantly. The blade manages to sever a handful of optical nerves leaving one peeper twitching like a ferret in a flume and citing a near blackout. I plunge face-first into the crimson carpet, what’s left of my bowel has excavated in my jockeys and my only respite is the warm urine soaking through my groin. Other than that…it’s pretty much pain all the way.
Needles. Fucking hypodermic needles, piles of them — spent needles lay heaped everywhere. There must be three dozen needles or more, just the ones I could make out in this light. And Keeper, limp and completely incoherent, his eyes lolling in the throes of some insane high, or low, or some fucking thing…Keeper falls forward, his head landing mere inches from my feet with an unceremonious thunk! against the thick shag carpeting of the floor. I hear him mumbling what sounds like, “Noonie noonie noo…”
Ah, Keeper. Really? What the fuck have you gotten yourself into? What the actual fuck?
He gags, vomiting up some pitiful substance; certainly not food — I wonder fleetingly how long it has been since he’s had any real food, and before I can linger on that thought, the hotel room doorknob rattles as a key is inserted into the lock.
For one tiny moment, I freeze. Whoever it is does not realize that the door is already unlocked, and this buys me about twenty seconds. Wordlessly I leave Keeper where he lies and slip carefully to the space in the corner, to the left of the entryway, where the door will swing open and block me from the attacker’s view.
My bells are stilled…so odd how they respond to my adrenaline and refuse to jingle, even a little, when I dart so quickly to my out-in-the-open hiding place.
Just as I have frozen in that spot to the left of the door, the door swings open to block my view… and in steps something that could have been human, if humans were meant to be mostly skinless. It walks upright, and in the poor light, the sticky substance that oozes from the rawness covering most of its body looks akin to a sickening syrup.
The being is shorter than me, by several inches, and slighter in build. I’ve never seen such an emaciated figure quite this animated. He/she looks like some kind of freshly peeled cadaver, mostly skinless, some bones in the arms peeking through in garish whiteness The muscles are visible, lined with veins and a thick sheen of…something like afterbirth… He/she stops and allows the door to swing shut, then shuffles over to stand before Keeper. There, the creature turns and…I see breasts, or the disgusting version of breasts: saggy fat pockets drooping and oozing some viscous liquid. There are holes in this creature, through the rib cage, and through these holes, unbelievably, I can see lungs rising and falling as she surveys her prey sprawled out on the floor.
She wears only a tattered rag, wrapped around her waist, and she bends a little, to observe Keeper’s breathing or to ascertain whether or not he is still alive. Apparently satisfied, she straightens, and as she does, bits of raw flesh flake off her shoulder-blade, large bits. If I weren’t used to causing my own specialized kind of mayhem, this scrawny little hellspawn would cause me to gag. As it stands, my stomach is quite settled, and I am almost ready to break her in half. I just need the right angle…
The mouth of the creature yawns open; she has no lips, only a few veins wind their away around her jawbone, decorating what seems to be newly grown flesh in a muted blue. She speaks, and I am amazed, not just by the fact that there are vocal chords in that wretched, barely formed neck, but at the sound they produce.
“Keeper…..” her voice is melodious, beautiful even, “Keeper…time to play…wake up…”
Even as she speaks, she shoves Keeper into a more accessible position with her foot. She works the knot loose from the rag covering her waist and allows it to drop. My only reaction (thankfully!) is how wide my eyes become. This “she” is also a “he” and has all the male equipment swinging between the scarcely muscled legs to do a number of wrongs to the posterior of one very fucked up Keeper.
Being sinned upon,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013