By Joshua Scribner
Copyright 2016 Joshua Scribner
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This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
There are very legal ways to kill a person. Adrian Payne knew that. He was my sister’s husband of fifteen years. He was never really great to her, but he was mean in the ways a husband and wife are mean to each other, always taking little shots, nothing diabolical. I didn’t think he’d hurt her. I don’t think she did either.
Near the end, he cheated on her with a good friend of hers. The woman wasn’t even that attractive. And I’m not nitpicking either. The vast majority of men would have preferred my sister over her former friend. I thought Adrian probably just did it to be mean.
I think my sister might have been okay had he cut it off with the friend or cut it off with my sister immediately. He didn’t. He strung both of them along.
He made my sister feel like it was her fault. He told her she’d let herself go and that she was not very good in bed. And it was like he just kept her around so he could make her feel this way, while he, all the while, kept cheating.
I saw my sister deteriorate. She would act fine for pockets of time. Then she’d be rushing to see him, begging for him to come back. In her weak times, she’d tell me it wasn’t right and that it wasn’t real.
She took prescribed pills. Sometimes they would take the edge off. Sometimes it was like she hadn’t even taken them.
I really wanted to help her. There was nothing I could do.
My sister didn’t mess around when the time came. She didn’t take pills or cut her wrists. No, she used the fail-proof method of putting a shotgun below her chin.
Though he hadn’t pulled the trigger, Adrian had killed her. He knew it. I knew it. My whole damn family knew it.
I was forty-three and had never been married. I’d been in a handful of semi-serious relationships. I had no children, no one who I was responsible to.
I was a personal trainer and a powerlifter. I thought an assault and battery wouldn’t kill my career.
So I found his car at Mill’s Tavern and Grill one night. He came stumbling out by himself, apparently to have an open air smoke.
I got out of my car and moved at him. “Hey, Adrian. Missed you at the funeral.”
He looked up as if surprised to see me. I could see his face in the outside lights. It grew smug. “Fuck you, Lane.”
He was a scrawny dude. And I think it angered me even more that he wasn’t afraid. He should have turned and ran, or at least crouched over and tried to cover himself. He didn’t seem to care that his wife was dead. He didn’t seem afraid that her brother was about to beat him down. I had to make him feel what I needed him to feel.
I gave him an open-hand smack, just wanting him to feel like a bitch.
His cigarette went flying.
He gathered himself and swung.
I was far more powerful than him. But the little guy was quicker. He got me on the side of the face.
I’d been slapped by a woman before. That had hurt worse than Adrian hitting me. But with the woman, I had fought back the urge to hit her back. Adrian wasn’t so lucky.
I hit him with an underhand fist to the stomach.
He looked like he crumbled to the ground.
“There you go,” I said. “Now you’re down. I hurt you. I guess I should help you up. But you didn’t help my sis when she was down. No, you went ahead and kicked her, didn’t you, you piece of shit.”
I kicked him in the ribs and sent him rolling.
I’d never really been that good at violence. I’d always felt guilty for every person I hit, whether they deserved it or not. But beating Adrian was rather addicting. I felt like it would be hard to get enough.
“You had kids together, asshole. They’re adults now, but you still hurt them. They hate you. They wanted to hurt you, but I talked them out of it. I said I’d do it for them, and I’m so glad that I did.” I pulled him up by the hair and slammed his head into the side of the building.
I dropped him, and he fell like a rag doll to the ground. I realized that he was out. I couldn’t really inflict any more damage that he’d feel.
I knew he couldn’t hear me now, but I said it anyway. “That was for my sister, prick.”
I left him there.
There were two things I hadn’t known then. One, the security cameras of the bar had caught the whole thing. Two, Adrian was going to die.
As it turned out, no one had been watching the security cameras. Had they been, Adrian would have probably gotten medical attention. He probably would have lived, and I probably would have gotten assault and battery. My lawyer told me that much. My lawyer also said that since it was my first offence and with the mitigating factor of my sister’s death, I would have gotten a mild punishment.
It wasn’t what you would think that killed Adrian. If anything, I would have thought it was the blow to the head. But it was something else.
When I’d kicked him in the ribs, it had caused internal bleeding. By the time someone found him, he’d bleed to death.
This was not a legal way to kill someone. I was going away.
The DA wanted to charge me with first-degree murder. My attorney seemed to think he might get it, if we went to trial. The kick itself wasn’t the determining factor, even though it was the blow that did it. It was that I slammed his head into the wall that made it look like I was out to kill him. And since I’d sought him out at that bar, it made it look premeditated. My niece and nephew, Adrian’s and my sister’s children, were willing to testify that he’d brought it on himself. But that was unlikely to get me much leniency in a murder case. The state hated vigilantism and would likely make an example of me in a full blown trial. I took a plea bargain for voluntary manslaughter and got a sentence of fifteen years with a possibility of parole after the first ten.
It might as well have been life. I’d be in my fifties when I got out, and I’d have to start my life over.
I didn’t regret what I’d done to Adrian. That is, I didn’t feel guilty for it. The world was much better without him in it. I just regretted what I’d done to myself. I wished maybe I’d found a more methodical way to kill him, something I could get away with.
I would go over it in my head time and time again, coming up with different scenarios where he died and I got away with it. It didn’t matter, though. I couldn’t change what had happened. I was off to prison.
They put me in a cell with another man. He was a southern looking guy with his hair cut in a mullet. He wouldn’t speak at first. When I tried to introduce myself, he just looked away.
It was nighttime. I was afraid to sleep. I just didn’t trust a guy who wouldn’t talk to me.
I was lying awake, when I thought I felt him close to me. It was just the heat from his body.
I had one fist near my face and one by my genitals, waiting to protect my most vulnerable places should he want to attack.
As it turned out, he didn’t want to attack. He wanted to give me a warning.
He whispered. “You’re big and strong. That much is clear. But that’ll make the Snakes want to attack you more. If I were you, I’d do something to get thrown in solitary confinement.”
He moved away after that.
He’d not sounded like he was trying to threaten me in any way. I thought he’d sincerely been trying to warn me of something.
I didn’t think he met real snakes. Real snakes wouldn’t care about what I looked like.
Then again, maybe my cellmate was just crazy. Maybe he saw snakes all over the place. I hoped that wasn’t the case. I hoped the Snakes were a gang of people or something like that. At least I wouldn’t have to sleep in close quarters with a crazy man then. As it turned out, I would learn that my cellmate was perfectly sane. There was very much a group of Snakes outside the cell for me to be very wary of.
But that lesson was to be learned later. That night, I just didn’t know. My sleep would be very restless that night.
The hardest thing about those first days of prison was the constant noise. It was nearly impossible to sleep. During the day, it was hard to think.
But that was just at first. You can get used to anything. I developed the ability to sleep through two guys shouting a conversation from several cells away from each other, guards purposely stomping their feet as they walked by the cell, even a man crying all night.
My cellmate, who I’d heard someone call Carl, left me alone for the most part. He acted like he was afraid of me. But I didn’t think he was afraid I’d hurt him. No, he worried about being associated with me.
I got a job in the kitchen. It wasn’t rewarding work, but it did give me access to more food. The normal prisoner diet got you about 2500 calories a day. To keep up my size, I usually needed at lest 4500. And in prison, I felt an urge to keep my size on. Working in the kitchens I got the normal 2500 and could easily sneak other 2000.
There was a lot of time to workout. There was actually much more time than when I’d worked in a gym. The equipment was rather rough, but it was adequate. And it was very well monitored, so you didn’t have to worry about being attacked there or someone starting a fight.
There is a myth that the strongest guys in the world are in prison. There are strong guys there. But most of them lifted without having any idea of how to do it. I got a lot of questions and gave a lot of advice. I thought I might be making friends. I thought that was probably a good idea.
I always kept Carl’s warning in mind. But it took a little while before I met a Snake.
You might have thought the attack occurred in the showers. But the showers are actually pretty safe. They give you soap and they give you five minutes. That’s not a lot of time to cause trouble.
I met the Snake while working.
It was my job to do dishes. Most prisoners got about ten minutes to eat. I could eat while I worked. So I’d have a big plate of really bad food and I’d munch on it between rinsing trays and putting them in the huge dishwasher. If I needed a little more after that I could eat while I washed the serving pans.
The problem was I was usually the last guy out. And one day, the guard just let a Snake slip by.
I heard him before I saw him.
“Hey. You ever had sex with a man?”
I turned to see a black guy standing there. I went about 265 at the time. He was probably under two hundred. I was also holding a metal ladle. I had the upper hand.
“No. And I’m not interested.”
“That’s too bad. Let me show you my snake.”
I looked at him and saw he’d pulled up his sleeve to show the tattoo of a rattlesnake on his arm.
“I’m still not interested.” I brandished the ladle at my side, just to show him I meant business.
He gave a smug smile. “Do you know what you need to be a Snake?” he said.
I nodded. “A lack of brains, I suppose.”
He laughed, confidently. “Brains got nothing to do with it. It’s another part of the anatomy that counts.” He then reached into his jump suit like he might be pulling out a weapon. Instead, he pulled out a long black cock.
That did something very unpleasant to me. I was very aware that the consequences of losing a fight to this man and his friends would cost me more than a little pride and status. Losing a fight would mean something would happen to me that I would never recover from.
“We big,” Rattlesnake said. “And we like big boys.” He laughed again, then put it away. He left after that.
I stood there in shock. It was all suddenly very real to me. I suppose it was like being told about a ghost but not being sure they really existed and then seeing one. My mind wanted to deny what I’d just saw. I didn’t want to believe the man existed. I didn’t want to think he had friends.
I’d once killed a man. I’d been sentenced to prison and had to hear my mother cry as they took me from the courtroom. Those were things I had to relive over and over in my mind.
But I don’t think either of those things stuck in my head like the sight of that man’s cock. I don’t know how women handle it, knowing all we men walk around with those things, even if most were not as big as the one that had been flashed at me. There was something primal about having seen that, something very repulsive. I think it was because something in my psyche knew just how much damage that thing could do to my mind. My mind wanted me to be vigilant, to protect myself from potential futures involving that thing.
I didn’t just think about what I’d seen. I thought about how I’d felt upon seeing it. I’d felt weaker. I’d felt vulnerable. And if I had to see it again, along with a few other of its kind and its size, then I didn’t want to feel vulnerable. I wanted to feel ready to fight, ready to win.
I saw other Snakes around. I think that was intentional. Snake members would make sure they had their sleeves up as I walked by. They’d grin as they showed me. They’d smirk too, anything to make me feel weak and make them seem sickly confident.
Each snake tattoo was different. There were a few different cobras. There were anacondas and vipers too. There were various others, some I didn’t even recognize. All in all, I think there were about twenty of them.
The Snakes seemed to be buying their time. I thought they knew I wouldn’t be an easy target. Not only would they have to get me alone. There would have to be a few of them to hold me in place.
I did my best to never be alone.
I considered Carl’s advice. I could get myself thrown into solitary. But there were two things I hated about that idea. For one, I wouldn’t be able to eat as much as I wanted, and I wouldn’t be able to work out to keep up my size. The second problem was that going to solitary might make me a sitting duck. A guard must have let Rattlesnake into the kitchen. Who was to say a few guards might not let a few Snakes into my solitary cell? Then they’d have me alone to do whatever they wanted.
The most dangerous time for me was at the end of work, when I was the only one left in the kitchen. There were cameras there, but I doubted that would help me when the Snakes attacked. The last guy had gotten a guard to overlook him entering the kitchen without the right authorization. I supposed the right guards might ignore the right security monitors.
When I left the kitchen, I was always checked for weapons. That didn’t meant I couldn’t have them handy in the kitchen.
The eating utensils were plastic and would be worthless in a fight. The cooking utensils were metal, though. I kept spatulas and ladles nearby. I kept hot coffee and boiling water close too.
I was still a bundle of nerves. I had to choke down my food, and then it sat in an uneasy stomach.
I kept training. I wanted to be at my strongest and my quickest when the attack came. I noticed more and more that my lifting buddies were ignoring me, or trying to keep their distance. I was a marked man, and nobody wanted to get swept into the fray when it was my turn to meet the Snakes.
Someone did finally come in the kitchen one day. He was grinning very mischievously. But he was a guard. I wondered if he could be part of the Snakes. If he was, I was screwed, and I mean that in the most literal sense.
I looked at his arm, but that was covered with a long sleeve. If he had a snake there, I wouldn’t know it. I glanced at his crotch. If he had something enormous there, I wouldn’t know that either.
“You have a visitor,” he said.
“Okay,” I said. “Who is it?”
“It’s a conjugal visit.”
I knew that couldn’t be right. Conjugal visits were only for legally married prisoners.
“Your wife is waiting for you,” he said. “Come on.”
This was extremely fishy, but I wasn’t going to argue with the guard. Pissing off a guard was always a bad idea. They could make claims, and in prison, there was no real due process. If a guard accused you, you were assumed to be guilty.
We were met by two other guards when we left the kitchen. They took me to a part of the yard I’d never seen before. There were several old trailers there, the kind someone might take camping twenty or thirty years ago.
“Trailer three,” Grinning Guard said.
I was horrified. I was almost certain that what waited in that trailer were a few Snakes.
“I’d rather not.”
“What?” Grinning Guard said. “I saw your wife. She’s hot. No get in there, before I do.”
Guards could say what they wanted. If you accused them, you were assumed to be lying.
I didn’t think a guard would go so far as to rape an inmate’s wife. But I didn’t have a wife. I did think I better do what he said. If I got there and opened the door to see Snakes, I’d run like hell. One of the tower guards could shoot me. I didn’t care. I’d not want to live through what the Snakes had planned for me. But I thought I should check and see who was in there anyway, just to be sure that escaping was worth dying for.
That walk to the trailer seemed way too short. I opened that door while leaning back.
She stood right there at the top of the steps. This was no Snake. This was a girl with fiery red hair and perfect pale skin. She had a soft beauty to her. She was hourglass shaped, with great tits and great hips. I wished she was my wife.
“Come on in, hon.”
I moved up the steps. I was still wary, going inside. I quickly scanned the place. There was a mattress and some floor space. There were metal walls. There was nowhere anyone could hide.
I shut the door.
“Who are you?” I asked.
She smiled with her plush lips. “Your sister was a friend of mine.”
“Oh. I see. How did you get them to let you in here?”
“Oh. It wasn’t that hard. I just brought the proper paper work. And I convinced them that you lied when you told them you weren’t married.”
“And they bought it?”
“Well. I might have had to give a couple of blow jobs. But yeah, I’d say they bought it.”
She laughed. It was a melodic sound. “Does it really matter?”
I thought for a few seconds. “No. I guess it really doesn’t matter.”
She lifted her dress over her head. She removed her bra.
She had looked amazing with her dress and bra on. Now, she looked so much better.
“We better get to it,” she said. “We only get twenty minutes.”
Those twenty minutes were amazing.
At the very end, we rushed to get dressed.
“You’ll never be the same again,” she said.
She would only smile.
“Will you come back?” I asked.
She still would only smile.
The next day would be different from the days before it. I thought it might be the memory. I’d had something good in this place, something wonderful to think about. And now I didn’t have to only think about being safe.
I was still careful walking around. I didn’t want to be somewhere alone that I couldn’t escape. But I walked around with a pleasant smile on my face. When fear started to creep in, I thought of her face instead. When sadness about the state of my life started to ooze forth, I simply thought of her breasts.
My appetite was definitely back. Not only was I eating as much as I needed to. For the first time since I’d come here, I actually enjoyed it a little bit. And that’s hard, because prison food is about the worst food in the world. Everything is basic and bland. Some of it is simply hard to eat and there’s no ketchup to smother it. But that day, I didn’t feel like I was choking it down. I was savoring it a bit.
That night, I thought I felt my food stirring in my stomach. I would sleep a little uncomfortably. That wasn’t uncommon if I ate a little too much.
That wasn’t the worst part, though.
I kept having the same dream. I would be in the trailer. The woman would be standing there naked. I was so happy to see her again. But then things started to grow from the ceiling. These things were green and oozed. They took a finger like shape but were much bigger, like faceless snakes. They wiggled and screamed through slits at their ends. I tried to ignore them, but then one would come from her mouth. The redhead still wanted to kiss me, though. And one would come from her crotch.
She would move toward me and I’d try to get away, but the extensions growing from ceiling would grab me and hold me in place. Here’s where the dream would differ each time. One time, the thing from her mouth would wrap around my throat. Another time it would wrap around my cock. The worst might have been when it started to burrow into my asshole.
I woke over and over again, terrified and nauseated. And there was nowhere to go. There was no TV to get up and watch, no computer to surf the internet on. And I wasn’t about to wake Carl up for some conversation. All I could do is lie there and hope the nightmare would not return the next time my eyes were closed.
I’d had something beautiful in this drab place. But now I felt like the nightmares had ruined it. I couldn’t think of her face without seeing one of those things come out. I couldn’t think of her body without feeling one of them start its way up my ass.
I was tired and rather shaken the next day. My body didn’t really want to work, but my mind thought it would take my mind off the dream.
The last thing I wanted was to eat.
Then I got to work and smelled the food. That morning, breakfast was oatmeal, something grey that they claimed was sausage, and white toast. If anything, it should have been repulsive. That morning, the sausage smelled like it used to smell frying in the pan at grandma’s house. It was usually dry and bland, but on that morning it tasted better than grandma’s. The oatmeal was good too. It was the same oatmeal as always, but it tasted like comfort food, and I was dipping the toast in it.
I knew these things couldn’t be real. I knew it was just my appetite making bad food taste good. It was kind of like what pot could do.
I was through my plate of food before the dishes started to come. I didn’t have time to get more just yet, the trays coming too fast.
I found myself afraid I’d lose my appetite once the food I’d already eaten got settled in my stomach. I couldn’t believe I was willing to do it, but even the food left on the trays looked good. I found myself scooping leftover oatmeal with leftover toast, or my fingers if toast wasn’t available. I was eating sausage people had taken bites off of.
I wasn’t sure how much I ate. But I worked the lunch shift too. There, I pigged out on corn bread, baked beans, and franks. It was insane. I knew there was something wrong with me, but it was so hard to care. This was very pleasurable. And I could think of no reason not to eat myself right to death. It wasn’t like I had a great life to look forward to.
I thought there was a chance the woman might come to see me again. But that just didn’t seem as pleasurable as the love affair I had going with this really bad food.
The pattern would continue day after day. Every night I would go to bed and feel the terrible indigestion. And I’d dream of the woman. She would come to visit me and bring the terrible tendrils.
She’d ask me how I was doing. She’d ask if I liked what she’d given me.
She’d do this as the dream snakes violated me.
Every day I was tired. But that was fine with me, because I would get lost in all the food I ate. I tried to hide how much I was eating. I was afraid someone would turn me in and I’d have to go to the infirmary. There, they’d fix me, and I’d lose my hunger. Then my life would suck again, because I would have nothing to look forward to. At least now I could look forward to the food.
Then there was the day the Snakes came into the kitchen. I was the last one at work again. It was after dinner, and I was washing things while I sucked down really bad beef and gravy.
I turned to see two men standing there staring at me.
They were both white. One was big, like a gorilla. He had an anaconda on his arm. The other was short with a gut. He had a coral snake on his arm.
Anaconda was holding a metal pipe.
“You’ve lost weight,” Coral said. He had a New Yorker accent. “It looks good.”
I did a quick look down my body. Had I really lost weight?
“It looks like you’re cutting down for a competition,” Coral added. “It looks really sexy to us.” He looked at his friend, then back at me. “We are supposed to wait and then all of us will take you when the time is right. But we thought maybe we could work something out with you. Maybe you, uh, blow this guy and, uh, take it in the pooper from me. Then we could spread a rumor that you go AIDS and no one will want you.”
I had a moment of what seemed like clarity. “What do you mean when the time is right? Is everyone in on it? Was it a trick? Did you guys set me up with the woman to make me sick? Then I’d get weak, and you could take me?”
Coral looked at Anaconda, who shrugged. Then he looked back at me. “There ain’t no woman. And I ain’t buying that you’re sick. No one’s going to buy that shit until we want them to.”
“Yeah. What were you supposed to be waiting for then?”
He looked at his friend again, and this time he smiled like they had some kind of inside joke. He looked back at me. “Until the boss says you’re ready.”
I nodded. I thought I knew who the boss was. And it was probably a she, the same she that kept coming to my dreams. The same she who’d managed to set all this up. She wasn’t a friend of my sister’s. She was a friend of that asshole I’d beaten to death. Or maybe she was just a friend of the Snakes.
“No deal,” I said. “I’ll tell the boss if you touch me early.”
Coral looked like I’d just threatened his life. “Maybe my friend just takes that pipe and beats you to death then.”
I grabbed a ladle. “Maybe he tries. Maybe it doesn’t work out for him. Then, I tell the boss.”
Coral looked at his friend with what looked like bravado. He looked back at me again. “When it goes down, I’m going to go last. I’m going to put it down your throat until you choke to death.” He hit the other guy on the shoulder. The two of them walked out.
I’d not really noticed that I’d lost weight. But now that it had been pointed out, it seemed clear to me. Bodybuilders always cut weight before a show to make their muscles stand out. And mine were standing out more. I could see more veins. And my jump suit wasn’t near as snug. My mind had just been too busy to notice these things.
I saw Snakes more and more when I went out. It was like they were hanging out near me more. I thought they were watching me, waiting for something.
The workout area was fenced in. There were two guards stationed at the exit to make sure no one tried to take a bar or a weight plate outside the area so they could use them as a weapon. I saw a lot of Snakes hanging outside the area while I worked out. They lifted their sleeves to let me know they were there. They watched me workout with lustful expressions. I felt as helpless as a woman with stalker.
What had that redhead done to me?
I was weaker, which made sense with the weight loss and rough sleep. And being smaller and weaker, I felt more vulnerable.
I continued to eat. In fact, I ate more and more. It was my one reprieve. But I still lost weight.
Then, one night, my cellmate woke me up. He whispered, “Look man. You’re groaning all night. You’re talking about snakes in your sleep. You’re dropping weight fast. You should go to the infirmary. They might keep you there a while. The Snakes won’t attack you there.”
Snakes. That was it. I kept having dreams of the woman with the things growing in the trailer and coming out her orifices. Those things were featureless. But they were shaped likes snakes. It was her. She’d done it. She was with the Snakes. My subconscious mind had known that all along.
I wasn’t afraid of getting sick and dying. In fact, it seemed like a better fate than what was in store for me. But I didn’t think I’d die before the snakes got to me. My cellmate was right. It was time to visit the infirmary.
The beds in the infirmary were only slightly better than the beds in the cells. And there were more people to share the room with. There were no privacy curtains, like there would be in a regular hospital.
My infirmary doctor was a young guy. He looked like he should be barely out of high school, much less medical school.
“Well, Mr. Lane. The symptoms you describe are consistent with a parasitic infection, but your fecal examinations were negative.”
I thought the kid’s expression was smug. He thought I was making things up.
“Well, can you do an X-ray or something like that?”
“Mr. Lane. We don’t do unnecessary tests here. You’re living on the taxpayers’ money, you know.”
The kid seemed more like a lawyer or a politician right now. He didn’t care about the truth. He cared about his agenda.
There was nothing I could do. Something as small as a cross word was likely to get the guards in here.
“Look. I know the angle. I’ll do several tests that will come back negative. You’ll tell me you feel weak and your libido is gone, hoping I’ll give you steroids. You’re not the first muscle freak to come through here. Now, if you don’t mind, we need the bed.”
This was insane. There were open beds in the room. It suddenly occurred to me that this guy might be affiliated with a certain group. The Snakes could be pulling his strings. I so wanted to beat him. I did not. I got up and left for my cell.
That night, I was back in my cell. As tired as I was, I would lie there awake for a little while. Then I must have fallen asleep, because I was back in the trailer.
This time, the woman was there, but there were no snakes coming from the ceiling or from her.
She was standing there naked. She grinned. “Come on out, you piece of shit.”
And with that, I awoke in my cell.
Someone was shaking me and calling my name.
“You have to get out of here, Lane. Wake up and get out of here. If they have to come in for you, they’ll take me too. Get the fuck out of here.”
He started punching me. It wasn’t too hard yet, but I realized it could get worse.
I didn’t think he could force me out of there. He wasn’t strong enough. But I didn’t blame him for wanting me gone.
“Okay. Stop hitting me. I’ll get up, but I can’t leave. The door is . . .”
I could see it just then.
The cell doors always shut at night and then they stayed shut. But not this time.
I realized then that my cellmate was the least of my problems. That door had been opened by the only people who could have opened it. The guards were in on it too. This thing was big. I was in trouble.
But in the cell I was cornered. If I left, at least I could try to run.
“I’m leaving,” I said.
“I’m sorry,” my cellmate whispered. “You’re not a bad guy, but I can’t . . .”
“I know.” I got up. I was so fucking tired. I didn’t think a whole pot of coffee would be enough to invigorate me. I walked out of the cell, though.
The electronic door shut, locking me from my cell.
There were a few murmurs around, but the cell block wasn’t as noisy as it should have been. My cellmate wasn’t the only one afraid to the Snakes.
I was trying to think of where to go, when it hit me. A massive stomach pain caused me to curl over. It was like intense diarrhea, but sharper somehow. I now knew where I had to go. There was a toilet in my cell, but I didn’t have access to that toilet now.
I moved hunched over.
A sick but good thought hit me as I moved. If I was to go ahead and shit myself, then the Snakes would be less likely to want me.
I tried. It wasn’t happening. Not even a fart came out.
I had to sit. I had to be in the position that my body was used to being it when it shat.
And I had to get it out of me. I’d never felt so much pain. I thought I could start crying.
I knew I should be worried about the Snakes, but I just couldn’t think of them right now.
I moved down stairs to the ground floor. Usually, there would have been a few guards stationed there. I’d not seen a single one yet.
I made my way into the bathrooms. There were no stalls there, just several toilets and urinals.
I had the weird thought that this would be the first time I shat in privacy in a long time.
I sat down. I pushed. It hurt so bad that I nearly passed out. Why did I have to eat so much food?
I waited for a little while and pushed again. Nothing came out, but I could feel myself opening up.
Still, I thought it was going to be a while. My legs felt weak. My head was dizzy. I couldn’t keep pushing.
“He thinks that if he shits we won’t want him.”
I looked toward the entrance. Three of the Snakes had come in. The one who’d spoken was Rattlesnake. He had pulled out that monster of a cock.
“I just want him more.” It was Coral.
I thought of telling Rattlesnake what Coral had done. I was assuming Rattlesnake was the leader. But I really didn’t think it would do me any good to tell him of his henchman’s betrayal. There were several others filing in.
All and all, there were about a dozen.
“We like a train,” Rattlesnake said. “This is your train. You might not survive it.”
The Snakes’ laughter filled the room.
I thought I might be close to passing out. That would be good. Maybe I wouldn’t know what was happening to me.
“I think I’ll go first,” Rattlesnake said. Then he was walking toward me with his dick in his hand.
I had the horrifying thought that I would not pass out on time. I was too weak to put up any kind of fight. I wanted to go to some happy place, but I didn’t know how to do that.
I was in so much pain. I knew it was about to get worse.
Rattlesnake put that huge cock right up to my face.
Then something screamed.
I thought it might have been me. I thought maybe the pain and the trauma had been too much and I was now hearing myself from some distance place, like some abuse victim who’d learned a defense mechanism to escape the pain.
But then I saw the Snakes. They were looking around at each other. They seemed amused.
The scream came again. It wasn’t a frightened scream, though. It was more like a battle cry. And I realized the scream had actually come from me. I hadn’t made the scream, but it had come from me. And it hadn’t come from my mouth.
Then it happened. I felt it rush from me, splashing into the bowl.
I thought it was all out. I fell off the side of the bowl, careful not to land on my sore rectum.
The Snakes were looking at me, clearly astonished.
Then I saw all the eyes leave me when the scream came again. It hadn’t come from me this time. It had come from the bowl.
“Holy fuck,” Rattlesnake shouted, then he backed away from the bowl. I realized then that he had been the only one to actually see what had come out of me.
But then we all got to see it.
It was long and white. It had a segmented body, like a tapeworm. I might have thought it was just that, an overgrown tapeworm, but it had a head with human features.
Its segments were about as thick as a roll of quarters, but they seemed to flex with its breath, or something like breath. It seemed to be looking over the room, assessing the situation.
“What the fuck is that?” Rattlesnake asked the room. “Kill it!”
The guy with the anaconda tattoo stepped forward. He had a metal pipe pulled back like a baseball bat.
The worm’s head locked on him. Its body stiffened and then coiled.
Anaconda stopped, as if afraid.
“Kill it, you pussy,” Rattlesnake shouted.
Anaconda hesitated then took one more step forward.
The worm shot like a bullet. One second Anaconda had a head. The next second he did not. His huge body fell to a floor in a flop.
The heads of many men scanned. Someone must have located the worm, because he screamed.
I looked where he was looking.
The worm was on the wall. It was gliding around like it was on the floor, though, like it wasn’t really bothered by gravity.
Then it coiled like a cobra might and shot out again.
As if it knew who the leader was, it wrapped around Rattlesnake’s neck.
There was an instant in which Rattlesnake struggled. He made a chocking sound and put his hands to the worm.
Then, in an instant, the worm had condensed its coil and Rattlesnake’s neck snapped.
After that, the rest of the Snakes scrambled for the door.
I would have run for the door too, but I was just too tired.
I kind of wanted the worm to just kill me quick, like it had done the other two men.
It came across the floor and rose up like a cobra. It looked at me with its milky white head. I couldn’t see where it had eyes, but it seemed to see okay.
It opened its mouth, but didn’t scream this time. In a very distinct whisper, it said, “Feed me.”
I passed out after that. To this day, I’m still glad for that. I didn’t have to feel the thing going back up my ass.
I still don’t know how I got to the infirmary. But they kept me there for a few days.
And the strangest thing happened. I was extremely hungry. The strange thing was that two of the trustees that worked the infirmary kept sneaking me extra food. And I’d not even asked them to do it. I didn’t question why they were being so nice to me. I just kept eating.
My butt would heal. The doctor who treated me, the same one as last time, but with a better bedside manner, assumed the damage had been caused by gang rape. I didn’t tell him what really happened.
No one could prove who committed the two murders. The prison investigators assumed I couldn’t have done it, not in the condition I was found in. The Snakes weren’t talking.
I could feel the thing inside me stir from time to time, but it stopped hurting. It’s like my body accepted it as part of me.
I got out of the infirmary and went back to my job in the kitchen. My weight leveled off, but my eating did not. It wanted more and more.
I didn’t see the Snakes anymore. At least, no Snake wanted to show me their tattoo. Men still steered clear of me, though. Their eyes often became frightened as I walked by. It didn’t seem like everyone would know what had happened in that bathroom. Only some people had seen it. I thought most wouldn’t believe the Snakes story even if the Snakes were willing to tell it.
It was like I had a different air about me. Even the guards were cool to me. They let me stay late in the kitchen to eat as much as I wanted. I got longer showers. They even offered to bring me stuff from the outside, like shampoos, protein supplements, little shit like that. And I let them bring me stuff.
Then, one day, while I was at work, a guard came in and told me I had another conjugal visit.
This guard was smiling at me. He wasn’t grinning, though. His look wasn’t wicked.
I was thrilled. I’d hoped I’d meet the redhead again. Not only was she very sexy. I thought she might shine light on all this weirdness.
It wasn’t the redhead, though. No, the woman didn’t claim to be my wife either. She was clearly a hooker. And she wasn’t a cheap one. She didn’t look like she was on heroin or meth. She was a regular looking woman on the pretty side. She insisted I wear a condom, and I did.
There would be other instances of that. About once a month, a guard would come get me and there would be a new hooker to bang in one of the trailers. I felt like I was basically having all my needs met. I got food. I was safe. I got to have sex with women. And I was also rather fascinated by all this. My life interested me. Mostly, the thing in my stomach interested me.
Then, one day, it wasn’t a hooker in the trailer. It was the redhead.
To tell the truth, I was a little frightened. The last time I’d seen her it was in another bad dream.
Seeing her standing there, in a snake-free trailer, I got the pun. “Oh. The piece of shit did come out, just like you said.”
She winked. “That’s not really what it is.”
“I sent you my messages. But your mind filtered things. It distorted things, made them symbolic.”
I nodded. That seemed so cool to me right now. It had not been cool in the dreams. But now that the smoke had cleared, it seemed cool. I remembered thinking the things in the dreams represented the Snakes. But they had really represented the thing in my stomach, my savior who came out of my ass.
“And the rest?”
“Yes. I’m safe. And the guards are cool to me.”
She nodded. “The thing I put in you whispers. It doesn’t like to come out, so it whispers from you. It’s something only peoples’ subconscious can hear. It whispered to the doctor early on. It told him to disregard what he knew to do and simply believe you were after steroids. That way it could go undetected.”
“So it’s like telepathy.”
“Oh.” I thought for a little while. “Before the doctor, was it whispering to the guards at all? I mean, they were helping the Snakes. Was the snake just trying to lure the Snakes into an ambush?”
She laughed. “No. That was all the Snakes doing. But they’ve lost their influence now.”
I smiled and nodded. “You’re right about that. And you didn’t really get in here by blowing anyone.”
She laughed again. “No. I can make a man do what I want without blowing him. I can even put a grin on his face without blowing him.”
I knew what she was talking about. I remembered the guard that had gotten me from the kitchen to meet her the first time. I remembered his mischievous grin. He hadn’t been in on some conspiracy with the Snakes. He’d been under her spell.
“It must be stronger now, if it can whisper to all the people around me, get them to get me things, keep me safe.”
She nodded. “I did not know what to put in you until you were in me. Then I could sense what you needed better. The thing in you will be there until you die. And even that will take a long time. At first, your body had to adapt to it. That was probably uncomfortable at times. But now it will make your body better. You’ll get out of here, probably early. And you will feel like you haven’t aged a day.”
That sounded good. Life was good in here now, but I thought life could be better outside.
After that, she kissed me. Then we fucked again.
Afterward, she said, “I didn’t put anything in you this time, but I didn’t take anything either.”
I didn’t know how to respond to that. I finally went with, “Thank you.”
“I really did know your sister. I cared very much for her. I was going to kill that bastard, but you beat me to it. I knew she’d want me to keep you safe.”
“Will I see you again?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
I didn’t know if I wanted to see her again. I didn’t want to risk anything. My life was satisfactory now. I feared I might somehow accidentally piss her off and she’d take it all away.
She left, and I haven’t seen her since. The guards are still awesome to me, though. The other inmates are still afraid. I still get visits from hookers.
The other day I went for tattoos. I got one on my right arm. It’s a beautiful redhead with big tits. On my other arm is something that looks like a tapeworm with the face of a man.
About the Author
Joshua Scribner is the author of 18 published novels and five 50-story collections. He currently lives in Michigan.