Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Full Story)

“I can’t even beat off alone anymore,” thought Bill Lorenz. He tossed and turned in bed, flipping over and noticing a fellow inmate, Sappy, staring gleefully at him. “That’s enough,” Bill finally said.

He threw off the covers, climbed out of bed, and started banging on his cell door. “Guard!” he yelled.

“Bill, what do you want at this hour?” the guard asked as he was rubbing his eyes. “We’re all trying to sleep around here.”

“Sorry to disturb you PRINCESS,” Bill replied, “but I demand to speak with Dr. Effington.”

“You know she doesn’t come in until 8:30.”

“Call her in!”

“I’d be happy to call in Dr. Effington, Mr. Lorenz. What’s the emergency?”

“I’m unhappy about having a cell mate.”

“But that’s hardly an emergency.”

“It is when you haven’t slept in two days! How can I get re-educated when I can’t get a good night’s rest?!”

“Bill, as you know, you were given a cell mate to help you with your anti-social behavior. If you are having trouble sleeping, we can provide you with medication. Otherwise you will have to wait for Dr. Effington to approve removing your cell mate.”

“I’m not taking those damn sleeping pills! When you see Dr. Effington, tell her that I demand to see her right away!”

“Will do, Mr. Lorenz.”

Bill turned around and noticed Sappy still staring at him. “Keep smiling Sappy,” Bill said, “one day I’ll kick those teeth in.”

***

“Sappy’s a goddamn rapist!” Bill said to Dr. Effington, “why did you send him to my cell?”

Dr. Effington sat in her chair while she sipped on tea. There was no desk to separate the two. No guards. It was just the two of them sitting alone in a small, intimate room. 

“His name’s not ‘Sappy’,” she replied, “It’s Jeffrey Rohmer. He has a history of not recognizing personal boundaries and we paired him with you because you are recognized as having a more aggressive personality. From you, he might learn consequences from crossing boundaries. From him, you might learn how to deal with difficult people. You both suffer from antisocial behavior. We had hoped that this would be a learning experience.”

“Sappy is a criminal! I’m not!” Bill stated, “I’m a political prisoner!”

“You engaged in activity that resulted in the deaths of several people. That is criminal behavior in every jurisdiction.”

“I had the right to preserve my ideals!”

“Be that as it may, after you were found guilty, you declined the other forms of treatment for reintegration into society. So you were sent here where you will learn how to live in society. This is how the system works.”

“I oppose the system. It’s brainwashing!”

“The aim of the Revolution was to create a more fairer society. That included changes to the justice and incarceration systems. If you play by the rules, you will be fully reintegrated with a clean slate.”

“Fuck you. The Revolution was bullshit. A difference of opinion is not criminal!”

“I’m not here to argue history and politics, Mr. Lorenz. My aim is to rehabilitate you, no matter how long it takes. Because of the Revolution and the new governing regime, I have all the resources to do it.”

“I take that as a threat.”

Dr. Effington finished her tea and lowered the cup to her lap. “Mr. Lorenz, if sharing a cell with Mr. Rohmer is too difficult, we can have him removed,” she said. “Now that that matter is settled, I would like to continue with your therapy.”

“Not today,” Bill replied, “you’ll have to find someone else to brainwash.”

Effington shook her head. “Very well,” she said, “please let the guards know if you need any reading materials. This need not be a painful experience for you, Bill.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Bill replied, “but you can stick that offer up your ass.”

***

“Forget it, Bill,” Susan said, “I’ve consulted with attorney after attorney and they’ve all said the same thing. Just play ball, take the treatment, and you’ll be released. The Reformed Department of Corrections will provide you with a job and assistance once when you’re released. And when you’re deemed fully rehabilitated, your criminal record will be expunged. It’s not like it once was.”

This was the first visit Susan paid to Bill in some months. The guards stood back while the two shared a table in the prison cafeteria. “That’s not the point,” Bill replied, “I’m being treated as a common criminal, which I’m not. What are they saying about me on the outside?”

Susan said nothing.

“That bad, huh?” Bill chuckled, “What happened to the world, Susan? Are we not allowed to be human anymore? This is everything we fought against!”

“We lost, Bill,” Susan said, “Sure it has taken time getting used to that. But I survived the rehabilitation process and things aren’t so bad on the outside. Some people know who I am and the things I’ve done, but everyone trusts the process. It’s like it doesn’t matter. I’m fully reintegrated.”

“You sold out, in other words.”

“Don’t be stupid, Bill.”

After a moment of awkward silence, Bill reached across the table and placed his hand on top of hers. “Did we ever fuck?” he asked.

Susan gave out a throaty laugh. “We got drunk and fooled around once or twice,” she said.

“Why didn’t we ever get together?”

“It would have never worked.”

“I know,” Bill lamented, “you were always too smart for me.”

“You were always preoccupied.”

“Now I’m gonna spend the rest of my life here. My loss.”

Susan stared into his eyes for a few moments while she clasped his hand. Finally, she stood up and straightened herself out. “I handed the package you requested off to the guards,” she said, “Goodbye, Bill.”

Bill exhaled. “So long, Susan.”

He watched her walk out through the gates and out of his life. Then the guards escorted him back to the cell. 

Minutes later, Junior, the senior day shift guard, walked up to Bill’s door. “Good news Bill,” Junior said as he handed him Susan’s package, “I don’t know what you want with all this leather, but it cleared security. Because you’re not on suicide watch, it was approved by Dr. Effington. Of course, it can’t leave this cell. You will be checked each time.”

“Understood, Junior. Thank you.”

***

“Fuck your Philly cheesesteak!” Bill yelled to Junior. The guard was delivering Bill’s dinner directly to his cell. But the prisoner took the plate and dumped the contents down the toilet. 

“Goddamnit Bill,” Junior said, “what’s your problem?”

“As a political prisoner, I’m going on a hunger strike!” Bill replied.

“But you requested the Philly cheesesteak for fuck’s sake! What more can we do to make you happy?!”

“Nothing! My sole aim is to agitate.”

Junior shook his head. “Look,” he said, “if you go on a hunger strike, we’ll just sedate you and feed you through a tube. Furthermore, I’m not here to hurt you. I’m not your enemy. Dr. Effington is not your enemy. No one here is your enemy. We’re all here to help.”

“Help with what?” Bill asked, “to transition me into a society I abhor?”

“Fine!” Junior replied, “stay here for the rest of your life! But please do me a favor: don’t make things difficult for me. We’ve gotten along in the past and I consider you my friend. Don’t turn me into an agent of your persecution complex.”

“But you are persecuting me,” Bill said, “you sold out to this new order. You are my enemy.”

“Whatever,” Junior said as he stormed away, “I can’t deal with you when you’re like this.” 

But a little after midnight, Bill was tossing and turning in his bunk when Junior entered his cell. “Get dressed,” he ordered, “Dr. Effington wants to begin a new treatment.”

“She wants to start now?” Bill asked.

“Yes. It’s tailored specifically for you. Relax, no drugs are involved.”

Bill jumped out of bed and put on his standard prison jumpsuit. Junior and two other guards escorted him to Dr. Effington’s office where he was greeted by a nurse at the reception desk. “I’m just going to check your vitals, Mr. Lorenz,” the nurse said. After taking his blood pressure and temperature, she sat him down for questioning.

“Have you been depressed in the last week?” the nurse asked.

“Well I am incarcerated,” Bill replied, “that doesn’t exactly make me happy.”

“Do you experience any sexual problems? Are you able to achieve an erection?”

The question took him off guard. “Uhh, well, ummm…I am 47 years old. Maybe I don’t have the stamina I once did but…”

“Will you require the use of a stimulant to achieve an erection?”

He began to blush. “I’m, I’m not sure what this has to do with…”

“Just answer the question, please.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Do you have any heart conditions that you would like to discuss that you haven’t previously disclosed?”

“No?”

The nurse then unzipped his jumpsuit and attached a device that stuck to his bare chest. “We will be monitoring your heart rate,” the nurse explained, “but be warned: this device will also shock you if you get too close to Dr. Effington. Understand?”

Bill nodded. He was too petrified and confused to say anything. 

“Alright, Dr. Effington will meet you in her office,” the nurse explained, “please step inside.”

Bill stepped into Dr. Effington’s office, as he had done dozens of times before, and the nurse shut the door behind him. He sat down in the same comfy chair that had always been there.

Nearly 10 minutes later, Dr. Effington stepped into the room. She was dressed a little differently, wearing only a long light blue coat that went well past her knees. “Doctor,” Bill said, “what is going on here?”

The Doctor pulled out her chair from behind her desk and placed it less than five feet from Bill. “This will all make sense in time, Mr. Lorenz,” she said, “now please relax and answer a few questions. First, do you find me attractive?”

Bill wiggled in his seat. “Uhh, yeah. Yes. Why do you ask?”

“Second: do you trust me?”

“I uhh, I don’t know if I have any other choice, Dr. Effington.”

“Fair enough, Mr. Lorenz. Now please, don’t be alarmed. I’m about to remove my coat, and underneath I am completely nude. Do not be ashamed to look at me or my body but please answer every question I ask. If you feel the need to undress yourself or masturbate, you are encouraged to do so. But you may not touch me under any circumstance. Am I understood?”

Bill sat deathly silent but Dr. Effington took that as an implicit ‘yes’.

“Alright, let’s begin,” she said. The Doctor removed her glasses, let down her hair, then unbuttoned her coat…

***

“Do you care to say anything?” Dr. Effington asked.

Bill scratched his head as he gazed at his psychologist’s nude body. She sat cross-legged directly in front of him as he looked upon her torso. He still didn’t believe what he was seeing. 

“This is a little weird for me, doc,” he finally uttered.

“I understand that,” Effington replied, “but let’s discuss your relationships.”

“My relationships?”

“Yes. Your romantic ones perhaps?”

Bill chuckled. “That’s irrelevant,” he said, “now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to return to my cell.”

Dr. Effington shifted in her seat. She quickly uncrossed her legs, briefly exposing her herself before placing one leg over the other. “Please make this work, Mr. Lorenz,” she said, “now, what can you tell me about Susan? Were you ever romantically involved with her?”

Bill began to sweat a little. “Ummm, I don’t think I’m prepared to talk about that just yet,” he stuttered. 

“Fair enough. Did you have any other partners?”

“Ehh, not many.”

“Why is that?”

Dr. Effington was holding a pen at the corner of her mouth, drawing attention to her lips. Bill looked down to her bare feet, noticing her painted toe nails. This slightly aroused him as that provided a bit of color to what he though was her otherwise dry personality. 

“Well, umm, I guess that’s a good question. I suppose I was either too busy or didn’t think I was desirable enough,” he said.

“Did you always have a low sex drive?”

“Uhh, well…,” Bill then unzipped his jumpsuit and touched himself. “…I don’t think so.”

Dr. Effington began speaking in a slower, softer voice. “Why don’t you find yourself sexually desirable?” she asked.

“I…I guess I’ve always felt unwanted.”

“By whom?”

Bill started losing concentration as he continued to pleasure himself. “I don’t know. My family?” he said. 

“Do you wish to explore that? Did you feel neglected by your mother, perhaps?”

As he began to near climax, Bill ignored the question entirely. “Doctor, can you please uncross your legs?” he requested.

“Not right now,” she said, “we still have to make it through this session.”

“Just let me touch you. Any part of you. Let me touch your knee.”

As he reached out, Bill’s heart monitor released several volts of energy, shocking him to the floor. He convulsed on the ground for a few seconds, then he vomited. A few nurses rushed in and helped him back to his seat.

“Mr. Lorenz, you were instructed to not touch me,” Dr. Effington said. Then she stood up and slipped on her long coat. “I hope you heed to that warning next time. But you’ve done well on your first session. When I see you again in a few days, I hope we can pick up where we left off. Good day.”

The nurses picked up Bill by the arms and carried him out of the office. After a quick physical examination, the nurses released him and Junior escorted him back to his cell.

***

“Does this come with a shot of bourbon?” Bill asked. Junior was handing him a cup of coffee through the cell door. Bill’s hands were shaking uncontrollably. 

“For that, I’d have to get approval from Dr. Effington,” Junior replied.

“Forget it then,” Bill said as he lifted the cup to his lips.

“Jesus, Bill, what did they do to you in there?”

Bill was still too horrified to provide any detail. Dr. Effington had absolutely cut him to the bone. “What kind of prison is this, Junior?” he asked, “Just let me do my time, Goddamnit!”

“You should know by now that this isn’t a prison per se,” Junior explained, “it’s more of a rehabilitation facility. In this brave new world, the reformed department of corrections believes that everyone, including you regardless of your past deeds, have something to contribute.”

“What the HELL is so rehabilitating about….,” Bill caught himself before he let out too much information. “Dr. Effington’s methods are unethical,” he continued, “I don’t how she thinks that will rehabilitate me.”

“Bill, just tell me what’s going on,” Junior said.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Is she torturing you?”

“Not necessarily.”

“Is she violating your person in any way?”

“Look, just drop it. I have another session with her tomorrow, maybe it will go better. At least I know what to expect. But you revolutionaries are some sick fucks. I’ll never understand any of you.”

“A lot of people would say the same things about you,” an irritated Junior replied, “at least Dr. Effington hasn’t killed anyone.”

Bill sat stone cold silent on his bunk.

“Look,” Junior continued, “it’s a new world. It’ll take time for you to adjust.”

“Why does everyone keep saying that?!” Bill yelled. 

“This may sound stupid, but I believe in you. You’ll put it together some day.”

“Just fuck off, please,” Bill said as he began to rub his temples. He was still feeling side effects of the electric shock from the day before. Junior nodded and walked away. 

Bill pulled out the box of leather goods from under his bunk. He looked over a particular shapen object that he created using crude materials found around the facility. Then he continued toiling away at it, just to pass the time.

***

Bill kept wiping the sweat from his brow as he waited for Dr. Effington. The nurses once again attached the heart shock device to his chest. After 10 agonizing minutes, the psychiatrist walked into the office. 

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Lorenz,” she said. The doctor rolled her chair just feet away from Bill. 

She was wearing the same boring brown skirt that went past her knees. Bill had seen her don that same outfit hundreds of times. Though slightly relieved…because he thought this might be a normal session…he couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

“That’s quite alright, doctor,” he replied, “I’m sorry for taking out my penis and trying to touch you last time.”

“Given the circumstances, that’s quite understandable,” Dr. Effington explained, “but due to safety concerns, I cannot permit you to touch me. At least not yet.”

Bill wondered what she meant by ‘not yet’. 

The doctor pulled out a folder and began looking through her notes. “Now last time we spoke, we were discussing your family life,” she continued, “I would like to explore that further.”

Bill sat up in his seat. “Wait a minute,” he replied, “I’d like an explanation for our last meeting.”

She closed the folder of paperwork in her lap and removed her glasses. “I’m sorry, Mr. Lorenz. But I can’t disclose that at the moment,” Dr. Effington said.

“Why not? It’s my treatment. Don’t you think I’m owed an explanation?”

“All of this will become clear in time. Now please, let’s return to the subject at hand.”

“Doctor, you stood completely nude in front of me. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have questions.”

“Your psychological makeup is quite unusual, Mr. Lorenz. And unusual problems require unusual solutions.”

“Then I cannot participate in this treatment if I’m not given an adequate explanation.”

Dr. Effington sat up and readjusted herself. She ever so slightly slid up her skirt and uncrossed her legs. For a long half second, Bill could see she was not wearing underwear. 

He sat stone faced as she continued her questioning. 

“Mr. Lorenz,” Dr. Effington said, “I need you to trust me in this matter. Now please…tell me about your relationship with your mother.”

Bill began to feel sweat beading down his back. “Uh…,” he stuttered, “there’s not much to tell. She OD’d when I was 15. My father was also a junkie and he ran out on me. I was raised by my grandfather.”

“Did this ever make you feel alone? Guilty?”

Bill chuckled as he began rubbing his face. “Yeah, I guess you could say that,” he said.

“What did you do to address these issues?” The doctor asked. She again placed her pen up to her lips. 

“Uhhhmmm…I’m sorry, Dr. Effington, but I know you’re not wearing underwear.”

“I know you know.”

“Could I see more?”

Dr. Effington moved her fingers down her blouse. “Possibly,” she replied, “but I need you to answer my questions. Were you angry after your mother’s death? How did you cope?”

“Of course I was angry,” Bill said, “I was angry at the world.”

“Is this how you became involved in politics?”

Bill paused for a moment. “I…I don’t know,” he replied.

“Did you ever have any romantic relationships?”

“I don’t think I was ever good with women.”

“Well, what can you tell me about Susan?”

***

“I can’t believe they granted you a conjugal room,” Susan said.

Bill was busy setting the candle light and pouring wine. “And they gave me alcohol too,” he replied, “maybe things aren’t so bad.”

Susan pulled out a chair, sat down, and looked him square in the eye. “I’m not having sex with you, Bill,” she said, “besides, I’m already seeing someone.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“Because it’s John.”

Bill looked down at the ground and shook his head. “Goddamn it,” he uttered.

“There was no good way to tell you,” Susan said.

Bill walked over to the window then glanced at the small Christmas tree in the corner. “Well Merry Christmas to me,” he replied.

“But I did bring you a gift,” Susan said as she dug through her bag. She pulled out a picture of him and his grandfather at Mount Hood some 15 years earlier. “I know that this was the last picture of your grandpa before he passed,” she continued.

Bill took the photograph and turned his back on Susan. He was silent as he recalled the memory of that day. After several awkward seconds, Bill spoke up. “I haven’t seen this picture since the day it was taken.”

Susan said nothing. 

Then Bill turned around. “Why John?” he asked. “Don’t you two have a history? Isn’t the government watching you two like a hawk?”

“Maybe,” she replied, “but I don’t care. I think we always had feelings for each other.”

“But you guys aren’t up to the same old shit again? You just got out of prison for Christ sake!”

“I don’t think I should discuss this with you right now.”

“You are! Fuck. I hope they don’t have this room bugged!”

Susan threw up her arms. “Let’s drop it,” she yelled, “I was hoping this would be a happy visit. But obviously you’re not mature enough for this conversation.”

Bill began drinking directly from the wine bottle. “I guess not,” he replied.

The two uttered nothing for a few minutes. Finally, Susan stood up. “I don’t think I’ll be coming back,” she said, “you seeing me probably isn’t good for your rehabilitation.”

Bill didn’t reply.

“I wish you luck in the future,” she continued, “when you’re released, if you know what’s good for you, please don’t reach out to me. Do you understand?”

He nodded.

Susan knocked, then a prison guard unlocked the door and let her out. Before she exited, she turned around. “Merry Christmas, Bill,” she said, then departed. 

Bill held the bottle of wine in one hand, and the photograph in the other. Then the prison guard stepped in the room. “You still have access to this room for a few more hours,” the guard said, “do you wish to stay here?”

“No,” Bill replied, “please take me back to the cell.”

***

“Merry Christmas, Dr. Effington,” Bill said as he sat prim and proper in the psychotherapist’s office. The good doctor smiled and nodded in astonishment.

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz,” she replied, “I assume your meeting with Susan went well.”

“It did not, but that’s okay. I’m ready to move forward.” 

“Oh?”

“Yes, doctor. In fact, I’d like to learn more about you.”

Satisfied with the progress she was seeing, Dr. Effington gave a slight smile. It was the most warmth and personality Bill had seen from her. “What would you like to know?” she asked.

Bill shrugged. “Anything really. Why did you become a doctor?”

“Well, I realized the inefficiency of modern psychology to combat pathological behavior,” she explained, “in men, there’s sometimes a sexual component. If the new government is truly interested in eliminating crime, this problem should be addressed.”

“Your methods here have been kinda extreme, wouldn’t you say?”

“Only in light of the previous paradigm of sexual repression. But we’re now living in a new paradigm.”

Bill nodded. “I see,” he said, “so I’m sexually repressed?”

“Not repressed, Mr. Lorenz. You’re sexually misdirected.”

Bill thought for a moment. “So I’m assuming you’re still not wearing underwear?” he asked.

“You have assumed correctly.”

“May I see?”

Dr. Effington slowly uncrossed her legs and spread eagle in her chair. Bill gazed at her genitalia. “Am I still permitted to uhh…pleasure myself if need be?” he asked.

“Of course,” the doctor replied. 

Bill unzipped his prison jumpsuit and started touching himself. “Can you touch yourself too?” he asked.

“Can we continue to discuss your history?”

“Actually, I was hoping to talk more about you.”

Dr. Effington started rubbing her right hand down her thigh. “How so?” she replied.

“Do you do this for all of your patients?”

“Just you.”

Bill began stroking himself harder. “So ehh, what gets you off?” he asked.

“A lot of things,” she replied as she rubbed herself.

“Can you take out your uhh…,” Bill began to stutter.

“Breast?” Dr. Effington asked as she unbuttoned her blouse. After she exposed her bare chest, she placed one hand on a nipple and the other between her legs. Bill was completely zoned in. “When was the last time you were intimate with someone, Mr. Lorenz?” she asked.

“Please don’t call me that,” he said.

“Would you rather be called ‘Bill’?”

“I’d rather be called nothing.”

Dr. Effington’s moans of pleasure increased as Bill neared climax. “You can come closer to me,” she offered. 

“I can’t,” he said, “the heart monitor will go off.”

“I had it switched off.”

Bill slowed down as he moved his chair closer to hers. He reached out to touch her leg. As he stroked her leg and himself simultaneously, he began to feel a sense of performance anxiety. 

“Is everything alright?” Dr. Effington asked.

“I’m…I’m sorry doctor, I don’t know what my problem is!”

She buttoned up her blouse and placed her hand on his shoulder. “It’s quite alright,” she explained, “I’m proud of you. You’ve made a lot of progress.”

***

“Well Christ almighty,” Junior said to Bill, “is that a smile I see on your face?”

“You’re damn right!” Bill replied, “it’s a new day for ol’ William Lorenz!”

“Thought I’d never see the day.”

After the two exchanged pleasantries, Bill walked into the cafeteria and grabbed a tray. As he moved his way down the line, he came up to the dessert potions. “Care for some lemon meringue?” the cook asked.

“Ya know, I used to hate lemon meringue,” Bill replied, “but fuck it! Why not?!”

The cook shrugged and plopped the cake onto his plate. Bill then sat down on the other end of the table from Sappy. “Sappy, you disgusting piece of shit! How ya doing this morning?!” Bill greeted.

Sappy didn’t reply.

As Bill shoved his face with sloppy joes and French fries…drenched in nacho cheese of course…a gang of four inmates snuck up behind Sappy. Bill recognized the men. They were all fellow counter-revolutionaries on the outside. The leader tapped Sappy on the shoulder.

“I’m getting tired of seeing you diddle yourself in the shower,” the man said, “if I see it one more time, I’m gonna cut that pecker off!”

Sappy and the gang began exchanging words. Bill licked the nacho cheese from his fingers and approached the group. “What seems to be the problem here?” he asked.

“This has nothing to do with you Bill,” the leader replied, “go back to stuffing that dumbass mouth of yours.”

“Woah woah woah, cool it buster! I’m just trying to keep the peace!”

“How about YOU cool it, turncoat!” the leader retorted. This caught the attention of Junior, who remained on the sidelines with his finger on the taser. 

“Turncoat?” Bill asked, “Tom, what are you on about now? Come on man, we lost! Let’s move on with our lives!”

As the two shouted at each other, Sappy quietly pulled out a shiv and leapt toward the leader. Bill grabbed Sappy and wrestled him to the ground. Junior and the guards never noticed the small dull blade being drawn as their sight was obscured by the gang members. Bill forced the weapon out of Sappy’s hand and snuck it into his own jumpsuit. “Sorry Sappy,” Bill said, “but it looks like you owe me one.”

“Everyone back to your cell!” Junior ordered. The guards grabbed the Sappy and the gang then escorted them out of the cafeteria. “What’s gotten into you Bill?” Junior asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Normally you’d be the one to instigate these fights but now you’re stopping them!”

Bill nodded. “Then I suppose you should be thanking Dr. Effington,” he said.

***

Dr. Effington noticed Bill on the couch, buck ass naked, as she walked into her office. “I’m ready to do this, doctor,” he said.

“I see,” she stuttered as she stared at his erect appendage, “well, uh, what are you wanting to discuss today?”

“Well,” Bill replied, “I want to take the final steps towards rehabilitation, in whatever way you see fit of course.”

“Are you ready for that?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

Dr. Effington smiled slightly, nodded, then stripped down completely naked in full view of Bill. She sat down in her usual chair cross legged. “Talk to me,” she ordered.

“What turns you on?”

She looked at him from across the room over the rim of her glasses. “Honesty,” she replied, “intelligence…kindness.”

“Do you think I’m a kind man?”

She started to feel up her left breast. “I seem to think so,” she said, “do you think you are?”

Bill began stroking himself. “No. I don’t think I am at all.”

“I don’t think that’s true.”

“You said you liked honesty, doctor,” Bill replied, “so I’m just being honest.”

Still cross legged, Dr. Effington began feeling herself between her legs. “Do you think that this will get you out of here?” she asked.

“I absolutely do.”

The two sat there, mouths agape, as they pleasured themselves. Finally, Dr. Effington spoke up. “You’ll have to wear a condom,” she said.

“Understood.”

After she tossed him a contraceptive, Bill quickly unwrapped it and stretched it over his part. “Do you need anymore assistance?” he asked.

“I absolutely do,” she replied as she uncrossed her legs. Bill then went down to his knees and placed his mouth onto her genitalia. But he found her exaggerated moans amusing. Bill knew he was no good at oral sex as he only performed it a handful of times.

“Fuck me, please,” Dr. Effington ordered. He had never heard her use such language. Nevertheless he bent her over the chair and took her from behind. 

Although she squealed with pleasure the entire time, Bill suspected she was faking. Finally, as Dr. Effington rode him cowgirl in the chair, she appeared to climax. The two held each other for a minute before they ever uttered a word. “Are you good?” she asked as she ran her fingers over his lips. 

“Yeah, I’m good. Thank you, doctor,” he replied. 

“Then I declare you rehabilitated,” she said. 

Bill rested limp inside her for another few minutes before she got up and dressed. “I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me, Mr. Lorenz,” the doctor said as she put on her bra, “please get dressed and I’ll begin the paperwork for the discharge board.”

Bill took a deep breath, nodded, and began dressing. Dr. Effington got on the phone with the board while he quietly went to a corner of her office to remove the condom. 

He then dumped the empty cumless rubber into the trash can.

***

Dr. Effington noticed Bill on the couch, buck ass naked, as she walked into her office. “I’m ready to do this, doctor,” he said.

“I see,” she stuttered as she stared at his erect appendage, “well, uh, what are you wanting to discuss today?”

“Well,” Bill replied, “I want to take the final steps towards rehabilitation, in whatever way you see fit of course.”

“Are you ready for that?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

Dr. Effington smiled slightly, nodded, then stripped down completely naked in full view of Bill. She sat down in her usual chair cross legged. “Talk to me,” she ordered.

“What turns you on?”

She looked at him from across the room over the rim of her glasses. “Honesty,” she replied, “intelligence…kindness.”

“Do you think I’m a kind man?”

She started to feel up her left breast. “I seem to think so,” she said, “do you think you are?”

Bill began stroking himself. “No. I don’t think I am at all.”

“I don’t think that’s true.”

“You said you liked honesty, doctor,” Bill replied, “so I’m just being honest.”

Still cross legged, Dr. Effington began feeling herself between her legs. “Do you think that this will get you out of here?” she asked.

“I absolutely do.”

The two sat there, mouths agape, as they pleasured themselves. Finally, Dr. Effington spoke up. “You’ll have to wear a condom,” she said.

“Understood.”

After she tossed him a contraceptive, Bill quickly unwrapped it and stretched it over his part. “Do you need anymore assistance?” he asked.

“I absolutely do,” she replied as she uncrossed her legs. Bill then went down to his knees and placed his mouth onto her genitalia. But he found her exaggerated moans amusing. Bill knew he was no good at oral sex as he only performed it a handful of times.

“Fuck me, please,” Dr. Effington ordered. He had never heard her use such language. Nevertheless he bent her over the chair and took her from behind. 

Although she squealed with pleasure the entire time, Bill suspected she was faking. Finally, as Dr. Effington rode him cowgirl in the chair, she appeared to climax. The two held each other for a minute before they ever uttered a word. “Are you good?” she asked as she ran her fingers over his lips. 

“Yeah, I’m good. Thank you, doctor,” he replied. 

“Then I declare you rehabilitated,” she said. 

Bill rested limp inside her for another few minutes before she got up and dressed. “I can’t begin to tell you how happy this makes me, Mr. Lorenz,” the doctor said as she put on her bra, “please get dressed and I’ll begin the paperwork for the discharge board.”

Bill took a deep breath, nodded, and began dressing. Dr. Effington got on the phone with the board while he quietly went to a corner of her office to remove the condom. 

He then dumped the empty cumless rubber into the trash can.

***

“Congratulations Bill,” Junior said. Bill was sitting on his bunk while overlooking some discharge paperwork. The meeting with the board was to take place the following morning. 

“Don’t congratulate me just yet,” Bill replied, “only Dr. Effington has submitted her approval. The board may still turn me down.”

“Poppycock!” Junior retorted, “You have turned into a model inmate. Society will be lucky to have you back.”

“You really think so?”

“Of course! You have taken full advantage of your sentence. You have changed more than any other inmate I can think of.”

“I should have! 10 years is a long time!”

“And I must confess,” Junior added as he lowered his voice, “like you, I was skeptical of the revolution. But seeing how you improved so much, it really makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing here.”

Bill put down the paperwork and walked up to Junior at the cell door. “You are doing the right thing, Junior,” he said, “you’ve been a good friend to me. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

Junior gave a slight smile. “Perhaps we’ll run into each other on the outside,” he replied.

“Perhaps we will.”

***

“William Longsdale Lorenz has been serving in the Northwest Colorado Correctional Facility for 10 years,” the board chairman stated, “he was convicted for the murder of 19 people during a terrorist attack on a federal building in Billings, Montana…two of whom were children…during his time with the Whisper Militia. After his conviction, Mr. Lorenz stated that his actions were purely political as he believed that, quote ‘the reformed federal government, post revolution, was illegitimate’, end quote. After Mr. Lorenz’s apprehension, the remaining members of the Whisper Militia were arrested and sentenced. Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Gabriella Effington, Mr. Lorenz asserts that he has been fully rehabilitated. Today’s objective is to evaluate Mr. Lorenz’s suitability for discharge. Are there any questions?”

One council member spoke up. “Yes. Mr. Lorenz, how do you currently feel about your actions with the militia?”

Bill sat up straight in his seat. He gave a brief moment of reflection before answering. “Well,” he began, “the judge told me at my sentencing that he hoped the thoughts of my victims stay with me till the day I died. And I think about them every day. My activities with that group of terrorist…and they were terrorist…was misguided. My parents were gone at an early age and all I had was my grandfather. The only things I knew of the world was what he showed me. He lived in a small world with small ideas. He saw the future and only saw the end. But he was wrong. That’s not an excuse, I take full responsibility for my actions. But I thank the powers that be for living in a future that gives me a second chance. Most people in history were never given that opportunity. So to answer your question, I feel nothing but shame in regards to my time with the militia. I had misplaced anger that I projected onto the world. Thanks to the efforts of this facility, and Dr. Effington in particular, I’ve realized that about myself and I will do everything in my power to remedy my past and contribute to this brave new society.”

***

“I would say I’m gonna miss our exchanges,” Dr. Effington said.

“I bet you would,” Bill replied.

“But with your discharge, I take comfort in knowing I did my job well,” she continued.

Bill finished cleaning out his cell. He picked up his box of goods and walked towards Dr. Effington. “I suppose you did, doctor,” he replied, “I don’t know how to thank you.”

“Contribute to society…and don’t come back here again,” she said.

“I see,” Bill nodded, “please walk with me.”

Dr. Effington walked along side Bill as he carried his large box of personal belongings down the corridor. For the first time in years, he out of the jumpsuit and in his outdated civilian clothes. “I think I might miss this place,” Bill said as they strolled past the cafeteria.

“That’s not the intention,” Effington replied.

“I know, but I met some good friends here.”

Bill stopped by Sappy’s cell. “Sappy,” he said, “I think I might owe you one.” But Sappy continued to sit there silently with his usual shit-eating grin.

Finally the two approached the front gate. Bill signed his remaining discharge papers and Dr. Effington signaled to have the gates opened. In the cool Colorado air, the Doctor and the former inmate stood outside the prison walls. Bill sat the box on the ground and lit up a cigarette.

“Will anyone be here to pick you up?” Dr. Effington asked.

“Soon,” Bill said, “but like I said, doctor, I don’t know how to thank you. I didn’t realize until this Christmas how alone I was in this world. Everyone I know is either dead, in prison, or want nothing to do with me.”

“I promise you will find loved ones on the outside,” she replied.

Bill shook his head. “No,” he said, “there’s nothing for me out here.” He then flicked his cigarette away. “You see doctor,” he continued, “I know what you…what all of you…were trying to do to me in there. I appreciate it, I really do. But that’s not reality. This world, this new society, I just don’t get it. I have no friends. Just enemies.”

Bill then pulled out his leather-handled knife, complete with the shank stolen off of Sappy which was now fully sharpened. “I’m sorry doctor, but there’s only one form of intimacy that gets me off,” he said.

He then thrusted the knife into Dr. Effington’s side. Blood gushed out of her and she collapsed to the ground.

During Bill Lorenz’s autopsy, after being shot down by the guards, it was determined that he ejaculated moments before death.

THE END

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part XII)

Sometimes artists create things that drive them insane. For me, this is one of those things.

This might be my last short story for awhile. I’m about to begin one of the many other side projects that may or may not see the light of day. But the important thing is there’s about to be shit posts galore here.

So here’s the conclusion to Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz.

“I would say I’m gonna miss our exchanges,” Dr. Effington said.

“I bet you would,” Bill replied.

“But with your discharge, I take comfort in knowing I did my job well,” she continued.

Bill finished cleaning out his cell. He picked up his box of goods and walked towards Dr. Effington. “I suppose you did, doctor,” he replied, “I don’t know how to thank you.”

“Contribute to society…and don’t come back here again,” she said.

“I see,” Bill nodded, “please walk with me.”

Dr. Effington walked along side Bill as he carried his large box of personal belongings down the corridor. For the first time in years, he out of the jumpsuit and in his outdated civilian clothes. “I think I might miss this place,” Bill said as they strolled past the cafeteria.

“That’s not the intention,” Effington replied.

“I know, but I met some good friends here.”

Bill stopped by Sappy’s cell. “Sappy,” he said, “I think I might owe you one.” But Sappy continued to sit there silently with his usual shit-eating grin.

Finally the two approached the front gate. Bill signed his remaining discharge papers and Dr. Effington signaled to have the gates opened. In the cool Colorado air, the Doctor and the former inmate stood outside the prison walls. Bill sat the box on the ground and lit up a cigarette.

“Will anyone be here to pick you up?” Dr. Effington asked.

“Soon,” Bill said, “but like I said, doctor, I don’t know how to thank you. I didn’t realize until this Christmas how alone I was in this world. Everyone I know is either dead, in prison, or want nothing to do with me.”

“I promise you will find loved ones on the outside,” she replied.

Bill shook his head. “No,” he said, “there’s nothing for me out here.” He then flicked his cigarette away. “You see doctor,” he continued, “I know what you…what all of you…were trying to do to me in there. I appreciate it, I really do. But that’s not reality. This world, this new society, I just don’t get it. I have no friends. Just enemies.”

Bill then pulled out his leather-handled knife, complete with the shank stolen off of Sappy which was now fully sharpened. “I’m sorry doctor, but there’s only one form of intimacy that gets me off,” he said.

He then thrusted the knife into Dr. Effington’s side. Blood gushed out of her and she collapsed to the ground.

During Bill Lorenz’s autopsy, after being shot down by the guards, it was determined that he ejaculated moments before death.

THE END

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part XI)

“Congratulations Bill,” Junior said. Bill was sitting on his bunk while overlooking some discharge paperwork. The meeting with the board was to take place the following morning.

“Don’t congratulate me just yet,” Bill replied, “only Dr. Effington has submitted her approval. The board may still turn me down.”

“Poppycock!” Junior retorted, “You have turned into a model inmate. Society will be lucky to have you back.”

“You really think so?”

“Of course! You have taken full advantage of your sentence. You have changed more than any other inmate I can think of.”

“I should have! 10 years is a long time!”

“And I must confess,” Junior added as he lowered his voice, “like you, I was skeptical of the revolution. But seeing how you improved so much, it really makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing here.”

Bill put down the paperwork and walked up to Junior at the cell door. “You are doing the right thing, Junior,” he said, “you’ve been a good friend to me. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

Junior gave a slight smile. “Perhaps we’ll run into each other on the outside,” he replied.

“Perhaps we will.”

***

“William Longsdale Lorenz has been serving in the Northwest Colorado Correctional Facility for 10 years,” the board chairman stated, “he was convicted for the murder of 19 people during a terrorist attack on a federal building in Billings, Montana…two of whom were children…during his time with the Whisper Militia. After his conviction, Mr. Lorenz stated that his actions were purely political as he believed that, quote ‘the reformed federal government, post revolution, was illegitimate’, end quote. After Mr. Lorenz’s apprehension, the remaining members of the Whisper Militia were arrested and sentenced. Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Gabriella Effington, Mr. Lorenz asserts that he has been fully rehabilitated. Today’s objective is to evaluate Mr. Lorenz’s suitability for discharge. Are there any questions?”

One council member spoke up. “Yes. Mr. Lorenz, how do you currently feel about your actions with the militia?”

Bill sat up straight in his seat. He gave a brief moment of reflection before answering. “Well,” he began, “the judge told me at my sentencing that he hoped the thoughts of my victims stay with me till the day I died. And I think about them every day. My activities with that group of terrorist…and they were terrorist…was misguided. My parents were gone at an early age and all I had was my grandfather. The only things I knew of the world was what he showed me. He lived in a small world with small ideas. He saw the future and only saw the end. But he was wrong. That’s not an excuse, I take full responsibility for my actions. But I thank the powers that be for living in a future that gives me a second chance. Most people in history were never given that opportunity. So to answer your question, I feel nothing but shame in regards to my time with the militia. I had misplaced anger that I projected onto the world. Thanks to the efforts of this facility, and Dr. Effington in particular, I’ve realized that about myself and I will do everything in my power to remedy my past and contribute to this brave new society.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part VIII)

“Merry Christmas, Dr. Effington,” Bill said as he sat prim and proper in the psychotherapist’s office. The good doctor smiled and nodded in astonishment.

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz,” she replied, “I assume your meeting with Susan went well.”

“It did not, but that’s okay. I’m ready to move forward.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, doctor. In fact, I’d like to learn more about you.”

Satisfied with the progress she was seeing, Dr. Effington gave a slight smile. It was the most warmth and personality Bill had seen from her. “What would you like to know?” she asked.

Bill shrugged. “Anything really. Why did you become a doctor?”

“Well, I realized the inefficiency of modern psychology to combat pathological behavior,” she explained, “in men, there’s sometimes a sexual component. If the new government is truly interested in eliminating crime, this problem should be addressed.”

“Your methods here have been kinda extreme, wouldn’t you say?”

“Only in light of the previous paradigm of sexual repression. But we’re now living in a new paradigm.”

Bill nodded. “I see,” he said, “so I’m sexually repressed?”

“Not repressed, Mr. Lorenz. You’re sexually misdirected.”

Bill thought for a moment. “So I’m assuming you’re still not wearing underwear?” he asked.

“You have assumed correctly.”

“May I see?”

Dr. Effington slowly uncrossed her legs and spread eagle in her chair. Bill gazed at her genitalia. “Am I still permitted to uhh…pleasure myself if need be?” he asked.

“Of course,” the doctor replied.

Bill unzipped his prison jumpsuit and started touching himself. “Can you touch yourself too?” he asked.

“Can we continue to discuss your history?”

“Actually, I was hoping to talk more about you.”

Dr. Effington started rubbing her right hand down her thigh. “How so?” she replied.

“Do you do this for all of your patients?”

“Just you.”

Bill began stroking himself harder. “So ehh, what gets you off?” he asked.

“A lot of things,” she replied as she rubbed herself.

“Can you take out your uhh…,” Bill began to stutter.

“Breast?” Dr. Effington asked as she unbuttoned her blouse. After she exposed her bare chest, she placed one hand on a nipple and the other between her legs. Bill was completely zoned in. “When was the last time you were intimate with someone, Mr. Lorenz?” she asked.

“Please don’t call me that,” he said.

“Would you rather be called ‘Bill’?”

“I’d rather be called nothing.”

Dr. Effington’s moans of pleasure increased as Bill neared climax. “You can come closer to me,” she offered.

“I can’t,” he said, “the heart monitor will go off.”

“I had it switched off.”

Bill slowed down as he moved his chair closer to hers. He reached out to touch her leg. As he stroked her leg and himself simultaneously, he began to feel a sense of performance anxiety.

“Is everything alright?” Dr. Effington asked.

“I’m…I’m sorry doctor, I don’t know what my problem is!”

She buttoned up her blouse and placed her hand on his shoulder. “It’s quite alright,” she explained, “I’m proud of you. You’ve made a lot of progress.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part VII)

“I can’t believe they granted you a conjugal room,” Susan said.

Bill was busy setting the candle light and pouring wine. “And they gave me alcohol too,” he replied, “maybe things aren’t so bad.”

Susan pulled out a chair, sat down, and looked him square in the eye. “I’m not having sex with you, Bill,” she said, “besides, I’m already seeing someone.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“Because it’s John.”

Bill looked down at the ground and shook his head. “Goddamn it,” he uttered.

“There was no good way to tell you,” Susan said.

Bill walked over to the window then glanced at the small Christmas tree in the corner. “Well Merry Christmas to me,” he replied.

“But I did bring you a gift,” Susan said as she dug through her bag. She pulled out a picture of him and his grandfather at Mount Hood some 15 years earlier. “I know that this was the last picture of your grandpa before he passed,” she continued.

Bill took the photograph and turned his back on Susan. He was silent as he recalled the memory of that day. After several awkward seconds, Bill spoke up. “I haven’t seen this picture since the day it was taken.”

Susan said nothing.

Then Bill turned around. “Why John?” he asked. “Don’t you two have a history? Isn’t the government watching you two like a hawk?”

“Maybe,” she replied, “but I don’t care. I think we always had feelings for each other.”

“But you guys aren’t up to the same old shit again? You just got out of prison for Christ sake!”

“I don’t think I should discuss this with you right now.”

“You are! Fuck. I hope they don’t have this room bugged!”

Susan threw up her arms. “Let’s drop it,” she yelled, “I was hoping this would be a happy visit. But obviously you’re not mature enough for this conversation.”

Bill began drinking directly from the wine bottle. “I guess not,” he replied.

The two uttered nothing for a few minutes. Finally, Susan stood up. “I don’t think I’ll be coming back,” she said, “you seeing me probably isn’t good for your rehabilitation.”

Bill didn’t reply.

“I wish you luck in the future,” she continued, “when you’re released, if you know what’s good for you, please don’t reach out to me. Do you understand?”

He nodded.

Susan knocked, then a prison guard unlocked the door and let her out. Before she exited, she turned around. “Merry Christmas, Bill,” she said, then departed.

Bill held the bottle of wine in one hand, and the photograph in the other. Then the prison guard stepped in the room. “You still have access to this room for a few more hours,” the guard said, “do you wish to stay here?”

“No,” Bill replied, “please take me back to the cell.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part VI)

Bill kept wiping the sweat from his brow as he waited for Dr. Effington. The nurses once again attached the heart shock device to his chest. After 10 agonizing minutes, the psychiatrist walked into the office.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Lorenz,” she said. The doctor rolled her chair just feet away from Bill.

She was wearing the same boring brown skirt that went past her knees. Bill had seen her don that same outfit hundreds of times. Though slightly relieved…because he thought this might be a normal session…he couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

“That’s quite alright, doctor,” he replied, “I’m sorry for taking out my penis and trying to touch you last time.”

“Given the circumstances, that’s quite understandable,” Dr. Effington explained, “but due to safety concerns, I cannot permit you to touch me. At least not yet.”

Bill wondered what she meant by ‘not yet’.

The doctor pulled out a folder and began looking through her notes. “Now last time we spoke, we were discussing your family life,” she continued, “I would like to explore that further.”

Bill sat up in his seat. “Wait a minute,” he replied, “I’d like an explanation for our last meeting.”

She closed the folder of paperwork in her lap and removed her glasses. “I’m sorry, Mr. Lorenz. But I can’t disclose that at the moment,” Dr. Effington said.

“Why not? It’s my treatment. Don’t you think I’m owed an explanation?”

“All of this will become clear in time. Now please, let’s return to the subject at hand.”

“Doctor, you stood completely nude in front of me. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have questions.”

“Your psychological makeup is quite unusual, Mr. Lorenz. And unusual problems require unusual solutions.”

“Then I cannot participate in this treatment if I’m not given an adequate explanation.”

Dr. Effington sat up and readjusted herself. She ever so slightly slid up her skirt and uncrossed her legs. For a long half second, Bill could see she was not wearing underwear.

He sat stone faced as she continued her questioning.

“Mr. Lorenz,” Dr. Effington said, “I need you to trust me in this matter. Now please…tell me about your relationship with your mother.”

Bill began to feel sweat beading down his back. “Uh…,” he stuttered, “there’s not much to tell. She OD’d when I was 15. My father was also a junkie and he ran out on me. I was raised by my grandfather.”

“Did this ever make you feel alone? Guilty?”

Bill chuckled as he began rubbing his face. “Yeah, I guess you could say that,” he said.

“What did you do to address these issues?” The doctor asked. She again placed her pen up to her lips.

“Uhhhmmm…I’m sorry, Dr. Effington, but I know you’re not wearing underwear.”

“I know you know.”

“Could I see more?”

Dr. Effington moved her fingers down her blouse. “Possibly,” she replied, “but I need you to answer my questions. Were you angry after your mother’s death? How did you cope?”

“Of course I was angry,” Bill said, “I was angry at the world.”

“Is this how you became involved in politics?”

Bill paused for a moment. “I…I don’t know,” he replied.

“Did you ever have any romantic relationships?”

“I don’t think I was ever good with women.”

“Well, what can you tell me about Susan?”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Flashback: “Shoot Me, Deadly”

This is the second short story I wrote for the blog, the first, of course, being my magnum opus A Shot At the Title.

Clearly I was going for a 50s pulp novel kind of feel. And I think I was partially successful there. Keep in mind, I put even less thought into these stories then than I do now.

So I’ll let you be the judge.

Shoot Me, Deadly

I burned the apartment complex down while making nachos. After the court cases were settled and 20 people were made homeless, I needed the money.

A strange man walked into my office. He laid his briefcase on the desk and pulled out his revolver.

“I’m here to offer you a shot at redemption,” he told me.

“What’s the case?” I asked.

“You’re the worst private dick in town,” he said. “I need a moron, a dipshit, a loser, a complete piece of shit that would be willing to take the fall when things go south.”

I took out a cigarette and thought for a moment. Fuck it, I thought. I needed the paycheck.

“Give it to me,” I said.

“A mafiosos daughter has gone missing. She was last seen in San Diego. Here’s her picture.”

She looked like a woman that could eat your heart out and save room for dessert.

“What’s the dame’s name,” I ask.

“Isabella Maria,” he replied. “She was a spoiled brat. She dropped out of law school to pursue a career in phlebotomy but got caught up in the wrong crowd if you know what I mean.”

“Drugs?”

“No, improv comedy. She was terrible.”

“Well,” I said. “I’ll need a $5,000 deposit and a list of references.”

“Just send me the bill. Everything you need to know is in this briefcase.”

The briefcase was a Boccio. Italian leather. Not sure why he bothered. A Manila folder would have worked just fine.

“I didn’t get your name sir,” I said.

“My name’s not important. But what I represent is.”

Fuckin weirdo.

The man left and I told my secretary to not take any calls. I went back into the office and pulled out a handle of Everclear. After popping my Zeldox and Zoloft, I lifted the glass up to a picture of my dead mother.

“Welp, things are shit and they ain’t getting any better,” I said.

And down the hatch she went.

***

I took the Sunday drive up to San Luis Obispo in my Chevy SSR to visit Isabella’s father, the mafioso Roberto Benigni Vittorio Stararo. Or “Vito”.

The county sheriff pulled me over.

“You don’t know what you’re getting into James,” the sheriff said.

“Just hand me the ticket so that I can be on my way,” I replied.

The sheriff wrote up the ticket and gave me another warning: “I better not see you or this piece of shit vehicle in my county again.”

Asshole.

I pulled up to Stararo’s estate. His wife came out to greet me.

“I’m Michaela Sabine Stararo,” she said. “Vito is fox hunting. He’ll be joining us shortly.”

She was wearing a white blouse tucked into her equestrian pants with boots. Her figure could make a man have a boner, if you know what I mean.

Michaela invited me in and offered a Chardonnay.

“Are you Isabella’s mother?” I asked.

“Her step-mother. Poor girl. She never got to know her real mother,” she replied.

I took a sip of the Chardonnay. It was Laguiche, ‘09. 

“It must be rough being an LA detective,” Michaela said.

“If people quit disappearing and fucking around on their spouses, I’d be out of a job.”

Vito walked in with his Winchester. “È questo il detective idiota assunto dal mio socio?” he said.

“The fuck did he say?” I asked Michaela.

“Vito welcomes you into his home,” she replied.

Vito had to of been 90 if he was a day. Michaela was clearly a distraction from that fact. Still, tough old man. He pulled out a cigar and poured a Chardonnay.

“Quindi questo perdente pensa di poter trovare mia figlia?” he asked.

I looked over to Michaela.

“Vito is prepared to give you all the information you need to find his daughter,” she said.

“I need to know her entire background. Who her friends are. Her lovers. Her enemies. And any enemies that you might have, Mr. Stararo,” I said.

“Chiamami Vito,” he replied.

We talked for hours discussing the case. We went through the bottle of Chardonnay. Then another. Then came the brandy.

As I prepared to leave, Michaela came up to me. “LA is a long drive,” she said. “Why don’t you stay in the guest house. I’ll have the servants prepare it.”

Why not, I thought. It sure beats sleeping in a burned down apartment building.

As I was laying in bed, Michaela came in wearing a silk robe. She slowly walked towards the bedside.

“Stanotte siamo solo io e te,” she said.

Michaela dropped the robe and climbed into bed.

***

I woke up in Vito’s guest house. I was alone. Except for the large bald man standing over me.

“Who the fuck are you?” I asked

“Luigi. Michaela wants to talk to you.”

“Can you give me a minute? I still got morning wood.”

“Now”

Luigi escorted me through the garden to the large chateau. There, standing in the kitchen, was Michaela holding a glass of brandy.

“Vito died”, she said.

Luigi punched me in the stomach and I fell to the ground. While on my knees, I tried to catch my breath.

“My condolences, Mrs. Stararo,” I said.

“Don’t give me that shit. What happened to Vito? Where were you?” She asked.

“I think you know where I was.”

Luigi then socked me in the face. I got up and wiped the blood from my nose.

“Does it look like foul play? The man was 90 years old and drunk as hell last night,” I said.

Michaela downed the brandy.

“No,” she replied. “I need to know if I can trust you.”

For good measure, Luigi kicked me in the dick.

“I don’t know who any of you are! I was just hired by some man with a leather briefcase to find Isabella!” I said.

She waved Luigi out of the room and handed me a towel.

“Is this how you treat all your guests?” I asked.

“Sorry, a lot of people have wanted Vito dead for a long time. With him gone, I don’t know if they will come after me,” she said.

Michaela grabbed an ice pack and put it over my eye. “I’m going to need protection,” she said longingly.

“I just got my ass kicked. Are you sure you’re asking the right person?” I replied.

“Don’t go back to LA. Stay here with me.”

“I gotta find Isabella.”

“I don’t know where she is. But as long as she stays away from here, she’ll be safe.”

“I can’t take that chance.”

I grabbed my bowler hat and coat. “I’ll check on you soon. If things get tough, come to LA,” I said.

I took a shot of brandy and departed.

It was clear that Michaela was behind the death of Vito. I’ve seen these cases hundreds of times: wife gets jealous of husband, wife kills husband, wife takes husband’s place as head of a crime family. It’s a tale as old as time.

But one thing was clear: Isabella was certainly in trouble.

I arrived at the LA office. The secretary said that the strange man looking for Isabella was sitting in my office. I walked in and hung up my coat.

“Well well well Mr. Italian Leather, perhaps you have answers for me,” I said.

“That’s what we’re paying you for Jimmy,” he replied.

I sat down at the desk and put my feet up. “Who’s ‘we’? Vito’s dead,” I said.

“I know. I see that Luigi paid you a visit,” Mr. Leather said referring to my bruises. “She’s dangerous you know?”

“You don’t say?” I said sarcastically. “Do you really think this is my first rodeo?”

“I know that you’re a busy man, so I don’t want to take up too much of your time. But I want you to meet me on the campus of UC Irvine on Thursday,” Mr. Leather told me.

“You could have told me this by email,” I replied.

“I just wanted to make sure you got the message.”

Mr. Leather stood up and as he was walking towards the door, I said: “if you’re gonna make me drive all over SoCal, I’m gonna start charging by the mile.”

“Keep sending me the bill,” he said. Then he shut the door.

I told the secretary that I didn’t want any interruptions. I popped open a beer and a Vicodin and took a nap.

***

I put a hurtin’ on the whisky bottle, hoping that it would clear my head. Nothing about this case made sense.

I met Mr. Leather at UC Irvine. He was sitting alone in an empty theater.

“What’s this about?” I asked.

“Take a seat. I’m about to make your life a little easier,” he replied.

Two other people entered the theater. The lights dimmed and the curtains opened. Entering stage left was Isabella, all alone.

“I guess I owe you a refund,” I told Mr. Leather.

“Forget it,” he said.

Isabella began her solo performance with a vaguely racist monologue. Then she stripped to her underwear and two nude men flanked her on both sides and they began rolling around on the floor.

“The fuck is going on?” I asked Mr. Leather.

“It’s art.”

The two men then turned around, spread their ass cheeks, and took a squat while Isabella pissed all over the stage. The performance ended with her reciting the lyrics to Motownphilly. When the curtains lowered, no one clapped.

“That was godawful,” I said to Mr. Leather. “I’ve never seen anything more disgusting in my life.”

But when I looked over, Mr. Leather was nowhere to be found.

I went back stage. Isabella was in her dressing room removing the clown makeup.

“Keep trying kid,” I told her as I lit up a cigarette. “You’ll get em next time.”

“Did you enjoy it?” she asked.

“No, my mother was Canadian so I’m partly offended. But keep your head up.”

“Oh,” she replied and slumped back in her chair. I walked over to cheer her up.

“Look,” I said. “If you’ve got a passion, you gotta keep chasing it. Sure you’re gonna hit some potholes in the road, but keep going. You’ll get there eventually.”

“There’s just nothing that I’m good at.”

“That’s not true. You’ve got talent. It just needs some finessing,” I said.

“Yeah I guess,” Isabella said while she was packing her things. “Say, who are you mister?”

I took a big hit off the flask and offered it to Isabella. “I got some bad news kid,” I told her.

She took the flask and waited for the news.

“Your father is dead,” I said.

A blank look came over her face. Then she took a drink. “Was it Michaela?” she asked.

“I suspect it was.”

Isabella sat back down and looked at the floor. “I knew this would happen.”

“Your life is probably in danger,” I said. I took out the wad of cash that Mr. Leather paid me and I handed it over. “You need to get out of town.”

“But there is nowhere I can go where they can’t find me.”

I took out a pin and paper and wrote down an address. “This is my father’s old cabin up in Big Bear. Lay low there and I’ll come and get you in a few days.”

“But who are you?” Isabella asked.

“I’m James, Private Detective.” I handed her a business card. “Also, one other thing.” Then I handed her a .38 special.

“You may need it.”

She packed the items into her purse.

“Go now,” I said. “There’s some things I got to take care of here. I’ll see you in a couple of days when I have more information.”

I drove back to the office for the night. The apartment was still burned to shit. I walked in the office, removed my coat and holster, turned on the light, and there was Michaela and Luigi.

“Sorry, business hours are over,” I said.

Luigi picked up a phone book and ripped it in half. Michaela stood up from the couch, again with a glass of brandy in her hand, and walked towards me in her form fitting gown.

“But darling,” she said. “We’re just here to check in on a case.”

When she got close, Michaela head butted me and I fell backwards into the filing cabinets. While dazed, I tried to stand up and reach for my holster. Luigi grabbed my hand and threw me over the desk.

“Couldn’t this have waited until morning?” I asked.

“You need to tell us where Isabella is going,” Michaela said.

Luigi picked me up by the shirt and held me to the wall. I thought that this was the end until Mr. Leather busted in with his Tommy Gun.

“Let him go,” he said to Luigi. “Or I’ll blow you ten new assholes.”

***

“What’s it gonna be Luigi?” Mr. Leather said with his tommy gun.

Luigi paused and slowly lowered me to the ground. Leather pointed his tommy at Michaela.

“You’re not gonna get away with this,” she said.

“Beat it bitch,” he replied.

Luigi quickly reached for his sidearm. Mr. Leather unleashed his machine gun, blasting holes and blood everywhere. Luigi smashed through the window, falling five stories to the ground.

If the bullets didn’t kill him, the fall certainly did.

Michaela pulled a single shot derringer out of the bosom of her dress, hitting Mr. Leather in the stomach. She ran out the room. I ran over to him.

“We gotta get you to the hospital,” I said.

“Can’t. They’ll take me to prison.”

“I was a medic in the Army, I can probably stop the bleeding,” I replied.

“I’d rather go to prison.”

I helped the blood soaked Mr. Leather to the car. As we sped out of there, he took out a cigarette.

“Where you taking me?” he asked.

“The only place we can go.”

We arrived at the Big Bear cabin early in the morning. Isabella helped carry the wounded man inside.

“Who is this guy?” she asked.

“You know,” I thought for a moment. “That’s a good question.”

As Mr. Leather began fading in and out of consciousness, he began speaking to Isabella.

“Am fost îngerul păzitor al tatălui tău. Și sunt și a ta. Dar timpul meu este aproape terminat. Ai încredere în acest om prost,” he said.

“Am știut întotdeauna,” she replied.

“What did he say?” I asked.

“It’s not important,” Isabella said. “He doesn’t have long.”

“Obviously!”

“Just let me die,” Mr. Leather said. “It’s time.”

“Are you ever going to tell me who you are?” I asked.

“Fuck off,” he replied.

I shrugged and did what I could to stop the bleeding. I stayed by his side all morning.

“What’s the deal with Isabella?” I asked him.

“Poor girl,” he said. “Vito had her mother killed when she was just a little girl. Vito never understood his daughter. She grew up lonely, neglected by her own family.”

“Why did Vito kill her mother?” I replied.

“I’ll never tell.”

“Did you kill her?”

There was no reply. The mysterious man was no more.

I buried him that evening.

Isabella joined me outside over his shallow grave. I took out another cigarette.

“I don’t know if this guy was a pervert or your guardian angel. But either way, I think he was your biggest fan,” I told her.

“Michaela will find us,” she replied. “We gotta move.”

I handed her the money out of Mr. Leather’s wallet, then I emptied out my own.

“Take this,” I said. “Go to New York. Go do Broadway. Go do stand up. Go do something with your life. That’s what our mystery man would have wanted.”

“What are you going to do?” she asked.

“My father buried an entire arsenal from his time in Korea under this land. I outta put it to use.”

***

If Michaela and her army wanted to lay siege to this cabin, I was fully prepared.

After Isabella said her final goodbye, I began work on a defensive attack. Booby traps, trip wires, and explosives were scattered around the perimeter. Thanks to my father’s arsenal, I had RPGs, M16s, M4 Carbines, AKs, AR-15s, Uzis, and all the usual weapons you’d find in these stories.

I climbed up into a deer stand, and watched. Waited. I stared down the scope of my rifle. A caravan of black SUVs was rolling down the dirt road.

The first vehicle struck a trip wire, causing a massive explosion. It obliterated the SUV and the one behind it. Eight people were killed immediately.

Men in the vehicles behind began fanning out into the woods, but they kept triggering the C-4, causing more explosions and death. The unlucky ones got caught in bear traps where they became easy prey for the mountain lions.

I realized that I created a horrible, if not tragic, death trap.

I climbed down from the deer stand and ran back to the cabin. I knew that the men who survived the initial barrage would eventually breach the defensive perimeter. So I armed myself with multiple automatic weapons.

Meanwhile, explosions kept going off. I grabbed the RPG-7.

I knew Michaela was getting close. One of her men yelled “you fucking bitch! You told us that we’d only be facing three people! Not the threshold of hell!”

Her men started to retreat. So my defensive campaign suddenly became an offensive one. I fired an RPG right at her gaggle of men, killing or maiming all 20 of them.

The few survivors that weren’t screaming in agony began to fire back. So I let loose another RPG.

I looked out into the woods. Fires were emanating from the charred remains of hundreds of dead bodies. It was lighting up the night sky. Yet none of the bodies were Michaela.

I slowly paced through the woods. Then a bullet went right through my left kidney. I fell to the ground and Michaela popped out from behind a tree, doing all kinds of strange martial arts.

She round house kicked my face. She broke one of my arms, both legs and my eyes were nearly swollen shut. I was helplessly crawling on the ground.

“Where’s Isabella?!” Michaela kept asking while punching me in the face.

“If she was up your butt you’d know where she was,” I replied.

Out of frustration, Michaela stood up and pointed her Glock 19 at me. “Goodbye, private dick!”

Luckily, I had dozens of sidearms on me. So I managed to rip a clip into Michaela before she got off a shot.

With fire all around me, I managed to craw back into the cabin. I might’ve been a fuck up my entire life, but at least I’d go out the way I wanted.

I lit up a cigarette and looked over to a picture of mom and dad.

“I’ll be with you soon Ma and Pa!”

And I closed my eyes.

….

Unfortunately I woke up in the San Bernardino Community Hospital. Isabella and an FBI agent were in the room.

“I couldn’t leave you there mister,” Isabella said. “You were sitting in a pool of your own blood with all your limbs broken.”

“Despite the horrendous injuries and the state we found you in, you’re expected to make a full recovery!” the doctor said.

I didn’t have health insurance.

“You somehow managed to slaughter the entire west coast mafia. There will be a federal investigation into this,” the FBI agent said.

“Do I need to lawyer up?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, BIG TIME,” the agent replied.

“Aren’t you so happy to be alive?!” Isabella asked.

That night, I cried myself to sleep.

THE END

Flashback: A Short Biography

So here it is, the post that started it all. It was originally published in early August of 2021.

As the new year approaches, I just want to reflect on how I’ve changed as a person and as a writer. Which really isn’t a whole lot when you think about it.

So onto 2023! Have a Happy New Years and thank you to everyone who has followed me on this journey.

I love you 😘

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

They say you can’t count your chickens before they hatch.

They say you can’t shit where you eat.

They say I should seek therapy because everyone’s worried about me.

They say I have a drinking problem and that I shouldn’t mix downers with downers.

They say I have crippling debt and that I am months away from homelessness 

Hi I’m James. And maybe they’re right. What do I know? Well let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born outside of a Denny’s in Scottsbluff, Nebraska in either late 1979 or 1981 depending on who you believe. I attended Norhwestern on an athletic scholarship, but was suspended for PED usage, and, in the words of the university, “cockfighting”. 

So I hit the road. I hit up every strip club and drug den from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. I learned a lot about myself on that trip. I learned that sometimes growing up means putting your pants on one leg at a time. Sometimes it’s about changing your pants. Sometimes your pants just aren’t long enough and you accidentally expose your wiener.

But the most important thing in life is this: show up to court on time and pay all of your fines.

So I actually know quite a lot. And if you stick around, you might learn something too.

So stay tuned my friends….

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lorenz (Part I)

“I can’t even beat off alone anymore,” thought Bill Lorenz. He tossed and turned in bed, flipping over and noticing a fellow inmate, Sappy, staring gleefully at him. “That’s enough,” Bill finally said.

He threw off the covers, climbed out of bed, and started banging on his cell door. “Guard!” he yelled.

“Bill, what do you want at this hour?” the guard asked as he was rubbing his eyes. “We’re all trying to sleep around here.”

“Sorry to disturb you PRINCESS,” Bill replied, “but I demand to speak with Dr. Effington.”

“You know she doesn’t come in until 8:30.”

“Call her in!”

“I’d be happy to call in Dr. Effington, Mr. Lorenz. What’s the emergency?”

“I’m unhappy about having a cell mate.”

“But that’s hardly an emergency.”

“It is when you haven’t slept in two days! How can I get re-educated when I can’t get a good night’s rest?!”

“Bill, as you know, you were given a cell mate to help you with your anti-social behavior. If you are having trouble sleeping, we can provide you with medication. Otherwise you will have to wait for Dr. Effington to approve removing your cell mate.”

“I’m not taking those damn sleeping pills! When you see Dr. Effington, tell her that I demand to see her right away!”

“Will do, Mr. Lorenz.”

Bill turned around and noticed Sappy still staring at him. “Keep smiling Sappy,” Bill said, “one day I’ll kick those teeth in.”

***

“Sappy’s a goddamn rapist!” Bill said to Dr. Effington, “why did you send him to my cell?”

Dr. Effington sat in her chair while she sipped on tea. There was no desk to separate the two. No guards. It was just the two of them sitting alone in a small, intimate room.

“His name’s not ‘Sappy’,” she replied, “It’s Jeffrey Rohmer. He has a history of not recognizing personal boundaries and we paired him with you because you are recognized as having a more aggressive personality. From you, he might learn consequences from crossing boundaries. From him, you might learn how to deal with difficult people. You both suffer from antisocial behavior. We had hoped that this would be a learning experience.”

“Sappy is a criminal! I’m not!” Bill stated, “I’m a political prisoner!”

“You engaged in activity that resulted in the deaths of several people. That is criminal behavior in every jurisdiction.”

“I had the right to preserve my ideals!”

“Be that as it may, after you were found guilty, you declined the other forms of treatment for reintegration into society. So you were sent here where you will learn how to live in society. This is how the system works.”

“I oppose the system. It’s brainwashing!”

“The aim of the Revolution was to create a more fairer society. That included changes to the justice and incarceration systems. If you play by the rules, you will be fully reintegrated with a clean slate.”

“Fuck you. The Revolution was bullshit. A difference of opinion is not criminal!”

“I’m not here to argue history and politics, Mr. Lorenz. My aim is to rehabilitate you, no matter how long it takes. Because of the Revolution and the new governing regime, I have all the resources to do it.”

“I take that as a threat.”

Dr. Effington finished her tea and lowered the cup to her lap. “Mr. Lorenz, if sharing a cell with Mr. Rohmer is too difficult, we can have him removed,” she said. “Now that that matter is settled, I would like to continue with your therapy.”

“Not today,” Bill replied, “you’ll have to find someone else to brainwash.”

Effington shook her head. “Very well,” she said, “please let the guards know if you need any reading materials. This need not be a painful experience for you, Bill.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Bill replied, “but you can stick that offer up your ass.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Jack Hardcock: The Legend Continues (Part XI)

“Layla, wait! I love you!” I yelled as I chased her out of the strip club and into the parking lot. As she frantically dug through her purse to find her keys, I pulled out the taser.

“Don’t make me use this,” I warned her. I inched closer towards her as she swiftly opened the door to her vehicle.

“Stay the fuck away from me!” Layla screamed. Then she swung around and nailed me in the stomach with a pair of brass knuckles. I dropped the taser as I fell to the ground.

Layla then squealed her tires as she attempted to back out of her parking space. But standing behind the vehicle was Donovan McNabb. “Layla!” he shouted.

She slammed on the brakes and put the car in park. “Donovan?! I could have killed you!” she screamed through the window. Then she stepped out of the vehicle to confront her ex-boyfriend.

“Donovan, goddamnit!” Layla shouted, “how the hell did you find me?”

“Nevermind that!” he replied, “I was worried sick about you after you ran out on me!”

Layla slowly rubbed her fingers through her hair as she tried to find the words. “I’m sorry I did that,” she replied, “I just didn’t have the courage to tell you.”

“Tell me what?” Donovan asked, “That it was over?”

Layla began to stutter. “I…I don’t know,” she said, “Donovan, I just don’t know who I am, okay? When I’m here, I want to be there. And when I’m there I want to be here. I just needed time away.”

“You could have said so!” he said.

Before Layla could answer, a squad car pulled into the lot. The police officer slowly rolled up and shined his bright light into our faces. I climbed to my feet as I was still struggling to catch my breath.

“Everything’s alright, officer,” I said, “no need for the law. Thank you for your service and blue lives matter.”

The officer slowly opened the door and stepped out of the vehicle. I couldn’t see his face as I was still blinded by the light. Then I heard a faint laugh.

“Well well well, Jack Hardcock found Layla Huffington,” the officer said. Then he stepped in front of the light and his face was plain as day.

It was Peter Tucker.

“Peter, I don’t have time for your theatrics,” I said, “let me get Layla and we’ll get the fuck out of California.”

“You know Jack, I was thinking…,” Peter replied, “I could save the taxpayers a lot of money by just killing you right here.”

“Look, how many times do you want me to say I’m sorry for killing your favorite porno director?”

“Dillon J Dudenburg was his name, Goddamnit!” Peter yelled as he pointed his 9mm at my head.

“Whatever. You can’t kill me. There’s too many witnesses. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in prison for murder and impersonating a police officer?”

“I’m in the FBI. I AM THE LAW.”

“Peter,” Donovan interrupted, “Jack saved my life. I will be forever grateful for that. So if you’re gonna kill Jack Hardcock, you’ll have to kill me too.”

Peter thought for a moment, nodded, then turned the gun on Donovan. He pulled the trigger and a bullet landed square in his chest.

Layla screamed as her ex-boyfriend fell to the ground. That provided enough of a distraction for me to grab the taser gun and fire it towards Peter. The hooks grabbed ahold of him and he began to spaz out. Yet that wasn’t enough to bring him to the ground.

“I’ll get you next time, JACK HARDCOCK,” Peter yelled. While volts were still discharging through his body, Peter pulled off each of the hooks like they weren’t shit, then he slowly walked back to the police car and drove away.

Layla was holding a dying Donovan in her arms. There was no stopping the bleeding. As he was drawing his last breath, he grabbed me by the arm. “You were right, Jack,” he said.

“About what, Donovan?”

“There is an afterlife. I see it now.”

“Do you see Jesus?”

“I don’t see Jesus,” he explained, “but I do see Satan. Oh shit…”

Those were Donovan’s last words.

TO BE CONTINUED…