Friday, January 28, 2011

A Twist Of Noir 653 - Liam José


Juan Hundred dreamt about the rats again. They came all around him, everywhere. Only this time, the dream wasn’t a nightmare, for although he wasn’t in control, he knew what to expect.

A beautiful señorita called his name from a staircase. Her skin was stained a rich brown and her soft curves worked against the harsh gradient of her hair. Though Juan chased her, he could never reach her, and she’d shed a piece of clothing with each of his attempts.

She stopped running. Juan hesitated, but something pushed him forward, be it choice or fate. At first he thought that just this once, he might make it. So he ran. And no sooner than he did the stairs collapsed. Though he fought the urge, Juan looked, and saw the former stairs had, yet again, turned to rats. And he sunk, deeper and deeper still into the never ending writhing mass, until he could see nothing, and just feel the rats that stretched in every direction.

And there was no traction in the world, no up or down, only himself at the centre of things.

<“Hundred, get up. It’s time.”>

Juan shook himself from the dream and looked at the lantern.

The cold black of his cell was cast with flickering shadows from the greasy flame. He pulled off the blanket and stared at Carlito, grinning wide-mouthed with his few yellow teeth.

Without protest, Juan followed Carlito from his cell.

The sound of a small gas generator was amplified by the bare concrete walls of the recreation room.

<“And here’s my star, the great Juan Hundred.”>

Luis, the director, handed a hand-cranked film camera to Carlito. Luis was a guard captain at the Islas Marias. He was a sweaty, small man with fake teeth he seemed especially proud of.

Juan removed his shirt, his wirey frame had already started to glisten.

<“Wait, Hundred. You must get undressed in front of the camera.”> Luis nodded at Carlito. Carlito gave the camera to another guard who held it like an ugly child. Carlito walked to Juan, and lazily smacked Juan in the mouth. The force knocked Juan over. He didn’t make a noise.

He stood and buttoned his shirt back up.

Carlito walked back to the camera. Juan looked into the lens.

<“Who do I fuck tonight?”>

<“You must speak American when you’re on camera! They like to understand you.”>

Juan spat blood.

“Who do I fuck?”

On cue, a door opened and produced a starved looking giant. His beard as thick as his upper body. He smiled when he saw Juan.

<“We call him Dick-eye.”> Luis waited for Juan to ask why. Nothing. <“Guess where he likes to stick it.”>

Juan ignored Luis, dropped his shirt.

“Get over here, hombre.”

Dick-eye lurched over. Juan began to lower his slacks.

Dick-eye grunted and slapped Juan in the eye. It swelled up at much the same rate as Dick-eye’s pants.

Carlito furiously cranked the camera.

“It doesn’t have to be like this,” Juan said, blood weeping from his socket. Dick-eye grabbed Juan’s hair and brought Juan’s face into his crotch. He grunted again and rubbed himself on Juan’s face. Juan slid an arm between Dick-eye’s legs and squeezed his balls as hard as he could.

Dick-eye tumbled over and Juan scrambled on top of him. Juan kissed him on the side of the face.

“I can treat you well, if you will let me.” And he kissed him on the mouth. “The Americans like us to kiss like this.” Juan kissed him harder, until their teeth crushed their lips. “They just don’t know they like it.”

Juan kept a hand on Dick-eye’s balls, ready, until he had him trained. And then they made a porno. Juan Hundred’s way.


Back in his cell, bruised and restless, Juan only realised he was asleep when the rats came all around him. But he loved them. He loved them all.

BIO: Liam didn’t quite grow up in Melbourne, Australia. Along with Cameron Ashley and Keith Rawson he edits Crime Factory. His writing has appeared on Powder Burn Flash, The Flash Fiction Offensive and made its way in print on the odd occasion.


R.S. Bohn said...

Whoooaaaa... That was fucked up. From the dream to the reality -- hell, after what his life is like, I'd take dreams of uncatchable senoritas and stairs of rats, too.

This line was esp. good: Carlito gave the camera to another guard who held it like an ugly child.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Great. Very bloody nasty!

Keith Rawson said...

A gallant slave pornstar. brilliant, Liam

Anonymous said...

Way to fell Goliath.
Rats as relief-- what a life for Juan.

AJ Hayes said...

Man that's some kind of psycho freefall. I was grabbing at any kind of handhold I saw reflected in the fire. Then, when I got a'hold of one, I wished I hadn't stopped for a look. I'm thinking the mass 'o rats are a very comforting place to be neck deep in. Sometime, when I know you better, we'll talk about this line:"And there was no traction in the world, no up or down, only himself at the centre of things"
Or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Simple, elegant and brutal. Beautiful work. I agree with R.S Bohn - 'held it like an ugly child' is a fantastic line.

Joyce said...

It's hard to think rationally after reading this one. When dreaming of wallowing in a sea of rats is a step up from the normal fare, you have to wonder why Juan doesn't just take as many of them out as he can during one of their sessions. But I suppose it's probably a case of one does what one has to do to survive. Perfectly written view of the real dark side.

Liam José said...

Thanks for the kind comments, guys!

The rat dream is actually a recurring dream I have, don't know what that says about me, but therapy through writing, I suppose!

AJ - look forward to it, mate.

Joyce - Juan (and me) have too many plans to let that happen...

There's another story about MUCH later in Juan Hundred's life included in the upcoming CRIME FACTORY ANTHOLOGY.