***WARNING: CONTAINS PROFANITY, VIOLENCE, AND DISTURBING THEMES***
” P R E T T Y B A G S O F M E A T “
A Zany Quintana Psycho-Killer Thriller
For Siria Arriaga,
my beautiful, loving, zany wife.
“I don’t feel guilty for anything.
I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”
Darkness. Nightmares. And pain.
Then a red haze in the shadows. A glow of blood-colored light as I come to. And the smell. That awful, goddamn smell. Cigarettes and dead, rotting things. I am in an evil place.
My arms are above my head, my wrists bound together by scratchy rope. I am small, but the weight of my little body is pulling me towards the floor like a sack of lead. I can feel my toes just barely scraping a surface of cold, packed clay. I am swinging slightly, back and forth. I am someone’s hostage. I am a carcass hung from the ceiling.
Then I feel it, the wetness at the back of my head. The pain throbs from the stickiness of it, and pulses through my skull and jaw. That’s right. I remember now. I was jogging, just jogging, like any ordinary person goes jogging. And then something struck me from behind, and I blacked-out. And now I’m here, in this awful, evil place.
I am thankful for the pain, shooting from my head and into the sockets of my shoulders. The pain is waking me up. Sharpening my focus.
That’s when I notice the music. Sounds like Dean Martin. Old man music. But it’s not coming from the place I’m in. I blink the tears from my eyes, the red light increases, and I see a rough-hewn entrance to another room. Then I see the edge of a couch, and the ankles of two pale legs. A man’s legs. It is napping, the thing that hit me, and brought me to this horrible room. And when it wakes up, what then? What then.
“Come to me, my melancholy baby…”
My terror kicks in. I pull against the rope cutting into my wrists. My legs knock against something. There is a rattling sound. I look down. I see it. My future. Oh, Jesus Fucking Christ.
A TV tray. With pliers. A battery-powered drill. And knives. Lots of knives. Everything crusted in reddish-brown. He is going to kill me, once he wakes up. He’s going to cut me up, and he is going to take his time doing it. He enjoys it. It’s his thing. And it’s going to hurt. Bad.
“…cuddle up and don’t be blue…”
The white legs shift restlessly on the couch. I begin to hyperventilate, my lungs gasping beneath the stretched weight of my body. I see my husband, Gary, at the apartment, working on the computer and drinking his beer, as if nothing’s wrong. My silly Gare-Bear, waiting for me to come home.
I am sobbing. I try to swallow the noise of it. Don’t want those legs to move. My thoughts are chaos. I am going to die today. My life is over. It’s my own fault. I just can’t leave shit alone. What a stupid goddamn way to die.
“All your fears are foolish fancies…”
And then I’m a little girl, in a playground on the west side. I am sitting on the edge of the bottom of a tin slide. My dad is there. I am crying. He’s crouching before me, looking at me with those all-knowing eyes of his. I am telling him about the kid at school who keeps hitting me, and making fun of my poor people clothes.
“Ah, mija,” he says, “you don’t need to be afraid of that boy. Fear is a thought, nothing more. And you can always control your thoughts.”
“But he really scares me, Daddy!”
I can see his smile fade, as he touches my shoulder, and frowns. “Then maybe you need to scare him back, mija! Maybe you need to scare him back…”
I take a deep, quick breath, as best I can. I feel my old man’s hand on my shoulder. I tell my fear to go fuck itself, as I glance down over myself. I am nude, save for my panties. I can’t see my toes. Having just turned forty, I am shocked at how big my tits and ass have grown over the past couple of years, despite my shortness. Gary doesn’t seem to mind, but it bothers me. I used to play volleyball and run marathons. I vow to get back into shape, once I get out of this bloody hell hole.
That’s when I remember.
The plan. The thing I’d done.
I hear a groan, then a loud fart. The legs shuffle a bit more on the couch. There isn’t much time.
My wrists are bound tight, but not my fingers. My fingers are free. They are numb with pain, but I can still move them. With the fingernails of my right hand, I scratch at the lump in the palm of my left. It takes a few seconds, but I can feel the latex peeling away. It’s still there, the razor blade. I have to be careful. If I drop it, I’m dead.
Dino croons on, as I let the blade fall into the fingers of my working hand. Careful, careful. From the corner of my eye, I see the legs kick a little more. It is waking up.
“…you know, honey, I’m in love with you…”
I steady my breathing. I am in control now. I am Officer Zanita Quintana, of the San Antonio Police Department, Northwest Patrol. And once I get off this goddamn hook, aw, chingao, I am so going west side on your ass, you sick, depraved piece of shit.
These are my thoughts, in the dark, red room, as I gently work the edge of the blade against the fibers of the rope. There is a cough. Then the pale legs fold up on the couch and disappear. I hear beer bottles tipping over. He is coming.
I love you, Gary.
Copyright 2016 by Sean (Shawn) Rima. Published by Lulu Press.
Watch for the next exciting chapter of Sean Rima’s “Pretty Bags of Meat” WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12!
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