John was an over the road truck driver. He had a wife of 15 years named Kim. He would be at home one week out of the month on average. Kim worked part time as a receptionist at the Douglas Firm, and as a server on weekend nights at The Starry Eye Saloon. When they first got married, it was difficult for John to leave out on a run; but now, it’s as if he couldn’t wait to get back on the road. That’s when Kim decided to take a job waitressing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at the town’s most popular strip club.
Kim was getting ready to go into work at the club on a Friday night when she called John.
He answered in an annoyed tone, as if he was being bothered, “Hello?”
“Wow, you answered.”
“Yeah, I’m about to lay down. What’s up?”
“Just wanted to talk to you for a minute before I go in. Where are you at now?”
“Huh? Yeah, umm, I’m outside of Dallas. I have a few stops out here, and a few in the city, then I’ll be headed west.”
“Well, okay. The club job is paying well, but Jim is still flirting with me.”
There was silence, and Kim swore that she heard a female’s voice and also some giggling.
“Hello?” Kim said, in an agitated, yet concerned tone.
“Umm, yeah, I’m here. Sorry. What did you say?”
“Jim keeps saying I’m wasting my talents waitressing. That I should be stripping. He said I have too good of a body not to. It’s making me feel uncomfortable.”
“Look, if he thinks you have what it takes, I say go for it. We could use the extra money. But don’t do anything to jeopardize the job you have now. Jesus, Kim. Do I have to hold your goddamn hand through this too?”
“It’s just that I don’t….”
“I need to get some sleep. I’ll call you in a day or two,” he interrupted.
John hung up the phone, laid back on the pillows in his sleeper, and continued getting what was said would be, ‘the best head outside of Dallas’. At that moment, John could not argue with such pristine logic. She was good. Hell, she ought to be, John thought. She’s had enough practice. Plus, the missing teeth never hurt. He worked one up, and blew it right to the back of her throat. John gave her the twenty dollars she requested, and a beer for the road to cleanse her palate.
Kim was having a rough night. There was a feature dancer in town from Dallas, and the club was packed with horny guys with big cowboy hats, and even bigger belt buckles. She was running from the bar to the stage, back to the bar, and to the private rooms all night. A fella named Jimbo in one of the private rooms offered her $1000 to go home with him, which she kindly declined. Kim knew that her relationship was probably past mending, but she wasn’t going to be the villain in this movie.
She was out back on her only break of the night smoking a cigarette, when the feature dancer came out and asked her for a light. The two chatted while they smoked. Kim envied her confidence, and the dancer’s curvaceous body made her slightly jealous. The subject of home life and men came up. The dancer told Kim that she traveled so much that having a normal relationship was out of the question. Kim spoke of John, and how he was hardly ever home. She opened up about his infidelity as well, and the two verbally crucified the trucker. Kim returned to the grind, and the dancer to grinding.
John woke and made the few pickups outside the city and headed to bustling Dallas. He had been there before and absolutely detested the traffic. John inched and weaved through a web of highways and exits and made all of his pickups by 6 p.m. He was ready for a shower and a six pack. He had a long haul ahead of him to California. John liked the girls at the truck stops in California. He thought about all the good times he had with the Mexican girls out there. He hoped that he could find his favorite. She was a stacked, black girl, with big tits and a huge ass that he had seen a couple of times in the past. John loved her enormous ass and how it completely engulfed his cock in the reverse cowgirl position. He was getting hard just thinking about it.
John pulled into the truck stop around 7 p.m. It was packed, but he finally found a spot near the back. He got his change of clothes, wallet, and toiletries, and headed toward the showers. After his shower, he got dressed and went into the main store area to get him some beer. John wanted nothing more than to down a few brews and pass out watching his Gunsmoke DVD.
As he headed to pay for the beer, a sexy blonde in a summer dress caught his eye. She was looking at the roadmap section near the register. While he was in line, they made eye contact a few times and John made his way toward her.
“Well, hey there cutie. You’re looking for a map? Are you and your husband lost?”
“Oh, no. I’m not lost. I have GPS on my phone, I’m just looking at these brochures of attractions and places to see nearby. I’m just casually making my way to my sister’s place in Arizona. I haven’t had the problem of a husband in quite some time. Thank God.”
They both laughed and continued with small talk about the weather, also, how terrible fast food is, and the huge statue of a weiner out by the road. John wanted to make a dick joke then, but thought that it would be inappropriate, so he put a kibosh on that. She surprised him when she said, “If you have even half of that then I’m going with you.”
John gave her a devilishly carnal grin and said, “You might just have to find out. Hell, what’s your name?”
“Sorry, I’m Liza,” she said, as she extended her hand toward John.
He took her hand in his and said, “Liza. That’s a beautiful name.”
John held her delicate hand and could not get over how soft it was. He looked down at the tanned hand, the perfectly painted nails, and back up at her flawless smiling face and said, “Hell, Liza. I have all this beer to drink and no one to drink it with. Would you like to have a few with me and continue this?”
Liza looked around as if she was contemplating saying no, but with a burst of exuberance, she said, “Get that pint of Jack Daniel’s there and you have yourself a drinking buddy.”
John got the fifth of Jack and they headed to his truck. John walked behind Liza and watched her ass sway with every stride she took. He stared at her sexy golden legs. Her sun-kissed skin shimmered in the brightness of the store’s large overhead lights on poles. John was used to the company of average to below average women, but Liza was leaps and bounds above them all, and most of all, she wasn’t a lot lizard.
They arrived at the truck and John unlocked it and got in. He grabbed her hand to help her up, and couldn’t help but notice the absence of a bra. Her sundress scrunched up in the front, exposing her exquisite, bronzed breasts. Once inside, John showed her around his tiny, traveling apartment. She told him it was quaint and homey. John opened them both a beer and poured some whiskey in his coffee mug. They drank and talked about John’s job, his life on the road, and his failing marriage. John found it easy to talk to Liza. He thought, she’s a beautiful woman, and she actually listens to me.
With the fifth about half empty, Liza turned to John and said, “This whiskey is making me hot.”
“You want me to turn up the AC a little?”
“No, that’s alright. I know what to do.”
Liza stood as best as she could in the tiny space, pulled her sundress up over her head, and tossed it at John.
“There. That’s better. You don’t mind do you?”
John looked up and down the sexy, completely tanned female form in front of him and said, “Hell no. Not at all. Mind if I join you?”
“I was kinda hoping you would. Here let me help.”
Liza moved close to John on the tiny twin bed and began undressing him. As she unbuttoned each button on his shirt, she kissed his neck and down his chest. She pulled his pants down and continued her kisses downward. John laid back and Liza bobbed and licked. She crawled up toward him and mounted. Liza’s warm wetness enveloped him completely as she took him all in.
Afterwards, they laid there, sweaty and exhausted. He told her to stay with him for the night, and in the morning, he would get her contact info so he could keep in touch with her.
When John woke the next morning, Liza was gone. He figured she’d just gone inside to get some coffee. He noticed a piece of paper with some writing on it and hoped that she’d left her number for him. John wiped the sleep from his eyes, picked up the paper, and read it.
John, I had a blast last night. Thanks for the drinks. Jack makes me a little wild, so sorry if I hurt you. I have to confess that our meeting wasn’t as random as you may have thought. My dancer friend told me about you. She let me know where you would be and said that I should show you a good time. I sure hope you enjoyed yourself.
P.S. By the way, your wife wants a divorce. Also, you should never judge a book by its cover. You should probably get tested. Liza
A lot of bad happened to Jimmy in a short amount of time that led to his walk on that lonely, dark road. He didn’t have a destination in mind, other than a fresh start, wherever that may be. After his wife had a miscarraige, his whole world broke down drastically and turned to absolute shit. His drinking amplified, which led to physical altercations with his wife, an arrest, and a pink slip from the factory where he worked. A court ordered stint at a sober living facility was short lived due to his continued drinking.
As Jimmy walked the desolate road, he pondered the decisions and events that led him to where he was at that very moment. This frustrated and further depressed him. He wanted nothing more than to jump in front of the next set of headlights that sped by. However, the lack of cars on this stretch of road made that plan highly unfeasible. Jimmy knew that he was damaged and would never be a pleasant memory in anyone’s mind. He just didn’t see the point in going on living. He thought, maybe there will be a rocky ravine up ahead. Then I could just disappear, and never be found. That thought alone was enough for him to take faster and wider strides toward the darkness in front of him.
A car could be heard approaching from behind and the landscape in front of him became illuminated. The vehicle slowed and pulled next to Jimmy.
“Hey there friend. Are you alright?”
“Yeah. I’m good.”
“There’s nothing out here for miles. Get in and I’ll take you closer to where you need to be.”
“Really, I’m fine. Go on.”
“Nonsense. Get in. I insist.”
Jimmy reluctantly got in the car with the stranger. Jimmy thought, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe he’ll be a serial killer, and do the hard work for me.
“My name is Carl,” the driver said, with his hand extended.
“Jimmy,” he responded, as he shook Carl’s hand.
“Where are you headed?” Carl asked.
Jimmy remained looking forward, and said, “West.”
“Ok. West is pretty vague, but I can get you a little closer in that direction.”
They rode in silence for the good part of an hour, when Carl pulled into a gas station.
“Need to fuel up. You need anything?” Carl asked, as he got out of the car.
“No, I’m good.”
Carl went into the store and returned with a six pack of beer and a pint of whiskey. He opened the passenger door and handed the items to Jimmy.
“Here. It looks like you need this.”
Carl began fueling the car as Jimmy opened and turned up the pint. The entire pint and one of the beers were emptied by the time Carl got back in the driver’s seat.
“Wow. You don’t waste any time do you? I knew you needed a drink.”
“Yeah, thanks. You have no idea.”
As the two were back on the road, the alcohol allowed Jimmy to open up a little about what had recently transpired in his life. Carl reminded Jimmy that life had a way of being shit sometimes, but it could always be worse, and that there was a good chance that it would get better. Jimmy wasn’t in the mood for a pep talk. He just sighed and continued on the beer. Carl told Jimmy about a young woman in a purple dress that he gave a ride to recently on the same stretch of highway as him. How she was at the end of her rope as well, running from an abusive husband. However, by the end of the ride, he had her smiling and confident in her decision to leave and start anew.
“See. Sometimes you just need someone else to put it all in prospective for you,” Carl said in a comforting tone.
“I guess you’re right,” said Jimmy, as he contemplated what Carl said.
The horizon began to brighten, as Carl slowed and turned right into a closed restaurant. There were no cars in the parking lot, and most of the lights on the inside were off. Carl pulled around to the rear of the building near the back door.
“This is my buddy’s place. I make runs for him roughly two times a week. He’s not the most social guy. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t really talk. I just have to drop off a few supplies and we’ll be on our way. Come on in. I’ll see if he has anything ready yet.”
The two of them got out of the car and Carl knocked on the rear door. A short, fat man with greasy hair and sauce stains on his apron opened the door.
“Bubba. How’s it going? This is Jimmy. Can you fix him a couple of your famous sandwiches?”
Bubba grunted and gave a slight nod. Carl showed Jimmy to the counter in the front and pulled out a stool for him.
“Bubba has the best barbeque around. He’s been in the paper and even on the local news. Look at all these awards,” Carl said, as he pointed at framed pieces of paper above the counter.
Jimmy looked around, nodded, and said, “That is a lot. Smells good. I am pretty hungry.”
“Here it comes now. You’re going to love it. I have to get some items out of the car so he can open up in a few hours. Eat up.”
Bubba placed two huge barbecue sandwiches in front of Jimmy and he didn’t waste any time digging in ravenously. Through the order window, Jimmy watched as Bubba and Carl hauled bags of items into the kitchen and walk-in cooler. Carl poked his head through the square opening and said,
“Pretty good, heh?”
“You weren’t kidding. The meat is so tender and the sauce is the best I’ve ever had. Everything is terrific. I can see why he has all those awards.”
“I told you. Hey, when you get done, do you think you could help us move a pig from the cooler to the smoker?”
“Sure thing. I’m about done.”
Jimmy used his last bite of sandwich to sop up the remaining sauce on his plate and leaned back in his stool, full and content. He took his plate to the back and Bubba motioned for him to put it in the sink.
“Bubba, if I could give you another award for that meal, I would my man,” Jimmy said, as he patted his stomach.
Bubba let out an appreciative grunt, and shook his head in acknowledgement. Carl came through the back door with another bag, placed it on the counter and motioned for Jimmy to follow him to the cooler.
“It’s a big fucker. Might take all three of us,” Carl said as he opened the cooler door.
Jimmy entered the dark cooler and the door slammed behind him.
“Quit fucking around! Open the goddamn door!”
Jimmy beat on the door and continued yelling in the pitch-black cooler. Moments earlier Jimmy thought he wanted to die, but now his instinct of survival took over. He continued beating on the door to no avail. He started feeling faint and dizzy and staggered around the refrigerated death trap. Jimmy was losing consciousness and realized he must have been drugged. He located a pull string and a light illuminated the cooler. He couldn’t believe the horrific things he saw. Bags of body parts and buckets of blood surrounded him. Jimmy lost his footing and fell to the cold floor. Just before everything went black, he looked into the lifeless eyes of the girl in the purple dress.
That day during the lunch rush, a dad and his son, who were traveling through town, sat in a booth next to the door. They finished their meal, and the dad told the waitress that it was the best barbeque that they had ever eaten. Before leaving, he left a glowing review online.
Jimmy had made a lasting memory in someone’s mind after all.
Harold was planning on making homemade bread, which he loved to do, but was about a cup short of flour. He used a recipe that he found online with 298 reviews, with an average of 4.9 stars. The loaves had always turned out well for him, so there was no need to deviate from this tried, tested, and true recipe.
Harold would normally ask his neighbor Molly, but he knew that she was out of town at her mother’s for the weekend. His only other option was the new neighbor Gary. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that Gary was on the sex offender’s list, because they were notified when he moved in, but no one knew exactly why he was on said list.
Harold wasn’t one to judge, and believed that everyone needed a second chance. He wasn’t going to pass judgment on someone that made a mistake in the past. Harold thought to himself that it was more than likely a huge misunderstanding between an old girlfriend or something, with only their word of events taken into account.
Harold locked the door behind him and walked over to Gary’s. As he approached the porch, he recognized the colorful day lilies and camellias in the front flower bed. Harold thought to himself that Gary had extremely good taste and was a master of color coordination. The swing on the porch, beside an elephant ear plant in a large pot, gave it a homey feel. Harold thought that Gary just might be his new friend.
He opened the screen door and knocked.
“Just a second. I’m coming,” Harold heard from inside.
He then heard footsteps approaching, and the door opened.
“Well, hello. Can I help you?”
“Hi, I’m your neighbor Harold. I live in the blue ranch style house right next door.”
“Oh, yes. I’ve seen you out in your front yard weeding your flower beds. My name is Gary, but you probably already know that.”
“Nice to meet you Gary. I see you have some beautiful flowers yourself there.”
“Thank you very much. I have a young Latino man at the market that has been a total godsend. He has taught me so much.”
“Well, the way you have them arranged is just brilliant. I may get your assistance someday if that’s okay.”
“Of course. I’ll do what I can. Lord knows, I need all the friends I can get. It’s been really trying lately, but thankfully, all of that legal stuff is behind me.”
“Well, that’s good. I can’t imagine how hard it must be.”
“Believe me, you just don’t know. What brings you over?”
“Goodness, my apologies. I am about to make some bread, and unfortunately, I am a hair short on flour. Would you happen to have a little to spare?”
“Of course. I believe I can scrounge some up. Come on in.”
Harold followed Gary into his living room. It was so pristine and organized. The tidiness almost made Harold jealous. There was absolutely no clutter, with seemingly everything in its place.
“Wow, you keep a spotless home,” Harold said, as he marveled at the immaculate neatness that surrounded him.
“Thanks. It’s mainly just me in here for the most part. I’ll have guests in here on occasion, but it’s extremely rare. Let me get that flour. Make yourself at home. Would you like something to drink?”
“That would be nice. What do you have?”
“I have water and a few sodas, but I also have some imported beer and a great wine selection.”
“Well, if you’ll have a glass too, I’d love some wine.”
“I couldn’t think of a better time to open a bottle than right now with my new friend. Which do you prefer, red or white? I have a luxurious Malbec from Argentina that’s a must if you like reds.”
“That sounds tremendous. I love reds.”
“Excellent. I’ll be right back. I keep the wine in my basement.”
Gary took out a set of keys and unlocked a padlock on a door near the hallway. Harold thought that it was a little strange to have the door locked with a padlock, but he just assumed that he had an expensive wine collection, and possibly other valuables down there. Harold just sat on the couch and looked around, still in awe of the uniformity of everything.
Gary was gone for about 5 minutes when Harold stood and walked near the door. He thought he heard Gary talking, mixed with other muffled noises. He couldn’t make out the sounds clearly, but they closely resembled a rustling mixed with whispers. This sparked his curiosity.
Harold took a few steps down and called for Gary. There was no answer, and the mysterious sounds suddenly stopped. He descended a few more steps down and noticed what looked like cage material. Only the bottom portion of the cage-like structure could be seen, but Harold swore that he saw what appeared to be feet.
“Gary. Are you okay?” Harold inquired in a slightly cracked tone.
“Yes, I’m here. I decided to grab two bottles instead. I have them right here.” Gary said, as he came around the corner and swiftly up the stairs, as if to usher Harold back up.
Once both were out of the stairwell, Gary shut the door and went to the kitchen to open the wine. Harold could hear Gary opening the bottles and getting down glasses. He was confused, yet intrigued by the previous events. Harold wondered what the strange sounds were, why Gary was talking, and what exactly that was that he had seen.
“You are going to absolutely love this Malbec,” Gary said, as he entered the room and handed Harold a glass.
Harold swirled, sniffed, and sipped the red.
“Wow, you weren’t kidding. This is spectacular.”
Gary put on some light jazz, and the two sat enjoying their drinks. They made small talk about the neighbors that lived close by, the local farmer’s market, and the different cafes in town. Both realized that each were vegan, and the conversation flowed effortlessly between the two.
Halfway through the second bottle, Harold got up the nerve to ask about what he had heard and seen earlier.
“Gary, what were those sounds that I heard from your basement? I swore that I saw what looked to be feet behind cages. What was that?”
Gary shrugged, shook his head from side to side, grinned, and in a nonchalant tone said,
“Oh, don’t mind them. That’s just my suffering suckboy stash.”
Harold took a long pull from his wine glass, placed it on the table, and casually made his way down the stairs to the basement.