Leftovers Ch. 03byLatrani©
Nobody said a word. My passengers never looked up, never met my eyes in the mirror, but that was nothing new. I tried to concentrate on the route; there really was nothing else to do. Some morbid voice kept insisting that what I had seen him doing, myself doing, wasn't nearly as important as looking for a new job in the morning. It insisted that the Bastard, Black Dog to his friends, was going to visit my supervisor with snow in his hair and his dick stiff as a board, and file a formal complaint against one Little Jackie Dukes, Fine and Tasty Driver on the Number Ten Bus.
I snickered, and felt my cheeks redden. I hoped that none of the passengers heard me, though it hardly mattered after my 'you're-all-out-to-get-me-where-are-my-pills?' display with the Doog.
Either I was hallucinating, or he was a monster. I was not hallucinating.
I tried not to dwell on it.
The blonde girl cries out to the lights above. What's wrong with her? Why isn't she running, or screaming, something? How could I not know they were back here? The wound on her neck doesn't seem to get any bigger, although Black Dog keeps tearing at it. They're bare-assed on those dirty metal seats. Aren't they cold? My hand strays to somewhere near my belt as she cries out again, and the Dog notices me.
"Sorry, Jackie Dukes," he tells me with what sounds like real regret even through his grin. "This seat's taken." His tongue is dark and sticky in his mouth. I pull the stun gun, that tiny, useless chunk of plastic that is all the kind and wise city fathers will let us carry, and fire it up. Even as I lunge forward I wonder if the girl would even feel the shock if I hit her, and a mental image of me packing a vibrator in a belt holster warns me that I'm already close to hysteria.
No one else boarded; the weather had gotten too bad, and most everyone had gone home early. The radio was amazingly useless. Nothing much to hear, even when it worked: a bunch of jackasses alternately laughing about and bitching about the weather, random and unhelpful warnings, maybe a few accident reports.
The zombies trudged off one by one. I snapped the door shut as fast as possible each time. The roads were almost clear, so at least I didn't have to worry about losing control of the bus just because my hands sometimes trembled. That wasn't from the cold, though they did feel a little numb in those threadbare gloves. Of course there were always warm, damp places I could put them.
I hit the Black Dog Bastard, and he tenses up as the charge enters his shoulder. His head arches back and he lets out a burnt-sounding howl of pain (is that even possible?). He goes limp and twitchy. I reach for the girl, possibly intending to pull her from the bus. And he grabs my hand. Pulls me in. Plucks the weapon right out of my fingers, and it disappears.
Black Dog laughs at me, laughs! I don't know why I thought it would do any good. Men like him always shrug off the first five things you throw at them, movies have taught us this much. He holds on to one of my wrists, and I have no chance of breaking his grip. My knife is... somewhere, but I can't recall where while he's looking in my eyes. His other hand goes back to massaging the girl's waist and belly, and I can see that he has claws as well, mottled black and wavy-edged.
"She's got miles left in her," the Dog tells me, and licks another rivulet from her shoulder.
I jolted awake, bounced in my seat. There was a white-eyed lunatic reflected in the windshield glare that didn't look a great deal like me, though she followed my movements. I checked the rear-view; the last passenger was gone now. Quickly I set the bus in 'park' and twisted around in my seat, scanning the aisle for any last nodding heads, listening for... anything.
All clear. I pulled out my key ring and opened the locker directly behind my seat. Emergency kits, flares, plastic ponchos, a small shelf of cleaning supplies and unwashed rags (I open the locker and take out what I need to clean off the seats, get rid of the juices that Black Dog missed. He's very clean, fastidious even, but nobody's perfect), and my pistol in its holster, wrapped up in a blanket in the bottom.
Keeping it hidden from all possible prying eyes with my body, I slid it under my coat and clipped it on my belt, trading it for the stun gun holster. There was already a round chambered; stupid thing to have done, but my hands had been acting of their own accord when I loaded the pistol. I straightened up, looked around, and returned to my seat. Time to go home, take some pills and get away from this.
The bus lot was full, but nobody was about. My Escort was the only car in sight. Its right front fender and door were an unpainted grey, making it appear as if it had come down with frostbite. I circled the fence, and tried to radio in. Only static answered, though it was pretty chatty.
I drummed my fingers on the wheel. I could sit there until the watchman bothered to check his monitors; walk over to the squawk-box beside the electronic gate and yell at him; or leave the bus right here in front of the gate and walk (run!) to my car. Not great options. Staying in the vehicle seemed like the best choice, but I could already tell that I would just become more and more jumpy as I waited. I'd already drawn a knife on a man today for helping me get up (that was not why you pulled the knife on Mister My Friends Call Me Black Doog), and might just outright shoot the next person I saw. It didn't even seem like a bad idea. What's one less zombie in the scheme of things?
I threw back the lever and stepped out of the bus. Years of cheap movie rentals half-convinced me that the Dog would be in the back seat of my car, on top of the bus (that was just stupid), or inside, watching me on the monitors while he munched on the security guard and waited for me to come up to the door. Actually, all three ideas were pretty stupid. I walked over to the intercom outside the gate and tapped the switch.
Nothing. Not even a hiss. The cold had probably shorted out the blasted thing. I tried a few more times, shook the box and beat it with a clenched fist, and waved my arms in the direction of the nearest security camera. Nothing again. After two or three minutes I turned to go back to the relative warmth of the bus. At least it was out of the wind. I stepped up and levered the door shut, threw the latch to lock it in place, and sat down to wait.
I follow his tongue with my eyes. The girl has hardly a mark on her! He releases my wrist and lays his other hand on her belly, kneading it and drawing straight, red lines with the tips of his claws. I can't fight or flee; he has me hypnotized.
"Come on down," he tells me in a whisper, and I have to come on down. I drop to my knees, as close to the two of them as possible, and strip off my coat and gloves, roll back my sleeves.
Black Dog runs his fingers up and down her abdomen, grinning at me like he always does, then sinks his claws in and cuts a line through her, smooth as silk. "She's all warm and tender now," he croons to me, and shows me that tongue again. I look back as he makes two smaller incisions. "Got to move quickly," he adds casually. One arm still around the small of her back, he reaches around her with both hands, sinks those claws in, not like an animal, but gracefully, an artist and surgeon rolled up into one very underdressed package, and he peels her open.
The girl shrieks, and it isn't from the pain. I can't look up to her, I really don't want to see her expression, I can only gaze at the place that the Black Dog has exposed. I need to vomit, but my stomach won't cooperate.
Sneaking onto the bus while my back is turned. I forgot all about that one.
I jumped up, drawing my pistol as I turned to face the aisle, knowing he was there before I even saw him. Black Dog had taken his coat off. I couldn't understand. Didn't he know how cold it was?
The reason, absurd as it sounded, hit me just as the first round hit him. He didn't want holes in his faded duster. I fired without even considering if I should. Four rounds in the pectorals, both lungs and the heart ruined. Damn. I was as good as I had always thought I was.
A red spray blew out from his lips like a lawn sprinkler and peppered the seats and floor. More cleaning to do. By some miracle, none of the windows had broken. The shots echoed painfully through the enclosed space. Part of me was sure that I was smiling. It was insane; I had no proof, nothing besides a deranged flashback to show as evidence.
The Dog was still looking at me, grinning as well. He hadn't fallen down yet, but he was teetering. He moved one foot backwards to steady himself. I couldn't help myself. "What the hell kind of name is 'Doog'?" I asked, and fired again.
The fifth round caught him in the cheekbone, just below his right eye. The grin vanished at last. A second hole appeared instantly far back on his left cheek as the small-caliber bullet ricocheted and spun out again. The Dog might have managed a sound, but I could only hear the ringing of the shots off the close walls. He dropped to the ground with his eyes rolled back.
I was breathing heavily, my left hand clutching the pistol grip, right hand bracing the left, my stomach knotting and unknotting in a way that wasn't disagreeable. The smell of his warm, damp places hung in the cool air, and steam was rising from the wounds. I stepped forward to examine my handiwork, not even considering how I was going to explain this to the real cops. I wasn't even a real security guard.
I had forgotten that other rule. Monsters always shrug off the first few things you throw at them. Black Dog raised his head and grinned up at me, not looking all that bad for having two holes in his head. Then it was one hole... then just a blood smear.
I gawked at the best magic trick I had ever seen, and he used the opportunity to kick out and trip me. Instead of firing as I went down, I just cursed at myself for being so damn stupid as to get that close.
I fell onto him, face to bloody chest, and he had my pistol in his hand before I realized that he was reaching for it. He tossed it over his head, to the back end of the bus, and wrapped an arm around me as I tried to push up and away. I screamed and fought, kneeing him in the crotch, trying to claw at his face though my hands were gloved. But Black Dog was stronger than me, and my adrenaline rush just seemed to fizz away when he looked me in the eye from only a few inches away. The Bastard had me on the ground in five quick heartbeats, and flipped me onto my stomach even as I clipped him on the chin with my knuckles.
He pulled my left arm up behind me painfully, and used his weight to hold me there. "Didn't know you were a Southpaw, Jackie Dukes. Me too. Think we're related?" He pulled my other arm around while I squirmed and yelled, and held it down with one knee.
I heard metal jingling, and knew what had been in his jacket even before the Dog clicked the handcuff around my left wrist. I shrieked as loudly as possible and tried to pull away, but it was already too late to keep my other hand from being given the same treatment. He let go of my wrists then, and lay flat on top of me, one hand on the nape of my neck, breathing on my ear. "I smelled the gun oil. Got to watch out for the little things like that, Jackie Dukes, not that it would have helped much. I can smell your panties, too. You liked pulling that trigger. Liked it a lot."
It only occurred to me then that the wind and weather made screaming pointless. I worked to calm down, control my breath, conserve my energy, though for what I had no idea. The floor of the bus was disgusting; its stench filled my vision. My thoughts went to the knife, but if I drew it, my hands would still be cuffed, and I'd be fighting backwards. That image made me laugh into the floor, even though a monster had his fingers in my hair, and one hand now wrapped into my tie. He pulled back on it a bit, as if it were a leash. Bastard.
The Black Dog hauled me to my feet and held me by the handcuffs, facing away from him. His other hand was tracing lines on my neck. It moved down, and I could feel those claws cutting buttons right off my shirt and reaching inside to brush my shoulder. It was like being gently caressed with scalpels.
I felt his breath on my ear again, whispering, "It's not often I meet someone not quite frozen these days, someone with a little freshness left. Only a little." He leered into my hair. "I'm really going to enjoy you, Jackie Dukes."
I wanted to insult him, hurt him, scream bloody revenge, kick backwards and break his fucking kneecap. Instead I croaked out, "What are you going to do?"
"Just soften you up a bit," he whispered back. I couldn't bring myself to turn my head to him. "Yeah, this doesn't happen often. But you won't say a word, will you, Jackie Dukes? You want to see more, touch more." That enormous tongue stroked my ear, and I shuddered, for more than one reason. "I'm glad you didn't run before. I'd have had to chase you down. I wanted you more, but I was already busy. But you won't run now, for the same reason you won't say a word."
His clawed hand moved behind me, and he gripped the collar of my coat. With sudden, violent motions, he yanked it off of my shoulders and over my cuffed arms, trapping me further. Those scalpels patted my shoulder, and then slit open my uniform shirt, the long-sleeved underwear and the bra strap underneath it. He peeled the cloth back carefully to expose the skin, as if unearthing an ancient, fragile vase. The chill air raised goosebumps on my flesh, and when his hot breath hit that same spot, my body shook uncontrollably. I think I was crying. I stared at the ceiling lights, just like the blonde girl had. I didn't want to look at him.
He sniffed and licked at my skin, and let out a small, not quite pleading whine, like an aroused hound might use on a balking bitch. He returned to my ear with that evil whisper. "I just have to warm you back up a bit first, Jackie Dukes. Make the meat fine, and tender." He growled then, and I felt his teeth sink into my shoulder.
My mouth was open, but I couldn't scream, or even try to twist away from him. He had fangs again, and they slipped right in, from my shoulder blade to my breast, all at one time. The punctures were nothing compared to the pressure. His jaws were so strong. He ground in his teeth and worried at my skin, and I could feel blood welling, his snake tongue snatching it up. Then even the pressure became secondary. The flesh under his fangs became warmer, then burned all through my back and chest, spreading with the rapid pulse of my heart.
The Black Dog stayed there for a minute or more, but it felt like an hour, as the heat permeated my body. I could feel my hair prickling, my skin rippling. My hips were rolling in rhythm with his tongue. He reached down and sliced through my shirts, then inside to stroke my stomach with those blades. I was so hot that I was sweating in the chill metal bus. My heart, already coursing painfully, had started beating faster, harder than I thought possible. It thrummed in my ears, and the thrum turned to a cascading roar.
My veins ached with it. It was how a champion racehorse might feel, faster than the wind and stronger than any beast on earth, even as its heart neared the breaking point. The flow was so strong I could feel the deepest arteries trembling around it. I gulped air faster and faster, my chest somehow withstanding the speed and stress of working like a locomotive.
She doesn't die because he's biting her and violating her. In the end, the girl just stops. Her body can't take it anymore. Can't take this anymore. Black Dog is too gentle to just kill.
I was getting closer, just that touch and bite bringing me towards orgasm or death, I couldn't tell. I turned my head to see his face, or perhaps bite it as he was doing to me. Then I saw how he was able to stretch his jaws so far, take in so much at once. Against me lay a long, furred muzzle, black-lipped and stronger than a crocodile's. It was touching my cheek (he had it last night, too, and he used it), and I could see a terrible jaundiced eye. I shrieked then.
He didn't let go, just raked at my skin, which was somehow less ragged than it should have been. It didn't hurt at all. My vision was turning a curious shade of red. His tongue sank into one of the wounds, and at that I stopped screaming, just shook in his grasp instead.
My legs grew weak and slid out from under me, and Black Dog released his grip, lowering me onto my knees as he continued to lick at my back and shoulder. He let go of the cuffs, and wrapped his arms around me as he dropped to his knees as well. He pulled me tight against him in a strangely tender way. The claws and muzzle were gone.
"It's nice to feel a warm body, isn't it?" he asked into my ear. "Too many cold people out there, Jackie Dukes, too many walking corpses. I think you almost became one of them." He took a moment to nibble on my earlobe. I couldn't move, couldn't decide what to do, so I held as still as my tortured lungs would allow. "Good thing I came along. Now you won't have to worry about that."
I noticed he was panting, his chest expanding against my back, in time with my labored breaths. I wanted to beg him to let me go, but also to push me down, roll me over and take me. "I can always feel the people who want out," he continued. "I can always smell them. The world thinks they're garbage, just leftovers to be tossed out, but it's really their own idea. They've seen enough. Just like you, Jackie Dukes. Wait up for me. I'll give you what you want. And you'll be soft and tender by then." He ran his fingers over my belly again to illustrate. It felt as if the flesh was melting when he did that, like my skin was hot wax he could score and mold.
The Black Dog ran his hands around the swell of my buttocks and down my thighs, and I thought he would start again. But instead he lowered me onto my stomach and whispered again, "You'll be soft as silk." The handcuffs suddenly vanished, and his presence was instantly gone from the bus. I wondered if I had blacked out again. I was freezing on the floor in the aisle.
Eventually I felt safe enough to push myself up, fix my coat, and look around. My clothes made me look like the victim of a brutal crime, but my shoulder didn't hurt at all. I felt it with one hand, sensing no wound, and then stumbled to the driver's mirror to take a better look. Traces of blood and foamy spittle on the cloth around the shoulder, more from where I had landed in a puddle of the Dog's blood, but not a cut on me. Only a warm sensation throughout my body that was beginning to override even the chill of the unheated bus, and a tingle growing outward from where I had been bitten, a sensitivity that was making the torn dress shirt and underwear distracting.
I looked back down the aisle, and then padded through the red smears to the rear door. My pistol lay a foot or two from it. I retrieved it, checked to make sure a round was chambered, and put it to my chest. He would come back. Maybe I could deprive him of a little fun, at least. But would it even do any good now that the Black Dog had bitten me? My unwounded shoulder suggested otherwise.
That wasn't why I didn't pull the trigger, though. I wanted to see what else there was. The Bastard, Black Dog to his friends, had said that he didn't have to chase me because I didn't run. He hadn't hypnotized me the previous night. I had sat down because I wanted to. I had only forgotten what happened out of pure shock. Was that what they called hysterical amnesia?