Dinner and a Show
a tale of hub city
Hyde seethes, rage feeds his power. He lopes though the forests forty miles south of Hub City. Hyde runs as fast as a small car pushing off trees, slashing their bark with his claws and nails, half swinging, half running minutes after twilight. His clothing hangs in rags, savage tears in his flesh from the branches and undergrowth healing as he causes new ones, surging after his prey.
A large buck runs, its eyes wide, unable to predict the movement of its hunter. First on the ground, then in the air, suddenly close, seemingly far away, its scent is not like the wolf, though the smell of hair is all over the creature, it not the smell of man, not at first. It smells more like a car, metallic, strong, harsh. Maybe toward the river. The buck turns sharply hoping to use the river as a barrier.
Hyde, stops and squats on a limb crouched down watching his prey take a lead. His clawed toes cutting into the hard wood of the tree. His hands have long triangular nails with a dull grey coating, curved like a hawk, for gripping and tearing. Licking his lips with a long grey tongue, he prepares to leap when he hears a woman scream nearby. His head snaps to the right and his ears strain to hear the sounds around him.
“Come on, baby, we didn’t bring you out here for just a peck on the cheek.” The voice was rough, drunken but the words were carried on the wind. His stink soon followed. Cheap whiskey. No bathing habits. Dirty clothing, oil, mechanic.
“Yeah, we aren’t getting any younger. You said you wanted privacy and now you got privacy.” This one is no better, not a mechanic though, stinks of repression, rage, uncontrolled lust. A man after my own heart. But a cowardly sort, willing to hurt a defenseless person because he can.
“You’re hurting me. I agreed to come out here cause a girl’s gotta work. You have to take turns. Freaky stuff costs extra.” She is expecting someone, she keeps turning her head, looking around for help that does not seem to be coming. Oh yes. I remember. He was probably her pimp.
No, he won’t be coming to save the day. He’s already dead. An ill-mannered sort. Found him on the road earlier, smelled of dozens of women, blood, rage. He was coming out here to bury a woman’s body he had in the trunk. Could smell it as I passed overhead. Came out here to hunt dear and found pimp instead.
He sat in his car, off to the side of the road, waiting. I could smell his expectation. Teased him out of his car with a rock or two. Had a bit of fun. Chased him. He ran fast for a guy in a fur coat. Screamed a lot, died messy. She brought them here to rob them with her pimp’s help. Like she said, a girl has to make a living. Not my business.
“Well, we decided we like our money and we aren’t going to be giving you any of it after all.” Raging Ugly leers and smiles, flicking a look over at Dirty Mechanic. “I think I’ll go first.”
I can’t leave. I have to know how this turns out. She’s not done. I can feel her. She’s tough. She is reaching behind her back. I hear the click of a sheath strap. Can smell the leather. Knife. Ballsy. Raging Ugly surges forward and grabs her closest arm. He pulls her to him and as he grabs her other arm she her arms snaps under his guard and lands smoothly in his rib cage, nicking his heart. I can hear his groan, I can smell the blood, so good, so sweet, flowing everywhere.
Reflexively he slaps her. Hard. Solid thunk of her head on the ground. Probably a rock. Nasty crunch, can’t be good. Nice try girlie. We would’ve had fun.
Look at him standing there. Looking down at the knife handle… “What the fuck?” He reflexively pulls on the handle. Mistake. He is in shock. Bright hot blood shoots out of his injury and he falls to the ground face down. He will be dead in less than a minute.
Dirty Mechanic is still absorbing what happened. He didn’t quite see everything. He looks at Raging Ugly, thinking his friend is pulling his leg, bends down, turns him over and sees the blood. He is shaken. I can smell his stinking fear, a rich, redolent scent; love that smell.
Raging Ugly has only a few seconds left, I hear his heart fluttering like a bird in a cage, trying to find a rhythm, anything that will stop the loss of blood. Faster and faster, his breathing rasping, coughing up blood “What happened, what happened to me… Claude, I’m dying. That bitch killed me. I’m so cold. I’m cold, man.
“Hold on. We gonna get you to a doctor. Stay with me.” Dirty Mechanic is pressing on the wound trying to stop the blood flowing all over his hands, bubbling up like lava. Lie to him. You know you have to lie to him. Give him hope.
“You’re gonna make it.”
See, isn’t that better. You feel better. This was your idea after all. It should be you lying there instead of him. I see that guilt on your face, all over it, your haunted eyes, your angry brow. Your aroused state is gone. You know his family. I think you know his wife better than he knew. I can smell her on both of you. Your scent is later than his… This was your way to make it up to him. Stupid bastards.
His heart stops. He sighs that final sound when death takes a man. His last word was “mommy.”
Dirty Mechanic picks up his dead friend, looks over at the hooker, who is bleeding out on the rock where she smashed her face. He hefts his dead friend and turns back toward their car. “Oh, God. Oh, God.”
Bastards always want to have religion right when are doing their dirt or when it goes wrong. I should just kill him. But explaining this will be the cruelest thing which could happen to him. It will cut into his sex life as he experiences his Catholic guilt, too. Nice necklace. To be a fly on that wall…
Hyde laughs as he bounds after that buck who thought it got away. He can see its scent trail as if it were a flashlight in the darkness. Dinner and a show.
Hyde, Portrait of a Modern Monster © Thaddeus Howze 2011. All Rights Reserved