Another reason not to try to get picked up in a bar.
He never knew when the frenzy would be upon him, and lately the frenzy had lasted a lot longer than in the beginning, overpowering him and leaving him exhausted when it had satiated itself.
The evening had started out so innocently. Carrie Cunningham hadn’t really expected to be picked up on her first try at staking out Pete’s Tavern for likely hunks – but she had. The guy had come on to her with both barrels as if he’d just returned from a six-year stint on a desert island, nearly bowling her over with his syrupy pitch.
Carrie wasn’t really on the make; she just looked like it. She had dressed to thrill, as they say, with tight black Capri pants, a several sizes too small transparent jersey that showed off her ample assets to perfection and black stiletto heels that clicked as she walked across the wood flooring. It didn’t matter that no one could hear them in the noisy bar. They would when it counted. Over her left shoulder hung a chain strapped evening purse with just enough room in it for the essentials and not much more.
It had been a college dare; a right of passage thought up by the sisters of Sigma Delta Chi sorority. How could she have known that the hunk was really an undercover cop from the vice squad, officially there to catch unwary neophyte prostitutes, but unofficially there to satiate his own uncontrollable urges? If she had known, going with him to someplace quieter and cozier would have been the last thing on her mind.
He’d told her his name was Michael, Michael Davenport, and that he was a regular at Pete’s Tavern because the watering hole was on the way home from where he worked.
They had quickly finished their drinks, he leading the way out of the bar and to his car. Slightly taken aback, she watched as he gallantly opened the passenger side door for her and waited until she was safely inside before closing it again and going around to his side, opening the door and getting in.
"My, they don’t make them like that much any more," she thought as she buckled up her seat belt. As she did, she heard both door locks click as he settled himself in. She wasn’t much up on cars, but knew from its interior that it was a high-end model of whatever brand it was.
She smiled as he made small talk, assuring her that they didn’t have far to go before they reached his loft apartment. A small town girl, she had no idea what to expect in a loft apartment, but just in case she might run into any problems, she had come prepared. Clutching her purse protectively beside her, she thought of the self-defense weapon she had been encouraged to carry in it just in case.
Eventually he slowed the car and pulled over into a parking spot. Glancing up at the building he’d parked beside, she ruefully realized where she was. He had taken her to the factory district, the bricks of the buildings in the neighbourhood blackened by years of pollution.
He quickly got out of the car, walked around to her side and once more made a show of gallantry that had her both amused and surprised. She’d never had anyone do that before. So old-fashioned and yet so nice, she thought. Stepping up onto the curb, she watched as he opened the side door with a big key, then led her into a room with a freight elevator. She wasn’t sure what to make of the noise of the freight elevator as it started up after they got in and he closed the wrought iron doors.
One flight up the elevator shuttered to a stop and Michael pulled open the wrought iron doors again. Looking from side to side, she stepped out into the darkened hallway, not sure where to go next. Leading the way, Michael slid his key into the lock of his apartment door and turned it, pushing the door inward as he did.
Motioning her inside, he waited expectantly for her reaction. They all reacted; it was part of the fun, he thought, smiling as he followed her in.
Stunned beyond belief, Carrie didn’t know what to make of what she was seeing. It was the weirdest apartment she had ever seen. All in one room, there were things hanging from the walls that she had only seen in cheap horror movies. Meant to be seductive, they were anything but. Oh my god, she stifled the urge to say out loud, this guy must be a nutcase.
Michael quickly realized that he’d found another one that did not share his macabre sense of sexual humour. Grabbing her from behind, he thrust her onto the couch. As he did, a familiar sound from down the hallway alerted him they were no longer alone. He had been so caught up in watching her reaction, he hadn’t paid any attention to the fact that the elevator had made a quick round trick, and was just now shuddering to a stop again.
"Hey, bro, whadda ya think your doing to our Carrie."
Whirling around, Michael was shocked to see a half dozen people dressed all in black, including masks, and obviously carrying ill concealed weapons.
"I was just showing her my apartment," he replied, stepping as far away from her as he could, and as close to something he could use as a weapon.
"I wouldn’t try to do anything if I were you," said the biggest one of the bunch, who towered over Michael by several inches and outweighed him by a fair number of pounds.
"I meant no harm. I love to show off my Halloween collection to get a reaction. Sometimes it works; but most of the time it doesn’t."
"What kind of a reaction were you hoping for, fella? You gotta be kidding to think these are sexy. They ain’t sexy, man. They’re just plain weird.
"You all right, Carrie? Personally, I think picking this guy up is going a little too far for an initiation. What say we break this up, and call it a night."
"An initiation. You mean this come on was just for an initiation, it wasn’t for real?" said Michael, incredulously.
"Sorry, mister. But I definitely don’t do this sort of thing for a living. Thanks for the compliment, though." With that, Carrie got up off the couch and moved to beside her friends.
Breathing a sigh of relief that her friends had been following behind to make sure she didn’t get in any real trouble, Carrie was the first to go through the doorway and head toward the elevator. As she did, she was followed by her entourage, Michael watching them as they all finally left his apartment. Listening for the sound of the elevator starting up again, he waited a couple of minutes till it was safely out of sight, then left the apartment himself and made his way carefully down the emergency exit that emptied out the back door of the building. He quickly dashed around to where his car was parked, got in and slumped behind the wheel so they couldn’t see him.
"This isn’t over with by a long shot," he said to himself, already feeling the frenzy building up in his body.
Watching Carrie and her escorts saunter over to the tricked out van they had parked just outside his building, Michael could feel the sweat pouring off him, saturating his new shirt. Damn, there goes another one he mused, as he counted down the minutes while they loaded themselves in the vehicle and finally started it up.
The driver’s side window was open and he could hear them laughing as they pulled away from the curb and headed down the street. Sitting up, he turned his own key in the ignition and smiled as it roared to life. Pressing down on the accelerator just a little too hard, the tires squealed as he headed down the street after them.
Michael was so caught up in catching the van that he hadn’t noticed another car parked further back down the street, that had started up and was following as well. So used to being the undercover cop himself, he had had no idea that he himself was the subject of an ongoing internal investigation - an investigation that was about to be blown wide open.
Quickly catching up to the van, Michael came along side of it and attempted to run it off the road. As he did, police cruisers came at them from all sides, alerted by the one that had been following him, their sirens screaming at him. He could do nothing but back off and pull over. The frenzy quickly drained from his body as his fellow officers braked, then clambered out of their vehicles and, en mass, surged toward his car.
Michael knew it was finally over then; well, not quite. He had one thing left he could do, if he could just pull the trigger. Reaching for the spare gun he kept in his glove compartment, Michael pulled it out and put it to his head, cocking it as he did so. The last thing he heard as he pulled the trigger, was the tumbler turning, then a loud bang as pieces of his brain were scattered across the passenger seat.
"Hey, Sarge," said the first officer to reach Michael’s car, "looks like we’re too late. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I’d say. He’s saved the state some money anyway!"
Carrie Cunningham and her friends watched from a safe distance, glad they had been there for her – and the other police too.
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