A young man’s head and shoulders rise from behind a neighbouring cupboard. I move around a bright candelabrum to see he is kneeling on a mattress. He’s scrawny, mid-twenties, with too much hair and a scruffy beard. And he’s as naked as the brazen, open-legged young woman lying beside him. She tugs at his arm as a reminder of unfinished business, miffed at the interruption.
“Looks like I’m interrupting. Arrr... you wanna cover that thing up.”
Embarrassed, I look around aimlessly to give him a second of privacy. Am I the only person not flaunting their genitalia? Oh yes, it would appear so. People are entwined on a number of beds about the place. My newest acquaintance looks down at his erection without trying to hide it.
“Nothing I can do about it, man. They must have Viagra in the air or something. How come you’ve got clothes on?”
“Perhaps running around in the raw with a bunch of Creeps trying to kill me is a bad idea. How’d you managed to snap out of it, anyway?”
“What? You mean this brain wiping thing they’ve all got going on? Only affects me if I let it in. Why do you call them Creeps?”
“Yeah.... Well I don’t really; a friend of mine…”
“We call ‘em Lurchers where I come from.”
“So how do you resist them? Have you got a shield?”
“What shield? Y’aren’t making much sense. That’s probably cos of the voices in your head. Wants you to be calm and horny all the time. You can give it the slip if you concentrate. Just let it back in when the Lurchers are around.”
Fantastic. Now he’s giving me advice.
“Any others like us?”
“Most are dopier than you. But I’ve only been here a couple of hours.”
I let his unintentional insult pass.
“Didn’t take you long to make yourself at home.”
He frowns at my judgemental observation.
“It’s a bit hard to hold out when they hold you down and sit on ya. That lady next door; the one you were making scream; she was my first. Hey! Psst! Look out! A Lurch is behind you. Quick, get your clothes off and get on a bed.”
His voice has dropped to a loud whisper. I jerk around in alarm to find Cricket’s face staring directly over my shoulder. His fingers clamp onto my elbow. It’s a bad habit I should break him of.
“Ah, don’t worry; I managed to tame this one. Yes, that’s right, he does whatever I say and when they attacked me I grew some sort of shield... hey, you don't have to do that for his benefit.”
Deaf to my unbelievable and prideful explanation, the boy has jumped between the girl’s legs and is pumping away madly. Her satisfied cries show the level of realism he is putting into the act.
I sigh roundly and consider the unfortunate tableaux Cricket and I represent. ‘Man introducing boyfriend at swinger’s party’ comes to mind. The image makes me shudder and snicker simultaneously.
“Can you stop fucking her for a minute? I need a place to lie low and have a think for a bit.”
“Not here! Take your Creepy thing to another bed. There’s some up front against the windows if you want to look outside. You’re putting me off, standing there.”
Never would have guessed, he hardly missed a stroke. As we remove ourselves I snort a laugh at his unnecessary apologies to the highly receptive woman.