Authors: William Bayer
Tags: #Suspense & Thrillers
Digital Edition published by Crossroad Press
Â© 2012 by William Bayer
Cover Design By: David Dodd
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"We know from our experiences in interpreting dreams that this sense of reality carries a particular significance . . . that is, that the dream relates to an occurrence that really took place and was not merely imagined."
SIGMUND FREUD, "THE CASE OF THE WOLFMAN"
s the boy approached the bathroom door, he heard voices coming from within. He was about to leave, seek out another bathroom, but then, when he detected a certain tone in the voices, a tone people use when they quarrel, he was drawn to stay and try to overhear.
A woman was speaking impatiently to a little girl. Her voice was difficult to make out; she had a strange accent, and the thick door muted some of her words. But he heard enough to understand that she wanted the child to go out with her and that the child was refusing to comply. The quarrel continued. As the woman's tone became more harsh, the little girl's resistance became more adamant.
Suddenly, he heard a quick sharp sound, followed immediately by a cry. He was appalled, frightened, fascinated too by the drama taking place within. The woman, he knew, had slapped the little girl. After that he heard the little girl's sobs interspersed with the voice of the woman trying to calm her, the soothing voice of an adult trying to calm a hysterical child.
Hearing movement behind the door, he backed away. Then, fearing he would be caught eavesdropping, he fled to another room and hid. A few moments later, he heard the woman and the girl pass by. The woman was speaking. "Come along now," she was saying, still impatient, "stop that whimpering. Hurry along or we'll be late." And although he could not see them, he imagined the woman impatiently pulling the little girl along by the hand.
Years later, when he grew up, he realized that though he had actually seen nothing, had only heard a few words and sounds, he had been a witness to a crime.
, he thought,
I was a witness
man and a woman are making love...
A hot August afternoon. A man and a woman are making love in a motel room. The humidity is high, the sheets damp. Venetian blinds cut the light, coating the glistening naked bodies of the lovers with stripes.
A fan spins on the dresser. A ribbon attached to its shield streams out. The room resounds with the noises of the lovers, their short, hard breaths and gasps. Outside the sounds of traffic and the faint din of the amusement park across the road.
The motel room is genericâdresser with TV set, queen-size bed, easy chair, worn beige rug. On the wall above the bed, a framed print of ice skaters, bundled in coats and scarves, gliding gracefully across a frozen pond before a steepled church.
On the wall parallel to the bed there's a large mirror in which the lovers occasionally glance at themselves as they move.
The man is lying on his back. The woman sits upon him. They move slowly, sensually, eyes locked, faint smiles upon their lips.
The woman is in her mid-thirties, the man younger, perhaps twenty-seven or twenty-eight. His hair is sandy, his lean body smooth. The woman's hair is dark and wavy. She is tall, tanned, with well-turned legs, the legs of an athlete, a tennis player.
Their wristwatches lie together beside the phone; their clothing is heaped upon the chair.
Afterwards they cling to one another, unwilling to break the seal of sweat. The man closes his eyes, dozes off while the woman turns to the mirror and stares at herself, seeking to discover whether their lovemaking has changed her appearance in any way.
The sky outside quickly darkens. Then a sudden summer shower. A bolt of lightning followed by a crack of thunder jars them from their reverie.
"That was close. Sounded like it hit the lake," the man mutters.
The woman's nervous. "It's getting dangerous now," she whispers. "I know he suspects. He's violent, too. At first I liked that about him. It made him interesting. My husband was just the opposite." She tightens her lips to show her contempt. "I'm afraid now of what he'll do when he finds out. And he will find out. I'm sure of it. Soon. Very soon, I think."
The man nods. He's heard this kind of talk before and doesn't know what to make of it. The woman lying beside him, this woman whom he adoresâshe's wealthy, divorced, free, can do whatever she likes. And if she's been involved with some kind of gangster, then, it seems to him, all she has to do is cut it off. He doesn't understand all this talk about "what he'll do when he finds out." But she seems to like talking about it. This "danger" she speaks ofâ it seems to make her hot.
Feeling her heat now, he kisses her, strokes her thighs, whispers: "Yes, I know. . . it's getting dangerous."
She responds with soft moans of pleasure.
Again they make love, this time even more slowly than before, with him quivering beneath, responding to her every subtle move.
They carry on like this for a long while. He loses track of time. The rain stops. The sky brightens. The strong afternoon light, entering the room through the blinds, again coats their bare bodies with stripes.
"Look! We're zebras!" he says, pointing at their image in the mirror.
She smiles. "Yes, love-making zebras," she whispers. "How do you like being humped by a zebra?" She touches one of the stripes on his neck. "Or would you rather be taken by a lioness?" She makes a catlike sound, then rakes her nails across his chest. She
her tongue. "Or a
puppy? You'd like that, wouldn't you? I know you would. I know how much you like being licked . . ."
He revels in her antics. He can't believe that this is happening to him, that he's with this extraordinary woman, that they meet like this, make love like this, that she, with her beauty and wealth and social position, seems truly to love him despite the fact he's just a schoolmaster, new in town and virtually penniless. And she
love him. He's certain of it. And still he can't believe it.
She bends to lie down upon him, then whispers directly into his ear. "I love it that we meet here. This slovenly place, so anonymous. Just think of all the couples who've shagged themselves to heaven in here. I love leaving here reeking of you. That's why I don't shower afterwards. I like driving off with the smell of you on me. Then back home, stripping off my clothes, sniffing your essence again before I shower. Then maybe going off to a cocktail party where my friends ask me what I'm up to these days, why the glow upon my face, why I no longer spend afternoons playing tennis at the club. Then back home, lying in bed, thinking of you again as I fall off to sleep. Your hands on my flanks. My head between your legs. Licking you. Tasting you. Feeling you grow hard and throb and come inside my mouth. . . ."
Just hearing her whisper dirty to him like this as she pumps herself against him spins him into a whirlpool of desire. He's on the edge of climax. He can barely restrain himself . . . and yet he does.
They stop moving, become still, close their eyes, then begin to move again, this time even more
slow. Together they enter a state of heightened bliss wherein even the slightest movement sends powerful currents of yearning through their bodies, waves of longing and lust.
Suddenly the door is thrust open. A cone of blinding light slashes across the room. They turn together, see a dark figure dressed in a black coat and fedora silhouetted in the doorway against the powerful blast of the summer sun.
A moment of utter stillness as the three of them freezeâman and woman naked on the bed, poised figure in the doorway devouring the couple with his eyes.
Time expands. The moment is prolonged. The woman, feeling danger, recoils. The man grasps hold of her in an effort to protect. The figure in the doorway, empowered by their fear, raises something dark and long from beneath his coat. Then the double detonation, the explosions as two quick, loud reports fill the room, then, after a moment, two more. The walls recoil at the shock as the lovers, their faultless young flesh suddenly penetrated by hundreds of tiny steel balls, are hurled back against the headboard of their bed.
Their bodies spasm without control. Dark ruby-red blood sprays like geysers from their wounds.
The echo fades. The lovers, bodies tangled, cease writhing and lie still. The figure in the doorway lowers his gun, sniffs at the room, which smells now of gunpowder, bowels, and blood. His eyes take in what he has wrought. For a moment they feast upon the carnage, illuminated as if by a spotlight by the rays of sunlight breaking through the door. There is, he recognizes, a terrible beauty before him, the beauty of young bodies freshly torn by death. After a moment, he pulls his hat down to his eyes, gathers his dark coat about his frame, turns, and leaves.
r so I imagine it happening...
I've been sketching this imagined motel room slaughter for several hours, dividing it into scenes, depicting it from various angles. Even now I'm sketching it while seated at the bar in Waldo's, working on the final close-up of the woman. I want to get her face just rightâthe questioning look in her eyes.
The bar's busy tonight, all the tables taken. Media people, print and network journalists, are gabbing away, exchanging rumors and gossip, as they have every night since the Foster trial began, which we have all come to town to cover.