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Picture Post #49: Paintings – Part Three

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February 21, 2012 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Fifty-One)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay



Chapter Fifty One: Suspiciously Like a Happy Ending.


            I’m sitting at my desk right now, finalizing this little treatise as four beautiful women wait out by Debbie’s desk. They expect that I’m going to either point at one or two of them or say everyone come on, or maybe just reject all of them and head for the hills. Something. I want to do something, I just don’t know what. So I’m staling by editing and reading over this nice long document, acting like I want to see what everyone has to say and how before I say anything. This was the only suggestion left to me, the Dracula method, where we all donate some journal notes to build up one coherent story.


            Two problems with that are of course that we’ve got dangling questions at the end. How can we have the end of a story if we don’t have all the answers? I’m fairly worried about this, and it should help me stall for a good twenty minutes.


            I never did find out why Jill was so important to Red King. I guess though, since I put my Marley in his mouth and shot what brains he had all over the Piper lawn it doesn’t really matter. It no longer matters what was going through his mind, since the last thing to go through his head was a Simon and Weschler Thirty-Eight Special round. So fuck it, I never find out why they wanted her, they’re smashed and all arrested so it doesn’t matter. I managed to top my former single night kill total by one. This, despite not hitting a single one of King’s henchmen. If Alice hadn’t been there shooting with those Rutthowers, I’d probably been blown to pieces. Still though, I got King and that made eight. I’m not going to have my keychain changed. The Seven with One Blow event was something to be remembered so that I can avoid doing that again later. I would rather not remember the night of the great Piper house fire at all if that’s okay.


            The second problem is that they still don’t know who Alice’s mole is, so they could still be in place and handing information out. Alice was informed though that mole hunts go on for months and sometimes years, which is a very comforting thought really. Whatever rat fuck bastard is in there doing this has lots of other opportunities to get her killed. So that’s nice.


            That’s not why we’re here though, and of course I know it. We’re here so I can work out what the hell I’m going to do when I open the inner door and look at the four of them gathered around Debbie’s desk. That might be my biggest problem, besides the money of course, but money will always be a problem. The thing is, even though there are four women, they represent more than four problems.


            You see, if I stay with Debbie and only Debbie then everything becomes a very delicate dance. First, I know what will happen to our relationship. We’ll end up playing at the office, she’ll wear collar and cuffs to work and deliver the mail crawling on the floor with the envelopes in her mouth. It sounds sexy, but it causes comment if she does it while I’m talking to clients. There is also the issue that if I’m only with her, she’s not only with me. She’s with Karen even if I’m not, and that will cause complications as well. It won’t cause many, since I don’t think I’ve ever had a relationship where I was the only man the girl was with. Cuckolding seems to be a specialty of mine. Still though, I love her.


            So what if I go for Alice and only Alice? Well, then I’d have to move to D.C. to be with her, which will mean I’ve got to leave Debbie, and that idea does not appeal to me. It also means I’ll have to adjust to the idea that she’d be mine and mine alone. That would just be plain weird because I’ve never been there before. It also seems sort of restrictive on her. She’s admitted to wanting to try a group thing, and here I’d be saying that we should be one and one. Still though, I love her.


            I think I can only cross being with Karen off the list right here and now. That won’t work. She’s got too much going on to give that kind of attention to me, I’d be a drain. Alright, that’s not really it. The real reason is that while there has been a recent warming between us, there is still and immense gulf of icy water between us. It’s going to take more than a reunion and a kidnapping to get us anywhere near back to where we should be. I think I love her, but I’ll need a lot more research into the question to decide.


            So, Jill? Okay, time for honesty. She’s great to be with in the bed room, she’s good to have on your arm, and she’s very smart and engaging. While her taste in music leaves something to be desired and she was born when I was in high school, she’s a wonderful girl with a sharp mind and a quick tongue. And she adores me, thinks I hung the moon and everything. She’s exactly the kind of girl young men fantasize about meeting someday. Well, I fantasized about meeting that sort. I could marry her, and we could get a terrier and start drinking a lot. The problem is, her adoration could turn sour and become something very nasty indeed. When a girl idolizes you, and you fail to live up to the image, then disappointment becomes contempt. There is also something not quite right with her, something is wrong there. All that might be excused if it weren’t for the last problem with her. I don’t love her. I like her a lot, but I don’t actually love her.


            So then, what if I decide to keep that being with them all won’t be a problem? Does Alice move? Do we move? Do we live separately and only see each other when we can get away? Debbie won’t want to move away from Karen, Karen won’t leave her husband and wife, Alice isn’t going to want to leave her job, Jill isn’t established and can go anywhere, but we have other problems there. I don’t want to make anyone have to leave the place where they’re comfortable and happy, but I also don’t want to only see someone every four weeks or so. If I’m going to do this, I want people accessible. If I decide I want a three way, I should only have to snap my fingers outside of their hearing and then go and try to gather up lovers for the event, wooing them with suavity and not letting them know I snapped for them.


            Which of course starts another problem. It’s not just the sex, there is something very comfortable knowing that everyone feels the same about everyone else. It’s nice knowing that the three of you (for an example) each love the other two as much as the other two love you and each other. You don’t have to avoid a subject if everyone loves everyone else. I know Alice and Debbie have been talking. I know they’ve been bonding behind my back. Jill and Debbie have been going out to get things for Jill’s apartment, taking Karen with them. I’m not sure if anything besides curtain rods have passed between them, but I know Alice isn’t terribly fond of Jill and she’s very wary about Karen. So no matter which combination I go with, I wouldn’t really have a circle of amour.


            We also have the issue of the money, but I talked about it before so I don’t need to rehash it here. The more of it though is that that I’m responsible for other people now. A lot of people. It was bad enough when I had just had to make sure to get enough money so Debbie wouldn’t be kicked out onto the street, now we’ve got payroll to meet. We’ve got the money to meet it, but that’s not much of a comfort if you’re always worried about having to end up living at Grandma’s again at any moment. You can tell me we’ve got millions, and my paranoid brain will just rocket back to the year Dad sold the Datsun because two cars was just too much of an expense. It’s easier to just actually be living hand to mouth rather than worrying about it.


            That’s academic though because Debbie takes care of the books and runs the business now. She can manage if I just stay out of her way and let her get on with things. It won’t stop me worrying, because nothing ever will, but it means that I can’t really do anything about it one way or the other.


            Those are more or less the main issues. The fact that I’ve entered the news cycle once again isn’t that big a deal, I’ll pass through it like I did last time. They’re already bored with me, I can tell. Someone will make a five minute documentary spot about the event in three years for a cable channel and that will be the end of it. The fact that I’ve become a person of interest to the government is a little annoying, but my girlfriend is in the government, so I should be okay there.


            So the question is what the hell do I do now? How do I manage to do this and not hurt anyone else? How do I give everyone what they want? Can I even do it? Should I just follow Debbie’s hint and go to Chicago to give Cindy Eller a try? No, probably not that. There should be at least one girl I haven’t nailed running around, give me something to look forward to. So what do I do? I suppose I could shoot my way out, if I really tried, but I might hurt one of them and that idea is repugnant to me. I could knock my desk over, use it as a shield, maybe tell them that they’ll have to come in and get me. Scream that they’ll never take me alive. Maybe I could push it up against the door, figure out a way to smash out the window and scale down the side of the building.


            I’m going to have to think of something. I’ve got the bathroom in here, so there’s water, but I’ve only got half a bag of candy in my desk for food. I won’t be able to hold out and I know it.


            Here is a question though, and I want you to really think about. Why can’t I just be with all four of them? Okay, Jill might get tired of me, or I might get tired of her, but with a little persuasion I think I can get her to go to college like she had planned before all of this. She can come home during breaks and that would give us time to decide what we want to do. I have affection for her beyond just the physical, it could grow into real and genuine love.


            Karen and I might have some coolness right now, but there is also some warmth. She lives with Pete and Angela in Ypsi anyway, so there would be just enough distance to make traveling seem a hassle on days we didn’t want to see each other but not far enough that going would be that big a deal when we did want to. She’ll be around to see Debbie anyway, and that’s probably a bridge that’s worth rebuilding.


            Alice can fly in on weekends, or I can go to her. Debbie and I can go to her, if my suspicion about what’s going on there is correct. Maybe we can open an office in D.C. and move out there. Maybe she would decide that private investigation involves less bullshit from leering old men in suits who want to protect their meager positions. Maybe a lot of things could happen and it will all turn out alright.


            Debbie and I could go on in the office like we have been, but better. I have no idea really how she’d feel about a revolving door of extra girls, but if the giggling I’m hearing out there is any indication the four of them at least get along pretty well. You could do a lot worse. Believe me, I have. It could all work out for the best.


            Maybe that’s my other big problem here. This is all looking suspiciously like a happy ending. At least, I assume that’s what’s going on, I’ve never actually seen one up close before. I’ve heard about them, but I’ve never been party to one first hand. I’ve only been told in vague terms what they’re like. The hero wins, which I seem to have done, he gets the girl, more than have getting the girl covered, and he rides off in the sunset.


            I’d have to get out of the office to ride into the sunset, and that would require passing though the outer office, and those four are in there and I haven’t got the slightest idea what to do about them. I can hear them though… giggling about me. I’m going to have to man up, going to have to go out there and tell them what I think. But not just yet, I’ve got to work this out first, figure out what I’m doing.


            They just all cackled together, at once. And then Jill said “Hard!” and they started giggling again. I can still hear them giggling.


            Debbie just stood up, I know the sound of her shoes on the wood floor. Today she’s wearing my favorite outfit, and the shoes she knows I like best. Those shoes have a sound, unlike any other pair of shoes in the world. I’d know the sound of those shoes even if I’d just woken up from a three year long coma.


            She’s coming to the door. I can see the line of her shadow just under the crack of the door. Hand on the knob now, but as Jill just said something she’s saying something back. More giggling. Giggling! Not laughing, but giggling. The female giggle is perhaps the worst sound a man can hear, we know it means the ovaried one are conspiring against us. It starts when they we’re kids, the giggle when they see a good-looking one and they talk about him. Then they giggle when they’re teenagers because they’re going to do something to him. Later, in their adulthood, they giggle about the things they did to him.


            They giggle, they talk, and then they come and get us. If I had any male friends I wouldn’t dare tell them about my troubles because I’d only get shit for bitching about having four girls. Other men wouldn’t understand, other women would be in on the conspiracy, I am very much alone on this one. Still haven’t got an answer to the questions either.


            The talking has ended, and the knob is turning. I’m going to have to think of something because the door is opening…


February 21, 2012 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Star Wars 3D

Last week, Syd and I saw Sam and Max Star Wars – Episode One: The Phantom Hourglass Menace in 3D!

So here’s the thing…

The 3d looked nice, probably the best post converted 3D you’re going to see, but it added very little to the whole thing. That was my feeling anyway.

BUT… Okay here’s the thing.

We got the Star Wars saga on Bluray for VEWPRF. I asked for it because while I wanted it, I didn’t want it to be my fault that we owned it.

Syd and I watched Ep 1 and came to the conclusion that the movie just does not hold up. It’s too slow, the dialogue sucks, it was easy to fall into MSTing the movie. Jar Jar is annoying (but less so than the waves of fanboys who bitched about him for 10 fucking years solid) and I still expect to have a Jam Handy movie break out when Anakin asked “I’ve been wondering, what are midichlorians?”

So we’ve got that right?

Only… so… like… the movie WORKED for me this time. It worked in a way that it didn’t work the first time I saw it.

Maybe it was the years of getting used to it, maybe it was the 3D, maybe it was the big screen, maybe it was being sat between 30-40something losers on my right and 8-12 year olds on my left and preferring the latter group’s reaction, but I was able to leave all the BS behind and just enjoy the movie. For a movie that is so clearly crap, that’s a big accomplishment. Maybe the 3D played a bigger roll that anyone wants to admit. I don’t know, I just know that at the end I turned to Syd, much like I had three weeks earlier and said “It works a lot better on the big screen than it does in our living room.”

So yeah, I enjoyed it. The kids sitting next to us, who might have been seeing it for the first time, they enjoyed it. I have no idea if the geeks on the right enjoyed it, I sort of blocked them out because of their constant whining that this one doesn’t have Portman’s nipples erect against her white shirt.

I liked it, and now I have to wait a year to watch Ep 2 The Wrath of Khan in 3D.

February 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Picture Post #48: Paintings – Part Two

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February 19, 2012 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

Picture Post #47: Paintings – Part One

I photographed my paintings the other day…


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February 14, 2012 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Fifty)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay


Chapter Fifty: The Problem with the Check


            I flew back to California on my own and only for the day. Alice is coming up this weekend, and I sort of know what that’s going to lead to. That doesn’t matter though, I’ll deal with that later. Right now I’m going to deal with this side trip, which will possibly allow you to understand one or two things. The thing is that I’m not sure anyone really understands the problem I have with the money.


            I know Debbie doesn’t get it, I know Alice doesn’t get it, I know Jill doesn’t get it. Karen gets it, and for that I’m grateful, but Karen gets exasperated with me for complaining about it. It’s not just that everyone I’ve known who was rich was a shit, it’s that a lot of people who didn’t use to have money who got it later are the worst of them all. All the rich people I’ve wanted to shoot have all been the kind who gained fortunes. People who are born into it are annoying, but the people who gained it later are worse. They’re worse than the people who were born into it because the formerly poor have both a chip on their shoulder about having to have once been a pleb and no training in how to be a rich person. At least those born into it can actually pull off haughty, instead of trying to affect it in an attempt not to show that they’re still the scared little looser they were when they were poor.


            The always rich just sort of toss their money around indiscriminately. They’ve always had someone to take care of things, whatever it is, so they think they can just toss a wad of bills and that’ll make everything all better. Once they pay for something they stop thinking about it, and then they get back to stealing every penny they can get because that’s how rich people stay rich. The poor become utter bastards because they’ve always been aware that money can buy power, but they never understand that there’s more to it than money. As a result, the people who pretend they earned money by stealing other people’s ideas, claiming credit for other people’s work and committing outright fraud that gets people killed are the sort you should just shoot on sight.


            You see where I’m going with this? Give me money and I could become one of those fuckers. We lived in a trailer for five years after Dad got out of the army. A fucking single wide trailer! So I’ve been poor. Not really hungry, we always had food. Not ever barefoot, we always had shoes. Never on assistance, but we got close a couple of times. I heard a quite and desperate conversation one day because my sister was using one of the bathrooms and I had to use the one next to my parent’s room. When I got to the door of the bathroom, which was kitty corner to the door of my parent’s room, I heard a conversation that has haunted me my whole life.


            People in movies argue loudly about money, they shout and yell and scream at each other. Real life, at least my real life, ain’t like that. My parents were standing next to their bed, muttering to each other. They were using soft voices so that my sister and I wouldn’t know about the problem. Dad was telling mom that they’d have to get rid of one of the cars. He said his Datsun was too expensive to keep fixing, paying for the insurance and all the other little things. Mom didn’t like the idea, but the fact evidently was that something had to go. So dad sold his blue Datsun and they shared the other car. We lived in a situation that almost no one I know can even begin to understand. No, Karen understands, but there are other issues there as I said.


            When I was young and beautiful, people wanted me around. People with money think their money can buy anything. 


            Now, I’m the semi-sorta-owner of a business that this year has made something in the tune of twenty million dollars if you total up all the stock in Piper Foods along with the cash and bonds. And what was the first thing we did when we found out how rich we were? We decided to throw money at Dale’s family. I still flew out there to give Dale’s boyfriend the check myself, but I can’t help but feel like I was just trying to buy my way out of the guilt.


            I got to the San Francisco office and got Shiri to take me to what had been Dale and Adam’s place, but was now just Adam’s alone. She introduced us and then more or less faded back when I came in to talk to him. He had a decent place, Ikea couch and chairs, probably the glass coffee table that separated us was from there too. I didn’t recognize it though, glass coffee tables are a tad ubiquitous looking even if they aren’t as common as they used to be.


            “How are you holding up?” I asked him as I sat down.


            “I’m holding.” He said, running his fingers through his fawn colored hair. “I got a check from an insurance company. They said something about the agency having a policy on him.”


            “Yeah.” I said. “About that.”


            “What about it?” He asked. “Is there a mistake?”


            “Sort of.”


            “I spent the money already.” He said, looking panicked and a little angry.


            “That’s not the problem.” I said pulling the envelope out of my pocket and looking at it. “I’ve got another check that our client sort of requested we give you, but I want to talk to you about it before I give it to you.”


            “What about?”


            “I want you to understand something.” I held up the envelope. “I don’t mind giving you the check, but I don’t approve of it.”


            “Why?” He looked like he wanted to get offended, but his eyes went to Shiri and I saw her make a motion out of the corner of my eye.


            “Because it wasn’t my idea of how you do these things.” I said. “The boss lady, Debbie, her dad made a good living. They were never millionaires, but she’s always had money. The client, Jill Piper, her folks were millionaires. She’s never known a world without money. I never had two nickels of my very own to rub together until I was in my mid-twenties.”


            “We were behind on this place.” Adam said. “They were going to foreclose. The money from… I used Dale’s money to pay off the mortgage.”


            “So you not only have never had two nickels, you still don’t.” I said.


            “I used to.” He said. “My parents just didn’t want anything to do with a gay son, so I was disowned. They thought if they took away the trust fund I’d de-gay myself.”


            “Ah.” I said looking at the envelope. “So you know about people with money.”


            “I know about people with money.” He nodded.


            “I want to you know about a few things.” I said. “You know the guy who killed Dale escaped.”


            “Yes.” He nodded.


            “You know he got all the way to Michigan and was killed?”


            “Yes.” He nodded.


            “Do you know how he died?”


            “The man who killed Dale?”






            “Suffice to say I, ah, immolated the mother fucker.”


            “Immolated?” He asked. “As in burned?”


            “Yes.” I said. “That’s how someone on my level, my pay grade if you will, deals with an issue. I see something wrong and I do something about it. What he did to Dale was wrong, so I took corrective action and he understands his error now and won’t ever be doing anything like that again. That’s what you do at my level, you deal with the issue.”


            “And the boss and client?”


            “People at their pay grade just try to throw money at a problem and hope it goes away.”


            “Yes.” He nodded. “They do.”


            “Well I don’t.” I tapped the envelope in my hand with the index finger. “I’m not saying you don’t deserve this. What I’m saying is I know you can’t just go down to the pet shop and pick out a new guy like some kind of puppy.”


            I set the check down and slid it across the glass coffee table toward him. He picked it up and opened the envelope, having a look at the check. He then looked at the check again and raised his eye brows. He looked at me, holding the check up to show me the amount.


            “Is this right?”


            “Yes.” I nodded. “Which is why the whole thing bothers me. No matter how much I’m trying to tell you that I’m not trying to buy my way out of the guilt, the numbers on that check call me a liar.”


            “That’s what you think?”


            “I do.” I told him. “No matter what I do, did or even what I say, that check says that I don’t think you’ll really understand unless I try to pay you off.”


            “I could give it back.” He said.


            “No.” I shook my head at that. “No, you deserve the money. Debbie’s paying off another two family members who were killed in Chicago.”


            “You say paying off?” He asked.


            “I doubt she’s having anything like this conversation with them.” I said. “Nothing like a talk on this level.”


            “A ground level talk.” He suggested. “A talk at our paygrade.”


            “Yeah.” I agreed.


            “I know that you don’t expect that an amount of money will make it all better.” He said. “I appreciate that Dale’s killer was taken care of. And you’re right, knowing that is better than the money, but the money will help with things.”


            “Okay.” I said standing.


            “Thanks for coming.” He said.


            “No problem.” I said.


            “You did okay.” Shiri said as we drove back to the office.


            “You doing okay with this?” I asked.


            “I’m coping.” She said.


            “I’ve got a smaller check in my pocket.” I told her. “I’m supposed to tell you that it’s for meritorious service, but it’s also a payoff. Debbie’s pretty unhappy about all you went through and she thinks that giving you a chunk of change will take her guilt away.”


            “Will it?” She asked.


            “Probably.” I said. “She probably will think that she’s done all she can and that you’ll appreciate an extra hundred grand in your pocket.”


            “I will.” She said. “And you shouldn’t be so hard on her.”


            “Why not?”


            “It does help, you know.” She said. “I’ll feel a hell of a lot better with, what seventy K after taxes?”


            “She took taxes into account, you’ll take home a hundred.”


            “Pretty bitchin’ then.” She announced. “I can deal with that. Not everyone looks at things like you do. I work for her. I am in this for the money and I didn’t die, so I’ll take the bonus.”


            “Yeah.” I said. “I’m probably just paranoid.”


            “Probably.” She said. “When you go back, are you sticking with Debbie or that federal agent?”


            “I’m supposed to be announcing the answer to that very question.” I said. “And if you want the truth there is also the teenage millionaire we saved, and a shrink in the running. And just to complicate matters, I’ve been told I can choose up to five of those four women on offer.”


            “I see.” She said. “So they’re even willing to allow you an unknown late runner?”


            “Yeah.” I said.


            “So what are you going to choose Jack?” She asked. “Which one and what amount? One, two, three, all? Who?”


            “Yeah.” I said, to say something. “That’s the sort of questions they’re asking.”

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Project Watch ‘Em All – Day Three

I finished The Last Swordship yesterday, but it was a struggle. Hard to read subtitles and a story that was cliche as hell. I guessed who the mystery baddie was the first time I saw them on screen.

So today, before I leave for work, I’m watching the Hammer version of The Mummy. So far, it’s much better.

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Project Watch ‘Em All – Day Two

Today I watch The Lost Sword Ship.

I’m hoping the 93 minutes fil;m goes faster than Spartacus did. I’d sort of forgotten that Spartacus ends about 30 minutes before the movie stops running. Epics are always a problem though, and one day, when I get back to writing reviews, I’ll explain why.

For now, I’ll watch this thing.

I can already tell you, it’s gonna be tough. Burned in subtitles and it looks like the edges have been cut off, loosing words on each side.

February 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Project Watch ‘Em All – Day One

I have a lot of DVDS that I haven’t watched. I have decided it’s time to do something about that. I’ll watch at least one disc a day, until I’ve got them all watched. More or less, I may skip special features and I’ll stop watching if a movie or show sucks. I’ll also skip stuff of Syd’s that I have no interest in.

I’m going to start with The Criterion Collection DVD of Spartacus that I got like, a year and a half ago.

I don’t know why I’ve never watched it, I just haven’t. I’ll let you know how it goes.

February 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty-Nine)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay



Chapter Forty-Nine: She Gave Her Angels


She gave her angels, that summer night



            You ever have one of those days where you find you suddenly understand a character in a book? I mean a character that you previously didn’t empathize with, but then something happens to you and you find that you’re suddenly sitting there thinking that this must be exactly how The Badger must have felt when Toad stole that stupid motor car or whatever.


            I found, as I opened the inner door that separated his office from mine that Jack made me understand a character. I understood Trillian in a way I never had before. In Life the Universe and Everything, she keeps trying to engage Zaphod, but he keeps being aloof and depressed. Eventually she walks out on him and I remember being sort of exasperated and I may have even shouted ‘Finally!’ when she just teleported herself the hell out of his life. I couldn’t understand standing by while the guy just let his depression eat him up. And there I was, watching my own version of Zaphod Beeblebrox sitting morose in the center of his greatest success and I wasn’t getting the hell out of there either. Oh Trillian, I misjudged you.


            He was sitting at his desk, sunk low in his chair, which is never a good sign. He had that look on his face, like he was trying to bend a spoon in Hyde Park using the power of his mind. I’m not sure he’d left the day before, since he was wearing the same shirt that he’d had on the night before and was there when I’d gotten there. He looked like he wanted to bite something, and there I was, thinking of putting my head in his mouth.


            “Can I ask you something?” I asked as I entered his office.


            “What?” He asked, sharply but not angrily.


            “Why does the money bother you so much?”


            “You really want to know?” He sat up straight and half leaned across his desk.


            “Yes.” I said. “Why does it do this to you?”


            “People with money are fuckers.” He said.




            “Everyone I’ve ever known, who had anything like money, was a complete and total shit.” He almost snarled as he spoke. “They think their money will buy anything, they think they don’t have to be decent human beings, and most of them are so stupid that you actually feel yourself getting dumber by talking to them.”


            “You never had a problem with Liberty.” I said, putting my hands on my hips and tilting my head at him.


            “Yes, I did.” He said, leaning his head forward and glaring at me. “Liberty is beautiful, and clever, and selfish. She knows how to get things, giving away whatever seems like it’ll cause her the least trouble. She bought me and sold me when I was a kid. Then, years later, when she needed something again she came and decided to buy me again. You think that car was a thank you? It was a payoff. It was just a more complicated one than a check.”


            “So why did you…?” I started, but how do you ask that question?


            “Because she fucks like a wild minx.” He said, more bluntly than I wanted to hear really. “Men are not smart, or deep, or spiritual. When you women do your little tricks that excite us, we loose precious brain blood and can’t do no good thinkin’ ‘bout things. We get the idea of hot monkey sex in our heads and our tiny little brains refuse to process anything not connected to the acquisition of that sex.”


            “And she has money.” I said. “And people want to be around money.”


            “Maybe other people do.” He said. “I’m not smart to begin with, so making me stupid with the idea of sexual gratification takes me down to a level of grunts and growls.”


            “What about Char?” I asked. “She’s not a shit is she?”


            “Char is sort of a shit when it comes to the money.” He said. “She uses money to get what she wants. She buys her way out of obligations, pays off people when they become tiresome. Char is okay, if you keep her at the right distance, but I wouldn’t want to be twenty-four and in her sights again.”


            “What about me then?” I asked, folding my arms across my chest, readying myself for the blow. “Am I a shit?”


            “You can be a little selfish sometimes.” He said, raising a palm. “You can be a bit spoiled once in a while.”


            “I see.” I’m not sure if I looked like I was about to burst into tears, but I felt like I was. “So I’m a shit too.”


            “You aren’t a shit.” He announced.


            “Just selfish and spoiled?” I asked.


            “Sit down.” He said pointing at the red leather chair.


            “I don’t feel like sitting.” I’m afraid something had come up from someplace and I was having a bit of a moment.


            “Sit down!” He stood up and shouted so loud that my legs ignored whatever orders my brain was giving about steadfastness and sank into the blue chair. I couldn’t get them to listen, but I could at least disobey a little.


            “I’m sitting now master.” I managed to snap at him, putting my feet flat, my knees together and my fists on the arm of the chair so I could avoid the classic position of supplication. “Do you want me to pant like a dog too?”


            He walked around the desk, and I was positive that he was going to hit me. I stuck my chin out, because I was going to be damned if I would flinch from his blow. I did close my eyes though, because I didn’t want to see it coming. If I could see it coming, I might flinch. He stood in front of me, and I could hear his breathing as he stood there. His breath came out twice, each time sounding like a bull’s snort.


            And then I felt the back of his hand.


            However, it was not a well deserved smack that I got. He stroked at my cheek with his knuckles, and then started wiping the tears from my eyes with his thumbs. He held my face in both his hands while he worked, and I could hear a sort of resigned sigh come from him. I felt horrible then, thinking like I had that he intended to beat me.


            “You are a little selfish sometimes.” He almost whispered the words to me. “You are a little spoiled once in a while. A little. Once in a while. These are flaws, but they’re your flaws and I love you for them. I am unreasonable and difficult to talk to because of my propensity towards sullen silences and my paranoid need to never tell anyone anything. These are flaws and they’re my flaws, but I can make you come so hard that you need to use your fingers to uncurl your toes so you forgive me for them.”


            “That’s not why…” I started to say, and then he did slap me.


            “Man is talking.” He didn’t slap hard, not excessive. It was the sort of open handed slap he’d learned to give as part of our play time, just like the phrase. I suppose if you don’t get that sort of play then there isn’t a good way to explain why it made me feel so good.


            “Sorry. I just sometimes think…” I was cut off when he gave me an almost identical slap across the other cheek.


            “When spoken to.” He told me and then leaned back.


            I know he’s not really comfortable with this, but he knows I like it. If I didn’t explain to him my need for correction, he would never even raise his voice, he never did in the past. He’s only started since we started again, after I told him about my college level discoveries.


            “Yes Jack.” I said, putting my hands in my lap like a good girl. “Sorry Jack. I deserve another one Jack.”


            “I’ll decide when you need hit.” He told me, which is just mean. Getting me started like that and then saying that was enough.


            “Yes Jack.” I tried not to sound disappointed, but I was just starting to enjoy that.


            “What the hell am I going to do with you?”


            “Put me over your knee and tan my hide, Jack?” I bit my lower lip and flashed my eyes at him. He likes that, it makes him open to suggestion. “Tie me to the bed post and flog me?”


            “While it would pass the time, that’s not exactly what I was referring to.” He said.


            “I know Jack.” I said.


            “You want me to answer that dangling question, don’t you?” He asked.


            “Not just me.” I said. “Jill and Alice deserve and answer to it, so does Karen for that matter. You should really have some kind of decision for them this weekend.”


            “You’ve been arranging things, haven’t you?”


            “Maybe.” I said, and felt an impish little smile crawling on my lips.


            “You have an opinion?” He folded his arms across his manly chest and glared at me.


            “I like Alice.” I said. “Jill is okay, but she’s got a lot of growing up to do. You know how I feel about Karen.”


            “That ain’t no kind of answer and you know it.” He said.


            “I can’t pick for you.” I said.


            “Do you think we could do it?” He asked. “Could you manage it?”


            “Can you?” I asked. “That’s really the important question.”


            “I asked you first.”


            “You know I can.” I said. “Now, can you?”


            “I’m still thinking about it.” He said. “When have you arranged for Alice to get here?”


            “She’ll get her Friday.” I told him. “Karen and Jill have cleared their schedules so we can all line up in front of you in silky lingerie, and try to entice you.”


            “I see.” He said. “You know what?”


            “What Jack?”


            “I’m going to take your suggestion.”


            “Which one Jack?” I asked, I couldn’t remember making one.


            “When we get home, I am going to tie you to the bed post and we’re going to see how bright of a red your ass can get.”


            “Are we Jack?”


            “Yes.” He said. “I think you’ve got it coming.”


            “Am I being punished or rewarded Jack?” I asked, leaning forward so he could look down my shirt.


            “Well, we’ll see how you feel about it after it happens.” He said.


            “You’re going to have to say something definite.” I told him.


            “Fine, you’re being punished.” He said.


            “Not just about that.”


            “Yeah.” He said sitting down in the red leather chair and taking my hand in his.


            “You really don’t have to choose between us you know.” I told him. “It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can pick everything and go with it.”


            “Maybe.” He said. “Maybe.”


            “You’re going to have to pick, why not just do it?” I asked.


            “Just do it?” He mused.


            “You can’t wait around forever,” I told him. “This requires action on your part.”


            “You’re right.” He said and seized his hand around my wrist. He yanked me across to him and with a pretty quick motion had me across his knee with my fanny aimed in the air. I cried again, my mascara ran a lot, but it was just from the pain of being spanked. He made good on his word when we got home too. That’s why I’ve got to type this while standing. That’s a good pain though, I like this pain. It makes it hard to sit, but it makes me happy in my heart.


            Assache I can handle, it’s heartache I can’t abide.


February 10, 2012 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment