The Night Zoe & Michele Raised Hell


Sliding down the front of Malcolm's body, Michele stuck her hands down his pants and squeezed. Malcolm groaned and rolled his eyes in approval; the rest of his body was hot but his balls felt cool in her hands.

Pulling his pants down to his knees she kissed the side of his cock, then licked it and coiled her tongue around the shaft, teasing it until she heard him suck a hard breath between his teeth, following up by licking around and around the tip until he jerked and tugged at the belt. She laughed.

Slipping his entire cock into her mouth, Michele watched his chest swell and contract as his breathing picked up. Seeing Malcolm shirtless always made her wet; it used to make her feel shallow, but now she figured fuck it. Sucking her way down him, she wrapped her lips around his cock as tight as she could and gave two or three firm tugs with her mouth until he was practically writhing, then closed her eyes and paced herself. The wet sound of sucking filled the small room.

After a while she slid him back out with a satisfying popping nose, then said, "Now it's your turn." Wriggling out of her shorts and her panties and tossing them both on her suitcase she shimmied up Malcolm's body (letting his smooth, supple skin caress the insides of her thighs...) and then, before he could say anything else, sat down on his face so that her wet pussy pressed onto his pretty mouth.

Immediately dutiful, he kisses her slippery lips and pushed the tip of his tongue right inside, licking up and down her slit. Every nerve in Michele's body stood up and sang. "Ohhh shit," she said, squirming herself now.

He was still trying to get his hands loose. She slapped at them until he stopped, riding his face all the while as his sweet lips licked and sucked at her until she was absolutely dripping.

Biting her thumb to keep from screaming, Michele swiveled around and dropped back down so that she lay face down on top of Malcolm with his cock stuffed into her mouth even while she spread her legs and continued feeding him her pussy, swiveling her ass in the air as he went to work.

He came so hard and fast that Michele risked choking, but she pulled back just enough at the last moment and got a hot mouthful. She let it dribble over her tongue until the salty taste touched the back of her throat, then swallowed it down and wiped her mouth on the back of her hand in satisfaction.

"You'd better hurry up and finish me off too if I'm going to leave on time..." she said, sitting up again.

"I'm working as hard as I can," Malcom said—or tried to say, his voice muffled. Michele made a tsk tsk noise.

"Are you sure about—" Michele said. But that was all she could say, because at that moment she looked down and almost screamed.

Instead of Malcolm, splayed out on the bed she saw the dark figure of a man with no face, or rather with a face that she couldn't see, hidden as it was in the shadows.

But even though she couldn't see him she still couldn't shake the idea that she recognized him from years ago...

And then she blinked and it was gone, and it was just Malcolm on the bed again.

Michele hadn't quite screamed, but he must have been able to tell that something was wrong because he tried once again to sit up—so hard and so fast that he nearly broke the belt—and put a comforting arm around her shoulder as soon as she untied him.

"Baby, what's wrong?"

"Nothing," she said, clamping her mouth shut as soon as the lie was out.

"You looked like you'd seen a ghost."

"Oh no," Michele said, forcing herself to smile as she reached for her clothes. "I just realized how late it's getting. I really have to go. I'll see you again Monday. Have fun without me, but not TOO much fun, okay?"

"All right..." Malcolm said, letting her kiss him. She hurried to leave before he could ask anything else. She'd told enough lies for one afternoon already.


It was still late by the time she got on the road, and the highway was pitch black once she got up into the hills. She'd forgotten just how dark things were once you got away from the city lights. Down there it was still sunny and warm, but up here in the mountains winter had practically already started.

Why does anyone still live out here, she thought? Then she scolded herself: Just because I don't like living in the boonies doesn't mean it's not good for anyone else. Mom still loves it up here, she reminded herself. And Zoe...

Ah ah, she thought, no dwelling on Zoe. Plenty of time for that later. She realized she was speeding and made herself slow down. The flicker of her headlights passing over the reflectors at the side of the road made her think of candle flames.

It was nearly a quarter to eleven by the time Michele rolled in; at a distance, town and forest looked almost indistinguishable except for the narrow strip of streetlamps along Main Street. Here and there the yellow square of light glowed behind the blinds of some neighbor who dared court town gossips by being visibly awake past 10 PM on a weeknight.

Michele's mother had just moved to a smaller place ("No sense paying for a lot of rooms I'm not going to use," she'd said over the phone). She was still up when Michele arrived, with bathrobe on and late-night gin martini in hand. They hugged one-armed so that it wouldn't spill.

"Sorry I'm late," Michele said, putting her bags down in the hall.

"Your loss, I already ate all of the fatted calf. Are you hungry, by the way?"

"A little bit, but I brought dinner: macaroni and baked potato, your favorite, as best we could manage in the dorm kitchenette anyway. It just needs the microwave now."

"Well if I can't feed you then how about a drink?" Mom shook her half empty martini glass.

"I shouldn't...actually, yes that sounds great."

So they ended up with martinis and macaroni by the fire as autumn wind shook the trees outside. Michele listened to the whistling through the pines and felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up with delicious remembered fears from childhood. "I like the new place," she said. "It's cozy."

"It's cheap. So what's the occasion?"


Mom leaned back in her easy chair. "You're here out of the blue. I'm not complaining, but I figure there's a reason."

The wind picked up. Michele took a drink to hide her face in the glass. "I just missed you. And home."

"Me I'll believe, but this place never. I've never seen somebody as quick to get out of her hometown as you were at 18, and we've seen you back here all of three times in three years. I figured you must have had some fight with that boy, what's his name?"

"Malcolm. No, everything's fine with us. More than fine, actually. Two of my Friday classes cancelled and I just wanted come back for a long weekend here. Is that so hard to believe?"

"Maybe I'll believe it easier with another round," Mom said, rising.

Listening to the sound of the martini shaker from the kitchenette, Michele counted to ten in her head and tried to sound casual when she said, "As long as I'm here I thought I'd look up Zoe. She's still around, right?"

"Sure, I see her all the time. She's a bartender over at the Eastside."


"Uh huh,. She started out at the Club but they fired her."

There were two bars in town: the reasonably respectable, slightly hip one on Main Street called just the Club, and then the Eastside, where people who wouldn't afford the Club—or had achieved lifetime bans from it—went to drink instead.

"Can't remember why Charlie let her go," Mom said, returning. "Not going down on him on payday like he asked, maybe."


"Oh, that man would try to stick it in a vacuum cleaner if it gave him the time of day. Mind you he was plenty good looking once."

"I don't need to hear this."

"Here's to covering your ears then," Mom said, clinking their glasses. "She asks about you all the time you know."


"Uh huh. I tell you're doing good, getting ready for nursing school. She says she'll call you but I guess she never does. You two were so close as kids. Up until you weren't anymore, I mean. I don't think she's got much in the way of friends these days. She'll be happy to see you, I think."

That night, Michele stood at the mirror on her mother's bureau, brushing her hair. (Mom insisted on letting Michele sleep in her room and took the couch herself, despite Michele's protestations.) It was the same antique mirror where she and Zoe had played "Bloody Mary" on Halloween night in first grade and scared themselves silly.

Would Zoe really be glad to see her after all this time, she wondered? She couldn't be sure. She had trouble remembering the last time they talked. Michele had, she was aware, been avoiding this town more or less as a means of avoiding Zoe, treating one as a proxy for another.

Finished with her hair, Michele set the brush on the dresser but paused before turning away from the mirror. The sound of the wind reminded her again of previous, long-lost Halloweens, and she smoothed her nightgown out before looking her reflection in the eye and saying, almost tentatively:

"Blood Mary..."

The lamp went out. The entire room became black. Michele jumped.

It was just a power outage, of course. Wires blew down around here all the time. Still, she couldn't help looking over her shoulder, expecting a dark and faceless man to be waiting for her...

But nothing was there.

Even so, she crawled into bed with the covers over her head and wished suddenly for trick or treat candy to stress eat before nodding off. Some things never change, she thought.


The Eastside bar was dim, the bottles faded, the TV only half-functional, and the walls covered with hunting trophies from a previous century, antlers bristling like a phalanx of spears trying to prod Michele away.

It was noon exactly, and Zoe was the only one working, tying her curly hair back with a scrunchie and wearing a black tank top despite the cold weather. She'd grown curvier and more full in the face since Michele saw her last, but still mostly like her old self. Michele approached the bar but didn't sit at first, waiting for Zoe to see her and register surprise.

But she didn't look surprised at all. She just turned from the tap she'd been pouring—Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner, Michele's favorite—and slammed it down right in front of Michele with the foam still streaming down the side and said, "You're here."

Sitting on a stool, Michele held her purse between her legs. "Yeah, I'm here. Surprise."

"I was expecting you."

"Mom told you I was coming?"

"Nope. Just expecting you is all. This first one's on me. Celebration for your big homecoming. Come here and let me see you."

Zoe reached across the bar and cupped Michele's face, turning it left and right to inspect, and Michele was so surprised for a second that she didn't object.

"You look good," Zoe said. "I was kind of hoping you wouldn't. Less pressure on me, you know? That means you're buying the next round."

She poured herself a Blindfold Ale, her arms snapping the tap on and off with machine-like precision. When she was finished she half-raised her pint in a toast. "Here's to good reunions," she said, and drank half of hers in one go. "You're not drinking?"

"It's barely noon."

"I know, but I've got to stay buzzed to keep ahead the hangover from last night."

Then she smiled, a quick white flash that moved her entire face, and for a startling second made her look exactly like she had when they were ten. Leaning across the bar, she hugged Michele—not a casual, single-armed hug, but a big, full embrace—and Michele found herself smiling and hugging back.

"You do look good," Zoe said. "Your mom said you were doing okay and now I know she's not lying. You sure stayed away long enough."

Sipping her beer, Michele said, "I've been back a few times. I just—"

"Didn't see me. Yeah, it's okay. I wouldn't see me either, and I am me." She paused to pour a beer for someone else "You gonna want another one?"

"I'm not done with—"

"I'll start a tab for you. Since you're never coming back you'll never have to pay it. Works out." She smiled again, but this time she didn't look so young.

It got later. They had a few more drinks. They talked about friends from high school—or more accurately, about Michele's friends, since Zoe had few to speak of—and strained to remember stories from childhood.. Zoe asked about Michele's classes and looked genuinely interested in the answers.

At first Michele was surprised by how natural it felt for the two of them to be talking again. But after a while she forgot to even bother with surprise. Neither of them left when Zoe's shift ended, instead retiring to a corner table with a pitcher that seemed to refill as if by magic.

"So he fired me last year," Zoe was saying. "But anyway, he'd do it with a vacuum cleaner if he got bored enough."

"Oh god, that's what Mom said too," Michele said, snorting.

"She knows 'em when she sees 'em. So tell me about this guy you're fucking?"

Blinking, Michele sat up straight. "Malcolm? He's my boyfriend. We met over the summer. It hasn't been that long but we're...kind of engaged? Sort of thinking about being engaged?" She put a hand on her head, they'd gone through too many pitchers for her to be sorting through the ins and outs of her relationship now.

Shaking her head, Zoe said, "No you're not. Come on. You're, what, barely 21? You're not going to marry some guy now. Stupidest thing you could do."

"Not now. Just, you know, sometime." Michele gestured and knocked the pitcher, but it didn't fall over.

"I'll believe it when I see it," Zoe said. "And I'm not coming to the wedding, so I'll never see it. I'm not big on weddings. Not the marrying type."

"You're the type to spit out a guy's bones and bury them in the yard."

"Uh uh. I never spit. Always swallow."

Michele laughed again. Now Zoe leaned back too and looked at her sideways. "How about you tell me why you're dropping in all of a sudden?" she said.


"I mean, catching up and all is fine. Plus, drinking with you for an afternoon counts as socializing, instead of drinking alone, which only counts as a problem. But you're up here out of nowhere on a weekday during the school year and suddenly you want to see me. So what's the deal?"

Geez, do I really seem so suspicious, Michele thought? She wanted to get defensive but realized she couldn't. "I..." She let the word linger for as long as she could, then changed the subject. "You expected me," she said.



"Just got a good feeling. You're not going to tell me what's up? Guess I'll have to get you even more drunk than you are now."

"I'm not drunk."

"Stand up."

As soon as she did Michele stumbled. Zoe caught her. The bar had filled up a bit, and some people looked. Steadying herself with a hand on the wall, Michele almost lost a finger to a pair of low-hanging antlers.

"Ohhh shoot," she said. "I can't drive home now. To Mom's, I mean."

"You're not going home," Zoe said, slinging Michele's arm over her shoulder like a wounded soldier being carried off the battlefield. "My place is just behind the Safeway on Jackson, we can walk it. Your mom knows you're staying over."

"She does?"

"Yeah. Come on, upsy-daisy, one foot at a time."

They half stumbled to the parking lot. Michele was stunned to see that it was night already. "How long were we in there?"

"Long enough. Fucking hell, is this fastest you can walk?"

"I don't like to drink that much..."

"Could have fooled me."

The walk home took a while. Zoe's place was on the ground floor of the Garden Homes apartments. It was a two bedroom apartment, but it looked like she lived alone. Michele saw that the extra bedroom was closed with a heavy padlock on the outside, but as drunk as she was she didn't bother asking why.

As soon as they were in the door Zoe broke out the hard liquor. Michele knew she shouldn't have any, but she couldn't say no. A few more drinks and she wouldn't be able to say anything at all...

They drank screwdrivers on the couch. Nothing but a string of white Christmas lights lit the living room—"Cheaper on the PG&E bill," Zoe said. Michele watched the contents of her glass as she swirled it.

"I think I needed that," she said. "This I mean. What we're doing."

"Drinking on the couch?"

"No, just..." She fumbled. "I missed you."

"Careful, I'll get teary."


"You love it." She paused. "I missed you too though. Even before you left. You know, back when you got all weird and stopped talking to me."

"I didn't get weird, you got weird."

"I was always weird. You got normal. And that was weird."

"It wasn't that. It was..."

Zoe sat forward. "Ohhh, now we're getting to the interesting part. Finally feel like spilling what's been on your mind?"

Going to take another drink, Michele found that her glass was empty. She put it down. "Halloween is Sunday. Day after tomorrow."


"Do you remember...I mean, when we were kids, ten years ago. Do you remember when we..."

"Called up the devil?"

"No. I mean, yes, that's what we wanted to do."

"And we did it. You don't remember?"

"I remember..."

For a second Michele had a vivid hallucination of a man whose face she couldn't see walking down the darkened basement steps. But she batted it away almost instantly.

"I don't remember what I remember. But I know we did something we shouldn't have. It scared me. And it didn't scare you, and that scared me worse."

Zoe put her own glass down. It was still sweating. "That's why you came back? Halloween?"

"I...yes. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. So I came here to ask if we can, you know, undo it? Whatever we did. If that makes sense?"

Michele searched Zoe's face, expecting confusion, amusement, or even mockery. What she saw instead surprised her: absolute shock, laced with genuine hurt.

"Are you kidding me?" Zoe said, almost standing up. "That was the best thing that ever happened to us!"

Blinking, Michele said, "It was?"

"Of course you idiot. Didn't you ever realize? Look, you're doing premed now? I bet you barely study for your tests but always gets A's, right?"

"I'm smart."

"But what did you wish for on Halloween?"

"I don't know, you wished for me."

"That you'd always get good grades no matter what. And you always did."

"Okay, but—"

"And what did I want? No more Eddie, no more boyfriends for mom. A week later Mom dumped Eddie, and there was never anyone else."

"Yeah, okay—"

"All the good stuff in life is because of what we did that night," Zoe said, plowing on.

"What about the bad stuff?"

"Who knows? All I know is—fuck this, I need shots. Come on."

In the kitchen, Zoe splashed tequila into plastic shot glasses. She tossed hers back right away and signaled with a rotating finger that Michele should do the same, then slapped her on the back as she coughed afterward.

"Why is this coming up now anyway?" Zoe said. "Holy shit, this isn't something about that guy, is it? Mark?"

"Malcolm. Yeah, I mean, that's part of it. But the real reason is I never liked it. I never thought we should do it. I want to get rid of it finally. And also I've been...seeing things. Sometimes..."

They stared at each other for a long time. Michele thought about the North-Going Zax and the South-Going Zax, stuck looking at each other forever because neither would budge.

But Zoe broke the stare down first by rolling her eyes. "You sure that's the real reason you came? Don't you want something else?"

"Like what?" Michele said. She was trying very hard not to sway on her feet. Zoe propped her up with an arm around her, then looked her straight in the eyes.

"Like me, maybe?" Zoe said. Michele choked again.

"Excuse me?"

"Come on. You're not fooling me. Don't tell me you never thought about it?"

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