Monday, February 2, 2009

Rendezvous: Chapter 4

Trevor Fritz was slumped in a deck chair on the front porch of the frat house, numb to the world.  He felt trapped, the two linebackers standing guard seeming to him more like prison wardens than lookouts.  The drink in his hand, born a Scotch on the rocks but now Scotch & water, did little to console him - mainly because he had done nothing but stare at it all morning.
When it became clear that power wasn’t going to be restored any time soon, Trevor had entertained hopes of ditching the rest of the team once the crisis died down and it was safe to travel.  But after Mark had tried to leave - Jesus.  He’d have to find some other opportunity.  For now, he was biding his time.  Security couldn’t stay this tight forever.
Brett Cocker stumbled out to the porch, a beer in each hand.  He chugged one and then crushed the can on his shaven black head.  Shouting in triumph as he popped the other can, he turned to Trevor.
“Gooooooooood morning!  How are we on this fine day?”
“Wicked hangover,” he lied.  “I see you’re up at the crack o’ lunch.”
“Shit, is it noon already?”  The runningback let out a hearty laugh.  “Whatever, man.  I have broken my fast on beer, and that makes it breakfast!”  He grinned and proudly hoisted the can over his head, like a trophy.
Trevor liked Brett.  He was probably the smartest dumb jock out there.  And right now, Trevor felt like the dumbest smart jock out there, which probably put them at about the same level.  They made some small talk, discussing the dwindling ice supply in the coolers downstairs, the dwindling water supply in the crates upstairs, the dwindling alcohol supply throughout the house, the dwindling everything.  Turns out, a house full of a football team doesn’t leave much room for food to feed said football team.
At some point, Tom’s truck came down the block and pulled up on the lawn.  The guards made way, and Frank jumped out before the vehicle had stopped, a look of triumph on his face.
“We come bearing booze and bitches!”  He raised both hands in the air as he shouted, then went to the back to help Shane and Bill with their captives.
“Well, I’ll be.”  Trevor leaned forward in his chair as the women came into view.  “That’s Dee fucking Morrigan.”
“Who,” asked Brett, “The Amazon or the redhead?”
“The one in front.  The redhead is Samantha Rose.”  Dee was kicking her legs up in the air, struggling against Shane’s full nelson.  “Hey, watch close, this ought to be good.”
Right as Dee had built up a steady rhythm of kicking, Shane’s periodic pressure on the back of her neck became predictable.  At just the right moment, she dropped all her weight as Shane pushed down in anticipation of another kick, then twisted and heaved the tailback over her shoulders like a sack of potatoes.  He recovered quickly, though, and soon he, Tom, and Frank made a dog-pile on top of her.  Dee managed to wriggle out, but one of the linebackers ran up and kicked her in the gut before she could get to her feet.  He leaned down and grabbed a fistful of her long black hair, then gave her an intimate look at his Bowie knife.  Dee was sucking wind; she stopped struggling.
“Damn.”  Brett took another swig from his beer.  As the group went past, he noticed that Bill’s nose was broken and bleeding, and Frank’s neck had a large bruise forming.
“Shit, you have no idea,” Trevor said when the group had passed.  “That girl, she’s fucking crazy.  When we were juniors, Frank challenged her to a boxing match, said it was to settle an old score.  Dee asked if it could be kickboxing, and he says sure.  So they get in the ring and Dee opens up with this wide haymaker.  Frank, cocky bastard, he blocks high with his left hand and brings in his right for a straight jab to her face.  But with his arms up like that, he couldn’t see that instead of stepping in, Dee was putting a thrust kick right up under his sternum.”
“Ooh, shit.  Yeah, she looks like she knows how to tango.”
“Yeah, no kidding.  So Frank, he literally flies into the ropes, and can’t get his balance back, so he just kind of flops forward like he’s gonna fall.  But Dee’s ready, and before he even hits the ground, she drops her weight and puts this vicious uppercut right up in his chin.  Knocked him out cold.  Motherfucker got TKO’d by a girl in five seconds, and he hadn’t even thrown a punch.”
“Son of a bitch.”  Brett had stopped drinking.  “The fuck did they bring into this house?”
“I got no idea,” said Trevor.  He raised the tumbler to his mouth and drained it in one big gulp.  “But things just got a hell of a lot more interesting around here.”  He smiled for the first time that day.
Dee was on her back, each hand cuffed to a bedpost.  As she caught her breath, a memory surfaced of a story she had read where a woman was in a similar situation - trying to remember how the character got out of it, Dee realized that she’d never actually finished the book.  Stretching her fingers forward, squeezing her thumb as far into her palm as she could, she tried to slide her hands out of the cuffs.  It was no good, she couldn’t get the right angle, stretched out as she was.  Taking deep breaths, she made a mental map of what she’d seen of the house on her way upstairs - the entranceway, the living room, a glance at the kitchen, the staircase, the hallway - Sam was downstairs, presumably in a different bedroom.  If they fucking touched her - Dee had to find a way to escape.  For a good ten minutes, she struggled with her restraints, but to no avail.
Taking a fresh look at her surroundings, Dee noticed a small gap between the bedpost and the knob at its head.  If it wasn't a solid piece of wood - she reached her right hand up and twisted.  It took some effort, but she finally got it rotating.  It was slow going - the bolt was probably screwed directly into the wood itself, with no guiding threads, and Dee could only get the proper leverage across fifteen degrees of arc or so.  After a few minutes of this, she could see the threads of the bolt itself.  Then she heard raucous laughter erupt from downstairs.  Frank’s voice roared in protest.
“Oh, but that wasn’t even the end of it!”  Shane was shouting above the crowd.  She heard excited tones of voice, but the words were indistinct, and there was periodic laughter throughout.  Finally, she heard someone stomping up the stairs, and taunting shouts following.  As the stomping came closer to the door, she heard someone shout,
“Ooh, big man, Frank!  You need a knife to handle the girl when she’s tied down?”
“Shut’cher fuckin’ mouth!”  Frank threw the door open.  He had a kitchen knife in one hand, a half-empty bottle of liquor in the other.
“Give ‘er Hell, big guy!”  Frank grunted and slammed the door.  Dee’s mind was sifting through possibilities.  There was commotion outside, she didn’t know how many people, or how drunk, and she was certainly in a compromising position.  Whatever she did, she had to keep it quiet.  Frank took a swig from his bottle and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Look at you,” he slurred.  “All tied up an’ shit.  Ever since high school, I been waitin’ for a chance to get back at you.  Never thought it’d be like this, though.”
“Shut up, Frank.  You’re drunk.”  Her tension was audible.
“No, YOU shut up, bitch!  Look at you.  You ain’t goin’ nowhere.  I got you where I want you, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll do as you’re told, or you’ll get that pretty little throat of yours cut right the fuck out.”
“Dammit,” Dee said, more to herself than anything.  Her mind was made up.  It was showtime.
“I SAID, shut UP, bitch!”  Frank brandished his knife menacingly, but kept his distance.
“Frank, listen -“
“Shut your mouth, or I swear I’ll stab you!”
“No, Frank, you’re right.  I won’t fight you.  Can you just listen to me for a minute?  Please?”
“Well, since you asked nicely,” another swig, “I s’pose.”
“Look, you’re right.  You got me.  But you don’t have to be an asshole about it, OK?  I mean,” Dee hoped beyond all reason that this bluff was going to come through for her, “Us girls talk, you know, and I’ve, well - I’ve heard some things, so maybe - maybe this doesn’t have to be all bad, right?”  Frank looked suspicious.  “So why don’t you just put the knife down, and we’ll see if we can’t both have a good time, huh?”
Frank regarded her with caution.  Dee flashed the warmest smile she could manage, her heart threatening to jump right out of her chest.  For a long moment, he seemed unsure of what to do.  Finally, he lowered the knife and rolled his shoulders.
“Good to see you came to your senses.  Let’s do this.”  He took one last swig of rum, then set the bottle on the dresser next to the door.  Dee didn’t flinch as he pulled off her running shoes, then her jeans, then her panties, and finally cut away her shirt and bra.  Frank put the knife next to the bottle on the dresser, then undressed and mounted her.  He was clumsy, and Dee suspected that the alcohol was only partially to blame.  Breathing heavily, mainly to calm herself, but also to hide her intent from Frank, she wrapped her legs around his waist and started moving her hips along with him.  As Frank closed his eyes and started working into a rhythm, Dee shifted her attention back to the knob at the top of the bedpost.  For what seemed like an eternity, she worked it around until it came free.  Setting it carefully on the nightstand right next to the bed, she pulled her handcuff over the edge of the post and slowly pushed the ratchet all the way through the cheek plates.  Dee then closed her hand around the hinge, the ratchet curving like a claw from the bottom of her fist.  After taking a moment to observe Frank's rhythm, she punched with all her might across his throat, ripping his trachea.
Frank's eyes shot open, and he tried to back away, but Dee's legs held their grip.  She grabbed his hair at the back of his head and pulled him in close, hissing in his ear between exaggerated moans.
"Look at you, bleeding like a stuck pig.  OH, GOD!  Nobody can hear you squeal, little piggy.  OH, YES!  And once you bleed out, I'm gonna go outside - OH, FRANK! - and then I'm gonna kill all your pig friends.  YES!  FUCK ME!  You stupid, gullible, pig."
Frank coughed and sputtered, but his vocal cords were torn and he couldn't make any noise except for a fading wheeze and bubble as he suffocated on his own blood.  Dee kept up her impassioned intonations, to the amusement of those outside.  When Frank stopped moving, she checked his pulse.  Nothing.
Dee rolled over, still holding Frank, not wanting to alert the spectators with a telltale thud.  She then unscrewed the other knob - this one went much faster, now that she had a better position.  Putting on her pants and shoes as quickly and quietly as she could, she heard a faint shift from the taunts outside.  Her shirt was ruined, useless.  Oh, well.  Maybe the distraction could be used to her advantage.
Silence.
"Frank?"
"Hey, man, you OK?"
"Frank?"
Dee searched Frank's pockets for the handcuff keys.  He didn't have them.  She grabbed the kitchen knife and stood with her back against the wall, an arm's length away from the door on the other side from the dresser.  Some commotion ensued outside, then the door opened a crack.  Shane's eyes opened wide at the sight of Dee, covered in blood from her chin to her waist, and the door fell away from his hand.  Not missing a beat, Dee pivoted on her forward foot and jammed the knife up under Shane's chin, plunging it in to the handle.  She felt the tip of the blade scrape against bone, then yanked it out and kicked the corpse into the two men behind it.  Dee then slammed the door shut and grabbed the wooden chair from in front of Frank's computer.
"Fucking bitch!  Guys, get the fuck up here!"  The door was flung wide open as Bill Johnson stepped through.  He got a facefull of chair, knocking him back into the wall as the seat broke off from the back.  He was dead before he hit the ground, fragments of his already fractured facial bones buried in brain tissue.  Dee slammed the door shut again, and readied herself a few feet from the dresser.
There was a few moments' pause, as the jocks were unsure how to proceed.  Open the door a little, get stabbed; open the door a lot, get your face rocked.  How the fuck were they supposed to get in?  Finally, someone kicked the door in.  But it rebounded off the dresser, barely hanging from the hinges.  As soon as Dee saw a shape appear in the gap, she took a running start and did a double-footed jump kick into the door, to the sound of shuddering wood and splintering bone.  The body fell to the floor, gasping for air, unable to scream.  Dee grabbed the seat of the wooden chair and readied herself for another attack.
"She's fucking killing us!"  Running footsteps thumped down the hall.  Dee stepped through the doorway in time to see Brett Cocker reach the top of the staircase, baseball bat in hand.  As he stepped towards her, she lobbed the chair fragment up into the air, giving it as much arc as she could without hitting the ceiling.  Before she even released it, she had started running.  Brett tried to knock the obstruction out of the way, but it had already served its purpose of blocking his vision.  Dee leaped feet first into his knee, the chair hitting the ground behind her, and she did a baseball slide past him to the other side of the staircase.  Brett fell to the ground howling in pain, his knee destroyed.  As another figure came up the stairs, Dee stepped into view when his jaw was just at drop-kick height and sent him flying back down with a broken neck.
A red mist was creeping in from the edges of Dee's vision.  Without thinking, she stalked to the bathroom to kill the runner, who was crying in the bathtub at the sight of the carnage.  He was flailing about, trying to back through the wall to get away from the vision of death that approached.  Jaw set, eyes cold, Dee flung a towel over him and just started stabbing.
When Trevor heard the first scream, he watched with amusement as the team scrambled to find weapons.  He finished off his second Scotch on the rocks, then casually stood up and headed to his room in the basement.  He grabbed his messenger bag in the dark, and with swift, sure motions, he opened his sock drawer and stowed the rifle rounds and shotgun shells he kept in the back.  Then he turned to his closet and retrieved the sawed-off double-barreled shotgun and hunting rifle he kept on the top shelf, behind boxes of sparring gear and karate trophies.  He slung the rifle across his back, and loaded the shotgun with the two shells he kept up there in case of burglary - or, in this case, an opportunity to get the fuck out of town.
Back upstairs, it was pandemonium.  Trevor grabbed a few bottles of water and stowed them in his bag with the ammo, then moved smoothly through the chaos to Tom's room, where Sam was being held.  The poor girl was wide-eyed with fright when she saw his shotgun at the ready.  He shut the door, confident that the carnage had not subsided, and went to her bedside.
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna hurt you," he said with unnatural calm.  "I'm going to make sure we both get out of here alive.  Do you know who has the keys to these cuffs?"  Sam shook her head, tears welling up in her eyes.  Trevor looked around the room.  Tom's bed had a metal frame, he would need the keys or a screwdriver to get her free - and a screwdriver would take too long.  Trevor went to the door and peeked out at the living room.  Blood was everywhere.  Men were rolling on the floor, clutching shattered limbs or just trying to crawl away.  He saw Dee pounce on one such victim, lift his head by the hair, and slit his throat.  Another appeared from the bathroom with a barman's shanker.  Dee stood up and stared; he charged, and she disarmed him with one swift motion.  He backed away, then ran around the corner into the kitchen.  Dee walked after him, rolling her neck on her shoulders.
As soon as she disappeared, Tom came quietly to the door and opened it.  Trevor stepped back as he entered, and cocked an eyebrow as Tom readied a 9mm pistol.  This wasn't in the plan.
"Bitch is fuckin' crazy," Tom muttered, staring out the door.
"Yeah," Trevor said, "So what's the plan?"
"Well, I'm gonna wait for her to leave, then shoot her in the back of the head."
"I think she might come for her friend here."  Tom looked at Sam and panicked.
"Shit, you're probably right."  Tom was fidgeting.  Trevor gave him something to focus on.
"I just saw her go into the kitchen.  Keep your eye on it, when she comes out, slam the door.  As soon as she comes in, I'll hit her with my shotgun."
"Yeah, sounds good."  Tom nodded anxiously and then stuck his head back through the doorway to get a good look at the kitchen.  Trevor kicked the door shut on Tom's neck, bursting blood vessels and crushing vertebrae.  Sam screamed.
"Dumbfuck."  Trevor spat on the corpse at his feet, then hauled it into the room and shut the door.  Checking Tom's pockets, he found a set of handcuff keys.  Smiling as if he hadn't a care in the world, he turned to Sam and unlocked her cuffs.
"Why - why did you kill him?"
"Well, to be honest - I don't know if my shotgun would kill that woman."
When Dee heard Sam's scream, she froze.  She was alert, her senses keen, the haze gone from her eyes.  Looking down at her hands, she saw that she had pried a man's jaw apart.  Suppressing the urge to vomit, she rose from her knees to a crouch and moved quietly to the living room.  Seeing nothing alive, she called out to Sam.
"I'm in here!"
"Are you OK?"
"Yes, I'm fine!"
"Can you come out?"
"Yes, but - look, hold on a sec, OK?"  Dee readied her knife and took a look around, sensing a trap.  After a few seconds, Sam came out the door with handcuff keys.  She nearly dropped them at the sight of her lover.  Topless, blood-soaked, hard-eyed, Sam was having trouble matching the woman before her with the woman she loved.  "Oh, God.  Oh, fuck.  Dee, what happened?"
"I - I had - oh, God, Rosie, I thought they were gonna - how did you -?"  Dee's eyes flooded as she dropped her knife and fell to her knees, looking at the mutilated bodies all around.  She clutched her head in her hands and started heaving with sobs.  Sam crouched to hold her, trying to comfort her in some way.
"I believe I'll be going now."  Dee started at the man's voice, grabbed her knife and rolled out of Sam's embrace to get between her and the newcomer.
"Who the fuck're you?"  Dee brandished her knife at the bespectacled, goateed figure before her.
"Trevor."
"Give me one reason I shouldn't kill you where you stand."
"Um, I killed the guy with the nine who was gonna shoot you?"
"It's true," Sam added.  "Dee, let him go.  Please."  Dee lowered the knife and leaned back to sit on the floor.
"I'm just gonna go outside, get on my Harley, and leave town.  Good luck out there."  He stepped carefully over the corpses and went outside.  Moments later, a motorcycle started up, and soon faded into the distance.
Dee kept crying for a long time.

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