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       Fiends SSC, p.7

           Richard Laymon

  Willy jammed the barrel down the back of his jeans. He grabbed the girl’s jersey at its waist and tried to lift it. She clamped down both arms, holding it in place.

  ‘Get your arms up.’

  She pressed them closer to her sides. Her mouth was a tight line.

  ‘Okay,’Willy said. He let go of her. Taking out the pistol, he knelt by the unconscious boy. His thumb drew back the hammer. ‘I’ll give you five. Start stripping.’

  The girl didn’t move.


  She still didn’t move. Marty glanced at the revolver. Its hammer, at full cock, looked like a vicious mouth about to snap shut.


  The girl crossed her arms and gripped the bottom of her tight jersey. She peeled it off in a quick, fluid motion.

  Marty felt sick for her.


  She tucked the jersey under her chin and unbuckled her belt.

  ‘Come on.’

  Her fluttering hands opened her waist button, found the zipper tab and pulled.


  The jersey fell, but she didn’t stop to pick it up.

  ‘Real nice,’ Willy said.

  Both her hands tugged the tight shorts down her legs.


  ‘There!’ she cried out. Naked except for her panties, she hugged her breasts and sobbed loudly. ‘There! I’m done! There!’

  Willy lowered the hammer with his thumb, then stuck the revolver into his jeans again. He picked up the girl’s clothes, shook the dust off them, and tossed them to Marty. ‘Get them on,’ he told her.

  ‘I’ll have to stand up.’

  ‘So stand up.’

  He went to the girl and put his hands on her shoulders.

  ‘Keep your mitts off her,’ Marty said.

  ‘Shut up and get dressed.’

  Holding the clothes, Marty watched him slide his hands down the girl’s arms. They moved down her sides. They caressed her hips. They clutched and rubbed her buttocks. Then they tore off her panties.

  The girl tried to push him away.


  He threw her to the ground.

  ‘DON’T!’ Marty shouted as he dropped on top of the girl. ‘Stop it! Get off her!’

  She dropped the clothes, grabbed Willy’s arm and tried to pull him away. It was slippery with sweat. He got it free and swung at Marty. The girl under him lashed out with one hand, fingers hooked and spread like claws. Willy pulled up short on his swing at Marty and blocked the girl’s attack.

  Then he drove a fist down.

  Marty heard it connect with the girl’s nose. The naked body gave a grotesque lurch and lay still.

  Willy got between the girl’s legs.

  Marty dived, tearing him off her. They rolled on the ground. When they stopped rolling, Willy was on top. He sat on Marty’s chest, pinning her arms under her knees. With one hand, he pulled her hair until she gasped with pain. When her mouth opened, he jammed the gun barrel in.

  It was thick and cold, and tasted of oil. Its front sight cut the roof of her mouth. It pressed far back toward her throat until she gagged.


  ‘Lucky for you a stiff’s no fun in the sack.’ Willy laughed and pulled the gun out of Marty’s mouth. Its front sight chipped a

  tooth. He climbed off her. ‘Get dressed.’

  Marty rolled over, choking, spitting gritty bits of tooth into the dirt.


  She got to her feet and picked up the girl’s shorts.

  ‘Put them on.’

  They fitted snugly. After she picked up the jersey, she knelt by the boy. He looked very still. Through the thin fabric of his shirt, she felt his body heat and the rise and fall of his breathing.

  ‘Knock it off,’ Willy said.

  Ignoring him, Marty went to the girl. In the moonlight, her face looked black with blood. The nose was mashed sideways, its ridge broken.

  ‘Put on her top.’

  Marty turned her back to Willy and started to unbutton her blouse.

  ‘Don’t be shy,’ he said. ‘Just think of me as your guy. Which I am. The only guy you’re ever gonna have.’

  She didn’t move.

  ‘Turn around right now or else.’

  She turned around. Facing him, she took off her wet blouse. Willy stared at her. Not drying herself, she pushed her hands through the jersey sleeves and pulled it over her head. It stuck to her wet skin.

  Willy reached out a hand.

  Marty backed away from him. And kept backing away until the side of the car stopped her.

  ‘Sit down,’ Willy said. ‘Right there. On the ground. Better still, lie down.’

  ‘What for?’

  He grabbed the neck of her jersey and pulled. She went to her knees.

  ‘Lie on your stomach.’

  She did.

  ‘Now stay that way.’

  Kneeling down, Willy went through the boy’s pockets. There was. only a handkerchief and comb.

  ‘Give him back his wallet,’ Marty said.

  ‘Shut the fuck up.’

  He climbed into the car, found the girl’s leather purse on the floor and dumped it on his lap. Marty, on the ground, couldn’t see what fell out. But she saw Willy pick up a billfold and look inside. He grinned. ‘Not bad. Kid’s got rich folks.’

  ‘Maybe she works.’

  ‘Maybe we’ll take her with us.’

  ‘Great idea. Hold her for ransom?’

  ‘Nope,’Willy said. He dropped the purse. ‘Ransom, that’d be too much trouble. I’ll just take her along for a little variety.’

  ‘Broken nose and all?’ Marty asked.

  Not answering, he climbed out of the car and went to its front. There, he opened the hood. Her jerked a hose loose and threw it into the lake.

  ‘Finished?’ Marty asked.

  ‘Not just yet.’ He stepped over the unconscious boy and squatted beside the girl. ‘See that? Look at the number I did on her nose.’

  ‘I saw.’

  ‘A real ugly mess, huh? But it’s just from the neck up, and that isn’t the part that counts. Know what I mean?’ He reached down and patted the girl’s right breast. ‘Guess I’d better not take her with us. Not with her nose like this. People’d wonder.’

  ‘They sure would.’ Marty spat out a fleck of tooth. ‘They’d ask a lot of questions.’

  ‘Well, since I’m not taking her…’ He picked up the girl’s legs and turned her until the top of her head was toward Marty. Then he dropped her legs and got on his knees between them.

  ‘Willy! No!’

  ‘Yes, yes.’ He pulled the pistol out of his belt and aimed it at Marty.

  ‘God, don’t.’

  He laughed. ‘Think I’m gonna pass up a piece like this?’ He unzipped his jeans.

  ‘Do me instead.’

  ‘Thanks anyhow.’

  ‘Willy, I’d be better. Hell, she’s out cold. She’ll just lie there.’

  ‘You’re for later. She’s for now.’

  ‘Don’t do this to her.’



  Willy, grinning, pulled his penis out of his jeans. It was big and upright.

  ‘I’m not going to let you.’

  ‘Can’t stop me.’

  ‘We’ll see about…’

  In the distance, a car engine rumbled and sputtered.

  They both looked toward the entrance to the parking area. So far, there was no sign of headlights.

  ‘It’ll be here in a minute,’ Marty said. ‘It’ll be the first of a whole bunch. The movie probably just got out. Pretty soon, this place will be crawling with horny teenagers.’

  ‘I’m not quitting now.’ Willy started to lower himself onto the girl. Marty scurried backward, half expecting a bullet to smash through her body. She crawled to Willy’s car, stretched across its front seat and reached to the steering wheel.

  As she shoved, the blare of Willy’s car h
orn sounded through the night.


  The driver’s door flew open. The revolver came in, swinging. Marty jerked her hand away an instant before the barrel hammered the steering wheel where her fingers had been. The horn went silent.

  ‘I’m gonna fix you for that. Fix you real good. Sit up! We gotta get out of here.’

  He jumped into the car and slammed the door.

  ‘Shut your door, damn it! I could’ve fucked that girl, you stupid bitch. Shut it!’ His fist shot sideways, pounding Marty’s arm as she leaned away. She pulled the door shut. Willy started the engine and backed up.

  The headbeams lit the boy and girl. Their bodies were motionless, but Marty knew they were alive.

  Alive and lucky.

  Willy’s car rolled over the bumpy road, out of the woods, onto the main road.

  ‘Where’d that other car go?’ Willy asked.

  ‘I wouldn’t know.’

  ‘It was coming.’

  ‘Maybe it turned off.’

  ‘You said a whole bunch were coming.’

  ‘Maybe I was wrong.’

  ‘I oughta kill you.’

  She looked out her window. There was nothing to see but dark woods.

  She looked at her forearm and saw several places where splinters from the door had torn into her skin. She didn’t seem to be bleeding, but the area around the cuts felt tender and sore.

  Compared to the rest of her body, her arm was in good shape. Dizzying throbs pounded through her head. The roof of her mouth, cut by the gun sight, felt ragged and painful at the touch of her tongue. The front tooth was crooked and sharp. Her stomach seemed hollow and sour. Underneath the jersey and shorts, her skin itched because she’d still been wet when Willy made her put them on.

  You’re in great shape, kid.

  At least he didn’t rape the girl.

  Thank God.

  Marty slipped a hand down the back of her shorts and scratched her buttocks. They felt clammy.

  ‘Do you mind if I get in the back seat?’ she asked. ‘I want to lie down.’

  ‘Go on.’

  She turned around, crawled awkwardly over the back of the front seat, and dropped onto the rear seat.

  ‘Don’t try and pull anything,’ Willy warned. ‘Remember who’s in the trunk.’

  ‘I remember.’

  Putting her back to Willy, she curled onto her side and pillowed her head on her arm just above the splinter cuts.

  She wanted to take off the damp clothes so that she could get dry.

  But she didn’t move.

  He’ll look around and see me.

  So what? she thought. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s seen me naked. Anyhow, he’ll only be able to see my back. And what’s he going to do about it?

  Trembling slightly, Marty struggled out of her jersey. Then she pulled the shorts down to her knees.

  The warm night air blowing through the windows rushed against her skin, soothing it, caressing away the itchy dampness.

  Willy didn’t make a comment, didn’t touch her.

  He doesn’t even know.

  The air kept blowing against her, and soon the pains of the body no longer mattered. Only the warm dry smoothness of the moving air mattered. After a while, she fell asleep.

  In her dream, Dan was late coming home from work. Apparently, she was married to him. And he was late. And she was worried. But suddenly the front door opened, and Dan came into the bright sunny room. He was naked.

  ‘Where are your clothes?’ Marty asked.

  ‘I had to take them off and leave them in the trunk. They’re all bloody.’

  Now she noticed that Dan was all bloody.

  ‘What happened?’ she asked, not terribly concerned. But curious.

  ‘Oh, I had a little run-in with one of your old boyfriends.’

  ‘So, it’s his blood?

  ‘Mine. But I’m all right.’

  He came toward her, arms spread out to hug her. His blood would get all over her. But she didn’t mind. She was naked, too. She could simply take a shower. So she opened her arms for him.

  Instead of stepping into her arms, he moved a hand up the back of her leg.

  Which seemed an odd trick, since he was in front of her.

  His fingers delved into the crevice of her rump.

  Marty suddenly woke up and felt a hand back there. She flinched rigid. A finger thrust at her anus.

  ‘Bastard!’ she yelled.

  Willy laughed.

  Marty swung an arm down behind her, grabbed Willy by the wrist and jerked his hand away. Still clutching it, she flopped onto her back. Willy was twisted sideways in the driver’s seat, watching her over his shoulder.

  ‘Let go,’ he said.

  Clutching his arm with both hands, she tugged it down and backward.

  Willy cried out and seemed to rise higher in his seat.

  ‘Fucking bitch! I’ll kill you.' Then he suddenly turned his head forward and yelled, ‘SHIT!’

  The brakes shrieked.

  Marty flew forward and let go of his arm.

  The car jerked, throwing her off the seat. She landed on the narrow floor. As she tried to get up, a whining skid sent her sprawling.

  Somewhere, a horn blasted. A cry of brakes surged through the night.

  But not from Willy’s car.

  Willy’s car.

  Marty braced herself for the impact.

  It didn’t come.

  Silence came instead.

  The car stopped.

  She took deep breaths, trying to calm down.

  Nearby, two doors slammed. Then boots scuffled across the asphalt.

  Marty thought about getting up from the floor.

  But then the footsteps halted near Willy’s side of the car and a man said, ‘Look what we got here! Got a babe here, butt-naked.’ He sounded excited.

  ‘Sure as hell,’ said a second voice, also male. It came from the passenger side of the car. ‘Hey, honey,’ it said. ‘Honey, you all right there?’

  She didn’t move, didn’t say a word.

  ‘I think she’s out of it, Stu.’

  ‘So’s this guy.’

  ‘How come? We didn’t hit ’em.’

  ‘Reckon they’re stoned.’

  ‘Yeah, bet that’s it.’

  ‘Damn near got us killed, fuckin’ drug fiends.’

  ‘Let’s fix ’em.’

  ‘Fuckers damn near killed us, we oughta fix ’em good.’

  The door at Marty’s feet opened. Rough hands grabbed her ankles and started dragging her out.

  She tried to kick free.

  Still dragging her, the man called to his friend, ‘Hey, this one’s awake!’

  ‘Good deal.’

  ‘Come on over here and gimme a hand.’

  He dragged her the rest of the way out of the car. As she fell to the pavement, a blast slammed through the warm night air.

  He let go of Marty and called, ‘Stu!’

  Pushing herself up to her hands and knees, Marty saw her man start backing away fast, holding out his hands. He was a bald, skinny guy, maybe forty years old, and didn’t wear a shirt. He made little whimpery sounds as he backed up.

  The next shot from Willy’s gun punched a hole in the middle of his chest.


  Roger opened his eyes. Apparently, he’d dozed off. He rolled onto his side. Tina smiled at him. She looked very fresh and young in the mellow lamplight. Her body was a curved mound under the sheet. Her upthrust shoulder was bare. The fine, downy hair on her arms was golden.

  ‘Did you like it?’ she asked.

  Roger smiled. ‘Did I like what?’


  At the touch of her fingers, he squirmed and sighed. ‘It’s coming back to me,’ he said.

  ‘Was I good?' Tina asked.

  ‘Ah, yes. As good as good can be.’

  ‘Be serious.’


  She took away her caressing hand. She s
nuggled against Roger and pushed her forehead against his chest. ‘Be very serious,’ she said. She sounded as if she might start crying. Roger held her gently. ‘Was I good really?’ she asked again.

  ‘You were fine.’

  ‘Only fine?’

  ‘You were fantastic. You are fantastic.’

  ‘Really? Don’t kid me. Tell me really.’

  ‘Fantastic. Absolutely.’

  ‘How many women have you been with?’ she asked, her breath tickling his chest.

  ‘I don’t know.’

  ‘Tell me,’ she said. Her fingernails lightly scratched his hip.

  ‘Oh, six or seven. Seven, I guess. You’re number seven.’

  ‘Now, tell me the truth.’ Her fingernails stopped moving. Her hand flattened, warm on his skin. ‘How was I? Compared to the others.’

  ‘The best.’

  ‘The very best?’

  ‘Far and away the best. Easily. No comparison.’

  ‘Cross your heart?’ Her lips brushed the skin of his chest.

  ‘Cross my heart and hope to die.’

  Roger felt her hand move down from his hip. He moaned as her fingers curled around his penis.

  ‘You sure I’m the best?’ she asked.

  ‘No doubt about it.’

  For a long time, she said nothing. Her fingers continued to hold him. He grew harder and bigger. After a while, she said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me?’

  ‘Of course not.’

  ‘Then why?’ Her hand went away.

  ‘Why what?’

  She didn’t answer. She rolled face down and pressed the pillow over her head.

  Hearing her muffled sobs, Roger put a hand on her back.


  Marty didn’t know, until she woke up, that she had passed out after the shooting.

  Even before opening her eyes, she knew that she was not in Willy’s car. This car’s engine was quiet. Its air was cool. Too cool. She put a hand on her thigh and felt goosebumps. She moved her feet. The shorts were down around her ankles.

  Opening her eyes, she saw the jersey wadded on the seat between her and Willy. She reached for it. Willy’s hand came down on hers. He grinned at her. She jerked her hand away, taking the jersey. As fast as she could, she put it on and pulled up the shorts.

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