Hollawien Story: 3-2 of 3

  I dream of the sky above the clouds, of a moonlit night of flight searching the ground for movement.

   I know it is night but can see clearly as though my eyes have an inner spotlight that shines wherever I cast my gaze. I see many creatures with my night vision, small rodents, larger mammals and nocturnal birds that share the sky with me.

  I pass over a small town, I see people in pairs and larger groups I study but ultimately ignore them all until I spot a solitary woman walking down an unlit path in what appears to be an otherwise deserted City Park.

  My dream jumps, skips as though the ‘next scene’ button were pushed while watching a video playback of a movie.

  I don’t know how long I blacked out or what transpires next.

  My next vision is of feasting on not only the liquid version of Abuela’s brew, but also chucks of delicious flesh.

 Erica was there, the boy and Abuela too. It seemed natural for them to be with me.

  A week ago this would have been a nightmare, a story to tell my therapist to ask for her interpretation. Now it wasn’t horrible at all, it felt right, I felt free. It was in the midst of this exhilaration I realized that it wasn’t a dream, it felt that way because I wasn’t controlling my actions, but I was awake. I wasn’t operating on free will, I was operating on instinct. The same way a baby knows to feed from her mother’s tit, and a young boy on a school trip knows how to fuck; I knew how to survive. How to fly, to hunt, to kill, to eat the flesh and blood of humans. And I wasn’t disgusted or terrified of it. Why should I be? Just as a baby has to suck, daddy’s got to eat. 

  In the months that followed I learned what happened to me, how I became this way and why I would forever be the Papa to this family.

  They told me that my pal Tony had returned and tried to save me the night I called and told him I needed help, and in a way he did. That first meal, my first taste of my future was of Tony. It’s a shame he had to die, he was a good guy. I guess he was good in a way I had never thought of him before, turns out that he was delectable.

  They showed me why I thought young Erica was so desirable to me, a man whose taste in woman had always been of the MILF down the block, not of her daughter in high school. We can make regular people see what they want to see. That night I saw a woman that had experience and the look of desire in her eyes. Tony saw her from what she was, a chubby homely teenager with acne scars. Erica was after me, not Tony so her ‘charms’ were directed for only me to see. 

  Abuela told me that Julio had been the building super when she and Erica moved in half a century ago. How the boy who never spoke but loved his offal lollipops had been found by Julio living in the basement behind a bricked up wall by the boiler. Erica told me that the best they could guess was that he wanted a family. Julio became the father, Erica a big sister and Abuela, well that’s obvious. Erica didn’t know why he never chose someone to be a mom in the family, just that he probably never would.

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Hollawien Story: Part 3-1 of 3

  I awake in a chair, a plush recliner it feels like. My feet are up and there’s a blanket on me. I feel its knitted texture while opening my eyes. The light is blinding, the pain excruciating, shooting daggers into my brain. I blink rapidly and try to raise an arm to block the light but discover both are restrained.

   Slowly, painfully, I’m able to open my eyes in slits just wide enough to see, I’m able to adjust to the pain enough to see. I can make out only that same slim candle in the opposite corner illuminating the room. 

   “That’s right,” I hear a young female voice from across the room, it’s Erica.

   “Open them slowly, you’ll get used to it. Let me undo your sleeves.”

   I try to speak but my mouth feels strange, like my tongue is too small and fat and my teeth are too big.

    “No Popi, don’t try to speak, you’re not ready for that yet.” Another female voice, much older than the first, it must be Grandma.

    Erica lowers the recliner so that I’m sitting in an upright position, my legs feel numb. She pulls the blanket down from my chest and I see that I’m wearing wrist restraints; the large leather cuffs attached to the plush chair with clip connectors like the type used on the covers of courier bags.

   “These are for your own safety.” I know she’s saying this quietly but it sounds like it’s bouncing around in my skull. Again that piercing pain only this time the ice-pick is being jabbed into my ear. I wince my eyes shut and twist my head.

    She must have noticed that the sound bothered me.  

    “I’m sorry Papa but you’ll get used to that too.”

   ‘Did she call me Papa?’ I can’t speak but I turn my head and squint at her face, it isn’t as I remember, not nearly as beguiling, ‘why did I follow her here?’ I think.

   “Drink this, it will help you speak.” Grandma again, she holding an ornate china coffee cup up to me lips. It smells like sewage.

   I grimace and turn my head, raising my left arm to cover my nose I unexpectedly smack myself in the face.

   I immediately thought of a game we played as kids. We’d stand in a doorway with our arms at our sides. Someone would count to a hundred while the person in the door pushed against the doorframe with the back of their hands while holding their elbows locked. After the count you’d step out of the door and relax you arms. They would rise as if being pulled up by an unseen force, as if they were weightless.

   That’s how my arms felt, as if they were weightless.

   Erica gently pulled my arm down, “You’ll learn to control that too, there is a lot you’ll get used to.”

   The old woman raised the cup again and said, “Take a sip, once you taste it, that will be all that you crave.” I hadn’t noticed before but she spoke with a thick Spanish accent. It wasn’t just an accent, she wasn’t speaking in English but I understand her. I failed every foreign language course I ever took, ‘how is this possible?’

   I’m so parched, my mouth with the tiny tongue and huge teeth felt dry, so much so that it felt gritty. And my stomach felt nonexistent I was so hungry. Forcing myself to taste the foul drink, I was surprised to find that when it hit my tongue it was wonderful; an amalgamation of everything good that ever past over my lips. It tasted like lobster and truffles and young pussy. I wanted, no craved it immediately.

   It made that strange empty feeling in my abdomen go away. It did not however, alter the oddly full feeling I had in my chest.

   My lungs are as if I had taken several deep breaths before diving into a pool, but not exhaling between gulps. I had felt this sensation once before, back in college. Gus and I tried freebasing cocaine; this was the predecessor of crack. Inhaling the cooking fumes numbs your lungs as you suck them in, it feels as if you could inhale forever and never fully become filled. I felt that now even though I was breathing normally. It isn’t a bad feeling, just unnatural. Not surprising given what I was going through.

   Carefully, I raised my hands to the cup and took it from Grandma. I finished the cup, letting the final thick drops of liquid drip onto my tongue. It felt strangely tight, I couldn’t extend it past my teeth but I don’t care about that now, I want more to drink.

   I open my eyes a little more and hold the cup out to her.

   “More.” I’m able to croak out a single word now; the dense liquid has eased the tightness in my throat and loosened my tongue.

   “Good,” she replies, “you are recovering quickly Popi. We had to make a quick decision when you killed Julio.”

 “Popi?… What?” Only able to stammer out a word at a time, I try to stand as I speak.

   More restraints held me into the chair, a seat belt lay across my lap. Grabbing at it and finding the release, unbuckle it and shoot straight up, almost tripping forward because of the ankle bracelets holding my feet onto the chair.

   “Papa wait, you’re not ready” I heard Erica say from my right.

   “Stop. Saying.” My voice still only able to produce one syllable at a time. Although my mouth was still feeling strange mishap en and dry, the problem now seemed to be my breath. Even though it felt as though I had unlimited air pressure in my chest, I could only manage enough of a blow to get one short word out at a time.

   “Not… You… Father..”

   Erica placed her hands on my shoulders and was easily able to push me back in to the chair. As she reattached the seatbelt she said, “Please sit, your muscles aren’t used to the weight change yet. Let Abuela get more coffee for you. It helps keep us balanced.”

   As I sat back down into the chair which felt as if, I know this sounds cliché’, but it was like sitting on a cloud. I could feel my ass hitting the cushion but I didn’t seem to sink in at all, I seem to be floating a fraction of an inch above the surface.

   Grandma returned with another cup. I reach for it without even hesitation; my body craved it so badly I didn’t even have to think about it. I clutch the delicate cup in my hands and raise it to my lips fully expecting to be reviled again by the smell but instead I find myself inhaling the aroma from the surface of the pitch black liquid. The stench I had experienced the first time was replaced with a fragrance so wonderful that it remarkably prevented me from chugging the contents in one gulp.

  The heavenly aroma rising out of the cup transported me back to places I had loved from my youth. Places that most people probably wouldn’t associate with remarkable smells but they held important places in my mind.

   I thought of the dirt track we rode as teenagers, the smell of two stroke gasoline engines always makes me smile.

  The mixture of perfume and shampoo that I smelled when giving my first hickie to Lois Clarke on a dare sophomore year on an overnight school trip to our nation’s capital. And later that evening the sweet odor of sweat and moisture between her thighs when we both lost our virginity.

  The smell of freshly cut pine when I was building a birdhouse with my father on a camping trip with the Cub scouts. That was the fateful weekend he died when a tree feel on our tent when an unexpected thunderstorm hit our camp during the night. Building that birdhouse was my final happy memory of him, I cherished it always.

  I didn’t understand how or why but I knew I would need Grandma’s ‘coffee’ to live the rest of my life. The feeling reminded me of those college nights experimenting with smoking coke; I knew how junkies felt and why seemingly normal people could get hooked. I always thought they were weak, I was able to resist the temptation to smoke it again when I reached that point just before return was impossible, why couldn’t they? Now I knew why addicts can’t stop, I need this to live. There’s no point in going on without it.

   After draining two more cups of the dark nectar, I fall asleep.

Hollawien Story 2-2 of 3

  Grabbing a handful of the boy’s hair I pull him off; he feels weightless. I’m able easily to hold him straight out at arm’s length. Bits of fabric and bloody flesh hang from his mouth. He no longer has the face of an angel, he looks mad. Not angry that someone has taken his favorite toy, mad like a rabid dog wanting to tear out my throat. I spin to put my back to the door to better protect myself, I see the old woman coming at me so fast it appears she is flying. While holding the growling boy in one outstretched fist, I’m able to punch her in face with the other to knock her back. I feel and hear the bones break in her face, I know I broke her nose but there is no blood. Her face has a perfect imprint of my fist imbedded into it. I’m shocked as I see her take a step back, shake her head, and watch in disbelief her face repairs itself. Expanding like a piñata of a Halloween witch with a balloon inside it. I momentarily forget about the child in my hand.

  The boy contracts into a fetal position, and abruptly juts out his arms and legs freeing himself by leaving a wad of hair and dry chunk of flesh in my hand. Without ever touching the floor he chomps down on my leg in the same spot as before. Like a beaver trying to fell a tree, he’s attempting to weaken my support. Grandma has completed re-inflating and is coming back at me.

  Reaching straight down, palm out, I jam my fingers into the boy’s eye sockets and pull him off my bleeding leg. I fell and hear them pop into his skull; the sound reminds me of a cork exploding out of a champagne bottle. Because of his incredible lightness, it’s as though he’s hollow, I easily swing him at the charging woman. Letting go just before she reaches me, I smash him into her throwing them both all the way back into the kitchen at Julio’s feet.

  He jumps just before they crash into him. Although normal gravity should have pulled him down just over the two clamoring to regain their footing, he never touches the ground. Instead he soars over them towards me from the point he leapt from a standing position easily 15 feet from the door. Ignoring the pain in my leg, I reach out and catch him by the throat and easily hold him up off the floor. He feels as if he weighs the same as the boy did when I swung him into the hag.

  “Gimme the key you freaks!” I scream into his face.

  He laughs as he opens his mouth to expose rows of jagged teeth; it’s like looking into the mouth of a man shaped shark. Unexpectedly I feel the individual vertebrae in his neck snapping as his head rises from my grip; it turns at an impossible angle for any normal human, and then I scream in pain as the open maw of razor teeth bites into my forearm.

  “Ow fuck! God-dammit let go!” I yell at him.

  I will myself to keep my grip on his throat, now no bigger around than a beer can as I spin and slam his feather-light body against the door; his head continues to shake and tear at my arm, I’m losing my grip. With my free hand I grab the only weapon at my disposal, the Papermate retractable pen in my shirt pocket. I plunge the pen into his skull; I hear the bone crack easily beneath my fist. His mouth snaps open, the pain is almost unbearable in my arm, he continues to shake and twist in my weakening hand. I pull the pen from his head, again as with the broken face of the old woman and sheared off scalp of the buy, there is no blood or ooze of any kind. It’s as if their bodies are empty.

 In desperation I try the only other means of killing supernatural monsters from the fiction of my youth available to me:

     One: To kill a zombie; puncture its brain. Check, didn’t work.

     Two: Silver bullets kill werewolves; I have no gun and certainly no silver bullets even if I had one, although I would have tried anyway if I had been carrying a firearm.

     Three: Stake through the heart for vampires; I seem to have left my wooden spikes at home but since the pen seemed to work as a puncturing device I decide what the hell.

 I stab Dad in the chest and I hit something solid. The hole in his skull has already begun healing, I can hear his teeth gnashing as they snap inches from my face. His neck now feels like an uncontrolled garden hose wildly flailing in my clenched fist. His hands begin raking at my arm, the fingernails like claws ripping at my jacket; tearing the cloth to get to my arm beneath.

  I push harder on the pen now firmly stuck above where a human’s heart would be. I feel it moving. Sensing I only need a tiny bit more to break through I begin wildly clicking the button to extend the stainless steel ballpoint. I feel the pen’s solid click as the extended tip pushes through the final mm of bone and then feel a slight puff of air past my fingers holding the pen. His hands drop from my arm to the object firmly stuck into his chest. I brace myself, expecting his talons into my hand but instead he tries to cover the leak around the pen hole. His neck starts to retract as he draws his head back to a more natural position. Holding his hand around the shaft seems to be stopping the flow, but with his hands holding his chest and his head too far to be a threat, he starts kicking at me.

  Suddenly I’m hit from behind; Erica has joined the fight and has jumped onto my back; she’s trying to bite my neck. I’ll have to let go of Dad to fight her off, if I do I know he’ll pull out the pen and heal. Holding him tightly and gripping the pen as hard as I can, I spin towards Erica and smash her into the wall by the door. It knocks her off of me but I know it will only be a moment before she’s back. The arm holding Julio’s neck is getting weaker, light as he is I can’t hold him up anymore, I only have one shot at ending this.

  Using everything I have left I slam him back into the door with both hands. Letting go of his neck I stick my shoulder into him knowing this puts my head dangerously close to those razor teeth. Holding the lower part of the pen firmly in the hole it made in his chest, I unscrew the mechanism removing the plunger and cartridge from the hollow end stuck firmly into his upper body. The pressure inside him suddenly begins releasing in earnest. The pen’s top is too far embedded for him to grip, his bony fingers too thin to block the hole. He loses all interest in me as he wildly tries to stop the flow.

  I don’t have time to enjoy my victory. I’m knocked hard in the head; one of the others hit me with something solid. I feel myself falling but have no control as I fall to the floor. Reaching out, I swing weakly, unable to focus.

  Someone is on top of me; very light but straddling my chest.  I can barely make out blonde curls of hair. Erica, that siren that lured me into this nightmare is sitting on my chest. But she’s not attacking me; she’s just sitting on there staring at me. I see her beauty again; I forget the fight for my life. I close my eyes to dream of her and everything goes black.

Hollawien Story 2-1 of 3

  Trying to appear calm, I put the phone back into its holster and plant my feet solidly not knowing what I was about to encounter, and face the new arrivals. Being careful to not look directly at the girl that tempted me here, I study the other pair.

  The light from the candle is weak but I can clearly make out that it is a young boy sucking on a lollipop. It glistens white when he pulls it out to suck in the saliva that’s built up around it. His face is angelic; it reminds me of paintings of cherubs that adorn ornate Catholic cathedrals. He’s wearing a Dutch Boy suit like the kid on a can of paint. He’s so damn cute I want to rush over and pinch his cheeks. I somehow manage to suppress that impulse, remembering that following my feelings has gotten me into this predicament in the first place. I turn my attention to what I consider to be my biggest threat. Having apparently completed his task of securing my only avenue of escape, the man has turned towards me.

  When I first saw him from behind he looked to be very thin, his shirt hung off his shoulders as if hanging on a wire hanger, but looking at me now his clothes appear tailored. He’s wearing the uniform of a janitor, a dark green shirt and matching pants and there’s a nametag on the left breast. I can’t read it in the soft light but it’s definitely custodial attire. He smiles and holds out his hand, I’m slightly taken aback but without thinking I put my hand out to meet his.

  “Papa, this is Gus. He’s going to bring us light.” Erica says without turning to face the man behind her.

  “Hello, I am Julio,” his voice is deep and smooth. It has the same unidentifiable accent as Erica’s, I’m immediately at ease. His handshake is very firm but boney despite his hand appearing to be only slightly smaller than mine. His facial features are rugged in the way the cigarette ad Marlboro Man was. Woman wanted him, men wanted to be him; that was before he was diagnosed with lung cancer of course.

  “I see you’ve met our lovely but naughty Erica. And Abuela on the couch? Have you been introduced?” That soothing voice sounded so familiar it started to lull me into a trance.

  “No we haven’t met, but I really should be going now that your home?” ‘Why I did ask that as a question?’ My inner voice struggling to maintain control.

  I break eye contact, it’s the same as with Erica, if I look at their faces I can’t resist. I realize that as he shook my hand and talked to me in the voice a trusted announcer would have, he had been gently walking me backwards into the kitchen area of the apartment. The light from the candle is barely making it into this corner of the single large room. I am still able to make out several very large kettles and butcher knives. Pots and implements more expected in a commercial kitchen than a two bedroom walkup.

  Looking at the floor I shuffle past Julio and Erica, the little boy hasn’t moved from in front of the door but I regard him with the same peripheral vision glance I’m giving the others. Internally I keep repeating to myself, “no eye contact…’ I’m trying to concentrate, ‘no eye contact…, no eye contact…, no ey- ica…,Erica.’

  “Dammit.” I mutter under my breath.

  “I really need to go meet my friend. I’m sure he’ll come back looking for me” I’m working the locks, turning and sliding each slowly as I speak, trying to make it appear that I’m not in a hurry or concerned about what might happen if I don’t get them all unlatched.

  “But Gus! No…” Erica’s beautiful lyrical voice is right behind me, I feel pleasantly soft warmth. She pressing those perfect orbs into my lower back as she reaches up to touch my right hand as it undoes the last deadbolt.

  “Papa, make him stop. Gus you have to stay, we need light.” Although at least a foot away, I feel her moist breath in my ear and my knees go weak a little. I know there are others in the room but I feel myself becoming aroused again. I regain control.

  “I’m sorry but I can’t fix your lights, your father can do it. I have to go.” I bump my ass back to push her off of me and reach for the large center lock. It needs a key, an old timey skeleton key from the look of the hole.

  “No Gus, you don’t understand,” radio voice dad says from the kitchen, “We don’t need you to FIX a light, you ARE the light.”

  Puzzled at what he meant, and conscious of the fact that I shouldn’t look at him, I look instead downward at the boy standing next to me. Large tear drops have formed in the lower corners of his eyes, they look huge and wet. They appear unreal; they have an exaggerated perspective, the eyes a cartoon lost puppy would have. I wanted to reach down and hold him, to let him know everything would be alright.  I stand transfixed on his forlorn face, a paternal feeling I’ve never experienced before has come over me. I want to protect him, to keep him safe. I watch, frozen in place as he pulls the glistening orb from his mouth. It isn’t all white as I first thought. Although I can’t clearly make it out, I can see that it has red lines seemingly etched into it and on the very top there’s a dot with a circle around it.

  The moment I realize what I’m looking at, the spell is broken. He drops it and bites into my right thigh; he is amazingly fast. During my second tour of Iraq I was hit in the back with red hot shrapnel and it didn’t sting as much as the bite of this child.

Hollawien: Part 1-2 of 3

  The apartment is on the second floor at the end of a dimly lit hallway. The door is dark red, although I’m not really noticing anything other than Erica.

  Even her name seems sexy to me, ‘Erica…Erica..Err..iiic..aaa…’ It repeats in my head like a tune that got stuck replaying in my mind.

  The door is ajar and she pushes it open and stands with her back flat against it, as flat as she can considering her voluptuousness. There is a curved opening between her back and the wood where her perfect bubble ass and shoulders are pressed against it. Her posture is pushing her full round tits out towards me as she waves me past into the dark apartment. I swear I can feel heat coming off them as my elbow passes within inches of what I’m sure are the roundest, smoothest, most pliable tits any man will ever experience.

  I’m standing in the small foyer of a room I cannot fully make out. The only light is coming from a single thin candle on the opposite side of what appears to be a living room. The flame gives off enough light to illuminate the small end table the silver candlestick is sitting on and a couch. I can’t make out any other details other than there is a person sitting on the couch. What I can see is that the occupant of the overstuffed couch is a woman, an old woman judging from the large unkempt ball of gray hair and multi-layered full dress she’s wearing. Although I can’t make out her details, the flickering light shows numerous etched cracks in her face. A large hooked shadow dances across her cheek opposite the flame. The word crone pops into my mind.

  “Oh, uh, hello,” I say in surprise. My erection is  immediately killed off by A: the sight of a woman I don’t think even a death row rapist could get it going for, and B: my shame for fantasizing about Erica, regardless of her feminine guiles, she is still a child.

  A new thought comes to mind a horrible thought, ‘Gypsies.’ I start to panic, ‘old woman…, young sexy girl…, it’s a fucking trap.’ I don’t know their scam but I know I don’t want to be part of it.

  “Uh, I’m sorry Erica but I,” I start talking and waving my hands as I’m turning and walk right into her. Both hands palms out, wavering back and forth like scared ‘jazz hands,’ planted firmly on her tits.

  “Oh jeez, sorry!” I shout as I jump back further into the apartment. Even in my surprised state I can’t help but think, ‘holy crap I was right, Be-Jesus that felt good.’

  I look at her face, she’s not smiling; her lower lip is pumped out, her eyes downcast. To my dismay, her pout is even more enticing than her smile.

  “I’m sorry, really.” I didn’t mean…” She cuts me off. “That wasn’t nice. Papa says boys shouldn’t touch without me saying it’s OK.”

  “I really didn’t…”

  She breaks into a smile and laughs, “Oh Gus, don’t be silly, I know it was an accident. This time anyway.”She throws a lower lip bite and eyebrow rise at me as she gives my body an obvious quick up-down glance; her gaze lingers on my now flaccid but still visibly enlarged dick

  I find myself staring into her eyes as she studies my body, I’ve forgotten why I felt so panicked a moment ago. Looking at her I feel relaxed and safe.

  “Now Gus,” she says in that soothing voice, “about the light?”

  My mind is repeating her name again, it’s like its being beamed into my skull on a radio signal meant just for me; ‘Erica…Erica…Err-iii-caaa…Err-oo-tii-caa.’

  “What??” I shake my head and close my eyelids, my sense of danger rekindled. I keep my eyes averted from her and pop my cell out of its holster. Opening them just enough to see the screen, I thumb its surface and punch the icon of two turtles mating, my speed dial for Tony. He picks up on the second ring.

  “Gus, what are you doing? You have to help us, we need the light.” Erica says this in the same quiet accent as before. My feeling of dread increases as I realize her voice doesn’t have the same effect if I’m not looking at her. I hear the front door close and the sound of multiple locks latching as Tony answers.

  “Hey bud, where the fuck are ya.” He says unaware of my predicament.

  “Hey Tony, I found a good party,” I need to make him understand I need him to find me without letting Erica and the hag on the couch know I’m concerned.

  “Remember that house I took a leak on?” I try to sound amused at the thought.

  “Dude that was three blocks ago. I’m on the street we were looking for. Get your ass over here.” He’s laughing and doesn’t sound like he’s going to come back.

  I risk catching sight of her face and glance back towards the door. There are now two figures standing behind her. I can’t make out any details other than one is much smaller than her, a child probably, holding something in its mouth. The second figure is a man, taller than Erica but still half a foot shorter than I am. Although he’s facing away from me, he appears to be skinny, almost emaciated.  I watch closely as he is busy securing the door; there are multiple locks. I continue to try to convince Tony I need help.

  “Yeah, um sure, sure I’ll come over, but if I’m not there in a half hour, that means this party’s rocking and you should come back.” I hope he understood because at that moment I see the thin man turn a large knob in the center of the door. <Thunk-Clank>, the final lock sounds big and solid. My phone cuts out, my connection to Tony severed.

Hollawien: Part 1-1 of 3

  It’s a beautiful summer evening for chasing girls who are known to run slow. My buddy Tony and I are bar hopping in search of adventure. Our measure of success is very low, get drunk, get laid, or get in a fight. Number one’s a given, either of the next two makes it memorable. A trifecta makes it legendary. Tony heard of a house party in the Bushwick section of Queens. Unfortunately he had been working on step one of our evening plans he got the address wrong and we found ourselves on the wrong block. We were forced to cut through backyards and alleys to get over where we needed to be in order to work on the next phase of our evening’s adventure.

  “Hey Tony, I gotta piss, gimme a second.” I call out to my friend as he begins to ascend the stairway of a six story walkup he swears has an exit onto the next block.

  “What, you need me to watch?” He called back laughing, “Or hold it for you? Do what you gotta do, I’ll be on 141st St.” I watch as he disappears around the stair’s next landing.

  After a cursory glance behind me, I step into the small alley between the houses, unzip and manipulate myself out of my boxers, briefly close my eyes and sigh as the pressure I’ve been holding since we got off the 6 train fifteen minutes ago gently releases itself onto the brick wall. Giving myself a quick shake to knock out any remaining drops, I open my eyes, tuck in and zip before turning to follow Tony through the building. I’m surprised at the Silhouette of a girl in a short dress standing halfway up the first flight of stairs.

  “Oh, uh sorry.” I stammer, “I didn’t see you standing there.”

  “That’s OK,” she replies in a voice that erases any embarrassment I felt at the thought of being caught. “Everybody’s got to go don’t they?

  Something about the lilt in her voice, the slightly non-specific accent, her tone immediately puts me at ease; I’ve never heard anything like it.  Stepping down towards me into the bright light cast by the large argon light mounted high above the doorway I can see her clearly. She’s small, maybe five feet tall and can’t be more than fifteen year’s old. I take a quick breath and my stomach involuntarily tightens as I see her face. Although she’s wearing an undersized NY Yankee baseball cap that’s shielding the light from her eyes, I can clearly make out her features. Her dark skin, almond shaped eyes, small almost button shaped nose and full slightly glistening lips are as if every individually attractive feature I’ve even been turned on by had been formed into one perfect vision. ‘She’s beautiful,’ I think. ‘More than that, she’s legendarily beautiful.’

  For some reason I think of Agamemnon and his fight for Helen of Troy; I’d fight and kill for this face. I don’t even know her, yet I’d do anything to defend and protect her.

  “Would you do me a favor.” She said this as a statement of fact, not as a request for help as though she knew I would comply no matter she asked. And she was right I would, as if it were my duty as a man.

  “Absolutely, whatever you need, I have time.” I said this even though I knew I didn’t, Tony was a few blocks away now waiting for me. I couldn’t help it; I was mesmerized in her eyes.

  “What’s your name?” She asked and then bit the corner of her lip and tilted her head a little sideways, her strawberry blonde ponytails bouncing as she moved. I felt a stir and slight stiffening in my baggie khakis.

  “Osvaldo Gustavo Menendez.” I reply. ‘I never use my full name?’ immediately jumps into my head.  “Um Gus, people call me Gus.”

  “Well Osvaldo Gustavo Menendez, dash Um Gus.” Her smile frames the whitest teeth I had ever seen. “I need some help with my light, right up there, if that’s Okay.”

  She half turned and pointed up the stairs, her pleated plaid miniskirt bellowed slightly revealing muscular thighs that fill the skirt out in what appears to be a perfectly shaped ass. I turn slightly to the side hoping she doesn’t notice the beginnings of a slight bulge in my khakis.

  ‘No, ask your dad, a neighbor, it’s not appropriate.’ Is what came to mind, “sure, no problem.” I said instead. ‘What the hell’s wrong with me?’ My inner goody-two-shoes interjects, ‘she’s too young, just a teenager.’

  With a slight wave to follow, “Okay its right up here. Um Gus.” She says with a little shrug and another teasing bite at her plump lip. She begins ascending the staircase but stops suddenly and turns back to me. ‘Damn, I know she caught me staring at her legs.’

  A sly smile confirms my thought, “By the way, I’m Erica and this shouldn’t take long at all.”

  Because she had stopped a step or two up the staircase, I couldn’t help but notice that her tight white button down top, which was now directly at my eye level, hinted  that she had very full round breasts. They were, in the immortal words of the singer Bob Segar, “way up firm and high.”

  ‘My God, I think I’m going to jail for this. Men go to prison for this exact thing. What the hell.’ My inner thoughts continue to be rational even though my actions could be viewed as those of a pedophile, a predator of young girls.

  I follow her up the steps, my eyes burning a line from the backs of her jet black shoes past her frilly topped ankle socks to her smooth slightly rounded calves that curve back at the knee to the little pockets of smooth flesh in the back of her kneecap.

  The deviant thought, ‘I want to lick right there’ pops into my head. I continue to drink in every step as she reaches the first landing and spins to turn up the next. My eyes once again catch sight of those thighs; these were the legs of a gymnast or dancer. They were muscular but not to the point of being a body builder’s grotesquely misshapen limbs. I want to plant my head between them and feel the power within on my ears. I’m having an uncomfortable time walking up steps now that I’m so aroused. I was beyond trying to fight it anymore. I was going to spend the rest of my life as someone’s bitch. If she wanted me, I’d do whatever she’d let me.