A Short Story
By Jessica van Zyl
I stood there by the small wall, leaning my ass against the edge and watching this rather large girl in front of me describe her day. She appeared to be confused at odd moments, mixing up the descriptions of people I definitely knew.
I had told them not to go out during the lockdown, it was dangerous out there – and people still don’t know how this disease manifests. Most infected just went about their days as though nothing was amiss, but some were affected in rather strange ways.
I’d heard one woman gouged her own eyes out with her crochet needle, muttering something about making a bad choice in colour for the pillow case she was knitting. While lonely old ladies made self- loathing decisions, the men became aggressive. In a handful of infected, this virus created monsters of madness, consumed by an idea that they pursued to the very end, and sometimes beyond.
Just the other day I heard my neighbour screaming, she came bolting out of the back door being chased by her husband who’d gone purple with rage. With a single horrified eye, I watched through a knot in the fence as he grabbed her by the hair and yanked her backwards, and in one sweeping gesture buried a pair of scissors in her face.
He’d thrust with such force that the tip of the scissors breached the flesh of the nape of her neck. Still holding her by her hair with one hand, he let go of the scissors and, with a flat hand, slapped them down into her cheek until the handles disappeared into her face, and an extra few centimetres appeared from the back of her neck. I’ll never forget how he just stood there with a fistful of hair, her head still held up and her feet slack on the ground, and he just watched her die.
I snapped myself back to the present and wondered whether I should say anything to this girl about how stupid her family was by taking her out during lockdown. We must not take this threat lightly, I’ve witnessed why first hand. Then it dawned on me, if she was infected now, I could be at risk too. Why did I come here?
Just as I mumbled something about my cat and the oven and made to leave, she arrived at the part in her story which I’d come for. My boyfriend, her brother, had disappeared with some woman during their little outing. She described her as classic, and that Jack had been enthralled by the woman’s rhythm. He’d followed her behind a building, and like a good little sister, the girl had followed and spied.
She said it looked like they’d gotten themselves stuck at the hips and were moving a lot to get unstuck. But she couldn’t understand how because neither of them were wearing pants.
She asked me if it was possible for her skin to get stuck to someone else, if maybe, she bumped them too hard.
“He must have gone to hug her and their skin got stuck”.
I told her it was possible, and that she must never touch strangers with her bare skin in case the same thing happens to her. I asked her what happened next.
“Well he was holding her leg up and pushing her against the wall,” she continued. “Every time he managed a little distance between them it was as though he got sucked back to her.” I could feel my skin crawl at the thought of his dick buried in some strange woman’s crotch. “Her skin must have been very sticky because when he got sucked back she’d be thrown against the wall with such force and she’d make a funny noise, and he’d try again. She didn’t seem to do much to help them unstick, so he tried again and again and faster and harder every time until he cried out in pain as he got sucked the hardest of all, and after a moment they finally became unstuck. I almost clapped, but I didn’t think Jack would have wanted to know I’d seen that. Seems a stupid thing to do getting yourself stuck to a pretty stranger”.
As she finished up her story, I found myself both livid and mildly turned on. What a wonderful way to describe such a heinous act. I thought to myself I should probably tell him the story before I cut his balls off.
The rather large girl started to tell me again about the bloody birds she’d spotted on the way home, so I tried my muttering about having forgotten my cat in the oven again, and then bolted before she could say any more.
I ran all the way home, meticulously planning out my next moves. There was a party on tonight. An illegal lockdown rave. But there would be too many people there, I’d need to catch him at pre-drinks. Should I tell him I’m coming, or should I just pitch up and possibly catch him with this other slut?
I decided to surprise him, I knew where they were going. The only place that’s been open in town for the past three months – O’Malys, the skeezy pool hall on Capital street. Dressed in all black with my boots on, I grabbed the knife Jack bought me for my birthday last week and stuffed it in the side pouch of my Docs. ‘Better watch out baby, tonight you lose your most prized possessions.’
I entered into the den of alcoholics and outlaws trying my best to blend in with the rampant stupidity. Heading for the bar I ordered a bottle of beer, top on and cold only, I wasn’t gonna risk the bacteria from the tap in this shithole. The place was crawling with people and I tried my best to stand closest to the door right at the end of the bar. It was both a good vantage point to spot Jack, and an easy escape.
I sipped my beer wondering how many of these people were infected without knowing. The more I thought about it the more I got scared, and fear had no right to be in my head at that moment. I was a woman on a mission to part a man from his jewels. I remember thinking to myself that perhaps I’ll hang them on his ears when I’m done, pretty ornaments for his pretty face.
Thinking about his testicles seemed to have summoned him from the public bathroom, with the slut in his wake.
I was going to enjoy this.
Slamming the beer down on the bar and taking one last glance at the door, I was about to make for Jack and his pogo-rider when I noticed something odd. The recently disgraced and fired police chief was walking through the front door with murder in his eyes.
Oh I’d seen that look before.
I crouched down by the bar and searched for another way out when I spotted two uniforms, beers in hand, making their way to the chief. This is bad, nothing good can come from this.
I saw the leading officer reach into his pants with his right hand and pull out a knife, how in the world he’d not sliced his little friend with that monstrosity lord only knows! The chief was unarmed but looked ready for what the officer could throw at him. He was not ready for what came next.
No one was.
With a beer in one hand and knife in the other, the uniform took three lunging steps forward and thrust the knife into the chief’s sizable belly and yanked up. He grabbed the chief by the shoulders before he had a chance to keel over and thrust his knee into the same place as the knife.
With growing force fuelled by rage, the uniform threw his knee into the man while simultaneously pulling him towards the blows. Five, six, seven times, he kept going with increasing power splattering volumes of blood over his pants and the floor. Then in what felt like a comic-book movie he let the chief go, grabbing his head with his beer hand and punched him in the face so hard his jaw snapped to the side. As if in slow motion the chief sank to the floor, blood spraying from his hanging mouth onto the door he’d entered through only moments ago.
I was paralysed, I swear I saw the chief’s heart literally burst while he was being kneed in the side, and now his body pump was broken, and he just oozed. The man lay in a growing puddle of his own fluids, leaking blood from every hole in his body – if you’d looked, I’m sure there’d even be a drop or two escaping from the tip of his dead flaccid penis.
What is it about images of genitalia that summons Jack? At that moment, he grabbed me by the shoulders and yanked me up.
“Why are you here?” He screamed in my face, sending spit flying into my eyes and up my nose.
That was it, the last straw, this man needed to suffer, after all he’d done now he’s gone and infected my sorry ass! I have been so fucking careful up until now, until this useless husk of a human being drew me out of my safe cocoon because he couldn’t keep his dick to himself.
I saw red. I reached down and grabbed the knife from my boots and on the way up, aimed the point directly between his legs. I felt the knife cut through jean, then flesh, before sinking deep into that soft place beside the left testicle. The knife practically disappeared before I had a chance to yank it back out and aim again, this time a little more to my left.
I struck gold as the knife punctured his ball and he howled like a wounded dog, and then howled again as I pulled the knife free and stood up. The piece of shit fell back onto the ground and seemed to have lost all the colour in his face.
I imagine the blood pouring from his crotch was supposed to have been going to his head. He looked pitiful lying there on the ground grabbing needlessly at his popped jewel, he should have been grateful I only took one.
As I stood over Jack, I noticed his slut screeching and I just wanted her to shut up. I looked around at the bar and it seemed I wasn’t the only one to take advantage of the chaos proceeding the chief’s very violent demise. There was a group of men that appeared to be stabbing each other for fun. Laughing hysterically as they bled out and stabbed, then bled out some more. A woman lay peacefully in the middle of the floor, you’d almost think she was sleeping apart from the fact that her wide eyes had glazed over and she was staring sightlessly across the floor to the chief splattered entrance.
I needed to get out of here. Shouting at the slut to shut up, I grabbed her by the arm and made for the door. Stepping over the chief and trying desperately not to slip in his juices, I managed to yank the door open just enough to get the two of us out.
And then we ran.
When we finally slowed, I told her to go home, shower for at least an hour, douse herself in sanitiser, and stay there. I told her not to leave her house until all of the craziness was over, and that if anybody asked, she was never at O’Maly’s.
“Go home and stay, and keep your cunt to yourself, you hear?!”.
When I got home, I followed my own instructions, locking the door as I entered the house and spending what felt like an eternity under a torrent of water.
I felt fine.
I doused myself in sanitising products and burned my clothes in the fireplace downstairs. I felt fine.
I dragged my housemates limp body out into the back garden and set fire to her. I feel fine.
I grabbed our cat from out the oven and threw his roasted body over the wall. I feel fine.
Just a slight cough, I’m fine.