Hank DeSilvo scowled and looked out the window over the kitchen sink full of dirty
dishes. He could see nothing but darkness, and maybe a bit of reflected light from the television.
This was probably a bad time to remember the back porch light had blown out two days ago, and
he’d forgotten to replace it.
Not that it mattered. The only light currently in the house was coming from the
television, and as long as he ignored it, he developed enough night vision to make out a shape
moving in the back garden. Or was it the wind moving a shrub? Kind of hard to say.
He slammed his can down with an annoyed grunt. It was probably the Hindles’ stupid
ass dog again, shitting all over the place and tearing through his garbage. He hated that fucking
thing, some ugly Rottweiler mix they insisted was a “friendly” dog, and yet it always had a look
in its flat, black eyes that was just this side of rabid. They never leashed the damn thing either,
and apparently his yard destruction was “cute.” He was just about out of this fucking place and
that damn thing had to make a final appearance. And it was final all right; he was going to make
damn sure of that.
He went back to the living room, glancing at the game as he walked past—it was a
fucking damn boring game anyway—and got his shotgun from the cabinet. It was illegal as all
hell, a sawed-off thirty ought six with the barrels cut so short you could have stowed it under a
jacket, but the barrels had been filed down expertly; it wasn’t just the rough work of a desperate
amateur but the sign of a pro. Which was why, when they’d searched the drug mule’s truck and
he’d found it wedged under the front seat, he hid it in his trunk and didn’t report finding it. It
wouldn’t have added that much to the mule’s sentence; he already had enough rock in his glove
compartment to put him away for the rest of his pointless life, especially if it was his “third
strike” (and it was, no surprise there), and he doubted the guy was so stupid that he’d actually
ask why he wasn’t charged with owning an illegally modified weapon. Yeah, he was dumb;
you had to be dumb if you were speeding and had a few thousand in rock in the car, as well as
being obviously stoned yourself. But asking after that was a special kind of stupid, the kind only
politicians and people on reality television ever seemed to crest.
He cracked open the gun and made sure he had some shells loaded in it before snapping
it shut again with a sharp flick of his wrist. Man that felt good. This was a real man’s weapon,
made him feel a foot taller and made of pure muscle, and he knew why that meth fuckhead was
carrying it around with him. A weapon like this was a real god-killer; it made you feel invincible.
It was pure overkill, of course. The Hindles’ dog was fairly big, and yet one shot from
this gun would rip it in half clean down the middle, as well as make a boom loud enough to set
off every car alarm on the block. But what the fuck did he care? He was an ex-cop; he’d say the
dog charged him, and on his property he could shoot the fucking thing if he wanted. He’d swap
out the sawed-off for his Remington before they arrived. Ballistics wouldn’t match, but by the
time they proved that, he’d be long gone. Good-bye, shit-hole city; hello, tropical paradise. It
was just a shame that it took him this long to collect.
He stood at the back door for a moment, cradling the shotgun gently, and let his eyes get
adjusted to the dark before going out onto the concrete patio. He had a mini Maglite with him
with a red lens over the bulb, so if there was something he needed to see he could twist it on
without losing his night vision. Not that he needed to make a direct hit; even if he just winged the
dog, he’d probably rip half its face off, maybe a leg.
First step off the patio his foot squelched in something; it felt too liquid to be shit, but
the smell that hit him was meaty, redolent of shit and offal and God knew what else. Had that
fucking dog already strewn his garbage about? Goddamn it.
Holding the shotgun in one arm, he turned on the flashlight and looked down at what
he’d stepped in.
At first it looked like a puddle, which didn’t make sense since it hadn’t rained in a week,
and the thought that it was dog piss was dismissed since it was dark, and dog piss wasn’t usually
black. Or was that red-black? Swinging the light outwards, he saw greasy, ropey strands that
couldn’t have come from his garbage can, and then a big hunk of raw, bloody meat like a lamb
shank… only it was too long and thin to be a shank, too dark, and ended in a paw.
It was a Rottweiler leg.
Someone—something—had dismembered the Hindles’ psychotic dog and spread about
a third of it all over his backyard. He saw the leg, which was the biggest piece, an assortment
of internal organs, loops of intestines laid out like fallen party streamers, and lots of blood. But
where was the other two thirds of the dog?
The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and he knew he had to get the fuck inside now.
But as he turned, shotgun at the ready and braced against his hip, he saw the flash of white teeth
in the dim moonlight, and his brain sent out the impulse to pull the trigger.
He didn’t have time to wonder why it never happened as the teeth ripped open his throat.
the wide array of canapés she had set out for them. She’d
watched with amusement as he’d devoured everything. Even
the extra frozen flatbread pizza she’d pulled out and quickly
microwaved when he’d cleaned his plate. Now he was on to
the caviar. He must have been starving after fucking her like
she longed to be fucked.
It was so much fun being someone else, the mysterious Mrs
M, having anonymous sex while knowing her lover was there
just for her enjoyment. For her sheer ecstasy. And what a
turn on when he’d tied her legs together with his tie. Things
she’d never dreamed of doing with any of the men she’d
dated, and certainly not Charles. Hiring this man to fulfil her
fantasies had allowed her to reach new, orgasmic heights.
Ones she’d merely imagined were possible before tonight.
Ones her girlfriends had bragged about, but she’d only ever
offered a polite nod, not wanting to reveal that she’d never
reached the mind and body experience they seemed to
deem a regular occurrence.
Thank goodness for Tara and that business card. This was a
whole new world for her with this Mr R. And she sure hoped
there was more where that came from, as long as her credit
card held out. She was a beginner, but so willing to learn at
the hands of this young hottie who made her body melt with
just a stroke of his fingers—or his impressive cock.
Looking at the clock, she saw it was past midnight. Probably
the cut off time for how late her Mr R was supposed to stay,
but there was no way she was going to say boo about him
leaving. Besides, he seemed to be genuinely enjoying
himself, even if he were paid to do this. No one could fake
that kind of ardour, could they?
He caught her gaze as he noted the time on the clock, but
he didn’t say anything as she passed him the caviar, nested
in a bowl of crushed ice. It was his second serving. She was
surprised he even liked the caviar, men his age seldom did.
Not that she had much experience with younger men, and
not that she wouldn’t like to—especially if they were all as
surprising, demanding and capable in the sack as this one.
But then of course, she knew he must have acquired these
refined tastes in his line of work. Pleasuring rich older
women. Maybe even younger women—there was no age
barrier on wealth, was there?
Not that she was wealthy any more, Charles had seen to
that. Her saving grace was her home, the penthouse her
mother had left her, the one she hoped to save from Charles’
clutches. Hopefully she could count on her experience in the
commercial interior design world to land her a job, and fast.
But all those worries could wait, if just for one night. Tonight
she was just Mrs M…wild, wanton and savouring what were
possibly her last few thousand dollars on her dream
Straightening her posture, she sipped her champagne and
sat slightly angled across from him on the settee. No point in
him seeing her little stomach roll that refused to go away and
looked worse when she was seated. She leaned towards
him, a trick she’d learned from Tara for making the body
appear thinner and the neck firmer. She swore it took years
“Aren’t you hungry?” her delectable playmate inquired. He
grinned and handed her a toast point piled with caviar, along
with the egg and onion condiments he had carefully adorned
“Famished,” she said, playing the game, opening her mouth
He moved towards her and popped the morsel into her
waiting mouth. “You have a beautiful mouth.” His thumb
lingered on her bottom lip for a moment as he ran his other
hand suggestively along her thigh. His touch thrilled her
through the thin silk of her robe. “I’d like to see just what you
can do with it.”
Delighted by his attentions and feeling the intoxication of
both Mr R and the bottle of champagne they’d just polished
off, she teased his thumb on her bottom lip. With the tip of
her tongue, she flicked at it suggestively, watching his eyes
turn hungry as he pushed his thumb between her lips.
Looked like he wasn’t going home anytime soon.
“Don’t move or we’ll fire,” ordered one of the guards, his voice shook
and his trigger finger twitched. Gudrik glared at him and swiftly shot towards
George, who was now leaning over the stainless steel top rail, still scouring for
an escape which didn’t exist. The guards began to fire wildly at him. They may
not have seemed overly competent, but they could shoot. Several projectiles tore
through Gudrik’s flesh as he moved, spattering blue onto the grass. Startled by the
gunshots, George spun just in time to see the scruffy relic hurtling towards her. A
bullet buried into Gudrik’s knee. He stumbled. Before she had a chance to react,
Gudrik crashed into George. His momentum forced her backwards, toppling them
both indigently over the safety railing in a tangled mess of arms and legs.
The pair rocketed towards the ground. George screamed profanities so
coarse that they blistered the very air around her. She scrambled and flailed as
if trying to climb back up Gudrik’s body. He wrapped himself tightly around
her. “Earvictius groot,” he bellowed.
His bullet wounds glowed, and the tender flesh surrounding them began to
transform into cold, speckled granite. The stone rapidly spread along his limbs and
across his abdomen, searing with pain as it went. He cringed and grated his teeth.
As it spread across his chest and onto George she began to scream as though he
were slashing chunks of flesh from her. Thankfully, the agony did not linger and in
the blink of an eye, stone had completely swallowed both of them. No matter how
hard she tried George could not move. It was both claustrophobic and frightening.
The living statues whistled closer and closer to the ground.
Until……SMASH! They crashed unhindered onto the roof of a parked car. Glass
and shrapnel exploded from the vehicle as they tore through the chassis and into
the road beneath.
Just as painfully as it had spread, the rock retreated returning the flesh to
its vulnerable state, leaving it sensitive and speckled with sweat. Both lay for a
moment of recovery. Their chests heaved deeply as they came to terms with what
had just happened. Gudrik crawled out of the mangled wreck and climbed to his
feet. “Are you harmed?” he grunted, lifting George to her feet.
She was pale and disheveled with blank shock clouding her eyes. Time was
of the essence. Gudrik slapped her across the cheek. Fire filled her blank eyes.
She swung a punch, which he avoided. He grabbed her shoulders and repeated his
question, “Are you harmed?”
“I-I’m confused as hell,” she responded, panicked, but glad to be alive. “But
fine. I think. Yes fine. Definitely ok,” she stammered nervously, quickly checking
her body over for injuries and pulling her dress down to cover the lacy black
panties on show to the world. Her hand quickly went to her locket, checking it was
still there. “Was I made of stone then?” Gudrik ignored her question. His attention
was otherwise occupied. By that stage, a huge crowd of onlookers and good
Samaritans had gathered around their impact point.
“We must keep moving.”
He dragged his hand along a twisted shard of the car’s metal shell and
Gudrik groaned as huge, white wings tore from the flesh of his back in a
puff of loose feathers and a splatter of blue. They stretched to a massive, elegant
span and quivered in the sun. The suit jacket and shirt were left torn and tattered,
spattered, stained and hanging in shreds from Gudrik’s muscled shoulders. The
stunned onlookers stepped back in awe. He grasped the confused woman tightly
and with a few powerful beats of his mighty wings launched the two of them into
George clung tightly as they whipped and glided through the city. They
weaved between the highrise buildings, slowly gaining altitude and suddenly
plunging toward the ground as Gudrik negotiated the unpredictable up-drafts above
the busy city streets. George was not as terrified as her brain insisted she should
be. She loved the speed, she loved the wind and she loved the gaping faces of the
populous below. It all exhilarated her. Gudrik’s grasp was gentle and caring, but
still so firm and reliable that there was no fear of falling.
Finally, Gudrik surged up and breached the top of the sky scrapers. The
onlookers below were now nothing more than ants. George released her grip on
Gudrik and shielded her eyes. The sun was much fiercer up there without the
buildings’ protection. She swivelled and squirmed as she gathered bearings. “Land
on those cliffs over there,” George said pointing at a small lookout point above the
Gudrik dived and swooped in, gently putting the two of them down on the
grass in a rapid flutter of tiny wing beats. “Gratitude,” Gudrik grunted as the wings
collapsed into a sprinkling of blood.