“Make a noise an’ I’ll carve ya.”
The voice is whiny but quite unlike Kristine’s. Is it a Creep? Have they learned to talk?
I twist around to glimpse the particular brand of bad luck holding me. It’s a small man with pointy jaw, stringy muscles and rancid body odour.
He glares angrily into my face.
No sign of Parasite-occupation. A bonus regrettably negated by unfriendly attitude. Manic strength fills his scrawny body; I can’t move, and not for want of trying. He kneels on one arm and twists the jacket’s collar in a tight chokehold. I hope Kristine will come out soon and shoot him in the eye.
To prove his strength I’m raised skyward. Bruised lungs suck new breath in a rush. The pavement slams into me again. He adds momentum to ground me properly.
“Where’s your slut gone then, fatso?”
He’s not very consistant. Tells me I can’t speak, and then asks me questions.
“Oiw dunno. Disneyland?”
It’s hard to talk when somebody bounces a knee on your neck.
“When she comes out, ya gonna be real quiet.”
No way, Buddy, I’ll be yelling my head off.
A wickedly sharp knife tip presses against a lower eyelid. It’s my favourite eye too.
Maybe I’ll be quiet then.
The holder of the knife continues to chat.
“You got a nice little set-up aintcha? Me lucky day see’n’ya come out of the juvie lockup.”
“Mush have the wrong couple. We’re at the Hilton.”
This clever misdirection halts him for a second.
“Fucken smart cunt, huh? I followed ya here. I seen that buncha Gloomers afta ya. But I know’d yous’ed come back so I waited. See’n if ya got mates comin. Bin waitin a looong time. Is juss you an that cute bit of arse, aint it?”
Saliva stinking of sewerage spatters my face. The bony knee slams into a thigh muscle as punctuation, feeding a rising heat. Droning recriminations from Mr Paranoia fill the ‘I told you so’ quota for the next year.
“Oww. Leggo you prick. What do you want?”
“I want in. I can get in an yous’r’all safe, an fed, an thass not right. I gotta ged’din there, way from them Gloomers.”
Not sure if he’s talking to me or raving to himself. I improvise.
“Owkway. Thas nize. Dwop aroun some time.”
A large zip tie pulls tight around a wrist, pinching the skin sharply. The other is subjected to the same treatment. Alarm escalates to the roof of my head and hammers to get out. A police-simulated arm-hold tears shoulder ligaments, preventing an escape roll. Ties are connected together with another. Flaming nerves excruciate. An involuntary cry is punished by punches. Stars explode.
I spit dirt. The collar saws at raw neck flesh in his tugging grip. I’m relocated around the truck’s side with hard wrenches. I extend stomach flab to create friction and choke wretchedly. Serrated steel drags painfully down a cheek. Blood beads in parallel lines. Craning away from the blade only makes him press harder. My neck turns to its furthermost extent.
Kristine forgets her cue to end this play with copper-jacketed projectiles.
Loony Tunes mutters to himself, jerking pistols and knives from my belt and patting me down. The keys are crushed beneath me for now but he’d find them soon.
“If ya don wanna tell me howta get in ya lockup, then I’m gonna hafta git it outa ya bitch. U’kin watch. Hahahaha.”
Kristine’s boots thump out of a shop, frills and lace clutched to her chest. He stabs my defenceless buttock, ready for my warning shout with a rag of dubious cleanliness to push into my mouth. The yell ends in a muffled howl of pain. Kristine stops, hesitating at the animal sounds around the truck’s far side.
“Sam? Are you OK? If you’re taking a leak I’ll just leave these here.”
I’m leaking. Blood mainly.
She waits and wonders why I don’t answer. Slow footsteps approach to peek around the canopy. My antagonist tenses then launches at her slender neck. They hit the ground with screams and growls. The strangler is cushioned by Kristine’s body and a padding of loose clothes. With a throttling hold and thighs burdened by his weight, she’s immobilised. Layers of ladies-wear are scattered by busy hands.
Kristine regains her senses and releases a full powered shriek. Admirable swinging fists connect a few telling blows.
She’s doing better than I had.
I swear and roll over, abrading a forehead inching a bleeding face up the rear wheel. I gain my knees in a prayerful pose and hear the hateful mutterer deliver nothing sweet.
“Well aintcha a fiery bit of snatch. I got somfink for ya. Ya aint the first its bin stuck in but it’ll be the last one yule ave, so might as well lay back an enjoy it.”
He’s perfectly happy now, in control. A wide, nasty grin proves poor oral hygiene leaves few teeth. The ones remaining I intend head-butting down his throat.
Kristine turns bright red from the ceaseless one-handed stranglehold. A hard punch in the head damps the attackers humour. Vicious backhands flay her lips. She covers her face with an arm and weakens, ineffectually pushing at his chest.
These zip ties are unbreakable. I strain with no concern for the blood flowing down numb hands. Murderous rage and red frustration builds. A bellow erupts from a hoarse throat.
The maniac is tearing at Kristine’s smock, bending to bite exposed breasts while squeezing a hand between kicking legs.
Furiously I stand, burning my forehead that slides fast up the canvas cover. No pain gets through the repulsion of watching Kristine’s rape. I steady myself, never minding my hands are cold and useless, lining up the head to be caved in.
Two steps into my run, the filthy runt notices me. He springs to poised feet, jerking a pistol, my pistol, from between Kristine’s thighs.
Probably his idea of foreplay.
I trip, a millisecond before he fingers the trigger. An uncaring pattern of bricks absorb my second body blow. This abused chest takes another flattening that hands tethered rearward apologetically can’t alleviate. Bruised ribs feel like panes of glass that shatter. I grind to a stop using ear and cheek to brake.
“Wait cha turn. I’ll git ta ya soona nuff.”
So this is how it ends. Raped and bullet ridden corpses in a suburban shopping mall. I hope he shoots me now before finishing with Kristine. Switching his attention to my offerings while I’m still alive would be Karma’s poorest joke.