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Adam J Murray

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Kneeling Before Autumn
by Adam J Murray   

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Publisher:  Lulu Type: 

Copyright:  2007

Abattoir Press
Lulu Publishing
Abattoir Press

Dark sub-culture prose cut with crime and horror.

Kneeling Before Autumn is set against a grimy backdrop of big city 1950's America. After murdering her junkie, abusive husband Autumn is released from the cycle of cruel men that have scarred her flesh and ruled her life. Now after thirty years of torture Autumn is at a crossroads, to again become a puppet to more evil men and the criminal justice system or flee and squeeze through the quickly closing aperture of freedom. Waiting in the wings however is a cabal of strange and horrifying creatures to claim her for her power and sins. The time is soon approaching where they will meet on the crossroads of Middle America to draw their lines in the blood of a new battlefield. Beginning in nineteen fifties America Kneeling Before Autumn moves through time and space seeing Autumn leading a revolution of a spiritual consciousness that began in Ancient Egypt and will finish in a modern Las Vegas where humanity will have to embrace the fifth element, electricity, and become Gods, or perish as a species

Chapter Three

Swift’s bare elbows rest in sticky pools of spilt liquor upon the bar top.
He’s smoking like a locomotive.
His trench coat is crumpled upon the stool back and the sleeves of his white shirt are rolled up. Brown trousers and vest, six-shooter holstered at his side. Before him is one half empty glass of whiskey and eight empty, the ice chewed only to be spat back into the glass almost ritualistic with each. His bloodshot eyes flit in the shadows beneath the brim of his chapeau. His hands twist napkins and discard them to the overflowing ashtray next to him, they perch upon the heap of butts as sad and deformed origami birds. The brim of the glass kisses his lips once again and he crunches ice only to spit it back into the glass, the bottom of which thuds upon the bar as he mumbles to the bartender for another. The fat bastard with his greasy, white apron and thick, black moustache stops wiping a cloth inside of a wet glass, fixing him with a fresh drink and a look of contempt. Coins are pushed across the bar. The ching of a cash register.
Swift turns slowly to scan the room.
Three black men are playing on a small stage in the corner. The fat one with the trumpet looking like he’s ready to disappear into the men’s room and make love to it. Their soothing blues is why Swift came here.
No one can drown sorrows like straight whiskey and blues played by blacks.
Tonight however it would seem that Swift’s sorrows have learnt to swim. Other lonely men sit around small, round tables, long faces dripping into their glasses. The fake red carnations in vases and candles housed in whiskey glasses on the tables, the smoke haze and alcohol sodden carpet gives this club a beautiful cathouse ambience. The double base jumps back and forth heavily across the room and the harmonica is a locomotive screeching down the line to depression central.
He looks to the door and then his wristwatch.
Didn’t think she’d show.
Some bitch wanting to take him out for a drink so that she might duck a fine, she’s now an hour and a half late. Lost cause. A grim blowjob in the backseat of taxi for fine avoidance he figures is still better than a desk full of paperwork. Fines aren’t even his department, they don’t have to know that though, it cheaper than a whore, usually uglier too.
Its not her that has him clicking his fingers at the surly bartender however.
His throat burns from the whiskey and then it settles nice and warm in his belly.
It’s the other woman that chews at his mind.
Autumn Adlivun.
He stiffens momentarily realising that he had said her name rather than just thought it, the words chased out of his wet lips by an exhausted sigh.
Nobody notices, nobody notices anything round here, his experience on the force has taught him that.
Frowns and head shaking at front doors as the pursued are pulling up their jeans and running out the back. When the shit hits the fan no-ones seen anyone for decades, city full of fucking blind people.
He’s been doing this job for twelve years, he is now more detective than man. Can’t sit in a roadhouse café without scanning faces. Fingers twitch every time a car backfires. Can smell spilt blood before it leaves the vein. Every time his pen leaks across the blotter he is reminded of semen stains at a crime scene.
Knows which whores and dealers to keep on the street and which not to.
Has his connections.
Most days carries around a hit of some watered down shit to bribe a snitch at a pinch, yet knows which ones will hoodwink him in a second. Gets his cocaine from the chink that runs the fireworks import shop in Chinatown. Gets his cigarettes from tobacconist’s that would prefer not to pay their parking fines. Gets his booze at the liquor store like any other bozo.
He just has to peer into puddles on the street to see the reflection of a crime and the rumble of the midnight express whispers to him who did it.
He knows the street and the street knows him.
Until tonight.
Sure he’s seen some shit. Caused some, closed his eyes to a lot.
Yet tonight was different.
Thought he knew this district. Thought he’d known its Insectivora. Thought that the early fifties in this town at least, with its brickwork bursting at the seams and the railroad tracks popping bolts like cheap champagne corks had whispered its every secret to him. He had thought they had been intimate, this city and he. Thought that he could walk down the street hands in pockets and hear the next crime in the clicking of his heels whispered up from the pavement like a modern Tonto with his ear pressed to the ground, hear them come’n ten thousand miles away.
It would seem his bedmate had been deceptive after all these years. The city had been holding something close to its breast there under the sheets where he couldn’t see it. This shitty town had thrown him out of bed and kicked his suitcase of memories down the stairs after him. He thought he had known her but he had been wrong.
When he saw that woman there clawing at floral print all fucked-up and desperate to be covered he had opened the city’s glory box and found a letter from another lover.
He knows the women of this town, bought some, sold some. Their painted faces and candy-apple mouths chewing gum.
He’s met the wild ones that hold cards in their garters, never lose at poker. He’s met the quiet ones that’ll pull a forty-eight on you without a second glance to see if you’re their old man and the fat dames who stand in doorways of old brothels with dope in their cleavage and a switchblade up their sleeve. He’s met the ones that get beat by their old men and the ones that beat back.
Yet this one was different. She wasn’t new here, he knew that much, helped shove her into the ambulance and saw the city carved deep upon her pupils like the names of children carved on the trunk of a sycamore tree. Emerald eyes shattered by the bleakness of a rusty city.
She had been mumbling incoherently as they slammed the doors behind her feet and the butt of a cigarette was crunched under the tip of his shoe. She had the accent of this shitty town. The tracks on her arms, the stench of addiction wafting from her, that muscular body, she wasn’t new here, no and he’d bet his last dime that she’s a fighter. That she could hold her ground, take no shit, except from her old man of course. That kind of shit is different, not to take that shit meant to flip a comfortable, if also painful, life upside down.
What chewed upon Swift tonight with his sticky elbows and dragon plumes of smoke from both nostrils was a question. Just one lonely question blowing back and forth through his mind. They had found her old man in the alley next door, someone had turned his face inside out and kicked the living doll out of his legs.
Was that you Autumn?
That relentless question that his instincts jag upon.
He can’t help the thought. After all its part of his job. Detective. One who detects. Fucking monkey on his back, gives him a badge and a gun though. Was that a grin and a slight nodding of head?
His brain sloshes around inside of his head like a Spanish galleon on a stormy, liquor sea.
His thoughts roll backward into memory.
The cigarette just hissed out in the puddle that the tip of his shoe crushed it into. The bitumen wet and having that cleansing the streets of filth smell, ambulance lights growing dimmer. The commanding officer watched its glow like a deer stuck in headlights. Finally he had turned to Swift and asked the only question that he seemed capable of.
“What’ya think?”
The body of her old man had been zipped up and sent to the morgue, ready to be shoved into a steel draw with a tagged toe.
“What do you think?”
Always better to answer a question by asking another.
The cop had lit a cigarette, coughed, spat to the street and scanned the area like what he was about to say was strictly confidential beginning his watertight theory with the cigarette pinched tightly between thumb and forefinger in front of his chin.
“The dame, well she obviously gets beaten by her old man all the time right. Just takes it, then takes those pills that were everywhere. Loves him or some horseshit, won’t leave him. So this fucking grease-monkey comes home last night all pissed off with buckshot eyes and sledgehammer fists, starts laying into her. Throwing shit around, the whole works. Neighbours don’t ever complain cause he’s such a big fuck and its usually over pretty quick anyway. But tonight, tonight is different right. Something’s going on two doors down, ya with me?”
Swift nodded slowly and grinned at himself reflected in the shine of the man's police issue shoes.
Way ahead buddy, on the fucking horizon, he thought as the cop plotted on, lowering his tone as if to give it depth.
“Ya see two doors down some fucking psycho's in there banging away at a pay as you lay street walker when he pulls a blade on her and starts carving the bitch up. She’d be all howling, runs out into the hall, tits bouncing everywhere.”
Laughed once quietly at this remark as if to a personal joke.
“Sprays the walls with blood and the hotshot with the knife, well he comes racing out to bring her back and runs straight into her daddy. Catches a blade in the face and goes down in a heap, the pimp turns and shoots his bleeding whore in the back of the head. While this is happening the Cherokee gorilla two doors up pauses in his beating to see what the commotion is. With me?”
Swift nodded once.
“Well he’s walked straight into a homicide scene as the prime witness. The fancy man rushes him and kicks his legs out from under him. Smashes his face in with a crowbar or someth’n whilst the beaten wife crawls to the bedroom.
Keeps hitting him right, really making a mess of his face, the gorilla was big, probably put up a hellava fight. Opens his head up and when he stops moving drags him down the hall to the fire escape and throws him over. Seven story fall later you’ve got your corpse in the alley and the wife crying in the bedroom as the fancy man strolls casually out. That chump at reception was probably too busy jerk’n off to notice him leave.”
He smiled to himself at this last remark. Swift felt an internal spring tighten, a match flared at the end of his cigarette.
“What’ya think, pretty simple.”
With a barely noticeable tilt of his head Swift spoke around his cigarette.
“Too simple Tommy. Too simple. What about the gun? Why didn’t he just shoot the Cherokee? And why bother dumping the old man over the fire escape when he could have just left him there swapping blood with the dead hooker. And the broken flagon of wine near the corpse. Sorry Tommy just don’t add up. Your probably right about the son-of-a-bitch at reception though.”
It was Swift’s turn to smile large and Tommy laughed heartily.
“No. You see I think that maybe the old juicehead batted his girl all around the apartment and then went out for a drink as she crawled around hoovering up painkillers. He was gone before the pimp killed those other two in the hallway. The way I see it couple hours later Hiawatha is stumbling back from the bar on booze shoes, almost home clinging to his flagon when he gets jumped by a couple of young punks. They smash the legs out from under him with a piece of piping, crowbar, whatever, bustle him into the alley then use it to pulverise his face. Little cock-sucker's pinch his wallet and then hotfoot outa there. Probably sitting on the hoods of their t-birds counting the notes as we speak Tommy.
Two different crime scenes in the one apartment block you dig?”
Tommy stood silently nodding his beat cop head and staring at the ground with his beat cop eyes during the entire speech. When he spoke next it was in a whisper that grew to a voice.
Head bobbing away like one of those novelty drinking birds.
“Shit Swift, that’s tidy. That’s real fucking tidy.”
Swift half-turned as he made for his car. It sat silent and gleaming under a streetlight like an enormous, black beetle.
“Tommy. Tell you wife hi. Go get some sleep.”
The bottom of his trench coat swished around his heels.
“Yeh. Yeh, you too.”
Absent words as he walked back to his police cruiser, lights flashing as if to advertise to the entire city that the police are having a run-out sale.
“Not married.”
The words were mumbled as he cast his cigarette to the gutter and opened the door of his car. The ignition sparked and the engine roared as he watched the black and white tail of the cruiser disappear around a corner.
He had shaken his head and pulled away from the kerb.
Swift stares at himself reflected in the mirror behind the bar. He looks like shit. He is a jigsaw puzzle with the last piece missing. He’s a kid playing pin the tail on the donkey without the tail. Something doesn’t sit right in his gut and it’s not the burrito he had earlier.
Those emerald eyes. That red hair.
He had done a quick shake-up of his better connections on the way here, nobody knows of a hooker nor a hammerhead round here that’s all red and green like Christmas day.
Another cigarette, another whiskey.
Where’s she been hiding out? In that rat-hole apartment? He didn’t think so. Where then? She was so vivacious, so alight, despite her injuries. This is a woman that would be noticed leaving the building just to buy a paper let alone score a hit. Her clothing was simple but in no way drab, it would have complemented her vibrancy, people would stop and stare and yet she is a ghost in the city. To find what pile of shit this flower bloomed from may hold the answer to the entire case.
Did a lover she had kept on the side murder the husband? Was it a family job, ending his beatings upon her? Could she have done it herself?
From the soil of each question sprouts another until vines of frustration tangle the inside of Swift’s skull.
Tobacco stained fingertips. Another napkin twisted by white knuckles. Another nod to the bartender.
One for the road, maybe he’ll drive right into a streetwalker on the way home, save him from shooting her somewhere down the track.
The drink goes down in one gulp. Swift’s bones creak back into place as he moves from the bar top. He turns and pulls his trench coat from the stool back as the bar door opens with a gust of hot air that carries with it the stench of the city and the lights of the drugstore across the road. Swift turns whilst shrugging on his coat only to have his every movement pause.
The door bangs lightly against the wall only to become a blur behind the woman as it closes on the world outside. The band dips in tempo and almost stalls. The others down the bar turn their heads in unison as a sweet fragrance caprioles with the smoky gloominess in front of their faces. Those depressed overweight bodies that grow layer upon layer as alcoholic fungi from the barstools until there is enough human fungus to peer over bar edge and reach for another drink. Their eyes squint to see through the blur of drunkenness at this divine creature that has been aborted from street.
The bartender becomes rigid. A single droplet of sweat trails down Swift’s temple, it’s been years since that’s happened.
She saunters in, one foot in front of the other walking an invisible tight rope that’s tied to the lump in Swift’s throat. Black hair that sheens blue, porcelain skin and eyes so big and dark they look as if pools of spilled blood under moonlight. Red shoes and the hint of red dress hem below the bottom of grey fur coat. A pout and a gaze that never leaves Swift’s own.
She walks in slow-motion, the reactions of the club around her are however slower. Men wiping their faces with sweaty palms. The full cheeks of the trumpet player flushing purple, the notes no longer smooth. The music is slivers of shattered sound compared to her grace. A ruby at her throat looking like a blood spot, the rest of her covered by that coat that gives a teasing hint to a long hourglass below. It takes about eight seconds for her to reach the bar next to Swift, it takes the rest of the club twelve to gain composure. Swift is still standing slightly hunched with his coat shrugged on his shoulders, his fingertips close to tearing the fabric. He suddenly feels sober. Her eyes never leave his for a second. The paused room again becomes animated, its movements however are mechanical, forced. The coat slips from alabaster shoulders and falls lightly upon the chair as she slides onto it crossing her legs and still not taking her eyes from Swift’s until she speaks.
“Two whiskies please.”
Her scarlet dress shimmers and exposes her muscular back to the incessant glares behind her. The split up its side exposing delicious stockinged thigh. Alabastrine bare shoulders, the garment hugging her curves as a tight silken glove pulled over a slender hand. Under the thin fabric, if one was to look and all do, her pubic mound is evident and her nipples virtually rip through the material. Swift finally continues to pull his trench coat on and straighten his hat. He wishes to God that she saw his gun, some girls get a kick out of that sort of thing.
The pallid bartender is wiping down the bar at the other end trying hard not to stare at her as he speaks with fallible authority.
“Men only. Sign on da door lady.”
There’s a drunken mumble of dependency down the other end and he moves to pull a beer for an inebriated patron.
“I’ll have them on the rocks.”
Her tone is even, doesn’t even bat an eyelid.
Since first speaking she has not taken her gaze from the fat man and now her eyes positively burn a hole straight through him. He stiffens and walks up the length of the bar to stand before her, his chest puffed up yet still dwarfed by his gut.
“Look lady, we don’t serve no dames here.”
He nods to the door.
“You came through it, you know where ta find it.”
Swift is frozen in awe. This wasn’t some working girl pushing her luck. Her speech is articulated perfectly. Her demeanour of someone in complete control of the situation.
She’s doing better than him and he’s carrying a revolver. She isn’t from around here yet knows the rules. Seems to have blown into town for a gamble at fate. She’s playing high stakes right now that’s for sure.
Lou isn’t one to be fucked with, especially by a slick mink like this.
Her movements are slow, lissom, her slender fingers slide beneath the top of her dress pulling the fabric aside from a breast slightly, just enough for Swift to be baited by the perfect curve there, as she retrieves a small cigarette tin. Fire-engine red fingernail dipping a catch and the lid flips up- cigarettes lined up against each other as cancerous sardines. She pulls one out, pushes it between those full lips and slips the case back into a place where Swift wants so much to follow. This takes but a moment yet it is enough for the band to stop playing and the whole room to hold its breath. For the first time since speaking to him she takes her eyes from the bartender and turns her head to a numb Swift.
“Got a light detective.”
Swift is ripped back into his body through his pupils. He had been standing here motionless watching her every movement for how long now? He struggles to gain artificial composure.
Before he can reply Lou has dropped out of sight and hauled a shotgun out from under the bar. His eyes are wild. This is his bar and he calls the shots, literally, not some out-of-town floozy.
“Look bitch I said out! And when I says get out of my bar I means get the fuck out of my bar or I’ll blow ya in ta next Thursday!”
He holds the weapon across his chest as if to shield himself from her, pumping the barrel to show he means business. She slowly takes the cigarette from her mouth and raises an eyebrow at the beetroot faced man.
Lou’s face barks, don’t make me do something crazy you prurient little cunt.
While hers purrs, dare you fat man.
Things are turning sour real quick. With the image of a smoking hole in the place of those heavenly breasts Swift decides now is time for the law to step in. He turns to the bartender and speaks in a soothing grumble.
“There’ll be no need for that now Lou. She’s with me.”
Lou knows he’s been hoodwinked.
Sure this is where the detective brings his dames but he can see she’s not one of them. Too pretty, not enough make-up. Yet if he lets Swift bring his broads here it means he can dodge his liquor license. Every drink here is bootlegged. The law has no law in this fetid city.
The shotgun disappears under the bar and the bartender’s moustache writhes upon his upper lip as he grumbles. Two whiskies are slammed upon the bar in front of them. The woman smiles curtly and passes a note that would have covered all of Swift’s earlier drinks.
“Keep the change Lou.”
She licks her fingers and rubs salt into his wound, insult to injury and an arms length of metaphors.
The ching of the register reanimates the room. The band begins again to play with increased gusto. The others go back to thinking about their cheating wives. Thinking about sitting at the kitchen table with the barrel of a revolver in their mouth, one bullet in the chamber. The drop of the hammer, the click, the drop of the hammer, the click, the drop of the hammer, the explosion. Leave a big mess of all over the wall for the bitch to clean up.
Swift however, his thoughts have been interrupted. He pulls off his coat and again drapes it over the stool as he sits and uses the moment to again become Swift. Burning out the lump in his throat with a fireball of whiskey. He studies her face as her lips pull the straight whiskey into them and caress the brim of the glass, not even the slightest of indications that the cheap liquor burnt a trail down her body.
“Had you forgotten?”
He raises an eyebrow and she indicates the cigarette between her fingers. Hands patting pockets and flame before her face. The illumination shows that she wears no cosmetics. Her features however are flawless. The fire is reflected within her eyes and a grin tugs at the corner of her mouth. He struggles to keep the lighter steady.
A plume of smoke leaves her lips and blows sweetly over his features. Swift feels a stirring in his trousers.
“Do you like it?”
She says as she smooths the fur of her coat, her fingers glide seductively over the flecked grey pelt.
“Wolf. Timber wolf. Its real you know. Beautiful creatures. Loving, nurturing animals, a strong family structure. The males leave the pack early however and become lone wolves searching for a mate. Are you a lone wolf Mr. Swift?”
Something jars in Swift’s throat, lust is dripping from this woman’s eyes, her every movement is a stroke upon his penis. Her eyes make him want to look away. He will not however, he has played this game before, though he is usually prepared. He clears his throat of the gurgle waiting to happen.
“Tell me, what brings a classy dame like yourself to a dive like this?”
Answering a question by asking another, he’s gaining control. Another sip of whiskey. Someone shuffles out, the wooden door banging heavily behind them.
She grins and sips whiskey. She has turned the detective to a man but now the fog of her intoxication is lifting from his mind revealing questions needing to be asked.
He leans on the bar with an elbow and swivels the chair to face her front on. That thigh staring up at him, nothing cheap about it.
“How is it that you know my name?”
She raises an eyebrow and crunches a cube of ice between her teeth. Even this action drips sex- wild, vicarious, unbridled fucking.
“Please. Did you leave home forgetting to hang the detective on the hat stand and hung the man instead? Detective swift. The man who has shot and killed more pushers in this town than pushers themselves. Record amount of closed cases in this state alone. Are you so humble to think that you have not made it to the papers at least once? Revolver was also a dead give away, or should I say, a clue. Forgive me for I have neglected to introduce myself. Fiery. My name is Fiery Ivory.”
She giggles lightly, the sound resonates within the hollowness of Swift’s chest.
“Don’t ask, strange parents.”
Swift doesn’t believe the name for a second yet a sacred place between her navel and knees that radiates warmth makes him not give a damn. He’s heard enough candy-apple names from streetwalkers that it hardly registers.
She raises her eyes to the bartender that has been watching her with turrets for eyes and lifts two fingers indicating another round. There is something about this woman. A radiance as if she is internally illuminated, light being squeezed out of her every pore. She drops the butt of her cigarette into the trough that runs along the front of the bar, at the other end an old man is pissing in that very trough. Wrinkled hand around wrinkled cock as he gurgles through a turkey throat. Two more whiskeys placed in front of them as Lou gives him a tempestuous look. Lou could smash a bottle across the top of his head right now and he wouldn’t feel it with what Swift has his thoughts on. He can almost taste the perfume upon her skin, his gums watering. He is sure that the bulge in his pants must by now be visible.
“Can I touch it?”
The words snap him back into the now. His response numbed by alcohol, how many drinks in front of her is he?
“Huh? What? Touch what doll-face. Fiery?”
The name sounds good rolling from his bottom lip to suspend from his chin.
She smiles so seductively that he is sure that his cock is going to rip right through his slacks. He secretly tips his hat to the man that invented them to bunch at the groin when seated.
Fiery nods to his revolver. He looks to it then back at her. Her eyes are hungry, her pupils dilated. It’s a strange request sure, but what the fuck if she blows her fingers off who’s to witness. Besides the safety catch is on.
He doesn’t reply just turns back to the bar and takes a sip from the glass as if she isn’t there at all. He has to start really playing this game, sure she’s keen now but he’s drunk and this is one piece of arse he doesn’t want to lose. Tapping the butt of a cigarette upon the box he places it between his lips and lights. In the fire before him he can see himself banging her up against the wall of a back alley near. He grins, lays his lighter upon the bar and unclasps the holster. The weapon slips out smoothly and suddenly with its weight in his hands it is Swift’s turn to become fluid in motion.
She slips off the stool and stands at his side, a breast pushing mind jarringly into his shoulder as she leans forward placing her face close to his. He holds it before him, finger on trigger, barrel pointing to the shelves of illegal liquor bottles lined up like tin ducks before the wall length mirror. He tilts his hand slightly so that the side of the revolver can be viewed by the woman who’s fragrance is making him feel light-headed. It’s not some fancy pants French perfume it is just her. The essence of Fiery Ivory. The scent of a woman hot between the legs wafting from her every pore. The heat of her face next to his. She reaches out and runs a single fingertip along the length of the barrel as she sighs ever so slightly. The blue-black metal looses its authority as her finger slides around the barrel and her others unfurl to clasp the entire barrel in her palm at its base. It looks like she’s about to jerk the thing off.
A flash of caution shoots through Swift’s mind.
She could easily rip the revolver from his grip and turn it upon him.
Her hand tightens.
How stupid had he been? This bitch was probably the girl of some cocksucker he put away. Some scar-faced pusher that didn’t get the chance to peddle his untarnished sister’s arse before he was thrown in the clink. Made himself friends with a dirty turnkey, got in contact with his family and now this- Swift with his brains spread like butter on toast across the top of the bar.
The signs were all there.
She didn’t even stiffen when Lou unhooked the shotgun from under the bar.
She walked straight into this place like she was the fucking landlady.
His frame stiffens, his hold on the pistol tightens.
But hers loosens and her fingers skate along the metal and over the skin of his hand. Her palm opens and presses against the back of his hand, holding him between her and the gun. Their skin vibrates with sexual energy against each other. Her lips close to his ear as she whispers.
The word is a purr, her hand releases his as she moves from his shoulder.
Swift fumbles to holster the weapon, pawing at the clip to have it again secure as his other hand throws the half glass of whiskey down his dry throat.
“It’s a beautiful weapon Mr. Swift, bet it shoots real hard.”
And then in a louder voice.
“Another round bartender.”
Swift can feel rivulet’s of sweat trailing down his back. He lets out a breath that he had forgotten he was holding.
He begins to chuckle as he lights up with a slightly trembling hand and throws her a sideways glance, that look in her eyes says that she’s just as hot as him.
“So does the detective have a first name?”
She sips whiskey and oozes sex as they smoke and talk while outside the city chews upon the cheddar cheese walls of Lou’s bar. The drugstore across the street is robbed, the clerk shot to shit while Swift and Fiery drink, chat and laugh. She asks a lot of questions, is interested in him. He lets her in a little bit at a time, never open the door too wide so that you can’t slam it shut quickly. She wants to know about the first person he ever shot. Surprising himself he begins to tell her.
“I was a beat cop. Been on the force for a while, still liked it back then, was still clean to, only just. Bag snatch. Here I am chasing some black urchin down the street. Rookie, new recruit, running at my heels like a faithful dog. Good kid, big dreams of being a hero but too innocent for these streets. He’d be shot to pieces in no time.
In the end probably did him a favour.
Anyways so we round this corner and the black kid’s stumbled over some trashcans, back on his feet real quick but it was enough for us to gain some ground on him. I’m taking breaths in gulps, steaming like a kettle, knew I couldn’t keep chasing this fuck. The rookie kid has overtaken me, no respect. Like I said head full of being a hero, probably was a high school football champion or some shit. Blonde hair, blue eyes, tanned the whole works, you wouldn’t believe it. The kids an arms length ahead of me, I’m grasping at my side in pain when the nigger hits a wire fence at the end of the alley and begins to scramble up.
If he gets over that we’re fucked I thought so I reach out and pull the rookie back by his collar and we come to a skidding halt.
He’s panting like a dog, head whipping from me to the kid climbing the fence back and forth, eyes wild, he’s pointing, his mouths moving but no words are coming out. He’s confused to hell. Things are going pretty quickly.
What! I remember his voice high pitched and wheezy. So I say.
Gimmie your fucking gun! Quick boy! Mines stuck!
Well this young punk, he’s all confused and fumbling with his catch, his thoughts are a fucking speeding locomotive flashing before his eyes, that train on one way track to stop the bag-snatcher. He hands me his gun, stupid fuck. I flick the safety and take aim.
The kids at the top of the fence. Three shots. Two in the back, one in the side of the neck. He falls back scrambling around on the ground bleeding and shit, arms and legs everywhere. The rookie kid is staring on shocked, probably first time he’s seen blood besides a police exam paper-cut. I’m tugging at his shoulder as I run to the wailing black.
C’mon quick. Quick son goddamn it, this is the police force you’re in!
That got him moving, sure as hell on your heels. Dog’s loyalty is the only loyalty doll-face. He’s soon at my shoulder as I pop a slug into the side of the black kids head, he must have only been twelve, thirteen at the most. The rookie kid has gone white next to me watching the death twitches of a kid closer to his age than mine. I wipe the weapon with my handkerchief quickly and shove it into his hand as I begin to shout at him to snap out of it.
Automatically, like a fucking windup toy, his fingers curl around the pistol grip as my handkerchief clad fingers slide from the barrel. I tuck the handkerchief into my pocket and tell him that he’s going to have to take a dive on this one. His head is whipping back and forth in a triangle from me to the gun to the kid and back to me.
It’s my word against yours, I’ve got years on top of you in the force and you’ve got the gun. Its not worth even trying to take me down with you, they’ll never believe you. Make you look like a real Nancy-boy too son.
I say as I clamp my hand hard upon his shoulder and ask him what its like to kill a black kid.
Some cops only dream of being able to shoot a nigger I tell him.
His lips turn blue as he goes from white to red and back to white in an instant, thought the little fuck was going to display the flag upon his face to show his patriotism. Vomits once down the front of his clean pressed uniform and then he just falls in a heap. Passes out. Dead faint. Still gripping his police issue revolver like it was his childhood comfort toy.
Stupid kid, like I said probably saved his life. The hungry streets would devour anyone that dim in no time. Stupid fucking kid.”
Swift’s last sentence is whispered as he shakes his head slightly. He looks to a still faced Fiery who immediately orders two more drinks.
The conversations take on a lighter note as they smoke and drink and that beautiful body occasionally uncrosses and then crosses those Cyd Charisse legs as it changes position. The stars in her eyes dim the night sky as they sparkle at his every tale of his time on the force. He talks of danger as if it is a mere puppy pawing at his shins. She listens, he talks. His words become a blur, the only clarity is within those bottomless pupils hanging on his every word. She wants to know everything. Is excited by the past, intrigued by the present. Swift crosses many of his professional and personal boundaries without even realising it. She is so enrapturing. She asks questions, he tells. He tries to control the slight slur in his voice. After some time of this he excuses himself. Telling her not to fret, Lou will take care of her, as he makes his way to the men’s room.
The pun is not lost on her, or Lou, as she feigns dependence with a pout.
The tiles of the men’s room are lime with mould except for around the urinal where the acid of spilt urine has kept it at bay. He stumbles to the trough and holds himself upright with a palm pressed into the wall before him while he fumbles at the front of his pants with the other. Dim light bulb overhead with a little moth spiralling around it. Hole in the wall acts as a window where the red light of the peep show across the street seeps through and splashes over the floor. A toilet with a missing seat, had someone collected it to hang over their door for luck as a giant, plastic horseshoe? Exposed piping above that clangs and rumbles with the roar of each flush.
With the change in atmosphere he has a chance to gather his thoughts and pick through them searching for the fundamentals. Splashes the tips of his shoes and shakes twice. He is inebriated. He splashes rust coloured water over his face from the cracked basin and rubs his eyes with the balls of his hands. He needs to straighten up. This is one fuck he wants to remember.
His reflection within the dull piece of tin bolted to the wall above the basin, the mirror, doubles and then superimposes over itself as he squints through his intoxication. How many drinks has he had?
He fumbles at the inside pocket of his vest, his fingers pawing at the silk, as he pulls a small gold tin from its depths. This will have to be quick. He doesn’t want to keep her waiting too long. Especially with a toothy Lou and a bar full of juiceheads. Although his instincts tell him that this piece of tail would probably wipe the shitty bar clean with them all if they so much as look at her sideways. Swift removes his hat and hangs it upon a hook on the wall as he places the tin on the basin edge and gently lifts the lid. From inside he pulls a small metal pipe and a baggie of cocaine. Shaking a nice hit of snow into the base of the tin he holds a nostril and with the other snorts it through the pipe in one quick blast. When he lifts his face to the man before him, that very man looks much improved. He rolls the baggie and places it next to the pipe within the tin that is again slipped into his vest not once taking his eyes from himself as he does. He stands upright, wide shoulders, features sinking in stubble. Smooths his hair across his scalp with both hands and pulls at his nose to relieve the tickle there. His eyes have cleared slightly, his vision now flawless. He breathes deep the stench of Lou’s cesspit and pulls his fedora back down upon his brow. Tips himself a wink, readjusts his crotch and departs the men’s room.
He can’t tear his eyes from her as he crosses the room. The wood reverberates under his heels, the band has long since departed. A barfly is asleep, his cheek pressed into a puddle of beer as he snores. He’ll wake and Lou will pour him his breakfast. Smoke sits as a dank mist at head height yet even through this she is vibrant. Her smooth back is perfectly erect, those legs still crossed as she swills ice in the bottom of a glass. She looks content and has the demeanour of someone completely sober. Sitting there it would seem that she would have waited all night for him to return.
What a broad, he thinks.
With the cocaine tripping the light fantastic with his consciousness upon the ballroom floor of his mind Swift feels in complete control of the situation. He approaches her, peering at the curve of her breast under an extended arm and thinking how soon it will be that he is biting into that ripe fruit. He pulls his coat from the stool back with one hand and drops the other to her waist as he speaks. The touch upon her is an absent action rehearsed many times in his head on the walk across the bar room floor. She starts slightly at his uninvited touch and then seems to ooze between his fingers at the deep roll of his voice.
“Shall we. This place is a dive. I have in mind a much more comfortable setting.”
He has that molasses suaveness that only a good hit of cocaine and a head full of whisky can give you. Complete confidence without the slur and blur.
She slips from her seat wedging them both between barstools, her body almost touching his but not quite as a hand pulls the fur coat over one shoulder.
It is all that she says yet her eyes are an open book. One with dirty pictures stamped all over its pages. Her warm breath washes over his features. Swift grins, drops coins upon the bar to thank a silent and scowling Lou that wipes glasses with a grey rag in the darkness of the other end of the bar. Swift may have to avoid Lou’s for a little while, let time erase some sour memories from a man with a reputation at artful retribution. Hell, she is definitely gong to be worth it. He follows her from the bar, watching the rise and fall of her calves beneath the gauze of stocking, watching the wiggle of her arse that begins at her shoulders and trickles down her spine with that certain refined way she walks. The detective pats a place on his chest that hides a gold tin and smiles.

The bar drops away behind them out of the back window of a midnight taxi.
Since getting in she has not kept her hands off him.
He had to tell directions around her tongue. Her body is steaming and presses into him, her legs flung over his as her mouth explores his own. Her face china smooth against his sandpaper rough. Her tongue pulling his into her mouth and then pushing it back as it writhes beautifully within the wet depths of his wanton mouth. Her hands pressing into the heat of his body under his coat, pulling the shirt from his pants and running over bare skin beneath. Her touch has gooseflesh washing him. His hands are on her, smoothing the curves of her buttocks, cupping her breasts, clasping her inner thigh. The cab cruises the street like a silent yellow shark grinning through its chrome grill as they maul each other in the backseat, matching moan for moan and sucking spilt saliva from each other’s chin. Her fingers find the tin in his vest and an eyebrow is raised at the lump under the fabric. He only grins however, there is a lump under fabric that needs more attention than his little stash of clarity. Her hands are on his crotch running along the curves there as his fingernails claw at exposed thigh both inner and outer. His head lolls back as she kisses his neck and then as he raises it he notices the Portuguese cabdriver adjusting his rear-view mirror to fill his eyes with Fiery’s legs. Quick glances from road to thigh and back to road, keeping his eyes forward only long enough to prevent the cab from mounting the kerb, a gap toothed grin gripping his face. Swift pulls open one side of his coat and pats his revolver as he smiles and nods at the driver in the mirror. The man quickly finds caution in his driving and refuses to take his eyes from the road, even when they pull up and Swift leans forward to pay him. He just nods vigorously as the detective tells him to keep the change and his wandering eyes to himself.
The apartment block reverberates with the clanging of shoes and high heels chasing each other up the four flights of metal stairs. He has her pressed up against the wall next to his apartment door, their faces exuding into each other to form a slick mass as he fumbles for his keys and blindly punches at the lock with them. The door swings open as he hauls her up the wall, her legs wrapping around his midriff and her heels spiking his kidneys. His cock is hard and close to her heat, he feels as if he is about to explode and blow her completely through the wall.
Try to explain that one to homicide.
Her fingernails are scraping his neck raw, his hat falls from his head and spills from the balcony to hit the parking lot below with an almost inaudible muffled thud. His hands move from her breasts and cup her arse as he carries her into his darkened, one roomed apartment, pausing only to kick the door closed with the side of his shoe before slumping on top of her over the bed. The apartment is lit by the neon sign bolted to the concrete wall outside his bedroom window that advertises it as The Palms Motel. He hasn’t seen a single palm in this city yet but the room is cheap. It’s also a dump, rank dishes in the sink, bottles on the floor and unwashed clothing covering the parmesan cheese smelling carpet but that’s not why she is here. They are tangle of limbs twisting into each other as they strip clothing from the others body. He unholsters his weapon with one hand peeling back the fabric of her dress, he needs to taste that breast. But she pulls back, the heat subsiding in slow ebbs as she pushes him back onto the bed and takes the holster from him, pulling the weapon out of its sheath. He lies there with his slacks unbuttoned and his shirt untucked, crumpled and missing buttons as she straddles him and lets the holster slide from slender fingers as she holds the pistol up with the other hand.
The hotel lights glint metallically from the tip of its barrel and then it is lowered as her free hand comes to also wrap around the grip. All that he can think is that she looks so fucking sexy sitting there on top of him with her hair all messy and a sly grin smearing her features as she points the weapon at his face.
An eyebrow is cocked and so is the hammer.
The muscles of her shoulders tense ever so slightly as an index finger pulls lightly upon the trigger.
Swift’s eyes widen.
Her grin grows, sexy and liquid across her face.
The black hole of the barrel is the gaping mouth of cold death before his face.
The trigger is pulled back.
The word is aphrodisiacal as it serpentines from her lips and the trigger catches on safety.
She giggles lightly and lets the weapon thud hard upon the floor as she grasps the hem of her dress and pulls it up over her head. The dress sails as a flare of red through the dimly lit room and slumps with a slight hiss somewhere out of sight.
And with that one fluid movement there it is.
That enigmatic body in all its self contained glory wearing nothing but a pair of stockings and heels. Her quick hands are popping buttons on his shirt and vest as his wanton mouth goes to encompass a razor sharp nipple. Her fingers push through the thick pelt of his chest as she arches her back and moans at the flaky plaster of the ceiling, his tongue teasing the nipple to be fully erect while a thumb does the same with the other. He hears her moans with his cock rather this mouth, she is riding his hardness and loving it he can feel her moistness even through the material of his pants. She drops, hair falling across his face and plants her mouth into his. Their lips copulate, their heat melting into each other and caving their faces into a void of sensation. She pulls her mouth from his in a wet trail down his neck and begins to nibble upon his chest as she pulls his slacks off, biting with enough force in some places as to produce blood. The sensation of pleasure and pain are an entwined miasma that has Swift gripping the bed sheets with white knuckles. She kisses his nipples and licks her way down to his groin. His penis springs free of his pants as they are pulled completely from him and cast with such force as to land in the kitchen sink where they instantly begin to soak up tepid dishwater. His cock bobs in space momentarily and then full lips are clamped around its tip lightly. She can taste pre-ejaculation fluid on its engorged head and is suddenly sent into a frenzy of licking and sucking. His hands seek her out and find a cunt so moist that his fingers slip straight into her without expecting to. He pulls at her clitoris between thumb and forefinger, his body stiffening in rapture as his fingers slide in and out and along her hot cunt. Her mouth on him is bliss, so much so that he can’t even hear himself moan.
A man so used to grim ejaculations into the barely moist vaginas of faking sluts has found a slice of nirvana right here in the hot hell of this city.
His grip tightening, the sheets bunching around his forearms as she sucks his scrotum into the white heat of her mouth. Her touch making his every nerve ending orchestrate. His hand is slipping along the crease of her arse her squeals and moans muffled by his testicles. The nectar is pouring from the fruit, running down his wrist and filling the room with a sweet, musky scent. His penis is dribbling clear fluid from its head that doesn’t get the chance to run down the shaft for it is lapped up hungrily, he raises his head as she does this and she stares hard into his eyes, smiling hungrily and sucking upon the crown.
She claws herself up his chest and pushes their lips together as she slides straight down on top of his hammer handle erect cock. Her fig splits and the fire inside engulfs him in one easy, self-absorbing stroke that opens an eye of ecstasy with his core. The action surprises him in its rapidity and effortlessness and he yelps in a way he hasn’t since his first fuck in high school. Her lips suck him into her at both ends, his hands clasping hard upon her muscular thighs holding her body to his so that he may savour the sensation. But no. She has ripped herself from him as quickly as she had slid on. His eyes widen as a plea as she raises her face to stare into his own, her palms on his stubbly cheeks and his saliva glistening on her lips. He can taste his own pre-semen. She grins in that way she’s been teasing him with all night, eyes narrowing to almonds, raven hair tickling his cheek. He is about to protest when she gives him a little, her pubic hair just tickling the tip of his cock at first and then the lips parting and sucking him slightly inside of her. They hiss in unison. He has never been fucked so perfectly. She is enjoying every second of it. She hovers like that for an eternity, her pendulous breasts scraping his chest with their erect, tan nipples and her concrete thighs firm against him own. Then she just drops. Impales herself completely upon him as sexual thunder rolls from both of their throats. His cock so far inside of her that she is nearly devouring his balls but she’s tight, firm and wet, as if her body was manufactured to fit his perfectly. From there it is a sexual delirium. Each biting and scratching as they roll from the bed and over the floor fucking and sucking each other at both ends in so many positions that he is sure she must have a degree in the Art of Karma Sutra. His cock slides in and out of her over and over again as she bites, chews, kisses and licks his face, neck and upper torso. The Palms Motel sign casts a blurred incandescence of itself across every inch of her perfect alabaster flesh. The only flaw on her entire body is the scours and bites created by him. He pushes his chest into her back as he enters her from behind, the smoothness of her arse slapping hard against his hairy thighs. His dark, rough hands like stains that run along her back and sides to slip under her and cup a breast in each hand. His face is pressed into the back of her neck. The fragrance of her silken hair intoxicating. He feels an orgasm building within them.
Not just him. Them.
A sensation that he has never before experienced. It begins as an almost unbearable searing in her core, his urethra swells in response. Their bodies are literally vibrating with energy, her skin not just pale but seemingly glowing beneath his hands, he is sure he can almost see her organs beneath the flesh. Goosepimples wash them and a whiteness beginning at the back of his mind that is unmatched by even the best of hits that he’s had. She howling like an ally cat and suddenly with his balls swelled and his head thrown back ready to come she pulls from him.
She spins and throws him down with a force that he would never be able to match, he’s on his back in a second and she has slipped back onto him telling him she wants to watch his face as he comes deep within her. That’s the crack that broke the damn. Her cunt muscles tighten around the base of his cock, fuck she’s going to twist it off, he thinks and then he thinks no more as her mouth seeks his and she begins to buck upon him. Hot semen burns a lava trail through his cock and melts the head right off as her cunt squeezes and palpitates around him. Her juice pours out endlessly, pooling in his pubic hair and cascading down through the crack of his arse. Her fire is unbelievable her thigh muscles almost snapping his pelvis, her mouth biting and licking the insides of his between husky screeches. His body jerks uncontrollably on the bed, he is writhing below her, at her complete mercy. He opens his eyes for a moment and catches her watching him.
He sees beyond the fine film of cornea, through the pupil and into the depths of the universe. He is sucked into there for the briefest moment.
Electrical voltage convulses his infinitesimal body, in a microscopic motel, within a miniscule city, in a diminutive country on the face of a tiny planet in the never-ending vastness of a universe twisting around them dotted with golden spheres.
For a moment in that glance he is thrown into space, naked and innocent as the day he was born, clutching at answers to questions he will never have the tongue to ask and feeling union with an organism that doesn’t share his plane of existence.
And then the eyes close and so does his only to open again quickly hoping to catch another glimpse of where he had been.
But they are again just eyes, the cornea reflecting neon light as she fucks him with that very gaze and comes upon him. His orgasm stretches on forever his balls have never released so much, they are frantically producing more and more semen to deposit inside of her as he groans hoarsely and pumps into her perfect body. She falls upon him and the bucking stops. The pawing, the scratching, the clawing, the screaming and moaning stops. And they are just two bodies heaving with exhaustion and gratification as they melt into each other’s pores. He wraps his thick arms around her and she kisses his face lightly while his penis slowly grows limp within her as their muscles relax.
He closes his eyes, a smile playing upon his lips, moans and opens his eyes to an empty apartment.
Swift sits up with a jolt.
The day is climbing aggressively through the window. The smell of their sex hangs in the air as a heavy, sickly sweet mist. She is gone. The stained sheets are pulled up over his naked body, his clothes scattered across the floor. He shakes his head and rubs his face in confusion.
It is all he can say and even this is mumbled through a parched throat. His mind is being hammered by a whiskey hangover and his limbs feel as if he has swam through razor blades. Swinging his legs out of bed he rubs his face and holds his head in his hands as he tries to understand the situation.
She had been just here.
He was holding her.
What, he had fell asleep, just like that?
He ruffles his hair and arches his back in a stretch, listening to it crack in several places. Black revolver on floor. Dishes in the sink. Bright daylight outside.
He shakes his head, loosening his confusion and letting acceptance to the fact with a head full of booze he must have just dozed off with the divine creature in his arms. He turns his head on a creaking neck to look at the clock perched upon the bedside table. His eyes widen, a stirring at his naked groin, a smile.
Draped over the clock, so that its stone hangs centralised in its face is Fiery’s ruby necklace. The silver of the fine link chain pools upon the tabletop behind the little clock, a haphazard heart formed out of it. The tiny ruby looking like a droplet of blood upon the face of time. Surely this is a sign that she will seek him out again.
A grin.
He falls back heavily onto the bed hissing his contentment.
A slight fluttering inside of his chest and a smile smoothing the furrow that has been etched in his forehead for far too long already.

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Collectives In A Forsaken Landscape by Nickolaus Pacione

It is done, let it be written let it be done. The horror storm arrived and welcome to the darker landscape that is the mind of a collective. The book's been redesigned..  
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