“Now… I’m the predator… and you’re the prey… Hmph, I can dig that.”
Chapter 1: Free Bird
The winter sun was shining down through the windshield of the '72 Mustang. Windows down, the cool morning air was whipping around inside the car, making a beautiful mess of Sharon, April and Jessica's long hair. Jefferson Airplane's “White Rabbit” played from the radio. It was 1973 and The Rolling Stones were bigger than ever, just like muscle cars, long hair, bell-bottoms, drugs, sex, rock-n-roll and Ziggy Stardust.
It was Christmas break, and the three gal pals were on their way back home to Texas from New Mexico. They had met their freshman year at New Mexico State. Happy to meet fellow Texans so far away from home, they became thick as thieves on campus: going to parties, the occasional concert, and helping each other study. Even through all the old college bullshit like breakups with boyfriends. Now, it was their senior year, they were twenty-one and would be graduating, going off and living their lives. They knew this trip would likely be their last together. They weren’t going to waste it. It would have to be fun. They decided on that before they even left campus.
“Look, don’t turn this trip into a total bummer, April. It’s gonna be fun!" Sharon shouted.
"Don’t fret, mama. You’ll see,” Jessica reassured April, who was sitting on the floor of Sharon’s dorm room with a pouty look on her pretty face. They frequented Sharon's room most often, as if they were unconsciously drawn to it. Sharon thought it was funny how their friendship seemed to circle around her, the unofficial ring leader.
“I know, man. I just hate the fun to end, is all. You two are my Curly and Mo,” April said, looking up at Jessica as she reached for the skinny joint in between Jessica’s lips.
“Yeah, we’ll stop at a few bars on the way. It won’t be so bad. It’s gonna be the three of us like every year. No guys this year to think about. It’s like the first time ever we’re all single at the same time,” Sharon added as she sat on her bed, waiting patiently for the joint to get to her.
“Yeah, and we still have the rest of the year to hang out and live it up, baby, no worries,” Jessica said, lying on Sharon’s bed.
Now, two hours into their road trip, Sharon was at the wheel, looking out at the sun-kissed morning sky through her big sunglasses. It felt nice. Nothing but desert surrounded them, and the view was to die for. Jessica and April were snoozing away. Jessica didn’t mind. Sunrise was her favorite time to drive, especially with the windows down and the cool wind in her hair.
Just then, the song ended, and the DJ began to speak over the AM airwaves, “That was 'White Rabbit' by Jefferson Airplane. Real groovy tune, man. By the way, don’t forget if you stop at Buffalo Bill’s food mart, they’re gonna treat ya real nice. They got everything from . . .”
Sharon tuned out the DJ and focused on the gorgeous colors ahead in the sky. Purples, pinks, even a little orange. It was fucking legendary. Sharon wanted to wake the girls up, but instead, she decided to savor the moment for herself. It could be a happy place to return to when she needed to escape for a few moments in the future. During finals, deaths in the family, all those overwhelming times she knew were inevitable.
Chapter 2: Knock Three Times
“Okay, baby doll, your turn,” Sharon said to Jessica, turning the Mustang into a tiny gas station. They always stopped at this place, every trip. Once on the way home to Texas and once again on the way back. They were near the New Mexico-Texas border now.
Jessica looked toward the small tin building and smirked, “Yep, he’s still here, all right. Hey, April, your man is waitin’ for ya!” she taunted April. It wasn't funny to April, who began to get that nervous feeling she always got around him.
Every time they stopped, the same creepy old man sat out in front of the station with a rotten smile and large yellow eyes. He always had lots to say to the trio each year. Last year he commented on what beautiful girls they were turning out to be. The year before that, he asked if they had boyfriends. Yessir, ole Jim Bob sure was a character. He loved flirting with the girls — every girl, for that matter. He was on the border of offensive and adorable. You might say he was a lovable asshole. One thing was for sure. Once you met Jim Bob, you never forgot him.
“Whoo-whee! Well, Howdy. I see you’ve made it through another year intact,” Jim Bob shouted from his rocking chair.
Jim Bob stood strait up looking into the Mustang. “Got yer-self a new set of wheels, I see. Boy, she looks fast.”
“Do you mean April or the car, Jim Bob?” Jessica shouted as Sharon turned off the ignition.
“Shut up, Jess,” April scowled at her pal in the front passenger seat. April was growing very uneasy.
“Awe, you little dickens, you. I mean this here pussy magnet you ridin’ in. Say, what on earth would y'all be doin’ in such a manly car anyway?” Jim Bob asked.
“Sharon’s daddy bought it. It’s an early graduation present for little miss trust fund here.”
“Mmm-hmm, sure looking lovely as always. So, you want me to fill’er up?”
Jessica smiled and asked, “You mean April or the car?”
April quickly smacked Jessica on the back of the head and shouted, “I said fuckin’ quit it already!”
Jessica only laughed. Sharon smiled, turning back, “Hey baby, she’s just kiddin’. Don’t mind her. She’s gotta go to sleep sometime, right?”
“Hee hee, you girls are a hoot and a holler,” Jim Bob said as he strode toward the gas pump.
The girls got out of the car. Sharon announced to Jim Bob, “Hey we’re gonna use the bathroom real quick. We’ll settle up on the way out.”
“All right. Y’all know where it is,” he answered, giving them a good long stare as they walked toward the building.
“What a dirty ole man. You know he’s starin’ at our asses," Sharon said to April and Jessica.
Jessica looked back to see Jim Bob’s eyes fixed on their backsides. “Yep. He sure is.”
The girls giggled, pushing open the door to the dirty bathroom.
Inside, April turned to face them and said, “At least this is the last year we have to see him. I'm telling you, he gives me the fucking creeps. There’s just something not right about him.”
“April, he’s just a dirty ole man with little to look forward to except flirting with pretty girls that stop by once in a while,” Sharon said as she went into the last stall to pee.
“Hey," Jessica shouted, "I’m getting hungry. Let’s stop at the Ponderosa for breakfast. I’m buying.”
“Yeah, sounds like a plan,” Sharon said.
Jessica let out a loud fart that echoed throughout the ladies room. Everyone laughed. Even April.
“Ew! Fuckin’ fart-ass! I’m outta here!” Sharon said, laughing as she flushed the toilet.
“Dig that, sucka!” Jessica said clearing out the rest room.
Sharon and April waited outside the door. Sharon looked at April and asked, “You sure you don’t need to go? It’s another hour till we reach the Ponderosa.”
April crossed her arms and said, “Yeah, I’m cool. I don’t like this place. Never have. I can wait.”
“All right, mama. We’ll be gone soon,” Sharon replied, wrapping her arm around April.
Jessica came strutting out and slid her sunglasses on. “Elvis has left the building.”
They all laugh as April shook her head.
“Come on, little trouble maker," Sharon said to Jessica. "Let’s hit the road. Remember, it’s your turn to drive.”
Approaching the Mustang, they noticed Jim Bob was nowhere in sight.
They looked around, Sharon calling out, “Jim Bob? Hello? We're ready to settle up for the gas!”
No answer, just the whine of insects in the desert heat.
Jessica called out sarcastically, “Hey, Jim Bob, stop playin’ with yourself and get out here!”
April backhanded her on the upper arm, exclaiming, “Shut up, Jess! He might hear you.”
“Good! I hope he does. What’s the big idea anyway? Disappearing on us like that."
“He might just be in the bathroom,” Sharon said. She called out, “Jim Bob, we’re kinda in a hurry. I’ll leave the cash on the counter inside for you. Keep the change.”
She read the gas pump and as she walked toward the building Jim Bob appeared, shouting, “Sorry, honey! I was just fetchin’ my nephew Bob. He’s shy around the ladies. Hold on. Hey, Bobby, come on out!”
The girls looked up at the biggest man any of them had ever seen. A giant. He stood between seven and a half to eight feet tall and was nearly as wide as two refrigerators. As he made his way towards them, April’s blood ran cold. “We need to leave, now,” she whispered to her friends as she hurried to the safety of the car.
Jim Bob laughed and said, “Don’t mind him. He’s all right. He don’t bite. I’m just having him help out for a while. His mama — my sister — passed away last month and he’s stayin’ here with me now, helpin’ out and such. Hey, Bobby, come on over here and collect this gal's money.”
In three strides Bobby was directly in front of Sharon, looming over her with a demented, ape-like face. He held out an open palm as wide as Sharon's torso. She had never felt so powerless in her life.
“Sharon, be careful!” April hissed with a bit of sobbing in her voice.
“Here, keep the change,” Sharon said looking up as she felt a pain in her neck telling her she couldn’t go any further. She placed a ten in Bobby’s giant hand and his filthy fingers closed slowly over it. In her mind, she could see that hand wrapping around her wrist and shattering it, effortlessly.
Jessica, staring intently at Bobby, lightly backhanded Sharon on the arm. “Hey, let’s go.”
Jim Bob just laughed. “Hee-hee, okay. We’ll be seeing ya.”
April stood frozen before the open car door. Sharon yelled out at her, "What are you doing? Get in the car!"
April looked down at a puddle in the dirt beneath her feet. Sharon also looked down. April had pissed her pants.
“Hey, Jess,” Sharon said, motioning towards April’s jeans, "I think we got a little accident here."
“Aw, baby, it’s okay. Don’t worry. Just get in. We'll get you cleaned up farther down the road. For now, let's just get outta here.”
April reluctantly entered the Mustang, sliding into the back seat. Jessica turned the ignition, cuing the loud engine to fire up. As Sharon slammed the heavy door shut, Jim Bob and Bobby waved happily with leering faces. Jessica shifted the car into first.
“We'll be seeing you girls. Seeing you real soon,” Jim Bob muttered under his breath as the Mustang pulled away. "Ain't that right, Bobby?" Bobby only guffawed back.
Chapter 3: Turn That Frown Upside-Down
Forty-eight minutes later, the girls crossed the Texas border and arrived at the Ponderosa Restaurant. The smell of bacon and other breakfast meats cooking inside wafted out, making the air in the parking lot smell like heaven. April was finally calming down, now that she was in a clean change of clothes and had puffed on a joint. She was more embarrassed over her little accident now than frightened.
Sharon and Jessica had talked back and forth about their strange experience and how they dreaded the fact that they may have to stop on the way back to get gas.
“No way! I’m not stopping back there again!” April interrupted. “I’ll fly back if I have to. I’m not stopping there again!”
“We could just take highway 90 back to school. It’ll take longer but we can totally avoid that route,” Sharon suggested.
“We’ll just have to leave earlier,” Jessica said.
The trio went inside, sat in a booth and ordered their breakfast. They couldn’t refrain from looking outside, all wondering the same thing until one of them spoke up.
“Hey, what if they followed us? You don’t think they would do that, do you?” April asked.
“Nah! Jim Bob has a business to run. How else is he gonna save up for fuckin’ toothpaste?” Jessica answered. April smiled and Sharon burst into loud laughter that made the other customers turn and stare at them.
“And what about Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum? What a freak, right?” Jessica asked.
“I know! Man, did you see the size of the mitt on that guy?” Sharon asked, still in awe.
April listened as she once again grew uneasy.
Jessica leaned in closer and said softly, “Still, though, ya gotta wonder. His dick must be the size of your arm, Sharon.”
Sharon’s eyes grew wider, mouth agape. “Jess! Shut up! You would wonder about that!”
April was visibly shaken now and sat up from the booth. “I think I’m gonna be sick,” she said and ran to the bathroom.
“See, you know she’s still gotta be in some sort of shock,” Sharon said to Jessica.
“What?! I thought the grass mellowed her out, man.”
“Well, go check on her, Jess!”
“Fuck that. I’m tired of babysitting her, man. You wanna be her mama, you go check on her,” Jess muttered, legs outstretched, facing the aisle with a lit Marlboro in between her index and middle finger.
Sharon shook her head in disapproval, got up and walked to the bathroom.
Jess puffed on her cigarette. Her conscience made her sigh, say a quick, guilty “Fuck!” and get up and meet her compadres in the bathroom.
Jess poked her head inside the ladies room and said, “Knock, knock.”
There was a pause for a moment, then April said, “Come in, Jess.”
As Jess closed the door behind her, she saw her friends standing quietly in front of the mirror.
“Hey, I’m sorry, April. Can you forgive me, sport?” Jess asked as she placed her arm around April. They were all looking into the mirror now.
“Yeah, I guess. I just wanna hurry up and get home, is all,” April said looking in the mirror at Jess.
“We will. We’ll skip the bars and just hurry up, okay?”
April looked at Sharon’s reflection and said, “It’s cool. No huge rush, I guess. I am starving now that I puked.”
Jess said with a smile, “Yeah, let’s eat, dammit!”
With that, the trio walked back to their booth, laughing. People stared, but that didn’t matter now. Things were right in the jungle again.
From outside the restaurant, they could be seen laughing, talking, having fun. They were totally oblivious to the rusted, old Ford truck, idly running at the far end of the parking lot. The trio was being watched, studied, fantasized about.
“You can have her too. But I go first, boy. I don’t want ya ruinin’ her fer me,” Jim Bob said to Bobby, as they both singled out Sharon from the other girls. They would have them as well, but Sharon was special.
Chapter 4: Rebel, Rebel
“You sure you’re okay to drive?” Sharon asked April.
April walked over to Sharon and opened her hand for the Mustang keys. “Yes, I’m fine now.”
“All right, let’s vamos!” Jess shouted. She hurried toward the passenger side calling, “Shotgun!”
Sharon followed, hoping to beat Jess to the door.
“Hey, It’s my car! I get shotgun automatically!” Sharon shouted, playfully wrestling with Jess for the door handle.
“No, I paid for breakfast, honey. I call shotgun,” Jess said, smiling as she managed to push Sharon’s hands away from the handle.
“Shit. Fine, I’m gonna take a nap,” Sharon replied, giving in.
Victoriously Jess shouted, “Ha ha, sucker!”
April buckled her seat belt, fired up the horses and waited for Jess to close the heavy door. They were now homebound. The girls all lived in surrounding towns. April was from Devine. Jess was from the big city of San Antonio and Sharon was from Lytle. They would drop April off first, then Sharon would drive to San Antonio to drop off Jess. Then it was back home to Lytle.
Jess turned on the radio to hear the first chords of "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. Cheers of “Yeah, turn it up!” came from Sharon and April. Jess lifted her right leg and stuck it out the window, showing off her cowboy boot and smoothly shaved leg. Jess nodded her head to the beat and lit up a cigarette. April tapped on the steering wheel to the beat of the drum. Sharon stretched out her arms, holding on to the sides of the front seats, swaying her torso and head side to side. She closed her eyes and lost herself in the music. It was always a sensual song for her.
Generals gathered in their masses, just like witches at black masses.
April looked in the rear-view at the road behind her. She saw a rusty, old pickup truck about half a mile or so back. It appeared to be speeding to catch up to them. She paid attention to the speed this thing was traveling. Her heart began to race.
With "War Pigs" still playing on the radio, Sharon and Jess heard the engine of the old pickup roaring ever closer to the Mustang. They turned and looked out of the back window to see the old Ford speeding closer and closer. Their blood ran cold as the sheer speed of the truck increased the closer it got to them. The intent was clear: the truck was going to ram into them.
April wasn’t sure of what to do. Should she slow down? If she did, the truck would definitely catch up to them. Should she make a sudden sharp turn? They might flip. There was only desert around them. Should she try and outrun them?
The car was fast. It was her only option.
“April, they’re gonna hit us!” yelled Sharon as she turned forward and braced herself for the impact.
Jess pulled her leg inside the car, squeezed her eyes shut and yelled a loud, “Fuck!”
Something awoke in April. Something she had never felt before. A sense of fearlessness. Fuck those rednecks, she thought. I can do this.
With a smirk on her face, the whites under the bottom of her eyes visible, she said, “Try and get me, motherfucker!”
April stomped on the accelerator, causing the engine to scream, and the muscle car to lurch forward at a high rate of speed.
Sharon and Jess looked up at April, surprised. Jess saw that April looked like a woman possessed. Eyes forward, focused, an evil grin on her face. She had not seen this side of April before.
“April?” Jess shouted.
April turned slightly, just enough to see Jess from the corner of her eye. She then blew Jess a kiss and returned to staring at the road ahead.
They were now racing ahead at 122 miles per hour.
“Goddammit, April, be careful!” Sharon yelled from the backseat.
The old pickup was catching up to the girls.
April looked at Sharon in the rear-view and said, “It’s ole Jim Bob and his nephew. I recognize the truck from the gas station. You know what they’ll do if they catch us, right?”
Jess just looked back at Sharon in horror.
April said calmly, “They will fuck us. Big Bobby wants to shove his monster cock inside of you, Jess. And you know what? It’ll hurt. Sharon, do you wanna be a rag doll for ole Jim Bob and that fuckin’ Sasquatch? Huh?! I didn’t think so! You know, maybe I’ll just slow down so they can catch us. Or do you want me to go faster? Careful or faster, Sharon! You decide, baby doll.”
The sound of engines roaring, Sharon and Jess looked at each other with wide eyes in shock.
Sharon yelled ahead, “Go!”
“Yeah, baby!” shouted Jess.
“Sharon, you thought about naming this bitch yet?” April yelled to Sharon in the back seat as she glanced in the rear view.
Sharon’s wide-eyed expression broke with a smirk, as she considered a new name for her early graduation present.
“Whoo yeah! Mayhem. Owwwww!” Jess howled as she drummed rapidly on the dashboard, the V8 engine roaring.
The pickup was now nearly on their tail. Inside, Jim Bob smiled his rotten smile. There was nowhere to hide in the desert, and he knew it would only be a matter of time before he had her.
“Oooh, you mine now, baby!" he said as he inched in closer to the Mustang.
April rode the gas on Mayhem, her eyes the epitome of rage, fingers a vice grip on the wheel, when Mayhem began to sputter and slow down. April looked at the gas gauge. Out of gas. A look of disbelief crawled across her face.
“Why the fuck are you slowing down?!” Sharon asked from the backseat.
“We're out of fucking gas!” shouted April.
“NO! We just filled up at Jim Bob’s! How!?" Jess screamed as the car rapidly slowed down.
Sharon spoke up, realizing what had happened. “They must have poked a hole in the gas tank.”
“No, they’re not fucking getting us! No fuckin’ way!” April said with fire in her voice. Mayhem was now stopped in the middle of the lonely highway.
All eyes in the Mustang grew large in fear, knowing their ride to freedom was now over. They would have to fend for themselves.
“We’re not going down without a fight!” April said with a strained, intense voice as she psyched herself up for the fight that seemed inevitable.
Two doors slammed loudly behind them. They looked back through the rear window to see Big Bobby making his way over to the passenger side of the Mustang and Ol’ Jim Bob, carrying a long piece of thin rope, making his way to the driver’s side door.
Jess began to scream.
With the doors locked, April began to lay on the horn, hoping to attract attention. But on this lonely highway, just a few miles away from the Texas state line, there was no one to help them.
Big Bobby and Jim Bob jiggled the door handles, laughing. With a loud crash, Bobby smashed his monstrous fist through the passenger side window. Jess jumped and began to scream bloody murder while tensing her body almost to the point of cramping up. With that light-headedness growing stronger, Sharon suddenly closed her eyes as everything in her vision faded to black.
Chapter 5: The Dirty Queen
The room was dark except for a dirty, dangling light bulb. On the floor in the corner, April laid on an old dirty mattress, curled into a fetal position, unconscious, her lower body badly bruised. Blood seeped from between her legs from where Jim Bob and Bobby had ravaged her.
Groggily she awoke, and the startling sound of a key entering the door lock made her eyes shoot open. As her eyes adjusted to the light of her surroundings, the door handle began to slowly twist. Then there was the pain. Pain in her vagina. Pain in her rectum. She moaned. How many times had they raped her?
She tried to call out in a broken, hoarse voice, “Sharon? Jess?” She was cold, so cold. Pushing herself up, she wondered where her clothes were.
As she looked toward the door on the other side of the room, a figure called out, “Hey there, darlin’. You ready for some more? I know I am.”
Ole Jim Bob shut the door behind him and locked it with a set of keys. He turned and walked over to April with a malicious grin on his ugly mug.
“Are ya scared?” Jim Bob asked her as she backed up against the wall. She tried to cover her breasts with her arms and squeezed her thighs together. She wondered what she could use as a weapon. There was nothing in sight.
She focused on the light bulb for a second and imagined it breaking. Using the shards of glass to defend herself.
“What? You think you gonna use a little ole light bulb to kill me? Gonna take more than that, honey!”
April knew it would be a struggle, but she had to do it. She had the resolve. She had to get to her friends, her sisters. She stared at Jim Bob, trying to fake him out. She then lunged at the bulb and grabbed it with both hands, pulling it down onto the hard concrete floor. Jim Bob rushed in to grab her. He hit the ground with her, pulling at her legs. April grunted and kicked Ole Jim Bob in the head, which only pissed him off more. The light bulb shattered, slicing open her hands.
Taking the jagged stump of the bulb, she sat up and stabbed it into Jim Bob's eye. The sharp glass sunk deep into the orb. Jim Bob let out a howl, toppling backwards as a stream of blood poured from his face, the socket end of the bulb poking out of his left eye. Grabbing a large sliver of glass, she leaped from the floor and stabbed him viciously in his other eye. He bellowed in pain, arms flailing wildly before he tripped and fell to the floor.
"Bitch," he mumbled. "Fucking bitch, you done blinded me!"
April stood over him and said, “So now I’m the predator and you’re the prey. I can dig that.”
She stomped on his ankle, fracturing it underfoot. Jim Bob let out another scream, "Fuck!"
April had the power now. She was in control.
“That’s right, bitch! Now, you get one chance. Where are my friends?!”
“Fuck you, you little cunt!” Jim Bob shouted.
“No, fuck you!” she grunted as she kicked him in the face, sending the butt of the bulb deeper into his eye socket. Jim Bob reached for her legs exposing his neck. April backed away and saw the fish-belly white of his throat. She took aim and raised her left foot, and then brought it down directly onto his esophagus. She pushed down as hard as she could. He reached out a hand and grabbed hold of April’s leg as she crushed harder. She pulled her foot up once more and stomped down again and again, grunting as she felt the bones crack under her foot and his grip go limp.
She had to get to Sharon and Jess. First, she had to cover her nakedness. She pulled off Jim Bob's white shirt and boots and put them on, covering herself.
She was now ready to search for her friends. She would have to deal with that fucking giant, Bobby. She knew she wouldn’t have the same luck killing him as she did with Ole Jim Bob. She would need to sneak around him somehow. She needed to get to her friends. Her sisters.
Chapter 6: Paint it Black
The shining sun was blinding as she carefully made her way out the door. She was at an old shack at the back of the gas station. Big Bobby was nowhere in sight. She looked around as she crouched low near the door. She locked it up after finding the right key. She scanned the area for Mayhem. The car was nowhere in sight. Jim Bob and Big Bobby probably took it to a junk yard to be stripped. She knew the junkyard owner was friends with Jim Bob. She had seen him here, leering at them on previous trips.
April had to make a decision. Would she stay and look for Sharon and Jess, or take the old Ford and drive for help? She couldn’t win a fight with the ogre. On the other hand, he had likely taken part in her rape. Not to mention the rapes of Jess and Sharon. God knows if they were still alive. At least if she left for help, she could return with the cavalry.
April ran over to the rusty old Ford, opened the driver side door and climbed in. She inserted the key into the ignition and started it up. She looked around for any sign of Bobby. He was nowhere in sight. She pulled the gear shift into drive and peeled away from the old, tiny gas station.
Satan laughing, spreads his wings . . .
“She was supposed to be here yesterday, officer. She never showed up!” Mrs. Barnes told the uniformed officers standing in her living room, taking notes.
“Ma’am, was April traveling with anyone else? Some friends, maybe?”
“No. She was alone. She makes the trip every year alone. But there is something you need to know. April is on medication. She’s had some issues, since she was a little girl. The medicine controls it. But when she’s off of it, it can get bad. She… has multiple personality disorder. She is prone to violence when she’s off her medication. Also, a few years ago, when she started college to be exact, somehow she began to converse with her other personalities. There are two: a girl named Sharon and another named Jessica.”
Written by Blacknumber1