Chapter 4.: Boy Meets Girl
Shannon had a weakness for “misunderstood” musicians, underdogs, unsung heroes, and bad boys. Richard was not typical good-looking and cocky musician.
He was different, he wore a placid face that was difficult to read, but he was still handsome, yet intense. And that was refreshing from most of the boring good looking guys she met on a regular basis.
She took an instant liking to the very talented guitar player, and wondered if he was as good in bed as he was on stage?
The lead singer Derek abruptly left his bevy of groupies and immediately started in on his way to the two of them. Usually he had first choice, and whoever he chose usually accepted.
Jill made sure to make eye contact, then turned away. Shannon wasn’t interested in Derek, she was looking for Richard, whom she still had not seen yet.
He damn well better be here, she thought to herself.
There were a lot of other guys around, but the girls easily outnumbered the guys two to one. Then she spotted Richard sitting by himself on a small leather sofa, supporting his head, while talking on a cell phone.
Whose he talking to, Shannon wondered?
She moved around the large rectangular table that was in the middle of the room, and had food spread over the top of it, mostly cold-cuts, which looked nauseating to Shannon, so she grabbed a few cucumber slices, with celery pieces, and carrots instead, and dabbed on some sour creme.
Then she grabbed a handful of Ridged Potato Chips, and two beers out of an ice cooler under the table, one for her and one for Richard, and walked over to join him. She sat close by and waited patiently, close enough so that he knew someone was there.
She started on her beer, and after a little while she thought he might be oblivious of her, as he had not even changed positions. So she was going to move even closer when suddenly, without even looking, he held out his hand, for the beer she had brought him.
He was not oblivious to her, Shannon smiled, as she handed it to him. She was not used to being ignored. His voice was low, but loud enough for her to hear bits and pieces of the conversation, even thou it was difficult for her to make out the words.
“Yes, I would like that, Richard spoke into the phone.”
It sounded like it he was having trouble upstanding what the other person was saying or maybe the connection was just bad.
There was some noise from the other side of the phone, Shannon could hear the volume on the other end getting louder, but still, she could not make out the words.
“That’s a lot of money, Richard said.”
More static. And then the voice on the other end replied.
“No, no, I didn’t say that, I just don’t have it all right now that’s all.”
The other side responded, but now they sounded angrier.
“I’m good for it thou, how about half now, and I can pay full price for the remaining half in two months, Richard assured the other party confidently.”
“Okay, great, how about if I meet you in say…. an hour???
And then more garble.
Yes, of course, I can do that, sure, whatever you want… okay great, goodbye, and then Richard hung up, and then cursed taking a long swallow of his beer.
Finally, he turned for the first time to face Shannon, and even thou he maintained his cool facade, her beauty blew him away. For a moment he was speechless.
“Uhhhhhh…. thank you, Ms…???”
“Shannon, my name is Shannon, she repeated herself, a little shyly.”
“Hello Shannon, I’m Richard, he replied.”
“Richard, she repeated, as if trying to match his looks to his name.”
“Yea but please just call me Rich.”
“Okay she replied, I’ve heard of you thru one of my friends that I work with, and that you were an 80’s glam metal tribute band, I love “Closet-Classic,” but I have never heard of you guys before.”
Well we’ve only been together for about a year, and most of our hype is word-of-mouth. The Internet. But were starting to develop a local presence.
My son’s always on the Internet, Shannon mentioned to him that she had a child on purpose.
I’m glad you decided to come out tonight, Richard smiled warmly.”
“Well so am I, because you guys are really good, she complimented.”
“We haven’t been together that long, but were coming along, he said modestly.”
“Your lead guitar was excellent, she complimented.”
“Thank You, I saw you with your girlfriend, and you girls really know how to shake ass, he said.”
“That because we dance for a living she replied.”
“Oh yea, where do you work,”
“Stilettos, she said.”
“The titty-bar, on eight mile, he asked?”
Shannon laughed, she was not offended by the reference, but it always amused her whenever guys referred to the club as a “titty-bar.”
“Funny I been there lots of times, but I’ve never seen you, I’m sure I would have remembered if I had, he said.”
“Well, I usually work mornings instead of nights, especially with my son starting school again.”
“Single Mom, he asked?”
“Yea, single, Shannon sounded flirty.”
I think he’s back in Florida, I haven’t heard from him in over a year. The last I heard he was in jail for drunk-driving, or maybe it was driving with a suspended license, I don’t know for certain, but he called me to bail him out. I hung up on the creep, can you believe the nerve of that man asking me to bail him out of jail? He still owes me money from the last time I bailed him out. Damn Fool!!!
Maybe the jail time is his Karma for not being a responsible father.
I hope so.
Only women bleed, Richard said.”
“What, Shannon looked at him surprised.”
“Just a lyric, Richard replied.”
“Yes, from an Alice Cooper song, Shannon said, why didn’t you play any of his songs.”
Derek doesn’t like Alice, because he doesn’t have the range, but personally, I love him. He’s very satirical with his sons, you know…anyway, it just came out, I hope it didn’t sound like a line, Richard shrugged, he hadn’t felt this nervous talking to a girl in a long, time.
It didn’t, Shannon smiled,
Good, Richard smiled.
Shannon smiled back, He felt like he was back in high-school again. He didn’t believe her, she was just too good looking, if she didn’t have a boyfriend, it was only because she didn’t want one.
“You don’t have a boyfriend, Richard asked doubtfully?”
“I have a lot of guys who want to be my boyfriend, for like, fifteen minutes, Shannon said.”
“I bet, Richard smiled.”
“They go home very disappointed thou, Shannon finished.”
“Whys that, he asked.”
“Because I’m not that type of girl, Shannon said curtly.”
“I respect that, people shouldn’t be so quick to judge.”
Yea, I know, but when I think about it I guess I’m used to it I just don’t want it affecting my son, and then she rifled thru her purse to show him a picture.
Besides you can’t be too careful, too many crazy people in this world.”
“You can say that again, Shannon said, she had met her share of freaks from every economic level, and she discovered that all men shared at least some of the same creepy traits, to a greater or lesser degree. Some were just better at hiding them than others.
“Like me, Richard joked.”
Shannon stopped searching to look at him and check to see whether or not he was joking, when he said that.
I’m joking, he confirmed,
Shannon smiled too.
“Is that why you strip, Richard asked?”
“What, her smile instantly disappeared.”
“The money, is that why you do it, because of your son?
Yes, then she found a picture of him to show her, and handed it to him. Richard held the picture up next to her face, he studied the two of them side by side.
Very handsome I can see what features he got from you.
That’s very kind of you to say, she replied?
It’s true. Is he the only one you have, he asked?
Yes, and I don’t want any more, she confirmed, he’s my one and only, Shannon said putting the picture away and then cozying up by leaning forward so that he could get an even better view of her incredible natural endowment, which was ever more accented with her large push-up bra.
Richard never took his eyes off hers thou, he knew what she was doing.
You really liked us, he asked again?
I did, I know you’re a tribute band okay, but do you any originals?
We do but there not finished yet, but if you want to hear what we have so far, I have a recording studio in my basement and I can play back what we have so far, nothing has been released yet. You would be the first.
We give me your demo I would love to hear it.
Oh, uh, well I don’t feel comfortable with that I mean not being mixed and all, but if let’s go back to my place and you can hear what we have in the studio. And the he hesitated, I mean I’m really putting myself out there… for you…. because you’re not like the other chicks around here.
Leave, oh I don’t think so.
But you’d be doing me a favor, I mean I could really use an honest opinion, from someone outside the band, Richard tried to convince her.”
“No, like I said, I don’t pick up guys, and besides I came out with my friend, Jill, I can’t go off and just ditch her, she would have a fit.”
Richard glanced at the blond Shannon was pointing to, and she looked like a real ball-baster, beautiful but she had that bitch look. Richard did not like high-maintenance women, and he had even turned down good-looking chicks if it meant that he also had to deal with her cock-blocking friend.
He turned back to Shannon and noticed that she had goosebumps on her arms, even thou they were heavily tattooed in dark colors. He took off his jacket to offer it to her, a thin but very expensive leather jacket.
“You cold, Richard asked standing up, and when he took off his coat, she very quickly, but not directly, used her peripheral vision to size up the large bulge in the front of his skin-tight jeans.”
Yea, I left my coat in the car because I always get so hot in the club.
“Shannon bounced because she stood up too fast to accept his jacket, he thought he did it on purpose, but she didn’t. He held it open so that she could slide her arms in the sleeves.”
It looked to an observer, like they were a couple who were about ready to leave a party.
“Well forget about that then, let’s just hang out, I need to make a run to the store thou, because I’m out of cigarettes would you like to come with me, I hate going any place by myself, Richard asked?”
“Just to the store, Shannon asked suspiciously?”
“Well I didn’t want to say anything but right before you came over I was going to make a score, he said.”
“What kind of score, Shannon asked, her eyes lit up.”
All strippers did coke, they were notorious for it, but he didn’t want to waste it on her friend Jill, who would play him by doing his blow and then leave with her friend Shannon as soon as they were finished.
“Premium grade shit, the best and very expensive but I don’t have enough money for everyone, so I was hoping that we could just make a run together.
“Premium grade shit, Shannon repeated doubtfully, crossing her arms.”
“I only do the best, look I know as a dancer you’ve done coke before right, he asked?”
“Of course, she nodded.
“Why don’t you try it and judge for yourself. We can stop at my house do a few lines, and I even have a bag of medical grade herb, so you can bring back an eighth for your friend, Richard said smiling.”
Shannon seriously considered his proposal, Cocaine?
That was just too good an opportunity to pass up; cocaine was expensive. Besides she needed to find another dealer anyway, her current one insisting recently that she start fucking him on top of paying him a premium price for second grade shit, and when she refused, he threatened to cut her off for good.
Maybe she could use Richard instead, but there was no way in hell she was leaving with him and going back to his house. Especially after she just told him that she wasn’t.
“I have to ask my friend, Shannon said, and if she say No, then I can’t. I mean she drove me here, I don’t have even have a driver’s license.”
“No, no I get it, just tell her that you’re going to the store for cigarettes and we’ll be right back.
“How far do you live, Shannon asked?”
“Maybe five minutes away, give or take, Ricard said.”
“Just to your house, we do a few lines and then come right back, Shannon confirmed.”
“Well I was hoping you would listen to a song or two, he said shrugging his shoulders, unless you didn’t really mean what you said earlier…”
“And then there and back, Shannon repeated pointing her index finger.”
I swear on my life, Richard said holding out his pinky, so she could hook it with her own.
Shannon gave him an uneasy look and then she took his arm as they walked as a couple over to her friend Jill. She was a stunning blond that Derek, the lead singer had his hands all over, and they were looking very chummy as well.
He had his arms locked around her waist, and Jill was trying to get loose, but she wasn’t trying very hard. Jill had bragged that recently she had gotten a new tattoo. It was from a featured artist in Detroit who was famous within that profession, and he only did woman.
If the chick was extremely hot, he would also try and get a sexual favor as well, if he thought he could get away with it, but this was rare. When he saw Jill and Shannon walk they instantly became the exception.
When he hinted that she would have to be completely naked for him to do the design, where she wanted it properly, Jill immediately became uncomfortable.
She didn’t like the idea of any man seeing her naked unless he was going to pay for it. And the as he continued and hinted at a three-some, the two girls stormed out his studio.
Totem Joe was a good-looking guy but over weight, so he was out of breath by the time he caught up with them in the parking lot.
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, can’t you girl’s take a joke.
You weren’t joking asshole.
He held up his hand like he was trying to calm Jill down.
Fine but you don’t’ have to give me a heart attack either, he said bend over, he didn’t look like he was joking either.
Shannon laughed but Jill was not so forgiving.
What do you want, she asked?
I wanted to apologize before you left, I have a professional proposition so please hear me out before you leave?
We already heard that proposition, and the answer is No, Jill said.
I belong to a publication, Pelt, and it features women, I mean models from all over the world, I will do your tattoo, both of you for free if you let me photograph you for the publication.
Let me guess you want us nude?
How about just a skimpy bikini, he countered?
A legitimate shoot, Jill asked?
Why don’t you come inside, and I can show you the magazine layout on my laptop digitally? If you still want to leave I’ll never bother you again. I promise.
Jill looked at Shannon, which she knew was a mistake, Shannon shrugged her shoulders. When he laid out exactly what he wanted to do with the theme the magazine was going with that month, Jill agreed.
While he worked Totem-Joe had hilarious stories; like how he still held the record for the most arrests in the city, while being naked.
But could never remember how he lost his clothes in the first place or whatever happened to them.
After getting off on the wrong foot, the two girls decided they liked Totem Joe, and they decided he wasn’t such a dick after all. He had them laughing so much that they even promised to see him again, when Shannon decided on a tattoo she wanted.
The girls came back to do the photo shoot and the pictures were beautiful, even they were impressed. Totem-Joe hugged them both goodbye at the same time, telling them that they were two of the coolest chick he had met in a long time.
He even wanted Jill to slap his face for being a dick when they first met, then he closed his eyes and leaned forward waiting for her to do it, she kissed him on the cheek, instead, he opened his eyes in shock.
Forget it she said.
When her and Shannon were alone in the car, Shannon warned her that she was getting soft, and the old Jill she knew would have slapped that fool. Jill just glared at her, Shannon quickly looked away.
When Jill told Derek the name of the artist Dereck said he didn’t believe her and demanded to see the tattoo. She said she couldn’t because it was too low on her bikini line. Just a little he begged, so I know you’re telling the truth.
Jill was drinking tequila straight, not a good idea with her body chemistry. Eventually he reluctantly talked her into moving very close to show him and she pulled her thong down, suddenly he playfully snapped the front of her tight thong like a rubber band and they both started laughing hysterically.
As Shannon approached with Richard in tow, Jill slapped Derek’s hands away pulled up whatever was showing and straightened her miniskirt.
“Hey Jill, were going to the liquor store, do you need cigarettes, Shannon asked?”
Jill checked her purse which she always kept close to her, and rifled thru it quickly, she still had half a pack left from yesterday.
“No, baby, don’t go, just take some of mine, Jill offered.”
“You know I can’t smoke Menthol, and Shannon gave her a look, I need herbal.
Jill stared at her friend, then at Richard, and then back at her knowingly, “You just make sure you have your cell-phone on you, Jill warned.”
Shannon held up her phone by the strap to show her, Shannon was notorious for not answering her phone. And for a woman that was inexcusable. It pissed off the rest of her friends, but for Jill who was her best friend, this was intolerable.
Jill expected Shannon to pick up whatever the circumstances, she didn’t even like to wait for Shannon to call her back when her calls went to her voice mail.
Shannon complained her phone was junk as an excuse, so Jill ran out and bought Shannon a brand new and very expensive I-Phone, and even put Shannon on her plan. Now she had no excuses.
One time when she had tried to call Shannon all afternoon only to find her at work right before her shift. Jill marched up to her, spun her around in the swivel chair, and slapped her face in front of all the other girls in the dressing room.
“You Bitch, Jill screamed in tears.”
Shannon was bewildered and jumped up to slap her back figuring she was just high. She and Shannon had fought and wrestled to the ground with Jill breaking a heel, and Shannon’s new outfit ruined to shreds.
The bouncers came rushing in and grabbed each girl and separated them as both crying miserably. Except for Shannon none of the other girls had ever seen Jill cry before.
And then the coal black manager “Smoky” walked in like Darth Vader, and demanded to know who started the fight and why?
Nobody said a word. The two girls wouldn’t look at each other.
“Nobody knows nothing, huh, well see about that, and then Smoky stormed out.”
For the rest of the night, the two girls would not speak or even acknowledge each other. They didn’t want to work together on stage at the same time. Shannon kept trying to trip her and got a ride home with another girl.
The next day when Smoky found out the two girls were still feuding he called both into his office at the same time. and demanded to know, “What the fuck was going on???”
Both girls sat down not looking at each other, and after thirty-seconds “Smoky suddenly got a call, and warned, You two bitches stay sitting, I must go up front for a minute, and then he left.
After about some thirty seconds of silence which was an eternity for women, Shannon got up and said, “I have nothing to say to you until you apologize for slapping me.”
Then she walked away and tried the door, but it was locked from the outside.
“Hey, let us out of here.”
She turned to Jill, the doors locked, and I can’t open it, Shannon said.
“Then Jill got up, here move dummy, pushing Shannon out of the way, trying the door herself.”
She even pulled the knob instead of twisting it, as if that would help. Then she beat against the wooden door with the flat of her hand.”
“Hey, Smokey this isn’t funny, let us out of here.”
“He locked us in, Shannon said, but why, and then the two of women looked at each other.”
Both crossed their arms simultaneously, both holding their ground.
“You had no right slapping me in the face, I should have told Smokey and got you fired.”
“Ha, that’s a laugh, everyone knows I’m Smokey’s favorite.”
“You have become such a bitch, since becoming the Star Attraction, Shannon said.”
“I have always been the star attraction and have always been a bitch, Jill yelled back.”
But not to me, Shannon whined, and she looked like a child who was about to cry. Jill, hard as she tried could not stay mad at Shannon, she was more like a child than a woman sometimes, and the vulnerability, she projected, real or imaged affected Jill, like no one else could.
You are such a drama queen Jill.
“Drama let me tell you about drama, I bought you that damn phone because every fucking time it rings, it’s you on the other end, begging me for a favor, then I have to run like a fool, to save you from yet another one of your “emergencies,” but the one time I call you when I’m the one who needs some help, you can’t be reached, Jill responded.”
“That doesn’t give you the right to hit me…
Wait, you said emergency, what happened, Shannon asked fearfully.
Jill never needed help. Something happened. When Jill didn’t answer Shannon ran over and grabbed her arm, what happened?
I tried to call you because I needed a ride is all, she wiped her tears.
“I left the house with my phone, but I forgot to charge it, the messages all went to voicemail, you didn’t leave any messages, and when I tried to call you back, you wouldn’t answer your phone, Shannon said.”
“I was at the hospital, and they made me turn it off at the door.”
“Hospital, you got hurt, Shannon asked?”
No, not me, one of the kids got a scrape is all, Jill tried to calm down.
Who, Shannon sounded panicked?
Jill was still trying to catch her breath.
Jill don’t you dare do this to me, not when the children are involved, Shannon said still holding her arm, started to shake her now and violently, Jill was known to punish her through the children, and Shannon would absolutely lose it whenever she did.
A few weeks after they had become best friends, Shannon brought over her boy, so the two could play. Cody was about the same age, but Jill had already stopped breastfeeding, (she never started), Shannon continued to breastfeed hers. When she did Jill’s son Cody kept staring at her as he drank formula out of a bottle.
Shannon asked Jill when she stopped breast feeding and Jill said she never really started because she read that beast-feeding made large breasted women sag. It was the constant expanding-contraction.
Shannon was horrified. She was into natural food, and she herself rarely ate meat. She hated all the artificial chemicals, colors, preservatives, and multi-syllable additives that she couldn’t even pronounce.
“Jill, Cody needs you, not some chemical formula manufactured in a Chinese rat-factory.”
Jill was not convinced.
I don’t like it doing it, okay?
“No, it’s not okay, I wasn’t going to say anything, but your son Robert is older than Cody, but he looks much smaller by comparison, aren’t you concerned.
No, Jill said absently and continued searching thru the messages on her cell-phone. Shannon just shook her head and then continued to feed her son until he slept.
Then she asked Jill if she would put her son Cody in Roberts bed, Cody had fallen asleep, but Robert was still up. Shannon looked spent. Jill took him gently and carefully tucked him in her son’s bed.
When she returned, she was horrified to see Shannon feeding her son with her other tit. Jill was behind Shannon at the time, so Shannon didn’t notice her reaction, After Jill composed herself, she sat down as if nothing had changed, and continued reading her text messages.
Inwardly Jill cringed while she watched her son try to wrestle away from Shannon until he finally stopped exhausted, Shannon had cooed him down until he was finally gave up.
Then she traced the outside of his small mouth with her erected nipple until Cody opened it, and when he did, Shannan immediately forced it in flooding it with milk, his little cheeks expanded to capacity and then forced down his throat and into his little belly.
He could not keep up with the flood of milk, he could only swallow in reflex, and by the time he was able to suck on his own accord, a slow comfortable rhythm his eyes had already started to glaze over, as soon he was fast asleep, just like Cody before him.
But unlike Cody, Shannon continued to hold (Lil Rob), because he was known to stir in his sleep and Shannon wanted to kiss and comfort him thru any bad dreams he might be having. He was known to twitch and that bothered Shannon because her own son, rarely if ever did.
Shhhhhhhhh. Hush now baby.
Jill wanted to cry when he saw her little boy being nurtured by another women, it killed her. But Jill had an alternative reason for letting Shannon breastfeed her son, and it had nothing to do with sagging breasts.
Jill secretly had a recurring premonition that she would not live to see thirty. And Jill was secretly very superstitious, she had been since childhood and even thou she tried to hide it, she could not overcome this daunting vision, despite being logical in almost every other part of her life.
If something did happen to her, she wanted Shannon to take care of her son, not her ex. Shannon was an excellent mother, even better than Jill was herself, she proved that today just by making the gesture -grossly inappropriate as she was, Shannon’s heart was always in the right place, and she always put the children first.
Jill was smart, shrewd, practical, and business savvy. But she was not nurturing, she was an ice-queen, a bitch, and she didn’t even consider herself a good mother.
She did not have the warmth that children needed. And she did not want her son growing up to be like her. Cold, Remote, Unattached. Alone.
Shannon wanted Jill to become furious, jealous, outraged, and vengeful. Shannon had seen Jill angry, many times, and it sometimes it even scared her, but she wanted to see that now.
She was going to trick Jill into breast-feeding her own son. And love doing it. All women got jealous, it was unavoidable.
Fight for your son!
Fight for your son!
You get mad at everything else, get angry now when it matters the most!!!
But she never did.
When Shannon saw her unmoved, she wanted to cry. Now it was her turn to pretend that it didn’t bother her. So, she continued, deciding that if Jill would not feed her son like a proper mother, Shannon would as a surrogate.
Shannon had initiated the whole thing, but it was Jill who wanted Shannon to love her son as much as her own, so she was the one who baited Shannon, and not the other way around.
But Jill cried herself to sleep that night. And she could never get Shannon’s teasing voice out of her head. It played over and over…
“You’re such a hungry little boy, yes you are, but momma’s going to feed you proper, whether you want it or not, Yes I am.”
She didn’t have to rub it in my face, like she rubbed her tit in her sons.
“Your heartless bitch, Jill sobbed, burying her face in her pillow, so she didn’t wake her son.
In some ways Jill thought Shannon was just as bad if not worse than she was, but Jill was the only one who ever saw it.
After the breast-feeding Shannon didn’t call Rob, Robert, but Lil-Rob instead, and soon after that he would also call Shannon his mommy.
And whenever he did, Shannon would answer him immediately, Yes baby???
At first Jill would be always respond out of habit, but after she noticed that every announcement was toward Shannon, she ignored the word.
It was Robert, Jill screamed, he just tripped climbing up the steps that’s all, but when he fell he cut his chin, he needed eight stiches, you know how clumsy that boy is, Jill said.”
“How did you get him to hospital, Shannon asked sobbing miserable.
Jill didn’t have a car, she had one, but her ex Dillon called her and asked if he could borrow her truck, so he could get to work.
Unlike Tommy, Dillon tried very hard to be responsible, he was a skilled as a welder, so he had a steady job, and he did pay his child support regular, but he had terrible luck, so when he said, that he needed to borrow her vehicle, because it was an emergency otherwise he wouldn’t ask her.
Jill believed him. But it was only supposed to be for two weeks and that was six months ago.
Normally, Jill would have raised Hell, but it just so happened that Shannon bought a new car around the same time but lost her license due to excessive speeding tickets and parking violations.
One time she parked half on and half off the sidewalk and when the police officer saw that, he didn’t leave her a ticket. He called in a wrecker to have it towed instead.
Shannon told her to let her ex use her car because she didn’t have a license anymore anyway and if Jill drove them both around she could have her car. And she meant it. A brand-new mustang, that she was abusing the shit out of. Jill did it just for the sake of the car.
Jill said No, it never works out and they would just wind up fighting because of it, so Shannon handed her the title which she kept in her purse.
Jill just shook her head. She took the title but only because she didn’t want Shannon to lose it. She had been her chauffer ever since. But more than that, it was a safety issue, Shannon really should not have been driving.
“I had to call a cab, Jill said raising her voice.”
“Oh, Jill I am so sorry, I had no idea Lil Rob got hurt, I’m a terrible friend, I should have known it was bad by the way you reacted. I’m so sorry, and then she stared wailing.
I hope you never forgive me, and then Shannon started wailing again.
No, Shannon, he’s fine…
I’m a stupid dummy, just like you’re always calling me, and then she continued sobbing.
I was only joking when I call you that, I don’t mean it, don’t you know when I’m teasing you.
“Shannon was unintentional hilarious whenever she started freaking out over the children, and very dramatical. She collapsed on the floor exhausted, and looking up at Jill demanding, “I want you to kick me in the chin, right where Lil Rob got hurt, Waaaahhhhhhh, she started bawling.
Shannon, don’t you dare start acting crazy, not today, and not after all the bullshit I’ve already been through, and not just with you.
I have a migraine from that idiot DJ (Sic-Pup), Smokies nephew, who keeps blasting that horrible music, after I already complained to him to turn down ten times.
Now, you get your big, dumb, double-wide trailer up off the floor, before that horrible Smoky the Clown, comes back in here and see’s you acting like a fool.
No, no, you’re right, I’m never there for you, I have irresponsibility.
Yes, you are irresponsible, Jill corrected, but I was still wrong. I had to think about it, and when I did it was stupid of me to call you in the first place, when the mall was 40 minutes away, and the cab company only 10, so waiting for you would have only taken longer, I got him to the hospital faster with by calling a cab.
Will you help me be a more responsible friend Jill, so I don’t disappoint you again, Shannon asked, the worlds sexist child woman?
Yes, if you help me control my temper. I didn’t have any excuse to hit you, I should have tried to explain everything first to you first, but like always, when I saw you in that new dress, I wasn’t just mad, but jealous, and I used that as a excuse to fly off the handle like I always do, so it was my fault too, I’m sorry baby, Jill said, hugging her tightly.”
And the following weekend, they went to the mall together, and Jill bought Shannon a new dress, that she looked even better in. Even the female sales person starred.
Both women were crying and working each other up and had ruined their make-up with tears trying to comfort each other until the heavy mascara ran down their cheeks and they looked like a couple of waterboarded racoons.
That’s when “Smoky” suddenly returned swinging the door open with a slam, as if on cue.
He was listening behind the door the whole time. And when he saw the two women embraced, hugging but crying miserably he said in a loud and almost comical voice,
“You two rabid cartoon looking bitches, get da fuck out my office, before I call animal controls.”
Both women immediately got up, and slunk past Smokey, Jill in front, with Shannon in tow, holding hands and slouching. As they hurried past Smoky, just stood there shaking his head. pretending to be disgusted.
Then he shut the door behind and got on the Intercom Phone and called the DJ booth, his nephew answered, “Sic Pup in the muther-fucking house.”
“You don’t turn that bullshit down you gonna get neutered, then you really gonna be hurting, “Sic-Pup, Smoky said disgustedly, then slammed the phone down before he could reply.
Then he lit up a fresh cigar. Time to celebrate.
Sometimes Smoky even impressed himself.
Shannon never forgot to charge her phone again after that, she even slept with it under her pillow. Jill still drove Shannon’s car and kept the keys in her purse. She could drive herself home or pick Shannon up if she needed to.
Derek looked at Jill, “You don’t want to go home yet do you baby.”
Jill shook her head laughing.
Shannon whispered in Jill’s ear, “We should be back in thirty minutes.”
Jill just waved her on, she knew better, but she was already drunk. Richard put his arm around Shannon as they walked out, usually Shannon hated men who started touching her, especially men she had just met, but she felt very comfortable with Richard as if she had known him much longer.
Chapter 5: No Sympathy for the Devil
Richard took Shannon back to his house and he turned on the light then he led her upstairs to his bedroom where he stashed an impressive assortment of drugs from the back of his closet shelf.
Shannon was impressed for a single guy he had his own house and it was clean. At least by guy-standards. He didn’t have any pets, and the carpets looked not only vacuumed but scrubbed.
Richard had delivered on the cocaine just as he promised, and they both did two lines. Then Richard put on the music, the originals were okay, but bland, nothing commercial. They didn’t have a song writer.
Eventually sensing her disappointment, he put on a song by the Rolling Stones, it was on a digital file and resampled from the Masters, Beast of Burden, played in the Background. His second favorite Stones Song.
He dimed the lights and put on a light in a red globe light that slowly revolved and made abstract patterns. There was a scented oil plug-in that went off periodically; it was supposed to smell like the ocean.
Shannon bobbed and swayed to the music, she was seductive without even trying to be, he played with her hair. Then she draped it over his face the length just touching his face, teasing him.
Do you like the Stones, he asked?
Yes, do you like my hair, she asked.
Yes, he smiled.
Shannon smiled back. Maybe she could help Richard write his songs, all he needed was a little inspiration, and then Shannon slowly took off her clothes.
The phone kept ringing all day, finally Richard relented and answered with “I don’t have any more drugs.”
And then he expected Shannon to hang up on him. Richard didn’t plan on seeing Shannon again, but he foolishly gave her his number when he knew better. All strippers were trouble.
I don’t have any more drugs.
I want you to come over.
Why, he asked?
So, you can try my Lasonya, Shannon answered.
There was no fucking way he was going to get up and go driving over to her house on a whim…. again. She obviously didn’t know who she was dealing with.
Can you give me, uh… Richard glanced at the clock behind him, three hours?
No, that’s too late, you be here by five, that’s when dinner is served.
Okay, he complained, I’ll be there, and then he hung up the phone, she was damned lucky he loved Lasonia.
Richard was not a big drinker, but he stopped to buy a bottle of wine at a nearby store. It wasn’t expensive but very appropriate for the occasion. And he also brought over a new video game system that he didn’t play with anymore, so he and her son had something to do.
That was a way that he and her son Cody could bond, while Shannon was busy making dinner. Unlike Jill’s son, Tommy, her son Cody kept asking why he didn’t have a daddy.
Cody needed a male presence, and Richard was most certainly that. But not the most mature, and when he was with Justin he acted more like Justin’s age, than his own. Richard was great with her son. And she tried to watch them if she thought she wouldn’t be noticed.
He knew about baseball, trading cards, video games, and even cartoon shows, based on Star Wars. They both like the secondary characters, like Boba-Fett, and Cad-Bane as opposed to the more popular like Darth Vader.
Whenever he was invited over, he always brought Justin a little gift, maybe a toy car, or action figure. And something for his mom as well, usually a box of chocolates that both he and Justin wound up eating instead. Sometimes even roses.
Shannon saw how badly Tommy needed a father figure, but when Richard asked if he could be his dad, Richard said (just loud enough for Shannon to hear), Yea, but let me ask your mom just so were cool, and then Richard winked at him.
Deal, Cody said.
Shannon had to go to the bathroom because she had started crying, and she didn’t want either one of them to know. Shannon let Richard sleep over after that. If her son accepted him than Shannon had to as well. Richard was not the type of guy to stick around for anybody, but Shannon would make sure that she and her son Cody were the exception.
Richard had never had a woman so good in bed, rarely could he even find a girl to keep up with him. But no matter how many times he could go, she was always ready, willing and able, to continue. She left him exhausted, until he was too tired to leave. She even let him sleep in when she had to get up and get her son ready for school, but he had to leave before Jill came over.
Sometimes she even scared him. She seemed possessed. But now that she had sucked him in, and now he had made the mistake of going back to the well one to many times, and now he was hooked. Shannon was as addicting as any drug.
But now he was in trouble, he was exhausted and out of options. He was late on the payment he promised, because the money he counted on had not come thru like he planned.
Richard was out of money, and he had exhausted all his sources. Now it was almost 3:00 A.M in the morning, and Richard was alone and, in a makeshift shine for lack of a better word, that he made himself under the basements steps.
It was pitch black and Richard was using the Ouija Board for guidance in the darkness.
Normally to prevent being possessed, the Ouija board was supposed to be used by at least two people, but Richard was no novice and he but frequently summoned the spirits by himself, usually during the witching hour, for guidance.
Ricard took out the red board and with the triangle piece of wood, that almost looked like a heart, but had a glass circle near the pointer’s end, and he asked his first question.
“Are they coming, Richard asked concerned?”
Suddenly the triangle planchette started moving first to the letter “N” and then the letter “O,” and then it stopped as if it was an electric device whose cord had suddenly been pulled from the socket.
“Should I stay or leave Richard asked?”
The Planchette moved to the Moon. The Moon was on the left-hand corner of the board, it was a circle and painted black. It represented the full moon, and not the sun, which was a common misconception.
The moon was largely agreed to represented illumination of the hidden, mysterious and esoteric, but was not a yes or no.
“Clarify, Richard asked for enhancement?”
Now the planchette moved to the opposite end of the board with a jerk. This held the Crescent moon which was thought to mean rebirth, regeneration, and death.
He asked the board a different way.
“Am I in danger, Richard asked?”
The planchette stayed at its spot resting on the Crescent moon.
“Should I leave NOW, Richard asked?”
The triangle wouldn’t move again.
Richard didn’t know what to expect, for all he knew the board would have told him to kill himself, with one answer, but not to the next.
The band wanted to go on tour, it was roughly about twelve states on the East Coast, but they would be gone for almost two months.
Richard did not want to go, and he wouldn’t have but he owed the wrong people money, and the last visit had gone not gone particularly well. He was late on the money he promised to pay back on.
The money he counted on to pay them back with had not come in. And now he was desperate. These people were ruthless. They would stop at nothing to get their money. That’s why he reconsidered the tour.
Richard did not want to go, but he owed the wrong people money, and the last visit had gone particularly bad. He thought that getting attached to Shannon, could endanger both her and her son.
That’s why he reconsidered the offer. He was going home to collect his things, and they would be gone in the morning and call her to explain everything once he was away. He had gotten home late and quietly entered the house, so he could pack.
But two drug-dealers were already waiting for him because they paid off some junkie who had a tip that he would be home that night, so they had broken into his house earlier.
It was a three-man job as the driver pulled in the drive-way in a commercially painted van of a non-existent landscaping company, complete with an 800 number that went to and automated voice mail.
The two thugs went into his house thru the garage, and they desperately tried to stay undetected by the neighbors. The driver knocked on the door, checked his clipboard, rang the doorbell, then walked back to the van and left.
There would be another van, painted with a different fictious company, and a different driver returned to pick them up. All three of them.
Then when he tried to reach for the light in the bedroom, the two thugs rushed him and started beating him immediately until he fell to the ground.
Richard started yelling until one of them put a gun in his mouth.
Shat that bloody hole ya junkie bastard, one of them threatened in the dark as he choked on the barrel.
The second man patted him down, He’s clean he said after he finished.
What is this shit, who are you, Richard demanded?
The other man grabbed his wallet and checked thru his id’s until he found the driver’s license. Yea, it’s imm, okay.
Were here for the money Richard, compliments of the boss, the burly man named with a gruff voice said.
Is that all, well I have the money, so none of this is necessary, he said still choking. He had some of the money $600 dollars mostly in singles but nowhere nears the $10, 000 he owed.
Glad to hear it, the burly man said.
You going to let me up, so I can get it, Richard asked?
You can hand it to me from there, Redd answered, with his foot still on his chest?
I can’t it’s in the closet, Richard pointed.
What you mean in there, the other man said?
Yea, that would be the closet, Richard said plainly.
I don’t like that idea, Redd spoke, why don’t you go in instead Donny.
Why me, Donny asked?
Because your smaller; you stupid cunt.
Donny shook his head, I’m not poking me head in there, I don’t know where he hid the money anyways.
Well I’m not letting him go in there by himself, the other man barked.
There ain’t no room for the two of us anyways, not at the same time
Are you daft, he could have a gun hidden.
I thought you said you checked the closet, Redd?
I did check the closet, Redd was going to curse at him, but stopped himself, just go and get the lightbulb then.
Donny walked over to the end table but as he approached the three men heard a loud crunch, it sounded just like someone had stepped on a lightbulb in the dark.
What was that Redd turned around startled!!!
I guess that was the light-bulb Donny said.
Are you ribbing me, you left it on the floor, Redd asked.
I put it on the end table, I guess it must have rolled off, Donny said scratching his head with the barrel of his gun.
And you didn’t see the lightbulb before you stepped on it, the gruff voice asked.
Well I can’t very well see a lightbulb when it’s on the floor now can I, Donny scoffed.
This is exactly why I told the boss I didn’t want to work with you.
I don’t know why you’re always blaming every time something goes arye Redd, hurt me feeling you do, the way you always go spouting off.
Because you’re the cause not aren’t you, ya, brainless sod.
And that’s just what I’m talking about, you know it’s like that Dr Phillips says, Blame is like a Perpetual Boomerang.
And who the fuck is this Dr. Phillips then, Redd asked in the dark?
You don’t know who Dr. Phillips is, Richard asked joining in on the hilarity, still on the floor?
You shut up, Redd cocked his gun aiming it at him again.
He’s a celebrity head-shrinker, who has his own show on the telly is all, Donny finished.
Redd was ready to shoot them both.
You got your lighter Donny
I’m not sure he said, looking for it.
What wouldn’t have you have it, you have it every other time, Redd asked?
Because I’m trying to quit smoking don’t you remember.
Fine time to quit now, you brown lunged bastard.
Donny flicked the lighter in the dark. Then the flame danced thru the air as Donny made his way back to stand next to Redd. They both turned their attention to Richard, okay up you go then, and in that letter-hole, but no sudden moves, take it real slow, you got it?
Yea, I go it Richard said, and then Redd offered him his hand to help him up.
We don’t want to hurt you Richie, we just want the money is all, so no games huh???
Richard nodded, and then he slowly reached up to the second shelf and grabbed a large blue cylinder with a white lid. And he very slowly backed up and handed it to the burly man named Redd who seemed to be the “brains.”
What this then, Redd looked surprised, staring at the face on the coffee can, “Trying to spoil me sleep then, he joked?”
The money’s inside Richard said unamused,
Right, he slowly handed the can back to Richard, “Then you show me, and real slow, Redd commanded pointing his gun again. I don’t want there to be any accidents.”
Richard opened it slow and, and peeled back the lid in the darkness, they could see that it was filled with paper. Then the light went out.
Hold that damn thing stead, Redd said to Donny grabbing and can and pilfering thru it. He studied several of the bill quickly. These are all singles Richie, what is this a gag? No way can this be the correct tally?
Good aroma thou, Donny said trying to be encouragingly. Donny was stupid, but he was loyal. Both men had accents but not the same kind.
Right, but you had better go back up in that shelf and find us some more coffee Richie, if you know what I mean.
No problems Richard said calmly.
Richard reached in and grabbed the second coffee container, but this one was smaller. He tried to slowly hand it to Redd again, but the large, thick man waved it away like the first.
Richard opened the lip and showed them the inside, it was filled with wads of singles too, but this smaller container wasn’t even half filled.
It that it Redd asked.
I’m trying to give you everything I have.
Hey, this one has some fives, tens and even twenties, Donny said.
“Well he can count it in front of the boss then, Redd suggested.”
Richard had met a lot of freaks in his life. But this “boss,” was one of the worst. He always dressed in dark colors, but they were the wrong dark colors, not black but like a nasty shit brown, with a piss yellow shirt. It was horrible.
And these tinted sunglasses that you couldn’t see thru, they were circular by design, but too small for his face which made his appearance even more bizarre. Richard doubted that they were prescription, but he always had them on, so he never saw his eyes.
The boss spoke with a thick undefinable accent that rarely showed inflection or emotion. Ricard could barely understand him.
The boss was much scarier than either one of these two assholes even with their guns pointed at him. He knew if he went to see him without all the money he owed, he would never leave alive.
Normally Richard would have been scared shitless, but he had done a handful of Ativan, which were downers, with a pint of Jack Daniels and now he felt numb.
That is, he really couldn’t experience the full extent of his fear even with the adrenaline rush that flooded his system. But he could feel his heart pounding in his chest, just the same so he knew it was there.
Maybe it could just make it out of the house, he could make a fresh start someplace else, hole-up in a cabin his parents owned up north.
Few people knew his parents had a moderately sized cabin in the Upper Peninsula, he had hidden up there for an entire winter before.
Let me double check Ricard said, I sure I have something else, both men looked dubious, but Redd finally replied, “Well go on then, get on with it.”
Richard still had his father’s shotgun he had sawed off most of the barrel and placed it in the golf bag with the other clubs, so it wouldn’t stick out. In the dark it was well hidden, the handle never rose above the top of the bag, so Redd never found it or even thought of looking there.
Richard wasn’t worried about dying, he had performed two rituals earlier, and with the drugs he was on, he felt invincible. He pulled the shotgun out of the bag and shot at the two men from behind the closet walls.
He didn’t expect to hit anything, just cause enough of a diversion so that he might get a clean shot through the doorway.
Unfortunately, he missed with his shot even thou it went thru the wall and before he could aim it from the entrance, both targets had already returned fire shooting into the closet. Several bullets hit Richard in the chest, but they missed his heart.
So, for several minutes he was still alive. He could smell the burned scent of gun powder, and everything suddenly stopped at its “normal” speed and continued thereafter in slow motion.
The two men had guns with silencers, and even those where loud, like hitting a wooden table with a hammer, but those sounds were nothing compared to shotgun which sounded like a canon from within the closet.
Both men were sure the neighbors had heard the shot and were already calling the police even now as they panicked. Richard the skinny junkie, gone assassin. Unbelievable.
He had a gun in that closet Donny whispered, terrified, I thought you checked???
I did check Redd whispered back angrily.
We must get out of here, Donny said fearfully.
Call the boss, Redd spoke.
Why me, Donny complained, he hated talking to the boss, he did not want to be the one to deliver the bad news.
Because I’m the one who called him the last time. Tell him we need emergency evac straight away. There was a towing company nearby, it served as a front for several criminal enterprises. The two men were told to call the shop (a 24-hour number) in case of an emergency. Now there was one.
Donny searched for the disposable cell phone on him. But this phone did not have a display with a back-lit display, so he had to use his lighter see the number to dial.
You must help me find my lighter, I dropped it in the dark.
Just go and find another room and turn on the light then.
But you said…
I know what you said, you stupid cunt now stop wasting time.
Originally the plan had been to take Richard back alive with the towing truck used to haul away Richards car away as well, where they were going to make him sign in over the car, to cover whatever deficit he owned between that and the money he had on him.
The towing company would have it to an undisclosed third location where the boss would be waiting. They wanted to make the operation look legit. Just in case there were any suspicious neighbors.
Do I tell the boss he’s dead, Donny asked, still alive?
Ricard was choking on his own blood. Red even shot him twice more in the head, the first shot illuminated by the last. He hated to see him suffer, he liked Richie, Richie was a good kid. Good looking too. Pity.
Dead, Redd confirmed.
While Donny nervously walked away to make the call he stepped on a bump, and knelt to see what it was, that’s when he found his lighter, then he carefully lit it in the darkness and carefully dialed the number. When the boss didn’t answer on the second ring Donny got nervous and continued to pace out the room and into the hall.
Redd heard something in the darkness, it was a stirring, at first, he thought that Richard might still be alive, but then he heard something else. It sounded like the crunching of bones.
Then he saw a light go on in the distance, the neighbors were up. Blood Hell. He drew back the curtains just enough to let in some more light. There were no stars in the sky. Just the moon but It was huge.
He inspected the closet. Richard was gone, he had disappeared and for a second Redd thought that he might still be alive, and he almost started shooting again from the shock.
No, that was impossible, there was no blood on the wall either, it was gone. Not on the carpet, not on the walls, nothing. And then he saw something in a the dark, an oil slick on a midnight ocean.
Something shinny in the gloom, What the fuck, he tried to make it out, and then the aberration attacked him, it pounced an instant he was covered. It was as if someone had thrown a blanket around him.
A wet blanket because it felt heavy, and Redd a thick man who although almost near fifty, was in great shape for his age, and still like to fight bare knuckled, even at 275lbs of mostly muscle he couldn’t move this thing, what it was, let alone, get it off him.
He could not breathe, he could not even hear even hear himself scream, but he could feel himself burning, it’s like suddenly like he was on fire, but there were no flames, a liquid fire.
Instinctively he shot off his gun, but none of the hollow point bullets penetrated the membrane. The bullets could not be absorbed, nor could the gun. But his leather belt could, minus the buckle, and so could the rest of his clothes, and his boots as well.
Everything was being absorbed, quickly and silently in the darkness, and then Redd was gone.
“What, the boss suddenly answered, impatiently.”
“Uh boss, it’s me D-D-Don, he never used his full name even on a disposable cellphone.”
“And… the boss asked sternly?”
“W-we had a spot of trouble, he managed to force the words out of his mouth in a stutter.”
Then there was a slight pause.
“How bad, the boss asked, it sounded like House-vadd.”
Donny could hear ice cubes clinking in the background.
Donny held his breath and then released it as he answered, very bad, he said.
And ze Mark (Target)???
Not available, Donny said somewhat cryptically.
Yes, but were not up to par, he said trying to keep his voice steady as he continued to force the words out.
Veer’s Redd, he asked?
He’s sorting it all out but wanted me to send for back-up straight-away, Donny wanted to tell the boss that shots had been fired, and that the neighbors had likely already called the police, but he lost his nerve.
Put himz on, the cold iron voice commanded.
Yes sir, right now, and then he paused for just a second to make sure that the boss didn’t ask him to do anything else before he made his way back to Redd.
Donny was sure to keep his voice low but spoke near the receiver, so the boss could hear him following his orders, “Redd, you’re wanted on the line….”
There was something standing near the closet, it looked like a man but something about the form was off, Thomas squinted his eyes, as he got closer. “Hey Red, are you okay, the boss wants to speak with you…
Then he saw the standing figure, drop into a kneeling position, Redd, Thomas asked licked his lips, and then he saw it, right before it pounced.
It knocked him down, and the phone bounced away. Before Donny could even make a sound. It instantly surrounded him like it did the two others, and it prevented any movement or sound.
When Donny was a child in Heidelberg, he had fallen into a vat of Molasses at a factor he worked during the summers and was stuck up to his waist until the next morning.
That what he felt like now. He couldn’t see the molasses, in the dark but whatever had a hold of him felt like the molasses and suddenly it was starting to get hot.
The disposable phone had fallen face up. The line was silent but had not gone dead. These disposable phones were meant to be used one time and that was it. It didn’t even have a display only cheap plastic buttons to dial. no texting and no internet.
It was like the old disposable camera that you took pictures with, you used it one time, gave it to a photo shack to process the pictures, when that type of thing was done maybe forty years ago, and then they threw out the carton.
Hey-lo, Hey-lo, the boss said over and over, he did not like waiting, he had already finished his first drink. “Are you there, the angry voice on the other side kept asking, and then the phone went dead.
He looked at before breaking it to pieces by squeezing it with one hand. He hated being hung up on, if those two fuck-ups thought they had seen him angry before, they had no idea what was waiting for them when they got back.