Agena wrote an intriguing story called “A Joke.” Chapter one dealt with a man and his wife who had a very irritating habit of teaming up with a neighbor to play practical jokes on him. The jokes were over the top, until the last was far more than any decent human could consider a joke. The protagonist, Jim was injured and humiliated, and kicked the wife out of his life. If you’re going to read this, you should read the original first.
You can find his story here.
Agena states that he thought that some other authors might continue the story, and he provided his own ending in chapter 2. I have a very different take on what I thought should happen, and wrote this little dark tale about a joke taken too far, a man pushed to his limits and revenge. Very dark. Let me repeat that. Very dark.
I borrowed several lines and paragraphs from Agena’s second chapter. I wanted to stay true to the characters, including Flo, the wife’s, response to her husband at reconciliation. I did play around with her past just a little, and added some elements of the prank that made everything go haywire, which weren’t necessarily there in Agena’s version, but didn’t go against the evidence reported.
This is my first effort at working with someone else’s characters and storyline, and I hope I didn’t take it too far off-track.
I hope you enjoy this offering and that some of you will get a little more satisfaction over the way our protagonist handled the whole thing. It’s not for the faint of heart or for the reconciliation-at-all-cost crowd. Not by a long shot. It’s also a little long, but I think if you give it a chance you might enjoy it.
With no further ado, I give you, A Joke, Ch. 2, a Texan’s Ending.
After my baby girl left, I found one drink wasn’t enough. My emotions were in turmoil.
Even if my wife and the asshole hadn’t had sex, where was the respect? The trust? I had told her, and told her, it would lead to something like this. Yet she not only continued, she escalated things.
Worse was the intentional humiliation. Making a cuckold of me, even as a joke was too much. How could I ever trust her again? And Roger? The stupid smirks, the pranks, so often at my expense. Even if they hadn’t had sex, how much had they done? Did they get naked? Play with each other? Use the joke as an excuse to get intimate? I know that sound, my wife’s gradual excitement, the whispered need, the moaned keening that signaled her impending explosion.
Where the fuck was the humor in that?
I like a good joke. Please don’t think I lack a sense of humor, but this was not a joke, and it was anything but funny.
The third scotch had me whining at myself. Poor lonely me. I love my wife. I love my kids. This will destroy the family. I’m not young; where will I ever find someone I loved as much as my wife of 23 years? The, possibly, faithful mother of my children. I didn’t want to spend the waning years of my life alone and bitter. If only Roger had never come into our lives. If only my wife hadn’t gotten such a kick out of his damned stupid pranks. If only.
I knew that if I did leave her, many people would view me as the cad. The unfeeling bastard who left his wife over a stupid joke. Sure, it was over the top, but hell, it was only a joke, right? Get over it, they’d say. She said she was sorry, didn’t she?
I was well into my fourth scotch, feeling no pain, not even from my aching wrists. Just a fucking joke. Get a sense of humor.
How about if the tables were turned? Let them see what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a ‘joke’. If, and only if, she passes that damned lie-detector test, I’d start the healing. I’d take her back. I’d see how she liked it. My ‘loving’ wife and that asshole son-of-a-bitch next door. Hell, I had a sense of humor. Let’s see if they did.
I managed somehow to make it to my bed that night, my endless possibilities of a revenge joke percolating through my stewed brain.
I woke slowly, in that grey place between conscious and unconscious, and with perfect clarity found I’d selected the avenue of my revenge. Just a joke. Let’s see them find the humor in my ‘joke’. I laid there for hours, playing with options, permutations, contingencies, results. When I finally got out of bed, I had a smile on my face, and maybe just a little joy in my heart.
* * *
Damned if she didn’t pass the test. Not perfectly. I’d insisted on selecting the questions and Flo wasn’t aware of them. She thought I’d only ask about the final prank, but that wasn’t good enough for me. This was a major decision, to stay married to a woman who I still believed had cheated on me with our neighbor. Perhaps they didn’t screw, but I believed what they did was well beyond what she knew would be acceptable.
No, she hadn’t screwed him. Yes, they had taken off their clothing. No, they had not removed their underclothes. Yes, she’d seen his erection. Yes, the orgasm was real.
So much for the faithful wife.
No, she’d never been unfaithful before. She had given more than one hand-job to someone in the past. No blow-jobs, no anal, no intercourse. She honestly believed she’d not been unfaithful.
Yes, the idea for the joke, was Roger’s. Yes, that’s all she thought it was, a stupid prank. A joke.
Yes, she loved me. Yes, she wanted desperately to get back together. Yes, she’d never make me the butt of a joke again.
Yes, she believed it was fair if she had to suffer through a similar joke herself.
The only question she failed, was if she had thought about being unfaithful with Roger. Her answer was no, but the results were inconclusive. Perfect.
Maybe I hadn’t hit every important question that I could have. There were more things I could have brought up, issues I’d had. But this was really about three things. One, what had happened and how did it get that far? Two, was she a faithful wife? And three, was she penitent, and did she really love me and want to get back together? Everything else was in the noise.
I was disgusted with the results. But I did believe she was at least honest, and wanted to be back with me.
The results had been delivered to me three days after my talk with my daughter, during which time the only contact I had with Flo was through her sister Mary, who had given me the information about who my wife was going to go to for the testing, and the contact info I needed to make sure I had my input on the questions.
I started making preparations for my own ‘joke’ and let her stew for a couple of days.
* * *
Our son Eric called the day after I received the results. He argued for us to get together, as I knew he would. He might not be happy with her, but she was his mother, and he wanted his parents together.
I explained the problems I had with her, even if they hadn’t had sex together. It was odd. I realized I was talking to my son as a man, about problems with a woman, and not as my little boy.
“I understand Dad. But it was just a joke. She didn’t mean to get carried away, and she didn’t have sex with the slimy bastard. You’ve got to take her back. Please, for us, for the family. Forgive her and let her come home.”
“I love your mother, Eric. I can only hope to God that you have a chance to love and be loved like us. I…I don’t want to lose her, but I don’t know if there’s anything we can do to make it right.”
“I know Dad. I know what I’d do. Biggest god-damned revenge ‘joke’ on the mother-fucker next door. He’s the real fucking problem here. Why the hell are you letting that bastard slide, while making Mom’s life a living hell?”
I couldn’t help but smile. Like father like son.
“I’ll talk to her soon. I’ll try. I’m not going to promise anything yet, but I want to make things work out. Ok?”
“God, yes, Dad. That’s all any of us want. Talk to her, let her explain, and try to forgive her. Try, please, for all of us. Don’t let her stupid mistake break us up. You need to be the bigger person here.”
“I said I’ll try.”
* * *
“Jim, it’s Mary,” the voice announced on the other end of the line.
“Hi Mary.” I was willing to let her drive the conversation.
“You didn’t call.”
“No. I didn’t.” How observant of her.
“The…the test results weren’t that bad were they. You saw it was only a joke,” she said nervously.
“Did you see the results Mary? All of them?”
She was quiet for a while. “Yes.”
“So much for the faithful, loving wife, huh?”
“Jim, she loves you. You know she does. The test proves it. She’s done some stupid things. Horrible things, I admit, and I’m disgusted with her, but she didn’t mean to hurt you. It was a stupid joke that got carried away. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world.”
“What part of a hand-job is a joke?” I asked.
“You have to talk to her. The questions and answers are so black and white, and our lives, all of them, are lived in grays. It wasn’t a real hand-job. She never felt the guy’s flesh, it was through his pants, at a party. She rubbed him, and he got off. She felt she had to say it was a hand-job, because of the results. She couldn’t lie. Not if she was going to have a chance at getting back together.”
“It’s difficult Mary. It went well beyond a joke, and you know it.”
It hurt me to hear her crying on the other end of the line. “I know, Jim. She’s my sister, and you’re destroying her. Please, please speak to her. Give it a chance. Do what you have to do, give her rules and ultimatums, whatever you need to make it right. I know you still love her. Do this for the love, not for the stupid, selfish woman. For your wife, the 23 years, the mother of your kids.”
I already knew I was going to take her back. I sure as hell couldn’t pull off my side of the ‘joke’ if I didn’t. Still, she had been warned, and she had to keep going. She had cheated on me. She had no respect for me, and got a kick out of humiliating me. I wanted her to feel a little of the pain she’d doled out, over and over, ever since that bastard moved next door.
“Saturday. She can come over Saturday at noon, and we’ll talk.”
* * *
She came over, and she looked like hell. Her eyes had deep bags and were red and puffy. It had been less than two weeks, and she looked like she had lost weight. Flo had cleaned up, putting on a teasing dress, not slutty, which would have had me kicking her out the door, but enough to remind me how beautiful she was, and to ignite the flame of my attraction. She was wearing my favorite perfume, and she melted into my arms when I opened them to her.
“I’m sorry, Jim. I’m a stupid bitch, who doesn’t deserve you, but I pray that you’re a better person than I am, and you’ll give me another chance.”
I hugged her tightly. “Come in,” I told her. “Before we start, you need to know I love you, and I always have. I hope it’s enough.”
She squeezed me tight, and she sobbed against me for a few moments, before I was able to get her to calm down and sit at the kitchen table with me.
I could tell she was trying get hold of herself. She got up and walked over to the coffee maker, reaching up into the cabinet for her favorite mug. She popped the single-serving into the top of the machine and made herself a cup. “Can I get you one?”
“Sure, thanks.” It felt good to see her in the kitchen, so natural. I did love her. For a moment I wondered if she loved me enough to survive my ‘joke’ on her and the bastard.
She passed me my mug and sat down at the table across from me.
“Before we begin I’d like to say something,” she said. “In the last two weeks I’ve had a lot of time to think about what occurred, what led up to it and I’m appalled and ashamed of myself for the lack of respect for you as my husband, friend and lover, that I was exhibiting. I don’t know where I was coming from getting involved in those horrid jokes with Roger. When we made you the butt of those jokes I must have been out of my mind and I want you to know I’ve started to see a psychologist about how I got into that mind set.
“I want you to know also that having this two weeks apart and not being able to communicate with you has been the worst time of my life. It’s made me realize how much I love you and need you. However, if you decide we’ve got to separate then I will accept that as punishment for what I’ve done to you and our marriage. I can only ask you, as my husband, to please forgive me and take me back as your wife. I will make sure you will never regret it if you do.”
I sat there listening, hearing all the right words. More than I had hoped for, to be completely honest. Still, it might have banked the flame of revenge burning in my gut, but it couldn’t put it out.
I pulled out the test results and watched her face turn red. “Some of these answers make it difficult, you understand?”
She nodded. “I…if you need me to explain…”
Her little prepared speech was nice. Now that we were off the track, she wasn’t so skillful.
“No. Not yet. Someday perhaps. I couldn’t stand to hear it now. I wouldn’t be able to welcome you back, and that’s what I need right now. I need my wife back.”
She got up from her chair and came around the table to me with her arms outstretched and a beautiful smile on her face. I stood to meet her and we came together in a frenzied, passionate embrace. Our lips met and our tongues dueled as we hungrily sought to make ourselves one body.
Finally, we broke the kiss and I whispered in her ear as she continued to desperately hold on to me.
“Let’s get your things. How long will it take you to pack?”
She blushed. “It’s all in the car.”
I pulled back a little from her and looked at her tear stained face before speaking.
“You were pretty sure of yourself, weren’t you?”
“No, just hoping and praying. I didn’t want to waste any time if you decided to keep me.”
She was smiling and laughing while she said it and still clinging to me.
“I love you.”
“I know,” I told her, “and I love you more than my life. Let’s get your stuff.”
She grinned, pulling my hand, dragging me away from the front door, and to the back of the house. “Later. First, I need to show you how sorry I am. I hope you’ll like my first of many, many, sincere apologies.”
I did enjoy her apology, three times which was as good as it got for me. I loved her, and loved the sex with her. But when I heard that little cry of orgasm, I almost lost it. Knowing that the bastard had heard that cry, had wrenched it from her willing body set the flames in my gut roaring again.
I loved her. God, did I love her. I hoped she loved me enough.
* * *
Alice and Roger were still together, and Alice was no longer a stranger at our home. Roger had not made an appearance, and his name was not brought up. If I saw him outside, I never spoke to him. He might look my way, but he never made any effort to talk beyond that.
It was three weeks later, on a Friday evening, when I answered a knock at the door.
Roger was standing there, nervously.
“Roger,” I said calmly.
“Jim, I know you hate me right now, and you have every right. I only wanted to come over and apologize. I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I think you should know that I never meant for anything to happen. I know I’m an asshole, and I let my stupid pranks go way too far, especially with a good friend. I goaded Flo into going along, and I’m sick to death over what I almost did to your marriage.”
I nodded, quietly.
“If…if you want to kick my ass, I understand. I’ll defend myself, but I think you and I both know how it will turn out. I won’t call the police.”
I shook my head. “That won’t be necessary,” I said.
He stared at me and for only a moment, I thought I saw a hint of a smile. That lousy fucking bastard.
“That’s all I wanted to say. I am sorry. Please don’t hold my actions against Alice. She didn’t have any part of it.”
“No. I have no hard feelings against Alice.” I started to close the door, then stopped. “Roger,” I called out as he started to walk away.
He turned back to me, “Yes.”
“I appreciate the apology. What you did was really fucked up, and far beyond the limits of a joke. But I know it was probably difficult to come over here and face me.”
He nodded. “I am sorry.”
I closed the door. I’m sure he was sorry for my interrupting the little seduction dance with my wife. I had no doubt one of his jokes would probably have ended up with me walking in on him fucking my wife in our bed. Just a joke.
* * *
It took two damn months. I wanted to press things, but I had to let it takes its natural course. Two full months. Eight weeks. Fifty-seven fucking days to be precise.
We saw each other at a mutual friend’s party. We talked coolly across the fence. Alice came over several times and eventually broached the idea of a casual lunch with the four of us.
We were neighbors after all. Everything was behind us. Nothing would ever be the same, but it didn’t have to be horrible between us.
Six weeks after he came over and apologized, we all attended a barbecue at the Henderson’s. Our second get together, with the four of us at the same place. Flo avoided being anywhere near Roger, but he still sought her out, telling stupid jokes, not as raunchy as before, but still bad. I saw him put his hand on her, and she took a little too long before pushing it away. The bitch laughed at his joke. Damn her.
A few minutes later, she came to me, giving me a hug. “Thank you for everything, baby. I love you so much. This is the first party I’ve enjoyed in ages. Having you here with me, makes my life complete.” She gave me a quick kiss, and passed me a full beer. “Looked like you were empty. Let me know if you need anything else.”
I thanked her, and took a sip. It wasn’t beer. It was lemonade. I spit it out, and she looked at me in confusion.
“Are you fucking kidding me? Didn’t you learn anything, you stupid bitch!” I growled.
The shock on her face was real. She took the bottle from me, and tasted it. “I…I didn’t know. I swear.” She ran across the yard, waving the damned bottle. I couldn’t hear what she said, but she stood in Roger’s face and chewed him out. About fucking time.
I could hear the laughter from Roger, grinning, looking my way, and the crowd around him. She argued with him, and the guys around him, and to my disgust, eventually laughed along with them. She stood there, laughing at me. The flames inside my gut burned.
When she didn’t return after several minutes, I’d had enough of it. I turned to leave, and was intercepted by Alice.
“She’s drunk, Jim. Let me go get her. Don’t let the asshole ruin everything for you two.”
“I think it’s too late, Alice. I won’t let her disrespect me again.”
“No. It’s not your fault, and if you can live with him, more power to you. I’m not going to go through that again.” I turned to thank our hosts for the party, and headed for the door.
Flo caught me at the door, “Where are you going?”
“As far away from you and your boyfriend as possible. Don’t come home.”
It must have shocked her. She dropped her drink, making a mess, her hand lifted to her mouth. “No, Jim. Don’t say that. I didn’t do anything, I swear. He’s not my boyfriend.”
“You couldn’t stop, could you? Had to play along with humiliating your husband with your lover. Laughing at me, making me the butt of your jokes again. It’s over. I’m done.”
She screamed reaching for me, and I pushed her away. She crawled and grabbed my leg, clinging to me. Disgusting, a grown woman, in her forties, drunk, crawling on the ground.
I heard a disturbance out back, and Alice was laying into her husband with a bottle, swinging at him, while he was on his knees. She must have gotten one good shot in. He was bleeding, holding his arm up to fend off her blows. Someone pulled her off of him, and I turned back to my loving wife.
“Get off me,” I growled, tugging my leg away hard, leaving her prone on the ground, crying.
* * *
Mary was at the door. I’d only been home an hour or so.
“Hi Jim. Is it too bad, or can she come home?”
“What did she tell you, Mary?”
Mary looked over her shoulder, and I could see that Flo was seated in her car.
“Roger pulled a joke on you, and he used her to do it.”
“That he did. If that was all, it wouldn’t be a problem. Not with her.”
“She told me that she confronted him, yelled at him, and told her that it was a stupid thing to do, and to never use her like that again,” Mary explained.
“So you understand why I can’t take her back?”
Mary looked surprised. “But she didn’t do it. She was even mad at him.”
“She didn’t tell him not to do it. She told him not to use her to do it. Then she stood there while they all laughed at me, and she joined in, laughing along. She didn’t come back to me. She stayed with him, and his little sycophants, laughing at me. I gave her ten minutes, and then I’d had enough.”
“She was drunk, Jim. That’s all. She had nothing to do with the joke. She was used, just like you. Don’t throw her away. You two have to talk. She’s sorry. She’s completely devastated.”
“She’ll always be sorry. Afterward. Ask yourself this: how in the hell did she end up bringing a drink to me, that he’d doctored? How is that possible? After what they did, how could she even be talking to him?”
Mary was at a loss for words. “I…I don’t know. We can’t know unless you talk to her. Please?”
Of course I was going to concede. I couldn’t finish what I’d planned unless I did. But her actions had changed things. I wasn’t willing to settle for what I’d planned originally. Not anymore. This was revenge.
“Last time, Mary. Last fucking time. Next time you intercede for her, I’m done with both of you. You understand?”
She paled, then nodded. “Yes, Jim. Thank you. I swear, I’m going to tear her a new asshole when she’s sober enough to understand what she’s done. I won’t defend her again, and if there is a next time, sister or not, she’ll have to find someone else to bail her out. You…you’re better than she deserves.”
A few minutes later Flo came in the house, and ran over toward me. I stood and moved around the chair, putting it between us.
“Not a word, Flo! Not a single fucking word. You open your mouth to do anything but throw up, and I swear I will beat the living daylights out of you, go next door, and shoot your fucking lover-accomplice dead! Nod if you understand, but don’t you dare speak!”
She nodded once, tears rolling down her face, then turned and ran to the guest room, closing the door behind her.
Alice showed up a couple of hours later, in tears. “Can I come in, Jim?”
I opened the door to her, and she walked by me in a daze, headed to the kitchen. I made her a cup of coffee, and another for myself.
“I don’t understand how he could do that,” she said softly.
“He doesn’t respect me, and he’s trying to get into Flo’s pants. It’s pretty obvious.”
She shook her head. “No. I can’t believe that. He wouldn’t.”
“Jesus, Alice. You saw the test results.”
She looked up at me. “No, I didn’t.”
I left her, and returned a few minutes later, placing them in front of her.
She took her time reading, and the tears started to flow. “How could they? How could he do this to me?”
I shrugged. “It’s not about you. It’s about me. Notice, they didn’t handcuff you to humiliate you. They sent you away. It was me they wanted to cuckold. Wimpy Jim. Jim who can’t take a joke.”
“What are you going to do? Is she gone now?”
“No. She’s in the guest-room. I’m angry with her, yes. She didn’t behave the way she should have. Your bastard husband is the one at fault, however. He just had to start up again, trying to humiliate me, embarrass me in front of my wife and the whole world. Belittle me, try to make her see me as a wimp. I’m fucking tired of his games.”
“He’s sorry. He really is. Somehow, he thought a simple harmless joke would show that things were cool between the four of us.”
“You believe that?”
She nodded. “He only pulls pranks on people he likes. Friends and family. He’s a stupid asshole, but I think it was almost a peace offering. He really doesn’t understand.”
“I came close to killing him tonight,” I confessed.
She stared at me in shock. “I hope you’re kidding.”
“No. Not at all. If I thought I could avoid prison, I would have walked over and put a bullet between his eyes.”
She reached across and grabbed my arms. “No, Jim! It’s not worth it. Don’t do anything stupid. If you were so angry, why didn’t you kick his ass when he offered?”
“I don’t know. I thought it was over. Now he’s starting it up again, and I’m angrier than ever.”
“You know he only understands one thing. You should get even. Embarrass him in front of his friends, co-workers. I’ll even help if you want. Violence isn’t the answer.”
It was going so smoothly. I couldn’t betray my joy at her words.
“I don’t know Alice. I’m not much of a prankster. Whatever I did would probably blow up in my face, and I’d be the laughing stock. Either that or nobody would think it’s funny.”
“No, Jim. You have to do something. Make him the butt of the joke. Take him down a notch or two. Let him feel what it’s like. Let me help.”
I let her talk me into it, and twenty minutes later, I gave her a hug and a kiss goodbye, and thanked her.
* * *
I woke to a blow-job from my stupid repentant wife.
I know, I know. I keep calling her stupid, and she’s not. Not really. Just the opposite, to be honest. Except when it comes to our idiot neighbor and his asinine jokes. Then she’s as stupid as a human could get. So forgive me, but I’m not going to stop.
When I woke, she straddled me, settling down on my hard cock. “I’m sorry, baby. I had too much to drink, but it’s no excuse. I swear, I’ll never talk to him again. I won’t let him within 10 feet of me. I can’t believe he used me, to go after you again.”
“Shhh,” I whispered, then drew her down and held her. “I was angry last night. I’m sorry I spoke to you as I did. I would never hurt you. I love you.”
She clung to me desperately, openly crying, while I eased myself in and out of her. I had to admit her apologies were nice. I only wondered how much longer I’d be on the receiving end.
* * *
She was repentant, and Roger was as well, coming over a couple of days later with a shiner from Alice’s attack, and trying to explain himself. He gave me the same bullshit about breaking the ice, trying to get things back to where they were. He missed us and the relationship we’d had. He’d made a mistake, but didn’t mean to cause trouble.
I acted reluctant to accept his apology, but I did, once again warning him that I wouldn’t accept another.
* * *
Two months in total. Two more weeks after the Barbecue fiasco. Plenty of time to prepare. I had a new plan. The bastard would pay. Shit, I was paying too. I was already $1500 into my revenge, and still wasn’t done.
The girls got together, and planned a simple dinner party on Saturday night. A chance to bury the hatchet. Flo had been loving, and oh-so caring. I was getting laid every night, more than we had done it since the first couple of years together. She was almost subservient, and I probably could have gotten away with anything.
It was a simple dinner, with the women preparing the dishes. Roger and I spoke cautiously about work and sports, avoiding any talk about our issues. I was going to save that discussion for later.
I was feeling good. In a forgiving mood. I praised both women on everything they did, was affectionate to my wife, and appreciative to Alice. They’d both cleaned up nicely for the evening.
I think Flo is a bombshell, and understood why men would desire her and flirt with her. Alice was a little…simpler. Not bad looking, but not a head turner. Plain short brown hair she didn’t do a lot with, and a body that was nice but not spectacular. I’d seen her in a bathing suit, and she didn’t look bad. She was a few years younger than us. Smallish breasts, thick waist, and ample hips, with a little cottage cheese on the back of her thighs. She could probably afford to lose twenty pounds or so. She could still look good when she wanted to. That Saturday was one of those nights.
After the women prepared the dinner, I offered to clear the dishes and get us all an after dinner drink. Ten minutes later Alice was looking at me in confusion, as our spouses slipped off into unconsciousness.
I looked at her, got up, and took her glass. “Time for a little joke on our spouses,” I explained.
She grinned, a nice big one. She should smile like that more often. It made her beautiful. “About fucking time, Jim! What’s the plan?”
“Help me get them downstairs. I think it will all become obvious soon.”
She laughed, helping me with Roger’s legs.
It was a lot more difficult than I’d expected. Somehow, half-an-hour later they were both downstairs, tied to simple straight backed chairs facing each other, a couple of yards apart.
Alice was trying to get me to talk about my plans, but I kept putting her off. “Trust me on this one. They are both in for the shock of their lives,” I told her.
Shock of their lives. Heh-heh. See? I have a sense of humor.
When they both were settled in nicely, firmly restrained, I had Alice help me set up a couple of cameras on tripods, both angled to face one of our captives, with the other one viewed from behind at angle. A third was facing the wall between them, with both captives viewable at the sides of the viewfinder.
“You’ve really thought this out,” Alice said, finishing checking her setup.
“Oh yeah. I want it to be perfect.”
She nodded, then got up stretching. “What’s my part in this? I get to help, right?”
“Of course. It wouldn’t work without you.”
“But you’re still not going to fill me in, are you?”
“Patience, beautiful. A little more patience.”
I took her by the hand over to the bare wall. “I want to chain you to this wall,” I said, and held up my hand when she looked up at me in shock.
“No, don’t worry. It’s part of the joke. I’m going to attach a collar and chain to your neck, and another one to your leg. It’ll look very real, which is important. They both have to think you’re here against your will, Ok? You can act that one out.”
I walked a few feet away. “The key to your chains are right here. You can get yourself free anytime you want. If you think things are getting carried away, all you have to do is tell me.”
She looked nervous, but nodded. “Can’t you tell me what’s going on?”
I thought about it. “I really think it’s better if you don’t know. You’ll give a much more believable reaction, which is what I want them to see.” I was attaching the neck and ankle collar while I spoke. Alice was wearing a knee length dress, which made it easier. I did remove her shoes.
“I’m a little scared,” she admitted, as I locked the chain in place.
“I know. Think how they’re going to feel. This is going to be perfect. If it’s too much, tell me now. I’d prefer to keep it a secret a little longer, but I’ll tell you if I must.”
I could sense her battling with her own fears. “Alright, I trust you. It’s going to start soon?”
“As soon as you’re ready,” I told her.
“Ok, let’s get this going,” she said, her smile back.
I didn’t imagine that smile would be there long.
“A few more things, and we’ll be ready,” I told her. I had finished anchoring her to the wall. I walked behind her, took her wrists in my hands, and handcuffed them together.
“Jim?” she said nervously.
“Only for a little while. Part of the ‘look’.”
I stood in front of her, and gave her a hug. “Thank you,” I told her. Then I was slipping the ball gag between her teeth, and the fear in her eyes told me she was ready. I anchored it firmly.
“I’m sorry,” I told her, honestly. This wasn’t her doing. Not totally, but if she’d gotten rid of the bastard, we wouldn’t be where we were.
I went over to my wife, and broke an ammonia capsule under her nose. Just a couple of waves, and she turned her head away, starting to wake up.
I walked over to Roger, my nemesis, who this was all for, and did the same. He shook his head, starting to look around, and I slapped him across the face hard. “Wake up, Sunshine. Time to pay the piper.”
“W…what?” he asked groggily.
“Wake up, you slimy bastard!” I told him, slapping him twice more, until he was struggling against the ropes holding him.
I walked back to my wife, who was yelling at me. I leaned down, held her face in my hands, and kissed her softly. “Hello, darling wife. Have a nice nap?”
“What are you doing?” she snapped.
“Just a little joke. You both love a good joke, right?”
“This is not funny, Jim. Stop it now!”
“Oh no, my loving, faithful, loyal wife! I can’t stop now. You guys threw down the gauntlet. Now it’s my turn.”
They both were screaming at me to free them, as I rolled over the covered trolley. I uncovered it, and pulled my first toy free. “Let the games begin.”
I walked over to Roger, the 18″ baton firm in my hand. “Look Roger, old buddy. I bet you think I’m going to beat you unconscious with this, don’t you?”
“What the fuck, Jim?” he whined.
I laughed, rubbing the side of the baton against his head and neck. Then I pushed the end against his stomach and pulled the trigger, holding it there for several seconds.
He gasped as the 2,000,000 volts entered his body, making him shake and twitch, before sagging against his ropes. “Just a joke old buddy. I’m not going to beat you with it…yet.”
I walked over to my wife, who was shaking her head. “No, Jim. Please don’t,” she whined.
I had no intentions of hurting my wife. That’s why I started with the stun baton. No real pain, and nothing lasting.
“You know what’s cool about this honey?” I asked, waving it in front of her. “Look at the shape. Long and firm. Just think where this would fit so nicely. Perfect for the wife who needs something other than her husband between her legs.”
I lifted her dress, and saw she was wearing the little blue lace panties we’d picked up on our anniversary cruise. Damn. I loved those panties on her. I reached down and pulled as hard as I could, stripping the torn material from her body.
“No!” she screamed, twisting as much as she could.
I rubbed the baton against her legs, up her thighs, pressing it up against her crotch. She was shrieking, begging.
“I remember begging like that, while I was handcuffed to a pipe, and you were naked, letting that bastard play with your body. Do you remember, love of my life? I know you heard me, because I could certainly hear you.”
“No, Jim. It wasn’t like that. Please,” she pleaded.
I pressed the end against her tight opening, nudging it between her lips. She was terrified.
“I don’t think it will do any permanent damage, triggered inside you,” I told her.
“No Jim! No!” she gasped, as a couple of inches slid inside her.
“Don’t struggle so much or it might go off before I want it to. Then I’d have to do it again.”
Her struggles diminished. Her tears didn’t as I got about a third of the length inside her. “There, it’s almost time. Any last words?”
She sobbed. “Why, Jim?”
“What? I thought you loved a good joke, sweetheart. Why don’t you laugh at me now?”
“Please, if you ever loved me, please don’t do this.”
I leaned over and kissed her cheek. “I love you more than life itself. I’m willing to go to jail for life over you. I’d die for you.”
I held the baton steady inside her. “Here we go.”
“NO!” she screamed, and I pulled it out of her roughly.
“God,” she gasped, “thank God.”
I pressed the baton against her thigh and pulled the trigger, watching her shake, groaning. I only gave her a few seconds.
I pulled her head up by the hair. “God has nothing to do with what I’m going to do to you and your lover for the rest of this weekend.”
I put the baton away, looked over and winked at a frightened Alice, and got my kitchen shears.
I stood in front of Roger for a second, then leaned over and punched him in the gut as hard as I could, leaving him bent over and gasping. “Sorry about that Roger. The assault isn’t supposed to start until much, much later, but I couldn’t resist. Forgive me old buddy?”
I started cutting away his clothing, laughing at his angry pleas, threats, taunts and the sickening begging. When I had him completely naked, I looked down at him shaking, then looked back at my wife. “Really, Flo. For this? Jesus, I’d expect better from you.” I reached down and grabbed a fist-full of stomach flab. “Come on, baby. You’ve got to be kidding.”
I put my foot up between his legs, and pushed, making him groan. I kicked at his shriveled up cock. “And this? Fuck, it’s almost invisible. I thought you said it was so much bigger than mine? That you wanted to feel stretched out.”
She was moaning, looking over at me. “It was a bad, stupid joke, baby. I’m sorry.”
“Well, looks like the joke is on you three. Since this, or whatever is left of it when I’m through, is all that you’re ever going to get to enjoy again. I mean, seriously? You were lying there naked, with him, he shows you this, and you start screaming how big he is?”
I walked back to Flo, who was looking up at me in despair. “It had nothing to do with sex, Jim. It was a fucking ignorant joke. The stupidest thing I did, or ever will. He wasn’t bigger than you. Yes, he was hard for me, and he even pulled down his underwear, but I didn’t touch it, or let him touch me with it.”
“What made you come so loudly, dear wife?”
She had the decency to look ashamed. “His hand, and mine. I started on myself, and he slipped his hand over mine. I was stupid, Ok? It wasn’t sex. It was a fucking stupid joke, and I was excited about what I was doing, what you were thinking. I wanted it to sound real.”
“Humiliating me got you off?”
“I didn’t think of it that way, but I understand how you might. It was the power, the control of the situation. I’m so damned sorry. I really am. Please stop this.”
I laughed. “I imagine you’re sorry now. Not sorry enough to stop humiliating me at the last barbecue.”
“What are you going to do?” she whined.
“Lots and lots. I promise, you won’t get bored.”
I grabbed my baton, when back to Roger, and pressed it against his balls, pulling the trigger, making him scream and shake uncontrollably.
“Bet that hurts like a mother-fucker. But it’s only temporary, and my pain went on for months and months. You owe me, asshole.”
I put away the baton, and got out the electrode pads, applying the gel before placing them on Roger’s body. “I read the stun gun won’t leave you impotent, unless you use it several times on the genitals. What do you think the magic number is, Roger? How many times can I do it, before you never, ever get it up again. Five? Ten? A hundred? I’ve got lots of time, and tons of batteries.”
“Please,” he moaned. “I only played a joke on you. A stupid joke.”
“Yes, a very stupid joke. That’s all I’m doing now. Fair’s fair.”
I slapped another pad on his bare chest. “As long as I keep the voltage down, it shouldn’t stop your heart,” I warned him.
I know I was ignoring Alice, but that was part of the plan. By now, they both knew she was there, and obviously not a willing participant.
I walked over to her now, running my hand over her body. “You have a beautiful wife, Roger. Utterly charming. Why would you want to destroy your marriage, chasing after my wife? Why?”
“I wouldn’t. I swear.”
I walked rapidly over to the voltage regulator, and turned it up, about a third, making him scream as the current ran through his body. I gave him about 5 seconds then shut it off.
I walked over and slapped his face hard. “I don’t like lies, Roger. You really wouldn’t want me angry.”
I moved back to Alice, standing behind her, and started caressing her front, up to her breasts. “What was it Roger? Your wife’s tits not big enough for you? Why go after my wife?”
He was gasping, head down. “I liked her. That’s all. She understood me, my sense of humor. She was pretty. I liked her, and started wondering what she’d be like in bed.”
I strode back to the trolley, and he started begging. “Don’t! Please, I swear it’s the truth. That was all. I was curious. I liked her, and thought she liked me.”
I had a bottle in my hand, and stood in front of him. “I’m not going to shock you, at least not at the moment. I believe you. I appreciate your honesty. I’m going to reward you.” I held the bottle with the squeeze spout to his lips. “Drink up.”
I gave the bottle a squeeze, and he drank. “Lemonade. Remind you of anything, ol’ buddy?”
“I swear I was just trying to make up. That’s all.”
I held it to his mouth, and gave another squeeze. He drank most of it, but some still leaked out of this mouth. “I believe you. You never managed to nail my wife did you? You wanted to get back in our good graces with her. I get it. That’s why you got her to help.”
He nodded, helplessly.
I returned to the transformer, and gave him a smaller shock, a little longer.
“Why?” he groaned, afterward.
“Because I can, my good friend. Because I can.”
I pulled the trolley over in reach, then stood behind him and pulled his head back as far as I could, by the hair. I put the wet towel over his face, then poured water from the pitcher slowly over his covered mouth, watching him suck at the material. You have to love the internet, such a wonderful source for inspiration.
He fought, almost freeing his head, as his hair tore out. When I thought he’d had enough I pulled the cloth away, watching him spit out the water, gasping.
“I love having a friend like you. So fun to play with. We’re going to have lots of fun, aren’t we?”
“Please,” he moaned. “I’ll leave. I’ll move away. Whatever you want.”
“Now why would I want that? We’re such good friends. Best friends, really. No, I want you to stay. We’re going to play and play and play…”
Flo was calling out to me, begging me to stop. “Don’t Jim. This isn’t you. You’re not like this. I know you.”
“You knew me,” I told her. I walked over, and caressed her beautiful face. “I wish you hadn’t worn this dress. I always loved you in it.” I grabbed it in the front, tearing it viciously, opening the front. “You made me like this, faithful wife,” I growled, tearing the sleeves off, pulling at the material until it was lying in a pile in the corner, leaving her naked except her bra.
“Don’t…don’t hurt me,” she pleaded.
I laughed, going to the trolley and returning with a large knife. “I guess it’s all up to you, isn’t it?”
“No,” she pleaded, as I pressed the tip of the knife against her chest. “I love you,” she gasped.
“I know. I love you too,” I answered, pulling her bra forward, and slicing the strap between the two cups, exposing her tits. Just a few more slices, and it was lying in the same heap as her dress.
“I figured it only fair that your lover and accomplice should get to see you naked one last time, since you’re getting to see him.”
“Stop, Jim. You’re acting crazy,” she begged.
“Acting? Do you really think I’m acting, my dear sweet, ever-so-loyal wife?”
I applied the gel to the electrode pads again, placing them over her breasts, on her stomach, and between her thighs. She cried hysterically as I attached each new one, tugging gently to make sure they’re secure.
From the trolley I got one of my favorite new toys, a long metallic dildo, with a clit vibrator attached to the large rubber base where the wires protruded. I lubed it up and eased it inside of her, until it was fully seated. “I’d like you to meet the Samurai. I think you’re both going to love each other.”
“Please don’t, don’t,” she whined. “You’ll kill me.”
“Hardly, love. Then play time would be over. Can’t have that.”
I returned to the source of the infection. “Roger. Dear friend. You are such a lucky man. It’s about time for us to start playing for real. I don’t think you’re going to enjoy it much, but I’m not going to let that get me down. Are you ready?”
“No,” he pleaded. “I’ll do whatever you want. I swear. Don’t do this.”
I walked over to Alice, who was looking at me in fear, tears in her eyes. She was stretching toward the keychain, to her locks, and found out that it was about a foot too far for her to reach. I pulled the gag out of her mouth.
“Stop, Jim,” she said softly. “It’s too much. This is not a joke.”
“Shhh, sweetie. You’ve been so good so far.” I stroked her hair softly, brushing it back from her face. “You still have an important role to play tonight. You need to be strong.”
I moved behind her, and unzipped her dress, slowly easing it off her shoulders. It slid down until it was stopped by her arms.
“Stop it you fucker!” Roger yelled.
“So brave, Roger. I’m proud of you. Defending your woman.” I walked over and gave him a 1/4 charge, for ten seconds. When he stopped screaming, and looked like he was almost over it, he got a full 1/2 charge for just a couple seconds more. Man, was that a difference! He really didn’t like that.
“Don’t pass out on me, Roger. Stun gun to the balls will wake you right up.” I grabbed the baton, and stuck it between his legs. “Like this.” I pulled the trigger.
Before he recovered, I was back with his wife. “I’m going to release your hands now. Don’t do anything stupid, Ok?”
She nodded mutely. When I had her released, she stood quietly, rubbing her wrists, while I lowered the dress down her body. “What are you going to do?” she asked, standing in her underwear.
“Now I think that’s up to your kind husband.”
I walked over and stood in front of my victim, grinning. “Here’s the way it’s going to go.” I held up a simple kitchen timer. “Thirty minutes, this round. I’m going to give you thirty minutes of my full attention. I’ve got lots more toys to play with. Some of them sharp. Some hard. Some very, very hot. I’ll let you think about that.”
“Please,” he moaned.
“Like I said, you’re lucky. These two women can save you from a lot of pain. Emphasis on the ‘lot’. At any time, my dear wife, the object of your desire, can ask me to give her some of what you’re getting. I will reduce your punishment five minutes each time she does.”
I looked over at my wife, and smiled. “You heard that, dear? If you think I’m too harsh, you and I can play.”
I strolled back to his wife. “This little beauty can also save you. If she were to, let’s say, ‘distract’ me, then of course I won’t be able to deal with you as much as I’d like to.”
“The real question, of course, is why would she? She heard it from your own mouth, you’ve been trying to seduce my wife, right under both our noses. Kissing her, and trying to make it sound like it was a joke, getting her clothing off, fingering her. Making her come for you. Such a funny joke. You are such a card, Roj! Hilarious.”
“Don’t touch her,” he groaned.
“Oh, I don’t want to. I’m deeply in love with my own dear, loving, faithful, loyal, supportive wife. You’d have to beg me to touch yours. Hell, even that wouldn’t help, who am I kidding? You’d both have to beg me.”
“Fuck you,” he growled.
I laughed. “Good. Growing a spine. I like that. Let’s start the timer.” The clicking could be heard clearly throughout the basement.
I pulled on my latex gloves, got the ultrasound gel and rubbed it onto Roger’s chest. I made sure it covered enough space. I grabbed the design transfer and pressed it against his skin.
“I heard that my loving wife just adored your etchings. You remember, Roger? I thought I’d give her a nice etching right here, where she could never miss it in the future.” I peeled the paper away, leaving a design of a limp penis and balls on his chest.
“There. Looks so real. A little bigger than life-size in your case, but outside of this room, how many people will have to know?”
“I’m going to kill you,” he snapped.
“I doubt that. I seriously doubt that,” I laughed.
I pulled the wheeled cart over, and lit the propane torch.
“What the fuck!” he whined.
“Patience, ol’ buddy. This will only hurt…nah, who am I kidding? This will hurt more than anything you ever dreamed possible.”
I had the steel rod in hand, held by a welding glove, and lowered it into the flame, right at that interior blue pyramid, letting it glow.
“Don’t move too much, wouldn’t want to mess up the design,” I warned him.
Both women were shouting at me. Alice was the more interesting, pleading for me to go to her.
I leaned in and pressed the steel at the beginning of the design, and dragged it about a quart of an inch across this skin. The smell was disgusting, and the sound almost equally so, although it was drowned in his scream. “Not bad, for a first time,” I told him. “I figure only about twenty minutes to get the outline in.”
I placed my tool back in the flame, whistling merrily. “Whistle While You Work,” seemed appropriate.
“When I’m free…,” Roger gasped.
“If you’re free,” I reminded him, drawing the steel across his skin, setting off more screams from all three of them.
Before I could touch his skin the fifth time, he caved in. “Alice,” he whined. “Please. Go to her.”
I pushed a little harder, and dragged the metal slowly. The burn was a little over an inch long. “Beg me,” I told him, heating the steel up for the next go-round.
“Please, no more. I’m begging,” he sobbed.
I turned to Alice, “What do you think, beautiful?”
She nodded. “Please, enough.”
I cut off the torch, removed the gloves and walked over to her. “How do you plan to distract me?” I asked.
“M…my mouth,” she said softly.
I leaned over and gave her a small kiss. “I think I’d like that. But he still has almost twenty minutes to go.”
“I know,” she whispered, her eyes pleading.
I grabbed our camping mats from the corner, and placed them, stacked, on the floor against the wall. I reached up and unsnapped the chain from the wall. She looked surprised. I had locked the chain to her neck, but a simple carabiner attached it to the loop on the wall.
She got on her knees, and I took off my shirt, while she opened my pants.
“Don’t do it, Jim,” my wife pleaded.
“Sorry, Miss Faithful, unless you want a little fun of your own?”
She shut up.
Alice was good. She took me in her mouth, semi-soft, and within a couple of minutes I was stiff as steel. She pulled off and licked me, kissing my shaft, teasing me. I knew what she was up to, playing, burning time off the clock. I let her. I was in no hurry, and the longer our spouses got to watch, the better.
She returned to sucking, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good she was. She looked up at me, her eyes smiling. I had to smile back.
“What? Did you really think I didn’t know how to give a decent blow-job?” she teased.
“Fuck, Alice. That’s not a ‘decent’ blow-job. It’s a friggin’ masterpiece.”
She sat back on her heels giggling. “You know, I could drag it out for a half-hour, or we could make a deal.”
“What kind of deal?” I asked, curious.
“Call this round over, and I’ll give you my best. It might not last as long, but I think you’ll be satisfied.”
“Beautiful, you’ve just made yourself a deal.”
She was right. It didn’t last ten minutes. She could take my entire length, right to the root, and had no qualms doing so. She mixed it up, deep, shallow, work the head, work the shaft. Her hands were busy, stroking me, playing with my balls. She had me groaning, and her head sped up. “God, that’s good,” I moaned.
She got her hand back on my shaft, stroking rapidly, while her mouth teased the crown, sucking, licking, teasing. “I’m gonna come,” I warned her.
She kept her head still, her tongue laving me, her hand stroking smoothly. I erupted in her mouth, filling her warm enclosure, shooting off over and over again.
“God, that was wonderful,” I told her.
She grinned. “I’m glad someone thinks so.”
I walked over to the cart, and turned off the timer. Then I returned to Roger, and slapped his face as hard as I could, rocking his head back.
“You are such a dumb fuck. Risking that?”
I went to the mini-fridge, and grabbed myself a Coke. It was thirsty work.
“Alice, can I get you a drink?” I asked, as she sat on the mat, in her underwear. “Something to wash away the taste?”
She laughed. “Sure, something diet. But not to wash away the taste. I’m kind of savoring it.”
Roger, stared at her. “You bitch.”
She pouted. “I’m sorry, honey. Did I hurt your feelings? I won’t do anything else with him, I promise. I was only doing it to help you, but if you don’t want me to…”
I popped open the drink. “Diet Dr. Pepper?”
“Perfect,” she said.
I went over to my wife. “How are you doing, baby?”
She looked at me angrily. “How could you?”
I looked at her in mock surprise. “You tell me. How could you?”
“It wasn’t the same.”
“No, it wasn’t. You’re right. I won’t touch her if you don’t want. You know how to make me stop.”
“I could do it for you,” she pleaded.
“Of course you could. But tonight that’s not one of the options.” I walked over to the cart and returned with the gel, and the applique. I rubbed the gel on her breast, then pressed the design down. A cute little broken heart, only a couple of inches across.
“There. Now any time you ask, I can start to make that a permanent part of you. All you have to do is say ‘please’.”
She looked at me tearfully. “You wouldn’t do that. I know you.”
“You knew me. Before you and your lover broke me. The rage burned in me for months. Every time I heard you come, all I could think about was you with him.”
She sobbed. “You never said anything.”
“I never would have, if you hadn’t started up again. I tried to bury it, kill it, until it faded. You wouldn’t let me.”
“It wasn’t me,” she whined.
“If you hadn’t been with him, he never would have gotten you to give me that drink now, would he? If you hadn’t stood there, laughing at me, I might have made it. Maybe. Those last minutes of humiliation were too much, and I lost control.”
Her fingers were reaching out to me, and I placed my hand in hers. “I’m sorry,” she said.
I kissed her. “I know. But it’s my turn to play the Joker.”
“You’re not going to hurt me, are you?”
“Only if you ask, my love. Only if you ask.”
I stood, stretching languidly, absurdly happy with how things were going.
“Can I get either of you two, fun loving pranksters a drink?”
“Water,” Flo said softly.
I grabbed a water bottle, opened it and slid a straw inside. My wife loved straws. I placed the end to her lips and she sucked. I held it for a while, until she’d finished maybe a third. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“Anything for you, my love. All my life, you know I’d do anything for you. Deny you nothing. Work as hard and long as it takes to make sure you were taken care of, all of your needs met.”
The tears escaped again. “I know. God, I was such an idiot.”
“Don’t let it eat at you. It’s not good. Trust me.”
I turned away, and she cried out for me. “Jim!”
“What’s going to happen to us?”
“Monday, baby. We’ll talk about it Monday.”
“Can’t we talk when this is over?”
“Absolutely. I promise, as soon as I’m done, we can talk to your heart’s content. Monday.”
She understood. “That means…”
“Correct, lamb chop. We have lots and lots more time to play. Oodles of time. You guys have played hundreds of jokes on me. If I only get one, it’s going to be a long one.”
I turned to Roger. “Something to drink before we get started?”
He looked at me cautiously. “A shot?”
“Bullet to put you out of your misery, or Scotch?”
I opened the counter above the workbench, and pulled down a bottle. I held it to his lips. “Drink up.”
I tilted it up, and he swallowed three times, before I lowered it. “Water chaser?”
He coughed. “Please.”
“Of course. What are friends for? And you and I, we’re such good friends, aren’t we?”
I let him drink from Flo’s bottle. “No germs, I figure. You’ve already swapped spit.”
He drank. “I am sorry about that. It was a lousy thing to do, go after my friend’s wife. I did think we were friends.”
“We are. Good friends. A little joke would never change that.”
I got the timer out. “Round two. Forty five minutes.”
I grabbed the electric clippers and started shaving his head from behind.
That didn’t seem to bother anybody too much. Flo watched calmly, and Alice had a sly little grin on her face. I spoke to her as I worked on his new haircut. “Not going to offer to distract me?”
“No. He doesn’t want me to. I’d never go against my husband’s wishes. I’ve always been faithful to him. Always.”
“You know, you’re a hell of a wife. I wish they made more like you.”
She smiled for me. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
“Not so bad?” Roger snapped.
“Shut up dear. This is our joke, not yours. You’ve earned this.”
With his hair gone, I got the electric razor, and finished the job in relative silence. I grabbed the aftershave, splashed it on my hands, patting it on his bald pate.
“There. Feel better?”
He seemed to be calming. “Thank you. That didn’t hurt. I was afraid you were going to pull it out hair by hair.”
“Shame on you! I’d never do that. Besides that would be messy, and I want the perfect palette.”
“What?” he asked.
I grabbed the design, this time a stencil cut out with three large letters. “BFF. Best friends forever. You and me, right bro?”
“What are you going to do with that?” he asked nervously.
“Apply it to your head, of course. You shouldn’t mind that. It’s the truth.”
“You going to burn it in?”
I taped it to the back of his head. I returned to the cart, and got out my scalpel. “Nothing so callow,” I explained. I wiped the blade with alcohol. “No, I’m going to carve it in.”
Another set of latex gloves and I stood behind him. “Try not to move, this first part will only hurt a little.”
I slid the blade down his skin, and heard the intake of breath. I tried to make it clean and easy. I didn’t want him to fight this one. Not yet.
“Shit,” he moaned.
“Sorry, I was hoping the Scotch would help. You bleed like a stuck pig, Roger.”
I was surprised to hear him chuckle. “No shit. Fucking knife to the head typically does that.”
I stopped. “Don’t make me laugh, buddy! I don’t want to mess this up. It’s looking good so far.”
I finished the cuts, and wiped it clean. It was still seeping blood. “Step one wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“No,” he admitted freely.
“This next part might sting a little.” I took the acid and dipped the natural sponge into it, then applied it to the stencil. Roger gasped, “Fuck!”
“Shh, it only takes a few seconds for the acid to take hold. We want a nice bold statement here. Not some little line drawing.”
“Shit, shit, shit,” he moaned.
When it had enough time to make its impact, I rinsed off the residue, and removed the laminated stencil. “Damn, I’m a friggin’ artist. You’re going to be proud of this.”
He laughed. “Yeah. I bet.”
“No, really. I mean it. It looks good. Besides, your hair was way too thin on top. The fucking comb-over wasn’t working. You look a lot better this way. Seriously. One friend to the other.”
“Great. You wait until now to tell me?”
“What do you think ladies? Nice look for him, or not?”
He turned to face his wife. “He looks a lot younger. Kind of manly,” she said.
“I wasn’t manly before?”
“That’s not what I meant. Manlier. I like it.”
He turned to Flo, who was watching us all cautiously. “What do you think?” I asked.
She seemed hesitant to say anything. I walked over and took a swig of my Coke. “Go ahead, baby. We’re all friends here. Be honest.”