• • •
“So… you slaughter any good whores lately?”
A spray of hard liquor hits the dock in soft little drops. Clyve wipes his face clean with his sleeve and fixes Merium with a scowl.
“Why would you ask me somethin’ like that, Merium? I’m y’r husband for Christ’s sake, why would you ask me somethin’ like that?!”
Stirring martini with straw gripped between pointer finger and thumb, Merium says, “Because you’re my husband, Clyve. I know what you’re about, and I’m not judgin’ you, neither. You wanna know why? ”
She gives him a moment to answer, but he doesn’t.
“Because I never rejected,” Merium slams her sandaled foot into the dock at ject, “you!”
“Fine!” Clyve shouts. He lifts his bottle of Rumplemintz free from the cooler on the little table between them, pours a triple-shot into his glass, sets the glass down on the table, and starts swiggin’ straight out of the bottle. When he can take no more [read: when the vessel has no more to give] he lowers the bottle from his mouth, goes into a mild fit of convulsions, then licks his lips. “Yeah, I slaughtered a few. What’s it to ya?”
“Tell me about them,” Merium requests, leaning back in her lounge chair, the kind with the stretchy plastic bands instead of cushions. “Bring me into the moment, I want to feel like I was there.”
Clyve bares his moldy teeth, licks on the top row. “So I was fuckin’er–”
“After that part, you chauvinistic fuckin’ pig.”
Clyve nods, a simple misunderstanding. “So I was cuttin’er down from the shoulders to the wrists–”
“What arm did you start with?”
The martini glass is half full, and it’s not a normal martini glass, either. It’s one’a those real big’ns, one’a them gallon-sizer piece’a’works.
“The lef’,” Clyve says. He sniffs the air. “I always start with the lef’, you know that.”
Merium traces the scar where the nipple used to be on her left breast through her shirt, then ruefully whispers, “I do I do.”
“I di’n’t touch her hands, y’understan’, because she used ‘em well. Took care of ‘em nice, too. Matt’a’fact, I got ‘em pickeled in a jar down in the cellar.” He licks his lips again but doesn’t feel it at all. Th’Mintz doin’ its work. “You wanna go look at ‘em?”
Merium polishes off the last couple cups of martini still left at the bottom of her foot-wide bucket, then sloppily cleans her mouth off on her arm. She’s wearing a tank top.
“I thought you’d never ask.”
Hand in hand Clyve and Merium tromp up the steps to their lovely lakeside home and venture into the basement to look at the dead whore’s pickled hands. Clyve wasn’t lying, the girl did take great care of ‘em. Those hands look like they never saw a day’a’labor. Merium asks how old this one was. Clyve tells her the God-honest truth and says she was a ripe fifteen and a half. Merium slaps him across the face. Clyve slaps her right back.
“Ain’t you heard the news, Merium? The Internet Culture Company changed the laws, lowered the ages again! Porn stars can be sixteen now, ‘nd some girls wan’a get a jump start on the competition! Ain’t my fault the little whore di’n’t do research on the Socials before pickin’ out ‘er first John!”
Merium looks at her man fixedly and slaps him again, but not because she’s angry at what he did. The girl was fifteen and a half, that’s just what turns Clyve on these days, and Merium ain’t fifteen and a half nomore. No, Merium’s halfway past fifty-one these days, but that don’t mean she’s not a woman, and that don’t mean Clyve ain’t her man. Clyve is a whore-slaughterin’ son of a bitch, it’s true enough, bucko, but he’s Merium’s whore-slaughterin’ son of a bitch, and any woman married to a whore-slaughterin’ son of a bitch knows, beyond all reasonable doubt, that whore-slaughterin’ sons of bitches need their faces slapp’d to get a little blood flowin’ down where it best be flowin’.
“Why ain’t you bulgin’, Clyve?” Merium asks with her hand cupping his junk, crimping his junk, as she’s drunk and doesn’t realize her strength. “The fuck’s wrong with you, bitch? Should I cradle your kitten with one’a’the pickled whore’s hands? Hm? Will that get you hot and bothered for me?”
Clyve wipes the blood dribbling down the side of his chin. It keeps on dripping down from the corner of his mouth. “I got the Rumple-dick, Merium. You could put those pickled hands down my throat and hold ‘em there, ain’t nothin’ gonna happen tonight.”
She lets go, storms upstairs without another word. Instead of following right behind her, Clyve takes down the jar holding the pickled underaged whore’s hands and opens the lid, pulls one out. The left one, of course, as he always starts with the lef’. Clyve interlaces the slain underaged whore’s pickled fingers with his own and kisses the back of her palm, then he unbends her middle finger and does a better job suckin’ it than she did with his hog, fuckin’ fifteen and a half. The age is sixteen for a Goddamn reason! The whore’s fingers ain’t bad, though. Juices are gettin’ in’a th’meat just right, he can taste ‘em seepin’ when he sucks. Clyve plunges his free hand into his pants and feels around for some stiffness.
“Heh,” he snickers, dropping the pickled underage whore’s hand back into the jar. “I still got it.”
As he is replacing the jar on the shelf, Clyve hears a blood-curdling scream muffle its way through the uninsulated floors above his head. He exfils back to the dock without locking his basement, as any whore-slaughterin’ son of a bitch would, and finds his wife leaning over the edge of their dock all pointing at something makin’ a racket like a broken gramophone playing a vinyl of a lame deaf woman screaming her mouth off.
“Merium!” he shouts. “Merium! What th’hell’r’you screamin’ at?! Y’r’ ‘bout’a wake th’fuckin’ dead you keep it up with’at shit!”
As though her whore-slaughterin’ son of a bitch husband’s voice was something of an anchor, Merium immediately stops screaming and scuttles backwards like a wrecking-ball-sized crab until she hits Clyve’s legs and topples him over.
“Oh Clyve,” she cries, “there’s something in the water, Clyve! Something horrible and deformed! ”
‘Hot shit,’ Clyve thinks as he’s attempting to pick himself up. ‘I thought I tied her up good under there, how’d she fall into the water?’
Walking with a limp Clyve approaches the edge of the dock and leans over, more than prepared to see the body of the whore he slaughtered the morning before he ran into the younger one with the good hands. But it’s not the whore-before-last he sees floating against the dock, groaning and gargling with a mouth full of bloody lakewater. No, it’s… well, there’s no easy way to say this. It appears to be a priest, or a preacherman of sorts. He’s missing both of his arms and legs, a shoulder, and a good chunk of one hip is gone too. His robe is all full’a holes, burn holes it looks like, and his face is warped like a glass bottle left to roast in a firepit, especially around his mouth and his eyes. Hell, it almost looks like his face is just a mask, but that would be silly. Ain’t no preachermen in Wuester, New Jersey wearin’ masks. Wuester preachermen know what they’re about. If they fancy your kids, they don’t bother hiding it. They pay well, too. Clyve and Merium know that better’an most. Lovely lakeside homes with docks right on the property don’t come cheap.
“Well where the fuck did that come from, Merium?” Clyve backs off towards the little table between the lawn chairs. “I’ve slaughtered a good haul of whores in my day, but I ain’t never fucked ‘em up like that.”
“It was just there, Clyve! I heard the groanin’ when I came back out!”
[to be cont’d]
This has been the start of the third subchapter of the first chapter of the book Over the River: The Emancipation of Jonathan Knox. Here is everything you need to know about it:
Over the River
The Emancipation of Jonathan Knox
Over the River is the third book in a trilogy called The Fall of the Seven Earths. I’ve also released that trilogy as a single book called The Fall of the Seven Earths. Here’s everything you need to know about it:
The Fall of the Seven Earths
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
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If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~