Friday, February 2, 2018

Wonder Twin Powers, Activate by Beau Johnson

Today we have a treat. Story and Grit's good friend Beau Johnson has given us a story from his collection A BETTER KIND OF HATE. This story hasn't appeared anywhere else online or in print. Get your first taste of Beau's writing here and then go buy his book. You can get it at Amazon or at Down & Out Books

So . . . what are you waiting on? 

Order the book and then read this story. Not the other way around. 



Wonder Twins Powers, Activate

The one in the Hulk mask says, “The way this works is we give you a head start.  Makes it more equal than it’d be otherwise.”  I look at him through the bars of the cage, through the strings of dark hair that hang before my eyes.  Of the three he was the bigger one, dressed in khakis and Nikes which looked impossibly small on a man so tall.  His shoes were not what interested me though.  What did is what he’d just explained.  That things were about to begin.  Allowed me to breathe deep for the first time in hours.  For the first time in days, really.  Done, I continued my part.  Added a little quiver to my voice just to be sure.  “Does that mean I get some clothes now?”
    
I don’t receive a response, just a tilt of the Hulk’s head.
    
Yeah, pretty sure I’d do him last.

***

Long story short is my sister’d gone missing.  Before she does she’s able to text me this: In trouble.  Happened at the bar.  Maddy’s.  Two guys I think.  Maybe three!  Done this before for sure!  I’m sorry Cass.  Should have known.
    
Shannon was not as stupid as she let on.  A little too trusting perhaps, but that was just our mother making herself known.  With me it was a different story: all Dad, all business, all the time.  Made my life a bit more difficult than I wanted it at times but boo-fucking-hoo, we all have baggage.  That right there makes me seem tougher than I actually am.  Coping mechanism, maybe?  In response to a life devoid of as many hugs as it should have had?  I’ll take who gives a fuck for two hundred, Alex.  Maybe throw in a chaser of lick my clit for good measure.
    
Leads me to do what any type of person like me would.  I don’t call the cops, don’t pass go and collect two hundred dollars.  Instead I haul ass to the little shitburb Shannon ended up, Brantford, and set up shop in a Motel 6 the other side of what they call the Lorne Bridge.  Hunk a junk is more like.  Covered to the tits in graffiti done by someone wearing what I can only assume was a helmet.  Next I’m at the bar, Maddy’s, but I’m going about things slow, asking no questions, just observing.  It’s dark, a dive, and full of drowning lives from eleven a.m. until about nine.  After that the younger crowd from the university slides in, and here is where I get my first nibble.
    
“I’ve seen you here before.  Last week, right?”  I do my best at being something I’m not.
    
“That’s not going to get you very far if you’re trying.”
    
“Who said I was?”  It did as intended, eliciting a smile I’m sure quite a few women had already seen.  From the end of the bar I notice another man, shaggier than white teeth here, and suddenly it’s on, as I feel I’m in their crosshairs.  Which was fine, exactly what I wanted, and so I let white teeth go and purchase the remainder of the night’s drinks.  His bud, “Roger”, comes over when we’re on our fourth.  I say hi to mustache-man, pat his mounded chest, and play the part Shannon has always played so well. 
    
I should probably back up here and let you know Shannon had a problem.  Many, if I’m to be honest.  Meth was her bad boy though, the woman for years living on the chip.  Some would say it was because our father was a cop and our mother a whore.  I say Shannon just liked the easy things in life.  I suggest it’s why we’re such opposites, and why Dad seemed to like me best.  When I say things like this, I know it doesn’t help the situation, not really, but it is what it is, and me being here now is perhaps my way of atoning.  Who knows though, right?  I mean, I am on my period.
    
Back to it, then.
    
Whatever they slip into my drink does the trick and the next thing I know I’m on my stomach, naked, and in a cage with one third of the Avengers staring me down.

“Hello, beautiful,” They say, each of them in singsong unison. “Time to play.”
    
Fuck they were going to burn.

***

I learned a lot of things in Afghanistan.  Some I have implemented, some I have yet to.  I’m about to explain the things I’d yet to.  It involves cracks and crevices and devices small enough to slip within such places undetected.  I inserted a cherry colored butt-plug as well, just in case the decision to rape me in the ass came into question once they had me where they wanted me.  Couldn’t see them going to the extra trouble if I already had something blocking an entrance.  Figured they go for the easiest route possible.
    
I needn’t have worried.
    
I was naked, sure, but I had yet to be breached.
    
“Your dicks must be pretty damn small.”  I say and pull myself to my knees.  I wanted to stand but the dimensions I’d awakened to would not allow me this wish.  The middle one, Spidey, laughed hard at this.  I mean really hard.  Meant one of two things.  I’m sure you can figure out which.
    
“We got a live one here, boys!”  Iron Man says, and I throw it back just as fast as I can.  They don’t appreciate my candor, none of them, but only the Hulk steps forward in an attempt to kick what fingers I had wrapped around the bars.

“Hulk smash!”  I say, and I’m not the only one who laughs.  

The Hulk turns to Iron Man, “What the fuck, man?”
    
“What?   It was funny.”  The Hulk doesn’t move in response to this; just stands and stares at his buddy who is just about as tall as Robert Downey Jr., but you know, minus the lifts.  “Let’s just do this then.  Wouldn’t want anyone to make you angry.”  This gets Spidey going, and suddenly it’s just a laugh riot between the two of them, each of them doubled over.  It let me know the Hulk was not the Alpha male of the group.  It also meant things were looking up.
    
“You think we can do this?”  Petulant.  Hollow.  Yep, third in line for sure.
    
“Go ahead,” Iron Man says.  And the Hulk does.  I was to die, I’m told, but I would at least be given a fighting chance.  Sporting of them, I said, but was instructed to shut the fuck up for my trouble.  They had done this many times before, the Hulk goes on, with no one escaping ever.  He repeats ever and I couldn’t help but think how easy this was going to be once they let me out.
    
“And you can run as far and fast as you can.  We don’t care.  We will find you.  We will have you.  Then we will kill you.”
    
“This is your regular spiel?”  I couldn’t help myself.  I tried.  I really did.  And if there is anything I would change about myself it would be this: sometimes I am just as arrogant as fuck.
    
It’s more or less why I didn’t see the cattle prod and then why I only saw dark.

***

And then we are back to where we began, and the Hulk turns from me, the quiver just gone from my voice.  He turns back with my bra and the jeans one of them had gone and cut into short-shorts.  He throws them at me, my nipples in awe.  Cold, really, as the basement was as far from warm as it was from furnished.  Drafty, the air came tinged with not only the smell of me but perhaps Shannon as well.  Maybe at the start, sure, but I doubt as the days wore on.
    
Dressed, the Hulk does what the Hulk does best, and once again I’m “smashed”.  When I awake this time I am alone and the cage is open, the game a foot.  Not a game, not really, but it might as well have been.  Outside the cage I stand and hear my bones applaud.  Done, I reach around and remove the butt plug.  Deeper in and to the left is where I have stored a different kind of three inches.  Extended it turns into nine, and the heft that comes is good.  
    
I clean it off in the corner, in an old washtub.  I relieve myself and drink greedily from the faucet as well.  The lights flicker.  Flicker again.  The caged fluorescents in front of the washtub going out completely as the ones above me finish their dance.  A familiar chuckle comes next, followed by all four as they come out from behind the stairs.  Shannon leads the way.  She is weaponless.  The others are not.  The Hulk carries his prod but Iron Man and Spidey now hold steel.
    
“I knew you’d come.”  Shannon says.  Yes, she is high.  She still looks good though, her color better than I imagined.  “You’ve brought a knife to a gun fight though.  You remember what daddy use to say about that?”  Have I mentioned my sister hates me?  That she always has?  I should probably explain the rest of it then, now that we’ve come to the end.
    
“You can’t really believe I didn’t know, can you?  Shannon, you punctuated every sentence in the text you used to get me here.   You think the fear you were trying to project, you think any rational person would afford themselves the time?  It reinforces you as the stupid one.”  I get Iron Man with this one, a full blown pig snort from beneath his mask.  As Spidey and the Hulk turn towards him it gives way to the type of opportunity that usually presents itself.  Sometimes you have to nudge things along, sure, but most of the time it’s just pieces falling into place.

To her credit, Shannon sees it coming, but her reflexes are nowhere near what a person needs them to be.  Her eyes, however, are the opposite of this.  Each of them becoming big white O’s just about as fast as they can.  She takes it under the chin, the blade up and through the soft palette of her mouth, the one which had probably been filled with something other than food as she went and sold me out.  I can get her here, I hear her say, someone better for you to hunt.  She was in the war, I hear her plead, but then I’m back and I remove the knife and Shannon just falls to the concrete floor with a thud.
    
We stand there, this new Fantastic Four, and all we do is breathe and regard each other for what feels like minutes. I decide to take it upon myself: “You guys want to do this proper then?  Maybe side with a woman who can get shit done?”  They continue to look at me and then at each other.  It’s Iron Man who laughs first, a sardonic little thing.  Spidey joins and then so does the Hulk.  I take it as a sign.  I have landed on my feet once again.
    
“You do realize how fucked this is?”  Spidey this time, as the man goes and lifts up his mask.  He is neither “Roger” nor white teeth, but I relieve him of his weapon all the same; before either of them can re-raise theirs.  I unload fast, a bullet for each, the Hulk quite nicely proving his own adage wrong.  He was not in fact the strongest one there was.
    
No, that’d be me.

-End-

Bio Beau Johnson has been published before, usually on the darker side of town.  Such fine establishments might include Out of the Gutter Online, Shotgun Honey, Spelk Fiction, and HST.  Come August 2017, a collection of Beau's shorts titled A Better Kind of Hate will be released by Down And Out Books.  Once that happens, perhaps he'll take the hint and stop with the dancing.  If yer so inclined you can connect with him at the usual hangouts, Facebook and Instagram.  He is also new to twitter @beaujohnson44 where he fails at tweeting spectacularly.

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