Friday, August 6, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 536 - Richard Godwin


Part Three Of A Four-Part Saga (Part One, The Skin Room, can be found here; Part Two, Scar Tissue, here)

Maxy used her wealth and attributes to get membership to the local country club.

Set in grass so green it looked painted, the building was a slice of wealth with a massive price tag and exclusivity etched into it in acid. The owner, Joshua Stone, was an aging pervert who liked being blown as he played golf in his office. And Maxy did just that.

She booked an appointment saying she was offering reduced rates on her catering services and, once she was in his office, began undressing. She removed her dress in one swift unveiling and pulled off her bra before he could say anything. As she stood there fondling her breasts and he let his mouth hang open, she removed her g-string.

‘Is this part of the service?’ Joshua said.

‘You get this for a favour.’

He was in her mouth and she had her jaw clamped around his penis when she made the request, membership to the club for six months for continued favours.

He agreed just as he showered the back of Maxy’s throat with come.

As he went to shower, she downloaded the database of clients, obtaining all their contact details.

She had to force herself not to cut him and left, with the images of his peeled skin raging through her mind.

Back at the house, she poured a whisky and threw the card on the sofa where Mick was sitting.

‘Nice going,’ he said.

‘I want to start this right away.’

‘You had to do something you didn’t like?’

‘I did.’

‘You want to peel someone.’

‘As soon as I get membership, I’ll find a suitable candidate and skin him yard by yard.’

‘Welcome back, Maxy. Do I get to fuck his wife?’

‘This is how we do it. I take him home and you get there first. You wait outside while I pick one and text you his address. You break in and tie her up, you can even rape her while he watches.’

‘Baby, you’re speaking my kind of language.’

Her membership didn’t take long in arriving. She had to blow Joshua a few more times, but as soon as she was in she headed there for the first evening gathering of her prospective skin victims.

She wore a bright blue dress and high heels that accentuated her buxom figure. She honed in on a single man, who’d eyed her from the moment she arrived.

He was slim and tanned and, as they talked, she whispered in his ear.

‘Are you married?’

‘Why do you ask?’

‘It doesn’t matter to me.’

‘What are you saying?’

‘I’m a liberal woman. Let me get you another drink.’

She went over to the bar and stood there with her back to him and stirred the cocktails. She brought them over and watched slyly as he sipped his.

‘I know a hotel,’ he said.

They left in his Mazerati.

He began to feel drowsy as he was driving.

Maxy suggested he pull over for some air and he staggered into the moonlight, collapsing on the ground.

She pulled him up and lugged him to the boot.

Then she sent Mick his address and drove there, pulling up at a large house with lights on in the windows.

Mick was standing in the hallway and dragged the man through into the living room where his wife lay naked and gagged, her tights stuffed into her mouth.

Her face was empty, as if she was leaving the scene and what was about to take place in it.

Mick put the man in a chair and tied him up, too. Then he undid the woman’s binds and raped her as the husband awoke and pissed himself.

Maxy watched all this with no trace of discernible emotion on her face, except when the man started making noises and she turned to see the look of blank incomprehension on his face. She kicked him with her stiletto, drawing blood.

Then Mick turned the woman’s head towards her husband and made sure she watched.

Maxy stripped him and began cutting, removing his skin in long layers, which she stretched beneath the bright lights and placed on a rack she’d fetched from the car. That peeled part of him dripped like a nightmare canvas of deep lacerations. She carried on with her incisions, working with the measured focus of a surgeon.

She hung him up to dry like bleeding washing and, by the time she was finished, he looked like a mess of raw wounds.

His wife wore a look of unshakeable horror on her face as they turned to examine her.

Then Mick pressed the butt of his gun against her skull and looked right into her eyes as he shot her through the head.

He picked a piece of her brain from his shirt and rolled it between his fingers.

‘Looks like a walnut,’ he said.

‘Don’t you feel anything?’

‘We’re the same. I watch you cutting and you’re dead inside, Maxy.’

‘Not quite. We get high from this.’

They ransacked the place for valuables and downloaded all the files from the computer and left.

Back at the house, they sat and contemplated their night’s endeavour.

‘You got better with the blade,’ Mick said.

‘How many we going to do?’

‘A few.’

‘We ain’t gonna get caught.’

‘There’s only one person who can identify us and he’s in a coma.’

‘I say we do them and move on.’

‘Money, Maxy.’

‘How much do you need?’

‘Enough to retire.’

‘You ain’t never gonna give up this shit, Mick.’

They made several hundred thousand from their first victim and soon doubled this.

Maxy continued to work. She also continued to visit Joshua.

And Mick could see the anger building in her. He found her gargling with bleach one night. She turned to him in the lurid light that seemed to inhabit their desolate dwelling place.

‘I need to kill him,’ she said. ‘I can’t suck him off and not skin him.’

‘We need more money.’

Mick wanted a richer guy and Maxy found him.

Tom Flint. One of the wealthiest members of the club. His wife was the tanned and toned product of investment, just Mick’s type.

Maxy worked on Tom Flint and one black night hooked him.

He passed out wending his way to the hotel he used when he booked sessions with hookers and she steered his car over to the side of the road and hefted him into the boot.

Mick was waiting for her at his house.

What he did that night changed things.

He’d already stripped and tied the wife up and, when Maxy came in with the husband, he started punching him, breaking bones in the man’s face.

‘Leave his body alone,’ Maxy said. ‘I need the skin.’

So Mick hit the wife. Not just once, but repeatedly, until she was bleeding profusely.

He raped her.

He cut her.

He set fire to her with his lighter and Maxy watched with no emotion as her hair ignited. Then she peeled the husband back to the bone.

They took what they needed and went home.

They’d accrued several million, which they’d deposited in various bank accounts.

As she undressed in the bedroom, Maxy looked at Mick and wished him gone. She missed her solitary life of killings and felt he had invaded her psychotic sanctuary.

‘Now what?’ she said. ‘We got enough money.’

‘We do a couple more.’

‘No. We need to move on. You’re starting to need more extreme acts of violence. I say we stop.’

‘You don’t get to decide.’

They went to bed. As she lay there, she thought of ways of removing Mick.

And he knew what she was feeling.

The next day, the police turned up at the country club.

They began asking questions about the members, honing in on the new ones. Joshua was protective of his business and also his sexual interests. He called Maxy after they’d left.

‘Police have been round. If you don’t want me giving them your name, you better come here now.’

‘The police? Why would that worry me?’

‘Some of our members have been killed. You must have heard.’

‘What’s that got to do with me?’

‘Just come, there’s something I want to do to you.’

Maxy told Mick what had happened before she left for the country club.

While she was out, he stole a car and drove to the hospital where the coma victim was lying in a private room. Pulling his hat low over his face, he entered the darkened room and disconnected the life support machine.

Meanwhile, Maxy got to the country club where Joshua was waiting for her.

‘I want to fuck you,’ he said.

Maxy watched him undress and, as he moved towards her, she cut his throat.

She peeled him, washed his blood from her in his shower, and left him in his office, taking his skin with her.

Mick was waiting for her back at the house.

‘He dead?’ he said.

‘He is.’

‘Guy’s not in a coma any more, he ain’t in anything anymore.’

They looked at each other in some black communion.

And Mick and Maxy took to the road.

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 and Gloom Cupboard, 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 blog, RICHARD GODWIN, is the home of the Chin Wag At The Slaughterhouse Interviews (which, in this editor’s opinion, deserve as many awards as can be heaped upon them).


Jimmy Callaway said...

Mick and Maxy: the Nick and Nora Charles of 2010.

AJ Hayes said...

Skin hunger has me by the ever so tannable, er, portions of my anatomy.
Next installment please. Now.

Anonymous said...

Deliciously graphic, the story still has me following along and waiting on the edge of my seat for part 4.

Michael Solender said...

Remind me to NEVER piss you off.. a gripper for sure with details that graphically transport this tale from merely criminal to insanely horrific.

callan said...

Flawlessly depraved- my favorite in the series so far- I cant wait for the next one!!!!!

callan said...

Flawlessly depraved. Loved it when Maxy was gaggling bleach. Best skin yet! can't wait for the next installment

Miss Alister said...

This country club episode cruised at Mach 1, was satisfying in every way of word and bloodstained detail. The heat’s on. I know Mick’s got something over Maxy, I know the coma dude’s been snuffed, but something ain’t right. I’m left with a feeling Maxy needs to break free of Mick or she’ll be the one hanging like bleeding washing. But knowing you, that ain’t right either ; ) So I’m looking forward to four!

Salvatore Buttaci said...

Depravity at its lowest; writing at its highest. Richard, you need to expand this beyond four parts. It would make a grand novel: The Skin Game. Your characters are sickos but quite believable in the context of your storytelling. I'm proud such a damn good writer counts me among his friends.

M. C. Funk said...

The real tragedy is that there's not much more of it.

Well, no, okay, the murders are the real tragedy.

But the swift narrative of this piece and the fact that the next one is the final installment, that's pretty darn sad too.

Jodi MacArthur said...

Gruesome. Gory. Skinless and heartless. And all can be summed up by searching for that cure to the madness. It's a disease all of mankind has.

Very visual writing, Richard.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, AJ, Nicole, Michael,Callan, Miss Alister,Sal,Matthew,Jodi, thank you all for your comments. Hang on until the end.