PILLOW TALK - MARK JOSEPH KIEWLAK
Originally published in Hardboiled #35 in Spring 2006
She was chained to the bed. She was gorgeous but she was chained to the bed. I needed information. Just because she was naked didn't mean she was vulnerable. As any man will tell you, rejection by a naked woman is a terrible experience. When that woman is kicking and screaming and trying to bite you the experience is even worse. I didn't want it to come to that. But I needed information.
"I won't tell you anything," Penny said. "I can't tell you anything."
"Not even if I sleep with you?"
"Are you going to sleep with me?" Penny said.
"I'm not going to rape you."
"Are you going to fuck me?"
I lit another cigarette. This was getting me nowhere.
"I need to know where she went. Your sister."
"Who cares?" Penny said. "Fuck me."
"I need you to tell me what you know about the people she was with."
"I won't tell you anything," Penny said. "Until you fuck me."
"Unless I fuck you?"
"If you didn't want to," Penny said, "then what are the handcuffs for?"
I thought about that a moment.
"For my protection," I said.
She laughed. It was a harsh sound.
"We don't need protection," she said. "The hell with protection. The fucking hell with protection."
"Tell me about your sister."
"The fucking hell with my sister. And the fucking hell with you."
I sat down on the edge of the bed. It was closer than I wanted to be, but I almost couldn't help myself. As I came closer she spread her legs for me.
"Do you want this?" she said. "Or do you want to talk about my sister?"
"I'm being paid to find her. Your father is worried."
"He's not my father," Penny said. "He's a fucking pervert."
"You and your sister have different fathers?"
Penny kicked at me. "I don't want to talk about my goddamned sister."
"These men who took her -- had you ever seen them before?"
"Hell no," she said. "But I knew what they were about. I'd slept with men like that before."
"Animals. Filthy disgusting animals. They sweat and they heave and they lick your asshole with their stubbly little faces. They grow hair because they don't have any chins. They fuck like dogs."
"Did any of them fuck your sister?"
She spit on me. "Fuck you, you bastard. Nobody messes with my sister. Nobody messes with my sister or I'll rip their goddamn eyes out."
"Where is your sister?"
"She's safe," Penny said.
"How do you know that?"
"Because I protect her. I always protect her."
She turned away.
"How do you protect her?"
"Do you want to fuck me?" she said.
"I can't. I'm working."
She rattled the handcuffs. "You call this work? What do you do for fun?"
"What did your sister do for fun?"
"She never had any fun?"
Penny spread her legs again and threw her pelvis at me. "Bring it over here," she said, "and I'll show you some fun."
"Do you have any idea where the men took your sister?"
"To get laid," Penny said. "They took her to get laid."
"It doesn't matter."
"Why doesn't it matter?"
"Because they're dead."
"The men are dead? The men who took your sister are dead?"
"Do you want to fuck me or not?"
"I didn't bring you here to fuck you."
Penny turned away. She shrank in on herself. "Are you ... are you going to hurt me?"
She pulled her knees to her chest. "I'll... I'll be a good girl."
"I'm not going to hurt you."
There were tears in her eyes. "I promise I'll be a good girl. I promise."
"I'm not going to hurt you. But I want to talk to your sister."
She had shrunk in on herself as much as was possible. Her body was all but hidden beneath the pillows. But there was still a gleam of something feral in her eye.
"I promise I'll be good. I promise, Daddy."
"I'm not your daddy. Now let me talk to your sister."
"Daddy, don't hurt me. Please, Daddy. Please, Daddy, not the men. The men hurt me."
I stood over her. I put my hand on her leg.
"No, Daddy, no."
"Your sister, Penny. Go away and bring me your sister."
"I'm afraid. The men... I'm afraid."
"It's over, Penny. The men are gone. She doesn't need you anymore. Your sister doesn't need you anymore."
She kicked me in the balls. I doubled over and lay sideways on the bed trying to catch my breath.
"Leave her the fuck alone, you fucking pervert."
This was what I was afraid of.
"You can't help her anymore, Penny. She doesn't need you. It's over."
She tried to kick me again but I slid off the bed. I got to my knees then to my feet. The pain was lessening.
I had to try a new tactic. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I had to try it.
"You stay away from me," Penny said. "You stay the fuck away. Stay back. I'll bite your balls off and shit them back in your face."
"You can't do a thing," I said. "You're helpless. You're mine."
"Fuck you, asshole."
"You're mine and I'm having my way with you."
"I'm going to come on your face."
"Fuck you fuck you fuck you."
I slapped her on the ass. "You're mine, bitch."
"Leave me alone."
"I'm going to put out cigarettes on your belly."
"Please leave me alone."
"It's over, Penny. You're dead."
"You're dead and gone."
"You're dead and gone and buried and your sister is alone."
I slapped her across the face. She broke into uncontrollable sobs and buried herself in the pillows. I waited. When she turned to me I could see that the gleam in her eye was gone.
"Penny?" I said.
"Are you Margaret?" I said.
"Yes. Who are you?"
"Your father hired me to find you."
"Are you a policeman?"
"I used to be."
"How did I get here? Why am I chained? Where are my clothes?"
"I found you like this," I said. "We're in a loft downtown. Don't you remember anything?"
"I don't remember."
"I think you do."
"You can't make me remember."
"What happened to the men, Margaret? What did you do with them?"
"I... they got what they deserved."
"I'm not taking you back to your father, if that's what you're worried about."
"He's worse than they were."
"He's coming here. To the loft. Soon."
"I know. But the police are on the way too. I called them. No one will hurt you anymore."
"I was waiting," she said.
"Waiting for him?"
"Yes. He makes me wait here."
"Did the men bring you here?"
She nodded. "They would bring me here ... and when they were through they would leave me like this. For him."
"For your father?"
This time she didn't nod. She wasn't even there really. Just a shell. A voice coming from a robot.
"Today was different," I said.
A small nod.
"Today the men didn't hurt you."
"Today you hurt them."
"They're gone," she said. "Does it matter where?"
"Not to me."
"Then what do you want?"
"I came to stop you from hurting him. From hurting your father."
"Why in the hell would you do that? Because he paid you?"
"Because he deserves to rot in prison," I said. "Before he rots in the ground."
"Will you ... will you tell what I did?"
"I won't tell," I said. "But someday you might. One way or another you don't deserve to be locked up."
"So you'll let me go?"
"If you keep your mouth shut about what happened to those men."
"They deserved it."
"I hear sirens," she said.
"My friends are coming."
"What about my father?"
"He's already been arrested."
"But ... who told you I was here? Who told you about my father?"
"I got a phone call," I said.
I didn't say anything.
"Was it ... was it this Penny person you were asking me about?"
I didn't say anything.
"Who is she? Tell me, please."
I took the key from the nightstand and unlocked her handcuffs.
"Someone who was there for you when you needed it. Just someone ... who used to protect you."
BIO: In 2008 Mark Joseph Kiewlak's work appeared in more than two dozen magazines, including Hardboiled, Plots With Guns, Pulp Pusher, Thug Lit, Muzzle Flash, Powder Burn Flash, Clean Sheets, and many others. He was privileged to have served as judge of the 2007 Wild Violet Fiction Contest. He has also written for DC Comics (FLASH 80-PAGE GIANT #2).