Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chapter 13 - Turtle Hicks

August 1948

Turtle Hicks was beyond pissed. His imbecile sister had found his white liquor and his nudie magazines. He’d hidden them in a hollow log that had washed down the creek back in the spring when the cove had flooded from snow melt and three days of rain.

A man needs some entertainment when he’s in the mood to git liquored up, Turtle fumed.

Mama had taken one look at the liquor and the books, and she knew they belonged to Turtle. “Them thangs is the devil’s work,” she’d said. “You gonna burn in hell.” She’d smashed the moonshine jar on the rocks, slung the sack of books over her shoulder, and marched back to the house. She hit the front door raisin’ hell.

Turtle thought, I hate that sanctimonious bitch. She don’t bust up Pa’s liquor. What right does that Bible thumpin’ bitch have destroyin’ my property?

Mama ranted, “God’s gonna git ye, Turtle, if’n ye don’t quit yer sinnin’ ways.”

“Shit,” he said as he stomped out of the house. He retreated to his drinkin’ spot and sat on his favorite rock overlooking the creek. It made him madder than hell to think about how his possessions had been ransacked. I ain’t got nothin’ to calm my nerves thanks to Mama and my retarded nasty ass sister. Why in the hell did I come back here?

It was pretty obvious why he had come back. Ma and Pa let him freeload. He’d run off to Knoxville when he was fourteen because they stayed on his butt all the time. He wanted some excitement, and he hated the God-forsaken hollers. He’d been in Knoxville for six weeks when he got into a brawl at the pool hall. Since Prohibition, you couldn’t buy liquor in there, but it could be had if you knew the right people, and Turtle’s crowd always knew the right people.

That fat boy shouldn’t a run his mouth at me, Turtle thought. When I sliced his big ole lily white belly, that sombitch didn’t hardly bleed. Cottage-cheese-looking shit wuz a hangin’ outta his gut. Turtle laughed out loud thinking about the look on the fat boy’s face. You’d a thunk I sliced his pecker off. That’s what I should a done. I should a sliced his little pudgy-boy pecker off. I spent a year and a half in prison. Slicin’ off his pecker might a made it worthwhile. Yeah, that’s what I should a done.

Speakin’ of peckers, he thought, my favorite girlie books had cum stains. He lay back on the old log and pulled out his manhood. I stroke it like I’m in love with it…which I am…ain’t all men? He chuckled to himself as he pictured a favorite model in his mind. She had a fanger in her mouth and another in her coochie. He stroked faster, and then he relaxed.

Rachael’s got shit for brains. I used to like her until she got to stankin’ so bad. She got that “issue of blood” like that woman in the Bible. That woman had demons and Jesus thowed ‘um out and slung ‘um into some pigs. Mama says Rachael‘s got a demon like that. Turtle got a hollow-eyed grin on his face. I’ll warsh her nasty ass off in the crick, and I’ll show that stupid bitch sister what happens when ye mess with Turtle Hicks.

Turtle had another little sister named Ruth. She was ten years old. He’d tried to mess with her, but Ruth had told him that she’d tell Mama if he didn’t leave her alone. He smacked her around thinking he could scare her into being quiet, but she just screamed louder that she “wuz gonna tell Mama.” It was easier to leave her alone.

Ruth was in fourth grade at Rooster Cove School. Ruth’s teacher, Mrs. Hamilton, had asked the class to draw pictures of their family. Ruth had drawn a picture of her house. In front of the house stood Mama, Pa, Grandma, and six brothers and sisters. Five of the children stood with their parents, but one of the girls was off to herself. That sister was standing on a red splash of color with red dots leading up to her crotch. When Mrs. Hamilton asked about it, Ruth said, “That’s Rachel. She’s retarded. She’s got a issue a blood like the woman in the Bible.”

Her teacher asked, “But why is she over by herself?”

Ruth said, “Because she stinks, and nobody wants to be close to her.”

The more Mrs. Hamilton questioned, the more horrified she became with the story of Rachel. It seemed that Rachel slept on the back porch with the dogs when the weather was warm. She was allowed to sleep in the house by the back door when it was cold. She was never allowed to eat with the family because she smeared food on herself and anybody near her. She could talk, but she sounded like a six-year-old.

Ruth said, “Turtle’s messin’ with her. He told me so.”

“What on earth do you mean, Ruth?”

“Turtle tried to touch me on my private parts, but I told him I’d tell Ma and Pa if he did it.”

“That was a good thing to say. You’re a smart girl, Ruth,” her teacher said.

“That’s when he told me he messes with Rachael,” Ruth said. “Turtle says she likes it.”

“Dear God, child! Do your parents know what he’s doing to her?”

“It’s doubtful,” Ruth said.

“How old is Rachael?”

Ruth said, “Fourteen.”

“And how old is Turtle?” Mrs. Hamilton asked.

“Eighteen,” Ruth responded.

Mrs. Hamilton decided that after school she’d call on Ma Patsy and tell her what Ruth had told her. If Rooster Cove had a “village elder,” it was Ma Patsy. Whether it was a sick baby or a wife beater, all information flowed past Ma Patsy. If she didn’t know what to do, she knew someone who did.

Turtle sat brooding. He passed his time thinking of ways he could punish Rachel for the fact that all his stuff was gone. He watched her on the porch with disgust. She was curled up in a ball with one arm over a hound. She’s so nasty with crusty blood. She stanks worsen the dogs, he thought. I wudden touch ‘er if I wutten aimin’ to teach her a lesson.

Turtle clicked his tongue at the dogs. He didn’t want to startle them and set them to barking at him. He used one swift motion to pick up his sister. He slammed his hand over her mouth and grabbed her around the waist at the same time. Piece a cake, he thought. Rachael struggled, kicking her legs and trying to pull his hand off her mouth. She clamped her teeth down on his palm. He shoved her ear to his mouth and bit down on it. “If you bite my hand, stupid, I’ll bite ya damned ear off.”

When he got out of earshot, he took his hand off her mouth and grabbed a fistful of matted hair. Rachael knew she’d lost, so she quit struggling. He dropped her in the creek and said, “Warsh your nasty ass.”

She rubbed the caked blood off her legs with creek water. She flapped her gown tail to rinse it out. A crimson streak in the water flowed away from her.

A limb snapped behind Turtle. He turned around thinking Pa must have heard him take Rachel, but he didn’t see Pa. Rachel heard it too. She searched the woods with wide-eyed panic. That worried Turtle. Rachael knew the woods critters better than he did. And if it scared her, there was a reason.

As Rachel climbed out of the creek, Turtle grabbed her. If it’s a mountain lion or a bear, I’ll give her to it, so I can git away. It will serve her right. She was staring into the woods. She sees something, he thought. She’s standin’ still as a telephone pole. Turtle moved behind her and pulled her arms back so he could use her as a shield.

“Whatcha see, Rachael?” he whispered.

She didn’t move or speak. Like a wild animal, she stood frozen in the face her predator.

Turtle felt Rachael trembling. They were both sweating, and the stench rose off her like a greasy fog. Turtle didn’t want this to be his last experience on earth. Then he saw it move! He froze. Running was out of the question. The creature would be on him in a split second. He wanted to make sure it got Rachel and not him.

In the moonlight the beast lurked in the bushes with the glow-in-the-dark eyes of a predator. Oh God, what’s it waitin’ on? His mind was crazy with fear. Come on, show yourself. Sombitch is playing with me, he thought.

With eyes riveted on the thing in the woods, Turtle thought, Oh God! Don’t let me pee and give it my scent. Hit must be ten feet tall! Turtle was shaking so bad that he was about to puke. He pulled Rachael’s arms back tighter and closer to him. What is that thang? It’s gotta be some kind a demon. It’s got horns, and it’s pawin’ the dirt like a bull!

The beast moved out of the woods. Oh my God! It’s got a head and a body like a man with huge muscles. And…and…it’s got a hard on! That’s the biggest cock I ever seen! Turtle inched backwards holding Rachael in front of him. Holy shit! The thang’s got the legs of a goat! They got a quare shape and meaty thighs covered with fur and little ankles with split hoofs.

The beast moved closer to Turtle and Rachael.

“S…Sir, I…I brought you a present here,” Turtle was trembling when shoved Rachel out at arm’s length. He didn’t let her go. He needed to make sure that this beast knew she was a gift from him. Maybe he’d take mercy on him since he’d brought him a present.

Rachel tried to squirm loose, but she couldn’t get away from Turtle. She squealed.

“See, she squeals. She’s a female you can mate with.” Turtle showed his merchandise. “I…I want you to know how much I respect you, sir. I know you can make use of this here girl. You can show her what a real man feels like,” Turtle said.

“SHUT UP!” the beast bellowed.

“Yessir,” Turtle said as he buried his head in his shoulders…true to his nickname.

Pee mixed with blood ran down Rachael’s legs.

The goat man moved across the clearing. He walked with jerky movements on his cloven hoofs. His erect penis swayed as his powerful thighs moved. His arrogant face sneered at the two cowering children. Large pointed ears pushed through his long bushy hair. His eyebrows looked like diagonal exclamation points over his leathery nose. He put his head down and snorted like a bull ready to charge. Puffs of smoke came out of his nostrils. Black holes took the place of eyeballs. The fires of hell were visible in them. Flames writhed and spit out embers that dropped to the ground and smoked in the dry grass.

The beast’s Herculean muscles glistened in the moonlight. They rippled when he reached for Rachael. She whimpered as he snatched her up. The goat-man held her under one arm and carried her into the woods.

Turtle took several sidesteps making sure that the beast didn’t turn around, and then he took off for home as fast he his legs could carry him.

Above the beast’s fur covered buttocks, a short tail twitched with excitement. Climbing the cliffs, his goat feet allowed sure-footed purchase. Dangling over his arm, Rachael put her hands on his thighs and pushed herself up so she could see where he was taking her. His wiry goat hair gave her something to hold on to as he climbed higher and higher to his lair. The valley below them was hidden in the steel-blue fog of the Smokies.

Turtle didn’t slow down until he got back to the house. He tiptoed into the bedroom he shared with his two brothers. He dropped down on his bed panting in the darkness. His heart pounded in his ears. Serves her right, he said to himself. In his mind he could see his sister hanging limp over the arm of the goat-man. She orta fought him, Turtle thought. A creature like that would like a woman to fight him. As he lay in bed, his sick mind explored the possibilities of Rachael’s fate. Thinking about it gave him a hard-on. He masturbated while he fantasized about the beast taking his sister as she struggled.

Copyright © 2008 by Robbin Renee Bridges
Coping with Grief through Afterlife Communication

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