The Bay of Goats

(A short story begun around a year ago and only just completed. This is a homage/pastiche/rip-off of the works of H.P. Lovecraft and James Ellroy, two of my favourite authors. It contains mature themes, violence and bad language. I invite you to the 1960’s and the world of Victor Rydell – racist, right-wing, xenophobe and C.I.A. agent who deals with ‘esoteric’ matters. Enjoy – and please leave a comment using the forms at the bottom of the post.)

October 29th, 1962 and yours truly is sitting on a cum-stained mattress in Six-Fingers-Ville, Louisiana watching a fat fucking surveillance expert eat his own weight in barbecued chicken wings. My eyes are still heavy from the drive in the company car (suspension fucked) and the bennies I’ve been popping since Fort Worth. Crotch is still sore. Bet I’ve got cock-rot from the stripper called Candy/Mandy/Sandy/Uncle fuckin’ Andy I screwed in the men’s room of the Carousel Club back in Dallas. Southern whores, lice infected every last one of ‘em. Gimme a DC fuckpig anytime.

            The motel room’s a joke. No air-con, no ice machine, TV on the fritz and a shitter backed up to Laos. I’ve been to Laos and the conditions for passing a bowel movement were better than the Copacabana Motel – Rooms for Rent at Cheap Prices. Mind you I can hardly hear my migraine over Denny Wallace sitting in his wife beater, ear to his headset, watching spools spin as he cracks barbecued wing after wing, breaking chicken bones like an Okie chuck rapist straight out of prison on a bestiality charge.

            ‘You want some?’ he says, thick hickory smoked sauce running down his chin and onto the recording equipment. I can’t be fucked to answer, wave my hand and light a Lucky Strike from the squashed pack I scored from some wetback outside a truck stop in Baton Rouge. Close my eyes. Look at the ceiling, a Cistene Chapel of nicotine, sweat and other assorted bodily fluids. Join the C.I.A., see the fuckin’ world.

            ‘Anything yet?’

            ‘Nope. He’s still humping’ says Denny, Boston accent modulated by the crack and chew of bird cartilage. Fucking typical. Ten minutes from the meet and Ramone is still boning the lil’ whore he picked up back in New Orleans, she’s fifteen at most, with so many track marks up her arms look like Grand Central Station. So much for national pride, the mother country and stiffin’ Castro with a few tonnes of black market armaments. All out the window when some skank street pussy lands on his freedom fighting dick.

            I can vaguely hear the sounds of Cuban coitus over Denny’s mastication and the whirring of the fucked air-con. Keep my eyes closed, tracing patterns in the constellations of the blood vessels. The lucky tastes like shit so I stub it in the empty Dr. Pepper bottle and swing my self over to the window. My old field glasses are propped on the Gideon bible, the pages slipping from the binding after being used as free skins for reefer. Unsteady on my feet, bennies still buzzing through the blood, I move back the curtain that looks like it held moth fuck-fest ’58 and take a look through the dirty pane into the parking lot.

            The reason I’m sharing temporary lodgings with the company’s most corpulent tape-man is Room 33 just across the lot. Mr. Hunt slid me the job as he usually does when I’m down south. I can make out a Cuban beast with two backs in the oppressive Louisiana haze that passes for air, a silhouette in the thin curtains. Ramone’s ride is parked just outside; a piece of shit with fake plates he assures me won’t be traced for at least a week. Knowing anti-Castro revolutionaries I figure he’s over-estimating but this is on company time so fuck it. If it goes down I’m just the case officer, I don’t oversee this shit.

            ‘They’re still fucking.’

            ‘I figure that, Wallace. I can see that from here.’

            ‘Figured I’d give you a sit-rep, s’all.’

            ‘I gather you’re still recording all this?’ I know Denny’s got the best collection of fuck-tapes in the northern hemisphere. JFK and Marilyn, Bobby and Marilyn, J. fuckin’ Edgar wearing silk panties with Clyde Tolson at a FBI convention.

            ‘If there’s tape, it’s fucking rolling Rydell. Don’t see this is worth much in resale terms, but shit …’. I’m bettin’ big if I go out to the Coke machine right now he’ll start whacking his johnson like LBJ sniffing the chance of the presidency. ‘What time’s this shit ‘sposed to go down? I got some mob cooze to record up in Atlantic City in a few days. Don’t want to be burned out or nothing.’ I bet even bigger Denny’s cock is like a leper’s tongue with all the ‘burning out’ he does but hey … join the C.I.A. see the fuckin’ world.

            I’m just about to lie down and fucking shoot myself with my army issue .45 when bald tires kick up gravel and a black Buick sedan rolls into the luxurious stop-off that makes up the Copacabana Motel.  Give ‘em one thing, the mob is punctual when money’s on the line. Three men, one goombah behind the wheel, another in the passenger side and the main man in the back. Tinted windows, freshly polish, cigar smoke trailing as Micky Demingo exits centre stage, flinging his five-hundred buck suit jacket around his shoulder like Batman’s cape. Eggplants’s about as covert as a black Jewish communist at a Republican convention. The Mafia – if you weren’t in deep with ‘em you’d fucking kill ‘em.

            Goombah One gets the door, Micky stubbing his cigar into the dirt with a steel tipped cowboy boot. The muscle’s your standard mob fuck, his physique earned by beating down on shopkeepers and punch bags that forgot to pay the vig. Micky’s a little bit smarter, figures himself a little bit special, like Frank Sinatra ran numbers in Orleans. Hair slicked back, rings that could make up the Ark of the Covenant if you melted them down for scrap. Eyes set deep, scar down one cheek. He won that in a prison duel against 6 niggers six years back if you believe the stories. If you know the facts Micky got pistol whipped by Carlos Marcello after leaving a cool quarter mil of skim money in a taxi after a night out on amaretto and uncut coke. Fuck why he’s not floating in a barrel of the Bay of Biscayne is anyone’s guess, but shit, I’m just a company man. A company man who has to deal with – what’s the word that fuckin’ commie professor from Arkham called it? ‘Esoteric’ … yeah, shit more ‘esoteric’ than most.

            So to set the scene, Micky Demingo walks into room 33 with Goombah One. Goombah Two’s still in the driver’s seat saying Hail Mary’s or some such shit. Inside 33 we’ve got an anti-Castro Cuban called Ramone who’s strung out on tequila and Quaaludes with some bitch he picked up. I’m guessing Ramone’s brother Jorge is in the bathroom jerking himself sore or filming it on cine-8.

            Some way for an exchange to go down. We set the deal up, ‘cept neither party knows it. Orleans Mob get a suitcase of top quality cocaine to get Mardi Gras goers itching at the gums and a Cuban training camp gets the key to a lock-up containing a fuck-load of rifles and ammo that fell off the back of a National Guard truck. Simple. Me and chicken-eater Denny are here to monitor the deal, tape it, send it back to MK-THETA and Bob’s the redneck who fucked yore uncles goat.

            ‘Cept I’m C.I.A. Agent Victor Rydell. I deal with the shit of the underworld, the dirty grease that lubricates Uncle Sam’s cock. The ‘esoteric’ shit. So when it all ends in gunfire a few minutes later it comes as no fuckin’     surprise …

 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

            ‘Okay, it’s rolling.’

            ‘Mic’s are good?’ I say. Light another lucky and hope for the best.

            ‘My shit’s always good. I could tape God taking a crap and he’d never know.’

            ‘God worth blackmailing?’ Christ, these Luckies taste like shit …

            ‘Dunno.’ Denny adjusts some shit on his set-up; I shift along the cum-stained sheets and nestle as far as comfortable to hear what’s going down through his cupped headset. Minor introductory bullshit then —

 

RAMONE: Get your ass in there …

 

Sheets ruffle, an ass is smacked, a heroin-groan and the slam of a cheap plywood door.

 

MICKEY: Ramone Domingues, yeah?

RAMONE; Yeah. My brother Jorge, right here.

 

Movement, maybe handshakes, feet scraping carpet. Something heavy lands on a rickety table.

 

MICKEY: ‘S there.

RAMONE: You chicos down with the movement, yeah?

MICKEY: Fuck your movement. I got five percent in a casino that pig Castro turned into a fuckin’ shit sty. Thousand dollar rugs covered in spic shit.

JORGE: Means and ends, my friend. Means and ends.

MICKEY: Goods are in there. The key and something else like we arranged. Fuck knows what you gonna do with that, but shit …

 

Bed springs creak, footsteps. Muffled noises, something lands back on the bed. Click – Click, latches undone.

 

RAMONE: All there. Pure. You like?

MICKEY: The fuck I like.

 

Sounds like a switchblade pops, a pause and a snort.

 

MICKEY: I like a lot. Get your spic eyes around this.

 

More clicks. A longer pause.

 

GOOMBAH: The fuck is that we’re trading?

MICKEY: I look like I know? Jesus Christ …

 

The calm before the storm. The ground invasion before the air cover. Then comes a sound I’ve never heard being made by human vocal cords before and then …

RAMONE: Maderas negras de la cabra …

 

Denny jumps back as the initial shots ring out – one, two, three – falling onto the floor clutching his head phones, sending two dozen chicken bones hurtling, ashtray upended, lead jerked from the gear, spools falling, hitting the pissed stained carpet, smashed, unspooling like black eels, the report of fire in my ears bringing me back to Laos, I dive over the bed, multiple muzzle flashes piercing the torn curtains as Room 33 of the Copacabana turns into Dodge fucking City, across the lot the door bursts open, Ramone dashing out into the twilight and I fucking swear I can see vicious eyes reflecting under the bayou’s full moon, the shape dashes towards the mob car, barrel flare and the spray of arterial blood through the filthy window pane, key in the engine, wheels spin in dirt and gravel. I gather myself, still groggy from bennies and foul luckies, draw my .45 and leap across the bed, kicking Denny into the bathroom screaming ‘Draw your piece, stay in there and shut the fuck up’, I tear at the door, run into the lot as the car tears out and off onto the asphalt. Running to Room 33 barefoot I slide into a charnel house of cordite, blood and coke particles hanging in the air like slow moving clouds.

            Jorge twitching, three in the torso, one in the mouth, his jaw flapping as he spasms, blood pissing like the geyser at Yosemite. Goombah One, sliding down the wallpaper like a Francis Bacon painting affixed poorly with crimson glue, neck torn apart. Mickey face down on the bedspread, his left leg twitching, hole in the back of his skull size of a baseball.

            I survey the scene. Coke – most of it there. Keys and ‘something special’ – gone. Three corpses and a fuck of a lot for the spic maid to clean up tomorrow morning. I kick down the bathroom door and find the whore pinned like a knife throwers assistant against the john, piss running down her legs, a condom full of Cuban cum still poking out from her pox ridden cunt. I raise the .45 and blown her brains out before she has the chance to speak.

            Join the C.I.A. See the fuckin’ world.

 

I never liked New Orleans. Never liked the humidity. Or the melting pot of blacks, spics, hicks and dicks churning like a muddy swamp surrounded by a godforsaken gaggle of idiots tourists looking for drinking, fucking and a good robbing. But for someone who deals in black bag and wet ops it’s a pretty good place to get away with shit. Which is why I can interrogate a skinny anti-Castro Cuban called Jesus with a buck knife without having to resort to using a gag of any kind.

            The air-conditioning is going full blast, fan blades shaking, unit about to fall of the wall. Add to that the noise of screaming children from the apartment next door and the blind bluesman playing an out-of-tune slide guitar in the street below. All this means that no one is gonna hear Jesus’ pleading, whimpering and cursing as I gently pass my blade over his abdomen. ‘What the fuck was in the case Jesus?’ I ask for about the fifth time.

            ‘Amigo, please. I don’t know nuthin about shit.’

            ‘That’s probably true Jesus. But I’ll torture you anyway. Might even crucify you for the fun of it.’

            ‘Ah, for fuck’s sake man.’

            ‘There was something else in that fucking case apart from the keys to the lock-up. Something that sent your buddy Ramone bat shit. I need to know what it was and where the fuck he went.’

            Jesus has pissed himself twice so far, which is adding to the already foul aroma of his apartment. I’ve got him naked, tied to a wooden chair with his torn bed sheets which are now stained with blood and urine. I haven’t cut him deep yet, I’m not here to kill him. Just find out why a simple observation of a meet turned into a fucking shoot-out that I’ve had to spend two days cleaning up. The bodies went in the back of Micky’s Buick. Micky’s Buick went into a deep swamp never to be seen again (fingers fucking crossed). The Copacabana Motel’s wiring was obviously faulty as it burnt down at around 2am last night. The coke is already back with our Mafia contacts, along with a sincere apology regarding the shooting of its owners. That’s all covered, Denny’s on his way back to D.C. with the tapes. And me – I’m stuck down here drinking warm Bud with a Cuban with a bladder problem.

            ‘You contacted us Jesus. Said you needed guns. We arranged the meet and what do we get? We get butt-fucked by your friend Ramone. I’ve got to explain a bunch of dead mobsters and missing armaments to my superiors. So help me out here Jesus.’ I stab the knife into the seat of the chair, a hair away from his scrotal sac. ‘Or the next time you go to church you’ll be singing castrato with the choir.’

            ‘Ramone’s a fucking arsehole.’ He squirms as much as he can, looking down at the knife stabbed into the piss-soaked wood.

            ‘I concur.’

            ‘He’s into weird shit. But he fucking hates The Beard and he’s a good shot so we let it slide.’

            ‘What weird shit? He not a good Catholic?’

            ‘Nah. All that hoodoo shit, Santeria, Palo Mayombe.’ Brilliant news. Jesus trusted a cultist shit to carry out his dirty work. ‘He knows some shit, knows some people. Bad fucking people.’ Christ, don’t we all.

            ‘What kinda people?’

            ‘Fucked up kind. Hold black masses out in the swamps. I don’t wanna know any more about that. I’m a good Catholic.’ Sure. A good Catholic with a sheet that includes armed robbery and assault. ‘He meets up with these fuckers, some niggers, some sailors, some fuck knows who else. They do their shit, I don’t wanna know.’

            ‘Jesus’ I say as I cut him free from his bed sheet bondage ‘you just ruined my fucking week’. He lurches up from the chair and I cold-cock him with a fierce right hook that makes my knuckles sting. I make sure I wash my hands before I leave the apartment.

 

I’m booked in under an assumed name in a fleapit hotel on Bourbon Street. I consider my locale as I mix a Jack and Coke in a dirty tumbler and dial a Washington D.C. phone number.

            ‘Yes?’ Mr Hunt always answers this way, his Texan accent smoothed by Yale and years with The Company.

            ‘It’s Rydell’ I say, sipping my warm and sickly sweet beverage.

            ‘How are you faring?’

            ‘Ramone is still in the wind. His superior in the brigades reckons he’s into some weird shit.’

            ‘As in cult activity?’

            ‘As in cult activity. Palo mayombe, all that immigrant ancestor worship shit.’

            ‘I have some familiarity with it.’ Sure he does. Hunt’s a Skull and Bones alumni. Anyone who’s jerked off in a coffin overlooked by America’s richest and most powerful sons and partaken in ceremonies with Geronimo’s skull knows more than the average citizen about what’s behind the veiled curtain.

            ‘I’ve spoken to our organisation contact in New Orleans.’ He means Carlos Marcello, the local mob boss. Hunt would never mention a name over an unsecure line, not even with a gun to his head. ‘He has the merchandise and the issue regarding the collateral damage is resolved.’ I heard Micky had crossed a few fellow Cosa Nostra friends, so no surprise there. ‘He enlightened me as to the nature of the item which spooked our Cuban friend. One of his peripheral associates came by some artefacts procured from a source in New England.’ I heard the museum in Kingsport had been robbed a few months back … shit.

            ‘And one of them came into his possession.’

            ‘Yes. A piece of ornately carved petrified wood.’

            ‘Some kind of statue?’

            ‘Not exactly Victor. Our organisation contact described it as a fossilised dildo. It seems Ramone had done some smuggling work for our organisation friends and heard about the item on the grapevine. He made an offer for it which was accepted.’

            ‘And which no one told us about.’

            ‘Correct. I’m not concerned about an antique sex toy, Victor. I am concerned with the liquidation of our former Cuban associate.’

            ‘Consider it done, sir.’ Hunt hangs up; I light a lucky as I place the cracked Bakelite receiver back in its cradle. I lie back to the strains of jazz leaking in through the open window. This is my life – on the trail of a petrified dildo and its motherfucking Cuban scumbag owner.

            Join the C.I.A. See the fuckin’ world.

 

I hate New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know its secrets. Mamma Fayette is one such secret. She works from basement beneath a guitar shop in the French Quarter, a few blocks down from the shithole I’ve been sleeping in. You can smell the place before you hit it, incense rising up from the doorway, thick clouds of smoke rolling out, the pungent acridity hitting my lungs like a pack of camels smoked at once.

            There’s no electricity, just swathes of candles dripping their wax across shelves and alcoves, their light dimly reflecting upon the jars, bottles, tomes and statues. I cough, less of a greeting, and more an involuntarily reaction to the caustic atmosphere swirling around the dungeon-like shop.

            ‘Mister Rydell. Back in the Big Easy.’ Mamma Fayette emerges from a bead curtain in the darkest recesses of the shop, shuffling forward, her skeletal frame supported by a gnarled ash walking stick.

            ‘Mamma.’ She adjusts her thick rimmed spectacles, running her hands through her long, tangled hair before sitting upon a stool behind a counter covered with herbs, roots and assorted other ingredients and fetishes.

            ‘Been a while, boy. That last thing I did for you worked out ok?’ The last thing was a curse. Two hundred bucks it cost, that and a small vial of my blood. My ex-wife had been fucking around with a car salesman. I couldn’t kill her or him – not enough plausible denial. So Mamma here helped me out. The curse was supposed to give him a serious, crotch-rotting STD. It didn’t. But he did get killed in a hit-and-run two weeks after I buried a poppet under his immaculate front lawn so I can’t complain.

            ‘Fine.’

            ‘So your misgivings about my power have been assuaged?’

            ‘You could say that.’ She laughs, a cackle mixed with a phlegmy cough. I’d be surprised if she didn’t cough up lung tissue five times daily breathing in this shit.

            ‘You’ve lost something. And someone.’

            ‘Correct.’

            ‘And what will you do once you find them?’ Get on the first fucking plane out of this shit-hole and spend a week in The Hamptons fishing and drinking single malts.

            ‘Solve a few problems.’

            ‘Problems is Mamma Fayette’s business.’ That and selling dirt from her backyard as magical grave dust and conning tourists into parting with fifty bucks for a love potion made from dog piss and Clorox.

            ‘I heard some things on the grapevine. A cult operating around here.’

            ‘Lots of cults dear. Those white boys in the chapels say my business is a cult. They say voodoo is Satan’s jive. My gods were here before some poor Jew boy got hisself crucified.’

            ‘They work out of the swamps. Nigge…negroes, sailors, other sorts.’

            ‘I hear about some folks who do their works out there. Me, I can’t move around as much as I like’ she says tapping her shrivelled leg. I remember what Ramone said on the tape –

            ‘Maderas negras de la cabra.’ That shocks her. Mamma tilts her head back, the folds of her wattle undulating as she shakes her head. ‘Heard that before?’ She slowly removes her glasses, pinching her nose as if in the grip of a migraine. Fucking old drama queen.

            ‘The Dark Mother of the Woods, Mister Rydell. Not good. This is a problem.’ And you’re a mistress of stating the fucking obvious I think, watching as she scrambles around on a shelf behind her, rifling through paperwork. ‘I’ve heard rumours. Whispers of a place in the bayou, a bay where the trees rot and the plants don’t grow as they should. Where even the gators fear to swim. That’s where they worship her.’

            Mamma Fayette finds what she’s looking for, an old map of the area smeared with dust and god-knows-what-else. She adjusts her glasses, grabbing a small crystal attached to a piece of string. She tips her head back, letting the crystal swing over the map, groaning in some untranslatable tongue, her face twitching, veins protruding from her paper-thin skin.

            She spasms suddenly, spittle running down her chin as she breaks from her trance state, grabbing a chewed biro and circling a location on the map. ‘This is the place.’ Rising from the chair Mamma grabs a small cloth bag from a nearby shelf and passes it to me with the map. She unwinds string from the brown cloth bag and hangs it around my neck.

            ‘This?’

            ‘Gris-gris. Protection. It brings good luck.’ I don’t know about good luck. It smells like dog turds and my mother’s burnt pot roast. Maybe it’ll keep the mosquitoes away. I reach into my pocket, picking twenty dollar bills from my calfskin wallet. She grabs my hand. ‘No payment Mister Rydell. Solve your problem.’

            ‘Thank you.’ I say, noticing a tear rolling down her sunken cheek.

            ‘I pray the loa help you with this Mister Rydell.’ I nod, turn and leave. I barely make out what she says as I exit the fug of smoke and incense – ‘But even they have their limitations …’

 

I take a long sip of bourbon from my hipflask as the boat glides in next to the coils of a long dead cypress tree. I pass the flask to the two Sheriff’s Deputies – Manners and Brushwood – who nurse their pump action shotguns like infants. They shake their heads. I’m guessing they are none too pleased at being dragged out into the swampland at midnight when they could be back in their trailer banging Mary-Sue or Bobby-Jane or whatever these crackers call their girlfriends.

            Mr Hunt pulled some strings, got Ramone flagged on a bogus robbery charge and an APB was put out. Lucky for me – or was it the gris gris ? – a trooper spotted him out in the country buying gas and supplies and called it in. So I’ve got Sheriff Mulroon – a podgy, tobacco chewing fuckwit with a line in Colonel Saunders facial hair – and his inbred men out here on false pretences.

            ‘So we figure he’s armed?’ The Sheriff spits a thick wad of tobacco into the stagnant water as he disembarks, pumping the slide on his shotgun.

            ‘Very likely. May have some company.’ I’ve sold him on the fact Ramone has a shack out here, probably a moonshine still as well. Poor sod. Hope he can handle this shit if anything goes down.

            I follow the Sheriff and his deputies up and onto dryish land, drawing my Colt .45, an M16 slung over my shoulder just in case. We’re about a quarter of a mile from the spot Mamma Fayette’s crystal went spastic over. I’m hoping her powers of divination haven’t gone completely wayward as we shine our electric torches into the darkness ahead, illuminating the twisted, gnarled hackberry trees and the hulking roots of aged water elms. There is none of sounds I’d expect – no bird noise, no scuttling of small beasts, just the swaying of branches and the sounds of our footfall as we push onward through the cordgrass and the saltwort.

            I spot it first, instinctively clicking off the safety on my .45 and popping one in the chamber. Around a hundred feet ahead, the illumination of a bonfire, surrounded by torches hanging from cypress branches.

            ‘Fuck is that?’ says Deputy Manners, bringin up his pump action. ‘This Cuban shit throwing a party or sumthin’?’ Not a party, I think.

            We push on, trying to manage some kind of stealthy approach, finding a vantage point behind the carcass of a fallen oak covered in rotting moss. Not a party.

            It’s a clearing, surrounding a huge rotting tree stump, so aged it looks fossilised. The trees that circle it are twisted and warped like crones with arthritis, oil lanterns hanging from finger-like branches. The bonfire glows with a sickly green flame as the silhouettes of naked figures dance around its heat, leaping and shaking in a contorted St. Vitus’ dance, flagellating each other with sticks, blood arcing into the air as they scream chorus-like in unison – ‘Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!’

            ‘The fuck?’ Sheriff Mulroon looks at me as if he’d just stepped onto the surface of Mars. ‘This some voodoo shit? You never said fucking shit about this boy!’ No, I didn’t. Otherwise I’d be here on my own with a M16 and a gris-gris of grave dirt and garden herbs for protection.

            ‘I knew he had some weird beliefs. Didn’t know about this.’ It’s a bad lie, but I’m a convincing bullshit-artist so he buys it.

            The celebrant’s number about eight – niggers, Cubans and mulattoes –  too caught up in their orgiastic fervor to notice us peeking out from behind the rotting oak. No weapons I can make out which means if we have to slaughter all these darkie fucks it’ll be an easy job. It’s the American way – lesser races brandishing sticks and stones getting mown down by superior firepower.  

            Then Ramone emerges into sight, body smeared in blood, intricate sigils and glyphs cut into his dark flesh, hands held aloft, his fellow worshipper’s cries rising to a crescendo; ‘Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!’

            He has the sacred dildo in his hand, waving it in the air as if it was the Vince Lombardi Trophy and he just won the sicko cultist Super Bowl. He kneels before the petrified stump, its nooks and crannies filled with candles and the carcasses of long dead sacrificial animals. One of the worshippers steps forward – an obese Haitian woman in her fifties, I could swear she had four titties but maybe it’s a trick of the light – grabbing the dildo from him as he raises his skinny ass in the air. I really don’t like the look of where this is going and by the reactions of the Sheriff and his pale-faced Deputies neither do they. No big surprise, I’ve busted pagan ceremonies in Texas, shot up Satanist’s in Upstate New York and killed a Cleveland sicko who made an altar from body parts so I’ve seen my share of fucked up shit. These boys bust speeding motorists and lynch coons for a living. Not really a decent preparation for ceremonial anal rape.

            The obese Haitian bitch screams as she holds the dildo high before ramming it straight into Ramone’s asshole, he bucks like a colt, emanating a scream of pain and passion. I wince. Sheriff Mulroon chokes on his chewing tobacco. Deputy Manners vomits undigested cornbread and deep fried prawns down his starched uniform.

            Believe me, I don’t want to look but I’m captivated as the carousel of dancing, screaming and whipping whirls like a maelstrom, Ramone convulsing and spasming, ass held high, the Haitian woman taking a knife to her breasts, slashing at her corpulent flesh, her blood spraying over his body.

            Deputy Brushwood starts reciting the Lord’s Prayer, stumbling over the words, Manners wipes sick from his shirt, Sheriff Mulroon clutching his shotgun with white knuckles. I vaguely notice them. I’m fixated on the altar where Ramone shakes and thrashes, the wooden cock in his ass expanding, warping and growing. From a six inch carved dick it sprouts from his anus, its twisted veins blossoming into tendrils that probe and curl under the moonlight. The fucking thing’s alive, bursting into life like a seed germinating, spreading Ramone’s ass cheeks, the wooden shaft expanding into a trunk, black blood pissing over it from the fat bitch’s wounds, writhing tentacles now five foot long clutching at her, wrapping around her face and chest, making hideous wet sounds as they slap at her skin.

            Ramone’s orgasmic, tortured screams are cut short as he explodes like a ripe water melon, torn in half by the unearthly thing grown from his bowels, his torso crumpling to the floor, his body a vessel now no longer needed. I hear his spine twisted and torn in two as the trunk-like body crowned by black, ropy tendrils stumbles forward on Ramone’s legs, their flesh breaking into open sores and wounds, growing in mass, feet and toes now changed into hooves.

            Deputy Manners emits and piercing wail and turns tail, fleeing into the woods. I should have known not to bring local law enforcement into this. Mind you – I’m not sure the Marines I’ve relied on so many times in the past could handle this. Sheriff Mulroon sides on the ‘fight’ side of the fight or flee debate and starts firing round after round of buckshot into the cavorting cultists, the shots echoing as cultists are blasted apart, their screams now of pain rather than insane celebration. I take aim, blowing the head of the fat Haitian whore as The Thing’s oozing, tentacled branches form a stranglehold around her head. Deputy Brushwood stands there, shotgun raised, shaking in fright, unable to fire, mumbled prayers passing his lips.

            The Cultists are fleeing, Mulroon’s shotgun blasts driving them into the darkness. I couldn’t give a shit about them. I’m concerned with The Thing lumbering towards us on two – now stumpy, hooved legs – mouths growing from the wounds in its legs, dozens of twelve foot tentacles glistening with green goo in the moonlight. It makes an undulating moaning sound that carries over screams, pleas for mercy and the incessant shotgun blasts. I swing the M16 from my shoulder, select full auto and let rip, round after round impacting its tentacles and flanks. All to no effect.

            The Thing advances unhurt, its tendrils grabbing the worshippers too wounded to flee, tearing them apart like damp newspaper, limbs and body parts flying around the clearing, internal organs and guts strewn across branches like Ed Gein’s Christmas decorations.

            I slam my second and last clip into the M16, spraying the entire magazine at The Thing as it grabs Mulroon by the waist, hurling him into the trunk of a cypress, a horrible wet cracking sound as he hits, ribs breaking. Some of the rounds hit home but do precisely fuck all. I need hand grenades. I need claymores. I need air support and napalm. I need the fucking atom bomb. All I’ve got is a .45 and a bladder about to burst.

            So I run, turning heel and sprinting over the moist wiregrass, not looking back, not even when I hear Deputy Brushwood’s screams mixed with frantic, unheard prayers to a God who surely isn’t listening.

            I run, lungs burning, legs like lead, past Deputy Manners who lies sprawled on the sodden swamp floor, broken ankle caught in a tree root. I ignore his pleas. He’ll slow The Thing down, maybe enough to get me to the boat. Enough to get me the fuck outta this place, The Bay of Goats. I grip the handle of my .45 tight, knowing that at least I have enough rounds to shoot myself.

            Join the C.I.A. See the fuckin’ world …

© Joel Morgan 2009

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