Copyright 2017 EM Benton and CJ Benton
Title: Mutha Bugga
Author: EM Benton and CJ Benton
Publisher: Shakespir, Inc.
Private Editor: Lori Michaels
All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is a complete work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons – living or dead, or to actual events is entirely coincidental.
Authored by EM Benton and CJ Benton
First Edition Print 2017
Cover created and designed by CJ Benton. Copyright 2017 CJ Benton. All rights reserved.
Stories by EM Benton and CJ Benton
Campy Horror Tales
Books Available at Amazon
“That ole durty bitch, she ain’t what she used ta be. Ain’t what she used ta be. That ole durty bitch, she ain’t what she used ta be.”
Sam Bo Rex sang the last line way out of key. When the end note came out, he slapped his hand three times on the dash of his faded-red 69 GMC Pickup.
Big Red he called it.
Ain’t no doubt, it was the ugliest pickup this side of East Tennessee, but ole Sam Bo, he didn’t mind the ugly.
He looked in the rearview and smiled as big as he could, showing nothing but gum and a few rotted lower nubs barely hanging on, but blessed be, ole Sam Bo still had all of his hair, and, after all these years, he still had Big Red.
He made his way down the one-lane dirt road, and as he took the left turn, he slowed Big Red way down to a crawl and hung his head out the window. He turned the wheel so his face was aimed right at the wood sign – Toad Road.
That old sign has been sitting in the same spot for pert near thirty-years, he reckoned.
The sign si-goggled in a perfect angle to catch those flying loogies. If anyone asked anybody, ole Sam Bo Rex happened to be the best dog-gone spit man around. He hacked the phlegm up real good from the back of his throat. He rolled it around in his mouth until he got it good and thick, and then, he readied the spit wad to lunge out like a speeding bullet. He damn sure hit the target every time.
“There you go!” he yelled as he watched the phlegm splat against the wood and slowly ooze its way down.
He pushed his foot on the accelerator and went on down Toad Road, bouncing in the seat as the wheels rode over hitting every bump and ridge along the way.
A little over a mile down the road…
Sam Bo drifted his eyes over to the left and mashed his foot down on the brake.
Big Red sputtered, chugged, and made an awful clang sound before it came to a squeaking stop smack in the middle of the road. He jumped out and left his door wide open. He moved over to the edge and stared. “Land-O-Melon-alive,” he said, rubbing the grey scruff on his face.
He sure hadn’t seen anything better than that on the edge of the road in years. He reached out, put his hands on the arms, and pushed down. Rocking it back and forth, he checked the sturdiness. “That’s a tough one, there,” he mumbled. He walked circles around it, wondering why someone would toss out such a great recliner chair. He scratched his head. Sam Bo didn’t have the slightest idea, but he loved the color – blue, and there were no holes or slits in the fabric. It’s a dream come true! Yes, indeed! A fine, fine, fine, chair.
He glanced over at Big Red, and tossed the idea around in his head, that maybe a furniture truck lost it out the back and it just so happened to land upright and at the side of the road. Yeah, that has to be it!
He put in all the strength he could muster and dragged it over to the tailgate. It took a few tries, and he damn sure broke one hell of a sweat, but he managed to get it up and onto the back of Big Red.
He slid back into the front seat and shut the door.
Easing down on the accelerator, he looked in his rearview and checked to make sure the recliner chair was staying put. Ole Sam Bo couldn’t have been happier. “Finders Keepers,” he chuckled with a big grin.
He turned the wheel, and, for the first time in months, backed Big Red into his driveway.
He got out, shut the door, and jumped up onto the back. He wiggled the recliner chair to the edge of the tailgate and hopped down. “Son-of-a-bitch,” he mumbled as he lifted the recliner chair and lowered it to the ground. Surprised he didn’t pull a muscle in his weak back, he happily pulled it along into his four-room shanty cabin.
The place wasn’t much to look at. It was dingy, small, and reeked of some unrecognizable stench. The walls were covered in a faded floral pattern that peeled from the corners and bubbled here and there along the center. A black and white picture tube sat on a painted crate. Another crate sat against the wall with a pillow on top for sitting.
He moved the blue recliner chair in and set it smack in front of the picture tube in the middle of the room. He gladly tossed the pillow off the crate, stood it up on its side, and slid it over next to the recliner chair.
Sam Bo took a seat and looked around the room. He was blessed, all right. God had done set him up with a dandy recliner chair, and, boy, was he every bit of grateful.
A fine, fine, fine piece of furniture. Yes, indeed!
Between the kitchen and the sitting room a faded-yellow door sat, and behind it, lots of narrow steps going up to the attic. Sam Bo done his best to keep that door shut. He hated it up there. It was a dark and musky space and something about it irked the shit plumb out of him. He had gone as far as asking the land-lady, Mrs. Lucie, if he could nail the damn thing shut. She wouldn’t hear of it. So, Sam Bo done the next best thing – he moved the trashcan in front of it and vowed to never open it.
The kitchen was ever bit smaller than the sitting room. It had only a tiny bit of counter space, a sink, a dinky half-fridge, and one electric hot plate to cook on. A yellow Formica table sat against the wall, and piled on it were a few plastic dishes, a cup, a pot, and one black iron skillet. A doorway off to the side of the kitchen door led to a small bedroom that was no bigger than a king-sized bed. Sam Bo slept on a military cot left there by one of the previous tenants. Under it sat a trusty bat with bob-wire wrapped around it.
Another crate stacked on top of two others held three changes of clothes, underwear, and socks. A door next to the crates went into a dinky closet bathroom that was just big enough for a sink, toilet, and step-in shower. A medicine cabinet hung above the sink with a cracked mirror.
“Seven-years bad luck,” Grandma Rex always said. “Seven-years, no more, and no less.”
One common thing in every room was a long, sticky strip that hung from the ceiling, decorated with the corpses of flies and small flying pests. It wasn’t a pretty sight to see, but it did the job, and Sam Bo couldn’t have been more pleased.
Sam Bo flicked his eyes open. Funny, he didn’t remember falling asleep, but it wasn’t no surprise. It was a fine, fine, fine, chair and a man could doze off in it and sleep till the cows came home.
He sat for a few minutes then got up. He meandered slowly past the attic door into the kitchen, where he scrambled a mess of eggs in the iron skillet on the single old hot plate. He turned on the picture tube in time to catch an episode of Gilligan’s Island. A fine show, yes, indeed!
He got up, took his plate to the sink, and cleaned up his egg mess. He sat back down in his recliner chair – his fine, fine, fine, blue chair. Sam Bo couldn’t have been any prouder sitting there as if he were the king of a castle.
“Holy Jaysus!” he yelled, and his pulse lunged as he jumped to his feet. He looked at the arm and bent down closer. “What in the jingling-blue-blazes is that?”
He pressed his thumb down on a small dark bug and lifted it up to take a gander beneath. He saw nothing but blood. The bug exploded, leaving nothing of itself but bits of dark pieces in red. Puzzled and curious, Sam Bo had never seen something like that before. So, easy to kill. A little slight pressure and kaboom!
He went into the bathroom and scrubbed his hands with the lye soap. Must’ve been some kind of night bugga. Could have flew in when I had the door open, bringing in that fine, fine, fine chair.
He changed the channel and leaned back in the recliner chair. No more night bugga, he thought, and he fell fast asleep in front of the picture tube. No worries!
Three-o’clock and something jarred Sam Bo from his sleep. He flicked open his eyes. He hadn’t been dreaming. He rubbed his eyes and looked around the room. Everything seemed normal as normal usually was. He starred at the picture tube. The old classics were playing. He loved those. Casablanca with two of his favorite actors: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Somewhere in the middle of the movie he dozed. Soon enough, he was flipping from one side to the other.
He flicked open his eyes just in time to see three small, black buggas near his face.
He smacked his hand over the top and obliterated them. When he lifted it to look, he saw nothing but red and a few dark pieces. Damn, more night buggas. The thought ran through his head.
He got up and flicked on the light.
“Holy Jaysus!” he gasped as he watched in fear at the little tiny black specks running here and there all over the recliner chair. He shook his head. Those ain’t no night buggas I’ve ever seen. He got down on his knees and looked closer. Running his finger over the black specks left a trail of blood. He got up, moved the crate, and flipped the recliner chair over. The bottom was loaded with little round clingy white specks. He ran his finger over the top… nothing. No red trail.
Suddenly, his mental alarm rang loud and clear. Eggs! the word rushed through his head. Goddamn eggs!
“Not my fine, fine, fine, chair,” he cried. “Oh, Jaysus! Tell me it ain’t so!”
He darted into the kitchen and fell to his knees as he reached under the sink. Way in the back was a full can of bug spray. He read the front: Kills on contact.
“Okay, you little sons-of-bitches, I got all of you now,” he whispered with a slight devious grin. He went back into the living room, determined to get the job done.
He sprayed, sprayed, and sprayed again until the full can was plumb empty. He shook the can, getting every last bit out he could. “That ought to do it,” he said with a relieved tone in his voice. He grabbed the broom from the corner and swept the recliner chair clean. “No more of them nasty buggas,” he said with a big smile and happily tossed the empty can in the trash-bin.
A few hours later…
Whistling the tune of Row, Row, Row, Your Boat, ole Sam Bo walked in the front door with his social security check in his hand. He looked over at his recliner chair. “It’s still a fine, fine, fine chair,” he said.
He laid his check on the crate and went to the bathroom. In the mirror, he saw a red mark on his neck. He looked closer and noticed another right below it… then another.
Sam Bo lifted up his shirt. A trail of small, tiny bite marks ran from his neck all the way down his side. His eyes widened as big as silver dollars. “Holy crap cakes!” he gasped. “Blood suckers.” He lowered his shirt and walked back to the recliner chair. He stood still and stared, making sure the buggas were gone.
Satisfied he didn’t see one running, he walked into the kitchen, filled a plastic cup half full of tea. Thirsty, he drank it down at the sink.
That’s when he noticed more bites on his hands.
He touched the sores and meandered into the bathroom. He pulled off all his clothes and hopped in the shower with the lye soap. He scrubbed down every inch of his body in the hottest water he could stand. He even scrubbed his head until his fingers were sore. He turned off the water and stepped out clean and naked as a jay-bird. Quickly he dashed into the bedroom, grabbed some clothes, and threw them on.
He walked back where the blue recliner chair set. He took a seat and leaned back. “I’m calling this fine, fine, fine chair clean,” he whispered and shut his eyes.
Ten minutes later, he opened them to find a bug sitting on his hand. “Oh no, oh no, oh nooooo!” He panicked and jumped up. “I killed you sons-of-bitches, all of you-uns. I know I done did.” He slapped his hand and smashed the bug. Nothing but blood and bits of dark pieces. He pushed down on the seat cushion. Little moving black specs everywhere. “Buggas!” he whispered.
He grabbed his social security check, headed straight out the door and hopped into Big Red. He fired up the engine and peeled out of the driveway onto the road, leaving a cloud dust behind him. He knew where he was headed. Into town. He hit his hands against the steering wheel. “I’ll get them sons-of-bitches this time.”
Big Red rolled on down the road until it came to the outskirts of town where a big superstore sat. “I betcha… them folk in there… they’ll have just what we need.” He pulled Big Red into the parking lot, shut her off, and meandered his way inside to the insect and bug aisle.
“Excuse me there, young fellow,” he asked a young stock boy busy loading the shelf with chemical sprays and powders.
“Young fellow,” he said and cleared his throat.
The young man looked up and stood to his feet. Before he opened his mouth to speak he noticed the sores on Sam Bo’s neck and hand. He stepped back a couple of feet. “Can I help you with something, sir?”
“I brought home a fine, fine, fine, blue chair, and it has these little black, tiny buggas crawling on it. I sprayed, but the little sons-of-bitches… they’re back. Look at me.” He showed his hand to him. “They bite and when I go to smack them, they’re full of blood.”
The young man knew right away. “Bed bugs,” he whispered and leaned a little closer. “You have bed bugs.”
Sam Bo’s eyes widened. “I have what?”
“Bed bugs, sir.”
Sam Bo scratched the sores on his neck. “Now how do you reckon a person gets bed buggas?”
The young man stood speechless as if the cat done came and snitched out his tongue. After a few seconds, he shrugged and said,
“They like to be in furniture, sir.”
“Like a blue recliner chair?” he asked.
The young man nodded. “They like mattresses too.”
Sam Bo shook his head. “Don’t got one of those. I got an army cot. Ain’t no buggas been on that.”
“If they’re in the recliner chair, and you ain’t never had them before, sir, that’s probably where they came from.”
“How do you reckon I can kill the little sons-of-bitches?”
The young man reached for a can of Dead Bug. “This is the best spray we have, sir. Kills on contact.”
Sam Bo took the can and arched his brow as if he were studying the words. “Maybe I’ll take two cans.” He was confident the spray would do the trick.
He took it to the pay out, waited in line, and paid by cashing his social security check at the register.
The girl glanced at his hand and neck. She tried not letting it show that she was repulsed by the bites and the spray. She certainly knew how to keep her distance, not wanting to catch whatever it was he had. She counted out his change and laid it down in front of him. “Have a nice day, sir,” she said respectfully and with a big meaningless smile.
Sam Bo smiled, showing his toothless grin, and took his two cans out the door with him.
The girl waited till the man was out of sight. She bent down, grabbed the cleaner, and hurried wiping her station down.
Sam Bo pulled into the driveway and shut Big Red off. She sputtered and chugged before she died down. He got out smiling as if he were a proud peacock, just in case anyone was watching. When he opened his front-door and shut it behind him his smile fell to a frown, and a look of determination took over.
“Okay, you sons-of-bitches, I know you’re there, and I got just the thing to take care of you.” He looked at the can and pointed to the words. “Dead Bug,” he said. “You hear me… I got the Dead Bug, and you’re all gonna die.”
He walked over to his blue recliner chair and stood in front of it, scanning his eyes over the fabric. He couldn’t see anything, but he knew the little buggas were there. He turned the recliner chair on its side and sprayed every inch of it, flipped it back, and sprayed again, over and over. He coughed and gagged, inhaling the residue that was permeating the air.
The cans emptied out, and he stood up. “There, ain’t nothin’ gonna live through that.” He stood staring at the blue recliner chair. “It’s still a fine, fine, fine chair.”
He walked in the kitchen and tossed the cans, confident he got every one of them little buggas. He made a half of a sandwich and downed a glass of tea.
He went into the bathroom and stepped over his dirty clothes. As he was relieving himself over the toilet, he glanced down at the floor and noticed those little black specs moving. “No, no, noooo!” he whispered. He quickly shoved himself back into his britches. He grabbed the clothes as he swiped the black specs up. He tossed them into the shower and turned the water on scalding hot. He closed the sliding door.
He walked into his bedroom and sat down on the cot. Frustrated and unsure of what to do next, Sam Bo laid down in a fetal position and mumbled over and over, “Die you sons-of-bitches.” After a few minutes, he got up, walked through the steam, and turned the water off. Bet that gotcha, you sorry vampire suckers.
After the steam cleared, he looked over every inch of the bathroom, sitting room, bedroom, hallway, and kitchen. He found nothing… no black little specs.
No more buggas!
He turned on the picture tube and leaned back in his fine, fine, fine chair. Everything is just fine, fine, fine, he thought as he drifted to sleep.
Sam Bo flicked his eyes open, terrified. He jumped up, swiping his arms as if he had the buggas running over him. When he came to his senses, he realized it had been a bad dream. He searched over the blue recliner chair. Everything was dandy! No sign of those buggas, not one.
And then… his eyes widened as he moved closer to the wall. White round specs clung to the wallpaper. “I’ll be damned,” he whispered. “If that ain’t more eggs!”
He needed more spray. He needed something more than that. He headed out the front-door and slid into Big Red. Another trip to the superstore. This time he was bringing the army back with him.
“Them sons-of-bitches,” he yelled. “They’re not winning, no sir-ree. No-n-how.”
He turned Big Red into the parking lot and parked near the front door. He went straight to the bug isle with a push-cart. Ten cans of Dead Bug – Extra Strength, sat on the shelf. He grabbed every one of them. He looked over the products. Sprays for ants, bees, roaches, and even lice buggas. He spotted the powder – Bug Gone – Kills Bugs Dead in Their Path.
“That’s what I need,” he mumbled and grabbed the last three bottles. Before he left the aisle, he found a mask to cover his nose and mouth, a scrubber, and a bucket. He made his way over to the cleaning aisle and bought a half a gallon of bleach. Bleach, no, they won’t like that, he thought. No bugga survives bleach.
The same girl was at the counter. She was the type of girl who never forgot a face, particularly a face like Sam Bo. She scanned the ten cans of Dead Bug, three bottles of Bug Gone, and the mask. “Ninety-seven dollars,” she said, keeping her distance and without her pleasant and warm smile.
On the ride home in Big Red, Sam Bo started thinking Maybe it wasn’t such a fine, fine, fine chair.
He walked in with the bag in his hand and ready for war. He scrubbed the walls with hot bleach water and washed down everything thing he could with the bleach. The whole place was bleached spotless. He gathered up his clothes, soaked them in spray, and put them in a trash bag. He set the bag in the back of Big Red. He put the mask on and sprayed the walls, the counter, the floor, the crates, the cot, and even the blue recliner chair.
Exhausted, he grabbed a bite to eat and fell asleep in front of the picture tube in his recliner chair. “Damned Buggas! Damn, damn, damn them all!”
Several hours later, he flicked open his eyes. He saw something bigger than a small black spec run across his hand.
“Sons of bitches,” he cried and yelled at the top of his lungs. He grabbed the last can of spray and sprayed the bug until it didn’t move. “That’ll teach you,” he said, flicking the bug out the door. “That’ll teach every one of you fuckers.” His eyes widened. “You’ll be dead alright – kills on contact.” he yelled, shaking the can in the air. “Ain’t nothin’ gonna mess with ole Sam Bo”
He sat down and laughed at himself.
He laughed at the spray.
And he laughed even harder at the buggas.
He laughed until he couldn’t laugh anymore.
Every day after that, for a month, Sam Bo got up and walked through his place. He examined every wall, using a flashlight to check for those white specs. He searched every crate, the cot, the recliner chair. He looked at everything over and over.
Sam Bo had gone over the deep edge, only he didn’t know it. The buggas had pushed his sanity until there was no comprehension between what was real and what was not. When he saw a dust speck, he panicked, thinking the buggas had returned. He scrubbed himself four times a day, and, at night, he kept the lights burning so he could see if one of the sons-of-bitches were sneaking up on him.
He sat down in his blue recliner chair. “I’m okay,” he whispered. “Everything is just dandy!”
“No more buggas!”
He shut his eyes.
A few minutes later, a strange scratching noise woke him.
He flicked his eyes open and listened. There it was again. “What’s that?” he whispered. He looked up. It was coming from the ceiling. – The attic!
Not rats! he thought. “Noooo!”
He darted to his bedroom and grabbed his bat from underneath the cot. In the kitchen, he grabbed the flashlight. He walked over and stood at the attic door. Shaking, he put his hand on the knob. He stood there, struggling with himself not to open the door.
A louder noise, a shuffle.
He had no choice but to open the door.
He turned the knob and pushed.
The light from the kitchen lit the way to the stairs. He walked down the narrow corridor. He could barely breathe. The walls are closing in. He clicked on the light bulb and started up the steps. What am I doing? He hated this attic. I shouldn’t be here.
He slowly opened the door with one hand as he clenched the flashlight with the other. He kept the bat under his arm and stepped over to the middle of the room. He waved his flashlight in the air. “I got my bat here with me, you damn rats! You hear me?”
He clicked the flashlight on. “I’ll kill you sons-of-bitches too!”
His eyes widened bigger than they had ever widened before. He let out a gasp, as he watched the walls appearing to move while thousands of black specs ran up and down. “Holy shit on a shingle,” he said as he looked around with the flashlight. In the corner was an egg sack the size of a watermelon. “I think I’m gonna need a bugga man.”
He turned around to the sound. Sam Bo let out a loud blood curdling scream that he was sure could be heard around the world.
A humongous bed bug stared him in the face.
He tried to scream again. It was too late. Blood splashed and ran everywhere. It even dripped from the ceiling like red rain.
A month later.
A 1974 green Ford Pickup turned down Toad Road. It passed the si-goggled sign, paying little attention to it.
A little over a mile…
“Virgil, stop” Pull over,” Milly Millicent said, sticking her head out the window.
Virgil Millicent stepped on the brake and looked over to the side as Milly jumped out and ran over to the edge of the road. “Isn’t that just the finest blue recliner chair you ever seen?”
He got out and ran over beside her. He sure hadn’t seen anything better than that on the edge of the road in years. He reached out, put his hands on the arms, and pushed down. Rocking it back and forth, he checked the sturdiness. He walked circles around it, wondering why someone would toss out such a great recliner chair. He scratched his head. Virgil didn’t have the slightest idea, but he loved the color – blue, and there were no holes or slits in the fabric. When he finished, he looked up at her with the biggest damn smile he ever made.
It’s a dream come true! Yes, indeed! A fine, fine, fine, chair.