THE TWIST - RICHARD GODWIN
They called him Leprous Sam. He stank of the abattoir, but boy could he dance. No medallions and he blew them away every Saturday. John Travolta never looked so good.
Sam would wheel across the dance floor as his image caught the mirror balls that hovered in the air at Fat Harry’s disco.
Harry had been coining it in for years and no one knew how.
His crumbling club stood at the end of nowhere with overflowing toilets. Women frequently found their stilettos caked in shit.
The place stank like a fetid whorehouse.
And Sam danced on in shoes stained with excrement.
Now this is what happened.
One Saturday night, when the moon fell from the sky and pierced itself on the high rise rooftops, Sam strutted in with his shirt undone and started his routine.
Harry sat at the bar with a Pina Colada and eyed a lady in a designer outfit and said, ‘That shit makes me want to puke.’
She turned to him with slow derision.
‘Who the fuck asked you, fatso?’
And he curled his magic finger and played her the wink.
Now if you’d never seen Harry wink, it was a marvel to behold.
He looked like a rabid dog that’s chewed up a Chihuahua. But when he winked, his eyes sparkled with some sinister magic and he looked strangely alluring. Beneath a certain light.
‘You beckoning me?’ she said.
‘That’s what the finger says, although it has other uses.’
‘And what might they be?’
‘You want a drink, on the house? I’ll show you the twist.’
And he led her into the private bar, locking the door.
She stood in a room lined with red leather.
‘What’s your poison?’ Harry said.
As she sat on the sofa, his eyes dropped to the break in her skirt.
‘You looking at something?’ she said.
‘Only looking at what I’m offered.’
‘And what might that be?’
‘How thick is your wallet, fat boy?’
He waved a hand in ostentation, like some congenitally insane Roman Emperor.
‘How d’you think I got this bar?’
Just then, the music went up so many decibels, she tried shouting something at him. Harry shrugged and went through to the back room to fetch it through.
It was always the same.
No one ever heard the screams.
Toast was how Harry built his disco up.
Sam knew the routine.
Saturday Night Fever, they called it.
They’d let the dance floor get as hot as a burning snatch, while Harry got out his chopper.
Sam entertained, Harry eviscerated.
They’d been doing it for years.
When she saw the steel, she ran to the door and pulled hard on it. Harry calmly carved her back open and shoved a hand into her ribcage, rolling it round in there before he removed her heart.
And while Chubby Checker intoned the bright melody of his song down below and Sam cavorted, Harry said: ‘Let’s do the twist, designer bitch.’
He rotated her dripping aorta and waved her beating heart around.
Then he laid out plastic sheets with the carefree abandon of a picnicker and carved her into fine pieces.
These were sent downstairs to the restaurant, which served surprisingly good food. With toast. His speciality. A little pink. Fried. In blood.
As he said to Sam that night after everyone had left: ‘Designer trash been coming here for years and I been choppin ’em up an catering to everyone’s tastes, good business brain, see?’
Sam nodded and stretched out his legs on the sofa.
‘An you never put too much blood on the bread.’
BIO: Richard Godwin lives and writes in London, where his dark satire ‘The Cure-All’, about a group of confidence tricksters, has been produced on the stage. He has just finished writing a crime novel. His writing appears regularly at Disenthralled; Gloom Cupboard; Thrillers, Killers ’N Chillers; The New Flesh, Media Virus Magazine and Pulp Metal Magazine, among many other magazines. He has a Twitter account and can be found there under the User Name Stanzazone. You can check out his portfolio here. His first crime novel will be published later this year.
His website is now all-new, complete with information on his upcoming novel APOSTLE RISING and a special page devoted to the critically-acclaimed CHIN WAG AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE interviews.
The Irish Times’ Crime Fiction ‘Best Of’ 2018
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