by Mark Spitzer
(continued from Cybercorpse #8)
Arrrrgh! The controversial installments continue, despite the attempts of the Christian Right to silence the squalid, squealing violence of CHUM. Thanks to the feminist Left, who've been embracing CHUM as a bold and erotic masterwork of pornographic perversion rivalled only by Story of the Eye and Story of O, lending credence to the fact that this terrible tale is actually an accurate reflection of human cruelty, and something to be studied in the academy rather than smothered at a Mississippi book burning! So thank you Camille Paglia and co for momentarily muting those Bible-waving bigots with bullet-proof hair and Ashcroft-lubbing hubbies!
In our last installment, it was discovered that the mysterious stranger was Hollywood's darling, a Baywatch-babe who had bared it all in a national nudie magazine, giving rise to the jealous tempest which follows: A scurvy scourge which has the Fundies screaming from Rhode Island to Redondo Beach, "BAN CHUM! BAN CHUM!" So hold onto your bladder Dear Reader, and do not lose all motor control, as CHUM just keeps on trucking, despicably!!!
Half a week later, it's a menacing night of thunderheads, but as yet, no rain has fallen on the island. Just deep low rumbling sounds. The pressure is building.
In the thick tobacco-haze of the Dirty Dawgfish, Yann is sitting with the men and Nadine is sitting with the women. Almost the entire island labor force is there, and everyone is getting drunk to celebrate St. Ratfish Eve. It's the night which signals the advent of the ratfish spawning season, when the men go out and drag for tons of slimy bubble-eyed ratfish bulging with roe. Then, when the men come back with their bilges full, it's customary for the women to greet them with a parade, in which a ratfish effigy is pelted with stones and garbage. It's the only holiday on the island besides Christmas.
The locals are guffawing and drinking hard, and none of them are wearing clean shirts. Those who do not drink to inebriation are chastised--even though this group is limited to one: Yann. He is sitting at a table with One Eye and the members of his crew, who are laughing uproariously over the uncovering of April.
"Let's Hear It For The Biggest Whore Around!" Mother Kralik screeches across the bar, standing on her chair. A thunderous communal cheer bursts forth. News travels fast on the island.
"Here's To Our Own Candy-Assed Movie-Bitch!" One Eye puts in, raising his own mug of Bud.
The islanders love it. They stamp their feet and shout things out.
"No Cunt-Slut Chippie Is Better Than Us!" Widow Flanahan screams, and raises the centerfold for all to see. A hole has been gouged in the spot where April's vagina used to be. The bar bursts out in hilarious laughter.
"She's Looking For A Gang-Bang!" Charlie yells.
"Only A Horse's Cock Could Fill That Skanky Hole!" Widow O'Reilly adds.
"Maybe She's Big News To The Rest Of The World!" Nadine joins in. "But To Us She Ain't Nothing But A Piece-Of-Shit Bag-Of-Shit Attached To A Rotten Pussy And A Pair Of Fat-Ass Tits!"
The whole crowd roars with approval, even Hans the bartender. Yann, however, is the only exception, sinking lower and lower toward his beer. The only reason he's not with April is because the town would give him too much shit--but now it looks like that doesn't matter. They're giving him too much shit anyway.
"Howabout that Yann!?" One Eye howls, elbowing Yann in the side. "Is That Why You're Her Little Flowerboy!? Is That Why You Did All That Work On Her Yard!? To Get A Piece Of Stinking Tuna!?"
Yann ignores them all. He feels like crap as it is--and is hardly able to deal with her image he now holds in his head. He never even considered those parts of her body before--but now, that's all he can see: Vagina and butthole! Vagina and butthole! Vagina and butthole!... And it twists his guts to see her that way, looking at the camera that way--with a look on her face like she'd love it from anyone with a stiffy. Even a gorilla! Or One Eye!
But on top of that there's something else. It's the fact that April is a celebrity and none of them even knew it--which makes him feel like just another ignorant island slob, a fishing hick who doesn't know jack about what is going on in the world. A complete bozo!
Yann had been back on the island for a day, and had tried to work up the courage to visit her, but he just couldn't muster it. He didn't think he could look at her the same way anymore. Besides, even if he was able to get beyond these issues--which he knows he can--he'd get so much shit from the islanders that it wouldn't be worth it--to be cast out by his kind.
Yann is scared--scared to not be a part of the place he'd grown up in, scared to leave those he'd been saving up to flee. Before, Northern California was a dream--but now, the idea of actually severing his ties is becoming a reality. He'd lose his job, his island, his fish. He'd lose his people--even if they are a bunch of assholes. He needed time to think.
And what could April possibly want from him? He was just a run-of-the-mill dime-a-dozen fisherman, whereas she was a star--who had bared it all. But why!? Because she was a slut?...
And then there's Nadine, across the room, constantly trying to catch his eye. He'd been doing his best to avoid her, but he knows the worst is about to come. She will hold him to his promise--especially if she does have a bun in the oven. And then life will totally suck.
Yann grits his teeth and lowers his head. There isn't much he can do. If he leaves right now and goes to April, he'll basically be saying "Fuck You" to his people, and there will be consequences for this. It'd be better to take their abuse... for April's sake.
Yann peers at Nadine through the haze. She is as drunk as a skunk, occasionally rising to shout out stuff about April. Her expression curdles something in him. The fact that she would scream these things, then go back and work for her, wrenches his stomach even more. It can only mean trouble.
"She's A Goddamned Flea-Bit Shit-Ass Hooker!" Nadine shouts, her neck twitching, her crotch burning. Her PMS is kicking in, her infection has worsened, and she feels like a complete and utter bitch.
"I'm Telling You," Mother Kralik adds, addressing the patrons of the Dirty Dawgfish, "She'll Be The Ruin Of Us All! She's Writing ZBook, Folks! Gee, I Wonder What It Could Be About! It'll Probably Be A Best-Seller, And Then We'll All Be Laughing-Stocks!"
A different noise begins to rise. It's a murmur of assent, similar to those muttered back in German taverns, circa 1932. Mother Kralik is changing the mood of the crowd. Now they're starting to actually think--even if their thinking is distorted.
Nadine looks at her mother, smoking away on a cig. There's a two-inch cake of ash attached to her butt, and she's smoking the filter.
"And Then It'll Be A Movie, No Doubt!" Mother Kralik continues. "Because Movie Bitches Got Movie Contacts! And What Do You Think That Movie'll Be About!? A Bunch Of Scummy Fishermen!? A Bunch Of Scummy Factory Whores!? Or All Of The Above!?"
The murmurs increase and the tumult builds. Beer swills, whiskey gurgles. To anybody from anywhere else, it would appear a carnival of drunken misfits, roaring boors, flying spittle, gnashing maws, and guttural cries spewing forth like public defecations.
Which is exactly what April witnesses, as she opens the door and looks into the bar. For a second she thinks it's her imagination, as logic informs her that such a bestiary could only exist in the imagination of some sicko--because what she sees is a mass of frothing jackals and hyenas, howling at her, and pointing at her, and launching their indecipherable onslaught on her, all of them competing to be heard--their turgid taunts and squalid squeals erupting from a hell of horrid gorges.
April immediately slams the door upon this scene--this scene she knows is opposed to her, like a bedlam bent on her destruction--like some sort of nightmare rendered by Bosch, too surreal to be real. She begins heading up the street, knees shaking, lividly. Somewhere in the yellow smoke, she'd seen Nadine screeching at her.
But was that really what she'd seen? Or was it all just paranoia? Her skin crawls all over her body. She shivers.
All she wanted to do was find Yann, who she knew was back on the island. She couldn't understand why he hadn't come to visit her, so had gone down to find him--only to find that gawdawful apocalypse of souls condemned to living amidst their own shit--like baboons at the zoo smearing themselves with excrement. Because life doesn't matter, and death doesn't matter, when it's the same four walls every day, and the same empty eyes every day, and the same piles of shit every day. Festering festering everyday...
This is the analogy April comes up with. And she can't help thinking this, since the expressions on the faces she just saw were just as hateful as those in the zoo her parents used to take her to. In the monkeyhouse when she was a kid--back when an irate primate had flung monkeyshit at her for looking at him as if he was a lower-level life-form than her. She shivers again.
She needs to see Yann. Over the last couple days, she had gone through a pack of batteries. The thought had crossed her mind that maybe Nadine had discovered her secret, and had indulged herself as well, but she instantly rejected this. Nadine had been a loyal maid. That couldn't've been her in the bar!
April trembles and increases her stride, heading home to Bun-bun and Elphy and her book she can't write. She's no writer and she knows it! She has no ear for placing syllables next to each other, she thinks Jewel is a poet.
Maybe she shouldn't have told Nadine she was writing a book. Maybe that's why they reacted that way--because they don't take kindly to writers. Or had they discovered who she really was?
There was no way to tell. April jumps up her steps, swings the door open, steps in, and bolts the dead-bolt behind her--which is something she has never done on the island.
Meanwhile, down at the Dirty Dawgfish, One Eye is teasing Yann: "Haw Haw! Howabout That Yann!? She Went Running Out Looking For A Bigger Dick! Cuz That's All She Is! A Crab-Bit Stink-Ass Whore With A Grubby Stretched-Out Pussy! A Pus-Cunt, That's What! She's A Cocksucking Shit-Licking Hollywood Bimbo! And I'm Gonna Fuck Her In Her Turd-Hole, That's What I'm Gonna Do! Whatta Ya Say Fellas, Shall We Go Pay The Little Lady A Visit!?"
Yann snaps. It's like watching somebody else, but he knows it's him. It's him jumping up and grabbing One Eye by the neck. It's him shoving One Eye against the wall, intent on bashing his skull into splinters. It's him getting ready to throw all his weight into his fist, which is aiming for the center of One Eye's pathetic face, soon to be pulp. His head'll hit the wall and break open like a pumpkin. Brains will splatter all over the place. Yann knows it, he sees it. It's gonna happen! By God!
But he can't pull the trigger--to release the tension in the spring. He's holding back--waiting for something. But what? For One Eye to yell out and die like a coward? For the crowd to push him over the edge? For someone to stop him?
"Come On!" someone yaps.
"Kill the Bastard!" another voice barks.
"Finish the Motherfucker Off!" somebody howls.
Yann can't even see, he's in a blind rage. It all happens in a whirling blur. Yann fights it, even though it's telling him to indulge itself--to smash the skull into the wall, to transform evil into gore. He's a millimeter from losing it. But if the spring springs, he knows he'll be that guy! That guy who lost it! And he will not be that guy! Let it be somebody else!
Yann's sight returns, and he sees a single bulging eye, staring back at him. One Eye has just seen the end of himself in Yann's fogged vision, and it was enough to make him drop a load in his pants.
"Hey Look!" somebody yells, pointing down at One Eye's boot. "Old One Eye's gotta case of the Hershey squirts!"
The smell rises, shocking Yann completely back. He releases the wind-pipe in his grip, and drops the body to the floor. Nobody says nothing, and Yann looks around. Now they know how far they can push him. Now they know what will happen to them if they mess with April.
Yann heads toward the door, opens it, and walks out. He is no longer part of the clan.
Nadine feels her neck twitch again. She hates that fucker. She hates him, she hates him, She Hates Him, SHE HATES HIM! It should've been her whose honor he defended--not that porn-slut's, Goddammit!
"Well, well, well," Mother Kralik says, twisting her wrists and turning toward Nadine, "looks like you've gotta demon in you, eh?"
Nadine does not respond. Mother Kralik goes on.
"What's wrong honey, can't you even control your own neck? Don't you have any control at all? Have you given in?"
Nadine still won't respond. Her neck continues to twitch.
"Or is this the way you really are?" Mother Kralik goads her on. "Is this your natural state? Have you come back to who you truly are? Because everyone knows, you weren't anybody before! Nope, just a silly little whore who got it in the ass from her daddy! Whose mother left her! Whose future is the drudgery of the factory, dried-out tits, and a useless cunt! Who doesn't have nothing except what she makes up! Is that who you are?"
Nadine turns toward Mother Kralik, her neck twitching even faster. Still, there's a calm on Nadine's face which is impressive to the hag.
"But what can you do?" Mother Kralik asks, lighting a cig. "You can't do nothing. You're stuck. You're trapped. Trapped in your own head, in a body that won't stop quaking like a goddamned vibrator. You're a powerless little bitch, that's what you are. There's nothing in the world you can do. Unless, that is, doing something about it is more important to you than the world--your world, your empty world of make-believe fathers you recreate into lovers, who won't even have you! But don't worry dear, you still have me. Oh yes. You can always count on me. I'm here for ya honey."
"HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!..." Nadine responds, laughing right in Mother Kralik's face, laughing that hellacious laughter--"HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!"--as Mother Kralik pretends to cower, as the widows look on agog.
"HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!" Nadine laughs, laughing the laughter of the damned.
Nadine steps out and into the thunder, clutching at her neck, and then her head. Her neck is twitching like usual, but her head is doing something new. It's flashing with white light. She grips her skull even harder, trying to contain the force within. It's no use. She looks up at the cocksucking sky.
Black clouds flash with electric yellow veins. The storm broods, smothering the light. Nadine tries to laugh but can't. What emerges is a menacing rumble.
"RRRRRRRRRR!" she growls, then takes off up the street, tweeking all over like she's going cold turkey.
When she gets to her trailer, she goes bursting in and heads for the shitter. She stares transfixed at her neck in the mirror, twitching away with a mind of its own. For a second she considers severing some cords, but then decides to save her rage.
"Fucking Stop It!" she yells at herself, then tears off her clothes as if they were paper. She stands before her naked self, staring at the stranger before her. She has never seen this woman in her life: dark furrowed brow; teeth bared carnivorously; neck yanking and yanking and yanking at her chest.
"Stop It!" Nadine screams, "Fucking Stop It!" But she won't.
Nadine stomps into her room and jumps into bed, pulling the covers over her head. She grips her knees and pulls herself into a small tight ball, trying to hold the violence in.
"RRRRRRRRRR!" she growls, trying not to scream. She hates everything. If there was a big red button in front of her that said "ANNIHILATION OF EVERYTHING," she would jump up and push it.
Nadine tries to fall asleep but can't. The quaking eventually ceases, but the growling doesn't. Even when she starts drifting in and out of limbo, she is still rumbling like the darkness around her.
"RRRRRRRR!... RRRRRRRRRR!... RRRRRRRRRR!"
Visions cycle through her head. Yann and April are fucking. Her and Yann are fucking. Her and April are fucking. The same three visions all night long. It's impossible to break from their monotony--it's driving her nutzoid. She's awake, she's asleep--it doesn't fucking matter. Wherever she is, it's always the same: April, Yann, her---fucking! Fucking Fucking Fucking Fucking!
The visions continue--all of them getting it in the ass.
By dawn Nadine is as strung out as the sky. She can't take another second--so jumps out of bed and blunders into the kitchen. Her mother is sitting there, but Nadine doesn't give a ratfish's ass. She bumps into things, knocks stuff over, and makes it to the door. She throws it open and steps into the shittiness.
The sky is like a pile of shit, the earth is a giant diaper. She opens up her mouth to scream, but something holds her voice inside.
"... ...... ......"
What!? What the fuck is holding her back? Nadine tries to let it out. She can't. It's like something is stifling her, choking her throat from inside. She opens her mouth as wide as it will go. She strains, eyes popping from their sockets. Nothing comes out.
A neighbor looks out and sees Nadine standing naked in the gloom, her mouth open like a gawking baby bird. Her body is shaking, she seems to be screaming--but there is no noise at all. Has she gone bonkers like her mother? That's what happens when no father is around! Look at that big ugly furry thing, all the way up to her navel! She should really trim it!...
Nadine's eyes are rimmed in red and inflated to the size of golf-balls. Her hair is a medusa of tangles and snarls, and the sky is a big dry nipple starving her to death. It isn't giving her shit! Nothing is giving her shit! She ain't got shit! Except Shit!
Fucking Sky! Piece-Of-Crud Cunt-Dripping Sky! Goddamn Yeast-Infection Rape-Baby Sky! Maggot-Pussy Cornhole Sky! Vomit-Reeking Turd-Queefing Sky! Butt-Fisting Gerbil-Felching Shit-Ass Sky! Sky of Shmegma and Piss! Sky of Anal Leakage! Sky of AIDS and VD and Blackheads and Hemorrhoids! Sky of Abortion, Cancer, and Rancid Tampons! Sky of Dick-Cheese, Fecal Matter, Cocks and Pricks and Zits and Tits! Sky of Faggots, Fuckheads, Farts and Phlegm! Jew Sky, Nigger Sky, Spic Sky, Chink Sky, Honkie Sky, Wop Sky, Sky of Motherfucking Everyone! SCUM-SUCKING OPEN-SORE DIARRHEA SKY!
Nadine leaps at it, claws at it. It laughs at her. She can't sink her claws into it. She can't do shit to it.
But she can sink her nails into herself! Nadine claws her face, as the neighbor lady bolts her door. The sky contains its rumbling roar. Blood seeps out of Nadine's face. HAW! Nadine has beaten the arrogant sky! The sky can't do Fucking Fuck! She is showing it, she is showing the world! Every time she tears at her face, every time she rends her flesh. Take that Sky! Take that you SONUVABOWLEGGEDMENOPAUSEWHORE!!!
She laughs--she laughs that laugh again. Standing naked, sweat-soaked and quivering, blood streaming off her cheeks--laughing at the sky. But laughing in a different way, a new way, a way that has nothing to do with her own designs. It's got her, and it does what it wants. It has its own desire, she is merely serving it. Nadine is just a vessel of flesh, a sack of barf and piss and shit. Laughter lives inside her.
Nadine turns and goes back in. Her mother is sitting there expecting something--though she doesn't even know what it is. There's a routine, that's all she knows. She wakes up and is taken to a place where she sits--though she doesn't even know who it is that takes her there. All she knows is that she goes where she is taken. And that the person who takes her there is standing there buck-naked, and laughing at her, covered with blood and shaking like a psycho.
"HAW! Look at You!" Nadine screams at her mother. "You're insane! Completely insane! HAW! HAW HAW HAW HAW!..."
Widow Murphy wants a cig. Some stupid kid is getting in her face, making her nervous. Everyday she burns the food. Everyday their silence gets louder. Their hatred thickens, boils, builds. Every fucking day. Will she get smacked? Probably...
SMACK! Nadine lets her mother have it. Her mother goes flying to the floor, then gets up holding her stinging face. They burn their murderous glares at each other. There are knives in the kitchen and blades in their eyes--but nobody goes for the steel. They just stand there and stab each other with the fury of their pupils. Bitch! Whore! Slut! DIE!
DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!
Meanwhile, back at the cannery, Mother Kralik brings the cleaver down, severing the head of a rockfish off. WHACK! She is stationed along the decap belt. Every time a rockfish passes by, she does her job.
Something is in the air, the lights dim and surge, playing tricks with violet fluorescence. Where the hell is Widow Murphy!? Where the hell is Nadine!? Probably wiping that rich bitch's ass! WHACK! Or scrubbing her unnatural tits! WHACK! Or perfuming her celebrity cunt! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
All the women whack away--even if they are not deheading fish. It's the motion of the day, sharp and erratic: pulling levers, mopping guts, labeling cans. WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK! everywhere. The factory WHACKs away.
WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK! The women glaring at each other. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Some bitch should die. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Everyone would feel a whole lot better. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Jaws are tight, eyes dart all over the place.
WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK!
It's as if the women are straining together. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Trying to make something happen together. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! To break the weakest link in the chain. WHACK WHACK WHACK! Everyone's on edge. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! Sixty percent are menstruating. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! The lights flicker, the fish waver. WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK! WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK!....
Somebody gives. The lights dim. All Mother Kralik sees are a flash of limbs. Somebody's running, flailing between the machines. Women screech with glee. A body passes like a blur.
"Slaughter Her!" someone screams. "Slaughter the Fat Fucking Squaw!"
It's some Native American bitch, one of the few on the island--and Mother Kralik is glad. Their race is disposable--who needs em? She's running too fast. SPLAP! Oil and steel halt her flight--a sanguine splatter rains through the place, spraying the women. Their screeches of delight increase in direct proportion to the amount of blood they're covered with.
Mother Kralik twists her wrists. A rockfish passes by and doesn't get the axe. Mother Kralik laughs. It's the same laugh Nadine is laughing half a mile away.
Winners kill, losers die.
Yann et al. come back with ratfish. It was a shitty catch in shitty weather, and things had been shitty at sea. The captain's allegiance had been with One Eye, and so had the crew's. Nobody would talk to Yann, and Yann had been forced to work by himself, mostly on the shittiest jobs--like pumping out the bilge. He was being punished, of course, for stepping out of bounds. There's a pecking order on the island, and he had disturbed it.
Luckily for Yann, he had been on good terms with the crew for years. They had fished with him, and drank with him, and listened to his music. They didn't want to treat him like shit, but according to the norms of the island, they had to. If it would've been anyone else, he would've been beaten to a pulp, or at least pissed on in the bilge.
Yann looks up and sees them milling around like convicts in a prison yard. Occasionally, somebody spits into the hold. This is not how he wanted to spend St. Ratfish Day--which had always been his favorite day on the island.
St. Ratfish Day is the only day that children are allowed to strike back. As a kid, Yann used to run with the pack, smacking at some mystery adult dressed up as a ratfish. Usually they used sticks, or else they threw garbage. Now, however, Yann was too old for that.
Yann started fishing at the age of fifteen, to help his mother bring home the bacon. All his father ever did was sit around the house getting drunk, cleaning his gun, and sweating like a pig. Yann always thought his father sweated more than the average man.
Ever since his father stopped sweating though, Yann had been on his own, and had lived like a miser. His home was a one-room trailer--one of those silver jobs that someone towed over back when there was a ferry. There was a hot-plate in there, and a toaster, but not much more. It was lonely.
After the Big Run, Yann planned on taking his pay and leaving the island. There was no reason to stay. Especially if Nadine was going to have his kid.
"Ugh..." Yann groans, and shakes his head at a ratfish. He has no qualms about making it splitsville on that scene. It doesn't matter to him if the kid is part his--the fact that it is Nadine's means it is doomed. And he will be too, if he tries to stay and make it work. She's nutso. Which is why he's on the next boat heading to Seattle. After the Big Run, that is.
Yann repositions the pump hose and shivers in the clammy darkness. There are ratfish all around him, but not as many as in years before. No doubt, the mass capture of this species as it spawns, year after year after year after year, has cut down on the population around the island.
Yann looks at a ratfish, but sees something different. What he sees are lips. April's lips. It's the first time he's seen them in days, and is glad to see them again. They'd been missing from his illusionary world--which means that he had given up on her. Because she was trouble.
But now those lips are back again--those incredible lips he's crazy for--those lips he's been denying for the last couple days--which belong to a fantastic woman he would be a fool to lose!
Suddenly, all the ratfish have lips. And it doesn't matter about the porn. That had only been a test--to see what he could take, to see if he would blow it--but he didn't, he had risen above the situation. And it wasn't too late. What other people thought didn't matter! Her history was irrelevant. He didn't care how much money she had, if she was a movie-star, or if she had an asshole or not--Who Cares!?
"Hah!" Yann laughs, stretching his back, and looking at the idiot fish in the hold. He laughs again. He laughs at himself, the fish, the crew... their seriousness. It just ain't worth it! They can have their shame, but he's not about to play their game. Getting on their bad side was the best thing he had ever done. It had freed him.
Yann begins to devise his plan. He'll go and see April. He'll apologize to her and be up front with her. He'll see how she's doing, and if she's doing as crummy as him, then maybe they'll say sayonara together!
Yann had saved up over $8,000, and soon he'd have a couple thousand more. They could go anywhere, they could do anything. Maybe she would like his crabbing idea, and they could get a truck and drive around in the redwoods together. But then there was her Hawaii idea! He could go for barracuda--
"Hey Fuckhead!" the captain yells down at Yann. "Wipe that stupid-ass grin off your face and get up here! We're docking!"
Yann climbs up and into the gray shitty air. Over on the dock, he can see the women waiting for them. The ratfish is surrounded by kids with sticks and Nadine is in the crowd, Mother Kralik also. But April is nowhere to be seen.
The captain blows the foghorn twice, and pulls up to the pilings. Their boat is the first of six to arrive, the others following close behind.
"Ratfish!" the captain cries, as is customary on St. Ratfish Day. "We Got Ratfish! Not Catfish! Not Batfish! But Ratfish! Come And Get Yer Ratfish On St. Ratfish Day!"
The kids cheer and immediately start hitting the ratfish with their sticks. Garbage flies through the air. The crowd applauds. But still, their cheers are flatter than in years before.
Back around the turn-of-the-century, the islanders had done the same thing. The ratfish back then, however, had been bigger and more plentiful, and had been used for oil, which was burned in lamps and stank. Ratfish had also been used to fertilize crops, which stunk up the fields. Now, however, ratfish had gone to the dogs.
"Ratfish Stink! Ratfish Stink!" the children howl, and go to town on the ratfish. Inside the padded costume, some drunk is taking a thrashing.
Yann grabs his bag and steps off the boat. Since he is taller than most of the people on the island, he can see above their heads. But still, no April.
Yann doesn't blame her though. It was a pretty gruesome scene she'd seen the other day. Maybe she'd spotted him in the bar, so figured he was part of it.
But then he sees her, beyond St. Ratfish, standing on her toes, straining to look above the crowd. And he knows that things are okay, because her eyes are wide and bright and she tosses him a kiss.
Yann makes as if to catch it, then heads her way.
"Come On!" Nadine says, and grabs Yann by the arm. She starts to pull him away.
"No," Yann objects.
He looks into her eyes, they're out-of-control: crimson tendrils circled by black shadows, buggy and bulgy, bouncing in her sockets. And then he sees the claw-marks on her face, as if she'd been mauled by a grizzly bear. Nadine is not looking good.
"Look," she tells him, with a harshness rising in her voice, "if you don't wanna talk in private... then we'll talk right here about how you Knocked Me Up And Haven't Done Shit!"
A few heads turn their way.
"Okay," he agrees, so she doesn't make a big public scene. He follows her into the Dirty Dawgfish. Hans is passed out on the bar. The place is dark and empty.
"Sit down," she tells him, and points to a table in the corner. He sits down. Nadine puts her hands on her hips and glares at him.
"Well," she says, "where is it?"
"The ring, Dumbshit."
"You know damn well what ring," she tells him, "you proposed to me, didn't you!?"
"Well... kind of."
"What the fuck do you mean kind of!? You want our child to grow up without a fucking father!?"
Yes, Yann thinks, but doesn't say a thing.
"Answer Me Dammit!" Nadine says, raising her voice.
"No," Yann says. He looks over at Hans, snoring away, shitfaced till Tuesday.
"Well, did you propose to me or not!?"
"I told you what you wanted to hear..."
"Oh, so you were lying!?"
"No," Yann lies. It's been days since he has showered. He's starting to sweat like his father.
"Look," she tells him, "I got some bastard growing inside me, what the fuck do you got!?"
She pulls up her shirt, revealing her belly. It doesn't look any fatter to Yann--but the flesh, that soft belly flesh, it does something to him--even though it terrifies him. What he's got is a boner.
Suddenly the tension between them changes. Nadine knows she can't scare Yann into standing by his word, so decides to use her most powerful weapon instead--since she senses that he's sensing it.
"You know what else I got?" she asks him.
"What?" he asks.
Nadine lowers her hand beneath her navel and grabs the waistband of her skirt. She lowers it until the edge of her pubic patch is peeking out. Yann stares at it.
Inserting her hand into her skirt, Nadine feels her way to her slickening lips, like two slaps of liver changing texture. She closes her eyes and imagines her employer's ass: those two glorious moons of meat, the way they quiver when she comes...
Nadine starts to secrete. Simultaneously, a drop of pre-semen squeezes from Yann's dick. The air smells like the musk of his pits.
Then, before Yann can even protest, Nadine is under the table unzipping his fly. His cock pops out, solid and erect. Nadine immediately starts kissing it. Yann does not object.
"You've fucked her, haven't you?" Nadine asks.
"Who?" Yann asks back.
She nibbles his dick, biting it a bit--but not too hard. This frightens Yann, but excites him as well. He knows she won't bite it off because she is a nympho and she wants it.
Nadine laps away like a dog on shit. Yann leans back in his chair and looks at a wad of gum on the ceiling.
"You want to do her in the ass, don't you?" Nadine asks, pausing for a second. "You want to grease up your dick and shove it in her bung-hole..."
Yann doesn't say a thing, just leans further back, turning her foul-mouth off. Whatever she's saying has nothing to do with him--she's just talking dirty again. If he listens to her, he'll lose his erection.
"You want to pork her there, don't you?" Nadine asks, pausing again, then engulfing the whole thing, and starting to bob her head up and down. Yann doesn't answer. She stops again. "Yeah, you want to hose her from behind... Yeah, you want to have your face in there, in her crack... yeah, that's what you want..."
Nadine starts to finger herself. When she says these things to him, all he hears is gibberish ending in the curve of a question. He is concentrating on coming in her mouth.
Nadine frigs away, increasing the speed in the bob of her head. Her hormones are going berserk, flashing visions in her head. She is seeing what she wants to see.
"Yeah, and then you'd lick her all up and down her crack..." Nadine continues, "those soft little hairs... she'd be all sweaty in there... yeah, you'd suck up as much as you could... yeah... yeah..."
"Yeah," Yann says, agreeing with the blow-job. He's getting ready to squirt.
Nadine goes back to slurping away. How she manages to take it all in, he doesn't know. Her mouth is a hot wet hole. She lifts her head again, still playing with herself.
"And then I take my tongue and jam it in her asshole..." Nadine says. "I jam it way in there until it touches a turd, that's how far I jam it in there... right?"
"Yeah," Yann says, just to keep her sucking him, "yeah..."
He forces her head back down. He starts to guide it up and down. He lifts his ass, thrusting and thrusting into her face. He fucks her face.
Nadine, meanwhile, has reached the apex of her frigging frenzy. She starts to convulse. She's ripping April's anus open... her tongue is a ramrod... April loves it! And so does Nadine. A torpid fluid courses through her flesh and she ejaculates--which is something she has never done before, and will never do again.
Yann, on the other hand, has no idea what is going on beneath the table. All he knows is that everything's at an all-time max and his jizz is starting to race for...
Nadine pulls back and looks up at Yann. His body is clenched, his teeth are clenched, his eyes are clenched, his face is clenched, but most of all, his balls are clenched. All she has to do is give him a squeeze and he'll erupt like a geyser all over her face.
A cruel smile alights in her mind. Fuck him! Standing straight up, she smacks her head on the table--having forgotten it was there. It tips over backwards and crashes to the floor, startling Yann and making her reel. White flashes go off in her head. He looks up at her and she looks down at him. She is standing above him holding her head, and he is sitting below her holding his pecker.
"HAW HAW HAW!" she laughs at him, the stripes in her face flushing red with blood. It's that laughter again. "HAW HAW HAW HAW!..."
Yann's dick immediately goes limp. He watches Nadine turn and walk away, tipping her head and laughing at the sky. "HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!..." The door slams behind her.
Yann looks down at his dick full of cum that didn't come. He gives it a few jerks, but it's no use.
"Hey," Hans' voice suddenly says, "when you get through fucking all the tables... be sure to put them right-side up..."
Yann stuffs himself back in his pants as the bartender drops his head to the bar. Immediately, he starts snoring again.
Yann looks around at the emptiness, too ashamed to leave it. What the heck is wrong with him? What the heck is wrong with Nadine? Why'd he let her do that to him? Why'd he even want her to?
Dropping his head into his hands, Yann tries not to blubber like a little puss. But it's useless. He's a fuck-up and he knows it. He's just like the rest of them.
It's another sucky day on the island, as April scans the beach from her bedroom window, looking through binoculars. There's garbage washed up all over the sand, and dead fish everywhere. She hasn't seen Yann for days, and all she's been doing is sitting around--which is what she does every day.
As for Nadine, she's been acting pretty strange lately, and she didn't really prove to be a very good drinking companion. And as for Father O'Flugence, she still doesn't trust the guy. When she went to visit him the other day, she found her flaregun in his closet, beneath a bunch of magazines of gawky adolescent boys. So she stashed the flaregun in her purse, without even telling him. Why should she? It was hers, and had been in her purse when the boat went down. He'd given her everything back except that and a couple hundred bucks. The crooked old pervert!
What the hell am I doing with these people? she asks herself. Has this town gone completely whacko? Never again will she go to that bar! There's nothing to do and no one to hang out with! And the weather... it sucks!
Then she spots the cove known as "Secret Cove," nestled between two rocks a mile past the spit. There's something about that spot: it's sandy and protected, and there isn't any garbage there. It would be a nice place to go for swim. But not alone, not on this creepy island! There's no telling what some lunatic might do.
April scans past the cove and spots Yann's boat chugging out to sea. She can see him standing on the bow. He's heading out for the Big Run, as they call it.
But why didn't he come to see her yesterday? After that ratfish parade, she'd sat at home like a nervous schoolgirl waiting for him, scribbling hearts and writing their initials inside. And he never showed up.
April hears a knock at the door, and puts down the binoculars. For a second she's ecstatic, thinking that maybe Yann stayed behind--but no, she'd seen him out there.
Oh, she remembers, it's just Nadine...
Wrapping her bathrobe tighter around her, April descends and opens the door. Nadine is standing there with a laundry basket. She looks like a mess.
"What happened to your face?" April gasps.
"I ain't been getting much sleep," Nadine glares back, almost accusatory.
"Scabs on your face from lack of sleep?" April asks.
"Oh, those..." Nadine says, "I gouged those in my face."
"Why?" April asks, staring aghast at Nadine.
"Just cuz," Nadine replies, still glaring at April. There's an awkward moment of silence.
"Well," April eventually says, trying to dismiss Nadine's appearance, "come on in."
April steps back and Nadine enters, plopping the laundry basket down on the floor.
"Hmmmm," April utters, and kneels down to look in the basket. Her bathrobe opens slightly, revealing some boobage to Nadine--whose mood suddenly changes. Now she doesn't feel resentment anymore, now she feels a longing for what she can't have.
"But these are all wrinkly Nadine," April says, looking up. "Do you have an iron at your house?"
"Yes," Nadine answers, her arms hanging by her side. She is starting to cry.
"Oh Nadine," April says, her voice bending with concern, "what's wrong?"
April stands up, and makes a motion to hug Nadine, but Nadine, suddenly, swats her hands away. There's a look on her face like an animal has right before it gnaws off a paw because it's caught in a trap.
Again, they stand there for a prolonged time. April breaks the silence.
"Well then," April suggests, "why don't you take this laundry home and iron it, and bring it back when you're done."
"Okay," Nadine shrugs, and picks the basket up. She turns and heads out the door, neither of them saying a word. April closes the door behind her.
"God help me," April says, leaning against the wall. She notices some cobwebs on the ceiling. Later, Nadine can get those with a broom.
Nadine heads down the hill, a low rumbling rising from her throat. That bitch! That rich bitch porn-slut movie-cunt! With those fat honking tits! Yeah... those fantastic beautiful tits...
"Rrrrrrr..." Nadine growls, and feels herself getting wet. Or maybe she's finally getting her period, which is long overdue and adding to her conviction that she's preggie. The truth of the matter, however, is that she's had PMS for over a week, and her infection is getting worse.
Nadine swipes a finger under her skirt, runs it across her crotch, and brings it up, smelling it. Nope, it's pussy juice. Dammit, she's horny! Horny to fuck! But Yann's away, and April doesn't give a shit! Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck! Even if it rips her pussy wide open, even if it worsens her infection! FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!
FUCK = LOVE!
Nadine reaches her trailer, and swings the door open. Her mother is there, sitting in a chair, staring at the wall.
"Shut up," Nadine says, but of course receives no answer.
Lately, Nadine has been slacking on taking her mother to work. Fuck em is her attitude. If they really want her mom to work, then let them come and get her! She's sick of taking care of the slut-ass bitch!
Nadine sets the basket on the table and sets up the ironing board. She plugs in the iron and waits for it to get hot.
"I could press this into your face," she tells her mother, "and burn your ugly mug right off."
Her mother just sits there, glaring back at her. Nadine can smell her mother's fear. She could kill the bitch in a flinch, but spits on the iron instead. It sizzles. She reaches into the basket and takes out a pair of panties.
WHAM! The door bursts open and Mother Kralik comes blasting in. She's wearing a smock splattered with blood.
"Underwear!" Mother Kralik squeals with delight, and snatches the panties from Nadine. Widow Flanahan and Widow O'Reilly follow Mother Kralik in, all of them dressed in sanguine smocks as well.
"Give it back," Nadine says. "What do you want?"
"We just came by," Mother Kralik tells her, "to see why your mother isn't at work."
"If you want her there," Nadine says, "then take her there. Now give it back."
"Such nice nice panties," Mother Kralik says, holding them up for her all to see, "such nice... silky... delicate panties... with such nice... pretty... delicate lace, so girlish and so frilly..."
Nadine's neck twitches twice. She grabs the underwear back.
"Lingerie!" Nadine tells Mother Kralik. "It's lingerie, okay? It ain't underwear!"
"Ooooo!" Mother Kralik responds, feigning respect. "Lingerie! Excuuuse me! But Nadine, since when did you start wearing such fancy-shmancy lingerie?"
Nadine doesn't answer. She goes to work ironing it, pressing down on it so hard that the legs of the ironing board begin to bend.
"Since you started seeing what Little Miss Money-Muff struts around the house in?" Mother Kralik asks, the hags behind her chuckling.
"She's paying me to iron em," Nadine snaps, "so get off my back!"
"Ooooo!" Mother Kralik says, in a patronizing voice. "I didn't know. I had no idea. I guess I should get with the times, shouldn't I? It's just that we've never had a serrrvant on the island before. Leastwise not a white one!"
The crones cackle. Even Nadine's mother adds a snort of laughter.
Nadine's neck twitches again. She burns a stare across the underwear and into Mother Kralik's face. The stare is meant to murder her.
SLAP! Mother Kralik slaps Nadine a good one in the face, and grabs the underwear back. Nadine sets the iron down and rubs her face.
"Don't You Ever Look At Me Like That Again You Little Kiss-Ass Bitch!" Mother Kralik howls. "Next Time You Do... I'll Wipe Your Ass Right Off Of This Planet! I'll Destroy You With A Single Thought! Got It!?"
Nadine lowers her head and nods. The more she humors the old bag, the sooner she'll take a hike.
"Behold Sisters!" Mother Kralik says, turning toward the widows and holding April's panties above her head. "The underwear of a whore! Or, to be more precise, the lingerie of the Devil's Whore! See how it goes right up the crack of her ass!?"
Mother Kralik's sniffs the underwear.
"Ahhh, so pleasantly perfumed! Ahhh yes, you see... the cunt of the Devil's Whore, it doesn't stink like the cunt of a slut! It smells like a tulip! Yes indeed, a charming little tulip!"
Mother Kralik changes her hold on the underwear, pinching it between her fingers. She holds it out like a stool on a string, and scans the faces in the room.
"Of course," she tells them, "there's only one solution about what to do with the lingerie of the Devil's Whore! There's only one way to fully remove that false fake tulipy smell, you know! You Gotta Burn It Out!"
Mother Kralik picks up the iron and presses it into the underwear. All of them watch as smoke starts to rise and twist. A burnt smell fills the room as Mother Kralik lifts the iron. The panties are scorched beyond repair.
"Rrrrrr..." Nadine growls.
"And the same goes for the whore!" Mother Kralik continues. "To free a whore from her tulip-smelling cunt, there's only one way to do it! You Gotta Burn the Whore! Burn the Whore!"
Mother Kralik pauses, and glares at Nadine.
"Unless," Mother Kralik adds, "you prefer to give up your soul for the oh-so-flowery waft of tulips in bloom..."
The old women cackle, as they crowd around to see the ruined underwear.
"Hmmm," Mother Kralik adds, dramatically pretending to sniff the air, "that's funny. Something smells like dead fish in here!" She turns to Nadine. "Do you gotta nasty crotch infection honey, or is your cunt just becoming rotten like ours!?"
"Fuck You!" Nadine bursts out, surprised to hear herself reply with the most juvenile of all retorts. "Leave me alone!"
"Okay then," Mother Kralik calmly responds, and takes Widow Murphy's hand. "All you had to do was ask..."
The women step out of the trailer, leaving Nadine twitching in the kitchen.
"RRRRRRRR!" she shudders, and tries to force herself to laugh--but her salvation really doesn't matter anymore. It doesn't matter worth a damn.
So, you admit it do you? You have to have more, eh? Well all right then... Stay Tuned! Because next time, the CHUM is gonna hit the fan! Oh yes, and it won't be pretty!!!
P.S. Coming this Spring from Zoland Books: CHUM!!!! That's right. Bar code and everything!!!
BROKEN NEWS || CRITIQUES & REVIEWS || CYBER BAG || CYB FI || EC CHAIR
FAREWELL, GREGORY: A POESY BURST FOR CORSO || FICCIONES || THE FOREIGN DESK
GALLERY || LETTERS || POESY || SERIALS || STAGE & SCREEN || ZOUNDS
©1999-2002 Exquisite Corpse - If you experience difficulties with this site, please contact the webmistress.